Archive for August 5th, 2008

Speaking English badly

August 5, 2008

In a desperate bid for “Understatement of the Year”, Bill English fesses up that, “I didn’t choose my words well.”

As we know, English was recorded clandestinely at the Nats’ Conference on the weekend telling an anxious delegate that the party would flog off Kiwibank “eventually”, and that neither Don Brash or John Key fully understood the tax implications of Working for Families. Last night, on TVNZ, he failed to confirm that Key does understand WfF. Repeatedly.

Now he has issued a statement that:

  • “With respect to Kiwibank, I shouldn’t have made the comments I made. National has had no discussions about Kiwibank and has no plans to sell it.”
  • “Comments I made regarding the complexity of WFF have been construed as criticism of John Key. That is wrong. My repeated responses to this question yesterday reflected my determination not to widen the debate – not an attempt to criticise John Key.”

The Standard has called this a “meltdown“, debacle, major scandal, and so on. It looks more like the sort of loose talk that you might get at a party conference where things are said that wouldn’t be said in public.

It confirms that the Nats do indeed intend to sell off Kiwibank, and undoubtedly many other things as well. If they’re going to have to legislate to do so, as Key confirmed on the weekend, the list of things to be privatised or privately provided includes prisons, roads, water and waste water services. Kiwibank and the like is for the second term.

There’s no denying this now, really.

One really interesting point that everybody seems to have overlooked is the identity of the man who recorded the conversation with English. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it looks like yet another inside job.

Dirty politics pays off for McCain

August 5, 2008

Today’s Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that the gap has closed. “The race for the White House is tied with Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote. However, when ‘leaners’ are included, it’s McCain 47% and Obama 46%.”

There’s still 3 months to go to the election, and Obama’s still well ahead in Electoral College votes, so don’t panic. The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows Obama leading in states with 210 ECVs and McCain  with 165. Leaners take Obama to 273, McCain to 227. The smart money still favours Obama, if a little less than a few weeks ago. Rasmussen Markets data gives Obama a 59.8% chance of winning the White House.


Bayh update

August 5, 2008

Seems that there are now quite a few reasons for believing that Obama is about to announce Evan Bayh as his running mate. Expect to wake up to the news tomorrow morning in NZ.

Update: Oh well, as CNN puts it, “It happens once every four years: Political pundits, news junkies and water cooler crowds obsess over whom the presidential contenders will pick to be their No. 2.”

It ain’t news, it’s a campaign

August 5, 2008

Couldn’t let another day go by without coverage of the Peters saga, could we? Sir Robert Jones has written again to NZ First. Hold the presses! And he’s threatened to go the police if he gets another “evasive reply” about where his $25,000 donation ended up. Yeah, well, hasn’t he talked about going to the police before?

This ain’t news. It’s a manufactured “story”.

By now people ought to be able to see the very obvious, concerted campaign going on here. It’s beautifiully choreographed — too much so — and getting clearer by the day.

Yes, Peters is a lying hypocrite and we would be better off without him polluting the body politic. But Bill English isn’t the only one treating the NZ voting public like easily duped dopes at the moment.

People should be sceptical of what I say. But they should also start watching closely to see how things unfold.