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Diss Loyalty

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 pm, July 31st, 2013 - 96 comments
Categories: activism, business, Politics - Tags:

So, what’s with all the negativity toward the Labour Party? Why so many comments on the Standard rubbishing the leadership, running down the party’s prospects at the next election, putting the boot in to the only party with enough mass support to bring an end to the dismal Key Government?

Could it be that some of the loudest, most vehement comments actually come from people who, deep down, really love Labour?

According to a recent business study , that’s exactly the case.

Authors Eric Anderson (marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management) and Duncan Simester (also a marketing professor, from MIT’s Sloan School of Management), claim that writers of negative reviews online are often the best customers of the business or service being critiqued.

They have found two interesting points about negative reviews. Firstly, that most come from people who are actually extremely loyal to the businesses they criticize. Secondly, the very worst reviews come from people who have never even tried the product or service.

The first group are often loyalists who go feral because they dislike changes within the brand or, alternatively, would like to see changes that the brand itself does not support. They want the brand to be just like it used to be or just like they think it should be.

The second group … well, they’re trolls.

Anderson and Simester have some interesting observations about the second group, particularly the way they use language. They found that the small percentage of reviews in their study that were dishonest and deliberately negative had some broadly similar linguistic characteristics and they cite four simple distinctions:

  1. Lots of words; truth is simple to write, making shit up tends to require lengthier sentences.
  2. Shorter words; the more complex the deceptive sentence, the simpler the writer needs to keep the words, so as to not get the lie tangled.
  3. All in the family; because the troll has no actual experience to rely on, they tend to say things like ‘my niece bought that blouse and it was not good quality‘. Or to put it in a political context ‘Trevor Mallard was rude to my sister’. Or ‘my family’s always voted Labour, but never again!’
  4. Overemphasis; beware of anything that has too many exclamation points!

But to return to my main theme, most negative reviews come from people who care, and are hurting. They see things they don’t like happening to an object of affection. They feel cheated, slighted and ignored. I’m going to confess that I’ve often assumed that comments critical of the LP come from people who just want to see Labour fail anyway. It looks like I was wrong and that most will be from members or supporters who are as genuine as I am.

The authors say that these people fall into three broad categories:

  1. Upset Customers; that’s folk who’ve had a bad experience or similar negative interaction. There is an observable tendency to look for retribution, but they want to come back to the brand anyway.
  2. Self-Appointed Brand Managers; people who are fundamentally loyal to the brand and feel empowered to say how the brand could be improved, even in areas that they have no experience of or will never be affected by.
  3. Social Status; the authors contend that some reviewers maybe “simply writing reviews to enhance their social status.” Those reviewers want their online presence to ‘mean’ something; to have gravitas and to gain kudos amongst their peers who have similar loyalties.

All three categories have loyalty at their heart, all three groups identify with the target of their negativity and they all want positive outcomes.

Personally, I think most authors and commenters on the Standard, and the other, lesser, political blogs have a mixture of motivations. And when I read a criticism of David Shearer in future,  I’m going to smile a beatific smile, remind myself that there is a thin line between love and hate and think of the French line Professors’ Anderson and Simester quote: “Qui aime bien châtie bien”.

“Your best friends are your hardest critics.”

Te Reo Putake

96 comments on “Diss Loyalty”

  1. lprent 1

    I suspect I’m going to be amused by the varying reactions to this post. But I put it up as an evening post because it will be more entertaining than TV at present 😈

    • r0b 1.1

      Looks like a great post from TRP. What’s to disagree with?

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I didn’t say I disagreed with it.

        Many of the members and ex-members act exactly like jilted ex’s. Obsessively concerned with the health and current occupations of their ex while simultaneously thanking the deity of their choice that they’re well out of it. I was comparing notes with a couple of other staunch and in the past highly active Labour activists recently, and we’re all of the “thank the deities that we’re not heavily involved in it at present”.

        I suspect that while we might vote (in my case party vote Green), pay VFL’s, and even do the odd assist – but that staying well out of supporting the toxic mess that is the Labour caucus is the best option. Eventually it will do the early 90’s suffocation of the crap and the dickheads will start working together, and possibly even stop trying to starve the party organisation that they live on. But certainly stop treating active members as being dangerous.

        Too many short-term thinkers in that caucus at present. Too many who haven’t figured out that the “message” works best (in a corporate media world) when it comes by word of mouth (and disseminated electronically these days). I guess that is what you get when you have candidates who have about as much ability to organise a campaign as Wiener has in personal humility…

        Fortunately, the Nats are even worse under the rather rigid disciplines that someone has shoved up their rectums..

        BTW: I’m in awe of people who do stick with the task of pushing the party despite itself. I’m just damn tired of trying to work with 1930’s scaffolding and people with duct-tape repair fetishes.

    • geoff 1.2

      hows roy morgan going?

