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Cone of Silence?

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, September 3rd, 2012 - 101 comments
Categories: benefits, david shearer, grant robertson, labour, welfare - Tags: , , ,

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post offering Shearer, Robertson or Pagani an opportunity to justify their (more or less) blanket attack on beneficiaries. At the time, I didn’t realise Pagani had been banned from ‘the standard’ for (from memory) being an idiot . So, okay – he’s not able to respond via ‘the standard’. But as for Robertson and Shearer, well…still waiting. And the post I wrote certainly wasn’t the only one on the blogosphere to cover the matter. Giovanni Tiso who writes ‘ Bat Bean Beam’ wrote a post too and had a tweeted exchange with Robertson who acknowledged that he had read ‘thestandard’ post. But what Robertson didn’t do was offer any explanation or justification for the message that had come from the Labour Party and that he was partly responsible for. He simply sought to excuse himself…to run for cover behind the fact that he helped his constituents, some of whom would be on a Sickness Benefit.  But you know, I’ve no doubt that someone like Benson-Pope also helped some of his constituents who were on a Sickness Benefit – even as he was preparing legislation (Temporary Additional Support) that amounted to the largest reduction in benefit payments since Ruth Richardson.

What makes me curious though, is whether there has been any substantive response (ie, not a running for cover response) from either of these gentlemen anywhere that any one is aware of. I know some people sent my post to their local mp’s asking for a response. Were any forthcoming? I mean, this is the party that claims in press release after press release that they are ‘keen to receive feedback’ on ideas that they will ‘working on in the coming weeks and months’.

So wtf?!

Is ‘half’ the blogosphere being up in arms about a mentality that will inform at least some of  those ideas not feedback?  Or when they say they want feedback, do they merely mean they want people to talk to the proverbial brick wall rather than enter into any dialogue?

So please. If you’re aware of any responses to concerns raised by any number of posts on numerous blogs following Shearer’s speech to that Grey Power meeting, will you post links or whatever in the comments?

Cheers.

[lprent: I will unban John Pagani in the interests of discourse. Hopefully he will avoid making up his own stories about what authors said and confine himself to what they did write.

He has been making comments about it in other semi-private media like facebook. Most of what I have seen concentrates on smearing opponents and avoids the actual issue. So I wouldn't hold out much hope of any rational debate from him. ]

101 comments on “Cone of Silence?”

  1. captain hook 1

    when you have a party fixated on the politics of sex and a whole gang of skool teachers who have never done a tap of real work and are experts in pandering and mollycoddling to infantilised consumers then what do you expect?

    • Qdig 1.1

      Mr. Hook, I take it you have never done a tap of teaching? I very good family friend of ours is a teacher, and she has worked her arse off.. Good teachers do a hell of a lot more for society, and are for more important than lawyers, bankers or financial advisers.

      You want to see someone age? get them to teach for ten years, that’s why most do a stint and leave for greener pastures.

      It’s a stressful environment, and a badly underpaid one. In no way should they be compared to childish, pap talking, spineless politicians, in any party.

      Hard work for your own benefit is in no way comparable to hard work for the benefit of society as a whole.

      Thank you very much.

      Q

  2. Shearer’s explanation – excellently forced out of him by Aaron Hawkins of Radio One in Dunedin – is transcribed as an addendum at the bottom of the post of mine you linked to.

    • Bill 2.1

      Yeah, I saw that Giovanni. But that’s not so much a response as a lot of ducking and diving for cover. Either they stand by what they said and justify it or they apologise. Unreservedly. Coming out with incoherent shit that claims what they meant/said wasn’t really what they meant/said doesn’t cut it, imo.

      • I sincerely doubt you’re going to get any more than that. Even if they realised it was a misstep (big “if”) they’ll just want to move on now.

        • gobsmacked 2.1.1.1

          The best we could get is “I did nothing wrong, but I won’t do it again.”

          Quite apart from the moral aspects, it really is strategic stupidity. Lots of supporters (current or potential) pissed off, and no evidence at all that any target voters were reached. So it wasn’t a “lose some, win some” trade-off – it was a self-inflicted defeat, not even a draw.

        • Bill 2.1.1.2

          I’m aware that given short news cycles and memory holes, they’ll have decided two weeks ago to keep their heads down and wait for things to blow over. And I’m aware that will probably happen/has happened (although referring to roof painters seems to have become a bit of a meme in some quarters).

          And I meant to put this post up last week on the tail end of stuff, but hey…their silence is an implicit admission they stand by what was said.

          Meantime, although the specific focus of bashing those on welfare entitlements has ‘blown over’, I’m wondering how much medium/long term damage these clowns have caused in terms of the level of trust and reliability people feel they can invest in the Labour Party.

          And I must admit, in this instance, it would have been nice to do a post that drew absolutely no comments :-)

          Anyway…

          • Giovanni Tiso 2.1.1.2.1

            I’m totally with you on this, that’s why I kept asking Shearer whether his anecdote was even true – to a resounding silence. It’s not an episode that’s worth forgetting about for the sake of unity and the party. Quite the opposite in fact.

