Friday, October 31, 2008

CARTOON: Dumpster Diving

A classic cartoon from Tom Scott.

NEWSFLASH: Clark didnt fall, she was pushed

A fall that Helen Clark took last night was initially thought to be an accidental trip on something left on the floor of the coffee shop in which she tripped in.

Further investigation by the taxpayer funded Labour Party research unit overnight has revealed a different story.

A spokesperson for the research unit B.Sheehite has confirmed rumours that there was a interloper on a grassy knoll just outside of the video frame that captured the Prime Ministers fall/push.

Unconfirmed reports from Mr Sheehite is that an individual with an axe to grind pushed Helen Clark.

Further research has uncovered several possible suspects. 

Owen Glenn is number one on the list, John Key second and possibly any one of an approximate 3 million New Zealanders who are thinking of voting on November 8 2008 are also suspected.

Further research will be undertaken over the next week before the election to root out the actual pusher.

c Political Animal 2008

Quote of the day

Paul Holmes: "...why do you want a forth term?

Helen Clark: "...'cause I dont think my job is done..."

Sky City Grand Political Breakfast, Newstalk ZB ,  7.25 am 31 October 2008

HELEN CLARK FALL VIDEO: Did you enjoy your trip?

Make your comments of support  here. They will appear just below this post.

Eventually Karma catches up on you.

I especially like the help she got from one her supporters. She reached out for him you stop her downwards momentum, you can see he felt sorry for a second because he was thinking of helping her but at the last minute decided to withdrawal.

A sign of what will happen on November 8? Who knows.

Its the funniest thing since I have seen since that execution video of Saddam Hussein and when a friend got mine got his sausage stuck in a Labour party voter.

The Labour conspiracy theory is that Clark was pushed.

A YouTube classic.

Make your comments of support  here. They will appear just below this post.

Related links

Vote in the Political Animal pre-election poll

c Political Animal 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Clark admits her lie

Yesterday Helen Clark revealed her knowledge of the Labour smear on John Key was "...not a story I am handling at all."

But today she spilled her guts to Larry Williams, on Newstalk ZB, that she in fact knew, like we all knew she did, about the whole dirty filthy political muck racking by Labour and their taxpayer funded research unit:

The Prime Minister has confirmed she knew about Labour's attempt to link John Key to the H-Fee fraud scandal of the late 1980s.

Helen Clark says she was aware Labour Party president Mike Williams was working on the matter and travelled to Australia to look at court documents. She says Mr Williams paid for his trip out of his own pocket.

Miss Clark says the party's research unit may also have been involved, as it does work on the opposition. However she says the matter was not a focus for the unit, saying its main role is to help Labour's various spokespeople. Newstalk ZB

Nice of her to finally come clean, but why? It is out of character for her to admit lying.

Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. If you fib as much as she does sooner or latter you have to slip up.

c Political Animal 2008

Labour's blog follows leader's line

The Labour Party Blog, The Standard, is following Helen Clark's line of, where there is smoke there is fire even though he has been cleared of any wrongdoing:

As so often with Key, we are left asking the same question: ‘if he has nothing to hide, why all the lies?’

They were also in possession of the same information that Mike Williams and the Labour party research unit had dug up on Key over the last few years, and of course they would because those running this blog are a key part of Labour's dirt digging. 

"...we had material anonymously emailed to us that gave the background to the H-fee and included a series of posts outlining the issue..."

Those running the blog are either directly connected to Labour Party hierarchy or are employed in various government departments that trawl for dirt on opposition parties.

The line followed by The Standard includes references to how "complicated" the whole H-fee scandal is and of course that must mean:

"...he clearly knows more than he led us to believe..."

This is the same implication that Helen Clark puts on the whole baseless saga.

The latest revelation on the Labour mud flinging is that Clark knew about Mike William's dirt digging. She yesterday denied any knowledge.

Another lie.

Just more lies, hoping something will stick.

If this has what politics has got to we are all in big trouble.

c Political Animal 2008

Taxpayer money used by Labour to dig baseless Key dirt

The real scandal revealed yesterday when Labour released baseless dirt on John Key was the fact that taxpayer money was used to fund the Labour Party "research unit" and Labour President Mike Williams to do the digging.

Helen Clark, Mike Williams and the rest of the Labour Party and parts of their Internet presence, The Standard, are all well versed in the latest John Key smear and Clark is at the centre of the mud flinging.

This research unit is supposed to be investigating new policy or trying to fix "problems" for New Zealand citizens-so perhaps we are better off for it-but the taint that lingers for Labour over this misuse of taxpayer funds, yet again,  should be a concern for voters, especially those wanting to vote red come election day.

Visits to Melbourne by Williams and other members of the research unit and a 2 year plus history of dirt digging just on this "neutron bomb" doesn't come cheap-business class flights, Collins Street Hotels and lovely meals-but of course this hasn't stopped Labour from misusing and stealing taxpayer money to gain political advantage in the past.

Before the 2005 Election it was close to 1 million dollars and a few weeks ago it was $60,000 for some election promo books.

