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Drive-by posting

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, January 23rd, 2013 - 248 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags: , , ,

Like I said he would Bridges has got the Labour portfolio. I expect he’ll do exactly what he’s told by Joyce. It’s how he’s got where he is thus-far.

Unfortunately the source on Shearer’s plan to put his leadership to the party didn’t pan out so well. He’s confirmed to Vernon Small that he does not intend to let members vote (I’m not surprised).

Mike Williams seems to agree (about 12min in) with Matthew Hooton that we at the Standard are all far left loons pretending to be Labour members. Now I know we’ve had a few wacky posters here over the years such as Robinsod and that short lived conspiracy theorist, Batman, but the last time I checked most of us were slightly left of center social democrats and Labour party members. Maybe Mike needs to check his own position on the political compass.

248 comments on “Drive-by posting”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Robinsod was pretty mild compared to some here now and had a good heart and turn of phrase.

    Whatever happened to him ?

    • King Kong 1.1

      Unfortunately every time he got a feeling of lefty self satisfied smugness at just how much he “cared”, he ate a biscuit.

      He is now so obese his fingers are too fat to type on a keyboard.

      [lprent: To answer hs. Robinsod got banned at so many sites (including here) for periodically falling off the wagon of acceptable behaviour and going feral on people, that he eventually stopped blogging. In some ways that was a pity. When he wasn't in the feral phase he was pretty good to read because he had a working sense of humour.

      Unlike this dumb ape, who that has a level of sophistication above a moronic pratfall. I keep waiting for him to discover equivalent of custard pies - but it appears that he doesn't have IQ. ]

    • Colonial Weka 1.2

      hmmm, comment appeared on wrong place…

    • Billy 1.3

      Sod and I got married. We are now running a goat farm in Cyprus.

  2. Jane 2

    I to am not surprised that the intention is for the leadership vote to be handled only within caucus. Their sense of self preservation and fear of losing control will persuade the needed 60% + 1 to vote the correct way. Any that stray in the wrong direction will have Mallard, King and Hipkins on their backs to conform. Is wrong but predictable.

    • Enough is Enough 2.1

      The answer here is to get on the phone today to your local Labour MP (or their office) and let them know what we, the people they serve and depend on for their privileged job, expect.

      If you live in a blue electorate call the closest Labour MP to where you live.

      There needs to be echos throughout the country that the left want the opportunity to be heard.

      We want domocracy and the Labour caucus needs to know this when they vote in February.

      If you believe in the Labour movement and party you have a duty to call your MP today.

      • Related to this…

        On Jim Mora’s 4-5PM Panel today (Brian Edwards and Michelle Boag), the issue was raised as to why the media were constantly seeking comments from GREEN politicians rather than Labour. They cited the example of the media seeking comment from Meteria Turei (sp?) on Key’s cabinet re-shuffle.

        The reply (from Edwards, I think) was simple; the Greens have very good spokespeople who are coherent, fluent in their portfolios, and have a BRAND that the public understand. (Whether they agree or disagree with that brand is another matter altogether.)

        The question was; what is Labour’s brand?

        • blue leopard 2.1.1.1

          What is Labour’s brand?

          How about: “Forget commenting on the current state of government, squabble publicly and score points against one another, while waiting for an election win to drop from the heavens” ?

          • felixviper 2.1.1.1.1

            It’s funny because it’s true.

            The current strategy is ‘Don’t say anything, don’t do anything, keep our heads down, don’t start any fights, don’t debate or discuss anything, and hopefully National will just lose.’

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2

            Don’t forget the air of entitlement to being the leading Left Wing party, and actively promoting the most sycophantic “Yes People” (see I used the gender neutral term) from amongst its own office staff.

        • xtasy 2.1.1.2

          Labour’s brand:

          A HOTCHPOTCH still “in the making”, with bits of this, that, the other, and what else may come across til 2014, to put in the broth.

          Details are to be disclosed along the way, that is in bits and drabs, and where it may be convenient. Nothing more, not much plan, apart from ABC and keep your cushioned green seat in the House warm.

          Thank you David Shearer, you have not disappointed me. I expected none else!

          Time for a NEW LEFT PARTY!!!

          • lprent 2.1.1.2.1

            Not really. There are several parties on the centre to the left. Hell, I was at a Mana meeting last night having a look at them.

            Just pick on or more to support, or just pick candidates to support.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah, a good friend has invited me to go attend the next one happening in my area.

            • marty mars 2.1.1.2.1.2

              + 1 What did you think about it? I’m interested in what experienced campaigners think and wonder if the fire feels a little rekindled with Mana – nothing better than fresh fields to walk through and wide open spaces of political landscape to consider. Building from nothing into something – ahhh it invigorates me.

              • xtasy

                Well, I have followed a bit what is going on with Mana.

                But given recent comments by Hone today, and even over recent days, it appears he may have another kind of agenda, meaning he rather feels passionately about leading a new kind of Maori Party, or alliance of “Maori” parties.

                If he does that, what will become of Mana???

  3. One Tāne Huna 3

    Sorry (but not surprised) to hear that Shearer is running scared of the party.

    The fact that Williams and Hooten mention The Standard at all is a compliment. Their choice of language betrays their true feelings. More confident, more competent pundits would welcome the competition :)

  4. karol 4

    So, Shearer shows again that he prefers to talk to MSM journalists, rather than engage democratically and talk more directly with the membership. Using the old, out-dated strategy of appeasing the “neoliberal” establishment.

    • Jackal 4.1

      Is it any wonder? First we have a Standard blogger incorrectly report that the vote might go to the membership… Speculation based on gossip that to me appears designed to damage Shearer’s credibility.

      Then we have the veritable diatribe of negative comments whenever Shearer says anything. Anybody who stands up for the leader of the opposition on The Standard is ruthlessly attacked ensuring there’s no balanced debate whatsoever.

      You also complain that he doesn’t ‘engage democratically and talk more directly with the membership’. In other words you’re saying he’s acting undemocratically, but again fail to actually back up this assertion with facts. As far as I can tell, Shearer is acting according to Labours democratic process.

      Apparently Shearer doesn’t talk more directly with Labour’s membership either? But you fail to show even one example where he’s been arrogant or aloof in his behaviour. He appears to me to be more approachable than most MP’s, especially those on the right wing with their army of security goons!

      You also claim that Shearer appeases the neoliberal agenda… How so? Your comment is reminiscent of QoT’s claim to have valid arguments as to why Shearer is the antichrist… Arguments it has to be said that fit nicely into the meme of say it enough times, people might start to believe it.

      • Tom 4.1.1

        Is that you, Trev ?

        I find your rhetoric excessive, but I think that anyone who has advocated privatised coercion has serious questions to answer as a potential Prime Minister of Aotearoa.

        http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/1998/09/15/outsourcing_war

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          and the alternatives to mercenaries are… ?

          • Tom 4.1.1.1.1

            Professional, publicly accountable, organisations .. which we already possess.

            • Tom 4.1.1.1.1.1

              As late as the 1650s, most troops were mercenaries. However, after the 17th century, most states invested in better disciplined and more politically reliable permanent troops.

              • McFlock

                from the FP article:

                Meanwhile, UN peacekeeping efforts have fallen victim to Western governments’ fears of sustaining casualties, becoming entangled in expanding conflicts, and incurring escalating costs. The number of personnel in UN operations has fallen from a peak of 76,000 in 1994 to around 15,000 today. Multilateral interventions appear increasingly likely to be limited to situations where the UN gains the consent of the warring parties rather than–as allowed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter–to be designed to enforce a peace on reluctant belligerents. Bilateral, as well as multilateral, commitments have also been trimmed. France’s long-standing deployment of troops in its former African colonies, for example, has declined: French troops will be cut by 40 percent to about 5,00’0 by 2000. Paris has stated that it will no longer engage in unilateral military interventions in Africa, effectively creating a strategic vacuum.

                So faced with a reduction of 80% of government personnel in the space of 4 years, a decrease in the threat level of operations they will consider, and no decrease in crises, your alternative “Professional, publicly accountable, organisations .. which we already possess” (by which I understand “state armies”) is no solution to the problem.

                Any other alternatives?

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Drones.

                  • McFlock

                    Not big in 1998. And only goes so far to controlling the ground and making it safe for aid workers and peace monitors.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I laugh at the idea that paid mercenaries are going to make the ground safer. Remember the scenario you have been bringing up is intervening in a genocide in progress. Thats very very messy stuff, even for specialised forces.

                      Time to go with rentacops I guess.

                      Funny thing is, western expenditure on high tech arms is only going one way: up and up. Even in bankrupt Greece

                      http://euobserver.com/defence/115513

                      So McFlock, any ideas on getting nations re-engaged with their moral responsibilities, or are we going to contract those out as well?

                    • McFlock

                      “Re-engaged”? What makes you think they were ever engaged in the first place?

                      Geo-politics is preschool politics with no teachers around. Short term self-interest all the way. Has been for millennia.

                      Yes intervention is messy. Prevention is less messy. Non-intervention is even messier.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Paris has stated that it will no longer engage in unilateral military interventions in Africa, effectively creating a strategic vacuum.

                  And what is Mali then, prey tell?

                  Any other alternatives?

                  So you’re saying that sovereign states refuse to provide peacekeeping troops, but they will provide monies for peacekeeping mercernaries to do the same job? OK, great.

                  • McFlock

                    At the time, that seemed to be the situation.

                    Of course, one lesson policy analysts take from 2001 is that it’s not smart to just leave areas of the globe to descend into … whatever (like some sort of escape from Absolom solution).

                    In general, yeah – it’s easier for politicians to write a cheque than deliver a eulogy.

                • McFlock

                  Thanks for the link – always up for a good book.

                  But I’m not sure that I’m quite so naive as you seem to imply. As far as I can see in the FP article, Shearer is positing alternatives to a genocide. At least with mercenaries you know what to expect – governments are notoriously fickle.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    At least with mercenaries you know what to expect

                    No.

                    No more than you expect with any organisation whose leaders’ first loyalty is to its shareholders. At ground level, no more than you would expect of an organisation that is composed of people as flawed and as unpredictable as those of any army who do not have any loyalty to any nation or idea except their own opportunities, or their own deeper, darker impulses – as Blackwaters’ behaviour in Iraq has shown.

                    Unless you really are naive.

                    There’s a very dark joke told by doctors: “The operation was a success, but unfortunately the patient died.”

                    I’m pleased however that this time you aren’t saying that people with doubts about mercenaries actually support genocide, like Hooton.

                    • McFlock

                      I can’t help but notice that people who seem abjectly opposed to mercenaries are without any other even vaguely realistic alternative to prevent a genocide. Other than “the international community suddenly changes the habits of generations”.

                  • McFlock

                    lol
                    I will go so far as to say the Swiss Guard supports the concepts that mercenaries will do anything for money. Including dress like complete tits.

                    Not that they’re alone in that respect :)

                  • Tom

                    Having slept on it .. highly recommended in a medium which demands instant response .. two points come to mind.

                    (1) The Vatican Swiss Guards are not mercenaries but salaried professional soldiers carrying out both ceremonial and active roles (see the links above).

                    Use of this image seems to be intended to sanitize the role of mercenaries in the context of US/UK foreign policy debates in 1998.

                    Shearer may or may not have supplied the image published with the article.

                    It should be worth establishing the facts .. a job for an intrepid journo .

                    (2)
                    At the bottom of the first page of

                    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/1998/09/15/outsourcing_war

                    it states that “David Shearer was a senior adviser to the U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Liberia and Rwanda in 1995 and 1996.”

                    I knew a veteran reporter who was in Rwanda. She has never been the same since, has walked away from that profession, and now describes herself as a farmer.

                    That was 17 years ago, and I cannot say if or how it may still affect Shearer, but the FP piece was published in 1998 – two years after his role as “senior adviser to the U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Liberia and Rwanda in 1995 and 1996.”

                    I remember watching TV coverage of Rwanda as the story broke. I remember images of French Foreign Legion officers confidently telling the world that they would soon get on top of the situation. I remember later images of the same officers looking tired and depressed saying “we have to get the UN in here” as the scale of the carnage emerged.

                    In that context Shearers piece may be viewed as an understandable reaction to – or rationalization of – the UN, and perhaps of his personal role in Rwanda.

                    We all change. We develop. We grow. “You never stand in the same river twice” according to Aristarchus. We develop insight. We learn from our experiences. There are people among us who have survived other wars.

                    This would be a purely personal matter were he not standing for the leadership of a major political party. He has my sympathy, but we also deserve an explanation of where he stands.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Shearer is positing alternatives to a genocide.

                  If there was any chance of stopping a true genocide in progress eg Rwanda, or Srebrenica, the mercernary forces would need the back up of military grade logistics, airpower and intelligence/surveillance.

                  Are we really going to start advocating for private armies to do that.

                  Or are we proposing to do what the Roman Empire did in its decline – bring in mercernary units to augment regular Roman legions.

                  Also we have seen that peacekeeping operations (when there is a peace to keep, which is not what you are advocating for here) can last for years. Great transfer of public wealth to private sector shareholders.

                  • McFlock

                    The degree of support required is yes and no.

                    Firstly, it’s easier to get developed countries to commit to logistics than frontline roles. NZ is a case in point.

                    Secondly, one of the bonuses to clear contracts prior to deployment is the lack of scope for unauthorised mission creep, a la Somalia (i.e. securing aid workers, water points, compounds and convoys, rather than pacifying the country). They won’t try to pacify the city if they’re only paid to protect the aid camps.

                    Thirdly, Rwanda would have been less bad if the radio station coordinating atrocities had been jammed. Small specialist companies can do that with little overhead, particularly as they would not be deployed against high-level military powers with sophisticated technology.

                    Would they have caused more problems than they solved? Who knows. But in many situations, probably not.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You think that going into a genocide in progress with strict contractual parameters limiting the actions of the mercernaries on the ground is a good thing?

                      What happens if a way comes up to end the genocide rapidly through a combination of on the ground action and diplomatic negotiation?

                      What commercial incentive are the mercernaries going to have for allowing their contract to be cut short?

                      In essence, you are sending mercernaries into war and expecting the strictures of a commercial contract to be strategically and tactically helpful to winning that war? The funniest (saddest) thing would be if the ‘enemy combatants’ managed to get a copy of that contract, and were able to see all the activities in its scope and out of its scope.

                      Bloody hell McFlock, you can see how the military industrial complex works. Assuming that you are not going to see “mission creep” is as likely as the DoD not changing tender parameters every other week.

                      And finally, how are you going to prevent the problem of sovereign nations walking even further away from their responsibilities as nations of the UN, once you start down this mercernary route? What’s to stop the UN being a financial clearing house where our tax payers dollars end up being funnelled to endless series of corporate interests, whether they are military/security, or otherwise?

                    • McFlock

                      You prevent mission creep by contracting them for specific tactical roles rather paying cost-plus for vague strategic goals.

                      As for your moral hazard argument, got any alternatives that don’t involve current and former regional and global powers suddenly growing a moral conscience and giving say 5 stand-by divisions to the UN on an ongoing rapid-deployment basis?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re going to stop a genocide in progress by contractually assigning mercernaries “specific tactical roles”? How exactly would this have worked in Sbreneca or Rwanda as the military situation changed hour by hour?

                      I mean seriously WTF?

