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Growing the Left vote

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, February 5th, 2013 - 279 comments
Categories: activism, election 2014, greens, labour, mana - Tags:

At the moment the Left and Right political blocs are poised more or less evenly in the polls. So how do we grow the Left vote to win in 2014?

A lot of commenters here think the answer is for Labour to move to the Left. Frustrated at the slow closing of the polls, they think (with the National government being such an obvious disaster) that all Labour needs to do is become more radical, and the voters will come flocking in. With respect, I disagree. If it was as simple as that, The Greens and Mana would be rocketing ahead. And they aren’t. For all the criticism leveled at Labour’s leadership, the Greens and Mana leadership aren’t doing any better at moving in the polls.

So, sorry to say it, but simply moving Labour further Left isn’t going to do it. Much as I hate the phrase “center left”, the centre seems to be where the vote are, and my guess is it’s where Labour has to stay to win them. That leaves space for Mana and the Greens to position themselves more strongly, and, thanks to MMP, it means that a Labour / Green (/Mana?) coalition government is likely to be more Left wing than Labour itself (fine with me).

OK, so what does grow the vote for the Left? I don’t have anything to add to the well known factors:

(1) Hammer the Nats. The disaster that is the National government is obvious enough to us, but it clearly isn’t obvious to the electorate in general (yet), or National’s polling would be falling faster. So – all Leftie parties need to keep hammering the government’s record, keep getting the message out…

(2) Have better policy. We need plausible, costed, more equitable, more sustainable, better policy – be bold!

(3) Turn out the vote. The non-voting block is huge – motivate even a fraction of them to vote Left and we win. But we can’t assume that having suitably leftie policies is enough to do it or these people would be voting already for Mana or Green – and they aren’t. So, find out more! Why aren’t these people voting? And what would it take to get them to vote Left?

(4) Cooperate cooperate cooperate! I don’t have any hard evidence, but anecdotally voters want to see cooperation between parties of the Left. Coordination and agreement – a government in waiting, building confidence in the policies.

So, that’s my list, no magic bullets, just the usual hard work. What have I missed? How do we grow the Left vote?

279 comments on “Growing the Left vote”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    I would like Labour’s policies to be more to the left, but that will not win more votes: passion, competence, conviction, confidence on the other hand, will.

    Add those to the mix – and demote blundering has-beens like Toxic Trevor – and watch the electorate respond.

  2. karol 2

    Maybe Labour should concentrate on engaging more with voters? Talking about growing the left votes seems like conceding Labour is no longer the force it once was .

    Cooperation is a two-way thing and can’t be dictated.

    • One Tāne Huna 2.1

      “The old guard in Labour is seriously defensive, insecure and lacking any humour. I actually think voters see it.” Duncan Garner.

      • Tom Gould 2.1.1

        Bit rich coming from Garner, I reckon, one of Key’s biggest cheer leaders. The people only know Key and Shearer from the media, and the media love Key, so the polling holds up, and they report his popularity. A virtuous circle, by definition.

    • Agreed Karol.

      To engage more with voters you need activists. To get more activists you have to have a principled coherent policy and stand for something. And you need some passion.

      To do this you have to strop triangulating and be different to the other side.

      My four simple sentences to describe what I think the Labour Party ought to be doing …

  3. IrishBill 3

    Firstly, the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that. It’s why National is losing votes directly to the Greens – it’s just people (mostly urban liberals) changing from one brand they like to associate their personal narratives with to another. They’re not concerned about the left right difference between the two because it simply does not exist for them.

    Labour as it stands won’t get these people because Labour’s brand isn’t attractive enough right now.

    Secondly, there is a whole lot of enrolled non-vote who are disillusioned with the process and dropped out. The Greens are trying to reach these people but my gut feeling is they’ll struggle as the ENV is likely to be working class, not university educated and unlikely to find the Greens middleclass brand attractive. It’s not the traditional knocking on doors style of getting the vote out that will capture these voters – they need something to get out for. Which is to say they need a bit of hope that they’ll see some change that will make their own lives better.

    Thirdly, most of my assumptions about the ENV are just that. Assumptions. Because very little analysis of the ENV has been done and as far as I know, none by Labour. I presume Labour’s neglect of their enrollment data has made any meaningful analysis possible.

    Fourthly, people. If you don’t have people on the ground you’ll struggle to capitalise on your support. I’m pretty sure that this is the reason the Greens often lose a couple of percent on election day (compared with the polls).

    That’s what grows votes at the margins, Anthony, brand, data, and people. Not being left or right. And right now Labour has damaged its brand, neglected its data, and pushed its people away. Until they get that right any talk about policy is meaningless because there won’t be a chance to enact it.

    • Agreed entirely Irish about the importance of having people on the ground. My strong impression from a number of campaigns I have been involved in is the more activists the better the result. They are directly responsible for building up excitement and momentum.

      I am also not sure about the “left right” divide.

      What people do want are leaders with conviction. The really good ones are able to actually move the electorate. Maggie Thatcher moved the UK well to the right and Key has shown a similar ability.

      Labour has struggled since the first Labour Government. Nash blew his chances with the black budget, Norm Kirk was cruelly taken early, Lange was a potentially great leader but his legacy was wrecked by the rogernomes. Helen Clark did have that ability to communicate a clear vision and her electoral success was a direct result of this.

      • IrishBill 3.1.1

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have to be neither left or right to win. I’m saying it doesn’t matter greatly for many many voters. And yes, I agree with you on leaders with conviction, I’d place that quite highly in the “brand” column.

    • fatty 3.2

      nice comment irishbill…I like the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that.

      You also point this out: …Labour as it stands won’t get these people because Labour’s brand isn’t attractive enough right now.

      Rebranding Labour (to give it more sizzle) now that they have stuck with Shearer is impossible as far as I’m concerned. He lacks every trait needed to connect with voters. However, I think the bigger issue that Labour will need to overcome if they want a shot in 2017, is they need to challenge this idea of individual responsibility, rather than encourage it

    • vto 3.3

      Mr Irish I think you are quite a lot wrong on this: “Firstly, the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that. It’s why National is losing votes directly to the Greens – it’s just people (mostly urban liberals) changing from one brand they like to associate their personal narratives with to another. They’re not concerned about the left right difference between the two because it simply does not exist for them.”

      I think what is happenning with this type of swing is in fact what you say it is not…. It is thought-out individuals changing their base political outlook. (of course, there are surely other types of sizzling swingers, but not the ones you describe) From what I see people have thought long, seen long, and been smacked by the rort that is corporativity. They see the cheating banks, the grab at the environment, the snake eyes, the various failures of the ‘market’ and put that together with the policy direction of our governments since 1984. They are not silly people and they are swinging back to a more natural political setting for kiwis – the one that existed pre-1984. It reflects a strong movement in political conviction, not a weak one.

      The tide is on the ebb for the above neoliberal movement. This is part of it. People I speak to and see say as much and from what I read of comments on here many others are having similar conversations. It is not moving on the sizzle (there aint no sizzle if you look around) it is moving on the sausage.

      This sea-change is a slow tide and the left should learn it and enhance it.

      • IrishBill 3.3.1

        You could well be right but what I see here (and elsewhere) is politically active people having those conversations. I think there’s still a sizable chunk of the nation that only think about politics for a few days out of every term. They’re the swingers (heh – I said “swingers”) I was talking about.

        • vto 3.3.1.1

          Yes, two types of swingers – the short, quick ones and the long, slow ones.

          I was referring to the long slow ones and it seems like there are a hell of a lot more of them than there used to be. It seems there is such a movement going on – a movement which was not there even just a few short years ago. The jolt from Clark to Key’s second term may have been the spark to ignite the movement. It is relatively recent but it is most definitely underway imo.

          The left can grab both of these swingers with careful and accurate moves appealing to each – some sizzle for the short quickie swingers and some more sausage for the long slow swingers………….

          • billbrowne 3.3.1.1.1

            vto,

            I think you are right.

            It seems to me that there is a real underlying current of desire for a roll back of the policies that have been enacted since 1984.

            Now is the time to act on that current.

            Labour is underestimating the appetite for change, radical change.

            I can remember the movement in the other direction in 1984 – it just takes someone to grab the momentum.

            • Wayne 3.3.1.1.1.1

              I think this nostalgic view of the past is not where most New Zealanders are at. There is very little desire to go back to pre 1984, with its extreme control of the economy (think rigid exchange controls, extremely high tariffs, import licensing, state owned everything, compulsory unionism, on the verge of an IMF bailout, etc).

              As David Lange said, a Polish Shipyard. What young person, say anyone under 40, would want that level of economic control over their lives. In fact you would have to be almost over 50 to have any effective adult memory of the pre 1984 period.

              I can see that people want an alternative, but it has to incorporate the reality of the reforms of last 30 years. Helen Clark recognized this. She did not roll back everything from the 1980’s and 1990’s. But she did soften it, so the ERA replaced the ECA, and is still the basis of industrial law. The major modification, the 90 day period was chosen by the Nats precisely because it was mirrored the Nordics (and as some here will appreciate I know the origins of this policy). Interest free student loans, not grants for all, because 50% of young people do tertiary education, as opposed to 15% pre 1984. It was a realistic approach, which is why she won three terms.

              Now I know we have had the GFC, but the answer is not a return to the Polish shipyard.

              Use your imagination about the future. Interesting article in the Economist on the Nordics, which might be useful, and these nations have actually been quite imaginative over the last decade.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Now I know we have had the GFC, but the answer is not a return to the Polish shipyard.

                Nor is the answer the Chinese shipyards. Or Chinese railyards for that matter.

                Interesting article in the Economist on the Nordics, which might be useful, and these nations have actually been quite imaginative over the last decade.

                Yep. And we have to go further, much further.

                The Nordic countries invested in their countries during a time of economic and energy wealth. We have to do much more, with far less.

              • billbrowne

                I’m not advocating a complete roll-back, I am advocating a move back in that direction.

                Probably not very clear above.

                There was a need for change, the pendulum, however, swung too far in the other direction.

                Reference would be the magnitude of changes made in Australia over the same time frames.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  I’m not advocating a complete roll-back, I am advocating a move back in that direction.

                  The principles and objectives of the Old Labour Era B.R. (Before Rogernomics) need to be implemented today but in new modern forms, and using new mechanisms and strategies, taking into account current conditions and constraints.

              • geoff

                Absolutely, Wayne.

                Kiwi’s have no interest in going back to a time when unemployment was low. To a time when you could house, feed and clothe your family on one income.

                Nobody wants that.

                What we want is more rat race, more uncertainty, more stress and less time with our kids. We want low pay and no retirement savings. We want big mortages and no sense of community and a few more starving kids. We want more river pollution and bigger dairy farms. We want rents to go up, we want food prices to go up and we really really want the corporate tax rate to go down. Because, let’s face it, those poor, helpless, legal entities, just can’t catch a break.

      • fatty 3.3.2

        From what I see people have thought long, seen long, and been smacked by the rort that is corporativity.

        I wish I saw that…truth is, I see the opposite far more often.
        I did interpret the ‘sizzle’ as being image, and the ‘sausage’ as being policy (maybe I misread this).
        Perhaps its the people I spend time with, they would be under 35 years of age. I mingle with educated, uneducated, poor and not so poor…one thing that I find is quite prominent within my group of friends is a disinterest in policy. They all vote Green, but generally not for the policy…I guess they have a vague idea of their political philosophy.

        The tide is on the ebb for the above neoliberal movement.

        It disturbs me how many other students I come across who see student loans as natural…once they get into that kind of mindset, individualism becomes embedded in their psyche and then neoliberal ideals become normalised.
        That’s why Labour won’t connect with younger voters until they abolish the student loan scheme. Its not the loans in themselves that is the problem. Its that the student loan scheme is built on the notions of individualism and personal responsibility. Labour can’t force an ideology onto our youth and then expect them to vote against that ideology on election day. Its like trying to get slaves to vote for a continuation of slavery.

        • vto 3.3.2.1

          hmmm, true dat i’m sure

        • felixviper 3.3.2.2

          “Its not the loans in themselves that is the problem. Its that the student loan scheme is built on the notions of individualism and personal responsibility. Labour can’t force an ideology onto our youth and then expect them to vote against that ideology on election day.”

          +1000

          And it’s not just student loans either, it’s the acceptance on so many levels that these neolib, individualistic, Randian ideas are ok in and of themselves as long as you hang a red flag on them.

