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The least popular weasel wins

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, August 27th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags: ,

In the odd moments that I have to view and write about politics outside NZ at present, I happened upon a Wall Street Journal article this morning about the election contest in aussie that got me thinking.

Australia is leaning toward electing its first conservative government in six years, to be led by a man considered by some to have been unelectable due to his tough conservative views on issues ranging from climate change to abortion and gay marriage.

Tony Abbott, leader of the opposition, goes into the Sept. 7 election with his backing parties in pole position. His Liberal National coalition has pulled clear of the center-left Labor government in opinion polls, after both sides were briefly tied as recently as three weeks ago.

That is certainly the case if you read the most recent Roy Morgan poll. The majority is likely to be small but enough

However it was the other part of the article that I found most interesting.

Still, many voters are cautious about Mr. Abbott, whose personal ratings continue to lag those of Mr. Rudd, even as opinion polls point toward a big victory for the Liberal National coalition. “He’s still unpopular, that’s the paradox,” said Zareh Ghazarian, a Melbourne-based political analyst at Monash University. “It highlights how, in the Australia system, we’re looking at the parties rather than the people leading them.”

Mr. Abbott was unavailable to be interviewed for this article.

The opposition leader’s record as health minister in the last conservative government under John Howard is unpopular with some voters, especially his views toward abortion. Younger Australians, in particular, dislike his stance on issues like global warming. Mr. Abbott once referred to arguments about the dangers of climate change as “absolute crap.” He also opposes same-sex marriages.

My italics. With the aussies I’ve met over the last couple of years, this is definitely the impression you get.  Even more than in NZ, the aussies are voting for what they consider are the most effective parties rather than the weasel running them. And they are both weasels and are generally perceived by the public there as being weasels.

As a political activist I don’t have a high opinion of Kevin Rudd. His erratic egocentricity and factional style of politics has effectively allowed the room for the Liberals to consolidate. It is not that the Liberals are popular because they are not. Especially amongst the australians less than 40, who find the conservatism and clear misogyny of the current Liberal party almost unfathomable to understand.

What is clear is that the Australian Labour caucus with its self-destructive fractionalisation and triumph of egotism in its caucus has managed to make themselves unelectable to the majority of voters. The Australian electorate will be voting against them. Ironically, from what I am hearing from activists over there, is that the party machinery, targeting and mobilisation is as good as I have ever heard about. It is entirely possible that they may be able to scrape a slim victory for the left simply because polling techniques are becoming increasingly less effective as the dominance of listed landlines diminishes.

However the media in Australia are (to put it mildly) strongly partisan in their own interests, just as they are here. But the NZ Herald’s self interested campaign against constraining advertising in the electoral reforms bill of 2007 is miniscule compared to the type of media campaigns that the media baron owned media do in aussie. They come down on the side of the interests of the money that own them with scare campaigns on everything from refugees to taxation on mining. They seize on any signs of fractures in a left-wing parties.

This type of personal self-indulgence inside a left wing caucus both here and there is something that doesn’t favour the cause that activists put their time and effort into. It is something that can be ill-afforded both here and obviously in Australia.

As I slowly drift away from being active in the Labour party and concentrate more on other more productive interests, it becomes more and more apparent to me how much I detest unproductive factionalism. I spent the 90′s largely ignoring it inside Labour and focused on the task of how to win elections. This got steadily more difficult through the noughts as the Labour party shuddered in a stasis to avoid it.

That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago because here was a chance to do something outside of the stifling wasteland of an increasingly caucus centric party.

36 comments on “The least popular weasel wins”

  1. Progressive Paradox 1

    “detest unproductive factionalism. …. That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago”

    Yes, because the writers of the standard certainly haven’t been advancing their own faction choice over the last few days have they? Please.

    • lprent 1.1

      Read the about.

      Authors write pretty much whatever they want. This means you are likely to get a range of views just as we did in the previous leadership debates back in 2011.

      Most of the ~45 odd authors are probably in wait and see mode.

      I suspect that many of the commenters are like that as well.

      Personally, I have a leaning towards Cunliffe simply because he has what I consider to be the requisite decade in parliament with significant ministerial experience. I also have reservations about him as being too inclined to being liked by everyone and saying what they want to hear. That is counter-balanced by his actual work record as a minister.

      Robertson worries me because he has had no ministerial experience, less than 5 years in parliament as an MP, and has displayed a monumental ignorance and lack of interest in how to win larger elections (Auckland is 35% of NZ’s population and he has been virtually unknown up here). I fear another experiment like David Shearer with a different shape and same result.

