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How history will remember Len Brown: scab, coward, judas

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, March 9th, 2012 - 86 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, democracy under attack, leadership, len brown - Tags: , ,

86 comments on “How history will remember Len Brown: scab, coward, judas”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Within five years no one will remember much of him – nor of the current Auckland port strife.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    No wonder Helen wouldnt touch the Greens

    • Shane Gallagher 2.2

      ?

      • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1

        A reference to the emotive headline and sprout’s political leanings, Shane.

        • the sprout 2.2.1.1

          that’s how i interpreted it – despite my not actually being a green, although i’ve appreciated their willingness to speak up on the issue

          • Shane Gallagher 2.2.1.1.1

            Oh okay! :-) Good post!

            – I had Jinty MacTavish (an environmental activist turned Dunedin City Councilor) on a radio show I host and she was very proud of the fact that she had helped persuade the DCHL to have a statement of intent that was aligned with the goals of the DCC and took into account the four well-beings of the city – environmental, cultural, social and economic – instead of just the profit motive. Something that Auckland Council should look at doing – that way they can tell POAL to behave like normal human beings and not how they are behaving right now.

            • Pete George 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Shane, do you think it’s POAL bad, MUNZ good?

              • Shane Gallagher

                All the way! POAL represent the 1% and are driving slave conditions. They want the workers to be at the beck and call of the port and have no security of hours or pay. Imagine the stress of that on your daily life.
                – Can you pay the bills this week?
                – Can you feed your family this week?
                – Are you going to miss your kid’s school play or help out with taking them on school trips?
                – How about if you are a single parent? This would stop you being able to look after your child. You would have to leave your job and then how do you look after your child?

                For a Christian (Peter Dunne is one I believe) I would ask you what is more important – their family life or the supposed “flexibility” that is demanded? None of these rich managers would work like this. It is called hypocrisy and we all know what Jesus thought of hypocrites.

                • I understand the problems with wage insecurity – but if POAL and MUNZ were able to work together properly that should be able to be minimised. Instead they are both making a mess of it – I’d be very surprised if that level of dysfunction in a relationship is all one-sided. Hence Len Brown’s and David Shearer’s positiions?

                  Are Greens being deliberately quiet or are just not reported much on this?

                  I really don’t know what Peter Dunne’s religious situation is, that’s his private life. The PoA dispute is not a religious issue anyway.

                  Work ‘flexibility’ has become very common, it has disadvantages for sure, but also advantages – even for some workers.

                  What would be better generally for society – 300 workers earning 90k a year, or 400 workers earning 67k?

                  • Shane Gallagher

                    Pete – when you are a Christian you are always a Christian as far as I was told… I am not one myself you understand but I was well versed in theology by my family many of whom were priests and nuns. :-) So Peter D can’t get away with that excuse :-)

                    POAL have had an agenda from the beginning to break the union – the union has negotiated in good faith and was working constructively with management to improve productivity. This is purely generated by the management – MUNZ have simply done what any union would do in this situation.

                    The Greens have been very supportive and have condemned POAL and I have pasted one of our latest Press Releases for your perusal… The press have not been publishing our statements. It happens sometimes :-)

                    “Ports Of Auckland actions in sacking workers disgraceful

                    The Ports of Auckland’s actions in sacking 300 staff sets a terrible precedent for all workers in New Zealand, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

                    The Ports of Auckland today announced it is making its striking workers redundant and will contract the work out.

                    “The Ports of Auckland’s actions in dismissing staff because they are in a union and willing to stand up for decent work practices, including regular shifts and time with family, is appalling,” said Dr Norman.

                    “The Government’s legislative changes in the last term have set the scene for employers such as the Ports of Auckland to clamp down hard on workers and unions.

                    “John Key should realise that we will never catch Australia by driving down New Zealand wages and working conditions. We will just make New Zealand workers poorer.

                    “The Mayor of Auckland Len Brown and the Auckland Council have sat on their hands over this dispute for too long.

                    “It’s time for Mayor Brown to take a stand in support of the workers that voted for him,” Dr Norman said.”

                  • Vicky32

                    Work ‘flexibility’ has become very common, it has disadvantages for sure, but also advantages – even for some workers

                    You think? I have had only casual work for the past 3 years, and there are no advantages to it that I can see. (Nor to my ’employers, really.)

