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Living together

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, February 3rd, 2013 - 128 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour - Tags:

There’s a thought in some parts of Labour – in fact, only the Leader’s Corridor, far as I can tell – that they need to ‘put the Greens in their place’, then they will get back the votes that the Greens have taken from them, and that will lead to victory. It’s an Underpants Gnome strategy, missing the crucial link of how doing what they want to do emotionally results in the supposed objective. Better to build together.

Look at the Manufacturing Inquiry. A perfect example of competitive cooperation. Labour joined the Greens after Russel Norman’s call for a select committee inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing was blocked by National. Since then, they’ve been cooperating in the inquiry while both having their own interest in bringing more public attention to the issue through news stories and research, and both trying to bill themselves as being part of the solution, while National isn’t.

In contrast, look at the housing policy. KiwiBuild is very much Shearer’s baby. It is fundamentally flawed – the people its intended for can’t afford it – but it has proven very popular (the last week’s dumbness over what price they can build at, notwithstanding). Labour feels that the Greens have encroached on their space with their Home for Life package, which includes Progressive Ownership – a policy that makes KiwiBuild affordable for young families.

Now, there’s two ways to deal with this.

The Greens’ approach resembles their approach to the Manufacturing Inquiry – offer an opportunity for competitive cooperation in which both parties offer different but complementary solutions to a problem and at the same time frame National as having no answers to the crisis.

The other approach is to seek to undermine the other party’s policy, which has blowback because your own similar policy gets discredited too. That’s what Labour’s Fran Mold seems to have advised Shearer to do on housing in the mistaken belief that discrediting the Greens’ policy would let Labour ‘own the space’.

From the start, Shearer questioned the affordability of the Greens’ plan, before he could have even read the papers – that only echoed Key’s obvious line and started questions about Shearer’s own policy’s affordability. When the Greens showed that $300,000 homes are possible in Auckland, and they exist in Key’s electorate, Shearer started talking about $550,000 4 bedroom homes and Mold called the $300,000 house ‘an embarrassment to KiwiBuild’. It looks like Armstrong’s piece yesterday was fed by Mold too (you know, if she spent half the effort attacking National as she does on attacking Cunliffe and the Greens, she might be worth half her $200K+ pay packet).

Now, it won’t come as any surprise to you which I think is the better option for the Left. The Greens are here to stay as a significant party with around 15% of the vote. Those votes are people that Labour would find very hard to win back. They don’t believe in Labour. Even if Labour somehow managed to hurt the Greens, it would just increase the non-vote among Left Kiwis. Despite impressions over the past four years, I’m pretty sure that’s not Labour’s purpose for being.

Labour and the Greens are not very far apart in either their analysis of the major problems facing the country/National’s weaknesses, or in the solutions – because both have looked at what has worked overseas, and in the past here. The differences are in degree, not type, in general. So, the opportunity arises to be the party that tells the story the best – who holds National to account the best and who best shows themselves ready to be part of an alternative government.

There are some areas where the party’s different brands create an opportunity to target different sets of voters.

The Greens own the environment space and, despite mad talk that Shearer is going to try to take if off them, they will always own it because its core to their brand and they can always move ahead of anything Labour would do in terms of policy.

Labour has a far larger, but shrinking, base in the working class than the predominantly middle class Greens – and it’s also where they’ve been losing votes to non-vote. It would make sense for the Greens to lead the opposition on the environment (as they already do) and for Labour to lead on work rights and wages (as they used to – when those working class people bothered to vote).

No-one’s saying that every policy from each party has to be greeted by the other with unalloyed glee but they should generally be supportive. They should share information. They shouldn’t highlight weaknesses in each other’s policies. They should keep the guns trained on the common foe.

It’s pretty obvious stuff, really. The Left’s not going to win if the Labour is spending its time attacking its primary potential coalition partner because the old guard is angry at the Greens for ‘stealing their votes’. They need to worry about how to grow the Left vote, long before worrying about how its divided between the two of them.

128 comments on “Living together”

  1. karol 1

    It’s not that The Greens have stolen some of Labour’s vote, but that the parliamentary wing of Labour has failed many of their past voters.

    Shane Jones attacks on the Greens is another sad sign of Labour having lost the way. And if Jones is returned to the front bench this week…….?! Another reason not to support Team Shearer.

    • Rosie 1.1

      + 1 Karol.

      This former Labour voter won’t be party voting Labour again. Its party vote Green for me from now on.
      I will however be voting Labour – Charles Chauvel, in my electorate as we need to get rid of Peter Dunne for the sake of the country. It’s possible that it could be done, going on past results.

      • It’s very possible, actually. If Chauvel could mobilise enough of the non-voters and Green voters in his electorate, he could easily edge out Dunne, especially as Dunne is increasingly unpopular in Ohariu.

    • emergency mike 1.2

      +1

      The Green’s didn’t ‘steal’ Labour’s votes, Labour lost them. Like if your girlfriend leaves you for another guy, and you say “That guy stole my girl!”, no, he offered her something she wanted that you were not providing.

      Jebus isn’t it obvious that if Labour presented themselves as being united with the Greens, it would show that this left coalition is a real alternative to NAct? Wouldn’t show Labour’s maturity, i.e. that they want to effect change rather than ‘take power’?

      Thus wouldn’t they be appealing to the 800,000 probably intelligent and left leaning voters who didn’t bother voting last time? Isn’t that where they have the most potential to gain votes AND where they should be looking to gain votes so that the coalition doesn’t need Winston “I hate National; I’m now in a coalition with National” Peters?

      Nah, just carry on playing into National’s hand with the silly games.

  2. I’d like to see a big cup of tea event take place between all opposition party leaders, where they announce should they get the numbers at the next election that they will form a unity government to see NZ through the mess of the national years and prepare the country for the next global meltdown in what ever form it takes, be it financial, oil, environmental or war.
    This should be reflected in the make up of the shadow cabinet with portfolios given to the Greens and others, and also show the co-operation isn’t something to be feared and take the nats scaremongering away from them a year out.
    Less ammunition, less chance of a successful drive by.

    Won’t happen, but then politicians always let politics fuck themselves up.

    • karol 2.1

      Pre-announcing a coalition deal means the smaller party is totally under the control of the larger party. The smaller party needs to hold on to some negotiating chips (for policy preferences) until after the election and the amount of public support for each party is known.

