Margaret Thatcher

Apparently free trade is a ‘virus’ killing off the Labour party

The rhetoric of the TPPA argument has now reached the absurd, with free trade being described as a “virus” that infected Labour and is killing it off.

The precise nature of the vector which carried the Free Market/Free Trade virus into Labour?s ranks in the early 1980s is still not 100 percent clear. Part of the answer no doubt lies in the examples made of the governments of Chile?s Salvador Allende, Australia?s Gough Whitlam and the UK?s Harold Wilson, by the enemies of Democratic Socialism. The policies of the New Right governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had, similarly, made it plain to New Zealand?s Labour politicians that democratic economic planning and the preservation of national independence were well-and-truly off the ?Free World?s? political agenda.

What a revealing analogy from Chris Trotter. He considers free trade and free markets to be a virus. ? Read more »

Phil Goff admits he?s double dipping, so agrees not to. For all of four weeks

Same old red wine, new bottle

Same old red wine, new bottle

Once a trougher always a trougher.

Phil Goff started his political career in 1981 and for all of the ensuing years bar three of them has lived in a publicly funded trough.

Now he is going to spend the next year campaigning to be Mayor of Auckland and you and I are going to pay for it all…except for the last 4 weeks.

Auckland mayoralty candidate Phil Goff is standing on a platform of eliminating wasteful spending and says he will take leave from Parliament without pay to campaign during the last month of the local body elections.

MPs continue to be paid during general election campaigns and if they are away from Parliament with the leave of party whips, but Mr Goff said that would not be right given he would be focussing on the campaign and would offload much of his Parliamentary work to colleagues. He would ask Parliamentary Service to halt his pay for that period of up to a month before the elections.

“If I’m not doing my Parliamentary business, then I’d feel more comfortable if it was leave without pay if they can do that.”

He joked he could put in a claim for lieu days, given the amount he had worked over his Parliamentary career. “But it’s about perception and it would be better if I could get leave without pay.”

Mr Goff has also invested in a separate cell phone to make phone calls related to the campaign and said he had driven himself round Auckland to media interviews rather than take taxis funded by taxpayer. “I’ve got to be pretty scrupulous about separating the two roles, which is a challenge.” He conceded he could pay for taxis out of his own pocket rather than drive “but you know me, I don’t have a Scots background but I should.”

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Face of the day



They don’t make them like Maggie anymore. Many of today’s politicians lack backbone and principles.The reason why Putin has so many admirers is not because he is a good person or that he is doing good things for the right reason. Putin stands out because he takes action and does what he says he will do. When he said he would take out the Daesh he went out there and blew them to bits. He didn’t play at war like Obama. I want a politician who will not only talk the talk, but will walk the walk. In times of peace we can afford to put up with weak, socialist types but in times of war we need tough talking and acting politicians like today’s face of the day.

Jeremy Corbyn?s close links to IRA outed

Mr Corbyn and Mr Adams at a Sands/Connolly event

Mr Corbyn and Mr Adams at a Sands/Connolly event

UK Labour have elected a terrorist sympathiser as their leader and now it has been outed.

The true extent of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell?s links with the IRA is revealed by a Telegraph investigation.

It can be disclosed that for seven years running, while the IRA ?armed struggle? was at its height, Mr Corbyn attended and spoke at official republican commemorations to honour dead IRA terrorists, IRA ?prisoners of war? and the active ?soldiers of the IRA.?

The official programme for the 1988 event, held one week after the IRA murdered three British servicemen in the Netherlands, states that ?force of arms is the only method capable of bringing about a free and united Socialist Ireland.? Mr Corbyn used the event to attack the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the precursor of the peace process.

He said it had resulted in no improvement in the lives of the people of Northern Ireland, adding: ?It strengthens rather than weakens the border between the six and the 26 counties, and those of us who wish to see a united Ireland oppose the agreement for that reason.?

The editorial board of a hard-Left magazine, of which Mr Corbyn was a member, wrote an article praising the Brighton bombing. In its article on the IRA attack, which almost wiped out Margaret Thatcher?s Cabinet, the editorial board of London Labour Briefing said the atrocity showed that ?the British only sit up and take notice [of Ireland] when they are bombed into it.?

According to an authoritative parliamentary reference work, Mr Corbyn was general secretary of the editorial board. He wrote the front-page story in the same issue of Briefing.

The same edition of Briefing, for December 1984, carried a reader?s letter praising the ?audacity? of the IRA attack and stating: ?What do you call four dead Tories? A start.?

It mocked Norman, now Lord, Tebbit, the trade secretary who was dug out of the rubble of the Grand Hotel, saying: ?Try riding your bike now, Norman.?

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Judith Collins on Corbyn, and winning the centre

Judith Collins joins the commentary over Jeremy Corbyn:

Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn’s staggering rise to the top of the ranks in the British Labour Party, all I am hearing from pundits, commentators and ‘political strategists’ these days is that elections are won and lost in the centre. If they keep on saying it, it must be true, right?

Pah. What rubbish. Elections are never won or lost in the centre. Yes, the vast number of voters are in the centre but they won’t bother to change their vote (much less get out to vote) unless they actually have something to vote for. Mobilising the centre to move to the left or to the right, is what wins elections. If you want to stay in power, then the centre is what keeps you there.

