“National govt have become deeply cynical”

I don’t know if Chris Hipkins ran this tweet past Party HQ before posting it or not (see Labour HQ asks members to check with them before tweeting)…

The National govt have become deeply cynical and more concerned about their own prospects than those of everyday NZers.

…but it may have struggled to pass the irony test.

Farrar and Salmond agree on TPPA bottom lines

Last week Labour announced bottom lies on their support or opposition to any TPPA agreement – Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty:

“Labour will not support the TPP if it undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. This means:
•    Pharmac must be protected
•    Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest
•    New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreigner buyers
•    The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld
•    Meaningful gains are made for our farmers in tariff reductions and market access

“The bottom line for Labour is that New Zealand’s sovereign rights must be protected. Anything else is unacceptable.”

David Farrar says these are reasonable conditions in Labour’s TPP conditions at Kiweiblog:

These are not unreasonable bottom lines. It is good to see have not abandoned their previous support for free trade.

I’d add a sixth condition on – that NZ does not have to make changes to out intellectual property laws in a way which would harm the Internet in NZ.

Rob Salmond notes that Farrar “broadly agrees” at Public Address in Too much to swallow on the TPP, and thinks that the eventual TPP agreement will be unpalatable to Labour.

There is no way the TPPA will meet those five or six conditions. No way. That means Labour will be opposing, not supporting, the agreement that makes its way finally out of the smoke-filled room. And I think that is a good thing.

He goes to to explain why, then concludes:

So I’m pretty clear that, given its current position, Labour will oppose the eventual TPPA text. The bigger question is: what will Labour do in government if it passes? Unraveling an agreement like this is massively harder than opposing it in the first place.

Sadly, my own guess is that, if National saddles us with an agreement that does undermine our social legislation or our rights to regulate who owns our country, then Labour will be pretty much stuck with it.

Getting out of an agreement may be political reality.

But we’re not there yet. An agreement is still to be reached. And National plus sufficient support votes are not guaranteed.

It could be that the Government broadly agree with Labour’s conditions too.

And it could be that that is why Labour has stated them as bottom lines.

Encouraging immigrants away from Auckland

National are trying to encourage more immigrants to seek work outside Auckland. The key from their new immigration measures are:

  • Boosting the bonus points for Skilled Migrants applying for residence with a job offer outside Auckland from 10 to 30 points.
  • Doubling the points for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa from 20 to 40 points.
  • Streamlining the labour market test to provide employers with more certainty, earlier in the visa application process.

These will take effect from November 1.

The National Media Release on this: IMPROVING SPREAD OF SKILLS, INVESTMENT ACROSS NZ

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says.

“Thousands of people from all over the world are moving to New Zealand because it is a good place to live, work and raise a family,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Those people make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s economic growth by providing skills, labour and capital we need, along with valuable cultural and business links.

“New Zealanders will always be first in line for jobs and that won’t change,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Currently, many new migrants settle in Auckland, which faces infrastructure challenges as it transforms into a truly international city. At the same time, business owners in other parts of New Zealand often struggle to find enough skilled workers to meet their demands.

“While there are already incentives to encourage migrants to move to areas outside of Auckland, we can do a better job of matching the needs of regions with available migrants and investors,” Mr Woodhouse says.

New measures to take effect from 1 November include:

  • Boosting the bonus points for Skilled Migrants applying for residence with a job offer outside Auckland from 10 to 30 points.
  • Doubling the points for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa from 20 to 40 points.
  • Streamlining the labour market test to provide employers with more certainty, earlier in the visa application process.

In addition, from mid-2016 a pathway to residence will be provided for a limited number of long-term migrants on temporary work visas in the South Island.

“Unemployment across the Mainland is nearly half that of the North Island, and labour is in short supply,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Most workers in lower skilled jobs must apply to renew their work visas every year. Some of these people have worked hard and paid tax to New Zealand for many years. They are valued at work and in their community, but have no avenue to settle here permanently.

“We’re looking at offering residence to some migrants, who have applied at least five times for their annual work visa. In return, we will require them to commit to the South Island regions where they’ve put down roots.”