  2. karol 2

    I didn’t realise that the Labour Party was a business enterprise.

    PS: My view – the current Labour caucus leadership is too much into appeasing “neoliberal” values.

    Is that sentence short enough to count as a genuine and sincere critique?

    Never been into “brands” – rise of rand consciousness came with the “neoliberal” revolution.

    I’m not sure what social status will come from criticising the current Labour caucus leadership.
    .

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      PS: My view – the current Labour caucus leadership is too much into appeasing “neoliberal” values.

      Current, and the other 3 decades of it

    • lprent 2.2

      I’m not sure what social status will come from criticising the current Labour caucus leadership.

      Thinking totally personally here. I’m always amazed at how these days the political climbers prefer not to be seen with me. They act like Pete George – sending coded messages from afar in the simplistic hope that it will change something in the way I act or think…. Yeah right. Like that will happen.

      But I’m a pure functionalist at heart. Avoidance is a good social status to have. Pfft.. to boring meetings where nothing much gets achieved. Pft.. to LEC droners, Pfft to building systems that no-one ever even bothers to look at (The Standard being the only real exception I guess).

      Gives me more time to play with stuff that is more interesting (to me). Bloody good thing too, because I don’t have enough time to do things like moderate this blog as it is.

    • wtl 2.3

      I’m not sure what social status will come from criticising the current Labour caucus leadership.

      If you read that point carefully, it says “(they) want their online presence to ‘mean’ something; to have gravitas and to gain kudos amongst their peers who have similar loyalties.”

      So it might not enhance their status in the real world, but certainly could enhance their status on this blog itself, with others that share their some opinion thinking more highly about them.

      • karol 2.3.1

        So it might not enhance their status in the real world, but certainly could enhance their status on this blog itself, with others that share their some opinion thinking more highly about them.

        hmmmm… but that could be said of any political argument. i.e that people tend to value the views of others with similar views. So a pretty superficial point really.

        So I don’t see any difference in that way between those who vocally support Labour and those who criticise it.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    National is a full 100 points off what this country needs while Labour is only roughly 85 points off. Worth a cheer?

    As a reminder – what are the biggest scandals of the day? GCSB, illegal spying, media performance, Kim Dotcom, OIA and Parliamentary Services, unaffordable house prices.

    – Labour put through a GCSB bill full of holes, enabling our intelligence services to walk right through them as do as they please. There is every possibility that was the way it was designed, in order to optimise co-operation with our “intelligence partners” who seem to like loosely interpreted law themselves.

    – Ureweras, illegal surveillance and paramilitary operations against civilians: under Labour’s watch.

    – NZers illegally spied on – many of the 88 or so occurred under Labour’s watch.

    – Media performance: Labour wanted maximum commercial profitability out of TVNZ and set up a public broadcaster easy for National to strangle and eventually gut.

    – Kim Dotcom: Labour spokesperson for open government and IT really lives and breathes this internet freedom stuff – right???

    – Labour decided to not make Parliamentary Services subject to the OIA.

    – Labour has put forwards major policies which though potentially popular will barely restrain the asset price bubble from continuing. They themselves oversaw a massive private debt fuelled inflation of house prices (and farm prices) on their watch.

    And when I read a criticism of David Shearer in future

    Maybe McFlock is right – it really isn’t about David Shearer, is it.

    • Mary 3.1

      The carers case and the sleepover case for disability workers both began as a direct result of the Labour government telling those affected to get stuffed. Then, when the government loses Labour, now in opposition, cheers and calls the government a bunch of uncaring pricks. The same goes for Labour’s attacks on the poor. There are lots of other examples. No, I think people have genuinely grown to hate Labour as a pack of hypocritical neo-liberal sell outs. What some are doing is confusing deep down but otherwise not shown love for Labour with a practical realisation that we need Labour to oust the filthy lying Key and his band of moneymen. That’s not love. It’s survival.

    • peterlepaysan 3.2

      It is not about David Shearer, it is how he got to where he is.

      He appeared from nowhere (angelically) folded his wings and was parachuted into a safe seat.

      With no experience of NZ parliamentary politics he becomes leader of what was once a visionary fair minded political party.

      WTF is going on in the LP? I doubt Shearer knows. Certainly what remains of its membership is ignorant but remains doggedly faithful.

      Labour has betrayed its supporters and wonders why people do not turn up at election time to vote for them. SIGH.

      • Mary 3.2.1

        “It is not about David Shearer, it is how he got to where he is.”

        It might not be directly about Shearer, but it’s definitely not about how he got to where he is. It’s about why he got to where he is. The answer is that there wasn’t and probably still isn’t an obvious leader in the Labour ranks. They just chose who they thought might be the best person to pull it off and they needed to make someone leader. Key in fact arrived pretty much in a similar fashion to Shearer but did manage to pull it off (and in more ways than one!) Shearer’s bombed, there’s still nobody to replace him, and here lies the problem. It’s become so serious now that no matter what Labour says are its policies they cannot become popular, not in the state they’re currently in.