      • The Al1en 2.1.1

        I think it depends on how grown up we see politics in an mmp world.
        I’m sure there have been private discussions about a post election win, and people know they will have to compromise depending on share of the vote.

        I disagree that a pre announced unity government in waiting is a bad thing, and certainly doesn’t put smaller parties or their policies under a bigger parties control, it just shows they will be, results permitting, capable of needing to do what need’s to be done for kiwis in these interesting times.

        I think it’s clear to most that Labour will have to deal with other parties to win in 2014.
        Give the people the chance to see a government of many colours working together before the poll, where each is still quite free to push their own agendas, and you have a government in waiting signalling it’s intention.

        Shearer should show some Prime ministerial leadership and instead of waiting for SJ to be cleared, get a Green or two on the front benches and start acting like a PM in waiting.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        Pre-announcing a coalition deal means the smaller party is totally under the control of the larger party.

        That’s why you don’t pre-announce the coalition deal – you announce a campaigning deal. In the last couple of months before the election but after you’ve worked together and co-ordinated attacks for a year, you then race to see who can take Berlin first.

        • The Al1en 2.1.2.1

          “In the last couple of months before the election but after you’ve worked together and co-ordinated attacks for a year, you then race to see who can take Berlin first.”

          Agree with the latter, but respectfully suggest announcing a working way before, especially seeing everyone knows it’s the only way it’ll happen anyway, would show credibility, leadership and positive direction to sway voters, and the country as a whole.
          Pro act, not react.

  3. Foreign Waka 3

    Time to have a new labour party that can team up with the greens. The greens have not taken away from labour but have shored up the undecided, disinterested, finding a valid alternative section.

  4. Cayte Shepherd 4

    Competitive cooperation. What?

    Competition is bound up in cooperation. Competition is cooperation. How on earth do you have a sports tournament, which is apparently the ultimate in competition, without cooperation? It just would not happen! Competition is cooperation. Members of the team cooperate with each other through positions of specificity, that is how the play flows. Each team agrees to the rules, thereby they agree to cooperate with each other and the ref. This enables the game to happen. All teams agree to cooperate with the call and decisions of the impartial third party, the ref.

    Summing up. You cannot have competition without cooperation. They are opposite sides of the same coin.

    Labour and The Greens are thus cooperating as the leaders in the only alternative government. What other options are there as NACT et al must go?

    • IrishBill 4.1

      I’ve always enjoyed a good sports metaphor but I’m struggling to understand the point you’re making with this one. If it’s no trouble, can you please clarify what you mean?

      • Cayte Shepherd 4.1.1

        What I mean has already been stated and no sports metaphor is required.
        That is you cannot have competition without cooperation. If there is no agreement to cooperate you then have contest and rivalry with no impartial third party to adjudicate. As for true competition the third party is essential.
        Perhaps read some sports psychology for futher illustration. Ken Hodge is a good author

        • IrishBill 4.1.1.1

          No, I understood the vehicle of the metaphor. It’s the ground and the tenor I’m struggling with. With relation to the Greens and Labour, who or what is the ref? Who is cooperating and how? And what is the competition they are cooperating on?

          I’m sorry if I’m being obtuse – I quite like your concept but I can’t square it away.

        • just saying 4.1.1.2

          inter or intra-group cooperation?

          Contest and rivalry are synonyms for competition.

          The reason this muddling of competition and cooperation infuriates me because I smells to me of third-way neoliberalism which blurs the distinction between competing interests in favour of the interests of the rich and powerful, wherever interests conflict.

          a la trickle-down, PPPs private contractors providing public services……etc….

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

            We can do better, and we must do better. A gumdrop for anyone who places the quote without Google ;)

    • just saying 4.2

      Wow.

      I mean…..wow.

      So 1984 wasn’t a novel after all. Who knew?

      You do see how your analogy falls down? Team members cooperate with each other to beat the opposition. Competition is by its very nature win/lose.

      If it’s not win/lose between individiuals or groups, it’s not competition, it’s something else.

      There are times when sometime competitors cooperate with each other to beat another. That’s still competition, just not with each other.

      Winning necessitates losers. The term win/win is simply a bastardisation of the word ‘win’

    • MrSmith 4.3

      “You cannot have competition without cooperation.”

      We only cooperate because we see more benefit in doing so than not, we cooperate to that point normally, after that we will scratch each others eyes out to win if allowed too.

      eg: We don’t give the other team our tactics before the game.

    • Bill 4.4

      sheesh, okay. Competition means winners and losers. Dominance and subservience can be the reality beneath a mere label of cooperation and can result in compromises and horse trading just like competition.

      Substantive cooperation involves taking position 1 and position 2 (+ positions 3 and 4 if applicable) and finding the highest common denominator from all positions – or synthesising a novel proposition that pays attention to all of the impartially percieved pro’s and con’s of all the positions.

      In other words, substantive cooperation often leads to the discovery of results or solutions that are novel and greater than the sum part of all the stated positions.

      Could the Greens play a positive role in such a scenario? I suspect they could. Could Labour? meh. I’m immediately drawn to the unlikely image a Tyranosaurus Rex picking up knitting needles in its wee truncated forearms to fashion a jumper to stave off the cold; just not a happening thing.

      But yeah, political bodies can evolve a damned sight faster than physical ones – so who knows what the future may hold. The question is whether decent people can ‘make it’ in today’s political environment.

    • geoff 4.5

      Competition is cooperation

      Absolutely! Love is war! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is Strength! Absolutely Cayte, top-hole stuff that. You’re certainly on ..er..onto something there.

  5. Jenny 5

    Look at the Manufacturing Inquiry. A perfect example of competitive cooperation. Labour joined the Greens after Russel Norman’s call for a select committee inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing was blocked by National. Since then, they’ve been cooperating in the inquiry while both having their own interest in bringing more public attention to the issue through news stories and research, and both trying to bill themselves as being part of the solution, while National isn’t.

    Eddie

    ….Climate change has the ability to undo your historic victories and crush your present struggles. So it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

    Naomi Kleine “I’d Rather Fight Like Hell”

    I would like to support EDDIE’s call to reject the narrow sectarian call from the “Leader’s Corridor” to ‘put the Greens in their place’.

    To all the four opposition political parties; Labour, New Zealand First, Greens, Mana I would like to amplify Naomi Kleines call, that it’s time to forget your sectarian differences and come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you all really care most about.