The cost of just this one dirty filthy and baseless political smear must run into 10s of thousands of taxpayer dollars. There are of course other taxpayer funded trawling exercises that have also siphoned up taxpayer money to make rivals look suspect-the Merrill Lynch dirt flinging comes to mind from a few months back.

It seems as long as it is taxpayer money Labour believe it is fair game to use for any purpose that they see fit and this will only get worse if they are re-elected.

c Political Animal 2008

Labour muckracking explodes in Helen's face

I didn't think the backlash to Labours baseless lie spread about John Key yesterday would come back to bite them so quickly but the very paper that was going to blow the lid off the story today, the NZ Herald, seems to have turned on Labour.

Leaking of documents to the Herald trawled through by Labour Party President Mike Williams in Melbourne last week were supposed to incriminate John Key in some sort of currency scam from the 1980s but the best that the Herald can do is that Key was unsure about when he left a company that he worked at more than 20 years ago when interviewed about it by the Herald last year-he was out by a few months, from his own memory, on the spot.

Within days, though, court documents proved that what would have been the campaign's most explosive allegation was wrong. The January 11 cheque was actually signed by an Australian-based executive of the firm Mr Key worked for.

Mr Key said last night he had nothing to hide and accused Labour of a smear campaign.

Prime Minister Helen Clark distanced herself, saying: "This is not a story I am handling at all." More

The curious thing to me is that the Herald seems to have set up Labour for a big fall, publishing a teaser yesterday and then pulling the rug this morning.

Helen Clark denying involvement is another lie. Mike Williams, who dug the dirt, is a close friend and in constant contact with Clark and she is informed of everything political he does.

The baseless muck racking by Labour is merely a symptom of their leaders style and it infiltrates her government and the bureaucrats that she presides over.

When cornered and on the ropes Clark always reaches for the lowest common denominator and she is true to form once again. Its desperate stuff, from a dying government.

Its time the politics of lies, cheating and corruption came to an end and this latest nonsense in a long string of filth may well bring it to an end November 2008.

c Political Animal 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Panic 2008!

"Market Crashes", "Dow Plunges", "Global Recession".

Its enough to make you feel like Edvard Munch on a combination of speed and cocaine.

Headlines blaring across the worlds financial and main news organisations are saturating investors brains to the extent that they can hardly see their way out of all the gloom.

Of course there are practical and real reasons why most of these headlines exist and we haven't seen the worst yet but lets face it the world ain't going to come to an end.

All things must pass!

I am fed up with all the negative stuff and I am looking past the drama of "Panic 2008" and "Black October"(whats up with October for down stockmarkets?) and towards what lay on the other side of it.

We are coming close to the bottom of the down part of a financial cycle and the big economic impact is likely to hit soon and last until well into 2009/early 2010-of course the reactions by politicians to it may delay growth -at the same time though the seeds of an economic recovery are being planted.

The New Zealand dollar has been decimated and will continue to fall and this of course will help an export led recovery, one that is sustainable, rather than the tax and spend merry go round we have been on for the last 9 years.

Lower New Zealand interest rates, and US ones in particular will lead to an increase in business growth through cheaper lending and a pick-up in job numbers and in home lending this will lead to all the knock-on industries benefiting as a result.

Lower asset values will lead to more prudent buying by investors and a gain for those who have bought in a falling market and for those who haven't had to sell their house, stocks or rental property.

Lower commodity prices for oil, grain, sugar and a whole host of other staples that make economies tick will be a welcome relief for citizens lumbered with less employment or problems with high debt.

My point is that with every downside associated with the current financial and economic turmoil there is a mirror upside in the future and that is just how economic cycles work.

The fact that the upwards cycle has been a steep one unfortunately means the downside will be reasonably lengthy but in the process of movement back towards the top there are opportunities to be had for investors to capitalise on by buying cheap assets and benefit from their foresight when things inevitably get better.

All we need now is a little more faith in the future to make the upside a reality sooner rather than latter.

Panic 2008 @ Share Investor

Why I am optimistic about the Global recession
Learning from History
Strap yourself in baby!
Will the stalactites hold?
Follow the Monopoly Board
Free Market to Pollies: We don't want you
The $700 Billion question: How much will the bailout affect your investment?
Not so sweet Fannie Mae
Financial weapons of mass destruction
Global credit squeeze: There is no free lunch
The Global economy looks bad now? But wait there's more
Current Credit crunch a blessing in disguise
Lenders must come clean over losses to restore faith in credit markets
Watch for dead cats bouncing
Global Market Meltdown: I can smell the fear from here
Warren Buffett's The Intelligent Investor
Global Market's dropping and your portfolio
Global Market Meltdown: What is Warren Buffett doing?
A sensible approach to global market volatility

Related Amazon reading

The Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles,Globalisation and the Worldwide Economic Crisis

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Buy new: $18.45 / Used from: $16.81
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c Share Investor 2008

Labour Election advertising misleading

Labour has been misleading the public again, this time in their nasty election attack ads about John Key:

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against Labour's "John and John" campaign ads and has ruled they carry misleading information. More

We really shouldn't be surprised, Clark has been misleading New Zealanders for 9 years, why should the election campaign be any different.