        • peterlepaysan 3.2.1.1

          Why is there not an obvious leader? Because a small cowardly caucus cabal can piss all over what ever remains of the labour party membership and what that membership wants.

          Mugabe is a wet liberal compared to to the LP caucus.

  4. Craig Glen Eden 4

    Agree with every thing Karol said + Shearer is not a leaders arse he is a inexperienced politician who should have known he had shit loads to learn as a new kid on the block. At times he was a mess during the Mt Albert by-election. He lacked confidence and was at times clearly overwhelmed.
    He does not hold the same values as me ( Sickness bene bashing) and others members of the Labour Party that I know. Therefore I dont trust him.
    He cant think on his feet and provide a concise believable response to TV journos. He cant communicate a message /policy without mumbling and stumbling. I wouldnt follow this guy to a fish and chip shop let alone give him my money time and vote. Finally he cant beat Key which means three more years of National. If I as a Labour Party member cant vote for the Party because I know Shearer has not got what it takes to run a Party let alone a country then how the hell is the swing voter ever ever going to vote for the clown.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.1

      Exactly my thoughts too CGE!!

    • Bob 4.2

      Well put, those that are holding hope that Shearer can lead a left wing coalition into parliament next term should think, what happenend to Phil Goff in the leaders debates against John Key? How would Shearer come across in the same situation?

      Interim Polls are interesting, but it is in the Leaders Debates that helps a large portion of swing voters make up their minds. How do you think Shearer will look/sound if asked to ‘show me the money’?

  5. Chooky 5

    Answer to Te Reo Putake

    1.) I would not care probably to even read the Standard…..except for the forces which are in play in New Zealand at the moment and the utter devastation that is ensuing and even worse that could follow…..Because of this the Labour Party must be strong, with the best possible leader and the one who is the democratic choice of the rank and file Labour members ..David Cunliffe ….( at the moment this is not the case)

    2.)At the moment the Labour Party is the biggest yacht ( waka) leading the fleet of the Opposition ….(in future many of us may right it off completely and some other party will take this position…)

    3.)There are about 800,000 voters out there who didn’t vote last time…probable Labour supporters . Labour can not afford to lose them again…( no matter what spin above is put on focussing on the characteristics of the critics …there is a case to be answered)

    4.) Labour also hemorrhaged badly after the Roger Douglas Labour Party asset sales and the creation of a huge underclass of unemployed in NZ….I was one who left the Labour Party then and have never voted for them since…..despite Helen Clark , who though her skills , kept the yacht afloat and viable . However she had the residue of Roger Douglas’s mates behind her watching and waiting……

    Agreed, as long as there are critics..there are people who care .. Worry when the present critics are silent !

    • Rhinocrates 5.1

      … and worry when they try to silence critics – as Curran has tried. That’s what Key, Bennett et al are trying to do on a national scale (pun unintended, but fortuitous).

      Our loyalty should not be to to the logo, but the ideals – and to competence. It’s all very well to praise unicorns, but I’d like to see a commitment and an ability to produce them. I don’t forgive being cheated.

      • karol 5.1.1

        Our loyalty should not be to to the logo, but the ideals.

        Ah. Well said.

        And it highlights a difference between “brand loyalty” (a business concept)

        and

        support of a political party (about who one thinks will provide the best representation for, and governance of, the people and country).

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          “Our loyalty should not be to to the logo, but the ideals.”

          Ae. The wholing branding thing in the OP is pretty distasteful, and fails as an analogy.

          Anyway, nice ironical timing with the latest Roy Morgan out today.

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.1

            Inadvertent. It was sitting in my to do to put up since last night. But I was doing some heavy debugging at work so there wasn’t time. So I pushed it after I got home, and it was a very easy edit thanks to TRP :). Mostly just had to find an image. Took a compile to do so.

            Then I moderated over the next few cycles and (urggh) saw the Morgan links. But Eddie was already writing on that.

          • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1.2

            Yes, nice irony all right, Weka … I’ve been poll vaulted! Cheers to LP for putting it up; other regulars might want to try writing an occasional guest post, it’s great fun and TS is very supportive.

  6. pollywog 6

    *Note to Shearer*…Shit or get off the pot!

  7. Rhinocrates 7

    William Congreve, The Mourning Bride Act III, Scene VIII

    Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned

    I’m a non roof-painting member of the precariat, scared and scarred, remembering Douglas (spit), seeing his acolytes still pulling the strings, seeing a mindless, passionless puppet appointed by them as “leader”, remembering too while they’ve forgotten that they’re hired to do a job rather than gorge themselves at Bellamy’s, knowing too well also what happens when great movements are captured by mere functionaries.

