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Guest Post – What is Shane Jones doing?

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, March 15th, 2014 - 149 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, national, russel norman, Shane Jones, winston peters - Tags:

OK six months ago Shane Jones’ political career was going nowhere. Watching porn on the country’s credit card is not a good look and people have not forgotten this.

He was very entertaining during the Labour leadership campaign and made many people smile. There should be a place in the labour party for real characters although where precisely I am not sure.

His elevation to the front bench was deserved. He has preformed pretty well and skewering the Aussie supermarkets in the way they have manipulated local suppliers has been a highlight.

But Shane needs to realise that the game does not revolve around him. The Labour Party is not here to provide him with a career, he is here to further the interests of the Labour Party.

During the past couple of weeks he has in the news slinging mud at Green MP Gareth Hughes, calling Russel Norman an “Australian” and then letting some of the pressure off Judith Collins by insinuating she was having an affair and then apologising to her. He has continuously attacked the Greens for wanting to protect the environment and says that they are costing jobs. I am sure National MPs agree with Jones whole heartedly which shows what the problem is.

Yesterday, on the day that David Cunliffe gives an important speech the media are concentrating on Jones back down.

Jones and a few of the old guard seem to think that Labour’s best chance to win the election is to side up to New Zealand First and to attack the Greens. This is a really stupid idea and will trash a lot of good work that has been put into improving the relationship between Labour and the Greens. The thought of some sort of deal between Labour and Peters will annoy Labour and Green activists no end and will cause Labour considerable harm.

In 1999 when there was cooperation on the left Labour was elected to Government. In 2005 when there was similar cooperation Labour won a knife edge election and was elected to a third term for the first time since the first Labour Government. Cooperation is good and the sort of things left wing parties should do.

The problem with Jones cuddling up to Peters is that it makes it more likely that Labour Voters will go over to NZ First. Peters will side with the party that offers him the most baubles. Jones’ strategy may see National confirmed in Government for three more years.

Fenian

149 comments on “Guest Post – What is Shane Jones doing?”

  1. David H 1

    Sabotaging the Labour chances of winning the next election Cunliffe needs to shut him up or dump him straight to the furthest back bench with NO portfolios at all. Jones cannot be allowed to think he is bigger than the Labour party. And if he don’t like it then he can piss off to his first love the Nats.

  2. drongo 2

    I disagree. He’s positioning himself as future party leader after Cunliffe. It is obvious.

    • karol 2.1

      Anyone who thinks Jones is a credible leader for Labour is totally out of touch. Jones’ appeal is to a narrow section of the centre/centre left. He doesn’t have much of a great following among women for a start.

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Of course she does. He’s a corrupt greedy tory pig, just like her.

          • greywarbler 2.1.1.1.1

            tricledrown made this comment below. It’s a bit off because I would say that Jones has Labour on the back foot.
            But the bit about barbs and contrition and what felix says about Collins and Jones reminds me of The Press cartoon that Bryce Edwards has picked up. Collins being so sorrrry, Not.
            https://twitter.com/bryce_edwards

            Jones is keeping Labour in the news and on the front foot .
            His apologies had more barbs than contrition.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.2

        Yes, and most Labour voters think Key is scum, and look how popular he is.

        • karol 2.1.2.1

          I’m talking principle. Too much focus is on the horse race and calculations of how to win votes.

          What’s the point of a right wing Labour Caucus leading a government?

          • Lanthanide 2.1.2.1.1

            If your choice is right-wing National with ACT as an excuse for the really toxic policies, vs a right-wing Labour, what is your choice?

            You can wish as much as you like for some other option, but if you have to choose from those two, which do you choose?

            • karol 2.1.2.1.1.1

              I choose Green. It’s about principle and policy. The whole lesser evil approach has resulted in the centre of politics being pulled steadily left. Enough of compromise politics. It’s time to lead on the big issues and focus on informing the public.

              Too much time has been wasted on the whole horse race, Game approach to discussing politics.

              • Wayne

                But Karol, you would always choose Green irrespective of whether David Cunliffe gets his way on everything or not (though I guess he gets for electorate vote)

                • karol

                  Yes. I was just answering Lanth’s question.

                  Edit: My electorate boundary has changed – I am now in the Kelston electorate. Have no idea who the candidate choice will include.

          • geoff 2.1.2.1.2

            Precisely.

            Looking at the big picture in politics as a popularity contest is completely pointless.

            It has to rest on principles and policies because that is what actually makes a difference to people’s lives.

            • JustLikeTigerWoods 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Policy without popularity is the equivalent of a tree falling in a forest. Meanwhile, the opposition sets the economic and ideological agenda for decades to come.

              • geoff

                The policies that National supports will guarantee their eventual fall in popularity.
                National pisses on people’s shoes and tells them it’s raining. Their lies and spin will catch up with them in the end.

                • JustLikeTigerWoods

                  National will eventually not be the government. Then Labour will be the government. Then National again. And on it goes.

                  Politics is about compromise. Under MMP, even more so. I can’t see the public buying into any extreme political agenda.

                  • Tracey

                    And no one has compromised the majority of the workforce like this government.

                  • geoff

                    Gosh you’re wrong about that too! You’ve a real talent.

                    Politics is on a continual leftward drift because leftwing politics is at heart about representing the people. That’s why the Green party is now a major political player.

                    The National party is now a special interest party, it’s just that they are backed by powerful financial interests. So in a way you’re correct, eventually the public will see how extreme National is and they’ll stop buying into it.

                    It’s a pity that National abandoned their principles for neoliberal plundering. Long-term they’ve kinda fucked themselves.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Gosh Geoff, you’re wrong again too! You’ve a real talent.

                      That was lazy and easy, wasn’t it.

                      Leftward drift? It’s like Rogernomics never happened, huh.

