web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Labour’s three factions

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, March 25th, 2013 - 346 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: , ,

It’s interesting how little understanding there is of the state and politics within the Parliamentary Labour Party. A lot of the coverage of Labour’s internal workings has tended to personalise the tension – it’s been focused on Shearer vs Cunliffe without any questions about what lies beneath.

As always, there’s a lot more to it. Most of the drama within Labour since the last election can be put down to the power struggle between the Parliamentary party’s threefactions. I think it’s time to shine a light on what’s going on so members can better judge the behaviour of their parliamentary representatives.

Questions of ideology, loyalty, and personal advancement all play their part in the makeup of Labour’s three factions. Each faction has a core group of hard support as well as a handful of soft supporters who can and have switched allegiances from time to time. This is much looser and informal than the Australian system of factions.

Broadly speaking though, Labour’s three factions are as follows:

The Right
David Shearer (leader)
Phil Goff
Annette King
David Parker
Clayton Cosgrove
Shane Jones
Damien O’Connor
Kris Fa’afoi
Ross Robertson

(total 9)

Within this faction is most of Labour’s experience, and it shows. While only a small minority in caucus, these guys know how to organise, scare, and run a solid internal political game. But while they’re good at the internal game, they’re completely shit at national politics as the last four years has shown. Goff, King, and Cosgrove are the core, and they’re currently running the show. Fa’afoi seems an odd fit here, much newer and younger than the others; it could be because he was taken under King’s wing. The Right hold five front bench positions.

The Left
David Cunliffe (leader)
Nanaia Mahuta
Louisa Wall
Sue Moroney
Su’a William Sio
Lianne Dalziel
Parekura Horomia
Rajen Prasad
Rino Tirikatene
Carol Beaumont
Raymond Huo
Moana Mackey
Iain Lees-Galloway
Andrew Little

This is the largest and most diverse faction. You’ll find most of caucus’ Maori and women here. They haven’t done well with organising internally, and it shows because they’re currently out in the cold. But a lot of members believe this is real Labour – there is not a single former parliamentary staffer in these ranks. Andrew Little is a bit of wild card here, while his politics are firmly left you can’t count him on him voting for any one particular faction. The Left hold no front bench positions.

(total 14)

The Careerist Left
Grant Robertson (leader)
Chris Hipkins
Jacinda Ardern
Phil Twyford
Clare Curran
Maryan Street
David Clark
Trevor Mallard
Darien Fenton
Megan Woods
Ruth Dyson

(total 11)

Of the 11 MPs in the Careerist Left, 7 are former parliamentary staffers. This group has some good people but there’s a strong thread of personal advancement running through it, which is why they’ve brokered a deal with the Right. Robertson is wary of the ‘Left’ faction, because he doesn’t think he’ll do as well out of a deal with Cunliffe. Many of his backers have made the same decision, and they’ve been duly rewarded in the reshuffle. Mallard and Dyson are in this faction by accident – they simply don’t like Cunliffe. Street is an odd fit with this faction, and no one I’ve talked to can explain what she’s doing there.

None of the factions by themselves have the numbers to control caucus, which is why the Right has built an alliance with Careerist Left. That’s who’s in charge now.

How long will this alliance last? It’s impossible to tell. While it’s clear something major needs to change in Labour, it’ll require either Shearer or Robertson to feel that it’s in their interests to break the relationship. Given the party membership and the unions are likely to favour the Left faction it’s not in the interests of either Shearer or Robertson to trigger a wider leadership election.

A break will probably require either an election loss or some seriously bad polling (in the 20s) that makes the softer members of the Careerist Left change tack out of fear of being booted out of Parliament.

As for the Left faction, you may be wondering why they failed to trigger a leadership vote in February when their faction had one more vote than they needed. It was simple bluffing. Moana Mackey and Iain Lees-Galloway voted Shearer because they thought he had the votes, and quite sensibly didn’t want to be punished by the Right – though it doesn’t look like it did either of them any good in the reshuffle.

346 comments on “Labour’s three factions”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Nice write up Eddie. In there somewhere is there a Labour Party which is going to unashamedly advocate for ordinary workers, those on the minimum wage and the underclass. I hope so.

    • Peter 1.1

      Focus groups are telling the current MPs that such a Labour Party has no future, therefore, this does not exist.

      • Elizabeth Bourchier 1.1.1

        Who controls the engagement with the marketing co running the Focus Groups?
        Shearers office, peopled with Robertson loyalists.

        So the stuff fed to the MPs is always going to re-inforce the status quo.

        MPs who are giving more weight to Focus Group FUD than their own soundings (and value based instincts) are merely weathervanes. Decorative sweet things.

        • Peter 1.1.1.1

          Absolutely – it’s a nice cozy tight little circle, with inherent feedback loops. And, as with all feedback loops, it’s garbage in, garbage out. What pisses me off the most is not that this happens – this happens with all political systems – it’s that Labour knows it’s the case, has a mechanism to reconnect (the party…), and then mendaciously chooses to ignore it.

          It’s great if you want to reduce Labour to a brand only, and then keep getting relected, generally by way of the list and the residual 30% of people in NZ who don’t like the tories and won’t vote Green.

          It’s great for job security – because as a Labour MP, you really need job security, because there’s nothing more ex, than an ex-Labour MP…

          It’s also proven – for now – to be a winning strategy, winning against anyone, such as David Cunliffe, who has tried to challenge it. The question is, how long can certain people hold to their positions as kings of their crumbling little hill.

      • The Fan Club 1.1.2

        Peter, there really aren’t focus groups doing this kind of work. I know you’d like there to be, but there aren’t.

        • Jim Davis 1.1.2.1

          You’re a parliamentary staffer. One of the ones hired by Robertson. I’m guessing Vic Young Labour, either present or within the last five years.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.2

          Peter, there really aren’t focus groups doing this kind of work. I know you’d like there to be, but there aren’t.

          Sure there are. Labour is paying one of the big firms* hundreds of thousands of dollars to carry out the ongoing work.

          * It’s not Curia haha

        • Peter 1.1.2.3

          Then it’s worse – the money for focus groups has dried up, and it’s basically caucus putting its finger in the Wellington breeze and guessing which way to go?

          And no, I have very little desire to work with the current parliamentary team. Didn’t mind doing some small projects for the last team, but in the current environment, it’s best to stay well away from Wellington.

    • mike 1.2

      And so do I. I’m looking forward to the companion piece on the factions within the National Party. That should uncover some doozies!

  2. chris73 acualy is Dolan 2

    Imagine picking one of those factions for a pub quiz team…

  3. just saying 3

    In what alternative universe is Trevor Mallard left (careerist or otherwise)?
    Left of what exactly? Not the tea party apparently:
    Here I would place a screen shot of his tea-party rant about being taxed to death to pay for beneficiary bludgers, from his face book page. But I didn’t know how to shoot the screen back then.
    But most of the regulars probably remember the incident – he took it down after someone in the party had a chat with him about the wisdom of it. Never retracted the sentiments though.

    More to the actual point of the post – are you sure about this Eddie? How much is educated guess-work? I know Trotter wrote something along similar lines recently.

    • Rich 3.1

      To some extent these are just labels, really? It’s all about who might get them a spokespersonship / overseas job / ministerial post (if Labour ever gets re-elected) and they just coalesce around a patr̄on accordingly.

      I don’t think somebody like Sio who was the only (I think) Labour MP to oppose marriage equality could be regarded as Left?

      If they were really left-wing, they’d join the Greens or Mana. :-)

  4. Colonial Weka 4

    “As for the Left faction, you may be wondering why they failed to trigger a leadership vote in February when their faction had one more vote than they needed. It was simple bluffing. Moana Mackey and Iain Lees-Galloway voted Shearer because they thought he had the votes, and quite sensibly didn’t want to be punished by the Right – though it doesn’t look like it did either of them any good in the reshuffle.”

    You mean the secret vote in February, where MPs should have been able to vote without who they voted for being known?

  5. Incensed 5

    What a load of utter rubbish. Speculation upon speculation.

    But then that is the old chestnut; create instability in the left.

    I suspect Eddie must be a Nat as he constantly determines to under mine any alternative to the vicious and nasty government of National.

    Eddie do you want to be rid of John Key etc or do you want them to continue?

    If you want rid of, stop all this nonsense and put your focus into ridding the nation of the Nat instead of smearing the left.

    One other thing. Its about Policy not Personality. It’s about team work not the individual. Together eveyone achieves more.

    • Peter 5.1

      There is nothing in this post that will change National’s trajectory in the polls. In fact, it’s the current armed stasis of the Labour Party that keeps John Key high. People don’t like him and his increasingly dodgy/lazy decision making, but they look at the Opposition and don’t see anything better. So, they’ll keep voting National.

    • wobble 5.2

      Looks like a pretty credible analysis to me. Certainly explains a lot that’s been going on.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        You can’t blame Moana Mackey and Iain Lees Galloway – caught between a rock and a hard place.

        Plausible future scenario:

        Andrew little has mana and respect across the board. While I dislike some of those “careerists” there are others who are very talented and deserving of senior roles in a Labour-led government. I can envisage a future deal being brokered between the Cunliffe (left) and Robertson (careerist) factions and that looks pretty good to me. Fresh blood, fresh talent and fresh thinking on both sides.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      One other thing. Its about Policy not Personality [1]. It’s about team work not the individual [2]. Together eveyone achieves more.[3]

      1) Show us the left wing policy on offer from Labour then. Where is it. 4 years out of power, what does Labour have for us. How much more time does Labour need.
      2) You should send the “team work” memo around the Labour Caucus.
      3) “Together” this is a good value. Is Labour offering solidarity with the underclass and the working class.

    • JK 5.4

      Not much sense of a “team” working together coming out of Shearer’s mouth, Incensed. He’s the guy who says “I, I, I” all the time. Some say that’s because it helps with the impression of “strong leadership” but I beg to differ. Strong leadership involves everyone, takes people along with whoever is leader, and doesn’t keep highlighting themselves.

      • Rhinocrates 5.4.1

        Admiral Sir John Jellico was a tactical genius and the strategic victor at Jutland. He was nicknamed “Silent Jack” because he never raised his voice and it was said that was because he never needed to. Shearer, with all his boasting, vendettas and willy-waving, proves that he is not a leader.

        He’s just Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss.

    • SpaceMonkey 5.5

      “If you want rid of [John Key], stop all of this nonsense and put your focus into ridding the nation of the Nat instead of smearing the left.”

      There’s no point if the left a) offer no credible alternative or b) are going to rinse and repeat the same sort of behaviours as this current Government.

      At the moment, Labour does not offer a credible alternative. Waiting in the wings for the country to get sick of John Key makes Labour a National-lite government in waiting – in exactly the same way that National was accused of being Labour-lite in John Key’s first term. Where is the policy that marks Labour out from National?

      At the moment, one could be excused for thinking that under David Shearer, Labour is going to offer the same quality of Government as John Key’s National… maybe I’m being too cynical but since 1984, NZ politics has been highjacked by a mega-corporates with feet in both the Labour and National camps. The less said about policy the better, lest it require them to actually do something.

      To me, David Shearer looks to be representing those mega-corporate interests. Why would I vote for more of the same just because I loathe John Key?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.6

      If you want rid of, stop all this nonsense and put your focus into ridding the nation of the Nat instead of smearing the left.

      We actually want the country to go left. Getting in behind the present leadership of the Labour Party will take it further to the right.

    • The Al1en 5.7

      “If you want rid of [John Key], stop all of this nonsense and put your focus into ridding the nation of the Nat instead of smearing the left.”

      Did that from ’08 and fuck all good that did. Where have Labour been for four and a half years? Clearly not doing their jobs considering the ’11 result and piss poor polling ever since.

      “One other thing. Its about Policy not Personality.”

      No it’s not, not any more.

      “It’s about team work not the individual.”

      Not seen much of anything that looks like team work to me.
      Seen plenty of self interested career politicians positioning themselves for 2014, but fuck all team work. What party are you looking at?

      “Together eveyone achieves more.”

      Overseas bank accounts with more than us$50k for everyone to forget about.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.8

      “One other thing. Its about Policy not Personality.”

      For the love of christ.

      It’s ‘about’ a whole bunch of things, working together. There are more than two things, and even if there were only two things, Personality would be more important than Policy in terms of Winning. In terms of governing, no. But you don’t get to govern until you win. You need all of the things. You need Policy to be a good government, but it will not win you elections by itself.

      Look at the last election. Actually look at it.

      Labour had a heap of bold policy that was actually quite popular, and Phil Goff.

      National had John Key and his MOM.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 5.8.1

        Labour had a heap of bold policy that was actually quite popular

        Yes, who can forget such hits as “Axe the Tax (note: Tax may not in fact be Axed)”

  6. tc 6

    Can now see where the energy has been going rather than build credible policies that will see them relected.

    If they’d just followed their LEC’s and voted as instructed we’d be seeing a DC led Labour viscerate this gov’t. Depressing post Eddie even discounting it for speculation.

  7. JK 7

    “Street is an odd fit with this faction, and no one I’ve talked to can explain what she’s doing there”.

    IMO Street wants to make a “name” for herself. It didn’t happen when she was Party president. It might happen if her euthanasia bill gets picked out of the ballot box. I think she’s forgotten her feminist politics in favour of herself.

    “A break will probably require either an election loss or some seriously bad polling (in the 20s) that makes the softer members of the Careerist Left change tack out of fear of being booted out of Parliament”.

    I can’t see the seriously bad polling happening until John Key gets stuck into Shearer during the actual election campaign. By then it will be too late to change the Labour leadership. I, too, like tc, find it a depressing scenario, and IMO I don’t think Eddie is too far out in his assessment of the Labour caucus as it is at the moment. But I would have left out the “left” from the careerist faction. Careerist types are individualistic = more likely to be rightwing, than left.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      But I would have left out the “left” from the careerist faction. Careerist types are individualistic = more likely to be rightwing, than left.

      Indeed…personal career interests come first and foremost.

    • George D 7.2

      During the leadership contest, Giovanni Tiso (one of NZ’s undervalued public intellectuals) asked openly what their political stances were, where their ideological platform could be found. None was delivered.

      Instead, we had to read into the little they’d said in public about ideas of people, economies, and the state. More became apparent over time, but we’re still mostly in a vacuum, and when we do make public judgments based on what we know we’re accused of falsifying matters and attacking from the right.

      As an insider with knowledge, and a track record here of speaking the truth, I have to trust ‘Eddie’s judgment on these matters, because there is little else for those of us outside to determine what the caucus actually believes.

      A similar analysis of ideological alignment in the Greens might be useful (but it’s not going to be me that does it, not today anyway). The Greens are somewhat softer in their divisions and until recently have been able to entertain the possibility of careerism – which has prevented those without strong ideological or practical convictions from entering and sustaining themselves, but they do cleave on a number of lines. These are primarily along consumer-individual amenable environmentalism (centrist, in other words), and collectivist notions of responsibility to each other and the earth we live on (leftist). Both are incompatible with the current Government, but the latter is much more so.

      • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1

        Exactly George, whether or not this piece is informed, fanciful, or otherwise misses the point that it exists because of the way Labour is managed and how it communicates.

      • ghostrider888 7.2.2

        Like this, George D :)

      • George D 7.2.3

        ‘…unable to entertain the possibility of careerism’, rather.