The election is about trust huh?

c Political Animal 2008

Labour's baseless attack on John Key could well bite come polling day

"It should not need to be said that John Key was completely innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever," Mr Sturt said.

"For any politician to hint or suggest otherwise would be absolute rubbish and pure mischief-making." Chas Sturt, former Serious Fraud Office director 

As I mentioned yesterday when writing about Helen Clark's involvement in the Owen Glenn/Peters scandal it wont be long before Labour releases irrelevant insubstantial "dirt" dug up by Labour Party hacks.

Little did we know it would be so soon, so irrelevant, so insubstantial and dug up by chief mud flinger Mike Williams, Labour Party President.

The accusation dates back more than 20 years, is being made by Labour and fed to the New Zealand Herald by party hacks.

John Key faces accusations of misleading the public about his knowledge of one of New Zealand's most notorious white collar crimes.

The allegations centre around the so-called H-Fee - two payments totalling A$66.5 million to Equiticorp funnelled via sham foreign exchange transactions in 1988 - and an interview Mr Key gave the Herald last year. More

Unfortunately for Labour a serious fraud investigation cleared any involvement by John Key and his reputation is clear. From Charles Sturt:

The former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) director, Charles Sturt, said on August 25, 2007, that Mr Key was not involved in the H-Fee scam.

The SFO interviewed Mr Key about it, and Mr Sturt said he was one of many innocent people in a massive fact-gathering exercise.

"It should not need to be said that John Key was completely innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever," Mr Sturt said.

"For any politician to hint or suggest otherwise would be absolute rubbish and pure mischief-making." More

He refutes completely about any involment in a foreign exchange scam here.

Unfortunately for Key mud does stick and the filthy way Labour are running their election campaign must mean they have done some inside polling of their own and have found they are on a hiding to nothing come election day.

This Key nonsense is nothing but a media beat up and stories with way more importance and gravitas have been so far buried. Recent revelations uncovered by Ian Wishart that Labour have been involved in donations to their party from a Chinese underworld figure, in exchange for passports, Clark's involvement in the Owen Glenn saga and her blatant, irrelevant, use of the race card twice last week have largely been swept under the rug by our left loving media.

If that is the best Clark has she and her cabal are going to have to dig even deeper and they probably will.

Unfortunately for Labour though, this sort of filthy baseless mud-slinging may well come back to bite them on election day.

c Political Animal 2008

VIDEO: National Party Election Adverts

A good selection of National Party Television advertising covering education, crime and health policies.

Posted on Political Animal free of charge so wont be counted as part of Nationals spend!

c Political Animal & National Party 2008

Clarks lies should bury her 4th term chances

Because Winston Peters is unlikely to get seriously dealt to (and will probably get more support from his supporters) for any of the highly corrupt things that he has done regarding donations from various sources and lobbying for those donations, the spotlight must go back on Helen Clark and her involvement in the whole saga.

We remember that she lied about her knowledge of the Glenn donations to Peters earlier this year and now we find that her involvement is central to Owen Glenn's Honorary Consul appointment to Monaco that Winston Peters was lobbying for.

The Prime Minister was so concerned about Winston Peters' lobbying for Owen Glenn to become honorary consul to Monaco that she told the Foreign Affairs Department to let her know if it happened again, the Herald understands. Audrey Young, NZ Herald

Why would Clark get involved in foreign affairs ministry business if she didn't already have knowledge of Glenn's 2005 donation to Peters?

Email evidence between ministry officials tends to pass question on Labours knowledge of Peters attempts to get a consul position for Owen Glenn:

The papers also show the ministry stone-walling Mr Peters' attempts to get Mr Glenn appointed.

The ministry official in Mr Peters' office last August, Rob Moore-Jones, wrote to deputy secretary Peter Hamilton on August 30 last year: "Peter, just to let you know that Minister had another go last night about the above [Monaco] - still a raw nerve there!" Audrey YoungNZ Herald

Still a "raw nerve" indeed. This conversation shows that ministry officials had direction from a higher office.

I would contend that the direction to stonewall came from Helen Clark's office and Owen Glenn contends that Labour and Clark knew of the lobbying and Glenn's donation to Winston Peters.

This is also in the light of Labour receiving $500,000 from Glenn and further pleas by Labour for more money this year. 

What other reason would there be stonewalling?

Yet Clark still has Winston Peters in her political clutches, being paid for not doing his job and will use him again to try and cobble together a post 2008 election government.

I would really like to see Clark put under the griller by the same "journalists" that gave Lockwood Smith a hard time over revealing facts about various new immigrants and their work practices and turned that story into one about racism.

Unfortunately we are unlikely to see ambush Inquisitions of Helen Clark from the Duncan Garners of this world simply because they want to maintain good relations so as to get access to the Prime Ministers office in the future.

