Standard promotes Labour over Greens

The party opening addresses were televised last night (competing with the All Black-Wallaby test which is nuts).

The Standard has posts of both the Labour and Green addresses, but have chosen to promote the Labour address as the primary post today.

Labour Green opening addressesThey were posted at similar times last night, but the Labour post has been given prime position on the blog.The Internet-Mana address has been added to the Green post rather than posted separately.

Possibly as a result of greater prominnence given the Labour post and probably due to greater interest in Labour at The Standard it currently has significantly more comments.

Poll hits dirt, rewards clean

There can be many reasons for poll movements but whether by coincidence or not the parties most associated by dirty smear politics have all dropped in the latest NZ Herald poll, and parties not associated with dirt have gone up, especially the Greens.

Dirty parties:

  • National 50 (down 4.9)
  • Labour 25.2 (down 1.3)
  • NZ First 4.3 (down 0.3)

Clean parties:

  • Greens 13.7 (up 3.8)
  • Conservatives 2.6 (up 1.4)
  • Maori Party 0.7 (up 0.2)
  • Act 0.6 (up 0.6)
  • United Future 0.4 (up 0.4)

Others

  • Mana-Internet 2.1 (down 0.1)
  • Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (down 0.1)

Having made that point poll to poll movements are not as important as trends.

Herlad poll trends Aug14

  • National’s last poll result may have been an outlier.
  • Labour continue to trend down.
  • Greens have surged but time will tell if it is temoporary or becomes a positive trend.

Herald poll trends small Aug14

  • Winston Peters has been struggling to sustain a profile in a very competitive media.
  • Conservatives will be hoping they are on the rise but 5% is a long way up from there.
  • Internet-Mana climbed initially but may be leveling off.
  • Maori, Act and United Future will be grateful for any scraps they can get.

The poll of 750 respondents was conducted between August 14 and 20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent. On the party vote questions 12.5 per cent were undecided.

Source: Greens spring in polls as National takes hit

Labour staunch on raising Super age

Labour is promoting it';s policy to raise the age of eligibility of National Superanuation again. RNZ reports:

Labour pushing later retirement age

The Labour Party is using the latest information on the state of the Government’s books to push its policy of gradually raising the retirement age to 67.

It’s not a retirement age. You can retire any age you choose.

It’s the age at which you become eligible for National Superannuation. Many people don’t retire when the become eligible, they receive Super while still earning an income.

If elected on 20 September, Labour would gradually phase in an increased retirement age of 67.

Anyone receiving a pension before 2020 would not be affected, but people turning 65 after 2020 would have to wait until they are 65 years and two months to get their entitlement. The retirement age would be raised by two months every year until it reaches 67.

Labour’s finance spokesperson David Parker says pension costs, which make up about half of all social spending, need to be addressed.

This would extend my eligibility age by two months. No big deal for me personally.

Ironically this policy is what many on the right think is essential but are up against a John Key wall of inaction, while some on the left will be spitting tacks again as they are strongly opposed to raising the Super age.

A past left wing discussion on the pros and cons of this Labour policy – The retirement age debate.

This would also be a no-go for any Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.

 

Is The Standard “a mouthpiece for Labour”?

Lynn Prentice keeps adamantly denying that his Standard blog is a mouthpiece for Labour. Technically he’s probably correct – but there’s no doubt many mouths of Labour are active at The Standard.

The denials of being very Labour are bizarre. It’s not like Peter three times denying Jesus on one day. It’s more like the twelve disciples denying Jesus throughout the writing of the New Testament.

In a radio interview yesterday Prentice was at best blatantly misleading – see Lynn Prentice on radio on The Standard.

Here’s a list of most of the current and recent Standard authors.

lprent (Lynn Prentice) – Standard trustee, editor, sysop, author  and chief moderator (banner of unwelcome opinions). Prentice is a long time Labour Party member, has often mentioned how much he helped Helen Clark in her Mt Albert electorate, attends Labour conferences but has pledged to vote Green this election. No disclosure on The Standard but this of the “brilliant blogger” is still at The Daily Blog.

lprent (also known as Lynn Prentice) is an ancient geek who fell out of management in the 90′s after getting irritated with accountants and doing an MBA and back into programming. During the process he became involved in real world politics as a reluctant socialist. He hasn’t really emerged from those twin obsessions since.

