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Leadership and unity

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, November 20th, 2012 - 152 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

I wasn’t paying much attention to politics back in the 80’s, so the current leadership stoush within Labour is quite an eye-opener for me. I have friends, people I admire, well informed people whose opinions I greatly respect, in each of the two Camp Davids. Tempers are running hot, and at the moment the risk of a serious fracture in the Labour Party seems very real. What to make of it all?

My position is on record. During the selection process last year I found Cunliffe more impressive, but I’ve been happy to support Shearer as leader. I support him still. I understand (and share) the frustration of those who would like to see a bigger and a quicker turnaround in the polls, but I think that their impatience has driven them to set unrealistic expectations of Shearer, and then abandon him far too soon. I think that solid unity around Shearer would have won the 2014 election.

But that was not to be. Impatience overflowed. Cunliffe positioned himself for a leadership challenge at conference (those who protest his innocence are naive in the extreme). It distracted attention from excellent policy, an excellent speech, and an opportunity to position Labour as the government in waiting. All very regrettable.

So much for the past. What about the future? The perception is that Cunliffe over-reached, and the tide has turned against him. There is a caucus meeting later today where, it is widely reported, Cunliffe is going to be demoted.

I understand the temptation for Shearer. When challenged on his leadership he wants to portray the strong leader. When pushed to show some “mongrel” he wants to bare his teeth. His supporters want “revenge”. It is what the political world expects, bread and circuses, the loser goes to the lions.

But there is a better way. A different kind of strength and leadership in turning the other cheek. In reconciliation. Overturning the conventional wisdom could see both Shearer’s leadership, and the Party, emerge much stronger.

Cunliffe is too good a politician to waste, and his supporters are too big a constituency to discard. Shearer should leave Cunliffe in his current role, reach out to him and the people that he represents. Cunliffe in his turn should admit that the game is up, put his leadership ambitions on hold for the foreseeable future, and publicly pledge his unconditional support until the next election. A joint statement, two men shaking hands, then they can both get to work on winning 2014. Cue picturesque sunset and closing credits.

Yeah I know, only in Hollywood right? Still, a blogger has to dream. Because the alternative, frankly, looks like a bit of a nightmare.

152 comments on “Leadership and unity”

  1. maffoo 1

    The way i see it, Cunliffe will only want to be leader if Shearer continues to be incompetent. If Shearer gets his s**t together, he is safe. All Cunliffe wants is a genuine shot at being Government in 2014.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yes, I agree.

      Shearer so far hasn’t shown the media performance that would ensure he wins the election. I’m sure he’d be fine as PM, but there’s that inconvenient ‘contest’ phase that he has to go through first.

  2. Can you please explain how Cunliffe positioned himself to be leader, other than the general impression of being more competent than Shearer?

    Is there anything to this allegation other than his refusal to disclose his vote? Because that doesn’t really mean anything. If he was positioning himself to be leader he’d outright say he’s voting for himself.

    • Agreed Matthew.  R0b makes a number of good points but I also agree that Cunliffe did not position himself at all.  I agree there is a perception but this was one created by ABC.

      It is weird really.  They trash the benefits of the conference and Shearer’s speech and try and blame Cunliffe for it.

      Talk about disloyal.

      But yeah, lets give peace a chance. 

    • r0b 2.2

      Can you please explain how Cunliffe positioned himself to be leader

      Gower wasn’t interviewing Cunliffe on his leadership aspirations just at random, he was interviewing him on his leadership aspirations because everyone knows that he has them. In failing to confirm his support for Shearer as leader, Cunliffe was positioning himself for a leadership challenge. It’s a standard political script, to pretend otherwise is simply naive.

      Cunliffe is perfectly entitled to challenge for the leadership of course, and I think he’s an excellent politician and communicator. But the timing of this particular piece of escalation could not have been worse.

      I can’t stick around for comments in the thread this morning, I’ll have to let the post speak for itself. Peace!

      • Bill 2.2.1

        In failing to confirm his support for Shearer as leader…

        But that’s just the point, he did confirm his support. In response to Gower’s squawking about what he’d do in February, (which is, as Gower would be aware, a secret ballot) Cunliffe quite clearly and unequivocally stated his support for Shearer.

        • IrishBill 2.2.1.1

          Grant Robertson also has leadership aspirations. And yet he wasn’t chased around the conference.

          • Bill 2.2.1.1.1

            Yes. But Grant Robertson is going to have to some fairly fancy manouvering come February if he wants to stand in a leadership race.

            Cunliffe will (presumably) be making a bid from the position of ‘underdog’…the guy who was consigned to the wilderness – at least for the summer.

            Shearer would not at that point in time (after the caucus 60/40 vote) ‘lost’ his leadership per se, and would be quite entitled to stand against Cunliffe. In fact, he’d be almost obliged to.

            Now where does that leave Robertson? Supporting ‘his’ leader or exposing himself as a two faced bastard and making it a three way race?

            edit oops. Not the comment I thought I was responding to. Still. Makes enough sense in the context here to leave it.

        • Dr Terry 2.2.1.2

          Precisely, Bill! Thanks for making this essential point.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.2.2

        No r0b, they werent interviewing him on a whim.

        Robertson also has leadership ambitions, but they didn’t interview him about them on the weekend.

        They interviewed Cunliffe because someone told them this was all about an actual challenge happening now.

        The Shearer camped cut Cunliffe off at the knees once it was becoming obvious that the Feb vote would be more favourable to a challenger than it otherwsie might have been.

        fallout is that everything else that happened has been buried in the deluge.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1

          fallout is that everything else that happened has been buried in the deluge.

          Notice how almost no effort has been made by the ABC’s to focus the media discussion on the substantive aspects of Conference, instead at every turn the hypothetical ‘leadership challenge’ has been repeated over and over again.

      • I feel no need to trust Gower to have any reliable information. His source could be as unreliable as an anonymous National Party tipster.

        Refusing to disclose your secret ballot is not failing to support your leader, especially if you really do intend to vote for them. The whole point of a secret ballot is that nobody should be allowed to pressure you into disclosing your vote.

        I really don’t think you should be claiming Cunliffe is actively challenging for leadership with such circumstantial evidence. I was always under the impression he was simply waiting out Shearer’s term, however it ends, quite content to let that happen naturally and support him and his team in the meantime.

    • Uturn 2.3

      “Can you please explain how Cunliffe positioned himself to be leader…”

      Think of Cunliffe as a bottle of Coke. Now think of Shearer as a bottle of Pepsi. Do either of the bottles need to speak for people to know which they prefer?

