Predictable result

In the main the election result and sub-results were quite predictable.

Polls were a reasonable indicator but only look backwards so show trends that have happened. They can’t predict to late campaign shifts that are common.

This election was peculiar in that many decisions were put on hold until Kim Dotcom’s big reveal. When it came to nothing it strengthened resolve of swing voters to ensure National retained it’s hold on Government.

Labour dropping below poll results was not surprising. They were obviously not going to do well and non-committed voters either change their minds or simply don’t bother voting.

Claims like “but Cunliffe ran a good campaign” have been proven wrong. As David Shearer said, the end result was tragic for Labour. Cunliffe may have appeared to be campaigning strongly but he puts on a variety of acts. While they might be slick acts voters see through this lack of genuineness. Cunliffe also has a problem that is probably unresolvable – too many people simply don’t like his persona (or personas).

Greens will be disappointed to have struggled to maintain their level of support while Labour were shedding votes. Greens weren’t able to pick them up. This suggests that 10-12% is the upper limit for them. This also shouldn’t be surprising outside the Green bubble. People like to have a party promoting environmental issues but most don’t like the extreme Green stances like no drilling, no fracking, no motorways.

And Greens misread public sentiment if they think that handing out more money to poor people with no responsibilities applied will be popular. Middle New Zealand see this as imposing costs and taxes on them. Socialism is fringe ideology these days.

Winston Peters is adept at picking up protest and shedded votes. NZ First gained vote, gained MPs but otherwise gained nothing. Most of the 91% who didn’t vote NZ First will be happy with this outcome.

The 5% threshold always looked a very high hurdle for Conservatives and so it proved. This was a failure of MMP. The threshold should be no higher than 3%. I don’t personally support the Conservatives but their missing out is a travesty of democracy.

Hone Harawira losing his electorate was a bit of a shock but not really surprising given the severely compromised position of Harawira and Mana hitching their ambitions to Kim Dotcom. Dotcom’s expensive disaster was Harawira’s failing.

Internet-Mana was always a high risk alliance. They might have succeeded as a combined party but Dotcom realised too late that his brand was toxic and he couldn’t resist being prominent. His final week failure to deliver on his promises to hit John Key compounded the problem.

Laila Harre severely compromised her credibility and was still blind to this yesterday, blaming everything but reality. Her political future is very limited.

The Maori Party lost two of their three electorates as widely predicted. For the first time they had sufficient party vote to pick up a list seat to go with Te Ururoa Flavell’s retained seat. Flavell was a minor star of the campaign but will have a difficult job keeping the Maori Party afloat.

David Seymour retained Epsom as expected but also as expected ACT failed as a party. Jamie Whyte failed to step up as leader in a challenging attempt to rebuild a battered brand.

Peter Dunne held is Ohariu seat. That didn’t seem to surprise anyone but unrealistic Labourites from the electorate. As a party United Future was nowhere to be seen, and accordingly votes were nowhere to be seen, dropping to a third of the low return they got in 2011.

Just two more seats for National but this strengthens them substantially, giving them a majority vote on their own as long as they don’t lose any seats this term. They also have ACT, Dunne and Maori Party support options on standby.

Just two less seats for Labour and this weakens them substantially. The result is tragic for them and the outlook is no better. They have done very little to move on the old guard and bring in new talent. They seem out of touch with their constituency of last century. They have yet another failed leader with no obvious replacement. This was also predictable.

Labour have failed for six years to rebuild from the Clark/Cullen era. Unless someone out of the ordinary steps up their future looks bleak.

National campaigned on ‘steady as she goes’ and the voters delivered the platform for National to be a little more politically steady than expected providing outstanding issues don’t impact too much.

Judith Collins has already been sidelined and is expendable should inquiries further damage her.

Now the election is over ‘dirty politics’ should be addressed by Key. And by Labour. And to a lesser extent by Greens. Peters won’t change from his habit of attack without evidence but he will be largely impotent unless the media keep pandering to his baseless allegations.

Some embarrassments may emerge for Key and National out of surveillance and GCSB issues but they look to have been overplayed, and most people accept the need for some surveillance protection.

The simple fact is that most people don’t feel threatened by surveillance and they are concerned about about terrorism.

And it’s ironic that the supposedly net-savvy who campaign strongly against surveillance must be aware that the Google and Twitter and Facebook social media tools they willingly use are tracking what they do far more than any government.