                      As for your moral hazard argument,

                      People are simply going to die McFlock. Sometimes lots of them. Just remember that genocides don’t just occur out of the blue like freak weather. Years of missteps proceed each one, often with lots of associated meddling by foreign powers.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, in Rwanda they could have provided better security for the president, protected safe areas in force, protected at least some refugee convoys, provided more effective refugee camp security, interfered with Hutu command control and/or communications (at any nominated level from jamming to actual combat), and protected UN monitors on the ground. Or provided limited protection and air support as in Sierra Leone. All under command of the UN, without legal immunity, and with full supervision.

                      Yugoslavia was a bit more of a learning curve (not least of which because of the more sophisticated defenses), but for example the main reason the “safe havens” collapsed was because they were insufficiently defended by lightly armed UN forces. Air support was cancelled because some of the UN soldiers had been taken prisoner and used as hostages. The key lesson being that if you surround a small number of troops with a bunch of heavily armed psychos (and give them minimal defenses and overly restrictive rules of engagement), basically you’re just giving the psychos 450 hostages.

                      Yes there are always preceding circumstances, but the point is that in both those situations you named the preceding circumstances were not addressed, and so hundreds of thousands of people died. One reason they weren’t addressed was that for months or years before, when analysts and staff on the ground were saying that bad shit was going to happen, nobody wanted to commit militarily to prevent the eventual occurrence.

                      Now that it’s clear that the eventual occurrence might be a large domestic terrorist attack, nations are more ready to commit. Maybe mercenaries are no longer needed to supplement and inadequacy of will in the international community. I’m not sure how many South Sudanese would agree, though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Now you’re talking about using mercernaries widely and early on in potential trouble areas? Before real trouble occurs and not just when a genocide is actively in progress? Are you really sure this isn’t scope creep – given this, is there any phase of instability you see as being out of bounds of corporate mercernaries? Would you demand that outside mercernaries be allowed to operate in a sovereign country even though some degree of (even deteriorating) governmental stability and control still existed?

                      Also, some of the activities you have specified are completely outside of the capability of regular forces and require elite special forces involvement. You really want to start bringing that level of mercernary in theatre? What if you find that the other side is able to pay those mercernaries more than the UN – even it is by starving their own people?

                    • McFlock

                      No, it’s not “scope creep” simply because the goal is preventing genocide. I’m not saying that Sandline should be hired to jam radios at the first sign of discord. Just that as soon as they need security for aid convoys, it be provided. Do you know why every hilux with a .50 cal on the back is called a “technical”? Because in Somalia NGOs needed to provide aid security, no UN help was forthcoming and they were barred from hiring disinterested offshore companies. So they paid local warlords (often with a cut of the aid that was to go to civilians) and wrote off the expense as “technical assistance”.

                      I’d rather formally-contracted mercenaries do the job than the warlord who places mines around the local wells.

                      There are no more issues of putting UN contractors into sovereign territory than there are putting UN-member state military forces into those areas. And if the other side pays more, you cancel their contracts. Globally. And blacklist them. And take them to the Hague for violating UN conventions, if applicable. And you know who they are, where they live, and have all their details (because you did due diligence) so you can pick them up decades later.

                      And ideally, I wouldn’t consider anything less than ex-special forces if that is what the job requires. Which for most of what I’ve mentioned is not, but sometimes might be.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Just give the comprehensive contract to Bechtel and Halliburton to run security and law enforcement in the country. They can profit from our tax money via the UN, and can handle the subcontracts to Sandline, Xe, Blackwater or whoever else the fuck they want. The perfect corporate solution to the worlds troubles.

                      And since the education, health, justice and transport systems in these failed states are usually completely stuffed as well, it would probably be a good idea to pay other private corporates to come in, take them over and run them.

                      And if the other side pays more, you cancel their contracts. Globally. And blacklist them. And take them to the Hague for violating UN conventions, if applicable.

                      Yeah, because that system has been working so well to stop political leaders and military persons perpetrating state instability and genocide in the first place.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Would they have caused more problems than they solved? Who knows.

                      A shrug? That’s pretty cavalier, to say the least.

                      And if the other side pays more, you cancel their contracts. Globally. And blacklist them. And take them to the Hague for violating UN conventions, if applicable.

                      Because we know that’s happened, don’t we? Why, as we speak the heads of mercenary companies and contractors like Halliburton are facing all sorts of charges… oh hang on, they’re not. Oh well, they should so there.

                      Let me compare that with this:

                      the international community suddenly changes the habits of generations”

                      Well yes, exactly. As somehow the mercenaries are supposed to change the behaviour that they’ve shown for centuries.

                      And this is someone trying to imply that, opposed to others, they are “realistic”?

                      This may surprise you, but scepticism towards cheap cost effective short term solutions is not based on idealism and fantasy, but on knowledge of real human nature and the tendency for genies, once released from their bottles, to show an extraordinary reluctance to return to them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because we know that’s happened, don’t we? Why, as we speak the heads of mercenary companies and contractors like Halliburton are facing all sorts of charges… oh hang on, they’re not. Oh well, they should so there.

                      Yep. American citizens are exempt from the Hague afaik. The Blackwater mercernaries who shot up a stack of Iraqi civilians at the roundabout in Baghdad – ‘unfortunate incident but nothing criminal happened which requires answering for’ was the upshot of the finding.

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, from what I recall many of the US PMC in Iraq and Afghanistan are on cost-plus contracts, there is minimal oversight, they had/have legal immunity in the AO, and the government was complicit in evacuating responsible personnel from the AO to thwart investigations etc.

                      What, in my comments so far, makes either of you think I support any of that? Or indeed giving Halliburton a blank cheque to run an entire nation?

                      And when you guys say shit like “people are simply going to die …Sometimes lots of them”, who calls you on being “cavalier”? All because you refuse to look at an option that might actually have saved quite a few lives had it been used during the 1990s.

                      This may surprise you, but scepticism towards cheap cost effective short term solutions is not based on idealism and fantasy, but on knowledge of real human nature and the tendency for genies, once released from their bottles, to show an extraordinary reluctance to return to them.

                      And the penalty for not opening the bottle was having so many civilians killed with machetes and dumped in rivers that it actually changed the chemistry of the largest lake in the world. That’s “real human nature” right there, and a categorical imperative (based on US foreign policy and 16thC Italy) against even considering the possibility of new solutions makes the application of the “moral hazard” sound a bit hypocritical.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Here’s a hypothetical. Prove that it’s impossible or that worse hasn’t happened.

                      All companies, once they are set up to fulfil a contract go on to look for more contracts. If a company already exists that can fulfil a contract, then it has certainly signed other contracts and has no intention of shutting up shop after this one in particular has been fulfilled.

                      Suppose a company becomes a supplier of goods and services to a major state or transnational organisation such as the UN.

                      I can think of specific examples such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and so on. Pretty soon they become entrenched. On departing office, Dwight Eisenhower warned of the “Military-Industrial Complex”. No-one listened. Today companies such as these exert enormous political power, effectively owning congresspersons and senators because they have plants in those persons’ states/district. In effect they have the security of constitutionality.

                      They’re not going to go away and they’re not going to restrict their services to the US military alone. They don’t.

                      Now suppose dirty work needs to be done, suppose a dictator needs to be propped up, suppose a dictator has money. Once upon a time, a superpower would send in some “military advisors” or go searching for “weapons of mass destruction”, or bolster the West/East against the Communists/Capitalists.

                      Now these “advisors” look bad, but hey, there’s what Matthew Hooton calls a “Private Security Firm” with a nice, anodyne label like “Academi” or “Xe” or “My Little Pony”. President-for-Life Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where’s My Thribble has a few problems maintaining control and needs some locals made to go away. He also has some mineral resources. A partner or subsidiary of My Little Pony has interests in mineral extraction, or maybe the board just sees an opportunity to return value to shareholders.

                      Thanks to a recent UN contract, My Little Pony has a lot of capital, both financial and political and all capital is risk if you look at it another way, so like a shark, if they don’t keep moving forward, they die.

                      They also happen to be “too big to fail”, so no way are they going to stop doing what they do. They even think of diversification.

                      The choice to the board is quite clear and soon after a special meeting, a representative meets with President-for-Life Ramesses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where’s My Thribble and shows him a very nice brochure depicting all of their population-containment facilities, their efficient population-reduction faculties and the smiling faces of all the senators who have received campaign donations from them.

                      The President offers his American Express card. The corporate representative says, “That will do nicely.”

                      And so the market rolls on smoothly.

                      The fact is, nothing like that is very unusual. In fact, during WWII, one of the major suppliers of a component used in the manufacture of Zyklon-B, the gas used in the death camps, was supplied by a Jewish-owned company in the US. Hey, it was just business, value was returned to shareholders and we didn’t ask where it went…

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, bit difficult to follow, but your scenario looks like:

                      Large PMC gets rich off global contract to UN.
                      Later on, PMC is paid to orchestrate a genocide.
                      UN can’t blacklist the PMC without suddenly endangering every UN operation across the globe.

                      If the UN hired only ONE pmc for EVERY SINGLE type of role and job, then that might happen.

                      If the UN spread different tasks to different contractors and had rules about to what extent mercenaries should be hired per job as opposed to direct employment of staff, and interspersed with regular member-nation supervising forces, – well, never say never, but one might say “substantially less likely”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So McFlock, you’re now suggesting the UN support an ecosystem of mercernary contractors and subcontractors with tax payers money, thereby creating an international mercernary marketplace?

                      One where our own NZ Army soldiers or SAS might decide to leave for because the pay is so much better? (Similar to why many doctors decide to become locums instead of regular DHB staff?)

                      This just keeps getting better and better.

                    • McFlock

                      Prepare yourself for a shock, CV, but… they already leave and go to the private sector.

                      The marketplace already exists.

                      You might find an occasional observation of the real world to be useful.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      The marketplace already exists.

                      Cancer exists too, but that doesn’t mean that it should be compulsory.

                      At the moment the market for mercenaries is a grey market. I don’t want to see it made whiter-than-white. Hopefully it can be made a black one, and then a small one.

                    • McFlock

                      now who’s partaking of wishful thinking.

                      Any alternatives to mercenaries in preventing a genocide?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock. You’ve elucidated a solid rationale for privatising multiple core state functions in unstable 3rd world countries, removing their long term sovereignty and having them administered by corporate power.

                      Should be fun, and very highly profitable.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Any alternatives to mercenaries in preventing a genocide?

                      Sure a magic wand and a couple of vials of holy water.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      You’ve elucidated a solid rationale for privatising multiple core state functions

                      CV, have you read William Gibson’s Zero History ?

                      That’s essentially the denouement, except that it’s the whole state. If Iceland hadn’t done what it actually did, then Hubertus Bigend, Belgian marketing genius, might have ended up owning a country.

                    • McFlock

                      CV:
                      You reckon? What have I suggested they do that member-nation forces wouldn’t do, if your “magic wand” gave the international community the moral courage to act?

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Yeah, I got the hippocratic analogy.

                      Oh, so you were just pretending to be thick.

                      given that a leading cause of perioperative mortality was and is the anaesthetic – so accordingly we should only operate on conscious patients.

                      Oh FFS. I never thought that being a nerd myself I’d use the term as a pejorative… so let me just imply its use.

                      Republicans did the original contracts

                      “they did it first” is irrelevant if “well they also perpetuated” it applies – which it does.

                      Who says they were unintended consequences? Maybe Cheney/Rummy just wanted to give their buddies the maximum amount of cash and the minimum amount of criminal responsibility.

                      Maybe they did indeed. Therefore, if such people exist, supporting a system that enables such people is not a good idea.

                      Does not address the applicability or lack thereof of my analogy. Just makes you look like a dick. Doesn’t follow.

                      Look, McF, I’m trying my best to assume good faith on your part, I’m trying to assume that you’re a good person – anyone who opposes genocide must be, right? So therefore stop trying the ad hominem shit. Analogies don’t apply, illustrations do. If you say that a mercenary army is like a car, then you have to show that that simile applies, right? How is a mercenary army like a car? Is it more like a Toyota than a Mercedes? Does it have the same number of wheels? Does it have air conditioning? What similarity, exactly, is relevant to your argument?

                      OK, I’m a dick, I’m a colossal dick. I’m an incredible dick. I’m the embodiment of dickishness. Fine. So?

                      Look up the Opium Wars.

                      That’s what court cases are for: finding the line between legitimate and illegitimate. Would the opium wars be legal today? Is money laundering legal?

                      Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. So let’s see, drug trading is OK if a court doesn’t find you guilty, provided it actually comes to trial, provided…

                      Really, my God, Bozhe moi, fucking Hell…

                      First you argued that there was a clear line between illegitimate and legitimate business and now you’re waving your hands and declaring that the distinction is arbitrary.

                      500,000 to 1,000,000 dead. In 100 days.
                      That’s what mercenaries need to be worse than, even going by your definition.

                      Indeed. My argument is that they could be, easily and repeatedly – and especially if they are legitimised.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      You reckon? What have I suggested they do that member-nation forces wouldn’t do, if your “magic wand” gave the international community the moral courage to act?

                      I get it, McF, you are driven my moral conviction, Good, great, even. Please stop trying to characterise your opponents as lacking in that quality. It’s not necessary and does not help your rhetoric.

                    • McFlock

                      500,000 to 1,000,000 dead. In 100 days.
                      That’s what mercenaries need to be worse than, even going by your definition.

                      Indeed. My argument is that they could be, easily and repeatedly – and especially if they are legitimised.

                      You really think there’s that much money in it?

                  • Rhinoviper

                    What, in my comments so far, makes either of you think I support any of that?

                    You want the benefit of the doubt? Very well, but it works both ways, so please show the same consideration and avoid all the bullshit like “you support genocide” or “you’re hypocritical” then.

                    To quote that famous statesman, Francis Urquhart, “If you will the end, you will the means.” (“will” being a verb, meaning desire)

                    You can’t dismiss the corruption of cost-plus contracts, legal immunity from war crimes prosecutions and so on by simply saying “I don’t support it”. Sceptics of the use of mercenaries know that there are always unintended consequences in cases like this.

                    To be honest and consistent, since you accuse sceptics of “supporting genocide” then you yourself must acknowledge at least accepting these things as “acceptable” in some way… which I could construe as supporting these things by your logic.

                    You imply – it may not be deliberate, but it’s in your sentence structure – that observations of 16th century Italy and current US foreign policy should not be given great weight. Why not, first we have actual historical evidence, not wishful thinking about how the mercenary free market is supposed to operate and in the latter, we have the same… and the US is certainly no trivial player.

                    During the Cold War, the superpowers sponsored dictators who commited the most appalling atrocities, justified, in the words of Harry Truman because “He’s a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.” Well, in some cases they fell to revolution and assassination… but if mercenaries are involved, new butchers of that kind just wash their hands and say that no soldiers of their nation committed any atrocities. Do you think that if you widen the mercenary market, prop it up and sanction it with the overtly-stated policies of nations-states and the UN, they will only be employed by the virtuous? Do you think that these organisations won’t be smart enough to register their corporate headquarters in flag-of-convenience nations?

                    Genocides are horrors, I agree, but you can’t just crash your mind into a wall and imagine that they are the ultimate horror. Do you fail to imagine that horrors can’t be privatised, that there won’t be people willing to carry them out for profit, that the state and international support for a market in mercenaries won’t lead to more of them shopping their services around to the highest bidder, that only the virtuous will employ them?

                    I can consider the possibility of using mercenaries, but thinking further, I can imagine worse than one genocide. I can imagine a market in genocide.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t want the benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt. I’ve said repeatedly that those things are dumb.

