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If these trends continue

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 pm, January 18th, 2013 - 173 comments
Categories: greens, labour, national, polls - Tags:

Key’s government is falling apart, yet one fact remains stubbornly true: walk down the street and nearly 1 in every 2 people you see supports National, while less than 1 in 3 supports Labour (and the 1 in 8 who support the Greens don’t quite make up the difference). When tonight’s Roy Morgan came out I put down my whisky and pulled by my Roy Morgan excel doc. It’s some grim reading.

Labour, at 31%, is right where it has averaged for the entire term. Indeed, it’s right where it averaged for the same period of the last term under Goff (and we all remember that ended in tears). There has been no post-conference bounce: the polls for the three months prior and the two months since average both average 32%. With margin of error, it’s just been more or less flat for years apart from that disaster of a campaign in 2011. Popular policies like KiwiBuild and food in schools just aren’t enough to bring over the voters, Labour is missing something else that they want.

The Greens have sunk back a little in the last three months, averaging 12% compared to an average of 13% in the previous 3 months. Again, basically flat with margin of error. But, combined with Labour over the same period, it’s down.

National’s up to 45% in the past 3 months vs 44.5% the prior 3. Put National vs Labour+Green and what I’m worried about becomes more clear: National averaged a 1.5% lead in the past 3 months, whereas the Lab+Green coalition had a 0.2% lead in the previous 3 months. It could all be statistical noise but what’s clear is that the Left hasn’t been advancing in recent months despite everything that’s happened.

In the longer term (and I know a simple linear regression is inelegant but meh) it’s clear that National’s losses are going to the Greens and New Zealand First:

roy morgan trends graph 2

Not to beat a tired old drum, but Labour’s got to step up. It’s Labour’s ex voters that are in the non-vote or National camps. It’s just got to win them back.

Of course, the gap could be overcome if the Greens increase their vote, too. But I think there’s a legitimacy issue too. The public won’t mind if the largest party doesn’t lead the government if the second largest party is only a few percent smaller… but currently National is half again as popular as Labour, it is 15% ahead. That is a legitimacy problem that, if it continues, will hurt Labour in the campaign. Labour needs to be in the late 30s at least with National in the low 40s at most for its leader to avoid a ‘coalition of losers’ tag.

Apparently, after Labour’s numbers recovered from the election drubbing, senior MPs were going around saying ‘if these trends continue, we’ll win in a landslide’. But they didn’t continue, of course. All that was happening was Labour was returning to its post-Clark norm – 31%. If the Left is going to win, Labour needs to break out of that norm, and it starts with dropping the ‘this’ll be easy, it’s my destiny’ mentality those senior MPs were exhibiting.

Now, where’s that whisky?

173 comments on “If these trends continue”

  1. handle 1

    It is only a “legitimacy problem” for people who have not adjusted to MMP.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    I do wish people would stop acting as if Labour is the only left party available.

    • muzza 2.1

      Have to agree with you B – What is it that keeps people so deperate, that they see Labour as the left option which will negate the right….With all the assistance that Labour have given the current govt, it should be clear that the LP are *part of the programme* for the right.

      Hard for people to accept that what they are invested in, is bunk, but to those people I say..

      I’m sure your kids, or young relatives will be thanking you for your inability to question your own beliefs which are wrecking any chance of a future for them! /sarc

    • xtasy 2.2

      The “only” left party, is it really a “left party” after all, I dare to ask?

  3. xtasy 3

    Well, to be very honest, I am NOT surprised at all.

    Have you watched the television news lately (any channel), have you looked up the still staple diet for most “mainstream media” news-papers, have you looked up the APN and Fairfax online services for “news” and “discussion”? Have you listened to radio recently? Even National Radio has “changed” a bit over the last year or so, I must say.

    So with current affairs programs “on holiday”, closed for good (’60 minutes’), infotainment, dumbing down and trivial programs like border control, cops chasing naughty young (often “brown”) drivers, much about crime, crime, crime (I can’t sleep at night, as the news tell me about half of NZ must be crims), and the never ending weather and celeb BS, NOBODY gets informed much.

    People are on holidays, some just back at work, and only few are interested enough in politics to have discussed serious stuff during the Christmas – New Year time off.

    So nothing would have given reason to change anything in the awareness and mood of the bulk of the populace. Hence these numbers.

    And Shearer, by the way, he was hardly on the news after the much hailed conference speech on housing, and his “dishing out” to Cunliffe. Little Labour opposition as of recent, I note.

    So, a whiskey, or what else may calm the nerves, that is the best we can do right now.

    • infused 3.1

      Again, treating the public as being stupid. Because the media can’t ‘inform’ them. Most people are very informed without the help of the media.

      • xtasy 3.1.1

        You are “infused” with information about heaps of ignorant drivel, I suspect, going by past posts I read.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Gosh darn it I just wrote this in Open Mic:

    Today, Labour =31.5%.
    2 months ago November 2012, Labour = 31.5% (+/- 0.5%)
    7 months ago June 2012, Labour = 31.5% (+/- 0.5%)
    12 months ago Feb 2012, Labour = 31.5% (+/- 0.5%)
    19 months ago July 2011, Labour = 31.5% (+/- 0.5%)
    22 months ago April 2011, Labour = 31.5% (+/- 0.5%)

    There’s definitely consistency here for Labour, not so sure that it’s an upward trending one though.

  5. xtasy 5

    MAYBE it is time for the frustrated, angry and staunch Labour supporters from the base to organise a March on Parliament, right to the doorstep of Bowen House, or where it is, where the MPs have their offices. Put up a mass of supporters there, challenge the Labour MPs, hold them accountable, and demand a Leadership Vote in February, not just for caucus.

    Send a reminder note, or better a chill down their spine.

    “We are the people”, or something like that.

    It was dumb, dumber, the dumbest to send Cunliffe to the backbench and strip him off his spokesperson role like it happened. This is now showing, the lack of economic alternative policies and “leadership” in Labour.

    As much as I may respect Russel Norman, I feel he would not be best placed in the finance or economic role. Ok he has a lot of economic knowledge and expertise in a way, but no, that is where Labour must show profile, yet I see far, far too little of it, certainly now that Cunliffe is not on the front-bench.

    Dumbest act done ever by Shearer, even worse show than mubling and stumbling in interviews, that was the demotion of Cunliffe.

    Many here know what is needed. Take action, that is, if you can!?

    • Raymond a Francis 5.1

      I understand where you are coming from but I am sure it would be a first for the public to rise up in arms and march against the Parliamentary Opposition

      Are you sure they are the REAL problem?
      That is if you are really hungry, poor or marginalised or on the butt end of National’s policies

      Answers on a small piece of paper please

      • defo 5.1.1

        Latest Roy Morgan Poll proves David Shearer hasn’t held or even built on the pre-Xmas poll increase. The clincher is that National still has big lead and the Labour Party is not eating into it, even with the growing unemployment, ongoing erosion of welfare and the ongoing blunders from the Government. There is obviously a soft centre in the vote because it shifted before Xmas – so people are not all happy with the Government – but the sad thing is, right now, they obviously think there is nowhere else to go?

        Where is the vision, the strategy and the leadership?