                  • Zetetic

                    false dichotomy. the choice isn’t crappy work or no work. They have good conditions and the company is profitable now.

  3. James 111 3

    The man that was voted in by the left cant be involved in this dispute. He has to take into account 1.5 million Aucklanders. Not just the wishes of 290 workers, and a few Union delegates who want to keep outdated practises that dont fit in with a competive economic environment. ( mods by the way my week is up)

    [lprent: you missed this one.. Don’t disrespect the moderators because I need them more thn I need you. ]

  4. And when they turn on their own it’s even less pretty.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      People who stand for nothing but their own gain always struggle to understand, why those with a social conscience do care about others .

      Len Brown is a disgrace Im not sure he could ever redeem himself.

      Peter George would never be able to get his head around the lefts disgust of Browns inaction after all this is the guy that thinks Dunn ( the traitor) is doing no wrong while selling his Nations assets which will only make its citizens poorer.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        Ah! But they will make us richer before they make us poorer (If you catch my drift).

  5. Whoever is free should come to Auckland university at 12pm today, Len Brown will be there to answer questions. We need more support for the workers there!

  6. Dr Terry 6

    I once supported Len, but no longer. I am, in fact, even beginning to wonder if John Banks could have been any worse! Of course, Brown appeals to the law to justify himself. Even if this is true (which I doubt) he would do well to remember morality, humanity, natural justice. On Campbell Live he meekly admitted that he wishes that the wharf workers had complied with their stinking bosses demands. How convenient for him this would have been. The only thing I would pity Brown about is that he has to contend with the likes of Christine Fletcher and her pals.

  7. queenstfarmer 7

    David Shearer has certainly taken a very neutral stance. Here’s the opening words of David Shearer’s interview with Larry Williams the other day:

    WILLIAMS: You’re backing the union here, Mr Shearer, are you?

    SHEARER: No, I, what I said, and you ah you, you ah quoted me correctly is that I was really disappointed to see where it had got to today.

    Are you saying that history will remember David Shearer’s Labour Party as scabs and cowards too?

    • Gosman 7.1

      The trouble is QSF the Labour party is failing to fall into the cunning trap that we have laid for it. It is refusing to stay still long enough for our allies in the MSM to blast it with the anti-Union rhetoric we’ve been storing up. Still, enough pressure from the left wing activists might encourage it to change their position.

    • There are certainly lessons in what will become of len brown that david shearer and his caucus would be wise to take note of.

      A handful of labour MPs that have shown some solidarity with workers’ rights on this issue and good for them, david shearer however isn’t one of them.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1

        Not actually correct, Sprout. Shearer has at least been on the picket line, has talked directly with MUNZ and the CTU and both those organisations are happy with his level of involvement, at this point.
         
        Brown is not a scab, either, by the way. That’s a very loose use of the word which has a pretty well understood definition in the union movement. Coward and Judas I have no problem with, because they accurately fit his behaviour.
         
        I’m told that Brown will not now be invited to the EPMU conference in Auckland later this year, where it was intended he be a key note speaker again. Given the large number of unionists who campaigned on his behalf, that might well be the final nail in his electoral coffin.

        • Frank Macskasy 7.2.1.1

          At this stage, international pressure is needed . If dollars and cents are all that Gibson, Key, et al, can understand – then that is their weak point.

          Short term it will inconvenience and even cause us economic “pain”. My response is,

          a. Long term we will benefit from a Union victory

          b. Any economic pain can’t be worse than the savage cuts to the state sector – 2,500 jobs lost already and more planned – and slash social services.

          We can’t back away from this one.

          • Gosman 7.2.1.1.1

            Yes, I’m waiting to see the Solidarity Union coming out in a mass action over this. No more Polish sausages for us for a while I imagine.

            By the way when are you going to do that blog posting on the current situation with the Gdansk shipyards Frank?

            • Frank Macskasy 7.2.1.1.1.1

              “By the way when are you going to do that blog posting on the current situation with the Gdansk shipyards Frank?”

              I’ll let you know, Gosman.

              By the way, how are you coming along on the current situation with your social skills? 😀

              • Gosman

                Much better thanks. I don’t instinctively bite people who spout economic BS, so you should be okay. 😉

                • I’m ecstastic to hear that.