Watch for more spin from Labour and "new" "leaks" about National party ministers to take the heat off.

Pass the banana, I'm all full up here.

Related Political Animal reading

Clark stretches new Peters revelation into wafer thin excuse

c Political Animal 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green and Red make a horrible mess

Right on mark for the Greens is this cartoon from Guy Body of NZ Herald fame.

Their biggest policies are interference wrapped in a green agenda that little attention is paid to, that hides the deep red centre of communism. A perfect parliamentary partner for Labour's move from socialism to something else entirely.

A vote for these mad buggers is a vote for more of the same.

c Political Animal 2008

Clark stretches new Peter's revelation into wafer thin excuse

Not that it matters materially anymore because those that vote for him are going to anyway but Winston Peters continued denials that Owen Glenn was in the running for Honorary Consul General in Monaco and that Peters had at some stage advocated for Glenn to get that position have been revealed today as another lie in a long list from the disgraced bent politician:

Foreign Minister Winston Peters initially pushed hard for expatriate billionaire Owen Glenn to be made New Zealand honorary consul in Monaco, papers released today reveal.

Mr Glenn donated $100,000 to pay for the New Zealand First leader's legal fees in 2005.

A memo on April 19, 2007 from Mfat chief executive Simon Murdoch said Mr Peters "wants to appoint an honorary consul in Monaco. It is a distinguished expat of his choice."A memo the next day said the name mentioned was Owen Glenn... "I have no further details except that he is a mega-rich NZer living in Monaco. Presumably someone can google him".

Mr Peters said after the donations row exploded that questions about the Monaco appointment were hypothetical as there was no such post. More

The fact that when Owen Glenn mentioned he had been offered the position he called Glenn some sort of fantasist for saying so rubs salt into the whole scandal.

And finally and perhaps more importantly Helen Clark sees nothing wrong for a Minister of her Cabinet to accept $100,000 from an individual and latter advocate an important government position in return because:

Prime Minister Helen Clark also said there was "no issue" because no appointment had been made. More 

Well Ms Clark, the simple advocating for cash regardless of a position in return or not is the crux of the matter not the outcome.

About trust indeed.

c Political Animal 2008

Tapu Misa plays victim role to hilt

Tapu Misa gets it wrong and plays the race/victim card.

She sometimes gets it right but her heritage gets in the way of reality in her latest column:

People keep telling me what a nice man John Key is. The jovial Christchurch taxi driver told me the National Party leader was the nicest politician he's ever met. Key was so casually dressed and unassuming the driver almost didn't recognise him.

The perpetually grinning Lockwood Smith seems a nice enough man, too. But his comments last week about the smallness of Asian hands and the toilet training needs of Pacific migrant workers betrayed a world view that continues to prevail in the National Party...

So it's become harder for poor kids to escape their lowly position. John Key was fortunate that he was poor before the 1980s, when we were a more equal society, and the welfare system was considerably more generous than it is today.

Government policy matters.

The policies of the 80s and 90s made New Zealand one of the most unequal countries in the OECD.

But since 2000, under Labour, that gap's been closing. Not enough, thanks to Labour's resistance to restoring benefits to pre-1991 levels, but progress.

Full Article

She jumps right on board the Labour KiwiRail train going to nowheresville.

Unfortunately Misa is lying to her readers here. John Key would be far better off today in terms of welfare than he would have been in the 1970s because New Zealand is in the grip of record welfare numbers, when Working for Families welfare and a whole host of other new welfare packages are taken into account.

Another key difference that Misa ignores completely is that because welfare wasn't seen as a right back when Key was a boy he was able to escape its evil clutches and become a successful man. 

He would have great difficulty doing that under today's conditions where Labour inspired incentives are instilled to remain on welfare instead of working hard to get off it.

Shame on Misa, she wears her "culture" like a badge but here fails to inspire only mediocrity and dependence, something that her culture is unfortunately not short on.

c Political Animal 2008

VIDEO: TV ONE 3rd John Key Helen Clark debate, Nov 5 2008

Helen Clark and John Key are all smiles in the final leaders' debate before the election - source ONE News

Watch the last debate between John Key and Helen Clark, broadcast live on TV One Wednesday 5 November 2008 , 7.00 pm and posted here shortly afterwards for you to watch in excruciating detail and the ability to slow down Helen Clark's lips as she lies her way towards another term in office.

Ist TV One Leaders debate

c Political Animal 2008

Labour plays race card twice in one week

So the answer to all our problems is for Labour to establish a free to air taxpayer funded "Pacific Islands" TV channel:

Labour would make establishing a free-to-air Pacific Islands television channel a priority if it wins re-election.

This is the second time this week that Labour has used the race card in the run up to the 2008 Election.

Earlier this week it was Helen Clark and her pointless racially motivated dig at Lockwood Smith for expressing the facts about migrant workers and now a bid for votes in South Auckland by buying our pacific cuzzies a TV station.

