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Mud-slinging

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 pm, December 27th, 2012 - 231 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Khandallaviper asked today in Open Mike “What is characterising and feeding the ongoing divide?” commenting on my statement that our aim in setting up the Standard was not to “join Farrar in making the prospect of a Labour government the principal target for attack.”

A good example showed up in the same Open Mike, where Karol referred us to Chris Trotter’s latest post on Bowalley Road, titled “Who is David Shearer?”, promising a post of his/her own on the matter.

Trotter’s post reprises an old canard, obviously a product of the National Party opposition research team. that was first put up by David Farrar on Kiwiblog in 2009 when Shearer first emerged as a candidate for Mt Albert.

Shearer had written a couple of articles in 1998 discussing the possibility of using private military forces to support aid initiatives. He thought the Red Cross would be a suitable agency to monitor and regulate them. John Pagani who worked with Shearer in the by-election reports his response when National plants brought it up during the campaign:

During the by-election his opponents tried to say a paper he wrote in the 90s supported replacing the army with mercenaries. They used to plant questions about it at public meetings, and Shearer would answer by telling how he was running an emergency relief operation in Rwanda at the time. Women and children were having their limbs hacked off by genocidal maniacs while the world refused to act. He wanted anyone to get involved if states couldn’t.

The story was so compelling that it backfired and his opponents had to stop repeating it.

Unsurprisingly, Whaleoil has now linked up to Trotter’s post as well to try and push it back into the media.  Typically, he takes it further and goes right over the top:

Could Shearer have done some work for Britain’s spies?

So we have Chris Trotter from the non-Labour left dredging up an old story originally planted on National’s behalf by Farrar’s Kiwiblog, and recently linked to by National’s Whaleoil. Now Karol, also from the non-Labour left, is apparently going to join them in another futile attempt to discredit Labour’s leader.

None of them have the interests of Labour at heart. It is an old problem for Labour, when the outside left links with the far right to drag Labour down. The right at least know that their only real opposition as a government is Labour; who would know what the others’ motive is.

There’s another canard in Trotter’s piece – he speaks of Shearer “parachuting in”, not working his way up through the Party’s committees. But after losing a very close vote to Lynn Pillay in Waitakere Shearer stood in Whangarei because he was asked to by the Party. He did the the hard yards in a safe National electorate and did a very good job. Trotter’s insinuation is unfair.

Under the heading “Conspiracy theory”, the New Statesman’s Peter Wilby describes what he calls “link journalism” in a recent article, speaking about the Daily Mail’s approach to the Leveson enquiry.

The Daily Mail has published, over an awesome 12 pages, an exposé of ten-foot lizards (sorry, I mean normal-sized human beings) who are conspiring to destroy our free press. It is a masterpiece of what I call “link” journalism. Show that X sits on the same committee as W who is married to Y whose cousin Z once spent a night at the house of the mass murderer V and, hey presto, X is “linked” to V and therefore to mass murder. Moreover, X probably conspired with W, Y and Z to cover up V’s crimes.

Trotter, Farrar and Slater’s story is link journalism at its worst. In political terms, it’s an old-fashioned smear.

In my view the Standard should have no part of it.

 

 

 

231 comments on “Mud-slinging”

  1. BJ 1

    Do you not think Shearer’s comments about private military forces are worrying? Especially combined with his refusal to commit to any truly left vision? Pagani’s spin is no better than Farrar’s or Slater’s, he’s just as bad – if not worse for being complicit in turning NZ’s largest ‘left wing’ party into a third way, essentially neoliberal, P4P promoting group of self serving asses. Shearer claiming to be of the left doesn’t make him immune to criticism, it makes him more open to it when there are legitimate concerns about his beliefs and values. As far as I’m concerned a vote for any party other than Mana is a vote for neoliberalism and failed policies; Hone’s the only politician with any true values, and definitely the only one who’ll put those values into action.

    • McFliper 1.1

      okay, role-play this: you’re coordinating aid in a region that a genocide is taking place. The governments of the world don’t want to risk their own soldiers to save poor brown people, and if any good guys exist in the region, they’re not strong enough to stop it. What options will you consider?

      • felixviper 1.1.1

        Yep, you’d think Shearer would be able to express that sentiment, wouldn’t you?

        • McFliper 1.1.1.1

          According to Pagani, he did.

          • felixviper 1.1.1.1.1

            Guess he must’ve been mumbling, or facing the wrong way, or forgot to invite a journalist to hear it or something.

            Not to worry though, top-notch comms team working for him now so they’ll be all over this before the story gathers any momentum to put his side of it clearly and succinctly.