                      I doubt the Green Party will do well under the full glare of public scrutiny. They are too far-left. Their current levels of support are due mostly to Labour being so awful. They are highly unlikely to survive being a minor partner, as history shows minor parties get decimated in government.

                      National are not extreme. They are very close to Helen Clark’s Labour. That centrist core is what New Zealanders want, not some re-run of cod-Marxist Venuzuela.

                    • geoff

                      Oh so rogernomics was introduced because the public demanded it?
                      The electorate has drifted left in spite of neoliberalism.

                      Once again your ignorance of history shines through.

                      Funny you talk about the full glare of public scrutiny because it’s National that are presently crumbling under that public scrutiny. John is looking very weak next to Collins.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Labour were voted in for a second term following Rogernomics.

                      Under MMP, we’re highly unlikely to see significant shifts. Support partners would block policy agendas that come out of the blue. New Zealanders are unlikely to vote for radical change in advance.

                      National aren’t crumbling. Colins was stupid, but it is beltway stuff. Come the election, people will vote for Key, because they like him and trust him, and for a continuation of economic policy, because it appears to be going well for most.

                    • geoff

                      Tiger, your ignorance is only exceeded by your disingenuousness.

                      Not many people understood what the long term effects of rogernomics would be which is partly why Labour got a second term.

                      The big political shifts of the future will occur as the inevitable fallout from 30+ years of rightwing economics. MMP or no not.

                      National are crumbling, it’s just a question of whether glad-wrap John can keep the festering turd held together long enough to get past the election.

                    • national are as irrelevant and as rotten as the republicans in america..

                      ..owned by special-interests..

                      ..and serving them only…

                      ..phillip ure..

                  • I can’t see the public buying into any extreme political agenda.

                    But they have. Most people – through their votes – seem to be accepting of the fundamental foundations of the Roger Douglas government (yes, his government).

                    If that is thought not to be an extreme political agenda then the word ‘extreme’ has lost all meaning. The vast swathe of suffering that followed that agenda – and continues to be generated by it – has certainly been extreme. ‘Third World’ disease, increased mental ill-health, dislocation of people from each other and from place – and the social and community consequences of that – are all direct and entirely predictable consequences of the ‘liberalised’ economy, labour market and public sector. The figurative jungle was created and the weak have dutifully gone to the wall as a result.

                    By contrast, what the Greens are proposing could only be described as moderate.

              • Tracey

                Popularity without Policy is the equivalent of a tree falling in a forest. Another forestry worker dies.

                FIFY

          • PapaMike 2.1.2.1.3

            Too much left wing and you frighten the horses.

            • karol 2.1.2.1.3.1

              The horses need to learn to be real journalists. But, the strength of the left is in the people – by-pass the horses.

      • Chooky 2.1.3

        +100

      • Karen 2.1.4

        All Shane Jones is doing is ensuring my party vote goes to the Greens and not Labour. I find him absolutely repulsive and every woman I know feels exactly the same.

        • rhinocrates 2.1.4.1

          I’m stuck with Beltway Grant as my electorate MP, so my electorate vote will be Green too.

          That said, as a heterosexual cisgendered bloke with a rugby hero father, I find Jones absolutely repulsive. Does that guy drink Brut 33 or Old Spice by the pint?

        • drongo 2.1.4.2

          I’d consider voting Labour if Jones were the leader. Meanwhile, I’ll give my vote to the Nats. A third term for Key seems, is, inevitable.

          • phillip ure 2.1.4.2.1

            thank you for yr help there drongo..

            ..in painting jones in the corner he should be in..

            ..the rightwing/neo-lib/owned by corporate-interests one..

            ..of course you would support jones..!

            ..and that’s also how we know where he stands..

            ..jones not only put the act on the gummint-credit-card..

            ..he just is a total wanker..

            ..phillip ure..

      • Stephanie Rodgers 2.1.5

        I agree, but I’ve seen a lot of people saying the same thing about Jones recently – and given he ran for the leadership last year he clearly sees himself as credible. I just wish we didn’t have these sideshows (and that people could can the petty personal attacks! There’s so much to criticise Collins for!).

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Interesting, if somewhat naive post.

    “The thought of some sort of deal between Labour and Peters will annoy Labour and Green activists no end and will cause Labour considerable harm.”

    Labour activists already understand that the next Labour led government will most likely require support from both NZF and the Greens. That’s just the way the numbers stack up. Rather than doing harm, having a good relationship with Peters is actually vital if we want to guarantee an end to the NACTM government.

    It’s funny that you should write this paragraph, yet forget the actual makeup of the 2005 Clark government:

    “In 2005 when there was similar cooperation Labour won a knife edge election and was elected to a third term for the first time since the first Labour Government. Cooperation is good and the sort of things left wing parties should do.”

    So if cooperation is what left wing parties should do, why shouldn’t we do it with Peters? It worked in 2005, it will have to work now.

    • Bill 3.1

      Was it in 2005 that Labour was bending over backwards behind the scenes to assure the US that the Greens would not be in power while peddling the opposite line in public? The cables were all a part of the wiki leaks. It’s a searchable data base.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        Why are you asking me, Bill? Shouldn’t you be asking the wikileaks database? I’ll be interested in the answer, because it always puzzled me why HC didn’t try harder to get the Greens into government. On the surface, it was Winston’s refusal to go into coalition with them, but given his vanity, I would have thought he could have been bought off anyway in the negotiations.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Only reason I’m asking is because I can’t quite remember for sure what election year the cables referred to and I thought that you might.

          • karol 3.1.1.1.1

            I can’t find anything that specific – only stuff about how Clark moved more towards the US, and embraced Winston Peters.

            Now in her third term in office, Clark has over the years developed a deeper understanding of the breadth and benefits of the US-New Zealand relationship. She recognises that sound bites matter, and in response has begun to modulate her public statements to be more positive about the relationship. She also strenuously avoids saying anything critical about U.S. policy. Although a strengthened centrist domestic political opposition may motivate Clark to be more open to us, most of her efforts to improve bilateral cooperation have not been made public, indicating genuine commitment.

          • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1.1.2

            Fair enough, Bill, sorry for being snarky. It really doesn’t sound all that plausible, given that HC never made any public promises that the Greens would be part of any of her governments*, nor would she have any reason to ‘assure’ the yanks of the opposite. She wouldn’t even have the ability to make such an assurance because she couldn’t know in advance how any election would play out, so she couldn’t know whether or not the greens would be needed to make up the numbers.

            *all Labour leaders under MMP have taken the line that its up to the voters to decide who the players are. I’ve never liked that approach and I’d rather we already have an agreement to form a voting bloc with the greens and NZF. ie, be upfront and let voters know that they have two choices, a tripartite coalition of 3 well supported parties or more of the same old shit from whatever desperate, dismal arrangement Key can cobble together post election.

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

        I would also like to see a link Bill. The comment was obviously about the mode of campaigning. I remember clearly Helen Clark and Jeanette Fitzsimons sharing campaign opportunities in 2005 although paradoxically it did not seem to help the Green’s result.

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          There was something somewhere, from memory quite explicit, about Labour mollifying the US admin through Burnett and whoever in Auckland and Wellington in relation to the Greens while spinning a different line in public. But, can I find it again? Of course not! ;-)

          Here’s the closest similar reference I can find at the moment.

          Clark will ensure that the Greens are kept well away from foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence matters should the Labour-Green coalition form the government.

          http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=05WELLINGTON702&q=clark%20green%20labour

          If I feel up to wading through the database at some point and actually find it, I’ll post it.

    • Chooky 3.2

      +100 Te Reo Putake…there is no reason Labour can not , as Cunliffe wants, be in coalition with both the Greens and NZF….in fact Winnie is not sabotaging this…He is after Minister of Foreign Affairs imo…he and the Greens can co-exist . They are no longer in competition for votes

      Feel this post is stirring up trouble where there is none.

      It is clear to most that Shane Jones is a maverick out on his own…effective in some areas but not PM material…most effective as a support for Cunliffe

    • felix 3.3

      “Rather than doing harm, having a good relationship with Peters is actually vital if we want to guarantee an end to the NACTM government.”

      Actually having a good relationship with Peters and the Greens is vital.

      Having one at the expense of the other is the way to disaster, either before the election or after.

  4. Ant 4

    Shane looks like he is winning votes for Labour from the soft centre. Cunliffe, Robertson, and Jones had a great dynamic during the leadership race, now with Parker they form a strong team, not using those resources is ridiculous.

    Labour needs to strip 5-7% off National for a left block to win, the greens aren’t going to deliver it.

    • Skinny 4.1

      I agree with your sentiments Jones is pulling in soft centre votes. I met some guy last night that fit this very category. They were praising Shane for keeping it real. After having a good robust political debate here was the pleasing result. Out of the 5 men here is how they voted at the last election, 3 party votes National, 1 party vote Green and 1 Conservative. This election the 3 previous Nat voters are party voting Labour, the conservative voter is voting back Labour and the Green remains the same.

      The common thread was their liking of Jones dealing to the supermarkets and for 2 of them dealing to the Greens.

      • karol 4.1.1

        So Jones gets some of the male vote then? And women?

        • Skinny 4.1.1.1

          Yes I know a few that like him. One good friend dislikes the Greens and takes great joy in winding me up about them. Have to say getting a but sick of defending them. Hughes was being a little twerp the other day and deserved the clip around the ears by Jones. I simply can not believe Normans nonsense about Collin Craig. The Greens have lost cred’s with me lately, through stupid behavior. So if that has happen with me, one can only imagine others thinking the Greens are nut jobs, no offense to the many solid Greenies :)

          • karol 4.1.1.1.1

            What did Hughes do to deserve a clip around the ear?

            Keep using the right wing and spin-smear about The Greens being nut jobs….. very helpful to Labour as they look unlikely to be able to form a government without the Greens.

            And the Greens maintain a stronger left wing cred that the current Labour Caucus.

            • Chooky 4.1.1.1.1.1

              @ karol..you ask “What did Hughes do to deserve a clip around the ear?”

              ..you mean Hughes being called a “Mollyhawk”?…I thought Hughes found it amusing….which is the correct attitude to take….and Cunliffe was correctly quite mild also

              This “Mollyhawk” name calling is a NON ISSUE and is being blown out of proportion ( by the msm?…lets not help them)

              …..the response should be “Oh well we all know Jonesy regards himself as a stallion amongst the fillies” …ha ha…!.and leave it at that

              Jones is entitled to his opinions about the Greens and vice versa…but it is a side issue to Labour/Greens /NZF/Mana winning this election and must not be blown out of proportion

  5. greywarbler 5

    The post is very fair to Jones. And the point that he can do some good, has done some good, has made some mistakes that would probably be overlooked has been made fairly. And further indications, that he is possibly becoming a liability rather than an asset when looked at objectively is important.

    I think David H sizes up the situation well in the first comment.

    Sabotaging the Labour chances of winning the next election Cunliffe needs to shut him up or dump him straight to the furthest back bench with NO portfolios at all.

    Commenters should bear this matter in mind and not go off at tangents about whether Peters will be in or out. We certainly don’t want to see Labour voters go to NZF in the idea that he will automatically support Labour. But this is about Jones. And whether he is a fool. He is attacking the Green Party that Labour needs. The Green Party has been the fount of ideas and policies that will help us into the 21st century.
    NACT is wanting to remain in the mid 1900’s, Labour with Jones’ thinking would take us further back than that.