Remember the cost of the Maori TV station?  Well over $100 million and counting, and this time likely to cost more than that.

Apart from the racial separatism, New Zealand simply cannot afford this kind of luxury. 

What happened to the closed chequebook that Saint Helen talked about earlier this week? 

c Political Animal 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

VIDEO: TV ONE Minor Party Debate, 27 October 2008

Tonight's TV One minor party debate was a mish mash of political dinosaurs and hucksters vying for your vote and vying for support from either of the two major parties.

Some were clear about their choice for major party; the Greens, Anderton Peter Dunne and Rodney Hide, but others were less clear; Winston Peters and The Maori Party:

The ONE News Election 08 Kingmakers Debate, October 27 2008

Winston Peters VS Kiwis

I haven't revisited the Winston Peters payola saga, because quite frankly the amount of time and energy put into it has been wasted. 

Nothing anyone has done has been able to put Peters where he belongs. Behind the bars of a prison.

Most of us know he is a crook and wouldn't spit at him if his fancy taxpayer suit caught on fire but there are those that are so deluded and bitter with the world that they will vote for him in spite of us all. 

They have a right to be stupid.

The Serious Fraud Office failure to go after him for secret donations from the Vela Family and Sir Robert Jones is merely another gap in law that allows politician from all hues to get away with breaking such laws because of technicalities and time restricted legislation.

Peters is as guilty as they come, morally and legally and in another jurisdiction would be doing time with petty crims, rapists and murderers but our light fisted legal and justice system has let him off.

Forget that he also stole $158,000 of taxpayer money before the 2005 Election and has so far refused to pay it back. Forget that he took money from a billionaire, lied about it in tandem with his lawyer, then continued to lie to try and squirm his way out.

Forget that money paid to him from the Velas was reciprocated by Peters pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into the racing industry. Forget also that he lied about the Sir Robert Jones donation, how much it was and who solicited it.

Forget that he continues to lie to this day about every part of his political funding process.

Just remember before you vote this November 8.

Winston Peters has lied, cheated and bought his way through 30 years of his Parliamentary career and while that might be a perfect CV for a politician he simply should have no place in politics representing New Zealanders.

c Political Animal 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cullen has put NZ financial sytem in grave danger

Michael Cullen's belated move last week to guarantee deposits in the wake of a major world credit meltdown is his dumbest move ever as Finance Minister in 9 years and puts our banking and financial system at massive risk.

We needed a deposit guarantee system but it needed to be properly put together, with guarantees for interbank lending, which is the real crux of the credit meltdown, and a guarantee of deposits at our stable banks, not finance companies, which have a much higher risk and offer higher interest rates than banks.

In the haphazard way in which it the deposit guarantee has been constructed, it has already distorted various financial markets and had a run on money coming from banks, managed funds, the New Zealand stockmarket and proceeds from recent house sales and going towards risky and dodgy finance companies.

And why wouldn't you put your money into finance companies?

They now have the same guarantees as the major banks but with higher returns !

Cullen has now produced a scenario that the banks, which were receiving money from finance companies because they were too risky and most of them dodgy, are now unfairly put at risk themselves as depositors money is removed from their vaults to go to higher return finance companies.

This is a nightmare unfolding and in effect puts the major banks at a huge disadvantage. They would have been more financially sound had Cullen done nothing.

Unfortunately Michael Cullen can do little to ameliorate the problem because hundreds of millions of dollars have already been transferred to finance companies and it wouldn't now be prudent to backtrack, practically and of course for himself and Labour would be politically disastrous.

What he could easily do now, since he has interfered already, is direct finance companies to limit their future interest rates and therefore stem the run on banks.

Unfortunately we have a man who is pig headed, does things politically instead of for practical reasons, is way out of his depth and experience and far too slow to react.

The man the he criticises, far from being an opportunist, is able to make the sorts of decisions that Cullen should have made; quickly, timely and with far more experience and accuracy.

As a currency trader, timing for John Key was crucial; not months, not weeks, not days, not hours, not minutes but seconds separated him from making a bad or a good decision.

And he was working in Trillions of dollars everyday, so today's economic climate is comparably like a walk in the park.

We all know how good he was at his job.

Cullen is not yesterdays man, he simply was never up to the job of Finance Minister in the first place and needs to fall on the sharp corners of his faux gold edged framed Doctorate of History degree before he ruins us financially.

POLL: TV One Colmar Brunton Poll, 26 October 2008

According to the latest TV  ONE News Colmar Brunton poll for 26 October 2008, National have slipped two points.

A mini trend that has closed the gap from more than 20 points to 12 has happened over the last few polls.

The previous year-long plus trend was a large National lead:

The poll released on Sunday shows National without an absolute majority for the first time in a year.

The last poll a week ago showed National 14 points ahead of Labour, but this has now narrowed to 12 points.

The National Party has dropped back three points, down to 47%. Labour has also dropped back by one point, now on 35%. Labour's friends, the Green Party have bounced back, up to 8%. Meanwhile, New Zealand First is on 3%, edging closer to the magic 5% threshold.

