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Assessing Labour’s frontbench

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, November 4th, 2012 - 166 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

The failure of Labour to fire isn’t limited to the leadership team. A big part of Labour’s front bench simply aren’t doing their job.

I had to ask a mate last week who the health spokesperson was. I actually couldn’t remember. It’s indicative of what a poor job these guys are doing.

They should be standing up for our well-being, giving the less well off a voice, and most of all putting the knife into this truly hideous Tory government. But most of them are floundering.

Comparing them to the winning Labour team in 1999 really hammers home how awful our guys today are. I pitted each of the frontbenchers today against their 1999 equivalents. Out of the 9, only 2 of the 2012 crop come out on top. And only 3 (Parker, Cunliffe, Cosgrove) have done the job they’ve been put there to do.

Leader
David Shearer (2012) vs Helen Clark (1999)

No contest. Whatsoever. None. Clark looked like the next Prime Minister. Shearer’s minders wouldn’t even let him front on Q+A this morning for fear he would be shown up by Norman.

Deputy Leader
Grant Robertson (2012) vs Michael Cullen (1999)

Grant is better than his leader. Without a doubt. But he just doesn’t shape up compared to Cullen. While Cullen gave excellent support to Clark, oversaw a brilliant house strategy, and kept on top of every portfolio he was ever given (finance, tertiary education, attorney-general, acc etc.) Robertson has failed to fire. His strategic genius has put Labour in the shit they’re in now, and Labour are virtually invisible in the Tertiary Education and Environment space.

Finance
David Parker (2012) vs Michael Cullen (1999)

Parker has been one of the better performers, but has a way to go before ranking with Cullen. Tough competition though. Not ruling out that he may equal Cullen as he continues to develop. Sharp as a knife, he is the party’s thinker and, while he comes across nerdy, his careful work is helping to build Labour’s economic credibility and undermine National’s. Very well liked and promising, and could do wonders if he learns the killer instinct.

Social Welfare
Jacinda Ardern (2012) vs Steve Maharey (1999)

Maharey was a brilliant advocate and really held the government to account. Remember Christine Rankin hiring a plane for WINZ executives to visit an exclusive Taupo resort? Maharey uncovered it. Ardern on the other hand has been invisible, even after being gifted the MSD privacy uncovered by Keith Ng the Greens outshone Labour. She does not deserve the portfolio nor being put at number 4. New Zealand’s most vulnerable deserve better.

Economic Development
David Cunliffe (2012) vs Pete Hodgson (1999)

This is a tough contest. Like Parker, Cunliffe is one of the front benches’ performers. Articulate and makes a lot of headlines. Clearly hates what the Tories are doing to the country, and it shows in his work. His ability to bring economics into human terms and speak with vision and passion nicely compliments Parker to form a strong economic team when it’s given the chance. While Pete was also an incredibly effective opposition MP and knew his stuff, Cunliffe edges Pete out in the public performance stakes. Cunliffe clearly still has leadership potential.

SOEs (Commerce)
Clayton Cosgrove (2012) vs Paul Swain (1999)

I liked Paul Swain. He was a well spoken and hearty politician. But Clayton is at least his equal and has the potential to be better. He’s done an excellent job as SOEs spokesperson and keeping Labour in the middle of the campaign. Been a bit quiet lately, but bound to turn up again soon. Clayton along with Parker and Cunliffe make up the only performers our front bench has.

Foreign Affairs
Phil Goff (2012) vs Phil Goff (1999)

I’d have to go with 1999 Phil. He’s got his whole career in front of him.

Health
Maryan Street (2012) vs Annette King (1999)

While now past her use-by date, 1999 Annette was a brilliant opposition politician. While no one even knows who Maryan Street is, in 1999 Annette was ripping Wyatt Creech to shreds. Barely a day went by without health making the news and Annette always stood strong against good healthcare for only the rich. Street on the other hand is awful. She must go.

Education
Nanaia Mahuta (2012) vs Trevor Mallard (1999)

Trevor used to be good. Bloody good. This really is no contest. Nanaia hasn’t performed. Putting out a press release after getting hints she might be dumped doesn’t cut it. She ought to be slaying Parata. To be fair she’d probably beat 2012 Mallard. But how hard is that? Yesterday, Mallard thought it would be a good idea for a senior Labour MP, him, to publicly attack the head of Treasury after he made comments widely welcomed as open-minded and turning away from dry neoliberalism. At least Nanaia keeps her mouth shut rather than putting her foot in it.

166 comments on “Assessing Labour’s frontbench”

  1. Georgy 1

    Shearer has to go.

    Cunliffe has to take oer leadership.

    Possibly Hipkins as Deputy – fresh, energetic, focused.

  2. Chalupa Batman 2

    Serious question here, Labour seems to have a history of undermining leaders for example Shearer, Goff, Moore etc etc

    Any idea why?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Ask Boag and Shipley, she wrote the script for undermining leaders.

    • weka 2.2

      “Serious question here”
       
      Ha, ha, nice one Chalupa.

    • Zetetic 2.3

      Shearer, goff and moore were all bad leaders. Labour leaders who are a hindrance to the left winning should be undermined

      • Chalupa Batman 2.3.1

        Goff just about won and wasn’t there only a seat or two in it for Moore?

        Had Labours MPs got in behind their leaders they both would have won (probably) so does that say anything about Labour?

    • mac1 2.4

      I suspect that the undermining of Shearer on the Standard lately is an example of the Left eating its own apart from Hooton, Fisiani and other obvious nactoids who have their own agenda. But I also suspect that many of these left-wing comment makers are not coming from the Labour camp but from other places on the Left, which does call into question their motivation for attacking Labour leadership.

      I have seen attacks which called Shearer corrupt, inept and bumbling or a pawn of others-but not all three at once- which does call into question at least two of those three calls.

      The problem with such attacks for someone like me who is very interested in the quick access back into power of a centre-left government, is that firstly it doesn’t help that cause but at the moment also, through the nature of anonymity of authors (which I do agree with btw), we don’t get a feel for the writer’s point of view such as I would have as a long time student of history in being able to take into account an author’s particular and personal bias.

      I understand, I think, where Hooton and Fisiani are coming from- but most of the left-leaning commentators are not clear as to whether, for example, they are currently labour voters, supporters or activists and where they sit within the Labour ‘family’ or whether they are old school marxist/ hard left people, or Greens of what ever persuasion as that is a pretty broad church as well.

      What I guess I am asking is whether Labour has an internal division being voiced here, or whether it is a left voice which is disappointed either with Labour itself, or with certain Labour politicians, or in competition with Labour for the Left vote.

      • karol 2.4.1

        Planty of the criticisms of Shearer are from Labour Party members.
         
        For myself – I have criticisms of the leadership team in Labour, and some in the Greens (not keen on the way it’s become all about Russel Norman.
         
        Saying what party people currently vote for is no guide.  For myself, I’m not tribally attached to Labour.  I vote for whichever party or candidate
        comes closest to my left wing views. 
         
        I voted Labour in the past, but stopped during the Clark years because I was unhappy with some of their policies – especially the Foreshore and Seabed issue.  Gave my party vote to Greens ever since.   I am unlikely to vote for them until they turn their backs on neoliberalism.  And I’ll stop voting Greens if they become more centrist and/or more neoliberal than Labour is now.
         
        Leaves only Mana after that.

        But right now the NZ left needs Labour to step up.

      • AmaKiwi 2.4.2

        For your information, I am a party member, active in my local LEC, and a serious contributor to the Labour Party (given my income bracket). I delivered my first campaign leaflets when I was 14. I’ve been doing it ever since.

        People vote for personalities. Shearer does NOT fire up a crowd. He’s making two speeches at this month’s Labour annual conference. I’ll be evaluating the audience reaction more than his (or Robertson’s) words.