          It’s why Labour don’t see anything wrong with contracting out Kiwibuild so private companies can extract a profit from the selling off of state-owned land to individuals instead of just building state houses that we all own.

          It’s why Labour don’t see anything wrong with Hipkins buying into National’s pro asset sales narrative and sending a message to the electorate that asset sales in and of themselves aren’t the issue, it’s just a matter of how the loot is divvied up.

          Right wing individualistic greedy selfish sizzle, and Labour don’t even seem to be aware they’re selling it. No wonder the right wing individualistic greedy selfish sausages at the next bbq over are selling so well.

        • billbrowne 3.3.2.3

          fatty,

          A lot of that is to do with the non-presentation of a feasible alternative.

          Should a large political party come out with a cohesive and overwhelming repositioning of the whole tertiary sector including the two main streams of learning – practical (via polytechs) and academic (via universities).

          The alternative would focus on:

          Eliminating fees from tertiary study
          Supporting trade training
          Eliminating pseudo competition
          Spending money on state institutions

          If this was presented, I think that a whole bunch of people would realise there IS and alternative

      • Polish Pride 3.3.3

        Agreed VTO
        I’d also say that those that are disenfranchised with the system will come from all classes, working, whitecollar, university educated or not. It is really people that have the the ability to think for themselves and cannot see any political party having policies that will fix the problems that they see. They like me see the same old problems persisting never getting resolved no matter who is in the hot seat. I am univerity educated. I have spoken to many others also university educated and others who are not.

        Any party that wants to do really well needs to take a step back from offering token policies (that they think) are geared towrads winning the election….
        Instead they need to provide a cohesive and well thought out group of policies that can capture peoples imaginations of what our country would be like to live in, in 10 or 20 years time. They need to be able to logically show how in the current environment their ideas will help provide a much better future to live in. They need their ideas to resonate with people so that those people see them as something they can be part of and have ownership of rather than how it is now where people see politics as something that is done to them by the political party of the day rather than sometyhing that they are part of.

        I have said many many times that I am no longer voting because I don’t believe in the system. Don’t treat me like an idiot and give me something I can believe in, paint a picture of the future for me and how what you are doing will get us there. If I can believe it, Not only will I vote but I too will own the vision and sell it/explain it to anyone who will listen.

      • Fortran 3.3.4

        Where is the evidence that some Nats are swinging to the Greens – not in the polls.

        • Skinny 3.3.4.1

          Their out there in droves, Swing voters who voted National 1st time around, took the tax cut then gave Key another term.

           Not next time, they have woken up, middle to higher income earner struggling that’s what turning them off. I make a point of getting a grasp of the mood these people are in. They were only too keen to boast they voted National (mainly cause of Key and the tax cut policy). Not now… they are disappointed & finally waking cut… hearing one say “I don’t trust Key…use too but not now.” Others are disgruntled & rightly so, about all the job losses & stagnant economy..and on and on the complaints go. So asked who they would vote for now, most opt Greens. 
          Why because they see younger, academically smarter MP’s coming thru  no back stabbing trough feeders & and that’s always going to be a attractive & trendy bandwagon to be aboard.

    • r0b 3.4

      That’s what grows votes at the margins, Anthony, brand, data, and people.

      Thank you IB – spot on as usual.

      Brand – now there’s a tricky thing. How does Labour improve its brand?

  4. David H 4

    ” So, find out more! Why aren’t these people voting? And what would it take to get them to vote Left?”

    I did mention this in another post wtf King. I think.
    I have 2 teens that are now able to vote. They won’t even enroll. And the main reasons when I try to get them to vote? is those old guys are more interested in them selves, and not in what we need, to even get a job. And they Don’t Care or listen.
    All they have to look forward to at this time is a life on the dole, and having to jump through even more hoops for even less money. And whats Labour offering??? SWEET FUCK ALL!

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Well, that sounds like a parenting failure to me, David. I was taken down to the Post Office and enrolled as soon as I was old enough. My folks didn’t tell me who to vote for, but they did tell me why it was important I did vote.

      The Keep Our Asset sales petition still needs support. That’s another thing your kids are missing out on if they are not enrolled; the ability to influence their own futures in a nationwide referendum. Think globally, David and FFS, act locally.

      • just saying 4.1.1

        Lol. How old were you when your parents took you down to the post office and enrolled you TRP?
        When I was 18 I’d left home and was living a long way from my parents. Maybe they should have taken a day-trip and marched me down to the nearest post office. Gross negligence really.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1

          My circ’s were clearly different from yours, js. I was also educated in a time when children were taught civics, so I had the advantage of having a basic knowlege of the democratic system. Youe experience may vary.

          • geoff 4.1.1.1.1

            Well don’t you sound out of touch, TRP.

            In your day (I visualise you as a crusty old man), I’m sure that a sound argument could be mounted as to why you should vote. A time when all kiwis (maybe not Maori) had some skin in the game.

            Contrast that with today’s environment and you should be able to sympathise with David H’s children. The best you can offer them is a referendum that isn’t even politically binding!

          • fatty 4.1.1.1.2

            TRP, You were brought up in a generation where as a 25 year old, you had political voice. Gen X & Y have no political voice under the main parties, and the smaller parties limited influence means that our young have been depoliticised.

            That parenting failure comment was fucked…a Paula Bennett comment. And then you followed it up below by suggesting negativity is a problem.
            FFS Te Reo Putake…not even Paula Bennett would combine the poor parenting myth with a demand for aspirational thinking. Those neolib memes are never said together…John Key calls for less negativity and Bennett promotes poor parenting.

            • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I had a voice as an 18 year old and used it to good effect, helping to dump a Tory out of his seat. I’ve carried on in the same vein ever since.

              David can pick up a couple of enrolment forms any time he wants. He can then have a chat with his kids and try to convince them that even a flawed democracy is better than no democracy at all and they should take the opportunity to enroll.

              Or he can sit on the sidelines and moan. It’s his choice.

              btw, David has said he lives in Levin. That’s the odious Nathan Guy David is helping keep in Parliament by opting out. Nice work, Dave.

              • fatty

                btw, David has said he lives in Levin. That’s the odious Nathan Guy David is helping keep in Parliament by opting out. Nice work, Dave.

                If we look at the 2011 results for Ótaki, the National and Labour MPs collected 89% of the votes. Both National and Labour offer youth nothing. That’s right, nothing. In fact National and Labour have created a system that excludes teenagers, both economically and politically.

                I had a voice as an 18 year old and used it to good effect, helping to dump a Tory out of his seat. I’ve carried on in the same vein ever since.

                Lucky you, you lived in a time when the Tories had an opposition. You lived in a time when Labour invested in youth, rather than punished them.
                Looking at the 2011 results, youth in Otaki would be wasting their time voting for the Green MP. Or they could politicise themselves and work hard to oust the Blue Tory and bring in the Red Tory…how would this change their lives?

                • geoff

                  +1, fatty

                • David H

                  Hey asshole I NEVER said I was opting out. I did say that I would NOT vote Labour this time I tick Green. What I did say is that I CANNOT force my teens (again) Who are now young adults with all the privileges and pain that, that brings. And I Will not force anyone to do anything against their will. It’s still a free country, for now.

        • lprent 4.1.1.2

          I was at university working on Holyoake’s farm in Taupo (as part of the year off before Uni) when I turned 18, a long long way from Auckland. I enrolled then and voted just before I did basic at Waiouru. Didn’t vote National.

          But yeah, my parents had nothing to do with it….

          • Ron 4.1.1.2.1

            That explains it. I often wondered why we needed that nice road to Holyoake’s ‘farm’. Obviously he was worried that his farm workers should have a nice smooth road to travel to work on.

          • Wayne 4.1.1.2.2

            Basic: National Service or TF? Have you get the Defence Service Medal yet? I hope so, since you have earned it. By the way I did TF Intake 3.

      • CV - Real Labour 4.1.2

        Well, that sounds like a parenting failure to me, David.

        You’re more than a bit of an asshole you know that? Seems to me that David H’s only crime here is that he’s taught his kids to think independently for themselves too well.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.2.1

          Or his relentless negativity has poisoned them against thinking (and acting) for themselves.

          • CV - Real Labour 4.1.2.1.1

            Did you just call someone’s parenting style “relentlessly negative”. You’re really something you know that.

            • felixviper 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Don’t forget poisonous. What a fuckwit.

            • Te Reo Putake 4.1.2.1.1.2

              No I didn’t call his parenting style “relentlessly negative”. I called David H “relentlessly negative”. You’ve read his comments so you know what I’m talking about, CV.

              And felix, I know you’re still smarting from being proved wrong yesterday, but there is no reason to call David that. Grow up, why doncha!

              • felixviper

                Eh? Where was that?

                Pretty sure you said his negativity had poisoned his children. There’s no way to interpret that other than calling his parenting poisonous.

                You’ve developed a nasty habit lately of saying some pretty shitty things and then tying yourself in semantic knots to pretend you didn’t. Get used to being called on it, dickhead, you’re just smart enough to have fun with words but you’re a long way from being able to use them to actually convince anyone of much.

                • TheContrarian

                  Ha! Felix telling someone else they have a nasty habit lately of saying some pretty shitty things. Wow.

                  • felixviper

                    Correct, but did you read the rest of the sentence? It’s not really about the shitty things, lots of people say shitty things.

                    Takes a special kind of fuckwit to immediately turn around and deny saying them though.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Poor felix, comprehension problems two days in a row. That’s most unusual!

                    • felixviper

                      I don’t think anyone’s having trouble comprehending you TRP, you’re being quite transparent.

                      But just to make sure, are you now denying that you accused David of poisoning his children with relentless negativity or not?

              • fatty

                Wow.
                So you’re sticking to your ‘be more positive’ and ‘bad parenting is the problem’ position?

                I’m not saying David H is negative…but I think its time we installed some ‘negativity’ into our children.
                Be careful when you promote positivity, aspirationalism and personal responsibility…have a look at the MTV reality shows for the results of this kind of thinking

                • felixviper

                  TRP is a person who accuses someone of poisoning their children with relentless negativity and then insists that he never passed comment on that person’s parenting style.

                  It should come as no surprise that a mind capable of holding such thoughts simultaneously would also be prone to sticking with them indefinitely.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I suggested it as a possibility because David H is relentlessly negative on this site. I know nothing else about him than what he writes here, so my comment was based on that knowledge. If his comments here are reflected at home, then it is obviously a possibility that it has rubbed off on them. Children learn from their parents, both the good and the bad.

                    Parents do not always give their kids a good impression or always give them good advice. That doesn’t make them bad parents overall and you should be ashamed of suggesting that David is a bad parent based on your misreading of my comment.

                    • felixviper

                      So now you’re accusing me of calling David a bad parent.

                      Care to quote where I did that?

                    • fatty

                      Nice one TRP.
                      You can start rehashing your comments with the words ‘possibility’ ‘do not always’ & ‘suggested’ if it makes you feel better.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nice one fatty. I suggest you look up the word ‘or’ in a dictionary, because that is the first word in the short sentence in reply to CV. I, quite literally, raised it as a possibility, not as a fact.

                    • felixviper

                      It was the only possibility you suggested.

                      The context (an alternate suggestion to CV’s directly above) is there for all to see.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      And I expand on the possibilities in another comment. And other commenters do so as well. So what? I don’t resile from the possibility I raised. In fact, to be explicit, I think it is a parent’s duty to educate their children. As David rightly points out, a parent cannot force kids to do much of anything these days, but, then, I wasn’t suggesting force, anyway.

                    • fatty

                      Nice one fatty. I suggest you look up the word ‘or’ in a dictionary, because that is the first word in the short sentence in reply to CV.

                      I was referring to this comment …the one where you attempt to tread quietly backwards from your ignorant accusations aimed at David H

                      Try an apology

          • Scintilla 4.1.2.1.2

            “Or his relentless negativity has poisoned them against thinking (and acting) for themselves.”

            That’s a deeply offensive comment, TRP. Makes you look like a small-minded, mean-spirited, nasty piece of work.