But we can predict they will continue to fight for a free internet that gives them far more public exposure than they ever had. They claim that privacy is paramount in a very public online world.

Otherwise we can predict have much the same Government as we’ve had over the past six years. Most people will be comfortable with that.

It’s harder to predict if Harawira will make a comeback or if Mana will survive their battering and their harsh reality check.

If Dotcom pulls the plug on Internet Party funding it’s demise can be predicted. If that happens it can also be predicted that Laila Harre will find it very difficult to find another party that would risk being tainted by her lack of loyalty and sense.

It is not hard to predict that Labour’s struggle to be relevant and their lack of connection to anyone but some special interest groups will continue.

John Key has shown he is aware of the dangers to National of complacency and arrogance – it can be predicted that some of his MPs will struggle to heed his warnings. But most likely things will continue much as they have.

3 News debate links

Links for last night’s debate between John Key and David Cunliffe.

3 News:

NZ Herald:

Stuff:

 

Cunliffe versus Key – debate #3

Another debate, another round of media obsessed with declaring winners and losers, another reliance on ‘polling’ that is so unscientific it should be eliminated as potentially misleading.

The debate revealed little other than more practiced lines.

Both Key and Cunliffe sounded competent enough at media presentation but both talked over their opponent and squabbled childishly too much.

There was not much indication of how a National led or Labour led Government might look.

The quality of the respective party candidates was totally absent from consideration.

How potential coalitions might look and might work was not examined at all. One party’s policies matter but what might be negotiated post-election is also critical.

What are the chances ACT push National into bringing forward their proposed tax cuts to early in the next term rather than in the third year?

Would Greens push Labour to increase the top tax rate to 38%? The minimum wage to $18?

What Cabinet position might Winston Peters negotiate? Russel Norman? Colin Craig?

I have no more idea now than before any of the three debates Cunliffe and Key have had so far.

I’m no closer to deciding who to vote for.

I doubt many people will have changed their minds after watching last night’s debates.

Pundit perceptions can be quite different to normally how disinterested voters see things.

John Campbell did a reasonable job most but struggled to control the squabbling for superiority (or sneerority)  at times. He closed the debate with a bizarre speech that tried to liken voting in New Zealand in 2014 with standing in front of a tank in China in 1989.

The fourth debate on Sunday is likely to reveal nothing other than more practiced pontificating.

Will Cunliffe stand by ‘last chance’ warning?

Steve Gibson, Labour Party’s candidate in Rangitata, has again directed abuse at National after being put on a “last chance” last month by David Cunliffe.

Four weeks ago:

Gibson on ‘last chance’, says Cunliffe

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says the party’s Rangitata candidate Steve Gibson is “on a last chance” for insults directed at Prime Minister John Key.

Gibson said he apologised unreservedly for calling called Key “Shonky Jonkey Shylock”. Gibson also described Key as “a nasty little creep with a nasty evil and vindictive sneer”.

Cunliffe said Gibson was a “very promising candidate” with a “larger than life personality”. However, Cunliffe said Gibson’s comments “show extremely poor judgement” and there would likely be consequences for his candidacy if similar actions were repeated.

The Timaru Herald has just reported:

Gibson calls it as he sees it

The Labour Party’s Rangitata candidate, Steve Gibson, said yesterday he was “a bit tired of toeing the party line” which he said was “too respectful,” making a series of strongly-worded criticisms of the National Party.

Gibson said he was concerned about the “degradation of the public’s confidence in the democratic process by Judith Collins, Cameron Slater, Jason Ede and other rotten Shylocks”.

Labour party leader David Cunliffe put Gibson “on a last chance” in August for insulting Prime Minister John Key on Facebook, where Gibson called Key “Shylock” and a “nasty little creep”.

Gibson had apologised for his earlier comments, but yesterday said his party was “not going to win by being Mr Soft-arse softly-softly”, and was prepared to “call it as I see it”.

Although he said the Labour Party’s “vote positive” campaign theme was sound, he was in favour of stronger opposition to the Government’s policies.

Gibson criticised the National Party’s planned education reforms, which include differentiating teachers’ pay levels based on their responsibilities, as “just idiocy”, and said the party looked like “a bunch of dicks” for proposing the policies despite unionised teachers’ official opposition.

He also believed the National Party was “a bunch of jerks” for comparing rural water pollution caused by dairy farms to urban water pollution in Christchurch. Gibson blamed water degradation on the Government’s replacement of elected Environment Canterbury officials with appointed “commissars”. “There’s very little democracy and it’s tilted toward the polluters,” he said.