      But I will go and see what he has to say.

      Shane Jones is in my view a waste of time.

      • Progressive Paradox 1.1.1

        “This means you are likely to get a range of views just as we did in the previous leadership debates back in 2011.”

        On the front page, there is an article about how the union vote won’t necessarily go for Grant like claimed in the media, About how Cunliffe has “the moment of expectation”, that Shane Jones is the smoko room candidate (with NO mention of the fact that he is in Cunliffe’s campaign) and the same blogger who wrote this post writes, “Electorally this would be a effectively way of dragging “smoko room” votes to join to beltway votes.” which seems like another implicit endorsement of Cunliffe.

        I actually like Cunliffe and will probably vote for him and I like that the Standard bloggers can endorse whoever they want. But it seems to me that the majority of blog posts so far are overwhelmingly in the Cunliffe camp so claiming that “The Standard” is the bastion of breaking down factional barriers seems to me to be a load of tripe.

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          Many also say that they would like to see Robertson as deputy and the caucus united.

        • framu 1.1.1.2

          and if you looked at the front page on different days it will have different stuff

          i fail to see your point here

          • Progressive Paradox 1.1.1.2.1

            You’re right, but the point is that the articles re: Labour leadership are overwhelmingly pro-Cunliffe, as I say I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with the author saying that the Standard somehow breaks down factional barriers.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I have a problem with the author saying that the Standard somehow breaks down factional barriers.

              Please point where the author actually says this. I can’t see it.

              • Progressive Paradox

                “detest unproductive factionalism. …. That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago”

                • Colonial Viper

                  So the author doesn’t actually say that The Standard breaks down factional barriers. You’ve simply taken a possible implication and run with it.

                • lprent

                  That doesn’t say that it breaks down fractional barriers. The key word is “unproductive”. Disagreement is useful. That is how you discover better techniques to get from the current position to the desired objectives, and even to find out what those objectives should be. Not learning from it is unproductive and getting into little defensive circles with small groups only talking to each other is simply useless.

                  I’m interested in making sure that people argue about and are aware of each others arguments. Not only inside the NZLP, but also across the broader labour/left movement.

                  That is what the about states. That is what we do. We don’t expect agreement – even between authors. In fact we encourage disagreement – it is more interesting and informative when coupled with behavioural constraints.

                  What we’re interested in is getting rid of the bloody awful siloing that the left has been prone to over the years.

                  BTW: I’m pretty much a faction of one, as I’m sure that many will attest. I rarely get involved in politics outside of operations. However I’m known for expressing my personal opinions bluntly, forthrightly, and with malice aforethought (diplomacy isn’t one of my interests).

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.3

          majority of blog posts so far are overwhelmingly in the Cunliffe camp so claiming that “The Standard” is the bastion of breaking down factional barriers seems to me to be a load of tripe.

          Firstly “factional barriers” are Labour Caucus and Labour leadership (in the wider sense of the word “leadership”) generated. They’re very little to do with The Standard.

          Secondly, have you written and submitted a pro Robertson or Jones post yourself, to The Standard? It doesn’t need to be long. Put down 200 words and make the case for Robertson or Jones.

          Thirdly, this is politics. People choose sides and back teams. Rallying cries of “unity for the greater good” don’t hold much water. Especially when the people saying them don’t seem to believe in the “greater good” themselves.

          • Progressive Paradox 1.1.1.3.1

            Firstly, I don’t disagree but these are re enforced by Labour membership and left-wing blogs.

            Secondly,I wouldn’t as I said I’m personally leaning towards Cunliffe.

            Thirdly, this seems to contradict your earlier points and doesn’t reflect my comment at all. I’m just saying that the authors of the standard seem pretty pro-Cunliffe and I don’t think it was the best place to write an article decrying factionalism.

            Also, this isn’t just something I’ve come up with. My local Labour MP mentioned their opinion that most of the Standard’s bloggers were in the Cunliffe camp.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Is it factionalism to express support for a particular leader? Or are you saying the people expressing support for Cunnliffe here undermined Shearer when he was leader and thus were part of the factionalising they decry?

            • karol 1.1.1.3.1.2

              The support for Cunliffe is noticeable here because it goes against the line spun by the ABCs via the MSM. Cunliffe also has been getting more support than Robertson in MSM and other polls. So, actually, the support of Cunliffe (allegedly) by the majority of Standardistas, is actually pretty much in line with the polls of the wider population.