Lynn Prentice is Editor of The Standard, the largest left wing blog in NZ. Lynn is a brilliant blogger and resides in the high ranking Jedi Knight category. He likes Don McGlashan, a facebook page called Whaleoil Sucks and the Ponsonby Fish and Chips shop.

Currently he programs anti-collision devices in c++, linux, Qt, and touch screens. Since he also acts as the sysop of multi-author blog The Standard, that large left-wing nest of vipers that plague the NZ politicians of all hues. He finds the same predictive algorithms useful in educating the trolls who waste his time. Occasionally he finds time to write the odd blog post on whatever interests him.

Mike Smith – Standard trustee (since 2010) and current author. Retired as “the long standing party secretary of the Labour party in 2009″. Worked as an adviser in David Shearer’s leader’s office up until last year.

mickysavage (Greg Presland) – current author.  Former chair of David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate committee and presumably still on the committee. He was the lawyer who set up Cunliffe’s secret trust during the Labour leadership campaign last year.

Bunji - current author and active Labour Party member.

I’m a Labour party member – as I’ve mentioned that – and from my topics, that I’m based in Auckland. That’s further confirmed by the fact that I’ve blogged about Labour conferences in Auckland – which might cause an accurate assumption that I’m actively involved in my local Labour Electorate Committee.

Stephanie Rodgers – current author (also blogs elsewhere). On the Labour campaign team in Ohariu. Communications officer at EPMU.

Stephanie Rodgers is a communicator who lives in Wellington with her partner and two guinea pigs.  One of them was once the Dominion Post’s Pet of the Day (the guinea pigs, not her partner).  She is a communications officer at the EPMU and member of the Labour Party, but blogs in a personal capacity in her own time.  Opinions are her own.

UPDATE: Stephanie was grumpy at me because she has a disclosure statement – but it is on her own blog, not at The Standard. Some of her posts have a link to her blog ‘Boots Theory’ and if find a hidden menu with ‘About’ on it (the black square on the left) she has a different disclosure:

Disclosure statement

All opinions expressed on this blog are my personal views.

I work as a communications officer at the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.  I am a member of the Labour Party and have previously worked for Labour’s team in Parliament as a lowly receptionist.  Nothing on this blog should be construed as a statement made on behalf of any of these organisations.

Stephanie has been a lowly staffer working for Labour in Parliament but that was before she began as an author at The Standard (which was in February this year, she was working at EPMU last year).

karol – current author (since 2012). Strongly promotes Greens. Previously used the pseudonym ‘carol’. A recent ‘Disclaimer':

Disclaimer:  My primary political allegiance is to the Left. I am not now, nor ever have been, a member of a political party.  I don’t speak for any party.  I have party voted Green in recent elections, and intend to do so again this election.  I will give my electorate vote to Carmel Sepuloni.

James Henderson – author April 2010 until December 2013. Closely associated with Greens. There have been rumours he was Clint Smith who had authored under the pseudonym ‘Steve Piersen‘ until March 2009 when he went to work in Parliament for Labour.  Smith switched to Greens as media and political adviser (of “Hey Clint’ fame), and then in April this year switched back to work for Labour.

Rocky (previously as Rochelle Rees until 2009) – past author, has just started posting again (last posts before this week were in 2012). Prentice’s niece. Political and animal rights activist. Prentice blogged in 2008:

My niece Rochelle Rees has uncovered some unsavory practices operated by element of the NZ Police directed at peaceful protest groups.

You can read them either by buying the paper, or by these links to articles from Nicky Hager.
Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups
Who the police were spying on
The activist who turned police informer
How Gilchrist was found out:

Twenty-two-year-old Rochelle Rees got involved in politics as a schoolgirl, determined to do something about issues such as cruelty in battery hen farms.

Since then she has handed out leaflets, been arrested for locking herself to a shop selling clothing made with animal fur from China and made the news during this year’s election campaign for a cheeky “Google bomb” calling John Key “clueless”.

Ben Clark – occasional author.  Labour Party member. Brother of Labour MP David Clark. Stood for Labour in North Shore in 2011 and was 69 on the party list. Not on the 2014 list.