      • David H 4.1.3

        Why call it a Parenting Failure??? They are 19 and 17 they are considered adults in every aspect of their lives. Drive a Car Buy Shit on HP and go broke. They can Drink Smoke Join the Army /Police/Navy. But these like the Airforce are being gutted by the Nacts, And the lines for even the most basic job is in the hundreds. And all they hear is Silence from Shearer on All the crap Key’s pulling, and they don’t see any alternative to the morons in power. Mana and The Greens are too small to ever Govern alone, unfortunately, So if it means voting in a bunch of self serving ‘old guys, to get out other self serving ‘old’ guys, they say Why bother, they’re all the same. Nothing to do with parenting at all.

        Now Shut up and join the 21st century, the days of telling a teen what to do are long fucking gone! And they signed the Anti asset thing, as did I, if you really must know. And the reason was because it’s for the good of ALL, and not the for the good of a few greedy pricks.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.3.1

          Good on them for signing the petition. But as they aren’t on the electoral roll, their signatures don’t count for anything. They’ve wasted their time and the time of the petition organisers.

          You’re the adult, David. They look to you for guidance, and always will, even when you are an old, old man. However, in political matters, it appears the negativity you feel really does stop you giving them good advice. That is a parenting failure, as I see it. If you are telling them that they will never succeed, that’s its all too tough and they should stay disengaged from society, then you are bright enough to know how that is likely to play out.

          However, if they are engaged enough to want to sign the petition*, then why aren’t you suggesting they go on the roll, so their effort counts? Not just because it’s a legal requirement, but because they do have an influence. They do have a say. They do have a vote. If they are not put off from exercising their right, that is.

          * The petition still needs signatures, folks. I’m told a few thousand more are needed to cover for people like David’s kids who signed but aren’t on the roll or failed to give an accurate address.

          • David H 4.1.3.1.1

            Well it’s blindlingly obvious that TRP and fatty are not parents of young adults or they would not even start to bring that sort of argument here. Tell an independent teen what to do. Tui Time there

            As to being negative Have you been asleep since the NACTS took power???? the biggest negativity I have seen has come from the Labour benches, because they don’t even talk about whats wrong with this country, unlike the people in here, and if I am negative and you don’t like it, Tough shit. NZ has been in Negative mode for the last 6 years.

            • fatty 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Well it’s blindlingly obvious that TRP and fatty are not parents of young adults or they would not even start to bring that sort of argument here. Tell an independent teen what to do. Tui Time there

              What argument did I bring that is no longer valid?

  5. just saying 5

    So, if there is an appetite for social democracy the Greens and Te Mana will ‘soak it up’?

    It’s really just a coincidence that the tribe of voters who would benefit from a change from National to Labour-led, under the current “centre left” regime is the comfortable middle-class* And this iwi just happens to be the one that the party powerbrokers, and all the MPs and their advisors belong to, associate and socialise with, listen to all but exclusively.

    And looking after these special people, puffing up their pillows, pandering to their predjudices, just happens to be the best way of furthering the interests of all New Zealanders. It is in fact the only way.

    It’s really just a pity there’s no alternative.

    *People as yet untouched by the depresssion other than by a growing sense of unease….

    • Olwyn 5.1

      What you are talking about is a party world view dominated by courtiers and careerists, who either want the party to deliver them a cool job among “those in the know” or who want to transform the party’s focus to be better aligned with their own ambitions. Hollow men stuff. I think any party is vulnerable to this when it loses light of what it is supposed to stand for. I notice, on the odd occasion when I hear Matthew Hooton on RNZ, that the “centre” he speaks of is the centre of 2007; the centre he still occupies, and from which many who think they are middle class have since been turfed. In fact I think that a first step toward becoming electable as a Labour Party might be to end Matthew Hooton’s contract if he has one, or stop talking to him if his advice comes free. His conception of a centre left party is in fact a watered down centre right party. Furthermore, he is the enemy of conviction politics because such politics have little need for middlemen such as himself.

  6. geoff 6

    1) Hammer the Nat’s: Dotcom has done a great job, as have the Greens. Labour needs to pull its weight and not allow GCSB videotape debacles to happen again.

    2)Have better policy: Yeah like properly costed housing policy. Labour, get your ducks in a row before presenting policy. Also, R0b, shifting to the left is completely doable right now. You just need leaders who are competent and who are truely left, not cardboard cutouts.

    3)Turn out the vote: NZer’s only vote out a party, not vote one in. Is that the line? If that carries any truth then this point ties into point 1) Hammer the Nats, so turning the vote out entails getting the electorate angry at the Nats, rather than getting them angry about those bloody bludgers

    4)Cooperate cooperate cooperate!: Totally agree. What’s happening with Shane Jones’ having a go at the Greens? Also, I’ve heard that Shearer has been bagging Green’s housing policy. If so, not a smart move.

    The Labour leadership would do well to listen R0b here, they need to improve their performance a great deal and cease cutting their nose off to spite their face.

  7. Ron 7

    In my opinion Labour needs solid policies and most of those policies do need to be left of centre.
    The policies need some boldness. Wish washy will not cut it.
    I would suggest
    1. Get rid of SOE’s and move back to Government Departments.
    Electricity should a full Government Department Stop the silly split models. One Department responsible for all Electricity generation and Distribution.
    Housing back as a Government Department. It should have a firm policy to help NZer’s into housing.
    if private firms cannot build quality affordable housing then the Government should do it
    Consider using the American system of HUD & HEW, It makes a lot of sense to have a minister responsible for Health/Education/Welfare as the three areas are intrinsically connected. If there is a failing in any one area it will affect the other two. If people do not have good health there is little chance they will get good education, Likewise it is pointless to consider Housing with Urban Development. They are connected and should move together.
    Dump the Area Health Boards and bring control directly under Health Department. One point of focus for all health matters

    2. Transport. Move Rail permanent way and train control and Roads infrastructure under a single authority. Rail would pay a fee for use of permanent way the same as road transport operators already do. It would be the job of the authority to consider best use of money and ensure that both road and rail have access to all parts of country. The Railways would then be responsible for providing good reliable transport rolling stock and a service that meets the need of New Zealanders

    3. Social: Announce a full Royal Commission into Gambling in NZ. To focus on the the whole subject including whether we have casinos at all if if we do what controls should be imposed on them.
    What are the benefits and harms of gambling. Should private gambling be banned?

    4. Alcohol. It is well past time that we look at the harm that alcohol causes in society. Might be well worth an enquiry to look at the whole subject with a guarantee of action on recommendations. Do we really want bottle stores on every corner. Watching the ‘Sevens’ footage last night one would have to question why any civilized country would want to pander to people that just drink to get wasted and cause mayhem in the process.

    5. Broadcasting. Come up with a proper Broadcasting policy, support a people owned Radio and TV system that gets back to the inform, educate & entertain of previous years. Ensure that private radio/tv operators cannot hog the system to detriment of the public. Private Radio should; be limited to one or two genres per company. It is stupid to allow two large companies to own just about every radio station in NZ. Let Radio network have a talk and a music network that is it. Someone other company can have some other mix. Likewise with Media Works. We might then get operators willing to broadcast more fringe areas of music. It seems amazing that we have no private radio that offer classical music, no country or blues stations, no jazz etc etc.
    SKY television should be regulated and some of its profits should go into the system to provide funds for NZ on air.
    It should not be allowed to run both a pay and a free to air channels.
    The Government channel broadcast system should be allowed to compete in the pay TV area by marketing a FreeView+ which would be chargeable
    Channels such as BBC, ABC should be rebroadcast as a chargeable service.
    Government Broadcasting should have a charter and it should be structured in such a way to guarantee freedom from government interference.
    Radio should be moved to a digital platform now. This could be used to encourage a wider range of broadcasters.
    Kordia should own the Fibre in NZ and licence the use of such fibre,

    These are just a few ideas that would be good for Labour to consider when making its policies but along with new ideas we need new blood in the party. The old guard needs to be out of office by next election with a new fresh people with new ideas. Michelle Boag managed to do this for National but Labour seems reluctant to draw up party lists to ensure the deadwood gets dumped. Likewise with electorate seats. We need good strong candidates selected not because they have friends in the hire achy but because they have good policies ideas and can articulate them to the public. It would be good to start pressuring some of the older electorate members to stand down before the election. Good chance to get new people into House.

    Enough for now

    • marsman 7.1

      Great stuff Ron, makes good sense.

    • fatty 7.2

      I agree Ron…

      I like the way you have pointed out the failure of the PPPs in points 1 & 2.
      Then 3 & 4 cover gambling and alcohol – two often forgotten issues that cause poverty and violence in NZ
      Your point 5 is also useful if we want to resist the dumbing down of society. I haven’t seen Seven Sharp, but here is a review of how sadistic it really is.

    • Wayne 7.3

      Very pre 1984.

      There is not a chance in hell that Labour would abandon SOE’s and go back to Govt Departments. And it would be crazy to do so. By and large they sell services in the market, which is not what Govt Departments do.

      For instance electricity can be bought from Trust Power, Vector and Contact, along with Mighty River, Meridian and Genesis. That is why the Govt is going for a partial privatization. The SOE’s are similar to their private (Contact) or mixed ownership (Trust and Vector) competitors. Why would you put them into a Govt Department?

      Now I know The Standard loves Ports of Auckland and hates Ports of Tauranga, but it is pretty obvious which is the the better port (not Auckland!). But in my view Ports of Auckland would benefit from having say 30% listed on the stock exchange. You would see a better port, more able to meet the competition from Tauranga. But I know this is heresy on this site!

      • CV - Real Labour 7.3.1

        Why would you put them into a Govt Department?

        Simple: to destroy competition in the electricity market, and in fact, to destroy the electricity market itself, and in doing so supply power to homes and businesses at cost.

      • CV - Real Labour 7.3.2

        Now I know The Standard loves Ports of Auckland and hates Ports of Tauranga, but it is pretty obvious which is the the better port (not Auckland!). But in my view Ports of Auckland would benefit from having say 30% listed on the stock exchange.

        No, you destroy competition between ports, and instead have an amalgamated public entity which owns and runs a co-ordinated port strategy for all of NZ.

    • David H 7.4

      I totally agree they also need to fund a second cable for internet and also after building all the infrastructure back up to legislate to keep the Rights thieving paws off of them. As for Alcohol Personally for me you could ban it I have seen first hand that damage it can do. Also stop the complete waste of money criminalising people because they want to grow and smoke a weed. A weed that’s one of the best pain relievers out there. NZ needs to have an unhassled medical marijuana scheme as well. We need a benefit system that does not vilify the people who need help, and the has a payment that is above the poverty line. a system that helps people back into work not one that hinders at every step. They need to have a taxation scheme that’s fair that taxes at all levels of income. More public transport and less motorways.

      • Colonial Viper 7.4.1

        I totally agree they also need to fund a second cable for internet

        Just require 50% of the shares.

        Pay the current owners a fair price.

        Done by this time next month.

  8. marsman 8

    Labour, the Greens and Mana need to collectively jump on Paula Bennett the moment she opens her mouth so as to dispel, refute and expose her lies about Welfare. Ditto Hekia Parata about Education. Ditto Bill English about Finance. Ditto Steven Joyce about the Economy, Tertiary Education. Ditto Gerry Brownlee about Transport, Christchurch rebuild. Stop the lying scum dead in their tracks don’t give room to move.

    • Ron 8.1

      I am not sure that achieves anything. Instead of jumping on Government members we should be shouting our great policies over and over so that public knows exactly what we stand for. Attacking anyone tells a lot about the attacker but not much else.

      • CV - Real Labour 8.1.1

        I think you draw up a message calendar (I’m sure Shearer’s highly paid staff have started one, although it seems largely blank right now) and schedule time and effort to attacking the Govt, and time and effort to promoting great alternatives.

        • billbrowne 8.1.1.1

          I don’t think they really need to spend any time and effort on attacking the government – everybody can see their shit already.

          Now’s the time to ignore that sideshow and promote their own vision

    • vto 8.2

      Agreed. Call them out each and every time.

      In the same way Key called out to Goff “show me the money”, grab an easy line and apply it over and over and over and over to each of Bennett and English and Key etc. Get aggressive ffs (and to dispel a seemingly common myth in NZ, aggression is not violence, aggression is not nasty, aggression is merely assertive, bold, energetic).

    • felixviper 8.3

      marsman, in order to be able to do that, Labour would have to fundamentally disagree with National in all the areas you mention.

      It won’t be very effective to shout “YOUR IMPLEMENTATION IS SLIGHTLY FLAWED!”