Gibson is to appear at a candidates’ meeting on Wednesday in Timaru. He would not be answering questions from “obsequious, sycophantic scumbags”, which he believed could be written by his opponent, National’s Jo Goodhew.

Cunliffe has been critical of John Key for not taking decisive action sooner against Judith Collins.

Your call Mr Cunliffe.

 

Cunliffe trips over CGT and IRD

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been exposed again, apparently making things up incorrectly about something he should have known about.

On Radio Live yesterday Cunliffe claimed that Labour had discussed with Inland Revenue that they could handle a Capital Gains Tax.

Not only has IRD denied they discussed anything it’s been known for years – including to Labour – that the aging IRD computer system was unlikely to be up to handling it.

Did David Cunliffe tell me the truth yday when he said the IRD had told Labour it could handle a new Capital Gains tax? Drive

A little later later:

Cunliffe said to me he had run CGT past IRD to see if they could cope with it. IRD told me today NO discussions have occured.

Back in 2011, prior to the last election on interest.co.nz Government still eyeing savings tax break, but complexities and poor IRD computer systems stand in the way:

IRD systems in need of hundreds of millions – could be a problem for Labour’s CGT

Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark in 2012 on Labour’s blog – IRD computer crisis:

The Inland Revenue Department has been pleading for a new computer system for years. Its current one (known as FIRST) was built in 1992 when the Internet was still in nappies. 

In February this year, the Prime Minister said tax policy was being held back because the computer systems “can’t actually support radical changes from Government.”  He also said “You don’t want to be in a position where Parliament is held hostage to a lack of technology.”

But New Zealand is being held hostage to this technology. Well placed sources tell me that the Government couldn’t currently implement a capital gains tax…

So two years ago Labour thought IRD’s computer coudn’t handle it.

NBR in May this year – Why a capital gains tax will be off the agenda

Despite the policy purity, it’s widely recognised a CGT will only raise revenue of any substance after an estimated at 15 years. One should also read between the lines; until Inland Revenue’s first mainframe computer system is finally upgraded, such a significant policy change would likely be the last straw to a full collapse of the current computer system.

Transcript from yesterday’s interview:

Duncan Garner: Inland Revenue’s, and you’ll know this because you’ve been a Minister, their tax administration system, their computer, is getting old and it’s aging…

David Cunliffe: Very old.

Garner: …and it’s being replaced. Can it actually handle a Capital Gains Tax, because my understanding is that it may not be able to?

Cunliffe: Um, it will be part of the rebuild and redesign that’s allowed for in the policy on-ramp. Um, and that’s why we’ve paced it as we have.

Garner: But has anyone asked the IRD if the can handle that tax, because it’s quite complex?

Cunliffe: Um yes that it was discussed ah when we first designed it, and ah we’ll update if we necessary if we need to when we’re in Government.

Garner: Right so has the IRD said they can handle the Capital Gains Tax to you?

Cunliffe: Yes, in principle they have.

Garner: They have personally said that to you?

Cunliffe: Ah well not in person to me I don’t work at that level of detail, I’m a party leader so I’m I don’t get down in the weeds like that but we have worked that through not only with um ah with the IRD folks but with Treasury folks when we were designing the system.

Cunliffe wasn’t party leader “when we were designing the system”, it has been said he was involved in designing the system.

It looks like Cunliffe has again been caught out making things up about something he should have known about.

Basic stuff. Balls up, again.

RadioLive Intervbiew – DAVID CUNLIFFE WHAT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING WITH THE CAPITAL GAINS TAX?

Labour’s alarming ignorance about their CGT

Labour have been embarrassed by their lack of detailed knowledge of one of their flagship election policies, Capital Gains Tax.

This blew up in Tuesday’s leader’s debate and “David Cunliffe was flummoxed and admitted yesterday he was unsure of the CGT policy details – even though he wrote it”.

The information on CGT on Labour’s website was sparse. They added a link to more details yesterday.

Stuff reports in Gotcha politics replaces dirty politics.

The row was sparked by Tuesday night’s Press/stuff.co.nz leaders debate when Prime Minister John Key claimed that under Labour 300,000 Kiwis with homes in family trusts would have to pay a capital gains tax. He also said a Labour-Green government would introduce five new taxes.

