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Break For The Future

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, November 14th, 2012 - 101 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags: , ,

I’m not a Labour Party member. I don’t leaflet or campaign on their behalf. And I won’t be exercising any vote at any conference or whatever. But that doesn’t make me or my opinions irrelevant. It simply makes me a left leaning person whose vote is up for grabs. But see, my vote shouldn’t be ‘up for grabs’. Given my political leanings, I should have an easy and somewhat ‘natural’ inclination to cast a vote for the Labour Party.

But the Labour Party in NZ is all tangled up in neo-classical or neo-liberal apologist bindings. And it has been that way for nearly 30 years. Through those years there has been the constant refrain of TINA (There Is No Alternative) offered as justification for their policies.

So, when in office, they have done as the unabashed neoliberal Tories do. But they do it ‘nicer’. And they have, by and large, ‘cleansed’ the party of all and sundry who don’t or won’t ‘get it’. Meaning that dissent has been silenced and people and ideas ostracised. End result? The electorate get a choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum fighting over a so called centre ground that has moved so far to the right that it’s just not funny.

And, naturally enough, people stop voting. In their droves. Because there is nothing for them in the voting game. It’s disconnected.

I’m not going to run through the policies that have come and gone through the years from the Nats and Labour where a cigarette paper wouldn’t have slipped in the gap between their positions. And I’m not going to run through the legislative ‘roll backs’ that only go in one direction, that are never reversed and that are, at best, stationary while the ‘nice guys’ exercise their managerial remit while murmering the TINA mantra.

The upshot is that we have elections as personality contests now. Is anyone really surprised? Is there anyone who in all seriousness would argue that they don’t know why this is? Just in case such people exist, here’s a hint. In a world that lacks policy alternatives, difference in personality is all that remains, ie the choice can only be between styles when the content remains the same.

And for all the managers, careerists and neoliberal apologists who have occupied our electoral spaces for so long, here’s a wee heads up. Neo-liberalism or monetarism is dead. It died with the global financial collapse. And the rising stench of austerity you want us to breathe in, is an expression of its decay. But we don’t need this stuff. We don’t need to be told (again) that we need to suffer pain to enjoy the gain somewhere off down the track.

And so two questions arise.  Firstly, what is the NZ Labour Party in its current configuration able to offer beyond the TINA policies of monetarism? Well, obviously nothing… TINA afterall. And secondly, what could the NZ Labour Party offer up that was beyond the cruel defeatism of TINA? Well, unlike the first question, only the Labour Party itself can offer can answer.

But it’s obviously not a question we can ever possibly have an answer to while David Shearer or any of the coterie of neoliberal apologists, careerists or managerial types hold the reins of power in Labour.

And we really do need that question answered. We need a Labour Party that is willing to break for the future. So to the ABCers, David Shearer and by association, the Labour Party of the past 30 years – please be big enough to respond in kind when we say to you : – “Goodbye, ta-ra (there are real alternatives) and cheerio.”

And then just go.

101 comments on “Break For The Future”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    But the Labour Party in NZ is all tangled up in neo-classical or neo-liberal apologist bindings. And it has been that way for nearly 30 years.

    That’s right, Labour are so unappealing because they are not left wing enough.

    Good luck with that strategy.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Cheers mate.

    • Yes, they would have good luck with that strategy. Labour needs at the very least to frame issues on its own terms relentlessly, even if they don’t move left. (And they have ample room to move left, unlike the government, which is eating its support parties)

  2. Shona 2

    Hear hear!

  3. Pete 3

    From Labour’s constitution:

    PRINCIPLES

    2. The New Zealand Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles-
    All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot
    The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular nonrenewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.
    All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.
    Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.
    All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.
    All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people are always more important than property and the state must ensure a just distribution of wealth.
    The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand and that the Treaty should be honoured in government, society and the family.
    Peace and social justice should be promoted throughout the world by international co-operation and mutual respect.
    The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

    OBJECTIVES

    3. The objectives of the Labour Party are based on the above principles.
    These objectives are –
    To elect competent men and women to Parliament and local authorities through free elections for the purpose of giving effect to Party policy and principles.
    To build and sustain an economy which can attract and retain the intelligence, skills and efforts of all citizens.
    To ensure the just distribution of the production and services of the nation for the benefit of all the people.
    To promote and protect the freedoms and welfare of all New Zealand citizens.
    To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and social cooperation

    • rosy 3.1

      Gosh I’d vote for a party that had those principles.

      Maybe a Labour MP could write a post or make a speech explaining how the current Labour party fulfills it’s principles, or how they make policy and argue government policy with these principles in mind. I’d love to hear it.

      S/He could also include how the Labour party is meeting it’s objectives and is working “To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and social cooperation”

      On second thoughts, it might be a bit too much of a challenge…

      • fatty 3.1.1

        “Gosh I’d vote for a party that had those principles.”

        Me too rosy…it appears as though Mana and the Greens form their policies around Labour’s principles

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      “PRINCIPLES”

      “2. The New Zealand Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles-
      All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot” . . . EXCEPT the election of the party leader (i.e., the PM or possibly the next PM).

      I’ve had glance at the 50+ pages of remits for this weekend’s party conference. They need 50+ pages so all the special interests can desperately struggle to protect their patches.

      • Dr Terry 3.2.1

        Presently it is the case that Shearer is endorsing himself (as ever!), dismissing views of his own party members as nonsense, simply not prepared to hear the voice of the people.

    • QoT 3.4

      The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

      Shitballs, I hope Damien O’Connor and Su’a William Sio didn’t have to, like, sign up to this in order to become MPs …

  4. KJT 4

    “And, naturally enough, people stop voting. In their droves. Because there is nothing for them in the voting game. It’s disconnected”.

    Both Shearer and Key strike me as willing puppets for the interests behind them. Both do not appear to have any real ideas, ideals or vision for New Zealand of their own, apart from business as usual.
    I shudder to think whose interests their backers have in mind. Obviously not New Zealanders on Key’s part. Asset sales, wage reductions and borrowing for tax cuts show a total lack of interest in New Zealanders future.

    Key without the anesthetic and Shearer possibly with it.

    Even a return to classical right wing conservatism would be better than the continuation of the Neo-liberal burglary.

    New Zealanders show they like a bit of mongrel in their leaders, not mister nice guy, which any politician can do. Outward niceness is a politicians stock in trade after all.

    Cunliff is the only credible contender.

    If Shearer cared for NZ he would step down and endorse the only current politician in the Labour party who has any hope of getting them above National.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Even a return to classical right wing conservatism would be better than the continuation of the Neo-liberal burglary.

      Sad, but true.

    • Dr Terry 4.2

      Many a “nice guy” turns out to be a “charmer” who manipulates, not to be trusted far.

      • KJT 4.2.1

        Key has always reminded me of the school bully.

        You know the one.
        The type who has a tribe of wannabee sycophants following them around and laughing at their amorality. Basher Bennet and Brownless are also typical of the followers.

        I met far too many of the type when in Management.
        Who also haven’t read anything except “how to get rich quick” books.

        And I am still astonished that other, otherwise intelligent, people cannot see it.