      (Phil Goff is Royal Crown Cola. It once had the top spot, but they changed the recipe and it fell into bland obscurity.)

      Or think of Cunliffe as John Rambo in, Rambo: First Blood. The town burns and people die because all Rambo wanted was a snack as he passed through town. He said, “I didn’t do nothing!”

      In a ridiculous example of life imitating art, The Labour Party will burn and democractic principles will die because all Cunliffe wanted to do was take a pee at conference without being hounded by journalists. “He didn’t do nothing!”

      • maffoo 2.3.1

        Well im going to hold my vote for the amazing Dr Pepper, whoever he (or she) may be

      • You’re missing my point.

        Being better than Shearer at being an MP is not positioning yourself to be leader. There are publicity opportunities that one takes when one intends to challenge for leadership. We need the “Cunliffe is to blame for being so leadery!” people to meet their burden of proof by pointing out where he was doing that positioning and why some of us don’t see it, because it really just looks like they’re buying into a narrative that’s about selling David Shearer’s trainwreck of a defense of his leadership as some sort of secret coup.

        • Uturn 2.3.2.1

          Cunliffe is a good politican, no doubt about it. No one except Shearer can walk into a top job. To say that because Cunliffe hasn’t come out and admitted a secret coup means one hasn’t taken place, is forgetting the art of politics. Simple positioning, opportunism, works just as well and the proof is largely unproveable. But does it matter anymore? People know what their opinion is, nothing can change it now.

          In the analogy I used, it is too simplistic to assume that a talented poltician did nothing at all to position himself for a top job because no one wanted to acknowledge the groundwork. Even if someone handed the leadership to him, he still had to be in position to recieve it. If you want to find proof, look to what Cunliffe was doing and saying in a series of small, private, incidental, off the record events circa 2009 forward, maybe even earlier. Who would have that kind of information? Not the media. You’ll read about it in twenty years in someone’s autobiography. The proof I see now is Cunliffe’s reply to Shearer asking for support – he said yes, but only till February. It’s simple, and now blatant, positioning.

          • RedLogix 2.3.2.1.1

            The proof I see now is Cunliffe’s reply to Shearer asking for support – he said yes, but only till February. It’s simple, and now blatant, positioning.

            What? Are you saying that the mandatory February vote has to be a sham? That Shearer is not ever allowed to be challenged and is going to be Leader for life? Of course not.

            The Labour constitution madates a confidence vote at specific times. The voting is secret.

            It is absolutely not acceptable to pervert those intentions by demanding loyalty ahead of the vote. Count the numbers who will give you an answer yes, but to then demand the voting goes to the leader ….wrong, wrong.

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.1.1.1

              +1

              Q: when should the February vote be merely a formality and a foregone conclusion?

              A: when you’re not that serious about democratic processes and your underlying attitude is essentially Born to Rule.

              AH FUCK. Just realised.

              The coup/imminent leadership challenge messaging from the weekend has got finger prints of Right Wing media advisors all over it.

              • Y’know there’s a whole bunch of “Old School” right wingers that joined the Labour party?

                Why? …. Because they thought it the easier mark M8!

                Prove them wrong people, ditch would ya’s.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.2.1.2

            You don’t get to say that a secret coup is being planned and not have to provide evidence for it. I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I’m unwilling to take Shearer’s word for it that Cunliffe was actually planning to roll him, especially when Cunliffe did not spur calls for Shearer’s resignation, because it was pretty obvious that was a grass-roots movement.

  3. Well said rob.
    Your suggestion on how Shearer could show real strength in leadership is a good one, and precisely what a genuinely strong Labour leader should do.
    Instead I fear Shearer, and in particular his old guard cronies, will only be thinking about how Shearer will lose in feb, and so they will be desperate to nobble Cunliffe. Time will tell just how principled Shearer really is.

    • lprent 3.1

      One of the things I really admired about Helen was her way of getting her competent political competitors working with her without descending to the kind of empty and meaningless political gestures of the types I am expecting to see today.

      I’m going to watch it with considerable interest in between my coding sessions.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Shearer tried “reconciliation” last time, kept him on the front bench, gave him a big job, and look what it got him, constant undermining and treachery from Cunliffe and his fellow conspirators, both inside and outside the Caucus. And still it goes on, even today. Ironic that they are using the same play book Roger Douglas used to see off David Lange.

    • maffoo 4.1

      Those that are conspiring is the Mallard camp, not the cunliffe camp. & he did not pick the timing of this, it was chosen for him for the shills in the MSM. Can you not see how those that are attacking Cunliffe & making these accusations are those with the most to lose? IE the right (they want Shearer to destroy his party as it is in their best interests) & the ABC (who know Cunliffe will sack their useless asses)
      IF anyone think Mallard, Goff, & Hipkins can lead Labour to an election victory, they are delusional ….

    • QoT 4.2

      constant undermining and treachery from Cunliffe and his fellow conspirators, both inside and outside the Caucus.

      [citation needed]

    • Dr Terry 4.3

      TG. “constant undermining and treachery from Cunliffe and his fellow conspirators . . . ”

      This is about the most spiteful and incorrect conclusion I have yet seen. It ought to be actionable.

    • pics or it didn’t happen?

  5. hush minx 5

    Just listening to Grant Robertson on rnz this morning it sounded like he was trying to de-escalate and put some distance between himself and shearer. I think he has realised that the party is watching closely-and he may want their support sometime soon!

    • rosy 5.1

      Grant Robertson was responsible for that piece of rubbish ‘Shonkey and the Nine Clowns of the Apocalypse’ wasn’t he? Absolutely stupid idea and there’s no way he’d get my vote – that’s a big misreading of the electorate, imo.

      • just saying 5.1.1

        In fairness to Robertson, his conference speech wasn’t directed at the wider electorate. He was playing to the audience at hand.

        • rosy 5.1.1.1

          Fair enough, but if the media didn’t have a manufactured leadership crisis to ramp up then I reckon it would have been the clowns that got the MSM time. They know how much the public says they hate this stuff.

          We’ve spent a whole lot of time going on about how Key uses derogatory terms for people, one of his favourites is ‘clown’. Robertson stooped to the same tactic.

      • Fortran 5.1.2

        Andrew Little will get te vote come February with David Parker in support – then we shall see some real Labour action, not the half hearted middle ground Labour as at present.

  6. maffoo 6

    As has been pointed out elsewhere this morning, there is a ridiculousness is making accusations against Cunliffe because he refused to say who he would vote for IN A SECRET BALLOT…. a secret ballot that is supoposed to be in a closed meeting …. & the media are pissed because he wont tell them who he will vote for in secret in a closed meeting? how very arrogant of them….

