Monday, January 7, 2019


Have to say one of the few 'left' blogs I read is Chris Trotter's Bowalley Road.    Many see him as the conscience of socialism in New Zealand.   His contributions are thoughtful and thought provoking even though I disagree with many of them. 

The latest post by Chris has him postulating his wet dream scenario under which Trump resigns the Presidency to be replaced by Vice President Mike Pence who suffers a heart attack to be replaced in turn by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, thus becoming the first US female President.

Leaving aside that rather crass comment about heart attacks what Chris is suggesting has the potential to destroy democracy in that country.  Under the Constitution and if a President resigns the Vice President, on assuming the presidency, gets to nominate a new Vice President.  His choice is subject to confirmation by the Congress (House and Senate).     Were the House (controlled by the Democrats) to block the nomination and with no Vice President in place Pelosi would indeed become President were Pence to become incapacitated.   The Republicans would see this as a coup d'etat by stealth ... electoral/political mayhem would ensue.    The fabric of society would be ripped asunder. 

Chris also runs the scenario that were Judith Collins to become leader of the National Party this would result in National voters defecting to the 'New Conservatives' (currently registering zero in the polls) and to NZ First with Labour and the Greens together managing to garner 60% of the vote.

FFS, Collins supposedly represents the conservative wing of the National Party.   She would take votes from the right rather than lose them while the New Conservatives, so called, are nothing more than the kooky remnants of Colin Craig's mob.    As for NZ First and they have become alienated from much of their voter base having walked away from their promises on key issues.    Allied to that are the internal rumblings within the NZ First caucus and the desire of WRP to promote his Deputy, Fletcher Tabuteau, into cabinet.   That could only come at the expense of one of the three other NZ First Ministers ... the word is that 'Medals' Mark is not a particularly happy chappy these days.    Bottom line ... NZ First has very little appeal to those occupying the political centre ground.

History tells us that it is the minor players in a coalition government that tend to suffer splits (last time it was the Maori Party) ... not the opposition.     What is far more likely here is that moderate elements of the Green Party demographic, alienated by the Green's increasingly radical co-leader, fold their tent and establish a new environmentally focused 'New Green Party'.   That in my view at beats Chris Trotter's wet dream scenario hands down.

Hate to say this but the summer heat has got to Chris (along with the 'Mary Jane' laced Kool aid). 



Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes Vet. Chris Trotter usually is relatively sane and a good 'read.' He's allowed to get one wrong, now and again.

Who is there on the conservative side of politics with the same intuitive grasp of the political winds? I used to enjoy reading Dr Michael Bassett but I haven't seen anything from him for some time.

David said...

Leaving aside that rather crass comment about heart attacks what Chris is suggesting has the potential to destroy democracy in that country.

The USA is not a democracy, it is a republic. You will hear Americans say that over and over again.

In what democracy do those who have been shown the door at an election get a further 3 months in government to throw their toys out of the cot?

The Veteran said...

David ... not sure the relevance of your comment to this post. Surely you're not arguing that republics can't be democratic. One thing for sure ... in the US elections are mandated by law to take place every two years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Many would argue this is superior to the Westminster system under which the Prime Minister can call an election anytime and on a date politically convenient to the Party in power.

Johno said...

A republic like the USA is a form of democracy, David. Look it up.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


David hasn't got time to look it up. Too busy reading the Bible.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

This is a very interesting statement in today's Herald about Peter Thiel.....a must read.

"Drury acknowledges a closer examination of the National Party’s platform would likely see them placed on the left wing of the Democratic Party, but he says Thiel was more interested in the general direction the country seemed to be going."

It is something I have mentioned before when Veteran tries to draw comparisons with the US Democratic party and our own Labour party. Effectively there is no comparison.

The granting of citizenship to Thiel makes our wayward Czech look like very small beer indeed.

The Veteran said...

Thank you Egbut for running interference on my post. I guess when you have nothing to offer on the points I was making that becomes an option ... not appreciated.

Dury can say what he likes but I think he was indulging in hyperbole to make a point. The National Party is a broad church and while I agree that some in its liberal wing could fit in the Democrat Party is equally true that some of the 'blue collar' support Labour enjoys could find a home in the Republican Party ... so what?

As for Peter Thiel and you've lost the plot in saying a venture capitalist with a record of giving away millions via the Thiel Foundation (including $1 million to the casualties of the Christchurch earthquake) is to be compared in any way shape or form to a convicted low life drug dealer with political connections ... I repeat, you've lost the plot.

pdm said...

Adolf - Bassett was a regular with Leighton Smith but I guess he will disappear from the airwaves now Leighton has retired. Cannot imagine Kerre McIver going anywhere near him for comment although Larry Williams may now utilise of him.

