Desiree Washington

Twyford given a slapping

Editorial: Giving children the vote an absurd suggestionThe idea of giving children the right to vote – through their parents – is not new. Five or so years ago, a leftist British think-tank suggested it, along with lowering the voting age to 14. Now, the concept has popped up here in… [NZ Herald Politics]

The candidate that Labour was too scared to use in Mt Albert has opened his gob a few times and most of the things he has had to say have been predictably stupid.

Today the NZ Herald editorial slams one of his stupid ideas. The mad thought that somehow children should be given the right to vote via a proxy – their parents.

The assumption is that voters, non-parents excepted, do not already place an emphasis on creating a better country for their children when they enter a polling booth. In many cases, that is surely wrong. Worse still, it is obvious why the concept of a parent with eight children having nine votes has sprung from left-of-centre sources. Parties of that inclination tend to garner support from large families, if only because of the welfare packages. One person, nine votes would redraw the political landscape. Childless people would feel like second-class citizens. As proposals go, this is one of the more palpably absurd.

The other absurd suggestion of Phil Twyford’s is thankfully never likely to even get to the first reading. His egregious lies in just one post and a website should actually be prosecuted as misleading in the extreme.

Rudman may not be a blogger but he is getting the language

Brian Rudman: Referendum calls distract us from creating true democratic governance

Brian Rudman provides a refreshing view of the silly calls for a referendum on the Super City.

Every time I hear someone advocating a referendum I cringe. Surely the $9 million anti-smacking charade is evidence enough that asking the great unwashed to say yes or no to a complex, many-faceted conundrum is a dumb way to go.

In recent weeks we’ve had Labour leader Phil Goff demanding a referendum on the Auckland Super City, and now Labour’s Auckland issues spokesman, Phil Twyford, is introducing legislation requiring a referendum before any publicly owned community assets are sold. But, oddly, only when Auckland assets are at risk.

Well precisely. But Rudman goes further.

Perhaps I’ve been snoozing of late, but the only Aucklanders I’m aware of who worry themselves to sleep about such things are professionals hand-wringers like intrepid water rights campaigner Penny Bright and a few old-style lefties who keep Roger Douglas voodoo dolls on their mantelpieces to remind them of the bad old days.

Heh, Rudman is clearly going to get bombarded with those angry italicised and bolded emails with every ‘S’ turned into ‘$’ from Mad Penny. Could be worse he could get the angry little unwashed man who reckons he hasn’t paid rates for 10 years screaming in his face what a c**t he is and how given half a chance he’d bash him. The same little smelly loser who probably rents given his thread-bare clothing didn’t take up my offer to give it a go and see how he gets on.

Rudman then points out some inconvenient facts for the rent-an-outrage mob;

I know it won’t reassure the worry-warts, but four years ago the tide actually turned when publicly owned Auckland Regional Holdings, headed by Act supporter Judith Bassett, bought the 20 per cent of Ports of Auckland shares in private hands, returning the port company to full public ownership. A few weeks ago, when port company chairman Gary Judd refloated the idea of privatisation, he was unceremoniously sacked. Even more recently, the right-dominated Auckland City Council endorsed a 10-year city plan with a commitment not to sell its airport shares.

Despite this, some are still convinced that the Super City revolution is just a smokescreen, covering up a dastardly grand plan to privatise the remaining community-owned assets. The grand-daddy of the conspiracies is that Mark Ford, former chief executive of publicly owned bulk water supplier Watercare and now chairman of the Auckland Transition Authority, is a tool of the forces of evil, integrating Watercare and the local retail water companies into one, in preparation for handing Auckland’s water system over to a private international water mogul.

Even Rudman sees through the mad emails and letters that keep arriving about Mark Ford.

Mr Twyford’s bill will also outlaw the sale of parks, swimming pools, libraries, halls and public housing without referendum support.

The bill seems fuelled by the more extreme planks of the Act Party’s election manifesto restricting local government to “core” business. Act leader Rodney Hide is the Minister of Local Government but he’s a minister outside Cabinet, with little real sway. All he has is his toothless ideological bark. The left, instead of wetting themselves every time he yapped, would be smarter to pat him on the head, and walk on.

OMG! Did Rudman just tell the left to stop wetting their pants and to pat Rodney on the head….he did. Wise advice.

Referendums are expensive, and easily manipulated. In his Super City poll, what question is Mr Goff proposing? How do you decide such crucial details as the powers of the local boards by referendum? The issue of asset sales is slightly more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Precisely. It is simply ridiculous to even suggest it yet that is what Phil Goff increasingly sounds like as each day passes. Ridiculous.

Back in 2007, I saw nothing wrong with selling Auckland City’s 12.75 per cent of airport shares, as long as the cash was spent on new infrastructure, something like the restoration of the St James Theatre, or repairs to the Aotea underground carpark. But I backed full public ownership of the port because I saw that as a way of ensuring future waterfront developments would be done for the good of all Aucklanders.

It’s impossible to reflect these kinds of nuances in a referendum. What we need to concentrate on is creating a truly democratic, ward-based model of governance, in which every Aucklander feels represented. That way the perception that referendums were a good thing would fade away.