    Love the policies, love the back benches (Go Louisa!). Take the front benches and lock them in a small cell with Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Richard Clayderman.

    • Rosetinted 7.1

      Rhinocrates
      Well said.

    • mac1 7.2

      Rhinocrates, you’d be a hard man- Bieber, Dion, Clayderman, *shudder*- but you’ve suggested to me an interesting thread, an idea which might bring some unifying along with some educating.

      Instead of those three, what song would people suggest best sums up their political principles, motivation or ideas that could be played to those who are not listening to or accepting our written words, songs that spoke to us or summed up what we believe?

      Mine would be The Diggers’ Song- “they were the dispossessed repossessing what was theirs…… this earth divided we will make whole…….. we come in peace they said to dig and sow………. the earth to make whole so that the earth can be a common treasury for all.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ynSh5UMN7A

      • Rhinocrates 7.2.1

        Well, I’m heavily into Shostakovich, Britten, J S Bach, Joy Division, Miles Davis, Tom Lehrer and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band… I won’t try to rationalise too much, because that would be the death of aesthetics – Edward Said struggled to explain his love of Wagner, a notorious anti-semite (thankfully I don’t have that dilemma).

        I just hate kitsch – kitsch art, kitsch politics. Those at least it seems facilitate f@scism.

      • peterlepaysan 7.2.2

        Big Rock Candy Mountain.

        Ironical 1929/30’s song during that GFC.

    • QoT 7.3

      Fuck yes to all that.

  8. Richard Down South 8

    In the end, Labour as they currently stand, don’t represent close to what they used to, and thus, generally don’t warrant my vote.

    They are very slow to react to stuff which should be reacted to, and show a major lack in leadership

    sorry, it has to be said

  9. karol 9

    The post seems to be looking for underlying motivations for dissing parliamentary Labour, and says nothing about the content of the dissing. It doesn’t respond to actual criticisms from left wingers and usully it’s not done from a trolling perspective.

    This probably gets closest, I would think, to criticisms from those on the left:

    Upset Customers; that’s folk who’ve had a bad experience or similar negative interaction. There is an observable tendency to look for retribution, but they want to come back to the brand anyway.

    But I don’t think this is a helpful response:

    And when I read a criticism of David Shearer in future, I’m going to smile a beatific smile, remind myself that there is a thin line between love and hate and think of the French line Professors’ Anderson and Simester quote: “Qui aime bien châtie bien”.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Its similar to what the MSM has been doing to Edward Snowden. Instead of covering his revelations about the operation of our governments and their agencies, it’s all about: what’s his motivation? What does he get out of it? Is he a narcissist or just deluded? etc

    • Rosetinted 9.2

      Quote from the post.
      “And when I read a criticism of David Shearer in future, I’m going to smile a beatific smile, remind “myself that there is a thin line between love and hate ”

      I see that as patronising acshually. About as interested in the real stuff behind the dissing and as annoying as the smile on the face of the Cheshire cat – which in the end faded away.

  10. Rosetinted 10

    F..k these people who treat everything as business, who want to talk about politics as a ‘brand’.
    It’s crazy wanting to have a Labour party that actually knows what labour is.

    Last night on Radionz there was a BBC Hardtalk program that interviewed the spokesperson of one of UKs largest unions. Ed Milliband is talking about withdrawing from relying on the support of unions and this union guy made all the same points about Brit Labour that we notice here in NZ. He even said one of my cliches I think – that there are too many lawyers in it.

    Wanting Labour to do what it exists for and not to be a soft touch for the liberal middle class who are most concerned that there are proper quality controls on wine is not something to be sniffed at or scorned. Let them drop away and form their own party instead of invading and seducing the working class one.

  11. Olwyn 11

    Overall, I liked Helen Clark’s government. I did not like such things as the Urewera Raids, the imprisonment of Ahmed Zhoui, and the dropping of the special benefit for beneficiaries. However, I do not expect governments to do exactly what I would prescribe myself, and I cheerfully put pamphlets in letterboxes, attended Labour Party events and applauded each time they won. I was there and actually cried when Helen gave her concession speech.

    The Labour Party at present, in comparison, seems to have bad faith written all over it. For example, since the great “stop foreigners from owning property” announcement, I am waiting for a speech to the real estate industry telling them not to worry as nothing else will change, and that they can accommodate this small change without loss. That is the kind of thing that has happened with the other big announcements, all made at times when the leadership has felt threatened.

    I do not expect them to be able to simply overturn the neo-liberal model, but I do expect them to defend ALL New Zealanders in relation to it. Especially now, when no one can continue to claim neo-liberalism as a source of economic salvation. Essentially, I think that the Labour Party principles should be their guiding principles, and neo-liberalism the conditions with which they have to contend. They, however, seem to have it the other way round.

    • Rhinocrates 11.2

      Yeah, pretty similar here.