      • Naturesong 8.3.1

        You could use a slogan like … “Wave good bye to higher taxes, not your loved ones”.
        Worked for National.

        Reduce GST back to 12.5 (or 10%), and exempt food etc, and outline policies which would attract New Zealanders back to New Zealand ….

        • Grant 8.3.1.1

          You have got to be joking the only thing that will attract New Zealanders back to New Zealand is much higher wages. No government either National or Labour/Green can makes this happen only more growth in higher paying jobs and a more highly qualified population can make this happen. A higher GST is better because it catches tourist dollars, people who don’t pay tax and people who spend more than they earn. If anything we should raise it higher and cut the income tax rate more but only the bottom rate.

  9. The opposition parties should work on getting New Zealand refugees* in Australia and elsewhere to vote, there are at least 565,000 New Zealanders living overseas. They would vote Labour, NZ First or the Greens as they were forced out of New Zealand by the shit economics of the National party.

    *Yes refugees (perhaps political refugees considering the state of the welfare system in New Zealand), because New Zealanders have few rights in Australia in terms of welfare, employment and education.

    • Skinny 9.1

      It’s interesting you point out the oversea’s vote. Last year a close friend who now lives( 18 years) in Switzerland came home for a holiday, she was appalled at the low wages, cost of living, house prices. She is ashamed of not voting previously & is next time. She is as i remember a swing voter, in the short time she was here & following NZ online  she cannot stand Key & the damage National are causing, however  Shearer.. she liked something about him. So there we go Shearer has a likable attraction to flowery voters. 

    • Grant 9.2

      Another rubbish post they have been pouring out New Zealand long before this National government came to power. This government has not done much to reverse the trend but to blame it just on National is just stupid. Its about wages something governments have very or no control over.

  10. Why try to grow the left vote,when one of those in the drivers seat is and has ignored
    left voters now and in the past.
    Labour are now firmly of the ‘light blue’ hue and have no credibilty of being on the left.

  11. CV - Real Labour 11

    And they aren’t. For all the criticism leveled at Labour’s leadership, the Greens and Mana leadership aren’t doing any better at moving in the polls.

    So, sorry to say it, but simply moving Labour further Left isn’t going to do it.

    Morning, r0b. If I may, I find some fault with this analysis, and the reason why is simple.

    People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%. Because those are Labour values. That’s what Labour stands for. That’s what Labour voters want to see from the Labour Stage Show.

    But they don’t want to see the Labour Stage Show performed as a cover by the Greens. Or by Hone Harawira. They’re just not The Real Thing.

    Labour voters like the deep red symbology and mana of Coke The Real Thing, not that crappy stuff in a Green labelled bottle which admittedly tastes quite good when you try it but you wouldn’t ever buy with your own money because it’s just not The Real Thing.

    So what happens when the Coke The Real Thing Company decides that its future is in a reformulated but milder, more middling, better focus grouped NEW COKE? Well, a bunch of its die hard fans get pissed off and start complaining loudly and actively inside and outside the company. And a lot of its other customers say nothing much but quietly stay at home and stop buying your product. A few might start buying that shit in the Green labelled bottles (and find that its not too bad, even though its definitely not The Real Thing).

    In other words, the critical flaw with using the Greens and Mana (and the Maori Party) as stalking horses to test out the polling viability of being a properly left wing Labour Party is that they are NOT THE LABOUR PARTY. What you are missing here is the vital scientific tool of blinding. Put the Greens Housing policy in a Red Labour Folder and give it to the focus group to examine. My bet is that its score will be SKY HIGH. It’s what they expect from a Real Labour Party and people like their expectations to be met.

    So while Labour continues it’s dalliance with being a centrist party because that is the sensible thing to do according to its strategists, it’s ceeded a full 20% of the electoral vote to: the Greens, Mana, the Maori Party, and especially, to the biggest party of all of those: The I Don’t Vote Party.

    • Ron 11.1

      yes, yes Yes

    • r0b 11.2

      Morning, r0b. If I may, I find some fault with this analysis,

      Morning CV! Yes of course – that’s why we’re here…

      and the reason why is simple

      If I may likewise raise an issue – the last Labour government won three terms in office. It did it from the center left – backing the sorts of issues that you raise – but in some cases (too many cases) rather cautiously.

      The center-left formula works (and doesn’t cannibalise the votes of other Left parties). I want to believe that the public would rally round a hard Left Labour too – but is it just wishful thinking? Where is the evidence?

      • vto 11.2.1

        I don’t think he is saying hard left, he is saying true labour left instead of mealy mouthed watered down left. Clark imo was a bit of each.

      • The Fan Club 11.2.2

        Both of you are wrong, I think. The last Labour government was barely centre-left; it didn’t actually do much on a large scale to deal with the legacy of Rogernomics. The next Labour government will have to deal with that legacy. But it’s not going to be hard left either.

        I think the how-far-left question is a bit pointless. Especially look at KiwiBuild. Bold policy, not exactly hard left, but very much breaking with post-Rogernomics orthodoxy.

        Jordan Carter (may he return to us swiftly!) used to describe the problem of the Labour party under Clark as being a liberal party with a social democratic membership, and the problem now being how to turn that liberal party into a social democratic party.

        • Skinny 11.2.2.1

          I figured you followed your mum into social credit principles & probably still carry their torch mum’s Fanny ‘.’

          • The Fan Club 11.2.2.1.1

            And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.

            • felixviper 11.2.2.1.1.1

              And yet here you are, hard at work, day in day out.

              • Polish Pride

                Regardless of what you think of TFC or his mum, his idea is important as is they way you respond to it. The mentality of your approach towards him is the sort of thing that will switch some/many voters off, If you are serious about wanting Labour in power then you need to listen to peoples ideas and treat them and their ideas with a great deal more respect than you just have. You don’t have to agree with the idea, but you should treat it and the person behind it with respect.

                “And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.”

                There are a number of people who have come on here because they see things aren’t working and are looking for solutions and like mided people. Instead they get belitted and insulted. Then they go away and tell 10 other people etc.
                But then perhaps you don’t understand the impotance of a brand and how easy it is to damage it.

                • felixviper

                  I don’t think you realise that “The Fan Club” is specifically here to cause damage to the very brand you’re trying to protect.

                  ps why are you bringing TFC’s mum into it? Bit creepy mate.

                  Actually how about you come out on front street and tell me exactly what I’ve said to TFC that’s so bloody controversial.

                  • Polish Pride

                    I should probably have put the reply under skinny’s, but it was directed at both of you.
                    A long time ago I was a National voter.. My preference is now left but I see pretty clearly that they will not solve the problems either. The point is that in life I have changed my position on things many times as new information has come to light or an experience in life has changed my thinking. The thing is you have the opportunity to change the thinking of every R winger that comes on here. It may not be today, It may not be tomorrow but I can gaurantee if you attack the person you will never change their thinking…

                    I can see how the world can become a much better place either through the Right being in power or the Left. Through the right it will be through unlimited greed and excess and the eventual collapse of the system that will probably result in a lot of pain and destruction along the way.
                    Through the left it will be through a gradual transition to a much better and fairer system. It should be far easier to change someone from righ to left than it would be the reverse…

                    Don’t waste those opportunities.

                    • felixviper

                      So your answer to my question is…

                      ps interesting that you identify TFC as a right-winger.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No don’t identify TFC as any particular persuasion.
                      What was so controversial that you said to him … nothing much

                      His comment – “And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.”

                      Your comment in response …
                      “And yet here you are, hard at work, day in day out”

                      Your comment does not make what he has said untrue… in fact it could be taken as accepting what he has said as true but not caring that some on this site are like that.
                      Here’s a question for you was your response adding value to the conversation ?

                      By the way I’m not here to protect any brand at best I see Labour as the lesser of two evils (with the exception of the last 3 policies announced so perhaps they are starting to get on the right track) and that is still not a reason to vote for them in my book.

                    • felixviper

                      Forgive me if I was mistaken in assuming I knew what you meant, but I took all that stuff about not missing an opportunity to sell left-wing ideas to right-wingers to mean that you thought TFC was presenting such an opportunity.

                      As for what I think I might have achieved, probably not much. But TFC has been here every day posing as a devoted Labour Party member and concern-trooling the hell out of these threads, so maybe a few more people are aware of that now thanks to you and I ;)

                      But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that I treat everyone with different ideas the same way I treat obvious trools like TFC.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I agree Polish. It doesn’t really matter how Fan Club gets treated so much as it matters that hundreds of people will read the thread. Many of them will just see personal attacks and get turned off instantly. Unless the purpose of The Standard is to start and maintain an exclusive club, we should be careful what we post. I try to be and think I’m generally successful except with deranged conspiracy fruitcakes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The only answer here is to accept moderation to a somewhat tighter standard. Which I would support because it would turn the Standard into an instant MSM hit and quadruple its exposure.

            • Skinny 11.2.2.1.1.2

              Ok Fan Club no offense intended, just got a tad annoyed with some of your belittling comments yesterday. 

              Point taken Polish Pride.  :)     

            • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 11.2.2.1.1.3

              The Fan Club
              One nutter doesn’t make a (basket) case such as you have described. However it takes one to know one if we’re going to trade cliche insults.

        • geoff 11.2.2.2

          Gee TFC, you’re so politically savvy. We’ll see how far that attitude gets us when unemployment breaks 10%.

          • The Fan Club 11.2.2.2.1

            What the fuck you idiot I’m on your fucking side here.

            • geoff 11.2.2.2.1.1

              You’re not on my side when you’re slagging off The Standard and trying to claim it is irrelevant.

              http://thestandard.org.nz/shearer-confirmed/#comment-583669

              The Standard is front and centre now. I think Annette King’s presence here yesterday could mean the caucus vote was very close and that ABCers feel they need to engage with us here to save their skins.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Geoff, the caucus vote was almost certainly unanimous. Some of us have been badgering the Labour leadership since the Clare Cullen bullying incident about the need to engage with the Standard in a mature way. I’d like to think that maybe the penny has dropped and that they now see that TS is here to stay and reflects valid left opinions that they need to listen to. Here’s hoping, anyway.

                • geoff

                  Geoff, the caucus vote was almost certainly unanimous

                  How could you possibly know that?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Ever since Shearer hobbled Cunliffe at the conference the numbers have swung back behind the leader. There hasn’t been any sly leaking of the numbers yesterday, which suggests to me that the most, if not all, voted confidence in Shearer. If there had been a protest vote of any substance, this most leak prone of caucus’s would have let the cat out of the bag by now, don’t you reckon?

                    • geoff

                      Quite the contrary, I think that if it had been a unanimous vote in favour of Shearer then the leadership would have told the papers.

                      Considering that it was an anonymous vote and that only the whip should know the result (I cynically believe the leadership knows the result) then I don’t think it is plausible that MPs who voted against Shearer would have leaked yet.

                    • felixviper

                      Indeed Geoff. TRP is making some huge assumptions – or perhaps misdirections is a better word – about where the leaks in this most leak-prone caucus come from.

                    • geoff

                      Exactly, felixviper. The leaking usually comes from ducky and why would he leak a result that undermines shearer?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Good points, both of you. However, the leaking is not all from one camp and I really don’t think that a serious anti-Shearer vote could be hidden. There doesn’t even appear to be the usual beat ups on the right wing sites or speculation in the media about the vote. Some carping about the numbers not being released, of course, but, honestly, if there was a close vote (and remember close only means a dozen or so MP’s saying no in the 60% plus one system), then I think we’d know about it.

                      Nah, my gut feeling is that Cunliffe gave a broad signal in Parliament last week to those with lingering hopes not to bother rocking the boat. At least for the time being.

                    • felixviper

                      Quite possibly true. Still makes me wonder why ducky wouldn’t leak a unanimous or near-unanimous result though.

                    • geoff

                      Because it wasn’t unanimous felix. I have recently heard that it was very much not unanimous. ;-)

      • Olwyn 11.2.3

        “People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%.’

        That is not a list of hard left values.

        • The Fan Club 11.2.3.1

          No, but are you backing those commitments up with money? Where does that money come from?

          • vto 11.2.3.1.1

            From the 4 million souls who inhabit these islands, where do you think?

          • CV - Real Labour 11.2.3.1.2

            The only three places that it can come from. Taxes, borrowing and printing.

          • felixviper 11.2.3.1.3

            It’s the same money your lot are spending, TFC. Just spent on better stuff.