        We need a vote winner. End of story.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Mr Valley. Nice work dude.

  4. Stephen Doyle 4

    I take your point Michael, but a more useful idea would have been to put them up against the current ministers. Although most of them would still be invisible. As for Shearer not being on Q&A this morning, he is not the party’s finance spokesman, Norman is.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      As for Shearer not being on Q&A this morning, he is not the party’s finance spokesman, Norman is.

      Gotta love it.

    • Zetetic 4.2

      It’s true that shearer isn’t finance spokesperson but irrelevant. He was invited. In case you missed it, half the interview was on coalition deals

  5. Selwyn 5

    Labour in 1999 had had three hard years after the 1996 loss of developing solution-based politics, especially in the social portfolio areas. Every spokesperson was hungry for success, exposing the then government’s failures, demonstrating how it impacted on real people, positioning to be true advocates for the thousands of negatively affected people, and demanding their solutions be implemented without haste. There was a true Cabinet in Waiting culture emanating from the party, and its leadership and economic thinking was well advanced and connecting to the trending mindset of the nation.

    Times have changed, but the red-green voting bloc is cementing as an alternative, especially in the Cunliffe, Parker, Norman camp. Add to this NZ First’s long tradition of front-footing concerns about this country’s current account deficit and we have an opposition bloc that is beginning to hit its stride. The National-led Government is boxed into arguing its status quo policies are adequate, where clearly even it’s manufacturing/export stakeholder groups disagree with the Finance Minister’s line.

    For my five cents work, Labour’s caucus needs to bite the bullet and resolve its leadership woes. A test of its resolve in this area would be David Cunliffe joined by David Parker in a leader/deputy leader run. Nania Mahuta was never going to do it for Cunliffe last year. And the current leader/deputy leader arrangement is not building that essential front-bench team that can convince a nation that they are sound, competent, in possession of policies that solve the real problems that face real New Zealanders. What is needed is a team that is obviously hungry for not just an election success, but to win every debate, every day, on every issue, and to present as capable of running the country not just for one term, but for three.

    The writer of this piece is correct, in 1999 Labour was connecting on all the right points. Even it’s second bench MPs were household names. Today’s Labour MPs have no time to wait, either they inject into their own performance the enthusiasm and skill shown by Cunliffe and Parker in the finance/economic roles – or they move out of the way so someone else can.

    Sorry about the long write, but it is as simple as that.

  6. Anne 6

    His ability to bring economics into human terms and speak with vision and passion nicely compliments Parker to form a strong economic team when it’s given the chance.

    Couldn’t agree more. The problem seems to be that the ABC club – or what remains of it – are so immersed in their jeolousy-based dislike of Cunliffe that they won’t give a Parker/Cunliffe economic team a chance.

    I fear this group still wield too much influence inside caucus and for as long as it continues, nothing much is going to improve.

    • PlanetOrphan 6.1

      Why can’t a Party have 2 leaders?

      • Chalupa Batman 6.1.1

        Naah that’d be a joke…

      • ak 6.1.2

        Akshilly, Planet, one inordinately perceptive and intelligent commenter on this very site suggested a year ago that a Shearer/Cunliffe co-leadership for a year followed by a popular (membership) vote right now would have a) kept the media enthralled, b) kept the Davids focussed, and c) avoided the sort of cancerous infighting that has sure as eggs festered and will not be expunged even if Cunners is elevated – unless and only unless, all who purport to support Labour and its ideals swear to unite totally behind whomever is elected leader and the entire parliamentary team, and hold any criticism from now right through until 2014.

        Could happen. But Hooters and the media blowfish, and gullibility on our part, will probably see that it doesn’t.

    • Olwyn 6.2

      For similar reasons, one must be cautious about being too condemnatory of front bench members who seem to be under-performing. If you are a spokesperson in an area such as welfare, health or education, it is very hard to be a vigorous one if the “top team,” whoever they are, have deemed it imprudent to make any concrete promises or reveal socialist leanings. It is all very well to condemn such people as “careerists” but they are under the obligations of collective responsibility, and must do the best they can within the given parameters.

      The big question for me is, who presently sets the Labour Party’s direction? It is clearly not the leader, who forms the “face” of a crypto-centrist direction, and it cannot solely be Trevor Mallard.

  7. PlanetOrphan 7

    “Killer Instinct” = Conviction of belief and solid thought behind it.
    They all should be the “Leaders” of their given portfolio …..

  8. Ad 8

    Let’s try this then:

    PM
    Key V Bolger. Key is stumbling and pulling the team down a bit now. But still very popular for doing far less than Shipley or Bolger. But needs another term to really challenge the Best Prime Minister ranks with any seriousness. And Bolger brought in MMP against his own political interests.
    Result: Bolger

    Finance
    English V Birch or Richardson. English Far more stable than Richardson, and has found that fine sweetspot polling balance between cutbacks and balancing the books. Birch seriously needed to step in after Ruthanasia, but she had the big MO after the BNZ debacle. But Birch got to make all the major moves behind the scene for decades in the Nat war room, from Think Big on.
    Result: Birch

    Foreign Affairs
    McCully V McKinnon. Rack it up: the UN Framework on Climate Change, ratified Kyoto, Major Pacific Forum moves. Versus the RWC sugar rush. No contest.
    Result: McKinnon

    Attorney General
    Doug Graham V Finlayson.
    Both have racked a slew of Treaty settlements. Can’t count Graham’s directorship debacle as it was later. Both patrician asses. But Graham broke the back of the big settlements, and delivered the Human Rights Act.
    Result: Graham

    Health.
    Creech V Ryall. Creech was seduced / crushed by Birch and Richardson, and made a mess of corporatising hospitals into CHE’s. Ryall has been the first minister ever to take health off the political radar, barring minor outbreaks.
    Result: Ryall.

    So far the oldies have it apart from Health.

  9. Ed 9

    At 2 above, the question was asked “Serious question here, Labour seems to have a history of undermining leaders for example Shearer, Goff, Moore etc etc ”

    One possibility is that it is easier to criticise your own for not doing precisely what you want than to criticise the government. The Left is very open with discussion of options, possibilities, and of advice. National supporters are not so vocal – “Deliver the money” seems to be enough. Certainly no Nat supporter would ever vilify Key as the left vilify Shearer . .

    Looking for the positive, the left is more inclined to be inclusive, and to seek consensus through discussion. Shearers style is to be more consultative, more ‘chairman of the board’, but that is tough to get through to media – but get through it must. National embrace “the leader is everything” line which is certainly easier for the press to handle – they love a presidential fight, particularly if it can be spun as being neck to neck. The price of National’s slide of popularity is greater criticism of Labour.

    In some cases, National have been politically very good – at papering over the cracks. But are “man for man the shtronger team”? I guess that will have to wait for a later post.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      In some cases, National have been politically very good – at papering over the cracks. But are “man for man the shtronger team”? I guess that will have to wait for a later post.

      My blue contact in a very wealthy part of Auckland says it has recently been made clear, from the top of the National Party hierarchy, that public dissent against the Government will result in loss of party membership. No if’s, no buts.

      • alex 9.1.1

        That would make sense, given the structure of the National Party. It exists to take and hold power at all costs, partly from a historical perspective to keep any sense of Socialism out and partly because they genuinely think that they are the smartest and best citizens, and should be in control accordingly. As a party dedicated to the status quo, why would they tolerate members rocking the boat?

