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Don’t panic

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, November 11th, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: australian politics, david shearer, uk politics - Tags:

Twice this year we have seen Labour leaders  turn around perceptions of them and their party with one speech. Ed Miliband did it at the Labour Party conference in Manchester in early November. Julia Gillard did it in the Australian parliament in October.

A year ago both leaders were considered total losers by many in their own party and by most pundits. Their Conservative and Liberal opponents thought they were riding high to inevitable victory at the next election.

In Australia, everybody had completely written off Labor’s chances in 2013. The ALP’s primary vote had dropped to the twenties. Julia Gillard had to withstand a challenge from Kevin Rudd, after a long campaign of white-anting in the caucus and attack from Labor strategists such as Bruce Hawker. The Murdoch-owned Australian sustained a long personal campaign against her, led by senior editor Paul Kelly.

In Britain, Blairites and David Miliband supporters were proclaiming in late 2011 “Ed Miliband is not a popular Labour leader.” Immediately prior to his Conference speech, the Conservatives were totally confident in victory at the next election despite the fact that they were currently behind in the polls because “we’ve got David, they’ve got Ed.”

Look at the situation now. In Australia, the ALP briefly led the Liberals on the two-party preferred vote, and are still within striking distance. Gillard leads Abbott as preferred Prime Minister. Instead of Gillard being the leader under threat, the blowtorch has been turned onto Abbott. In Britain, Miliband is now written up as ruling  the Commons. Cameron was completely and utterly upstaged at the Conservative conference by Boris Johnson.

A year ago in both Australia and Britain you would have got very long odds on Gillard or Miliband’s survival. Now it is Abbott and Cameron who are under threat.

Harold Wilson’s famous dictum that ‘a week is a long time in politics’, and David Lange’s equally famous comment about the “reef fish” in the Press Gallery come to mind. The Canberra Press Gallery was unanimously dismissive of Gillard’s speech, but it went viral on You-Tube.

Criticisms of Shearer on this site and others seem to come down to these. He’s not Helen Clark, who was master of every portfolio. True, but neither is Key. He lacks fluency, is not a good communicator. True, but so was Helen Clark before she sought and obtained media training. He doesn’t have the relentless negativity of a Leader of the Opposition. True; that was Goff’s strategy, and it wasn’t a good one.

Scott Yorke at least gives Shearer till after the Labour Party conference, and so do I. There is no doubt it will be important for him, and for Labour. The good news is that the spotlight will be definitely on Shearer. Miliband and Gillard show hitherto derided leaders can step up, and that one performance can make a huge difference to theirs and their party’s prospects.

I think that calling for David Shearer’s head now, in the week before the Labour party conference, is a sign of panic. Panic doesn’t make for good decisions.

It is also very destructive of good organisation, which will be the other focus of the conference, and arguably the more important.

73 comments on “Don’t panic”

  1. Jenny 1

    Don’t panic Mr Mannering

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      That’s mr Jones who’s the panic merchant(no relation to shane)… and it’s spelled Mainwaring….

  2. hush minx 2

    To be fair Mike, I don’t think people on this site will have written any of this lightly. No one likes to se this stuff written down – and given your influential role in times past I’m sure you more than most will understand the depth of feeling that sits behind it.

    And it’s also true that the list of concerns they have had regarding David Shearer as a leader are not new. The problem is that despite articulating them repeatedly little progress has been seen to be made. In addition there is an air of disengagement from the caucus – which was merely emphasised by the decision of 18 of them voting against the wish of the party membership in December last year.

    It’s not panic that is making this happen – it’s frustration that Labour setting up a third term of a National led government through the inadequacies of a set of MPs sitting inside caucus, and a party leadership that appears out of its depth.

    • Dr Terry 2.1

      Probably there are some signs of panic, but be careful not to “put down” all the commentators. Most of these people are intelligent and able to reason and discern the signs. “Miracles” can happen in politics, we hardly need reminding of that. Shearer might be transformed over night.

      Nevertheless, too much emphasis has been focused upon Shearer, where more weight should be placed upon the Labour team as a whole. Even if Key can run a government on his own, it is unfair to place that expectation upon Shearer or almost any other individual. Good team-work is the thing, and that is what we must be convinced about.

    • King Kong 2.2

      Nobody knows who the authors of these Shearer attack pieces are so it is impossible to know what potential agenda they are pushing.
      Going for the jugular a week before conference makes me think that they have a dog in this race or they may be driven by purer motives…who knows?