            • The Fan Club 11.2.3.1.3.1

              How? Where’s the money coming from and where’s it going? What are you cutting from the present public expenditure or are you raising taxes?

              • vto

                All sorts of changing and massaging and re-prioritising obviously.

                Its coming out of the economy and then going straight back in.

                you ask some odd questions

                • felixviper

                  Odd questions for a supposed leftie Labour party member, sure.

                  Not that odd for a NPRU trool though.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  Its coming out of the economy and then going straight back in.

                  That’s a classic line, I like it.

                • The Fan Club

                  Handwave handwave handwave. That’s a Romney-esque set of sums that don’t add up vto. Put the cuts on the table, or explain the tax raises you want Labour to campaign for.

                  This is the problem with the Standard comments section: there’s no coherent program to engage with. What should Labour be doing? Magic, apparently.

                  I mean, how on earth is: let’s make the sums add up, let’s make sure our promises are ones we can actually follow through on, a failure to be insufficiently left? Or is the problem that you guys don’t have a grip on reality-based politics, and being forced to confront these issues is too unpleasant to handle?

                  • Um Fan Club who is making up any signs? Olwyn is talking about some basic principles. I have never seen a Labour Administration spend money that it did not have.

                    I had you placed as a staffer, maybe you are but in a different party.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      If the LP employs this idiot, the party is in worse shape than even Hooten would dream of.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Honestly I really am not a staffer micky. Not quite sure why y’all are so obsessed with the old Fan Club, I don’t really give a fuck who y’all are.

                      Of course Labour’s never spent money it doesn’t have. That’s cause we’ve spent the past century jumping on people who want us to make unfunded promises. Find the money for the promises: put up or shut up. And you want us to start chucking that away so instead we can be “conviction politicians” or whatever the hell this week’s codeword for Cunliffe is?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      That’s precious, Fanny, it’s not as if Key and English aren’t spending $300M per week that they don’t have.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yes because clearly Labour should model ourselves on the Nats? WTF? Are you guys all complete idiots? Labour will need to put forward a credible economic platform. That means no spending that isn’t costed and accounted for. And that means if you want to start splashing money around, you’ve got to be raising taxes, or cutting other spending.

                    • felixviper

                      Enough of the “we” and “ourselves” TFC. That ship sailed a while ago.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yeah you’re right, I’m a paid up member in good standing and you guys, by and large, aren’t.

                    • vto

                      same amount of money silly, just spent on different things. Net effect on amount of money spinning in economy = nil. As for which ones, don’t ask me I don;’t make the decisions, although I am quite happy to.

                      Anyway, derailer, this mini-thread was about values and guiding principles. Gotta them right first dontcha big fulla? Eh? or not?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Yeah you’re right, I’m a paid up member in good standing and you guys, by and large, aren’t.

                      Clue: you’re yet another one in the wrong party.

              • felixviper

                I’m not doing either TFC, I’m not the govt or the opposition. I’m just pointing out the vacuous nature of your questioning is all.

                How about you ask the same vacuous question of the National govt and tell me what answers you get. Hint: they’ve raised plenty of taxes in the last 4 years already.

                • TheContrarian

                  “they’ve raised plenty of taxes in the last 4 years already.”

                  Indeed – I am no longer smoking Dunhills and bought a pack of rollies the other day for the first time in years. I only smoke about two packs a week but that is $36 whereas $40 of rolling tobacco will keep in smoke for 2+ weeks.

                  • felixviper

                    Yep, and there’s also ACC, Vehicle Registration, RUCs, Petrol Levies etc etc.

                    Oh and the 20% rise in GST of course.

                    Wave goodbye to higher taxes. lolz indeed.

                    • TheContrarian

                      It was sneaky political rhetoric:

                      “Oh I only meant income taxes”

                      Part of the game unfortunately

                  • bad12

                    Free yourself from the theft by stealth taxes of this Slippery lead National Government,

                    Dig a garden and grow your own, it is legal,

                    And vote Green of course,

                    (note: this has not been an official Green Party campaign note)…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I tried and failed at gardening. The only think I have kept alive is an anemic looking lemon tree, some odd looking tomatoes and a large San Pedro cactus.
                      When I last tried to grow chillies I wound up with Bell peppers.

                      I do try to visit the farmers markets though. For the same price as a red pepper and a cucumber at New World I can get a weeks worth of veggies.

                    • bad12

                      Your problem then is that you have failed to feed the soil the nutrition it needs to grow ‘stuff’,

                      A well fed soil will grow anything and i mean ANYTHING, the soil in my main garden was absolute s**t dug out from under my house, a year of feeding this soil everything from the kitchen scraps to cut up rolly paper packets and supermarket receipts along with every weed i have ever pulled from anywhere on my property has allowed me to become self sufficient,

                      My addiction is far more severe than yours, 100 grams a week, economics would dictate that i make best use of the garden to grow most of what is the greatest expense, thus freeing up monies which allow me to buy more of what is less expensive,

                      To address your previous comment: its just sneaky political rhetoric, yes you are correct,

                      However, sneaky rhetoric(and vote buying) have little detrimental effects upon the middle ground comfy with their degrees and the employment this buys them, the detrimental effects are actually felt by those on the income brackets below that comfy middle class,

                      And please don’t give me the ‘poor should get a uni degree’ BS because any fool can see that for what it is, bullshit…

                    • bad12

                      PS, dressing the lies of Slippery the Prime Minister up in terms of ‘sneaky rhetoric’ is simply not very clever spin attempting to deflect attention from what are in ‘fact’ LIES…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I tried doing that too – bought a ton of soil, fertiliser etc.
                      I am not blessed with a green thumb it would seem.
                      I’ll try again sometime in the future.

                      I wasn’t going to give you the ‘poor should get a uni degree’ BS.
                      I think everyone should try for higher education but for reason of personal fulfillment.

                      But I realise that isn’t for everyone

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      One major success of having done the right thing with your soil is shedloads of WORMS. If you manage to get it to the stage to get that going, you’re on a roll.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “PS, dressing the lies of Slippery the Prime Minister up in terms of ‘sneaky rhetoric’ is simply not very clever spin attempting to deflect attention from what are in ‘fact’ LIES”

                      I am not trying to deflect or spin anything for anyone.

                    • bad12

                      If by Fertilizer you are referring to the chemical variety then that is possibly where the mistake in your ability to grow stuff has occurred,

                      Chemical Fertilizer if applied too liberally will act as a really efficient weed killer which is why you should instead use organic material as ‘food’ for your garden,

                      The rule of thumb being that if it came from nature and has little industrial chemical in it’s composition and will ROT in conjunction with soil and water it will make good ‘food’ for the garden,

                      You cannot over-feed a garden with organic material that has already broken down within the soil of that garden,

                      I have the luxury of growing 1 crop during a 4 month summer window,

                      Having such a long period of down-time in the growing cycle allows me not only to dig what are raised garden beds in a relaxed fashion by simply digging a spade width trench across the width of the garden once a week to bury the scraps,(along with a small bucket of organic compost),

                      That long period of downtime in the growing cycle also allows me to incorporate any weeds i have pulled from elsewhere on the property straight into the garden in the same fashion and allows both the food scraps and the weeds the time needed to break down to the extent necessary to become ‘food’…

                    • bad12

                      PS, if you bought a shitload of soil of the type sold in 40 liter plastic bags that also could be part of your inability to grow stuff,

                      Such soil,full of chemical fertilizer is notorious in an outside garden situation for leaching any growing capability away with each rainfall, it needs a more solid soil mixed in with it so as to ‘hold’ any nutrients introduced in place long enough for any plants to take up such nutrients over their whole growing cycle…

      • CV - Real Labour 11.2.4

        I want to believe that the public would rally round a hard Left Labour too – but is it just wishful thinking? Where is the evidence?

        Well it would have to fall into the category of “action research” :)

        the last Labour government won three terms in office. It did it from the center left – backing the sorts of issues that you raise – but in some cases (too many cases) rather cautiously.

        Or could it be more accurately described as centrist (in political-economic terms) + left (in socially liberal terms)? The more I learn about Labour’s changes to the benefits system, and only moderate realignment of the ECA, the less I am inclined to call Clark’s government “centre-left”.

        The political ability of H1, H2 and H3 as a team were quite something. In my view, a lot of Helen Clark voters kept that government in power, but they were not the same as Labour voters, and when she left, they left.

        Also I believe that the massive surge in private debt (and house asset prices) pushing huge amounts of money into the economy lay behind much of that electoral success. Cullen knew what he was doing, exchanging NZ’s public debt for private debt.

      • billbrowne 11.2.5

        r0b,

        Labour won three terms in office going on for 5 years’ ago (and the last election they won was touch and go) so I’m going to say there’s about 8 years’ worth of change in opinion.

        That change is gradual but it’s out there and it’s accelerating – and from what I can see it’s moving away from the tinkering around the edges market driven setting towards more control.

        Now is the time to start talking about an alternative way of doing things. There is still, just, enough power behind the Labour voice to push this – people will sit up and listen if they perceive the voice has credibility.

        I don’t think the Greens have nearly enough credibility amongst the general population to do this.

    • Wayne 11.3

      But most Labour voters don’t actually want socialism.

      In any event the Nats obviously can also do health. It is no longer a natural advantage for the Left. In any event the Left seems to forget that National voters also want a good health service, since most do not have health insurance. Tony Ryall has virtually ensured it is no longer a political issue. When did you last read of a major health crisis?

      • Scintilla 11.3.1

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1302/S0
        0014/entrenched-public-hospital-speciali
        st-shortages-unsafe.htm

      • Rhinocrates 11.3.2

        But most Labour voters don’t actually want socialism.

        Possibly most Labour voters, most people even, wouldn’t want “socialism” if it had that name because it has had so much mud smeared over it, but when pressed they would say that they do indeed want health care, weekends, free education for their children and so on – things that are all socialist in origin, but are taken for granted nowadays.

        Tony Ryall has virtually ensured it is no longer a political issue.

        I get your point there, but the best way to hide a fire is to set off a nuke, even accidentally, and Parata’s been dependable on that front. Nonetheless, Ryall, I have to admit, learned fast from his first stumbling media appearances and understands stealth, spin and media presentation in a way that a lot of other politicians should study. His work only seems apolitical.

    • McFlock 11.4

      People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%. Because those are Labour values. That’s what Labour stands for. That’s what Labour voters want to see from the Labour Stage Show.

      [citation needed]

      • CV - Real Labour 11.4.1

        Nah fuck it. What they really expect is Labour to continue BAU like National, but with a bit of softening around the hard edges and maybe some anaesthetic.

        • McFlock 11.4.1.1

          Dude, I know someone who voted national in 08 because “it was national’s turn”. When you talk about what “people” in general expect, you need to keep people like that in mind. As well as people who tick random boxes on the day, people who expect labour to follow their habits of the last 25 years, and people who have never heard of Michael Joseph Savage.

          That’s reality. You take the knocks democracy gives, because although it ain’t perfect it’s still the best system anyone’s come up with.

      • felixviper 11.4.2

        Srsly McF?

        • McFlock 11.4.2.1

          yep, see above.

          Some people expect labour to be truly left wing. But as to what most NZers expect labour to be, who the hell knows.

        • CV - Real Labour 11.4.2.2

          The majority of people dislike having their toe nails pulled out one by one with pliers and a blowtorch.

          [citation needed]

          • felixviper 11.4.2.2.1

            Yep, you’ve got to take into account masochists, and people without toes, and people who have never heard of pliers or blowtorches.

            That’s reality, it ain’t perfect, etc etc.

            • McFlock 11.4.2.2.1.1

              But that analogy is extreme pain directly and obviously caused at the will of a specific individual.

              What about folk who grow up thinking less extreme (but still serious) family violence is normal?
              Or the Stockholm Syndrome, where shared external threats can create strong emotional bonds between offender and hostage?

              Torture’s a funny analogy, but for people to “expect” the Labour party to be nationalise and be damned left wing any time this decade, they’d have to simultaneously have an in-depth knowledge of Labour Party origins and a wilful blindness to the last thirty years.

              • billbrowne

                If you’d written:

                …but for people to “expect” the Labour party to be de-nationalise and be damned right wing any time this decade, they’d have to simultaneously have an in-depth knowledge of Labour Party origins and a wilful blindness to the last thirty years.

                in ’83, you’d have been wrong too.