        Labour used to be the party of ideas. But what real game changers has it come up with in the 12 – 18 months. Tweaking around the policy edges is not going to do it.

        And Labour is not going be able to provide a strong alternative with the huge divide that exists between the Labour grassroots and the political wing.

        David Shearer and his Wellington strategists (Robertson, Mallard and King) are failing us all. Those strategists are not in touch with the Labour membership, or communities outside of Wellington and they have no idea what it is like in the rest of the country, let alone living in Auckland on an average wage.

        Shearer needs to take some bold steps (an not just a carefully crafted speech and a couple of media soundbites) to get this ship back on track. And most of all he needs to answer the question, what does Labour stand for? I, for one, am keen to know.

      • xtasy 5.1.2

        Raymond –

        It could much more smartly be turned into a March against the Establishment, meaning to hit not just the caucus carcas hangers on, but at the same time the government, which in some ways, I fear is preparing for a kind of “philosophical grand coalition”, which may bring Shearers and Keys together, both facing scenarios of being unable to “govern” without each other.

        HORROR SCENARIO, but very real under MMP, and it was so in Germany and a few other European countries not so long ago.

        The perfect dictatorship of some constructed majority, to keep the establishment in place.

    • Peter 5.2

      That isn’t a silly idea actually. The idea would be to march on the day of the leadership vote in Caucus (assuming that there is a challenger), because, hypothetically, that may force any waiverers to be aware of the real desire for change from the rank and file.

      Similarly, it could backfire. I don’t know enough of palace politics to be able to make a statement either way. Labourology, similar to Kremlinology. Look it up!

  6. Blue 6

    We’ve all been waiting a long time for Labour to wake the fuck up and realise that things need to change if they ever want another term in Government.

    But every time we say it we get accused of being negative and self-destructive and ‘helping National’, as if having some big campfire singalong led by David Shearer on his guitar is going to make everything okay with the power of positive thought.

    The first step is acknowledging that there is a problem. Since Helen Clark’s departure, Labour has been rudderless. No one knows what the fuck it is doing, not even the MPs themselves.

    Shearer doesn’t know. He waffles on about ‘green and clever’ and then comes out with a middle class housing policy and some beneficiary bashing.

    National has a brand. They try to personify middle class New Zealand. The Greens have a brand. They are NZ’s social and environmental conscience. And NZ First has a brand – old school populist conservative. Labour just flails around not knowing who they are this week.

  7. Pete 7

    Labour needs to find its brand. And by brand, I don’t mean a party slogan. I mean the subconscious narrative it places in the minds of voters. National, like its Conservative counterparts in the UK has continued building a strivers versus shirkers narrative. National portrays itself as the champion of the striver and the enemy of the shirker and its supporters mentally put themselves into the appropriate group. That’s the narrative that David Shearer was inartfully buying into with the beneficiary of the roof debacle and it’s something that National has cornered, which is why it sounded like me-tooism and was ineffectual.

    Labour’s needs to build a brand along the lines of “we’re all in this together”. The idea that a community working together can achieve more than individuals competing against one another. For example, housing is a major policy plank for Labour. Perhaps the caucus could all volunteer to build a house for Habitat for Humanity. Have Shearer give some announcement in his carpenter’s belt, looking like any other guy doing DIY and it would be a great photo-op. The outrage over state assets needs to be portrayed as “these are things we have built together, to benefit us all, not just a privileged few”

    Community, sharing, Kiwi hospitality, making do, getting things done, helping out, slice of heaven, Jack’s as good as his master, egalitarianism – these are all dormant in the New Zealand DNA, Labour just needs to appeal to those values.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Labour needs to find its brand.

      I’m not all that keen on this kind of marketing language. From my way of thinking, Labour needs to re-discover it’s values, principles and courage. At that point, its brand will become very clear and substantial once again.

      • karol 7.1.1

        Exactly what I was thinking, CV, as I read Blue & Pete’s comments. “Neoliberal” PR speak. It’s the marketing way of deciding what they think the public want, then trying to sell it. One-way, controlling, telling the voters what they want.

        The Labour Caucus needs to re-engage, not only with its founding principles, but its base. It needs to listen more to its membership, in a genuine dialogue, and give up the attitude of the Caucus acting like managers, controlling their membership.

        • Sanctuary 7.1.1.1

          What rubbish. Pete makes a perfectly valid and conmmonsense observation of the timidity of the Labour message. I think some of the regulars here are increasingly legends in their own minds. With increasingly stupid and radical rhetoric they’ve managed to trap themselves in some sort of alternative reality of left-radical reaction every bit as stupid as the purist Galtian rantings of the right.

          Sure, the left must be radical at all times in its goals. But it is an arrogant and intolerant pipe dream that somehow a radicalised message of permanent revolution will mobilise enough apathetic voters to win power. And anyway, what if you do? What next? Socialise the means of production? Break up the Corporate farms? Introduce the crowds in Aotea Square to Madame Guillotine as we show the world how the revolution deals with the banksters? All fine ideas at 2am for beret wearing radicals after to much red wine and Gitanes, but hardly the stuff of reality.

          Responsible democracy, whether Karol and co like it or not, involves appealing to people who are not interested politics, but are interested in their standard of living. The ridiculous rejection out of hand on this site of Labour’s housing plan as insufficiently socialist, when it was clearly a hit with voters, showed to me how many of the authors of the posts on this site have painted themselves into a rhetorical corner with their constant ramping up of their anti-Shearer hysteria. What people want to know is what a party stands for, in sixty secons or less. Deliberately eschewing branding out of intellectual snobbery is simply classic bourgeois socialism in action. There is a difference between having a brand and being nothing but a brand, something that, say Josie Pagani doesn’t understand – and that lack of comprehension is something she clearly shares with Karol. An an easily digestible message about what you are and what you want to do trumps fantasies of enthusiastic cadres waving their little red books and leading the oppressed to the polls.

          Sure, all Labour policies must conform with the tenets and goals of social democracy, and to that end the neo-liberal fifth column in parliament needs to be rooted out. But the purist rhetoric spouted by so many authors here is to often just so much petulant and childish nonsense.

          • Pete 7.1.1.1.1

            I wouldn’t go as far as that in terms of the criticism of other commenters here. I like that ideas are put to the test. I like that we can have robust debate. I don’t play devil’s advocate but I really wouldn’t want this place to end up an echo chamber sitting at the end of an ideological cul-de-sac. I concede that maybe “brand” isn’t the right word, but I still believe that the public needs to know in their gut what the party stands for. The choice of what party you support can be as much an emotional decision as a rational one. So to capture those people who vote with their gut, they have to be instinctively aware of what Labour wants to achieve.

            In the past month or two I have been growing more and more aware of the political disengagement the public has at large. I’ve made occasional comments about web search trends for particular politicians, news stories and general topics in NZ, I guess it’s been an effort to determine the general mood of the nation. I’ve ordered books like Get Out The Vote by Donald P Green and The Victory Lab by Sasha Issenberg to see what successful campaigns look like. I think I’ve moved on from being angry about the Shearer-Cunliffe ructions (although if the leadership does go to a vote in Feb I’d vote for Cunliffe in a heartbeat) to trying to figure out what I can do to help a left coalition to victory next year. I’m moving to a view that while we should always strive for better, the perfect is the enemy of the good and on the whole, Labour is still a force for good in NZ politics, although it certainly has room for improvement.