Opposition leader David Cunliffe was flummoxed and admitted yesterday he was unsure of the CGT policy details – even though he wrote it.

Labour fired back, saying Key was wrong, and re-issued the policy, first announced in 2011. 

As well as ignorance about their own policy Labour have been misleading (deliberately or through ignorance) about tax and property speculators. They have often claimed their policy will target speculators but that is already subject to tax and Labour’s CGT would actually halve the amount of tax payable by speculators.

Dene McKenzie covers this at ODT in Capital gains policy stumbles.

Labour’s capital gains tax policy is starting to unravel as accountants and politicians take aim at the major party policy following a slip-up by Labour leader David Cunliffe.

Cunliffe was caught out twice in tax questions during a leaders debate on Tuesday with Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Key was adamant New Zealand had a capital gains tax in place and then threw a question at Mr Cunliffe about family homes being held in trusts which the Labour leader could not answer.

The question was whether a family home held in a trust would be subject to Labour’s capital gains tax. Labour advisers later said it was exempt although the policy says: ”We will ensure trusts are not used as a means of avoiding a CGT”.

Mr Mason said an interesting point was Mr Cunliffe seeming to suggest CGT would deal to speculators. If that was true, they would be getting a tax cut. At present, they pay tax on the full profit at their marginal rate of say 33%. Under CGT, the tax rate was reduced to 15%.

”I suspect he just doesn’t quite understand how it works at all, as even Labour’s website says: `Assets currently taxed at the individual’s marginal or at the business tax rate will continue to fall under the existing regime’.”

More from Crowe Horwarth tax principal Scott Mason on the CGT:

As to the detail of Labour’s proposed CGT, who would know, he said.

Despite being Labour’s policy for more than three years, the party had released very little detail, instead saying some experts would design the final policy.

”The policy on their website does specifically say they will attack trust structures, so I can see why Mr Key felt concerned and asked the question. Mr Cunliffe’s lack of response during the debate makes one wonder whether the later clarification was policy on the run.”

Perhaps the party did not want the detail released until after the election, Mr Mason said.

Finance Minister Bill English said nowhere in Labour’s CGT policy did it exclude family homes owned by trusts.

Labour was trying to say the test for whether a capital gains tax applied was not whether a trust owned the property but who lived in it.

That would require Inland Revenue to confirm the living arrangements of householders in deciding whether the law would apply.

Ownerships of trusts and ongoing living arrangements can be complex – but not according to Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford in a Herald video.

“Our policy is plain and simple, it always has been. If it’s the family home, capital gains tax doesn’t apply.”

Twyford is contradicted by Labours policy detail which states:

Trust law is complex though, so how we manage this will be decided once we get advice from our Expert Panel.

And Twyford acknowledged that Cunliffe didn’t know a key part of their policy, and Twyford admits needing to be briefed about it for the Herald interview.

Why couldn’t your leader answer ‘no’ last night like you just have when I asked you about Capital Gains Tax, why wasn’t he as knowledgable about that and as definite as you’ve been?

Twyford: Well, it won’t surprise you that I got briefed on that very issue before I came in to see you this morning.

It surprises me that Twyford would have needed briefing on a key part of Labour’s housing related tax policy.

Twyford: You know there’s a lot of policy detail here. The fact is that in that debate John Key was wrong. Our policy is clear, it’s in the manifesto.

Detail wasn’t in the manifesto until after Key raised the issue.

It’s excluding the family home.

Twyford: Absolutely. John Key was wrong. Yeah I’m sure David wishes he’d answered ah more quickly...

Cunliffe didn’t answer until after he was briefed after the debate.

…but these things happen in politics.

Being ignorant of a key part of a key policy that you helped write is not a good thing to happen during an election campaign.

Twyford repeated that Key was wrong – but how could Key or anyone else know what Labour’s leader and Labour’s housing spokesperson seem tonot have known. Labour is leaving it up to an ‘Expert Panel’ to advise them on the complexities. How can he expect Key to know what they might decide?

At the time of the debate the flummoxing of Cunliffe was called a mistake but not as bad as Goff’s “show me the money” hiccup in the last campaign.

Key has highlighted two important things.

He has injected a contentious policy into the election debate, one that Labour has promoted strongly but is vulnerable on, especially when serious doubts have been raised about how it might be applied.

It’s not just an issue regarding family homes, a CGT will impact significantly on small business owners and farmers. It may also apply to shareholders including many Kiwisaver account holders.