    He seems to be colonial in his attitudes to the country’s economy, when we were majorly into primary products and extractive industries. This thinking will take us back faster to the 1900’s which we seem to be already sliding towards, with many of us gripping desperately to our present position but our nails are making those horrible rasping noises when scraped on a blackboard. Have we learned nothing all these years to the 21st century? Listening to Jones, he’s a tub thumper from the past.

    Keep the thoughts on Labour and Jones. We need people loyal to and supportive of Cunliffe’s leadership. We need people who are encouraged to put ideas forward in frequent meetings of the shadow cabinet and caucus, but not air them in public until granted leave to do so. A controlled strategy is required so that there are no scandals, no odd statements, no brainfarts, no flights of fancy only affordable visions, no chest thumping and appeals to the common man who may be full of alcohol (ie stupid pub talk). And importantly, no lack of cohesion of the Party to pick up on.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    There is no down side for Shane Jones or, as long as he is clever, for Labour.

    Labour and the Greens share some social democratic ideas which makes them good coalition partners but –

    1/ Jones helping Labour reconnect with middle New Zealand – 90% of New Zealanders have no time for the Greens and their unconvincing economic ideas. Being to close to the Greens will therefore turn off that vast majority. Labour needs to remind the electorate that the Green’s are a separate party that may gain the treasury benches at Labour’s grace and favour, and not a faction of Labour. Remember, the ideal situation for Labour is being able to pick and chose from a position of dominance. If on the other hand the election gives the Greens a strong hand, then I am sure they’ll play hardball so they should park the whiny bitches routine. Labour doesn’t owe them diddly squat, and vice versa and the Green sense of entitlement is astonishing for a party that has never been in government.

    2/ Positioning himself for the leadership – If perchance Labour loses and it looks like a bunch of senior MPs white-anted the campaign to get rid of Cunliffe then Shane Jones is grounded enough to know there will be an enormous backlash from the party membership, up to and including expulsions of the last of the old-guard new right canker (if Labour doesn’t win, I am picking the fall-out will include a bunch of ABC walking away from Labour and forming a new party, a la Peter Dunne). In any case I wouldn’t want to be an ABC in that case and neither does Shane Jones.

    I am quite enjoying watching the supermarkets splutter indignantly and Crusher well up with crocodile tears :)

    • karol 6.1

      The downside of Jones is that he really isn’t left wing at all. It’s a matter of principle. I thought Cunliffe’s Labor was going to be more about conviction politics.

      The Greens’ economic policies are sound. It’s not helpful for the left to keep repeating the right wing, MSM supported spin lines about the Greens not being credible.

      What does labor stand for if they are willing to support the right wing to gain votes. And NZ First should be the last consideration for any truly left wing party.

      • Sanctuary 6.1.1

        Conviction politicians still have to know how to count. All the conviction in the world is worth nothing if you are twiddling your thumbs in opposition.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Actually focusing on the horse race puts a lot of people off voting. The way to win non-voters is not more “beltway” focused politics as Game. It’s through standing up with conviction on what is important for NZ’s future and for all kiwis, especially the battlers.

      • MrSmith 6.1.2

        True Karol, and are Labour saying when dishing the Greens and cuddling up to Winston that if Labour form a government along with the Greens and NzFirst they will look to National to pass legislation if the Green won’t support it.

        So beware people because quite possibly a vote for Labour is a Vote for the same old tired neoliberal bullshit!

        You want to keep people like Shane Jones in Labour quiet. Vote Green lets get them to 15%.

      • Chooky 6.1.3

        Winnie and NZF was once to the Left of the Labour Party remember!?…so lets not put Winnie down….the Left needs him again to WIN!

        …just as Helen Clark worked well with him in order to keep Labour in Government

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Yeah, I generally agree with your analysis, Sanc.

    • greywarbler 6.3

      Good points Sanctuary. Chaos theory maybe. Introduce a new variable, Jones, changes the path from the trend line and if it doesn’t wipe out the previous position, then it likely adds another grouping to the Labour votes.

      But also, think about whether Jones is going to undermine David Cunliffe’s position and desires for the running of the campaign?
      If it appears that David has no authority over Jones it then raises questions about whether he can run a stable government under his overall direction or whether there will be various MPs putting their positions up which may run counter to the accepted policies that voters would be expecting. Then voters might stick to what they know, Key and Co. whether they like them or not.

      Has Jones got enough self control to keep to a line that he is
      given the okay to pursue without constantly introducing new issues that don’t fit with Labour’s decided approach? I think not.Even if given room to tubthump, he won’t accept any reasoned controls and go on emotional bashes that will be embarrassing to the Labour campaign and ultimately to respect for the Party. It’s Jones for Jones, the all-knowing hero I think.

    • geoff 6.4

      I don’t buy this analysis at all, Sanctuary.

      You’re effectively advocating for a divided left and I think that would make an election win for the left impossible. That’s a pretty big ‘downside’ for Labour.
      That’s even without accounting for the valuable media time that would be dedicated to how divided the left would be, instead of focusing on the glaring deficits of National.

      I’m sure Jones has had a talking to and I would guess that if he rocks the boat further he will be tossed over-board.

    • newsense 6.5

      I don’t buy the middle NZ bullshit.

      But I do smell a Matt McCarten plan to go after Winston’s vote. Or look at tacking centrewards, just in a different way than Cunliffe was doing. It gets up the nose of those who would never vote for Winston, but it is a strategy.

      As much as I might have prefered presenting a unified front with the Greens and looking competent, this seems to be what has been trumped for. I mean Julie Anne Genter, Mojo Mathers- not sure about Ward…but if most of the Greens Mps get more attention they won’t lose votes from that.

      I think a lot of people are more sympathetic to the Greens and not being environmentally greedy and destroying what we’ve got, but they want to feed their children and grandchildren too. Ergo- solar panneling a winner as it achieves both…

  7. Bill 7

    The problem with Jones cuddling up to Peters is that it makes it more likely that Labour Voters will go over to NZ First.

    Erm – no. If they successfully hobble any left turn, then many Labour votes will fall to the Greens. Maybe enough to weaken Cunliffe and the left of the party enough so that post election another leadership challenge transpires.

    Can’t escape the feeling that too many of the caucus still don’t get that the caucus no longer has free reign to order ‘their’ patch. That, and that a tide is coming in.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      If Cunliffe loses he definitely will not remain leader after the election. This isn’t the same as 1996.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        If the membership and affiliates reckon he was monkey wrenched, then why not?

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Because in order for the membership and affiliates to vote for him, he has to stand as a candidate.

          • felix 7.1.1.1.1

            And?

            • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I think following a loss at the election, he wouldn’t.

              Anyway there’s nothing stopping the caucus then overthrowing the leader after a few months anyway.

              • felix

                Perhaps I misunderstand the party rules. I’m under the impression that caucus alone can no longer do that.

                Also, an election loss doesn’t leave the party leaderless. He doesn’t have to “re-apply” for his job.

                Or does he? Like I said, I may not be on top of the party rules.

                • Mike

                  No, because of the scheming to undermine Shearer by feral DC supporters back in 2012, the absurd 40% threshold to roll the leader after the election gives the caucus MORE power, not less.

                  • geoff

                    feral?

                    Is that you Whale?

                    • felix

                      Whoever it is, I don’t think he knows what he’s on about.

                      40% of caucus can trigger a vote, not “roll the leader”. And losing an election doesn’t automatically leave the party leaderless.

                      Can someone who isn’t a complete fucking idiot can fill us in please?

                    • Jim Nald

                      Cunliffe will be even more formidable from this point.

                      Any outcome from 20 Sep 2014 will provide him a stronger hand to ensure the tossers and relics of the Labour Caucus are consigned to history.

      • geoff 7.1.2

        You keep saying that, Lanth. Maybe that will make it true!

        The membership and the affiliates want a true left leader. Cunliffe is one of a very small number in the Labour caucus that fits that bill and that won’t change after the election.
        Jones is not leftwing. Jones is in it for Jones.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.3

        I think you’re wrong, Lanth. I think Cunliffe would stand again and would get re-endorsed. Assuming, that is, that the loss wasn’t clearly as a result of his leadership (ie some cock up or other or just a pisspoor campaign).

    • Olwyn 7.2

      Can’t escape the feeling that too many of the caucus still don’t get that the caucus no longer has free reign to order ‘their’ patch. That, and that a tide is coming in.

      The charitable view is that Jones wants Labour to win and is doing what he can to unify the left and right of the party. The uncharitable view is that he is the front man for those who lost the leadership battle but refuse to admit defeat. The uncharitable view would dissolve at once if certain caucus members and Labour spokespeople were to more wholeheartedly accept the wider party’s wishes.

  8. Ad 8

    I like his ego and swagger; Labour spends too much time apologising. We need more political presence.

    I like his humour; Cunliffe has none. It covers most ills and shortens negative memory. Key is fantastic at it.

    I like his defence of business; you won’t change a country by largely opposing and regulating them. And he has donor-hoovering capacity. His boardroom presence is superior among all progressives.

    He brings many northland Maori, and Labour neds to prepare to deal with post-settlement Nga Puhi.

    His attacks on the Greens are an excellent signal to voters who think some of Labour – and all of Greens – are run by academics and effete children that its worth crossing over for.

    He is worth voting for. Pity 90% of Labour’s caucus aren’t equal to his media or stage presence.

    • geoff 8.1

      You’re easily swayed by personality.
      The electorate won’t be so easily distracted once they’re scurrying about trying to get a 2nd or 3rd job McJob just to avoid a mortgagee sale of their house.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Plenty of voters turn on whether they like your hair that day, whether they like your smile, whether they seduce the camera. Some even vote Labour.

        • geoff 8.1.1.1

          All irrelevant when higher interest rates begin to bite and National leaves all the punters with 90% mortgages hung out to dry.

          Haircuts and smiles mean fuck all when the back pocket is under attack.

    • newsense 8.2

      can you tell me some of his jokes? I’ve heard a lot of interesting expressions, but not heard anything genuinely funny…

      if he’s that great, it’s about time he won a seat.

      Why do you automatically attack Cunliffe? He hasn’t really relaxed into the role- he was at the start, and when the polls were doing ok…and may be better now he’s got Matt working for him…

      I trust Cunliffe more than Jones. Basically. Colourful expressions don’t guarantee living wages and a steady hand on the tiller.

      • Ad 8.2.1

        They are repeated at any RSA on a Friday night, sometimes without prompting.

        • newsense 8.2.1.1

          Really? Didn’t hear any last time I was at an RSA. Source or example that doesn’t mean I say they are please or you are just talking BS.

    • greywarbler 8.3

      Ad
      Ultimately if all you comment on is true and comes to pass it could then lead to Jones standing for Labour Leader. Which I don’t think he has a hope in hell of achieving successfully. This is because there is more to a job than succeeding to it, it’s what intelligence, nous and vision you can apply within it. Jones would be Key in overalls. I don’t like that thought.

      And think of a populist buffoon who managed to capture the hearts if not the minds of people in Canada’s Rob Ford of Toronto This opinion piece comes up on Google ‘Canada’s clowning politician’. It says that Rob Ford is part of the 1%, but he knows how to appeal to voters to get in although he is basically right wing.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/toronto-mayor-rob-ford-new-video_n_4639750.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular,robford

      One report on him has the headline ‘Toronto mayor singlehandedly makes Canadian politics interesting again’.
      The media wanting politics to be a circus, a place of entertainment, so they can sell more advertising, make more money!