  7. just saying 7

    Rob I respect your position.

    But Shearer is going to be the butt of this christmas’s BBQ jokes and that’s not down to Cunliffe.

    It is ludicrous for a major party to have a leader who must be wrapped in cotton wool and kept away from the public eye to maintain any kind of credibility. The elephant in the room has long taken up residence and it is an insult to the the public’s intelligence.

    • Greg Doolan 7.1

      Agreed. Mumbles Shearer is an irrelevant joke to all New Zealanders , except the apologists who keep insisting that the emperor is really wearing clothes.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Hi R0b. Thanks for offering everyone an alternative course of action to consider in these circumstances – a path of real leadership and principle.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    I have never been a Shearer fan those who post on the standard and I told David Shearer to his face that I didnt think he had what it took to lead the party.

    I have always based that on can this guy win an election. Having worked on his Mt Albert selection I saw first hand how scared he was. As just saying has said, shearers lack of experience in politics and poor performance is the Elephant in the room. Sadly his ability to be manipulated is going to have a huge effect on the Party and its all negative.

    • Hami Shearlie 8.1

      We always seem to agree CGE! I feel exactly the same way! Shearer is boring, uninspiring, unbelievable, grey, very very bland, no vitality, doesn’t even act like he wants to be there!! Labour needs a great salesman to sell their policies – It ain’t Shearer and it ain’t Robertson either!! It’s a pity they keep forgetting about the 800,000 who didn’t vote and keep chasing a few swinging middle voters who are never loyal anyway!!! Mike Hosking said this morning that when he talked to him, Shearer showed his anger by using language full of expletives. To display that to a journalist shows another reason why Shearer shouldn’t be leader – no control of himself in public! Shearer’s obvious shortcomings are his own fault, not David Cunliffe’s!!

  9. jaymam 9

    If Cunliffe is demoted, I don’t think Labour will win the next election.
    I have not been impressed by Shearer’s TV interviews in recent weeks.

    • Dr Terry 9.1

      One would almost think that Labour, in point of fact, does not want to win the next election. Perhaps they are afraid that they might!

  10. PlanetOrphan 10

    Gotta agree Anthony, bout time Shearer and Cunliffe worked together , layed down the law and started leading M8!

  11. tracey 11

    I concur with anthony. Disagreement is healthy. It is not healthy when those who dissent and dont prevail get punished. Shearer can show the leadership he promised by giving culiffes strengths a chance to help nz. And perhaps he cld consider demoting those who dont understand how to play nicely together.

  12. BM 12

    The Public don’t like Cunliffe, but they do like Shearer.
    Unfortunately politics is about personality first, then policies.

    From what I’ve read on a few boards and talking to people, the majority view is that Cunliffe is a sneaky back stabbing weasel who needs to be dealt to by Shearer.
    That may not be true but it seems to be the public perception.

    Shearer has no choice now but to get rid of Cunliffe otherwise he’s had it as the leader.

    • Uturn 12.1

      Shearer’s had it anyway, because the way he’s protecting his position is contrary to the current public perception of how it should be done. He literally forgot what time it was. But nevermind, the collapse of the existing Labour Party is a good thing for NZ. It’ll force the heart and soul of Labour to reform around principles that match their efforts.

      • BM 12.1.1

        To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the Labour party to splinter.
        Too many people with different visions on how the Labour party should operate, that’s the problem.
        No business or organization can operate effectively under those conditions, it’s just a recipe for failure, everyone needs to be on the same page.

        • Uturn 12.1.1.1

          This is one of the defining points of identity that differentiates Labour from National – it’s eagerness to attempt to hold many views in one place successfully. The Labour party have been operating under certain rules consistently for a long time, it’s just that those rules have trouble accomodating all the members without the whole thing flying apart. If reports from conference are true, this is changing, but the reluctance of the leadership to let go is getting in the way. Being on the same page is important, but it doesn’t naturally exclude diverse views. Though closely linked, the problem seems to be coming from a misunderstanding of how things can be done, not what should be promoted in policy.

          • BM 12.1.1.1.1

            Do you need that sort of set up in a MMP environment though?

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Course ya do because this is about the membership deciding the course of the Labour Party, not the frakking MSM.

              • BM

                Personally I think a better strategy for the left would be to have 4 left parties

                1. Mana – Maori vote
                2. Greens -liberals,hippies,gays
                3. Workers party – trade unions, communists,
                4. Labour -centre left, Catholics, islanders.

                Be near on impossible for National to win if the Left set themselves up under this sort of system.

            • Uturn 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes and no. In a transitional sense, which is my first point – whatever happens next, will be good for NZ.

              Fragmentation is good, within an MMP environment. If several smaller parties formed to represent the factions that once tried to stand together under the old Labour banner and they had to form a coalition government, they’d still all have to be familiar with accomodating alternate views to make it work. The difference being that instead of several views clashing, the smaller factions need only concern themselves with one or two where spheres of influence overlapped. So the job of accomodating diversity of opinion would be absorbed by the fluidity of the overall group, rather than the tensions caused by top down central leadership.

              Attempting to fix, even an attempt that fails to fix, Labour’s organisational problems can only put the people who make change happen, ahead in the necessary learning curve. MMP is an indication that generally the public are moving away from fixed positions and traditional top-down stuctures. Once parties know how to dissolve and reform as necessary, they won’t need to have damaging internal conflicts so often. They achieve stability by continually moving and eliminate the risk of stoppinig in an unstable position. The chances of one faction hi-jacking a nation’s politics reduces to almost nil and we move closer to a fuller expression of democracy. Obviously, that’s going to scare a number of powerful people.

    • Greg Doolan 12.2

      What facts do you have to back up the claim that the public likes Mumbles Shearer? The dismal polling numbers as preferred leader of the country that the adoring public give him?

      I am so tired of Mumbles Shearer apologists making these blatantly untrue statements that fly in the face of the facts. This is exactly why the Labour Party is in the wilderness. A group of people running around trying to convince everyone else that emperor is wearing a splendid robe of popularity and visionary leadership. Wake up!

      • BM 12.2.1

        What facts have you got that people want Cunliffe to replace Shearer as leader of the labour party.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.1

          lol can’t you even back your own words BM?

          No wonder your comments are so irrelevant, when you fill them with weasel words and fantasist drivel.

          Greg, BM is a Tory shill.

    • Dr Terry 12.3

      BM. You sure have some nerve, speaking on behalf of the entire NZ public! Then, following your absolute statement, you come up with “That MAY NOT BE TRUE but it SEEMS to be the public perception”. (Capitals mine) Do you base your life on fantasy and this kind of frightful guesswork?