              Gordon Campbell on the political factions in Labour & National:

              The notion that Labour in Opposition is somehow inherently more divided than National really is nonsense. National, at the best of times, has always been split between its traditional rural conservatives and its radical urban neo-liberals – and give National five minutes in Opposition and those divisions become screamingly apparent. In the not too distant future, the jostling and the undermining between the Joyce faction and the Collins faction will match and mirror any current divisions in the Labour ranks. That will be so, regardless of whether the current declarations of unity between the Labour contestants are genuine, or not.
              [...]
              Keep that in mind over the next few weeks as you hear National MPs parrotting the lines of their leader about the divisions in Labour’s ranks. Not true. Eleven years ago, Bill English was the National Party’s equivalent of David Shearer. Then National changed its leader, got on the comeback trail, and lo, the divisions closed over and were heard from no more. Until next time.

              • expatriot

                +1 to this. I remember when coup rumours started swirling around Goff, the media were quick to point out Labour’s history of infighting etc…, as if it had been Labour who had rolled a sitting Prime Minister in their previous term in office, parachuted in an extremist mascarading as a ‘mainstream New Zealander’ to replace the ineffectual policy wonk they had as leader (under threat of the money disappearing) and later leaked private emails to the media to facillitate the replacement of the extremist with the toupee’d multi-millionaire ‘man of the people’ they have in charge now.

      • pollywog 1.1.2

        Shane Jones is in my view a waste of time.

        …and space. He’s the equivalent of a political black hole!

        If the Labour party cross that event horizon by electing him leader, expect all the light to be sucked out of it and all information entering him to be lost and reconstituted as garbled mish mash.

        In my not so humble opinion :)

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago because here was a chance to do something outside of the stifling wasteland of an increasingly caucus centric party.

    That’s a money quote, right there.

  3. Bill 3

    A bit of a follow on from comments made on this topic yesterday Lynn.

    Factionalism and power struggles in a caucus that is built around individuals – and that fails to espouse concrete principles or values – is almost inevitable and, of course, destructive.

    But in a caucus constructed around clear principles and values, is it not then sensible to insist that people either a) get on the bus or b) take a hike?

    Otherwise, the risk is that the dynamics of factionalism present in a caucus built around individuals/personalities will eventually become reasserted – meaning that any momentum gained by basing policy on core principles/values will stall and be lost.

    Like I commented two or three days ago – all too often the ‘good guy’ cuts the ‘bad guy’ some slack…just enough for the ‘bad guy’ to wrap around the ‘good guy’s’ neck at some later date. So, whereas some brutal clear-out would be insane and counter productive, I firmly believe that if values are going to be rediscovered by Labour and policies based on those values elevated, then it’s necessary that everyone in caucus has genuinely bought in to some degree or other.

    As for the others? Time to catch another bus, no?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      As for the others? Time to catch another bus, no?

      Basically. The Labour Party has been used as a vehicle by people with too little belief in Labour ideals, for far too long.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Well, that’s kind of my point. And I’m curious as to how that will be dealt with. Vacuous announcements of ‘loyalty’ to the leader only plays into the ‘caucus hanging from individual/personality’ bullshit all over again and sets the scene for factional power struggles in the future. As to how you judge the genuine level of ‘buy in’ of any given individual (assuming a return to core values and principles) is a tricky one, but one that has to be tackled imo.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        The concept of a Broad Church does not necessitate that Labour maintains a “neoliberal sector” or “lifetime careerist sector” amongst its caucus or members.

    • lprent 3.2

      Bill: drat, you just reminded me that I had something to reply back to you. I’ll look it up tonight… busy busy…

      The “take a hike” route invariably just goes down the religious schism route as the nutters keep finding smaller and smaller things to obsess about (and expel others for). Eventually it winds up as discussions about how you hold your pinkie while eating or the differences between sunni and shi-ite, or the strange doctrination differences between socialists in the late 19th century (or any other religious or political or social division you care to name).

      I’d agree that a general set of agreed principles is a good idea. But for any kind of broad movement these will be equally broad – because otherwise it is a narrow movement. The probability of getting two people to agree on a whole range of specifics is about as likely as it is in any marriage.

      So creative tension between people about the ways for proceeding from A to B are just inevitable. The trick is to figure out how to use those creatively without it spilling over into excessive inter-personal conflict. Most of the time this comes down to a set of accepted rules to confine the inevitable conflicts to being useful.

      So no. I think you’re wrong on this.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        So no. I think you’re wrong on this.

        Nah. No I’m not. :-) Look at it this way. Any political organisation requires a degree of genuine buy-in by participants. It’s not a case of how much or how pure – so in extra parliamentary activism, that could range from signing a petition or tooting a horn through to giving up free time to attend to organisational requirements etc.

