Labour standing another party insider for Ohariu

It’s no surprise to see Labour about to confirm a female candidate who has been a party insider to stand in Ohariu against Peter Dunne.

In Stuff’s Today in Politics:

Labour  picks hopeful to take on Dunne

Labour will tomorrow confirm Virginia Andersen  as its candidate for Ohariu to take on UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne. 

Ms Andersen has worked for the Office of Treaty Settlements,  police and as a private secretary and senior political adviser with Labour in Parliament.

Many Labour candidates seem to be selected (or hand picked) from party insiders.

Last election was strongly contested by current MP Peter Dunne (UnitedFuture) against Labour’s Charles Chauvel, Green’s Gareth Hughes, with National’s Katrina Shanks supposed to effectively stand aside (she campaigned more than was expected).

Chauvel resigned mid-term and took on a UN job in New York.

Greens have shifted Hughes to campaign on the list only to try and attract a wider youth vote.

Shanks resigned last year to take up a private sector job. She wasn’t expected to have much prospect of progressing through National ranks.

A comment on Facebook:

There are no people outside the labour machine willing to stand. I said it ten years ago and it is still true today.

Labour is not the workers party. It is the party workers party.

Daily Blog overdose?

Some interesting additions to The Daily Blogger list:

MAY DAY announcement:
Charles Chauvel among new bloggers to join ‘The Daily Blog’

In addition to Charles Chauvel, the following new bloggers will be joining The Daily Blog line-up:

Penny Hulse – Deputy Mayor of the Auckland SuperCity
Stuart Nash – Former Labour Party MP
Mika – Artist, performer and gay rights activist
Julie Fairey – Feminist blogger & local councillor
Matt Robson – Former Alliance MP & disarmament commentator
Harmeet Sooden – Peace Activist
James Macbeth Dann – Christchurch blogger
Michael Timmins – International Human Rights Lawyer
The Jackal – Left wing political blogger
Latifa Daud (Life on Wheels) – disability rights advocate
Dianne Khan – Education Blogger at Save our Schools
The Nomad – blogging out of Africa

These 13 bloggers join The Daily Blog’s current line-up of left-wing bloggers and progressive opinion shapers:

Matt McCarten, Professor Jane Kelsey, Laila Harre, John Minto, Sue Bradford, Keith Locke, Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, David Slack, Lynn Prentice, Aaron Hawkins, Allan Alach, Burnt out Teacher, Chris Flatt, Coley Tangerina, Dr Wayne Hope, Efeso Collins, Frank Macskasy, Gareth Renowden, James Ritchie, Marama Davidson, Mike Treen, Morgan Godfery, Phoebe Fletcher, Queen of Thorns, Steve Gray, Time Selwyn, Wayne Butson and The Liberal Agenda arts & culture reviews.

It’s an ambitious project but despite all the contributors it is still dominated by Martin Bradbury.

There’s pros and cons with such a massive author list. The Daily Blog has some interesting posts amongst all the clutter but a saturation of leftie opinion won’t necessarily add up to a stronger overall message.

And joining the crowd won’t guarantee a bigger audience, it will be harder to be noticed amongst such a long lineup.


Prentice falsehood claims proven false

Apart from the ludicrous right wing claim there have been a number of falsehoods proven Lynn Prentice’s The Daily Post debut in Pete George – an example of right wing blogging falsehoods (and he says “Looks like they toned down my title” – I wonder what he actually accused me of).

Prentice has been full of bluster and bull. And the falsehoods grow.

He repeated Charles Chauvel implications of Minister’s offices feeding right wing blogs, no evidence has been evident and it has been categorically denied by David Farrar.

In trying address criticism and defend his extraordinary claims Prentice has commented at Public Address:

…and found Pete George acting as a parrot for Whaleoil

That’s another blatant falsehood. There is no evidence of this and I have often said I blog independently, and I do.

And in trying to downplay the extent of his Standard blog’s connections with Labour Prentice claimed:

IrishBill – 17 posts. “Labour party member”.In the words of a Tui ad – “Yeah right!”At the last election he saying that he was most likely to vote Mana. And I seem to remember that in 2008, he was planning on voting microscopic Workers party.