  10. fisiani 10

    Oh Ye of little faith. Labour can still use the charisma and modesty of Cunliffe. The strategic genius of Grant (He polished up the handles) Robertson. The scalping savviness of Trevor Mallard. the withering oratory of Nanaia Mahuta and the eloquence of Parekura Horomia. With all this abundance of talent they can easily outshine Key, English, Joyce and Ryall

  11. Matthew Hooton 11

    Your analysis of the current Labour team is very similar to mine a month or so ago – see http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/labours-front-bench-report-card-mh-130218

    Although I have revised my view re Cunliffe a bit since then – see http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/will-grant-robertson-get-chop-lf-131298

    The reason for the revision was senior Labour sources calling me off the record about the initial report card and saying I was a month or two behind events.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      You’re always amusing when you try to bluff about your “contacts” in the left Matthew. “senior Labour sources”. Lol.

    • fender 11.2

      Hope Mike Williams is on RNZ to sweep your dribble into the gutter where it belongs this week, you may be able to bully Josie Pagani but Mike is able to cut you down as required.

      • hush minx 11.2.1

        Hey IB, i hear Trevor gets around all over the place…although they might have to reconsider using him in that ‘sources’ role as his credibility is not what it once was-as this post wisely points out!

    • @ Matthew Hooton,

      Since when did PR guys for right-wing parties become political analysts of left-wing parties?

      How come the media has degenerated so much since this government was voted in?

      Do you not see the importance of non-biassed information being imparted to the general public?

      Do you support this move of Government taking over the media and propagating biassed propaganda in the way it is occurring currently?

      What this “right-wing” Government is doing to the media seems like what fear-mongerers usually conjure in peoples’ minds to erroneously make them believe “socialist types” will do to the media.

    • Colonial Viper 11.4

      Matthew…your analysis was actually pretty much spot on…except for the invisible -3 penalty you gave Cunliffe (for being Cunliffe) of course, but glad to see that you acknowledged him as a top performer.

    • Saarbo 11.5

      Clearly Matthew Hooten is shit scared of David Cunliffe becoming leader of Labour. The fact is if Labour is led by an ex Boston Consulting Group Senior Consultant and Parker as Deputy (an ex Bio Tech entrepreneur), these two have the potential to persuade a large number of current National voters over to Labour. Particularly manufacturers in the export sector and other business people who are really struggling under Joyce’s do f%#* all strategy. Hooten is desperate to ensure Cunliffe doesn’t become leader of Labour, I’m always interested what strategy he is going to use next.

      • Rhinocrates 11.5.2

        Clearly Matthew Hooten is shit scared of David Cunliffe becoming leader of Labour.

        Yep, that’s obvious alright. The poor bastard just can’t help himself. It’s funny seeing fundamentally… ah, “average” people try to pretend that they’re cunning and subtle. I had an employer once who had a Ruby Wax costume and liked to pretend that she was witty (she wasn’t). I wonder if Hooters dresses up as Blackadder when he’s alone?

        That “reasonable” tone is just Hooters trying to build his brand as “respected commentator” by being mealy mouthed and link-whoring to his own work. Look at what he doesn’t say (any similar criticism of his masters), or where he comes out “on balance”.

        senior Labour sources calling me off the record

        Ooh! He’s so important! Important People talk to him, just like he was Woodward and Bernstein rolled into one! Golly!

        Or maybe he’s just hearing voices – they have medication for that you know. They’re also conveniently off the record I see, so he doesn’t have to substantiate his fantasies or lies.

        I really have no idea who he thinks he’s fooling. Himself, maybe. Possibly his clients.

        • blue leopard 11.5.2.1

          Well sadly, he maybe fooling New Zealanders who aren’t aware that he is simply a paid mouthpiece for wealthy right wing clients, people who mistake him the political analyst he is fraudulently posing as, although I guess a lot of people will see right through him, he’s not very subtle.

        • Bill 11.5.2.2

          I wonder if Hooters dresses up as Blackadder…

          Baldrick.

    • Matthew Hooton’s articles read like the made-up tales of fiction motivated by self interest that they are.

      Question:

      Matthew Hooton has no financial self interest that would conflict with him being a non-biassed voice in describing matters going on in the NZ political sphere.

      True or False?

      Hint: http://www.exceltium.com/where/index.html

      • Rhinocrates 11.6.1

        It’s all self-promotion… I’m not sure that he’s even trying to influence the soft left anymore, just his client base on the right who might want him as a shill.

        I wonder how comfortable he feels about Kathryn Ryan’s standard introduction of him as being “from the right” on Nine to Noon, because that’s just too obvious. He covets a brand as an “independent commentator” because that makes him more marketable as a spin doctor to the right.

        On the other hand, he might find himself appealing as an “enabler” like many shock jocks – that is, someone who says or dog-whistles things that people know aren’t really acceptable in civilised company, but want to hear someone else say first so that they can repeat it. He’s just a bit slicker than Leighton Smith or Cameron Slater, but selling himself to the same market and offering a more “respectable” veneer.

        Now, possibly Hooters, if he had the stamina (generally he doesn’t, being a drive-by shooter, mostly), might try to say that I seem “obsessed”, and he’d be right – I am. People like him are a cancer on democracy because democracy depends on an informed populace and as a spin doctor, he actively tries to poison the well of knowledge. Moreover he does it for personal gain.

        A persistent hatred of such slime is no flaw.

        • Rhinocrates 11.6.1.1

          By the way, if anyone still might think that Hooters is a halfway classy guy, check out this quote:

          http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2006/07/quote_of_the_week_2.html

          Yes folks, the death of a baby is just an opportunity for that sack of shit to try to score a cheap political point.

          Proud of your wit, your rhetoric Hooters? Your good taste? Does that combine the gravitas of Edward R. Murrow with the wit of Oscar Wilde? Personally, I think that it tends to undermine all that “reasonable, independent commentator” shit you’re peddling.

          • weka 11.6.1.1.1

            To save people the trip…

            “Ethical counselling from the Labour Party is like a parenting course from the Kahui family”

            - Matthew Hooton on Nine to Noon yesterday.

            That makes me feel sick.

          • blue leopard 11.6.1.1.2

            “People like him are a cancer on democracy because democracy depends on an informed populace and as a spin doctor, he actively tries to poison the well of knowledge. Moreover he does it for personal gain.” ~Rhinocrates
            ++1 Democracy depends on an informed populace, not a disinformed one :(

  12. ianmac 12

    Well done Michael Valley.
    When are we going to assess the value of National’s Front Bench?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Well, according to free market rules, let’s put them on TradeMe and see how much we can get to them. Free to a good home?

  13. gobsmacked 13

    It’s not just about talent and performance. It goes deeper than that … Motivation.

    Look at the 1999 team. Every single one of those MPs was (a) desperate to win the next election, and (b) hoping to serve at least two subsequent terms in government. (Which they did).

    Whatever differences they had (ideology, personality, etc), they had one common goal. And a similar time-frame ahead of them.

    Whereas today, there are those ready for one more term before retirement, and those ready for one more term in opposition before winning. They don’t work as a team because they have different goals.

    Politics isn’t complicated. People unite and work hard to win, when they really want to. Get a team who are hungry to win – and Heather Simpson to herd them! – and Labour would be transformed.

  14. kea 14

    I enjoyed reading Nick Hager speech at the Bruce Jesson Foundation annual lecture in Auckland in which he describes the changes in the NZ political scene.

    He describes the way politics in NZ has changed ..

    “Another legacy of those years is more insidious. When I became active in politics in my teens and twenties, many of the most active people around me were public servants, teachers, scientists: people who were well informed and motivated about public issues. They would finish their work as suitably neutral public servants or whatever and then go to a political meeting as a citizen. But this has changed. Today many public servants believe they are not allowed or that somehow it may hurt their job to be involved in politics. The public service code guarantees their rights as citizens, but other more or less subtle messages have discouraged or frightened most of them. It is the same with scientists and other professionals. Too many ordinary people also feel uncomfortable about sticking their heads up in politics, wondering if it might hurt their job or maybe stop them getting a visa when they travel overseas. None of this should be happening for people in a democratic country.