                  And next time I’ll keep my “economic BS” simpler, with single-syllables, so you don’t get so confused.

                  • Gosman

                    Ummm… might I suggest you actually read some basic economic textbooks first before attempting to articulate any concepts (simple or otherwise). Then you might not mistake Balance of Trade with Balance of Payments for a start.

                    • No… that’s too complex for you.

                      Let’s start you off with basics…

                      Given;

                      (A)If a rich man has 100 bananas and a family of four; and a poor man has ten bananas for just him and his wife;

                      (B) the rich man owns the banana plantation

                      (C) the poor man has already earned 10 bananas for the rich man by picking him 100 bananas, and his labour is no longer required.

                      (D) and the Libertarian State has a flat tax of 10%, and no welfare.

                      1. How many bananas will the rich man pay in tax? How many will he have left?

                      2. How many bananas will the poor man pay? How many will he have left?

                      3. How long will the rich man and his family survive, @ 2 bananas each, per day?

                      4. How long will the poor man and his wife survive, @ 2 bananas each, per day?

                      5. Do you actually care about the poor man – or is he a “casualty of the economic system”?

                    • Gosman

                      What economic textbook is that from Frank?

                      People can make up examples of anything they like. It doesn’t mean it actually reflects economic reality. I prefer some real world examples.That is why I enjoy using Zimbabwe to highlight the wroing headedness of some of the leftist ideas.

                    • rosy

                      That is why I enjoy using Zimbabwe to highlight the wroing headedness of some of the leftist ideas.

                      Keep it up then we can confirm how people with an up-close and personal relationship with economic textbooks rarely have had the same with social, geographic and political history.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Economics text books = peer reviewed collections of lies and misunderstandings

        • the sprout 7.2.1.2

          and good on Shearer going to the picket, when the cameras weren’t around, and quietly talking to MUNZ behind the scenes. but why will he not come out more publicly with a statement of clear and unequivocal support for workers’ rights and the right to organize? is he ashamed of labour’s union roots or is it that he doesn’t actually support unionization? wouldn’t this be one time when it’s actually quite important to support a principle rather than a flawed focus group driven campaign ‘strategy’ of terminal invisibility and neutrality in the hope of sleep walking to victory on the back of National’s unpopularity? that just seems gutless to me.

          the term scab is used broadly and is a reference to the point made by the graphic illustrating this post, which is taken from the Save our Port facebook site, where references to Brown being a scab are common. in the sense of the graphic’s point, and in the sense that he’s working against the strikers’ interests, Brown is a scab. 

          • Populuxe1 7.2.1.2.1

            Yes, well, using the word scab “broadly” tends to devalue the force of its specific meaning. All sorts of people are called all sorts of things in all sorts of places – that doesn’t make give one carte blanche to do the same. Rather, it suggests a rather limited vocabulary of abuse on the part of the union. Brown is not actually “working in spite of an ongoing strike” as most dictionaries define the term. He’s a political whore/Judas/Iago/traitor to principle/hypocrite, but he is not a scab.

          • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1.2.2

            It would be fair to say that Brown has gone dog and is now a flea.

  8. Gosman 8

    Good to see the direction of your anger is now targetted towards the correct place. I can understand your frustration. I mean here is a guy that was elected on a broad left platform to counter the right’s efforts to control the Auckland supercity and he is acting like a common centrist. Almost as bad as the Labour Government between 1999 and 2008 who did nothing really to fundamentally alter the employment law landscape. Just diddled around the edges.

    • What economic textbook is that from Frank?

      People can make up examples of anything they like. It doesn’t mean it actually reflects economic reality. I prefer some real world examples.That is why I enjoy using Zimbabwe to highlight the wroing headedness of some of the leftist ideas.

      Apologies, Gosman. It appears that even my “banana metaphor” above was too complex for you. No wonder you couldn’t apply a solution.

      Shall we try something simpler?

      1 banana + 1 banana = ?

  9. Bill 9

    (Disclaimer: I haven’t been following this dispute as closely as I might because I experienced a certain ‘sinking feeling’ when I first heard of it as I imagined the union would embark on the same tried and tested strategies of failure it initially employed last time casualisation was on the cards.)

    About ten years ago, a similar ‘casualisation’ drive was unleashed on some of the ports in the S. Island. It was thwarted back then. But success was achieved…or succesful stategies deployed…in spite of union officials (some of whom are still ‘in office’).