      [lprent: Ummm. And your explanation about my post that I wrote last night? What “dog” do you think that I have?

      Don’t be a silly wee wanker and start violating our policy against attributing strange unsubstantiated motives to authors beyond what each of us state. It really doesn’t matter if a handle is used or a “real name”. If there is any actual hidden motivations then one or more of the other authors (starting with me) would start crying foul. In this case there had been some discussion running around the emails that authors were getting pissed starting several months ago and that has been reflected in posts. Eddie just wrote what he has been saying for months.

      We don’t need input by a political moron who appears to have been missing the evident dissatisfaction showing up in comments and posts here for months. ]

  3. Pete 3

    If David Shearer doesn’t go now, it will be too late to replace him in this term while allowing the party to get its house in order for the 2014 election. That’s why there is an urgency about this. Media training is not going to cut it. The man was a teacher for four years. If we are seeing the same communication skills now as he subjected his classes to in the 80s, he mustn’t have been very good at it. The GCSB tape fiasco exhibited an extraordinary degree of political naïveté. The beneficiary bashing dog whistle sent the wrong signals. Labour is supposed to be the party of the marginalised in society, not holding them up to suspicion. And you’re expecting Labour supporters to hang around like some battered spouse making excuses for the poor standard of Shearer’s leadership.

    • Jackal 3.1

      In my opinion, the GCSB tape fiasco didn’t exhibited an extraordinary degree of political naïveté on the part of David Shearer, no matter how hard the right wing propagandists spun it. What it did show was just how callous and manipulative John Key can be in order to not tell the truth.

      Whether the roof painter debacle sent the wrong signals is also a matter of opinion, being that Labours polling improved immediately after this. This was because there was a disproportional amount of coverage given to what was largely a triviality. I’m not saying it’s a good strategy, just pointing out the reality of the situation. Those facts make your claims that Labour supporters only come from marginalized sectors of the community entirely wrong!

      However, marginalizing potential supporters is not an effective method to ensure widespread support. That’s what National does all the time with its beneficiary bashing, and in the end it will work against them. Labour needs to look at an inclusive plan that ensures all New Zealanders benefit, not just the rich or poor.

      Despite the various arguments against him, I think David Shearer could outstrip some peoples expectations and win the next election for Labour and the left wing. It just so happens that the majority of Labour MP’s agree with me, and that’s why Shearer is leader of the opposition.

  4. felix 4

    Panic?

    Yeah sure. Four years of slow, grinding, repetitive panic.

  5. Jenny 5

    The vast bulk of the Labour Party membership, (apparently), are for David Cunliffe’s leadership over David Shearer’s.

    This will need to be tested by an open debate followed by a vote.

    Any other course could be disastrous.

    If it is true that Shearer supporters are in the minority, then the only way Shearer could remain leader after the conference is through some sort of suppression of inner party democracy, either through some sort of a technicality or other bureaucratic maneuver.

    :However if such tactics are imposed on the conference there will be a cost. If the majority opinion is not allowed some sort of democratic expression at this time, then Labour Party organisation will suffer an internal wound, it may be hidden and glossed over and dismissed as trivial, but mark my words, the majority will, will find it’s expression in some other way at some other time. Probably at the worst possible time.

    Possibly in a lack of volunteers and doorknockers come election time, resulting from a slow sapping of enthusiasm in these same loyal volunteers as they go about their daily lives.

    • McFlock 5.1

      This I agree with.

      And I think it applies to every political party.

      The democratic advance made by MMP (which as a system I think is beginning to mature, if needing tweaks around the electorate/threshold issue) needs to be matched by democratic advances in political parties. Members need to be able to affect changes beyond the caucus door, and hold caucus to policy and the wishes of membership.

      Whether or not the Shearer/Cunliffe thing is a caucus problem, or an Auckland problem, or a media/blog problem, or a Shearer performance problem, or some or all of the above, the way to put a lid on it is to have clear membership support.

      • weka 5.1.1

        I thought the point was that the membership don’t get to choose the leader. Have the changes to that been finalised?