Mr Woodhouse says the Government is also considering a new Global Impact Visa to attract high-impact entrepreneurs, investors and start-up teams to launch global ventures from New Zealand.

“I will announce further details later this year, but we envisage this visa would be offered to a limited number of younger, highly talented, successful and well-connected entrepreneurs from places like Silicon Valley,” Mr Woodhouse says.

Whether this will spread immigration around the country more will depend a lot on whether enough jobs are available outside Auckland.

Philip Lyth versus Key, Slater and Farrar

I see Philip Lyth on Twitter quite often, he seems to be a prolific tweeter. He describes himself there as “Husband, politics junkie, psephologist. Standing Orders.”

Last night he retweeted to a John Key tweet and responded:

Philip Lyth retweeted John Key
Wow John. You lead the party which includes David Farrar & Cameron Slater who dogwhistle Muslims at every chance?

That’s a silly shot at Key, he can’t be held responsible for what all party members do – and I don’t think Slater is even a member of the National Party.

On the accusation Lyth made – it’s certainly easy to get the impression that Slater is a Muslim dogwhistler although his wife ‘Spanish Bride seems to have been doing more anti-Muslim posts lately.

But I’ve been a close observer of Kiwiblog for years and I don’t recall much if any Muslim dog-whsitling from David Farrar (DPF). A quick search shows that DPF doesn’t post very often about Muslim topics.

His last post was in March: Why are so many Australian muslims radicalised?

Stuff reports:

A nightclub bouncer who reportedly became a terror group leader. A man who tweeted a photo of his young son clutching a severed head. A teenager who is believed to have turned suicide bomber, and others suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State movement. All of them, Australian.

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia’s vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

That’s a huge number.

Experts disagree about why the Islamic State group has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments about their community.

It’s pathetic to even suggest that Tony Abbott is the reason. I’m not Abbott’s biggest fan, but the hatred and bias from many sections of the Australian media towards him is appalling.

I think the first explanation is the strongest. For well over a decade there has been a significant radical element who have not integrated. Many senior Muslim clerics in Australia have said appalling things, and use incendiary speech. We’re very fortunate that in NZ we’ve never had this problem. That doesn’t mean that there are not some extreme radicals – just that the senior leadership in NZ is not radical, and in fact very well focused on integration.

That seems like realistic comment and not dog whistling.

Sure the comments at Kiwiblog are often thick with anti-Muslim sentiment, as was the case on this post, starting with:

Odakyu-sen

Duuuh!

Don’t allow people into your country who despise your culture and don’t want to integrate.

wreck1080

Just ban muslims from coming to NZ.

The ones already here will eventually outbreed us all anyway so lets delay the inevitable .

It is too bad we cannot eject the more troublesome ones already here — or can we?

David Garrett:

DPF: How on earth can you say we are very fortunate not have this problem here ? How do you know what is being preached in the several mosques around the country? The little that does leak out is far from reassuring…just yesterday there was a report of some radical being trespassed from the mosque in Avondale, and that person going to the head sharing’s house and telling him “Jihad will start here”…

All that can safely be said is we have seen little outward manifestations of Islamic radicalism here…so far. I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time.

But I think it’s unfair to blame DPF for dog whistling, this is more a result of his very liberal moderation and the fact that a number of extreme right leaning commenters have made Kiwiblog their pulpit.

Muslim bashing occurs on Kiwiblog far more frequently than DPF posts anything related to Islam. There’s virtually a daily dose from Manolo, like yesterday where he posted the first comment on General Debate:

Manolo (16,656 comments) says: 

The daily dose of Islamic love and peace: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/at-least-28-dead-in-suspected-isis-suicide-attack-on-turkish-border-town-live-10401885.html

Manolo started calling me the Mullah of Dunedin a while ago because I didn’t agree with his extreme views.

But this isn’t due to DPF dog whistling, it is due to the principle of free speech exercised at Kiwiblog.

John Drinnan had responded to Lyth’s tweet:

John Drinnan retweeted Philip Lyth

“wogs” is the term du jour.

That’s correct for Whale Oil, try a search their on ‘wog’ and there’s ample evidence.