    For Naomi Kleine this means left parties working together around, and engaging in the climate fight. As Kleine says, …really engaging as if your life and all your other life’s work depend on it.

    To this end, I think that the great work that these four parties have shown over the crisis in manufacturing, that EDDIE speaks of, should not be a one off. But should be continued and extended.

    To this end, I would like to ask all four parties to consider holding another parliamentary enquiry some time in the coming two years, this time, into the crisis in the climate.

    Even more than the crisis in manufacturing which is being ignored by John Key and his government, the Key government is even weaker and more vulnerable in their record of complete lack of action and backtracking over the crisis in the climate.

    Just as they did for the ‘Parliamentary Inquiry into the Crisis in Manufacturing’, National will again refuse to attend. Which will further weaken and expose them in the eyes of the voting public. Such an enquiry as well as exposing this government’s lack of concern on the climate, would also be complementary to, and extend the work of, the current all party Parliamentary Enquiry into Manufacturing, by helping identify where many of the future jobs in manufacturing will come from in this, the 21st Century.

    • handle 5.1

      Jenny if you insist on banging on about climate change in every single post, at least spell your heroine’s name right.

      • Jenny 5.1.1

        Thank you for pointing that out to me handle. I have no idea where I got the idea to throw in an extra e. Believe me no one is more ashamed and appalled at my bad grammar and spelling than me. Sorry for being human. And thank God for spell check, or it would be much worse. I can tell you.

        PS Klein should be everyone’s hero.

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    “Now, it won’t come as any surprise to you which I think is the better option for the Left. The Greens are here to stay as a significant party with around 15% of the vote”

    15%!

    The Greens hit that mark a couple of times in the Morgan poll a year or so ago. But, they certainly have no chance of acheiving it in the real poll because of their name and associated branding. The last election result was a worldwide high tide mark for any Green party and I imagine their election KPI will be to repeat the 11%.

    Frankly, I doubt Labour are the least bit bothered where the Greens end up as long as they stay a viable coalition partner and, importantly, show some maturity around close electorate races. We should never forget that it was Green voters who returned Paula Bennett to Parliament.

    Anyhoo, interesting post, Eddie. As always, I favour electoral blocs. If the Greens and the LP went into the election clearly indicating that a party vote for either was a vote for a progressive government, then the risk of Winston Peters being part of the mix diminishes.

    • IrishBill 6.1

      Agreed TRP. I reckon there’s also space for them to be distinct enough to take the vote. I’ve not seen any analysis but I’ve a feeling Labour has a better chance of capturing the enrolled non-vote than the Greens (because of Labour’s diversity and on-the-ground organisation), and I think the Greens have a better chance of taking some of the urban liberal vote that Key brought to National but that is increasingly disillusioned by them now.

      • QoT 6.1.1

        On the other hand, a lot of non-voters (my understanding is) are young people, and while the Greens don’t have the on-the-ground infrastructure they sure cane all other parties on online engagement. I didn’t see any Labour candidates running AMA threads on Reddit, for example.

        • Colonial Weka 6.1.1.1

          Interesting read.

          (wish the GP would stop thinking that everyone reads the news though. The idea that they can stand someone in an electorate and ask them, via publicity, to only give the Greens the party vote is pretty stupid. Lots of people are going to turn up to the polling booth and tick both boxes because they want to support the GP and they don’t follow election campaigns).

          • QoT 6.1.1.1.1

            I guess the net result is the same for the Greens, though. And isn’t some election funding based on number of electorate candidates? Some of our systems need to catch up to the MMP world.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      The Greens hit that mark a couple of times in the Morgan poll a year or so ago. But, they certainly have no chance of acheiving it in the real poll because of their name and associated branding.

      Listen to what TRP has to say: in the corridors of Labour it’s received wisdom that the Greens will top out at an absolute maximum ceiling of around 13% and even that would be pushing it for them. 15% is seen as pretty much an impossibility by labour strategists.

      • Te Reo Putake 6.2.1

        Thanks for bigging me up, CV! If I really was a Labour Party strategist, Phil Goff would be Prime Minister now and John Key would be self medicating on Waikiki beach.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Then I wish you’d had the job when they needed you mate, we’d be all way better off.

    • Bill 6.3

      Since the last election, a few things have transpired. These are ‘off the cuff’ remarks and sure, the Greens may be a 10 -15% junior partner.

      But…

      Who is taking the lead on poverty issues? My perception is that where might have been Labour, it’s now the Greens.

      Who is releasing ‘hands on’ econoomic policy? Labour whitter on about it while the Greens do it.

      Who embraced the anti-asset sales and really ran with it? The Greens – while Labour wound up mumble-fucking some god-awful compromised position through Hipkins.

      And what about Winston and all those left votes he got so that somebody might give Key some jip? He won’t get those votes again. Will they go to Labour next election or the Greens? Well, since Labour have positioned themselves as a mumbling National lite….I’m picking Green.

      And if the Greens can make inroads on that section of the electorate abandoned by Labour…

      Regardless of where the Greens wind up on election day, it’s high time Labour stopped with the unimpressive cock waving.

      • Tiresias 6.3.1

        +1 Bill

        Labour are leaving it to the Greens to do the heavy lifting, and in order to fill the vacuum left on the left as it were the Greens are having to get into areas outside their core and which they have neither the depth nor resources to plumb – and that way lies inevitable traps and stumbles for them.

        The Manufacturing Enquiry is a brilliant example of what I mean. For the Greens to come up with a complete economic package to solve the problem is just not feasible, and even if they did the fact that it came from the Greens would in the minds of many folk make it whatever it said the equivalent of a Taleban policy on the place of women in society. Cleverly they brought the others on board both to bring in the depth and experience and to leven the perception that any manufacturing policy from the Greens would be bound to be all about bringing back hand-knitting scarves.

        But the Greens can’t do it for every policy area. Labour is going have to start pulling its weight in the areas the GP can’t or needn’t get dragged into – education, police, prisons, Foreign Affairs. Yes the GP has views and ideas in these areas and needs to have an influence, but not to have to come up with full policies from scratch. With a bigger more general and popular Left-wing party to fight the major battles they shouldn’t have to.

        But I feel the GP, like me, feels that leaving everything until two-weeks out from an election and hoping it’ll be all right on the night isn’t good enough.

    • Fortran 6.4

      MSM still see Winston as the Kingmaker as before.