  6. Unfortunately Jenny that is exactly the plan. You need to take a very close look at the constitutional changes for leadership issues. Everyone has been focused on the rule that would give members and affiliates a share in leadership votes. What they haven’t focused on is the caucus trigger that is required before the wider vote can be held. Unless the threshold is less than the present 51% (67% is presently suggested) the Constitution is entrenching the current leadership. But the party hierarchy, including the LP Council have been persuaded there is too much risk of instability to have a lower trigger. The UK Labour Party has a threshold of 20%. So you would think there would be some comprehensive analysis and discussion of why the NZLP needs such a different 67%. I haven’t seen any discussion about that. Just an unsubstantiated fear of instability. Frankly, without a lower trigger THERE WILL BE NO VOTE for the members on leadership issues. The caucus controllers will decide when it best suits for Robertson to challenge or if there will even be a leadership contest. Look for them to do that dangerously close to the 2014 election. What the members are losing is an existing system where caucus would have (according to the caucus rules) had to decide in February whether they had confidence in the leaders. How about getting a pledge from Robertson that he will not challenge for the leadership until after 2014? Anyone think he’d sign up to that?

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Mike.

    You used the examples of Gillard and Milliband as examples of how Labour Leaders can turn a listing Labour ship upright. Let’s assess what the standard set is shall we?

    Have you seen this video of Gillard taking down Abbott as a misogynist. She unleashes on him an utter 15 minutes of Opposition hell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeGeooZOUdE

    How about Ed Milliband taking apart Cameron, Osborne and Clegg’s budget, earlier this year. 15 grand minutes of holding Tory feet to the fire.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmAv95OfTWI

    “wrong priorities, wrong values, out of touch, same old Tories”

    Just fraking brilliant, Ed’s speeches are usually damn good.

    • felix 7.1

      Yep, there’s the standard. Anyone seriously believe Shearer has that in him?

      And I don’t just mean the eloquence of the performances, I mean the guts to face the issues head-on and tear the tories to shreds.

      Side note: They really pack ‘em in at the HoC, don’t they?

      • I’d be astonished if he could manage it. If he does I’ll eat my hat and say he deserves a go. But if he’s going to convince Labour and Green supporters, he’s going to have to do it fast, before pressure mounts on him to resign.

        • QoT 7.1.1.1

          Somehow I feel certain we’d have heard if the entire Shearer speechwriting/comms team had been summarily sacked. And without any evidence he’s got a completely new team behind him, I rate the odds of his conference speech being a game-changer as approximately equal to those of a whelk in a supernova.

          Whereas David Cunliffe, just as a random example, has been turning out exciting, clear, engaging speeches all year. I would dearly love to believe that David Shearer can miraculously turn into a charismatic, inspirational leader in a matter of days, but signs and logic point to no.

          • Jackal 7.1.1.1.1

            Really? Would you perhaps like to supply some examples to show his exciting, clear, engaging speeches? Although I don’t like to raise the issue, here’s one example that turned up at the top of a google search. Didn’t the right wing propagandists have a field day with that one QoT. Charismatic or not, you don’t usually gain the treasury benches by appealing to minority groups.

            Now I can see why this might appeal to the more staunch Labour activist, and people like you and I. But how many staunch Labour activists are there? Some of the most staunch Labour activists are now questioning their association, somewhat because of supposed instability that has been promoted through websites like yours and The Standard. I think that if Labour fails to win at the next election, no matter who is leader, some responsibility will lie with those who have published work that clearly undermines Labour politicians. In my opinion that should be left up to the right wing propagandists to do, because without unity on the left wing, Labour will not win the next election, and the Greens will not be a part of the next government, no matter how many voters Labour sheds to them.

            Now I know I’m playing with fire, but the factional infighting that’s being published on left wing outlets isn’t particularly beneficial at all. Yes! The left wing is a diverse group of people that value free speech and differing opinions, but where the hell has the loyalty to the cause gone? You’re providing fodder for the right wing to use, which in the end will not help Labour to choose another leader, or help Shearer if the party decides to keep him. All it does is undermine Labour, and therefore reduces the chances of getting rid of National and their destructive neo-liberal agenda. Oh well you might say… My hit counter is going ballistic. Yay! But I damn well care, because its my business and lifestyle that will suffer if National propagandists foment division within the left wings usually cooperative team. It’s me who will suffer if left wing activists stupidly do the same thing as well.

            The fact of the matter is that Cunliffe’s style, like Phil Goff’s, isn’t going to appeal to the vast majority of the middle class voter, and if Labour wants to win the next election, simply relying on negative politicking won’t work. Cynical I know, but people like things they want to hear, which is perhaps why my blog isn’t particularly popular in comparison to those who purposefully stroke the over-inflated political egos of the right wing, and the factions they support.

            • QoT 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Gosh, Jackal, maybe you might consider that when I’m comparing Shearer’s speeches to Cunliffe’s, I’m talking about prepared speeches, not off-the-cuff protest remarks. And I’m not sure just how much of a “field day” “right wing propagandists” had with the comments in your link since I honestly do not remember hearing a single thing about them.