          • lprent 2.1.1.2.2

            Well I’m still pissed about that simple “anecdote”. What with moving house and the subsequent exhaustion I haven’t finished the post that I was writing on the topic from my perspective. I’ll put it up in a few days just to keep roasting the caucuses balls over the flame….

            It really is a core issue for the Labour party. Scapegoating the most vulnerable sections of the community by using exceptions to smear the majority for electoral support isn’t something that I support. It is also something that I’m not going to support any party that does by the individuals stating such stupidities in policy speeches.

  3. fisiani 3

    When did saying that people can can work,ought to work, become a blanket attack on beneficiaries?
    I cannot see the link.

    • gobsmacked 3.1

      You’re not supposed to see it, you’re supposed to hear it. Woof woof!

    • Uturn 3.2

      When?

      Has its origins circa 1860, but I assume you mean later examples in NZ, in which case, how does early 1970’s suit you?

      Why can’t you see the link?

      Probably through an over-reliance on certain cognitive functions.

    • blue leopard 3.3

      The message that Mr Shearer gave may well have been intended to be one of “those who can work, ought to work”; however he chose a poor example if that what he was intending because most of us realise that the guy at the focus of the criticism was being paid to paint his landlord’s roof at the time of the observation.

      ….and thus the ACTUAL message he sent out was that if you are on a benefit, ensure that you are not seen out and about being active, it was a call to those on benefits to stay indoors and do nothing..well, not without the curtains drawn….because otherwise your belligerent neighbour might get hurt feelings.

      Mr Shearers message was one of a warning in time to halt on the path of evil for the additional concern that it might also have the devastating effect of allowing other more positive neighbours to see that you are motivated and have skills and they might end up offering you more work-

      …and we CAN”T be having that now….it may be well and good for the beneficiary involved, however we can’t be having people currently unemployed acting in a way that might lead them to employment; what in heaven’s name would our two main political parties have to discuss if everyone ended up with jobs??

      Hell! they might have to start thinking about political approaches that encourage unity and wellbeing in our communities; instead of creating division.

      Horror!

    • Dr Terry 3.4

      fisiani. Has it not yet occurred to you that for a majority of benefiiciaries there is NO WORK AVAILABLE (are these words big enough for you to see?)

      • Tazirev 3.4.1

        “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” so it doesn’t matter how big the words are

      • Bob 3.4.2

        If there is no work available, shouldn’t he be on the Unemployment Benefit, not the sickness benefit? It may sound like symantics, but the difference is, no-one at Work and Income will be helping him find work on the sickness benefit.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.4.2.1

          That makes even less sense than what Fisiani said.

        • blue leopard 3.4.2.2

          @ Bob

          Your question does make sense. Yes, if someone is able to work they are meant to be on the unemployment benefit. People with limited/short term work incapability go on the sickness, people with long term limitations go on the invalids benefit. (Is my understanding)

          However recent changes mean that people on the sickness are being required to look for work too. And the recent push to pressure such, in the face of increasing unemployment is a tad frustrating and what I believe Dr Terry to be referring too.

          If a person with a back issue, which causes a limited work ability goes to a job interview in competition with fully healthy people, at a time when job opportunities are scarce, it simply leads to a lot of rejection for the sickness beneficiary and loss of confidence and no uptake of work. It would be a different story if there was a wealth of jobs around.

  4. Raymond A Francis 4

    Like others I can’t see how a (clumsy) story about someone ripping off the tax payer can be considered a “blanket attack on beneficiaries”

    So “Bill” are you trying to tell us that you don’t know anybody ripping the system off and do you think that is ok
    Because I don’t think it is ok, on the other hand I certainly don’t worry about it as there are already people paid to do something about it and they aren’t all National party MPs

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      But Raymond, the whole problem is that we can argue what Shearer really meant forever … because he won’t say anything. At all.

      If he had a point, he should make it. But he won’t.

    • We’ve come to expect so little of political speeches that we read them as little more than impromptu yarns, when they are anything but. The anecdote was put there, at the beginning of the speech, to position Shearer and Labour politically, as a leader and a party who won’t be soft on welfare. This would be unbecoming of a left-wing politician at the best of times, but is especially galling and cowardly during the most sustained attack on welfare since Ruth Richardson. Shearer says “I don’t care if it’s a millionaire not paying his taxes or a person on a benefit who shouldn’t be getting one…”, but it’s the latter he chose for his little story, and there is nothing whatsoever that is casual about it.

      Bill’s original post really was very good. This comment from just saying was also eloquent:

      “Please don’t continue to insult me with your disingenuous crap about “we never said all sickness beneficiaries are bludgers”. You set the dogs onto people like me deliberately, each one of you, for personal gain, and Paula Bennett is better than every one of you because when she does the same, because she only goes through the motions of pretending she hasn’t. It’s not like she expects anyone to believe her.”

    • Carol 4.3

      A Labour party, or any party of the left, should be focusing on the real problem for all of us: the wealth/income gap, the way the wealthy and powerful have skewed the system in their favour, and the far more destructive and costly rorts carried out by some of the most well-off in society.