Finally Rudman comes clean. I can’t find too much to find fault with that article. One of Rudman’s finest. Pity the left wing will now card him as a Tory Turncoat.



Phil Twyford – You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye

Phil Twyford is the weakest linkFrom golden boy-wonder, inheriter of the Throne of Mt Albert to last cab off the rank, Phil Twyford has certainly got the message from Phil Goff that his is a face that isn’t wanted. He is now to be considered the weakest link.

Helen Clark anointed Twyford as the man to take over her seat and Goff spiked that ambition. He has now been placed right at the bottom of Labour’s rankings at number 42.

Even junkie Darien Fenton is higher than him as is other notable failures like George Hawkins and Mita Ririnui, even newcomer MP Damien O’Connor is higher placed.

It seems that Goff has eviscerated the Clarkists. Known Clarkist with the exception of the Ginga Boy Wonder Darren Hughes have been tossed aside. Former Clark staffer Grant Robertson has similarly been cast down the listing.

Goff is stamping his mark on the party in a most emphatic way. There will be plotting to be sure.

Matt McCarten : Goff falls in challenge to show courage under bloggers' fire

Phil Twyford - HarpoonedMatt McCarten : Goff falls in challenge to show courage under bloggers’ fireIt’s ironic that in the same week we commemorate the courage of young men who died in battle, our new Labour Party leaders hoisted up the white flag in Helen Clark’s vacant seat. It’s been an open secret for some time that Phil… [NZ Herald Politics]

Without mentioning us, Matt McCarten has acknowledged that DPF and I have harpooned Phil Twyford and may yet harpoon Mt Albert as well for Labour.

Independent verification of a slaying is always most satisfying, more so than claiming the kill yourself.

McCarten accuses Phil Goff of extreme cowardice under fire, fire that was delivered via the blogs. On reflection it is hard to argue with McCarten’s analysis.

But in a stunning display of political cowardice, the Labour Party national hierarchy this week knee-capped Twyford. The political assassination of one of their best and brightest is one of the most disloyal and treacherous political acts I’ve seen.

What is disheartening is that Labour’s action wasn’t from a place of principled strategy but the result of hysteria generated by their political opponents.

I salute the right-wing bloggers, who mischievously instigated a destabilising campaign against Labour by writing that National could win Mt Albert if Twyford was the Labour Party nominee. Twyford is a current list MP. Their genius was in pointing out that if Twyford won – as was widely assumed – then Judith Tizard, as the next-highest place list candidate, would be entitled to return to Parliament to replace Twyford’s vacant list spot.

The bloggers claimed that Twyford’s campaign would be overshadowed by the furore of the supposedly unpopular Tizard slipping back into Parliament.

Privately, none of the bloggers believed that their strategy would amount to much, but were incredulous when certain media players started taking it seriously.

What gobsmacked the bloggers particularly – and fatally for Twyford – was that the Labour Party panicked. There were even some attempts to force Tizard to step down off the list, which of course she wouldn’t.

Heh…..Are we now running Labour’s strategy?

Perhaps the best line of all in the whole article is the last;

Richard Prebble once said to me that no politician can make it without courage. In this respect, Goff – in his first test as leader – has failed. If I was a Labour MP I wouldn’t volunteer to share a foxhole with Goff when the shooting starts.

Hard hats anyone?


Poor Phil Twyford

Have a heart for poor old Phil Twyford, the anointed successor to Helen Clark. He would have been looking forward to a long career being the Labour MP for Mt Albert but has been told by Labour’s cowardly leadership to take one for the team. Even erstwhile ally Peter Dunne thinks Twyford has been hard done by. Check out this comment on Mark Unsworth’s Facebook wall.

Peter Dunnes thinks Twyford is hard done by


Labour loses bottle over Mt Albert

Labour’s expensive focus group polling from multi-national polling company UMR must have shown bad news for Labour and Phil Twyford because today Twyford has announced he is pulling out the running for Mt Albert and Labour.

This also proves that the Tizard Effect is a major factor for voters of Mt Albert.

My Labour Party sources also tell me that Conor Roberts is now the favourite and eliminates the factionalism that would be encountered with Meg Bates and other candidates for Labour’s selection.

The same sources also tell me that the focus groups have told them that attacking National on the Waterview tunnel is a dead duck also. Their focus groups showed that the rest of Mt Albert just wants something built, anything and they don’t give a damn about 300 Labour voting households that would be affected.

That leaes the sole focus for Labout in Mt Albert as the Super City. This will backfire on them as well because Mt Albert is in Auckland City. It is largely unaffected by the Super City propsal of with either the Labour stacked Royal Commission nor of National’s and ACT’s solution.

Labour are now set to campaign on nothing other than Helen’s legacy, which is she promised to remain on for another three years and bolted when turfed from the top job.

Win or lose, Labour is going to get a bloody nose on this. The pity is that a capable local in Phil Twyford will not be their local MP because the Labour leadership lacked the bottle to select him.

