Monday, December 08, 2008
Following Prime Minister Key's direct "invitation" to Mike Williams on Sunday's Agenda, Williams has said he has already resigned his GOVERNMENT directorships. Scrutiny reveals he has apparently indicated his "intent" to resign - there is a difference. However at Too Right we are sure he is on his way and not before time.
Williams has since said his departure is complicated by his signature/name appearing on a Genesis Bond Issue See here for the Prospectus.
The Prospectus is dated 25 November 2008 - 17 days after Willam's mob were thrown from the Treasury seats. His complication holds no water. He could easily have resigned prior to the registration and publishing of the Prospectus.
He should also step aside at ARTA (the ARC controlled transport agency) where his particular skills will no longer be needed following the axing of his direct line to the Prime Minister.
Wasn't it delightful to hear Key say "Mike Williams was a political appointment to these boards because he a friend of Helen Clark. He brings no commercial nous to those positions" ....brilliant understatement.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Deep strategic thinker and nemesis of America's enemies and erstwhile friends, John Bolton, has penned a very useful note to Barack Obama. Despite Obama being extremely inexperienced in Foreign Affairs Bolton points out the Obama Administration will be full on with Foreign Relations for all its four years.
Presciently Bolton informs Obama America's enemies will not give him a honeymoon and it is likely the testing of weak points has already started.
The full letter is here:
Congratulations, Mr President-elect, on your victory. After the longest presidential campaign in our history, you now have 77 days to prepare to govern. While foreigners might see eleven weeks as an eternity, you know only too well that it is precious little time to select your top advisers and then subject them to our cumbersome FBI and ethics screening of their backgrounds, their finances, their potential conflicts of interest, and whatever skeletons are hanging in their closets.
Then, of course, they need to learn the intricacies of their respective responsibilities, and, for many, begin the Senate confirmation process, which may take months. Time is already growing short.
The current economic turmoil will consume a significant amount of your Transition Team’s time and effort, and properly so. But in the wider world, our adversaries and even our friends are actively considering how to advance their interests as your January 20 Inauguration approaches.
You will have four full years of foreign-policy issues and problems, such as the rise of China and India, the decline of the European Union, and the role of Russia, but I suggest the following as priorities in your first Hundred Days:
You are the decider.
Although President Bush tried to make this his mantra, his Administration was plagued in its first term by incoherence in national security decision making. Crisp decisions were not made, strong differences of opinion among Cabinet Secretaries were not resolved, and policy too often oscillated between conflicting options with no consistency or direction.
Ironically, the Bush Administration’s second term erred in the opposite direction, almost eliminating differences in advice to the President until there was really only one voice in his ear at critical points. You must avoid both pitfalls, and you must make that clear immediately. You must resolve disagreements among your advisers, and not allow drift, and you must insist on discipline once you make a decision.
If anyone disagrees with this approach, you may invite them to do the honourable thing and resign, or not sign on in the first place. Iran Tehran’s ruling mullahs have no intention of affording you a “honeymoon”. They will move quickly to test your resolve both on their rapidly progressing nuclear weapons program and on their massive support for international terrorism.
Nearly six years of European diplomacy has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear program. Five UN Security Council Resolutions demanding that Iran halt uranium enrichment (and imposing risibly weak sanctions) have had essentially no effect.
Russia in particular is using Iran as the sharp tip of the spear to disrupt our policy throughout the Middle East. Moscow will watch what you do just as intently as Tehran. Any new President will be advised to engage in at least some renewed diplomatic effort. But do not be fooled. Insist on three months of intense, good-faith negotiations, and we will soon find out if Iran is serious.
If not, which I believe to be demonstrably the case, suspend negotiations quickly. Then, ratchet up efforts on the only options, unattractive though they are, that have a chance of stopping Iran from acquiring deliverable nuclear weapons: regime change or the targeted use of military force against Iran’s nuclear program.
If you wait longer, you will surely have the worst of all worlds: Iran with nuclear weapons, and an even greater threat of nuclear proliferation as other Middle Eastern states draw the appropriate conclusions from its success at thwarting our non-proliferation efforts.
We are kidding ourselves if we think North Korea will ever voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons program. Even during the campaign, as the Bush Administration was squandering our negotiating leverage, North Korea continued to try to proliferate ballistic missile technology.
As with Iran, there is essentially no chance that Pyongyang will be talked out of its nuclear weapons. Moreover, with the world in near-complete ignorance about the state of Kim Jong-il’s health or plans for regime succession, even more uncertainty surrounds the intentions of this prison camp of a country. Expecting that the long-running Six-Party Talks will “solve” the North Korean problem is a delusion.
Instead, you must deal directly with China as the highest priority in our bilateral relationship, and insist that we act together to eliminate the current regime in Pyongyang and is nuclear program, and ultimately reunite the Korean Peninsula.
China needs to understand that leaving the North with nuclear weapons is not an option, and that their inaction will have an increasingly negative impact on our bilateral relationship. Beijing alone can change North Korea, and it needs to get started.
Do not let global “public opinion” about the United States, from Albania to Zimbabwe, dissuade you from doing what you think is right for America. Your job is to defend and advance our interests and values, a task which invariably will displease our adversaries, and even many of our friends, especially those who wish we were, well, more European in our behaviour and attitudes.
What we must do, however, is more effectively advocate the policies you will be pursuing. Failure at both the political level in Washington and abroad, and at the level of the career Foreign Service, made the Bush Administration one of the most tongue-tied Presidencies in our history. We should try to shift international public opinion to support our policies, not modify our policies to try to satisfy international public opinion. The State Department will not understand this distinction. You must.
A final word
Many U.S. and foreign commentators have been quick to tell us that America is in decline, and that our role in the future will not be what it once was. They will be correct only if you fall prey to their pessimism.
And if you do, rest assured that they will shortly turn critical of “American isolationism,” just as they have been critical in recent years of “American unilateralism.” You will never satisfy them. Defend America and its friends, and the rest will take care of itself.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Ian Wishart is trailing Instalment Two of the immigration corruption saga that is pointing straight at the heart of the Labour Government.
Wishart is doing a marvelous job of putting a little bit out there each week and following up with a new devastating revelation. I'll bet this week is not the complete story - we have two more weeks to run. Next week will be huge if he is following this strategy.
I wonder what spin the ninth floor will run tomorrow afternoon - given they'll know more of the story than you and I - but probably not as much as Wishart - the paranoia must be palpable. The fear will be picking up those neck hairs, real nice.
Here's what Ian is saying:
Last week we gave you a heads up about part one of a major political scandal involving two cabinet ministers, a former minister and a mysterious Chinese migrant awarded NZ citizenship on ministerial intervention…
This weekend, Part Two of the story breaks: TGIF Edition reveals the migrant’s REAL name, his past, and the fact that he’s an Asian organised crime boss who not only donated to more Labour MPs than Helen Clark admitted last weekend, but who also employed a honey-trap in his bid to gain political influence within Labour.
Forget tinpot controversies about impoverished Thai tilers. Forget about whether Owen Glenn gave Winston $100K. You’ll learn tomorrow how New Zealand’s immigration system has been compromised by Asian organised crime buying residency, citizenship and political favours, and turning New Zealand into a money-laundering financial hub.
Like we said last week, this is the biggest political scandal of recent times, and it’s unfolding only in the pages of TGIF Edition.
Don’t miss out, subscribe now at http://www.tgifedition.com
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Eighteen years ago New Zealand's inflation rate hit 5% - Helen Clark was Deputy PM. Michael Cullen was Associate Minister of Finance. These clowns have learned nothing.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I have been hearing strengthening rumours that the National Australia Bank, BNZ's owners, have it up for sale. Part of a plan to sell down and strengthen the mother ship.
Let's hope Toll's Paul Little has not been advising the nab Board on how to negotiate with the New Zealand government - particularly Michael Cullen - I can just see Cullen and Clark adding this to their pile of nationalised businesses.
Any others heard this?
In a very amusing way a fellow guest at a dinner party last night said Labour's Prostate Shower Policy was the pits. Prostate referred to the dribbly showers Labour is promoting.
Could catch on as a slogan.
Monday, October 06, 2008
I have been mining a rich vein of late at iPredict where I have been able to make good money (+11% real) or probably about +250% on an annualised basis.
Basically I have been continually shorting Labour as the next Prime Minister. Happily for me my predictions are proving apposite and her stock continues to drop. I think she is in a slow glide to the bottom.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
In a good poser for Saturday Whaleoil has passed on his latest scraps from his deepthroats at MFAT and the Beehive.
For my perspective I suggested the links might be a dodgy developer called Don McLean is tied up with Winston? Perhaps he was the developer of the now defunct Devonport Wharf emporium and now banned fishing spot.
Another thought is Phil Goff (or Filk Off) rhymes with Gough (but it is Vincent van Gogh as in Go). Perhaps it is another emerging scandal with the Navy - which parks near by the Devonport Wharf. In fact whatever assets they have are parked up due to Phil's party's poor procurement and purchasing.
Lastly - perhaps this is a BBQ at Phil's with his old 1970's varsity mates from Princes Street Labour Branch - plotting the demise of helengrad and organising a putsch.
In Western Australia the Liberals in coalition with the Nationals have narrowly taken the parliament after only installing a new Liberal leader 5 weeks out from the election, removing decades of corrupt Labor rule.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Italian model plans to sell virginity for 1m euros
A stunning italian model born in Sophia Loren's hometown, Naples has offered her virginity for one Million euros. The proceeds are to buy a house in Rome and pay for acting classes. She may need the classes before the debut!
Showgirl and men's magazine model Miss Raffella Fico, 20, told an Italian magazine: "I can't wait to see who's going to pull out the money to have me." Senorina Fico has appeared in the Italian version of Big Brother earlier this year.
"I don't know what it's like to have sex," she told the magazine, Chi, adding that if the man who bought her virginity was ugly then she would quickly get over it.
"If I don't like him I'll just have a glass of wine and forget about it," said the aspiring actress.
Her brother vouches she is virga intacta -
"She's never had a boyfriend. I swear on my mother's grave. She's a devout Catholic and prays to Padre Pio every night," her brother told the magazine.
Matthew Hooton's excellent post last night identifying the NZ First policy approach as Nazism - resonated well with my own concerns.
Seeing Clark welcomed by those old biddies at Grey Power and hearing their positive claims about Winston Peters appalled me. The reason? Those older women would have had brothers, boyfriends and (later) husbands who fought and many were killed, in WW11 against the Hilter and his Nazi regime. The point of that war was to remove that scourge. Their families made the ultimate sacrifice.
The very tactics Hilter used, as well paraphrased by Mathew, are exactly the tactics these people support applaud in Winston.
First, yes, I do believe that Winston Peters is an evil influence on New Zealand politics and the use of the word “axis” was entirely deliberate, chosen as being more appropriate than “allies” or even “bloc” for the regime he sustains.
They are the ones who should be appalled. Their brothers, boyfriends and husbands if dead will be spinning in their graves. If alive they have stopped thinking.
I am told that, soon after Peters’ appointment as Treasurer, then Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash met with his new boss and said he had read New Zealand First’s manifesto and speeches and, assuming Peters was serious, wanted to set up a process to review the RBA and the operation of monetary policy in New Zealand. My source (and you can guess who it may be) said that Peters replied: “Don’t worry about all that. The next election is three years away.”It is sick alright.
All Peters’ themes continue to be Hitleresque. Just read “Conspiracy of Conspiracies“. The imagery is right out of Germany in the 1930s. There is an evil other - “they” - who are trying to harm you. They are foreign. Secretive. And involved in finance. In 1930s Germany terms, he means “the Jews”. Chris is an historian. He knows this better than most. Yet he defends the Nazi.
Chris of course is Chris Trotter.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
In an extraordinary departure from facts, decency and good taste Helen Clark has told a Grey Power meeting that if National was the Government 60 soldiers would have died in Iraq. What utter fanciful and indecent thinking. She later said it was a "back of the envelope" estimate. Good thing she wasn't in charge at any of the battles of the Somme such is her dispassionate view of the armed forces. Her concern was not for the soldiers but to score extremely nasty and cheap political points. Low politics. Clark also forgets she committed soldiers to Iraq - post invasion.
Australia who did commit forces to Iraq had a KIA count of ZERO.
What we do know is two brave policemen have lost their lives on Clark's watch - blood on hands Helen using your twisted thinking? I think her body count beats the previous administration.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Whaleoil's deepthroat is close to the mark and identifies who knew what and when. MFAT at the highest levels was well aware Peters was AWOL. So was Clark.
Just another lie. This is the usual Clark M.O. - as we are witnessing again.
1. Deny any knowledge.
2. As the dogs get close admit some recent knowledge
3. Use a fall guy to make the admissions - usually along the lines of no one asked the question before. Perfect example seen today following the questioning of Kathryn Street by Ian Wishart
4. Float rumours Peters may be toast.
5 Do nothing - hunker down.
Ian Wishart's blog has quoted the PM's press secretary that the PM only found out "two Friday's" ago that her Foreign Minister took a personal side trip to Las Vegas to watch a fight while on his way to Singapore from Berlin....yeah right - he disappeared for say four days - into the depths of the US - and she had no idea he was not on the aircraft to Singapore?
Either way he and she are toast - he because the side trip did not have authority - she because she knew at least ten days ago and as is becoming habit forming said nothing.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Cactus Kate has an interesting post. She has found a lifeboat being launched on the foundering NZ1. The highly polished floors are a clue. No dust in this joint.
Perhaps they are cashing up in case the calls to visit Level 2, Duthie Whyte Building, Corner Mayoral Drive and Wakefield Street, Auckland, becomes too hard to refuse.
As we know Clark has no loyalty to anyone - everything she does is a carefully calculated step. Even her marriage was a convenience to suit her electoral ambitions - by her own words.
With NZ First now plumbing depths below the margin of error and likely not in the next parliament she has to do something - Peters must now have absolutely no appeal, offer no options to Labour and has no leverage himself. If she really believes her current polling is because of the Peters/Glenn drama she will cauterise the suppurating sore that is Winston on Tuesday after Henry's (non) evidence to the Privileges Committee. If she doesn't may be Owen Glenn and his fragrant EA Laura Ede will come back to deal with Labour's latest smears.
Confirming feedback off the street, and unscientific polls like the Herald and Stuff, Colmar-Brunton poll has Clark's torpid, lying regime in deep trouble.
Clark has lost out to Key in the presidential stakes. Game is half over - after two days.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Today's NZ Herald carrys a backgrounder on Laura Ede. Miss Ede is Owen Glenn's Executive Assistant and has been a major attraction I suspect with many following the story. Seems she had the media agog at the Auckland Press Conference. As a former physiotherapist may be she could put a few necks back in joint afterwards. She apparently declined to answer whether she had been crowned Miss North Harbour in 1999. With Laura and his crucifix Owen Glenn is ready for battle.
Recalling phoning Winston Peters on the fateful day and prepared to sign an affidavit affirming the same made Winston's denials that much more tawdry.
Clark rules Peters in to her coalition NZ Herald
It will be much ado about nothing as neither Clark nor Peter will figure in a request to form a government.
Generally the US is fairly assiduous in not being seen to take sides in domestic politics. Generally this means they avoid calling by when elections are due. At the time the late July Rice visit was mooted many saw it as unlikely for electoral courtesy reasons and because our Foreign Minister was getting deeper in the doo-do by the day, the liklihood of a visit was probably remote.
Despite this background Rice did in fact come and as we know was subjected to the ignominy of watching Peters's press conference descend into farce as domestic questions dominated around his deepening funding scandals - Remember the quote to a journo - "watch it sunshine" or WTTE . All very unedifying. The Hive carried all these perambulations well.
Condi could have gone straight to Samoa for the PIF meeting - it was after all a US Air Force jet with little need for more than fuel from here - if that.
Now as we watch things play out in the last days of the Helengrad regime I have been thinking - - maybe - just maybe - Condi had a more diplomatic mission - one conducted in the old way. A personal contact as emissary of GWB to the head of the NZ Government - anti-nuke Clark.
Condi's job was to tell our PM, Miss Clark, in person, that unless she got Filk Off into line on the nuclear front - particularly helping "our" friends in India - matters would quickly drop out of Helen's "conscientious and competent" hands as a number of cover-ups in the US started to get headlines; at an awkward time.
Weird isn't it that Clark, Filk Off, King, Mallard, Cullen and all the anti-war gang - people of principle? - have rolled over and granted a major non-signatory of the Nuclear Proliferastion Treaty an open goal. Fishy eh!
There are rumours aplenty in the blogosphere of the dirty dealings of Clark and Co - the VRWC is in full cry - tally ho - or is that Talley Ho?
Did Clark roll over for the Indian nukes because her personal position was compromised - are we seeing a re-posting of the LAX (Or was it SFO) Peter Davis airport incident - this time with venom and GWB taking no prisoners? The Hive has a commenter who has a perspective.
Then there is the always close to the siren Whaleoil with an interesting post on money laundering. His commenter Friend on the Board is using his friendship well with a warning to those on 9th floor not in the inner circle to be afraid be very afraid and take steps to exit Helengrad.
Lastly but not least is our new friend Roarprawn who seems to be always at the dock as the catch comes in with tales from the high seas and tales of the one's that won't get away - scampi anyone?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Mary Wilson on Check Point is giving Clark a big hurry up tonight regarding why she wasn't more honest and truthful regarding what she knew about the Glenn donation. Clark could not fend her off. Her excuse was she could not hold a press conference giving details of private conversations. Wilson incredulous - as were listeners I suspect.
Update: Audio Here - it is worth a listen.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A useful line of enquiry would be for the MSM to request records of any meetings between Her Excellency Sarah Dennis and Owen Glenn - particularly a morning tea in Paris.
Owen Glenn said the meeting was over morning tea and at her request. Owen also said she said she was asked to vet him and on questioning he apparently proved up OK. These facts cannot be state secrets - come on MSM go fetch.
News Clark is still not prepared to sack Peters from his Ministerial position is not news.
The price of Peters stepping aside from his portfolios (Note not his warrant) was Clark would keep him as a Minister up until the election. This deal remains intact and has significant financial benefits to Winnie and NZ First. (Surprise, surprise I hear you say).
As I have said many times - they are joined at the hip. They either hang together or hang together.
I still believe the likelihood of an October election is high. The Clark/Peters axis won't want to have to fight an election with Winston/NZ First facing charges laid by the SFO and a good guess is they have at least a month more investigation to go - methodical they is.
Clark's only chance is a coalition with a Peters party - they each need each other. Sort of like the Kray Twins.
Trevor the farmer was in the fertilised egg business in Tauranga. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets' and eight or ten roosters, to fertilise the pullets' eggs.
Trevor kept records and any rooster that didn't perform went into the soup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of his time so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so Trevor could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.
Trevor's favourite rooster was Winston, and a very fine specimen he was too, but on this particular morning Trevor noticed Winston's bell hadn't rung at all!
Trevor went to investigate.
The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover but to farmer Trevor's amazement, Winston had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring.
He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.
Trevor was so proud of Winston, he entered him into the Wellington Exhibition and Winston became an overnight sensation among the judges.
The judges not only awarded Winston the NoBellPiece Prize but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.
Clearly Winston was a politician in the making: Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.
Do you know a Pullitician called Winston?.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Peters tonight was appealing over the heads of the Privileges Committee to his constituency - he is in election mode as he realises Clark will have to sack him. That bring the next phase of the plan. They have probably already agreed the script.
Clark and Peters are inextricably joined. They cannot, jointly or severally, expect to govern again unless they stitch together another unholy alliance.
Labour needs the Greens, Maori, Panderton as a minimum to govern (assuming no NZ First). Labour is so low in the polls and has blown any chance of gaining the Maori party vote this time around. She therefore needs a resurgent NZ First - knowing Panderton plus the Greens won't give her sufficient numbers and neither will ever go with National.
Peters's only chance of redemption is to construct a conspiracy and from that platform appeal to his core vote - before the SFO, Police, Electoral Commission deliberate. We saw the crumbling edifice being raised tonight. Peters trying to (re)establish the core tenets of a conspiracy - Fay Richwhite, Russell McVeagh, Winebox etc., it was all on show - Geoff Harley Owen Glenn's lawyer was pro bono (we all know what that means wink, wink) and he, as Fay Richwhite's counsel in the Winebox, was at the core of allegations of witness coaching in that case etc etc.
As usual all froth and no evidence - just a few key words.
We know Winnie has a "stay" until September 30 for the Electoral Commission and Helen will know what the Police are thinking - that leaves the SFO but she also knows they are very slow and deliberate - the kill is their objective not quickly getting on with the hunt.
Therefore a quick campaign and sometime soon is her best of a bad set of choices. She now has her UN credentials burnished - the ET Scam is through and any other legislation dear to her heart is proceeding under urgency as we speak. Only now is the media fully understanding the gravity of the ETScam - it will take a while to coalesce - Clark will determine her only chance is now.
The electorate will be livid when it realises that paying more to turn the lights on, boil an egg or fill the car is not going to change the weather. That they have been scammed in the biggest rort in history.
While some would say she would prefer to wait till November Winnie may be in gaol by then. She needs this sorted now.
Therefore her only chance is to hope the alien fanciers and NZ Firsters get up for 5% and she somehow cobbles together an unholy coalition from the far left.
Trouble is the wheeze from the street is the polls have turned up - for National and Act - Clark doesn't realise how off the hook the electorate is.
Mr Peters agreed there had been a phone conversation between himself and Mr Glenn on December 14 2005, but he said he could not recall talking about money...The Melbourne Cup is always run the first Tuesday in November - five weeks earlier. Glenn and his trainer would have no idea of what horse (if any) was going to run in the Cup a year later.
....Mr Peters said Mr Glenn also made mention he had a horse running in the Melbourne Cup and may have asked for lawyer Mr Henry's contact details..
"You're going to love this," Mr Glenn told a press conference in Auckland this morning, "he asked me for a job. He said he was a good administrator, he's run his own businesses, he said he was articulate - he's a total subservient," Mr Glenn said.
Oh dear - Williams begging Glenn for a job - hasn't he looked around? It seems to me Glenn's employees are hot, keep good records and are loyal and don't lie. None of these are qualities of Mike Williams.
Clark made an incredibly bad and naive move when she chose to cut off a self made Mill(Bill?)ionaire who had previously supported her to the hilt. It shows the heights her hubrism has reached that she thought she could withstand the likely result of a full frontal attack by she and others on her team on Owen Glenn. Once Cullen, Mallard and Co suggested Glenn was deranged, drunk or deceptive and Clark left him to the dogs, it was game over for Clark and her tawdry lot.
Could she not understand Glenn's discomfiture and misgivings would burst out somewhere? Did she not understand he did not need her at all - particularly now the only bauble left (the Honorary Consulship) was taken away.
Her political management this year has been appalling.
I'll paraphrase the interview as best I can remember. Kathryn Ryan asked Owen Glenn about the Monaco consulship
OG: Yes Winston said he was still actively working on it - "It is my decision and I want to push it through is what he said. I need a letter from you confirming you are continuing to live in Monaco." This is when I (OG) was at Raglan and Winston was on his way to South Africa. I have a witness to that conversation.
OG: "The New Zealand Ambassador to France got hold of me, unannounced, and wanted to visit me in Monaco. Unfortunately the dates did not fit.
She later invited me to visit her in Paris. I went and we had morning tea at the embassy - it was very nice. I asked "why did you want to talk to me? She said - " I am vetting you for the consulship). I asked; Ok what do you think of me - do I pass or words to that effect...."Yes I you seem to be alright."
OG: I asked Helen Clark about it (the honorary consulship) at the same time we discussed the donation when we met in February 2008 at the opening of the Business School. The PM suggested we should let it die down for a while "and not stir the pot".
There is no question this was a clear offer the Owen Glenn by Winston Peters and the PM knew all about it.
More lies and obfuscation.
Audio not up yet.
Update: Audio up now - see here
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
There have been a number of schools of thought re the election date. A date the PM completely controls.
Strongest guesses suggested Clark's natural caution would have her waiting till the last possible day - 8 November 2008. This gave her time to recover in the polls and time to trip up the Nats and John Key. The other big decider was to bask in the reflected glory, light and euphoria of Obamamessiah's election four days earlier.
Well the news just got bad - real bad. The first US nationwide voter poll since the Republican Convention has given the McCain/Palin ticket 54% / 44% to the GOP. See the detail in the USAToday Gallup poll.
Clark will get no glory from Obama - he'll be a corpse by November. This is the beginning of the end for Obama.
With Obama gone she needs a clean run and the ongoing and increasing stench out of NZ First will at some time stick to Labour.
She'll have to go soon.
What will determine the timetable?
The collateral damage from Hurricane Glenn tomorrow may set the direction and pace.
The Police have forgotten they're in her pocket and have advised they are investigating the NZ First donations and 2006 2007 returns. They'd be advised to look wider than the Electoral Act - there should be obvious evidence of criminality under the Crimes Act - actions that deliberately set out to deceive and hide evidence of wrong doing.
Electoral Commission are also seeking new and additional information from NZ First - asking for amended returns. How does that work?
Sorry Officer I was speeding but if you like I will drive back up the road and come back at the right speed and all will be sweet?
The Marie Celeste is leaking like a sieve - the rats, while they are off, are squeaking. See here where the NZ First auditor coughs he was worried about some of the donations and tried to speak with the Electoral Commission. Spencer Trust trustees are squawking see here
Thursday, September 04, 2008
"Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves," she said.
"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."
Governor Palin is looking good - in many more ways than one!
He has apparently fallen out with Wayne Peters - they have dissolved this year a law partnership lasting 20 years.
However, probably inconveniently for the Peters Bro's, Currie remains a trustee of the Spencer Trust. None of his comments of late have been supportive of the major beneficiary of the Trust - NZ First. He is leaving enough information out there inviting new questions.
There are no bank accounts for the Spencer Trust - all funds were transacted through the firm's trust account.
He has intimated the Spencer Trust work predates 2005 and certainly indicated large donations were channeled through the firm's trust account before that - eg the Vela donations....
Meanwhile, Mr Peters' lawyer friend Peter Williams, QC, yesterday revealed that the Spencer Trust had received $80,000 from the Vela family and that New Zealand First had handed over records to the SFO.
Mr Williams told Radio New Zealand he "presumed" the Vela money had gone to New Zealand First in amounts under $10,000.
The Spencer Trust was formed only in 2005 so the Vela family's $80,000 is different from the reported $150,000 given to the party between 1999 and 2003.
See over at Farrar's place
It looks like Winnie and his mob are trying to hide behind the 6 month deadline for bringing actions under the Electoral Act.
Incidentally, that deadline is still open for their 2007 return - the2007 Return they have helpfully brought to everyone's attention was false.
These Returns are submitted with an appropriately filled out Statutory Declaration. Statutory Declarations are governed by the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 No88.
Unlawful administration of oaths
(1) No person shall administer, or cause or allow to be administered, or cause or allow to be received, any oath, affidavit, or affirmation relating to any matter or thing in respect of which that person has not jurisdiction or cognisance by some law in force for the time being.
(2) Every person who wilfully acts in contravention of subsection (1) of this section commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $100.
In Australia to lie on a Stat Dec is treated as perjury - I am not sure if that is the case in New Zealand. It is certainly an offence as outlined in the Act.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
NZ First admit breaking the law in not declaring large donations in 2005.
So the 2005 election was won by Helen Clark's party rorting the tax payer for $800,000 in the closing week of the election and Winston Peters's party rorting the taxpayer $158,000 and not declaring secret donations in excess of $25,000.
This is Zimbabwean. That woman cannot justify any of that now.
"As an Environmental Scientist I am probably the only person in this House qualified to discuss this matter"
"This bill is about creating a market in hot air"
"This bill is about a computer model - none of it has been proved and this bill will have no effect on the climate"
Have a look at Rodney's speech when Hansard is out. He gets few into Al Bore on the way through.
Deputy Speaker Hobbs is struggling to get the House to address the bill itself as it is in its committee stage - seems there are at least another 700 amendments since Liar Parker introduced the bill last week.
Someone from NZ First has just got up to say no one knows enough about the bill with 750 new amendments.
David Farrar has a good analysis of the extraordinary admission by NZ First officials last night the palpably false electoral spending and donations returns the party filed in 2005. Basically NZ First filed a nil return and we already have their admissions they had $75,000 in undeclared donations that should have been declared. They are relying on the 6 months time limitation to keep them out of gaol.
The regulators should also look at whether these deliberate actions by NZ First constitute misfeasance.
n. Improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful and proper
The other question is who was damaged by these actions - just because Jones and Vela were not any the loser is no excuse if some other party was damagwed or suffered a loss - eg NZ First party members.
Owen Glenn is a major donor to both labour and the Government - witness the $7.5Million he gave to Auckland University for the Business School
As soon as he is inconvenient Clark drops him like a hot potato then smears him when her own behaviour is in question.
Lord Ashcroft - unbid and only acting out of altruism Lord Ashcroft offers New Zealand a $300,000 reward for the return of the VC's stolen from Waiouru. Clark and her government are grateful that someone shows such concern. The VC's are recovered - Clark basks in the reflected glory, again shamelessly shrouding herself in khaki.
Clark - this week smeared Lord Ashcroft as somehow acting as a money bags to the National Party - following a meeting between Lord Ashcroft Chief of the Conservative Party and John Key Leader of the National party. She makes this smear without a shred of evidence, and only to provide a distraction from her own behaviour.
Whale's diagnosis Clark displays Narcissistic Personality Disorder is being proven every day.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Williams turns up on Close Up tonight because his client Winston Peters won't. In an extraordinary outburst he tries to smear John Key as the reason Peters has had to stand down. Key's principle complaint has been the shambles surrounding the Glenn affair - which is not the reason Peters is up before the SFO. The SFO are investigating the Vela and Jones matters.
I suspect the SFO won't fall for the old lawyer's brow beating - the fraud is not whether the cheques have gone through the accounts of the Spencer Trust - every one with any knowledge of this has already said that's what happened to them. The fraud is if payments were received and available to the intended recipient - that person may not be beneficiaries of the Spencer Trust.
The SFO have seen enough to suspect serious and complex fraud - Williams QC for all his eminence has only been on the case since lunchtime.
See The Hive
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I think we are going to see Clark and Peters tough it out. They will hang together or hang together - as I said earlier. They will try to make Glenn the fall guy. Trouble is Glenn has all the cards. He knows what promises and offers were made to whom and by when. Clark still does not get it - it is Glenn rooting her up the a***, not Judith. She should turn around and look backwards every now and again.
Mike Moore has just wombled onto Jim Mora's Afternoon Program. What a raver - rambling on about anything but the topic - one minute saying this is a watershed moment and Clark will push on to victory - then raving on about Peters and his anti-Asian calls and then back to how much of global citizen he (Moore) is. " I spend half the year overseas now you know Jim" I could feel the cringe by Jim and his panel through the wireless.
What a moron. He was worse than Winston's ramble this morning on Morning Report.
The sooner this generation of anti-vietnam war freaks, anti-springbok tourists, pinkos, feminazis, and socialists in general steps aside for the younger, measured and sensible vision of the Key movement the better.
Update - here is the monologue from Moore - see about 18:46 in.
News that the prolonged wet weather in Marlborough has undermined the foundations of a pylon critical to South Island power supplies come as the Labour Government watches the week from hell close.
A pylon carrying the inter-island power supply at Port Underwood is at threat of buckling. If the inter-island link is suddenly lost a city the size of Christchurch would black out.
Gee the $220Million spent at the Electricity Commission has been well spent hasn't it - plenty of layers of security in our energy system - Not.
Notwithstanding Bob Jones' dissenting opinion, Peters' claims that as each of the Vela brothers and Jones are comfortable with where their funds ended up, so no fraud was entered. This not an accurate portrayal of the law.
A fraud would be committed if the party lawfully expected to receive the funds did not receive them and they instead went to another party. This might be the case with Jones and the Spencer Trust. NZ First, the party and all its members, is the loser if funds destined for it are instead diverted to the Spencer Trust without its express approval. While Jones may have no pecuniary loss - NZ First has suffered damage. Therein is the fraud. This will be where the SFO are heading. It is probably embezzlement - taking money under your control which is not yours to take. The measure is not the gain to the thief but the loss to the true owner.
Ditto the Vela money.
All news reports today are Clark and Peters are going about their scheduled appointments today. They are both showing a business as usual - "Nothing to see here, move on" scenario.
Winston Peters was roused from his unavailability this morning by Sir Robert Jones calling him a liar. In a rambling and at times shambolic call to Morning Report Winston confirmed he wasn't resigning any time soon and indicated he would not be sacked after two minutes with the PM explaining things...the interview was hilarious.
There is no urgency with Clark - she's busy opening schools in Auckland. This is classic Clark - go to ground and she what tomorrow brings. Unfortunately forces are afoot, she knows not what nor how to counter.
Rumours that Senior Labour Ministers have been denigrating Owen Glenn for some weeks and Cullen's excoriation of Glenn in the House yesterday give a good lead to where this is heading - discredit and smear Owen Glenn.
This writer is now certain that Clark is at the center of the scandal.
She knew from minute one that Owen Glenn was funding Winston Peters and or NZ First.
The reason she knew is she organised it. That is becoming clear.
I am sure the Gnats know this too. That is why John Key has been so assiduous in linking Glenn to Clark and Peters.
As we have seen in the House this week John Key has carefully extracted admissions from Clark that will later destroy what limited credibility she has. His follow up interviews have been focused on painting Clark with the secret agenda and slippery monikers - these will stick more surely to her than him.
The run of play is something like this.
Clark meets Glenn at a Tourism NZ promotional dinner in Sydney in July 2004. He expresses interest in helping Labour. Clark forgets his name and asks Williams to go through the address list and figure out who Clark met at the dinner. Serendipitously Glenn emails Clark before Williams starts and re confirms his offer to help Labour. From November 2004 - March 2005, Glenn transfers $100,000 to the Labour Party on the nineth of each month - a total of $500,000.
Glenn also funded the new Business School at Auckland University to the tune of $7,500,000. For that ostensibly he receives the OMNZ.
Glenn is a wealthy and professional practitioner of the dark art of buying favourable outcomes for himself and his business interests - he sees it as a cost of business. Clark opens the door.
Once one is immensely wealthy and living in Monaco the only thing missing is invites to the Top Table - a knighthood would help credibility. Only problem Labour axed them in New Zealand - however Williams says he can do OMNZ and the price is $500K. meanwhile
Thinking further and Glenn realises he could do better - guarantee a seat at the Top Table - become New Zealand's Consul in Monaco. He asks Clark.
She hatches a plan - let's bind NZ First to us forever is her plan - we'll get them some additional funding. I'll tell Owen Glenn that it is important to Labour to have solid relations with NZ First and in any event the Foreign Minister, who appoints Consul's, is the leader of NZ First. I'll tell hime the rate for a Consulship is $100,000 - to NZ First.
Glenn grizzles for 'public' consumption but secretly is rapt - the whole thing for $600,000 plus a Business School! Sweet!
The OMNZ turns up as promised but Winston is having trouble delivering the Consulship. Questions are being asked as Winnie has always said none was necessary. Winnie has no suitable solution.
Given Top Table invites are not something one can buy locally Glenn is livid. He goes feral, completely feral.
That's when the shit started to hit the fan and has never stopped.
Clark, Cullen and Peters who have never lived in the real world are now absolutely out of their death - this will drown them all. They do not realise that businessmen like Owen Glenn are playing for keeps as they always do.
They do not understand people like Glenn cannot be blown off like speck of dust. Or, more importantly that Labour, Cullen and Clark have nothing more to offer Owen Glenn. He has taken the hint and is moving on. He not she holds the sword of damocles.
It does not take much of a google search (try "Owen Glenn") to reveal his scrapes with regulatory authorities like the Federal Maritime Comission in the US (for misdeclaration of cargoes and price fixing) and the company collapses engineered in places like the Carribean.
He is truly a trans-national operator.
By contrast John Key has had a very successful life before entering politics - he knows how people like Owen Glenn work. He understands the game.
John Key has been ten yards ahead of Clark and Cullen on this since February 2008.
Every one of the rumours and allegations regarding Owen Glenn have proved ultimately to be correct. I have posted below the very useful chronology from today's Herald. It is an interesting review.
Owen Glenn is behind all the leaks and his carefully worded letters reveal the game he is playing - Labour have not met his terms and he has been seeking retribution since they failed with the Consul gong and the appalling treatment by Mallard and Clark at the opening of the building with his name on it.
From the NZ Herald
February 15: Expatriate businessman and Labour donor Owen Glenn claims Helen Clark tried to lure him back to New Zealand with the offer of a Cabinet job. Clark denies it.
February 18: Owen Glenn dismisses his Cabinet comments as a joke but says he is waiting on Foreign Minister Winston Peters' approval to become NZ's Honorary Consul in Monaco.
February 19: Helen Clark confirms Winston Peters has met with Mr Glenn to discuss the honorary consul role and is considering whether is needed in the position.
February 20: New Zealand First MP Dail Jones tells the Herald his party received a mystery donation of between $10,000 and $100,000 "probably closer to $100,000" in December 2006. Owen Glenn strongly hints that he was the donor.
The money is said to be part of the $158,000 donated to and returned by the Starship Foundation, the amount the Auditor General found NZ First had unlawfully spent at the 2005 election. Asked by the Herald via his press secretary whether he knew who the donor was and whether it was Mr Glenn, Winston Peters says "there is no substance to the claims being made". Mr Peters later denies to TVNZ that the party ever received a donation from Mr Glenn.
February 21: Owen Glenn and Helen Clark open Auckland University's Business School.
February 24: Winston Peters appears to deny the mystery donation ever existed, refusing to say where it was from. When asked, Mr Peters said: "There's no question ever that any such a thing ever did happen." Asked if that meant "there was no big anonymous donation", Mr Peters said "precisely".
February 28: Mr Peters calls a media conference to deny Owen Glenn has ever given New Zealand First a donation or loan. Peters brings along a "No" sign to reinforce his message. Mr Peters says the sum mentioned by Dail Jones was a consolidation of a series of payments made to the party.
July 12: The Herald reports a private email from Owen Glenn to his PR representative in New Zealand, Steve Fisher, in which he says he did give New Zealand First a donation.
"Steve - are you saying I should deny giving a donation to NZ First?? When I did?"
Winston Peters says through a spokesman that Mr Glenn had not given the party money - "he did not" - but he refused any other comment.
July 14 Winston Peters addresses reporters at Auckland Airport before leaving for Fiji. He tells them: " Here's the deal, the editor of the New Zealand Herald and the Herald journalist Audrey Young can see New Zealand First's accounts and talk to our independent auditors but when they find nothing, then to apologise to the public and then resign."
National Leader John Key calls for Helen Clark to investigate whether Mr Peters is telling the truth.
July 16: Helen Clark says she has received assurances from Winston Peters that Owen Glenn has not donated to NZ First. She says Mr Glenn's appointment as honorary consul general in Monaco was at best "most unlikely".
July 18: Winston Peters says Owen Glenn donated $100,000 towards a legal action he mounted after the 2005 election, but denies the money was given to his party and says he only just found out about it.
July 19: Peters tells the NZ First convention he did nothing wrong in the Owen Glenn donation row and nothing illegal occurred. He says there is a difference between donating to his legal fund and donating to NZ First.
July 20: Winston Peters' lawyer Brian Henry says he asked Owen Glenn for a donation after another donor did not deliver. Helen Clark says she accepts Mr Peters' statement that he only found out about the donation from his lawyer on July 18. She says the donation to Mr Peters' legal fund did not appear to have broken any rules.
July 21: The Dominion Post reports the Vela family donated $150,000 from six different accounts over four years up to 2003 to New Zealand First but the donations were not declared by the party because they were under $10,000 and did not have to be. ACT leader Rodney Hide lodges a contempt of Parliament complaint with the Speaker over the non-disclosure of the donation.July 23: Helen Clark says Mr Peters will not be required to pay back the $100,000 he received from Owen Glenn to pay legal expenses
"The Cabinet Office advises me that there would be no reason to require the minister to relinquish it, given the considerable public interest in the court case for which that money was paying."
July 24: Sir Robert Jones tells Radio New Zealand he made a number of donations to New Zealand First for the 2005 election including a $25,000 donation to the Spencer Trust. New Zealand First deputy leader Peter Brown denies any knowledge of the donation, which was not declared to the Electoral Commission. Sir Robert says he has written to NZ First president Dail Jones to confirm where the money went.
A spokesman for Helen Clark says she "received an assurance from Mr Peters that funding has been conducted lawfully".
July 25: Winston Peters angrily denies any wrongdoing in regards to the funding of NZ First. He says media coverage of the party's election funding are "Unsubstantiated rubbish". He says he never asked Sir Robert for money and that he was not in charge of the Spencer Trust, which is managed by his brother. Sir Robert says Mr Peters asked him for money on a night out.
July 26: At a joint media conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Mr Peters again refuses to answer questions on the "Bob Jones' story".
July 29: Helen Clark meets with Mr Peters so he can explain the controversy surrounding allegations of covert funding to NZ First. She says she still has cionfidence in him as Minister of Foerign Affairs et al. Mr Peters describes the whole affair as "a shameful episode of dirty politics".
July 30: The Serious Fraud Office says it will begin assessing whether an investigation into donations intended for the New Zealand First Party is warranted, following a complaint from Rodney Hide.
July 31: The Dominion Post reports it has a deposit slip showing $19,998 was deposited in one or more cheques into the party's coffers in December 1999.
Electoral Commission records for 1999 show NZ First did not declare any donations of more than $10,000, the threshold for disclosure.
August 5: The Speaker orders an investigation into allegations Winston Peters failed to declare party donations on the MPs' register of pecuniary interest. She says Parliament's privileges committee should look into the claims. Mr Peters says he welcomes the opportunity to have the matter dealt with as soon as possible.
August 6: Racing and fishing magnate Philip Vela says that he has no concerns about the donation his company had given to New Zealand First a few years ago. The privileges committee inquiry into Owen Glenn's payment of Mr Peters' legal fees begins.
Mr Peters is repeatedly challenged by Act leader Rodney Hide in Parliament to say whether he received donations from Simunovich Fisheries, after speculation of a donation from the company re-emerged in the Dominion Post newspaper.
August 7: Parliament's privileges committee sets its terms of references for its inquiry.
August 17: The privileges committee begins its first hearings in the inquiry into Owen Glenn's donation to NZ First's legal bill. Winston Peter's lawyer Brian Henry tells the committee he does not bill Mr Peters that his legal fees are "either a donation of my time or fundraised." The committee resolves to invite Owen Glenn to give evidence.
August 26:ACT leader Rodney Hide alleges New Zealand First was paid money by Simunovich Fisheries after Winston Peters had made corruption claims against it.
August 27:The privileges committee releases letters from Mr Peters and billionaire Owen Glenn. Mr Glenn says Mr Peters solicited a $100,000 donation from him and then thanked him for it in 2006. Mr Peters denies this, saying he thanked Mr Glenn in July 2008 after being told of the donation by his lawyer.
National Party leader John Key says unless Mr Peters could provide a credible explanation for the discrepancies of evidence, he would be unacceptable in a National Government.
August 28: Prime Minister Helen Clark reveals Mr Glenn had told her his version of events on February 21 but that Mr Peters had assured her that New Zealand First had not received a donation from the businessman.
The Serious Fraud Office announces it has sufficient information to launch an investigation into the fate of donations to New Zealand First.
August 29: Winston Peters describes the allegations against him as "vile, malevolent, evil and wrong". He says he will talk to Helen Clark about the matter later in the day.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
SFO Director Grant Liddell has announced the SFO will take their investigations to the next stage and including whether donations by the Velas and Robert Jones actually ended up where the donors expected them to go.
Seems Liddell took up the challenge. "I have sufficient information that gives me reason to suspect that an investigation may reveal serious and complex fraud."
Mr Liddell said that he was satisfied that the threshold had been met for commencing an investigation using statutory powers under the SFO Act.
Update: Would the fact a party and the party's leader are being investigated by the SFO using its statutory powers be sufficient grounds to at least demand a Minister who was also the party's leader stand down from his portfolios and surrender his warrant?
Farrar at Kiwiblog has spotted the non sequitur.
Clark today said she spoke with Winston Peters in South Africa in February 2008 after she had met with Owen Glenn to specifically tell Peters that Owen Glenn had just told her he had paid $100,000 to NZ First to pay Peters's legal bills.
Therefore Peters's cannot claim to have had no knowledge of the payment before Brian Henry told him at his mother's graveside.
Clark has proved the sophistry of Mr Peters and proved beyond doubt her own casuistry.
1. Hon BILL ENGLISH to the Prime Minister: Does she have confidence in the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Racing; if so, why?
8. RODNEY HIDE to the Minister of Broadcasting: Is Television New Zealand involved in any legal action before the courts?
Looks like Broadcasting Minister Mallard will be able to confirm to the Speaker whether questions regarding Television New Zealand really are sub judice...
Today's bombshell Clark has known since February 2008 that it was Winston Peters himself who made the approach to Owen Glenn highlights the perfect timing and execution of the Gnats strategy.
There must be more to come - for some reason Clark has panicked and coughed up the admission that Owen Glenn told her in February this year that Peters had approached him for cash and he had paid out. Why has she coughed today?
The implications are huge - Clark completely and publically accepting without reservation Peters's word when she knows herself he has lied. She may be able to dupe many - but even she cannot dupe herself. Clark allowing her simpleton MP's to protect Peters at Parliament's most important committee when she knows the grounds of their protection is a falsehood. Is there a more corrupt action she could have taken? She is trifling with Parliament's central institution - the Privileges Committee.
The longer this goes on the dodgier Clark looks.
Question Time today should be a boiler. I wonder what today's matter of mass distraction will be. Judith Tizard streaking?
The extraordinary events of the past few days have been fascinating for political geeks. The titanic struggle in the House between Peters and the Opposition has been fascinating - and I mean Opposition in its widest sense as even the Greens are supportive of what Hide has been trying to expose and the process he has adopted.
As a series of debates these have been extremely interesting days. The Questions by Key of Clark two days ago carefully extracted from Clark her unwavering support for Peters. More on that later.
Hide's Questioning for which he was ultimately shamefully thrown out, provided the media back drop needed to get the MSM absolutely focused on the issue of the mendacity of Peters. It also showed both the horrid partisanship of Speaker Wilson and the shameless method Peters has adopted (for many years on reflection) to avoid questioning in the House (the claim of sub judice). Wilson came across as partisan and ferociously biased in supporting one member's (and a very dodgy member at that) word over another.
Yesterday Deputy Speaker Robertson, with greater respect for his position than the Speaker herself attempted to find a way to let Hide have his say. Hide made great play of the language he was going to use - Peters repeatedly rose to the fly. Hide feigned exasperation and repeatedly assured the Speaker the matter was not sub-judice. Ad nauseam. Then the killer blow - with everyone waiting for the revelation Hide changed step and spoke eloquently of the mendacity of Winston Peters and the plague he has visited on the House, Helen Clark his (Peters's chief supporter) and her Government. The speech was heard in stunned silence. Absolutely brilliant planning, timing and execution.
Returning to Key - his afternoon dumping of Peters as a potential coalition partner opened his hand for all to see - he had brilliantly manoevered Clark over the past two days. The hubristic fool could not see it coming - sitting in the House chortling at her great cleverness...
First she gave regular, apparently unconditional and unwavering support to Peters. Aided by all her attack dogs blindly chasing the bait laid out. Abetted by the witless Madam Speaker. Next (as Key presumably knew would happen and as had been conveniently leaked by Heather Simpson et al) Peters gave her NZ First's support for the ETS. This linked the two - Clark and Peters together inextricably - The leaking was intended to show Clark's mastery of Peters in his predicament. This proved not a demonstration of leadership - it showed she would do anything to get the ETS legislation through - this was more than supping with the devil - no rat was too big to swallow. She was however wounded by it. It was a major miscalculation - hubrism does that.
The coup de grace was delivered in the afternoon. Key cutting Peters loose from a future National Government. Clark was now (not quite mortally) wounded and her electoral plans unravelling fast. She needs coalition partners. At a stroke Key has made it crystal clear that a vote for NZ First is effectively a vote cast for Labour - NZ First no longer have a mandate to hold the balance of power; And a vote for Labour, with the polls where they are at, is a vote for Peters's party because NZ First support will be critical to get a fourth Labour Government home. Masterful. Planning, Timing, Execution - brilliant.
As John Armstrong wrote today - Key has used all his experience as a currency dealer to quietly build and then close out his position from a place of strength.
On reading the blogs today SageNZ has come to a similar view of the preceding days events - his eloquent analogy to a bridge hand is apposite.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Those clever folks at HomePaddock have posted their latest horse race - the Credibility Handicap. The finish is priceless:
And here comes Bauble Boy, he’s turned his back on the principle hurdle, his jockey has lost control and there’ll have to be an inquiry. Hold all bets, the stewards are conferring and this could take some time.
Those good soldiers at Whaleoil have trawled up more than scampi tonight - Hansard. There in the Parliamentary record is Winston Peters, 14 February 2006, on his feet dominating the House ....chastising Don Brash and the National Party for attending the Karaka Yearling Sales that year for the first time in 20 years. "I saw them at the Karaka saleyards this year." Talk about self incrimination - best own goal ever I say.
Weird isn't it - Peters said his diary had no record he was at the 2006 Sales and therefore could not have met OGG at the Sales, as OGG testified to the Privileges Committee - yet in 2006 Peters told Parliament he was as the Sales and had noticed the National Party there (which National confirmed) and we now have Getty Images with photos dated 31 January 2006, at the scene of the crime - front and centre.
Thanks to WhaleOil and other pictures have surfaced of Winston Peters at the 2006 Karaka Bloodstock Sales. These are the Sales where Owen Glenn said he shared a table for lunch with Peters. Peters said he wasn't there that year, but may have been a year later.... of course a year later doesn't fit the payment schedule Peters would have us believe.
Now today, Peters tore into OGG and said he had not been at the 2006 Sales (which was only a few months after the 2005 election) ..... these pictures from Getty Images (not photoshop!) reveal all. Winnie was there all right.
Despite the open, bright and breezy analysis by TVNZ Therese Arseneau Peters still has plenty of wiggle room with the Privileges Committee - as well Clark knows. Clark saying any evidential facts in dispute will be sorted by the Committee - Clark knows that is not the Committee's brief or bailiwick.
The deliberations of the Committee are narrowed to whether Peters should have declared the $100,000 donation from OGG. Peters has always maintained he did not know about it therefore he couldn't declare it - even if he wanted to... OGG has confirmed the money went to Henry (following Peters's request)
Peters did ask for the money - which Peters has denied doing (and is not the subject of the Committee
the money went to Henry - ie not Peters. And in Peters's view of the world was not a pecuniary interest he (Peters) needed to declare.
Hopefully the Committee can drill into the obvious point that Peters and Henry are one and the same (self described blood brothers) - Peters did receive a $100,000 benefit.
I wonder also whether the testimony of Henry and Peters is on oath - someone is lying...OGG has said Peters made the approach and his dealings with Henry was only to ascertain remittance details from Henry's staff....There was no approach from Henry to OGG, as he testified.
If not on oath and Henry did lie to the Committee it is a major breach of what is expected from him as a litigator to the Supreme Court of New Zealand.
Is The Treatment of Owen G Glenn by the Prime Minister Un-Edifying?
Is it not the worst possible look how Clark treats Owen Glenn; This man she gave a New Year's honour, trousered $500,000 of his money for her party, took a $100,000 interest free loan and so on - then when the chips are down she insults him in the most gratuitous way him by using Trevor Mallard as an attack/guard dog when she presides over the opening of a building he has funded.
Today she takes the word of Winston Peters over Owen G Glenn. The woman has no bounds.
I feel desperately sorry for Mr Glenn. He was only trying to help. In Clark's world he is cannon fodder. She throws him out once she has no further use for him.
The updated reports on lake levels suggest the crisis was not averted - merely delayed.
The only reason the lights have not gone out so far this winter is because the electricity retailers have implored their commercial customers to turn off their machines. What sort of economic system is that? Some would say it is the market at work. Commercial customers are reacting to high spot prices and shedding load...by turning off their machines. The market at work...
That is a overly simplistic. Those high spot prices are not being paid by domestic users who are insulated from the spikes so they are ignorant of the market forces. More importantly the high prices are a result of the addition of the "emergency" Whirinaki diesel generation to the cost curve.
The reason for the sustained high prices is the shortage of supply of electricity, not a sudden excess of demand. The prohibition on new baseload thermal generation by the Labour Government is at the root of this.
The lost productivity by having the commercial sector reduce demand is massive. Tiwai Point smelter is apparently 3,000 tonnes down because they have shut down some lines - prices for their commodity are more than adequate.
I have colleagues who have seen their spot prices double in the past 8 months - yet their demand has lowered! In the period Jan 06 - Jan 08 their spot prices were below contract. They are now 3 times contract. Meridian has been calling every day suggesting they shut down and offering to buy back the contract...
If asking major commercial users to significantly reduce demand is not a crisis what is?
There is plenty of demand at the long run marginal costs of new thermal generation. That the Government will not allow that generation to arise is the crisis.
Feel like you're living in the first world?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Forum and Clark in particular have been stone faced silent on her's or the Forum's stance on expelling Russia from international institutions - eg the G8, not supporting their application to join the WTO etc.
One could take Clark and her new bro KRudd seriously if they discussed serious matters - like supporting the Americans and more latterly the Brits in containing an obstreperous bear. Don't forget we live in a benign strategic environment
p.s No further news on the A4's? Thought FilkOff had flogged them.
p.p.s Niue more important than being in Tekapo for her best friends funeral?
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
1. Announcement by Treasury today the economy is in recession. The sign is not the content as blind Freddy can see the economic situation is very bad. The sign is that Treasury have announced it long before the June quarter results are available. They're not due till next month. The reason for the early announcement is to clear the decks for Cullen and Clark - when the actuals are out they'll be in full blown election mode and will be able to say - "Oh, that's old news"
2. News UMR Research are testing voters sensitivity to Clark's leadership over Peters and whether she had shown strong leadership, along with questioning whether voters thought John key was slippery (yawn). Hat tip Farrar's place, Kiwiblog
4. Trailers written by all gallery hacks in the past week suggesting Clark needs to get through this week and get the Appropriations Bill through with its attendant question of Confidence, before cutting Peters loose.
5. One can only assume Clark and Cullen have advice the economy will be worse than dire and offers no advantage to wait till November. Best to have a crack now...very un-Clark but may be she's no longer in total control.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Rather than try to peer through the sophistry and mendaciousness of Winston Peters the simple point is Peters and NZ First will have breached the EFA through simply not declaring the in kind services of his legal team. $100,000 of service is a material event. People need to know if a party has secret support to that level and the Act was written to expose it. The other option is unpaid legal bills were loans - those need to be declared as well - as Mingy Williams found out when he illegally hid the loan from Glenn.
Farrar as resident EFA expert will have all this down pat.
Peters should be dog tucker.
Update 1: Press Conference ongoing - found at 3.15pm - Chinese 25yo arrested. Found in house around corner from abduction site.
Helen Clark not implicated as yet. Winston Peters cannot be found.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
See more detail at Having A blast
- Agriculture not included
- Petrol Tax/excise to be reduced to compensate for carbon charges
- Free permits to emitters who are energy intensive exporters
- Direct assistance to low paid, beneficiaries and moderate income families to compensate
Looks to have been more carefully thought through than the misanthropic proposals from Clark and Parker in New Zealand
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
In an adroit political move President Bush has rescinded the decades long ban on drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf of the USA. Taking aim squarely at the Democrat controlled Congress Bush is now asking Congress to support his initiative. The Dhimmi's must be rueing not following his call last month to go first. Now they are on a hiding to nothing. Agree and they look late and limp. Disagree and they open themselves up to electoral backlash.
While many are saying it would be years to bring any significant oil finds into production and reduce prices, I disagree - there is common knowledge the oil is there - having it available (sometime) significantly changes sentiment around supply and demand and the speculative margin in current pricing will quickly diminish as traders exit perceived exposed positions.
An interesting sideline is the executive order banning offshore drilling was put in place by his Daddy. Times change.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Now that we have witnessed Clark's outburst yesterday when she tried and failed miserably to corner Key on Toll/Tranz Rail the rail deal looks even dodgier.
What is now clear is if this was Labour's so called Neutron bomb - it was a fizzer. The stupid cow couldn't even get the facts right.
In order to get her bomb erected she needed to buy Toll's Rail operation. That provided her with the ploy to flush Key. Imagine spending $1000 million to try to skewer John Key. That is what she tried to do. She spent the money but came home with no prize - no money or bag (apologies to Jude). John Key was the sole reason for wasting so much taxpayers money on buying Toll Rail. That is corrupt.
She wanted a battle ground around privatisation and asset sales. Key was more than equal to the pathetic plan. Key was not an owner of shares at the time.
What is now very clear is Cullen and his sole negotiator were determined to buy Toll rail at any cost. The target was to create a fulcrum to bend John Key. Abject failure for Labour.
The residue is a very expensive asset on the government books eating its head off.