                      You can’t dismiss the corruption of cost-plus contracts, legal immunity from war crimes prosecutions and so on by simply saying “I don’t support it”. Sceptics of the use of mercenaries know that there are always unintended consequences in cases like this.

                      Yeah I can. Each of those were specific policy choices at the time. They weren’t “corrupted”. They were the obvious consequences of the policy choices. You don’t include “immunity from prosecution for murder” if you don’t believe your folks are possibly going to be killing civilians. Therefore “I don’t support it” means “I would not support making those choices”.

                      To be honest and consistent, since you accuse sceptics of “supporting genocide” then you yourself must acknowledge at least accepting these things as “acceptable” in some way… which I could construe as supporting these things by your logic.

                      “I do not support making these choices” = “I support making these choices”?

                      As opposed to “X is bad, but I refuse to consider using Y to prevent it, and no other letter of the alphabet will prevent it as far as I can see, therefore I am staunchly opposed to X but I’ll let it happen anyway”.

                      You imply – it may not be deliberate, but it’s in your sentence structure – that observations of 16th century Italy and current US foreign policy should not be given great weight. Why not, first we have actual historical evidence, not wishful thinking about how the mercenary free market is supposed to operate and in the latter, we have the same… and the US is certainly no trivial player.

                      The first lacks applicability of scale, the second lacks any desire to restrain the power of the corporate sector. In fact you can argue that the objective of the neocons was to privatise warfare and loot the US treasury, rather use a dangerous tool in a restrained and responsible way.

                      I suppose both have lessons in how to not contract and supervise mercenaries intelligently, but they are not arguments in themselves against the concept when the alternative is genocide

                      [...]
                      Do you think that if you widen the mercenary market, prop it up and sanction it with the overtly-stated policies of nations-states and the UN, they will only be employed by the virtuous? Do you think that these organisations won’t be smart enough to register their corporate headquarters in flag-of-convenience nations?

                      Some will try.

                      The counter argument is that if you make the (for want of a better word) “legitimate” military market regular and steady enough to build relationships with steady suppliers, they will have an incentive to remove themselves from the totalitarian market.

                      Genocides are horrors, I agree, but you can’t just crash your mind into a wall and imagine that they are the ultimate horror. Do you fail to imagine that horrors can’t be privatised, that there won’t be people willing to carry them out for profit, that the state and international support for a market in mercenaries won’t lead to more of them shopping their services around to the highest bidder, that only the virtuous will employ them?

                      I can consider the possibility of using mercenaries, but thinking further, I can imagine worse than one genocide. I can imagine a market in genocide.

                      There’s no money in it. And on the odd occasion that there might be, that job will be filled anyway, regardless of who the UN employs. But fortunately, the UN will have the ability to try to stop it, rather than sending in blue helmets to watch.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      You don’t include “immunity from prosecution for murder” if you don’t believe your folks are possibly going to be killing civilians.

                      Then why is that exactly what has happened in the real world, specifically in the case of US policy?

                      Therefore “I don’t support it” means “I would not support making those choices”.

                      That’s very nice of you and completely irrelevant, because worse happens routinely. I care not one whit for your virtues because I know that there are politicians who have none. You have no power but they do.

                      In fact you can argue that the objective of the neocons was to privatise warfare and loot the US treasury, rather use a dangerous tool in a restrained and responsible way.

                      Indeed I do. So why enable them?

                      they will have an incentive to remove themselves from the totalitarian market.

                      You mean like tobacco companies have an incentive to sell… nice stuff?

                      There’s no money in it. And on the odd occasion that there might be, that job will be filled anyway, regardless of who the UN employs. But fortunately, the UN will have the ability to try to stop it, rather than sending in blue helmets to watch.

                      I wish that were so, but if there were unicorns in this world, then there would be someone who would see a market for unicorn burgers and there are people who would eat them.

                      This:

                      fortunately, the UN will have the ability to try

                      The ability to try? Trying does not guarantee success.

                      Look, I appreciate your intentions, but you’re slipping deep into wishful thinking now, supposing all sorts of restraints and powers by good people that have never existed before.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If trans-national private armies of professional mercernaries is the answer, we are asking the wrong goddam question.

                    • McFlock

                      Um – the US made a conscious choice to make their corporate mercenaries legally immune. I don’t know why, one might suggest donations to Republican candidates.

                      Basically, your argument is akin to “some people drive drunk, therefore cars should be illegal”. And you include ambulances in the definition of “car”.

                      The point is that the mercenary company has to choose whether it sits in the UN market, or the black market. Like opium versus wheat.

                      Trying might not guarantee success, but refusal to try guarantees failure. Got any options other than mercenaries?

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Um – the US made a conscious choice to make their corporate mercenaries legally immune. I don’t know why, one might suggest donations to Republican candidates.

                      And Democrats too.

                      I don’t know why

                      But there’s your problem. Unintended consequences – they always come back to bite you in the arse.

                      Basically, your argument is akin to “some people drive drunk, therefore cars should be illegal”. And you include ambulances in the definition of “car”.

                      I can include “tank” in an arbitrary definition of “car” and “train to Auschwitz” if I remember that “car” is an abbreviation of “carriage”. See what I can do if I use a flexible analogy?

                      The point is that the mercenary company has to choose whether it sits in the UN market, or the black market. Like opium versus wheat.

                      As if there was such a clear definition between legitimate and illegitimate business. Look up the Opium Wars. Actually, look into the sources of cash that supported the banks through the GFC; some of that – a lot, actually – was money being laundered by crime syndicates.

                      Trying might not guarantee success, but refusal to try guarantees failure. Got any options other than mercenaries?

                      Consider the Hippocratic Oath: “The first thing is, do no harm” is its very first line because Hippocrates observed that many doctors were prescribing remedies that weren’t only useless, they were worse than useless. “Doing something” is not necessarily a good thing in itself, however well-intentiuoned.

                    • McFlock

                      None of that even follows.

                      Let alone accusing me of “flexible analogies” and then comparing “stopping a genocide” with the hippocratic oath.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      None of that even follows.

                      Your comprehension difficulties are not my responsibility, but nonetheless…

                      Let alone accusing me of “flexible analogies” and then comparing “stopping a genocide” with the hippocratic oath.

                      I’m sorry that you can’t follow it. Let me put it in simple terms.

                      Analogies are not examples. Wordplay is useless. Making shit up is not convincing. Let’s talk about mercenaries, not cars or ambulances or argyle socks or whatever you want to bring up.

                      Back to the first line of the Hippocratic oath: not all supposed cures work. Some are worse than the disease. Some kill. It’s best not to use a “cure” that might be worse than the disease.

                      Learn to distinguish between results and intentions.

                      Got that?

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, I got the hippocratic analogy. It just made your previous comments about analogies look stupid. Especially given that a leading cause of perioperative mortality was and is the anaesthetic – so accordingly we should only operate on conscious patients.

                      Anyway, here’s why you had a sequiter fail:


                      And Democrats too.

                      Republicans did the original contracts with the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions. The dems got left with a turd platter. Therefore the main problem is the republican rationale: “democrats did it tooooooo” does not follow.


                      I don’t know why
                      [republicans made the choices they did]

                      But there’s your problem. Unintended consequences – they always come back to bite you in the arse.

                      Who says they were unintended consequences? Maybe Cheney/Rummy just wanted to give their buddies the maximum amount of cash and the minimum amount of criminal responsibility.

                      Doesn’t follow.

                      I can include “tank” in an arbitrary definition of “car” and “train to Auschwitz” if I remember that “car” is an abbreviation of “carriage”. See what I can do if I use a flexible analogy?

                      Does not address the applicability or lack thereof of my analogy. Just makes you look like a dick. Doesn’t follow.


                      As if there was such a clear definition between legitimate and illegitimate business. Look up the Opium Wars. Actually, look into the sources of cash that supported the banks through the GFC; some of that – a lot, actually – was money being laundered by crime syndicates.

                      That’s what court cases are for: finding the line between legitimate and illegitimate. Would the opium wars be legal today? Is money laundering legal?

                      Trying might not guarantee success, but refusal to try guarantees failure. Got any options other than mercenaries?

                      Consider the Hippocratic Oath: “The first thing is, do no harm” is its very first line because Hippocrates observed that many doctors were prescribing remedies that weren’t only useless, they were worse than useless. “Doing something” is not necessarily a good thing in itself, however well-intentiuoned.

                      500,000 to 1,000,000 dead. In 100 days.
                      That’s what mercenaries need to be worse than, even going by your definition. Sorry, that’s what the change to the mercenary market that results from the UN actually acting in a timely manner, albeit with mercenary personnel needs to be worse than.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    If the UN hired only ONE pmc for EVERY SINGLE type of role and job, then that might happen.

                    If… but not even “if”. There just has to be a market created.

                    If the UN spread different tasks to different contractors and had rules about to what extent mercenaries should be hired per job as opposed to direct employment of staff, and interspersed with regular member-nation supervising forces, – well, never say never, but one might say “substantially less likely”.

                    If.

                    If it was just the UN, if they had rules, if various governments on the UN didn’t have their own interests, if a company based in a flag of convenience nation didn’t have some owned politicians.

                    If the US didn’t need the support of a “sonofabitch, but our sonofabitch” in the pacific to counter Chinese soft power.

                    If there weren’t “strategic materials” such as rare earths essential to the production of touchscreens and a senator didn’t say “X is an ally, you won’t get any more iPads and the people of this great state will be unemployed” That sort of thing is already coming up. You’d be surprised at the obscure resources needed available in off places that are essential for popular consumer items.

                    Basically, if there wasn’t globalisation.

                    There are lots of “ifs”

                    Now there’s a tribe in the Amazon, where I want to raze the rainforest to make space for a cattle ranch and I’m a McDonalds executive… those tribespeople are “terrorists” because they’ve been sabotaging equipment used in clearance. My Little Pony put in a bid to help with my “security enforcement”, but seeing a market niche, the leaner, more efficient competitor, Soft Fluffy Kittens, which is fresh from their subcontracting experience in crowd control in Kabul, has a proposal…

                    • McFlock

                      There already is a market in ex-military mercenaries.

                      SoftFluffyKittens(TM) might think twice about working for your McD’s rancher if it meant they’d be blacklisted from future lucrative UN contracts. As it is, there’s nothing to make them think twice about cashing the cheque.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      So what? McD is their new supplier, and Burger Thing is interested now as well…

                      That’s the thing about opening cans of worms – they wriggle everywhere.

                    • McFlock

                      You know what? McD’s would hire them regardless. But they wouldn’t have spent any time at all protecting aid workers.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      You know what? McD’s would hire them regardless. But they wouldn’t have spent any time at all protecting aid workers.

                      Exactly. Of course they wouldn’t because that wouldn’t be in their contract.

                      To get back on target, what you propose – which I accept is well-intentioned and driven by real outrage at real horrors – nonetheless opens a can of very nasty worms indeed.

                      The consequence of your – or rather Shearer’s – proposal is that such companies would be given sources of capital and legitimacy and their subordinates, affiliates and associates would inevitably be given a feed to that capital and legitimacy.

                      Corporations are completely amoral. The very basis for their existence requires them to be amoral, so it doesn’t matter if in one isolated circumstance they are required to be “moral” (that is, they can do things that aren’t officially noticed in the interest of expediency), then they will take the profits from that particular contract to invest it in another venture without the least consideration for morality.

                      There is no market mechanism that ensures virtue. However, profit ensures the capital for investment in the next venture, and shareholders demand that there will always be new ventures.

                      So they made money protecting aid workers under one contract. Terrific, say the shareholders, here’s an opportunity to raise capital to invest in a new venture that happens to involve slaughtering those same aid workers. The margins are looking great!

                    • McFlock

                      So who contracted SFK in Kabul?

                      The market already exists and is thriving. The UN can take the better ones out of the “genocide” market, though. And make them do some good, for the bonus. Because even if the mercenaries do get a contract to kill the same aid workers they had previously been protecting, other mercenaries under the new contracts will be there to protect the workers. Although I think that either situation is better than not having any aid workers there at all for the 5 or 15 years prior to the contract change and letting warlords run rampant over the populace.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      So who contracted SFK in Kabul?

                      It’s a hypothetical, so the answer might be anyone… and the point is that anyone could. Maybe a drug lord who wants the Afgan poppy trade to be protected, maybe a 1970s/80s US politician who thinks that because the Mujahadeen are enemies of the Soviet Union, they are useful to stem the advance of Communism… and a few years later, fed with capital, they decide that they want to fly planes into skyscrapers.

                      The market already exists and is thriving.

                      Again: cancer is real, but that doesn’t mean that it should be compulsory.

                      What Shearer proposes would give a means for that market to worm its way into governmental and transnational structures where it will be impossible to eradicate it.

                      I have no confidence whatsoever that there is some market mechanism that will ensure virtue.

                      other mercenaries under the new contracts will be there to protect the workers.

                      IF that worked, that would be… not utterly awful. Do you want “good” to be subjected to market rules? Do you think it all comes down to how much cash can be paid to corporations that will change their allegiance at the drop of a quarterly report? I’m sure you don’t, but you’re depending on a Hell of a lot of wishful thinking.

                      You are proposing that somehow, the market is moral, that politics are moral but that is simply not true – and neither is there a mystical force that will make them moral, any more than there is an “invisible hand” that will make markets fair.

                    • McFlock

                      So your argument against the UN hiring mercenaries that haven’t done anything illegal is that other mercenary companies will be employed by other groups? Or that people who didn’t get UN money might attack UN workers, or even people not involved with the UN, or even become terrorists?

                      What Shearer proposes would give a base for that market to worm its way into governmental and transnational structures where it will be impossible to eradicate them.

                      That’s actually a legitimate concern. It it worse than repeated failures to prevent genocide?

                      You are proposing that somehow, the market is moral, that politics are moral but that is simply not true – and neither is there a mystical force that will make them moral, any more than there is an “invisible hand” that will make markets fair.

                      Not at all. But I do think that the UN is better off acting with imperfect instruments rather than not acting at all. We are in the real world, where global contracts have more kick than short-term one-off deals. Mercenary companies aren’t going under any time soon. Might as well use the ones that have avoided committing genocide.

        • Jackal 4.1.1.2

          Tom

          Is that you, Trev ?

          Of course not. Isn’t it against site policy to speculate on the identity of commentators or bloggers?

          • Tom 4.1.1.2.1

            Jackal: Re. “Isn’t it against site policy to speculate on the identity of commentators or bloggers?” That’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I’ve been online for a wee while ..
            Note: Speculation is not the same as exposure. BTW, I’m a great fan of the jazz track called “The Jackal”, if that is what you reference.

            Have a nice evening ..

            • Colonial Weka 4.1.1.2.1.1

              ’tis frowned upon nevertheless. Although I took your comment as a pisstake rather than actual speculation.

          • just saying 4.1.1.2.2

            Reply to Rhinover at 8.53am.

            This may surprise you, but scepticism towards cheap cost effective short term solutions is not based on idealism and fantasy, but on knowledge of real human nature and the tendency for genies, once released from their bottles, to show an extraordinary reluctance to return to them.

            Hallelujah and
            Amen.

      • karol 4.1.2

        Jackal, you want supporting evidence and examples? I’ve got plenty, and use many in my relevant posts. For example:

        Jackal: Apparently Shearer doesn’t talk more directly with Labour’s membership either? But you fail to show even one example where he’s been arrogant or aloof in his behaviour.

        My comment above was a brief statement of the main argument in my Media & Democracy II post yesterday, which has been sitting below IB’s above Drive-by post on TS main page all day. I’m sorry, I should have linked to it, because that post gives an outline of my argument with links, and examples. So now I’ve added the link.