            • geoff 7.1.1.1.1.1

              …to trying to figure out what I can do to help a left coalition to victory next year.

              Vote Green?

              • Populuxe1

                I’d rather not vote for Quantitative Easing and Zimbabwe-esque hyperinflation, thanks.

                • handle

                  Those Nat talking points sound so fresh. Well done.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Um, no – the Greens have put forward QE as a policy strategy and quite impartially history and economics both show what happens when you print more money than you can actually back. Not so much a Nat talking point as “read a few books, arsehole”.

                • geoff

                  I’m not really into the Green’s QE program either but I think you are over simplifying the situation.

                  • handle

                    The proposal by the Greens carefully avoided problems with widespread QE overseas. It was tightly focused on the Christchurch rebuild just like the levy they proposed earlier. The prompt and vicious response it has provoked suggests that they hit a nerve.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Sanctuary, have you tried to rent accommodation in Auckland recently? That and the poor employment possibilities have created an urgent crisis. That’s what needs to be addressed first, not the children of middle class families wanting to buy their first property?

              Agreed, Pete, there’s a need to go deeper than some superficial branding, and get some genuine commitment to Labour movement/left wing values.

            • Fran 7.1.1.1.1.3

              I have recently been told by a group of 20 somethings that they have never voted and probably will not vote in 2014. Why? I asked plaintively. The answer was really shocking. They feel completely disconnected from the political process, some had signed petitions in the past, some had even protested for things they care about and none have ever felt listened to. One had actually visited their local MP over an issue and had felt more marginalised after the visit and certainly had not been helped (although to be fair it was the MP’s secretary they spoke to). Mostly these non-voters said that it doesn’t matter which way they voted because they couldn’t see anything would change if the government changed because the two main parties sound the same. The government would do what it wants no matter what the country thinks so why bother.

              These are not people who don’t care – they are people who have given up. We have created a generation who feel disenfranchised in their own country and now we need to find a way to fix that. An exciting vision clearly articulated is only a good beginning, there is a lot of work to be done and I simply do not see David Shearer doing it. He is not exciting the party faithful so I fail to see how he will excite anyone else.

          • fatty 7.1.1.1.2

            The ridiculous rejection out of hand on this site of Labour’s housing plan as insufficiently socialist, when it was clearly a hit with voters, showed to me how many of the authors of the posts on this site have painted themselves into a rhetorical corner with their constant ramping up of their anti-Shearer hysteria.

            Do you mean these voters?

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Read the Chris Trotter article about how Key has de-politicised politics.

              That’s the problem here; any attempt by Labour to use the normal political process to dig themselves out of this hole is turned against them by Key with some a smile, lying spin a dismissive shrug.

              That great big wodge of kiwi apolitical kiwi voters quite like a PM who doesn’t confront them with anything too political.

              • fatty

                Read the Chris Trotter article about how Key has de-politicised politics.

                Yeah, its a shame Shearer’s image was carefully crafted to mimic Key’s non-political image. They spent the first 6 months sending Shearer on a guitar strumming tour and purposely avoided politics.
                Labour gave the NZ public a second similar option…Mr nice guy 1 or Mr nice guy 2.
                Now Shearer is trying to portray himself as a hands on leader…not only is it too late, but the only leadership qualities that have surfaced have really been the result of an inability to lead his party.
                Yes, Key’s de-politicisation is difficult to overcome, but it is impossible to overcome with Shearer’s muddled image, who was first mr nice guy, and now is supposed to be a leader.

                • xtasy

                  Shearer lollies, Shearer chewing gum, Shearer bread, Shearer whiskey, Shearer condoms, maybe that is the way to go, branding and marketing, aye???

                  Get off it, insanity is all around me, I am close to despairing.

                  • fatty

                    Sadly, its part of what wins elections. There’s not a lot wrong with Shearer’s policies (for attracting middle NZ)…his problem is his image and that PR aspect has been a disaster from the start, and continues to be a disaster.
                    Its not fixable anytime soon, will take probably 2-3 years to reverse it, and only then, if Key screws up more than he did last year (probably not possible)

                  • GeoffC

                    You don’t understand branding drill down a bit.

          • geoff 7.1.1.1.3

            1) You are correct in thinking that easily digestable messages are important but to suggest that not using concepts such as ‘branding’ is naive and doomed to fail, is wrong in my opinion. The whole purpose of a brand is that it is the end goal, not a means to an end. The theory is that you establish a strong brand and everything else takes its cue from that central dogma. That is not how the Labour Party should operate. The way it presents itself should only be a means to an end AND the way it presents itself should reflect the way it is in actuality, not just some fiction that might convert a few voters for the next election.

            2) I don’t know about outright rejection but pointing out the real and actual flaws in Labour’s housing plan is not ridiculous. It’s completely valid to say that even a ‘cheap’ $300,000 house is completely out of many people’s reach.

            3) Some of the suggestions in your 2nd paragraph are starting to appear in the mainstream in the UK, Europe and the USA because it has become obvious that when you take the rightwing agenda to its extremes then you end up with something utterly dire. Things aren’t quite as bad here (yet) but it is worth realising that on a global level what you are labelling as arrogant and intolerant radical pipe dreams are gaining traction in places where unemployment figures are in the double digits.

            • Tiresias 7.1.1.1.3.1

              ” It’s completely valid to say that even a ‘cheap’ $300,000 house is completely out of many people’s reach. ” – geoff

              It’s equally valid to ask why buying a house should be the only socially acceptable option.

              • karol

                Indeed. And tonight on TV3 News, there was an item about how much rent people are paying for 3 bed roomed places in Auckland – long queues for the houses available, and paying about $100.00 or more above rents for similar properties elsewhere in NZ. And that’s the higher end of the market.

                It is an urgent crisis in lack of affordable rental accommodation. And this is where a lot of our jobs are right now.

                • handle

                  Not the top of the market. The TV3 story was about median rent for a 3 bedroom home being $150 more in Auckland than the national median. It was illustrated with couples looking at apartments for some reason.

                  • karol

                    I didn’t say “top”, I said “higher” end – than what many low income people can afford. It’s here:

                    It comes as latest figures show people are paying about 30 percent more to rent a three-bedroom home in Auckland than in the rest of New Zealand….

                    “Students are definitely coming up a lot earlier,” says Lesley Dunsmuir of Clear Realty. “Last year they really found it tough to find accommodation. So phones have been ringing since before Christmas.”

                    Adding to the rental shortage, more people are buying apartments to live in, so there’s less rental stock.

                    “January 4 was one of those exceptional days where we had 712 people come through our rental shop on Queen St, which is unbelievable,” says Impression Real Estate general manager Aaron Tunstall. “Our staff were absolutely frantic.”

                    That’s pushed the average rent for a three-bedroom home in Auckland to $500 a week, $150 more than the national average.

                    Agents say the best thing prospective tenants can do is treat every property viewing like they would a job interview – to stand out in a crowded market.

                    • handle

                      Got it. So you mean higher than the bottom, rather than higher than the average or say in the top quarter.