      Both National and Labour have continued tightening up on things for the beneficiaries in recent decades, so now they have only really a small target to aim at. Bennie-bashing is about smearing all beneficiaries as a scapegoat, masking and diverting from the real problems in the country (and the world).

    • Bill 4.4

      Shearer’s anecdote assumed guilt, Raymond. Geddit?

      As for your faux concern about people ripping off the system…is there a qualitive difference between a person struggling financially because of the constraints placed on them by the system showing a bit of initiative and earning an illegal $20 or $40 from time to time and a financially comfortable person paying someone else to find tax loopholes or construct trusts just because?

      Maybe not, in your world.

    • Dr Terry 4.5

      Raymond, you call somebody “clumsy”? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.6

      Like others I can’t see how a (clumsy) story about someone ripping off the tax payer can be considered a “blanket attack on beneficiaries”

      It was a blanket attack because there was no proof that the guy on the roof was ripping off the taxpayer.

    • QoT 4.7

      someone ripping off the tax payer

      [citation needed] (which is kind of the entire fucking point, Raymond)

    • lprent 4.8

      Raymond – you do realise that there was zero evidence offered in the speech to indicate that the sickness beneficiary was ripping off anything?

      Nothing to indicate that the neighbour was capable of making a medical diagnosis from the other side of the street. Did he have access to medical records? To the case file from WINZ? There was no information even how often or long he’d observed this poor bastard on the roof, what his injury was, or what his capabilities were.

      Basically it was a pile of crap from a irritated neighbour and somehow Shearer’s speech made the assumption he was correct to make it because it was about ‘fairness’. Perhaps he and you should look at the concept of ‘fairness’ a bit more and extend it beyond thinking purely about about how you think it was…

      There is absolutely no indication that David Shearer or his staff did any work to find out anything about this person – yet somehow he was put up as example in front of a political audience as an example of fairness in the welfare system by someone who to me appears to have not bothered to find out what people on sickness benefits are meant to do.

      Guess what. People on sickness benefits are able to potter around and are usually encouraged to do so. In fact they are usually required to do so by both their doctors and by WINZ – but apparently not by idiot neighbours with a grudge or gormless politicians wanting to make political points. Hey I’m still fucking furious about that speech.

      Think it through. Why just last year I came out of hospital with a stent shoved up an artery. It could have been me up on that bloody roof getting a bit of exercise with a chore. Bloody Shearer could have and evidently would have made me a target for any shithead neighbour with an attitude to take potshots at. Hell you sound like you’d like to encourage them…

      Leaving hospital I got advice about smoking and whacking great pile of substitute gum, patches, etc to make the point I suspect. Advice about diet. And ideas on how to proceed for work and the like.

      I was told to take it easy – but to do something anything every day because I’d had a hell of a shock to the system both physically and mentally. Having a oxygen shutdown to the brain because of a heart failure is generally a problem for the cognitive functions. The efforts of the people to keep me alive were quite rough, very successful, and rather painful after the event. Lyn and the ambulance people didn’t break the ribs but they must have come bloody close. The rest of my body wasn’t exactly in a good condition either for reasons ranging from lack of circulation to having a heart that felt like it wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

      I was also pointed in the direction of the parts of the welfare and health systems if I needed them (including the sickness benefit), and advised that it could be months before I was ready to work again and that I wasn’t to drive for a minimum of three months. I certainly wasn’t up for much sustained physical work for quite a few months because any exertion tired the hell out of me. But I certainly would have been capable of doing a few hours of roof painting long before I was capable of doing any heavy lifting walking more than a few hundred metres without feeling woosey.

      This is what the health system is for. It is what the sickness benefit is for. That is what I have been paying taxes for nearly four decades for (I started paying income taxes at about age 12 or 13 and paid taxes that were similar to my allowance even when I was a university student).

      In practice because of the type of work that I do and that I didn’t have sufficient oxygen deprivation to cause issues with my ability to think meant that I was back at work fast. But that was literally a matter of pure luck. Lyn was at home and was suspicious enough to come upstairs to find out why I was making funny noises as I was trashing myself towards death. There was literally a few minutes window between my being able to continue programming and being highly retarded. There was only a few more minutes between that and death. If the ambulance had been more than 5 minutes away then Lyn’s efforts would have simply caused me to prefer to be dead – I wouldn’t have been able to code.

      After hospital and Lyn was having people continually coming around to pester me while she was at work (she was in the crucial phases of a project) and she was worrying so damn much. So I went back to work a week after I got out of hospital. Keyhole surgery and stents are great. I had to take a taxi each way and was a bit short of concentration for the first couple of weeks and had to recode some stuff a month later. But programming c++ was a hell of a good exercise for my brain and I was probably more efficient than most programmers.

      …you don’t know anybody ripping the system off…

      I don’t currently. I am aware of two or three people in the last 30 years that I’ve known who in my opinion may have been. However my knowledge in each of those sounds like it is way more the David ever had and I couldn’t say for certain that they were ripping off the system or even if it was likely. I’m puzzled that you can from either David Shearers description or in most cases from the outside of any particular case. Quite simply there are way too many variables and you usually have to have the files in front of you to decide what is going on (more on that further down).