      • outofbed 7.2.4

        I’ll give it a whirl, top to bottom then in order
        leftist
        Delahunty
        Logie
        Roche
        Walker
        Mathers
        Turei
        Norman
        Clendon
        Hague
        Genter
        Hughes
        Brown
        Sage
        Graham

        amenable environmentalism
        :-)

      • The Fan Club 7.2.5

        Eddie is just running pro-Cunliffe lines. He’s simply wrong about the motives and opinions of many of the MPs listed here, and in particular his conception of a “left” and a “careerist left” faction are basically self-serving nonsense.

        Also, Mackey backed Shearer to avoid being tarred as pro-Cunliffe? WTF, Mackey was doing Cunliffe’s numbers & was pretty seriously thought to be behind large parts of the maneuvering at Conference. (In fact the better bits had her handwriting all over them, I was quite impressed.) If she thought a vote for Shearer would protect she is much dumber than she is.

        • quartz 7.2.5.1

          He’s simply wrong about the motives and opinions of many of the MPs listed here

          Name one of these MPs and explain why eddie is wrong about their motives. I’m willing to believe that’s the case but thusfar I find eddie more convincing than you.

          • The Fan Club 7.2.5.1.1

            Mackey’s the obvious one. No way Mackey voted Shearer to try and get on side — too tainted already. Little’s pretty well known to be doing the work for Shearer.

            Calling Woods and Fenton careerists is incoherent. Likewise Street and Dyson (if you’ve got a left faction and Street and Dyson aren’t in it then it is not a left faction).

            • quartz 7.2.5.1.1.1

              I didn’t realise Little was “doing the work” for Shearer. What kind of work? I don’t know anything about Wood but Fenton seems left enough that I would have thought she’d vote for Cunliffe.

              • The Fan Club

                Arg. You see, assuming that because someone’s “left” they’ll vote for Cunliffe is a large part of the problem. It isn’t a left/right split. (That’s why Robertson, Dyson, Woods, Fenton, Street, etc broke for Shearer. Because it’s not about left v right.)

                Yeah, Little was pushing the affiliates at conference not to block vote in favour of the 40% trigger.

                • Jim Davis

                  He also said very pointedly that the reason for it was ‘anxiety about the current leadership’, and earned the displeasure of the Right because of it. You really don’t understand how this all works do you?

                • quartz

                  Little also called out the concern about Shearer at the same conference so I’m more inclined to think he’s a wild card like eddie said.

                  Does that mean Shearer’s not part of the right wing of the party? What about Phil and Annette?

                  • The Fan Club

                    Stating that this was a leadership debate was an anti-Cunlife line at the time. Michael Wood ran it as well, and he’s tight with Goff. Trotter argues that Little was rewarded for that line.

                    Marty, the split is about personalities & competence, in the main.

                    • quartz

                      I took what Little said to mean concerns about Shearer’s competence but I wasn’t listening that closely. Who’s marty?

                    • The Fan Club

                      The chap below.

                      No, “this is about leadership” was a line being taken by broadly pro-Shearer actors. It was an attack on Cunliffe and his backers in caucus.

                    • quartz

                      OKay. But who is marty?

                      Edit: Oh, I see you were talking to marty mars. There’s a reply button you can use to keep your comment attached to the comment you’re responding to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Co-ordinated lines (lies), were run against Cunliffe at Conference.

                      This additional confirmation from TFC is no surprise to anyone who was there.

                • If it is not a left/right split, what and where is the split about?

            • Jim Davis 7.2.5.1.1.2

              This is where you show you’re a punter, not a player.

              Mackey was reported in the media as shifting her support to Shearer in February. It might seem stupid but having seen the way others who’ve opposed him have been treated I can empathise with her decision.

              If you think Little is ‘doing Shearer’s work’ then you’re woefully misinformed. By all accounts he’s playing with a very straight bat and trying to avoid getting embroiled in factionalism. I’m not convinced it’s a winning strategy, but it’s the one he seems to have chosen.

              As the post points out Street is an odd fit with the careerists, and Dyson is driven by personal dislike. Woods is an odd one too. All of those three would be at the soft end – they deliver the votes but they’re not in the inner circle.

              Fenton is definitely driven by her career. She’s widely seen as being on her way out (unfairly I think) and is clinging to Shearer to save herself. Much like yourself, no doubt. I’m guessing you’re in Shearer’s pay. After all, the only people who seem to back Shearer these days are those who rely on him for either pay or position.

              • The Fan Club

                Yeah, Little plays it straight to a large extent, because apart from anything else he’s got his own future to consider. But he was definitely working against Cunliffe at conference.

                Again, if Mackey thought that she’d be able to get out of the inevitable freeze by a jump for Shearer that late, she was an idiot. Also, of course, she was doing the numbers for Cunliffe, and so if she thought they didn’t have them, they didn’t have them.

                According to Trotter, Woods was one of the people whipping for Shearer at conference.

                (If you’re listing factions, and there’s a faction of 11, 4 of whom are a bad fit, then maybe in fact you don’t have a faction at all?)

                (As I’ve repeatedly said, don’t work for Labour in Parliament or outside. Sorry.)

                • Jim Davis

                  I think the problem is you’re taking the labels Eddie’s applied to the factions too literally. As he points out, they’re loose factions and ‘Questions of ideology, loyalty, and personal advancement all play their part.’

                  It’s not all political. The broad left-right split is, but the split between Cunliffe and Robertson’s factions involves personal advancement, loyalty and personal relationships. People move in and out around the margins. It’s a simple model, but it’s one that chimes with my experience. Like any model there are arguments to be had around the edges, but fundamentally this post nails the division lines in caucus.

                  • The Fan Club

                    No, I think the problem is that Eddie’s factions aren’t an accurate reflection of the Party. The group of MPs backing Cunliffe don’t back him for ideological reasons, and calling them “left” is just not true. (I mean, Rino? Left wing? Hahaha.)

                    • hush minx

                      I find this post fascinating, but would have to ask why are you so sure Mackey was doing the numbers? I know its reported as ‘common wisdom’ but I think we’d all agree how far off that common wisdom was when it came to picking the outcome of the conference vote. I’d have thought there would have been operators less above the radar doing the numbers work. It seems credible to me that Mackey just ran scared. Someone should have warned her of the power of collectivism when under attack!

                    • The Fan Club

                      Why am I so sure about Mackey? Well, because no one ever contradicts when I say so!

                      As far as her handwriting being all over conference, well: Mackey and Flatt go back a long way (to their time in Young Labour), and that it was the DWU (Flatt in other words) that pushed hardest for the 40% at the Affiliates, then the Servos, and then the EPMU were basically just falling in line. And it was the block union vote that rolled the r&f who weren’t, in general, in favour of the 40% trigger.

                      So you’re looking at Mackey & people in the Auckland Servos as the prime movers there.

                    • @lee

                      The Fan Club, I generally agree with what you’ve said in the comments on this thread, but I have it on reasonably good authority that Little was organising to get the affiliates to support the 40% threshold while publicly attacking it on the conference floor (I was there).

                      I wonder whether Little will turn out to be the prime beneficiary of all this, rather than Robertson: Little appears to have come out of it all as the grey man, with nobody sure what he thinks and being relatively unscathed.

                      I read the division as a simple reflection of the fact that the majority of caucus think Cunliffe is a wanker with an uncontrollable ego, who would be hell to work with as leader – i.e. they don’t think he has leadership skills; think Kevin Rudd without the Mandarin.

                      The thing that the parliamentary Cunliffe supporters almost all have in common is this: a perception they are shirkers and/or incompetents. A couple of them, Cunliffe included, just have poor personal relationships inside caucus and know that Cunliife being leader is the only shot they have of ever being in Cabinet.

                      I am continually amazed that people think Cunliffe is Left and that nobody touting him as the solution has ever seemed to pause publicly to ask how he went from one of the most economically rightwing members of the last government to the doyenne of the activist left of the Party? This is a protege of Helen Third Way Clark we’re talking about, an admirer of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton: with all that comes with it, including (and especially) triangulation. This is a man who lives outside his electorate in Herne Bay(!) instead stooping to living in, say, Titirangi or Piha.

                      The positives around Shearer are that he is a very likable and good man, and a gifted leader (albeit not a natural politician) who does not shy away from and deals with internal conflict in robust manner, and who thrives under pressure. Shearer’s ego is well under control – it’s not like he thinks he’s an awesome public speaker, for instance.

                      It’s not about left or right, it’s about personalities: the party would be healthier if it were about the former. I think if the Cunliffe crowd were removed, then the cleavages would be far more ideological and better for the Party and NZ.

                    • The Fan Club

                      @lee, yeah, I have heard versions of that ranging from Little was playing two positions through to he just didn’t push the affiliates very hard. I don’t buy the claim he was pushing the unions towards 40%, but I do think he probably didn’t waste much capital on that.

                      He was still publicly pro-Shearer, no matter what was going on behind the scenes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      @Lee lolz

                      Now that you’ve detailed Cunliffe’s adherence to 3rd way politics, his supposed history on the “Right Wing” (lol) and his being an admirer of the likes of Clinton and Blair…

                      Please explain to us – what is Shearer’s stance on political economics? Which political leaders does he admire and why?

                    • @lee

                      Viper, I think Shearer is ideologically naive (some say “post-ideological”) and clearly didn’t initially understand why quoting people from the Finnish right, even though they’re way to he left of where Labour is on the political compass in reality, is not a good move.

                      Shearer clearly admires political and moral courage (and possesses it himself). I think he is focused on what he thinks works and is a pragmatist with a moderate inclination. I don’t think he has a sophisticated political economy worked out. He is, in reality, like a lot of decent humanitarians – his instincts are to help people practically and the desire to do that is what drove him into politics.

                      I’m not saying that Shearer is the great left hope, I just don’t think that Cunliffe is. Shearer is not a strong ideological force, which is the role Robertson seems to be playing. The idea that Shearer is some kind of neo-liberal ideologue waiting to spring the last round of Rogernomics on us is laughable though, and so is the idea that Cunliffe is a principled leftwing social democrat.

                    • felix

                      Oh come on @Lee.

                      The idea that Cunliffe is some sort of shit-breathing half-man-half-hornet mutation who feeds on rotting human flesh and lives in a sewer is laughable.

                    • Olwyn

                      I intend this as a reply to @Lee. This is the nearest “reply” button. Firstly, on the subject of Cunliffe. You forget that some people do actually know him, and that he has great support within his own electorate and LEC. No one actually expects him to be the reincarnation of Karl Marx. He does, however, take a genuinely centre-left position and defend it. In doing this, he puts himself in the position where he can be called to account if he fails to live up to it.

                      Now, this “ideological naivety” that you ascribe to David Shearer. Is this the best time in history for the main party of the left to be lead by an ideological naive? And what do “political and moral courage” amount to when one cannot discern the direction in which they will be pointed? Ruth Richardson was described in just those terms when she produced “the mother of all budgets.” Has it escaped your attention that the most enthusiastic cheer-leaders for this current leadership are from the right of the spectrum? So long as Labour cannot afford to sacrifice its right wing allies it can hardly mount a robust and effective opposition to the current government. And so long as it cannot mount a robust opposition it is going to be regarded with suspicion by many of its natural supporters.

                • @lee

                  Felix, don’t be hysterical. That’s not what I said. Cunliffe’s got an ego that he struggles to restrain and poor relationships within caucus; I don’t think he’s the bogey man, just that it seems naive or myopic to take Cunliffe on face value.

                  • felix

                    You started it fucko: “The idea that Shearer is some kind of neo-liberal ideologue waiting to spring the last round of Rogernomics on us is laughable

    • Rhinocrates 7.3

      too late to change the Labour leadership.

      I’ll expect that line from McFlock. Too soon to tell – give them time… more time… a few more minutes… microseconds… look, I know this guy Xeno and he had this thing about an arrow/too late, you’re rocking the boat and it’s your fault if the brand loses!

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        Yeah it’ll go straight from “too soon to change the Labour leadership” directly to “too late to change the Labour leadership”.

        • McFlock 7.3.1.1

          Nope. I reckon there’s a window of nine months or so from now for a leadership challenge. But I don’t think it’ll happen, bar some significantly bad polling or a major scandal for shearer personally. Current polling is solid, not spectacular, but not abysmal either. Using eddie’s breakdown of the factions, that means the right are still able to hang on and the careerists are still assured of work.

          In the case of shearer getting pinged from leadership for whatever reason, the folk on the “right” strike me (although I don’t know all of them) as being unlikely candidates for the leadership, which leaves them putting up a careerist as a compromise candidate.

          I reckon labour could drop around 5 points during the campaign, so to be comfortable needs to be polling around 40% at the start of the campaign frenzy (if shearer doesn’t continue to improve his skills, of course). But then that assumes a 100% solid Key. I wonder if they’ll promise a brighter future for a third time?

          I’m not sure the rotten boroughs are entirely up for grabs, though, and there’s always the outside chance of the conservatives coming in with an electorate seat and winston only getting 4.95% (skewing the proportional balance).

          • Rhinocrates 7.3.1.1.1

            That amount of calculation indicates desperation.

            • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1.1

              If it were wrong or based on completely false premises, maybe.

              If labour continue on 32-35% for the rest of the year, do you really think anyone will have enough support to get rid of shearer in their favour? <30%, I can see that, but with the broad left on the cusp of taking the lead from national? Nah. So that leaves illness or scandal for shearer to cause a leadership change.

              Will labour drop during the campaign, and if so how much? That's tealeaf-reading, but if we assume shearer is as good as goff was (big assumption, but do you have a better idea? The guy is slowly improving), and key doesn't have "strong leader in time of crisis" qudos, do you think shearer will drop as much as goff did?

              • Colonial Viper

                but if we assume shearer is as good as goff was (big assumption, but do you have a better idea?

                You’re talking about Phil Goff here? Veteran MP, multi portfolio Minister, hugely experienced in Parliamentary and NZ Governmental processes?

                I suppose Shearer did save a few million lives, in comparison.

                • McFlock

                  yeah, that’s the one.
                  The Goff who was bollocked in the debates by a swaggering boor who asked a simple, predictable question.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I think Goff did relatively well during those debates, apart from that single incident.

                    • McFlock

                      people watch nascar for the crashes.

                    • just saying

                      Goff had the advantage of having once been a left-winger. Shearer has no such history and no understanding of left-wing ideology or rhetoric. Goff was able to channel his former self to prevent a catastrophic loss, as would have happened if a significant proportion of the left flank of Labour had refused to vote for them. In those final debates Goff was in damage limitation mode.

                      When Goff spoke in those debates, I believe he was in character, and he actually believed his words. Inevitably, it didn’t last beyond the performances. No man is rich enough to buy back his soul, once he has sold it.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Very nicely said, just saying, though I’m not sure that Goff was ever a left-winger. He might have thought that he was, but genuinely progressive? I think not – his sexist, authoritarian dickishness evidenced by “Phwoarrr, I’d like to fuck Liz Hurley”, “Looters should be court-martialled and shot” and his anti-democratic actions in government suggest not.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      mr rape analogy?

                      Oh you poor victim.

                      Note the quote marks.

                      Again, you could end this so easily – you can say that you were wrong, that you told a lie. It’s as simple as that.

                      Admit that you’re a liar.

                    • McFlock

                      Try replying to the right comment

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Try replying to the right comment

                      No McFlock. You claimed that I support genocide. Show me where I said “I support genocide”. Word for word. If it were true, it would be easy, if it were not possible, then you are a lying shit. Simple as that. You can withdraw the accusation and apologise any time you like.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      I’m not married. Never have been.

                      No, I demanded a yes or no answer, so that won’t do. That’s evasion, so if you don’t have a “wife” exactly, you must be beating your partner.

                      Now you see, do you understand what a leading question is?