            • McFliper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              oh yeah, that’s constructive criticism, and in no way just pointless repetition of a mud-slinging meme.

              • felixviper

                lol, are we pretending Shearer’s communication problem is a meme now?

                In that case there’s nothing to worry about, as he’ll swiftly and deftly rebut these criticisms and questions and everything will be fine.

                • McFliper

                  It’s certainly an easy and well-trodden path for people who don’t want to hold off throwing shit for now only TWO months. And don’t want to consider the fact that incessantly fighting one opponent with old and not particularly relevant material serves only to strengthen the common enemy.

                  • felixviper

                    Sorry I don’t see the problem.

                    Either what I said about Shearer isn’t true, in which case he’ll skillfully bat this non-starter of a story away before it gets legs,

                    or it is true, in which case we’re all fucked.

                    Calling it a meme doesn’t alter the facts either way.

                    • McFliper

                      On a scale of one to ten, where one is “completely false” and ten is “completely true”, I’d give your comment a six or a seven.

                      As a distraction from the point that exaggerating Shearer’s faults and supposed political unreliability when you really don’t have to is not only assisting the nats it’s assisting them by repeating exaggerations that they started, I give you a nine.

                      Let’s say that after a leadership vote according to the new rues in Feb, Shearer gets re-elected. Will you still tone down or stop with the unconstructive hyperbolic criticism? I’m not asking about constructive criticism, just the semi- or completely irrelevant exaggerated bullshit like you started off with. Or will you prefer to continue bitching as usual, do as much as possible to burn as much labour and left vote as possible, and then act all “We told you so” when labour and left-aligned parties end up with 47% of the vote yet again? Serious question.

                    • felixviper

                      Err, I haven’t exaggerated Shearer’s shortcomings at all, I’ve just mentioned them.

                      (Which apparently isn’t allowed anymore because wishing for a left-wing Labour party leader who can speak in public equals linking up with the far-right).

                      ps I’d be more inclined to give you a straight answer to your question if you’d be kind enough to tell me which 3.5 tenths of my comment you disagree with and why.

                    • McFliper

                      Well, he got his point across well enough to shut WO up on the issue. So the entire “must’ve been mumbling” comment was incorrectly applied to the point raised in Mike’s post. I.e. you applied Shearer’s shortcomings in some, maybe even most, of his communications to comms where he did actually get the point across. “some” became “all”. That is an “exaggeration”.Hence the estimated 3.5 average falsehood.

                      BTW, if WO can pick it up, and some people here can’t, the fault might not lie entirely with Shearer.

                      edit: and the “isn’t allowed any more” paragraph is more hyperbolic bullshit.

                    • felixviper

                      Yep, hyperbolic bullshit. It’s not like the Labour party would ever try to bully members into silence if they voice their concerns in public.

                      The rest I’ve addressed. If you’re right, there’s nothing to worry about as Shearer has already dealt with it.

                    • McFliper

                      no answer to the question then? I stated my reasoning behind the marks out of ten.

                      Anyway, I agree about the CC thing. But she isn’t the entirety of the labour party, or even caucus. I also think that much of the criticism of Shearer has become rote-applied regardless of applicability to specific circumstances or degree of accuracy.

                      Ideally, I want Labour to get 35-40% of the ballot. Real left wing policy will come from the Greens and Mana, anyway (even with Cunliffe as leader). Labour can achieve that with fair criticism all the way to the election. I’m not so sure it’s achievable if hyperbole comes from both directions, though.

                    • felixviper

                      Sure, Curran isn’t the entirety of the party.

                      Neither is Jones.
                      And neither is Mallard.

                      Seen Shearer punish any of their behaviour? Demote them? Distance himself from their actions in any way? Apologise for them?

                      No? Then as leader he’s directly responsible for their behaviour and actions.

                      Finding it quite difficult to answer your question as it centres on me dropping my “semi- or completely irrelevant exaggerated bullshit”, and I haven’t noticed you pointing out any yet.

                    • Have to agree with Felix that this is smelling distinctly of more “get on the wagon or else” rubbish.

                      If Shearer skillfully and persuasively rebutted this once he can do it again and turn it into a win. I’d like to see him do so as it’s increasingly looking like we’re stuck with him as Labour leader and thus as the head of our coalition.

                      But until he addresses that criticism I don’t feel it’s undue to bring it up from the left. We of the left are not the National Party, and should not require that everyone either line up behind dear leader or swallow their doubts and at least stay quiet. My vote is mine and it has to be earned- that includes people who are asking for it addressing criticisms, especially those originating from points of view that closely resemble my own.

                    • McFliper

                      exaggerated bullshit, as outlined in paragraph one here.