Irish Bill - past author (last post September 2013). Earlier in 2013 Prentice denied – “Labour party member”.In the words of a Tui ad – “Yeah right!” but IrishBill corrected him:

We’re a loose collective at TS. I’ve a policy of keeping myself to myself outside of what I write there but would like to correct a couple of things here. I am a Labour party member (and have been on and off for a long long time) and my call for joining up certainly wasn’t tongue in cheek – having seen what happens when the broader left walks away from the party I’m very keen to see as many lefties as possible sign up now – it’s more important for us to be in the party now than it has been since the dark days of the 80s.

Eddie – author until January this year. Seems to have been strongly connected to one of Labour’s factions – see a post from March last year Labour’s three factions. Many rumours since way back about the identity, notably that it is a pseudonym that has been used by a number of Labour insiders or staffers, both male and female. The name Jennie Michie keeps coming up back a few years. Always denied. From Dim Post in 2009:

It’s rumoured that Eddie, the author of the rumour is a senior Labour comms advisor so if there’s a story to be found here I think it’s that Labour are begging the gallery to start smearing cabinet Ministers.

UPDATE: Eddie and IrishBill from The Standard refute the rumour that Eddie is a comms advisor with the Labour Party.

Comments:

“Eddie is not a comms adviser. You need to quote her job title 100% correct then ask her and Irish to deny it again. That is the game they play.”

“Does anybody actually believe Rob and Jennie when they keep denying who they are via their nom de blogs? Ridiculous.
“Senior EPMU staff member and labour staffer spend all day trying to smear and build mountains from molehills. Quelle surprise.”

“So Eddie aka Jenny Michie senior Labour comms wallah and IrishBill aka Rob Egan, Communications Advisor of the EPMU are getting their nickers in a twist over being outed ? Why don’t they just come out of the closet, it really would be much easier for them in the long run.”

An article on blogging in 2009 got a response from ‘Eddie’ plus a counter claim.

Eddie: Sandra. Sorry that we didn’t get back to you on your email about us commenting for this article. Clinton used to handle the public stuff and he tells me he got your email when he was pulling out of the whole blog scene, forgot to pass on the email.

I’ll take this opportunity to clear up a few things.

The Standard is a broad-Left blog, about half the regular writers support the Greens and the other half Labour. We don’t toe party lines and we’re more likely to write critical articles on the parties of the Left than supporting ones.

You could have found this info on our About page and might be nice if you could edit the text to reflect them, at least noting we dismiss Hooton’s conspiracy theories.

Hooton’s got no evidence of any association with Labour, much less than any of us are paid by them. It’s simple lies from a man who has made a career out of spouting extremist rubbish. How’s his blog doing these days? Oh yeah, it died.

Roger: Eddie at the standard is Jenny Michie who is the communications officer at the labour party. When she says there are no labour party link with the standard that isnt credible.

Zetetic - current occasional author. Obvious Labour/left leanings. Rumoured to be many people including Trevor Mallard (I don’t think that’s credible) or associated with Mallard (feasible). Another denial from Prentice here, this time about Zetetic’s Labour-ness.

I can’t remember Zet ever mentioning unions and his posts that even mention Labour are usually somewhat disdainful. However as he mostly stirs in his posts it is frequently difficult to see the difference. He said he was voting for the Mana party in 2011 (and RAM in 2008).

But Zetetic was quite clear here early last year. In For a February leadership vote

No one in Labour can deny there’s a real issue with internal disunity. Not only is the caucus divided (and more than ever since the Shearer camp’s handling of the conference fallout), but there’s a major breach between the membership and the caucus. Unless this is fixed and we can get the party united we’re looking at another term in opposition after 2014.

Increasingly, people are coming to the view that the only way to heal this rift and unify the party is for caucus to take the leadership issue out to the membership this February so we can put it to bed once and for all. That’s what the conference was about. We wanted to make sure we were never ignored again. We simply want our right to vote, and whatever the outcome is I believe that will settle it.

Nearly all of these authors are proven to have close Labour links or are likely to have close Labour links. There are union links as well which isn’t surprising.

Later in the day on Newstalk ZB ex Labour candidate Josie Pagani named three people including Clint Smith who she says blogged as staffers at The Standard. The other two were Neale Jones (ex EPMU) and Rob Egan.

I’m baffled why Prentice and others keep trying to deny that The Standard is closely associated with Labour.