                      It seems

                      Again, the insinuation. Your fantasies and projections mean nothing.

                      Be honest. You can apologise and withdraw your implied slander any time you like.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      So “actually happened” = “lies”? What the fuck planet are you on?

                      No, lies about me.

                      I don’t give a fuck. It wasn’t a fucking question, you tool

                      Fuck fuck fuckety fuck fuck… and tits.

                      I am offended because comparing Labour having shearer as caucus leader with rape belittles them both and is fucking stupid.

                      It’s not a comparison, it’s an idiom. Look those words up in the OED.

                      can’t work a reply button

                      On my browser, the reply button does not appear this far down the thread. I didn’t write the software. Also, I did not cause the drought.

                      I am offended

                      So I’m supposed to care about your delicate sensibilities? Alright, what about mine? Let that be a lesson to you. Can you perhaps appreciate the fact that things you say, insinuations you make, can be offensive – or are you so filled with righteousness that you think that nothing you say could possibly be anything other than the pure, unalloyed truth?

                      So you’re offended? Can you understand that you can be offensive?

                      You could simply say, “I think that the option you propose could lead to further atrocities because…” and a perfectly civil, reasonable conversation could follow. Instead you say – and these are your words:

                      You just prefer genocide

                      You can take them back any time you like.

                    • McFlock

                      So “actually happened” = “lies”? What the fuck planet are you on?

                      No, lies about me.

                      Well, you haven’t demonstrated that I’ve lied yet. And nice flipping around of the “subject” question, you little sohpist, you.

                      I don’t give a fuck. It wasn’t a fucking question, you tool

                      Fuck fuck fuckety fuck fuck… and tits.

                      Actually, swearing IS somewhat idiomatic of my socioeconomic area.

                      I am offended because comparing Labour having shearer as caucus leader with rape belittles them both and is fucking stupid.

                      It’s not a comparison, it’s an idiom. Look those words up in the OED.

                      lol

                      idiom, n. A form of expression, grammatical construction, phrase, etc., used in a distinctive way in a particular language, dialect, or language variety; spec. a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from the meanings of the individual words.

                      So they just randomly sprinkle their language with rape references in your neck of the woods, do they?

                      com’parison, v. 1. trans. To liken

                      Or were did you use idiom in the sense of:
                      idiom, n. […]
                      II. Non-linguistic senses.
                      4. A specific form, manifestation, nature, or property of something, now chiefly as fig. use of branch I.; (Theol.) a property of Christ as either human or divine. Cf. sense 5.


                      can’t work a reply button

                      On my browser, the reply button does not appear this far down the thread. I didn’t write the software. Also, I did not cause the drought.

                      Scroll up to the first one above the comment you wish to reply to then. I’m in the same boat.


                      I am offended

                      Then let that be a lesson to you. Can you perhaps appreciate the fact that things you say, insinuations you make, can be offensive – or are you so filled with righteousness that you think that nothing you say could possibly be anything other than the pure, unalloyed truth?

                      I’m prepared to be demonstrated wrong. E.g. you complain I said that you supported genocide, I say “the fuck I did”, so you provide a link to a comment where I said “Rhinocrates supports genocide”, that would be pretty clear that I was wrong to deny saying it. And given that I’m pretty sure you haven’t made a comment along the lines of “genocide is cool, there should be more of it”, for me to say that you supported genocide would be wrong.

                      But nothing has been that clear cut. You just equate “prepared to stand around and do nothing to stop it” with “support it”. And call me a liar and slanderer because of the inference you made, rather than make your position clear.

                      So you’re offended? Can you understand that you can be offensive?

                      You could simply say, “I think that the option you propose could lead to further atrocities because…” and a perfectly civil, reasonable conversation could follow. Instead you say – and these are your words:

                      You just prefer genocide
                      You can take them back any time you like.

                      You just prefer genocide over even thinking about paying people to stop it.
                      Seems to be a fair summary of your position in the thread, so no.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Well, you haven’t demonstrated that I’ve lied yet.

                      OK, let’s call them insinuations, but still there’s this:

                      You just prefer genocide

                      you can’t get past that, liar.

                      swearing IS somewhat idiomatic […] in your neck of the woods, do they?

                      You accuse me of double standards? If so, try not to make your own so obvious.

                      Scroll up to the first one above the comment you wish to reply to then. I’m in the same boat.

                      I do that. Software is no excuse for you.

                      I say “the fuck I did”

                      You said this:

                      You just prefer genocide

                      You can withdraw that statement and apologise any time you like.

                      You just prefer genocide over even thinking about paying people to stop it.
                      Seems to be a fair summary of your position in the thread, so no.

                      “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

                      That is what misrepresentation means.

                      The fact is, I have thought about it and I have made it clear already. I said that enabling future genocides is a likely consequence of paying mercenaries. You are lying about me and misrepresenting me.

                      I am sick of your lies, so I will say it again: you are a liar.

                      I am offended

                      So, are you “offended”? Are your poor liddle feelings hurt, diddums?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Come on McFlock, this is very easy. You like your “either-or” questions and unequivocal answers, so here’re mine:

                      Do I support genocide or do I not?

                      Just for fun, since I’ve never posted a comment on cancer, does that mean that I support cancer?

                      What are my opinions on dandruff?

                      Mannerism?

                      Baroque?

                      The Gothic Revival?

                      Hip-hop?

                      Tweed?

                      Does disagreement with you equal “evil”?

                      Answer please, otherwise you are clearly a kitten-eating evil overlord with dandruff.

                      Of course that’s all just suggestion, so I don’t need to justify it.

                      I think that one genocide is horrible. I think that more are worse. That’s it.

                      Since your’e such a bore, I’ll pre-empt your most likely answer:

                      DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

                    • McFlock

                      My, you are antsy. I’ll take your latest whining two comments in one.


                      You just prefer genocide

                      you can’t get past that, liar.

                      It seems to be true.

                      swearing IS somewhat idiomatic […] in your neck of the woods, do they?

                      You accuse me of double standards? If so, try not to make your own so obvious.

                      Nope. I’m just pointing out you seem to have an irregular understanding of the word “idiom” – to go with “prefer = support”, I guess.


                      Scroll up to the first one above the comment you wish to reply to then. I’m in the same boat.

                      I do that. Software is no excuse for you.

                      If you did that you wouldn’t be disjointing the threads.

                      I say “the fuck I did”

                      You said this:

                      You just prefer genocide

                      You can withdraw that statement and apologise any time you like.

                      I’d like to, but it seems to be true.


                      You just prefer genocide over even thinking about paying people to stop it.
                      Seems to be a fair summary of your position in the thread, so no.

                      “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

                      That is what misrepresentation means.

                      Not if I don’t have a wife.

                      The fact is, I have thought about it and I have made it clear already. I said that enabling future genocides is a likely consequence of paying mercenaries. You are lying about me and misrepresenting me.

                      I am sick of your lies, so I will say it again: you are a liar.

                      Well, you’re an idiot. There’s no money in genocide. But for fear of a remote possible consequence, you will stand by and allow a certain genocide. Let me applaud your strong sense of ethical principle. clap. clap. clap.


                      I am offended

                      So, are you “offended”? Are your poor liddle feelings hurt, diddums?

                      Sorry? Did you just reply to a comment of mine that you’d already removed from context and responded to? Are you drunk, stupid or both?

                      Rhinocrates …
                      26 March 2013 at 3:40 pm
                      Come on McFlock, this is very easy. You like your “either-or” questions and unequivocal answers, so here’re mine:

                      Do I support genocide or do I not?

                      Just for fun, since I’ve never posted a comment on cancer, does that mean that I support cancer?

                      Nope. But if, say, someone had written an article on chemotherapy, and you railed against all the side effects of chemo and put forward no treatment yourself. And then gone on to accuse the original commenter of being a neolib sociopath for even discussing chemotherapy, I’d have to say that although you don’t support cancer, you’re sure as shit not going to do anything to stop it.

                      Does disagreement with you equal “evil”?

                      No. But your lack of coherence and your general obsession is beginning to equal “dumb fuckwit”.

                      Answer please, otherwise you are clearly a kitten-eating evil overlord with dandruff.

                      Of course that’s all just suggestion, so I don’t need to justify it.

                      Since your’e such a bore, I’ll pre-empt your most likely answer:

                      DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

                      But you see, you haven’t spent the best part of a day trying to get me to take a position on any of those topics while I simply scream “lair! Prefer = Support! liar!”.

                    • McFlock

                      So just to recap the sum state of progress, rhino, we have achieved:

                      The fact is, I have thought about it and I have made it clear already. I said that enabling future genocides is a likely consequence of paying mercenaries.

                      Well, you’re an idiot. There’s no money in genocide. But for fear of a remote possible consequence, you will stand by and allow a certain genocide. Let me applaud your strong sense of ethical principle. clap. clap. clap.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Not if I don’t have a wife.

                      Partner then. You’re obviously evading. Clearly you beat and rape your partner because you specifically avoid the term “wife”.

                      And guess what? I don’t support genocide. Say it clearly: Do I support genocide or do I not? The answer is very easy. Yes or no.

                      You can end this with one word, and that word is “No”.

                      Why can’t you answer that question? That suggests to me that you want to insinuate that I do, but you’re too much of a coward to say it again.

                      thinks “prefers” means “supports”

                      That’s the implication.

                      I am offended

                      Oh you poor baby. It really doesn’t occur to you that you might be offensive? What if I said that I was offended? That wouldn’t matter because your precious feelings matter more than anyone’s.

                      Why should I care about your precious feelings when you don’t care about anyone else’s?

                      So, like my response to the wifebeater question (point out how it differs from reality), are you going for option 3 as “hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides”?

                      Gibberish.

                      You’re insinuating. If you want clarity, make your accusations clear, or withdraw them.

                      Say I don’t support it or not. It’s very easy and you can cut and paste this:

                      I, McFlock am a lying bastard and I made unfair and dishonest accusations and insinuations. I was wrong. In fact I’m a fucking moron with the emotional development of a toddler and I’ll use any lie and dissimulation to cling to my original position.

                      Easy, isn’t it?

                      Easy to do, now go ahead.

                      Otherwise, to repeat, you can end this with one word, and that word is “No”. Go ahead. Otherwise, you’re saying “yes”.

                    • McFlock

                      Not if I don’t have a wife.

                      Partner then. You’re obviously evading. Clearly you beat and rape your partner because you specifically avoid the term “wife”.

                      as an aside, why are you fishing to see if I’m single?

                      And guess what? I don’t support genocide. Say it clearly: Do I support genocide or do I not? The answer is very easy. Yes or no.

                      You can end this with one word, and that word is “No”.

                      True. I never said you did, apparently not even in a drunken stupor that I don’t recall. So “no”.

                      Now, how about that three-faction model of caucus, eh? What likelihood does it suggest that shearer will be replaced before election 2014, barring some major scandal?

                      Why can’t you answer that question? That suggests to me that you want to insinuate that I do, but you’re too much of a coward to say it again.

                      “again”? Never said it the first time.


                      thinks “prefers” means “supports”

                      That’s the implication.

                      Nope. It’s the inference you made, in complete defiance of the meaning of either word, and an inference I even said was incorrect and too extreme at the time, you tool.

                      I am offended

                      Oh you poor baby. It really doesn’t occur to you that you might be offensive? What if I said that I was offended? That wouldn’t matter because your precious feelings matter more than anyone’s.

                      Sorry, did you just reply to the same out of context quote a THIRD time as if it was a new comment?
                      Do you have a medical condition to explain your memory issues?

                      Why should I care about your precious feelings when you don’t care about anyone else’s?

                      So, like my response to the wifebeater question (point out how it differs from reality), are you going for option 3 as “hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides”?

                      Gibberish.

                      Only to the completely stupid.

                      You’re insinuating. If you want clarity, make your accusations clear, or withdraw them.

                      Say I don’t support it or not.

                      I did at the fucking time you paranoid delusional obsessive moron.

                      You’d just rather watch a genocide unfold that pay someone to stop it.
                      Apparently, you do so on the off chance that mercenaries might suddenly find money and no risk in genocide in the future (because regional volunteers can only kill 7,000 a week, but it would take mercenaries to make it baaaaad).

                      It’s very easy and you can cut and paste this:

                      I, McFlock am a lying bastard and I made unfair and dishonest accusations and insinuations. I was wrong. In fact I’m a fucking moron with the emotional development of a toddler and I’ll use any lie and dissimulation to cling to my original position.

                      Easy, isn’t it?

                      Easy to do, now go ahead.

                      But if I wrote that I would be telling a lie, because that is [rephrase]an incorrect statement.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      really? Because you get quite impatient if I don’t give you attention immediately.

                      Fine, go ahead with the supposedly subtle homophobic slurs if you like.

                      well and truly derailed.

                      Yes, funny why you’re so determined to keep it off the rails. You can win by stopping, you know because you’ll have proven that I’m the one who derailed it.

                      viable and indeed ONLY option

                      Oh, the ONLY option. Bold? Italic? Underlined? Bold, underlined and italic? Twenty-four point perhaps?

                      Was it the only option? And again, that’s Monday. What happens on Wednesday?

                      have another crack at being a moron

                      You’re poopy-pants and you’re mummie’s fat!

                      And should be limited by laws.

                      Ah, “should.”

                      Ah yes, let’s think about that… is the world governed by “should”?

                      No.

                      Sorry.

                      not all of them delight in mass murder

                      You cannot believe how reassuring that is. Really… ‘cos I don’t.

                      Tell that to the survivors of the folk you watched die on Sunday. Especially as Monday and tuesday

                      Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… and a profit every day!

                      Anyway, I’ve got to go now, probably won’t be back online until tomorrow, so don’t fret in my absence.

                      Oh yes that one “I’ve got to go now” – the exit with a flounce.

                    • felix

                      toasting in epic bread

                    • McFlock

                      really? Because you get quite impatient if I don’t give you attention immediately.

                      Fine, go ahead with the supposedly subtle homophobic slurs if you like.

                      Not homophobic at all. Just pointing out that you seem to get antsy if I, personally, as an individual you have fixated upon, don’t respond to your comments within 20 minutes.


                      well and truly derailed.

                      Yes, funny why you’re so determined to keep it off the rails. You can win by stopping, you know because you’ll have proven that I’m the one who derailed it.

                      See, but the trouble is that you’ll just derail another comment later on by resurrecting a months old thread because of your outrage at an inference you made, simply because you think “prefer” means “support”(clue: if I prefer a punch in the guts over getting hit in the face, it doesn’t mean I support whoever punches me in the guts).

                      Basically, I’m happy to resolve this right now, but not by lying. I never said you supported genocide. You are just prepared to stand around and do nothing for fear of purely hypothetical consequences. Where is the profit in genocide?


                      viable and indeed ONLY option

                      Oh, the ONLY option. Bold? Italic? Underlined? Bold, underlined and italic? Twenty-four point perhaps?

                      Was it the only option? And again, that’s Monday. What happens on Wednesday?

                      Let’s look at the actual situation, shall we?
                      The UN and wider international response to the Rwandan genocide as it began and continued was not short of resolutions, recommendations, reports and condemnations.

                      It was short of people with guns who could stop it. Even aircraft to jam the radio station coordinating the atrocities would have saved countless lives.

                      The UN can’t give a moral backbone to casualty-averse nations who have Mogadishu fresh in their minds.
                      The UN can, however, change the internal UN policy against the UN hiring mercenaries for specific activities.

                      If you have a better idea, feel free to come up with it, because at the moment we’re still between “mercenaries” and “watch and do nothing”.