  13. ak 13

    Spot on as usual r0b. Ae, naievity’s the word that’s been hovering in six-foot letters over this whole debacle ever since the first commenter here started gunning for Cunners over Shearer.

    On the one tiny positive hand it displays the increasing influence of the ‘Stan. On the other hulking mitt, anyone who ever thought the media wouldn’t savage the Left mercilessly at the most minute indication of infighting, has been in bed with Pollyanna since 2004. Fast asleep. The Helenhate cucifixion a tragic,wasted lesson.

    Crucially, that includes Cunners and the majority of caucus. Learn, you ignorant pikers, or continue to put the knife into tens of thousands of our most vulnerable. Every day.

    And listen to r0b. And the original founder of world Labour. Turn the other cheek or let Gower et al slowly carve it into chunks and chew it to the bone. Promote Cunners, weld those smiles and handshakes on with an industrial mig on full, and bite your tongues till they bleed.

  14. tracey 14

    It seems to me its the people behind the main two who need the demotion. Hipkins hasnt impressed me. He oozes game player. The focus is nz and nzers. Anyone who doesnt get it, act on it needs to be gone.

    • Hipkins is a Clark creation. Hatched in the wellington incubator. Less in common with the working man than John Banks.* Despite Cunliffe now being a Herne Bay residing squillionaire he has proper working class credentials and actually worked prior to getting on the taxpayer funded gravy train.
      Hipkins is the face of your Labour party. Student politicians living and working in a 5km radius of the beehive.
      The only way this will be fixed is a split in the party. Auckland v Wellington.
      *I really hate John Banks.

      • Greg Doolan 14.1.1

        Hipkins has revealed himself to be a nasty piece of work. He obviously want to be Mallard’s heir.

        • KJT 14.1.1.1

          Hipkins on the news last night was totally embarrassing.

          If Shearer wanted to really show some leadership he would haul up him, Shane Jones and those who are destroying the party by bad mouthing Cunliffe.

          All the Right wing joining in bad mouthing Cunliffe, proves my point. He should be the leader.

          You know a man by his enemies.

          I would not vote for anyone the RWNJ’s, who pretend to be reporters, are endorsing.

  15. Santi 15

    Reconciliation only after punishment. Demotion is the only way Shearer can assert his leadership and stay on top.

  16. Bill 16

    So, what’s the odds for Shearer striking a truly anti-democratic deal along the lines of “I’ll leave you where you are – or promote you – if you give an undertaking not to run in February”?

    Nah.

    Although I suppose he might try to strike such a deal.

  17. tracey 17

    Bm if the public like shearer as the people you talk to claim it doesnt even begin to reflect in polls. When right wing bloggers backed shearer in the leadership race it was a rather big clue

    • BM 17.2

      People don’t mind Shearer.
      People don’t like the Labour party, that’s the problem.
      If you vote Shearer you get the Labour party.

      • thatguynz 17.2.1

        Sorry mate but that’s not entirely correct.  You are right in suggesting that there is public antipathy toward the Labour Party but they also think Shearer is not leadership material.  They are two distinct issues as opposed to the LP dragging Shearer’s popularity down.
         
        All in all this is a clusterfuck of monumental proportions.  Shearer has been toothless during any of the multitude of Government balls-ups and now decides to bare his teeth within his own party.  Wrong message, wrong time and wrong approach.  To alienate Cunliffe supporters both within the party and outside is a grievous misstep which I believe Shearers handlers have completely underestimated.
         
        Although I have never been a Labour voter, I was starting to waiver after hearing some of the talk coming out of the conference.  ie. notwithstanding those that haven’t voted at all, I am just the kind of voter they should be appealing to.  Unfortunately however any goodwill that was built throughout the newly found democratic approach at conference has been completely undone and I can unequivocally state that Labour will not have my vote.  Not now, not 2014 and not while the inept old-school troughers within the party continue to run roughshod over what the party membership are trying to achieve.  Mallard, King, Street, Cosgrove, O’Connor etc all need to go.  The party seems to have moved on and they are hanging on by their fingernails and quite frankly – fucking up the party that a lot here seem to have some long held love for.

      • Dr Terry 17.2.2

        BM. Again you talk grandiosely on behalf of “the people”. Really, of course, you can speak only for yourself – that is all you are achieving.

        • DJ 17.2.2.1

          I’ll do it again for you.

          “You people” on here have fucked the labour party good and proper.

          Good on ya mate …………

  18. Shearer is is wielding his power behind the curtain of Mallard & co, it’s dictatory and
    self serving.
    Cunliffe is the only candidate that could take labour to victory in 2014, there is no one
    esle, in the ‘free’ world he has a right to take up the challenge of leadership.
    There are members in the caucas who seem fit to diss many internet users and that was
    a public flogging, saying those ‘hidden’ identities were ‘irrelevant’ ‘nonsense’
    ‘that they dont take any notice of’, here’s the rub you ignorant lot of trough feeders
    we do ‘take notice’ and if Cunliffe is relegated to the back bench, then any support you
    may have had from the ‘internet’ world will collapse overnight and in turn so will the
    support of labour.
    You have more riding on your ‘dictatory’ shoulders than your own ignorance.

  19. tracey 19

    Bm, just tell tge truth. You have no idea whether people like shearer or not.

    • BM 19.1

      The people I talk to don’t mind Shearer, definitely prefer him over Cunliffe.

      One of the criticisms I hear of Shearer is that he’s too nice for politics,bit dickless, so dealing to Cunliffe in a violent and brutal way should do wonders for his popularity.

      • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1

        Let’s all bend an ear to BM and her imaginary friends. On second thoughts…

        • BM 19.1.1.1

          What makes you think l’m a she?

          • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1.1.1

            Affirmative action. I think of you as tall, with large hands and feet, a horsey girl who rode under the low branches once or twice too often.

            [lprent: Flame igniting is a very very dangerous sport. Do you really want a holiday now? ]

          • King Kong 19.1.1.1.2

            He is trying to insult you because women aren’t as clever as men.

            [lprent: Flame igniting is a very very dangerous sport. Do you really want a holiday now? ]

            • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1.1.2.1

              Equal opportunity insults. Monkey see monkey do.

              • Santi

                What are you trying to say One Tane? Are you a Cunliffe supporter?

                • One Tāne Huna

                  I’m trying to say that BM is unreliable as a political weathervane of either gender, and that King Kong is a monkey.

                  As for Cunliffe, I was warming to Shearer, especially after hearing how well Parker and Cunliffe work together (good team implies good leader) and the speech, although I remained concerned about his apparent lack of conviction. I am very encouraged by the policies unveiled so far.

                  All that changed in the last forty eight hours. Today’s little charade isn’t leadership, it’s weakness.

                  • lprent

                    My feelings exactly. I just can’t shake this impression of some crap advice in there somewhere and people trying to work around it.

                    But I am rather fond of BM in all of his incarnations and KK. They show a tenacity in sticking in here despite the obvious hostility of other commentators (and yes – including me) that tends to make them worth knowing.

      • Dr Terry 19.1.2

        I think it not too hard to guess what kind of people you talk to (probably only one or two anyway!)

  20. Peter 20

    R0b, your analysis is normally better than this…

    I mean, seriously, “Cunliffe positioned himself for a leadership challenge at conference (those who protest his innocence are naive in the extreme”.

    You know the party’s rules as well as I do – you can’t challenge for the leadership at a conference. Cunliffe’s plan has always been clear – sort it in February, maybe. From what I can see, and I didn’t attend conference, nothing has changed, and it won’t change, even after today’s so called vote.

    What I’m finding very distasteful currently is how some party activists, nominally of the “left”, have suddenly found themselves so afraid of Shearer’s faction and their supposed wrath that they are voting against their best interests. Young Labour is a classic – all of Labour’s next generation dutifully trotting to conference to vote according to Grant Robertson’s orders…

    What are we afraid of by standing up to some in caucus? Honestly, the worst that they can do is deny you a Parliamentary Services position, and most party members wouldn’t have a bar of it.

    I think in reality that Labour is still so used to maintaining order at the cost of democracy (Clark’s legacy) that for some older members, this is the default setting. It’s certainly reflective in your post. But we all should be better than that.

    If there’s a fight on for the heart and soul of the New Zealand Labour Party – the driving force behind much of New Zealand history – I sure as hell know which side I want to be on

    • dancerwaitakere 20.2

      Just to make it clear, there are SOME members of Young Labour that are capable of acting as more than a Robertson/Ardern fan club.  :P 

      It’s just a pity that at Conference most of YL lived up the expectations set by other former student politicians. 

       

  21. ianmac 21

    ROb says it all: Cunliffe is too good a politician to waste, and his supporters are too big a constituency to discard. Shearer should leave Cunliffe in his current role, reach out to him and the people that he represents.
    My view as well and all the weird stuff being said in comments on the Standard read like a bunch of fanatic supporters of one rugby team trying to shout down those of another team. Democracy. Fine but end result will be counterproductive.

    • kiwicommie 21.1

      Well to an outside observer it does look a bit that way, hopefully they mend each others wounds before the February vote or they will just be giving what the MSM want i.e. a divided Labour party they can attack so that their neo-liberal idol has a greater chance to stay in power.

  22. Fisiani 22

    So no matter what Shearer does today with Cunliffe , there will still be a leadership contest in February. Cunliffe still wants the job and will work tirelessly to achieve it either on the front or back bench. All the media focus will be on this throughout the summer and no Labour policy will make headway.

    [lprent: Typo e-mail? Should I fix it? ]

    • One Tāne Huna 22.1

      Like the media needs a way to keep Labour policy out of the headlines? On Planet Fisiani, is it?

  23. KhandallaMan 23

    R0b
    I agree with your analysis with one reservation.

    It is the membership that has been pushing for a Leader to fill the vacuum created placing below par performance of Shearer in his current position.  Cunliffe does not have to (and did not) make a bid for leadership at the weekend. The membership is willing him on. 

     

  24. Dr Terry 24

    All things being said (and so many things!) reconciliation always has to be a desirable thing.

    • Crimson Nile 24.1

      I agree here. Capable, mature adults need to take a professional approach and need to be seen to be taking a professional approach.

      “Going nuclear” is simply unnecessary, as is having MPs commenting against each other in public, leaking unhelpful hurtful comments about colleagues. It’s time for the Labour caucus to get it together and to cease being unreasonable and reactive.

    • seeker 24.2

      Agreed Dr T. -if the media and the likes of Chris Hipkins will allow it. Which is where a strong, wise leader who is his own man would come in handy. This could be Shearer’s real chance.

  25. pete 25

    The problem isn’t Shearer/Cunliffe.

    The Labour Party needs to be eviscerated and rebuilt. That should have happened four years ago.
    Leaders of the nation? Laughable when a group can’t even organise themselves, no?

    That will be the public perception in the coming months.

    The Greens will be happy….

    • George D 25.1

      The Greens will be happy….

      This Green is getting pretty upset at it all. Labour’s incompetence and inability to deliver a prospective government is screwing our ability to make the kind of change we’ve always wanted to see. Yes, another 5-10% support would be nice, but not at the expense of government.

      Oh, and no-one who mumbles and is unable answer questions with adequate conviction and clarity should be in public office. Goff had his problems, despite being a competent minister and excellent communicator in front of a crowd. Shearer is just an embarrassment.

      • weka 25.1.1

        As a Green I’m not happy either. I want co-operation politics and a good solid coaltion left wing govt after the next election. If Labour MPs think behaving like a pack of bitchy little kids is ok then we’re all in serious trouble.
         
        On the other hand, I’m feeling inspired by what’s happening with the membership.

    • Anne 25.2

      The Labour Party needs to be eviscerated and rebuilt. That should have happened four years ago.

      That is precisely what has been happening pete but it takes time. It started about 3 years ago with a lengthy round of regional meetings where the rank and file (for the first time in an eon) were allowed to have a proper say in what kind of Labour Party they wanted. The info. was collated and prioritised and sent back to the electorate organisations for comment. The practical aspects of the rebuild began about two years ago and the final building blocks were set in place last weekend. I refer to the constitutional and organisational remits.

      That was the point when the power clique inside Caucus lost the plot and decided to have their tantrum. It took everyone by surprise and it’s fair to say most of us are still reeling. In retrospect, I think it was always on the agenda because they knew there was a good chance the members and affiliates
      would succeed in reclaiming some of their former power. The problem is, they didn’t want people to know the real reason for their angst and anger, so they looked to the obvious scapegoat. Enter David Cunliffe from left stage.

      • pete 25.2.1

        I don’t think rebuilding it to come under control of the Unions is what is required. Nor is going even further left. It will be a disaster.

        The GFC changed the game. Tax, borrow and spend does not work under these conditions. The only thing that can possibly work is a sustainable economy built on earning more than we spend. Why can’t Labour and the Greens grasp this fact?