  5. BeeDee 5

    Dear Bill and other leftwingers

    It is time to start looking for yourselves at the enormous gulf that separates the two main parties. From 2009 the differences between Labour and Nation has been starkly clear. So many Labour Party programmes were slashed in that year that it has been too disheartening to continue the count ever since. In their first year in government the National Party decided to:

    Mine lignite coal in Southland

    Mapping NZ from the air including National Parks with the intent to prospect mineral mining.

    Water rights allocated in Canterbury to farmers.

    Resource Management Act modified to allow increased development with less regulation (ie Marina in coastal wetlands in Coromandel)

    Adult Education cuts; iwi representation on Polytechnic boards slashed; national standards set for primary schools regardless of ideas of experts and practioners, and cuts made to provide extra money (30 million +) to private schools

    Scrapping of Pay & Employment Equity Unit at Work.

    Perfectly competent ACC head sacked for political reasons.

    Campaign about ACC management which falsifies the real situation of surplus; and the decision to run it as an insurance company not as a pay-as-you go system

    Changes to eligibility for ACC especially for victims of sexual abuse, in particular children (Only one consultation free with a psychotherapist ) [this has since been reversed to a certain extent after a campaign by concerned professionals].

    Changes to payments to ACC especially for motor bikes.

    Decision announced to change Act and Foreshore and Seabed without any
    indication of what could replace it (law not yet passed rescinding it)

    Change to ETS law with little time to hear submissions and passing into law under urgency – result is that big polluters will be subsidised by tax payers and have no incentive to cut emissions. [And now in 2012 what will remain of the ETS? - Climate change is too expensive to combat!]

    Deal with Maori Party to subsidise big corporate Maori Forests emissions and not other Forestry corps, a racially divisive action to get Maori Party vote for ETS. (This goes against WTO anti-subsidy aims NZ has always worked for.)

    Pay rise for judges (who decides on this?) at a time of wage freeze for court workers and other govt employees. Pay freeze for hospital cleaners and other staff.

    Change to holidays – possibility to cash in one out of the 4 weeks holiday. Hours in lieu rather than days in lieu and other negative changes especially hurting part-time and shift workers. Changes to sick leave entitlements.

    Enormous payout for the as yet incomplete Brash report and dismissal of
    ideas contained in first part of report.

    Relaxed rules for overseas investors in NZ business and property.

    Auckland Supercity set-up and legislation passed regardless of citizens’ objections. Dedicated seats on council for iwi rejected – all minority representation with any decision making powers negated, in favour of ineffectual advisory councils. Huge power to be in the hands of the Super City mayor. The councils are no longer operating and the transition is being made with Auckland run by a 5 person commission.

    Useless Jobs Summit and unemployment rise

    Technical training cuts

    90-Day Bill allows employers to sack employees without giving a reason within first 90 days at a job.

    No real assistance on leaky homes problems and cases

    Cuts to R& D funding

    Cancelled regulations on clean emissions for car imports.

    Go to Copenhagen with request for money for research into farm emissions and pretend that NZ has targets in place.

    Present the same week the decision to construct billion dollar 4-lane highways and tunnels in the Wellington region. And announce planning to begin for another Auckland Harbour bridge or tunnel.

    Double bunking in prisons and the possibility of using containers as prison cells

    TVNZ NZ charter scrapped

    Junk food allowed back into schools.

    Reversing ban on incandescent lights

    Cut of 2% to employer contributions to the Kiwi Fund

    Cut of contributions to the Cullen Fund – because borrowing didn’t make sense in a recession (but Fund made bigger % interest than the cost of borrowing would have been as it turned out)

    Discontinued Pay Investigations for Special Education Support Workers and Social Workers (CYFS)

    Further cuts to Public Service Depts staff numbers

    Privatisation of prisons.

    
Scrapped biofuels (unsustainable sources eg Brazil) morotorium

    Allowing coal fired stations to re-open.



    ‘Environ’ school projects scrapped (although some councils are financing them now)

    

Similar programmes to train and tour union delegates  to  educate factories on environment friendly practic now cut.

46. Changing RMA investment rules

.

    Nats have changed the home insulation scheme (Greens and labour) to be available for everyone rather than targeted at those 
least able to afford to insulate their homes. With the result that limit of funds is reached and wrong group has acted to obtain the subsidies.

    Bill, how about taking a true look at the enormous changes to the fabric of our society in these last two and a half years.

    • weka 5.1

      BeeDee, impressive listing. The cynical reply is: how many of those things will Labour roll back/reverse once in power? And how many of those things is Labour actually ok with, and would do themselves if they thought they could get away with it?
       
       

      • George D 5.1.1

        This is the question I always ask Labour MPs: you oppose it now, will you reverse it when in power?

        If the answer is anything other than an unqualified yes, then they don’t deserve your support now (let alone when elected to government). Some things are irreversible in any practical sense, yes. But that list of things is radically smaller than the list of things that can be reversed.

    • Bill 5.2

      Bill, how about taking a true look at the enormous changes to the fabric of our society in these last two and a half years.

      If I remember correctly, Helen Clark voiced the concern during her step down in 08 that any gains made under 10 years of Labour would go up in a bonfire of fanatical flames under a National government. (I can’t quite remember how she put it.)

      Point is, I’m well aware that the Nats are going for ‘rip shit and bust’ and comletely trashing the fabric of our society. Or what remains of it.

      But I’m also aware that Labour led governments have been enamoured by the same neo-liberal tosh as the Nats. And so those neo-liberal Labour governments ‘went along with’ the broader game plan. They played ball as it were. And that has made it far too easy for the Nats to crank up the ideological extremism. Thanks to the penchant for ‘managerialism’ that marked neo-liberal Labour led governments, the framework that the Nats can now act from was left in place.

      As said before by someone on ts, there may well have been excusable reasons…even compelling reasons… for the Helen Clark led Labour Party acting as it did, or being inactive on some fronts. But that was then, and this is now. The world has changed and the neo-liberal project has shown itself to be an unmitigated disaster from the perspective of ordinary people. And so now, the Labour Party needs to make an unequivocal break from the past. No excuses.

      And you might want to consider the fact that although we are being subjected to austerity and sell-offs and all that guff at the moment, the fact is that NZ was kind of buffered from the financial melt down. But with China shaking and Australia likely to be dragged down by a falling China, the day when NZ gets hit isn’t very far away.

      When that happens, do you want the only response on the table to be austerity (more austerity) peddled out under the guise of TINA? I don’t.

      • karol 5.2.1

        Bill: As said before by someone on ts, there may well have been excusable reasons…even compelling reasons… for the Helen Clark led Labour Party acting as it did, or being inactive on some fronts. But that was then, and this is now. The world has changed and the neo-liberal project has shown itself to be an unmitigated disaster from the perspective of ordinary people. And so now, the Labour Party needs to make an unequivocal break from the past. No excuses.

        Exactly. Now is the time for change, and for Labour (and the Greens) to chart a new path.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          Talking to friends in Europe…the hopelessness associated with factories closing down and the sheer numbers of people becoming homeless (and that’s not looking at the more extreme and, some would say, simply off down the track a bit, situations in Spain, Greece etc)…I get lost for words on how imperative it is that a step change takes place within the parliamentary setting of NZ.

        • Dr Terry 5.2.1.2

          Agreed Karol, though I must remark upon the incredibly good performance of the Greens this year.