                Step changes can happen, they’ve happened before. I hope one happens soon – in the other direction this time.

                • McFlock

                  I have a slight problem with the logic that a previous unexpected reversal means that “people” a generation later expect a similar reversal any time now. Or that they’de be logically correct to do so (slightly more likely than the Mayan Apocalypse, but still unlikely).

                  • CV - Real Labour

                    Of course. It just means that your steady-as-she-goes complacency is unwarranted.

                    • McFlock

                      If the government were likely to be a labour sole government, you might be right.

                      It’s not, so you’re not.

                    • billbrowne

                      “If the government were likely to be a labour sole government, you might be right”

                      Oh, so Labour’s most likely partner, the Greens, are going to busily be urging Labour to the right???

                    • McFlock

                      no. the left. So I see no desperate need for change in labour.

                  • billbrowne

                    There are still a lot of “people” of that generation, and earlier one’s around, thank you very much, young man.

                    • McFlock

                      True.

                      2.4 million aged 40+.
                      1.5 aged 15-39 (ie, not voting 20-odd years ago but likely to soon).
                      Of those aged 40+, around half would be nats.

                      So just how many expect Labour to be old-school left wing in 2014?

                    • billbrowne

                      “Of those aged 40+, around half would be nats.”

                      Yeah, nats which were around when the nats were more socialist than today’s Labour party.

                    • McFlock

                      So seriously, how many potential labour voters do you think expect labour to be truly left wing? How many even have a rough idea of what that means?

                      I’m not talking about our KB brethren (and usually they are brethren) who scream “C0mmun1st!” at the thought of lightbulbs. How many people actually know of and want NZ implementing free tertiary education and primary healthcare systems and dramatically boosting benefits and the minimum wage, for example?

                    • billbrowne

                      How many do you know that don’t (not counting yourself) ?

                    • McFlock

                      I know a few who believe it’s unaffordable fantasy.
                      I know a few who try not to clutter their minds with politics.
                      And I know a few who simply vote as per their whim on the day (actually, that includes me, but my whims are between labour and everything left thereof, not the same breadth centred straight down the middle)

                    • billbrowne

                      Look, I’m gonna stop arguing with you ’cause you clearly don’t give a shit anyway.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I’ll just sit by waiting for the revolution by the socialist majority in NZ.

                    • felixviper

                      Sit and wait for the revolution? Perhaps it’d be better to methodically and purposefully work to achieve a series of related, gradual progressive changes.

                      Either sounds better than blindly pretending there’s ‘nothing wrong with Labour’.

                    • McFlock

                      You say “methodically and purposefully work to achieve a series of related, gradual progressive changes”.

                      Part of that would be pretending that “voters attributing their personal poverty and unemployment to John Key’s macroeconomic policies” is totally as easy and automatic as “connecting the agony in you feet with the guy who just ripped your toenails out with a pair of pliers”.

                      Oh, sorry – you didn’t include “rationally” or “reasonably” as adverbs to describe how one works towards those changes. My mistake.

                    • felixviper

                      Err, no, it’s way harder to connect that because it’s a far more complicated relationship with a lot more moving parts over a much longer time-frame.

                      That’s why “gradual.”

                    • McFlock

                      That seems to imply that the torture analogy CV-RL floated was indeed bullshit, then.

                    • felixviper

                      Yeah. Either that or it implies that it was an exaggerated analogy to make a point rather than a direct equation.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, well I must have missed the point then. That’s the trouble with exaggerated analogies.

                      I thought it was supposed to illustrate that people associate “labour” with classically socialist ideals as naturally, fundamentally and automatically as they feel pain. Which is bollocks.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Torture’s a funny analogy

                What analogy? You thought I was using an analogy?

                You think the children stuck in the bottom 10% of the socioeconomic heap aren’t suffering permanent, irreversible psychological and physical damage to their health today, tomorrow, and in fact, every day?

                • McFlock

                  Analogy. Look it up. In that I don’t believe very many of them are being blowtorched and having toenails removed with pliers, and if a few are then I reckon it’s unlikely Key is the one doing it to them.

                  And yeah, I agree about the permanent irreversible damage. But my point is that it’s pretty abstract to connect that with mr smile&wave on telly.

  12. To add to my post,The greens are the genuine left,they walk the talk.

    • kiwicommie 12.1

      True that, next year the greens will get my party vote.

      • Ron 12.1.1

        The strange thing about Greens is that so many people seem to think they are a left wing party but talking to them I see a party closer to National than Labour. A fringe party is in the enviable position of not really caring about what they say as they are never going to be a Government. Governments have so many other areas they have to heed when they govern that pragmatism is an essential key to forming a good government. If Greens were somehow to become a government they would suddenly find many of their supporters attacking them for not staying true Green and that would be a novel experience for them.

        • Colonial Weka 12.1.1.1

          The GP already has experience of being challenged by its voters for not staying true enough to its values. Why do you think Bradford and Tanczos left? Because they were unhappy with the direction that the GP were taking. Which was to attract more of the middle NZ vote. Which puts paid to the other lie in your post, that the GP are fringe. You don’t get middle NZ voting for you when you are fringe.

          • geoff 12.1.1.1.1

            You don’t get middle NZ voting for you when you are fringe.

            You can if you trick them. Don Brash (With help from the Labour party’s newist strategist, Matthew Hooton!) got awfully close…

        • fatty 12.1.1.2

          A fringe party is in the enviable position of not really caring about what they say as they are never going to be a Government.

          I hear this kind of statement often, such as…the minor parties can promote unrealistic policies because they’ll never get in.
          I have to disagree.
          Take Mana or the Greens for example. I am yet to see anyone show me how any of their policies are unrealistic. So long as their policies are taken together, they are not only possible, but also preferable. They usually depend on tax increases, and that is where they are supposedly unrealistic, and that is because Labour have normalised a neoliberal tax structure.
          To paraphrase Zizek…he says that the end of the world is more likely than the end of capitalism…we can imagine an asteroid ending civilisation, but adjusting our society to provide more equality, free education, better health systems is seen as impossible.

          There is nothing wrong with any of the Greens or Mana’s policies…the hegemony of neoliberal economics makes leftwing economics appear Utopian. Therein lies another danger for Labour if they chase the central vote…the more Labour embrace neoliberism, the more normalised it becomes, the more extreme Mana and the Greens become, the more ‘dangerously radical’ a coalition with Mana+Greens appears, the more centist voters will avoid Labour.
          Labour has been heading down this road for a while and we think it will lead us somewhere…time to pull a u-turn.

        • Naturesong 12.1.1.3

          If you have a look at the Greens Policies, they’re pretty firmly Social Democratic.
          I’d like them to be more Green than they are, but I also accept that they need to appeal to a wide range of people to have a voice.
          I have hopes that one day the New Zealand population will realize that the economy is a subset of the environment, rather than the current thinking that the environment is simply another overhead to be costed or ignored.

        • bad12 12.1.1.4

          Ha ha ha, you see a Green Party that is closer to National then Labour, best you get your eyes tested,

          But while i am having a giggle do you want to explain the why of your assertion…

        • Fortran 12.1.1.5

          +100

  13. shorts 13

    Labour has the policies – needs to articulate them a little better

    But the thing that could ensure victory – solid job creation ideas/schemes – the hands on govt thing I can see gaining traction if instead of “we will grow jobs” type speeches there were concrete plans, costed etc – plus there is no shame or reason why the govt cannot be the employer (chch rebuild, fixing up the infrastructure in the regions – road etc left to fall apart currently)

    And a voice of hope, not pie in the sky stuff but solid practical hope

  14. Blue 14

    You speak as if ‘Labour moving to the left’ means that Labour is a centre-left party and people are trying to move it hard left.

    Labour at the moment is actually a centre-right party, and people are trying to move it back to its natural home.

    The popularity of KiwiBuild shows that Kiwis still want what a real centre-left party can offer – using the power of the state to achieve things that the market can’t.

    That’s what I predict will appeal to non-voters, who of late have seen two similar big parties being all hands-off, tinkering around the edges, ‘the market will provide’ – and they think ‘so what is the fucking point of government if they don’t DO anything?’

    Oh yeah, and getting a leader people can connect with would help. So would getting a competent team who don’t spend all their time stabbing each other in the back and get their message out there.

  15. Pete 15

    Don’t forget Christchurch. The city swung heavily towards National and the need for certainty in difficult times. They’re now getting fed up with the government – in respect of the schools, the rebuild and the Environment Canterbury shenanigans. The “let’s build houses” mantra will resonate there too (and with the construction industry, who will want to keep busy as the rebuild winds down there).

    Keep an eye on the local body elections down there this year too.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 15.1

      Pete 15
      Brownlee has delayed a meeting in Christchurch so he can question long-term plans and finance for them. I wonder if he is heavying them – because he can.

  16. TheContrarian 16

    I also agree that moving further to left won’t help. Labour needs to capture the moderates (of which there are many) that could vote either National or Labour depending on who they feel more comfortable with at the time.

    You’re right in that more hammering of National is required. Labour just seems so invisible at the moment.

    • CV - Real Labour 16.1

      But “Moderates” are only interested in BAU.

      • TheContrarian 16.1.1

        BAU?

        Not an acronym I am familiar with

        • felixviper 16.1.1.1

          Business As Usual. Either that or Being A Unicorn.

        • CV - Real Labour 16.1.1.2

          Ahhh, sorry. Business As Usual.

          • TheContrarian 16.1.1.2.1

            I thought it described my cooking – Basted And Under-cooked.

            Anyway – I consider myself a centrist/moderate or whatever you (as many of my friends and family are too) and Business as Usual doesn’t cut it for me.

            Those moderates are the ones who can swing from National to Labour and back again. Just look at Nationals miserable performance when Bill English ran for PM – those moderates who voted National last year are the same ones who deserted the National party back then.

            • CV - Real Labour 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Business As Usual is a phrase commenting on the heading of the Titanic, not which shift of officers is on duty.

  17. Has anyone wondered why there is no strong opposition by labour against the nact
    govt’s policies? that is because nowadays labour can’t argue against them strongly,
    because they stand by what the nacts say and promote.
    It would be personally hypocritical of each and every caucus member to stand up
    and put up concerted effort to shoot the nacts down,they just can’t bring themselves do it.
    Pretending to give a continental,is just not acceptable.
    I don’t think people are wanting ‘hard left’ policies,as mooted by some,but a recognition
    for the core labour voter,with policies that include everyone, fairness in some policies
    also would help, a demonstration of the current labour thinking pattern was the housing
    policy,fine with those with the coin, no good for the ones who need a coin.

    • CV - Real Labour 17.1

      And more than that, there is a historical change in process VV.

      It started with the GFC, has progressed on to a resource constrained debt driven depression + sovereign debt distress, and in the next 5 years will enter a more serious phase of energy depletion, ongoing financial collapse, mixed in with increasingly severe climate events.

      The way our political parties are playing around now assumes the pretend normality of Business As Usual where tinkering around to buy a bit more time is all that is needed. So at this rate we are going to drive face first as a country into these troubles.

      • Shudder,oh dear CV

        • CV - Real Labour 17.1.1.1

          Notice how economic growth was going to return in 2013/2014? Then 2014/2015? Now it’s 2015/2016?

          Regardless of whether Labour or National take power in 2014, expect that growth forecast to be pushed out to at least 2016/2017.

          By then, even the sheeple are going to notice that something is not quite right, just as the truck finally pulls up at the works.

      • geoff 17.1.2

        That sort of thing could never happen to Hobbiton, CV!

      • Scintilla 17.1.3

        This headline caught my eye – could be “trillions” worth of oil under Coober Pedy in the great aussie outback. Needs to be fracked of course and could make Aussie self-sufficient in oil if it’s accessible. Interesting reading the comments section, what our cuzzies over the ditch think of it.

        http://tinyurl.com/b4pdsk6

  18. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 18

    I understand that the delay before WW2 was declared, from appeasement talks by Neville Chamberlain actually gained Britain some time to make war preparations that were gravely needed for defence and survival. I wonder if anything at all has been gained here by the abject servitude of our politicians to big business and the ready dollar so pollies can keep BAU?

  19. Rosie 19

    Point 3 “Turn out the vote – the non voting block is huge….”

    If we can for just a moment put Parties, their policies, what they represent and how they brand themselves, aside and consider the non voting block. Its this group that that is one of the greatest blocks to success for the Left in NZ. As you say Mr Robins “motivate just a fraction of them to vote left and we win”.