                    • karol

                      handle, I was thinking about the people most strongly impacted by the shortage of affordable rental accommodation – those on low incomes.

                      Just another example when the MSM, especially TV news, avoids mentioning those on low incomes, especially beneficiaries, who are struggling to survive.

                      Meanwhile, like John Laws, more often they refer to those on low incomes as the ones who have “failed” and are behaving in criminal, immoral and/or irresponsible way.

              • geoff

                Absolutely. The short answer of course is that you buy a house so you won’t have to continue paying criminally high rent.

                • karol

                  Yes, that’s what people say, geoff. But that just keeps the cycle going with home ownership held up us the thing everyone should aim for.

                  However, an alternative is to have regulations that ensure renters get a fair deal, plus enough rental properties available, including state house rentals.

                  • geoff

                    Yes I agree with you, I was just describing one of the things that commonly motivates people to buy their first house. Renting would be a much more appealing option if it wasn’t such a complete rip off.

        • Foreign Waka 7.1.1.2

          Hi Karol
          I think the core here is that ordinary folks look for underlying messages that gives them the straw to hold on a little longer. National works with a message of envy – the poor take your hard earned dollars away etc., the greens use fear – if we don’t react, doom gloom etc., the Maori party uses existentialism – it’s our heritage, we need to go back to our roots etc., NZ First uses “common sense” approach – if its black you need some white etc…and Labour, well anyone has an answer here?

          • karol 7.1.1.2.1

            I agree it’s the basic values people need to be able to identify. I don’t agree that the Green Party message is fear. They have strong values of cooperation, caring for each other and the environment.

            • Foreign Waka 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I am a green voter, so it is not necessary my point of view regarding fear. But as an overarching perception one could categorize it like that.
              All parties seem to be concentrating on a particular belief or conviction, this is completely lacking with labour. My impression is that the party identifies with a past that is long gone and thus is incapable of dealing with the present, let alone the future.

        • GeoffC 7.1.1.3

          Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers or in context political entity.

          Brand identity has been around far far longer than the present neo lib economic system.
          What does red in our context mean or represent. A globalised image or brand symbol that has complete penetration across all nations.

          Red is the social struggle of people signified by red of blood.
          Brand labour IMHO should transcend into more of a people’s movement. Not just unionised workers or other polarised group but by capturing and portraying the right image brand message name symbol we present the trueness of our beloved labour party…a party that is for all people by the common people.
          If you use old terminology that has little resonance, understanding or able to be spun by the Tories then you lose ground and penetration.
          This is a war and labour is in encircled ground and we need to fight, to out manoeuvre, to out organise and focus effort or in he long term the party will simple be consigned to history

      • Olwyn 7.1.2

        Exactly

        • Olwyn 7.1.2.1

          That “exactly” was in agreement with Colonial Viper, several comments back; that Labour needs to rediscover its values, its principles and its courage. It has come to look like agreement with whoever the last commentator on the following thread says. :-)

    • LynWiper 7.2

      Actually I think Pete has made some very valid points, especially if identifying and then focusing on a ‘brand’ (subconscious narrative) will help people and caucus reconnect with the basic principles of labour,

      “Community, sharing, Kiwi hospitality, making do, getting things done, helping out, slice of heaven, Jack’s as good as his master, egalitarianism – these are all dormant in the New Zealand DNA, Labour just needs to appeal to those values.”

      If this helps Labour “rediscover its values, principles and courage” so be it. Whatever works! Re-engaging with its base would surely follow.

      • karol 7.2.1

        That’s a top-down approach from a Caucus leadership that has shown itself to be out of touch with and wanting to control, the flax roots. There needs to be revitalisation from below, otherwise there will be no re-engagement with the base.

        • LynWiper 7.2.1.1

          A valid point Karol. Perhaps Labour promoting itself as the above would indicate that Labour & caucus are in touch with its base? Acknowledging that currently they are not.

        • handle 7.2.1.2

          The party, not the caucus, should own the ‘brand’. It is just another way of saying ‘what Labour stands for’. Pete makes a better case than any official spokesperson I have heard.

          • hush minx 7.2.1.2.1

            I hesitate to write a view that’s alternative to voices I very much respect (Karol) but actually there’s something of a half way house. The term brand is useful shorthand on the professional political marketing world (and Labour does need to foot it there), but the brand must be a reflection and built on what Labour really is, not some made up, convenient, construct. Branding needs to reinforce the reality. Without something meaningful and real sitting behind it, branding doesn’t work in the medium long term.

            That’s not to say it’s easy. But Labour leadership are such a long way off the mark that it’s just tragic. Saying words like green and clever doesn’t hold if you are near silent on environment and sustainability issues. Likewise on social justice. Walk the walk, don’t just talk. Hence, illustrate you are a leader, unify the party, call for your mps to support a wider leadership vote. That would be a good start.

            • geoff 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Language is important. Dont use the word brand because inherent to the concept is the creation of a fiction which is used by an organisation as its core principle. A brand is the organisation, everthing takes its cue from it, it is not a means to an end, it is the end (apart from profit of course). The central premise of branding is deception. Is deception what you want to associate with your favoured political party?

          • LynWiper 7.2.1.2.2

            +1h & hm

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.3

      Labour needs to find its brand. Perhaps that could be put – Labour needs to find its mission, enunciate it, and commit to it. Then we will know what this chameleon looks like when it actually transmogrifies and know clearly what to expect.

    • fatty 7.4

      Community, sharing, Kiwi hospitality, making do, getting things done, helping out, slice of heaven, Jack’s as good as his master, egalitarianism – these are all dormant in the New Zealand DNA, Labour just needs to appeal to those values.

      I see this kind of rhetoric all the time, but I am hesitant to believe its true.
      Looking back over the past 100 years, these ideals only existed during the 50s and 60s, outside of those two decades they have not really existed…and to be fair, what kind of community & egalitarianism are we talking about?..considering that the 50s and 60s required racism and sexism to create equality.

      I honestly wish these ideals were dormant in Kiwi DNA, but when I look around, or look back at history, individualism appears a far more prevalent trait. Whenever community, egalitarianism etc have become visible traits, they have emerged as a response, not as something naturally occurring. The 50s and 60s were a reaction to the Great Depression and WW11…those so called golden years were a reaction, and community, egalitarianism etc depended on the colour of your skin, and what was dangling between your legs.
      The idea that Jack’s as good as his master also appears to be mythical to me. The ICA&A Act 1894 really only kicked in at 1936 with compulsory unions, 40 hour week…this form of collectivism lasted until the 1980s…so one could argue that our collectivism is built on sexism and racism…once we started treating women, Maori and other ethnic groups as humans, then our collectivism was exposed as a sham.
      I see individualism, libertarianism, and hard work as the traits that are embedded in our DNA, and have done so since the Europeans arrived. Any deviation from these ideals have been as a response to hardship and suffering. Perhaps more disturbing is how individualism, libertarianism, and hard work are the values/ideals required and fostered by neoliberalism.

      • Populuxe1 7.4.1

        A really important observation, fatty.
        I would, however have preferred an expansion of that “egalitarianism” to embrace all New Zealand citizens regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation (and I think I saw hints of that in the early days of the Fourth Labour Government before Jekyll turned into the Hyde of the First Act Government) rather than the hideous glib neoliberalism of today.