        • Anne 25.2.1.1

          You are reading something in my comments that isn’t there pete. It has nothing to do with the Unions gaining control… We’re talking about fundamental practical steps to ensure the Party operates at a more democratic level where everyone can fully participate. Union affiliates represent only a small part of that equation. Nevertheless its an important part. They represent thousands upon thousands of ordinary workers who are being drummed into the ground by this Nat. led government.

        • One Tāne Huna 25.2.1.2

          Pete, why are you talking about “tax borrow and spend” as though it represents the party that ran surpluses all the way from 1999 to 2008 and paid off debt incurred by Bill English?

          Are you one of those who thinks he’s entitled to his own facts? Grow up – you aren’t. You aren’t even expressing your own opinion – merely parroting lies you’ve heard.

          • pete 25.2.1.2.1

            Those “surpluses” were from over taxation. Obviously. We were also in a global boom (a fake one, as it turned out) – which is why we dived into recession when it came to an end. We’re a boat bobbing on a tide we can’t control (world markets). When they fall, so do we.

            There is only one sustainable economic position and that is to earn more than we spend. To grow the *size* of the pie. We can’t redistribute our way to prosperity, as many on the left seem to think. We can’t print fake money. It hasn’t worked anywhere.

            “You are reading something in my comments that isn’t there pete.”

            Well, I know it’s not being said. I *suspect* the Unions are gunning for control.

  26. Tangik 26

    When you have a weak leader you will find there will always be room for a challenge. To me Shearer has not performed and to close our eyes to this leaves the way clear for the National party.

    • Murray Machiavully 26.1

      Agreed, and yet it would seem whenever you have Cunliffe in the room there will be a challenge. “Naked ambition” has been the standard descriptive term used for him ever since he got into parliament. Closely followed by “arrogant” and “naked self-interest”. He is extremely competent in many ways but has managed to get every second person offside with him – not a great recipe for party politics, elections or PM under MMP. People can smell his demagogical insincerity a mile off.

      If he could only see past himself, he would do what Michael Cullen did, step aside for the muddling but affable and improving Shearer and pledge his unconditional support in exchange for being no.2. And then becoming the Opposition attack dog that highlights the government’s failings in no uncertain terms, and takes the resulting popularity hit in his leaders stead (NZers hate whingers, even when it’s totally justified). And help to set the policy agenda for Labour.

      The problem now is that all his shenanigans are coming home to roost and he is losing the trust of the party. If his own ambitions mean more to him than his party’s (or his country’s) then maybe he should be set loose. It’s all very well having a strong left wing policy agenda, but if you aren’t prepared to compromise on your own ambitions in order to further those policies…

      • Anne 26.1.1

        MM:
        I’ve had some personal experience of what can happen when some of your colleagues feel threatened by you. In my case, it was the management of a small Public Service agency in the late 1980s and early 1990s who were conducting at that time… what could best be described as a rort against another Public Service agency. I had previously been closely associated with some powerful politicians and – despite my persistent denials to the contrary – they were convinced that association still existed.

        They used every trick in the book to try and get rid of me, including spreading false stories and other tactics which, in my case, bordered on unlawful activity. They found nothing because there was nothing to find. As a result of that experience, I can smell a smear campaign a mile off and this one against Cunliffe is positively stinking!

        • Murray Machiavully 26.1.1.1

          Trevor Mallard and his disciple Chipkins are doing what they have always done, in fact, performing much the same role as i do in the National party ;-) [In Trev's case, well that's him to a T but could Someone please get rid of Chipkins] It seems like a smear but they are providing more smoke where there is already a fire so to speak. Jane Clifton’s column in the Listener is to the point.

          http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/david-cunliffe-shearer-coup-history/

          Of course Cunliffe could long ago have avoided the ire of his caucus, including the smear department, if he’d been better at playing or at least pretending to play the team game. But he can’t – as Clifton points out he lacks the EQ – and that is his tragic flaw.

          I love his speeches on paper as much as the next lefty, but when you can see the video, the impression of a smarmy career politician saying what will please his audience is hard to swallow. The electorate went for a slightly smarmy Key but i doubt they will go for the Uber-smarmy Cunliffe. Any more than they would for Chipkins come to think of it. These guys raise all your average kiwis collective heckles when it comes to “damned politicians”.

  27. lprent 27

    I wasn’t paying much attention to politics back in the 80′s, so the current leadership stoush within Labour is quite an eye-opener for me.

    This is nothing. I didn’t get particularly active until the 90’s and those party conferences were pretty damn tense. This one was actually fun to watch.

    I do remember going to see a public meeting in 89? in Freemans Bay when Richard Prebble was still the Labour MP for Auckland Central. Now that was tense. That’s when I decided I’d rejoin up in Mt Albert

    • prism 27.1

      Did you hear little Richard this morning on Radionz. Cunning little weasel at working out tactics. He has no shame that guy. And when you’re a neo lib in some popular quote ‘You never have to say you’re sorry’. FYI he thinks there will be a challenge in Feb and someone else will win it but not Cunliffe.

  28. Hami Shearlie 28

    The way I see it is this -politically, Cunliffe is HOT HOT HOT, Shearer is NOT NOT NOT!! Cunliffe would attract the female vote for a start! Shearer is like a many times reheated sausage roll – the taste doesn’t get better with time! A leader who can’t speak eloquently in public is a total embarrassment!!

    • Santi 28.1

      True, Shearer should improve his communication skills, but the assertion Cunliffe is “HOT”, as you put it, is totally baseless. What female would could he attract? Are you blind?

      Shearer for his centrist positions is the best to take on Key.

      • felix 28.1.1

        Centrist smentrist. The people Labour need to attract are the people who currently don’t vote, and they aren’t ever going to vote for a right-wing party like National or a right-wing dickhead like Key.

        The handful of hypothetical dickhead voters in the imaginary middle can get fucked. (Or vote National, same thing.)

        • One Tāne Huna 28.1.1.1

          “get fucked”. (Or vote National, same thing.)

          +1

        • pete 28.1.1.2

          There’s nothing right-wing about Key.

          So you’re gunning for the vote that is so left they even see Mana as being too neo-lib, so they currently don’t vote?

          • felix 28.1.1.2.1

            “There’s nothing right-wing about Key. “

            Yeah sure, plenty of non right-wing people think Fox News is a good source of learning.

            “So you’re gunning for the vote that is so left they even see Mana as being too neo-lib, so they currently don’t vote?”

            No. I’m talking about the voters that see Mana as too radical, the Greens as too liberal, National as a bunch of cunts and Labour as a big boring irrelevant waste of time.

            If you need it spelled out any simpler for you, they used to be known as “Labour voters” and now they’re known as “non-voters”.