Sure it may be a group of semi-independent bloggers. But most of them have an obvious strong common interest – Labour.

Why do they try to hide from this? Prentice told blatant mistruths on Radio New Zealand about The Standard and it’s authors.

I would have thought they would be proudly promoting Labour, but they seem embarrassed or afraid of something.

They could be a very effective mouthpiece for Labour but they want to hide in semi-anonymity and denial. It’s bizarre. 

Note: I’ll amend this with any credible corrections or additions. Put in comments or email me at petedgeorge@gmail.com

UPDATE: Duncan Garner writes in Politics is a sleazy business – regardless of who is in power

Senior Labour  ministers and press secretaries rang to point me toward The Standard, a Left-wing blog, to read its vitriol on certain days. Who had written those posts? I’m told many were written under fake names by Labour staffers paid by the taxpayer.

More Labour connections

The Standard re-posts from Polity by Rob Salmond:

Rob has wide experience relevant to public affairs. He has been a Parliamentary adviser to two leaders of New Zealand’s Labour party (Helen Clark, David Shearer), and through Polity continues to work with Labour leader David Cunliffe.

They also re-post from Imperator Fish by Scott Yorke:

My name is Scott Yorke. I’m a lawyer, but this site doesn’t really have anything to do with my day job, because, really, what kind of twisted job would that be if it did?

This blog is my own, and the posts do not represent the opinions of anyone other than me.

Nor does anything on this blog represent legal advice. This is my hobby, not a job. I don’t give out legal advice over the internet.

Disclosure

Yes, I am a bit left leaning. But some of my best friends, etc. etc.

I am also a long-suffering member of the Labour Party. Now you can’t say I didn’t tell you.

Scott is also active in electorate campaigning for Labour.

These are both very good disclosures and they both do some very good posts, but it makes a nonsense of The Standard claiming no Labour input into their blog. 

 

Prentice irritated by Labour links

Why do Standard authors try to hide from Labour connections?

Lynn Prentice has been “getting irritated about some of the comments in the media by ignorant fools about The Standard and its authors”. 

Prentice has posted Irritated and up early at The Standard. He includes this reference to me.

Steven Joyce on Morning Report and the obsessively self-aggrandizing commenter Pete George come to mind as being particularly ignorant about the blogging world and its participants.

I did my first ever live radio interview with Checkpoint last night.

Being called “self-aggrandizing” by Prentice is very funny, as people who have seen his many self-puff pieces at The Standard will know. One of his nicknames is “the world’s best sysop”.

And claiming I’m “being particularly ignorant about the blogging world and its participants” is also funny.

Radio New Zealand has had a look at party connections with blogs in The Beehive and the blogosphere. This quotes Prentice – he usually won’t talk to media so this is a rare occasion.

Lynn Prentice runs The Standard – a left-wing blog often accused of being a mouthpiece of the Labour Party.

That’s one of the easiest ways to irritate Prentice.

He says bloggers on the site get their information almost entirely from public sources, library research, or their own knowledge from being in political parties for decades.

Yeah, right. And they all live as hermits with no contact with people in politics.

Greg Presland (mickysavage) has a close association with David Cunliffe via his electorate, and famously as his trust lawyer.

Occasional author and co-trustee (with Prentice) at the Standard is Mike Smith is a former general secretary of the Labour Party who worked in David Shearer’s office.

Prentice is actively involved in politics still, recently attending different party conferences.

“It is completely obvious in the posts where the information comes from because we always either link to it or state how we acquired it. We don’t have a “tipline” of ministers dishing the dirt on enemies.

Of course they don’t have a tipline of Ministers, Labour, Greens and Mana don’t have any Ministers.

But it is not always completely obvious where the information comes from – especially in the recent past when ‘Eddie’ and ‘James Henderson’ were posting.

Who is Zetetic (still posting)? They have been quite involved in some of the more political posts. Maybe a tipline of unionists.

And who is recent addition to the author ranks,’Rocky’? See for yourself if their latest post <a href=”http://thestandard.org.nz/but-the-door-was-open/”>But the door was open…</a> looks like it was sourced from the library.

“To be complicit in that kind of sock-puppetry requires the kind of compliant deference to authority that comes naturally to people on the right.”