    The result has been a loss of people from democratic politics at exactly the same time when political activism by paid corporate spokespeople, lobbyists and PR people has never been so vigorous. These shifts naturally affect the types of people seen and heard most often in the news and politics, which in turn directly affects what happens and what is possible in politics. If a new social or economic policy is announced and most people who comment ridicule it, it is much less likely ever to be implemented. If it is welcomed and discussed positively, it it far more likely to happen. ”

    http://www.brucejesson.com/?p=394

    On that basis I would question the validity of comparing today’s MP’s with those of the past.

    Hang in there, times are changing.

  15. tamati 15

    David Clark would be great on the front bench. Tertiary Education or MOBI perhaps?

    Does anyone know what faction he’s aligned with?

    • alex 15.1

      I think your last sentence just hit the nail on the head as to why Labour of 2012 isn’t ready to take back the government.

      • hush minx 15.1.1

        My understanding is that he’s on the shearer side of the fence – but perhaps one of the Dunedin locals could fill us in?

      • hush minx 15.1.2

        I’ve heard he supported shearer(bought over via Grant) but there are a few Dunedinites who write and comment here who may be able to confirm?

  16. karol 16

    Where have all the women gone?  Labour is becoming as masculine-centred as National – maybe even more so?
     
    Partly this has to do with the decreas in numbers at last election.  But I also think the playing field has been shifted by NAct and to their benefit.  It’s all become about scoring king hits in the house and getting dramatic media attention (from pundits also impressed by the NAct approach: an approach of it’s a score if you get away with it, no matter how irrational or off target).
     
    Annette King has done solid work on housing.  I have seen Maryan Street talking live, during the last election campaign. She came across as knowledable, principled and with some heart.  I have seen a lot of Clare Curran’s stuff on public broadcasting – a campaign dear to my heart, and I’m glad she has been busy on that case.  Leanne Dalzielle, from where I’m sitting in Auckland, also seems to sterling work on Christchurch issues and brought stuff to the media & public’s attention that would have otherwise been swept aside.
     
    But most of all, Sue Moroney needs re-instatement to a more prominent position in the party. Deputy leader?  She’s an engaging and clued-up speaker, and did excellent work on education during the last parliamentary term.  She could carry the public with her.
     
    Jacinda Ardern is a disappointment. – too tied up with Team Robertson for her own good.
     
    The pushing aside of women, who tend to be strongly focused on social issues in favour of the macho business of economics, is also happening in the Greens.  The social issues is where the principles and heart of politics lie as far as I’m concerned.
     
    It’s not just Labour that’s lost its way.  It’s parties of the ‘left’ who are letting themselves get drawn into neoliberal rulz, as played by our unprincipled PM and his government.
     
    Wrong Way – go back!
     
     

    • weka 16.1

      Well said Karol.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        I wouldn’t agree that caucus is becoming “more masculine centred” as such. It simply looks to me that virtually every Labour MP’s public profile has diminished. And that as a whole, Labour has simply gone quiet on both economic, and social issues.

        The pushing aside of women, who tend to be strongly focused on social issues in favour of the macho business of economics, is also happening in the Greens.

        But who are you suggesting is doing the “pushing aside”? The Leader and Deputy are the only ones who might be able to do that in Labour.

        In general, the stake has to be put into the heart of neoliberalism. Right now. Because if it isn’t, Education and Health policy are simply going to be coping with the societal symptoms of social inequality and poverty for years to come.

        • karol 16.1.1.1

          But who are you suggesting is doing the “pushing aside”? The Leader and Deputy are the only ones who might be able to do that in Labour.
           
          Yes, that is where the blame should lie as the most immediate cause.  For trying to play it in the NAct terms.
           
          In general, the stake has to be put into the heart of neoliberalism.
           
          This is where the ultimate blame lies, in my view….. probably has some explaining, but I have a post on it playing around in my head.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            Yep. Neoliberalism smashed solidarity, undermined towns, communities and neighbourhoods, made it difficult for families to spend time together and bond, divided workers against each other, pushed an ethos of individualism above all else.

            In the case where all these elements of society are weakened or deleted, withdrawing support for social causes and taking away the commons is simple; everyone is too hurt or weak to fight back effectively, and many have already forgotten why they were important to start with.

            • karol 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Agree, CV.
               
              Neoliberalism has also made life about money – knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.  And it’s not just about individualism, but competition.
               
              All that ultimately works against a the majority of women, IMO, although some thrive on competing as an individual woman in a man’s world.

            • RedLogix 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Could not agree with you both more. And what you are saying can be read in context with Chris Trotter’s latest:

              But in 1951 that country was brutally assaulted by its government. Twenty thousand of its most independent citizens were subjected to months of sustained institutional violence. Their compatriots froze in horror. For the next three decades fear and appeasement of the government was ingrained in a whole generation of New Zealanders.

              And when their children reached adulthood the state attacked again. Between 1981 and 1991 a series of savage blows against the progressive legacy of the 1930s and 40s sent New Zealanders reeling. Parties and politicians they had trusted and supported their whole lives suddenly turned on them. Stripped of their jobs; robbed of their security; a significant fraction of the nation went into political shock.

              Like their parents before them, a new generation of traumatised New Zealanders were encouraged to regard the state as something to be feared and distrusted. Like so many battered wives, they learned to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. They learned the importance of reading the moods of their violent masters; of anticipating their violent rages; of keeping clear of their fists.

              And read in conjunction too with Nicky Hagar’s lecture that makes it clear how many people are simply reluctant to be seen to be political. Much too risky in a small nation where the strings that control income, career and success are gripped by a small clique of Tory’s quite willing to give them a vicious little tug when necessary to protect their privilege.

              • karol

                To some extent I agree with Trotter.  However, as I said in my post on Sugarbags, and the subsequent discussion, I think the appeasement of those anti-union and anti-welfare began under the Fraser Labour government.    The population were already primed by the time National took power in 1949, and really took it where they wanted to go.
                 
                So the left needs to re-group – establish truly left values and stand by them.

                • RedLogix

                  Re-group? It’s been asked before, but is the Labour Party as we know it capable of re-shaping itself in this way?

                  For while I’ve often said that Labour can point to a long and proud heritage, it seems to me that the Greens are the future of the left.

                  (I’m sure Trotter would agree with you about the Fraser govt; I recall him writing on exactly that topic some years ago.)

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It’s been asked before, but is the Labour Party as we know it capable of re-shaping itself in this way?

                    No, they’ve shifted too far to the right. A few within Labour are probably still of the left but Labour as a group is not and is incapable of shifting back to the left. People joining Labour today will be joining because of what Labour is now and not what it used to be.

                    If you want a truly left party then look for another one.

              • Anne

                Chris Trotter’s resume – as reported by Redlogix – could not be more correct.

                I am of the same generation as Trotter and, as a small child, I can remember witnessing my father’s fury at what was being done to the Watersiders. No, he wasn’t a Watersider but he understood their predicament. From that time on he hated Syd Holland and the National Party with a passion. Indeed, it prompted him to join the Labour Party.

                And I was also one of their children who were attacked again in the 1980s and 1990s. In my case, the story had some extra twists and turns (involving a sensitive area of government) and when I deem it safe to do so, I intend to tell the story.