He did write a tongue in cheek post about why others should join the Labour party late last year. He’d dearly love to swing the party left and being a member allows a vote on decisions that would help that. It’d be logical for him to follow his own advice. However it’d be hard to find anywhere where he has said he did.

I’ve already shown that Standard comments show this is a very dubious claim, and now IrishBill has confirmed it is incorrect.
IrishBill says:

March 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

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.

Prentice has also just accused me of avoiding answering questions (which I also dispute):

Spent a lot of time on various blogs avoiding answering questions about his own positions…

Prentice has notably avoided answering questions I’ve put to him in the past, he typicaly launches a blustering attack and then when challenged he disappears.

IrishBill is the straightshooter at The Standard, tough but usually fair. I trust his word on his Labour membershiop.

Lynn, how can I take any of your other claims seriously?

And you said:

“various people believed to have used this pseudonym, all with obvious Labour connections, sometimes used for blatant political attacks, has been proven wrong”.Interesting that Pete George simply repeats dreck from Whaleoil. Well I guess it beats thinking. And I suspect that he edited something out of that statement because it makes little sense as written.

I’ve already said I don’t repeat anything from Whale Oil.

You know very well I have asked you more than once already – do you know of multiple people using a single pseudonym at The Standard?

I think that’s an important question, it affects the credibility of the use of pseudonyms.

Will you answer that?

Or will you be what you have accused me of being – “a liar by omission”?

Chauvel’s barb backfired on party office links to blogs

Charles Chauvel made an accusation against bloggers in his valedictory speech in parliament:

In the case of the two better-known right wing blogs, those online sources are proxies for the present government, with much copy supplied directly out of ministers’ offices at taxpayers’ expense.

It has not been disputed that he was referring to Kiwiblog and Whale Oil.

“Much copy supplied directly out of ministers’ offices” is totally unsubstantiated by Chauvel, and at the new The Daily Blog Lynn Prentice implies the same accusation:

The implication that Pete George is evidentially trying to imply is that The Standard is run by Labour in the same manner that those two blogs are.

There is no evidence for and much evidence against the claim that Kiwiblog and Whale Oil are “proxies for the current Government”. In a blog post headed Pete George – an example of right wing blogging falsehoods it’s ironic that Prentice is promoting a falsehood made in parliament.

I haven’t claimed and have no reason to believe that The Standard is “run by Labour”, I was simply showing significant connections with Labour. And Prentice actually agrees with (and clarifies) Labour-Standard connections – doesn’t deny one that is directly linked to Shearer’s office.

Mike Smith – “works in David Shearer’s office”. Wow – what a inordinate level of omission. Mike retired as the long standing party secretary of the Labour party in 2009. We asked him to join me as a trustee of the trust that runs The Standard in 2010. He couldn’t resist starting to write posts later that year.

However I don’t think that anyone who knows politics is surprised that David Shearer’s office also wanted his advice on a part-time basis. He has a rather lot of political experience (unlike Pete apparently).

Smith is only an occasional poster but even Labour Party members at The Standard raised eyebrows via their keyboards about his posts during the leadership/conference stoush in November, and suggested it was copy supplied directly out of David Shearer’s office.

And I had also said:

‘James Henderson’ – believed to work for Greens in Parliament.


James Henderson – 22 posts. I’ll ignore the unsubstantiated whaledreck Pete George asserts. But JH always party votes Green.


However with the exception of Mike Smith for Labour and JH for the Greens…

…Prentice confirms those party links.

And the other pseudonyms could be fed by anyone. This highlights problems with using pseudonyms for political purposes on blogs. David Farrar  has blogged on this:

Again, because readers have no way of knowing if an author is a genuine unique individual, one associates things they say more with the site, than them as an individual – because we do not know them as an individual.

And because we don’t know them as individuals, and they don’t openly identify their connections and motives, pseudonym users (and sites like The Standard that allow them for political purposes) leave themselves open to reasonable speculation.

‘James Henderson’ – is not a known identity, virtually any blogger using their own name reveals details about themselves over time. Not so with James Henderson. There is no indication it’s anything but a pseudonym – which could be seen as misleading and dishonest trying to pass themselves off as a ‘person’ they are not.