      • xtasy 7.4.2

        “I honestly wish these ideals were dormant in Kiwi DNA, but when I look around, or look back at history, individualism appears a far more prevalent trait. Whenever community, egalitarianism etc have become visible traits, they have emerged as a response, not as something naturally occurring.”

        Very correct observation. I am sorry, but you are right on this. Much warm hearted propaganda may feel warm at times, but it does not necessarily portray the true facts hidden in history.

        That though should not stop us to “aspire” to something better, as even Key likes to “aspire”.

  8. McFlock 8

    Doing a straight line from November 08?
    So not content with damning shearer with Goff’s polling, he needs to answer for Clark’s election strategy, too?

    I get the worry that maybe <34% is bland labour’s natural level and all they can expect to achieve without a dramatic change. But IF Goff was actually taking labour to 25%, how would we distinguish a solid leader (who can lead Labour to, for sake of argument, 40% or more in the election) from that assumption?
    Key was the clean messiah. Shearer ain’t that, fair enough. But there are very few dots above your “trend” line in the last half of 2011 or first half of 2012. Was there some sort of change in labour around that time?

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      I get the worry that maybe <34% is bland labour’s

      “Bland Labour”? Nice. Is that what we are labelling centrist, third way, suitable for replacing a vote for National, Labour?

    • KhandallaViper 8.2

      I encourage positive attitudes, McFlock. Without them I would not get out of bed in the morning.

      However for four years I have been looking for signs that indicate we have connected with the public: and the signs have not been there.
      Like you I see the occasional swallow and hope that summer is around the corner. But then some twit in the Labour strategy blasts the swallow out of the sky.

      I am not waiting any more. I’m going to tell any MP I can contact that we are going from boring Springs into dull and cold Autumns and Winters year-in-year-out and that I’ve lost faith in Summer ever arriving againg while the current strategy team are in place.
      The time for change has come.

  9. chris73 9

    It seems to me there’s dissatisfaction amongst left-wing voters with Labours performances and policies just as there’s major dissatisfaction amongst right-wing supporters with National.

    Given the above is there now a time for the emergence of a true third party alternative that could legitimately be a option in elections?

  10. BM 10

    National + NZ First+Conservatives to make up the next government.

    Sorry chaps maybe 2017 will be your turn, that’s if Labour hasn’t disintegrated by then.

    • Dr Terry 10.1

      Do you think Labour might have already disintegrated? The party has not been in it now for years.

      • BM 10.1.1

        On the verge of, after examining the entrails I do see Labour splitting again in the near future.
        All the die hard socialists will move on to form their own version of labour and much to their chagrin old labour party support will actually increase.

    • Populuxe1 10.2

      Doh! NZ First hates the Conservatives (especially since they started stealing NZF’s policies). National hates the Conservatives who in turn hate National (John Key being too gay for Hellensville etc). NZ First and National hate each other with a vengeance, and NZF knows it would lose its voters if it hooked up with the Nats again – so I think you’re talking out your arse. This also explains all the National rhetoric around having enough seats to govern alone.

  11. Mike 11

    I’m not sure how accurate these polls are. The trouble is that when the results are published it’s a good PR job for National as it sits in peoples minds whether they know it or not.

    For example, the poll is conducted by telephone. I have no stats on this, but my gut feeling is that Far more National party supporters have landline phones than the left parties. Lower income voters are more likely to be left voters and are less likely to have a landline due to the cost. Most of the people I know who are on low incomes simply can’t afford landlines.

    Just an example of things that might make these polls less than accurate.

    • LynWiper 11.1

      I feel the same Mike. The poll does not connect with what I am observing. For the first time ever my staunch Nat brother told me at Xmas he will not be voting National ( Christchurch based and final straw the undemocratic ECan issues ) and another close farmer friend of my 85yr old father and lifelong Nat voter also declared openly he would not be voting Nat (issues re selling farmland off shore). Just two examples in the last few weeks. These are die hard Nat supporters. Labour has not captured their vote yet!

      • karol 11.1.1

        Labour needs to re-engage with left wingers who have stopped voting, not become a defacto National Party for it’s disaffected voters.

        • KhandallaViper 11.1.1.1

          +100

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          Winston is going to do pretty well out of those naturally conservative but disaffected Nat voters.

          • LynWiper 11.1.1.2.1

            My brother said he won’t be voting at all. Perhaps we will see a reversal of the last election and the Nats will stay home! And of course the Labour voters will re-engage and turn up. I live in hope.

          • Populuxe1 11.1.1.2.2

            Winston is going to do pretty well out of those naturally conservative but disaffected Labour voters, too.

        • GeoffC 11.1.1.3

          National core vote is around the high twenties go ask bill English.
          Labour must in. Along term manner widen it voting identifiers, it supporters it activist base but if you examine the matrix voter model it’s highly complex. People vote for a wide range of reasons.
          The left right is devolving into another voter pattern. Blue collar workers vote national. Unemployed youth don’t vote generalisational points.
          Therefore at the individual electorate level the LEC must organise, use modern methods, plan and then put words into actions.
          Identify target use messages linkages keyed to the local electorate that will get traction with voters.
          Use mixed comms channels and mixed media.
          Use statistical modelling to identify target demographics to concentrate effort and modified message.
          Capture actors agents or organisation within the electorate that have a commonality with the message brand vision.
          Mobalise both the non voter and the now core voter.
          Follow a centrical model to gather support. From the centre out to the harder penetration voter blocks.
          Convert supporter into activists.
          Object is to expand the core identifying blocks, to lock in support.
          Object is then to focus on the swing, the switch voter with weak identifiers but can be strengthened.
          In purely modern terms we use the modern societal construct it’s terms methods and adapt with on objective…

    • Olwyn 11.2

      People have been saying this since before the 2008 election. However, in 2011, Labour actually did worse than the polls predicted. Labour’s problem is with the many previous voters who have lost confidence in them, not with the polling methods.

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        yes and no.
        Roy Morgan’s okay, and the only one you can get a reasonable trend off.
        Poll of polls is pretty good.

        The rest, individually, are bunk.

        But I agree that letting anecdata trump real data is a fool’s hope.

        That having been said, I don’t think that the “trends” are as bad as all that yet.

    • David H 11.3

      Well I have a landline and I was once rang about some political thing or other but when they found out I was a labour supporter they bailed quick and I have never been contacted again so maybe there’s also a list that says Labour / Nat household.

  12. Descendant Of Sssmith 12

    I still wonder how skewed the polls are because they are phone polls. None of my voting age kids have landlines and apart from a few who still live at home nor do their friends.

    None of my kids will vote national – they’re likely to be a combination of green and labour – though talking to them heading more to green.

    It seems to me that more and more these polls would be reflecting an aging, older population.

    Do they adjust the margin of error as landline use falls?

    That being said Labour still needs to get it’s shit together.

    It’s year of the policy – day nineteen still waiting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3LdMAqUMnM

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I still wonder how skewed the polls are because they are phone polls. None of my voting age kids have landlines and apart from a few who still live at home nor do their friends.