      That pursuit of a half dozen soft ashpirashunul Nat votes over eight hundred thousand precariat sickens me.

      It’s as if Mumblefuck wants too be seen to associated with a better class of people because he wants to be one of them, as if Jones and Mallard want to be seen as real blokes, not girly-men.

  12. DavidC 12

    If your Captian has a shit game plan and your getting trounced is it disloyal to tell the Captian what you think, put a few words in at the half time chat when the Captian isnt stepping up to the mark, ask for a bit of a different approach ?
    Maybe ask the team manager to inject a few fresh reserves off the bench?
    Sure the game is about Team but a Team needs a Captian.

    • Rhinocrates 12.1

      A team needs a captain who will acknowledge and use the talents of his team to win the game, not just keep him as Captain, Major, Colonel, Brigadier, General, Field Marshall, Generalissimo, CEO, Licensed Plumber, Poet Laureate, Professor Emeritus and Brown Owl.

    • Rosetinted 12.2

      David C
      I still see you as being a fitting cheerleader bumping and grinding in a short skirt. Our gain is a huge loss to the sports field.

  13. muzza 13

    Hey, Voice – Nice work on the guest post….

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      Cheers, muzza! Just got back from from footy practice, so catching up. Rhinocrates is on to it, particularly if we express the logo as Shearer and the ideals as policy.

  14. Labour is suppose to be our second biggest party, but it has just 29% percent support.

    Perhaps its shearer’s leadership? What do the trends say?

    • QoT 14.1

      Gosh, Brett, if only people had written dozens of posts suggesting answers to your questions. They could be collated into some kind of “web-log” and when you wished to consider them you could utilise a “searching engine” to narrow down the relevant options.

  15. I think there is another group of commenters – people like me who believe in Mana and others who believe in The Greens. It is a sad fact that in this political environment we need labour to take the treasury benches from the gnats but really for me it is ‘lesser evil’ time rather than a hope that labour will actually work for the poor or those at the bottom of the heap. That is not really going to happen because both the big parties are going for iterations of the middle. Although I generally can’t be bothered getting into the labour squabbles – mainly because it seems to be a fight between sentimentalities, sometimes like when shearer said he would terrorise his opponents, I feel the need to vent. Will labour get it together – can’t see it really, is Cunliffe the white knight who will save the party – nah, too many expectations on the man now and doomed to disappoint. Do I care if labour survives or disintegrates under its contradictions – not really, the fight from the left will continue, it always has, it always will. That said I do feel very sad for some people who do believe in the party and have been let down and disappointed – they have worked hard for their ideals and have seen their hard effort squandered. Kia kaha to those people.

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      I include myself in your group, MM. I don’t expect a lot from Labour at all except to be part of a coalition government with Mana and Greens. I think this is more likely to happen with Cunliffe as leader, and without Shane Jones, Chris Hipkins, Trevor Mallard and a few others who we’ve all named. I suspect many of these guys would rather form a government of national unity with NAct rather than share power with Hone.

      Of course, it’s also possible that Labour as part of a coalition government could start to feel some blood pulsing in its veins again and the good people who support it could get the reward many of them have waited years for.

    • Rosetinted 15.2

      mm
      Great summation. Speaks volumes.

  16. just saying 16

    Laughed out loud Trip, funniest post of the year. Why are you reading this crap anyway? Slow day at the industrial relations frontline?

    Btw, isn’t an abstract of research supposed to include the sample size and other statistical information? I must confess I didn’t read beyond.

    Keep smiling (beatifically).

  17. weka 17

    TRP, I’m glad you have had an epiphany about the motivations of the critics of Labour here on ts, but you could have just asked 😉

  18. Ad 18

    Very graceful post given the grief TRP attracts.

    There’s so many metaphors and analogues that are partial, but only partial, explanations for what is being driven at here.

    -There’s LPrent comparing it to lost loves.
    -TRP comparing it to commercial brands and the vagaries of customer loyalty.
    -And of course there’s love of political party.
    – For this site it’s like a Bronte novel, windswept and cold, full of damaged political erotics and lost potential. I think of this site as a Bronte novel writ live and long, although with this caucus it’s beginning to feel like 100 Years of Solitude.
    All such analogues are Jungian archetypes for one’s country, and one’s place in it and one’s will to change it.

    There’s a definition of Left Melancholy scratched here, I am sure quite peculiar to those with repressed utopian drives from the 1970s and all the liberative movements that by definition Never Quite Made It. To strive knowing its impossibility and not to give up that striving.

    Even when Labour gets in power, there’s that sense from U2, taken out of context: “I gave her her everything she ever wanted. It wasn’t what she wanted.”

    But all of that could be forgiven, even at 28%, if you could squint your eyes and see all the pieces fall into place to make it better. And I am quite clear in making a distinction between the two.

    The first is a simple lack of force to push policy that will make bold change.