      • CV - Real Labour 6.4.1

        If he gets 6%-7% he may well be. And he’s going to love working with Hone and the Greens so much he might just head back to National.

    • fatty 6.5

      But, they certainly have no chance of acheiving it in the real poll because of their name and associated branding.

      What do you mean by their name and branding? I would be surprised if the Greens got less than 15% in 2014. I think the name Green is now a strength, rather than a weakness. As for their branding, this is where they trump all other parties except National. The Greens have slick marketing which is extending their popularity into previously excluded generations, classes and geographical areas.
      Green capitalism is the new neoliberalism, which is why the Greens are not shrinking anytime soon. The Greens also have the ability to load themselves up with academics and not look like a bunch of twats. Look at what Labour did to their academic poster boy.

      We should never forget that it was Green voters who returned Paula Bennett to Parliament.

      How do you figure that? Its more logical to blame Bradford here, Bradford’s 300 votes would have got Labour over the line, but that view ignores the real reason why Paula got back in – Labour from 2008-2011.
      Bradford had to jump in because Labour’s incompetence and inability to even debate Paula, let alone challenge her, had given Paula no opposition. The people that voted Mana/Green in Waitakere could have voted for Sepuloni, but Labour didn’t deserve their vote.
      Labour and Ardern are the reasons why Paula won in 2011, and probably why Paula will win again in 2014. Expecting Waitakere voters to vote for incompetence is hopeful and harsh.

      • handle 6.5.1

        “We should never forget that it was Green voters who returned Paula Bennett to Parliament.”

        Wasn’t she on National’s party list anyway? MMP is not that hard to understand.

    • JK 6.6

      TRP – was it the Greens vote in Waitakere, or was it Sue Bradford standing for MANA which spoiled
      that electorate vote for Labour ? I thought it was the latter.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 6.6.1

        “was it the Greens vote in Waitakere, or was it Sue Bradford standing for MANA which spoiled that electorate vote for Labour ? I thought it was the latter.”

        Funny I thought it was Labour’s inability to get enough votes to win the seat.

        But keep blaming everyone else.

      • Anne 6.6.2

        I believe you’re right JK. It was the latter.

        The Waitakere electorate has a higher than average no. of Maori constituents. Many of them will be on the Maori roll but I think you will find that those on the General roll voted for Sue Bradford. I recall her asking them to give their electorate vote to Carmel, but it was inevitable they didn’t pick it up and Bradford must have known that would happen. It’s unfair to blame the Greens for that one.

        Btw DoS: the electorate has undergone some dramatic boundary changes and now includes quite a large swathe of western Tory land. It stopped being a safe Labour seat two elections ago. Despite the obstacles Carmel did well to come within 9 votes of winning.

        • Colonial Weka 6.6.2.1

          FFS, both Mana and the GP stood candidates in the electorate. The GP candidate got 1,855 votes, and the Mana candidate got 322. The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party got 331. Looks to me like the stupidity can be shared around.

          • Anne 6.6.2.1.1

            Control that fuse of yours CW. No-one is disputing both parties stood candidates.

            If (as someone has already pointed out) the 322 votes for the Mana candidate had gone to Carmel – as Bradford requested during the campaign – then Carmel Sepuloni would be the electorate MP.

            Bradford had to jump in because Labour’s incompetence and inability to even debate Paula, let alone challenge her, had given Paula no opposition. The people that voted Mana/Green in Waitakere could have voted for Sepuloni, but Labour didn’t deserve their vote.

            Complete bullshit Fatty. Carmel was an excellent candidate and she gave Bennett a run for her money, but she was up against it from the start because of the boundary changes. And for your info. that is not meant as an excuse. Many a good candidate or MP has lost their seat due to adverse boundary changes – it’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

            The fact is she very nearly won against the odds.

            • fatty 6.6.2.1.1.1

              Complete bullshit Fatty. Carmel was an excellent candidate and she gave Bennett a run for her money

              Read my point again in its entirety, It was not aimed at Carmel’s competence/incompetence. Firstly I said Bradford was more to ‘blame’ than the Green MP. Then I said Bradford had to jump in cause Labour couldn’t even debate or challenge Paula – that is a shot aimed at Ardern (the Labour MP who was supposed to be an opposition to Bennett over the past 4 years).
              My comment was not aimed at Carmel. How do you think it was…read the last line again:
              Labour and Ardern are the reasons why Paula won in 2011, and probably why Paula will win again in 2014. Expecting Waitakere voters to vote for incompetence is hopeful and harsh.

    • Shane Gallagher 6.7

      Here are some numbers:

      PartyVote:

      The Greens nearly doubled the percentage of party votes they got from 2008 to 2011 – 6.47% – 10.6%

      How did Labour do? It lost 2% off its party vote from 39.7% in 2008 to 37.2% in 2011

      In candidate polling

      Green’s Stewart 5.49% in 2008 and Tollestrup 6.16% in 2011

      Labour’s Pillay got 42.83% in 2008 and Sepuloni 44.71% in 2011

      So where did the Green’s 4% go to if not voting for the Green candidate? Well I guess most of it went to the Labour candidate who was losing the party vote whilst the Greens were doubling theirs. So the Green voters probably nearly got Sepuloni over the line.

      • fatty 6.7.1

        nice breakdown Shane Gallagher

        I think its quite clear to everyone that Paula Bennett got back in because Labour decided to waste everyone’s time by putting up a candidate in Waitakere.

  7. “Frankly, I doubt Labour are the least bit bothered where the Greens end up as long as they stay a viable coalition partner”

    That’s not very ‘inclusive’.
    I thought DS said he’d do things differently.

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      I’m not DS.

      • The Al1en 7.1.1

        Obviously, I can understand you and could probably take an accurate guess at what you really stand for. ;)

        It should be us against them. Not me, him, him and her against them.
        United we stand, divided they fall.
        Always works.

    • Fortran 7.2

      I doubt that the Greens see it that way – they are not born to subserviency, now that after over 20 years of MMP, which they effectively created, they see power.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Exactly. If the Greens deliver 18-20 seats to a Coalition Government, they are going to want a lot of portfolios and a lot of space in Cabinet.

        Both Metiria and Norman are going to want top Ministerial Positions. And there’s not going to be much to go around.

        • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1.1

          Nah, plenty of associate, outside cabinet roles to placate green egos. The interesting question will be how deep Norman sticks the knife in Turei’s back in order to get himself a plum spot.