  29. As an outsider, it seems to me that the best solution for the Labour Party in the current situation is for Shearer to go directly to the party for his mandate (under the 40-40-20 split, I suppose) – perhaps in February, but announced now.

    Labour needs to be united behind a leader the entire party can accept has been elected appropriately, rather than just by the caucus. ‘Appropriate’ now means by the new rules, which all sides appear to see as progress (Shearer’s supporters here note that he ‘championed’ the review leading to this system of choosing leaders so presumably they’d be on-side with this.). Rather than just demanding all members be ‘loyal’ it would actually legitimise the leadership beyond any question.

    This is Shearer’s current problem – his lack of broad legitimacy in the party. Doing as I suggest would show real leadership by him – even if, ironically, it led to him losing. That is the kind of ‘leader’ Labour needs – someone willing to sacrifice their ambitions for the basic cause. As reward, I imagine even if he lost he would be given a senior position on the front bench. If he won, then, ‘yes’, time to unite, shake hands, etc., etc..

    As Gordon Campbell pointed out in his piece on this, the real division is within the party more broadly over what part of the political spectrum it should occupy.

    Anything else will be a band-aid that simply delays the process of repositioning the party along the lines desired by most of its members.

    Basically, I’m just advocating use of the new, more democratic process. That shouldn’t be controversial.

    I think it would also look quite principled to the public – if not, it could certainly be defended in that way (rather than simply looking ‘tough’). 

    • Lanthanide 29.1

      Yeah, I agree.

      Announce now that the vote in February in caucus will be pro-forma with *all* MPs voting for the leadership challenge. Shearer says he will put in his bid for leadership, all other MPs are requested and required to not declare their candidacy more than 2 weeks out from the caucus vote and media inquiries will not be entertained until then.

      Let the wider party decide. That way if Shearer wins, it looks genuine, as does any other winner.

      • George D 29.1.1

        He and his need to regain legitimacy, desperately. Doing so, and then reshuffling immediately afterwards to include the losers and the talent that supported them, is entirely necessary.

  30. There isn’t a contradiction between unity in the battle against the Nats and open debate inside the left. Labour’s opposition needs to get factional:
    http://www.readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/labour-and-f-word.html

  31. Fisiani 31

    Will Shearer act decisively and cut all the cancer from his caucus? He will not be allowed to do so. Imagine the fratricide that would take place if 11 MP’s were expelled from caucus.
    Plan B is now in play. Rig the list and selection process with Cunliffe loyalists over the next two years, win power in 2014 and then overthrow Shearer the day after the election. The Plan B Coup. A PM appointed by the unions for the unions without the consent of New Zealand.

    • Santi 31.1

      Will Shearer act decisively and cut all the cancer from his caucus?
      He has to. He must purge disloyal elements and get on with life.

      • One Tāne Huna 31.1.1

        “Disloyal”?

        Citation needed. The more you make this bold statement without a shred of backup the more I question your sincerity.

        • r0b 31.1.1.1

          OTH – I may be able to save you a little time here.

          It was a while ago, perhaps folk have forgotten, but Santi is a full fledged right wing troll. S/he seems to have come out of retirement just to enjoy the current mess, and is only here to wind people up.

          Sorry to spoil your fun Santi.

          • One Tāne Huna 31.1.1.1.1

            Thanks R0b – I hadn’t seen the handle before but the conclusion was becoming inescapable.

            Another Tory backing Shearer. Can’t imagine why.

            • lprent 31.1.1.1.1.1

              In the search box try typing this
              @author Santi
              In the advanced – set to comments

              Easy way to find commentators and what they have said before.

  32. Michael 32

    While Shearer will probably hang on to the caucus leadership today, I expect he will be rolled early next year, after the rest of the caucus eventually conclude they have no chance of forming a government with him at its head. The interesting question today is who benefits from defenestrating Cunliffe? While it may gain Shearer a bit of breathing space, and perhaps the chance to cut a decent exit deal, I just don’t see him staying at Labour’s apex for long.

  33. Fisiani 33

    Even better scenario. Assume Shearer improves and wins. Then the day after election get a new leader. Shearer loyalists and Cunliffe loyalists will thus fight list placement and candidate selection tooth and nail. This could end in mutual destruction and a flood of votes to the Greens.

    • mike e 33.1

      Fishy anal Democracy a little hard to handle!
      That won’t happen as the whole party will be behind the winning leader you sound like you have been to the Matthew Hooten school of skull skulduggery!

  34. Treetop 34

    I thought that an opposition leader needs to attack the opposition and not his oponent. In other words Shearer expects loyality from Cunliffe and he appears to not give loyality as the leader.

    Waiting for the result from caucus to then see the level of Shearer’s disloyaly toward Cunliffe. If Cunliffe is demoted BIG MISTAKE.

  35. Santi 35

    Shearer should run a mile from him: http://newstalkzb.co.nz/wellington/news/nbpol/1405737597-goff-urging-labour-to-endorse-shearer

    Labour’s former leader is urging his colleagues to endorse the incumbent. Phil Goff says an endorsement for Mr Shearer today will be a useful exposure of the leader’s support.

    I think it’s important the caucus makes absolutely clear our overwhelming support for David Shearer as our leader taking us through to the next election.

    Mr Goff says he’ll be voting for Mr Shearer today and in February.

    • felix 35.1

      Readers should run a mile from Santi. He hates Labour and wants the party to fail.

      Best ignored.

      • Santi 35.1.1

        No, felix. I call it as I see it.

        Shearer is trying to modernise Labour (along the Tony Blair lines) to be credible enough in the eyes of middle NZ to steal enough of the centre off National, whereas his party wants to out flank the Greens on the left.

        • felix 35.1.1.1

          Correct, you call it as you see it.

          And as you see it, Labour is the enemy.

          As above, best ignored.

        • mike e 35.1.1.2

          Trying to be a grinch santi .All your Xmas’s have come at once . Yeah out flank like don brash did for National aye at Orewa!

    • QoT 35.2

      Right, so Goff doesn’t understand how the new constitutional rules work … and we’re meant to listen to a damn thing he says?

  36. AmaKiwi 36

    Shearer has demoted Cunliffe.

  37. SPC 37

    As a total outsider my guess based on human nature – protecting ones privileges – is this.

    The Labour caucus is known to be one dominated by factions. One gets a share of the spoils by being in one. So when caucus primacy is threatened by greater party determination of leadership, the entrenched established power base in caucus has its self interest to protect. And the faction in power in caucus most of all. So all those who have status in caucus now, through seniority or patronage, are going to react.

    The attack on Cunliffe was an attack on party members challenging the status quo. He is a personification of the fear the old guard feels about a new order in the party caucus ranking and loss of control over policy development.