Thanks to Corbyn, the British Labour Party now has 260,000 new members. These people were galvanised into action because they saw something worth getting out of bed for. For them, Jeremy Corbyn is a breath of fresh air offering an alternative viewpoint, even if he is deluded. And that’s what politics should be about ? a contest of ideas, policies and views ? even crazy ones.

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A worthy goal, perhaps John Key might like to mimic it

Dan Hodges thinks that David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to wipe Labour off the political map.

A worthy goal to say the least, but they are now being helped by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour’s leader.

In the final days leading up to Jeremy Corbyn?s election as Labour leader, I received several calls from Tory ministers and backbench MPs. They were a bit like football fans whose team is on the brink of promotion, but still can?t quite believe they will secure the final extra point needed to go up. ?It isn?t really going to happen, is it??, one minister asked me. ?They aren?t actually going to do it??

?Yes,” I replied, ?they really are going to do it.?

And they did. Those who view Jeremy Corbyn as a divisive figure are being a touch unfair. There are few politicians who could have managed to get both Diane Abbott and David Cameron rooting for their election.

All of this analysis has been conducted along conventional political lines. How big a majority can the Tories now hope to secure in 2020? Can they grind Labour down so much that a Tory victory in 2025 is all but inevitable?

To which the answers are ?as big as they like? and ?yes?. But these are not conventional political times.

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Rodney Hide on poll driven fruit cakes

Rodney Hide explains at NBR about how it is polls and polling that drive politics now, not policies.

Policy is now made by public feel. Every decision is open to review and reversal especially if the pushback is from middle voters.

And it works. Prime Minister John Key remains wildly popular and National is well ahead in the polls.

There was a time when government was idealised as rational, with the aim to deliver the best policy backed by a political resolve not to blink and with the benefits to be achieved, or at least understood, by the time of the next election.

It was never such but that was the ideal aspired to.?It was what public servants were taught if not what they practised. And it was what politicians admired even if they themselves never quite possessed the needed intellectual grunt to grasp policy options and implications or the necessary political fortitude to stand and argue for sound policy. They nonetheless admired the ideal and followed it when there was political leadership.

That was back a time. This is now.

We have never had a better demonstration of policy by public feel than with Mr Key.

There are no bottom lines. There are no decisions that can?t be overturned. There are no guiding policy principles or political philosophy.

It?s policy management, not policy reform.

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Labour in the UK is seriously poked now

They really did it, the fools in?the?Labour Party in the UK, despite getting beaten in the last election with a left wing candidate as leader, have now chosen a complete and utter communist as their leader in the forlorn hope that they think he will be the one to convince the voters they were wrong.

They are complete fools and Matt Chorley at the Daily Mail tells us why:

Social media has given us so much already. Cat videos. Rage Against The Machine at number one. Kim Kardashian. And now Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

The Twitterfication of politics ? previously capable of triggering little more than micro-climate storms like #CameronMustGo and #Milifandom – is now complete.

But winning the internet and winning over Britain are two different things.

A month ago Alastair Campbell claimed that the rise of Corbyn was like the way the public suddenly weighs in behind the likes of Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis.

But he was wrong. Both women could sing and went on to shift millions of records.

Corbyn, on the other hand, is Steve Brookstein, who won the very first series of X Factor.

At 36, he was older than your average pop star but his cheeky chappie style and gravel tones won through.

Winning the internet and winning over Britain are two different things.

In the final in December 2004, he won six million votes. His first single sold just over 100,000 copies.

Within eight months of his momentous, hype-fuelled victory, he was dropped by his label. Within two years he was singing on a car ferry leaving Portsmouth.

It turned out that on a Saturday he could win a popularity contest among a self-selecting group of voters. But people didn’t want to buy his records.

And Britain will not buy Corbyn’s softly spoken versions of songs which failed to trouble the charts in the 1970s and 1980s when he first sang them.

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The delusions of the left

Tim Stanley writes at The Telegraph about left wing politics and in particular the Labour party.

There are so many parallels with New Zealand it is uncanny.

The Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn threw himself in to was in a similar state to today’s. In 1979, it was kicked out of government by Margaret Thatcher. The party?s Right said the only way to win again was to moderate. The Left argued that Labour lost because its government had rejected a radical programme drafted by the party. The biggest political problem, as they saw it, was a parliamentary Labour Party dominated by traitors and cowards. If only the party could exert discipline over MPs ? compel them to stick to the policies endorsed at conference ? then a revived Labour was bound to beat Thatcher in 1983. So the Left began an extraordinary effort to rewrite their party?s rules that included an electoral college with which to select the leader.

You?ll immediately spot two conceits that still define the Labour Left today.

1) Socialism could win an election if only the Labour leadership bothered to campaign on it.

2) The only real obstacle to a socialist victory is therefore the Right-wing of the Labour Party. ??

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Film review, Lifestyle and Fitness blogger Pinko Farrar would be into this


A napkin marked with a perfect red lipstick outline from Margaret Thatcher is being sold for ?2,000.

The unusual piece of Iron Lady memorabilia has gone on sale with and offers the chance to own a kiss from the iconic Tory Prime Minister.

Britain’s only female democratically elected leader is understood to have used the napkin to remove excess lipstick while on a speaking tour of the US in 2000. Read more »