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1

            You think the Greens will really settle for only two or three Cabinet spots?

            They’d be giving their support away pretty cheaply for that little.

            • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, it depends on how many seats the GP get and what portfolios they really, really want. If they want the ones that impact on climate change, then they may have to compromise on the total number of cabinet spots. Plus, they have no previous ministerial experience to draw on, as Peters and Dunne will point out, if they are in the mix.

              So my pick would be a modest number of cabinet places, backed up with a slightly larger number of associate spots. 2017 they should be in great shape to really push for the economiy related roles.

              • Colonial Viper

                Peters and Dunne will want their own Cabinet spots of course, but I can’t see the Greens giving way on their own Cabinet demands to please Peters and Dunne.

              • bad12

                Yeah i would guess 4 full Cabinet positions along with a number of associate spots, in that i would expect the Green’s to get Deputy Prime Minister, Social Development, Conservation, Finance as an equal with Labour’s Minister, Housing as an equal with Labour’s Minister, and, Economic Development as an equal with Labour’s Minister,

                Thus there need not be a comprehensive coalition agreement with as many pages as a dictionary, Legislation and Government by negotiation and agreement would seem the best way forward for the country…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Greens will try for Environment as well; Labour won’t give Finance to the Greens.

                  • bad12

                    Lol missed that one, my bad, without a near equal say in Finance and Economic development the Green Party might not want to play at all,

                    Remember which Party has the most to lose in a coalition arrangement and it aint Labour,

                    Myself and probably quite a number of Green Party members would be just as happy with the Green Party sitting outside of Government negotiating Legislation bill by bill clause by clause while setting any agreement against a specific piece of Legislation proposed by the Green Party,

                    I have the sneaking suspicion that the present Labour leadership is ‘hands on the economy’ as lip service only and if that’s what transpires Green Party involvement in Government as Ministers will probably harm the Green Party electorally more then it will the Labour Party…

                    • fatty

                      Remember which Party has the most to lose in a coalition arrangement and it aint Labour,

                      So true.
                      Ask the lib dems how their coalition has worked for them.
                      A poorly planned coalition could wreck the Greens for years

                    • Jenny

                      This is a certainty. Especially if the Greens sign up to becoming part of a government that persists with Denniston, or fracking, or deep sea oil prospecting, or more motorway madness.

                  • Don’t forget Transport and Energy, in many ways they’re actually just as relevant to Environment as Environment itself is. If the Greens don’t get Finance, (which honestly I don’t think is a good idea for the Greens to have, not because Norman doesn’t compare well with the potential Labour finance picks, but rather because I think the Greens would have more and better impact in other cabinet positions which they could push for leverage in getting by requesting Finance then gracefully conceding it in favour of other important cabinet positions) they’ll be pushing hard for at least one of those two.

          • bad12 7.2.1.1.2

            Nice attempt at creating division in the ranks of the Green Party,(only in your mind TRP),

            You see the Green Party is a fully democratic party, should Russell Norman as you say stick the knife into the back of Metiria Turei He would have to do so with the full backing of the Green Party membership,

            If He did not have that full backing of the Green Party membership guess which position Russell would occupy on the all important Green Party list Russell would occupy after the next membership list ranking,

            Here’s a hint, think in the 20′s….

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.2.1

              So he’d be a backbencher the next time around ;)

            • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1.1.2.2

              Bad, I think I’m allowed a little leeway given the regular posts here claiming division in the labour caucus where clearly none currently exists ;)

              • bad12

                Are you suggesting that such ‘stirring’ is by Green Party members, as far as i can see those who say which Party they are members of usually say they are Labour Party members,

                Lolz you are allowed as much leeway here as you wish to give yourself, it would be nice tho that when called on a point of bullshit you admit it to be such,(i know an almost impossible concept for anyone to come to terms with)…

              • QoT

                Calling this site’s authors liars is usually not the smartest move.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Quite right’ QoT. Good thing I put the smiley thing there to indicate it wasn’t a serious comment or somebody more pompous than yourself might have acted precipitously.

                  • QoT

                    If you think that one smiley clearly conveys which bit of your comment was being cheeky/facetious/whatever … well, yes, I guess that would fit in with your usual approach to communicating clearly. bad12 clearly didn’t get the “joke” either.

    • handle 7.3

      “Frankly, I doubt Labour are the least bit bothered where the Greens end up as long as they stay a viable coalition partner”

      Wouldn’t it be the Greens thinking that, about Labour?

  8. shorts 8

    a lot of labour supporters, (myself and my peers for example), vote for the Labour Candidate and Party vote Green – there’s a reason we do this

    Labour won’t get our party vote until they stop with their petty bullshit… which this post highlights a part of… the party does stand to lose our candidate vote due to their petty bullshit

    • Ed 8.1

      I don’t see that this post says anything about LAbour other than a personal opinion. It starts by asserting (without any evidence being offered) that some “Leaders Corridor” wants to put the Greens in their place, and then goes on to demonstrate how Labour and the Greens have cooperated on an Inquiry . . .

      As far as Housing is concerned, I do believe that Labours policy would have benefited from some policy detail – and of being talked about as a more flexible and inclusive plan than it was initially interpreted as (I’m sure no-one really thought they were going to find vacant sections through inner city suburbs in Auckland to erect stand-alone houses for all of the target build). The Greens policy does seem to mesh well – my impression is that there has been good discussions to ensure that each party has had ‘good news’ to deliver, retaining their own identity, maximising news coverage, while supporting broadly common aims. Yes Shearer did lead the launching of the Housing policy, but I have seen no sign that it is not supported by other Labour MPs, or the party generally.

      Not everyone is as downbeat about the ability to lower building costs by bulk-building standard units – an article in yesterdays dompost “Ryman adds to its villages” (I couldn’t find it on line) said: “Chief Executive Simon Challies says affordable housing can be made available for New Zealand families and its developments are proving it. “… “The standard, low-maintenance two and three-bedroom townhouses are being sold for $350,000 to $400,000, with a discount for first buyers” It goes on to talk about people moving into these freeing up other houses in the area. Ryman do look for a profit on their developments – and those would include the buy-back provisions that net Ryman 20% or so, but what if the profit motive was reduced for a government development?

      Consistently showing National up as the cynical deceptive bastards they are will at times require some actions that appear petty (the last minute nomination for Speaker comes to mind), but perhaps some commentators are a little petty is perceived mionor differences between LAbour and Green (which we should celebrate – there are legitimate differences within a broad left agenda), rather than prioritising getting a Labour/Green coalition into power.