    And ten years ago there was no involvement from the Labour Party and as far as I remember, no involvement from local government either. (I believe the Dunedin council has a stake in Port Chalmers, though I could be wrong)

    I’m curious as to why the union has apparently failed to learn from its own recent history and employ the successful strategies that won them the day back then.

    Anyone got any answers?

    • Gosman 9.1

      So what were the strategies that appeared to be successful down in the South Island Bill?

      • Bill 9.1.1

        As I said, I haven’t been following the dispute at all. But if it’s the case that scab labour is being used to work the port, then that scab labour has to get on site. And if that is the case, then that is the same scenario as existed ten years back.

        And ten years back, it just didn’t seem to cross the minds of those union officials who were calling the shots to simply prevent or obstruct any vehicles carrying scab labour. When initailly non-wharfies blocked scab vehicles, certain union officials were less than impressed. And those same union officials kept telling their members to not impede the access of vehicles.

        That situation eventually broke down and wharfies also began to obstruct vehicles. And it constituted a cost to the company in terms of money and efficiency. And when the company resorted to hiring vans to ferry scabs into the ports and those vans somehow attracted measures of damage, then that too cost the company and had hire firms thinking twice about who they’d hire vans to.

        And when CHH ships were going to be delayed in US ports, that wasn’t because of any action or request by the union or the CTU, but because of initiatives taken by people within their public support.

        It was the same story for just about every tactic, strategy or counter strategy employed. They came from outside the ranks of the union and the union officials only eventually got on board and lent their support (and even then, often very unwillingly from some…regardless of evidence highlighting how successful any given tactic or ploy was.)

        In a nutshell, a lot of direct action was used and the knowledge of how to deploy direct actions effectively and safely (from both a physical and legal perspective) came from outside the union.

        And it was the same for dealing with the media. The fact of the matter was that the union just didn’t seem to have much of a clue on that front either. And so the job of generating positive media coverage (or of avoiding negative coverage) fell largely to people outside the union.

        That was ten years ago. Some of the officials involved are still officials today. They could or should have learned something from all the input given back then, and yet…well, it just seems that nothing has changed.

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          I agree that the MUNZ’s PR has been quite bad and needs a bit of an overhaul.

          However I don’t see how you could stop contracted workers from entering the port completely. Certainly the Port could look to ferry them in directly from locations in Auckland that would be difficult to picket.

          Alternatively there could be a blockade of the port from the landward side stopping cargo getting in and out. Might be a bit bad PR wise though.

          • Bored 9.1.1.1.1

            Gos, you have all the time in the world (your output is prodigious)….so why dont we get you to run the POA? You profess to have all the answers, why waste them here, its all intellectual property. Get the job and do the damage.

            Should not be too long before POA resembles a Zimbabwean copper mine with requisite employment conditions……

          • Bill 9.1.1.1.2

            Well, I don’t even know the general layout of Auckland’s port. But I’m guessing there are multiple entry/exit points. So, yup. Compared to the smaller ports of Bluff, Port Chalmers and Nelson, the logistics would be more challenging.

            But where there’s a will there’s a way.

            Maybe shipping containers could somehow ‘magically appear’ and obstruct a number of entrance/exits? And maybe ignition keys for any lifting gear get ‘lost’ or misplaced or said machineries suffer mysterious and ‘hard to diagnose’ break downs?

            I don’t know.

            But the type of nonsence I’ve heard recently whereby other ports weren’t going to handle scab loads but subsequently caved because a court said it ‘wouldn’t be cricket’ has to stop.

            If a scab loads are prevented from leaving their port of destination…or at least delayed (which might be an easier thing to do if preventing it getting loaded in the first place is too problematic), then might that not encourage companies to ‘request’ their shipments be loaded by union labour?

            There must be a million and one ways to introduce chaos and delay to shipments. The union should at least be exploring its options and making it clear to members that it does not in any way condone actions such as x, y or z that members might feel inclined to involve themselves in with regards scab loads, as such actions would effectively cost port authorities money and have a negative impact on the port’s customer relations.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Maybe shipping containers could somehow ‘magically appear’ and obstruct a number of entrance/exits? And maybe ignition keys for any lifting gear get ‘lost’ or misplaced or said machineries suffer mysterious and ‘hard to diagnose’ break downs?