              How about any speech on this page? Pretty clear, covering the “issues that matter” according to everyone who wants the feminists and gays to go away and shut up, in relatable terms, and – comparing every recording ever of Cunliffe vs Shearer – delivered with some goddamned passion.

              Not to mention the fact he’s won New Lynn with increasing majorities – hardly an area known for its rampant hippie/radical demographics.

              But carry on, I can only assume you’ve set some personal goal for using the phrase “right wing propagandist” as often as possible and I’d hate to get in the way of that.

              • Jackal

                You didn’t hear anything about the right wing propagandists attacking Cunliffe over that speech? I find that hard to believe QoT.

                So it’s just prepared speeches that we should judge them on, something that Shearer and Cunliffe are OK at… We shouldn’t compare off the cuff responses with off the cuff speeches though. Something both Shearer and Cunliffe could do better at. Confusing!

                Thanks for the link btw. I don’t follow politics as well as I should, and Cunliffe’s speech seems pretty good. But the thing you like the most seems to be that he appeals to a minority group. As I said before, that’s not going to help Labour much in winning the next election. On the other hand he’s a bit more critical of the rich, which is a usable tactic. It was employed well by Obama in the US elections.

                Strangely, many New Zealand pundits are wanting our politics to emulate that media controlled and corrupt spectacle. Personally, I couldn’t think of anything worse. I hate personality politics, which is what we’re basically talking about.

                There’s no personal goal of mine in highlighting the fact that some left wing commentators are sounding a lot like right wing propagandists atm. It’s an observation… You’re welcome to disagree.

                • QoT

                  So it’s just prepared speeches that we should judge them on

                  Not what I said at all.

                  I made a comment comparing their relative abilities at prepared speeches.

                  You cited an unprepared speech.

                  I corrected what I assumed was mistake on your part.

                  But since you think it’s cool to accuse me of lying, go fuck yourself.

                  • Jackal

                    I doubt the referenced Cunliffe speech wasn’t totally unprepared. Although you’re right to make the trivial distinction about it not being a conference speech, you’re wrong that he shouldn’t be judged as a politician on it.

                    You also seem to be confused about the fact that I cast doubt that you were being truthful in your knowledge concerning the fallout from that speech, not about what kind of speech it was.

                    You see QoT, that was your opportunity to explain the inconsistency in your argument. But I suppose it’s just easier for you to resort to childish insults. How could you have missed this and this for instance, or are you of the crowd that just selectively chooses to read information that supports their beliefs?

                    Don’t get me wrong, I like David Cunliffe as well. In fact I preferred him at the time of Labours leadership debates. But Labour chose Shearer, and flip-flopping every time there’s a bad poll isn’t going to do Labour any favours.

    • Red Rosa 7.2

      Well said. Gillard’s speech justifiably went viral. We’ve never seen a shadow of that passion from Shearer. A nice guy no doubt, but in the wrong job.

      One of the very few times I’ve watched Parliament live was the DotCom tape affair. Utter humiliation.

      • Dr Terry 7.2.1

        I have to say it, I am utterly sick and tired of hearing that Shearer is “a nice guy”. How do we know that for fact, and does it need saying anyway? Through personal experience as a former constituent of his, I have my doubts. Are we trying to salve our consciences for opposing his leadership?

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    This is Ed Milliband being grilled by a tough interviewer over Labour’s own relationship to News Corp during the phone hacking scandal. She puts the screws in half way through the interview – tougher than anything you’ll see on NZ TV.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxQW9QPvBZc

    And here, Ed Milliband: highlights of his speech at Labour UK’s very recent conference, his delivery for about an hour was from memory and improvisation. (I guess the “One Nation” meme doesn’t have the same connotations in the UK haha)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XC3GIb0UWg

    • Pete Fraser 8.1

      Ed `these strikes are wrong’ Milliband. Yeah, he’s super slick. I mean ffs, he’s notoriously awkward and gets away with it by being fuck-off good, not by being a very good orator.

  9. Akldnut 9

    “Possibly in a lack of volunteers and doorknockers come election time, resulting from a slow sapping of enthusiasm in these same loyal volunteers as they go about their daily lives.”

    Good call Jenny – I and a number of activists I know, am becoming increasingly disenchanted with this current leadership as the days go by. If things don’t improve drastically and immediately I will look at the possibility of supporting another party and cease my payments into the century fund.