I don’t have direct evidence that ‘James Henderson’ is a pseudonym that uses copy supplied directly out of Green offices but there are ample indications that this could be so, and there is no denial from Prentice or anyone else.

The Greens could deny any link between their offices and ‘James Henderson’, that would settle this. Both David Farrar and Cameron Slater make detailed disclosures about themselves, their pasts and their connections.

I am not claiming (or implying) that either Labour or the Greens run The Standard.

But Chauvel’s barb has backfired, as has Prentice’s grand entrance to The Daily Blog. They have made unsubstantiated accusations about right wing blogs with “much copy supplied directly out of ministers’ offices at taxpayers’ expense“, and Prentice has shown that in fact Labour and quite possibly Greens are doing exactly that from opposition party offices (as a part of the overall blogging at The Standard).

It’s a double own goal.


On Twitter today:

Patrick Gower @patrickgowernz
Just heard about Charles Chauvel’s nickname from his caucus enemies… Macchi-Chauvellian! #macchichauvellian

David Farrar @dpfdpf
I also heard they were having a farewell party for Charles – but for him, not with him :-)

‏Recess Monkey @recessmonkey_nz
Think you have just proved his point about some in Labour and the media!

Lliam Munro ‏@lrmunro
That seems generous.

Lliam Munro ‏@lrmunro
Machiavelli gave every indication of being highly competent.

There were obviously very mixed views about Chauvel’s capabilities, here is something else for some balance (from a lawyer and Labour party member):

Yep Charles will be missed. He was one of the few who could be given a bill understand the implications and organise a proper response. His particular skills were quite unique and he was always in demand.

Machiavellianism (or machiavellian mask) is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct”, deriving from the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe (The Prince) and other works. The word has a similar use in modern psychology where it describes one of the dark triad personalities, characterised by a duplicitous interpersonal style associated with cynical beliefs and pragmatic morality.

His works are sometimes even said to have contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words politics and politician, and it is sometimes thought that it is because of him that Old Nick became an English term for the Devil[27] and the adjective Machiavellian became a pejorative term describing someone who aims to deceive and manipulate others for personal advantage. Machiavellianism also remains a popular term used in speeches and journalism; while in psychology, it denotes a personality type.

Mallard response to Chauvel?

Following Charles Chauvel’s valedictory comments:

Instead in order to avoid history repeating, it’s time for an honest, open and overdue assessment of why the 2011 campoaign produced Labour’s worst ever electoral result.

Those responsible for it should make dignified exits…

Trevor Mallard seems to have responded:

My decision to seek Hutt South nomination just reinforced

‏Not surprising, he has been blind to the damage he has been doing to Labour so far, that’s not likely to change after an “enemy within” has been successfully driven out.

And the feedback (that will be ignored) from The Standard:

Naki nark

Trevor Mallard was campaign manager. Maybe Trevor is what Charles was speaking about.

But instead of thinking about it Trevor went on Twitter and said ‘My decision to seek Hutt South nomination just reinforced’ after the speech.

I think that Trevor is very bad for Labour.


Utterly disgusting behaviour by Mallard.


He can seek the nomination. But I hope every person who is willing and able fights like hell to make sure he loses.


And this is exactly why Labour are getting it so wrong.

I don’t like Mallard, I think he should leave Parliament. This would help Labour.

hush minx

I would have hoped he could have responded with a bit more grace and generosity than that, but then again it is Trevor! He never really has accounted for the poor performance of the last election. Mind you, Grant hasn’t either.

So Labour lose some experience and expertise they can ill afford to lose and a diminished caucus will stumble on as usual.

A comment on Chauvel’s exit from ‘kiwi in america’ on Kiwiblog:

This is unprecedented. Think of the venomous feuds of the past: Quigley and Waring v Muldoon, Lange v Douglas/Prebble, Richardson v Bolger only Winston Peters was that venal about his former colleagues but at least he put his money where his mouth was and formed his own party. The rest never slammed their own caucus colleagues the way Chauvel has. This demonstrates the depth of bitterness in the Cunliffe camp – a bitterness that has led to Chauvel’s huffy exit from Parliament.

A bitter pill has left the bottle but 34 remain.