                • Anne

                  To be more precise that ‘sensitive area’ involved the Air Force. Very interesting how they were responding to the anti-nuclear legislation of the 4th Labour govt. Not happy chappies. :)

          • Wayne 16.1.1.1.2

            Part of Labour’s problem is constantly referring to NACT or NAct. It is simply not believable. Middle New Zealand simply does not believe the Nats are dictated to by ACT or indeed do much to accommodate them. Assets sales done with 49% instead of the whole is a classic Nat way of approaching an issue. The policy is designed to be a middle way through an issue. It is how Nats instinctively think about the options. So long as you characterise the current Govt as if it is in thrall of ACt you will keep chasing phantoms.

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.2.1

              What would happen to the current Government if they split from ACT, Wayne?

              Would the Government fall, causing a snap election to be announced that very same week?

            • McFlock 16.1.1.1.2.2

              Quite so. It sounds so much better if National aren’t beholden to ACT, they just feel comfortable sharing the Cabinet table with John Banks.

              • Wayne

                And do you see the Nats being directed by John Banks. Yes ACT has charter schools and that is about it. Act has no choice but to go along with National, but if you want to believe that Act directs National, well thats your view.

                • McFlock

                  lol
                  Do you see the nats keeping banks out of loyalty or friendship? They need him to enable asset sales and the assault on workers, which are areas of mutual agreements. “NACT” is a very apt term. 

                • gobsmacked

                  @Wayne

                  Complete this sentence …

                  “John Banks is still a Minister because …”

                  1) Key believes Banks.

                  2) Key needs Banks.

                  I choose 2). How about you?

            • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.2.3

              I don’t characterise National as in thrall of Act – I point out that there’s no difference between the two which is why National were able to parachute Don and John into the leadership positions of Act without too many ripples.

    • Rhinocrates 16.2

      “Who defines the terms wins the argument” as a supposedly ancient Chinese proverb has it. Even if… you know, ah… they might be – or might not be… I mean Labour… they could be… Labour that is – or not, if that appeals to other people, people who won’t vote Labour – we want them, ah, I mean people who didn’t vote Labour matter more than people who would vote Labour, um… “Labour” is a title, but you needn’t follow that in itself, I mean, if you believe in… believe in good things… whether you’re L- ah, maybe I don’t mean to say… that name, that party… I mean… should we really be ashamed of the label… it’s only a label, some use it… “National-Lite”? People – some people (others have other ideas) say that I’m not, but I might be… National Lite… I mean, if I make an assertion, does it matter if I say “National”? We’re just nicer – isn’t that enough?

      OK, sorry, back on track: if “Labour” (I’ll use the quote marks to avoid all of the Shearer-esque waffle and stammering) is letting NACT dictate the terms, then they have already given in. Even if they “oppose”, that means they have accepted the basic terms of the argument and only want to present themselves as “nicer”.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        Indeed. The terms given are an entrenched neoliberal perspective of the economy and of society. Labour has yet to break truly free from that.

        Within that neoliberal framework of thinking it is almost impossible to even suggest any socialist steps for strengthening society.

    • OneTrack 16.3

      WTF. Labour has less female representation and it’s John Key’s fault. Are you saying JK is a demigod or something? I never realised. Is there no limit to his influence and power?

  17. BLiP 17

    .

    The failure of Labour to fire . . .

    ^^^ Who says this, what does it even mean, and what data is there to support it? The Tories are saying it, it doesn’t really mean anything, and about the only data I can see is a recent, slight drop off in the polls.

    . . . A big part of Labour’s front bench simply aren’t doing their job.

    Oh, fuck off Michael Valley. If you can’t recall the name of the Labour health spokeshole its indicative of your lack of engagement and qualification to be contributing here. Your once across the top lightly comparison with the 1999 crew is littered with assertions paraded as fact and misleading in that you are actually comparing the current front bench with the Labour 2001 front bench. The 1999 crew barely scraped in. It only won 49 seats and, even with the ten seats from the Alliance, still needed another two seats which only just materialised when the Greens scraped in. Remember also, National Ltd ™ had been fucking things up for nine years by that stage, if the 1999 crew were half as good as your assert, Labour should have romped in.

    No doubt you have expressed your genuinely-held opinion but, tell me, how do you know Shearer didn’t show because his minders were scared of Norman showing him up, why is there “no doubt” that Grant Robertson is “better than his leader” – dunno why you’ve got a hard on for David Parker nor why you doubt he lacks a killer instinct – Jacinda Ardern, invisible, What. Ever. – and how is it her fault that a whistle-blower went to the Greens – and so it dribbles on. A more accurate comparison would have been with the 1998 crew – Labour wasn’t looking too hot then and Jenny Shitley already had the palour of FAIL about her. But, like I said, Labour only just scraped in.

    Seriously, if you want to have a go at “our side” in a front-page post, and desire to be taken seriously, you are going to have to deliver significantly more intellectual firepower and offer up something more substantial than a parody of a small rugby club’s match programme “side-by-side” page. If you want to take cheaps shots, stick to the comments section where repeating Tory attack lines will do less harm. I am disappoint.

    D -

    • Mickey Mouse 17.1

      Hear hear!

      • hush minx 17.1.1

        No. While it’s true that the political landscape was very different in the late 90s one thing is certain.Labour was a very different beast and a fight hardened organization determined to bring the Nats down. The Labour of today is a mere shadow of that former self.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          It’s a lot of deterioration in just 12 years. Where will Labour be in 12 more.

          • mac1 17.1.1.1.1

            CV, at the present rate of progress, the centre left will be in power for twenty years, and Labour will lead that government.

            BLiP, well said.

    • Reagan Cline 17.2

      I hope Shearer stays leader of Labour because I can see him as PM and not the other possible contenders.

      The next election is far enough away for him to slowly and inexorably get the voters’ attention and respect.

      He seems to me to be preparing for a battle he is sure he can win.

      He is a person of depth and people wonder about him – he keeps them guessing – like a winner.

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        He is a person of depth and people wonder about him – he keeps them guessing – like a winner.

        Shit mate you forgot the quote about floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

        Seriously though, “keeps them guessing like a winner” WTF???

    • Taxi 17.3

      There’s a lot of anger in that comment.

      A lot.

      But it’s directed at the wrong target.

      It should be directed at our failing MPs, not well meaning leftie contributors to a blog site or Labour members. We didn’t choose to lose.

      • BLiP 17.3.1

        .

        Oh, fuck. Here they come: the concern trolls attempting to dismiss fair comment as “misdirected emotion” while simultaneously vectoring a repetition of the same fallacious Tory attack lines presented in the OP. I suppose I should be quietly pleased that National Ltd™ is trying to game the blogs. It indicates real fear and provides more evidence, as if any is needed, of its reliance on subterfuge and mendacity to obfuscate the fact that its policies cannot otherwise be implemented.

        What do you mean “we”, Paleface?

    • OneTrack 17.4

      Shoot the messenger

  18. I think Labour has to shape up for 2014, people don’t just want to hear bad things about National; they want to know what a New Zealand run by Labour would be like. So far all we have heard is ‘no asset sales’, ‘New Zealanders leaving to Australia’ and ‘National is keeping kids in poverty’, but thus far we have heard nothing about the actual way Labour intend to get New Zealand out of high unemployment and slow growth.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      actually, you want a party which understands how we can build a strong, cohesive society even through a lengthy period of economic stagnation and eventual liquid fossil fuels energy depletion.

  19. Rhinocrates 19

    http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8559031/labour-slides-in-latest-poll

    Shearer, you’ve got to go.

    You can’t impose discipline, you can’t or won’t manage or inspire the parliamentary wing to perform.

    It wasn’t a rogue poll, because even if it had been, with the government being so bad, so blundering, they should have been rising sharply. It should have been obvious.

    Lately, Parata’s been at her most egregious – but where is Mahuta, the spokesperson on education? Tweeting about “enemies within”.

    You say jobs matter, but where is Sio, the spokesperson on employment? Campaigning against marriage equality, choosing to say nothing about employment. Because he really doesn’t give a shit.