                      As it is, the OAU in particular seems to be getting more consistently active and capable, so that window of culpable inactivity is now closing and the point is moot. However, it was still a reasonable point to ponder under the circumstances at the time, and would probably have saved tens of thousands of lives.


                      have another crack at being a moron

                      You’re poopy-pants and you’re mummie’s fat!

                      Nah, see, what you did there was actually vaguely relevant to the preceeding statement. Which places it in the upper percentiles of your contribution.
                      Try again.


                      And should be limited by laws.

                      Ah, “should.”

                      Ah yes, let’s think about that… is the world governed by “should”?

                      No.

                      Sorry.

                      Well, you’re the one saying the UN should stand by and do nothing.


                      Anyway, I’ve got to go now, probably won’t be back online until tomorrow, so don’t fret in my absence.

                      Oh yes that one “I’ve got to go now” – the exit with a flounce.

                      Rhino, while contact with me might be the highlight of your day, for me contact with you is prioritised somewhere around clipping my toenails. Is it really so difficult for you to belive that I might have more interesting things to do than sitting at my keyboard 24/7 waiting for your next failure with the english language, ready to answer within moments?

                  • felix

                    And is that the Shearer who gets shot down by the same swaggering boor every question time? And rendered speechless by just about everyone who has ever put a microphone in front of him?

                    Serious question: What is it about Labour under Shearer that suggests to you that they can poll anywhere near 40% ?

                    • McFlock

                      Three points:
                      1) Shearer is improving. Slowly.

                      2) I’m not entirely sure they will reach 40%. But that’s where I think they need to be to be reasonably comfortable at the start of the campaign. The left could still win from lab35%, but if I were lab I’d want some breathing room. I’d also want to avoid the 1:1 debates because that’s not the candidate strength, but that’s getting into tactics.

                      3) Although 40% might be a tall order, I don’t think they’ll do badly enough in the polls for caucus to do a leadership challenge before 2014, and after that then yes, the “cost of change too late in the game” becomes a factor. Not “too late to change”, more “too late to change without good reason”. Going by the three-camp analysis, the careerists will still have a job so they won’t be partial to a change until their seats become endangered by the polls [giggle]. That means a drop from the current low level – unlikely. No leadership change without them, so any change is doubtful.

                    • Alanz

                      Yes, we would love to have a Leaders Debate … without a Labour leader under Shearer. Well done. Great tactic.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Well, um, that’s quite a precise figure… too precise maybe… things can change… I mean, as we know… um… it could go up. I’m not ruling that out… just recently, I said that Labour… am I leader of the Labour Party? I mean… I said that absolutely it’s a place for homophobes… and you know, I mean, um, they might take us over the … I mean I won’t rule that out, or not… I mean forty percent is a number and I won’t rule out forty percent… I mean I painted forty percent of my roof… maybe a hundred percent… um… I forget….

                      Or, more simply: give him time!

                      No really, come on, tell me with a straight face that Mumblefuck is going to be just fucking brilliant on the campaign. Tell me that he’ll make Oscar Wilde look like…. well Mumblefuck.

                      Furthermore, tell me, with a straight face again, that Mumblefuck actually has left wing ideals that he intends to implement and will be able to.

                      Oh right, the Greens are going to provide that? Right, ‘cos Mumblefuck wants to appeal to the middle, so he’ll let them propose things, but will he actually let them get their legislation through the third reading?

                      Considering his record for backstabbing already, can you support that?

                      “I mean, yes, um, I support… in principle… um, but…can’t support it, ah, whatever it is… in its current form…” is far more plausible.

                    • McFlock

                      alanz: I reckon a parliamentary leaders’ debate would be what to root for. Reckoned it last time, too.

                      Rhino, get a life.
                      Nobody’s saying shearer’s outstanding. What I’m saying is that he’s not bad enough to be kicked by caucus, and he might not be so bad that the parliamentary left lose in 2014, anyway. In fact I’m cautiously optimistic.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      In fact I’m cautiously optimistic.

                      About what?

                      If Mumblefuck were to win, what exactly are you “cautiously optimistic” about that he would actually do?

                      Nobody’s saying shearer’s outstanding.

                      That’s an endorsement? Jesus Aitch Tap-Dancing Christ in a Sidecar. Get real Key’s a bastard, he’s swine, he’s a… well, I’m not a psychiatrist… but he’s a psychopath. He’s also popular.

                    • McFlock

                      What am I confident he’d do if he wins? Implement some left policy to keep greens and mana happy.

                      Oh, and I’m endorsing noone. Just saying that shearer’s probably here until the election.

                      If I had to endorse someone, I’d probably just say “vote alliance”

                    • Rhinocrates

                      What am I confident he’d do if he wins? Implement some left policy to keep greens and mana happy.

                      You mean token gestures? “To keep them happy” Because they’re nutters who have to be tolerated for pragmatism’s sake. Right, OK. Cop out.

                      Oh, and I’m endorsing noone. Just saying that shearer’s probably here until the election.

                      You’re probably right. “If rape is inevitable…”

                      Oh lovely, just lovely.

                      If I had to endorse someone, I’d probably just say “vote alliance”

                      Dante reserved a special circle in Hell for the cowards.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh I’m sorry, do you think any other labour party leader would do, given the caucus eddie outlines?

                      And I dare you to finish that comment and make the analogy explicit. I double-dare you.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Oh, you dare me, do you? Is this all about honour is it? How about saying that I support genocide or some other lie? I’ll deal with you on equal terms when you actually debate honestly instead of telling lies.

                      You can withdraw that accusation and apologise any time you like.

                    • felix

                      “Nobody’s saying shearer’s outstanding.”

                      Yes, that’s kinda the problem. He’s not outstanding and nobody believes he is.

                      Hell, he’s barely mediocre. You like to point out that he’s improving, and fair enough – but look at the base he’s coming from. If he improved his performances 1000% they’d still be average (and they’d still be performances.)

                      John Key might be a cunt but he’s also very good at it. And he’s going to fuck Shearer up in the debates and everyone knows it, especially the tv stations which is precisely why they’ll insist on a head-to-head, and if Shearer refuses then everyone will say he’s afraid to debate Key and they’ll be right.

                      “ABC” eh? It’s becoming apparent that they weren’t kidding about the “Anyone.”

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Come on McFlock, I “double dare” you. Otherwise, you are a liar, and I have nothing to prove to a liar.

                    • McFlock

                      Impatient rhino?
                      You absolute tool. You use a rape analogy talking about shearer as labour party leader, and then complain about misrepresentation?

                      Tell me, did dante have a level in hell for stupid hypocrites?

                      Eddie’s post describes the situation as eddie sees it. I extrapolated from that. You want wishful thinking? Ok, I’d love it if the caucus of the first labour government were reanimated and made a permanent zombie government. It would be left wing AND cool. But in the real world shearers still leader and is unlikely to be rolled prior to the election. And that’s not a national tragedy.

                      But more to the point, what do you think any other labour leader would really do given the caucus eddie outlined?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Answer the question, McFlock, you lying scum. You slandered me. Do I support genocide or not? If you claim I do, what proof do you have?

                      Again, You can withdraw that accusation and apologise any time you like.

                      Otherwise, a liar like you deserves no answer.

                    • McFlock

                      Felix, I agree the type of distinction, just not the extent. And actually a labour party in the mid30s gives real credence to the idea other parties should get facetime. Partners, not leader/followers.

                    • McFlock

                      Rhino, try any of the last dozen times I answered it, you dick.
                      Try googling “prepared to do nothing to stop it”, it might help. “Stand around and watch” and “seven thousand dead a week” might also be of assistance.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Rhino, try any of the last dozen times I answered it, you dick.
                      Try googling “prepared to do nothing to stop it”, it might help. “Stand around and watch” and “seven thousand dead a week” might also be of assistance.

                      No McFlock, that’s not good enough. The fact is that you said that I supported it. Your fantasises, waffles and suppositions are meaningless. You are a liar, a coward and a hypocrite.

                      Stop your weasel words and say once and for all that I did not actually say that I supported genocide and that you were a prick (at least) for suggesting that I do.

                      Do it, unequivocally, without qualification or excuse or more of your bloody weasel words.

                    • McFlock

                      Which actual comment of mine does your malfunction come from, mr rape analogy?

                    • McFlock

                      Show me where I sad you supported Genocide, and I’ll show you why.
                      And quote marks make it a simile, not a metaphor. Still a rape analogy, “dickhead”.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      I’m sure there might be some salient points in this conversation somewhere, but it’s starting to look like a couple of bitchy kids with poor impulse control.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, fair enough cw. This is going nowhere.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Then perhaps McFlock you’d like to withdraw the accusation then? Produce the evidence or otherwise…

                      It’s very easy. Do I support genocide? Yes or no? It’s easy to say. One word, three letters or two.

                      Why is this so hard for you?

                      I know it’s because you can’t admit that you are a liar.

                    • McFlock

                      Show me the comment and I’ll decide if I was wrong. No further comment without the link.

                      Hell, I’m only commenting now because you’re an obsessive dickhead. God must love perseverance, eh.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      This:

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/105076/#comment-570893

                      I’ll decide if I was wrong

                      Oh really? That’s up to you, is it?

                      In answer to your question, no.
                      You just prefer genocide over even thinking about paying people to stop it.

                      It’s very easy to apologise if you had any honesty at all, liar.

                      Again, where do I say that I support genocide?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Just a point, McFlock, the Internet does not forget, you lying prick.

                    • McFlock

                      Fuck I forgot that debate was so tedious.
                      I did see this this.
                      In fact, from the link you provided it seems you might be the liar. But I suspect deluded more than liar.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      So nothing actually substantial McFlock? Are you trying to prove that Mathew Wormtongue supports you?

                    • McFlock

                      Show where I said you support genocide.
                      Oh, it seems I didn’t.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      No, McFlock, you did. You said I prefer it.

                      Again, answer the question. Where do I say that I prefer genocide?

                      If I don’t, then say so. Withdraw the claim or the insinuation and apologise, liar.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol
                      But I never said it, you obsessive tool.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      You just prefer genocide

                      Your words are there, liar.

                      Yes, I’m obsessive. I believe in the truth. You seem to think that a concern for the truth is crazy. Well, I guess that suggests a lot…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock always says he has no interest in the Labour leadership (even says its not really that important who is in charge) but consistently and insistently declares Shearer to always be ‘just good enough’.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      just good enough

                      Supported by increasingly desperate calculations and wishful thinking presented as certainties, or at least likelihoods that are as good as certainties… or something. Possibilities that could be certainties, or something. I’m waiting for the “Winston, something, blah, likely, maybe, well, if then will…”

                      Won’t that be wonderful? Being “pragmatic” and “centrist” and hoping on a coalition partner that includes the likes of Richard Prosser. Hey, that’s “realistic”.

                      Groovy.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol
                      Support is not the same as prefer. Support is “yay, genocide”. Prefer is “mercenaries to stop a genocide? No, better not. Guess the genocide has to go ahead, cos we can’t stop it any other way”.

                      You seemed to be against using mercenaries to stop a genocide, yet produced no alternative prevention strategy. Which means the genocide would occur, rwanda rerun.

                      But this is all getting way derailed, and cv’s flying leap was just random.
                      Nightnight, rhino. No doubt you’ll be just as nutty tomorrow.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      You seemed to be against using mercenaries to stop a genocide, yet produced no alternative prevention strategy. Which means the genocide would occur, rwanda rerun.

                      “Seemed”

                      That is almost honest. You admit that you are making suppositions and putting words in other peoples’ mouths, finally. Still, you remain a liar.

                      Perhaps in future you might honestly represent opposing viewpoints, McFlock?

                      “Nutty” I may be, but a liar I am not.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, apart from the fact that it seems I never actually said you support genocide, contrary to your claim.

                      But please feel free to correct my scurrilous misapprehension:
                      All other options exhausted, would you consider using mercenaries to prevent a genocide, or would you prefer to let the genocide unfold as it may?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Yes or no – no hedging allowed.

                      There is no gain to be had in debating with someone so fundamentally dishonest who will so willingly misrepresents their opponent and asks leading questions.

                      Thanks for showing how disingenuous you are so clearly.

                    • McFlock

                      Funnily enough, this is a debate, not a press stunt or yes/no only question. It’s also the real life question shearer was discussing, based on real world situations he was faced with. If the alternatives seem invidious, it’s because sometimes reality is a bitch.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      not a press stunt or yes/no only question

                      You really have no appreciation for irony, do you?

                      That is exactly how you want to constrain it in order to denigrate me by insinuation.

                      I see that you’re avoiding my question, so I guess that you’re a wife-beater then.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not married. Never have been.

                      Keep dodging. I mean, it’s great you want to protest so much, scream “liar” incessantly, but frankly it smacks of protesting too much. Faced with the same situation shearer was dealing with, you’d rather pretend it was a contrived cliché rather than sit down and consider options for preventing it happening again.

                      It seems you really would prefer to let a genocide happen rather than even consider hiring mercenaries to stop it.

                    • McFlock

                      oh, you replied to the wrong comment again.

                      Anyway:
                      No, I demanded a yes or no answer, so that won’t do. That’s evasion, so if you don’t have a “wife” exactly, you must be beating your partner.

                      Here’s the difference: you posited a hypothetical situation that didn’t conform to reality, expecting a yes or no answer. I posited a question based on an actual problem that faced the UN in the 1990s, and still has not adequately been resolved.

                      I pointed out that your question bore no relation to reality. You are free to do the same about the question I posed you, rather than squirming around and trying to change the rules you set.

                      Be honest. You can apologise and withdraw your implied slander any time you like
                      Actually, having revisited the discussion I must say that I still sincerely and thoroughly believe that you would prefer to allow a genocide to occur rather than consider using mercenaries to stop it. Whether this is due to a sincere and principled moral belief, or simply because you are so petty that you’d let hundreds of thousands die just so you could call shearer “neoliberal”, that bit I’m not so sure on yet.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      oh, you replied to the wrong comment again.

                      Oh, so you want to be selective. Evading the wife-beating question again I see.

                      Here’s the difference

                      No here’s the essential fact: leading questions are dishonest and you, in asking them, are dishonest.

                      I still sincerely and thoroughly believe

                      You can sincerely and thoroughly believe that you are Napoleon Bonaparte, but you have to prove that.

                      or simply because you are so petty

                      And again, a leading question.

                      Either you eat kittens or you are Satan.

                    • McFlock

                      oh, you replied to the wrong comment again.

                      Oh, so you want to be selective. Evading the wife-beating question again I see.

                      Nope. Just pointing out that whacking any random “reply” button defeats the purpose of having such a button at all.


                      Here’s the difference

                      No here’s the essential fact: leading questions are dishonest and you, in asking them, are dishonest.

                      Nope. That was the situation. Those were the alternatives as they appeared at the time. You can do what I did, and point out how the question does not adequately describe reality. But then you’d have to come up with an alternative course of action and make a moral judgement yourself, rather than just screaming that you’ve been misrepresented.

                      I still sincerely and thoroughly believe

                      You can sincerely and thoroughly believe that you are Napoleon Bonaparte, but you have to prove that.

                      No I don’t. I believe it, and then and now stated why: your refusal to state a position or provide any realistic third alternative. You scream that you’ve been misrepresented, but refuse to say how you’ve been misrepresented. That complaint, frankly, goes in the round filing cabinet as “insufficient information to follow up”.


                      or simply because you are so petty

                      And again, a leading question. Can you even lie straight in bed?