        My comment was a reference to the example in IB’s post, of Shearer tweeting to MSM journalist his response to speculation by members about Shearer possibly putting the leadership up for a party wide vote. I thought this was an example of the argument I made, in depth, in yesterday’s post, about the Labour caucus leadership primarily engaging with the MSM. Or do you have evidence that Shearer first responded to the membership rather than first tweeting his response to Vernon Small (as linked in IB’s post)?

        I also gave further examples, quotes etc in the comments section under my post, as did other commenters. For instance, JK, in comment #9, said:

        Has anyone seen any answers to questions from Labour members/ supporters on the David Shearer Facebook ? If so, could you let me know how to access them please.

        Plus – it might yet happen – but despite requests, its extremely difficult to get face-to-face
        with Mr Shearer. He has his minders all around him to protect him from the rank/n/file Labour members who might question him about his actual beliefs !

        I tried to keep that post as short as possible, but I still have more links, details and examples I could have used. Some people found that my above linked post required more than one reading to fully digest it. However, if you want more examples and details, I have them. Others are in earlier posts by me.

        Jenny Kirk @3.49pm below also adds some support to my claims.

      • QoT 4.1.3

        Your comment is reminiscent of QoT’s claim to have valid arguments as to why Shearer is the antichrist

        Um, how abouts we get a fucking citation on that one, Jackal? Here is the only mention of the word at my blog:

        … Because it is actually possible to seriously dislike a guy and have not a shred of faith he’ll lead Labour to victory and simultaneously not think he’s the Antichrist.)

        Put up or fuck off.

        • Jackal 4.1.3.1

          Call it poetic license to generalize about your anti-Shearer campaign QoT if you like.

          I’m still waiting for an actual valid argument from you as to why Shearer would be a bad Prime Minister? Put up or fuck off yourself QoT.

      • Jackal does have a point… to be fair, didn’t Shearer travel around the country attending meetings with Labour Party members? In fact he was even criticised for being away from Parliament, whilst the Nats were getting a “free ride” by not debating Key head-to-head…

    • Mary 4.2

      And the tensions that leave will mean Labour remains a lame opposition.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Sigh. Is there a reason that Labour insists on doing everything the hard way? If caucus decides to give the members a say in February, it’s crucial that we get a full bodied Primary Process up and down the country. Where members and affiliates can hear and test any and all candidates who come forward. Not a process in which details are glossed over and the whole thing quickly and hurriedly wrapped up.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      You’re dreaming, CV. Leaving aside that the whole thing was a fantasy anyway, who is going to pay for a “full bodied Primary Process up and down the country”. You? And given that Shearer is the only candidate, exactly who was he going to debate? An empty chair?

      I hate to say I told you so, but the new democratic process is working according to the rules set by conference. And its working to Shearer’s advantage, which is clearly an unintended consequence for Camp Cunliffe.

      Can we move off the gossip and start talking about election winning policy yet?

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        “And given that Shearer is the only candidate, exactly who was he going to debate?”

        How do you know who the candidates are in a leadership challenge that hasn’t taken place yet?

        “Can we move off the gossip and start talking about election winning policy yet?”

        Nothing’s stopping Shearer from doing that.

        • Jackal 5.1.1.1

          Start making sense Lanthanide… The comment was directed at commentators at The Standard, not Shearer. Labour has tried to move the debate away from leadership speculation that suits the right wings agenda. Besides, where exactly has Shearer made comment based on nothing more than gossip?

          • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1

            “Start making sense Lanthanide… The comment was directed at commentators at The Standard, not Shearer.”

            I am making perfect sense. If Shearer were leading the party appropriately, we would be discussing election-winning policies, not his inept leadership.

            KiwiBuild is a good step. But it’s only a step.

            • fatty 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I am making perfect sense. If Shearer were leading the party appropriately, we would be discussing election-winning policies, not his inept leadership.

              I understood what you mean Lanthanide…and I kinda agree with you. Labour’s policies are not the issue, or at least not their primary problem.
              Same at the last election, the policies were fine, just an unvotable leader.

            • Jackal 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Lanthanide

              I am making perfect sense. If Shearer were leading the party appropriately, we would be discussing election-winning policies, not his inept leadership.

              LOL! It would seem that “perfect sense” in the mind of Lanthanide doesn’t mean all that much then. Now you’re claiming that David Shearer is inept as leader of the opposition, without providing one example to support that claim?

              Here’s one example that shows he’s not inept; total support from the Labour party.

              If you want somebody to blame for why you and others are relentlessly criticizing David Shearer, I suggest you look in the mirror. When exactly was he last in the news to give you something tangible to actually complain about I wonder?

              • fatty

                When exactly was he last in the news to give you something tangible to actually complain about I wonder?

                at 9am today

                Stutter-face couldn’t even say hello to Rachel this morning without screwing that up…
                First Nick Smith and his wobbly fish eye was interviewed with some difficult questions and he came out OK. Then fozzie-bear stumbled his way though with awkward smiles and badly rehearsed lines. He was given free hit, after free hit but said little.
                The worst part was when Shearer was asked about Parata’s reappointment, Shearer’s response was to question her incompetence and then say that the only good outcome is for the opposition (Shearer does well to point out that the risk to National was worth taking because the opposition won’t do much with the opportunity).
                Shearer’s response to the Parata reappointment should have been to point out the fact that National are happy with Parata’s work because it is their plan to push schooling into the market. Shearer should also have pointed out that teachers and parents have such hatred for Education Ministers from National, that the National Party cannot find another Minister to sacrifice their career at the cost of children.
                Overall, in comparison to Shearer’s usual stumbling TV bore-fest, this 3-4 minutes was slightly better…but it will win him no votes. Sad as it is to say, Nick Smith did more for National than Shearer did for Labour.
                The last time before this morning when Shearer came across badly on the TV would have been the last time he was in front of the camera…who knows when that was.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Shearer’s response was to question her (Parata’s) incompetence

                  This doesn’t seem right lol

                  • Tim

                    pot calls kettle black maybe?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Usually you’d question someone’s competence, if you didn’t like the way they were doing the job. With regard to Parata, there really is no question of her incompetence. :)

                    • fatty

                      Haha, true CV, its a typo on my part, I meant to say competence.
                      However, regarding whether or not Parata is competent or not, we have to place her actions within the context of the Nats ideology, and also alongside the outcome of Parata’s actions.
                      Considering that National want to push us into a more pure form of neoliberalism, and also considering the fact that Parata appears to have lost National about zero number of votes…it becomes difficult to label Parata as incompetent.
                      Parata has laid the foundations for National to attack our schooling system, privatise schools and force more kids into poverty. I’d say Parata is, unfortunately, quite competent…ideologically immoral and unethical, but very competent at pushing her ‘values’ and seeing little backlash regarding the one measure that really counts – votes.
                      Sadly, I also think Paula Bennett is very competent at what she does, same with Tony Ryall.
                      Incompetence is a label that should be reserved for their opposition ministers

                • Coronial Typer

                  He is definitely better at the set pieces, but there’s room across the front bench to compensate for that if done skilfully and generously.

                  The big set piece for him for the year is coming up on Sunday, in front of his own Labour Summer School in Mallard’s Wainuiomata base- so a pretty friendly audience.

                  It’s the perfect moment to reach out to the members, acknowledge with some grace that there’s a (shall we say) a little tension between caucus and the membership. But he has a plan for us all. It’s a big broad tent. Etc.

                  Obama could throw the left a few good bones two days ago, so it’s not hard and the leader of the larfgest progressive party in the world can figure out how to do it. Take a page from that Mr Shearer.I’m sure that Mr Shearer’s 2013 relaunch speech will seek to unify us all.

                  From the debate on this site, I’d say it needs to.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        So now the excuse for not having a full bodied Primary Process up and down the country for the members is that Labour can’t afford it?

        I agree though, let’s start talking about “election winning policy”. Which winning proposals has Labour put on the table that you would like to discuss?

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.2.1

          Housing? Not a problem for you personally, I know ;)

          [B: – not sure what’s going on with your comment i.d. (avatar symbol thing not your usual) Maybe you’re in the thoes of moving?

        • Jackal 5.1.2.2

          Well we could talk about the asset sales petition or Labours education and housing policy. We could also talk about where National is going wrong! Those would be far more worthwhile things to expend energy on.

          What really should happen though is that the Cunliffe faction needs to get over it. David Shearer will lead Labour into the 2015 election, and he’s likely to ensure the left wins. God knows New Zealand needs that to happen.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.1

            petition – that’s been successfully pushed over the line, what else do you want to talk about it? Labour’s housing announcement – had hundreds of comments on that over the last month, I believe the consensus was that it was a middle class policy for decent income earners, was there more ground on that you wanted to cover?

            As for where National is going wrong…I believe that gets covered on The Standard daily, in detail.

            On the other hand, things like what Labour is going to do to return us to full employment, or to return ownership of the financial sector to NZ, or to re-nationalise power assets if they get sold…that never ever gets talked about.

            • One Tāne Huna 5.1.2.2.1.1

              How about Charter schools? We haven’t discussed those since yesterday.

              • Colonial Viper

                Exactly. And did we manage to say anything about Key’s Cabinet re-shuffle? Or his jaunt to the Big Ice? Come to think of it, if there is a case of mercernaries replacing soverign armies, why not charter schools replacing public schools?

                • vto

                  CV, since your return after getting the bash from your colleagues you sound different. You post in a different manner. It has led me to wonder if in fact there is a different person posting under your moniker.

                  Woudn’t surprise me given the clear angst that this site appears to cause the labour party, and the deceptive trickery that pollies get up to…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hi vto, you’re not wrong in having picked up a slightly changed tone. Thanks to Clare Curran and others, a number of people in the Labour hierarchy – and beyond – now know my real-life identity.

                    A couple of people suggested that I use less flamethrower from the hip to “improve the class” of my commentating on The Standard. Why not, for a change lol. Hopefully it hasn’t changed my writing style too much. Pain in the ass.

                    Given all that though, it’s definitely the same pilot in this Viper’s cockpit, as lprent, etc will be able to attest to.

              • Which reminds me .Where the hell has Banks gone ,is he still alive?

          • One Tāne Huna 5.1.2.2.2

            “Cunliffe faction”?

            What about the “Shearer is a mumbling trainwreck with no leadership qualities” faction?

            • hush minx 5.1.2.2.2.1

              And the ‘senior mps who surreptitiously talk to journo’s dumping on their colleagues’, and the ‘senior who who steps out of line’s with no disciplinary word from the leader, or the once I voted for shearer before he threw me to the oag mp who slags off the coalition party but none in the leadership team cares…

            • Chris 5.1.2.2.2.2

              Whats the betting that key will use that one in the house.Ammunition he doesn’t need.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Yes, he probably will. In an amazing counter-strike, Labour could choose a leader who doesn’t load the gun.

          • Olwyn 5.1.2.2.3

            Jackal, so long as David Shearer evades or glosses over the question of positioning, no one can be sure that a Labour victory would in fact be a victory for the left. Sure there are the Greens that would be likely coalition partners, but a centre-right Labour Party would be very much inclined to try and fob them off with carefully nuanced concessions: get the unemployed cleaning the rivers, for example, rather than allow them a substantial influence on policy.

            This lack of positioning matters, because it means that policy comes, like our evening news, with a lack of context. Hence, no one knows what policy, especially vaguely outlined policy, will translate into in practice, or how readily it will be shelved or postponed in the face of “crisis;” “crisis” always being a readily available excuse.

            There are two main gripes about Shearer, or Team Shearer, and they will not easily be patronised away. (1) Some think that he is neither competent or convincing. (2) Some think that he is complicit in pulling Labour to the right, to a degree that is at odds with Labour’s values. Some think both. My own concern is primarily with (2).

            • just saying 5.1.2.2.3.1

              Add lack of trust-worthiness to number one and both statements succinctly reflect my issues with Team Shearer, Olwyn.

              And like you say, no amount of spin is going to make these problems go away.

            • Jackal 5.1.2.2.3.2

              So now we finally have somebody who’s willing to list what the actual problems are. The first issue seems to be with Shearer’s personality, which is unfortunately where our political debate seems to be heading. A more Americanized system to choose our leaders is in my opinion a recipe for disaster, mainly because of our biased media.

              Your second point is perhaps a bit more valid… However the fact that Labour has recently announced the biggest government housing policy in decades is obviously not a sign that they’re moving to the right is it?

              Along with their commitment to keep ACC owned by New Zealanders, to increase workers rights and skills, improve environmental standards, protect land from foreign ownership, include agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme, double government investment into Sustainable Farming and increasing support for Organic Farming (amongst many other worthwhile endeavors) are clearly not signs that Labour under David Shearer is going to move towards the right.

              One can only conclude that anybody who believes there’s any truth to your argument Olwyn, doesn’t bother to read actual Labour policy announcements, is entirely deluded or has ulterior motives… What particular “faction” do you slot into?

              • Colonial Viper

                One can only conclude that anybody who believes there’s any truth to your argument Olwyn are entirely deluded or have ulterior motives.

                Takes one to know one mate.

                BTW I believe that Nick Smith has been tasked with making affordable housing a central battleground issue for 2014.

                • Jackal

                  I know you are but what am I… Your debating style has deteriorated markedly Colonial Wiper. Please do point out where I might be deluded or what my ulterior motive is if you can? Schmuck!

                  • “One can only conclude that anybody who believes there’s any truth to your argument Olwyn, doesn’t bother to read actual Labour policy announcements, is entirely deluded or has ulterior motives… What particular “faction” do you slot into?” ~Jackal

                    Jackal, you should be very concerned.
                    THINK: How many voters do you expect read a parties policy prior to voting?
                    My understanding is: Not many.

                    So you are O.K with a party depending that voters actually read policy under these circumstances? Dream on.

                    I sincerely hope this approach is not shared by those you are supporting.

                    The concerns Olwyn expresses re Labour are extremely valid and I wholeheartedly agree with them.

                    If the Labour Party caucus continue to bury their heads in the sand re these issues and view all who don’t do the same as their enemies, then I truly hope they get less people voting than they did this time around. I hope people will support parties who put some effort into listening and reflecting the views of their constituency.

                    Putting fingers in ears is not consistent with the democratic process, no matter how much our government or main opposition party do it.

                    • Jackal

                      blue leopard

                      So you are O.K with a party depending that voters actually read policy under these circumstances? Dream on.

                      It seems the only arguments the anti-Shearer faction are able to offer today are straw men. Where exactly have I said that the general voter is going to read party policy prior to an election? Duh!

                      I sincerely hope this approach is not shared by those you are supporting.

                      ? I support the Green party… They have the same problem with getting the public to understand policy that is beneficial to New Zealand, a problem shared by all leftwing political parties. That’s because our media is biased towards supporting the rightwing.

                      The concerns Olwyn expresses re Labour are extremely valid and I wholeheartedly agree with them.

                      That’s nice, but why? PS Your blue leopard link doesn’t work.

                    • Point One:
                      You may wish to indulge in right-wing framing of things, however I do not. Calling people “Anti-Shearer Faction” is just that. And I don’t buy it. I both criticise and compliment on this site. I believe that is part of the process of sharing views and debating, I would have thought name-calling was beneath you, Jackal, how easily we are dissuaded from intelligent approaches when spin is introduced.