    Bennett’s fucked up big time, but where is… help me, who’s supposed to have the job to oppose her in opposition????!!!1111!!!!ELEVEN1111!!!!

    Are you, you useless dipshit, actually telling them to do their fucking jobs? Are they listening? Do they respect you? Do you think that their behaviour represents respect for you, the party, it’s principles (do you know what they are?) and its hopes of being in government?

    No. You’re wandering about the landscape, wringing your hands over the sad stories that people tell you, sanctimoniously claiming that you care and avoiding saying anything about what you would actually do in office because you really don’t believe in anything.

    Meanwhile, what is that master of party organisation Robertson doing to get the activists organised? Nothing. He’s more interested in building his own internal party empire and consuming Bellamy’s pies.

    Where is the most eloquent and charismatic party MP, Cunliffe? Gagged.

    Where is Mallard? What, still not fed into a woodchipper feet-first while still conscious? Who the Hell overlooked that job? Can’t you at least find a trash compacter? How about a combine harvester? It should be easy; just drive it over him. How about just beating the crap out of him in an alleyway somewhere? Surely some droogs can organise that? [In the spirit of a fine rant I'll assume you do not mean this literally in any sense ...RL]

    Where is Jones? Oh yeah, advocating for Sealord over Dyson… slapped him over the wrist with a wet mango rind yet? …and where’s Dyson? Never mind.

    I have absolutely no doubt that none of these questions will be answered in the next “Shearer Mumbles” “e-newsletter”.

    No Shearer, that’s not good enough. That’s not even inadequate, that’s not even failure. That’s fucking up, knowing that you’ve fucked up and staying on anyway. The only reason you’re staying on now is vanity. You think that you own the job, that you deserve it and more, but you plainly don’t. That’s been made clear now for almost an entire year. Helen Clark took longer, true, but that was then and this is now and times have changed.

    The fact is that you’re worse than useless; you’re a hindrance. Go. Go now because you’re in the way of someone who can do the job, and worse than that, for the sake of your own ego and the comfort of the ABC club, you’re letting the rest of New Zealand suffer, you worthless, vain, self-absorbed berg.

    You’re not the solution and you don’t need more time – you’re the problem, an obstacle. Go. Go now. Just fuck off now.

    If you had any honour, you’d acknowledge that you meant well, but just weren’t good enough and would step aside for someone who would actually get your claimed goals accomplished rather than staying around to ensure by default that they weren’t – but you won’t because you’re too vain.

    And it’s a pity you told the story about mangoes, because if it had been pineapples, I’d know exactly where to put them.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Well I don’t think anyone needs the woodchipper but a quiet pink slip or 10 wouldn’t go amiss.

    • Rhinocrates 19.2

      I regret one thing about that tirade: “berg” was meant to be “berk
      ” or “idiot”.

      • mac1 19.2.1

        Rhinocrates @ 19 and CV @ 18.1.2.1,
        According to the poll you’re so excited about, Labour 32%, Greens 12%, Mana 1%, NZ First 6% versus National 45% plus Conservatives 1%, Maori 1% and ACT .6%.

        Two years to go to the next election, boys.

        • McFlock 19.2.1.1

          Ah, but if Cunliffe were in charge Labour would be polling 53% and its policies would make Lenin look like Roger Douglas.

          • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1.1

            I agree that light Blue is better than Tory Blue. Shame we’ve had two polls in a row now where Labour support has sunk despite how National’s stunk.

          • Bill 19.2.1.1.2

            What? That makes no obvious bloody sense whatsoever. Lenin? Douglas? Cunliffe? Care to explain that one McFlock?

            • McFlock 19.2.1.1.2.1

              sarcasm on the shoot-shearer brigade

              • Colonial Viper

                At the end of the day, several very experienced Labour MPs encouraged Shearer, a 2 year MP who has never been spokesperson or Minister for anything significant ever, to become Leader. “Shooting Shearer” would solve very little.

              • Bill

                Oh. Em. So was the gun on the inside or a you just shooting blanks kinda wildly? Because I can’t see the impact.

                • McFlock

                  Must have gone over your head and hit CV standing behind you. He seems to have gotten the point.

                • Rhinocrates

                  I am slowly and reluctantly coming to the realisation that it is impossible to wound a void (parliamentary Labour) by shooting at it. The flash and recoil of a bit of wild firing is at least good for my tension.

            • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1.2.2

              McFlock has been pissed off with me for not cheerleading “my” team, Labour, one of my main issues being that Labour is no longer the left wing party NZ needs.

              edit – I suppose McFlock used the example of Lenin to sarcastically typify what he sees as the ‘hard left’ ideology I am pushing for.

              • Bill

                But Labour aren’t left wing. And Cunliffe would be moderately left wing. Meanwhile Douglas was about as far right as it has ever got in this country and Lenin was an authoritarian dick that sensible leftists of the time disavowed.

                And McFlock is claiming that Cunliffe would be so far to the authoritarian left as to make Lenin appear as far to the authoritarian right as Douglas?

                Fucking stupid.

                For one thing, Cunliffe wouldn’t have leftists like me rounded up and jailed/shot/hanged. Lenin did. And I could believe that Douglas, given the opportunity and the need to preserve his twisted and arse over tit version of libertarianism, would have.

                • McFlock

                  Oh, I see the comms issue.
                       
                  You are stuck in literal mode.
                  So where would labour realistically be polling if Cunliffe took over from Goff?
                  And would labour policies be substantively different? 

                  • Bill

                    If we take it that Cunliffe isn’t the neo-liberal apologist that Shearer is and that Goff was and is and that Roberston is, then the policies will be different. And I get the sense that people are sick and tired of the neo-liberal Hobson choices that have come to mark NZ’s parliamentary democracy. And that people would back any well articulated alternative that resonated with their natural values…y’know, a fairly simple and straightforward social democratic vision that didn’t lash society to the yoke of the international financial sector.

                    • McFlock

                      While calling Shearer neoliberal isn’t quite as absurd as saying that Labour under Cunliffe would make Lenin look like Douglas, I do think it’s unfair.
                                 
                      Shearer has much more in common with Cunliffe than he does with Key.
                                   
                      IMO Labour did well in the campaign trying to get back to their roots, but it was left too late so it simply looked like a campaign tactic rather than a genuine repudiation. While Shearer has backed off on the rhetoric (and yes, the roof-painter line is plain wrong), I’m not sure at this stage that the Labour caucus took their vote as being an indictment against the politics of principle. 
                             
                      When’s the Labour party conference? Or did I miss it in the news? I reckon that plus the change to the leadership selection process (not necessarily a change in leadership) will iron things out.  
                           
                      Hell, maybe I’m wrong, in which case I’ll probably end up voting Alliance again (don’t quite recall, think I was labour 2011 or 2008).

                    • Jim Nald

                      Quite surprising you are such a cheerleader for the Labour Party and you don’t know when the party conference is.

                      I am not a Labour party member but I know it is something like next weekend.

                      I am keen to see Labour get into government for the sake of the country’s wellbeing but I am currently struggling to find a reason to support Labour with their current (lack of) leadership.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Shearer has much more in common with Cunliffe than he does with Key.

                      How do you know this? What has convinced you that Shearer fundamentally objects to Key’s politics and Key’s economics?

                      All I see is Shearer reading out whatever is put in front of him. I see very little of Shearer’s own political economic thinking or judgement anywhere.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                           
                      It actually is kind’ve funny that here I seem to be the one who is defending Labour, while others who are apparently much more closely connected to it and know more about the internal issues facing it can’t seem to get over their own frustrations and recognise that Labour, even under Shearer, is still light years better than National. 
                           