                      It wasn’t even a question, let alone a leading question. Note the lack of a question mark. It was a list of the most likely reasons that you would never under any circumstances hire mercenaries (could you ever conceive of a situation that you might?), even to prevent a genocide. Although now I need to add “the moral certainty that is the hallmark of the intensely stupid” to that list.

                      So just to tally up your score so far:
                      you claimed I said you supported genocide, when apparently I didn’t;
                      you claimed I asked a leading question, when it wasn’t even a question;
                      you compared the reasons why Shearer is unlikely to be rolled as leader of the labour party before election 2014 with rape;
                      you still claim to have been egregiously misrepresented, but refuse to state what your true position is;
                      and apparently I’m the bad guy.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      point out how the question does not adequately describe reality.

                      Indeed. I’m glad that you admit that. Do not claim therefore that I support some imaginary position simply because I don’t support yours.

                      But then you’d have to come up with an alternative course of action and make a moral judgement yourself […] but refuse to state what your true position is

                      I have. It’s caution. The thing that is worse than one genocide is enabling future genocides. Plural.

                      refuse to say how

                      Astonishing. You’ve said so yourself, repeatedly.

                      Note the lack of a question mark.

                      Do you think it comes down to punctuation. Ooh, let’s see, perhaps I can reduce it to an either-or: either you’re illiterate or you’re deliberately quibbling to avoid a point.

                      you compared the reasons why Shearer is unlikely to be rolled as leader of the labour party before election 2014 with rape

                      You really just don’t get rhetoric, do you? I used a common idiom. Trying to take it literally and rolling about and playing the victim is just childish.

                      apparently I didn’t

                      “apparently”? Weasel.

                      Can you possibly appreciate the fact that caution and scepticism does not indicate a “preference” for genocide? Do you know that questions can be implicit? Do you know that insinuations needn’t be explicit – indeed, it’s their indirectness that makes them insinuations.

                      I’ll say this outright: you are dishonest and you slander by insinuation.

                    • McFlock

                      point out how the question does not adequately describe reality.

                      Indeed. I’m glad that you admit that. Do not claim therefore that I support some imaginary position simply because I don’t support yours.

                      Ha – nice sophistry from someone who accuses others of it.
                      See, the circumstance of my question actually happened. Yours was imaginary.


                      But then you’d have to come up with an alternative course of action and make a moral judgement yourself […] but refuse to state what your true position is

                      I have. It’s caution. The thing that is worse than one genocide is enabling future genocides. Plural.

                      Actually, letting one genocide happen does enable others. “Who today speaks of the Armenians?”.
                      But are you arguing that hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides? Just to be explicit about it.


                      refuse to say how

                      Astonishing. You’ve said so yourself, repeatedly.

                      It’s unclear whether you would consider hiring mercenaries if the situation were dire enough, or whether you would refuse that option and present no other, or whether you have some other option that would have resulted in Rwanda not becoming a bloodbath if only the Un had thought of it at the time.

                      Note the lack of a question mark.

                      Do you think it comes down to punctuation. Ooh, let’s see, perhaps I can reduce it to an either-or: either you’re illiterate or you’re deliberately quibbling to avoid a point.

                      Punctuation is generally regarded as a big fucking clue. And your either-or missed option three, the one I’d actually described where I was merely listing what I believed to be the most likely explanations for your idiocy, rather than making an interrogative statement designed to elicit information.


                      you compared the reasons why Shearer is unlikely to be rolled as leader of the labour party before election 2014 with rape

                      You really just don’t get rhetoric, do you? I used a common idiom. Trying to take it literally and rolling about and playing the victim is just childish.

                      So if it wasn’t literal, it was figurative? Like an analogy?


                      apparently I didn’t

                      “apparently”? Weasel.

                      Nope.
                      There is always the slim possibility that what you said somehow magically intersects with reality – it was several months ago, and I have been known to drunk-comment. But the link you provided shows me saying that you prefer letting a genocide occur to hiring mercenaries that would stop it. Not me saying that you support genocide. So apparently, yes “apparently”, you’re full of shit. I’ll retract that “full of shit” if you actually show me the comment you’re derailing about.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      See, the circumstance of my question actually happened.

                      I don’t doubt that, and I know several people who were there. However, that still does not give you license to tell lies.

                      But are you arguing that hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides? Just to be explicit about it.

                      Already have been.

                      Punctuation is generally regarded as a big fucking clue

                      But not the only one.

                      And your either-or missed option three… So if it wasn’t literal, it was figurative? Like an analogy?

                      Oh the irony. So let me get this straight – you are offended that your actual position isn’t one that was defined in my deliberately simplistic (and satirical) characterisation? Golly! Are you finally starting to understand? Perhaps I don’t fit your characterisation. Have you considered that?

                      actually show me the comment

                      I already have and you’ve even repeated it. Like my wife-beating example (a commonly used example in journalism schools), you deliberately constrain the terms to “prove” your prejudice. You are doing it deliberately.

                    • McFlock

                      See, the circumstance of my question actually happened.

                      I don’t doubt that, and I know several people who were there. However, that still does not give you license to tell lies.

                      So “actually happened” = “lies”? What the fuck planet are you on?

                      But are you arguing that hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides? Just to be explicit about it.

                      Already have been.

                      Humour me. I would hate to be accused of misrepresentation. Is “hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides” a fair summary of your position?

                      Punctuation is generally regarded as a big fucking clue

                      But not the only one.

                      I would ask you what the clues were that you led you to think that I was asking you a question, but really, I don’t give a fuck. It wasn’t a fucking question, you tool.


                      And your either-or missed option three… So if it wasn’t literal, it was figurative? Like an analogy?

                      Oh the irony. So let me get this straight – you are offended that your actual position isn’t one that was defined in my deliberately simplistic (and satirical) characterisation. Golly! Are you finally starting to understand? Perhaps I don’t fit your characterisation. Have you considered that?

                      You mean like the bit where I called you “mr rape analogy”?
                      Perhaps I understand you to be an idiot who doesn’t realise that an analogy is still ” A figure of speech involving a comparison; a simile, a metaphor”, according to the OED.
                      I am offended because comparing Labour having shearer as caucus leader with rape belittles them both and is fucking stupid.


                      actually show me the comment

                      I already have and you’ve even repeated it. Like my wife-beating example (a commonly used example in journalism schools), you deliberately constrain the terms to “prove” your prejudice.

                      So, like my response to the wifebeater question (point out how it differs from reality), are you going for option 3 as “hiring mercenaries to prevent one genocide will enable other genocides”?

                      You are doing it deliberately.

                      No, I’m trying to follow an idiot who is deliberately obscure, can’t work a reply button, thinks “prefers” means “supports” and quite possibly has the reputed memory of a goldfish.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      as an aside, why are you fishing to see if I’m single?

                      Don’t flatter yourself. You really aren’t very interesting. I’m sorry to tell you that.

                      True. I never said you did, apparently not even in a drunken stupor that I don’t recall. So “no”.

                      Fine, that’s it then. I’ll accept that as “I am a dissimulating arsehole”

                      Now, how about that three-faction model of caucus, eh? What likelihood does it suggest that shearer will be replaced before election 2014, barring some major scandal?

                      Diversion. Irrelevant.

                      “again”? Never said it the first time.

                      Ahem: “You just prefer genocide”. Own your mistakes – i.e., own your lies.

                      Sorry, did you just reply to the same out of context quote

                      If you want to keep repeating your lies, go ahead. Don’t be upset if I point them out.

                      You’d just rather watch a genocide unfold that pay someone to stop it.

                      Right, that’s the essence of your slander. In your world, everything is a sliding scale. Well, your world is one in which slippery slopes are inevitable and you somehow imagine that the brakes can be magically applied somewhere halfway down that slippery slope.

                      I’d rather not watch a corporation profit from the next genocide. Obviously you support that, right? Do you really think that mercenaries are at heart humanitarians? Maybe the are… just like vegetarians care about vegetables.

                      I’m sure your so very flexible conscience will be happy with this. Meanwhile, the people who die on Monday can console themselves with the thought that it could have been worse on Tuesday and what happens on Wednesday is not their problem.

                      No, I don’t think that you delight in mass murder as you suggest I do. I think that you’re naive.

                      But if I wrote that I would be telling a lie

                      Well, what’s another lie? Shouldn’t you be consistent?

                      Now tell me about your delicate feelings. Are you offended?

                    • McFlock

                      as an aside, why are you fishing to see if I’m single?

                      Don’t flatter yourself. You really aren’t very interesting. I’m sorry to tell you that.

                      really? Because you get quite impatient if I don’t give you attention immediately.


                      True. I never said you did, apparently not even in a drunken stupor that I don’t recall. So “no”.

                      Fine, that’s it then. I’ll accept that as “I am a dissimulating arsehole”

                      Accept it as whatever you want. i never said “support” in the first place.

                      Now, how about that three-faction model of caucus, eh? What likelihood does it suggest that shearer will be replaced before election 2014, barring some major scandal?

                      Diversion. Irrelevant.

                      Except it’s the topic of the post we’ve well and truly derailed. This is one massive “irrelevant”.


                      “again”? Never said it the first time.

                      Ahem: “You just prefer genocide”. Own your mistakes – i.e., own your lies.

                      I would, if I’d said you supported genocide. But I didn’t. I just said you wouldn’t look at pretty much the most viable and indeed ONLY option that might have halted one or two massive atrocities in the 90s.


                      Sorry, did you just reply to the same out of context quote

                      If you want to keep repeating your lies, go ahead. Don’t be upset if I point them out.

                      not upset. Just intrigued that you choose to delete your previous responses su you can have another crack at being a moron.


                      You’d just rather watch a genocide unfold that pay someone to stop it.

                      Right, that’s the essence of your slander. In your world, everything is a sliding scale. Well, your world is one in which slippery slopes are inevitable and you somehow imagine that the brakes can be magically applied somewhere halfway down that slippery slope.

                      I’d rather not watch a corporation profit from the next genocide. Obviously you support that, right? Do you really think that mercenaries are at heart humanitarians? Maybe the are… just like vegetarians care about vegetables.

                      Nope. But they’re motivated by money. And should be limited by laws. And not all of them delight in mass murder, either.

                      I’m sure your so very flexible conscience will be happy with this. Meanwhile, the people who die on Monday can console themselves with the thought that it could have been worse on Tuesday.

                      Tell that to the survivors of the folk you watched die on Sunday. Especially as Monday and tuesday might still turn to shit for them.

                      Sometimes all we can do is try to save the “now” in front of us, and work on “tomorrow’s maybes” tomorrow.

                      No, I don’t think that you delight in mass murder as you suggest I do. I think that you’re naive.

                      Oh, I never said or even suggested you “delight” in mass murder, by the way. That’s another figment of your imagination.


                      But if I wrote that I would be telling a lie

                      Well, shouldn’t you be consistent?

                      Pretty much have been. But at least the discussion has inched forwards this time.

                      Now tell me about your delicate feelings. Are you offended?

                      Stop trying to chat me up with your dirty talk.

                      Anyway, I’ve got to go now, probably won’t be back online until tomorrow, so don’t fret in my absence.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      really? Because you get quite impatient if I don’t give you attention immediately […] don’t fret in my absence.

                      It’s revealing that you suggest that I might be gay as if that were important. That certainly says a lot about you.

                    • swordfish

                      Christ, just like 2011: Labour sleepwalking to yet another defeat.

                    • McFlock

                      really? Because you get quite impatient if I don’t give you attention immediately […] don’t fret in my absence.

                      It’s revealing that you suggest that I might be gay as if that were important. That certainly says a lot about you.

                      What’s revealing is that the comment dealing with your personal obsession with me struck so close to the bone that you had to reply to it twice. Basically, you either want to date me, or if a tory ever outs my real life identity there’s a fair chance I’ll find a pet rabbit boiling on my stove.

                • just saying

                  Fifty million lives CV. By his own hands.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Ah yes, that was it. I vaguely know the person who helped him formulate that cheesy line as well.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    Amazing. Joseph Stalin by some estimates, killed that many. Imagine that David Shearer countered that! He should be Pope!

                • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

                  “Key went overseas, made $50 million, and brought it back to NZ; Shearer went overseas and left his millions in a Chase Manhattan account”

                  Now there’s an election tagline for you.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    They’ll use it. Sure, “morally” Mumblefuck’s in the right… perhaps… but meanwhile, he ensures that Goff, King, Mallard, Hipkins et al will all have the best deck chairs at the bottom of the Atlantic.

        • prism 7.3.1.2

          Olwyn and CV
          Good analysis I think.

    • Rhinocrates 7.4

      seriously bad polling

      Hmmm, at my most cynical, could it be that relegating the most “uncomfortable” folks to the lower end of the ranking is a strategy to eliminate them if the magical forces of historical inevitability do not decree that the next election is LINO’s (Labour In Name Only) next term? It’s something that may backfire if they win on electorate votes.

  8. Rhinocrates 8

    I’m wondering about this myself. How much is speculation? Personally, I can see a substantial overlap between the “careerist” and the “right”, who would all probably call themselves “centrist” and “pragmatic” or “realist”, even if there is a great deal of euphemy and delusion in such self-labelling.

    What evidence is there in their voting records?

    One other thing. Its about Policy not Personality.

    Ah well, should be indeed… I think that Helen Clark’s promotion of Michael Cullen versus Mumblefuck’s demotion of David Cunliffe tells us all we need to know about that.

    Actually, I think that Mumblefuck’s UN experience is not a boon, but a liability, as Key’s is in being a bankster. He’s used to being the pointy-haired boss in a bureaucracy and has no understanding that political parties always have factions because they are supposed to be representative. Factions are inevitable and maybe even a good thing. The fact that he can’t accommodate them is a more disturbing sign of his basic incompetence than his brain fade over his UN account.

  9. John Williams 9

    Total unmitigated crap once again from Eddie. He has never got anything right.

  10. Raymond a Francis 10

    I am surprised at your putting David Clark and Megan Woods in The Careerist Left wing
    Any proof other than a gut feeling?

    Other than that no argument will your basic premiss

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Yeah, I’d agree on that. I think he’s just lumped them in together as an “everyone else” category. Surprised to see little in the Left group too.

      • Daveo 10.1.1

        Clark is a highly competent MP and I’m sure he fits in the ‘some good people in this faction’ part of the analysis. He’s very close to Robertson though (was the celebrant at Robertson’s civil union) so is in with his lot. Woods is in the faction but only loosely.

        Little’s politics are strongly left. He’s very much his own man though and doesn’t easily fit into any of the factions. What is known is that he’s supported Cunliffe from time to time, including in the initial leadership race against Shearer. Have to agree with the post though, all you could say is he’s a wild card with Left tendencies.

  11. Kevin Welsh 11

    Careerist? Pfft.

    The minute they are identified they should be out on their ear. Anyone with careerist aspirations is not there for the good of their electorate, their party or New Zealand. They are there for themselves and by default have no business being in politics.

    • geoff 11.1

      The careerist label is a bit of a laugh. As far as I can tell they’re all careerists to some extent.

  12. Nick 12

    “As for the Left faction, you may be wondering why they failed to trigger a leadership vote in February when their faction had one more vote than they needed”

    Also pretty sure that Little is a Shearer supporter.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Little spoke out strongly against the tougher 60% Leadership confidence threshold. Too much instability and rocking of the boat by the membership he seemed to think. Can’t we just please leave the Labour Parliamentarians alone to do what they know best?

  13. pollywog 13

    Fa’afoi is a tool.

    One of them… ‘yes massa how high you want me to jump for you’ niggas IMHO.

    I’ve yet to hear him say, do, or write anything worthy of compliment.