    We have already lost a lot of long term supporters over this and by not improving our leadership’s performance I am sure Labour will only lose more good people and slip further into a position of irrelevance.

  10. Jenny 10

    Politicians make up the bulk of the climate change faction, I call the Climate Change Ignorers, (CCIs). I predicted here that this faction won’t last long. I posited this because no matter the donations and bribes and all the other incentives and pressure politicians are put under by the Business As Usual lobby to look away, the change is so rapid and apparent, as to be unignorable, (that is, without making yourself into looking a a complete tool in public)

    For one American politician my prediction is coming true even as we talk.

    The world’ most prominent CCI and US politician David Rouzer is currently engaged in an arduous and “dispiriting” recount of votes in a desperate effort to retain his seat in congress which he has just lost by a mere 500 votes.

    Reality has the last laugh at the expense of North Carolina congressman David Rouzer

    Now ask yourself when it comes to the defining issue of our age, which politician of the two, David Shearer or David Cunliffe is a Climate Change Ignorer?

    I know that Cunliffe has given some speeches on this issue. (and damned good ones at that). Shearer, I don’t know. Can anyone inform me of any speech or policy or even a mention of any new climate change initiative coming from the Shearer camp. On these grounds alone, like David Rouzer and all other CCIs Shearer’s use by date has already passed.

    • muzza 10.1

      Ther are far gaver, more pertinent threats to people in NZ than CC Jenny.

      As benghazi (6) points out, most of you can’t see what the root problems are, you continue to focus on the issues which are not relevant!

      The con is so great, (nz’s destruction) you can’t even or don’t want to see it, and are sidetracked with issues like CC while children are abused, and starving, old people treated appaulingly, suicides of our young, education under attack, workers under attack, it goes on, and on.

      Yet you focus on other issues!

      • One Tāne Huna 10.1.1

        A loony can always manage to find something huge that no-one else can see.

        • muzza 10.1.1.1

          Shame, you were doing quite well today with your posts too, they made some sense, read well etc, then you just had take a shot eh!

          Which shows the following

          1: What a little mind you have
          2: That you don’t think there are more serious immediate issues in NZ than CC
          3: That because you can’t/don’t understand whats going on, no-one else can either

          • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1.1.1

            Your immediate leap to abuse marks you as rather shallow thinker, muzza. Jenny is right to raise climate change because it threatens all of us. You are right to raise local issues that need immediate attention, too. If only there was a pithy phrase that encapsulated the ability to think globally and act locally ;)

            • muzza 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you talking about my response to the thinly veiled insult below? Which was really the work of a small minded individual, who clearly as personal beef, given the content of what I had posted in my original comment.

              A loony can always manage to find something huge that no-one else can see

              If you are referring to my response to Jenny, it was not meant to be insulting in any way, simply that local issues are much greater danger to us than CC, and not to fall for the distractions.

              Shallow thinker, yup, illustrates nicely how little thought you put into your responses, and how little attention you pay to what people put up on here!

              • Te Reo Putake

                Two wrongs don’t make a right, muzza. I was talking about your response, not ignoring or excusing OTH’s comment. But, yeah, OTH could have phrased that more diplomatically, I suppose. However, you need to accept that some of your beliefs are loony, at least in the sense of being miles away from the mainstream. You can take some pride from that in that you are being genuinely contrarian (as opposed to the mildly conservative chap who posts under that name) and you have a good track record of sparking debate.

                Obviously, I indulge in a bit of childish abuse myself, from time to time, but I try to soften the blow by being exceedingly witty. And modest. Always modest.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  It makes me laugh – Muzza accusing Jenny of monomania! Is that a more diplomatic phrasing? :twisted:

  11. Sunny 11

    @ The Poster: We’re not in a panic…we’ve been saying since Shearer was foisted on us that he’s not a leader and most obviously, he’s not a Left leader and he can’t win an election.. That was after a total defeat, under Goff, another ‘good’ man, foisted on the party, who also was unable to win a (vital) election. So we’re not in a panic (projection on your part perhaps? ) rather we’re angry, frustrated, disbelieving, disenfranchised, despairing, sick at heart and right ready to be out of here if this garbage doesn’t stop. Now.

  12. Jester 12

    Mike, I assume you still haven’t quite got the numbers for a Robertson coup yet hence your attempt to quell the masses.

    Correct?

  13. One Tāne Huna 13

    Spare us the patronising bullshit Mr. Smith.

    It isn’t panic, it’s the desire to see an electable Labour leader.