        A crucial difference though – unlike the case of parliament and its salaries – there is no real incentive to be cunning or sly or dishonest about your involvement. The involvement of people is generally genuine – undercover cops or someone involved because they have the hots for somebody aside.

        Now I know that the more cult like left orgs get into this whole ‘holier than thou’ bullshit and ‘I’m toeing and understanding the party line better than you’, nonsense. I think that’s what you have in mind in your comment above and, insofar as that’s the case, I agree with you on where that winds up.

        But since I’m more interested in what you term ‘broad churches’ and getting as much involvement and participation from as many people as possible, the problem for me is protecting the integrity of that broad church by avoiding capture by personalities and cliques while also resisting dilution of core values via the adoption of lowest common denominators in the name of ‘unity’.

        So, where in extra parliamentary politics you might ease out the person who’s only there because they want into the pants of who-ever, so it has to be with the Labour Party for those in caucus who aren’t there for any of the right reasons.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          So, where in extra parliamentary politics you might ease out the person who’s only there because they want into the pants of who-ever, so it has to be with the Labour Party for those in caucus who aren’t there for any of the right reasons.

          That is a current question, hopefully with some kind of resolution coming up later this year.

          In the past with electorate seats you’d find that the selection became contested or the MP would lose their seat if they weren’t meeting the needs of their local membership and/or electorate. It didn’t happen often but it sure as hell was a bit of a permanent threat in electorates. MP’s in a large part became reflections of a goodly part of their electorates/membership or they didn’t survive. It didn’t mean that they reflected teh party as a whole. For instance think Damien O’Conner or George Hawkins or Helen Clark or Lianne Dalziel. Each are quite different to each other, have worked hard to retain majorities, and in large part they listen very carefully to their electorates.

          The problem in the NZLP and other parties under MMP is that the list selection rather than becoming place to bring new people on board, instead became a lifeboat for failed MPs. Personally I think that there is a place for electorate MP’s to be on the list is they found a home in a very marginal electorate. Someone who had a large majority shouldn’t be on the list at all. It gives them an incentive to work on retaining their majority. Mt Albert hasn’t been a natural labour electorate since I was a kid there, and especially since the widescale boundary changes from 1996 onwards. However both Warren Freer and Helen Clark managed to make it a safe Labour seat.

          The real question is how the MP’s and candidates get on the list. Right now there is little or no relationship between what goes on in selection meetings and what comes out at the end. It seems to most who get involved in it at regionals that they put in a list and then something completely unrelated to *any* regional list comes out. Hopefully that will get cleared up at conference. We see a series of golden parachutes instead for factional alliances..

  4. tc 4

    Yup it’s quite head shaking that Abbott will likely be PM in Oz, a barking loon let in by a self destructing labor party who simply can’t get to grips with the reality most of the hard work was done by Hawke/Keating/Button in the 80′s and 90′s.

    This laid the foundation of broader tax base (FBT, CGT) and compulsory super which saw Oz forge ahead, sure the minerals boom helped but there’s no taxes from it flowing into roads, schools etc as that’s PAYE/state taxes on property stamp duty etc doing that.

    The Lib’s added GST under johnny H.

    The minerals boom helped sections of Oz and it’s balance of payments but make no mistake the broader tax base and making people self fund their retirement are massive assists in balancing a gov’ts books.

    Kev will go close, that’s why he’s their as polling was predicting a slaughter under Gillard.

    • lprent 4.1

      Oh I agree that it will be close. However I think that much of the reason that Gillard was in trouble was because the Rudd effect was still stirring on a back boiler over the whole current term

      • Murray Olsen 4.1.1

        Rudd and Abbott have one thing in common – they will both do anything to be PM. Due to the way they read the Australian electorate, this includes a lot of obscenely bad rubbish such as refugee policy and intervention in the Northern Territory. The difference is that this obscenely bad rubbish is at the core of LNP beliefs, whereas Rudd can only adopt it by weakening the values of Labor. Australia really needs to rebuild the ALP, just as Kiwis need to rebuild Labour. I think Cunliffe is the right person to do it in Aotearoa, but I have no idea who can lead and inspire a rebuild of the ALP. Maybe Penny Wong, but she doesn’t seem to have the number of personality defects required when you look at Rudd, Gillard, Latham, Beazley…….

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.2

      I know some good people in the ALP, reasonably high up the food chain. At a recent function – yes, it was a barbecue – one of the attendees, a sitting MP, confided to me that many in the party regard a narrow defeat as the best possible outcome. It sounds like a big chunk of the ALP would rather lose than have Rudd as Prime Minister. Their own Leader.

  5. Greywarbler 5

    Cripes that graph looks like my 3 year grandchild’s art work! Full marks for colour and modern, edgy design.

    the stifling wasteland of an increasingly caucus centric party.
    …an increasingly party-centric party. And outside Party Centre the hoi polloi mill disconsolately noses pressed to the glass watching the streamers fly and a brief blooming of political vitality then a gradual reversion through the seasons back to wasteland.

    We must make the desert bloom and stay blooming well on the job.

  6. JonL 6

    “Kev will go close, that’s why he’s their as polling was predicting a slaughter under Gillard.”

    Trouble is, he’s acting like a cornered chook looking for the escape hole in the cage from an axe wielding Coalition party, flinging harebrained policies around like chaff! Mind you, Abbotts “we’ll solve the people smuggling problem by buying all the boats” must take the cake for sheer loonyness!

    The Libs are trying to place themselves as “fiscally responsible”, but, if the State governments are anything to go by, nothing could be further from the truth! And Abbot’s fronting grandiose schemes involving tens of Billions of dollars, whilst saying he’ll lower taxes, personal and company!!!! So, rightly so, everyone is saying “where will the money come from” and we all know where – the standard slash and burn tactics the right usually employ on the average citizenry whilst enriching the already rich “to stimulate the job market”. Bollocks.
    People here are voting against Labour (thanks Rupert Murdoch) , no-one likes the Greens (thanks Rupert Murdoch) and are very uneasy about the Lib/Nats but feel they don’t really have a choice (thanks again Rupert Murdoch)

  7. Sable 7

    Abbotts a baboon. It would be very bad for Australia if that creep wins. He’s every bit as bad as Keys.

  8. Mjoy 8

    I have just finished reading Kerry-Anne Walsh’s book, “The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the Media and Team Rudd Brought down the Prime Minister”. Worth reading, because of what it reveals about the unethical behaviour of the Aussie MSM. Worth remembering that those same Aussie media companies dominate the NZ News market. Rudd and Abbott are both weasels and Murdoch is very dangerous.

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    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin
    There are certain stories that get under your skin, stories that no matter how many times you hear them somehow strike you in a way that you never forget, stories that become a very part of you. The story of...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-04
  • Anit-fluoridation advertising deceptive
     Looks like the scientific fight-back against the misinformation coming from anti-fluoridation groups is having some success. This press release from the on-line Making Sense of Fluoride group. Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected by The Advertising Complaints Authority Over the past week,...
    Open Parachute | 23-04
  • The Art of Letting Go
    via Porcupine Farm   While the big news with regard to the rebuild has been the scaling back of the Arts Precinct, this is just one part of a wider narrative that sees the grand plan unravelling. Since I wrote...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 23-04
  • Joyce tells Otago to ship in more students
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 11 Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is using threatened changes to university councils to bully the University of Otago to take more international students, says TEU national secretary Sharn...
    TEU | 23-04
  • New money for Māori innovation won’t cover cuts to Māori research
    Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence is welcoming the  government’s decision to invest up to $2.5 million a year over the next two years in Māori-led science and...
    TEU | 23-04
  • UCOL staff given holiday but not pay rise
    UCOL staff got two extra days’ holiday they did not bargain for this week between Easter and Anzac Day, but what they really want is a pay rise. The polytechnic’s chief executive Paul McIlroy said...
    TEU | 23-04
  • Workers Memorial Day 2014
    Please be advised that there are three events planned to commemorate Workers Memorial Day (28 April) in Wellington. The media are invited to attend all three events.What When Photo:  ...
    CTU | 23-04
  • Shane Jones speaks out
    On 3news last night, Shane Jones gave a staged interview where he got some things off his chest. Not exactly a graceful exit, but there you go. Two of the things he said were especially interesting to me. Shane said:...
    Polity | 23-04
  • No Economic Rationale for $760m Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz In this post we look at the economic...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Night of Boris Johnson
    The Great White Shark is circling closer and closer ...Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign.Friends of the London Mayor say he...
    Left hand palm | 23-04
  • The Greens’ "internet bill of rights"
    Today the Green party released their draft Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The bill is a response to government interference in cyberspace via the GCSB Act, TICS, and the Skynet law, and is intended to limit government control. Interestingly, they're...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Government has been humiliated with the Chinese dictating the terms of our infant formula production, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.   “The Government...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04