    The second is seeing the remnants of those ideals that hold your personal values in them being jerked around by weak people doing dumb things. Strangely, The Standard is the most functional political coalition we’ve yet seen. Kind of confounding. Maybe we should be delegated to negotiate the next coalition agreement.

    • Rosetinted 18.1

      Wow that’s a meaty post Ad. Sort of sweet, fragrant mincemeat that adds spice to the discourse.
      How’s that for an analogy?

      • Ad 18.1.1

        TRP deserved a gracenote for admitting admitting the depth of TRP’s wrongness.
        😉

  19. Outofbed 19

    Well I should be a traditional Labour supporter and would willingly join and be a very active activist
    However I do not want to join a centerist party.
    In 2008 The Labour installed Phill Goff as leader who was always going to find it difficult to win particularly as he was a “Douglasite” After that loss they then installed a guy who has no chance whatsoever of winning the 2014 election. It seems to me the Caucus are more interested in thier own internal factions rather the taking on the real enemy. The key Government
    So reason I critisise the Labs and Shearer is because winning does not seem important to them.
    Sky city anyone?
    So although the Greens do not naturally sit well with me, that is where my time and energy is committed.

  20. Sanctuary 20

    In answer to the question

    “So, what’s with all the negativity toward the Labour Party?”

    I would say a deep frustration at the hijacking of the party by an apparently untouchable gang of cynical old men and old women in the parliamentary party, who cling to neo-liberalism like a fifty year old man does to his comb over, and whose primary political interest is their own survival.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      If only they could elevate Shane Jones to Leader, things would be sweet. You’ll see.

    • JK 20.2

      Yes ! Sanctuary. You are spot on. The hijacking of the Party which began with Mr Roger Douglas, went quiet with the Clark years, and re-surfaced in 2008. And the thought of right-wing egotistical Shane Jones as leader makes me puke. I hope CV is being satirical with that comment !

    • grumpy 20.3

      You see, modern Labour are quite comfortable with neo-liberalism. They are an “identity” party, it’s gender, sexuality and race that rips their shorts now.
      If you want an alternative to neo-liberalism, look elsewhere.

  21. Rhinocrates 21

    God, this is awful – the primary opposition party so woefully incapable when the governing Tory coalition is most evil and anti-democratic. This is when we need them most.

  22. Tiger Mountain 22

    An alternative type is analysis is fine by me and sometimes proves useful like the study on “Last Place Aversion” done in the US (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=occupy-wall-street-psychology). This looked at why many low paid workers did not support a boost to the minimum wage!

    TRP describes an old problem in a different way. Even a classic social democratic party untainted by neo liberalism if one could be found nowadays runs into a massive problem. Social democrats stock and trade is reforms in a parliamentary setting, not a revolutionary transformation of class power. Reforms are easily undone each time the tory turds take over the green leather benches.

    But who can oppose reforms (e.g. four weeks annual leave) that deliver better lives to people? On the face of it you can’t, but look deeper say at Working For Families and you can. WFF takes the pressure off mid level groups to get organised and obtain their own wage rises like union members do, with a taxpayer funded handout. WFF also further marginalises beneficiaries to whom it does not apply. So a potential avenue for struggle is dampened and inequality for the vulnerable increased.

    The only party I can vote for with a clear conscience is Mana because it does not claim to represent “all New Zealanders”. Why seriously diss Labour, it is what it is, it is a pity that it takes so long to implement change in its ranks let alone promote that the ordinary members run the party rather than the parliamentary wing and caucus.

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    “So, what’s with all the negativity toward the Labour Party? Why so many comments on the Standard rubbishing the leadership, running down the party’s prospects at the next election, putting the boot in to the only party with enough mass support to bring an end to the dismal Key Government?”

    The timing of publication on the same night as the latest Roy Morgan shows that God does have a sense of humour.

  24. Lots of words; truth is simple to write, making shit up tends to require lengthier sentences.

    In my experience, the reverse is true. The truth is anything but simple to write because it rarely is simple, and contributing meaningful content requires length. Trolling, on the other hand, often needs only a single sentence.

    • lprent 24.1

      I would agree with that. Along with it’s obvious derivative.

      That when you see a *short* simple bit of writing that not only touches on a complex topic, but also displays the writers attitude to it and sense of forward direction – then stand aghast at the skill. It is really really hard to achieve. It is like writing code that is elegant, efficient, and maintainable; an art form.

      Try IrishBill’s This gives me heart for instance.