Matt McCarten: Aunty Helen's exit shows party needs to get act together

Matt McCarten: Aunty Helen’s exit shows party needs to get act togetherWe always knew Helen Clark was highly competent, politically astute and had a sharp mind. It’s true she was more respected than adored by the masses, as had been some of her Labour predecessors. She has always been somewhat awkward,… [NZ Herald Politics]

Matt McCarten has a very good column in the HoS this morning. He does get some things wrong however. Clark has not been our best Prime Minister, he forgets Holyoake, she isn’t uncorrupted, and I seriously doubt she would be pleasantly personable to anyone.

Nevertheless the main thrust of his column is highly accurate.

When she took the helm of the Labour Party it was in a state of civil war in the aftermath of the Rogernomics experiment. She saved the Labour Party and moulded it to her liking.

Labour’s MPs are used to being told what to do. That was fine for Clark but the problem for new leader Phil Goff is he has a party full of supposed talent, but they all look and act like mid-level managers. Frankly they’re a bunch of middle class wusses and they need an urgent makeover.

They exhibit all this wuss like behaviour in the house and they are getting slaughtered. Labour MP’s have become the proverbial Pavlov’s Dogs of politics.

McCarten talks about the Tizard Time-Bomb and how it is an evil right-wing blogger plot. Good god, even he is blaming us for so much. First it was Cunliffe blaming right-wing bloggers about his Twitter balls-up and now we are to blame for spiking Twyford’s claim on Mt Albert. Oh I wish it were that we were so powerful.

The National and Act inner circle know Twyford will be impossible to defeat in a byelection and have been covertly organising to take Twyford out of contention.

They have had their right-wing bloggers and spinners up to mischief, putting it about to anyone who will listen that if Twyford is the candidate then it will be a disaster for Labour.

They claim he is a strong candidate and normally would win. But, unfortunately for Labour, Twyford is already a list MP. This means that if he wins the byelection Labour gets the next candidate on their party list into Parliament.

The next person is former West Coast MP Damien O’Connor who isn’t great shakes but he’s not a problem. The Nats’ cunning trap is based on the premise that Michael Cullen has announced he, too, will resign shortly.

Presuming O’Connor returns to Parliament if Twyford wins, when Cullen retires it will be next list candidate who fills that slot. That person is Judith Tizard, the defeated Auckland Central MP. According to National strategists she is their silver bullet to wreck Labour.

They are convinced Tizard is a deeply unpopular figure. If Labour selects Twyford for the byelection, the Nats will spin to the Mt Albert voters that it will allow Tizard back into Parliament. A vote for Phil Twyford is a vote for Judith Tizard.

I was amused that some of the media and political commentators bought into this, but I couldn’t believe it when some in the Labour Party took it seriously and are considering dumping Twyford and bringing in a non-MP to run for the seat.

Alternatively, they are considering asking Tizard to remove herself from the list. My right-wing mates are incredulous that Labour has fallen into their trap.

Heh, a great big trap.

Clark hasn’t even left yet and the Labour Party people are running around like chooks. They’d better get their act together quickly or they will lose Mt Albert.

At present there’s a vacuum and the Nats are filling it. Phil Goff and new president Andrew Little should meet Clark urgently and sort out a strategy.

Yep, that’s right, we are going to take Mt Albert and rip it from the heart of Labour.

Seven Labour candidates tipped to try for Mt Albert seat

Seven Labour candidates tipped to try for Mt Albert seatA seven-way fight is brewing within Labour’s ranks for the chance to take Helen Clark’s Mt Albert seat. The Herald has learned that Labour list MP Phil Twyford has not ruled out contesting the candidacy. Mr Twyford was initially… [NZ Herald Politics]

The Herald list seven Labour candidates to replace the mendacious Helen Clark. A sorrier list of candidates couldn’t be found if they tried. Labour needs to rebuild, not select more mediocrity. It is in the N/national interest that Labour has strong candidates, they need their “Don Brash”, they need someone strong not this bunch of limp-wristed ne’er-do-wells.

Phil Twyford – Helen’s chosen heir but saddled with the unfortunate T-squared dilemma. Vote Twyford get Tizard.

Louisa Wall – ex-netball player, lesbian and so out of favour with almost every faction in the Labour Party she has almost zero chance of selection

Hamish McCracken – the entirely forgettable punching bag of the North Shore. An economics lecturer, surely we have learned from the last one we had. Plus he used to work for the EPMU. He must have been tits at it because those jobs are usually jobs for life.

Helen White  – is another former EPMU worker and a bloody lawyer. We need more lawyers in parliament like I need cancer.

Glenda Fryer – I know some billboard owners that would love Glenda Fryer to stand. She, reportedly, is demanding the selection. A busy-body of the highest standing.

Conor Roberts – By all accounts he is supposed to be a good bloke for a pinko but he sure as hell isn’t a “Don Brash”.

Meg Bates – a loyal lickspittle from Helen Clark’s Mt Albert office, she will do what Helen says and Helen says it is Phil.

Losers to the last, National must be licking their lips in anticipation.