      • Wayne 5.2.2

        Bill, this is where the Left is deluded. This continual attempt to characterise the Nats as some sort of hard right experiment will fail. You cannot win by making caricatures of your opponents, you need to work out why they are succeeding. Essentially you have the mirror image of the problems facing the Republicans in the US. They completely misunderstood President Obamas appeal, just as you do with the Nats.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.2.1

          Correct. The Nats aren’t the “Hard Right” experiment; the whole of New Zealand over the last 3 decades has been.

        • Bill 5.2.2.2

          The neo-classical school of economic thought is very much a ‘hard right experiment’. And it was accommodated by the parliamentary left as well as the parliamentary right. And it’s collapsed and is causing mayhem. What more to say?

          Maybe the point of my reference to tweedle dee and tweedle dum in the post went whooshing over your head?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.3

          You cannot win by making caricatures of your opponents…

          We’re not making caricatures of National – they really are hard-right and show signs of sociopathy.

          • Wayne 5.2.2.3.1

            Well, good luck in trying to convince New Zealanders that their Govt is sociopathic!

            • Dr Terry 5.2.2.3.1.1

              Not only is the Government sociopathic!! Count in an awful number of its supporters.

              • KJT

                The fact that NACT got over 50% of the vote sort of confirms that half the population are below average intelligence.

                The funny thing is, that if you poll individuals on preferred policies, without specifying the party they originated, most prefer Green policies.

                So. If NACT, or 1984-90 Labour, was subject to truth in advertising rules they would have never got into Government.
                We are going to cut your wages, make you pay twice as much for privatised services formerly provided by the State, sell of all income earning assets and make the majority poorer so less than 1% can become a lot richer, would be true, but would not have won elections.

                Yet another reason why we should have democracy and not just a revolving dictatorship.

                • McFlock

                  The fact that NACT got over 50% of the vote sort of confirms that half the population are below average intelligence.

                  Not if you include the 25%-odd who didn’t vote.
                        
                  Basically, there’re enough people smart enough to realise that no party will serve the people and opt out of the entire thing, but the stinger in that tail is that it means the stupid tory is disproportionately represented in the ballot. 
                         
                  Which is why one should at least push some shit up the hill: if you stop bailing, you might drown in it. 

                  • I maintain that while withholding your vote is a valid option, it is never a smart one. You are always best off to vote for whichever party most closely represents your interests in your opinion, and act to reform them if they are not close enough for your liking.

                • Wayne

                  If you believe that of the voters, you are doomed to fail. Actually you might believe that, but the MP’s I know in Labour don’t.

                  Actually people knew what the Nats were going to deliver in both 2008 and 2011 and voted accordingly. Everyone knows we are in tough times, everyone knew the Nats were promising to sell 49% of the electricity SOE’s. The one thing you can’t seriously allege is that people did not know the Nats agenda.

                  You are going to have to either wait for the change in the electoral cycle – it will occur by 2017, or you you are going to need a more appealing platform.

                  From what I can see of Labour’s remits it is a return to the left solutions pre 1984. I reckon that wont work. How about a 21st century program?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And Nationals is a return to the 19th century.

                    Yes, it would be nice to have a program for the 21st century but we’re not going to get it from either of the two main parties.

                • TightyRighty

                  Channeling Romney now? Great work KJT. Trust a champion of socialism to promote competition by labelling people idiots if they don’t subscribe to the same views that you base on your “superior” insight.

        • tracey 5.2.2.4

          What I have learned from the Nats is you have to look appealing, like you care, while every day bringing down policies that work for the few and benefit the few and corode the maany. In other words lie plausibly.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      Mine lignite coal in Southland

      This was first on your list. Michael Cullen instructed Solid Energy to purchase all the lignite containing farms in Southland. Had he not done that, there would be no problem with this now.

      Same with Labour involvement with other items on the list.

      Eg water issues and water quality problems, they didn’t start in 2008. Dairy has been massively intensifying over the last decade, and the growth in debt and conseqent farm price bubble have been a driver of that. That all happened under Labour’s watch.

      Allowing coal fired stations to re-open.



      This is very selective. % of renewable energy in NZ has continued to go up in each of the years National has been in power, so overall we are using less coal powered stations than before.

      Some of the other stuff the Tories do is unconscionable but Labour has been soft on saying it will roll stuff back asap eg re-nationalising our assets.

      • Peter 5.3.1

        What coal fired stations have reopened? Last time I checked it was zero… New Zealand only has one coal fired station for years anyway – Huntly, which replaced Meremere.

        Mighty River power did not gain approval to refire Marsden B (near Whangarei) with coal, and now its off to India, to be fired up with, you guessed it, coal… You could say that a smart government might have not allowed the machinery to be sold to allow that use of coal, but hell, India is so short of electricity an action like that wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

        No other coal stations have reopened in that time. In fact, the 4 old coal/gas combined units of Huntly are now essentially standby only, as they prefer to use their newer gas combined cycle plant. That new transmission line from the Waikato will also help reduce the need for them to be cranked up.

        I sincerely doubt that any new coal stations will be opened either in the medium term future. Renewables are just too damned cheap.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      Campaign about ACC management which falsifies the real situation of surplus; and the decision to run it as an insurance company not as a pay-as-you go system

      Actually, Labour did that after they made ACC a monopoly again 1999

      Pay rise for judges (who decides on this?) at a time of wage freeze for court workers and other govt employees.

      Higher Salaries Commission

      how about taking a true look at the enormous changes to the fabric of our society in these last two and a half years.

      Are they enormous changes though? I don’t believe they are. It was Labour that brought in privatisation in the 1980s and they haven’t done anything to reverse that since. In fact, looking at their actions and what they’re saying now, it really looks like they looking for ways to increase privatisation and increase the actions of capitalism. Hell, even the ETS is an attempt to have capitalism to do the distribution of the worlds resources rather than the governments which is an exercise in futility as capitalism can only work if it uses the resources up at an exponential rate.

    • beatie 5.5

      I notice you didn’t mention the welfare reforms. I’ve asked the question on Labour FB pages ‘will Labour reverse the benefit reforms?’ A simple yes or no would suffice. My question was ignored apart from Darien Fenton who waffled on about ‘exciting initiatives, watch this space’ blah, blah blah. They have no idea, do they. I think they see beneficiaries as an embarrassing nuisance who interfere with their wooing of ‘Middle New Zild”

  6. Bravo, great read Bill.
    Labour need to grab back the reason why the party was formed,the beating heart is irregular
    and in danger of dying a horrible death,if not in 2014 certainly in 2017.
    It’s not enough to say they lost their way,those involved in the current shinanigans need to
    take a long hard look at themselves and ask, ‘Do i have a right to be a Labour minister’
    if not, then hand the reigns over to true labour party heros/heroins. people like Helen Kelly

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    TARA is way hotter than TINA. Just saying.

  8. weka 8

    Well said Bill.

     
    The electorate get a choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum fighting over a so called centre ground that has moved so far to the right that it’s just not funny.

    And, naturally enough, people stop voting. In their droves. Because there is nothing for them in the voting game. It’s disconnected.
    I’m not going to run through the policies that have come and gone through the years from the Nats and Labour where a cigarette paper wouldn’t have slipped in the gap between their positions.
     