      I suspect that like Shearer and his idiot constituent you’re simply plagued with an over-active imagination and a penchant for certainty that are likely to lead you to a supposition based on silly anecdotal evidence. I tend to notice such silliness amongst the idiot commentators I read at Kiwiblog.

      However I have personal experience of helping scores of poor bastards trying to get from the welfare system and ACC what they were entitled to get, what was required for them to become productive taxpayers again, and what I intend my taxes to pay for – especially in the 90’s. The litany of files lost in transit for people trying to move to where the work is, sickness benefits being denied, and threats that the DPB being cut off because the mother was attend appointments (said appointment was to turn up and say that her circumstances hadn’t changed). Lyn has even more tales from either personal experience of that of her friends. She started work in the 90’s and being in your 20’s then in provincial NZ was not a good experience.

      Most of the time the staff try to do a good job. But the rules and procedures made by idiots and often idiot politicians were clearly designed to act as a protracted torture – to the people who needed anything but.

      Somehow I suspect that you have rather missed this whole area of life’s tapestry. Perhaps you should volunteer some time to do something that is socially useful and a bit closer to reality.

      Basically that wee anecdote was a cowardly dog-whistle worthy of a moron in the sewer of kiwiblog and usually is several times per day. However it was uttered by a leader of my damn party who should have damn well known better in a public speech that was carefully transcribed and published. Whatever moron adviser(s) helped him or checked that speech should have been fired for terminal political stupidity.

      For the moment David has been relegated by me to either being a bit of a political fool (kind of easy to predict the reactions) or a possible arsehole. In either case I think that I’ll be looking for another MP to support (I usually expend much of my efforts in Mt Albert).

      I’m seriously considering looking for a new party because of the silence from the caucus at any level. I tend to regard silence about cockups in policy like this as being tacit and implicit support. Besides I regard gross political incompetence as being something that really isn’t something I want to encourage.

      I trust I have made my views on this quite clear…… You can probably infer what my blood pressure level your faux concern and fence straddling posture is

      • “There is absolutely no indication that David Shearer or his staff did any work to find out anything about this person.”

        Shearer said outright that he never bothered to find out if the story was true. And remember, we’re talking about one of his own constituents. In fact, he can’t remember if the guy was supposed to have a back back “or a bad something or other”. He’s been studiously casual about all this, so much so that I still harbour my doubts that the conversation actually happened.

        • Colonial Viper 4.8.1.1

          In fact, he can’t remember if the guy was supposed to have a back back “or a bad something or other”. He’s been studiously casual about all this

          So what was the man doing during the Springboks tour?

          • fnjckg 4.8.1.1.1

            or, maybe u could provide tute on leaving a tidy link for Draco instead of a long url and a wait in moderation, noe what i mean

            • lprent 4.8.1.1.1.1

              Self -inflicted wound? The system is as deeply suspicious about long URL’s as Lyn is about funny noises.

              There is some data in the FAQ.

              • fnjckg

                wounds? many, some self-inflicted, yet much is determined.(all healed now)
                no particular link, just Draco suggesting i tidy up my contributions, which i shall endeavour to do upon understanding how.
                Thanks, great site, i have learnt a lot. “echo chambers”? clearly not
                although, pretty unbelievable what people get up to at times. Good Health and Kind Regards

                -ubi bene, ibi patria

      • QoT 4.8.2

        And lprent lays down a thermonuclear level of smack. Huzzah!

        • lprent 4.8.2.1

          I think you might be able to detect a certain level of ummmm irritation?

          The question of fairness has been misused by Shearer. The whole point of having these services is so that you can stay alive with some degree of dignity despite whatever the fates throw at you. You just have to put up with WINZ and their arcane rules and nitwit systems.

          But having frigging neighbors sticking their idiotic and stupidly unaware noses into the typical pain and despair of most beneficiaries (outside of superannuiants) is blatantly unfair. Having a gormless politician use it for brownie points egging them on is just contemptible.

  5. js 5

    Accusations of beneficiary bashing by Grant Robertson are not only inaccurate but cruel and unfair.

    • Bill 5.1

      No. They’re not. Robertson, as well as deputy, was to be Shearer’s ‘mentor’…to help and advise the ‘newbie’. And so Robertson knows the contents of Shearer’s speeches. End of.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Knew and approved them, most likely.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          Indeed.

          • Rhinocrates 5.1.1.1.1

            I’ve had a gutsfull of Robertson making sanctimonious speeches about how much he cares, how much he’d “like” an inquiry into this or that, but the fact is, he always has something to say, he always stands up when the issue’s at the forefront… and then he finds a moment to slip out the back door when nobody’s looking because he’s got a “prior engagement” or suchlike. He’s all bluster and no action.

    • the sprout 5.2

      Robertson is very much an active driver of the disasterous labour lurch to the right, he’s just careful to distance himself from it

      • Anne 5.2.1

        I suspect you’re right… the sprout.

        I do know Labour MPs are not allowed to comment on this blog-site. To be fair, it may include all blog-sites apart from their own – Red Alert. That is why there is a ‘Cone of Silence’.