The Maori Party is sitting on 2.8%, however, their focus is on the electorate seats, so they will not be too concerned with the low party vote. The Act Party is still just above 2%.

Under those numbers, National has 59 seats in parliament and would need the three Act seats to get a majority of 62. UnitedFuture has one seat and would line up with National.

In opposition, Labour has 44 seats, the Greens have 10 and the Progessives one seat.

The Maori Party has four seats, but will not yet say who they will side with, and with these numbers, New Zealand First is out of parliament.

Key is still the preferred choice for Prime Minister on 38% but the race has closed right up. Clark is now breathing down Key's neck on 37%, up by three points. 


Polls were expected to close as the election drew nearer but National is still expected to win the majority of seats and votes on election night.

Colmar Brunton Polls

Friday, October 24, 2008

POLL: Roy Morgan Poll, 24 October 2008

The Latest Roy Morgan Poll for October 24 2008 shows a comfortable lead for National and is in stark contrast to the October 10 Roy Morgan poll which showed Labour and National as close as 4.5%.

It is hard to see how  polling could vary by such a large amount over just a week without questioning the validity of last weeks poll which showed a break in the year long trend that today's poll re-confirms.

Federal Poll : Finding No. 4330 : This latest Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 743 electors from October 6-19, 2008. : October 24, 2008

In mid October 2008 with the “World Financial Crisis” worsening the New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National Party support at 43% (up 2.5%), a healthy lead over the Labour Party 32% (down 5.5%). If the Election were held this weekend the National Party would form Government with the help of a minor party.

Support for the Greens 11.5% (up 2.5%) is at its highest level since the last election, while support for NZ First is 4.5% (up 0.5%), ACT NZ 3.5% (unchanged), the Maori Party 2.5% (up 0.5%), Progressive Party 0.5% (down 0.5%), United Future 0.5% (down 0.5%) and Others and Independents 2% (up 0.5%).

The Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Rating (97.0 points, down 5.3 points) has dropped sharply, falling back below 100 after only a few weeks in ‘positive territory’. Only 23% of New Zealanders expect New Zealand as a whole to have good times economically over the next 12 months.
Full article.

There will be another couple of polls this weekend, from Fairfax Nielson and Colmar Brunton and one last round of polls from the 4 main pollsters next week before an embargo the week of the election.

c Political Animal 2008

Friday Funny

Who would Helen Clark turn straight for?

POLL: NZ Herald Digipoll, October 24 2008

The latest New Zealand Herald Digipoll for October 24 2008 shows National still with a commanding lead ahead of Labour.  This continues the trend of big leads for National and contrast yesterdays TNS poll:

If the poll results were translated into votes, National could govern alone with 50.4 per cent of decided voters and 63 seats.

Prime Minister and Labour leader Helen Clark has improved in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, by 2.3 points, putting her fractionally ahead of National leader John Key, 45.4 per cent to 44.8 per cent. It is the first time she has been ahead since January.

Labour's 37 per cent poll figure means it would be able to muster 54 seats with the Progressives and the Greens.

The Maori Party, with four seats, would not hold the balance of power. Nor would it do so if it won all seven Maori seats but stayed on its 2.4 per cent poll rating in the party vote.

NZ Herald

It looks likely that National party will govern alone based on today's polling.

Herald Digipolls

c Political Animal 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Long-term portfolio view wins the investing battle

Carrying on from last weeks look at my Portfolio and how it is getting a pasting, I have to make a point to those that have poked their ignorant little tongues at my propensity to invest in companies for the long-term.

As many who follow the Share Investor Blog might know I follow Warren Buffett's approach to investing as much as I can; buy stocks at a price that I consider value for the long-term, in good companies that have a competitive advantage, a good track record, excellent prospects for growth and good dividends.

The bulk of my portfolio is around 6 years old, but I have added some more stocks with additional money and dividend income.

My portfolio is currently up by around 7% when tax credits are included and in my not so humble opinion, considering the pasting global stockmarkets have been getting over the last year and especially in the last month a stockmarket meltdown rivaling the 1987 crash and yet my portfolio has performed extremely well.

This is principally because I have taken a long-term view to my stockmarket investing, received healthy dividends, re-invested most of them and haven't sold and because of that it has put the portfolio in good stead during the inevitable current downturn.

Of course, short-term things could get worse but long-term you will wish you didn't sell up because I will still be there when you start buying again.

Recent Share Investor Reading

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Bear Market Investing Strategies (Wiley Trading)
Bear Market Investing Strategies (Wiley Trading) by Harry D. Schultz
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Usually ships in 24 hours

c Share Investor 2008

Deluded media beat-up denies public the truth

The media attention to Lockwood Smith's comments 2 days ago about immigrants and their abilities or otherwise to do particular jobs or the inability to toilet themselves without coaching were interesting.

It wasn't the comments that were controversial in any way whatsoever because certain races do have particular physical or mental traits that make them good at one thing and crap at another. Lockwood Smith was simply conveying the truth, from information passed on by employers who have experience with immigrant workers.