                      Especially as I merely see Labour as bulking out a government that will be good or bad based largely on the policies driven by its smaller constituent parties. 
                             
                      CV:
                      Shearer is in Labour. Labour campaigned against asset sales etc. Unless you can point to the speech where shearer unilaterally reversed Labour policy and supports the Key government, I’m happy to stick with the broad assumption that Shearer is not a neoliberal baby-killer. 

              • McFlock

                More that you fail to show support for anything except vitriol and pipedreams without intermediate steps.

                • Colonial Viper

                  OK, I’ll work on supporting vitriol and pipedreams but plan it a bit better with some incremental, intermediate steps. All cool?

                  • McFlock

                    I’ll believe it when I see it. 
                         
                    But actually, yes that would be cool, because that is how lasting change happens

          • mac1 19.2.1.1.3

            If you regard the left/right continuum not as a straight line but as a circle then that would indeed be true. Lenin and Douglas are both also members of the Authoritarian quadrant of politics.

            Cunliffe is a good’un and part of that team in 19.2.1.

            • Bill 19.2.1.1.3.1

              Well, I think it’s fair to say that in a representative democracy all political leaders are to some degree authoritarian. But to conflate the policies of bastard dictators like Lenin and bastard wanna be dictators like Douglas with Cunliffe is just plain wierd.

              And in the interests of dispelling any mounting feeling I might be experiencing on the particularily stupid front this evening, I now have to ask what the fuck 19.2.1 means.

              • mac1

                Bill, I don’t believe I conflated Cunliffe with either dictator.

                19.2.1 is the number assigned to my comment above, just as 19.2.1.1.3 is the number assigned to my comment to which you have responded.

                Cunliffe as part of the Labour Party is also part of the centre/left coalition which is currently showing well in the Colmar Brunton poll, a poll which I might add is generally regarded as favourable to the right.

        • blue leopard 19.2.1.2

          @mac1,
          “Two years to go to the next election, boys.”

          How can you honestly say that?
          Am I living in a parallel universe here?

          I could have sworn that I have just survived a year where our Government has numerous departments in a blithering mess,
          privacy issues have abounded,
          secret service out of control,
          we have a democratically elected body fired and being disallowed to resume elections in one part of the country
          a PM who clearly lies through his teeth
          A PM along with his ministers whom are resembling contemptuous and petulant schoolboys increasingly each week,
          noone in Government is taking responsibility for any of the many messes that are occurring, in fact clearly stating that they are not responsible (oh yeah? wtf? who is then?)

          And you are trying to relay that 32% for the main opposition party is good under such circumstances?

          • mac1 19.2.1.2.1

            Two years to go, level pegging between the two main political blocs and Colmar Brunton favouring the right generally, and considering we live in a MMP universe now and that the media are definitely not favourable to the left- yeah, not so bad………..

            Could be better, but then you’d have to have Cunliffe and 53% etc as McFlock says with his lovely sarcasm.

            • blue leopard 19.2.1.2.1.1

              Well isn’t this the way you were thinking 1-2 years ago, thinking about the approaching 2011 election?
              Did it pan out for you?
              Because that is much the way I was thinking. As well as looking at the Labour Party then and wondering whether they were really that keen on getting into Government.

              I am having similar thoughts re the Labour Party’s motivation now too and will not be persuaded to be fooled into the same hope and belief that I was encouraged into a few years back.

              Labour need to get themselves in order NOW not next week, not next year now. And if they don’t, left-wing people need to realise that the show is over for them, they are not up to governing and move toward parties that are.

              Remember that this is these people’s jobs, they are being paid to promote certain political views and create a counter to the current Government. What they are achieving is very, very weak.

              • mac1

                A fair enough position, bl. Not one that I personally hold but that is why I mention the MMP universe. So long as voters/activists of the left get involved, good. I personally don’t mind if Labour gets a gee-up and a nudge as the Greens climb up. A grouping of Labour, the Greens and Mana I would have little problem with. I do have a problem, though, with the anti-Shearer clamour- I find that it’s getting a wee bit OTT hysterical. Too many assertions, too much anger, too much other agenda being played out.

                • The “anti-Shearer clamour”, may simply be frustration at the non-action of Labour as a whole.

                  I take it that an opposition party with the most votes, gets the most funding and low-voter turn out is an issue with the left.

                  In a climate where a PM has popularity simply through his persona, while he and his Government are making a joke of their responsibilities and where a media isn’t particularly enamoured with the opposition, the main opposition party need to be showing loudly and clearly that they disapprove of the multitude of shenanigans that are occurring. This will show people that there is another way to deal with issues. If the main left-wing party do not show any dissimilarity to the main right-wing party this will demotivate people from politics and I guarantee you there will be a low voter turnout in the next election.

                  The Labour Party are not making the most of their opportunities and this is a seriously foolhardy game to play, and especially under MMP is not solely destroying the chances for their own party, it is destroying the chances of us having a left wing government in the next term.

    • weka 19.3

      As much as I want Labour to sort their shit out, that comment by you Rhinocrates is symbolic of why we have the wrong people in parliament. Waaay too harsh.

    • Just thinking though, all this talk of “the leader” and the “front benchers”, however what is the score with opposition parties and strategists and PR advisers? I assume that there are people employed for these roles in an opposition party(?).

      Has anyone checked the pulses of these people recently? Checked their pupils, hooked them up to a hospital machine, you know, checked for signs of life? Also hearing checks for all members of the caucus?

      Because it seems to me that either the strategy people of Labour have quietly popped off and noone’s noticed or the caucus are refusing to heed their advice? The other option is that Labour does have strategists and they are very much out of touch with and failing in the job that they are there to do.

      All this criticism of the individuals in the party may well be misguided when they have advisors that are there to support and assist with the aim at a cohesive approach for all the individuals in the party to follow, also with creating opportunities with public appearances and getting a clear message across at every opportunity and these areas seem to be where Labour’s approach is lacking. Could it be that the strategic advice is where it would be fairer to focus the criticism on?

      • Bill 19.4.1

        bl, if the Labour Party hierarchy had an upper echelon driven and informed by principles and values then they would be the ones directing the strategists. Y’know, like this is the message we want out there. Now you go and make it happen…help us help you to do your job as it were.

        But they haven’t. So they’re not. And so everything is piecemeal.

        • blue leopard 19.4.1.1

          Ah thanks Bill,
          The strategists give them advice though don’t they? E.g. the party members may say to them “I wan’t to make this point” and the strategists say “here is how to make it”

          Like how Nats were saying “fair and reasonable” in every comment they made last year. Who told them to do that? The strategists is my guess.

          • Bill 19.4.1.1.1

            Yes, the strategists give them advice. But the caucus or the leadership just simply don’t have any fucking ponts to make. So the strategists don’t know what the fuck it is they are meant to making happen.

            • blue leopard 19.4.1.1.1.1

              lol
              Thanks for the explanation

              Well if that is really what is going on, then I have to assume that Labour do not want to be in government next term and I suggest that we should all be focussing on a team that does.

              • Colonial Viper

                Well if that is really what is going on, then I have to assume that Labour do not want to be in government next term

                Well Labour certainly does want to be in Government, but it almost seems to be just by unthinking reflex now. I think its understanding of WHY and HOW is unclear – to everyone.

                • Well until they can be bothered to make it clear to everyone, I think we all should consider that they are not that keen.

                  It isn’t rocket science to get a message across (I mean even the Nats manage it), I shall be reading their non-message as condoning this dreadful Government and I hope many others understand this silence as such too. This is a safer approach than assuming what they really mean/want/hope/intend…

                  There is a real danger that the reason they are remaining so silent is that they quietly intend to do much the same when they are in government.

