Archive | February, 2015

Northland By Election Week 3

28 Feb

Week 3. It started with Andrew Little launching Labours campaign. The Greens have decided not to contest the election, it’s a distraction ( code for we know we would take a pasting and have little if any infrastructure in the seat ). Little noted it was an uphill task. Sisyphus raised his eyebrows and offered to swap places.

ACT have been disappointingly quiet. There candidate is a competitive speaker…I was hoping for much more. There’s still time.

National have a candidate. I hope he’s been policed checked, not a chequered policeman. Mark Osborne. A Local Government Manager who lives in the constituency.

So an eventful week. Oh speaking of Labour and Sisyphus. New Zealand First have a candidate. Winston Peters. Peters will make this the most colourful by-election for many years. Maybe the most colourful since MMP. Can Winston win? Highly unlikely. Can he make it competitive and interesting ? He has already. Is Sisyphus hoping for a swap? Probably.

New Zealand First got just over 12% of the party vote last year and haven’t run a candidate since 2005( Jim Peters) who managed 8%.



Northland by-election week 2

19 Feb

Another week gone , its getting tedious before it gets better. As Dante wrote though “cool it tangletop” (scarmiglione from memory ). The Nats have moved one step closer to victory by producing the shortlist. Farmers and stuff( from memory). I don’t know if they are taking this as seriously as me.

ACT have a candidate this week. Robin Grieve. ” as a speaker …Robin has done it” Don’t take his word for it take his websites..

Robin is a champion speaker ( he won on penalties when his opponent misused a verb). He can laugh at himself and believe in himself…a classic ACT candidate then. He has never faced the trauma of extreme adversity. I think the result of this by election might be the start. I hope his posters are good.

Northland By Election – week 1

14 Feb

I know its not really started, but it has. So I am going to express my interest in this by election. Lower Northland residents will be going to the polls more than a going to the poll thing this year, with Kaipara elections due as well. The Northland by election has the rumblings of a scandal that goes to the heart of Keys ” issues”. Can you trust the fact that he never seems to be in the room when anything is said ? It seems most of us do believe him..but with each passing Sabin. Labour had a swift candidate selection process this week. Willow Prime, not I discovered a tree variety but a councillor, who stood in the General Election is standing again. I suspect not many people want to spend the next few weeks travelling an enormous electorate on a hiding to nothing. Except perhaps Winston? Of course he wont declare will he, but if he does he would create fun. At present we have Willow Prime and someone from the Cannabis party. I know they are not called that but they should be. By elections under MMP are a strange thing. Potentially they could invert the whole process. If Labour win,then the total seat distribution goes against the Nats as the larger party. If you know what I mean. Who cant recover it from the list.

The general election was a resounding victory for Sabin, he got 52% of the vote and carried 48% of the list. Labour were at 25% and 16% respectively. That’s some mountain this close to the real election. The general election had 9 candidates , I would be surprised if we get more than 5 for the by election but who knows. Oh and when is a by election not a by election ? when the Government gets the writ wrong and has the wrong days on the summons. Silly government, there they go again.

Voting for Quentin Hogg

6 Feb

Politics seems to attract people of a certain character. I wouldn’t call them narcissistic , but perhaps self-assured. I have just been reading a book about Quentin Hogg, I bought it for 25p (new) many years ago. Well worth the money.

Hogg(or Hailsham back to Hogg then Hailsham …which isn’t a football commentary but his actual name history ) had a strange life, and a strange set of beliefs and was ultimately out of time. Too self-assured for 1963. Too modern and too old-fashioned at the same time. Did I mention it was only 25p.

Hogg had a strange upbringing , seeing little of his parents and being close to a half-brother who clearly had some mental health issues and whose overbearing nature drove him to a tragic early suicide. Hogg ploughed on and was a rising star at University. His early promise saw him stand in the Oxford/Munich by-election of 1938. He campaigned with a rewritten “Lambeth walk” which was aimed at the ladies and ends with “You’ll find them all voting for Quentin Hogg”…its better than Gordon Browns ” Browns Sugars” but still pretty cheesy. He was a campaign politician though. In later years Macmillan singled him out for this role and he contributed to the 1959 victory. The same instincts saw him make a hash of the 1963 leadership election, where amongst other things he was chastised for feeding his baby.