              Indeed. There are a million and one imaginative ways forward.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’d also add that it’s Len Brown’s office which needs to be picketed, and every Council meeting which is held.

        • dave brownz 9.1.1.2

          Obvious. Mass solidarity strikes went for 151 days in 1951. MUA mass community picket won in 98. Dunedin community picket won ten years ago.
          Two months ago threat of ILWU plus Occupy mass picket won at Longview, Oregon.
          Results. Mass pickets win. Why don’t the union leaderships recognise this?
          The union leaderships don’t want to break the labour law which is the basis of their existence. They control the ranks unless and until the wider militant layers of workers intervene and rescue their struggle. They are ‘won over’ only when the ranks wake up and force them to move, until the next time when repeat performance as unions get weaker and weaker.
          Conclusion. Unions need to be controlled by the members and act independently of both the bureaucrats and the labour law. Occupy was born as an outlaw wildcat movement.
          Union ranks + Occupy = new labour movement, both democratic and militant (potentially).
          Will enough workers realise this and stand up in time?
          http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/new-zealand-auckland-port-employers-out.html

        • just saying 9.1.1.3

          I was talking about the SI dispute ten years ago.

          • Bill 9.1.1.3.1

            Your clarification (of what?) has confused me 😉 Are you referring to your comment (9.3) below ?

            • just saying 9.1.1.3.1.1

              Damn – the delete button doesn’t work.
              Just a misunderstanding when I thought you were replying to my comment. I thought I’d deleted it before it was even seen.

              As you were.

              [lprent: Yeah the crazies who took over the re-edit code are playing silly buggers. Weekend fixup. ]

    • Why have the unions folded before the neo-liberal attacks. They all havnt, but they were bashed about by Labour’s Rogernomic counter-revolution that destroyed full employment the basis of the welfare state. Bill Anderson once admitted that he made a mistake in shutting down the dispute at Marsden Point to help Labour get elected in 1984! LOL
      Then Nats ECA in 91 was met by staunch union resistance like the seafarers and timberworkers but sold out by Ken Douglas of CTU who said a general strike would undermine his power to negotiate with the Nats. What he meant was he would try to do a deal with Nats by getting workers to be more productive (more exploited) and allow the bosses to take most of the increased value.
      In truth the labour movement has never been strong outside the militant breakawys of the Red Fed 1908-1913 and the TUC walkout of the FOL in 1951 because its been run by bureaucrats who are the loyal servants of NZ national capitalism.
      Nearly 30 years of neoliberal crisis economics has weakened the unions to the point where they use the ERA as a crutch and wouldnt know a wildcat if they fell over one.
      MUNZ was chosen by the NACTs as one of the few holdout unions that has put up a rearguard action in defending their historic gains.
      This is a 1951 type campaign by the bosses to destroy the unions and ride roughshod over workers rights and all resistance to total domination of the economy. Unless the working class rises up to stop it welcome to the rip, shit and bust return to the colonial 1890s.

    • just saying 9.3

      Remember it well Bill,
      Might’ve seen you there when I joined in once or twice, but I tended to try and hide in the tea tent, due to the inflammable levels of testosterone from police and protesters alike.
      As I recall the dispute was won because the workforce stood firm, and the scabs who were bussed in were, I think, all out of towners.

      It took/takes support from the wider community. Lot less of that in general in Auckland imo. It would have been resolved sooner with better politcal and union support.

  10. Zeroque 10

    Yes it is disappointing. It makes me wonder what current politician (if any) would have stepped in. Based upon what Brown says, it makes him look like just another neo-liberal. Or maybe it was just the characteristics of this situation that turned him away from doing anything.

    This is unfolding at the same time that more is becoming understood about the link between a falling labour share of wealth and inequality and poverty. Stronger collective bargaining laws for workers is probably what’s needed rather than a relliance on any polly of the day stepping in to steer a dispute one way or other.

  11. Is it the union part of Labour that runs the “it’s always someone else’s fault” lines?

    That neither Len Brown nor David Shearer have backup the union actions (as well as just about everyone else outside some of the unions) could suggest something? Just possibly?

    Workers should stand up for their rights and if they choose should lobby their cases in unison. But as Bill suggests, it might just be union leaders shitting in their member’s nest.