                      Point Two:
                      “Where exactly have I said that the general voter is going to read party policy prior to an election?” ~ Jackal

                      HERE:

                      “One can only conclude that anybody who believes there’s any truth to your argument Olwyn, doesn’t bother to read actual Labour policy announcements, is entirely deluded or has ulterior motives… What particular “faction” do you slot into?” ~Jackal

                      Your argument relies on people reading the policy announcements. Duh

                      Point Three:
                      “I support the Green party” ~ Jackal
                      Well there we have it folks, here is the ulterior motives that the Jackal was accusing others of: a Green supporter, not minding that Labour are less effective, I daresay so they can be a “host party” for the Greens.

                      Point Four:
                      “Thats nice, but why? ~Jackal
                      For the reasons that I have already stated, Olwyn has stated and has been consistently stated over weeks and weeks, ad infinitum, here on The Standard, you fool.

                    • Jackal

                      blue leopard

                      You may wish to indulge in right-wing framing of things, however I do not. Calling people “Anti-Shearer Faction” is just that.

                      Are you calling The Standard rightwing? Because I believe that’s where that particular saying came from mate.

                      I believe that is part of the process of sharing views and debating, I would have thought name-calling was beneath you, Jackal, how easily we are dissuaded from intelligent approaches when spin is introduced.

                      Part of my views on somebodies argument can be that they’re a dickhead etc for saying stupid things. Unless things have changed, The Standard usually allows such a debating style within limits.

                      PS I didn’t actually call you a name, crybaby! But I’m sure CV appreciates you sticking up for him.

                      Your argument relies on people reading the policy announcements. Duh

                      Your argument assumes that commentators and bloggers here are the same as the general voting public. They aren’t, and if we want to have intelligent debates based on facts it’s important that debaters read the relevant material.

                      Well there we have it folks, here is the ulterior motives that the Jackal was accusing other of: a Green supporter, not minding that Labour are less effective, I daresay so they can be a “host party” for the Greens.

                      So suddenly me supporting the Green party becomes something bad in the eyes of blue leopard.

                      In my opinion, there should be nothing wrong with me wanting the left to win the next election, especially considering the absolute mess National is making of things. My motivation is just as much in wanting John Keys National party removed from power as much as I want the Greens to be in government… Motivation I might add is based on me caring about what happens to New Zealand and its inhabitants.

                      For the reasons that I have already stated, Olwyn has stated and is consistently stated over weeks and weeks, you fool.

                      So you can’t be bothered reiterating the core argument against Shearer and why Olwyn might be right? I’ve already argued succinctly against why Olwyn’s argument here is wrong, particularly with his main concern. Why not tell us why my argument is wrong blue leopard? You’re either too lazy to be bothered or don’t actually have a valid argument, my guess is the latter.

                      Despite the fun and games I’m having, it’s at the point where I’m debating the anti-Shearer faction en masse and nothing is getting resolved. Repeating my arguments for the dim-witted is simply a waste of my time. Adios amigos!

                    • You appear to have perfected the strawman style of arguments, Jackal, and that is all you have achieved.

                      The point on “Anti-Shearer Faction” is about accusing someone of being “Anti” and ignoring the point of argument: ineffectiveness and unconvincing; which is my point of criticism. This creates the framing of being personal against Shearer, when it is simply not the case. It is irrelevant where the name was first used; the way this label “Anti-Shearer” is being used is most certainly coming from right-wing spin. This is what I referred to as “name-calling”, I’m not crying about it, just calling it for what it is.

                      The debate you were having with Olwyn was regarding Olwyn’s concerns about Labours/Shearers effectiveness, this is all about reaching out to voters, and thus has no relevance to the level of debate possible here on the Standard, my comment, thus, had no assumption re the Standard commentators being the same as the general voting public. Your response to Olwyn’s point relied on people knowing Labour Policy, which I was trying to point out the weakness of such an approach.

                      Re voting Greens: You accused Olwyn of having ulterior motives and thus I was merely pointing out yours. Nothing wrong with supporting the Greens, however, I believe there is something entirely wrong with arguing the point that Labour are heading in the right direction, when they are displaying a lot of weakness, just in the name of being a host party for the party that you really support.

                      I didn’t list the weaknesses of the Labour parties activities because they have been listed ad infinitum on this blogsite for so long, that, yes, I couldn’t be assed, hardly seeming credible that you required it yet again.

                      I will say, however, that their weakness of oppositiion against this sham of a government, in itself gives grave cause for concerns as to what stance they are taking with regards to all the chaos going on. That they are making stronger points against their own members of caucus whilst this is going on is an extremely poor show, because it shows that they do know how to get their points across, yet most of the time must be choosing not to, and if Mr Shearers unconvincing presentation to date when making statements to the media are anything to go by, then it really puts to shame the level of talent available in the NZ left wing.

                    • Jackal

                      blue leopard

                      It is irrelevant where the name was first used; the way this label “Anti-Shearer” is being used is most certainly coming from right-wing spin.

                      What a load of tosh! I just used it, I’m not in any way, shape or form a rightwing spin-doctor.

                      This is what I referred to as “name-calling”, I’m not crying about it, just calling it for what it is.

                      Wouldn’t it stand to reason that those so-called Labour supporters who are against David Shearer and post most ardently about their flimsily held beliefs should be labelled as the Anti-Shearer faction? It’s not name calling in the true sense of the word to label a group of people so they’re easily identifiable.

                      The debate you were having with Olwyn was regarding Olwyn’s concerns about Labours/Shearers effectiveness, this is all about reaching out to voters, and thus has no relevance to the level of debate possible here on the Standard.

                      You’ve lost me there blue leopard… Why does a debate about how Labour can better reach ie communicate with voters have no relevance to the level of debate available at The Standard? Surely this is the best place to discus such ideas, being that it’s meant to be an activist site affiliated with Labour ideals. Perhaps something has changed lately?

                      I believe there is something entirely wrong with arguing the point that Labour are heading in the right direction, when they are displaying a lot of weakness, just in the name of being a host party for the party that you really support.

                      So point out those weaknesses you perceive then? My defense of Shearer has very little to do with me supporting the Greens btw. Although as I have said before, if the continued unfounded negative commentary continues, this will be bad for the entire left wing. Labeling somebody wanting the left to win as an ulterior motive is clearly unfounded.

                      I didn’t list the weaknesses of the Labour parties activities because they have been listed ad infinitum on this blogsite for so long, that, yes, I couldn’t be assed, hardly seeming credible that you required it yet again.

                      At least Olwyn could be bothered to write down the issues. Perhaps you might like to at least link to some of these posts and articles that you say unequivocally show that Shearer is inept? It’s likely I have read most of them already, but perhaps there’s something I’ve missed that has made up your mind? In other words back up your assertions with facts please.

                      Their weakness of oppositiion against this sham of a government, in itself gives grave cause for concerns as to what stance they are taking with regards to all the chaos going on.

                      You mean the filtered information you’re receiving is not enough to convince you of Labour’s effectiveness in opposition. This comes down once again to media bias, which I’m afraid to say there is no easy fix for. The claim that Labour is just sitting around and allowing National to fuck things up has been overly promoted by people who do not want Shearer to be the leader of the opposition and more importantly by those who do not want the left to win the next election. It must be a bit cringeworthy for some apparently leftwing commentators to know they’re achieving the right wings agenda by constantly criticizing and undermining Labours leadership.

                      That they are making stronger points against their own members of caucus whilst this is going on is an extremely poor show, because it shows that they do know how to get their points across, yet most of the time must be choosing not to.

                      What specifically are you talking about there blue leopard? Perhaps you’re alluding to the recent leadership contest in which Cunliffe was found wanting and Shearer confirmed his position as leader of the opposition?

                      Saying that Labour doesn’t want to get their points across to the public is obviously another deluded statement… You should really try not to do that.

                      If Mr Shearers unconvincing presentation to date when making statements to the media are anything to go by, then it really puts to shame the level of talent available in the NZ left wing.

                      I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the media always films Shearer from a bad angle and then sets a number of filters to ensure that he looks washed out. They do the opposite with Key, whereby he’s filmed looking dynamic and with lots of colour. They do the same with various audio filters and purposefully keep Shearer’s audio low-fi. That’s just as much to blame for your perceived underperformance as anything.

                      But whatever! It’s all Shearer’s fault that the media are biased in favour of the rightwing… And it’s all Labour’s fault their policy doesn’t properly reach the public.

                    • felixviper

                      “Wouldn’t it stand to reason that those so-called Labour supporters who are against David Shearer and post most ardently about their flimsily held beliefs should be labelled as the Anti-Shearer faction?”

                      Sorry Jackal but what you’re doing there is a logical fallacy known as “Begging The Question”. You haven’t shown that anyone is actually “against Shearer” at all.

                      Matth-yawn thinks this site is full of “Hate Speech against Shearer” (yes he actually said that on Monday) but that’s just an opinion that he has for money every week, h/t Stewart Lee.

                      What I see is people saying that the leader of the Labour Party should hold strong left-wing Labour Party values and be seen to be communicating those values clearly and consistently to the electorate.

                      You call that “Anti-Shearer”?

                      If you define that as “Anti-Shearer” then clearly the problem lies with Shearer as there’s absolutely nothing controversial about expecting the Labour Party Leader to so perform. If Shearer can’t or won’t so perform then he’s clearly in the wrong job.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey fuck head, don’t try and take the moral high ground. You’re the one who first accused others of being deluded or of having ulterior motives.

                    Please do point out where I might be deluded or what my ulterior motive is if you can?

                    Why not live up to your own standards eh, before you try and set them for me?

                    • Jackal

                      Coronial Wiper

                      Hey fuck head, don’t try and take the moral high ground.

                      You really are a complete limp-cock Coronial Wiper, and there’s only moral high-ground in terms of responding to you.

                      You’re the one who first accused others of being deluded or of having ulterior motives.

                      I wasn’t specifically responding to you in my comment to Olwyn fucktard, and would prefer you didn’t tr0ll my comments.

                      Why not live up to your own standards eh, before you try and set them for me?

                      I’ve made a number of valid points as to why the anti-Shearer faction is deluded and has ulterior motives… You haven’t even tried to justify your ‘I know you are, but what am I’ rubbish! What a feckless debating style you’ve recently developed there Coronial Wiper.

                      Before you jump into the argument again with some more juvenile ranting, please don’t.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      lol

                      I really hope you get your parliamentary position mate.

                • quartz

                  BTW I believe that Nick Smith has been tasked with making affordable housing a central battleground issue for 2014.

                  Nah, that’s just what the Nats have to say. His real job isn’t to do anything positive but to relentlessly take Labour’s housing plans to pieces. They’ve found an area where National is weak and his job is to stop them getting anywhere with it. Which is something he’ll do well. My prediction is that he will drive into them over the costings, the fact they’ve not modeled the impact on the housing market and the lack of detail.

              • fatty

                The first issue seems to be with Shearer’s personality, which is unfortunately where our political debate seems to be heading. A more Americanized system to choose our leaders is in my opinion a recipe for disaster, mainly because of our biased media.

                What do you mean?…are you saying that populism/charm/connecting with voters/popularity does not decide elections? Or that it doesn’t exist? Or that if we just stick our heads in the sand, then everyone will vote according to policy?

                I think most here would agree that the weight given to image/personality/charm of a leader in NZ politics is bad…but you appear to say that if we agree that it sux, then its no longer relevant.

                One can only conclude that anybody who believes there’s any truth to your argument Olwyn are entirely deluded or have ulterior motives.

                Really?…you don’t think its John Keys image/personality that is sustaining his support? Why is Johnny so popular, and why is Dave such a loner then?

                • Jackal

                  fatty

                  …are you saying that populism/charm/connecting with voters/popularity does not decide elections? Or that it doesn’t exist? Or that if we just stick our heads in the sand, then everyone will vote according to policy?

                  Of course not! Although I shouldn’t have to spell out what the problem with such a system is… What usually happens is the candidate with the most money to spend on advertising and buying off media to promote propaganda wins. There’s intrinsically no democratic worth to such a system, because policy is placed well behind personality, or more importantly the personality politicians can afford to buy gains the most public support.

                  …but you appear to say that if we agree that it sux, then its no longer relevant.

                  Please stop putting words in my mouth fatty. What I’m saying is that media bias and manipulation is a bad thing. If you haven’t noticed, New Zealands main media outlets are currently painting a disproportionate view of our politicians in order to promote the right wing. Whether me pointing out this fact makes you wake up to it isn’t likely to change things greatly… But you never know.

                  One can only conclude that anybody who believes there’s any truth to your argument Olwyn are entirely deluded or have ulterior motives.

                  Really?…you don’t think its John Keys image/personality that is sustaining his support? Why is Johnny so popular, and why is Dave such a loner then?

                  You might want to re-read my comment above fatty, as you’ve completely misconstrued what it meant, probably because you don’t agree with it. At least try to come up with a valid argument as to why Labour might be going further right and why David Shearer isn’t a suitable leader instead of going off on a tangent of innuendo and speculation.

                  • fatty

                    OK…I’ve read it again and come to the same conclusion.
                    Your response to Olwyn’s first point: (1) Some think that he is neither competent or convincing. was to say that an Americanised popularity driven politics is unfortunate…that’s a good point, one I’d agree with.
                    The issue of media bias you bring up is one I don’t agree with to the same extent…I see the media’s bias towards National more as an outcome of Labour’s incompetent, rather than an inherent trait within our media (but that difference of opinion does not matter here).

                    My point is that Americanised politics in NZ is here to stay, it will only get worse…so how does Labour overcome this, or use this to its benefit?…that is what you have appeared to sweep under the carpet.

                    At least try to come up with a valid argument as to why Labour might be going further right and why David Shearer isn’t a suitable leader instead of going off on a tangent of innuendo and speculation.

                    My response to that is has Labour really moved to the right under Shearer?..How is Shearer more right wing than Goff was (apart from those 2-3 months before the last election), or under Clark?
                    I am not trying to put words in your mouth, instead I’m trying to figure out what your response to Olwyn’s first point was…because I see the popularity issue as Labour’s real challenge, not policy.

                  • Coronial Typer

                    Totally agree with your analysis about Labour being a weak collective attack at the moment. Your point above (a string that has lost its link) about the Labour caucus having plenty of capacity to attack because they are so good at it when aimed at each other, could equally be applied to the Labour membership.

                    So just imagine if they were able to be unified. The caucus and the membership and the affiliates attacking the government as one. For example the Teachers Union have a campaign going at the moment against Charter Schools. Caucus needs to blow on the coals of all in society railing against National.

                    The unity of purpose with Labour and Greens and NGOs in the anti-assets petition was impressive. We need more of acting across parties and NGOs to attack the government and provide more trust, and eventually coherence, with each other.

                    That’s what I want to see Shearer offer. Be above the fray to a degree, but in the sense of uniting progressive forces in the country. Effectively rehearsing for the coalition in late 2014. It would take quite a personality to do it, but he’s worked with enough warring factions before, surely.

                    But to do that he should give members and affiliates their voice, hold a vote, and use it to pull all the reins together.

                    Failing that, he needs a really generous speech on Sunday that reaches out to us all.

              • Olwyn

                I most certainly do not have ulterior motives, and am not an insider in any sense. However, I am aware from previous postings of yours that one is open to being dismissed as deluded by not agreeing with you, so I might fit the ‘deluded’ category on that criterion. I have not seen any mention of improving workers’ rights, though I have seen mention of improving their skills. “Protecting land from foreign ownership” needs detail. I know that David Shearer opposed the sale of the Crafar farms but I do not know how far he is willing to go in the direction of protecting land from foreign sales.