    The risk with this narrative is that even more voters get turned off. I wince every time I hear someone say there is no difference between NACT and Labour. While I understand your analysis of the wider politics involved and agree with most of it, there is still value in people voting (on the left): it’s much easier to survive, and easier to effect political change under a leftwing govt than a right wing one, even a useless leftwing one like the last Labour govt. The only rationale I can see for taking the view there is no difference would be to let the country get so run down that people take to the streets. That’s not going to be a quick process in NZ (instead, long and painful)
     
    The narrative I’d like to see is: Labour has been captured by the neoliberals (plus eveything else you said). Vote for them (or someone else on the left) in the meantime, while we work to shift the country (and Labour) back to its core values of fairness and egalitarianism.
     

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Your strategy is correct
      1) We get people to turnout and vote the Left parties including Labour
      2) Those of us who are Left need to make damn sure that those Left parties and their MPs do what they are supposed to do for the people, or they get de-selected or voted out.

    • Bill 8.2

      Yeah. There are, of course, shades of neo-liberalism. Some are ‘nicer’. And if that is the only option we have, then of course, it makes sense to vote for the nicer varient. But our legs will get broken either way.

      What we need now is for the dominant section of the parliamentary left to make a clean break from the past. And it really does have to happen now.

      Meanwhile, I’ve no problem with people taking to the streets. In fact, I think it’s a sign of a healthy democracy that always holds the potential for ideas on developing more substantive and empowering democratic forms of governance to take hold. But I don’t buy the immiseration argument (I don’t think you were actually advocating that btw) whereby, so it is argued, people must experience a degree of suffering before they react. It doesn’t work that way. You can do just about anything to people as long as you leave them enough space to believe or merely hope that a warm shower awaits them.

  9. js 9

    Bill, you said it. You are not a Labour Party activist or member. You will probably never be. To have broad support in New Zealand a party has to cover a diversity from centre left to mild left to more staunch left – to reflect mainstream NZ which is actually quite cautious and moderate, but quite keen on people having a fair go (which National is not doing). That will never be enough for you and most Standard commentators.

    So why should you and other Standard commentators who will also never vote Labour be dictating policy and personnel to a party which you don’t support and don’t volunteer for. But surely you would support it focussing on winning back those 10 or 20% of middle to moderate NZers who have supported it in the past, and are the key to a left leaning coalition government in the future which has broad NZ-wide support. That path also needs an easy going, relationship building leader to do that – which the party has.

    • Eh? Those that voted National in last time pretty much all bought into the neo-liberal BS and carry on about the so-called Labour nanny state; coupled with going paranoid over a voluntary scheme for energy saving light bulbs (which was spun by the mainstream media as the first step towards a Communist state). Labour shouldn’t try to pander to the center-right, it is fruitless as trying to get Republican birthers to vote Obama; as National party supporters see Labour as the party of Satan out to ‘steal their money’ and ‘raise taxes’.

      Labour and the Greens should focus on winning electorates and the party vote of the center-left, as only by getting the center-left to the polls is National going to be turfed out. The center-left grew lazy under the last term of Labour (to the point most in the left felt that they didn’t need to vote), as a result John Key was able to get its voters out in larger numbers and take the country. I wouldn’t say we are as partisan as the US, but it is going to be a tight election and Labour has to be ready for a hard and bitter campaign to take back the country.

      • Wayne 9.1.1

        You have mixed up the 2008 and 2011 elections.

        New Zealanders don’t go for “hard and bitter campaigns”. They just want to see good policy and people with conviction to carry it out

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          They just want to see good policy and people with conviction to carry it out

          :roll:
           

          Show me the money!

          • Wayne 9.1.1.1.1

            All good politicians have swift rejoinders, that they don’t need rehearse. President Obama; “they don’t have horses and bayonets”. The good rejoinders disable the opponent. As sure as heck “Show me the money” did that to Phil. Both themes played into the voters sensibilities. In NZ the worry about more borrowing; in the US the prospect of increased defence spending, just at at time when they can see the end of more than a decade at war.

            In fact much of the current debate about leadership is about the inability of David Shearer to match John Key in the House. We have all seen it; John Key’s quickness in the House regularly leaves David Shearer looking helpless and out of his depth.

            • PlanetOrphan 9.1.1.1.1.1

              A reservoir of four word one liners that idiots will remember.

            • karol 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually that quip and repartee stuff is based on stereotypes and misinformation – everything wrong with the way image has come to outweigh content.  

              It relies on keeping the general public only partially informed, if not down-right mis-informed.  And really your view @8.50pm contradicts that of 6.54pm.

              My criticism of Team Shearer is more to do with content & policies than delivery.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It relies on keeping the general public only partially informed, if not down-right mis-informed.

                The latter if at all possible. As has been said, if National actually told the truth there’s no way that they’d ever be voted in to parliament never mind government. Unfortunately, even after 4 years of this government lying a lot of people can’t actually see that.

                • Wayne

                  Actually the Govt did campaign on its agenda, no one was misled. People either voted for the Nats because they thought the agenda was Ok, or the voted for the Nats because they thought Labour was not up to it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m pretty sure you’ll find that most of what National has done since the 2008 election most people wouldn’t have realised that National were going to do and that is National failing to tell people their agenda.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.3

              In NZ the worry about more borrowing;

              Can’t have been that worried – National got voted back in with the highest ever borrowing.

            • lprent 9.1.1.1.1.4

              That is the experience showing through of getting caught previously. But John Key was clearly a quick study and obviously remembers his previous failures vividly. He was no real match for Cullen in election 2005, but had vastly improved when he pushed pretty even against Helen in 2008. I was rather surprised that Phil didn’t have a good rejoinder ready in 2011, although as I recall he tried.

              I saw Helen go through a similar learning curve in the early 90’s in a number of areas. Ruthless self-appraisal and listening to the criicism of others with lots of practice is required. She put up with me amongst others and I am not exactly nice with my assessments.

              It isn’t just the house, although that would go a long way towards getting him ready for debates at the next election. However there he has to hold his own and not actively lose.

              I am far more worried that he simply doesn’t have sufficient skill to drive caucus so they don’t screw up and lose the election for Labour. Nor that he understands what needs to be done inside the party and why. At present he is so busy picking up basic skills that he doesn’t have time for a strategic view for the longer term, and I cannot see anyone else in caucus doing it.

              All good for National short term (but they don’t think strategically beyond a business cycle can they?). Not so good for NZ as the Greens or NZ first emerge as the driver of government over the next decade.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not so good for NZ as the Greens or NZ first emerge as the driver of government over the next decade.

                This is precisely it. Labour screwing this up puts NZ backwards for the next 10 years.

                Which is exactly the time this country needs to be preparing hard out to thrive in the perfect global storm of debt, energy depletion, resource constraints and exploding world population.

    • Bill 9.2

      A parliamentary left that was actually of the left (with all the caveats and limitations that parliamentary realities would impose on such parties) would be absolutely fine by me. Thing is js, when you refer to ‘moderate’ and ‘centre’ you seem to be assuming those positions are fixed and immutable while the reality is, as said in the post, that the centre has been shifted way off to the right over the past 30 years. Ie, our parliamentery politics have become decidedly radical thanks to the adoption of neo-classical economic thinking by the main parties of the left and right. And that ain’t good.

      edit. and when the shit hits the fan in NZ, as it most surely will, will you happy if a Labour led government sits in parliament doing nothing besides trundling out austerity policies? Because that’s what’s on the cards without a step change.