        It would be telling if we knew who came up with that directive.

        [lprent: Not by our policy. We don't allow them to author posts for the site except under their own names and usually for specific purposes - like during the leadership contest earlier this year. ]

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1

          “I do know Labour MPs are not allowed to comment on this blog-site.”
           
          Big call, Anne. Care to give us the details of when this happened? I wouldn’t want to be rude, but that sounds like bollocks to me, and not just because its completely unenforceable.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Labour MPs are also not permitted to make any comments which appear to give credence to ‘non-orthodox’ economic approaches and theory.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, that would explain why I didn’t get any response to my comments on David Parker’s post.

              • fnjckg

                tutorial? i get a long url and a moderation wait otherwise i would. i luv reading up-to-date stuff
                (and, i have lost the smileys page(picture the white rabbit, the doormouse and the hatter, a cup-of-tea, and thats me)
                otherwise, i would :)

          • felix 5.2.1.1.2

            Well I don’t know nothing but it’s been a while since I saw a Labour MP comment here under their own name.

          • Anne 5.2.1.1.3

            That is what I was told Te Reo – and by a caucus member. No need to suggest it’s bollocks. I don’t make things up.

            You are right. It’s unenforceable, but if I was an MP I should consider it wise to abide by it.

            Btw, as I said… I’m sure it applies to all blog sites. Not just The Standard.

            What’s more, I don’t think it applies only to Labour MPs. Do Green MPs comment here? No. Do Nat. MPs comment here? No. It looks like all political parties have issued a similar directive.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1.3.1

              I’m pretty sure that MP’s from Labour, the Greens and National do comment here, though anonymously of course. The odious David Garrett has popped up, too, as I recall. Or maybe that was one of his other identities ;) Mallard has commented here on occasion and Darien Fenton fairly regularly, too.
               
              It just doesn’t stack up, particularly in a party like Labour, which, as we know, can’t keep a secret to save itself. Anyhoo, didn’t mean to offend you, Anne, it was the idea of such a weird caucus instruction that I thought was bollocks, not the person reporting it.

              • felix

                “Mallard has commented here on occasion and Darien Fenton fairly regularly, too.”

                Used to. Not lately that I’ve noticed.

              • Anne

                in a party like Labour, which, as we know, can’t keep a secret to save itself.

                Perhaps it was an attempt to see if it’s possible. Whatever, it won’t last. :)

        • Blue 5.2.1.2

          Probably an attempt to stop the MPs embarrassing themselves on social media. It’s not working very well is it?

        • gorj 5.2.1.3

          “I do know Labour MPs are not allowed to comment on this blog-site.”

          What’s the point when they can still make asses of themselves on fbook and twitter? Anyone else remember trevs photo from a couple of weeks ago?

          • Fortran 5.2.1.3.1

            gorj

            Labour MPs’ should be allowed to comment here – let’s face it Red Alert is useless – there is more support and scope here than on the Jerk.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Could you please tell us specifically what it was that Robertson said concerning beneficiaries?
    Shearer”s silence is deafening!

  7. Ianmac from Vietnam 7

    I think you critics are not seeing the wood for the trees. Two weeks later and you are still interpreting Mr Shearers words in the worst possible light. Get over it. Move on. Much more important issues at hand.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Two weeks later and you are still interpreting Mr Shearers words in the worst possible light.

      I am open to hearing an interpretation of Shearer’s words in the best possible light, if someone wants to explain it.

      Much more important issues at hand.

      Blame Labour’s speech writers for putting it at the very start of a well publicised and reported speaking engagement, then.

      • weka 7.1.1

        “I am open to hearing an interpretation of Shearer’s words in the best possible light, if someone wants to explain it.”

        Don’t know about his words, but how about the best possible light on his actions?

        He didn’t think anyone important would be paying attention to the Grey Power speech.

        He didn’t realise how badly his anecdote would come across.

        He didn’t understand the power of the blogosphere and social media.

        Or that people on SB or people who have friends and family on SB might be reading what he said and not pleased.

        He was confused about the difference between a politician and medical doctor.

        He thought his advisors knew what they were doing. 

    • weka 7.2

      “Much more important issues at hand.”

      hmm, gay rights* are unimportant, and now disability and beneficiary rights.  

      (*not you ianmac, but the argument that some issues should be sidelined for the more important ones has been made alot recently)
       

    • QoT 7.3

      Get over it. Move on. Much more important issues at hand.

      Yeah, issues like whether the Labour Party is going to remain faithful to its core values of standing up for the little guy. Issues like whether the Labour Party hierarchy are willing to buy into rightwing framing of social welfare. Issues like whether the leader of the Labour Party is either reflecting his party’s values and/or presenting the kind of leadership which can challenge NACT in the next election.

      Oh, wait. That’s exactly what we were talking about. Sorry for not falling for the “pretend it never happened” tactics.

      • Rhinocrates 7.3.1

        Yeah, love that one. “Oh, right, OK… I suppose that I’m meant to support you… but… ah… you know, there are more important issues. MY issues. You see, if they’re your issues, then the plainly can’t be important because they’re not my issues, and politics being a zero-sum game, if you win, the somehow I must be losing, somehow, so you’d really better STFU.”