      That sort of politician will get good air time but doesn’t do anything for ensuring voters get good governance, or that they know what they are getting. Some quips, some swear words, the ordinary man who doesn’t aspire to do as good a job in his position as the ordinary man does.

      Some people don’t understand the need for getting ‘good help’ when it comes to employing politicians – that the election is for choosing who will do the job of the country’s management role. It’s hard to do human resources when you don’t think about it seriously. Get to choose someone without jokes, and snide remarks about whoever is the current scapegoat of society, the Greenies, DPBs, unemployed, druggies, whatever.
      http://rabble.ca/news/2013/11/dark-clown-spectacle-charade-and-dark-politics-rob-ford

      This is a comment from Huffington Post Canada google site by Rob Ford that demonstrates the weakness of a system where voters can be distracted from their job of thinking seriously about the country and economy and social conditions, and go for amusement instead.
      Rob Ford. … So, Who’s Running For Toronto Mayor? … I’ve heard Jimmy Kimmel and various Americans (and Canadians) say, “Well, he seems to be a pretty good mayor”.
      Rob Ford … I wanted to talk about politics, but I knew if I did that, I’d likely lose the audience.

      • greywarbler 8.3.1

        While looking further in google I came on this. When you get a poseur in a powerful position he/she will manipulate anything to advance their own interests. So take care who you support and who you vote for! You may be letting a cunning predator get the freedom of the zoo.

        Rob Ford, Toronto Mayor in 2012 addressed a meeting on World Press Freedom Day 8 May 2012. He spoke and left. No comments on the aggressive way he had gone after a reporter who had dared to compile information on one of his financial projects.

        The mayor has been embroiled in a public spat with the Toronto Star newspaper after confronting reporter Daniel Dale in a public park behind Ford’s house.
        Ford has accused Dale of spying on his family, while the Toronto Star maintains Dale was there writing about a piece of parkland Ford has applied to purchase from the region’s conservation authority.

        http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-mayor-marks-world-press-freedom-day-1.806875

      • Ad 8.3.2

        Unfortunately candidates here don’t get sent along the corridor from H.R. He’s no real challenge to Cunliffe – but I could see him in Deputy Prime Minister’s seat shortly.

        Agree it takes more than brio and Bon mots. Fortunately he has more in the tank than that.

      • Murray Olsen 8.3.3

        Key in overalls is a great description of Jones.

    • Skinny 8.4

      Jones is hopeless in his own patch, you only have to look at the very poor party votes Labour pulled. Shane is being a Maverick and will be threatening to jump to NZF and take over from Winston. I would cut him loose after the election win.

      • Ad 8.4.1

        Such defeatism! A confident Labour leadership would go hard for NZF and destroy them as a party. We need more of Jones, not less.

        NZ politics is continuing to splinter in part because Labour and National are complacent. Imagine if Labour displayed NZFirst’s patriotic fervour and defensive pride. 6% of voters there for the taking from Parliament’s toupeed Tom Jones. Shane Jones running hard would haul that all back home to Labour.

        • Skinny 8.4.1.1

          No need for talk of wiping NZF out they have been good with policies like the Gold Card. All I am saying is Jones need to get off his arse in his own patch and work constructively to pull the votes in his own patch of Northland, he is after all the only Labour MP up there. I can tell you we never see him which is a bloody disgrace!

    • Chooky 8.5

      Ad +100….. but Cunliffe is best as leader of the Labour Party

      • Ad 8.5.1

        Agreed. New Lynn all the way my friend.

        • Skinny 8.5.1.1

          Labour ( including McCarten) and the Greens should have started strongly mooting the idea of buying the citizen’s of New Zealand’s assets back. I stated this on here earlier in the week. Now Winston takes centre stage by reaffirming any coalition arrangement with National or Labour/Greens will be on the condition our assets are to be coming back to all the people not just the few! Of course he is probably full of crap but it certainly will cause a few headaches for Key-National and the GE sale.

          So that is National out!

          Way to go Winston!

    • Sookie 8.6

      I agree with Ad. Shane Jones is amusing and a good foil for Cunliffe, who comes across as a bit of a smug elitist. I vote Green and even I think they act a bit pompous and precious sometimes. I am not offended at Shane having a go at them.

      • greywarbler 8.6.1

        Can I make the point that we aren’t choosing who will sit next to each other at a dinner party.. Who will socialise well with who, and who it doesn’t matter, because they are lucky to get invited anyway.

        This is about more than what you think – it’s what the nation thinks and/or feels. Your opinion counts for yourself only. try thinking about Labour working together getting behind David Cunliffe to be Prime Minister. Not like kids at college with favourite teachers or watching a pantomime with Cunliffe cast in the main role, trying to keep up with the sneaky jester playing tricks on him.

        This from newsense at 12.1 below summarises important points about Shane Jones which you casual acceptors of him should be considering.
        Jones- Grew up up north, went to Harvard, Sealord, picked out by Helen, Bill Liu scandal, porn scandal, light bulbs, saying he’d like to do things to John Key’s testicles, being a big pal with the 3rd Degree guys, new missus, sticking it to the Greens, forestry and…

        I don’t understand what personal convictions and life philospohy Jones subscribes to and why he’s in parliament. I can understand it making people nervous.

    • Murray Olsen 8.7

      The people I know personally who are most intense in their dislike of SeaLord Jones are Northland Maori. I don’t know one Maori woman who has any time for him at all. This may be a reflection of the people I know, but it’s at least as valid as you laughing at his jokes at the local RSA.

      The best thing I’ve ever heard about him is that you can’t take his public statements seriously, because he’s just after attention in what he sees as a big game. The worst can be left to the imagination of the reader.

  9. jones is a sheep in wolf clothing and when the time comes he imo will stick the sharp sword in someones back and swagger to the top, as the right rejoice and jones starts the payback. Short-memory-labourites will eventually wail oh know not another douglas or prebble , or maybe not, they probably supported the policies from those two which cut our country into ribbons. Meanwhile the left will continue on, as the cloak ‘labour’ is used to further decimate the values of the left and cover the actions of the right.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Jones is keeping Labour in the news and on the front foot .
    His apologies had more barbs than contrition.