  14. Darien Fenton 14

    Eddie, why don’t you spend your time writing about things that matter instead of making stuff up – for example, the youth rates that passed last week? Didn’t see a peep on the Standard, except for a rerun of I/S.

    • pollywog 14.1

      This does matter and imagine if someone had said that to Einstein?

      • Darien Fenton 14.1.1

        It doesn’t matter if it’s not true.

        • pollywog 14.1.1.1

          Oh you mean like Iraq’s WMD’s and Bush and Blair’s lies?

        • Colonial Weka 14.1.1.2

          “It doesn’t matter if it’s not true.”

          So put up your own post or comment about what is true, or why Eddie’s post isn’t true. Telling ts authors (or commenters, or anyone really) to STFU doesn’t work here, and is a bad look for you.

          • Darien Fenton 14.1.1.2.1

            OK then I will be the one who STFU – lesson learned

            • Rhinocrates 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Translation: “Waaaaaah!!!!”

              You wonder why so few think you have any backbone?

            • Daveo 14.1.1.2.1.2

              To be fair, you haven’t put forward an alternative model. From what I’ve seen and heard around the party Eddie’s simply laid out what everyone knows. So, if as you say, it’s not true, then enlighten us as to what is happening in caucus. Because to everyone outside caucus it looks like a fcking mess crossed with a baffling tolerance of incompetence and lack of strategic direction. Come on, Darien, tell us what’s really happening if this piece really is so off the mark.

              • The Fan Club

                Come on Daveo, there’s no way Darien can talk about what goes on in caucus.

                • quartz

                  That’s not quite true, my friend works for Labour and is always talking about what happened in caucus.

                  • The Fan Club

                    “my friend works for Labour talking” is very different to “MP writing over their own name”.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.2.1.3

              That’s not going to fly with this crowd, Darien.

              If you read what Colonial Weka wrote, her suggestion was to

              put up your own post or comment about what is true, or why Eddie’s post isn’t true

              Which is very different from not welcoming input from you.

              nb you may want to explain about caucus rules which (in theory) prevent Labour MPs from commenting on what their colleagues said or did not say in caucus.

              • Colonial Weka

                +1

                Darien, I for one would be interested in your perspective which is why I suggested you write your own response to Eddie’s post. And as CV suggests having a Labour MP explain how things work internally would useful.

            • The Al1en 14.1.1.2.1.4

              Caucus had the chance to make Shearer to do the same and GTFO, but failed, again.

              Did you vote for him?
              If so, why?
              And if so, will you hold yourself accountable for your error post 2014 and resign (if you get a high enough list place to suffer the poll night carnage)?

              Tell all caucus members to get on here and answer the same three questions.

              • The Al1en

                Secret vote = Cowardly covering your arses and protecting your salaries and pension plans.

                Don’t like the topic list, stand by your conviction and announce who voted for who, so we all know for next time.
                Bet you don’t though, pay cheques the lot of you.

            • Rhinocrates 14.1.1.2.1.5

              Remember Fenton – you’re working for us, and if you’re not, you’re fired! How would redundancy feel? A lot of us know about it already, unlike you.

              So you want to throw your toys out of the cot? Whoop-de-fucking-do. Do your job.

        • JK 14.1.1.3

          I have yet to see some evidence, Darien, that it is not true. It was clear from the annual conference in Auckland where the factions lay, and who was in what faction.

          I would also like to see some evidence that Labour has policies which will help the disadvantaged, those in need of decent rental housing, those on low working incomes, and policies which will strength our public health and state housing, and state education systems, We need to know that Labour will reverse the current horrific changes proposed for the RMA if they go ahead.

          And I don’t want to see Shearer saying “I will do this, or I will do that” I’d rather see him saying things like “we’re in this together, we’ll work together” and then have him take us along with us on a vision of well considered policies which will work for Aotearoa-New Zealand.

          Labour is in limbo – and the peasants are getting restless. For some of us peasants, there are alternatives on voting day and you might find us deserting you in your hour of need if you don’t all hurry up and start looking left, instead of central-right.

    • Rhinocrates 14.2

      Ooh, a press release. Goody! Yeah right. Elections are vending machines. Insert enough press releases and then government falls out.

      • Rhinocrates 14.2.1

        Can’t edit so amendment:

        So NO, show that that you’re an alternative government in waiting.

        ALTERNATIVE – ie., different in substance, not detail.

        GOVERNMENT IN WAITING – i.e., competent.

        NACTMP have fucked up and will continue to do so… but how will you be better instead of being due to your “brand” being “nicer”?

        All I see is “LINO will be a nicer disaster!”

    • karol 14.3

      Darien, the re-run of I/S on youth rates shows it’s an important issue for TS posters and commenters. We authors are voluntary contributors, unpaid, and most work full-time. We don’t co-ordinate between us on our posts, just post when we have something to say on an issue, and time to put it into a post.

      If you scroll down the main page you will see there’s been posts on diverse issues of importance to the left.

    • QoT 14.4

      Darien, even sitting MPs should consider reading the policy when commenting.

      A partial list of these self-martyrdom offenses include:-

      …Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

    • karol 14.5

      So, in response to being labelled as a careerist leftie, Fenton jumps in and asks why more attention isn’t being paid to an issue on which she is shadow spokesperson?

  15. Ad 15

    If this is the case (and I no longer believe it is the case since the leadership question is settled until after 2014) why not spell out your path to unity? We’ve had thousands of posts about this kind of thing.

    If it is not the case, surely you only have two options:

    – Mutually Assured Destruction as well documented before us in the Australian federal Labor Party and upcoming reshuffle and elections

    – Disciplined unity

    There may well be a myriad of minor variants, but the Aussie Crean scenario vs NZ Constitutional leadership change process seem to be the stark counterfactuals.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      I know, I’m also disappointed that the peasants are revolting instead of living up to their assigned roles.

      • pollywog 15.1.1

        Peasant needs a new job description.

      • Ad 15.1.2

        Well the point is here that the peasants were never revolting; in fact they hardly smelled of anything at all.

        Whereas in Australia, they always revolting because they are always rotten from within.

        There doesn’t seem any need to choose between one or the other, until you have to run something really big. Then you have to choose. Both Labour and Labor have. And in Australia you can see the results of that choice in 6 weeks, writ large in the writs.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.2.1

          Then you have to choose. Both Labour and Labor have.

          Approx 24 Labour Party members in total confirmed the current leadership in Feb. Not enough to settle questions of legitimacy of process or leadership.

          • McFlock 15.1.2.1.1

            actually, being >60%, yeah it was.

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.2.1.1.1

              Funny thing is: questions of political legitimacy can’t be waved away by saying so.

              • McFlock

                True.

                I mean, even if the process was consistent with the constitution and had been re-examined by national conference just a few months previously, some people would still assume that illegalities went on because their candidate didn’t win.

    • ghostrider888 15.2

      portents indeed

  16. Interesting post Eddie.

    I am fascinated by the sudden appearance of a couple of new commentators who allegedly know Labour’s internal workings better than you.

    And you seem to have hit a nerve with Darien. I wonder why?

    • Darien Fenton 16.1

      Micky – the nerve is that tens of thousands of young workers will face pay cuts from 1 May. Maybe I’m just over-sensitive.

      • Daveo 16.1.1

        Darien, I’m sure they’d accept a guest post from you or anyone else involved in the campaign. People are busy, they have lives, they aren’t paid for this and they can’t cover everything. Don’t hate on them, help them out.

      • JK 16.1.2

        Darien – the other nerve that’s been hit is the news tonight that Labour is NOT going to continue funding the Cullen superannuation fund, and IS going to continue with the nonsense that NZ needs to raise the age of superannuation to 67 years. That is a scenario straight out of Dame Shipley’s report – a rightwing report if ever there was one.
        With unemployment rising, redundancies all over the place, those people just over the age of 50 who are being made redundant now, have little chance of getting other jobs – and you, the Labour caucus, are saying they’ll have to wait until they’re 67 before they can get superannuation. Doesn’t seem fair, does it ? Let alone all those people who do physical work and lose out on super because they die at a relatively young age. That’s not fair either.
        WHEN is Labour going to be fair to its people ? Answer me that, Darien – all those workers you purport to serve ……..

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Labour buys into the same neoliberal orthodox monetary framework as National, albeit with more consideration for softening some of the social effects.

          Re: raising the retirement age to 67.

          Yet another version of making the younger generation pay more and more for the boomers to have easier lives.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1.1

            Simple question – why not raise an additional $1B in taxation per annum to put into the Cullen fund, instead of increasing the super age?

            Anyways we have too many young workers now and not enough jobs. We need to be retiring people out of the workforce earlier, not later.

            • tricledrown 16.1.2.1.1.1

              if we saved 3% more a year by increasing the tax take in 20 years we could abolish taxes and run govt on the savings interest!

              • Colonial Viper

                I like the plan in theory, but major central banks around the world are punishing savers and rewarding speculators by forcing interest rates down to 0%.

      • Rhinocrates 16.1.3

        Maybe I’m just over-sensitive.

        Ooh, are your delicate feelings hurt? Spare us the sarcasm and sanctimony. That attitude of “you don’t appreciate me enough” is too obvious. What is Labour’s policy? Will you actually implement it? Will you?

        Do your job.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    While it’s clear something major needs to change in Labour, it’ll require either Shearer or Robertson to feel that it’s in their interests to break the relationship.

    Which means that it’s in everyone else’s favour to tell Labour to go fuck themselves. Find another party of the left that resonates with you and join them.

    • Rhinocrates 17.1

      I wonder how long “Our turn!” and “Winston to the rescue!” are going to sustain their cognitive dissonance?

    • Ad 17.2

      That philosophy of “you have to burn the village in order to save the village” has been the refuge of armies of tyrants and idealists alike for a while. One side of Gillard’s Labor has indeed told the leadership to “go fuck themselves”.

      And as a result, they royally have.

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        You’ve drawn the wrong lesson. This is what you get by choosing the wrong leader.

        That philosophy of “you have to burn the village in order to save the village” has been the refuge of armies of tyrants and idealists alike for a while.

        This is where you’ve gone off the rails.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.2.2

        There’s plenty of other parties and Labour will only learn when it starts losing a proportion of votes. It’s not doing that ATM, it’s losing voters but the proportions are remaining remarkably static.

        • Colonial Weka 17.2.2.1

          “it’s losing voters but the proportions are remaining remarkably static.”

          What? How does that work?

    • marty mars 17.3

      + 1 because this shit is going to go on right up to the next election and the one after that meanwhile the disadvantaged in our society continue to suffer.

      • muzza 17.3.1

        Too right Marty, but you will be able to log onto TS, and read a commentary about all thats gone wrong, like a timeline to the demise of NZ inc, and hear all about the nasty things being done to the disadvantaged!

        In any case who will the disadvantaged be in say, 4/5 years time!

  18. muzza 18

    How many of these in any group, actually understand/appreciate the serious danger that NZ is in!

    Who inside the listed groups will speak out against the the monetary supply scam etc?

    Who is the most corrupted inside the listed groups – (can be more than one)

    Who at TS, believes there is any chance a single name of the listed groups, have the ticker, to come out and tell the public, just how corrupted NZ has become, and what part parliament is playing in the corruption!

    Anyone, nah, thought not!

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      How many of these in any group, actually understand/appreciate the serious danger that NZ is in!

      Business as usual continues. Reassure the middle class that their expectations of present and future comfort are in safe hands.

  19. Swim Between the Flags 19

    I’m a bit of a lurker recently but have always enjoyed reading The Standard. In this case though, I’d like to ask Eddie for more detail as to why he believes this is an important post, or at least what people reading it feel like they take away from it?

    It looks to be nothing more than speculation (second hand/third hand whispers based on personal opinions), yet beyond stirring up readers to take a certain perspective on the names listed in each group, what purpose does it serve?

    From my interactions with some of the people listed in this post I suppose I can add my own speculation. Yes there are people within caucus who seem more friendly with some than others but I could hardly draw the conclusion that this means they are sitting in smoke filled rooms plotting against one another.

    In many instances it seems names have been dropped into ‘factions’ based on nothing more than MPs having good personal relationships with one another. Like in any workplace, not everybody is going to get along like best mates and personalities will always clash, but Labour MPs act professionally and take their job seriously because they realise how important it is for the left to win in 2014. How often is it the media, and more recently the blogs, putting forward and fueling the destructive narrative and how often is it the MPs? The vast majority of Labour MPs are getting on with the job.

    So they’re not sitting around plotting, they’re working hard for New Zealanders. The political landscape is difficult for the left at the moment, not just in New Zealand but around the world. We need to discuss how to maneuver across this landscape as one coherent whole leading into the next election, not quibble over who’s holding up the flag.

    What is the purpose of The Standard? There’s always some interesting content and stimulating discussion, but there’s often a little too much self-defeating, circle jerking speculation. This post just seems too far on the self-defeating side of spectrum. In saying that, it’s just my 2c and I respect TS and the fact that authors can post what they feel is important.

    • JK 19.1

      I think if you read the speeches that certain MPs have given over the last 12 months or so, Swim Between the Flags, you’d understand – perhaps – why Eddie has labelled certain MPs as rightwing, others as left, and still others as careerists. If MPs say certain things that go against ingrained Labour principles, then they’re going to be looked at sideways, and speculation as to their real motives.
      You say the vast majority of Labour MPs are getting on with the job – but they seem a bit slack most times, to me. They’re not pushing Labour policy or principles. The Greens, and Winston are doing their job for them, and sometimes even Hone gets in on the act.

    • Alanz 19.2

      2c? Is that all? Shearer should outsource his comms work to you.

      Thanks, Eddie. A few friends, interested in politics, have been talking about this and we came up with a list that only goes part way towards yours which is more comprehensive. We did come up with similar groupings .. but we had a couple of little categories for a handful of MPs .. and interestingly, their names have come up in comments elsewhere here.

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    The fact that connected LP people seem to think that this post is the problem to be publicly attacked,

    rather than seeing it as a symptom of a problem to be identified and fixed,

    is yet another symptom of the problem.

    • The Fan Club 20.1

      I like this post. It sets out pretty clearly the people who’re doing a good job and the people who’re off in the middle of nowhere fucking around. Of course, Eddie & MS & so-on are fucking around in the fantasyland where one day they’ll win the faction fight they keep begging to have, but the fact that they are posting this kind of crap on the internet is a pretty good indicator they never will. If you have the numbers you use them, if you don’t you talk about them.

      • quartz 20.1.1

        If you have the numbers you use them, if you don’t you talk about them.

        Ooh, look at you all man of the world.

        • The Fan Club 20.1.1.1

          Hey I’m not the guy posting my (inaccurate) whip counts on the internet. I am pretty sure my faction’s naught/nice lists are both accurate (why we win) and also kept close to the chest.

          • vto 20.1.1.1.1

            So mr successful fan club – when do we (i.e. joe public) get to see something decent from you? Some talk about the important issues? The ponzi scheme that is our banking system? The law allowing your pricks to plunder our bank accounts? The smashing of the RMA that is going on right now? The outright lies that are told by this government? When is “your faction” going to actually do something worth listening to or looking at? When are you going to stand up to Key and English and call them liars? Reverse the Ecan theft?

            Seems to me not much matter who or what faction is leading te labour party at most particular points in time as the labour party has a momentum built up since its birth and it is that momentum that keeps it going, not much else.