        No, I don’t care if they’re someone else’s rights, because someone else’s rights are my rights. If rights aren’t universal, then they’re not rights, they’re privileges, and privileges can be withdrawn at any time. If that’s the case, then my “rights” can also be withdrawn at any time. Look at Pastor Niemoller

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Niemöller

        “I wasn’t X, so I didn’t speak out… and then they came for me.”

        Gay rights are everyone’s rights.

  8. Ianmac from Vietnam 8

    Colonial. Please meet the wood. :)

    • Olwyn 8.1

      Unfortunately, there are too few acceptable trees to speak very promisingly of the wood they constitute. People cannot let go of the anecdote because it offered confirmation for suspicions that were already rife, and which the Labour caucus appears determined not to alleviate.

  9. Uturn 9

    In order for Shearer to have said what he said, he must be of the mindset of those currently in power, within the status quo, who aren’t of the Left. You cannot be a socialist, or have any under standing of the underlying principles of social welfare, and point at beneficiaries as potentially dodgy. You’d have to have forgotten your own past, or be someone that thinks that pop culture defines the history of the world.

    If you’re a socialist, you understand that the definition of “working people” does not exclude the unemployed or otherwise uninvolved. Under capitalist systems, the unemployed are an economic tool for employers to lower the cost of shifting public resources into private hands. Under socialism, people are people, not units of potential productivity. Socialism works for the benefit of people, not private profit, so everyone works, even if while viewing it from a capitalist perspective, that work seems “inefficient”.

    How do you use a corrupted unfair system to measure “fairness”? You cannot refer to our system and use “fairness” in the same sentence. It’s an oxymoron. It is and remains illogical.

    Shearer has in effect said,

    “As leader of the major opposition Left wing party, we cannot tolerate anyone not helping us shift public resources into private hands. Furthermore, I have no intention whatsoever of addressing the injustices and immoral acts of our style of capitalist system. My vision of the future is in maintaining the status quo and has a large helping of poverty. ”

    In their silence and by association, his party condoned it. Do they honestly believe that if we just let them have their way, they’ll come right once in power? Oh that’s right, the justification is that the alternative is worse. Isn’t that… yes I believe it is… it’s extortion, backed up with oppression. The only thing more annoying than having to explain this is that the traitors in Labour will now dress up their idiocy so they sound like the real thing, so people will point and say it quacks like a duck so it must be a duck, but internally nothing will have changed. The duck will still be a goose.

  10. NickS 10

    At the time, I didn’t realise Pagani had been banned from ‘the standard’ for (from memory) being an idiot

    /snicker

    ’tis a rather bad omen when your top spin doctor gets banhammered from a blog with rather straight forward and fairly tolerant comment rules…

    And I don’t think he’ll turn up, PR Hacks like to have the conversation controlled, and here Pagani is open to being nom’ed on from all sides :3

  11. Raymond A Francis 11

    Bill I think you read into comments things the commenters don’t see

    I don’t have “faux concern” about people ripping of the system, as I said there other people paid to worry about that

    I don’t have concerns about my neighbours making a little extra on the side anymore then I worry about fat cats trying to hang onto their money even though that is legal where as the “little” exta on the side is not

    • Bill 11.1

      That’s what I thought you’d think and said as much. No qualitive difference in your world view between an act being undertaken because one is simply in a position to act *so* and one being undertaken from a perception of necessity. Jolly, jolly.

  12. captain hook 12

    anyway it is becoming increasingly clear that policy wonks like pagani and mp’s like robertson begin to believe that they are the party
    they might be right.
    try and find a branch and then try to join it.
    most people give up in disgust at this point.
    we the “constitutional advisory panel” or (———- fill in the blank) are here to tell you what to think.
    and dont you forget it.

  13. captain hook 13

    and js if you think accusations of benny bashing against grant robertson are unfair then why doesn’t he get off his ass and say what he really thinks.
    its that easy.

    • Rhinocrates 13.1

      I disagree with you, profoundly. It’s not spelled “ass”, but “arse”.

      And he won’t.

  14. the sprout 14

    There has been a real response from shearer et al, its been to raise the pitch of the dog whistling and altogether be a lot more sly and less open about the march to the right.

    Not what any of us wanted, but then labour under shearer is turning out to be not what any of us wanted. Unless you count farrar, slater and o’sullivan as ‘us’

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      And no doubt Armstrong, Hooten and Clifton too.

      • the sprout 14.1.1

        True, and probably key, joyce and english too. They all think shearer is marvellous.

        I guess its just labour members and would-be voters that think shearer is poison

  15. just saying 15

    I’ve had a backwards and forwards correspondance with my MP about the matter. It’s up to my move but I feel at a bit of an impasse as to what to say next. We have been so thoroughly invisiblised that any little opening feels important. But I just can’t seem to make a meaningful impression. I’m trying to get across that this isn’t about me and my personal situation (which is fine for the minute actually).