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      “and on the front foot” – as well as regularly shooting Labour’s foot, and sometimes also stuffing his mouth with it ?

  11. Corokia 11

    Jones is a fossil and there’s very little difference between him and National. He comes across as sexist and pro mining, the polar opposite to Green values, so no suprise he is dissing us. I expect he would prefer Labour to lose so he can spend the next 3 years making speeches in opposition and building his personal profile than have to work with the Greens.

  12. Karen 12

    I cannot understand the support for Shane Jones. Shane Jones is right wing with reactionary ideas and belongs in the National Party. He supports big business and doesn’t give a stuff for the poor and dispossessed, in spite of his rhetoric about supporting extractive industries because they provide jobs. He is very much in favour of foreign fishing vessels plundering our oceans and paying slave wages instead of encouraging a local industry training up young New Zealanders to do this work.

    • newsense 12.1

      It’s hard to know exactly what he is. I think that is really the disquieting thing. Other politician’s narratives are fairly clear.

      Cunliffe- son of a minster done good, went to Harvard, good job, cares about Labour values and compassionate and productive government, holds New Lynn.

      Jones- Grew up up north, went to Harvard, Sealord, picked out by Helen, Bill Liu scandal, porn scandal, light bulbs, saying he’d like to do things to John Key’s testicles, being a big pal with the 3rd Degree guys, new missus, sticking it to the Greens, forestry and…

      I don’t understand what personal convictions and life philospohy Jones subscribes to and why he’s in parliament. I can understand it making people nervous.

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        +1

      • swordfish 12.1.2

        @ newsense:

        I dont understand what personal convictions and life philosophy Jones subscribes to……..

        Well, I do remember him appearing on one of TVNZ’s specialist Maori programmes – probably Marae – shortly before the 2005 Election. He made it very clear that he was “agnostic” on economic policy, being more than happy with the neo-liberal consensus and seemed to imply that he had enormous trouble deciding whether he should be standing for Labour or National. Clearly very much on the Conservative and Neo-Liberal Right of the Party right from the very start.

        On the question of NZ First (discussed in various comments above), yeah I agree that it’s exceedingly unlikely that the Left will be able to form a government without Peters this election.

  13. tc 13

    Jones has value, if he can stay focused and knock about several of the nact MPs from angles most folk would agree with.

    Folk need to see some mongrel from labour, shes going to be a nasty ride. Jones has uses now and as a minister, up to him how he plays it.

    • marty mars 13.1

      remember when prebble was labours attack dog? The problem with loose units like jones is that they bite everyone – the good, bad and ugly, foe and friend alike and then sit there waiting for a pat – very hard to talk to a dog that likes to bite – usually only one answer even when the hound is well loved by the owners and that is where the blame should be placed – not on jones but on labour’s leadership for trying to use him in that way and if they aren’t using him in that way then sort it out because he thinks it’s his job to bite, bite and bite.

  14. captain hook 14

    +100 TC.
    lABOUR NEEDS TO WIND Shane Jones up and point him in the right direction.

    • rhinocrates 14.1

      Pointing him is the problem. As Marty says, he bites everyone, and he takes any attempt at discipline as a personal affront to be avenged immediately. He isn’t very bright, he’s utterly self-centred and has the emotional control of a spoilt adolescent.

      He’s a potential asset, but he’s a real liability.

  15. tricledrown 15

    Eye eye captain.
    All hands on deck.
    Politics is not a fairy tale we have to make the best of a bad situation.
    National have been targeting the greens sucessfully.
    Russell Normans attack on Colon Craig backfired and has given him a platform he didn’t have.
    Jones is distancing labour from the greens to be able to pick up the soft swing voters.
    So we have 3 more years of smarmkey or a moderate left coalition.
    MMP forces pragmatism.
    That’s the reality.
    If you want real left wing policy it would be much easier to get elected at a local body level aka Bruce Jesson.

    • karol 15.1

      Pragmatism has so far just brought us more Labour Party soft neoliberalism – just not helpful in the long term.

      Time for a return to a strong and principled left.

    • Stephanie Rodgers 15.2

      I’m interested in your assessment of Russel Norman/Colin Craig. I don’t see that Craig’s been given any extra platform – he’s always found it easy to get media attention. And I haven’t seen anyone besides Craig really buy the idea that Norman defamed him – everyone knows he’s got socially conservative ideas.

      If anything, there’s been a lot of pundits saying that the issue just proves Colin Craig isn’t well suited for politics if he’s going to sue people over every minor criticism.

  16. irascible 16

    As far as I can see and read from Labour’s sustained attack on the credibility of Judith Collins and, by association, John Key is that Grant Robertson has chosen to take Collins down wihile Jones acts as the vocal back up. Cunliffe is doing the hard yards as Party Leader fronting on policy and positioning the Party for the campaign which is of prime importance strategically. The strategy has worked well. There is no conspiracy coming from any fictious factiion within the Party to be seen. Let’s get on with effective campaigning to dispose of the corruption of power we have witnessed from this Key led govt.

    While we’re on the attack on Collins; I don’t recall Jones alleging that she was having an affair… he simply stated that the beltway rumours had it that she was using the Hotchin-Oravido mansion as a residence while in Auckland. The repetition of this rumour was akin to the breathless headline in the Herald on Siunday that Cunliffe was implicated in some sort of mysterious deal in the purchase of a property in Omaha. As was demonstrated the Herald’s story was a fabrication of fevered conspiracy theorists from some faceless opinionista for which an apology and withdrawal has never been offered.

