Cosgrove’s asset bill clobbered

Overshadowed by the marriage bill, Clayton Cosgrove’s supposed asset protection bill was voted down yesterday afternoon.

As usual The Standard tries to make a scandal out of nothing:

Right votes for future asset sales

National, Banks, and Dunne voted to keep the door open for more asset sales yesterday. Clayton Cosgrove’s Bill would have required a super-majority in Parliament or a referendum to move more companies out of the SOE Act – a necessary step in the privatisation process. Dunne in particular has promised not to support further asset sales, yet given a chance to stop them, he refused.

This was a poor bill that was poorly promoted by Cosgrove, it always appeared to be unrealalistic legislation that was little more than an excuse to try and score some cheap points. And that’s what ‘Eddie’ is trying to do. And also ‘felix’, true to poor form:


So Dunne turns out to be a two-faced liar, eh? Who’d have thunk it? He always seemed so genuinely principled and not like a weasel-wording snake-oil selling politician at all.

Shock I am.

Shock I’m not, that’s standard ‘felix’ nonsense, weasel-wording snake-oil selling blog commenter and all. The old liar accusation again, when he’s the one promoting political lies and smears. Again.

As a principled politician Dunne did the right thing by refusing to buy into this claptrap.

The bill was barely mentioned leading up to it’s introduction, it was that ridiculous the media virtually ignored it. It only took until the second comment for the obvious to be pointed out:


Cosgrove’s Bill was unreasonable, and in fact antidemocratic. It cannot be right that a government elected with say a 70% majority and an explicit committment for asset sales would be thwarted by a minority of 30%. Supermajorities should be reserved from the most fundamental of democratic rights, usually associated with the electoral system.

Cosgrove tried a follow up press release that hasn’t been taken any more seriously:

National’s rejection of a Labour bill to raise the barriers to selling state assets shows the Government still has the likes of KiwiBank, KiwiRail and TVNZ lined up on the block for sale, says the bill’s author, Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“My bill had a simple proposition. Ensure that no state asset can be sold without a national referendum or support of three-quarters of Parliament. That protects our assets for the future and ensures the voice of the people is heard.

“The Protecting Strategic Assets Bill lost by just one vote. National and its support partners have rejected this bill, ensuring that KiwiBank, TVNZ, New Zealand Post and many others remain seriously at risk. There can only be one reason for opposing the bill – they want to sell more assets.

This bill was an over the top solution to a problem that didn’t exist. I don’t recall seeing anyone else in Labour even bothering to pay more than lip service to the bill.

Except ‘Eddie’ and ‘felix’, but it’s hard to take these blog hacks seriously if this is the best they can come up with.

It would have been a major embarrassment to Labour if this bill had passed it’s first reading, but that would have been a waste of Member’s time.

Is this a new Standard?

Much was said at The Standard yesterday about me in my absence. Irony in abundance. There’s a lot that could be responded to, but there’s little point. But a couple of comments say quite a bit.

Bill 16 July 2012 at 7:06 pm:

I had previously suggested that those irked by his comments simply ignore them. That obviously doesn’t work for some people. Granted, it’s difficult to remain silent if and when you feel provoked by stuff some-one is saying.

I have often remained silent when provoked, and I’ve been the subject of much un-sought attention and provocation. Sometimes I’ve spoken up in defence. And I end up getting the blame for dominating threads.

Bill suggests:

So…know how in real life when an idiot or intensely annoying person insists on debating frivolous side issues and you respond to them, not with simple silence, but a smile of indulgence and pity that carries a thousand unspoken words and unverbalised counter positions? And you know how that tends to either render the irksome personage silent or throw them into paroxysms of emotive clap trap?

Cue the ultimate irony – felix 16 July 2012 at 8:11 pm

I like the way you think Bill. I’ma try that if I get the urges.

I wonder if felix can smile at himself. Or will he stick to his paroxysms of emotive clap trap?

For those who don’t know, felix is a prominent, pedantic, persistent, frivolous troll at The Standard.

Handful of blog accusations against Dunne keep ignoring facts and mainstream reality

Peter Dunne continues to be attacked by a few anonymous blog commenters, in stark contrast to mainstream media coverage. From The Standard:

felix 3.2

What a load of shit, Pete.

“I think the people have had far too much of politicians who say one thing before an election and then weasel word after it. In fact, I must be the only politician being criticised for keeping his word.”

The lying prick knows full well, as you do, that his electioneering material was very carefully crafted to loudly and boldly proclaim ‘WE WILL NEVER SELL WATER, KIWIBANK, OR RADIO NZ’, while whispering softly ‘but everything else is on the block, and ps when I say water I’m not counting the water in the hydro system ie most of our water’.

He’s not being criticised for keeping his word Pete, he’s being criticised precisely for weasel- wording. He’s a deceitful, manipulative weasel and a nasty piece of work.

He’s not being criticised for keeping his word Pete, he’s being criticised precisely for weasel- wording. He’s a deceitful, manipulative weasel and a nasty piece of work.

This is repeated nonsense.

But look at who’s criticising him. A few anonymous people on a blog. No evidence presented, just ‘opinions’ used in in attack that seemingly deliberately keep ignoring clear facts.

The Q+A researchers would have been aware of what he would claim and prepared no challenge. Shane Taurima didn’t challenge it. Stuff haven’t challenged it:


Facing a highly organised campaign against him in his electorate, United Future leader Peter Dunne is understandably finding the focus on his support for the Government’s asset sales legislation a tad tiresome.

When asked by TVNZ’s Q+A if voting for the Government’s mixed-ownership model was a difficult decision, he responded: “No, it wasn’t … what’s been surprising, though, is that no-one seemed to notice that we were honouring a policy commitment we put in place three years ago.”

He said United Future had never opposed floating shares in some state assets.

I asked a different Felix (Marwick) a while ago why the MSM weren’t interested in smear campaigns on blogs.

I’m sorry to say there’d be limited news interest, if any, in the debates about the accuracy of comments made on political blogs. In this case Dunne’s position has been accurately represented in the media and that’s where it’ll have been most noticed.

I’m sure more people are aware of Dunne’s position on asset sales via what’s been printed and broadcast in mainstream avenues than they’ve been influenced by whatever comments have been made by authors at The Standard.

Continued claims of things like “deceitful, manipulative weasel and a nasty piece of works” are in a small echo chamber in places like The Standard and reflect more on those who keep making unsubstantiated accusations.

For felix

It looks like I made your day yesterday:


(Cue indignant self-righteous posting on Pete’s blog and KB about how he was “banned just for having a different opinion”.


I’ll make your day again. As you well know I don’t have the right of reply where you posted. I’d have done it here sooner but I didn’t realise what has caused you so much joy, I hadn’t bothered to read the detail of lprent’s long laboured lambast about not wasting his time until today.

I don’t think I was “banned just for having a different opinion”. I was banned because lprent decided he wanted to, you know that’s how it works there as well as I do.

You’ll just have to find someone else to hound for a couple of weeks, you might even get someone  banned yourself one day, if that’s what amuses you.

In the meantime I’ll make some better use of my time.


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