    It’s also a declaration of war over candidate selection in 2014, so the party cannot storm their centre of power in caucus (by determining leadership or new intake) – Kiwiblog is personifying party aspiration for democracy as a Cunliffe device – in this Farrar is serving the interests of the Labour caucus elite. Why?

    It would seem Shearer is not seen as his own man – not by his own caucus supporters who use him as their front or by political opponents. The right don’t fear him as an opponent in a campaign or even as a PM (thinking they can break him to the centre 2000 media style if in government).

    Shearer was the candidate for a new beginning for Labour, one not part of the past. This allowed fresh policy thinking – it worked well with party rejuvenation. He had a good resume but was inexperienced. He seemed someone the old guard could safely use to retain influence while the party itself went through renewal and rebuilding. It could have worked, if those in caucus embraced change and democratisation without fear for loss of their control (their privilege).

    But they were not big enough people to do the right thing. So they now have to live this down and make better choices in future.

    National will hope they can encourage more self-destructive protection of their own nest by the Labour caucus, so that they do not face an opposition united with any conviction that they are in this for their party and the country, rather than developing their own career within a caucus faction.

  38. michael 38

    I think it’s long past time for Labour to move back to where it came from and where its base remains – left (in the NZ context, meaning it’s nothing like North Korea, Cuba, or even Chile under Allende (and we know what happened there – Rogernomics with guns). Over one third of the electorate no longer votes. If Labour can get one-third of the don’t votes into the booths, it will become government again (with help from the Greens and ?). To do that, Labour must offer the people something better than New Right economics – even the Pepsi version it currently peddles. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable.

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    Boots Theory | 16-09
  • Speaker: In Tribute: Peter Gutteridge and the Hypnotic Groove
    Peter Gutteridge changed my life. In December 1988 I came to Dunedin on holiday for a week from my hometown of Gisborne. I was eager to see some of the fabled Dunedin bands live and I couldn’t have timed it...
    Public Address | 16-09
  • Wendyl Nissen leaves NewstalkZB
    Despite the Prime Minister attempting to downplay the serious issues raised by Dirty Politics, a month on from Nicky Hager's book release and we're still learning more about those who were adversely effected by the numerous Whale Oil smear campaigns...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • The big picture: Who precisely is monitoring us, and is the GCSB in cahoots...
    The destruction of Dotcom’s credibility last night is a real shame, not because I have any great sympathy for the man (I don’t), but because the wrecking ball that just swung back and collected him will now distract for the very important questions...
    Occasionally erudite | 15-09
  • Thumbs up for the Green Party’s water policy
    At the weekend the Green Party  announced a policy about irrigation – they would charge farmers for the water they use. They’re going to be criticised for saying it, but my word, we all owe them a word of thanks...
    Gareth’s World | 15-09
  • The Chewbacca defence
    People may remember this old South Park classic. Faced with a case he cannot win, a lawyer attempts to distract the jury by introducing irrelevant material and claiming it's a defence. That's pretty much what John Key has done over...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery
    Part way through last night, the Moment of Truth event at the Auckland Town Hall felt history-making. Journalist Glenn Greenwald had presented documentary evidence -- not a lot, and it was more blasted Powerpoint slides, but easily enough to be...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • The small picture: Dotcom blows it
    For what seems like the longest time, Kim Dotcom has sworn black and blue that he has documentary evidence that categorically proves John Key a liar. John Key has repeated time and again that he had no knowledge of Dotcom...
    Occasionally erudite | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth
    ...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Key left holding the SPEARGUN
    What was by far the most important revelation to come out of the Moment of Truth was Edward Snowden's information about SPEARGUN, which was a project completed in mid 2013 to tap the Southern Cross cable. There is no doubt...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Arrest the NSA
    Last night's "Moment of Truth" produced only one big revelation: according to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the NSA have two bases in New Zealand: one in Auckland and in the north. Lets be clear: if the NSA are intercepting communications...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Allegations re mass surveillance by NZ’s GCSB
    Here are the articles published by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden about mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by spy agencies that form part of the FIVE EYES intelligence alliance. These were released in the lead up to the anyway-you-look-at-it...
    The Paepae | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The cost of a bowl of Weet-Bix
    One of the most dishonest arguments the right ever put forward on the subject of poverty is around one of the simplest things in life: a bowl of Weet-Bix. Yesterday Nikki Kaye approvingly re-posted a letter to the editor which...
    Boots Theory | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The costs and trade-offs of free public transport in Auckland
    One perennial discussion in transport circles is whether we shouldn’t just do away with public transport fares completely and make the whole network free of charge. Why not fully subsidise the network as a public service using public monies as...
    Transport Blog | 15-09
  • OnPoint: “Project SPEARGUN underway”
    Let's get this out of the way: The Warner Bros email was a complete clusterfuck. Faced with claims that the emails were fake, TeamDotcom did a TeamKey - they got Hone to send it off to the Privileges Committee then...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • Beef + Lamb NZ Outlines Priorities Ahead of Election
    Press Release – Beef And Lamb NZ Beef + Lamb New Zealand has outlined what it sees as the policy priorities for the incoming government.16 SEPTEMBER 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Beef + Lamb New Zealand Outlines Priorities Ahead of General...
    Its our future | 15-09
  • Spies, education, finances, a star and a forecast
    John Key pulled the election date forward. He said it was to avoid clashes with likely global leaders’ visits after the G20 meeting in Australia in November. But clouds were looming too. One was John Banks’ conviction, widely expected. By...
    Colin James | 15-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the aftermath of the Greenwald/Snowden revelations
    The credibility issues have come down to two main ones: 1 The email. This has to do with whether Key knowingly agreed to use our immigration rules as a tool to ensnare and ultimately extradite Kim Dotcom, and do so...
    Gordon Campbell | 15-09
  • This government should (but probably won’t) be over
    The revelations last night (and leaked during the day) SHOULD end this government. In brief: 1) Even if Key is telling the truth (which is pretty far-fetched and increasingly unlikely given Snowden’s evidence), they still got a plan underway for illegal...
    Cut your hair | 15-09
  • Mass surveillance and sexual violence: Assange and Snowden
    Article – Fightback Mass surveillance and sexual violence: The difference between Snowden and Assange by Fightback Admin 16 September 2014Mass surveillance and sexual violence: The difference between Snowden and Assange by Fightback Admin 16 September 2014 Chelsea Manning and Edward...
    Its our future | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth #2 – Humpty Dumpty words
    Words matter, never so much in New Zealand politics as they do right now. Remember Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass?'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose...
    Pundit | 15-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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