I too regularly read Trotter and also enjoy the points of view of Josie Paganni who is another of the more rational lefties.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... p.s. to my earlier comment. Thank you for keeping the Sroubek affair alive.
Spectacular own goal.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Veteran ...I have no views on Trotters opinions, I don't go there. I was under the impression the subject was US politics...forgive me if I got that wrong but also forgive me in suggesting you little speech was political in that it said absolutely nothing except that comparing chalk and cheese is acceptable.

Now lets look at another venture capitalist who donated large amounts to charity, not to mention ex National MP's bank accounts.....Kim Dotcom. Citizenship in much the same way except he had the intention to follow on...then it all fell apart.

It is precisely the reason that Sroubek is so low level and mundane and Theil due to his extraordinary wealth and political connections that I make the comparison. Read the full story in the Herald then come to the blog and say "Yup..That's all OK".

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... again, you attempt to smear Theil by comparing him to a convicted criminal who (1) is facing extradition to the US on charges of copyright fraud, money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud and (2) attempted to buy an election (just like Shane Jones).

But Thiel is a rick prick so he's fair game to those on the left who think success is a dirty word.

But again, thank you for mentioning Sroubek yet again in your post. Clearly you haven't caught up with the meme from Frazer House. Sroubek is a non person who is to be treated as such.

Noel said...

"The USA is not a democracy",
David last year on the democracy index the US dropped into the "Flawed Democracy" classification. Some way to go to be a banana republic but hey anything's possible.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

David seems not to have heard of a 'democratic republic.'

Meanwhile Legbut desperately tries to convince himself the matter of supplying drugs to the upper echelons of the Labour Party is 'low level and mundane.' Well, I guess Legbut would know all about that.

The poor bugger even had to dredge up an 'ex National MP.'

If he went looking for dirty deeds in Labour he would find all he wanted in their current crop of MPs.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... along with 'La Belle France' where our resident Lord hangs out.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

I really don't care what those on the left think Veteran. Your reply has no context as Trump is successful at what he does and yes it is dirty word given the number of ordinary folk he has bilked out of money with his get rich schemes. Theil is a fraudster by virtue of ducking out of his residency requirements......if you want to know what sort of man NZ has tied itself to just Google Peter Theil dirty washing.

Given a dinner invitation by Dotcom and Theil Dotty wins every time..he sounds like fun.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... suggest you think carefully before using the word 'fraudster'. That term could be considered actionable. Thiel was granted citizenship under the 'exceptional circumstances' clause in Citizenship Act. By definition he could not be accused of fraud. Clearly the Minister took the view that his founding of a venture capital fund in Auckland; his investing of 7 million in two local companies and his donation of 1 million to the victims of the Canterbury earthquake allowed him to grant the waiver provided under clause 9(1)(c) of the Act. You can argue the Minister made a wrong decision but you can't label Thiel a fraudster. For myself I think NZL needs more Peter Thiels and less Karel Sroubeks.

As for Crimdotcon and we'll let justice take its course although if the Supreme Court upholds the decisions of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal the final say remains in the hands of the Minister and 'your' man holds a certain trump card ... he can always spill the beans on the Labour, Green and NZ First politicians who went begging at his door in the lead up to the 2014 election and what they wanted and what they promised. Dear old I-LG ... in between a rock and a hard place ... again.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Miss the point completely (deliberately?) many first world countries sell their inheritance to the first "rich prick", your words, to come along....Dotcom==Key Govt...Thiel==Key Govt. How many others slipped under the radar.

I think I will draw a line under this.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... again you are wrong. Many jurisdictions have waiver provisions. In the UK the Home Secretary may grant citizenship to anyone he thinks fit and, while the Home Office sets down official requirements for naturalisation, he can waive any of them. To my mind the good character test is paramount. On that basis it was clearly wrong to grant Crimdotcon citizenship just as much as it was wrong for the Minister to decide not to deport Sroubek (a decision since reversed).

Thiel meets the good character test in spades despite your attempt to smear him.

I agree this conversation is going nowhere.

Gerrit said...

Just a reminder for his lordship.

"Handley was granted citizenship by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin under the exceptional circumstances and public interest provision of the Citizenship Act."

I wonder why Handley was rushed citizenship and a lucrative state funded job by Ardern?

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Handley......Arrived age of four, educated at Victoria university spent most of his informative years in NZ...

Theil.....Tips up for five minutes gets citizenship, reneges on his stated aim of creating jobs with bucket loads of of money buys half of the Sth Island...then fucks off never to be seen again.

You are right try as I might I can't see the difference between the two.