    As I mentioned yesterday on Open Mike its this group that we need to educate and motivate and its a really big task.
    So what does the leftie individual do? Just for starters, talk to your friends and talk to your families. Talk to your workmates, if you’re lucky enough to have workmates. Ask them why they don’t vote. What would encourage them to vote? What would they like to see change, and what changes would benefit them in their lives? (Most folks are more interested in what benefits them personally. Some couldn’t care less about the environment or social well being). I often hear the response that they feel disconnected from “all that government stuff” and that all parties are the same. So folks need to know how govt works every day in their lives: from all that GST they have to pay on everything despite the fact that they earn a fifth of the wage of another yet have to pay the same rate of consumer tax – to what would happen if you have an accident and need to go to hospital, but there is no public hospital to go, only private ones. Just examples, but folks need to be jolted out of this belief that they don’t play a part in democracy, and that they are powerless to influence outcomes. Voting is only a start but it the most basic and important one.

    If your social and work network all think like you then think about what you can do to reach non voters and open up a discussion? For instance, some time ago on the Standard the Drinking Liberally group announced they were starting up again in Hamilton. A social leftie group such as this would be a good platform in which to discuss the challenge of turning non voters into voters, and formulating strategy – if one was more inclined towards doing something more than having a chat and drink that is. (which sounds like a perfectly acceptable past time in itself) What ever happened to that group anyway – are they up and running?

    If you’re like me and are in the depressing situation of being surounded by non voters and Nat Party voters you have your work cut out for you. Either way, we have to work collectively and individually to engage the massive non voting block. Apart from the examples given above I don’t know how to go about it but I think its worth discussing ideas around it. Its too important to ignore.

    • bad12 19.1

      Hers 2 little suggestions that would probably get the interest of many in the registered but did not vote category,

      A policy of providing ALL New Zealand citizens with affordable accommodation at 25% of income within 10 years, (for those with an income of less than $40,000 annually),

      A policy of Government provision of 6 months work per year for anyone with a current requirement to seek work while in receipt of a welfare benefit…

      • Rosie 19.1.1

        Hi Bad12. Good ideas. I wonder though, how do you get policy announcements to reach the ears of the non voter? Of all the non voters I know, (and alot of the Nat voters incidentially) they don’t watch any TV news, they don’t read papers or online news. The young ones of voting age I know, whose young lives and futures are so shaped by policy think voting is pointless. These non voters, of all ages, are so distanced from their role in democracy that before they can be hooked by policy they need to be engaged and motivated.

        Secondly, can I just ask for clarification around your first idea of providing accom at 25% of income. Is it all NZers as you first mention or is it “those with an income of less than $40,000″?

        Also, in your second idea around govt provision of work for 6 months work per year for anyone with a current requirement to seek work while in receipt of a welfare benefit. What about those who are unemployed but are not entitled to any form of benefit?

        • bad12 19.1.1.1

          Oh believe me the non-vote bloc does not just include the ‘switched off politics young’ and you would be surprised how fast a Government policy that will effect any particular cohort of people in society will spread through that cohort even if in the main they don’t watch the TV news or read newspapers,

          The first part of my accommodation for all at 25% of income for all would obviously be for those who could not buy a home, obviously proposing that Governments should pay peoples mortgages for them would be pretty outrageous, $40,000 would seem to be a ballpark figure where although a willing and able worker in the economy it would be near impossible in today’s economy for such a person to purchase property,

          I haven’t given serious thought to your second query befor, presumably you are speaking from the point of view of a person with a spouse that earns enough to support both partners…

          • Rosie 19.1.1.1.1

            Hi bad12. Thanks for that and thanks incidentially for the conversation we had on Open Mike a few weeks back re Charles Chauvels allegience or not to DS. I gather from that conversation around your (changing) political party memberships and voluteer work that you have seen the outcomes of election time policy announcements and therefore have a view of how those non voters can be swayed. Maybe your experience and observations can overcome my doubt of the ability of policy to affect voters. I do hope so.

            I mention non voters not only as the young people that I know but those who are most affected by the current govt policy who are friends and family and they are often renters, home owners, low and middle income earners and parents. Its the indifference/disillusionment of these folks that is such a problem. This is why I was having a wee rave about it. Their non participation in the most basic and important of our democratic process, voting for the govt of their choice affects not just them but all of us.

            Finally. Yes, I was speaking from the point of view of a person with a spouse who is earning so is therefore not entitled to receive any form of benefit. The thing is one income (unless its a massive one) doesn’t cover a households expenses these days. It did in the past but not now. I don’t want to bore you with my experiences of being without an income for over 18 months, except to say there must be thousands in the same boat, with any savings having been bled out due to paying bills. What about all the single people as well who have lost their jobs through the recession or if you’re a govt employee, throught the short sightedness of that govt employer and you couldn’t get a benefit because you had savings. You might have been half way to saving for a deposit on a house, and then its all gone. Just a thought. The F’d up-ed-ness of our country is so deep and on so many levels (economic, social and environmental and all shades of those) that its hard to find a place to begin.
            At risk of sounding hopelessly naive, I would hope that the solution would be in the populations’ will to participate in voting, just as a starting point.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    A lot of valid stuff here about the underlying issues, but we can’t ignore a pretty fundamental part of Labour’s problem. The people.

    I’m a social democrat. I’m not “hard left”. I’d like a Labour/Green gov’t, but I accept that electoral artithmetic and entrenched power on the Right can mean we may have to settle for gradual gains rather than the New Jerusalem.

    None of that turns me off voting Labour. What turns me off is … the Labour MPs who benefit from the vote. Not a hypothetical, liberal-social democratic-centre-left Labour party. But the actual Labour party. Or rather, the Labour caucus.

    I really don’t like them very much. Why would I? They don’t speak for me, about me, or to me. They are the personification of Mallardism. It is all about them and their turf. They love their private club, they want to keep it, and I’m not in it.

    Policies and strategies won’t change that, because they can be torn up on a whim – they are as deep as the latest poll. What makes a difference is believing that the people espousing the policies and strategies actually give a damn.

    Fire in the belly. Not to keep their jobs (like Shearer at the Conference) but to change the world – at least, our little bit of it.

    The saddest part of Labour today is not just the Old Guard, but discovering that the New are no different. Hipkins, Robertson, Adern and co are all very capable politicians, but they could be capable in the service of socialism, or centrism, or centre-right Blairism, or anything …

    And Shearer is just as shallow, minus the capable.

    I have no idea what motivates these people. A book they once read, a speech they once heard, a faith, a philosophy, a life experience, a … what? I know they want power, so they want my vote. Other than that, I have nothing except a vague hope that they stand for something Labour-ish, and a suspicion that they would stand for something else if it got them on the Treasury benches.

    Labour (“social democratic”) ideas and values are worth voting for. The people representing them in Parliament are not. Sorry.

    • Socialist Paddy 20.1

      Well said sir.

      • Tim 20.1.1

        Aye! That about sums it to a T – as I said when engaging with some twerp who is under the misapprehension that he’s god’s gift to humanity – Labour Party ‘scene queens’.
        I’ve no doubt that’ll cause many (including some poster called Fanboy or FanClub or something similar) to assume some disaffected old-fart is commenting, until you realise it encompasses an entire extended family (and friends) across all demographics (age-wise, economic “class’-wise, and by whatever other measure).
        See you in the summer time Labour – you actually had decades to hold true to principle. For me, it ain’t gonna happen and there are alternatives – admittedly not perfect, but a damn sight better than what’s on offer.
        What’s sad for me is that several people that I once held a certain amount of respect for (and I include the likes of Annetted King in that), have been captured.
        The arrogance of them is phenomenal! I’m picking that Trev was a good teacher tho’

    • Bill 20.2

      I know they want power, so they want my vote

      And that’s unfortunately the be all and end all for the majority of the Labour caucus. And it’s why Labour will tank at this coming election. Grow the left? Castrate the power of caucus and its ability to go on its merry way regardless. Unfortunately, that option’s now in the rear view mirror. And…Shearer on radio (from a link provided on ‘ts’ this morning) is reiterating that he doesn’t read blogs and pays no attention to what ‘non-representative’ bloggers are writing.

      Labour is fucked.

      And that means that in a couple of years time, and whether or not Labour lead the government, that I’m fucked, and that thousands of people in a position either parallel to mine or comparable to mine are also fucked.

      • billbrowne 20.2.1

        Yeah and they’ll be fucked under a do nothing Labour govt.

        I mean people expect to be fucked over by the NATZ it’s just part of the cycle, but if you’re gonna get the same from Labour why go to the trouble of voting for them at all?

        • Colonial Weka 20.2.1.1

          It’s not really any trouble though, is it? Half an hour on a Saturday, once ever three years. Anyone who can’t seen any difference between life under NACT and life under Labour, esp for those at the bottom, really isn’t paying much attention or thinking very well.

          • billbrowne 20.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, but if you can’t really see a difference between the two – and at the moment you have to look pretty hard to see it you can either:

            Flip a coin
            Vote for the other lot because it’s time we had a change
            Go to the pub instead (mmm beer)

            • Colonial Weka 20.2.1.1.1.1

              bill, if someone who is looking can’t see the difference then they are willfully blind.

              CV, agreed. People who would otherwise vote on the left but choose not to vote are in effect endorsing a NACT govt.

          • CV - Real Labour 20.2.1.1.2

            The problem is where people have consciously decided not to vote, as opposed to a random “got busy, meant to but didn’t get around to it”.

            • billbrowne 20.2.1.1.2.1

              Well, I can’t use my electorate vote – cause that would be for Hipkins and I want him to lose.

              And so far Labour hasn’t earned my party vote so they’re not getting it.

              • Colonial Weka

                Fine, but it’s not like you don’t have some choices about who to vote for.

                You can give your electorate vote to the GP candidate. That sends a message to Labour. Although you do realise that if Hipkins loses, then NACT get another electoral seat?

          • Bill 20.2.1.1.3

            I guess I’m not paying much attention or thinking very well then. Or maybe I am, and am fully cognisant of the fact that Labour really are only Labour by name now. And they have tied up traditional expectations of labour to an extent that it poses problems for the Greens and Mana.

            My only hope under a Labour led government would be enough pressure being applied by the Greens and/or Mana. But then, this current pile of shit drops are probably more inclined to attempt hobbling the Greens and Mana between now and the election in the hope they can go with Winston Peters and The Hair and such like, while leaving the Greens and Mana on the cross benches or supplying confidence only.

            • Colonial Weka 20.2.1.1.3.1

              Bill, all of that is true. But in terms of people bothering to vote, can you honestly say that having another term or two of NACT would be the lesser of evils?

              btw, my frustration at the moment is watching so much discussion on ts about what Labour should or shouldn’t do. I don’t even know what that means. It’s not like the caucus are going to do anything different than they’ve been doing, and it’s not like they’re going to listen to anyone else. So that leaves the membership. Maybe the LP activists here need some time to come to terms with the leadership outcome, but at some point the hand wringing has to stop. In this sense I kind of agree with bad12 – except I don’t think the negativity is counter-productive, I think it’s unproductive. Activists need something to do that is going to go somewhere, and I can’t see that as being supportive of a Shearer-led Labour party. So what are the other choices here?

              • Bill

                Personally I’d like to see more Green and Mana input here. To be honest Labour politicians popping over to drop a disengenious comment here or there is just annoying b/s. I’d far rather what I imagine would be some actual engagement from either Mana or Green mps.

            • CV - Real Labour 20.2.1.1.3.2

              Labour will absolutely need the Greens. Let’s assume a best case scenario for a Labour General Election result of 35%

              They’ll have to find another 14% from smaller parties, assuming a 49% target to form the Govt., once wasted votes are taken into account.

              NZF + UF will be able to deliver to Labour 8% equivalent, combined. That leaves Labour short 6%.

              But the Green Party could certainly deliver 14% to Labour alone, if they go strongly. To hit the 14% equivalent contribution, the Green Party in negotiations should form a lockstep negotiating coalition with Mana & Maori. In other words, Greens/Mana/Maori negotiate with Labour as a single block.

              This is a high risk strategy for the Greens (as it opens them to National attacks of being extreme Left) but the pay off with these polling numbers is this: you cut the centrist/right wing Dunne out of the equation. You take the King Maker card away from Winston. You fuck National’s options. And for the Greens: you get a strong arm at the portfolio negotiating table because Labour cannot play NZF, Mana/Maori or UF off against you.