The flummoxing of Cunliffe was an unexpected bonus.

But there’s another aspect of a CGT that I haven’t seen addressed – how much impact introducing the tax will have on both the housing market and and on business.

Labour promotes and defends the CGT on the basis that most OECD countries have one (and those countries still have problems with housing markets).

But I haven’t seen any information presented on what impact the introduction of a CGT might have on a modern economy. Australia has had a CGT for 25 years and has significant property inflation right now (I know someone in Brisbane who has just had their property revalued)

How many countries have introduced a similar type of CGT in the last decade? How has that impacted on their housing markets and their business environment?

Won’t a CGT be too complicated to understand and complex to administer?
All but three OECD countries have some form of a CGT. There is a wealth of international experience to draw on and we will learn from the work other countries have done. Labour will also get advice from our Expert Panel to ensure the system is easy to understand and to administer.

“We will learn” – Labour are promoting a policy they have had for two elections and they hope to learn about it? Shouldn’t they they had already learned about it before committing to their proposals?

Shouldn’t they have got Expert Panel advice already so they could “ensure the system is easy to understand and to administer”?

What if their future Expert Panel advises them the system they have proposed will be complex, difficult to understand and difficult to administer?

Labour’s ignorance about key parts of their policy, their ignorance of how their policy will be applied and their seeming ignorance of what impact their CGT will have on housing, business, and investments and savings including Kiwisaver is quite alarming.

More alarming than ‘show me the money’ – Labour are showing us their ignorance.

Cunliffe on taxing trust owned homes

The main talking point – and turning point – of last night’s debate was when David Cunliffe failed to answer a question from John Key on taxing of trust owned family homes.

Patrick Gower at 3 News:

There is a fine line between Bantam and Brat, but Key landed a blow on Cunliffe over the Capital Gains Tax that left the Labour leader flummoxed and rattled.

Cunliffe could not answer Key’s question about whether family homes in Trusts would be exempt from the tax – but he should have been able to, as he developed the policy.

Cunliffe’s helpers were quick to answer in social media and will have advised him on it during the debate break, so afterwards he had an answer.

Vernon Small at Stuff:

Cunliffe clarified to media after the debate that Labour’s policy placed emphasis on the “family home” rather than legal ownership.

“I’ve learned to check my facts and John Key got it wrong. A family home does not incur capital gains tax [under Labour], whether it is owned by a trust or not.”

Cunliffe said an “expert panel” would decided whether a homeowner was selling a primary residence. 

Labour promised an expert panel would clarify the tricky questions on their CGT leading up to the election in 2011. They’ve had three years to work things out but are still deferring to an expert panel after the election.

From Labour’s Policy webpage Capital gains tax (excluding the family home):

Labour will introduce a capital gains tax, excluding the family home.

  • Trusts: We will ensure trusts are not used as a means of avoiding a CGT.

No detail there.

Labour published a detailed CGT policy before the last election but I can’t find it searching on their website now.

Disappointing debate, pointless polls

I was disappointed with the leaders debates. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it, but I didn’t see anything that I thought wouold make difference.

Cunliffe held his own so won’t have been harmed by it. He interrupted too much and too many preachy wee speeches. Pros and cons on points made.

Key looked strained but probably won’t have harmed his chances, Some pros and cons as well, nothing remarkable.

Hosking allowed too much talking over each other, sometimes all three were trying to compete. Often seemed messy.

I doubt many minds would be changed.

The online and text polling and online metering were a farce, totally meaningless. There is no way of knowing who was voting or measuring responses so no way of knowing how biased the participants were.

The National minions seem to have been busier on TV1’s text poll and Labour’s on Newstalk ZB’s online poll. Or something. Tells us nothing useful.

They were worse than pointless, they add useless noise to commentary on the debate.

 

Goff blatantly lies about ‘dirty politics’

Phil Goff blatantly lied on Campbell Live last night when asked if he ever got involved in dirty politics. Goff said “No, no, not at all”.

Goff has a history of misleading and leaking and accusing others of lying. He has been involved in:

  • Leaking and misleading over the Don Brash ‘gone by lunchtime’ statement in 2004.
  • His office leaks from MFAT in 2012 which led to a fight through the courts to hide the identity of the Labour associated leaker.
  • A Goff office leak led to the forced resignation of National MP Richard Worth in 2009.
  • Goff “appears to have broken the law by releasing pages from a suppressed Court of Inquiry report into the death of a Kiwi soldier in Afghanistan” in 2013.
  • Accused SIS director Warren Tucker of lying about briefing him in 2011.