  14. Descendant Of Smith 14

    From one Smith to another I don’t care who the leader is at this point.

    I’m looking for some policies such as increasing benefit rates, increasing the minimum wage, putting back the right to strike at times other than the expiry of a contract, re-instating good faith provisions after contracts have expired, increased taxation to reduce debt levels, lending Chch council money at interest free levels so they don’t have to borrow with interest to rebuild infrastructure, rebuilding state housing stock and a removal of market rents, universal family benefit instead of WFF so the state doesn’t require people’s financial information (and lets face it many wealthy get both WFF and a community services card anyway), investment in public education – I know what my local high school could do with the 2 million (and now more due to integration) that Whanganui Collegiate got, and so on.

    Whether it’s Shearer or Cunliffe or someone else is irrelevant as there’s little point of difference between National and Labour in terms of neo-liberalism (national are just both more honest in appealing to swing voters and dishonest in relation to their fascist tendencies about it) and little left wing about the Labour party these days.

    I still find it dishonest that Labour claims the 8 hour working day as an achievement on their website when they no longer believe in it. The modern Labour Party has so little in common with the old that they shouldn’t even use the name.

    They should change their name at this conference to something else that more accurately reflects their right leanings and change their colour to pale blue.

  15. muzza 15

    Lets get this straight first of all.

    Helen Clark delivered against NZ’s interests, which is why she has her job at the UN – Anyone who holds her up as some sort of examply needs to upper cut themselves, as well as examine the major policies which helped to strip NZ, which the the current lot have run with and extended.

    Shearer,Gillard, Milliband, all the same person, it makes no difference, and if you think that one speech is able to fool the sheep, then we really are in some strife.

  16. Craig Glen Eden 16

    Shit Mike is this the best you can do to try and reduce activist concerns to a “panic attack”?

    I have not posted over the weekend but have watched the posts with interest. Shearer was never up to the job a total bunch of looser’s stuck him in charge and they all deserve to go as well.

    The caucus played petty self interest politics they put themselves first and the party members views last. Well all those who voted for Shearer need to go as far as I am concerned the act of installing the bumbling inexperienced Shearer is not forgiveable. Any politician who thought Shearer was fit for the job showed what total bloody idiots they are. For the Parties sake Shearer and a number of others need to resign.

  17. kousei 17

    David ‘Roof Painter’ Shearer? Give us a break.

  18. Bill 18

    Disclaimer: I’m no devotee of parliamentary democracy. I’m under no illusions as to the limits of what that particular form of governance can deliver.

    Quickly. Because I’ve a lot of other things to do today….

    The Labour Parties in Australia and the UK are all tangled up in their neo liberal apologist bindings. So (currently) is the NZ Labour Party. And it has been that way for nearly 30 years. Through those years there has been the constant refrain of TINA in their policies. When in office, they do as the unabashed neoliberal Tories do. But they do it ‘nicer’. And they have, by and large, ‘cleansed’ their parties of all and sundry who don’t or won’t ‘get it’. Meaning that dissent has been silenced and people and ideas ostrasized. End result? The electorate get a choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum fighting over a so called centre ground that has moved so far to the right that it’s just not funny.

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

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

    So we have elections as personality contests now. Is anyone really surprised? Is there anyone who in all seriousness would argue that they don’t know why this is?

    Well, here’s a thing for all the managers, carreerists and neoliberal apologists who have occupied our electoral spaces. Neoliberalism is dead. It died with the global financial collapse and the rising stench of austerity would seem to be its decay. So it’s time for you to move on or step aside. We don’t need this stuff. We don’t need to be told (again) that we need to suffer a little pain to enjoy the gain somewhere off down the track.

    But what is the NZ Labour Party offering up beyond TINA? Well, obviously nothing. What could the NZ Labour Party offer up that was beyond the cruel defeatism of TINA? Well that’s the question!

    But it’s not a question we’ll ever know an answer to while David Shearer or any of the coterie of neoliberal apologists, carreerists or managerial types hold the reins of power in Labour.

    And that’s why they have to go Mike. It ain’t panic. It’s a matter of needing that question answered.

    • karol 18.1

      +1

      So we have elections as personality contests now.

      Exactly. It doesn’t matter to me who has the most marketable backstory, or most televisual face – it’s the political policies and direction.

      Who will take the bold moves needed to turn so-called “left wing” parties towards a solidly left wing position?

    • Dr Terry 18.2

      Bill, that is pretty good for something you wrote quickly! You are putting it to us, and we need to hear your voice.