            And just for final fling, given this is all about the personal – I don’t give a flying fuck about whether you have got the numbers at the moment in your silly caucusage. What I give a fuck about is what you are going to do abotu all sorts of BIG ISSUES. Issues that you, “the winners” are doing fuck all about. Sharpen up fool – your votes are far from guaranteed. Your personal crusade will end up being your demise.

            rant endeth (for now)

            • muzza 20.1.1.1.1.1

              You won’t hear anything useful VTO, its not in the genetic makeup of those hanging off the coat tails of corruption to do anything other than hang on ever tighter, and stick their nose even further up the,* perceived most powerful arse* they can reach, regardless of if its the top, middle or lower hanging rectum!

      • mickysavage 20.1.2

        Fan Club … nice to see you are back. I haven’t seen you for a while, the last time was to launch another anti Cunliffe diatribe.

        • The Fan Club 20.1.2.1

          Yeah, I feel that given you guys can’t seem to accept that you lost someone has to occasionally drop by and remind you of the crushing defeats you get whenever you manage to push things to a crisis.

          • mickysavage 20.1.2.1.1

            Yep it is a real crisis when the membership gets a larger say in who the leader is …

            One question though Fan Club. You are always so aggressive with your comments, are you sure you are a member of the Labour Party and not a Nat? I have a certain expectation of how lefties should behave although regrettably it is not universal …

            • Jim Davis 20.1.2.1.1.1

              He’s a parliamentary staffer in the Robertson faction. I’d put money on him being Vic Young Labour, present or recent past. They’re swarming all over parliament at the moment. Hardly any politics, a lot of ambition, strong loyalty to Robertson and one of the main conduits of the anti-Cunliffe smears. I’ve seen enough of them in action, and I can positively smell it on TFC.

              • The Fan Club

                Hahah I mean really. Have never been a member of Vic Young Labour, never been paid a red cent by the Party or Parliament, etc.

                • felix

                  Nah, I saw you flinch there. Jim touched a nerve.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Ha!

                    TFC is fairly representative of a toxic, philosophically weak culture.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Holy fuck I mean I have my issues with Young Labour but that’s a pretty douchey thing to say about a group of young people who are putting a lot of effort into the party.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep. And I mean every word of it.

                      (You did say that you weren’t connected in any way with them though, right haha)

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Funnily enough, I can easily imagine Robertson conveniently forgetting his faction’s anti-Cunliffe rhetoric and saying, “Have I got a deal for you…” to David Cunliffe as a correspondent (sorry, I forget your handle)… and David Cunliffe saying “Yes, if…”

          • The Al1en 20.1.2.1.2

            “Yeah, I feel that given you guys can’t seem to accept that you lost someone has to occasionally drop by and remind you of the crushing defeats you get whenever you manage to push things to a crisis.”

            Prick. You think you’re smart ’cause the numbnuts you serve say you are. And you know it ;)

            • The Al1en 20.1.2.1.2.1

              Biggest thing to remember, if it goes to a party wide vote, you’d be fucked, and you must definitely know that.

      • Pascal's bookie 20.1.3

        Thanks for proving my point so precisely FC.

        • The Fan Club 20.1.3.1

          What, you mean the point that people who want a faction fight get one? Yeah, that point’s a good one.

          • mickysavage 20.1.3.1.1

            I never wanted a faction fight. Man I lived through the 1980s …

            Helen showed how to do it. No factions, promotion on ability and get the best out of everyone, good socialist principles …

            And fan club you obviously don’t see the irony but you proved PB’s comment perfectly.

            • The Fan Club 20.1.3.1.1.1

              Micky, if you don’t want a faction fight, then why are you all so obsessed with whip counts and factional classifications?

              • Um Fan Club citation needed …

                Apart from saying “interesting post Eddie …” I am not sure that I have said anything.

                Go on, point out where I have been obsessed with whip counts and factional classifications.

                • The Fan Club

                  MS, “you all” kinda implies the plural: you and eddie and all the other Cunliffites lurking around.

                  • Funny when you said “Micky, if you don’t want a faction fight, then why … ” I thought you were referring to me.

                    So you are saying I am part of a group some of who are obsessed with whip counts and factional classifications and therefore I am as well?

                    Care to rephrase?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So you are saying I am part of a group some of who are obsessed with whip counts and factional classifications and therefore I am as well?

                      Remember, TFC said that his handlers are the specialists at that kind of obsessive factional work.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Not really. I think everyone knows exactly where you sit in the factional game (that is to say, a rather expendable pawn of Cunliffe’s).

                    • muzza

                      What tweezers like TFC don’t understand, is that the biggest sycophants are the most expendable pawns!

                      Or perhaps they do understand, but are invested so emotionally, into the arse-hole in front of them, they can’t recognise the smell of fresh air, or danger for that matter!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not really. I think everyone knows exactly where you sit in the factional game (that is to say, a rather expendable pawn of Cunliffe’s).

                      Yes, thank you :)

          • Pascal's bookie 20.1.3.1.2

            the point that people who want a faction fight get one

            Nope. The point that “connected LP people seem to think that this post is the problem to be publicly attacked, rather than seeing it as a symptom of a problem to be identified and fixed”.

            There wouldn’t be posts like this if there wasn’t a problem.
            The fact this post exists, and has so many comments, shows how shit the leadership team is.

            And here you are, doing what?

            Nothing good for the LP as far as I can see.

  21. TeRohePotae 21

    Can you guys stop ruining my Labour Party with petty name calling, list making, and posturing. How about you all focus on attacking the Tories and bringing a much needed change of Government to this country.

    • Jim Davis 21.1

      We’re fed up with the people in charge who are ruining the Labour Party. It’s the pathetic poll ratings, the lack of coherent left wing principles and the vacancy in the leadership that are ruining the party; a post on a left wing blog site is the least of our worries.

    • QoT 21.2

      Mindblowing concept: some of us don’t accept the premise that “any” Labour-led government is a preferable alternative to a National-led government, e.g. one dependent on the Greens.

    • The Al1en 21.3

      “ruining” :lol:

    • lprent 21.4

      How about you all focus on attacking the Tories and bringing a much needed change of Government to this country.

      At present the most effective way to do that appears to be to vote Green until Labour sorts its crap out in caucus. At least the Green policies appear to be coherent, not as badly poll/focus group driven, and their caucus seems to largely work together. Well at least they do when you compare their performance against the dysfunctional and incompetent state of Labour MP’s both individually and even more so in caucus.

      Basically, I’m havng a really hard time seeing the current Labour caucus being able to run an effective government without some other party providing some ideas to give them a backbone. Sure Labour would be better than the Nats. But that really isn’t that hard. And I really don’t think that choosing between incompetent blowhard conservatives and less incompetent but incoherent and vague that is the current Labour caucus is the kind of aspiration I have for my vote.

      And incidentally, it is my Labour party as well and has been since 1981 when I first voted for them, and since 1984 when I first door knocked for them, or 1992 when I first started to actively campaign for them. So it will be a bit of a change next year will be the first time I revert back to the Values party I last voted for in 1978.

      Problem is that I see fuckall party at present in the Labour party and far too many MPs who’d I have a real problem saying what they stand for. I don’t even haven’t agree with their ideas – I never really did with Helen Clark’s caucus. I’d just like them to show that they have some frigging ideas that aren’t half-arsed and that they have thought through. In other words,that aren’t like their quarter acre dream houses for $300k in Auckland nonsense.

    • Peter 21.5

      Ruining? How interesting. Your Labour Party must be weak indeed if a bunch of largely anonymous bloggers, who generally criticise but suggest improvement, can actually “ruin” your party.

  22. Tiresias 22

    I’d need to know a lot more about ‘Eddie’s” credentials before giving this article much credence.

    Not that I’m greatly bothered. There are few names in the Labour Party I’ve heard of or care about as none have done very much to impinge on my awareness or given me cause to care about them. From the top down they seem ineffectual, seat-filling, party-game playing, turn-waiting empty-vessels – and to judge from what I hear from the House at Question-Time, most are still waiting on puberty.

    For most of my adult life Labour in the UK encapsulated what I believed and would have fought for, but now in the UK and NZ its just Right-Lite. In the UK many who felt like me supported the Liberal-Democrats in the last general election, as I think I would have done, and were badly, unforgivably, irredeemably betrayed. Here in NZ we fortunately have the Greens to fill that vacancy left by Labour. I hope they can learn from the Lib-Dem’s political suicide, as when the political charade fails entirely the door opens for the likes of UKIP, Bepe Grillo and Golden Dawn.

  23. Saarbo 23

    I get the impression that there are a number of Shearer supporters (TCL) in caucus who have finally lost their nerve, realise now that he is hopeless…and this is their way of squirming out of their lack of good judgement.

    Anyway, if it leads to the end of Shearer’s reign, it will be good for Labour and will improve Labours chances in 2014.

  24. deemac 24

    this article is pure kremlinology and unworthy of The Standard.
    In order to characterise MPs as right or left (let alone careerist – what does a non-careerist MP look like?) you have to produce evidence of policy differences.
    The article totally fails to do that, because there is none.
    The idea that an old hand like Cunliffe, with all his baggage as a minister, is to the left of Shearer is sheer fantasy.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      The idea that an old hand like Cunliffe, with all his baggage as a minister, is to the left of Shearer is sheer fantasy.

      I can only agree, seeing that after all this time we still have absolutely no idea where Shearer’s personal political economic philosophy actually lies.

      Which I find unsettling, myself.

      • SpaceMonkey 24.1.1

        David Shearer will not take the Labour Party left. A Labour Government under him will continue to sell NZ off to overseas interests. He is a plant for the elite in the same vein as John Key – different handlers, perhaps, but they share the same masters for sure.

        • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.1

          Indeed, that’s my working assumption; happy to be proven wrong. All it would take is him speaking to 2 or 3 solid left wing policies in the next few months. Raising the retirement age is a bad start.

  25. fatty 25

    I hope someone digs some dirt on Shearer fast and he gets thrown out in disgrace…but it won’t be a Tory digging the dirt. Someone do it, please

  26. The Al1en 26

    “we still have absolutely no idea where Shearer’s personal political economic philosophy actually lies.”

    Well at least we now know he’s retarded when it comes to declaring offshore bank accounts with at least us$50,000 in them.
    Oh, and he that he doesn’t like the idea of a beneficiary doing home maintenance.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      A spokesperson for science and innovation who doesn’t think that internet communities and social media is relevant.

      • Colonial Weka 26.1.1

        A political party leader who thinks that people who talk on the internet don’t vote.

    • SpaceMonkey 26.2

      No… he’s declaring his suitability for the Prime Minister’s office by showing he can brain fade with the best of them.

  27. AucklandBasedLabourActivist 27

    Thank you TS for this. The last time I read this site was in 2009. A few caucus members and committed MP followers (ie Young Labour ‘hacks’) on my Facebook feed constantly degrade the contributions of this blog, and tell us (active party folk) that it’s not worth reading. Well, after seeing a comment from an MP on Facebook tonight…I decided to have a look.

    After reading this it sums up so much about why, as a long time (and previously senior) party official, I feel so disillusioned with Labour’s internal politics.

    This sums up why Labour is best to lose the next election, than win it. And it’s incredibly hard to say that, but the reality stands that under David Shearer’s leadership are individuals who are effectively holding the party to ransom due to their own vendettas against individuals and their own personal ambitions. It’s insidious and it must stop now.

    I am seeing countless people leave in my Auckland community shifting to the Greens or disengaging completely because of the toxic attitude and behavior of MPs like Darien Fenton, Clare Curran, but very much led by Grant Robertson (people don’t realise it at face value), Annette King, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and co.

    Their behavior at the 2012 conference sums up their own ambitions. For their own hatred of David Cunliffe and fighting for their own personal political careers, they are prepared to tear apart the Labour Party, disrespect party members, manipulate long time activists and union affiliate members for their own political game.

    For the likes of Darien Fenton. The fact she’s come onto this forum shows her poor political judgement, but most particularly it shows she’s worried. She is very quickly losing credibility amongst her own core Labour support (from what I’m told, largely because of her antics at the Labour Party conference where she tried to manipulate union affiliates members and significantly disrespected affiliate leadership). Darien knows that this blog post exposes the realities of Labour’s internal situation. There are activists on social media saying this is satirical, saying this post is wacky and completely loony. Well, again, as a disillusioned former senior party official, it’s hard to write this so publicly, but this blog tells it for what it is. For activists to simply ignore this and say it’s far from reality, shows they are so stuck in their own (mostly Wellington) political bubble and interested in their own agendas than the Party as a whole.

    The bottom line however is that Labour need to change considerably in order for us to win the next election. The careerists need a slap in the face and Grant Robertson needs to stop holding the party back while he lines up the numbers in his favour.

    • The Fan Club 27.1

      This is basically the faction fight: a rather unholy alliance of Auckland based Clark-era apparatchiks who never quite made it and far-left unionists who’ve filtered back in as the Alliance has died off against the rest of the party. Fortunately, the rest of the party is winning.

      It was Cunliffe that started the fight at conference and when he inevitably lost he can only blame himself.

      • lprent 27.1.1

        Looks to me like a pyrrhic “victory”. The type where the battle is won which merely ensures that the war is lost.

        • George D 27.1.1.1


          This is basically the faction fight: a rather unholy alliance of Auckland based Clark-era apparatchiks who never quite made it and far-left unionists who’ve filtered back in as the Alliance has died off against the rest of the party. Fortunately, the rest of the party is winning.

          TFC, that may be so. But do you realise that Auckland makes up half your membership (and most of that half are Pacific, desperately underrepresented and continually patronised by the leadership) and one third of the country. Soon it will be 40%. You’ll never win enough votes in the blue provinces to get government, but if you depress the activists in Auckland, you depress the turnout, and you squander government.

          Nevermind also that “far-left” unionists (presumably people who believe in things like award wages and overtime, as retained under Australia’s far-left Howard Government) make up many of the rest of your activists. Take them out, and you only have rusted on loyalists, most of whom don’t have the energy to run the campaigns you need, and cheerleading Vic Labour youngsters, who are enthusiastic but don’t have the experience or nous (in most cases) to

          Dismiss the majority of your party, sure. But you’ll get people like Lynn, above, publicly declaring that they’re leaving the ship. As I said in a post I made earlier this year I’d rather he and others were in Labour, actually, getting out your vote and pushing the left over the line – we (the Greens) don’t need the talent. You also don’t need to have these fights in public, but if you do you need to find a way to conciliate quickly.

          • lprent 27.1.1.1.1

            …publicly declaring that they’re leaving the ship.

            Not so much leaving the ship as going off and working on things other than the NZLP. At present they are too damn confused, completely incoherent on policy and direction, riven by silly internal divisions, and would only waste what time I give it. My monthly donation goes out as per normal. My membership presumably will still be updated. If there are things that only require advice rather than actual time (that I could expend more productively on something else), then I’d donate it.

            But I’m really not inclined to reward the dumbarses who have blindly been driving them to this pass. So I will vote elsewhere.

            • Anne 27.1.1.1.1.1

              My sentiments too 1prent.

              There are a large number of people (some comment here some don’t) who have been in and around the Labour Party for much, much longer than at least half the current Caucus. We had outside careers, but we gave a great deal to Labour over the years. In the course of doing so we saw it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. There isn’t much going on we haven’t already witnessed or experienced before. In other words, together we are a veritable hive of knowledge and wisdom. Yet it seems many in this present Caucus think so highly of themselves… they believe they know it all and rarely seek any of us out for our advice or opinions. Instead they turn to individuals whose knowledge and understanding of the NZ Labour Party and its history is practically zilch.

              It’s my view that if they had had the presence of mind to speak to more of their predecessors and long-serving members, the NZ Labour Party would be in a much stronger and more stable state today.