                  • Bill

                    Quiet little fish in small and shrinking pond content to be the biggest fish in that, well…it’ll be a puddle soon enough won’t it?…perhaps big enough to accommodate the arse of a Mallard duck or….no, not two, just one Mallard arse with some caucus fishes thrashing around beneath it.

    • BLiP 19.5

      .

      Cry me a river, why dontchya? Its two years to the next election and just at the moment everything National Ltd™ touches is turning to shit. Now is not a good time to interrupt the enemy, and our MPs know that. Take a pineapple and call me next year.

      • gobsmacked 19.5.1

        Now is not a good time to interrupt the enemy, and our MPs know that.

        Yes, I agree with Napoleon’s famous advice. But … isn’t that exactly what Labour MPs have been doing?

        The lack of discipline – from the leader on down – gives National and their cheerleaders the interrruption they want. Time and again.

        Why does this keep happening? Because people rant on blogs? I don’t think that’s the real problem with Labour.

        • Colonial Viper 19.5.1.1

          Don’t interrupt the enemy?

          Good advice. There’s a tape of that somewhere, I’ve been told.

    • Rhinocrates 19.6

      [In the spirit of a fine rant I'll assume you do not mean this literally in any sense ...RL]

      Correctomundo. Instead, to make that clear, perhaps I should suggest that he strapped into a chair, a la Alex in A Clockwork Orange and forced to endure Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black perform the entire oeuvre of Celine Dion in duet, accompanied by an orchestra of kazoos.

    • sarrbo 19.7

      Kia ora, kia ora…you speak for me bro or sis. Spot on the mark!

  20. karol 20

    Trotter made an interesting report on Bomber’s Citizen A show last week.  He said that Shearer is scheduled to be the last speaker at the up-coming party confernece.  Trotter said if the party had confidence in Shearer he would be first seaker, to set the tone of the conference.
     
    Stand-down speech?

    • Stephen Doyle 20.1

      I thought that the Leader always closed the conference with the “up and at ‘em” rallying speech.

    • Pete Fraser 20.2

      Good lord. You are an idiot aren’t you? Sector day is on Friday morning. Conference itself opens on Friday afternoon, with a bunch of policy workshops.

      Now, Friday afternoon has certain characteristics. It’s a work day: lots of people can’t just turn up on a work day to hear a speech. It’s also, classically, when you bury news.

      Sunday, on the other hand, is a weekend. People have free time. Sunday evening news, reputedly, gets very high viewership figures. Maybe these things explain scheduling better than Trotter’s vague memories of how Party Conference used to work, back in the Dark Ages.

    • felix 20.3

      To be fair, you’d hardly want him setting the tone would you?

  21. Fortran 21

    It appears that the Greens are now the party of the left.
    Russel Norman is coming over more and more as real leader material.
    Seeing/listening to him he comes forward as the true Labour/Socialist leader.
    As the real Labour will not stop digging in the hole.
    It is easy to see him as PM material in a coalition government

    • OneTrack 21.1

      What is Russel and his co-leader actually going to do when they get in power. If he is PM, what does that mean for Labour party policies. Or will they be pushed to the side in favour of Green policies. How many job losses (due to dairy farm reductions, mines closures, ETS full recovery, minimum wage hikes, Sme bankrupts, ..) will Labour be able to stand before they start to speak the unmentionable that maybe they should have a coalition with National instead. Some wit made the point some time ago that JK was left of Helen Clark and they were right. Or, are Labour now so “progressive” that the workers dont matter anymore and the battle against the “Tories” is all that matters.

      • felix 21.1.1

        Mines closures?

        Green policy is to not close any existing mine you fool, those are people’s jobs at stake and jobs are absolutely central to green policy.

        Your National party has – actually, in the real world – spent the last 4 years putting thousands of people out of work, but what bothers you are the hypothetical Green policies you just made up.

        Sheesh.

        • blue leopard 21.1.1.1

          Well said Felix,

          Although I think you are giving One Track too much credit in saying he/she “just made it up”. One Track is simply falling hook, line and sinker for the right-wing disinformation/framing that is being propagate. It would be good if people like One Track stopped being so naive and realised that these memes are not based on any reality, simply put out there by PR people, so that Mr Key & his ilk can keep their jobs, profits and monopolies.

          Whilst people continue to believe this crap being propagated by these monopolists, they enable them to effectively stop a whole lot of new realms of activity that would create progress and jobs for a whole lot of others. Our country is being choked by such beliefs.

  22. Interesting comment Karol from Trotter. Just shows Shearer’s inexperience again. The Leader always speaks early at Conference. How did Robertson persuade him to take the graveyard slot when there’s not too many left to hear the speech?! Clark always had top billing and Cullen did the sweep up at the end. Or is this a ‘handover’ plan from Shearer to Robertson?

    Are you all happy with that? Just watch it unfold….

  23. newsense 23

    this.
    this this this.

    I thought of starting a blog rating the front bench out of ten on a week by week basis, but then I figured what do I know.

    Time to treat politics more like sport.

    It’s not just that the leadership is weak, the front bench is weak. Clark and Cullen were good leaders but they had some talent behind them.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Time to treat politics more like sport.

      Now you’re talking. Whose fitness is up to scratch and who isn’t. Who needs to be benched and who needs to be given a chance on the field. Are the coaches doing their job, is their strategy right. What are the playing conditions and is the team successfully adapting to them. Is there a fighting spirit and hunger to win.

      And above all, are they showing appropriate respect and deference to their fans and their fans deserving expectations.

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    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 | Press Release Like New Zealand chose to go nuclear free, we can add to our national...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville
    Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville Internet Party Leader Laila Harré will stand in John Key’s Helensville electorate because “the Prime Minister has some explaining to do”. Ms Harré wants to debate Mr Key at candidate meetings in his own...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Ministers condemned for failing to meet Papuan journalist
    West Papua Action Auckland is shocked that that Ministers Coleman and Tolley have decided against giving even a brief time to meet with visiting Papuan journalist Victor Mambor (Chair of the Papua Chapter of the Association of Independent Journalists...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Cliff Curtis Apolitical
    While I respect my cousin Annette Sykes commitment in engaging in the political process, I do not endorse or support any political party. I respect all candidates who make the commitment to stand for political office. It requires and takes...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • National getting students into science
    National Party Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop today supported the government’s launch of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara, a programme to boost community involvement in the science sector....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • NZ NGOs respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
    NZ NGOs are responding to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip with news today of an upsurge in violence and an increasing number of civilian casualties....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement
    ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement David Seymour, ACT Candidate for Epsom 29/07/2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Colin Craig (sic) Launches New Website
    Colin Craig today advised that his web presence was not large enough, especially when compared to similarly polling parties such as the Internet/Mana Party. “After extensive discussion and advice from my full time legal team, and my IT part timer...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Spat between Minister Smith and Fish and Game overdue – ACT
    With the latest spat between Minister Nick Smith and Fish and Games Bryce Johnston hitting fever pitch, ACT Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson says a review of the Fish and Game legislation will be an ACT ambition in the next...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Maori King challenges Ngapuhi leader to front up
    Following his strong condemnation of the Maori King, Tuheitia yesterday, Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has received a challenge this afternoon from prominent Kingitanga [King Movement] supporter Mamae Takerei....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Speech to Waikato Conference: Race has no place in law
    David Cunliffe recently apologised to a Women’s Refuge symposium: “I don't often say it – I'm sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.” The Prime Minister accused Cunliffe of being insincere....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Greg Campbell Chief Executive of Wellington Regional Council
    Chair of Wellington Regional Council, Fran Wilde today announced the appointment of Greg Campbell as Chief Executive of the Council. Greg Campbell will take up the role in September following the departure of outgoing Chief Executive David Benham...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
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