helen clark

A scandal can be distinguished from a controversy. Immigration policy became controversial in the 90s, the foreshore and seabed in the 2000s. Even though there were bungles, and offensive views and policies were aired, the underlying issue was always sharp disagreement over core values and policies.

In a scandal, the underlying issue is wrong-doing.

Except when it’s a 'Kinsley gaffe', named after the first political botanist to identify this species in the wild. In these cases, the scandal occurs when a politician says something that is true but they shouldn’t have said, rather than does something wrong.

The Greens were getting ahead of themselves with their offer to Labour to campaign as a coalition government in waiting, and Labour was right to reject the offer.

Winston’s right. When a party publicly offers to collaborate with another party and there’s no agreement behind the scenes, that’s not a friendly gesture - that’s an attack.

The three candidates for Labour Party leadership are all strong. A voter explains his choice

Agonising about how I’m going to vote is a novel experience for me.

I grew up a tribal Labour voter, “rusted-on” as they say, thanks to my mum, who suffered as the daughter of a deserted wife in the Great Depression and whose situation was vastly improved by the election of the Savage Labour Government in 1935.

Russel Norman dared to (gasp!) compare John Key's approach to politics with that of Robert Muldoon! Have you ever heard anything so outrageous (since the exact same comparison was made in relation to Helen Clark)? 

Russel Norman's speech to the Green Party's AGM in the weekend caused a bit of a splash - not so much for what he said, but how he said it.

John Key opened Pandora’s Box when he revealed that Australia had considered using its navy to shepherd a boatload of asylum seekers to New Zealand, but nobody seems to want to look inside. It isn’t a pretty sight.

It isn’t surprising that the people-smugglers and asylum seekers intercepted by the Australian Navy say they’re really heading for New Zealand. Anywhere other than Australia’s off-shore “processing “ centres on Nauru or Manas Island would be a sound choice.