Monday, February 25, 2008

The deafening yawn

At the Labour Party's unofficial blog they allege corporate right wing media bias is afoot because of the 'deafening silence' about a speech given by John Key two months ago.

After all, both Labour & the EPMU (who have "no connection to the Labour Party") issued press releases about what Key said at a high-powered meeting with the Kerikeri District Business Association just before Christmas.

Surely this should be front-page news in mid-Feburary?

Or maybe there's a 'deafening silence' because it's such a obviously coordinated attempt at a diversion from the Owen Glenn saga.

If National-Lite had any spine, they would stand up and shine the light back on National's anonymous funders.
But it seems Labour's winning election strategy is to shy away from the issue and look like they have something to hide..

The height of this ridiculousnesses with the PM not shaking Owen Glenn's hand at the opening of the Auckland Business School he paid for!

Why is the PM of New Zealand kowtowing to a bunch of journalists who spend too much time reading kiwiblog?
A guy openly bankrolls your party and your former university's business school, and you reward him by chaining him to Mad Dog Mallard?
Fuck them, you're the fucking Prime Minister, shake his fucking hand and smile like you mean it.

It makes for a marked contrast between the two party leaders, Our Great Leader Helen does want to be seen with a businessman that has made millions of dollars of donations to her and the country, and yet John Key will hold hands with the head of a Maori Mafioso and hongi with a dodgy activist awaiting trial on firearms offenses.

Extreme naivety vs Hardened cynicism, what a choice we have this year.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Headline with a pun based on the word poll

Another bad poll for Labour in the Dom Post today. National with a sizable 23-point lead.
I must take issue with the analysis of the results though.

One in four of National's support base have switched to the party this year. That suggests Mr Key easily won the early election year jousting - at Waitangi, over boot camps for young offenders in his state of the nation speech, and at the opening of Parliament.


No, of course, the rise in voter support has be as a result of the narrative our serious and well-respected journalists create. Silly voters don't care about saving or earning thousands of dollars in interest over a lifetime, what they care about is Tame Iti, boot camps and the 20 seconds of John Key's opening day speech they saw on the news.

The DomPost also claims "The plunge in her support is likely to spark speculation of a leadership coup." (against Helen Clark)
Her preferred PM rating is 29%, her party's is at 32%, A difference of just three points, yet National is the preferred party of 55% in this poll, while Key only has 44% support for preferred PM, a difference of 11 points.

Labour have a lot of 'issues' to resolve this year, but Clark's leadership is definitely not one of them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sensing Donors

Today on her blog at the National Herald, Audrey Young pondered "Was NZ First's mystery donation from Glenn too?"
This suggestion was based on the facts that NZ First received an anonymous donation of an unknown amount last year and Owen Glenn has donated money to political parties in the past and denied donating to NZ First.

In the world of the new media that's more than enough information to run with a story, after all what other possible conclusion could one make by looking at those two facts in isolation?

Though to be sure no-one thought she was lacking in journalistic ethics Young cautioned that

It is important to get fuller disclosure on this, not least to ensure that mud does not stick where it is not warranted.

Having unwarranted mud thrown about would be a terrible thing, so naturally as a responsible mainstream media outlet the Herald exercised restraint by making it the main headline on it's website for the afternoon.

Hilariously, later in the day, Winston Peters (in Africa), furiously denied the suggestion of a Glenn-NZ First donation to TVNZ's Espiner the Boy Wonder. Young later graciously accepted Winston's denial on her blog and said it was 'unfortunate that this may not be cleared up in a hurry' as Peters is not back in NZ until Saturday.

She's right of course, it was unfortunate and perhaps even inconsiderate of Winston to be out of the country, asleep and not available for comment while a senior journalist interviewed her keyboard about his activities.
There is a real story in there somewhere, after all Owen Glenn hasn't denied donating to NZ First nor has he denied that he has stopped beating his wife.

New Zealand's mostly widely read newspaper now has the less credibility than that of New Zealand's most popular blog. At least David Farrar has a disclosure statement.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Bastardisation of Kiwisaver

The mysterious 'Superpoints' brand was launched at the A1GP in Taupo recently, many a puzzled spectator wondered what the product was. A visit to their website gave little away.

It's seems 'Superpoints' is a new customer loyalty scheme, that will piggyback on Kiwisaver accounts.
Every New Zealand home will receive SuperPoints cards and an information pack in the mail.
SuperPoints is a new type of customer card designed to help all New Zealanders take advantage of earning points from a lifetime of shopping. These points get converted to cash and added to the fund, to help grow your money on top of the $1,000 kick-start from the Government to start your personal super fund for when you retire. Your points never expire. Over time funds will compound and can grow into thousands of dollars for retirement at age 65. The funds are held by Guardian Trust and advised by New Zealand's most expert and well-established organisations.

SuperPoints gives the opportunity to make voluntary contributions into the fund whenever people choose. This is done through technology that will be available in any shop displaying the SuperPoints sign.

The first step to financial freedom is collecting the free $1,000 kickstart, thanks to the combination of the SuperPoints card and KiwiSaver.

This just seems crazy.

Should taxpayer's money in the form of $1000 Kiwisaver 'kick-start' be used to gain market share from FlyBuys and other customer loyalty schemes?

Is it really fair that workers currently in a kiwisaver scheme are forced to save 4% of their income to get the $1,000 bonus, while non-workers will seemingly be able to access the $1,000 through a customer loyalty scheme.

And is this a Labour Party election-year bribe initiative ?

Or maybe there's a misunderstanding on my part about Kiwisaver, which I thought was meant to be a voluntary retirement saving scheme for working New Zealanders with contributions from the employee, the employer and the state, not a (partially) tax-payer funded customer loyalty program designed to get people to buy more crap at the petrol station.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Karma Keymeleon

There seems to be no limit to what John Key will say and do to form a government, not even insane photo opportunities like this

The way he's clenching The Godmother Titewhai Harawira's hand as if it was that of his own kin, seems eerily reminiscent of George W Bush's overly-enthusiastic hand-holding with Saudi Prince Abdullah

But if that's not enough to question Key's judgment with, there's this,

What the fuck is he thinking?

Seemingly an unholy National-Maori Party Coalition.
Crazy fucking times ahead.