Yesterday morning Phil Goff claimed John Key was lying about not having been briefed by the SIS prior to an OIA release to Cameron Slater. During the day Key’s version was supported by ex-Director of the SIS Warren Tucker and Ombudsman Beverly Wakem – see Goff versus Key, Tucker and Wakem.

Last night Goff was interviewed by John Campbell. The prelude on Campbell Live did not give all the details this. It began:

Campbell: Phil Goff, who was at the centre of all this because these SIS documents were about you and they were really embarrassing for you and they were a big judder bar in your campaign in 2011 weren’t they.

Goff: Let me come back to what the Prime Minister said because it’s fascinating. This is somehow a smear campaign from the left. No, this is a campaign against smears and dirty tricks of which there is abundant evidence shown in the emails leaked from Cameron Slater. So that’s the critical point John

In the morning Goff said “It’s important because John Key is not being truthful in saying that he wasn’t told”. He seems to have moved on from that accusation.

Campbell: I couldn’t agree more that there is abundant evidence that Cameron Slater smears and is thoroughly unpleasant…

Goff: …and gets information from the Prime Minister’s office.

Campbell: Absolutely. Where does that lead back to the Prime Minister because I stood in that media conference as he answered question after question after question and he was emphatic he didn’t know?

Goff again ignores this and moves the story onto to something else.

Goff: What do we know about this for certain. We know that material was leaked from Security Intelligence to Cameron Slater. There were two possible sources. One is the SIS itself, and the second is the Prime Minister’s office. 

Now I’m not so conspiratorial that I would think that the SIS would leak that material. The Prime Minister’s office had the motive to do it and the close links with Cameron Slater. Any reasonable person will come to the conclusion that that leak came from the Prime Minister’s office. 

But Tucker the SIS were highly annoyed with accusations Goff had made about them so also had motive – in fact the SIS suggested that journalists make an OIA request after Goff had said effectively accused Tucker of lying – “I never read that document. Warren Tucker is wrong”.

Campbell: Can I ask you a question? You were a leader of the Labour Party, up against and extraordinarily popular Prime Minister John Key.

Did you ever seek to do what you’re accusing him of doing, or use your office to do it, which is to get really dirty behind the scenes, arms length?

Goff: No no not at all…

Campbell: Never, not once?

Goff: No, no, because fundamentally to me the integrity of our political system is important.

That’s an emphatic denial from Goff. It is brazen lie.

Goff was prominent in an MFAT leak in 2012.- this had similarities to the current issue because it involved someone closely linked to the Labour Party.

Documents leaked to Labour foreign affairs spokesman Phil Goff showed a reworked plan for the ministry would cut 146 jobs, down from 304.

He had also been leaked documents from trade negotiation staff which showed the restructuring had dented staff confidence.

There was la lengthy legal battle to keep the identity of Goff’s leaker secret. David Farrar in Opposition parties may look silly over Police complaints:

Yet in this case Labour have spent months arguing the leak should not be pursued, and that a leak inquiry is a waste of money. Flagrant hypocrisy. And I hope one day, we will be publicly able to publish why Labour is so frightened about the leaker’s identity being revealed, and any links back to them.

Someone with strong Labour Party links leaked to Goff.

Goff misled with his “gone by lunchtime” leak that was damaging to Don Brash. TVNZ in 2004:

Goff said Brash told the US delegation New Zealand’s current ban on allowing nuclear powered or nuclear armed ships into its ports would be lifted  “by lunchtime” if the National Party were voted in to power.

The comments were noted down by a Foreign Affairs Ministry official present at the January meeting, according to Goff.

Goff said of Brash’s comments: “That is deceit that is dishonesty and the public would expect that to be revealed.

“…either he was not telling the truth to the delegation or subsequently he was not telling the truth to the New Zealand public.”

More accusations of lies from Goff – and it turns out he was not being truthful again himself, as Fran O’Sullivan wrote:

Goff’s problem is that he is embarrassed by the WikiLeaks revelation.

He had no compunction using notes of a private meeting between former National leader Don Brash and a visiting United States delegation to claim New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy “would be gone by lunchtime” under a National government.

The WikiLeaks documents have something to say on this score too.