But Drinnan is not correct regarding Farrar, his last ‘Wog’ post was in 2013 – Wogistan – that was comment on Richard Proctor’s bizarre comments. And that’s it from Kiwiblog.

So I challenged Lyth on his accusation.

Philip Lyth ‏@philiplyth 11h11 hours ago

Philip Lyth retweeted Pete George

Where’s your evidence Pete George is not a troll?

That’s a lame way of avoiding responsibility for a serious accusation against Farrar and directed at Key and National by association.

It looks like Lyth is the dog whistler here.

Philip – if you can make a case that Farrar is a Muslim dog whistler I’ll post it. Otherwise I think a retraction is in order.

Orewa versus Twyford’s bull in a China shock

Don Brash’s Orewa speech on 27 January 2004:

The Orewa Speech was a speech delivered by the then-leader of the New Zealand National Party Don Brash to the Orewa Rotary Club on 27 January 2004. It addressed the theme of race relations in New Zealand and in particular the special status of Māori people. Brash approached the once-taboo subject by advocating ‘one rule for all'[1] and ending what he saw as the Māori’s special privileges

The speech was criticised not so much for its substance but for a perceived political intent behind it. It was widely claimed that Brash was “playing the race card”, winning support for his party by fuelling racist sentiment toward Māoridom.

Wikipedia

The poll reaction – National up 17% to 45% two weeks later:bull

The year’s first Colmar-Brunton poll puts National at 45 per cent, seven points ahead of Labour.

That is a 17-point jump for National since December last year.

Don Brash is still 10 points behind Helen Clark as preferred leader but he has risen 11 points to 24 per cent.

Don Brash said it was because of his stance on race relations.

NZ Herald

Phil Twyford’s bull in a China shock 11 July 2015:

Tell us this new data. Tell us exactly what it shows.

So this data is the comprehensive sales record from a major Auckland real estate firm. It includes about 4000 individual records. It’s every house sold in the Auckland region over that three-month period.

What it shows, I think, is striking. Nearly 40% of the houses sold in that period went to people of Chinese descent, and as your introduction pointed out, the Chinese New Zealander population in Auckland, according to the most recent census data, is about 9%.

Now, that is a remarkable discrepancy, and, in my view, it’s simply not plausible to suggest, as many have done in the last couple of years, that the Chinese— ethnic Chinese people who are buying houses in Auckland are all Chinese New Zealanders.

It points, I think, to only one possible conclusion, and that is that offshore Chinese investors have a very significant presence in the Auckland real estate market when you consider that Auckland house prices are spiralling out of control at the moment. They went up on average by about $74,000 in the last three months.

Property speculation is rampant, and I believe on the strength of these numbers that offshore Chinese investors are a very significant part of what’s going on.

But here’s the problem, isn’t it, this analysis, your conclusions are based on surnames, aren’t they?
Yes, they are, and the statistical modelling that we did with this data basically attributes probability against each surname, as the surname predicts ethnic origin.

And if you look at these names, take, for example, the name Wang – W-A-N-G. Under the modelling we did, that has something like a 95% probability that that person is of Chinese descent. Take the name Lee – L-E-E. That has about a 40% probability that the person is Chinese.

So that’s how it’s done. We believe that it’s about 95% accurate, and it certainly points to a very strong conclusion.

At best that conclusion was made up and it may be quite wrong – see Who’s buying Auckland property?.

The poll reaction:

One News/Colmar Brunton poll for July 2015 – polling period Saturday 11th (Twyford Saturday) to Wednesday 15 July.

  • National 47% (down 1)
  • Labour  32% (up 1)
  • Greens 13% (up 3)
  • NZ First 7% (up 1)

A margin of error movement for both Labour and National. Some predicted Labour would score support off NZ First but no sign of that.

This is early for any poll changes to show but there certainly doesn’t look like any Orewa sized pool boost for Labour yet, and National seemed to pick up substantial support almost immediately.

This isn’t surprising, right wing racist dogwhistle reaction is probably quite different to left wing racist dogwhistle reaction (and it should be).