    • tracey 9.3

      because they might be potential or former labour voters??

    • lprent 9.4

      js: If anything, I’m naturally right of the current centre by inclination as anyone can see from my oft-times authoritarian and very individual moderating style here. But for decades I have been expending a lot of my valuable time and effort on a ‘left’ party. It isn’t because that is where my natural inclinations go. It is because I recognize intellectually that societies are too damn complex to be left to vagaries of the market. Especially on infrastructural issues from public transport to raising kids where the short-term profit motives tend to work against optimal long term results. You’ll notice that I seldom talk policy here except when it is about those infrastructural issues.

      So what you just said to Bill applies just as equally to me as well. People like Bill and myself generally aren’t interested in being the sole arbiters setting the direction, we’re interested in contributing to a party (or in this case a blog) that is inclusive, listens, and acts on what it hears. That is why we cooperate here despite our highly divergent viewpoints.

      Currently the Labour party isn’t configured to do that and really hasn’t been for more than 30 years. Sure we can stand up and put a policy remit through and even get it through conference. But more often than not the caucus will simply ignore it. It has been essentially a meaningless ritual, which is also why it has been occupying less and less of the conference timetables for decades.

      Consequently the Labour party membership has been steadily getting smaller and older as it steadily shrinks to a small group of younger groomed office seekers who wind up on the parliamentary payroll long before they get the nod to fight an election, and a residual lump of people from a previous generation who sigh for the days of yore when it was a cool thing to volunteer for Labour. That doesn’t bode well for being a party that represents anything apart from individual ambition. Increasingly that is what I see when I look at caucus.

      And I expect that a party should be configured to win elections. Being configured to coming as a good-hearted easy-going relationship building runner up isn’t something that I am prepared to expend effort on. And that is the position that the NZLP has allowed itself to get to.

      Chief in the things it needs to learn is to learn to agree to disagree again. Which is at least in part what a number of the remits this weekend are about. The absolute best way for MP’s to not have to deal with withering criticism from people both inside and outside the party, from members and activists, is simply to allow the party to be somewhere where you can speak, be heard, and see action in response. I don’t hold out much hope that will happen, so I prefer to expend effort here.

      It has been noticeable over the last few days that many of the MP’s are uncomfortable with being criticised from the left. So how comfortable are you with their attitude? How do you think they will react when they get a push to have this inside the party?

      I can remember when it actually happened and overall it was pretty damn healthy. More importantly we also had active change because MP’s had to to survive the interaction with party members. Now that doesn’t happen. Consequently these days we’re running on campaigning systems that owe their genesis in the days of the Anderton presidency because caucus members feel comfortable with them rather than if they are functional for the modern electorates.

      Which is also the reason that they have a problem with social media like this.

      • s y d 9.4.1

        “Consequently the Labour party membership has been steadily getting smaller and older as it steadily shrinks to a small group of younger groomed office seekers who wind up on the parliamentary payroll long before they get the nod to fight an election, and a residual lump of people from a previous generation who sigh for the days of yore when it was a cool thing to volunteer for Labour. That doesn’t bode well for being a party that represents anything apart from individual ambition.”

        nailed it there….I look at what Labour does in my electorate (home of Mr Bridges..sigh) and it’s basically election year flurry and then nothing….. Ms Mahuta-Coyle turned up a few months before the election, got her name in the paper, lost (as expected) and has now gone to work as a petroleum industry lobbiest…sigh again.

        meanhwile, the green candidate is in the media every week, with the argument against TINA..

        • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1

          and has now gone to work as a petroleum industry lobbiest…sigh again.

          Pagani get her in, or the other way around?

      • js 9.4.2

        This a response to LPrent 12.44pm and I agree about the need for healthy debate and even conflict. I think sections of the LP have been despairing about lack of support from other sections of the labour movement/left and vice versa since its founding (too radical, not radical enough, too white, too old, too male etc).

        But what has disappointed me in the last few weeks is the constant belitting of David Shearer and his senior management team, lots of demands that he and the LP must do this or that – or else! and very little positive. (And also very little that seemed informed by other than some TV appearances.) Consequently, when the last RM poll came out there was was a cheer of ‘told you so’. Sometimes it seems like the Standard is almost a front for the right.

        NZ needs a government of the left and it will probably be a coalition of about 3 parties covering a variety of perspectives. So let’s keep up the healthy debate and focus on the left, but not the bullying by and of the same side. That only plays into the right and sees the PM swaggering in parliament using the Standard to try and destroy the credibility of the left in the eyes of the public.

        • lprent 9.4.2.1

          And have you noticed that we are coming up to the conference? This is the ONLY time when active members really meet from across the country – so this is the time that myself and other NZLP members raise these issues. The other 51 weeks in the year we tend to concentrate on the right.

          More than half of the people who comment here are (in my estimation) NZLP members – including most of the people who you are unspecific in saying are “bullying” (haven’t seen it myself).

          Problem is that right now many NZLP members (including me) have a strong sense that the Labour caucus are the bloody problem. “David Shearer and his senior management team” can’t seem to control Shane Jones running his own message line not once but now at least 3 times without any even any comment or explanation or sanction from that team. How do you feel that is helping the left cause?
          So what makes you think that they are capable of running an coherent and successful election campaign? The last one was not good and as far as I can see they don’t seem to have learnt much. Outside of the blogs the sense of angry frustration at the “management team” permeates throughout the people who help organise the campaigns. What you see here is a pale reflection.

          They need a swift kick by the party and it’s members. These days there is no effective channel to do this within the party so it is getting done outside. If you don’t want it to continue in this manner, then I’d suggest that you assist in getting the obstructions from healthy debate inside the party removed. They are in my opinion mostly inside caucus and concentrated in the “management team”.

          The most vocal supporters of that “management team” in the public sphere appear to be concentrated in the right wing publications, commentators, and bloggers. I wonder why?

        • QoT 9.4.2.2

          or else!

          Nice mischaracterisation there. But I suppose it is easier to pretend it’s a threat, rather than an earnest, depressed, beseeching “if you don’t change course we’ll have another 3 years of National government and fuck me we don’t need that”. Because then you’d have to take the critics as serious, ardent lefties, not evil meanie Shearer-hating bullies without a cause.

  10. hush minx 10

    Js, i don’t think bill is saying he never will vote labour-but even if he is, does that make what he says any less valuable? There is a delicate balance to be had between catching votes but being true to your principles and values. The latter without the former sees you shut out from the treasury benches. The reverse scenario might see you in power but achieve nothing.

    I’ve done my fair share of party work-but Labour will not get my vote, or my volunteered time until they inspire me again. And i think that’s what many of us here have been saying. Labour caucus needs to listen, and democracy and accountability shine in. For that reason i support a 40% threshold for the leadership trigger. Let anyone who is not worthy try that on with members. It is a more meaningful test than caucus and their self interest.