Former United States ambassador Bill McCormick wrote in November 2006 that Goff had “misquoted” an Mfat staffer’s notes from the meeting to claim that Brash had promised the nuclear ban would be “gone by lunchtime”.

“Brash denied he intended to get rid of the ban without a referendum, but was unable to respond credibly when Labour said that must mean he was planning to scrap the legislation, which many Kiwis view as an iconic part of the country’s identity,” McCormick said.

It’s notable that Goff refused the Herald’s request under the Official Information Act to release the full notes of the meeting that Brash had with the six visiting Republican senators.

Goff’s office leaked a rumour that led to the resignation of Richard Worth in 2009. NZ Herald:

It is obvious that Goff’s office first leaked the rumour to the Press Gallery that Labour had already warned Key of allegations of sexual harassment by Worth of another woman, who we now know is Neelam Choudary.

No one has come out of this business with their reputation enhanced by what now must be seen as a Labour Party dirty trick.

Goff has ducked for cover, after a couple of weeks of drip-feeding juicy tidbits to the media and taking the moral high ground. That can only be seen as an admission he was wrong.

Common elements – leaks from Goff’s office, moral high ground, dirty tricks, Goff.

In 2013: Goff leaks secret army death report:

Labour MP Phil Goff appears to have broken the law by releasing pages from a suppressed Court of Inquiry report into the death of a Kiwi soldier in Afghanistan.

Mr Goff has released part of the report into the death of Corporal Doug Hughes which he says reveals “critical deficiencies in the training and deployment of Kiwi troops”.

Phil Goff’s hands are dirty. It is dishonest of him to deny being involved in dirty politics.

It’s perhaps not surprising he is laying all the leak blame on Key’s office – Goff has a history of leaking from his own office.

No wonder much of the public dismiss all this with “they are all as bad as each other”. Goff and his staff and Labour friendly leakers look to be as bad as anyone.

Goff’s lying while reminding of Labour dirty tricks is not helping Labour’s Vote Positive campaign. Has he gone rogue or is he pushing this to keep a separation between dirty politics and David Cunliffe?

 

Bribe and jibe season

Labour and New Zealand First campaign launches included voter bribes – offering more ‘free’ stuff, but of course taxpayers (other voters) will pay for the policies if they succeed.

Along with the bribes are the jibes – political jibes, racist jibes, anything to get some media attention and coverage to pander to the greedy, needy and the prejudiced.

NZ Herald reports in Winston’s digs come with jokes:

A Chinese name joke, a dig at this country’s “Mr Spray and Walk Away” Prime Minister, and a promise of $1000 and a KiwiSaver account for every newborn baby – all featured in the New Zealand First campaign launch yesterday.

“It’s so they can get out of university without a large albatross around their neck.

Taxpayers eventually have to wear the albatross.

And more jibes:

He repeated his intention to crack down on foreign ownership, saying National’s claim that Labour had done it as well was not vindication.

“Just because your predecessor did it too does not make your actions sensible. As they say in Beijing, two Wongs don’t make a right.”

Peters and some of the NZ First MPs tried to defend that joke but were unconvincing.

Vernon Small at Stuff comments on Labour’s biggest and best shot:

David Cunliffe has fired Labour’s biggest and best shot with his $280m health spending promise, taking aim squarely at the vote-rich elderly – Winston Peters’ happy hunting ground.

It leaves Cunliffe and finance spokesman David Parker with just under $200m of their election war chest left to spend…

“Their election war chest” is taxpayer money, not their lollies to scramble voters with.

More from Stuff in Labour’s health plan cost queried.

A battle has erupted over the affordability of taxpayers funding GP care for the elderly after Labour pledged to make their doctors visits free.

With the over 65s paying on average $31 a visit, Labour is hoping to match the huge success of the existing scheme for children by extending it to the over 65s.

The elderly and the very young were the big winners – with Labour making a grab for the pensioner vote with its promise to roll out free doctors visits and prescriptions to over 65s.

Whether you call them election promises or bribes this is a bad way to dump spending policy on the public in a mass of election rhetoric. Voters get to choose who they prefer in Government but they don’t get to debate the pros and cons of each promise of increasing spending of their money.

In closing hsi launch speech David Cunliffe said:

If you want an end to politics as usual and to build a New Zealand that works for everyone.

Mr Cunliffe, if you were serious about ending politics as usual you wouldn’t be resorting to bribes and policy that looks driven by election desperation. It’s your political future but it’s our money.

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