    I don’t think he is comfortable about what was said which means he is not irredeemable as others in the caucus appear to be. Problem is, it seems he’s all too willing to wear the discomfort in the misguided belief in the dreaded “there is no alternative”. I think if he has any say he will urge the leadership to watch their wording in future. He’s not prepared to stand up and say he opposes pandering to bigotry. I think he is part of a very disturbing, and so-far impenetrable, group-think.

    For those who are minimising what Shearer said, I can only paraphrase Bomber (probably quoting someone else): If you are not outraged and alarmed, you weren’t paying attention.

    • lprent 15.1

      Point him to my comment above and tell him that there is one bit of goo falling out of a artery wall between him and being a victim of severe neurological damage and on a sickness benefit. Then ask him what he eats at Bellamys and if he thinks his exercise regime is sufficient and if he thinks his neighbors would dob him in for gardening for a few hours.. See he can work…..

  16. Hilary 16

    I think what Grant Robertson is saying in this recent Red Alert blog is about those traditional Labour values. I see no evidence of any lurch to the right.
    http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/09/02/on-fairness-and-courage/

    • Carol 16.1

      Good to support a fair wage for the low paid employed. But the topic here is about not employing the mythical separation of the deserving and undeserving poor to distract from bigger issues of income/wealth inequalities.

    • just saying 16.2

      I see no evidence of any lurch to the right.

      None?
      What about Shearer’s anecdote – the subject of this post.
      This isn’t the only evidence by any means.
      Do you think $15 per hour aligns with traditional Labour values (fair pay for work)? Would you find $15 per hour a fair return for your labour?

      • Te Reo Putake 16.2.1

        So, js, would you vote for a Labour leader who didn’t think $15 ph was enough? If so, here’s yer man.

        • Carol 16.2.1.1

          But Shearer and Robertson on a “fair go” and living wage does not show any evidence of moving away from the bennie bashing in Shearer’s grey power speech. They are both talking about living wages for the employed. In the grey power speech, Shearer equated fairness by people on totally different positions in the economic structure: a beneficiary earning a bit extra on the side, with a wealthy person avoiding/rorting their taxes.

          They are talking about a fair go on a playing field that is tilted in favour of the wealthy and powerful. They are not talking about a major change to the playing field, just a bit of tinkering around the edges.

          At this time in our history, after Labour has already shifted too far to the right, the left needs s total change of direction.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1.2

          While it was a voluntary scheme, it had cross-party support in Britain and thousands of employees were covered.

          I think you’ll find that is the main reason why he supports the “living wage”.

      • Hilary 16.2.2

        It’s a start and will make a difference for many people. He’s not saying that is the end point, for goodness sake..

        $15 a hour or less is standard for many important jobs such as teacher aiding, carer support work and cleaning, as well as many front line NGO staff. More of course would be better.

        By the way, instead of constant criticism I think The Standard collective should start a competition whereby regular posters write their ideal Labour politician speech. The winning ones could be sent to the Party leadership.

        • Carol 16.2.2.1

          He’s not saying that is the end point, for goodness sake..

          But by not renouncing his grey power beneficiary dog whistle, he’s giving no indication that he wants to go much further. (and that is what this discussion thread is about.

          Yes a rise in minimum wage is good. But Labour needs to be working towards so much more – otherwise, next time National get in power, they will continue to drag the country further and further to the right.

        • Rhinocrates 16.2.2.2

          is standard for

          Ah, they should be grateful for what they get, the poor plebs. How dare they, like Oliver Twist, ask for more!

          More of course would be better.

          Oh yes, more of that “we are committed to…” “I would like…” bullshit. Dear me, are you going to pat me on the head as well?

          I think The Standard collective should start a competition whereby regular posters write their ideal Labour politician speech. The winning ones could be sent to the Party leadership.

          Ha ha!

          Yes, I think that that would be a good idea, just to make totally obvious what they would ignore in order to pander to the mythical Waitakere men.

          instead of constant criticism

          How about “instead of constant stabs in the back from the supposed ‘Labour’ party”?

        • gobsmacked 16.2.2.3

          I think The Standard collective should start a competition whereby regular posters write their ideal Labour politician speech. The winning ones could be sent to the Party leadership.

          The first sentence: already done. I’ve typed out the words to put in Goff/Shearer’s mouth, posted them on here several times, and then waited for them to say something – anything (I’m not suggesting my ideas are perfect, or that others couldn’t do better, far from it. But those “others” clearly don’t include the current writers of speeches or media releases).

          The second sentence: sorry, but that’s the whole problem. If the Party leadership think – and this so beggars belief – that Trevor Mallard and John Pagani etc are sources of good advice, then how can I – or the rest of us – ever get through to them? How do we make them understand the most BASIC concept … repeated failure probably shouldn’t be repeated yet again, and again?

          This didn’t all start with Shearer’s speech. Goff made a speech to Grey Power (same audience) written by same people (Pagani) with the same idea (dog-whistle) about 3 years ago and guess what? Predictably, it flopped. And was dropped – because it flopped.

          Acknowledging that they aren’t doing a good job is simply not in their DNA. They don’t want good ideas, they want control. And as long as they control the party list, they can’t possibly lose. Only the rest of us do.