      Yes they will be quite skewed towards the NAT, but not that much more so than 6 or 12 months ago.

    • Sanctuary 12.2

      I think the Dimpost has worked out a consistent pro-National bias of around 1.5-2% in the polls, which given the closeness of the Labour/Green vs. National blocs is psychologically very important to the “less likely to vote” section of the electorate.

      Just as an aside, falling turnout amongst minorities and the poor is encouraged by the right because the conservative right vote is also a white middle class one. We don’t want to end up like the United States, with a small turnout of aging, angry and hardline whites in gerrymandered districts means Tea Party loons end up dominating congress.

    • xtasy 12.3

      The BIGGEST WORRY is:

      Will “the kids” vote at all!?

      Surely Shearer gives them too little incentive to vote for his lot.

  13. dan1 13

    There is a timidity in getting policies out there. The “keeping the powder dry” mantra has been discussed at length over the last month but the reality is no-one will move back or over to Labour until some clear policies are in place. Decision makers within Labour seem scared that the policies they might like to introduce will be shot down by the neolibs. What the hell! The “privatise the profits and socialise the losses” modus operandi of the NACTS should be constantly attacked.

    The key difference between the left and the right is that the left think “we” (as a society), whereas the right say “I” ( what is in it for me).

    There was a great outpouring of potential policies a few weeks back.

    Let’s do it!

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 13.1

      I thought the discussion on housing policy was neat. Maybe here someone could pick a weekly topic for discussion e.g. defence, welfare, disabilities, taxation etc and the wider group could give their thoughts on what left parties should be thinking about.

    • LynWiper 13.2

      +100 dan1!

    • geoff 13.3

      Absolutely dan1, get the policy out there because it should be road tested. National is the party that usually needs to hide its policies because often they are dead rats that the public will have to swallow and it doesn’t want them scrutinised for too long before the election. Labour shouldn’t have this problem.

    • xtasy 13.4

      I am afraid the talk about “keeping the powder dry” may rather be a distraction, from the fact, there is NO explosive powder at all, ready to fire.

  14. Maui 14

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10860121

    “Jet Lag ruled out”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8198766/John-Keys-South-Pole-trip-put-on-ice

    So what was it ?

    I don’t think this will go away.

    Key is no longer a bright-eyed political bunny eager to throw mangled English at a camera. These days he approaches it slowly, with caution, and tries to say as little as he can get away with. He has options most of us do not have.

    His cost/benefit analysis of staying in the position must be changing. So might the positions of Collins and Joyce.

  15. BM 15

    The voter is still pretty gun shy of labour.
    It’s going to take a bit longer before people forget the Clark years and feel comfortable about voting for Labour again.

    • Olwyn 15.1

      You seem to forget, BM, that Labour won three elections under Clark, and that it took a long and expensive PR campaign to unseat her. What is more, Key won the election largely by pretending to be like her, only with less of the dreaded “political correctness.”

      • BM 15.1.1

        If you talk to people and mention Helen Clark you get either a love her or hate her answer.She is very polarizing.

        Her shadow still hangs over the Labour party, Shearer is doing his best to get rid of it but it will take time.

        2017 is when I’d say the Labour party will be on an even footing with National.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          BM the Oracle. Please read the chicken entrails and tell us more.

          • Maui 15.1.1.1.1

            Shearer needs some kind of epiphany. He and Labour cannot rely on past sympathies. They have to go out and earn peoples votes. They have to get away from the illusions of an IT connected world and get out into communities where few have computers. There are no short cuts, no smartarse tactics like Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”. Are you up for it ?

    • geoff 15.2

      The voter is still pretty gun shy of national.
      It’s going to take a bit longer before people forget the Muldoon years and feel comfortable about voting for National again.

  16. Dr Terry 16

    Maybe the time for a whiskey is past. How about Hemlock?

    • Maui 16.1

      Are you referring to the detective Herbert Hemlock ,
      the Hemlock editor , or the highly poisonous perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and the Mediterranean region as Conium maculatum ?

      None of these options is constructive. The only way is to get out into local communities, warts and all, get to know them, and get known.

      It’s not rocket science.

    • Rhinoviper 16.2

      Drano.

      Or Kool-Aid.

  17. rob 17

    We are all in this together but there are many on the right who want
    their share to be a lot bigger than everyone else
    We need to ensure we all pull our weight and all get to share opportunity
    for healthy futures in this country

  18. yep Labour is essentially flat-lining.
    and what is Mumblefuck doing? keeping his head very low until the caucus vote so he doesn’t remind everyone just how hopeless he truly is.
    the only mention i’ve heard of him has been his attendance at the investiture for Paul Holmes’ knighthood for services to middle class racism.

    • Te Reo Putake 18.1

      And yet he will be PM in less than two years. That really pisses you off, eh Sprout?

      • Olwyn 18.1.1

        Te Reo, I see a lot of cheer leading for Shearer on your part, and well as assertions that its a done deal, so get over yourselves, and so on. But I have not yet seen a cogent argument from you or anyone else as to why Shearer is the best person to be the leader of the Labour Party.

        I have seen Hooton proclaiming the “Labour has to appeal to the middle class to get votes off National,” but that is a bold assertion, not an argument. And the conception of “middle class” Hooton employs is one of narrow self-interest and prejudice. Furthermore, it does not address the number of votes Labour loses by trying to appeal to this narrow conception of the middle class.

        “Whatever,” say the supporters of this move, “if you don’t like it, vote for a party that is more to your taste.” This makes the massive assumption that the Labour caucus has no obligation to the party’s principles (handily listed by ennui in requiem a few days ago), but only to winning for the sake of winning. But even on this criterion it is failing.

        http://thestandard.org.nz/david-shearer-isnt-jesus-no-sht-sherlock/#comment-571740

        • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1.1

          Fair enough, Olwyn. However, you have never seen much cheerleading for Shearer from me, though his speech at conference was the best speech I’ve seen for a decade, so fair do’s to the man. I don’t think he is the best person to lead Labour (barely in my top 5) but the fact is he is the leader and will be PM in a couple of years. I really don’t much care at all which MP leads Labour (or the Greens), I’m actually concerned about policy, not personality.

          But the continued fixation with Shearer at TS is getting boring. The real story in this post is the blue line, which keeps falling. Labour and the Greens are doing fine. They are in the box seat already and that is before either of them go into campaign mode. OK, I’m a pretty positive person and I do always try to find a way to win whatever the critics say or whatever the odds against me. That’s my nature. Sorry if that comes across as cheerleading, but I see the damage the current government are doing to Kiwis every day and I’m determined to do my bit to bring it to an end.

          • Olwyn 18.1.1.1.1

            It is boring, I agree, but it will not go away until (a) Shearer either stands down or shows recognisable leadership and (b) People are confident that Labour really will do what it can to reverse the damage that National is doing, not just to the middle class but also to the beneficiaries and the precariously employed.

            If Eddie’s post is on the money,http://thestandard.org.nz/shearer-to-put-it-to-the-vote/ this will go a long way toward fixing things. If Shearer is endorsed as leader by the membership, he will no longer be on the defensive, his authority will be legitimised and he may well shine under these conditions. If he is not, then whoever replaces him will have the legitimacy that goes with membership endorsement, and will be on the front foot from the outset.