                However, I did say that my problem was with positioning, since positioning allows one to distinguish between policy that will be fought for tooth and nail, and policy that is effectively a party sales pitch. This unease about positioning is exacerbated by the fact that disagreement with National has a tendency to be nuanced, while disagreement with party members, most of whom happily pounded the pavement and manned phones on behalf of Helen Clark, tends to be dismissive and unequivocal.

                • Jackal

                  So, your issue seems to be with where you perceive Labour is positioning itself and not necessarily with its actual policy on things? The problem then is the perceived policy position, which is often actual policy misconstrued by the media and bloggers alike.

                  My claim that you might be deluded is not necessarily meant as a personal insult, as it’s the mechanism that’s leading to your delusions that’s the main problem.

                  Your belief that the next Labour led government would be more right wing is in my opinion thoroughly delusional… A delusion perhaps based on laziness just as much as media bias. Please at least read this Labour Party Manifesto (PDF) before jumping to conclusions about where Labour is positioning itself.

                  If we allow National to continue with their defunct neoliberal agenda, the public will be deluded into believing that our high unemployment rate is not a problem, our waterways aren’t polluted and there’s no anthropomorphic climate change etc because it suits their agenda.

                  Labour under David Shearer appears to be totally opposed to continuing such a system of manipulation, and therefore I’m hopeful they will be able to work constructively with the Greens to repair New Zealand for the betterment of all Kiwis.

                  • Olwyn

                    That is the 2011 manifesto, and we will have to wait and see how much of it is to be retained or developed. The concerns expressed on The Standard are more widespread than you are allowing Jackal. If you look at the threads following political articles at the Herald and Stuff sites, you will see many of the same views expressed under names that never appear at The Standard, possibly written by people who do not even know that The Standard exists. These concerns are real, and can only be addressed by real, unequivocal commitment and real action. They cannot be spun or brow beaten away.

                    • Jackal

                      Your first assertion contradicts the second… We will have to wait for Labours next manifesto before any of the fears people have been expressing are validated… In my opinion they won’t be.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We will have to wait for Labours next manifesto before any of the fears people have been expressing are validated

                      Nah, going on faith until Q1 or Q2 2014 is not really satisfactory.

                    • Olwyn

                      Give me a break Jackal! My first assertion does not contradict the second. (1) We do not yet know whether the 2014 manifesto will reflect the 2011 version (2) Some people harbour concerns that Labour is moving to the right, based on their interpretation of what they have seen so far. I feel like typing in upper case but will not: there is no contradiction in this. “We do not know what the 2014 manifesto will hold” and “There are people who are concerned that Labour may be moving to the right” can both be true at the same time.

                    • Jackal

                      It would seem to be a contradiction to me being that I haven’t observed and nobody has succinctly highlighted any move towards the right by Labour under David Shearer.

                      If a political party has policy that’s already developed, it’s safe to assume that such policy is in effect until the next manifesto confirms or changes things. You clarify this point by saying that we don’t actually know what Labour’s next manifesto will hold, which makes any claims that Labour has moved towards the right in my opinion unfounded speculation.

                      That’s in fact the basis of my argument, because without clear facts that Labour has become more rightwing, it’s mere innuendo likely promoted by people who are either deluded or have ulterior motives.

                  • jenny kirk

                    Jackal – you are forgetting that Labour under David Shearer is going off in a different tack from the 2011 general election policy manifesto.
                    The first thing Shearer did when he was announced as Leader was to say he’d go out and listen to people (goodness knows who – because he has not listened to Labour members) and that he’d formulate policy from what he’d learned/heard/etc. I pointed out right then and there that Labour HAD a policy which its MPs should be promoting/using to counter the Nats, etc. That policy is the 2011 general election policy which wasn’t much different from the 2008 general election policy. And was still valid until it was changed formally.
                    So WHY did Shearer say he had to listen to people (whoever they are?) to decide on policy.

                    Since then – very few MPs – if any – have used the 2011 policy to make counter attacks on the Nats.

                    So there is a major flaw in your argument – because you cannot use the 2011 policy as an indication of where Labour is at.

                    And that is a part of the trouble.

                    No-one knows what Labour (or Shearer) stands for any more. Our MPs are not using the 2011 policy to attack the Nats, nor to promote Labour.

                    Shearer even indicated National Standards in schools was okay – by not saying Labour would do away with them, but saying instead it would be a choice for the schools to make. That was a direct contradiction to what is in the 2011 general election policy.

                    Shearer (and presumably the rest of caucus) assume they can make, and announce, new policy on the hoof (eg building 100,000 houses for first home/low income buyers) without any direct reference to the 2011 policy. Annette King had to come on The Standard to make those references clear.

                    This is not good enough. No wonder Labour supporters and members are wondering what the heck is going on.

                    • Good comments Jenny Kirk,

                      I get the impression that Jackal has been overtaken by right-wing spin-overly susceptible to it, is my diagnosis; and therefore your reasoned arguments will be of no interest to him.

                    • Jackal

                      Please don’t “diagnose” me with such delusions blue leopard, nor tell me what I may or may not be interested in.

                      I think your argument jenny kirk can be summed up in this way:

                      David Shearer never listens to any of Labours members, Labour MP’s never promote Labour policy, the 2011 general election policy now means nothing and I’ve never seen any Labour MP’s use Labour policy to counter attack National.

                      The fact that Shearer has said National Standards will be up to schools to decide is probably because there’s been a shit load of funds spent (wasted in my opinion) on the scheme. however if some schools find it’s working well, then doing away with it is a complete waste of funds. Therefore I also think it should be up to each individual school to decide.

                      The announcement of 100,000 new entry level homes was hardly made on the hoof jenny kirk. The fact that Annette King clarified some misinformation that was being promoted on The Standard doesn’t reflect badly on Shearer or the policy.

                      You also don’t represent all Labour supporters and members, so stop pretending you do.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why so defensive mate? Labour is a broad church, there have always been many strong opinions. What you got so invested in the success of Team Shearer?

              • Draco T Bastard

                However the fact that Labour has recently announced the biggest government housing policy in decades is obviously not a sign that they’re moving to the right is it?

                Yes it is as it’s seemingly designed to increase borrowing at interest from the private banks. The “borrowing” will made available, of course, through the banks ability to create money.

                In other words, it’s a policy designed to prop up the banks and not actually to provide affordable homes.

                • fatty

                  True, but is that really moving to the right, or is it just staying to the right?

                  Hasn’t most policy from Labour over the past 3 decades been designed to prop up the banks and not actually to provide affordable homes?

                • karol

                  As quoted by DTB:

                  However the fact that Labour has recently announced the biggest government housing policy in decades is obviously not a sign that they’re moving to the right is it?

                  Yes, I do think this shows a shift right, certainly from that original proposed by Clark’s 1999+ manifesto, but even from the 2011 Labour Party election policies, as I argued in my state housing vs home ownership post. The Shearer kiwibuild policy focuses on a PPP set-up where housing for private sale is provided by private businesses. Meanwhile, they 2011 proposals for state housing have been kept shut up in a backroom, and given no MSM exposure, or public explicit endorsement.

                  For instance in Helen Clark’s 2000 Labour Conference speech, she says this:

                  We promised to bring back income related rents for state house tenants.
                  We are after all the party of Michael Joseph Savage and John A Lee which began to build those houses and give low income people decent homes.
                  We are carrying on that tradition. From 1 December fairness is restored in public housing. Mark Gosche tells me that 40,000 households will be between $20 and $60 a week better off. That means more food and clothing and being able to pay the doctor and the chemist. It’s policies like these which change people’s lives for the better….

                  We’ve been guided by our belief in fairness, opportunity, and security. We’ve set out to even up the odds, to give people a chance….

                  Also there were policies put up by the Clark team in 1999, that promised to decrease the inequality gap, and to be more supportive of beneficiaries.

                  This government is tackling inequality across the board. Our approach is comprehensive. We know that one-size-fits-all policies don’t work.
                  That’s why we are encouraging all our government agencies to develop a range of policies for the range of needs our communities have.
                  That’s why we are funding capacity building in Maori and Pacific people’s communities, so that their organisations can be part of the solution, in raising the aspirations and living standards of their people, by doing it their way.
                  The fault lies with those who attack these policies and preach the politics of division.
                  What I know is that if we don’t take steps now to build an inclusive society where regardless of ethnicity everyone can stand tall, we will pay the price many times over in educational failure, sickness, unemployment and the costs of crime. That’s not a price I’m prepared to pay….

                  It’s interesting that in 2005, in response to a Brash bennie bashing speech, John Armstrong said this:

                  But then Dr Brash had to be contentious last night if he was going to breathe life into a largely dormant debate and successfully marginalise Labour as “soft” on welfare reform.

                  His intention is to drive a wedge between two key Labour constituencies – the low-paid and beneficiaries – and force Labour to come to the defence of beneficiaries.

                  It’s interesting that Shearer started out with a bennie bashing (fiddler on the roof) dog whistle. He pulled back from that, without an apology, but now focuses more on “workers” and Labour being the “worker” party. I haven’t yet see anything as left wing as some of Clark’s original proposals for social security.

                  So, to me, it looks pretty much like Team Shearer have moved to the right

                  • “So, to me, it looks pretty much like Team Shearer have moved to the right”

                    Or, conversely, Karol, “Team Shearer” is not wanting to spook the bourgoise middle class which could easily retaliate to an overtly left-wing Labour agenda by,

                    a. Active Voters choosing National instead of a Labour ticket

                    b. Indecisive/Apathetic Voters deciding to become Active Voters and tick the National box.

                    The “trick”, I guess is for Labour to offer an alternative vision (not just policies) to National’s Market-driven, Hands Off, ideology. Something that can resonate with the fickle Middle Classes who’d nod approvingly and conclude, “Yes, that’s Fair.”

                    The “Bene on the Roof” comment doesn’t cut it. We’ve had two years of that kind of demonisation.

                    Giving kids a decent chance in life, irrespective of their parents’ circumstance, does cut it.

                    As does Labour 10,000 New Home Per Year theme. (Though one might quibble about the detail, it’s offering a Big Vision.

                    In my ‘umble belief, that is what Kiwis are crying out for.

                    As for the debate above, Jackal vs Everyone else, it might be worthwhile considering the message Jackal is trying to convey here, and which has seemingly been lost in a slow descent into personalisation (which is how I’m perceiving it).

                    Disclaimer: I am neither in Camp Shearer nor Camp Cunliffe, and have re-published speeches from both esteemed gentlemen on my Blog.

                    • I can see the difficulty for Labour, and think you describe it well. Perhaps vision is the key word.

                      There is another difficulty, which is being reflected on these pages, if Labour choose to be too middle of the road they do not offer any real point of contrast to National. This means that voters either stick with National, or Labour gets in and there is no substantial improvements to the many who are facing serious challenges, OR they present themselves as one thing (middle-nz) and act differently when they get in Government; creating disgruntled voters.

                      There is a real question-mark in my mind as to what would be the reasons people didn’t get out and vote. Has there been any research into this? Has Labour or the Greens conducted any market research on this? Is it because Labour didn’t appeal enough to “middle-NZ”, has anyone actually looked into what the issue is with the Nat win?

                      My suspicion from many conversations with people in my area is that the problem is there is no real difference between the two main parties Granted people are still in somewhat of a FPP mindset, however this is a very common comment

                      It appears to me that the first thing that Labour can do to lift its game is to voice concern and opposition clearly and effectively to this sham of a government and spend less time making contact with reporters to bitch about their workmates. This first point is what I am hearing ad infinitum on this blogsite, from seemingly diverse members of the public.

                      I am also hearing a right-wing influenced framing of the concerns raised: “Anti-Shearerism” “Don’t criticize or the right-wing will get us”. I don’t buy either of these responses and it is time that the Left set up its own framing and stopped being so frightened and/or susceptible to the Rights framing. This is not personal, it is about requesting an effective opposition that gives confidence and hope for an effective government in the next term. It really is as simple as that.

                    • Jackal

                      Well said Mr Macskasy… Always the voice of reason.

              • JK

                Jackel – “Along with their commitment to keep ACC owned by New Zealanders, to increase workers rights and skills, improve environmental standards, protect land from foreign ownership, include agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme, double government investment into Sustainable Farming and increasing support for Organic Farming…”

                Is this recently announced policy, or is it from the 2011 general election policy ?

                • Jackal

                  Some of it is from the 2011 manifesto, some is more recently announced or should I say reconfirmed policy.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    So when Mike Williams posted recently that last year was the year of the manifesto and this year was the year of policy what did he mean?

                    Shit I thought that he meant that this year there might be some engagement with people to develop policy and some articulate articulation of that policy.

                    You’re indicating that the manifesto is the policy and we should read it.

                    One of these things is not like the other.

                    I’m less than impressed with what’s in the manifesto and I like others have said we don’t at this point give a shit who the leader is because we want some left wing policy.

                    Reminder of some of the things that I would like too see.

                    And yeah Labour is still right wing whether you like it or not.

                    And here’s my old comment:

                    At this point I care little about the people cause I want to know about the policies Labour are going to adopt.

                    I could add to my old list but seriously can Labour in it’s current guise come even close to implementing a single left wing policy such as:

                    8 hour workingday
                    40 hour working week
                    Decent minimum wage
                    Increased taxation of the well off
                    Increasing benefit rates to a liveable amount – at minimum putting the $20-00 per week back on benefits – you know the $20 per week they put back on super and the one they had 9 years to put back on benefits but did not
                    Centralised wage bargaining forcing firms to compete on the quality of the product and service not on who can pay the crappiest wage
                    Ensuring minimum salaries are say 120% of the minimum wage to stop employers getting around the minimum wage requirements
                    Building more state housing and letting people live in their state houses for their entire life if they wish – you know giving people security
                    Employing people with disabilities and young people in the public sector to give them an opportunity for a decent life and a good start – cause the private sector won’t and will never employ them all
                    Regional development to support rural areas and not just farmers

                    These things were not even “left” when I was growing up they were normal

                    Maybe I’ve missed their press releases – don’t tell me Labours not a rightwing party.

                    Don’t see much of that in your manifesto.

          • David H 5.1.2.2.4

            “Well we could talk about the asset sales petition or Labours education and housing policy. We could also talk about where National is going wrong! Those would be far more worthwhile things to expend energy on.”

            The Asset sale petition was the GREENS not Labour. And they also did most of the work.

            It would be nice if we could talk about where the Nats have gone wrong Unfortunately he can’t string 5 words together without weeks of practice.

            The Cunliffe faction as you put it, are pissed that Shearer allowed himself to be fooled by that snot nosed, schoolboy, wannabe journo, Gower. And if he is that easy to lead by the nose then. No thanks I’d rather vote Green!
            And if Shearer tries to leads Labour into the next election then Key may just die laughing with joy at the prospect of such an easy win!

            What New Zealand NEEDS is a competent, well spoken, knowledgeable, politician to lead them into the next election NOT Captain Stutterbum, with the fat controller behind him.

            • Bunji 5.1.2.2.4.1

              The Asset sale petition was the GREENS not Labour. And they also did most of the work.
              I’d beg to differ…
              It was a coalition of groups, but yes the political parties did most of the heavy lifting. And it was fairly even between the Greens and Labour. I don’t know what the final counts were, but don’t discount the thousands of hours put in by Labour activists thanks.

      • One Tāne Huna 5.1.3

        Oh look, here’s “The Voice Of Reason” telling everyone else to shut up. Again.