      • Mary 24.1.1

        That observation from IrishBill is interesting. I suspect the answer might have something to do with the difference between questions like, for example, “Do you think the government should stop discrimination against people on the basis of their source of income” and most will say “yes”, but ask “Do you think people who are currently paid money from the state for doing nothing should get more money from the state” people will say “no”. Negative attitudes towards the poor have been cultivated by the right. The lesson for the left is to frame their policies in terms of ideas around a “caring society” etc, and basing messages on structural reasons why we have a welfare state, how everyone benefits from this, strong civil society, democracy etc. If Labour did this properly it’d find returning to its traditional core values would be successful. Doing this is much more difficult for the left than it is for the right to demonise the poor because of the difference in resources – just look at the role Roger Kerr and the BRT played in destroying the caring climate throughout the 1990s. That doesn’t mean the left should not try – it’s in fact imperative that we do. Heck, it’s not as if what it’s doing now is doing much good.

    • Rosetinted 24.2

      Psycho Milt
      +1

      But thinking further, maybe simple minds can only handle simple sentences and one-thought ideas. What happens when it is more complex. When the idea seems to go against received wisdom? How to understand the minds of people who still like Jokeyhen.

  25. tracey 25

    I have a simple question.

    why cant labour see all this?

    • Sable 25.1

      Excellent question. They simply refuse to listen to their voting base. The net result is they appear aloof, arrogant and out of touch.

      • grumpy 25.1.1

        Maybe they covet another “voting base” – you know, the one with more numbers – the centre…….

  26. Sable 26

    I’d say this argument is half right. People like myself are frustrated because we feel Labour have betrayed their values and we want this to change. The concrete question is, will they? If not then there is a urgent need for an alternative party that stands for the values Labour once held dear. This has happened in the UK and there is no reason to believe Kiwis couldn’t do the same rather than voting for a party that refuses to listen to those who might support it.

    • King Kong 26.1

      I think alot of people here don’t get the fact that Labour is a centre left party and it is the “centre” part that makes it popular (still the 2nd most popular party and daylight is next).

      If you are all about tearing down the Neo Liberal bohemoth, paying the unemployed the median wage and nationalising…well everything, then you have pinned your colours to the wrong mast if you think the party for you is Labour.

      There are homes for nutters like you. It’s the Greens, Mana and a raft of other mentals.

      If you generally believe that hard left policy will have the votes flooding in then why is it not happening for the parties that are already releasing this stuff?

      All this pressure from the looney activists for a hard left turn from Labour has borne fruit with some of the recent policy announcements. What has been the result? Labours poll numbers start getting closer to the Greens who have been spouting this nonsense for ages. Coincidence? maybe. Shit leader? part of it. Not understanding what middle New Zealand want? definately.

      • richard 26.1.1

        Lots of words; truth is simple to write, making shit up tends to require lengthier sentences.

      • Sable 26.1.2

        The centre part of the equation is the problem in my opinion. Does anyone actually know what that means? Is it working for Labour? No,clearly its not.

        Labour were prior to Lange/Douglas a left leaning party that supported the workers and middle class just as National remain a right wing party supporting those who earn the most. National has succeeded because they have been consistent over the years about who they are and who they represent whilst Labour’s “everyman” policy has watered down their message and left people confused over who they support and what they stand for.

        The net result is apapthy in some Labour voters and a move to other parties such as the Greens or even NZ First on the part of others.

        Take a look at what happened to Labour in the UK if you need to understand the mechanics of why this policy is a poor one and what it probably means for Labour here unless they change.

        • King Kong 26.1.2.1

          If you think turning your back on the centre and heading left will win you more votes then you are delusional.

          Then again I guess it depends what your priorities are, achieving an ideological hard on (like the Greens) or winning elections.

          • felix 26.1.2.1.1

            “If you think turning your back on the centre and heading left will win you more votes then you are delusional.”

            Yes and no. The trick (not really a trick) is to be true to yourself and what you really believe. This current bunch of Labour hacks aren’t getting anywhere because people can see that at heart they’re not really much different to the National hacks.

            So yeah, they should move their policies and “branding” toward the right to align better with where they’re really at. People will sense the honesty and at least listen to what they have to say, because they’ll be saying it with conviction.

            And that’s all well and good from a right wing or outside perspective, but from the left the real question is ‘why are these centre-right wing muppets running our party at all?”

            “Then again I guess it depends what your priorities are, achieving an ideological hard on (like the Greens) or winning elections.”

            The facts disagree with you there KK, the Greens have built their vote steadily election by election. They don’t have this identity crisis problem to deal with because they mean what they say.

        • BM 26.1.2.2

          News flash, we’re not in the fucking seventies anymore, move with the times.

          New Zealanders aren’t the same people they were 40 years ago, kiwis are much more cosmopolitan and worldly.

          The old NZ way of doing stuff is long gone, except it.

          • felix 26.1.2.2.1

            So how come Muldoon is still in the beehive?

          • Rosetinted 26.1.2.2.2

            BM
            ‘Except’ what? Except if old NZ, and it all attempted, is gone what country are we in now. Did it row off in a waka or leave after a wake?

            • BM 26.1.2.2.2.1

              We cut the apron strings, said bye bye to Mother England and went out into the world.