      • bad12 8.1.1

        Agree with you on this, you have to remember that there are 100′s of Hectares of land across Auckland that the Government has locked up in the housing estate,

        The tenants of the houses which sit upon this 100′s of Hectares of land are not unilaterally opposed to these areas being redeveloped, their recent loud objection (riot) in the West of Auckland to the National Government’s redevelopment was because that Government was removing 100′s of State houses from the area and only planning to replace a third of these giving to the private developers the remainder of the land freed up by erecting more compact housing on smaller sections,

        Should the tenants of State houses be properly consulted i guarantee that if the same number of new State houses be built in the redeveloped areas as previously existed alongside those of the KiwiBuild and the Green Party’s ‘rent to buy’ housing there would be very little objection…

      • Jenny 8.1.2

        Consistently showing National up as the cynical deceptive bastards they are will at times require some actions that appear petty (the last minute nomination for Speaker comes to mind), but perhaps some commentators are a little petty is perceived mionor differences between LAbour and Green (which we should celebrate – there are legitimate differences within a broad left agenda), rather than prioritising getting a Labour/Green coalition into power.

        Ed

        That’s just it Ed. Arguing that attacking the Nats will at some times require actions that appear petty, as justifying Labour Party attacks on the Greens, exposes you as a climate change ignorer and sectarian Shearer apologist. As you say some Labour Party commenters like yourself are quite happy to allow and even “celebrate” perceived minor differences between Labour and Green. Which you describe as, “legitimate differences within a broad left agenda“.

        The hidden message to the Greens, which they hear loud and clear, is don’t go too far. Or else!

        Because the Labour Party are welded to the fossil fuel economy. Any policies that threaten that. Are not seen as “minor”, or “legitimate” differences, so will not be tolerated.

        This goes a long way to explain why the Green Party will not promote any policies that directly take on climate change, or why the Green Party refuse to make climate change one of the Green Party’s priorities.

        • Ed 8.1.2.1

          I would prefer that parties did not play the petty games that National consistently play, I suspect that the Mallard nomination was not necessary, but some reaction to game playing may be required at times just to keep National from getting worse. That has nothing to do with climate change, and does not make me a Shearer apologist. It does not send any message to the Greens – or do you claim they are not part of the broad left? If we all cooperate and argue for what we believe in, resulting policy will be better informed, allow for compromise where that is possible, and prioritise issues for action in accordance with a broad consensus – that does not favour any part of what I hope becomes the next govenment.

          I don;t see any evidence that Labour are “welded to a fossil economy” – facing the reality as both the Green and Labour parties do, that change is necessary and difficult does not say we should give up – but there is a discussion needed about the rate of change and what comes first . . .

          I would be disappointed if you are correct that the Green Party have given up on climate change because of a perception that Labour would not tolerate a different view – that doesn’t seem to fit my perception of commitment by both Green / Labour (or if you prefer Labour/Green) to reverse some of the nastier actions of National regarding ‘climate change’ policies that were introduced under the previous government.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1

            but there is a discussion needed about the rate of change and what comes first . . .

            There’s really no discussion. The window of change and preparation is the next 20-25 years, with only the next 10 with any real freedom to move in.

          • Jenny 8.1.2.1.2

            I would be disappointed if you are correct that the Green Party have given up on climate change because of a perception that Labour would not tolerate a different view – that doesn’t seem to fit my perception of commitment by both Green / Labour (or if you prefer Labour/Green) to reverse some of the nastier actions of National regarding ‘climate change’ policies that were introduced under the previous government.

            Just check out the Green Party web site. Climate Change is not one of the Green Party “Priorities”. It is not even one of their “Other priorities”

            But it is one of their 59 “Other issues”.

            Does New Zealand’s premier environmental party give climate change such a low ranking to please the Labour Party?

            Or do they genuinely believe that climate change should not be a Green Party priority and is just another issue among many others?

            I am afraid that you will have to ask the Green Party yourself, as to their reasoning for this selling out of the planet and our children and grandchildren’s futures.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    It looks like Armstrong’s piece yesterday was fed by Mold too (you know, if she spent half the effort attacking National as she does on attacking Cunliffe and the Greens, she might be worth half her $200K+ pay packet).

    $200K+ remuneration? Surely you could find a Toby Ziegler or Sam Seabourne at that price.

    • IrishBill 9.1

      I’ve got to say, Eddie, that I’m not comfortable with this kind of comment about staffers in a post. Unlike MPs, who can speak publicly, they have no ready right of reply.

      • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1

        Plus one, Irish. It’s not needed .

        And I’m sure we all agree making DS look electable is the toughest job in NZ PR so whatever the salaty, she’s working hard for her coin.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          That’s not far off Cabinet Minister level pay you’re talking about there. Close to what Shearer gets paid himself as Leader.

        • Yawn 9.1.1.2

          generally, the idea with a job like this – where you serve entirely at the leader’s discretion and there’s no pay grade system, it’s just decided by the CoS in negotiation with you – is that you get paid lots for being GOOD at your job, not for merely occupying it.

    • McFlock 9.2

      They were fictional characters.

      Any NZ equivalent has fled overseas in the past ten years.

  10. Karen 10

    When the Labour Party housing policy was announced last year it seemed like at last we were seeing some decent policy that could be built on. Since then the Greens have supplied the bits missing from that policy, while the David Shearer has made such a mess of promoting what was supposed to be his defining policy that the MSM have been able to tear the whole thing apart. I don’t know who is to blame, all I know is that the Labour Party hasn’t got a chance in hell of winning the next election against one of the worst governments NZ has ever had. This long term Labour Party voter will be voting Green next time.

    • Socialist Paddy 10.1

      There seems to be a blockage in getting policy developed and released and the leadership seems totally unable to adjust or explain.

      The communication is shyte. There is no clarity of thought.

      Labour needs to get its stuff together or otherwise the Greens will take over as the major party of the left.

      • Naturesong 10.1.1

        Hell, I’d be happy if Labour could execute the most basic politicking;
        – making the National Government pay for their gross incompetence
        – make it clear to the public the end result of National Party policies, there is a wealth of current data showing downward trends to prove this point across range of sectors; education, manufacturing, housing, defense … the list goes on.
        – disarm the everpresent corrosive and divisive rhetoric that the National Party has been using for the last four years; telling the middle class that the working class (and unemployed) is taking their stuff.
        It seems the Greens, the Manufacturers and the Teachers Unions are having to do all the heavy lifting.
        If Labour actually wants to defeat National in the next election, they need to pull finger.