  11. Lots of zombie illusions here. Neo-liberalism is no more an ‘experiment’ than capitalism is. It was a response to the 1970s structural capitalist crisis. Labour was not ‘converted to neo-liberalism; it did what it did in the 1930s again in the 1980’s in the interests of national capital. The difference is that in the 1930s national capital needed protecting so Nash did a deal with the Bank of England to allow it to keep the financial reins. By the 1970’s national capital had to merge with international capital to survive, so Labour reversed its 1930s protectionism, and sucked up to the international banks.
    TARA is ending capitalism, not performing life support on a zombie.
    Labour has a class contradiction running through it, a working class support base and a bosses program.
    TARA means that the Labour Party that was formed in 1916 out of the defeat of the militant unions to lock the working class into parliament will have to split along class lines.

  12. lefty 12

    If Labour refuses to respect its constinuency maybe it needs to be taught to fear it.

    What if unions and left organisations told Labour they will not support them if they don’t change their ways.

    Labour MPs will simply laugh at this because they have learned they will continue to be supported even when they betray those who put them in positions of trust.

    The left could respond by actively campaigning against them during the next election.

    Imagine unions suggesting to their members they vote anybody but the traitorous Labour party.

    And every progressive organisation and individual turning their back on them.

    Labour loyalists could treat it like giving their beloved child some time out for bad behaviour – it would be painful but for the party’s own good.

    It would take a bit of organisation and guts but it could be done.

    The result would be another term of National.

    That would not be pleasant, but only slightly less so than neo liberal Labour led government. After all we have survived more National governments than Labour in the last fifty years or so.

    I’m picking we would only have to do it once.

    The Labour Party and its MPs would get the message that the people it pretends to represent are not prepared to be treated like suckers forever and change its ways.

    The following election people would be able to mobilise around a Labour Party that stood bravely alongside the majority against the elite.

    As long as we stick to following the lesser of two evils path and vote for Labour, regardless of what it stands for, we are going to continue to be sold out.

    And a political space that should be occupied by a centre left party will remain occupied by a centre right party.

    • kiwicommie 12.1

      As much as I agree that Labour needs to change, we can’t afford another term of National (look at the National debt – $70+ billion in 2011, and $21 billion more this year) ; even if we have to grit our teeth at some of the more right wing members of the Labour party, that is preferable to another two years of National; which could turn NZ into Greece, Spain or Italy. Those suffering can’t wait another two years, let alone five.

      • lefty 12.1.1

        Kiwicommie

        It is exactly thinking like yours that leaves us trapped with a right wing Labour Party that treats us with contempt.

        Labour (in its present form) and National are equally likely to turn us into a Greece or Spain or Italy. A capital gains tax, cutting the pension and a bit of tinkering here and there are the only differences in economic policy between the two. If we look objectively at the last 30 years it is clear they have contributed equally to the mess we are in at present.

        Its not a matter of ‘some more right wing members of the Labour Party’. Its a matter of a neo liberal Labour Party that would become a neo liberal Labour Government.

        A genuine Labour Party could make the difference but we are not going to get one unless they are taught to respect the working class that supports them by moving away from neo liberalism.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          The left could respond by actively campaigning against them during the next election.

          lefty

          not just during the election, but during individual candidate Labour Party selection.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      The result would be another term of National.

      Not necessarily. There are plenty of left parties that these people could give their votes to. And you never know, they may actually end up preferring the new party.

  13. js 13

    Lange was an inspiring leader with the smart speeches and one liners but wasn’t doing and was not good at that behind the scenes stuff building alliances and relationships, while the neo-libs were. I like Shearer because he is doing the hard work behind the scenes stuff, particularly in Christchurch.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I like Shearer because he is doing the hard work behind the scenes stuff, particularly in Christchurch.

      Uh…as part of his research and technology portfolio???

  14. tracey 14

    I’m not sure how helpful this headline is for this post

    “The omnishambolic ABC Shearer led Labour Party in context”

    JS, I have refrained from offering what I am about to say because it is from a former employee of Shearer’s and I dont know the circumstances of that employment ending. That said, this employee describes him as a bully (which surprised me) and that he was not good at the nuts and bolts fo getting things done.

    Frankly as long as any party is all about its leader (and I include National in that) there is a level fod eception, or certainly wariness in this voter.

    [B : I think you might be right. Truth is, I hate coming up with brief summaries. Anyway. Summary/headline has been updated ]

  15. Sunny 15

    So js, Shearer is ‘doing hard work in CHCH’ is he? I saw a protest against the (30?) school closures/mergers/heists in CHCH. Looked like a fine day. Shearer was at the front of the march …and there were 200 people! 200! Down here in Dunedin, when the NACTS forced Forbury to close (roll of about 120) more than a 1,000 hit the streets. And they were Pacifika and Maori and poor people who had never marched before in the main. If 200 is the best the ‘leader’ and his party can get out in a city as shagged as CHCH on an issue that affects so many then he’s useless. And he needs to step aside and step aside now.

    • Peter 15.1

      Yeah, and we got close to 10,000 when National + Chch consultants tried to shut down our neurosurgery unit as well.

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    well, I enjoyed the post and thread Bill (just returning the feathers?)

  17. js 17

    Since someone mentioned bullying, I wonder how many people have been disappointed at the petulant bullying tone of some of the commentators of the Standard lately. Do what I say, how I say – or else! And as mentioned above, most aren’t even Labour people. In fact, I recall reading the Standard last election day and many from the so-called left admitting that they voted for NZ First.

    • muzza 17.1

      Lange was an inspiring leader with the smart speeches

      Given this comment further up, and the one above referring to bullying.

      I’d say you’re you have the wooden spoon out, doing a bit of stirring eh JS!

  18. tracey 18

    “petulant bullying tone”? To my knowledge none has been directed at me since I began posting here. I know the few times I went to whale and farrar’s site the commenters and Mr Slater were more than petulant. Two wrongs don’t make a right though. How do you feel you have been bullied ont his thread? I get disappointed when anyone resorts to name calling from any ideology.

    Isn’t it good if the posters/commenters here are from a variety of political viewpoints?

  19. pete 19

    As a National supporter, I certainly hope Labour adopt everything Bill says – 100%.

  20. Michael 20

    I think Pete’s post above, which looks like a cut and paste from Labour’s constitution, should be passed around its conference this weekend before every MP is asked to affirm it. Those that don’t or won’t should be deselected, there and then. Next Labour should debate how those principles are to be applied to the policies it offers the electorate in 2014. The result should be its roadmap while in government. If the people don’t like it, they can’t say they weren’t told in advance what Labour wanted to do, and deserve the government they get.

  21. Michael Wood 21

    In the lather about leadership, some of the other important changes and proposals up for debate at the Conference have been lost.

    One is the proposed Policy Platform. This will be a binding high-level policy document that is controlled by the party memebrship, and which other policy has to be consistent with. I’d encourage you to have a read before carrying on with the “Labour is just another shade of neo-liberal” meme. The draft platform explicitly repudiates the free-market agenda, is blunt in its criticism of the 4th Labour government’s economic policies, and proposes a major change in direction for New Zealand.

    The platform proposal first has to be endorsed and the document is just a draft that has to be considered by members at the Conference, but it gives you an idea of the plurality of thought and the debates happening within the Party. Rest assured that for most of us TINA is not an option!