              Oh yeah, one other minor bonus: the 6th Labour Government won’t be steering right, whether it wants to or not.

              • Bill

                So the question becomes not so much ‘How to grow the left’ as ‘how the fuck might the left deal with Labour’.

                Which is a far more sensible question. Bar some remarkable mea culpas and step change, Labour are done. Finished. But they’ll ride the 100 year old tradition they don’t adhere to any more in a dishonest grab at power, no? Leaving the left to do – what?

        • CV - Real Labour 20.2.1.2

          They didn’t last time. Will they in 2014?

      • just saying 20.2.2

        Me too. I’m probably in a comfier spot than you right now Bill, but with hundreds of thousands of others, we’re in the same boat.

        And I’ve been have exactly this conversation with others too. Desperately trying to find a way out, but knowing all too well that life will just become more and more untenable. And not in some far off time when most people will be in the same boat. Fucked and blamed for being so.

        People wonder why we are angry. Pathologise our anger.
        What would be truly pathological would be accepting a status quo that is hell-bent on destroying us.

    • Colonial Weka 20.3

      “I have no idea what motivates these people.”

      Dave Kennedy posted a couple of days ago about the differences between the Greens and Labour.

      “The Green Party’s principles are philosophical overviews that provide guidance to the party’s operations as well as policy development. The Green Party also has vision statements, value statements, mission statements, success criteria and long term goals for internal operations as well as the work of the party and this means the party is very clear about its direction. As an institution the Green Party functions using contemporary management models that many successful organisations and businesses use. The inclusive, consensus approach to developing all of these principles and statements generally ensures that both the parliamentary caucus and the membership sing from the same song sheet.

      Labour’s principles appear reasonable and do cover similar themes to the Greens, but they read more like a list of human rights rather than a blue print for governance. What does “Democratic Socialist” really mean? Even Wikipedia struggles to define the term, and states “…groups of scholars have radically different definitions”. I also can’t find anything on the Labour Party website that clearly describes its political philosophy or broad priorities and the Party relies on its leadership to articulate and define what these are. This puts a huge weight onto the shoulders of David Shearer who is expected to provide the vision that the rest of the Party will follow. When the likes of David Cunliffe attempts to fill the void with a vision of his own, it is seen as a leadership challenge. Despite the size of the Labour Party it relies too heavily on the abilities of its leadership rather than a widely understood political philosophy and established policy and the National Party are easily able to exploit this weakness.”

      The whole thing is worth the read –

      http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/the-labourgreen-relationship.html

    • Gobsmacked, well said +1

    • Rhinocrates 20.5

      That’s good, honest and clear, Gobsmacked.

      Someone here (my apologies to that person for my amnesia) once said that the root cause of Shearer’s verbal, um, ahhh, where’s my bit of paper… awkwardness was the lack of a clear, consistent and coherent set of principles.

      Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you have a speech problem (Churchill and Claudius were stammerers, and most of us have probably seen The King’s Speech ), if faced with an awkward question for which you do not have a rehearsed answer, then you talk about your principles. Clark could do that but Shearer can’t because they’re vague and unconsidered at best or he thinks that such things don’t have gravitas or whatever.

      (I’ve just had a daydream of someone training Shearer to say “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fucking, fuck, fuck, fucking, fuck. Bugger, bugger, buggedy, buggedy, fuck, fuck, arse, balls, balls, fuckety, shit … and tits.”)

      Probably-fictitious anecdotes about roof painting beneficiaries and salt-of-the-earth types in Napier pubs mean nothing. They’re earnest attempts to appear to be someone who empathises with the working class, whom I suppose the ABC crew imagines wears cloth caps and braces and speak in rhyming slang or use “Opp North” accents and say “Ee, baa goom!” and “Ecky thoomp!”

      Someone please tell the man the difference between an anecdote and a parable. Hint: anecdotes are bullshit, while parables actually mean something and their meaning is clear – there’s no dog-whistling so high-pitched that it threatens to break all of the glass in my flat.

      But it’s not just Shearer.

      The whole fucking front bench/Politburo; the has-beens, the superannuated Rogernomes, the technocrats and their Mini-Mes are just as bad. Now it’s robotic repetitions of how we all have to be unified, we have policy, we’re – oh I love this – “holding the government to account”, but there’s no substance.

      Competence, substance, consistency and above all, representation.

      Oh shit, I just realised that I’m using the wrong language. I’ll try again… translations are added for normal human beings.

      Labour needs to embed core brand values in the market’s perception and manage that brand.

      It needs a “Unique Selling Proposition” – or USP. (Never miss out on a good acronym, it carries… like, you know, a “meme”.)

      (In English that would mean making people aware that you have a fundamentally different and superior character)

      Everyone has to be on-message.

      (And in English again, that means we don’t want sideshows like Su’a William Sio spending time campaigning for homophobia when he’s meant to be employment spokesperson or Shane Jones being the Member for Sealord or Trevor Mallard being alive and above ground)

      Build persistent personal brand identification

      (Show some loyalty and maybe you’ll get some in return.)

      Become media-friendly

      (Don’t be total fuckups in front of cameras)

      In-tune with media cycles.

      (Be ready with a release within twenty minutes of an inquiry, like the Greens, and not two days late).

      Be cyber-savvy

      (Wax cylinders, pony expresses and even valve wireless sets and mimeographs are history. Pigeons are an urban pest, not cutting-ege communications. The Internet is not simply a means of replicating these things. Realise this and cope with it. Propagating boob jokes (Trevor!) doesn’t count.)

      Synergise social media platforms.

      (Translation: girls at primary school talk to people, have facebook accounts and cell phones… maybe we should talk to people, and keep the dialogue going, not just blither patronisingly at them from behind an autocue)

      Viral blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

      (Say things that will carry, propagate – and in the way you want them to.)

      Incentivise collaborative structures

      (Don’t shit on your potential coalition partners.)

      Our focus groups-BANG!!!

      (Sound of a gunshot, abruptly curtailing some egregious nonsense)

      In order to maximise market penetration we must synergies our customer base through meme-linking, which is best facilitated by embedding a narrative through selective icon-propagation via social media platforms…

      (Horribly, I could translate this into English, but I refuse to do so)

      Maximise brand identity.

      (Wilkins, someone just mentioned something called a “soul”? Could your research unit google that for me? Yes, a “soul”, but I don’t think it has anything to do with shoes. Yes, they were quite clear about that and indeed, when I looked puzzled, they spelled it out to me: S-O-U-L)

      • CV - Real Labour 20.5.1

        Someone here (my apologies to that person for my amnesia) once said that the root cause of Shearer’s verbal, um, ahhh, where’s my bit of paper… awkwardness was the lack of a clear, consistent and coherent set of principles.

        I gotta say you nailed it yourself, right here:

        It’s not a speech disorder, or even a cognitive disorder. It’s a moral disorder.

        http://thestandard.org.nz/good-coverage-for-shearer/#comment-580612

      • Tim 20.5.2

        “It needs a “Unique Selling Proposition” – or USP. (Never miss out on a good acronym, it carries… like, you know, a “meme”.)”

        Yep, except it’s the tool of the tool. I mean SDLC once meant Synchronous Data Link Control, until some pratt popped up and stole the acronym and made it “Systems Development Life-Cycle” ffs! He/she did so no doubt when pushing some bullshit project akin to NovoPay.

        Acronyms are the language of the bullshit artist.
        Still (even in here) we’re only capable of talking about political engagement in terms of different “brands”. (Which – incidentally, is the reason the once-held respect for the likes of Annie died when she forgot a few principles in favour of -shit! I can’t use the descriptor – but my daughter is one – a [shhhhhhh F.H] -and I’m actually proud of her for it). Really – it was at that point as a professional politician supposedly committed to a cause that she should have resigned!

    • Murray Olsen 20.6

      That pretty much sums them up for me, Gobsmacked. No fire in their bellies, no passion to change the world. Heads so far up their own orifices they think playing stupid games around points of order and speaker appointments are worthwhile pursuits. Nothing people. Just apparatchiks who seem to have chosen their party by accident rather than conviction.

  21. Murray Olsen 21

    There is a huge difference between someone who won’t get out to vote Labour because they don’t think it will be different enough from NAct to bother, and someone who won’t get out to vote Mana or Greens because they don’t think they can get into power. The fact that Mana and the Greens do not get a huge percentage of the vote cannot be used to claim that Labour would not get more people out with a bit more of a left vision.

  22. Skinny 22

    I think I’ll pop up to Waitangi and critique Shearer & co. A sticky question here and there. A bit of a serve to Shearer for asking for my ph number so he could call to gauge my opinion to his idea’s. Talks cheap DS.

  23. GeoffC 23

    Labour’s dilemma in positioning within the electorate is primarily of identity.
    It straddles different groups within he electorate namely the left block social democrats, the marginalised voters who look to labour for saviour type social policy and the wide wide middle who are view equality as meritocracy opportunity.
    http://www.psychology.org.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=112

    Labour faces the rise or capture of the party by the Liberal sect, the supporters of neo lib steady as she goes and a mishmash of other identifiers.
    Unlike the Tories who have one clear ideology, just different shades, a captured or imbedded societal modern construct founded on materialism and individualism labour is simply lost confused and weakened by the need to reposition So as to capture the middle.
    This is the easy path…the harder path is to, in a meaningful and real manner, reorganise, reenergise and utilise the community.
    Rob talks about the left block and labour being of the centre left but what does this mean in actual empirical values of the voter and electorate makeup in modern terms.
    The middle is wide and moving…previous labour promises we’re to buy votes by locking in individual identifying policies such as student loans WFF…this time around labour must swing rightwards and pander to the centre to gain the engaged voter middle.
    My advise after looking at social democratic movements in Europe etc is this is not just a battle for the plush cushy seats or govt power but a war for the betterment of all new zea landers.
    Time for labour to step up quickly…a new direction bold enspirational full of piss and vinegar were the new zea landers the people control the market, the banks and the future.

  24. xtasy 24

    Wow, this thread is “overwhelming” to me, I did not read and post on it, due to other priorities. But it is a great incentive to take the inclusive approach and to share the positives that come out of it. Surely, what we presently get from Labour cannot be it as the whole solution (if at all).

    Keep it up, I agree with most, I am stressed out, I will be back with hopefully some new info on benefit and health related issues soon.

    Never stop considering a totally new, inclusive, more wide spread, leftist party, that could replace the Labour Party we still have, that has disappointed too many. Surely, there are alternative ideas and plans, it just needs to have the right people get together and start a new movement. It will be a total success, given the total disillusionment with politics and most parties at present. I am DEAD SERIOUS about all this.

  25. BeeDee 25

    “…a war for the betterment of all new zea landers….Time for labour to step up quickly…a new direction bold enspirational full of piss and vinegar were the new zea landers the people control the market, the banks and the future.”

    The “war” for betterment is already being fought and our main opponents are the NZers favouring the global corporations who are buying up the land, who need the expanded roading system to get resources out of our country, disregard environmental protection, who would like to change our labour laws much further than they have already, overstep our intellectual property laws, keep financial regulations which favour their investments here, etc.

    Any party wanting to govern for the betterment of NZ citizens has to walk a tightrope between the desire for a better life for all NZers and that enormous pressure from outside factors Or else… or else some sort of chaos will be created to keep our expectations very low. Impoverishing citizens to the point where they think voting will not change anything is such a strategy.

    The protests against the TPPA is one obvious example of the ongoing fight NZers are engaged in. Would Labour, if in government, be able to walk away from the TPPA? Labour is against the sale of publicly owned assets – and is against the borrowing by the present government to fund the “roads of national significance” . I’ll remain a Labour Party member.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Would Labour, if in government, be able to walk away from the TPPA?

      Nope. AFAIK Goff and Parker are both strong proponents of the TPPA.

      • Te Reo Putake 25.1.1

        Correct, CV. And it’s already been acknowleged by Labour that buying back the stolen assets from overseas investors may not be possible under the TPPA, because of onerous penalty clauses. That and the empty coffers we’ll find after the election which will make buying them back even more difficult.

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1

          Just warn potential foreign buyers now that their investments will be at risk if they proceed.

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  • 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
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 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...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 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...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ 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.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release 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...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • 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
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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