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Peter Wilson: Labour Gets A By-Election Boost

Peter Wilson: Labour Gets A By-Election Boost
Labour was always going to win Mt Albert and National had everything going against it, but David Shearer's runaway win on Saturday was still a big boost for Phil Goff and his opposition MPs.

Chris Ford: British National Party Win In European Poll Shows How Fragile Democracy Is

Last week marked the first time that the British National Party (BNP) has made significant gains in any nationwide UK election since its founding in 1982.

Chris Ford: End To Free Local Calling A Real Threat

Labour's assertions that the Government could let Telecom charge for local phone calls could represent a real threat if a cabinet paper tabled by Bill English is adopted as policy.

Chris Ford: Banks Need To Be Nationalised To Stop Them Gouging Us!

Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee yesterday released a report accusing the banking sector of gouging at the expense of ordinary customers like you and me at a time of global recession.

Chris Ford: UK Labour Government Heading For Landslide Defeat

Today, as Gordon Brown awakes in 10 Downing Street, he must be thinking of why he took on the job of British Prime Minister just on two years ago. Brown's head must be spinning and the thought must be racing around in his mind that 'why was I so keen to do it in the first place?'

Chris Ford: David Bain - The Right Verdict But What Of Innocent Others?

As I write this, a series of five not guilty verdicts has just tonight been handed down in the David Bain murder trial. This ends one of the most contentious criminal cases in New Zealand history with only the Arthur Allan Thomas case providing a precedent in this regard.

Chris Ford: The Tragedy Of Tiananmen Twenty Years On

Twenty years ago yesterday, tanks, troops and guns snuffed out the biggest movement for mass democracy on mainland China that there has ever been. This has had tragic consequences for China.

Chris Ford: Richard Worth Has Gone - Some Questions For John Key

Richard Worth is the first casualty of the John Key National Government and this only eight months after its election.

Chris Ford: I Was About 60% Right On Budget Predictions

Yes, I am back to assess my performance in terms of the predictions made prior to last Thursday's first Budget by Bill English. To be honest, I was evidently wrong on some of my predictions but generally right on 60% of them.

My main predictions for last Thursday were:

Peter Wilson: For Bill English, This Budget Was The Easy One

When a new government takes office and decides remedial economic action is needed, strategy usually focuses on getting it out of the way as quickly as possible.

Chris Ford: An Open Letter to Metiria Turei

Dear Metiria,

No doubt you would have my congratulatory message on your Facebook wall this past weekend. Again, well done and you are the first person from my own generation (the 70's generation) to lead a parliamentary political party in this country.

Chris Ford: Twenty Years On.....NewLabour Remembered

This coming week will feature a number of pertinent twenty year anniversaries that fell around Queen's Birthday weekend 1989. One was the tragic Tianamen Square massacre in Beijing where the increasingly right-wing rulers of so-called 'Communist' China sent the tanks out to quell popular protest.

Chris Ford: John and Bill Head For A Fight

This week Bill English put this country on a tough Budget driven diet of restricted spending, no tax cuts and minimal increases in social spending. All of this came at a time when John Key and Bill English differed over the objectives of the budget.

Peter Wilson: Big City, Big Problem. Auckland's Future Tests The Government

The Mt Albert by-election and Melissa Lee's serial blunders will soon be forgotten, so will Christine Rankin if she does as she's been told and keeps her head down.

Chris Ford: Watch Out For Thursday's 'Dark Grey' Budget

This week's budget from Finance Minister Bill English has already been labelled the most important budget since Roger Douglas brought down his first Rogernomics budget in 1984.

Chris Ford: The Week of The Pig

It's truly been a week for pigs, both of the genuine swine variety and of the human political one.

Chris Ford: Gerry Brownlee Should Make Power Companies Cough Up!

This week's Commerce Commission report into power company price fixing arrangements simply verified something that we knew all about as consumers but which the power companies have been denying to us all along - that they have been fleecing us to the tune of $4.3 billion over the last seven years (a

Peter Wilson: Nightmare In Mt Albert: Melissa Lee's Hospital Pass

Peter Wilson: Nightmare In Mt Albert: Melissa Lee's Hospital Pass
National's Mt Albert candidate faces circumstances so perverse you could almost start thinking Helen Clark designed it that way.

Chris Ford: Christine Rankin - Here We Go Again!

I have very un-fond memories of Christine Rankin, the newly appointed Families Commission commissioner.

Chris Ford: The Campaign for Mount Albert - Nats Have Faltering Scud Missile In Melissa Lee

During the first Gulf War in 1991, the Iraqis under Saddam Hussein deployed their feared long range weapon, the Scud, against both Saudi Arabia and Israel - and it proved to be a faltering dud in that it didn't strike it's intended target most of the time.

Peter Wilson: Maori Party Co-Leaders Should Have Known Better

It seems Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia didn't pay much attention to the Richard Worth debacle.

Chris Ford: Obama Goes Over 100 Day Mark

President Barack Obama has now served in the Oval Office for just over 100 days as America's first African-American chief executive.

Chris Ford: Remembering Thatcherism

A little noticed anniversary passed largely un-noticed this past Sunday, that is the thirtieth anniversary of the election of Margaret Thatcher as UK Prime Minister.

Peter Wilson: Win or Lose, List MPs Are Safe In Mt Albert

In one of the more freakish aspects of MMP, two MPs are going to ask voters to send them to Parliament in the Mt Albert by-election.

There will be a third if National chooses Melissa Lee as its candidate.

Chris Ford: Swine Flu Might Test Nats Further

The possible outbreak (yet to be confirmed) of swine flu in a number of Rangitoto College and Northcote College students and teaching staff returning from Mexico and other parts of Central America probably marks the second serious test of the National Government's ability to manage a crisis situatio

Peter Wilson: Bill English - Man On A Tightrope

Peter Wilson: Bill English - Man On A Tightrope
Bill English is writing the bleakest budget for decades, and one of the most difficult. On May 28 the finance minister will explain how he is going to pull New Zealand out of recession and keep government debt under control.

Chris Ford: Tony Veitch Case Shows Gender and Class Imbalances

The Tony Veitch affair, it is true, has been played out too much by our news media. I admit that my writing a column on this issue will only contribute to this media frenzy in some small way.

Chris Ford: Time To Deal With Fiji's Thugocracy

The time has come to deal firmly with Fiji's thugocracy following Colonel Frank Bainimarama's Good Friday auto coup. The moves to abolish the constitution and abrogate civil liberties are the most alarming developments in Fiji's short, but turmultuous, coup-driven history.

Peter Wilson: John Key's Expanding Universe

Peter Wilson: John Key's Expanding Universe
With the exception of the Progressive Party, which is welded to Labour in government or opposition, John Key has struck deals with all the minor parties in Parliament. National's agreements now cover ACT, the Maori Party, United Future and the Greens.

Chris Ford: Greens Taking Risk In Working With Nats

The announcement that the National Party and the Greens are to work together on formulating a new energy strategy and home insulation scheme has probably been in the pipeline for some time.

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