The controversy really lies at the reaction from the politically correct media, lefty politicians and John Key's over the top reaction to publicly censor Smith for no particular reason other than he might have pissed a few Wellington egg heads off, and to get the snivelling media off his back.

For Smith to have to apologise to professional racist Taniana Turia is really scraping the barrel of filth.

One might also like to point out that the All Blacks have mostly Island and Maori Boys, the Tall Blacks have mostly tall players, most sprinters and the majority of NBA players are black, jockeys are small and light and mostly white and the New Zealand Woman's netball team is, well, fully comprised of women.

All participants in these sports are picked because of their particular abilities and certainly black athletes prevail in sports that require strength, speed, and brute force.

Nothing racist about picking people by ability in this way at all, or to point it out, like Lockwood Smith did, that this is the case.

To vilify an individual in this way by using PC group speak such as "racist" and "bigot" is merely giving way to an intellectually bankrupt idea that those that speak the loudest, with inappropriate labeling and have the opportunity to do so-such as the media and barking mad socialists like Helen Clark-are right simply because someone might be "offended" by the truth.

What this does is stifle free and open speech and quite simply removes us several factors away from truth and therefore democracy.

Interesting that David Cunliffe, who apparently has a propensity to try and eradicate racism from the face of the earth had a go at the Asian accent Benny Hill Style in 2005 when he mocked Pansy Wong's  in Parliament but little was made of it by the mainstream media.

Go figure.


POLL: TV3 TNS Poll, 23 October 2008

The latest TV3 TNS political poll for October 23 still shows a clear lead for the National Party:

National is steady on 45.1 percent, and Labour actually drops to 37.4 percent. But the Greens are on 8.8 percent, and can be added to Labour's total.

New Zealand First has crept up to 3.5 percent, so Winston Peters cannot be ruled out making a return to Parliament. National leader John Key will be sweating - remember he has ruled working with Peters out.

The Maori Party is on 2.3 percent, but they are expected to win six, or perhaps even all seven Maori seats. ACT is on 1.7 percent, with just two MPs.

Peter Dunne's United Future is pretty unpopular, polling at 0.2 percent, as were the Progressives, on 0.1.

On this poll, Parliament would overhang to 123 seats. National would have 57 seats, ACT two, and United Future one – a total of 60 seats, and not enough to govern. In opposition Labour has 47 seats, the Greens 11 and the Progressives one – a total of 59, also not enough to govern.

The TNS poll is one of 4 different political polls done in New Zealand and the most inaccurate of the 4.

Other polls have shown a much larger lead for national and have consistently done so for almost 2 years.

c Political Animal 2008

Leaving the nest

The latest stats for immigration of Kiwis to Oz is a record number, no surprise there, those that have money, prospects, ambition and are sick to death with government interference in their lives, to the extent now they want regulate shower times, are leaving. Sure it is the easy way out, why not stay and fight?

Well, it is increasingly getting difficult to stay because of the heavy burden that Labour have laid on them. 

What is clear is that the 47, 200 New Zealanders leaving will just be the tip of the iceberg should Labour get re-elected come Novemeber 8:

Figures published by Statistics New Zealand yesterday show about 47,200 people left New Zealand for Australia on a permanent or long-term basis during the year to September. About 13,200 came the other way.

That produced a net outflow of 33,900 people from NZ to Australia - the highest since records were first compiled in 1978.

The previous peak was 33,700 in January 1989.

NZ Herald

I personally will be leaving to go somewhere(I can hear a collective cheer from some) either Dallas or somewhere in Australia and will take my wife, money and hard-working taxpaying arse with me because the future would be bleak with another Marxist, socialist Labour Government.

We can look forward to more of the same bullshit. More welfare, more Government interfering, more mis-managing of the economy, more State directed dependence, crumbling government services and yes, shorter showers.

Part of me wants to see Labour returned to power so they can completely stuff up the possibility of being re-elected for a generation but I care too much about this country to see that happen.

It is going to be tough going for any government over the next 5 or six years because of the economic direness that Labour have managed us into but the coming tough times will have John Key in his element. Finance and economics is his specialty.

To have the Helen and Mikey show again is going to be fantastic for Air New Zealand and for those leaving on their planes to Australia, they will do well, because the best people are leaving and most will not come back.

The record numbers presently leaving will look small in proportion to those if a Labour government is re-elected.

Vote wisely this election.

c Political Animal 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shareholders should look for companies with fiscal disaster plans

One thing to consider for shareholders with stocks in New Zealand listed companies is managements planning for and reaction to the current credit crises and its associated recession-the one we are currently experiencing is the work of Michael Cullen, New Zealands Finance Minister.

The current recession is going to get worse because of the downturn in the global economy and that is clearly going to affect business in this country and our business leaders, CEOs and directors are going to be soundly tested over the next couple of years as they try to manage their businesses through a recession that could be worse than the one in the 1970s if not managed properly and may very well last longer.