      • KhandallaViper 10.1.2

        Listening to National Radio in the morning is painful to a Labour supporter.
        Green spokespersons are quoted or interviewed far more often than Labour ones.
        When journos want and opposition comment they go to the Greens.
        When Young people look for a stimulating party they go to the Greens.

        Labour should be the party of challenge, change and energy.

        • David H 10.1.2.1

          But at the moment labour is the party of stogy, out of date, Nat lite, self interested, deaf fools. And until the dinosaurs are hunted down, and corralled, where they can do no more harm, then this will not change!

        • AmaKiwi 10.1.2.2

          @ Khandalla

          Too late, Khandalla. The Greens ARE the opposition. Listen to Green MP Julie Genter’s reply to Shearer’s $12 billion roading policy. She shredded him. Devastating factual speech. Superior delivery.

          At age 33 she put National AND Labour’s leaders to shame.

    • MrSmith 10.2

      Agreed Karen.

      Shearer and King hadn’t done there homework again, before they announced this policy they should have had all the sums, examples and facts ready for all the questions they were likely to be asked, but then shearer probably wouldn’t have been able to remember them when asked, as if you ask me he suffers from the same problem a lot of us suffer from stage fright, he may get over this, but can Labour risk it.

  11. Benjamin B. 11

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg_state_election,_2011

    In which the Greens get 24%, the Social Democrats 23%, and the Conservatives a historic low of 39%. The PM there is Green, partnering with the Social Democrats.

    I’m not saying it’s likely to happen here soon, but, knowing about it is politics 101, and, never say never :)

  12. RJLC 12

    Labour are a walking corpse.

    Strong party political loyalties are very difficult to lose, but once lost, very, very much harder to reclaim.

    Labour’s traditional base were betrayed by the 4th LGovt. – yet many of us remained loyal while we waited in vain for Clark to reverse the institutionalised damage of the 4thLG and Ruth Richardson’s later work.

    We knew Goff would never return to Labour’s core values.

    In final desperation we gave Shearer a year’s grace in which to display some sort of vision , he blew it.

    It’s an absolute insanity to think that attacking the Greens, for crime of occupying the ground that Labour itself should own, will win back Labour’s lost traditional vote.

    NZ Labour – Look to yourself ! get your own house in order.

    • David H 12.1

      Shades of the Green Mile. “Dead man walking, we got a Dead man walking here.” But it should be Dead party.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    The Greens are steadily winning the youth vote (Morgan poll).

    21% of Green MP’s are under the age of 34 (Hughes, Walker, Genter). Their leaders are 42 and 45.

    Unless Labour’s dinosaur brigade drowns in the tar pits, the trend is obvious. The Greens will steadily increase while Labour stumbles to extinction.

    And I haven’t begun to tell you the dozens of ways in which The Green Party is light years ahead of Labour in its culture, governance, p.r., and policies.

    • Andre 13.1

      Age group 15-29 ….936.000 potential green voters Age group 30-44…..875,000 potential green voters 85% NZ connected to internet………..

      • James Thrace 13.1.1

        Nowhere is this more evident than on Facebook

        National: 3200 “likes”
        Labour: 7333 “likes”
        Greens: 20175 “likes”

        Phenomenal. And you can be sure that greens will be using their page far more effectively than Labour.

        Of course there’s a curious distinction to be made between Keys hundreds of thousands of likes and Nationals. It’s definitely the John Key Party.

  14. handle 14

    If Shearer is being advised against using his coalition-building skills we hear about, he seriously needs better advisors. Now.

    • Colonial Weka 14.1

      You’d think he could figure this one out for himself, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

  15. Skinny 15

    What Labour need to do is recognize and acknowledge that dissatisfied National ( middle income swing) voters will cast protest votes to either the Greens or NZ First but probably not Labour. However many of the non voters from the last election should gravitate towards Labour ‘if incentive polices are put in place.’ With job creation & education, plus decent welfare polices as the carrot. I can see Labour owning this ground as they should, we are talking hundreds of thousands of votes. However, Shearer & his advisors are rather dogmatically, overly chasing the middle voters, which is a tactical error in my opinion. I will be watching closely any softening of a capital gains tax.          

  16. Cynder 16

    Just before the 1999 Election, the Alliance invited Helen Clark to its Conference and the two Leaders announced that both parties would work together to change the Government. There was a mood for change with the hikoi of hope and the early announcement of a unity Government captured this mood, winning the hearts and minds of New Zealanders.
    The Alliance subsequently blew it by rigidly adhering to Cabinet collective responsibility and failing to enact the “agree to disagree” provisions of the Coalition agreement.
    The Greens stayed out of the Coalition and in so doing were ineffective in seeing implementation of their policies.
    Labour and the Greens can learn from this. We can show voters that we can work together in Government to create a fairer, more equal society for all New Zealanders, while protecting our environment.
    Although I have some sympathy with the idea that each Party should play to our strengths, I don’t agree that Labour lacks a track record on environmental issues. Climate change has been of huge concern to labour people since “The Inconvenient Truth” was played at our national conference in Rotorua at least 7 years ago, and was a key theme of Michael Cullen’s speech that year.
    Labour subsequently signed up to international carbon emission reduction targets and introduced the ETS. Labour also has sound policies on water, conservation (including the campaign to save the Hector’s dolphins), public transport, banning mining on high value conservation land, environmentally sustainable cities, etc, etc.
    Similarly the Greens are proving to be strong advocates for workers’ issues, working with Labour on lifting wages of low paid workers, and the loss of manufacturing jobs.
    We have a lot in common and we need to spend between now and the 2014 Election spelling out to voters where we can work together, even if we have different ideas on how to implement these policies.

    • Anne 16.1

      Excellent Cynder. Good enough to be a post.

    • George D 16.2

      There wasn’t much room for the Greens in the 1999 Government. None of the Labour MPs, and few of the Alliance ones, were keen on having the Greens around the table. They needed Green support for C&S, but knew that the Greens weren’t in a strong position to negotiate – they could hardly support another term of Shipley. The same happened in 2002.