Mr Prentice says the accusations by the National Party that The Standard is ghost written by Labour staffers is “bullshit”.

That may be true as of now.

Eddie stopped posting in January, James Henderson in December. Election year? Sure, it’s not certain if they had links to or were staffers, but their anonymity and the nature of their posts suggests they didn’t source all their content from library research.

Apart from self-aggrandizing Prentice says in his ‘irritated’ post:

The idea of being the “mouthpiece of the Labour Party” is a rather amusing. 

Irritated and amused in one post. 

Of course The Standard isn’t “the mouthpiece of the Labour Party”. It has a variety of authors with a variety of interests. Author ‘karol’ is a prolific promoter of the Green Party.

But there’s no doubt that some of the mouthpieces have strong Labour links, including Prentice.

“Some mouthpieces of a faction of the Labour Party” would be more accurate.

There’s nothing wrong with this. Why shouldn’t bloggers promote Labour Party interests. Labour is the preferred party of about a quarter of voters (according to current polls, Fairfax has them on 22.5% today) so it’s reasonable to assume there could be a quarter or so of bloggers with Labour interests.

Of course each blog author has their own reasons for posting and their own sources – and I doubt that many go anywhere near a library to source current political material.

What’s really funny is that Prentice gets so irritated when The Standard is linked to Labour. Why aren’t some of them proud of their associations and proud of supporting and promoting Labour?

But what would I know, I’m particularly ignorant about the blogging world and its participants, apparently.

Filtering the dirt

Cameron Slater claims to have had communication with people in Labour and other parties. None of this is apparently disclosed in the book.

Of course, he is very selective at only highlighting my communications with the National Party.

He seems to have avoided the leaks and contacts I have with Labour and others.

http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/08/love-smell-napalm-morning/
(I totally disagree with accepting his statement on dirty politics, it shouldn’t be necessary or tolerated).

Did Hager ignore any correspondence between Slater and people from other parties? Or was this all filtered before he got the data?

UPDATE: Hager has explained how he dealt with the data he was given:

I was given a few thousand pages of material so naturally I didn’t use it all. Some was private and quite a lot did not meet the standard of there being a public interest in publication. But I did not leave out material because it wasn’t about National; it was virtually all about National and ACT. The only ‘left’ bits were a handful of comments about Slater’s dealings with bloggers on the left, of which I used two or three quotes. So my selection was only about choosing the parts I thought were most important for the public to know.  

 Not much can be taken from that. It’s natural to select the bits you think will be of the most “public interest” – in your view.

Why has overt anti-Semitism surfaced?

Questions are being asked about the higher level of billboard attacks, especially the use of anti-Semitic and Nazi symbolism, and whether it’s related to what’s happening in Gaza.

‘Deep Red’ at Public Address:

So why has overt anti-Semitism only surfaced in the 2014 election, and not the 2011 one? I suspect it’s because what’s happening in Gaza, as well as elections in general, are even more closely tied to social media than they were even only a couple of years ago.

 

BillboardJewNazi

I don’t see it as related to what’s happening in Gaza much if at all.

One significant difference in this election is a new party combination that is campaigning on being disruptive with a primary aim of taking down Key and National.I haven’t seen any evidence this party is involved in organised billboard defacement, but two things it is doing may have at least contributed to a significant increase in damage.
– deliberately provoking and using a higher level of political hate
– activating a new breed of party supporter

Old party activists (Labour and National) may dabble in billboard attacks but will know from experience what a costly and time consuming pain checking and repairing damage is so are likely to avoid all out graffiti war.

Greens were embarrassed last campaign when caught doing a nationwide hit job on National billboards so will either have warning off their activists or will be doing it more carefully. Some Greens were caught defacing billboards in Dunedin a couple of weeks ago (“casual fascists”) but I think the party leaders and campaign team would be horrified if any maverick activists were found to be involved in Jewish and Nazi attacks.

So what’s new this campaign?

The Internet Party obviously, targeting new demographics of the young, disaffected and angry. And they have teamed up with Mana giving a small radical party much more coverage – but the socialist core of Mana are old school union activists who should be aware of the disgrace and dangers of indulging in the more extreme attacks that are evident.

The introduction of Nazi and Jewish symbolism in attacks is a very bad look, and may be counter-productive for parties on left regardless of whether they are directly involved or not.