    Read it here – https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2012-Draft-Policy-Platform-final.pdf

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Michael I hear really good things about you, but when I read things like “introducing innovative growth directed macroeconomic policies” I think to myself…did these guys not get the memo that growth per capita is over, that exponential economic growth will destroy this planet, and by the way…forget about ‘peak oil': cheap oil is already extinct.

  22. karol 22

    Bill said: The upshot is that we have elections as personality contests now. Is anyone really surprised? Is there anyone who in all seriousness would argue that they don’t know why this is? Just in case such people exist, here’s a hint. In a world that lacks policy alternatives, difference in personality is all that remains, ie the choice can only be between styles when the content remains the same.

    I agree with this, and am glad you focuses on the wider policy issues, and the whole TINA SCAM.  I am not so interested in who the leader is, but in the values being portrayed.  And a focus on a back-story or being the “anti-politician” is just buying in to the neoliberal narrative.  It’s an approach that became dominant in the 80s with the intensification of consumer society, branding and market-values.

    It masked the true  neoliberal agenda, which was to reform politics in the interest of powerful corporates and wealthy elite.  And for a left wing party to put a strong emphasis on leader as brand, is masking a TINA, no-change agenda. 

    The world has changed since the 80s.  I want to see a resurgent left-wing movement with bold new ideas. 

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      And a focus on a back-story or being the “anti-politician” is just buying in to the neoliberal narrative.

      This approach was engineered by the brilliant minds currently running Labour PR and strategy.

    • beatie 22.2

      Karol maybe you need to stop flogging a dead horse then. I remember the excitement of Lange’s win in ’84. It’s been downhill ever since. I haven’t voted for Labour for years. Unfortunately my 88yr old ex coalminer father is still loyal, to the point of being used in photo ops by our local Labour MP. Much to my disgust cos Labour sold him and his mates out years ago. Vote Mana!

      • karol 22.2.1

        I don’t understand what dead horse you think I’m abusing, beatie…?  I haven’t voted Labour for a few elections either.  But the approach by all “left” parties and the left generally is important to me whatever party I vote for (which depends on how close each party comes to me left-wing values).

  23. tamati 23

    The one legged army marches on!!!!!!

    Left, Left, left left left!

    (Bonus point for who can tell who this quote is from)

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    Good post by Pablo over on Kiwipolitico about the Asiafication of NZ Production:

    In New Zealand it is accomplished by maintaining unemployment rates at sufficiently high levels so as to have a labor surplus in semi-skilled and unskilled, middle to lower income, mostly youth and entry-level positions. Creation of lower minimum wage sub-categories (such as the youth wage) and lowering wage requirements for casual or part time work reduces labor input costs. Dropping of social welfare benefits forces people into the job market out of necessity rather than choice, adding to the numbers of the unemployed seeking work. Loosening of the regulatory environment in which most workers work gives them less legal grounds for grievance across a range of issues, from workplace safety to wages.

    The combination of factors allow for the easy replacement of semi-skilled and unskilled labor (and in some instances, skilled workers such as academics), which increases the employment uncertainty and precariousness of the work force. That makes employees malleable to employer demands for more wage restraint, more task assignments, more productive output per employee and hence more working hours with little extra pay or benefits. For employees in a labor market characterized by work scarcity, loose regulations and employment precariousness, increasingly onerous jobs are not easy to give up (tragically, Pike River comes to mind). On the other hand, for employers it is a take it or leave it proposition. If workers want better pay or conditions, they can look elsewhere.

    What we’ve been seeing over the last three decades of neo-liberalism is the deterioration of labour solidarity for the benefit of the ruling/ownership class. It is this deterioration that we need to stop and reverse if we want a better society.

    • kiwicommie 24.1

      I agree, most employers pay peanuts and refuse to pay international rates, workers see better pay and they take it (in Australia or elsewhere), the only skilled workers left are those that work well under heavy stress and pressure, or are conned by the ‘lifestyle’ and 100% Pure NZ crap; excluding those that want to stay here despite hardship. The National party and the Business round-table live on another planet, maybe Jupiter as the gravity would crush anyone that lands on it. ;)

    • asd 24.2

      Brilliant stuff! This is why we need a left leaning Labour caucus that is decided upon and disciplined by the membership so that egalitarian priciples can be enshrined and enacted upon when we are in power and we don’t have to put up with yet another version of neo-liberalism in drag.

    • Rogue Trooper 24.3

      That’s how I been reading our society, and they all seem to be very politically literate and pluralist over there at KP

  25. Outofbed 25

    I should vote Labour
    Hands on working man. Family steeped in Labour traditions, A history of a couple of generations door knocking leafleting etc.
    I should vote Labour
    I believe in Co-operation, rather than competition
    I believe in the just distribution of the production and services of the nation for the benefit of all the people.
    I vote Green
    I don’t really warm to their middleclass wankyness. It does not sit well with me.
    I want someone to vote for who represents me.
    Sure I know Shearer will probably win the next election by cobbling together NZF UF GREENS and the Maori Party a centrist fuck fest it won’t be clean it won’t be decisive but it will probably happen. They know that they will have comfortable ministerial portfolios without doing a hell of a lot. There will be a Labour led Govt probably
    But I want to vote for a Labour party to be proud off I want to deliver leaflets , doorknock stuff envelopes, go to conferences. But not for this fucking lot. My forebears would turn over in their graves if I did that, I won’t do it
    If people want to vote or be an MP in a centrist Party , may I recommend United Future.
    Just fuck off and leave the Labour Party
    I just want to vote Labour