Video link: Valedictory – Charles Chauvel – 27th February, 2013

See also The Chauvel valedictory at Kiwiblog and on Charles’ valedictory at The Standard

Chauvel swipes at Shearer, and calls for Goff and Mallard to go?

In his valedictory statement in Parliament today Charles Chauvel has been critical of David Shearer’s shadow cabinet, and appears to have called for Phil Goff and Trevor Mallard to step down.

Sir, I’ve been a member of ther Labour Party since 1985. In my view it remains the greatest force for meaningful social change in this country. It continues to offer energy, ideas and talent from it’s ranks that would adorn any cabinet.

I want to express publicly now, two hopes that I’ve confided to David Shearer in private.

First, I sincerely wish that he will be Prime Minister in a Labour led government at the end of next year. I regret that I won’t be his Attorney General, and I appreciate a statement that he share’s that regret.

Secondly, it’s unproductive to keep trying to locate and exclude the supposed enemy within.

Instead in order to avoid history repeating, it’s time for an honest, open and overdue assessment of why the 2011 campoaign produced Labour’s worst ever electoral result.

Those responsible for it should make dignified exits, and all the undoubted talent and diversity of the caucus should be included in the shadow cabinet.

To put it in another way, in Gough Whitlam’s immortal words, the party must have both it’s wings to fly.

It’s obvious Chauvel is talking about the deep division between what are seen as the David Shearer supporters camp (or ABC) and the David Cunliffe camp.

The recent reshuffle did not repair the rift. There have been pointed claims that Shearer rewarded those who backed  him in the leadership vote earlier this month, and punished those who did not vote for him plus David Cunliffe who pledged to vote for Shearer but seems to be still in the naughty corner after the overblown “coup” attempt last lear.

Chauvel does not think Shearer’s new lineup adequately addresses the division.

And Chauvel also called fore “dignified exits” of those resonsible for the poor election result (they are at least partly responsible for some of the division since).

IrishBill names names at The Standard:

I’m pleased he called for Phil and Trevor to go (10’50″) it’s about time someone from caucus came out and said that.

That’s just further identification of Goff and Mallard as major causes of disatisfaction and division in the party.


I noted Moana Mackey and Lianne Dalziel appeared not too far from tears. Two equally fine and intelligent MPs who paid a price for supporting David Cunliffe.

I don’t know if it was coincidental or not that Dalziel and Mackey were in shot throughout his speech. Cunliffe was immediately to his left.

Chauvel valedictory

hush minx:

A fine and thoughtful speech. I noted there were some less than happy looks on the faces of the front bench at the end. He has set them a challenge that they have failed so far. Now is the time for them to step up, but it’s come at the cost of a good mp who understood the best of what labor can be.

The chances of Shearer, Goff or Mallard taken much notice of this let alone action is very slim, if past actions are any indication of their refusal to accept responsibility and repair the problems.

Video link: Valedictory – Charles Chauvel – 27th February, 2013

Update: See also The Chauvel valedictory at Kiwiblog and on Charles’ valedictory at The Standard

Chauvel accuses Whale and Kiwiblog

In his valedictory statement in Parliament Charles Chauvel took a nasty swipe at “two better known right wing blogs” – obviously Whale Oil and Kiwiblog – with wild accusations. This indicates some paranoia in Labour circles about supposed unfairness in media.

But it’s not only Government institutions that need strengthening. Democracy requires a free, well resourced, unbiased fourth estate.

Journalists working in much of our under capitalised, foreign owned media are under constant pressure.

This comes from many quarters, including the constant need to sell newspapers and airtime, and also the need to compete with instantly available online sources.

In the case of the two better known right wing blogs those online sources are proxies for the present Government, and much copy is supplied to them directly out of ministers offices at taxpayers expense.

A general dumbing down, but more importantly a loss of independence have been the inevitable results.

To those of uas who want to read and listen to unbiased domestic news and analysis, or even for those of us who don’t really care whether John and Jacinda are still New Zealand’s sexiest politicians, there remains a diminishing number of options.

The quality of reporting and analysis now offered by PBS, ABC, the BBC, as well as the effect they have on the standard of other media, are simply not available here.

It’s high time for the re-establishment of a strong, independent, well resourced multi media broadcaster in New Zealand.