His first marriage was strange, he tried to back out of it but she wouldn’t let him. His grounds were his Catholicism and inability to have children. He doesn’t seem like a romantic then does he, and its no wonder the marriage failed if that was the start.

Hogg tried to delay his hereditary peerage , writing a petulant letter to Atlee who suitably chastised him. Then he famously threw his coronet away to run for leadership, but before the ermine had been sent to the dry cleaners it was all over.

The thing that strikes me as really odd about Hogg isn’t his tantrums or his over the top behaviour. He’s a politician for gods sake. Its his attitude to the Lords and the Conservatives. In 1970 he gets offered the Lord Chancellorship and in taking it picks up his peerage again. Well a different one, but it makes him look odd. He could have forced through some change and sat as Lord Chancellor in the Commons, technically possible then, and has happened since. He didn’t. Then in opposition he rallied against the Lords, saying it needed reform and complaining of the elected dictatorship. He soon forgot these concerns as Lord Chancellor for another 8 years under Thatcher. Who undertook major reforms on a minority mandate. The constitution he concluded was sound. Of course so long as he was driving it.

Classic Hogg 1.


and more

The madness of King John …Key

3 Feb

All political leaders have a two staged existence. Its part of the devilish pact they enter into. There is the stellar positive energetic soaring to the sun stage then the crashing to the floor, flagging and out of breath, negative and tired phase. Phase one where others follow them agree with everything they say and can’t get enough of them , phase 2 where we would rather walk on hot coals than have to listen to them , where rebellion is all around and where we switch off the TV when they come on.  Just how much of each stage you get, and which stage is remembered is all part of the pact.  This devilish leadership pact , in phase 1 you can have your cake and eat it …in phase 2 you vomit the cake up and have to eat it again. Think about it, pick a leader. For an easy start try David Lange. Stellar rise phase until 1987, golden touch, deft one liners, onwards and upwards guy. 1987 to 1989 petulant, angsty, tetchy, lack of control and command, walls crumbling around him. Luckily for him its 50-50 which one we remember. And that is important. Many leaders just get remembered for the phase 2, John Major or Rob Muldoon. It’s hard to remember they ever had a honeymoon phase, but they did. It may have been a wet weekend by a nuclear reactor, but a honeymoon it was. There are always exceptions. Jim Callaghan never really had a phase 1. Gordon Browns lasted a matter of minutes (well a couple of weeks) and Harold Wilson the same. Helen Clarke glided from Phase 1 into phase 2 around 2002. She remained Prime Minister for another 6 years. Bill Clinton probably had 8 years as President in phase 2, he seems to have entered phase 1 later on…Clinton defies a lot of logic. But John Key. Key is now in Phase 2. The ink on his pact with the devil is dry. There’s no going back. Not only has he visibly aged but he is more petulant, arrogant and tetchy. His discourse is different as well. Early Key was conciliatory, never humble but certainly inclusive. Now look at him, there’s something slightly odd about him these days. Of course I am not a fan, but that’s not the real issue here. The issue is that he talks to us in a wholly different way. He has become an 18th century monarch, albeit one elected (kind of). He speaks our minds for us, feels it’s okay to decide on the hoof. Every passing issue seems to reinforce it. Would any other Prime Minister have joked about a child sex offender absconding prison? He wiggled around the OIA stuff, creating a new set of pins then dancing on their heads with no clothes on. And now he wants us to join in his shock that one of his MPs may have been a naughty boy..or worse we don’t know, and apparently he didn’t. However this is the same man who boasted that he knew the identity of a sex offender with name suppression. Oh how madness seems to suit John Key, it’s a pity we have to watch.