Poll “not quite the bounce Labour hoped for”

At the end of Q & A this morning Michael Parkin revealed a little about a One News/Colmar Brunton due out tonight.

He said there’s a few surprising numbers but significantly it was “maybe not quite the bounce that Labour hoped for”.

The polling period would have presumably been this week so will partially reflect the evolving story about foreign property ownership and profiling based on Chinese sounding names.

A Roy Morgan poll published on Friday barely covered this issue as polling concluded last Sunday but showed a significant swing from National to Labour – see National down 6.5%, Labour up 6% (pre Chinese surname saga)

UPDATE: apparently The poll period was 11-15 July which starts last Saturday and runs through to Wednesday so will only partially reflect response to the foreign purchasing/Chinese surname issue.

In any case single polls are only snapshot indicators, we’ll have to wait and see if any trends are affected.

UPDATE2: Prepared excuses?

It’ll be interesting, but Colmar Brunton’s built in 5% lean to the right should make it look OK for the Nats. Expect the lead story to be a beat up about how the housing crisis exposure hasn’t helped Labour. As if that was why it was done.

As if.

Labour diversion #1 – provisional tax policy propasal

Labour launched Andrew Little’s first policy yesterday to try to help businesses pay tax – but it’s a policy that other parties (National, Greens, ACT) have already promoted.

Was Labour that the Government had announced implemetation of an almost identical policy earlier this year and had already had public consultation on it?

Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson announced Labour’s first policy since Little became leader on Twitter at the same time as Little was announcing it in a speech.

Andrew Little addressing the Hutt Chamber of Commerce. Announcing new proposal to make life easier for small business

Embedded image permalink

Labour proposing Flexible Tax for Business. Optional system to manage provisional tax when it works for them.

Planned change to business tax is Little’s first policy as Labour leader

Little has been leader since November 2014, eight months ago.

Under Labour’s proposal business will have option to pay tax through regular instalments at a rate they can adjust.

Discussion document on Labour’s flexible tax for business available
http://campaign.labour.org.nz/making_business_tax_more_flexible
Email your feedback to flexibletax@labour.org.nz

Little’s media release on it:

Labour is launching a new proposal to give businesses more flexibility and control over when they pay their tax, Opposition Leader Andrew Little announced today.

“Today I am launching a discussion document to give businesses the option of paying their income tax through a system similar to PAYE called Flexible Tax for Business.

“Business people know their business better than the IRD so Labour wants to let business owners tailor their tax payments to fit their cash flows.

“Small businesses frequently tell me one of their biggest bugbears is how difficult it is to pay provisional tax.

“Under the current system they are forced to guess their annual income and pay tax in three large instalments throughout the year. If they guess wrong, they can be faced with a big bill at the end of the year which can push a small business to the wall.

“Under Labour’s proposal, businesses will have the option of choosing to pay their tax through regular instalments at a rate they can adjust. This means businesses can align their payments to suit their circumstances.

“To further help our businesses get ahead, our proposal scraps harsh late penalties for provisional tax, and raises the level at which provisional tax kicks in from $2500 to $5000.

“Flexible Tax for Business is about giving our businesses more control over how they pay tax.  That’s how we will help them do well, grow and create jobs.

“From here, we will be sending out the discussion document for feedback from business owners around the country on how we can improve the proposal before we take it into the 2017 election,” says Andrew Little.

To read Andrew’s speech click here.

To view Labour’s discussion document click here.

This all sounds quite good. It also sounds quite familiar.

As Steven Joyce quickly pointed out:

Labour re-announces Government announcement

Acting Minister of Finance Steven Joyce has congratulated Labour Party Leader Andrew Little on finally announcing his first “new” policy after eight months in the job, although unfortunately for Labour it’s a cut and paste of a previous Government announcement.

“Labour announced today it was launching a discussion document on changes to provisional tax for businesses. However it seems to have overlooked that the Government launched its own discussion document containing almost identical proposals back in March,” says Mr Joyce. “These in turn were based on National Party policy at the last election.”

The Government has already consulted on proposed changes to provisional tax including a business PAYE, changes to use-of-money interest and penalties, increased use of tax pooling and the use of tax accounts. A Green Paper was launched on 31 March this year and submissions closed on 29 May.

“Feedback on the Green Paper’s suggestions has generally been supportive, and provisional tax was the part most commented on. As we’ve said previously, the changes will require new technology to be implemented, which will be developed as part of the IRD’s Business Transformation project,” says Mr Joyce.

“Quite why Labour has started its own consultation is beyond me.

“Submissions are now closed but the Government would be happy to accept a late submission from the Labour Party in support of the proposal,” Mr Joyce says. “We also appreciate its implied endorsement of the Business Transformation process that will make these policy changes possible.”

A link to  the March announcement can be found HERE.

A link to the Government’s Green Paper, Making Tax Simpler, can be found HERE.

A link to the National Party’s 2014 election policy on this issue can be found HERE.

Same for ACT Party@actparty  Here’s our statement, from May, on scrapping provisional tax:

Scrap provisional tax? Yep

The provisional tax system should be scrapped, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Having to estimate volatile incomes is unfair on taxpayers, especially given the penalties that occur if you get it wrong.

“I am pleased to see the government recognise that the use of technology allows provisional tax to be managed much more like PAYE – calculated as you earn income.

“The Government is seeking views on whether provisional tax estimations should be scrapped in favour of simply paying tax as you actually earn it.

“I urge businesses and individuals to take up the invitation by the Government to submit on this issue.”

Go to makingtaxsimpler.ird.govt.nz to have your say.

  • Discussion on Better Digital Services – closes 15 May
  • Discussion on the plan for the Tax Administration – closes 29 May
 Same for Rod Drury:

IRD already working through changes to Provisional Tax for small biz. Cloud Accounting software can bring this to life quickly

Same for NZGreenParty@NZGreenParty Greens support simplifying tax for small business: Now that the four biggest parties in Parliament agree on:

Greens support simplifying tax for small business

Now that the four biggest parties in Parliament agree on the way forward, it’s time for the Government to get on with simplifying provisional tax for small businesses, the Green Party said today.

“The Green Party has been talking about simplifying provisional tax for small businesses, like Labour suggested today, since before the 2011 election,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

“Anyone who talks to small business operators knows how annoying and difficult the current guesswork-based provisional tax system can be. Moving to a simpler, pay-as-you-go model would make life so much easier for small businesses and free up their time to focus on growing jobs and revenue.

“Labour’s announcement follows similar recent comments by NZ First, and Steven Joyce says the Government and IRD are open to ideas around simplifying provisional tax for small businesses. Even Act seems to agree with what is clearly now the mainstream consensus.

“Now that there’s political consensus about helping small businesses by simplifying the provisional tax system, the Government needs to get on with making the change,” said Mr Shaw.

It doesn’t sound like Labour are at the consensus stage yet, they have launched ‘a proposal’ and ‘a discussion document’ for consultation.

Was Labour unaware this was already policy shared by most other parties? Were they unaware the Government had already announced it and have already had a consultation process on it?

Was this thought through by Labour or was it thrown together to try and take the spotlight off their ham fisted approach to data analysis and targeting of Chines property buyers?

National down 6.5%, Labour up 6% (pre Chinese surname saga)

The latest Roy Morgan poll has National down substantially on June’s poll and Labour up by about the same amount – but this poll was taken from 29 June to Sunday 12 July, just one day into the Chinese surname story began so it would have had a negligible effect.

  • National 43% (down 6.5)
  • Labour 32 % (up 6)
  • Greens 13% (unchanged)
  • NZ First 7% (up 0.5)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (up 0.5)
  • Conservative Party 1.5% (up 0.5)
  • ACT Party 0.5% (down 0.5)
  • United Future 0% (unchanged)
  • Internet-Mana 0% (unchanged)
  • Independent/Others 1.5% (down 0.5)

National has shed support to Labour and possibly to the Maori and Conservative Parties.

This probably reflects on a difficult period for National with negative coverage of the Saudi sheep deal and Nick Smith’s difficulty in managing the growing Auckland housing issue, plus declining dairy prices giving concern about where the the economy is headed.