          • The Fan Club 27.1.1.1.2

            George, you don’t really get the split do you? It’s not Auckland as whole I’m talking about: it’s a small clique that was very dependent on Clark for patronage, and has now taken Cunliffe over as patron.

            If you look at Auckland based MPs, most of them back Shearer. Most Auckland activists back Shearer, or at least accept that he’s the leader at the moment. It’s only quite a small group that’s obsessed with this last-ditch destabilization effort.

            • Olwyn 27.1.1.1.2.1

              What you don’t understand, TFC, is that not everyone is playing parlour games or seeking patronage. Such activities may be characteristic of the milieu you move in, but this is not the case for most people. People like or don’t like Shearer, Cunliffe, Robertson, etc. for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with insider faction-building or patronage.

              • The Fan Club

                Look, ABLA is blatantly someone who thought they were playing the game. That’s the kind of person who ended up a “senior party official” under Clark.

                • felix

                  It’s pretty obvious reading ABLAs comments and reading yours who’s playing the game.

                  Ever since you’ve turned up here you’ve done two things consistently:

                  1. Bragged about your special inside information, upper-level contacts, and mover-shaker status, and

                  2. Fervently denied all of the above.

                  And I agree with Olwyn. We’re not all part of your fucking factions and power games and oh so intriguing tactical manoeuvres. Plenty of us don’t like Shearer for the simple reason that he’s quite shit.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Holding an opinion like that, you must be a Cunliffe groupie QED

                  • The Fan Club

                    The Fan Club’s always been clear that we’re just fans. Paying attention gets you a long way, darling felix.

                    PS I do enjoy Anne’s assumption that ABLA is a male; I suspect ABLA is very definitely not a male…

                • Anne

                  You presumptuous creep!

                  How do you know anything about ABLA’s background. It probably goes back many years perhaps even before Helen Clark. He makes loads of sense… you make none.

                  For a while it was funny reading your obnoxious crap but I, for one, have had enough. I think it’s time TFC was removed permanently from this site.

            • George D 27.1.1.1.2.2

              It’s my understanding that there are a range of sentiments among in Auckland. Some of those people are upset at the way things have gone thus far, some are not. If it’s more than a handful, that’s a problem. It’s more than a handful.

              It’s up to you to work out how many they are, and to work out a way to repair the damage. I don’t know what that is – a range of actions have been suggested, all of which require some compromise from all. But even as an outsider I know that trying to beat them into submission won’t work.

              • The Fan Club

                The thing is George, they pulled some shit at annual conference that just isn’t ok to do. There’s got to be some recognition that they wanted a fight, and that’s what they got. Which, like, sucks, but also, MS and ABLA and so-on have to take some responsibility, and they really are not taking that on.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fuck off, the people who pulled shit at annual conference was your crew. Curran et al.

                  I’m looking forwards to Christchurch already. It’s gonna be a world of fun.

                  • hush minx

                    So conference is in chch then? Dates I’m presuming are early November? Bet they avoid the 5th November though!
                    What will be interesting given last year is whether those who got up and active can be bothered doing the same again this year, or whether the apathy dictates that they find a quiet life instead.

      • millsy 27.1.2

        So I take it that you think that Labour should be National-lite then. That is the impression I get from historical analysis of your posts.

        • Colonial Viper 27.1.2.1

          TFC is only interested in winning internal political battles and defeating the other. Actually governing a country in the present and future interests of the people hasn’t occured to him.

      • mickysavage 27.1.3

        Funny that the desire to make the leadership selection process more democratic should be described as a “fight”.

        • Peggity 27.1.3.1

          Not funny just sad.

        • The Fan Club 27.1.3.2

          Hahaha very funny Micky, I’d call going on Morning Report and trash talking about the Party asking for a fight, wouldn’t you?

    • Colonial Viper 27.2

      ABLA thanks for commenting with your thoughts. Glad you decided to check TS out again.

      I am seeing countless people leave in my Auckland community shifting to the Greens or disengaging completely because of the toxic attitude and behavior of MPs like Darien Fenton, Clare Curran, but very much led by Grant Robertson (people don’t realise it at face value), Annette King, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and co.

      Yep.

      If Labour no longer remains to fulfill its historic mission, then its time pretending is over.

    • GeorgeG 27.3

      AucklandBasedLabourActivist ,thank you.

    • pollywog 27.4

      Fwiw I’ve decided to back Shearer in the meantime…

      …not his team or whoever, just him as leader!

    • JK 27.5

      “The bottom line however is that Labour need to change considerably in order for us to win the next election. The careerists need a slap in the face and Grant Robertson needs to stop holding the party back while he lines up the numbers in his favour.”

      Thanks ABLA – you have summed up what’s been happening very well, along with what happened at the conference.

      Whether the Labour caucus can change is debateable – I’m not holding my breath.

    • Anne 27.6

      The last time I read this site was in 2009. A few caucus members and committed MP followers (ie Young Labour ‘hacks’) on my Facebook feed constantly degrade the contributions of this blog, and tell us (active party folk) that it’s not worth reading.

      That doesn’t surprise me ABLA.

      There are some very intelligent and insightful people who post and comment on this site. They provide thought provoking ideas and are not afraid to be critical when criticism is deserved. Add to that a substantial dose of witticisms and amusing anecdotes and this blog-site is a twice daily must read. Sure, it has its share of dross too, but that is easily glossed over and ignored.

      The current Labour leadership and their party member sycophants are very scared of The Standard. That is why they find it necessary to vilify the site at every opportunity. I hope you will pass the word on to your friends and acquaintances that it is well worth reading…

      • Peter 27.6.1

        And honestly, the worst they can do is send their MPs and advisors in, on taxpayer salaries, to attack the posters, or sometimes add your name, or pseudonym to a blacklist. Very occasionally, MPs might raise complaints with the ruling NZ Council of the NZLP, in order to try and muzzle posters. That last attempt backfired spectacularly on the MP involved.

        • Rhinocrates 27.6.1.1

          We all know it, but let’s say it out loud. Let’s name them, because like Paula Bennett, they don’t believe in discretion:

          Clare Curran.

    • Rhinocrates 27.7

      Thanks ABLA. That’s enlightening, if depressing. I’m afraid that the right wing or careerist Labour caucus has drunk the Kool-Aid as it were… or to be just a little less obscure, as was said of Arthur “Bomber” Harris, they confuse advice for interference, criticism for sabotage and evidence for propaganda.. Honestly, I do not know if a LINO-led government will be any better than Key’s mob. That mob is awful, and they’re steadily stripping the country, but politically, they’re presenting a unified front and know how to play the game.

      The only thing worse than a conspiracy is lots of incompetent conspiracies marinated in solipsism and LINO epitomises that.

  28. Bob Tambling 28

    If you want to sum up what is wrong with the NZP, compare and contrast these three websites
    http://www.labour.org.nz/
    http://www.national.org.nz/
    http://www.greens.org.nz/

    I mean the labour party site is just terrible
    A modern progressive party? Jeez

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      They need to add a few more David Shearer images to the Labour website, to get the true presidential (not policy) feel that they are aiming for.

      • Rhinocrates 28.1.1

        As Winston Peters said of United Coiffure, it’s a personality cult in search of a personality.

    • Colonial Weka 28.2

      I like National’s Know Your Party thingy on their front page.

      • Bob Tambling 28.2.1

        From the nzlp home page
        Click here for “my” plan for Canterbury
        Should be replaced by “our” plan for Canterbury

        You can only use a “presidentail me” style aka National and Key when you have a suitable candidate .This is the problem DS is undoubtly a nice bloke and all that but he ain’t a presidential style leader .
        If the NZLP reconised that it would be a start.
        Don’t try and copy the NATs you are going to fail ,be bold ,be different be inclusive

        • Colonial Viper 28.2.1.1

          This is the problem DS is undoubtly a nice bloke

          Eh, this seems increasingly unlikely.

  29. Brad 29

    Is the same Eddie whose only consistency is being consistently wrong when it comes to anything to do with Labour and his so-called inside ‘sources’? The Eddie whose most recent failures include claiming the knowledge that Shearer will call a membership-wide vote on his leadership and that Cunliffe will be ‘punished’ by being given the health portfolio? Eddie talks a big game but never delivers

  30. kayabhs 30

    Ruth Dyson member of the ‘Careerist Left’?! The woman who championed neo-liberal reforms by running against Jim Anderton for the Presidency of the Labour Party?

    Next you’ll tell me that Cunliffe, who was a leader of a centrist caucus in ’99 and stood several leadership challenges at a time when the party was moving to the left is somehow head of the leftist faction….. oh wait.

    • prism 30.1

      kay..
      You’ve fingered the changing nature of politics in NZ with few having a clear picture of what they are about and which path they want to tread. This is a multi-choice question, and who is invigilating the results? Us I guess.

  31. Rob 31

    [Citation needed]

  32. Weell.
    methinks it’s gonna take a bit more to upset the applecart, meself. Am following the same logic but getting a slightly different result. 1st Robertson (Careerist faction) , 2nd Cunliffe (Cunners faction but will pip Robertson with the right play) , 3rd Shearer (UN faction)
    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-labour-trifecta.html
    Just sayin. So nice to be back here; haven’t visited for a while.

  33. Stephen Judd 33

    So basically, the supposed left MP group who didn’t go for Cunliffe all get labelled “careerist”, presumably in contrast to the pure motives of the other left group who apparently don’t care about personal advancement at all. That would make Eddie’s “The Left” the most unusual caucus faction I’ve ever heard of.

    Meanwhile it’s clear that Cunliffe can inspire great personal loyalty but it’s also clear that he can really piss off some of his colleagues. Eddie lists three factors — “ideology, loyalty, and personal advancement” — but glosses over the loyalty angle in naming the groups. People are motivated by personal affection and animosity as well. As several commentators on Twitter pointed out, the party would be healthier for some clear ideological factions out in the open, but that’s not what’s determining the leadership at all.

    This is why I have trouble taking this post with a grain of salt. Although it does give helpful insight into how some people are thinking.

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      Everybody needs to make a crust and pay the mortgage mate.

      “Careerist” indicates something other than that.

      • Stephen Judd 33.1.1

        As far as I can tell in this context it means “unwilling to support Cunliffe.” Remember, if that faction joined with the other faction, they would still be in the winning group and be advanced.

        • karol 33.1.1.1

          In the context of the Labour caucus, I take “careerist” to mean they make decisions (like choice of leader) based on their career ambitions first, with political values/principles being given low priority.

        • Daveo 33.1.1.2

          The question is how far their careers would be advanced. The ones Eddie calls ‘the careerist left’ are being well rewarded (see the recent reshuffle) in a way they probably wouldn’t with Cunliffe’s lot. They’re also aware that the Right are older and will be retiring soon, freeing up more spots. I mean, a lot of these people are ex-staffers who’ve made politics their lives. They have no experience outside of it and I’d be surprised if they have any life plans beyond it. It’s an inward-looking, narrow little clique and the interests of number one trump all else.

  34. KJT 34

    And. Some people still think we should let this bunchy of dysfunctional self seeking twits tell us what to do, unfettered by referenda or recall.

    Make no mistake though. National are equally as useless, they just have better PR firms so they can hide it better.

    If Shearer cannot bring the warring factions together, make good use of his more competent people, like Cunliff and sideline the time servers, then he is no leader.

  35. Daveo 35

    Christ Trotter’s weighed in with his take. Seems to square pretty well with this post:
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/03/27/with-god-on-their-side-explaining-labours-factional-divisions/

  36. Skinny 36

    Looking at the current Labour MPs on offer is less than inspiring. I called for fresh faces at the end of  the last Labour Government. 

    When will the party kick out the dead wood? They have had their time to move on without being pushed, now it’s time to swing the axe wildly.

     Shall we start naming them? is the question, although they know who they are as do we!

    • McFlock 36.1

      List mps might be doable, but how would you overrule electorate committees’ choices for who they want to represent the electorate?

  37. Skinny 37

    That’s a have as HQ usually weave a path to get who they want in.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The 2015-2025 Government Policy Statement Confirmed
    Simon Bridges has released the final version of the 2015/16 – 2024/25 Government Policy Statement (GPS) following on from the draft version earlier this year. The GPS is effectively the top dog when it comes to transport funding and policy as...
    Transport Blog
  • PFLP statement on 47th anniversary of its founding
    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued the following statement last week, marking its 47th anniversary: As our people’s struggle continues against the rising fascist Zionist attacks, we reach the 47th anniversary of the founding of our party...
    Redline
  • David Harvey and the Marxists against Marx’s crisis theory
    by Michael Roberts David Harvey is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), Director of The Center for Place, Culture and Politics and author of numerous books. For over 40 years, he has been one of...
    Redline
  • What happens if we overshoot the two degree target for limiting global warm...
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Roz Pidcock Two degrees is the internationally-agreed target for limiting global warming, and has a long history in climate policy circles. Ambition that we can still achieve it is running high as climate...
    Skeptical Science
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    frogblog
  • Hard News: We’re in this together
    A couple of months ago, the excellent Katharine Viner, deputy editor of The Guardian and editor of Guardian Australia, gave a speech called The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web. It voiced many of the...
    Public Address
  • The art of persistence
    I’m an Aucklander who has to travel into the city every day for work. As […] The post The art of persistence appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia
  • The inverted ethics of doxxing?
    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • The inverted ethics of doxxing?
    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • John Key’s war on P is a failure
    Back in 2009, John Key launched a "war on P", in the form of his Methamphetamine Action Plan. An important part of the plan was regular progress reports, tracking the price, purity and availability of methamphetamine, so we could see...
    No Right Turn
  • Time to cut out the middle-woman
    Four days before the Scottish Independence Referendum, the UK's supposedly neutral monarch intervened, telling the Scots to "think very carefully about the future". While cloaked as a "private exchange", it has now emerged that the whole thing was scripted by...
    No Right Turn
  • The courts and the Public Records Act
    Nicky Hager won an important victory in his case against the police yesterday, forcing discovery of the police's internal working documents about the decision to apply for and execute a search warrant against him. While some of the documents will...
    No Right Turn
  • Deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit tax cuts!
    Bill English’s laser-like focus on delivering tax cuts in 2017 whether it is a good idea or not reveals a deep problem that right-leaning parties have with being responsible. The whole idea behind deficit spending, which National has done a...
    Polity
  • Does intensification increase traffic congestion?
    Earlier this week, I took a look at the relationship between congestion and density. I was investigating geographer Phil McDermott’s claim, based on some dodgy data comparing between cities, that increasing density would increase congestion. Economists know that it is...
    Transport Blog
  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!
    When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a...
    Public Address
  • LMAO
    Andrea Vance reports / mocks: Acronyms will go MIA in Defence Force briefing papers as new minister Gerry Brownlee says NOMW (not on my watch). Brownlee has ordered military top brass to remove all acronyms from their ministerial documents as...
    Polity
  • What do plummeting milk prices mean for our fresh water?
    This year milk prices have soured like a bottle left in the sun. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the economic impact of the fall in prices, but what, if anything does it mean for our...
    Gareth’s World
  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Latest secret TPPA leak reveals mass surveillance plans
    When the GCSB debate was in full flight I warned that a seemingly innocuous e-commerce chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) could become a stalking horse for the NSA to get its hands on our personal data, as well...
    The Daily Blog
  • Say ‘Yay’, not ‘Nay’, to this New Zealand Flag
    In 2017, we will get a chance to have our chance to choose what is arguably the most important symbol for our country; our national flag. I remember asking Jack Marshall in 1972, at a political meeting in Palmerston North’s...
    The Daily Blog
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere