Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Letter

451 Responses

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, come on Sasha...

    None of my business, I know, but I'd have thought that after 16,000+ comments you might have noticed it's Sacha ...

    Just sayin'...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So a politician who goes on holiday is on a junket? I see.

    If he pays for it himself it's a holiday. If work pays for it and he does work then it's a business trip. If some businessman pays for it and he does no apparent govt business on the trip it's a junket. If work pays for it and he does only a token amount of work on the trip it's a junket.

    Bear in mind please that as a minister of the crown and a representative of the public of NZ it is expected that you operate under higher standards of propriety not lower standards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I wouldn’t put it passed them, would you?
    It is, in fact, easier to create a false record “electronically” than a paper one, especially when you, or the GCSB, have the tools to do it. This thing just stinks of “convenience”

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. So we're now into political shenanigans where GCSB (and NZSIS?) at the behest of the PM forge and deposit electronic copies of documents that also exist as physical copies in the archives of a public agency? Wow.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Mr Liu seems to operate by making donations to all and sundry in an effort to buy his way past obstructions that would stop people of lesser means. It is probable, therefore, that a donation to the Labour Party was made. Will this affair encourage MPs to pay attention when their officials advise that a character doesn't merit their help?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Yeah, I've really got to stop getting around that mental block about five minutes after the edit window closes. Sorry about that, Sacha. Again.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Labwin14, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    , appears to have had no consequences at all for the Prime Minister.

    So we are ready to continue with the blatantly rich-oriented, cronyism-heavy, right-wing government? Even when National's and their allies' illegal activities come out, they are quickly hidden away under a deluge redirecting "policy announcements" or red herrings. The operations of National in using dilute accusations to cover-up their own massive wrong-doings is malevolent.

    Green Bay • Since Jun 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    If work pays for it and he does work then it’s a business trip. If some businessman pays for it and he does no apparent govt business on the trip it’s a junket. If work pays for it and he does only a token amount of work on the trip it’s a junket.

    It wasn’t the first one unless we’ve been mislead. It wasn’t the third one unless we’ve been mislead. If it was the second one, there ought to be the appropriate declaration in the Register of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament; and there’s not (for 2007 or 2008). So either Barker failed to declare a very material interest, or it was a personally-funded holiday.

    ETA: So either Barker is lying through his teeth, and broke Parliament's rules in a big way to boot, or it wasn't a junket. Which is it, Bart? Because there isn't a third option.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    all good on the name front. You may recall me several months ago pointing out the pattern of discourse attacking Cunliffe for having Key’s weaknesses – especially untrustworthiness founded on lying. Worked well for Bush/Rove. Pretty standard politics.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Oh, I just found a bug, Russell. I edited my response to Bart and now it says I was replying to myself.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    It seems that the National Party has a policy of winning an outright majority at the election. Cunliffe walked right into a trap - you would think as an experienced politician he would have seen it coming. Bomber Bradbury and Chris Trotter are in melt-down. Calling your allies scabs is not helpful. Meanwhile everyone loses sight of the bigger picture.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Ianmac,

    Well Mr Cunliffe says in the letter Mr Lui approached him which to most people would imply that he did meet him
    So once again tricky or a liar, take your pick

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    So the whole thing is looking like a swiftboating job – Joyce et al have full-time units for that sort of thing.

    All the same, it also speaks volumes of David Cunliffe’s struggle to get the message across, despite having a good grip on policy. The root cause, I suspect, is that ALP-style factionalism has crossed the Tasman. Disunity is a guaranteed vote loser - Lange-Douglas, Shipley-Peters, Rudd-Gillard-Rudd - you name it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So either Barker is lying through his teeth, and broke Parliament’s rules in a big way to boot, or it wasn’t a junket. Which is it, Bart?

    Fair enough, it was either one or the other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Calling your allies scabs is not helpful.

    Yeah, communing with my inner Olivia Pope for a moment, I thought the Campbell Live interview was going pretty well until... that. Even an hardcore Tory like me knows that's not an insult to throw around lightly in union or Labour Party circles.

    He couldn't have better kicked off another round of "caucus and party divided" stories if he'd written them himself.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Attachment

    We can’t allow this rort to carry on.
    National must go.
    Expose the corruption.

    I’ll take this opportunity to remind Chchch readers about Murray (CAFCA) Horton’s talk at The WEA in Gloucester street, 7.30pm, next Wednesday (June 25)

    It all helps to make a better informed vote…
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Cunliffe is leading the floating voters who change Goverments in this country to think that we are not ready for a left leaning government yet

    Is it really the floating voters who make the difference, when it comes down to it?

    Between the last couple of elections, National gained only 5000 votes but it also gained 2.5% of the total, because 100,000 fewer people voted. Elsewhere, there were 75,000 fewer votes between Labour/Green, even though the GP gained 90,000!

    Maybe there’s some huge mythical power of unpredictible non-voting young people out there to be harnessed, but I suspect there’s a much greater significance with traditional Labour supporters who aren’t changing sides but are simply so disillusioned by what they’re seeing that they can’t motivate themselves towards actually endorsing it, or anyone else, with their vote.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Meanwhile everyone loses sight of the bigger picture.

    Hopefully that might be an outcome of this, that it becomes less about anti-Chinese sentiment and more about genuine political difference. I was pretty bloody bored of the whole attack line on National, TBH. I really don't actually care that much who they have lunch with, when the governance of the entire country, and policy in every area is at stake. None of that was giving me a strong positive reason to vote Labour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to izogi,

    I think you're on the money. It would be great if we actually did longitudinal studies to be able to say where the votes come from or go to. But we don't. And it seems more likely to me that people swing in and out of not-voting more easily than they swing to other parties. The undecided numbers are really high. I'm there myself at the moment, considering switching from Green to Mana/IP. But I can't fully commit to that yet, so when polled the other night, I had to just say "undecided". Which probably looks bad for the Left, but consider that there are more genuine parties on the Left, and thus more holes between them for undecideds to fall into if that is a common way to move around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    I offer two alternative options as more likely:
    (iii) the minister or his electorate office received a written request from Liu; and/or
    (iv) the letter was written by an electorate office staffer (e.g. the guy who still has the computer file!), and then signed by Cunliffe.

    Really, the only "tricky" behaviour here is releasing this non-story and spinning it as some kind of smoking gun. Look more closely: it's a banana, and it went off 11 years ago.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It wasn’t the first one unless we’ve been mislead. It wasn’t the third one unless we’ve been mislead. If it was the second one, there ought to be the appropriate declaration

    Perhaps a fourth option? It was a personally funded holiday during which he met with Liu who took him out to lunch then a tour of his factory. And, of course, Liu paid for lunch and the factory tour. So, no, I don't think Barker's trip was in any way a junket. Nor do I think it's much of an issue. But in the broader context of Liu building up relations with various politicians apparently with a view to advancing his own interests - obtaining residence and then citizenship contrary to official advice, for example - it certainly is worth asking what, precisely, Barker was doing meeting Liu in Chongqing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    My view of Williamson – and his “move on, nowt to see here” defenders – is perfectly clear and well on the record. That doesn’t make him a human shield for Cunliffe’s own words, actions and IMO (which you’re not obliged to agree with), at best, serious lack of judgement.

    The problem I have is National and the media trying to draw some kind of equivalence between Williamson and Cunliffe. Cunliffe probably should be handling this situation better, but so far as we know he did not interfere in a police investigation, lobby for somebody to be given citizenship contrary to official advice and then personally perform that citizenship ceremony and apparently a couple of other things besides. Compared to that, Cunliffe's letter is somewhat less than underwhelming, and yet the likes of John Armstrong and the anonymous Herald editorial writers have worked themselves up into a froth of rage and called for his resignation. And I don't recall any such spittle-flecked flurries of rage over Judith Colliins/Oravida or John Key's "charity" golf with Stone Shi. I do note the media is happy to repeat John Key's rumours of bigger donations to Labour without any obvious attempt at requesting evidence.

    So, sure, "But Williamson did worse" is not a defence. But if it's corrupt relationships with between business people and MPs we're looking for, there certainly seems to be a much richer vein to be mined in National ranks. Going by the information that we have so far, that is.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. So we’re now into political shenanigans where GCSB (and NZSIS?) at the behest of the PM forge and deposit electronic copies of documents that also exist as physical copies in the archives of a public agency? Wow.

    Finally Matthew, you get it. See how cunning they are these shapeshifting lizards.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    after reading that letter it's a big stretch to call it advocacy.

    I keep thinking that, and then reading and hearing media again and again and again describe the letter as advocating for Liu.
    Maybe I'm too partisan to read straight; maybe the media are so in love with a drama they can't. But one way or another, the strong clear message is that DC has done more-or-less the same thing Williamson did and Collins is alleged to have done.
    It's rubbish. But it's damaging Labour. I guess it's a bit like kicking a guy when he's down; he's in a convenient position to be kicked, and kicking is more likely to inflict serious injury.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    CAFCA? Or Kafka...
    "What did l do?"
    "We can't tell you that, why don't you tell the truth?"
    "About what?"
    "You told a lie"
    "I did nothing wrong to lie about"
    "That is not the point, you didn't tell us about it. You lied"
    And so it goes...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    CAFCA? Or Kafka…

    Campaign Against Foreign Control Aotearoa
    ...is dead against 'bugs' in the system!

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

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