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    No Right Turn | 29-09
  • The leadership characteristic that shall not be named
    David Cunliffe formally resigns today, setting up a head-to-head battle between him and Grant Robertson, although there’s still a chance that David Shearer, Andrew Little and/or Stuart Nash might throw their hat(s) into the ring. As the Labour MPs arrived for...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The leadership characteristic that shall not be named
    ...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Th Austerity Disaster and its impact – Lessons for New Zealand? (Fro...
    Europe’s Austerity Disaster29/09/2014 by Joseph StiglitzJoseph Stiglitz“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German Chancellor Angela...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 29-09
  • The Damage Fallacies of Neo-Liberal economics cause
    The on-going and recent scandals (Judith Collins & Oravida, Maurice Williamson & Donghua Lui, John Key & Dirty Politics....)  in New Zealand that have swirled around the neo-liberal National Party government of Key, supported by the discredited political parties of...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 29-09
  • Changing Leaders Will Not Be Enough
    Trial By Ordeal: The techniques of the Seventeenth Century Witchfinders-General might be preferable to the process Labour has adopted to uncover the reasons for its woeful performance in the 2014 General Election. It's a pity the Party has not allowed...
    Bowalley Road | 29-09
  • Starting a constructive conversation on the future of the Treaty of Waitang...
    To learn more about our upcoming Treaty project click here...
    Gareth’s World | 29-09
  • Gillard on NZ Labour
    I arrived in Australia a month after Tony Abbott had been elected Prime Minister, a week after Bill Shorten had been elected Labor Leader and a month before Kevin Rudd announced his resignation from Parliament. It quickly amazed me how...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • March to #StopDeepSeaOil and #StopStatoil
    There have been amazing and moving scenes in Northland as the Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi made its way down from Cape Reinga to stand up for their coast, their way of life and for future generations. And they are not...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-09
  • Auckland Transport Early October Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport board meeting is on Thursday and below are sections from the various reports that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was the huge number of items on the closed agenda with 18 specific items for decision/approval or...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Labour not “part of the communities we live in”
    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • “Unless you can perform miracles, it’s time to go David”
    To be honest, I haven’t really had time to keep up with the volumes that has already been written regarding the (current lack of) leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. One piece that has however caught my eye is...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • How sustainable is New Zealand?
    Behavioural economics is not a complete theory but it demonstrates that we are not the economic rational being usually assumed in economics theory. One of the most troubling divergences is that we make time-inconsistent decisions so our short run choices...
    Pundit | 29-09
  • The Labour leadership meltdown continues
    Over the weekend, I road tripped it down to Wellington, where I had a beer with a pollster, briefly checked on what announcement Cunliffe had made mid-Saturday afternoon, and then proceeded to ignore politics. Fine wine and convivial company was far...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The Labour leadership meltdown continues
    Over the weekend, I road tripped it down to Wellington, where I had a beer with a pollster, briefly checked on what announcement Cunliffe had made mid-Saturday afternoon, and then proceeded to ignore politics. Fine wine and convivial company was far...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the farcical elevation of David Seymour
    With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. This time around, a couple...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-09
  • Bike to the Future
    Bike to the Future. 28 September 2014. Photo: Tamara Josephine. The wunderkinds at Generation Zero put on a great event yesterday. Part celebration, part protest, the Bike to the Future event was attended by about 400 (500?) people, including young...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Peter Williams – Hero of the Week
    There are not many lawyers who I respect. However, that's not the case with Peter Williams, who is clearly one of the good guys.Not only has this highly experienced Queen's Council worked tirelessly to uphold the law, he has also...
    The Jackal | 29-09
  • Carbon News 29/9/14: Key challenged over climate impacts on Pacific islands
    Memo John Key: look Pacific Island leaders in the eye The Government is being challenged to invite the leaders of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati to come and tell Parliament what they think of New Zealand’s climate change policies....
    Hot Topic | 29-09
  • Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?
     Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?If so, will they be better equipped than they were in Afghanistan? In the following clip we see John Key reassuring  the nation after five New Zealand soldiers were killed...
    Arch Rival | 29-09
  • The question will only go away if we let it – please like & share thi...
    After only a few years in parliament, a relative newcomer to politics, John Philip Key became the leader of the National party of New Zealand.  He was subsequently elected the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 8 November 2008 and...
    Politically Corrected | 29-09
  • Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”
    In  Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent” I promised to review the anti-fluoridationist “International Peer Review.” This is Anti-fluoride  critique of the recent review Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence produced by the Royal Society of NZ together with the Office...
    Open Parachute | 29-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #35 A Corner to Remeber
    35: A Corner to Remember   Flatiron Building c1917 What if a flatiron building could rise on every forgotten corner? Continuing the series on forgotten spaces, the corner site at the bottom of Anzac Avenue where it meets Customs Street...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • A model for unaccountability
    National signed its confidence and supply agreement with ACT today. The headline news is that David Seymour get more patronage from National, in the form of being appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister of Education and Parliamentary Under Secretary...
    No Right Turn | 29-09
  • Nash equilibrium
    Labour seem to have gotten themselves into this weird position where they have (a) a leadership contest and (b) a long, extensive review of the party and its poor performance, meaning that they’ll either have to wait for the outcome...
    DimPost | 29-09
  • Nash equilibrium
    Labour seem to have gotten themselves into this weird position where they have (a) a leadership contest and (b) a long, extensive review of the party and its poor performance, meaning that they’ll either have to wait for the outcome...
    DimPost | 29-09
  • TEU elections returning officer’s report – national president and vice-...
    National President: The result of the ballot which closed at 5.00pm on Friday 26 September is that Sandra Grey has been elected as National President Te Tumu Whakarae for the 2015 and 2016 term. Vice Presidents: The results of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-09
  • TEU elects Sandra Grey president
    TEU members have voted Dr Sandra Grey to return as their national president for the next two years. Grey, who was previously president during 2011-2012, is a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington in social and public policy. Grey’s...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-09
  • Labour’s Review: Terms of Reference Agreed
    Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result.  The review will comprise three elements - a review of Labour's 2014 General...
    Labour campaign | 29-09
  • Pissing on the OIA
    So, not only do our police juke the stats; they also deliberately flout the OIA to cover up evidence of their crime:A damning internal police document has emerged that appears to show senior officers discussed not releasing embarrassing details about...
    No Right Turn | 29-09
  • New Fisk
    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis, so why don’t we do it and save some lives?...
    No Right Turn | 28-09
  • May the best candidate win
    Over the weekend, David Cunliffe bowed to the inevitable and resigned to seek a new mandate from his party. Good. After such an election loss, its appropriate that a party leader accepts responsibility. At the same time, they may still...
    No Right Turn | 28-09
  • The importance of housing choices in cities
    Good cities should provide choices to their inhabitants. Any big (or small!) city is composed of a variety of people with various preferences, needs, and budgets. Look around you: Aucklanders are a bloody diverse bunch, and we’re getting more so...
    Transport Blog | 28-09
  • President of Kiribati visits the Arctic
    In September 2014 Anote Tong, President of the Pacific Republic of Kiribati, journeyed to the Arctic to see first hand the melting Arctic glaciers that are affecting his drowning Pacific paradise.Sea levels are rising faster in the Central-West Pacific than...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 28-09
  • Letter to the editor – “An Alarmed World” according to The Listener
    . . This recent editorial from”The Listener”  is not one I ever thought I’d see… . . My response… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Listener <letters@listener.co.nz> date: Mon, Sep 29, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The editor...
    Frankly Speaking | 28-09
  • Updated poll of polls, now with dubious new ‘election’ datapoint
    ...
    DimPost | 28-09
  • Updated poll of polls, now with dubious new ‘election’ datapoint
    ...
    DimPost | 28-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • First batch of household protection kits arrives in Liberia
    Kits containing protective gear will equip a network of community-based Ebola care centres nationwide...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dr Paul Hutchison praised for work to reduce child poverty
    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has thanked retiring National MP Dr Paul Hutchison for his work to reduce child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Bag snatch hero deserves a medal – McVicar
    The Justice Spokesman for the Conservative Party, Garth McVicar, is calling for the woman known as the bag-snatch hero to be awarded a medal for bravery....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Police Remembrance Day
    This week, Police staff and others have been wearing the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin as they reflect on those who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect. Police Remembrance Day falls on...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid
    Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry is disturbed by developments increasing the number of local body regions choosing racially based representation. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils already have Maori wards, while New Plymouth...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dairy Strategy Proving to be a Disaster
    The intensification of the dairy industry is proving to be a disaster, says SAFE. This comes after the forecast 2015 milk price payout was cut 12% by Fonterra this week. “Last year, the government effectively gave the green light for...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Where Next for the Left?
    26 September 2014 A discussion of the post-election prospects for radicals, facilitated by Fightback. 6pm | Monday 28th September | 19 Tory St [ Facebook event ]...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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