  12. Pete 12

    I’m sure Len will be very worried that some 1% -ers no longer feel the love.

  13. As could have been expected, like almost every other politician, Len Brown is making excuses – afraid that if he took action and did what is right he will encounter blow back. No pollie wants blow back and they will work against what they know is right in order preserve their career.
     
    They kid themselves with excuses like “You have to pick your battles” or “The law doesn’t allow me to do anything”.
     
    Meanwhile, workers and their families are callously jettisoned to keep afloat a career, (one that may sink after all).
     
    Len Brown is not a conscience-driven leader but a big cry baby.
     

  14. HappyGoLucky 14

    My understanding is that Len doesn’t operate in isolation. He’s got around 20 advisors of various capabilities in his office to help drive his vision. Such advisors include the so-called whiz kid Conor Roberts, who helped Len get elected. Others include PR experts like Glyn Jones and policy wonks like James Bews-Hair.

    It’s simply atrocious – where are the Labour advisors in Len’s office, and what the hell are they thinking?

  15. From Len Brown’s Facebook page;

    As you will have heard, our port company has announced it intends to introduce competitive stevedoring. I am disappointed the two parties down at the port have so far failed to settle their dispute and achieve a new collective agreement. I continue to be in contact with both sides and they are very aware of my concerns about the consequences both for Auckland as a whole and for the families directly involved. My powers to intervene are severely limited.

    My response to him, left on his Page,

    Mr Brown, you say your “powers to intervene are severely limited”. Yet, Auckland City Council is the shareholder.

    Can you then explain how the Shareholding Ministers of SOEs are able to instruct the Boards of SOEs to prepare their Enterprises for sale?

    How can some shareholders have “severely limited powers” whilst others have the power to sell bits of New Zealand willy-nilly? This is what folk cannot understand because it simply makes no sense.

    If your powers are so “severely limited” – what the heck is the difference between electing you, or that muppet John Banks??? We might as well put Fozzi Bear in the mayor’s seat and be done with it.

    http://www.facebook.com/lenbrownformayor

    • Gosman 15.1

      I didn’t realise YOU elected Len Brown Frank.

      How amazing that you seem to live in Wellington but vote in Auckland local body elections.

  16. james 111 16

    [deleted]

    [lprent: still banned.]

  17. Jenny 17

    How history will remember Len Brown…..

    THE SPROUT

    Primarily, I think that history will remember Len Brown as a liar.

    “The issue is, there is a huge temptation for me to throw myself into the middle of this, and I could.
    As the mayor of this city I’ve got a mandate and we certainly have the power
    because the company is 100% owned by our council on behalf of you all, and so I could get in amongst that.”

    Len Brown, From the Council Transcript PDF

    http://static.stuff.co.nz/files/Counciltranscript.pdf

    “The real challenge if I step into this, we have six other companies that we own that manage Auckland assets, like Watercare and Auckland Transport.
    Every time they have a problem, do I step myself into that?”

    Len Brown, From Council Transcript PDF

    http://static.stuff.co.nz/files/Counciltranscript.pdf

    After originally claiming that he had “a mandate” to, “on behalf of you all…. get in amongst that” Len Brown has changed tack and is now claiming that as the Mayor of Auckland City “My powers to intervene are severely limited.”
    No mention of “I’ve got a mandate” or “Certainly hav(ing) the power” here.

    http://www.facebook.com/lenbrownformayor/posts/345615525479663

    Len Brown choses to be a liar, because he knows being open in his support for this brutal attack on the ports workers, would dismay those mostly working people who supported and voted for him in the Mayoral elections.

    http://static.stuff.co.nz/files/Counciltranscript.pdf
    static.stuff.co.nz

  18. lefty 18

    Len Brown is a social democrat. Selling out the workers who support them is what social democrats always have to do when the going gets tough because they are capitalists and the needs of capital will always come first.

    Capitalists need to wage class war to maintain their priviliged position within the unfair society their system creates.

    Those who pretend there can be a fair capitalism are either liars or deluded.

    You cannot serve two masters. You are either for or against the capitalist system. If you are for it you have no right criticising Len because you would ineveitably end up selling out workers if you were in a position of power.

    If you are not a capitalist you should not be surprised at Len’s actions.

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    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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