        If 61% of caucus supports your mumbling hero, the Labour Party is unlikely to receive my vote in 2014. I’m not going to be represented by people who can’t look their own supporters in the eye.

        • Anon 5.1.3.1

          Which part of ‘can we start talking’ do you misunderstand to mean ‘shut up’ OTH?

          Edit: (it’s me, TVoR/TRP, not sure why, but my handle got replaced with ‘Anon’).

          • One Tāne Huna 5.1.3.1.1

            It was the “Can we move off the gossip” smear that I was referring to.

            • Anon 5.1.3.1.1.1

              That’s not a smear. The whole ‘Shearer’s gonna take it to the party’ strawman appears to be based on idle gossip.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Yeah, because that’s what you meant, sure. You weren’t referring to legitimate ongoing concern about Captain Mumblefuck’s lack of performance at all. No sirree.

              • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                ‘idle gossip’ – no. Yes we want busy gossip not that lay-about sort.

                Gossip is how we learn about what’s going on in politics etc, leaks and that sort of thing. Time and delving for the truth reveals what’s is true, what is unfounded, what changes have been made, what the thinking behind actions is. Gossip is communication, alert minds have to work out the value of it.

      • Elizabeth Bourchier 5.1.4

        TRP
        The Members and the Affiliates including the Engineers, choose to have a say in the selection of a leader.
        EPMU members will be upset if they know that their decision to vote for the 40/60 trigger is being treated with cynicism and comtempt.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.4.1

          Er, no, they didn’t Elizabeth. The affiliates voted for a system that might get them a say. Might. If a particular set of circumstances came about. Which doesn’t appear to be happening this electoral cycle because Shearer has the numbers in caucus. That’s the democratic system affiliates voted for, and it’s working as designed.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.5

        You can’t get election winning policy from the top.

        • Coronial Typer 5.1.5.1

          At least not on the left when coalitions are always required, in New Zealand, to get over the line. Works fine for National. For Labour, still leading the progressive movement, it requires some generosity and grace to expand in to the leadership role, embrace us all (no matter how spiky or critical at times), and lead like one would a coalition.

          That’s what I expect from the Labour leader this Sunday.

      • KhandallaViper 5.1.6

        “who is going to pay for a “full bodied Primary Process up and down the country”.
        Te Reo Putake , aka Voice of Pagani, asks.

        No problem: I’d pay $50 to attend and I’d go to a few of them. Your members would pay to attend.
        Paid up members of the party only. That will get membership figures up.
        I’m sure a fair funding process can be engineered.
        If the party can’t organise that much, it is a terrible indictment.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.6.1

          You’re an idiot, KV. Not every member has the kind of dosh you appear to be able to piss away and a long, destabalising rerun of an already ended contest will not help the Labour party one iota. Why don’t you stop wasting time here and start the campaign for RWC World Cup final to be replayed? You’d have just as much success convincing McCaw to go round the paddock one more time as would have convincing Shearer to do the same.

          • KhandallaViper 5.1.6.1.1

            Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton had humdinger of a slugging match Democrat primary season before Obama won. They then went on to a great four years together.
            A primary will be healthy.

            Love you too.

            Sleep well

            Ni ni

  6. dewithiel 6

    I guess Shearer’s decision puts paid to any thought of an Obama-like mobilisation of the base, working to bring out the marginalised non-voter. Oh well, another four years of Joyce and his muppet.

  7. just saying 7

    I’m getting real sick of the widespread dissatisfaction with the leadership and its drection of the Labour Party being depicted as orchestrated by David Cunliffe and his strongest supporters. If anything the converse is true, the intensity and widespread nature of the sense of outrage is the best gift to any credible alternative could wish for. The dissatisfaction is deep and multi-faceted, and spinning it as Cunliffe vs Shearer is as dishonest as it is insulting.

    • One Tāne Huna 7.2

      Just Saying: spot on.

      Shearer’s performance is the problem and the source of the dissatisfaction.

    • Bill 7.3

      Well said js, I’m also increasingly bemused and pissed off with the Labour Party and democracy versus a reactionary old school clique and their technocratic front man being touted as a mere personality driven leadership contest between Cunliffe and Shearer.

      Either some are being deliberately disingenuous or simply don’t get it. I hope it’s the latter.

      • hush minx 7.3.1

        I’m thinking the desperation that the current leadership team and supporters are putting into reinforcing their line that this is all cunliffes fault highlights that they are really uncomfortable with an articulate and motivated party base who are adding the spotlight on their behavior. They need to realise that it it’s no longer possible to follow the top down, dictatorship model. Embrace it, or fail.

  8. geoff 8

    The most left wing voice in that Hooton Williams piece was Kathryn Ryan.
    Great line from her when Hooton tried to drag the conversation back to the Labour leadership: “Let it go, let it go”

    She was also the only one to recognise that maybe the opinions expressed on the Standard were valid.

    • North 8.1

      I’m just fuck’n amazed excuse me that this effete little paid-pen-ponce Tootin’ Hooton’ gets any air time at all on The Standard. He’s a snotty little Tory jerk and should be treated with the contempt he deserves, viz. ignored…..loudly.

      What the fuck is he doing lounged back on our sofa ? With us acknowledging him. He’s shit. Do we love the smell that much ?

  9. Peter 9

    Hasn’t Mike Williams just confirmed what we suspected about the ABC faction all along, far too right wing compared with the rest of the party?

    • geoff 9.1

      Mike Williams has spent so much time on Radio NZ with Matthew Hooton that he’s got stockholm syndrome.

  10. PlanetOrphan 10

    “we at the Standard are all far left loons pretending to be Labour members”

    Or are they just pissed because they can’t steal ideas from The Standard and sell them ?

    Or maybe they are pissed because they can’t sell their stolen Ideas on The Standard ?

    Classic “Morons pretending they are smart” if u ask me
    ( Not that anyone cares what I think, I’m a bloody crazy troll, but I’m OK M8! )

  11. Bill 11

    The way I see it, Eddie’s post was speculation on good tactics…almost advice. ie, Shearer would have grown in stature by not seeking the 60%+1 vote of confidence from the caucus and insisting on a full vote in Feb.

    The fact that he hasn’t indicates that either he is confident he has the numbers in caucus or – (because, lets face it, he’s running scared of the members) he needs and is confident he can bully people into place as he did after conference.

    Given the reaction from members post-conference to his bully boy nonsense and the fact that mps are, as I understand it, more subject to member’s whims for selection purposes etc, I’d suggest that if he doesn’t have the numbers straight up (and an element of doubt of crosses my mind on that front for the reason just cited), then Labour party members will get their voice in Feb.

  12. Blue 12

    I guess that’s what passes for Labour Party strategy these days – try to attack and discredit your own supporters.

    I never thought Shearer would allow a membership vote. He has successfully established himself as an arrogant, born-to-rule bully who took a job he wasn’t up to, refused to relinquish it when it became obvious he wasn’t cutting it, and ruthlessly took out his only real competition.

    You can argue whether it’s Shearer himself who is behind all this or whether he’s just been manipulated by his courtiers, but in any case, it was never looking good for a vote.

  13. geoff 13

    My position is that we are coming up to the potential vote and so while there is an opportunity to rumble the ABCers it may as well be taken.
    After Feb I imagine most all will redirect their energies towards ripping National apart.

  14. Colonial Weka 14

    “Can we move off the gossip and start talking about election winning policy yet?”

    Interesting point TRP. What do you think would happen here if ts authors ran a series of posts looking at current Labour party policy*?

    *(assuming we could actually find some. Just had another look on their website and their policy is still not there so can only assume they don’t want the public knowing about it or talking about it other than through ways sanctioned by their press office)

    • Colonial Weka 14.1

      Continuing the aside to that, googling ‘labour party policies’ takes me to this link http://www.labour.org.nz/content/labour-policy , which is a page with a single link – ‘Policy for the 2011 general election is being released progressively at: http://ownourfuture.co.nz

      That takes me here http://www.labour.org.nz/

      I don’t trust these people to be in government.

      • QoT 14.1.1

        Don’t even start me on Labour’s ideas about website design.

        But according to a previous post by Mike Smith, all policy in the 2011 manifesto which hasn’t been explicitly changed should be assumed to be the basis of 2014 policy. So now you’ve just got a gigantic fucking pdf to wade through.

        … which, seriously, I was going to link to, but now I can’t even find THAT on the site.

        • Jackal 14.1.1.1

          I’ve linked to it above QoT. You’re correct, it is rather large… But if it wasn’t Labour would be accused of not being thorough eh!

          • Colonial Weka 14.1.1.1.1

            Part of the reason it is so long is because they’re cut and pasting repeating paragraphs. For instance the word ‘invalid’ appears on four pages, but two pages contain exact replicas, so really there are only two pages that mention the benefit.

          • QoT 14.1.1.1.2

            Cool. While you’re at it, care to provide a citation for this?

        • Colonial Weka 14.1.1.2

          “Don’t even start me on Labour’s ideas about website design.”

          I find myself wavering between they’re disorganised or they really don’t want people having access to their policy (instead preferring to control what people know about Labour). Ineptitude or anti-democracy, hard call.

          • QoT 14.1.1.2.1

            Given that even Nationals’ provides a clearer idea of where to find their policies … I’m going to have to go with ineptitude.

            • Jackal 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Ignoring the fact that the rightwing has a lot more money to spend on such things… You can’t seriously be saying this is a good website QoT. Yum! That propaganda sure tastes good eh!

              I love the fact that the links to ‘rebuilding Christchurch,’ ‘ Building world-class infrastructure’ ‘Building better public services’ and ‘Building a stronger economy’ don’t work. Is that what you would call truth in advertising?

  15. KhandallaViper 15

    The “dialogue” represented on these TS pages reflects a chasm between membership and leadership.

    Over the past four weeks I socialised with a wide range of people from many backgrounds. I heard many express dis-satisfaction with Key and the Nats and disappointment with Labour.

    I heard “ethnic” people who had previously been very generous with funds say their purses are closed to Labour: why, because they don’t think we are strong enough to be the next government.
    They want the party to show that the leadership and membership are united rather than divided.

    This is what I’d like David to address in his Summer School speech.

    -David has a great opportunity to dump the divisive atmosphere Annette, Grant and Trevor have engendered.
    -David has a great opportunity to reach out to the alienated members, including bloggers!
    -A speech paying lip-service to more direct State engagement in the Economy while not addressing the chasm between the Caucus and the membership will fail.

    “We the People” want David to bring the party together for the good all Kiwis.

    • King Kong 15.1

      “We the People” want David to bring the party together for the good all Kiwis.

      Problem is that untill that David’s surname is Cunliffe “you the people” won’t stop sabotaging your own electoral hopes.

      • Coronial Typer 15.1.1

        best way to a divorce is to simply say there’s no relationship problem; it’s all their fault.

        Keep that up for a bit and it ends up fast in who get’s what. Ain’t no winners then. Most other membership-based organsiations treat their members like gold. They are funders. They are data-source. They are volunteers. First leader to achieve unity wins the election.

        Key can clearly do it, and refresh his leadership lineup, and smile while doing it.

        Evidence on this site – which is consistent and large – is that Shearer hasn’t. Whoever is leader – and right now it’s Shearer – they seriously need to admit the relationship problem and have the grace to lead with generosity and inspired unity.

        He has the chance coming up – both in the speech on Sunday and in caucus coming up. Can he do it? Leadership test: can he build a coalition with his own members?

    • marty mars 15.2

      lol “ethnic people”

      The chasm is between what the truth is and the illusions people hold onto. I’d like labour to fractionate into little bitty pieces, then the left can regroup. At the moment we have a massive trojan horse called labour, supported by those wanting to maintain their privilege (not a personal attack on you kv) whilst pretending to care about the disadvantaged in our society. Time for those with some morals to walk the walk instead of the bullshitting talkfest.

  16. beatie 16

    If re-elected will Labour reverse the welfare reforms or dump the 90 day ‘sack at will’ and other labour ‘reforms’? There is a deafening silence from them on these matters which indicates ( to me, and many others) that they don’t give a shit about beneficiaries and those on the minimum wage.

  17. Tom Gould 17

    beatie, the simple answer would be to reinstate the Bolger cuts and up the minimum wage to $18 without youth rates. Sorted. Oh, and build 100,000 new state houses. Can’t see Labour promising that, though.

  18. Tim 18

    Even AFTER I got over Bridge’s inability to speak English (i mean the language, not the person – he does that very well) – has anybody actually WATCHED the guy in Parliament? That feigned nodding in agreement to patsy questions by colleagues wanting to advance themselves (How’s that all turned out Phil Heatley?).
    Check it out sometime on what’s left of Freeview.

  19. Enough is Enough 19

    Shearer will not make the changes that are needed to return the nations wealth to the workers of this country.

    For that reason I would rather he lose the next election so that Labour can rebuild and prepare themselves as a workers party.

    If Shearer wins we will have his middle of the road bullshit before Natioanl come back in…meaning it could be 15 years before we see a truly left government.

    Shearer must be removed. Let your local MP know

  20. “but the last time I checked most of us were slightly left of center social democrats”

    Yup. That’s me.

    Funny thing, in the 1960s and 1970s, I suspect most of us would’ve been The Centre in NZ politics…

  21. xtasy 21

    I am waiting (and have been waiting for some time) for Labour’s CURRENT policy on WELFARE!

    A manifesto for the 2011 election with some rather vague language, and likely to be considered “out of date” by most, does not do it for me.

    So Jackal and others, praising Shearer and the present direction, I am waiting for an update!

    • karol 21.1

      Agree, xtasy. We need some strong evidence and reassurance that Labour is committed to a solid left wing (at least social democrat, non-“neoliberal’, non-Third Way), especially on social security, and decreasing income inequalities. Anything less means they are leaving the door open to continue with Third Way policies and “neoliberal” appeasement.

  22. Colonial Viper 22

    I’m getting pretty sick of McFlock’s “mercernaries are the only answer to genocide” TINA bullshit.

    • McFlock 22.1

      better than your “magic wand”.

      I’m simply saying that it’s a bit overzealous to constantly rip shit out of Shearer for daring to consider one [albeit distasteful] possible solution to avoiding multi-hundred-thousands of murders when you have not presented a single real-world alternative to that distasteful solution.

      It would be cool if you could say “he wants to hire Hitler?! But Gandhi’s CV is so much better, and he’s not a genocidal maniac”. But basically the argument seems to boil down to letting a genocide occur simply because you’re scared that the UN will contract mercenaries as [wilfully] incompetently as Cheney did.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Yeah go ahead and give my taxpayer dollars to Xe and Blackwater and Halliburton and Bechtel and KBR to run those little tinpot failed states, I really don’t give a shit any more.

        • McFlock 22.1.1.1

          if indeed that is what I (or Shearer) actually said, you’d have a point.
          But it’s not.

          • Rhinoviper 22.1.1.1.1

            Consider the consequences. If you will the end, then you will the means… and that which follows. Just like my “support” for genocide as you claimed.

            • McFlock 22.1.1.1.1.1

              consequences which I believe to be most likely pretty minor compared to 5,000 to 8,000 murders per day for 100 days.

              • Rhinoviper

                So giving legitimacy and more importantly, capital flow, to organisations that will have absolutely no constraints on their power, but which are specialised in mass killing for profit and which will persist for decades at least is “pretty minor”. OK, right, it’s all black and white.