    For Judith Collins to be on the end of a rumour that links her even more closely to Oravida and her abuse of the Cabinet Manual rules is probably the first time she has ever had to face up to close public scrutiny or even consider what it is like to be on the end of the sort of scurrilous rumour dropping that her friends and associates have been famed for.

    • PapaMike 16.1

      Collins has been stung by omission.
      Beware the female of the species who has been hurt (really by the media plus Grant).

      She is liable to contain her venom and will strike back one day.

      • tricledrown 16.1.1

        PM .
        Like crushing cars really worked.
        No Venom pythonesque .

      • red blooded 16.1.2

        “Beware the female of the species who has been hurt”

        Excuse me? Collins is a smug, bullying, elitist who has been caught out blurring the line between personal interest and her political life, but that’s an assessment of her personality, values and actions, not a generalisation based on gender. Maybe this comment was intended as a joke (I hope it was), but please find another frame of reference for your attempts at humour. Perhaps the same blokes at the RSA who we are assured find Jones so affable would chuckle at this, but not all of us are blokes (and hopefully most men on this line wouldn’t be thinking in such sexist terms anyway).

        Sorry to be so self-righteous, but casual sexism like this annoys and offends me. That’s one of the reasons I’m not impressed by Shane Jones.

  17. The Chairman 17

    Recent unfounded claims made by Jones against Collins weakened Labour’s credibility, shifted the media focus and gave Collins another opportunity to play the victim.

    Scoring points for Collins, he now seems to be a team player for the other side.

  18. felix 18

    Think about it. Who does Shane Jones speak for? It’s not “the centre” or the “soft national support”. It’s far more specific than that.

    The people he speaks for didn’t want to pay the supermarkets a backhander and they definitely don’t want the Greens in govt. Another term of National would suit them fine, but if there’s to be a change then the Greens should be kept out.

    It’s that simple. Shane gets paid either way.

    • Tracey 18.1

      agree. having said that it has been interesting to watch countdown’s changing responses tot his thing

      start: Nothing to see here done nothing wrong:
      second: Nothing to see here done nothing illegal (interesting change)
      third: everyone cans ee something here except us and we still dont know what we are accused of?

      This is where the consumer legislation is of great use because it doesn’t have to have done anything contrary to say “contract law” BUT if it has created an unfair advantage “legally” (if you see what I mean by legally) it is foul of consumer legislation. Whether its more than a wet bus ticket who knows. Would love to see a class action against countdown by all onecard holders (can easily prove they are customers) …

  19. Notanymore 19

    I also think Shane is thinking ahead and planning his future.

    He must think he has options and is keeping his name to the fore. I guess if Labour/Greens did form a coalition he would be an uncomfortable Minister.

    Six months out and the polls are indicating Labout will probably miss out, is Shane backing this outcome ?
    It could be do or die time.. if there is an absolute rout then it would follow a major rethink/restructure would be in order.
    If there is such an outcome, indeed say a devastating whipping, then surely the party would have to have a radical rethink. I, for one, doubt the party would continue in it’s present form. I know many others are thinking along similar lines. Shane may just be playing his hand brilliantly.

    • felix 19.1

      Nah, his future executive positions with the major food production and packaging corporations he represents are well secured.

      • Anne 19.1.1

        +1

        Heads… Labour wins the top spot and Shane gets to be a senior cabinet minister.

        Tails… Labour loses the top spot and Shane deserts the Labour ship for a CEO position at one of NZ’s major food companies. Sealord comes to mind.

        Whichever way it goes Jones is sitting pretty.

    • karol 19.2

      So pleased to hear that Jones has brilliantly worked to secure his future – the left really doesn’t need committed team players working for the good of battling Kiwis? /sarc.

  20. Tanz 20

    He is running the campgain for Cunliffe.

  21. George D 21

    How many Labour activists actively like the Greens? How many dislike them?

    How many Labour activists actively like NZ First? How many dislike them?

    Labour will need strong turnout from a dedicated volunteer base to win this election. Undermining the enthusiasm of the base by attacking a liked partner and promoting a disliked potential partner is a problematic prospect.

  22. chris73 22

    Assuming Shane Jones will never be the leader of Labour and therefore never leader of the country what are his options.

    Senior ranking minister in Labour for which he may well have to wait another three years or cuddle up to WinstonFirst and take over when Winston retires (dies)

    Shane Jones as leader of WinstonFirst would be able to support both National and Labour so he’d always be in power and have more chances to push through pet projects then he would as merely a ranking memeber of Labour

    • Murray Olsen 22.1

      Not many people will ever be leader of Labour. Those of us who believe in the necessity of the left wing project don’t see attacking Labour from the right as one of our options. What does Jones believe in, apart from himself and his own superiority? While some might admire the faith necessary for that belief, others might see it as totally delusional. I’m in the second camp. He should shut up and go. I don’t care in which order.

  23. Stuart Munro 23

    If Shane Jones is really committed to doing nothing, he’s the natural successor not to Winston, but to Peter Dunne. I hadn’t noticed him collecting a party behind him. I don’t think he’s a good fit for Labour, most of his fanbase are already committed to voting for the Gnats. It’s hard to measure the efect of validating the right’s attack memes, but he knows it’s bad for his party. Hope Matt has a big carpet and a few promising lengths of supplejack.

  24. Matthew Hooton 24

    I don’t think you’ll need to put up with him much longer: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shane-jones-plots-exit-labour-MH

    • Tracey 24.1

      damn for a moment I thought it read

      steven-joyce-plots-collins exit-national

      Only last night I suggested to my partner that Jones is yet another politician in the wrong party…

      I haven’t got $130 so could you summarise it?

  25. Not a PS Staffer 25

    Ref Hooton and his games.

    Please Please ignore him. No comment either way. All he wants is attention, to stir debate that might get into MSM, damage Cunliffe and help Key.

    Hurt him by ignoring him.

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