How well have our CEOs prepared for this?

The recession in New Zealand has been indicated by the economic numbers for more than 6 months, so as shareholders we should expect that prudent managers have put the necessary groundwork into a business plan that will get them through the hard years coming.

What plans should they have made?

Well, clearly cutting any unnecessary costs first would be a priority, but there are a number of other things that could and should still be done and you should do some thorough research into our NZX listed companies above and beyond the normal facts and figures one looks at. How management have spent their shareholder dollars in the past and whether they even have plans to get them through a recession are a couple of good points to start on.

Pay down that outstanding debt as much as possible and cut back dividends (I know, that is hard to say) to shareholders and use that to pay down debt in the future-interest rates are set to rise and the terms of lending and the ability to borrow will be tougher.

Cull company middle management as much as possible, little is done by middle management anyway so they wont be missed and the company team will be able to communicate better and more efficiently without them.

Forgo massive directors fee price hikes. Now isn't the time for a pay rise and the next reporting season in February isn't likely to make shareholders think you deserved a rise anyway.

On average, of the 18 odd companies that I have shares in, directors are asking for around 25% more than last year. They don't deserve that much based on the August reporting season, let alone next years results.

Contact Energy for example are asking for 100% more in directors fees! I know, its more over the top than a pregnant Dolly Parton.

Re-visit contracts with suppliers and negotiate lower prices for future contracts where possible. The current economic climate will mean that some companies will do better deals just to do business-hopefully not the one that you own shares in though.

Put off non-core related capital spending-those company Commodores will last another few years more and image isn't everything if it means there is no company left because you just bought or leased 50 spanking new Toyota Prius'.

Good management will be cost conscious even at the best of economic times and that is clearly the best preparation for the tough times.

Some Kiwi listed companies that have done this well are Mainfreight, Freightways, Michael Hill International and Hallenstein Glasson.

Companies that have done this poorly include Sky City Entertainment, Auckland International Airport ,The Warehouse and Contact Energy.

I am a little annoyed that along with the vast amount of shareholder correspondence that we have all received this reporting season, scant column inches have been devoted to mapping out a plan for individual companies and how they will deal with a long economic downturn.

Yes, it would be nice to know our companies have a plan.

Good fiscal management should be a matter of course for all companies, countries, finance Ministers and individuals because living beyond ones means can get one into trouble and planning before a downturn hits can be crucial for company survival.

But even as we continue our way through the recession continued financial prudence is needed, even by those who have already prepared.

For those who haven't?

Well, some are definitely going to fail and that is just the way it should be.

Disclosure: I own Mainfreight, The Warehouse, Michael Hill, Freightways, Sky City, Auckland Airport and Hallenstein shares.

c Share Investor 2008

Labour's taxpayer funded election supported by their Electoral Finance Act

In 2005 Labour stole over $800,000 of your money to print pledge cards to buy the election that year and when taken to task decided to change the law retrospectively to make what they did legal.

December 2007 the Electoral Finance Act was passed by Labour and its lap dogs in Parliament.

The law was sloppy, badly drafted, contradictory, anti free speech, impossible to use clearly and favoured the incumbent government in an election year, in terms of election funding and right to speak freely.

Less than 3 weeks before the 2008 election and it is 2005 all over again, except this time the passing of the EFA means that what was illegal in 2005 is now legal.

The contentious issue in 2008 is Labour's "information kit for the over-60s", a 50 page volume (it ain't a pamphlet as Labour call it) that has cost taxpayers more than $60,000 when you include postage and other costs and has gone out to 64,000 oldies.

My argument here isn't about the fact of whether or not it is electioneering at taxpayer expense because it clearly is, what is in question is the passing of the EFA by Labour to make election advertising at taxpayer expense such as this legitimate.

The "information kit" was designed by Labour to circumvent statutes in their law that would otherwise deem it advertising and thus make the cost of it come back on the Labour Party not the taxpayer.

It is also clear that the part of the EFA that pertains to Labours ability to circumvent its own law is the only part of the act that is clear otherwise the Electoral Commission wouldn't have given the document their approval-even though they have previously said that the EFA was hard to define, impossible to interpret clearly and highly contradictory.

A cynical ploy to get around previous laws and allow Labour to do what they did in 2005?

You bet ya.

Not only did it make spending by legitimate third parties like the Brethren illegal unless they went through the expense and electoral red tape of registering themselves as a third party, in effect it made it OK to steal taxpayer funds to run your election campaign but for a willing individual or group it becomes very difficult.

Once again mainstream media is found wanting when it comes to questioning the Labour Party over what is now a "mis-use" of taxpayer funds and not the illegal act that it was in 2005, to persuade over 60s voters to vote for labour but in 2005 a legitimate organisation, the Brethren and the National were run over the coals for doing the same thing, except it was done willingly with private money, not hard earned taxpayer dosh.

It seems my reasons for protesting twice over the last year have been vindicated and I can only shake my head in disbelief as we roll hopelessly toward a Mugabe like dictatorship.