Other indicators are also negative for Prime Minister John Key. The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating fell steeply in July – now at 118 (down 17.5pts) its lowest since September 2013 while ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Rating fell to 113.9 in July – the lowest since October 2012. Consumer Confidence has now fallen for three straight months.

This is despite news last week that it looks possible that the Government might make their surplus for the year after all.

The Roy Morgan poll for August may give an indication whether this poll result was a temporary blip or if Labour’s recovery at the expense of National can be sustained or improved.

The Chinese Effect

As already stated this won’t show if there has been any effect on support of parties due to Labour’s Chinese profiling (some have called it racist) and their highlighting of foreign property buyers despite providing no data or evidence of the scale (they made highly speculative claims only).

It makes the timing of the Chinese speculator strategy interesting – will that take away the gains just made, will it make little difference or will Labour get a further boost?

It’s worth noting that this isn’t necessarily an extraordinary shift in support although it’s a major shift over the past two months.

Since the election:

  • October 2014 – National 43.5%, Labour 22.5%
  • November 2014 – National 49.5%, Labour 24%
  • December 2014 – National 46%, Labour 27%
  • January 2015 – National 52%, Labour 26%
  • February 2015 – National 49%, Labour 30%
  • March 2015 – National 46.5%, Labour 31%
  • April 2015 – National 45.5%, Labour 27.5%
  • May 2015 – National 54%, Labour 25.5%
  • June 2015 – National 49.5%, Labour 26%
  • July 2015 – National 43%, Labour 32%

This suggests quite a bit of volatility in support for both parties.

RoyMorgan2015-July

Source: Roy Morgan

Standard gossip with strong Labour Party links

Greg Presland (mickysavage) has made a very tenuous claim in What is it with Herald Gossip Columnists?

Another Herald Gossip columnist with strong National Party links, Pebbles Hooper, created a stir yesterday on Twitter by suggesting that the tragic death of an Ashburton mum and her three children was “natural selection”.

That was an awful tweet by Hooper and it deserves condemnation.

But unless Presland has far more solid evidence of “strong National Party links” than he has presented then this is dirty politics from him.

And Danyl Mclauchlan too, who’s tweet features on Presland’s post:

Sacking journalists and replacing them with dregs of Auckland National Party clique working as well as you’d think http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/69968352/pebbles-hooper-ashburton-deaths-were-natural-selection 

Mclauchlan has strong Green party links, having helped James Shaw in his selection as party co-leader.

In comments Presland was asked: What are the strong National party links?

He points to a link provided by Paul:

Here is some background.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11275169

That points to Twelve Questions: Pebbles Hooper, only one of which makes any reference to National:

6. Are you an Act Party voter?

Practically. I’ve already voted National now and I can’t be a politically out there person on Facebook because I would be killed.

That looks like a very weak link. Linking Hooper’s comment with “strong National Party links” requires far stronger evidence than this, otherwise it is just dirty politics from a Standard gossip with strong Labour Party links.

(And there’s plenty of evidence of Presland’s Labour Party links).

And Presland has added this comment:

mickysavage

I thought about whether or not doing this post. It is just another case of a right winger with strange world views not having the decency to keep them to herself.

But you know what? There is whanau and extended whanau grieving right now. They deserve us expressing outrage.

Using a tragedy like this to launch a dirty political attack also deserves an expression of outrage Greg.

Aided and abetted by a cabal of the usual National suspects

In Colin Craig’s political reputation may be in disarray, but he’s party’s best bet Vernon Small writes:

Bear in mind too the forces arrayed against him. It is not Labour or the Greens who are dismantling his party and his reputation, but an inside job aided and abetted by a cabal of the usual National suspects – whether sanctioned or not.

I doubt whether any official side of the party would be mad to go anywhere near sanctioning this but there are a number of indicators that ‘a cabal of the usual National suspects’ could be doing their best to do a dirty on Craig and the Conservatives.

It may be just one ambitious faction in the party but it tarnishes National as a whole if there’s a perception that it’s back to dirty politics as usual.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,095 other followers