        • Rhinocrates 16.2.2.4

          It’s a start and will make a difference for many people. He’s not saying that is the end point, for goodness sake..

          Lovely!

          What’s his end point then, pray tell? Do you have some insight into his master plan? I’d really like to know! What is the minimum wage he is so committed to, what standard of decent living should be available to all, except those dirty, filthy parasites who paint their roofs when the could be doing jobs that don’t exist despite their disabilities that Shearer can diagnose as false by hearsay?

          What is the end point? Tell us! You see, by telling us what the end point is, we will see that he has absolute principles, principles that will not be compromised. If we know what they are, we can decide whether he is worthy of our confidence. So then, what are they? Do you know what they are? I don’t because he hasn’t said so.

    • Rhinocrates 16.3

      I am proud that Labour had two Bills in a row

      Bullshit! It was a private member’s bill. Don’t lie and say that it was a Labour bill. Louisa Wall had the courage to put it forward, but to try to appropriate it as a “Labour” bill is an outright lie. All credit to her, none at all to the party for not making it policy indeed, quite the opposite for them deciding not to make it policy.

      • QoT 16.3.1

        And she got horribly slammed by Labour MP Su’a William Sio for advocating party policy in her Private Member’s Bill, too. Another topic on which Shearer had sweet fuckall to say.

        • Rhinocrates 16.3.1.1

          Well I’m glad that you know what “party policy” is, because I sure as fuck don’t. I think we might agree on what party policy was and what it should be, but do either of us have any idea on what it thinks the Paganis and its focus groups are telling Shearer what it should be?

          • QoT 16.3.1.1.1

            It’s on page 374 of the 2011 election manifesto, helpfully available only in PDF on the Labour website because they still have no fucking idea how the internet works:
            http://www.labour.org.nz/content/downloads

            If there’s been a reversal on that, someone should tell Grant Robertson.

            • Bored 16.3.1.1.1.1

              Page 374…..wonder how much was paid to Pagani types for each page of something that came to nothing (they lost)?

              So much policy detail, might be interesting to cross reference it with the guiding principles of the Labour Party for adherence. Seems to me the principles are all the policy they need.

  17. fnjckg 17

    in 1997, maintaining, repairing and rebuilding heavy mining machinery, i worked all the hours i chose to in AK and was earning more than police (unless sgt or above) and more than charge nurses.
    i felt at the time, that this state of affairs was rather unusual (hard work, but not many people)
    anyway, a lot of money ‘back in the day

    for seven years now, i have maintained myself on less than $9.00/hour pro rata, and i am very comfortable,
    however, it is the incomes of families that concern me most, with huge sections of the population moving into, out of, or remaining in relative, and or, absolute poverty.

    just watched History channel on medieval english class structure; well…other than the life-style trappings, it seems like 700 years just melted away

    if not comfortable with the SLAVE meme, how about PEASANTS

    • Bored 17.1

      The world is now all shrinkage. How will we share the shrinkage? Will you await the shrinkage meet your $9 before joining the shrinkage?

  18. captain hook 18

    rhino 2 lies in two sentences.
    indicates potential sociopathic tendency.

    • Rhinocrates 18.1

      Elaborate please. Oh for God’s sake, is that the standard (no pun intended) response? “sociopathic/psychopathic” as a closer? Why not just say “Jewish”? That’s just as deep and reasoned as “you’re a Nazi” because it’s meant to shut down discussion by denegrating the proposer. Yes, that is a Godwin, and if Godwin is offended, let him start his own blog.

      BTW, in my case, it’s Asperger’s. That’s supposed to be “nice”, I’m told.

      Now, care to discuss the issues or is it name-calling from now on?

  19. captain hook 19

    no I really mean it.
    you are exhibiting all the clinical indications for sociopathy.
    that doesn’t mean to say you are but if you carry on like this then you definitely are.
    and hey being a jew got nuthin to do wif it.

  20. Rhinocrates 20

    clinical indications for sociopathy

    Then you show the diagnostic skill of David Shearer. I don’t care if you “mean it”, nor should anyone. What do you mean by “clinical”? Really? Are you a clinical psychologist? What are your qualifications? Looking at a couple of wikipedia articles doesn’t qualify you, why do you think that doing so does? Why are you trying to derail this thread?

    I’m sorry that I have to spell this out, but I’m not Jewish (though my stepfather was), my point was that crude denigration based on stereotypical definitions of identity were assumed by you to be sufficient to refute a point. That, alas, is a perennial problem with The Standard – someone says something someone disagrees with and the automatic response by some individuals is to declare them a psychopath, based on absolutely no evidence or expertise whatsoever.

    Now, again, what are my supposed lies that allow you to make a “clinical” diagnosis?

  21. Rhinocrates 21

    Come on Hook, I’m waiting. What are your qualifications as a psychologist that allow you to make a diagnosis of psychopathy (sociopathy is an outdated term, by the way)?

    What is your expertise?

    … and still waiting. Are you a psychologist? Are you David Shearer?

    What were my “lies”?

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    DimPost | 30-09
  • 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
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • 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
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • 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
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