      As a Green member, I’ve almost never had problems with the Labour members I’ve met and know, but I certainly don’t count on anything from the MPs. If the Labour MPs decide that they don’t like the Greens in 2014, things will be messy again.

  17. Addison 17

    If Labour is to form a government again it needs to do several things. Firstly accept that at present it is not a government in waiting and will not win at the next election. Secondly it needs to stick to it’s principals and not sell it’s soul to a Green/ Labour alliance for the price of it’s principals. Thirdly it needs to come up with sound policies on creating jobs, not lead by creating Government jobs but those in industry. A crusade to make jobs in our prime industries ,farming, tourism and the wine industry more well paid and worker friendly would be a good start.Lastly we need to use our ” time out” to find a quality leader who has real socialist principals and can effectively present them. It’s not about power, it’s about the workers of NZ!

    • handle 17.1

      “not sell it’s soul to a Green/ Labour alliance for the price of it’s principals”

      What principles would Labour need to sacrifice because the Greens required them to?

  18. Annette King 18

    Eddie you are wrong. Labour welcomed the Greens housing policy, I should know as I did most of the interviews! The Greens said their policy built on Labour’s, making the point a govt needs to lead the build of affordable housing to help people into. Thats what KiwiBuild does. There is no commitment from the private sector to fund first homes for NZers. Our policy and the Greens will be closely scrutinised by our opponents regarding costs and where the money is coming from.We are not afraid of that. Shearer was asked what the average cost of a house in Auckland is, he replied around $550,000 ( a fact) then said under Labour’s policy cost would be considerably less. How come that part is missed out of any commentary? I could show existing houses for $300,000 in Auckland. That’s not the issue. Existing houses don’t add to the total number of extra houses needed for people to live in, estimated as an additional 12,000 a year. Why try to create a division where there is little? There is nothing untoward in questioning how policy will work. You are too quick to put the boot in. The policy is not flawed. Perhaps you might like to wait as we work with a wide range of organisations and individuals( including NGOs) to put the implementation plan in place before the election for immediate implementation afterwards. The key components are: 100,000 affordable houses over 10 years;funding provided by Govt through housing bonds; bulk building with considerable scope to bring costs down plus use of govt land (eg Labour’s policy at Hobsonville- state houses plus affordable homes, a mixed development); focus on areas where housing affordability is growing problem (it’s not just about Auckland although its the area of biggest concern); policy to assist people with the deposit gap.

    • One Tāne Huna 18.1

      Thanks for that. You will find it easier to get your point across if you use paragraphs.

    • Good to see some direct communication with The Standard from Labour. Well Done Mrs King.

    • fatty 18.3

      Labour welcomed the Greens housing policy

      That’s good to hear, but you should have told your dear leader that.
      I remember him whistling about the cost being questionable

    • Mary 18.4

      Why not combine provision of state houses and home ownership with rent to buy provisions, including ongoing building of new homes, the whole policy ticking over on the basis of providing housing in the short term and home ownership in the medium to long term? Labour’s current policy doesn’t deal with important issues/broader aims around community participation/inclusive societies/social cohesion and so on. There are areas in New Zealand where demand for rentals are through the roof but house prices are relatively low because people can’t afford to buy. Some of those areas speculators are buying up and riding high rental demand, all on the backs of those who cannot afford to buy even with relatively low prices the consequences for this group being overcrowding, ill health etc. Labour’s current policy is mere tinkering leaving wider problems untouched. In the meantime the poorest continue to suffer the devastatingly negative effects of bad housing policy based on the false assumption that the market will deliver.

  19. Annette King 19

    Thank you for the comments and suggestions( paragraphs, used to, then told old fashioned!) Nothing wrong with questioning each others policy. Greens also raised questions about our policy. Best result is to have a policy that works and is believable by the time we become Govt.

    • CV - Real Labour 19.1

      The Greens will be a valuable foil indeed to help push through progressive policies. Always good to see you visting the Standard :)

    • Jokerman 19.2

      Indeed!

    • fatty 19.3

      Thanks for conversing on here Annette…even in the face of smartass replies like mine.

    • One Tāne Huna 19.4

      Legibility never goes out of style :)

      “…is believable by the time we become Govt.”

      It would be better if it were believable from the get-go. I’m not saying Kiwibuild isn’t, just that if you want to demonstrate competence, unbelievable “work in progress” policy announcements won’t help.

      This (your engagement with supporters) is a good way to repair the damage that today’s vote and events since conference have done, by the way. Please recommend it to your colleagues.

    • handle 19.5

      “paragraphs, used to, then told old fashioned!”

      Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.

    • Mary 19.6

      “Nothing wrong with questioning each others policy.”

      Agreed, but first people have to know what that policy is. Many have been asking Labour what its position on social security is now for almost five years, including whether it regrets abolishing the special benefit in 2004 and introducing certain aspects of its Social Security Amendment Act 2007. To date no Labour MP has answered any of these questions. The old adage about how a government treats its poor still holds good today. Labour’s track record on welfare since 1999 and its silence on its current policy has turned a lot of people away from Labour, and quite rightly so.

  20. Annette King 20

    ‘ Believable’ was in relation to the public. Like any policy time is needed to inform, debate, amend , improve and sell. No Party should think they have a monopoly on all good ideas. There is no doubt our Housing policy ( the part that has been released so far) is welcomed. We have also done a huge amount of work on it. Remember however an Opposition has to rely on very limited resources which is why we value and appreciate input from our policy committees and the wider community.

    • handle 20.1

      Thank you for explaining that. How do you see Labour’s new ‘policy platform’ approach changing the role of caucus in developing policy?

    • Mary 20.2

      I take it you won’t be responding to my comments about Labour’s recent track record and current position on social security?

    • Jenny 20.3

      The Greens have even less resources than Labour and they have oodles of policy. Umm…. Is it possible that there might be another reason that Labour won’t tell us what their policies will be.

      Are they having trouble forming any?

      The mountain laboured and gave birth to a mouse?

  21. Annette King 21

    It’s not a matter of financial resources when it comes to developing policy in the Labour Party. There is an open, membership involved process to go through, including debate at regional and annual conferences. Human resources are our strongest asset. Policy is owned by the Party not just parliamentary spokespeople. At the 2011 Election Labour had policy in a very wide range of areas. When I read people saying Labour does not have policy they are wrong. Our 2011 Policy IS our policy until or unless its changed. We are well underway with discussion on our manifesto for 2014.

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