    • xtasy 18.3

      Bill: “Refreshing” comment – and REAL in much of your assessment!

    • kousei 18.4

      Impressive comments Bill. You’ve summed up exactly how I feel mate. I voted Labour at the last election but until the Labour party can reply to the question you posed with a clear answer then I will not support them.

  19. Blue 19

    Panic? It’s not panic, Mike. It’s the result of watching Shearer flail and flounder for months, and asking ourselves if this situation is going to change.

    I am not Chicken Little, going around squawking for a leadership change at the first sign of low polls. I supported Phil Goff to the very end in his leadership despite many of my fellows calling for him to be sacked. I did so because I believed Phil had it in him, and right towards the end there he proved that he did. If he had had more confidence in himself, and the party had had more confidence in him (billboards…) things could have gone very differently.

    But I will not sit around wasting time on a leader who doesn’t have it, will never have it no matter how much media training he’s given, and is apparently too much of an egotist to admit he’s not up to the job and step down for the good of the party.

    Shearer has made an utter fool of himself, from his beneficiary on the roof speech, to his crying wolf over the GCSB tape, to his allowing Shane Jones to run riot, to his clunky, waffling, stumbling dialogue that has shown very little improvement despite a year of media training.

    To be blunt, Mike, he doesn’t have what it takes, in either political experience or natural talent, and pursuing this project further is a waste of time.

    • gobsmacked 19.1

      Blue +1

      It really grates to be told that it’s “panic”, as if we lived in a world without history, without memory. Without the ability to observe what happens before our eyes.

      “Panic” is what we would see from Labour after Shearer’s first debate or interview in Election 2014.

      You can write that script now: “We should have acted when we had the chance … it’s too late now!”

      But it’s not 2014. It’s not too late. Or too soon. It’s now.

  20. ‘Dont panic’ in Dad’s Army usually spells an iminent disaster happening.
    Dad’s Army could also depict the current labour party ministers,some working ok,
    then a faction where they are not working at all,mumbling,stumbling around trying
    to put some sort of cohesive/policy strategy together to present to the voters,members,
    followers.It ain’t working.
    I for one was shocked when Shearer won ahead of Cunliffe, Shearer showed then, that
    he wasn’t up to the job, tv appearances showed Shearer was not leadership material,
    why was Shearer even in the race ?
    His leadership has presented nothing for the voters,members,followers of labour,at
    a time when the nacts have left a smorgasboard of topics,which i am sure has labourites
    shaking their heads in disbelief and anger,why can’t this be seen by those who are in the
    inner circle, when it is bleedin obvious.
    I really,really,want labour to do well in the next election,for the sake of the country and
    myself and family,but i am despairing that if Shearer is still there we will be heading for
    a 22% at the polls.
    A change of leadership needs to happen now, not later.

  21. Tiger Mountain 21

    Parting is such sweet sorrow, the real parting required is that from social democracy with members at large and conference running the NZ Labour Party on the platform of “they” the bosses, “indeed not liking it up ’em”.

    ”it” being pounding taxes, SOES piss off, no more PPPs, or reserve bank, a massive reconstruction of this countries infrastructure, crushing carbon tax and an invitation for all the “knowledge wavers” to bugger off. Anything less and and this leadership level bollocks will return year after year.

    I am well aware the above is highly unlikely which is why I am sticking with Te Mana Movement.

  22. LynW 22

    And Tapu Misa’s view

    Tapu Misa: Labour should look hard at leader’s competence

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10846696

  23. Michael 23

    It’s time Shearer went and the identity of his successor should be a matter to be decided by every financial member of the Party, via secret ballot. It’s called democracy and the spectacle of Labour’s pampered, overpaid and underworked Parliamentary wing respecting it would galvanise the Party’s fortunes. So would the election of a leader with the political nous to connect with the people and convince them that Labour’s commitment to social justice burns just as brightly as it did back in 1916, 1935 and 1972 (we’ll overlook 1984).

  24. I agree partly, as calling for his head at the same time as the MSM (who clearly want to destroy Labour so their neo-liberal idol can return to power) could hurt Labour in the polls.

  25. kea 25

    “Twice this year we have seen Labour leaders turn around perceptions of them and their party with one speech.”

    Are you writing it, Mike ?