          • Fortran 18.1.1.1.2

            TRP

            Shearer’s speech at conference was very good – but one swallow does not make a summer.

            • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1.1.2.1

              Quite right, Fortran. But it shows he has the ability, which is encouraging.

              • geoff

                Sorry but that is irrelevant. It shows the ability to make a speech but it says nothing about handling jibes from Key on live tele during an election campaign. We’ve all seen how Shearer handles being put on the spot. Hence…..Mumblefuck.

              • xtasy

                TRP –

                Yes, the “ability” to stage show one good performance once in a year or two, that is not bloody good enough, mate.

                At present he is “hiding” again, waiting for others to prepare the ground, so he can try again, but he is not so sure, he is hesitant, insecure and really not up to it.

                His past writings for UN and for privatised fighting forces were also “edited” and prepared by others, I am afraid.

                This man is the greatest handicap for Labour, this “Shearer Man”.

          • QoT 18.1.1.1.3

            The real story in this post is the blue line, which is still over 45% despite a catalogue of massive fuckups by National.

            FIFY. If that’s your definition of the opposition “doing fine” (and nice appropriation of the actual gains made by the Greens there) then I can no longer be surprised when you wander in to make smug, baseless statements like “And yet he will be PM in less than two years. That really pisses you off, eh Sprout?”

            • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1.1.3.1

              Ha ha! Nice FPP analysis, QoT. In the politics of this century, the consistant decline shown by National is a clear pointer to the outcome of the next election, which will be won by the opposition. That’s my MMP focussed analysis of the trends shown in the chart, which is kinda central to this post.

              • QoT

                All I’m saying is that it’s reeeeeeeeeally interesting how suddenly people like TRP are totally into a Labour/Greens coalition – and using the increased *grouped* leftwing vote as evidence of Shearer’s success as a leader.

                It’d be awesome if Labour showed any inclination for such a happy-family approach to politics, wouldn’t it?

                • handle

                  Thank goodness Shane Jones faced such tough consequences for publically attacking the Greens. That said a lot.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Nothing sudden about it. I’m all about the united front. I’ve been an advocate of voting blocs since forever and Lab/Greens is the dream ticket for me. A bonus would be Mana in the mix.

                  • QoT

                    Oh good, so you’ve acknowledged that a functional, constructive Labour/Greens coalition exists chiefly in your dreams. See handle’s comment above if you really want to pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      No, I haven’t acknowleged that all. And only you really know what you’re talking about.

                    • OK TRP.

                      A Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition is in my view the worst possible result. It would be unstable and I am pretty sure would end in tears. What do we do to get Labour/Greens over the line?

                    • indeed, imagine a one term Labour government followed by another two or three terms of more National. with a political incompetent like Mumblefuck trying to manage a coalition between L+G+NZF, it’s not inconceivable.

                  • QoT

                    Ooops, there go mickey and sprout, proving that it’s not just me. Quick, TRP, accuse us all of a conspiracy to silence you!

                • xtasy

                  What f***ing success does that mean for Shearer the shorn baldy?

                  Yes, the Greens are the last bloody hope for “da left”, as such, but even that is not a guaranteed ticket into government, there is still NZ First, and they are all willy nilly here and there, they are not “left” at all, for sure.

                  The biggest problem is Labour, the leader and the no-hope scenario, and I say it again, again and yet again, think about that lot there, is there any hope of “reformation” and improvement? So the logical step is, get out of that rotten corpse, and use the remaining energy to germinate and grow a totally NEW Left Party.

          • the sprout 18.1.1.1.4

            All this cheerleading from TRP, the strategic genius who swore black and blue that Pagani had no influence or bearing on Shearer, his policy and his rhetoric. I notice you stopped saying that after it became glaringly obvious just how much Pagani was contributing to the script, you know what with the bene-bashing and all.

            You do realise dont you TRP, that Shearer will fuck the unions over.

            If Shearer becomes PM, yes I would hate it – because when you have a neo-liberal hijack of what should be a left wing government, the ideological pendulum swings even further to the right, with no leftward counter swing. We’ll see even more radical shifting of the political mean toward the right, just as we did with the 4th Labour government.

            But I guess you can’t really see that, can you oh Reasonable One.

            • QoT 18.1.1.1.4.1

              when you have a neo-liberal hijack of what should be a left wing government, the ideological pendulum swings even further to the right, with no leftward counter swing.

              Very well-put, sprout.

            • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1.1.4.2

              Citations needed all over the place, sprout. Start with the first paragraph, it’s complete bollocks. And I don’t see how a Lab/Green Government is a move to the right. Are you saying that the Greens would have no influence at all?

              Anyway thanks for acknowleging I picked correctly, there’s many who wouldn’t have the courage of their convictions.

    • KhandallaViper 18.2

      Shearer is playing a loose-loose game, Sprout.

      1. He keeps his head down and mouth shut coming up to the February Caucus meeting to avoid the mumbling screw-ups.
      2. That is also the time Parliament and the MSM senior commentators are away and the news gap is filled by nice fluffy stories from the government press team.
      3. The Labour team had no strategy to fill the void. Incompetent incompetent incompetent.

      The bottom line is we cannot win with a leader who cannot communicate without massive coaching and rehearsing. What a f#c@ing farce.

      • BM 18.2.1

        Lose.
        Clark sucked arse for years, takes real skill to speak off the cuff fluently, a skill that only comes with practice and training.
        Shearer will only get better, good enough to beat Key at the next election, I don’t think so.
        2017 will be his time.

  19. tc 19

    Shearer being advised and driven by the mallarfia with such has beens as king and dim wits like curran is an accident waiting to happen…..again just like in 2011.

    People need someone to inspire them into the booths they’ve stayed away from and it’s not DS.

    Enjoy the journey into minor party land labour.

  20. fatty 20

    The only surprising thing about this poll is that people are surprised by it.
    David Shearer is not a leader, and people will not vote for him, that has been clear from the start.
    The housing policy was so limited in its scope, it could only attract middleclass people who are looking to buy a house.
    Those who have been grasping onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder and are struggling with a mortgage would be pissed off with that policy.
    The working poor are pissed off by that policy.
    People who have invested in the housing bubble are pissed off with that policy.
    February is the point of no return, if Shearer gets through, then the train wreck really begins.
    We must remember that National have been giving Shearer a free ride over the past year, it is in National’s interest to ensure that he gets through February…then the politics will really begin

    • just saying 20.1

      We must remember that National have been giving Shearer a free ride over the past year, it is in National’s interest to ensure that he gets through February…then the politics will really begin

      Interesting observation.

  21. infused 22

    You’ve got it around the wrong way, which is what most of the right have been saying for awhile. It’s not about what Labour is missing, but about what they have got.

    I believe the public are well aware Labour will come in and spend, spend, spend.
    I believe the public know that kiwi build doesn’t add up
    I believe the public are well aware that the Greens want to print money
    I believe the public know that the Greens will have a vital role in any Labour led govt

    Don’t treat the public as being stupid.

      • QoT 22.1.1

        You’re right, infused. The problem is absolutely that John Armstrong keeps endorsing David Shearer.