              That’s what’s changed.

              • Rosetinted

                BM
                I think you mean that the UK joined the EU and we said Oh no and went out into the world to look for another big boat to bob along behind – NZ the dingy dinghy.

                Since then the poorer people can’t even afford dinghys but the wealthy can afford to gather up enough money to build huge racing boats so finely honed that they haven’t been able to stand up to the natural forces of racing and broke in half. That’s where NZ is, that’s how we have changed, abandoning the interests of the majority to appeal to the wealthy with expensive toy boats that haven’t the guts to do real work.. Yet we can’t afford to have coastal shipping doing the hard yakker taking our goods around the country.

                But you stick to the short sentences. They don’t carry much back loading, but no-one actually knows that and just imagines that as you sound so confident, you must know of what you speak.

                • BM

                  Personally I think it’s been great.
                  NZ is now it’s own place, we’ve seen what every one else is doing, taken a bit of this and a bit of that and created our own style.

                  In a way we’re quite lucky, being such a young country we didn’t have the same stifling traditions and fear of change that many of the older countries such as England have.

                  After the initial freak out of the 80’s where everyone got chucked out with the bath water,we’ve recovered from that and most New Zealanders feel pretty comfortable with the way NZ is run or where we’re heading( see latest Roy Morgan poll).

                  Apart from a few old boys and girls who pine for the old days, people love the diversity and choice modern NZ brings.

  27. burt 27

    Policies that worked in the 30’s not so popular today – who’d have thunk it !

    • Winston Smith 27.1

      Not Labour apparantly

    • Rosetinted 27.2

      burt
      NZ conditions approaching those of the 1930’s, distress, uncertainty, clinging to what is known as the country deteriorates. A self-oriented community as must happen when welfare is inadequateand economic planning and employment facilitation zilch. Who’d have thunk it.

      • grumpy 27.2.1

        Yep, slightly…….but Labour have caught the “identity politics” bus. Pandering to minorities, you get to become……..a minority.

    • felix 27.3

      Time you gave up on fascism then eh burt?

  28. Mr Interest 28

    To semi quote the immortal John Cleese

    Why don’t you (all)… cheer up, for Christ’s sake!

    I love this post, specifically the feral s and trolls analogies (a good kick in the A for me). This site has a gravity for the negative (I include my self in both groups). What happens is you fall into despair and unfortunately typically the easiest way to go mooch down Whine your Arse Off Alley (which I personally have done toooooooo many times, never providing a solution, nor accurately defining the problem, and specifically acting like a twat arsed Troll or feral)

    Having swathed my way through a sea of negativity and can only come to this philosophy (stolen from someone else) this quote by mother Terasa

    I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.

    In other words BE FOR SOMETHING, not just against things…. (being negative is easy)

    No I am not naive and believe the bambi is our saviour and we should be all falsely optimistic. There is a time however when you have dust all the xxxx off and move on. This site is perfect for accurately defining many of the problems facing the Labour Party, NZ inc etc…. its just that for god sake, lets get on with with it and make this country rock.

    So throw me a freakin bone…. do a SWOT on the Labour party, follow some classic management principles, PEST analysis, Ishikawa diagrams on fault analysis, back it up with objective data (collate it), come up with a solution and then move the crap on . Dont just present this endless fxxkin grind of bilge water. I have done enough myself (I’m over it thank you Mr Guest Post).

    This sea of negativity… it makes people impotent beyond measure, it takes your power away……

    So cheer up, for Christ’s sake! AND BE FOR SOMETHING

    As one on of the great philosophers said… pretend to be the person you want to become…

    This is what I stand for…… an NZ with an attitude like the ‘We got ourselves a game commercial’

    (yeah sorry its an add but what the hell…. it beats the shit out of floundering in one owns vomit)

    So rise the hell up…….. I need to…..

    Yeah its emotional hype bs, but may as well tell yourself the Noble lie ehhhhhhh (was I trolling or being feral?)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u9zzwQ2zO4

    Here’s the thing that makes life so interesting.
    The theory of evolution claims only the strong shall survive.
    Maybe so…maybe so.
    But the theory of competition says, just because there the strong,
    doesn’t mean they cant get there asses kicked. That’s right.
    See, with every long shot come from behind, underdog will tell ya is this.
    The other guy may in fact be the favorite,
    the odds may be stacked against you, fair enough.
    But what the odds don’t know, is this isn’t a math test.
    This is a completly different kind of test.
    One where passion has a funny way of trumping logic.
    So before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows,
    and the clock starts ticking.
    Just remember out here, the results don’t always add up.
    No matter what the stats may say, and the experts may think,
    and the commentators may have predicted. When the race is on, all bets are off.
    Don’t be surprised if somebody decides to,flip the script and take a pass on yelling uncle.
    And then suddenly as the old saying goes…we’ve got ourselves a game.

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