    [lprent: Yes he did. Please read the policy. ]

  26. KhandallaMan 26

    Mike, in your 537 word essay you yourself could not find anything positive to say about Shearer.  That speaks volumes.
    You ask us to forget one year of nothingness from Shearer (&Robertson) IF he make a single great speech!  Most of the bloggers here have jobs or businesses: would we survive 12 months  of non-performance by making one acceptable pitch? No . We would be out on our ear. 
    Shearer & Robertson were given a chance to prove themselves: the sceptical (ignored) membership bit it’s lip and gave the pair of them space.  They have failed to make the grade.  The whole party is now being tainted by this sad episode in our history. The sooner we bring closure the better.

    Let us get on with voting for the 40:40:20 and the 40% Caucus trigger. 

  27. Dee 27

    Mike, you remember Bill Rowling, well this is a similar situation. No one is panicking, what they are seeing are the results of months of watching Labour and its leadership and just feeling deflated. A leader has to speak well and David Shearer for all his good points, does not. The comment about a sickness beneficary stinks, considering many have invisible conditons and work in pain and exhaustion to do jobs in their homes. No apology either and it smacked of someone joining in the anti beneficiary bashing to win kudos…but with whom? Certainly not old time social justice voters like myself. If you want a good combination for Labour leadership — try Cunliffe and Moroney, who at least seem to stick to the original values of the party. My personal choice would be Parker for leader, but that is not popular with most Labour people. I hope we get some proper traction in the Labour party before many reluctantly de-camp to the Greens. Thank you.

  28. Anne 28

    I’ve been rapidly coming to the view that a tandem effort between Cunliffe/Parker is the best path to take if the wounds are to be healed inside the Party. They were competitors a year ago, but now they have a chance to bring the two sides together. The abilities of both have been clearly demonstrated, and if the Labour Party really wants to do the right thing for this country they would get in behind them in a big way.

  29. Jenny 29

    Twice this year we have seen Labour leaders turn around perceptions of them and their party with one speech. Ed Miliband did it at the Labour Party conference in Manchester in early November.Julia Gillard did it in the Australian parliament in October.

    Mike Smith

    Mike I would follow David Shearer to the ends of hell if he gave a tub thumping speech at conference saying that he will take serious steps to save the planet from the ravages of climate change. And that Labour under his leadership would oversee a Green New Deal program of government innovation and investment to create thousands of jobs to make New Zealand a destination for innovation and reverse the brain drain to Aussie.

    That a Labour Government would impose a moratorium on all deep sea oil exploration in all our territorial waters.

    That a Labour Government would refuse to issue permits for any new coal mines on New Zealand territory.

    That New Zealand would set world first in becoming the first nation in the world to put a ban on the international coal export and import market.

    That the $billions already put aside, earmarked for the Roads Of National Significance (RONS), will instead be switched to public transport.

    That a Robin Hood tax on scurrilous and reckless currency trading and risky financial speculation will be imposed on the banks and financial institutions to protect this country for the ravages of financial boom bust bubbles and financial collapses.

    That a huge investment in innovation in renewable technologies and Green tech. will be encouraged by inviting the world’s best and brightest angel investors and environmental leaders to become a part of designing a modern industrial economy better suited to the 21st Century than the creaky coal driven smokey oil soaked planet eating model being promoted by National.

    As we once were, New Zealand will be returned to it’s rightful place as a proud world leader by example, as we were in international suffrage, as we were on Social Welfare, as we were on nuclear proliferation.

    The sort of speech that lays out the minimum policies that all countries need to implement if we are not to see millions die and whole ecosystems to be wiped out.

    Do you think that David Shearer could give that speech Mike?

    You and I Mike will probably agree that he won’t.

    Is it possible Mike that David might give a speech somewhat vaguely in this direction?

    If he did he might still win my support.

    However barring a miracle and going on past form, David Shearer as leader, will give a sallow, uninspiring, thin on detail, steady as she goes, stick with our knitting, don’t scare the horses, Business As Usual, pale imitation of National Party policy, type speech which by turns, will either enrage or dishearten or alienate the majority of Labour supporters.

    Of course Davie will throw in a few John Key type aspirational Labour Party goals like a return to full employment and catch up with Australia and care for the environment, worker’s rights etc. but as there will be zero mention of how these aspirational goals are to be achieved even the faithful will be left to wander the conference aisles aimlessly trying to promote non existent policy to anyone they happen to bump into.

    And David may even weave in a few jokes into his miracle image resurrection speech if he is advised to by his makeover coach.

    To break the ennui let us hope that the buffet is something to look forward to at least

    • Jenny 29.1

      The crisis is upon us.

      What we have in Labour is a Chamberlain.

      When what we need is a Churchill.

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    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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