BillboardJew

Have the visionary or the leader of the new party made any statements disassociating themselves from any of this?

Related to this they have disassociated themselves from one chanting video but promoted and defended another which was an odd contradiction. Were they disassociating themselves from responsibility for the content of the second video or just the distribution of it?

They have a potential problem in that having promoted and owned anti-Key rhetoric and actions they may now be perceived as associated with the actions of people who are independent of the party organisation.

Whether they deserve it or not they may reap what revolutionary behaviour and discontent they sow.

Labour MP a Soviet informant?

Stuff report in KGB used passports from NZ that a former Labour MP was a Soviet informant.

KGB files smuggled out of Russia reveal a former Labour MP was an informant for the feared Soviet spy agency and was given the codename “Gerd”.

The files say the MP was in contact with Yuri Drozhzhin, the KGB agent who handled former top government official Bill Sutch for several years.

The KGB papers were given to British authorities by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin in 1992.

But details of KGB activities in New Zealand have only just been made public by the Churchill Archives at Cambridge University.

The Mitrokhin files say an unnamed Labour MP, born in England in 1926, was in contact with Drozhzhin during the KGB agent’s Wellington posting.

I’ve searched Labour MPs including from this list on Wikipedia. I have found three Labour MPs born in 1926.

Ron Bailey:

Ronald “Ron” Leslie Bailey, QSO (born 15 December 1926), is a former New Zealand politician of theLabour Party.

He was the Member of Parliament for Heretaunga from 1960 to 1981, when he retired.

Bailey was born in Napier in 1926.

Joe Walding:

Joseph Albert (Joe) Walding, QSO (18 June 1926 – 5 June 1985) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. He represented the Palmerston North for several terms. After his retirement from Parliament, he became High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, but died within months of taking the post.

Walding was born in Christchurch in 1926.

Both born in New Zealand, not England.

Trevor Davey (born 1926) is a former Member of Parliament from Gisborne in the North Island of New Zealand who represented the Labour Party.

Davey represented the Gisborne electorate in the New Zealand House of Representatives between 1972 and 1975, when he was defeated by National’s Bob Bell. He was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Medal for service to the community.

Davey was the Managing Director of Queen’s Hall, Leeds between 1956 and 1966. He served on the Gisborne City Council from 1971 to 1974.

While not stated it appears as if Davey may have come from England as he worked in Leeds prior to being an MP.

Left and right criticise Labour’s health targeting

Labour has been criticised from both the left and the right for their targeting of health handouts.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog provides data to back up his claim that the elderly are the age group least troubled by access to  health care in Labour’s health promises not well targeted 

The Ministry of Health done an annual health survey. One of their questions is whether someone has not gone to see a GP in the last year due to the cost. Here is the breakdown, in order, by age:

  • 25 – 34: 22.3%
  • 35 – 44: 17.8%
  • 15 – 24: 15.8%
  • 45 – 54: 13.9%
  • 55 – 64: 12.1%
  • 65 – 74: 6.3%
  • 75+: 4.7%

Here’s the breakdown by age of those who did not get a prescription filled because of cost:

  • 25 – 34: 7.6%
  • 45 – 54: 7.5%
  • 35 – 44: 7.2%
  • 15 – 24: 6.1%
  • 55 – 64: 5.6%
  • 65 – 74: 3.2%
  • 75+: 1.9%

Also the Health Survey shows a positive trend for prescriptions, not a worsening one.

…and Farrar comments:

So Labour’s policy is not just slightly badly targeted – it is as far away from the area of most need as possible. They are saying we must provide free GP visits to the age group that has the least problem paying. It’s is purely about middle class welfare votes, not about health.

And in Labour – “Ready to Win” at the Labour/left Standard ‘Oh Busby’ comments:

This was Labour’s big roll of the dice.

And free health-care for the over 65s is an incredible waste of cash. Poorly targetted, largely unnecessary, and incredibly expensive.

It’s a naked vote grab for the vote-rich elderly demographic, subsidised by the working poor. Workers who will get their superannuation taken away from them until 67.

Labour had a real mandate for bold change, and this is what they served up. I’m disgusted and appalled.

This is shameful.

How the hell can any Labour activist try and sell this to a working age person?

Targeting votes rather than targeting the most effective spending of taxpayer money on health.

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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