                • McFlock

                  Legitimacy: only to the ones that don’t commit crimes
                  Capital flow: which the bad ones have anyway
                  “no constraints on their powers”: besides international and local laws on murder and war crimes
                  “specialised in mass killing for profit”: depends on who they kill; cf: “Legitimacy”
                  “persist for decades”: which they will anyway
                  “pretty minor”: compared to a fucking genocide

      • Rhinoviper 22.1.2

        boil down

        Translation: let me completely misrepresent your argument and put words in your mouth in my own terms so that I can use it as a straw man.

        scared that the UN will contract mercenaries as [wilfully] incompetently as Cheney did.

        So that argument is based on real-world experience as opposed to wishful thinking.

        when you have not presented a single real-world alternative

        OK, let’s talk about that.

        Shearer proposed something that itself is not real world as he framed it. It has been used in the real world, actually, and the results have been a bit messy. Oh dear. Oh well, the results show that the real world is at fault. Better luck next time. Since the theory is so good, it must surely be proven right eventually.

        You talk about the “real world” but we’ve seen plenty of this “real world” and you even admit that the “real world” is a pretty nasty place, with all sorts of failures and moral compromises… but then this solution should work… somehow because it should. If. If something. If lots of things that should happen. If these things that should happen actually do happen and is they’re as certain as the laws of gravitation and thermodynamics, fingers crossed. Or at least if they might. Possibly… but they will because they should.

        Shearer was writing papers proposing purely imaginary strategies with purely imaginary outcomes. That gives them no value whatsoever, so this “real world” talk is bullshit. Meanwhile in the real real world, mercenaries have been proven to be not so nice and not so efficient after all.

        Ultimately there is nothing “real world” about Shearer’s papers.

        • McFlock 22.1.2.1

          shearer’s FP paper:
          A) explains the real-world problems facing the UN.
          B) details real-world characteristics of the mercenary market at the time.

          C) asks if that gap looks similar to that peg, why wouldn’t it fit sufficiently well to avoid major tragedies[paraphrasing]?

          On the flipside, the “wrong for even considering it” debate is:
          A) some mercenaries have been pretty bad.
          B) …
          C) the end.

          Do you have anything to put in B?

  23. Rhinoviper 23

    Yeah.

    Look at this:

    B) details real-world characteristics of the mercenary market at the time.

    (Emphasis added).

    On the flipside, the “wrong for even considering it” debate is

    Misrepresentation – or in another word, a lie.

    Nonetheless, I’d insert this:

    “What are the consequences of further legitimising and proving a stable state and transnational basis for the mercenary market?”

    • Rhinoviper 23.1

      “proving”? Typo. PROVIDING.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        Really? You do have an alternative to hiring mercenaries? What is it?

        “What are the consequences of further legitimising and providing a stable state and transnational basis for the mercenary market?”

        Not much, given that the corporations would be under the umbrella of “security providers”. As they already are.

        Personally, I reckon the UN should just have a standing force that it operates and maintains directly, rather than going the private sector route. Using member-state forces has similar issues to the “Lads Brigades” of WW1. But I don’t think a UN rapid reaction force is going to happen any time soon, and the current international community responses are inadequate.

        • Rhinoviper 23.1.1.1

          under the umbrella of “security providers”.

          That naiveté would be amusing under other circumstances.

          Personally, I reckon the UN should…

          So do I, and so what? “Should” and “if” mean nothing and that’s all you’ve been saying when you go beneath the most superficial aspects of Shearer’s proposals. Let’s not suppose what mercenaries “should” do “if” something happens. “Hey, if I farted rainbows it would be cool, so we should… whatever… because… um, elves should… whatever…”

          Really? You do have an alternative to hiring mercenaries? What is it?

          You know, or perhaps you don’t, that that is a dishonest strategy. I’ve tried to assume that since you’re arguing from a position that could be morally supportable – that genocide is bad – that therefore your methods of argument might at least derive from that moral sensibility, but it’s become clear that they don’t.

          You find it convenient to accuse me of supporting genocide, but nowhere have I said that… and then you get precious about what you might think that other people might suppose that you have implied. I don’t know if that makes you stupid or thin-skinned or outright dishonest, but your persistence suggests dishonesty.

          You stick your fingers in your ears and chant “la la la I can’t hear you” – to wit:

          On the flipside, the “wrong for even considering it” debate is:
          A) some mercenaries have been pretty bad.
          B) …
          C) the end.

          When “wrong for even considering it” is a misrepresentation and it is patently obvious that a lot has been said in reference to “B”.

          Finally you keep coming back to the false binary of either hiring mercenaries or supporting genocide. That is a question I am reluctant to answer because you may as well ask me if I’ve stopped beating my wife yet, with only a yes or no as allowable answers.

          The fact is, McFlock, I’ve tried hard to allow that you may have virtuous motivations – I’ve even tried to assume that you have simply succumbed to wishful thinking – but in your rhetoric, you have shown that you are a liar, a bully, a coward who misrepresents his opponents.

          So here’s my provisional answer that you can stick up your straw man’s arsehole: do the same and argue for more international consensus.

          Sounds weak? Yes, it does. It’s awful, and I admit that.

          But there are things that are worse than nothing.

          Establish and legitimise in state and international structures a market for profit-driven mass murderers who will then sell themselves to those who want to have sanitised hands-off genocides?

          Justify that.

          Even now I won’t say that that is you want to happen.

          • McFlock 23.1.1.1.1

            “When “wrong for even considering it” is a misrepresentation and it is patently obvious that a lot has been said in reference to “B”.”

            Bullshit. The FP article was pure consideration with no recommended course of action. Yet somehow it’s wrong.

            International consensus will not happen until it’s too late, and then will be half-arsed and inadequate. It’s a fantasy land. Look at Syria: where’s the consensus there? Look at Mali: pretty much unilateral action – how much “consensus” is there? The only reason Shearer wrote the article was because no consensus occurred in two spectacularly tragic situations at about the same time. Consensus, to the point of committing significant numbers of one’s troops? Bullshit. Not going to happen. We’ve seen it tried in the face of utter disaster, and it didn’t work. Do you think diplomats and aid workers weren’t trying desperately hard to build a consensus to stop it? We saw the result. What’s the definition of insanity again?

            Establish and legitimise in state and international structures a market for profit-driven mass murderers who will then sell themselves to those who want to have sanitised hands-off genocides?

            Now who’s misrepresenting? I’ve said repeatedly that the UN “legitimate” market as I’ve described would only apply to companies that do not commit genocide. Your question is therefore nonsensical.

            • Rhinoviper 23.1.1.1.1.1

              The FP article was pure consideration with no recommended course of action. Yet somehow it’s wrong.

              So what? Does that give it immunity to criticism? Does that mean that the consequences not be considered?

              We’ve seen it tried in the face of utter disaster, and it didn’t work.

              So the legitimisation of a mercenary market will work? “If X is wrong, then Y is correct because Y is not X” is not in itself true.

              I’ve said repeatedly that the UN “legitimate” market as I’ve described would only apply to companies that do not commit genocide.

              You refused to consider the consequences while imputing all sorts of vile motives to your opposition.

              What is the market mechanism that will ensure this perfect morality? How will it ensure that worse doesn’t happen? Have you heard of unintended consequences, have you heard of perverse incentives? They exist in the real world, not on Planet Should.

              If you will the end, you will the means – and the consequences. “I didn’t mean that to happen, I didn’t think of it” is never an excuse. Wishful fantasies about what “should” happen if there are unicorns doing… whatever… are useless.

              • McFlock

                The FP article was pure consideration with no recommended course of action. Yet somehow it’s wrong.

                So what? Does that give it immunity to criticism? Does that mean that the consequences not be considered?

                It is not a proposal. It is mere consideration.
                Whereas you, among other people, called it things like “creepily enthusiastic endorsement of mercenaries“.

                We’ve seen it tried in the face of utter disaster, and it didn’t work.

                So the legitimisation of a mercenary market will work? “If X is wrong, then Y is correct because Y is not X” is not in itself true.

                But then if X is wrong, repeating X is still wrong.


                I’ve said repeatedly that the UN “legitimate” market as I’ve described would only apply to companies that do not commit genocide.

                You refused to consider the consequences while imputing all sorts of vile motives to your opposition.

                I simply match the possible consequences of Y against the known consequences of X. Even special forces would have difficulty slaughtering 7,000 people a day for 100 days.

                What is the market mechanism that will ensure this perfect morality? How will it ensure that worse doesn’t happen? Have you heard of unintended consequences, have you heard of perverse incentives? They exist in the real world, not on Planet Should.

                If you will the end, you will the means – and the consequences. “I didn’t mean that to happen, I didn’t think of it” is never an excuse. Wishful fantasies about what “should” happen if there are unicorns doing… whatever… are useless.

                Indeed.
                We know the results of wishful fantasies about building international consensus. And we know that the mercenary market already exists and has corporate offices registered in Arlington, Durban, and London. So I think you’re overestimating the damage that the sustenance that any UN contract would give to the market as a whole (but it might positively affect the behaviour of the larger market actors). Especially compared, say, killing 300 people an hour.

            • Rhinoviper 23.1.1.1.1.2

              Look at Syria: where’s the consensus there? Look at Mali: pretty much unilateral action – how much “consensus” is there?

              It’s awful.

              Now prove that hiring mercenaries is better, how mercenaries would solve those problems – and I mean the real problems, not just the symptoms so that it doesn’t happen all over again when their contracts have expired. Also prove that a system that supports mercenaries will ensure that things will always be better. Always and not just in the immediate term.

              • McFlock

                Syria: pick a side if no reasonable resolution can be found. Use specialists to tip the balance in favour of whichever party has the most legitimate claim/least history of torture. Resolve the situation more quickly, create a clear resolution for a more stable future. Actually, that option is outlined in general in the FP article.

                Mali: no immediate need for mercenaries. French rational self interest is plugging away okay (oh noes, someone said “Islamic” /sarc, although I wouldn’t be surprised if China were looking to cut deals with the other side. According to wikipedia, the French apparently backed the Hutu in Rwanda because they wanted to keep the English out, and Tutsi spoke English? Mitterrand, what a cock).

                But if the UN is short an observer or maybe security for aid workers, a narrow contract could address those roles if international commitment is shortcoming.

                • Rhinoviper

                  Syria: pick a side if no reasonable resolution can be found

                  WTF, I mean WTFingF?

                  Resolve the situation more quickly

                  Face/palm.

                  You’re pretty enthusiastic about quick-fix interventions aren’t you?

                  According to wikipedia

                  And so on.

                  Good God. You make it sound like an iPod Feng Shui app. Don’t put the sofa by the door or your good luck will escape. Use red drapes – red is a lucky colour. Make sure the coffee table is facing to the south to receive good influences. There was something in Wikipedia about it.

                  You know, war is a lot messier, a lot more unpredictable and a lot less amenable to one-paragraph solutions than rearranging your living room.

                  In any case, your argument makes absolutely no sense at all. First you brought up Syria and Mali, supposedly to support your argument that mercenaries are necessary, and then you say that mercenaries have to major role to play there after all.

                  By the way, “shortcoming” in this syntactical context is just a random arrangement of letters, it is not functioning as a word. Perhaps you mean “insufficient” or “late”? If so, use one of those words.

                  • McFlock

                    I suggest you reread the FP article.

                    And try not to place too much emphasis on bracketed side notes that are moderately interesting but not pertinent to the main message. I skimmed wikipedia to refresh the main issues that I studied more in depth around ten years ago as part of my degree. Hadn’t recalled the Mitterand story from that time, so qualified it with W. But whatever.

                    Anyway, to quote the FP article (once again):

                    However, bludgeoning the other side into accepting a peace agreement runs in diametric opposition to most academic studies of conflict resolution. These studies center on consent: bringing warring sides together with the implicit assumption that each wants to negotiate an end to the war. To a large degree, the international community has responded to civil wars in this manner, especially those of limited strategic interest. Ceasefires act as holding positions; mediation seeks to bring combatants to an agreement. Peacekeepers, acting under mandates to be evenhanded and to use minimal force, are deployed to support this process.

                    The flaw in this approach is that according to recent empirical studies, outright victories, rather than negotiated peace settlements, have ended the greater part of the twentieth century’s internal conflicts. Combatants in Angola, Bosnia, and Sierra Leone consistently resisted a negotiated, consent-based settlement. There appeared to be little chance of a breakthrough until more coercive measures were applied. So why has the international community continued to persist with negotiated settlements and even-handedness in cases where one side was clearly at fault? The reason, for the most part, is self-interest. Such an approach avoids direct intervention and the subsequent political risks.

                    He then goes on to look at the flipside of that notion.

                    And yeah, I think that the longer a war goes on, the worse it is for the population.

                    But anyway, for Syria I suggested a role for specifically military assistance. For Mali I suggested alternative roles that might be required (aid security, keep an eye on the French). In response to your assumption that my position is that every situation that lacks international consensus needs mercenaries.

                    Kindly prove that “seeking international consensus” will always be better than hiring mercenaries. Oh, wait, you can’t. Unless you rewrite the 1990s, that is.

  24. Rhinoviper 24

    By the way, if this is so real, and such a matter of concern, and Shearer really believes that he can make a difference, and it is right and so achievable and so on and so on, they where is it in Labour’s policy?

    • McFlock 24.1

      Because maybe the situation’s changed from the time, or maybe it’s largely already happening, or maybe they found other workarounds that you guys haven’t thought of, or maybe a 6 page article from 15 years ago just ain’t as much of a priority for him as it is for you, given that he’s got a bit of a job to do at the moment.

      • Rhinoviper 24.1.1

        Maybe, if, perhaps… oh, what the hell it was a long time ago… facts, you know, they change…

        he’s got a bit of a job to do at the moment.

        Ooohhh yes, he has indeed.

        So it’s all irrelevant then? Glad to hear that. Spiffing.

        • McFlock 24.1.1.1

          Maybe you’re beating up the thing more than it’s worth.
          Maybe it’s not the smoking gun that proves Shearer is Roger Douglas and Milton Freidman’s love child.
          Maybe it’s just an idea that was put forward for consideration after a spectacularly massive international community fail.

          So many maybes in life…

          • Rhinoviper 24.1.1.1.1

            Maybe you’re beating up the thing more than it’s worth.

            Ah, so it never really mattered to you. So glad to hear that. Was it all a “social experiment”, like Muzza’s – i.e., trolling?

            Maybe it’s just an idea that was put forward for consideration after a spectacularly massive international community fail.

            And maybe it is a pernicious idea that deserves to be exposed as such.

            Maybe it’s not the smoking gun that proves Shearer is Roger Douglas and Milton Freidman’s love child.

            Now where did I say that? Or is that yet another one of your misrepresentations?

            Perhaps it’s just as real as my supposed support for genocide?

            So many maybes in life…

            Now that would be a sign that you might just be finally growing up if it weren’t most likely to be sarcastic.

            • McFlock 24.1.1.1.1.1

              Your shrill overblowing of the article matters to me. The article itself? Interesting.

              Somehow I think Shearer is more likely to be reacting to a genocide rather than throwing out random ideas while being oblivious to their pernicious nature

              Given that several commentators have used the FP article to justify calling Shearer a neoliberal (or worse, in your case. Reread some of your own comments ), I think that the love-child comment was perfectly valid.

              For someone who thinks life, military interventions and geopolitics are so uncertain, you seem to be pretty convinced of your own infallibility. Maybe the UN hiring mercenaries is a good idea that would lessen the harm caused by wars and genocidal nutbars. You certainly haven’t made an opposing case.

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    No Right Turn | 30-10
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    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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