      • Rhinoviper 22.1.2

        Sorry, Armstrong’s abominable attempts to write made it impossible for me to take anything said by either Shearer or Armstrong seriously. The morass of cliches and non-sequiturs, the use of paragraph breaks as Shatneresque “dramatic” pauses and the utter shallowness of it all meant that I couldn’t really call that column a “pile” of shit so much as a “slick” – but “slick” implies smoothness, and I instead have the impression of something clotted, lumpy and yet somehow without substance or use.

        In fact, I really struggled to make sense of it beyond the usual political cliches – “X could do Y”, “Shearer needs to be chocolate-coated with a minty centre” blah blah blah… Instead I sought a metaphor for the writing itself and had more sense understanding its form and nature than I did of his intellectual pretensions.

        Armstrong’s writing is the intellectual equivalent of very, very bad food: the ingredients were beyond their use-by date some time during the Miocene, they’ve been half-baked and the resulting unpresentable gruel is lukewarm, bland, indigestible, nutritionally worthless and it leaves a half lumpy, half liquid mess gushing from both ends of the alimentary canal in the small hours of the morning. In short, it’s just not good for you before, during or after.

        Avoid this restaurant – instead call the mental health inspectors. I give it no stars.

        As far as I can tell, Armstrong means to say that Shearer needs to establish a clear point of difference?

        How to write an Armstrong column:

        In Clint Western’s film, The Man With No Name, Dirty Harry faced off against Doctor No.

        This is what Shearer must do.

        Now. And there is no time to waste. Armageddon awaits. Napoleon Bonaparte did this when he had morning tea with Ramesses the Great and his wife, Catherine the Great. The Greats said to me afterwards that, that guy William Kirk, he really taught us the importance of never using a complete.

        Sentence.

        Notice that pause?

        It really adds significance to what I have to say.

        Likewise name-dropping. Because I’m a significant

        journalist

        Experiren.

        ced for many.

        Ye

        ars.

        I know lots of important wisdom. I’ve absorbed it by fellating these people for many years.

        And this is what I have learned:

        It’s really hard to pick pubic hairs from between your teeth.

        Of course, I could be wrong and he could be a genius in the mould of William S. Burroughs, taking his cut-ups and black satire to new levels.

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      I believe the public are well aware Labour will come in and spend, spend, spend.

      When private business and individual consumers refuse to spend into the economy, the government must.

      • McFlock 22.2.1

        The other point is that it’s not like National isn’t pissing our money and resources away, either.

        They won’t spend money on jobs other than a few temporary mcjobs to justify a hollywood handout.
        They won’t spend money on healthcare.
        They won’t spend money on education.
        They won’t spend money on actual producers.
        They won’t spend money on people who need it.

        But they will give our natural resources away to the lowest bidder.
        They will decide to not get revenue from a tourist industry that relies on at least a plausible pretense of “100% pure”.
        They will give money to market gamblers.
        They’ll give tax cuts to themselves.
        They’ll spend money on private prisons for the people they won’t give jobs to.

        They’ll pinch the pennies, and let the pounds pour away.

  22. Ariadna 23

    To Blue eye,

    Did my twin sister and I share ‘one’ body, or did we have a body each?

  23. coolas 24

    “Key’s government is falling apart, yet one fact remains stubbornly true.” Despite all their fuck-ups National and Key are the preferred party.

    Why? I agree with others here that the reason is Shearer yet his name doesn’t appear in the post. Key, Clark and Goff are mentioned, but the ‘invisible man’ doesn’t get seen. There’s Labour’s demise. Over a year and Shearer has no presence. Either he’s a really slow learner or unable to be trained. I suspect the latter. Nice guy, maybe, but he hasn’t got what it takes to make up those points in the polls.

    I can’t express how strongly this pisses me off, magnified by the fact I supported Shearer entering the race with the other Davids. Yep, I liked the back-story and he had the look of a man you could trust.

    Dah!

  24. KhandallaViper 25

    I have a vision of David Shearer in a room.

    In the room is Mallard, Robertson, King and Hipkins talking over one-another about all the horrible things those people in Christchurch and Auckland are doing to undermine his leadership.

    Ian Frasier is outside the door waiting for the next rehearsal slot for the Sumer School speech.

    Goff is phoning Anette with instructions.

    Hipkins mum is on a phone threatening to come to the meeting if he does not come home for his tea immediately.

    Shearer has his head in his hands. He realises that he has put his reputation in the hands of a bunch of muppets. He wants to go back to the beach. He wants to back to London, where things were a lot easier.

    Shearer whispers to himself: “Cunliffe, you are welcome to all of it.”

  25. Tiresias 26

    As has been observed ad nauseam, the only Poll that matters is the one held on election day.

    90% of voters would need a brain transplant before they voted differently to the way they did in the previous election. Regardless of what they may have told pollsters, discussed with friends or sounded off in the pub the other 10% only make up their mind how they’ll spend their vote over breakfast on polling day at the earliest, and that decision will be made on the basis of how their gut has responded to what they’ve read in the papers or heard on TV or Radio over the previous two days or so.

    Inter-election polls like Morgan’s merely measure how satisfied a party’s core voters are with its performance or what the other 10%’s gut is telling them at that moment in time, but as it’s a costless vote a small % of a party’s core voters who feel unhappy might lie about their intentions in order to apply a bit of pressure.

    The really unfortunate thing is that the results of polls like Morgans in the run-up to an election can affect the gut of the 10% who matter, and for that reason I would ban them for a month before election day.

  26. xtasy 27

    Frog Shearer will turn into a prince now, some believe. For damned goodness sake, where has sanity gone here on this thread?

    The trends are depressingly horrendous, and a Shearer now talking of using attack as the only left over defence should send some worrying messages.

    It is a bit like: “Do you want the total war” a cry from Hitler, when having his last hard-core supporters assembled to cheer him up, is it not?

    God I cannot believe the gullibility of some here. Shearer now asking for the total vote. Well, he killed the only contender, and Robertson waits in line. What a bloody disgrace, what will this resolve in getting a good front bench assembled?

    I despair, is there still enough sanity amongst people posting here?

    • McFlock 27.1

      Prince? Nah.
      But now Labour’s recovered back to where it was before the mid-2011 swan dive, the question is whether or not it will stay at this level or continue the growth.

      It’s still a small shoot, but we still have no idea whether it’s the bansai shrub from last time or a decent plant.

  27. ropata 28

    The LP is just not relevant at the moment. JK and the Nats are the main story. JK can make titanic fuck ups but still be forgiven because of his nice kiwi bloke image. The opposition (effectively Winston and Russell Norman) needs to hammer the narrative of National the nasty party, and unmask the bankster snake hidden beneath Key’s persona. Labour has to remain a credible centrist alternative to catch disaffected swing voters — not scaring them with a lot of wild eyed left wing rhetoric.

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      not scaring them with a lot of wild eyed left wing rhetoric.

      Relax, I sense no imminent danger on that front.

      • ropata 28.1.1

        My point is that it’s bloody hard to budge an incumbent, they have to do something really rotten a-la Jenny Shipley to piss off the public and generate protest votes *against* national

    • chris73 28.2

      [delete]

      [ B:] – Sorry IB. Didn’t see your N.B. until after I’d approved this

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