It’s more than a little hypocritical talking about unbiased balance while making major unsubstantiated accusations at two “right wing” blogs under parliamentary privilege, and making no mention of left wing blogs with obvious connections to Labour.

Video report here: Chauvel Leaves With A Parting Shot

Update: See also The Chauvel valedictory at Kiwiblog and on Charles’ valedictory at The Standard

Cunliffe “is going nowhere”

Commenting on Labour in Charge of the limp brigade Chris Trotter coments  on the departure of Charles Chauvel and speculates on David Cunliffe:

Charles Chauvel, “Champagne Charlie”, that wilful roisterer whose liberal disposition and utterly brilliant legal mind promised a Labour Attorney-General and Justice minister of rare ability and enduring achievement, is merely the latest victim of a Labour caucus which, increasingly, is distinguished by nothing other than its dreary mediocrity.

I ask myself: “With Champagne Charlie gone, can the talented Mr Cunliffe be far behind?”

I asked Greg Presland about this on Kiwiblog and he responded:

DC is really enjoying his time being the MP for New Lynn and is working on some long term local campaigns. He is going nowhere.

Trotter is obviously pondering, and Presland has previously acknowledged he’s on Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate committee so is going to be much closer to what is actually happening there. I’ve got no reason to doubt his confidence that Cunliffe “is going nowhere” as per Chauvel – and another reliable source has indicated similarly.

This is good for Labour. Despite all the talk of internal divisions – and there’s some validity to that – Labour badly needs to retain MPs of Cunliffe’s ability and experience (it’s hard to see a more valuable MP for Labour at the moment if caucus is able to work together on a common cause).

The irony is that Labour without Shearer would be a party with a different leader, but Labour without Cunliffe would be severely weakened.

Public Protection Orders – good intent, bad idea

Judith Collins announced the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill yesterday. It is intended to protect the public from potentially dangerous ex-criminals by keeping them in custody indefinitely at the end of their sentence.

Dangerous ex-prisoners targeted

Highly dangerous ex-prisoners who are being supervised in the community could be recalled to jail indefinitely in a law change due next year.

Authorities could apply to have child sex offenders and violent criminals kept in prison after finishing a finite sentence, or returned to prison if they had been released into the community under a bill introduced to Parliament yesterday.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the legislation was likely to apply to a “very small number of extremely dangerous” people – between five and 12 offenders over 10 years.

I have serious concerns about this. The intent – to protect the public from ‘evil’ people – seems ok on the surface, but this would set a very bad precedent, and is contrary to basic principles of justice.

What does Labour have to say about this? Charles Chauvel:

“The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill, introduced today, was first promised by Judith Collins and John Key almost exactly one year ago, during the election campaign.

“Labour raised concerns five months ago around the fact the Government had not delivered on its election promise. We offered to discuss with Ms Collins the problems she said the Bill was designed to address, and also – in light of reports of divisions in Cabinet about the shape of the Bill – the intended design of the legislative solution.

“We heard nothing from Judith Collins until the introduction of the legislation in the House today. In the interim, one of the five to 12 offenders it specifically targets – Stewart Murray Wilson – has already been released.

“The delay of 12 months in introducing legislation first foreshadowed during the election campaign, allowing one of the targeted offenders to be released last month…

Chauvel is criticising National for not consulting – fair enough. But he’s complaining that it hasn’t been rushed through faster.

Kiwiblog’s legal contingent have other views commenting on this post:

F E Smith Next on the agenda, a District Police Superintendant will be able to apply to have persons believed to be likely to engage in criminal behaviour held in prison until they convince the High Court that they will not offend…

F E Smith In which case, why has this law been passed? To address cases where the offending wasn’t serious enough to warrant Preventative Detention, but where the prisoner is considered so dangerous as to warrant continued detention? Or is the very high bar to be read to a very low threshold?

GPT1  This actually proposes to lock people up not for criminal acts done but the possibility of criminal activity in the future. What is the next step? Pre-investigation detention just in case someone might be a criminal in the future?

Even if there is no next step this bill seems like it intends well, but would set a very bad precedent for locking people up in case they might commit a crime. There are a lot of criminals who might fit that category.