                      Matthew: why should it be rebutted by him personally every time a Cunliffe fan pushes their angle here? To be frank, if Shearer walked on water some here would say he can’t swim. And the tories have figured out that the best way they can make the left eat itself is to praise one of us.

                      All for what – Cunliffe? give me a break. He ain’t the great white hope of the left, either.

                    • felixviper

                      Am I to take it that “exaggerated bullshit” refers to me saying Shearer is shit at communicating?

                    • McFliper

                      No. He needs to work on his communication, no argument. The exaggeration, as previously explained, was when you ignored the entire first blockquote in the post to repeat the criticism, when it seems quite clear that it was at least one instance where Shearer managed to deliver the message.

                      See, if Shearer were an excellent communicator, you would have continued a “lie”. As it was there was a grain of truth that you chose to believe was a mountain, so it was “exaggeration”.

                    • there was a grain of truth

                      yeah mate… a fucking huge great immutable grain.

                    • felixviper

                      Ah I see. So he’s shite useless at communicating, except for this one time four years ago when he managed to shut down a story about some stuff he’d previously communicated a decade earlier.

                      Except he didn’t really ‘cos now it’s a story again.

                      Yeah, it’s definitely me doing the exaggerating.

                    • McFliper

                      nah, he shut down the tories. But true believers can’t be communicated with.

                    • felixviper

                      Yay, and now he’s working on shutting down the lefties. Interesting that you think I’m the “true believer” in this discussion btw.

                    • McFliper

                      well, you do seem rather keen to push a particular barrow.

                    • felixviper

                      Nah, I’m resisting one ;)

                    • McFliper

                      With hyperbole.

                      My barrow is simply to give discredit only where discredit is due. I.e. when it’s relevant to the point. Which you first comment… wasn’t.

                    • felixviper

                      Nah, with the bleeding obvious. Which is that if you can only find one example of someone not being pants, and it was four years ago, and it didn’t even take, then it’s probably not particularly hyperbolic to describe them as pants.

                    • McFliper

                      They used to plant questions about it at public meetings, and Shearer would answer by telling how he was running an emergency relief operation in Rwanda at the time.

                      cf:

                      Nah, with the bleeding obvious. Which is that if you can only find one example of someone not being pants, and it was four years ago, and it didn’t even take, then it’s probably not particularly hyperbolic to describe them as pants.

                      It wasn’t “only […] one example”, it was repeated examples on one issue, relevant because it was in the post. And he’s not as bad with the media as some people here seem to think. He’s not great, but he’s not abysmal. I know some people thought that he was quite good in pieces to camera when he was dealing with Cunliffe, for example.

                      Frankly, I think the reason that “it didn’t stick” is because some people here would rather stick a cactus up their arse than let it “stick”.

                    • felixviper

                      Pretty sure that’s still one example. Can you think of any from 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012?

                      Chances are there’s a speech, an interview, a parliamentary question somewhere that didn’t go horribly wrong.

                    • McFliper

                      If something happens once, it’s “one example”. If several things happen at different times, they are “several examples”. Just to point out the absurdity of your “”Shearer can do no good” catechism.

                      To reiterate the second example I brought up and your blinkers didn’t let you notice:
                      at the labour 2012 conference. Good speech.
                      After the Labour 2012 conference. Some okay tv bites.

                      There are actually many examples where Shearer, media-wise, is something other than an abject failure. But they’re not relevant to the post.

                      The point of the post was that some people seem obsessed with denigrating, belittling, and discrediting Shearer at any cost. Whether they are Labour members who dream of labour once again being a worker-oriented left wing party (which is a bit hopeful given lab4 and lab5), or green members who operate under the delusion that labour at 25% means Greens at 30% and a hard red/green government, I neither know nor care. Call a spade a spade, fine. But don’t call a trowel a spade, if only because that’s what Slater does and if that doesn’t give some direction to your moral compass then you’ve lost your way.

                  • mac1

                    McFliper, good on you, mate. I’d be in there joining you but after two months, having said what I wanted to say and it being in the middle of the festive season and all……….. It’s not pleasant getting the ad hominem stuff……… I recall a long discussion with Burt of pleasant memory and being supported in that instance by Felix at the end of a long wrangle. It shows that we can’t agree all the time, especially where obviously huge emotions are involved.

                    I want to say this, though, he said, feeling just a little guilty about not standing up more in support. I have heard Shearer in person here locally on two occasions- separate situations. He spoke perfectly well on both occasions. In fact, locals quite liked him and what he had to say. I listened very carefully as I has to report what he had to say and the question and answer session that followed. I had no axe to grind, then. I was interested, being a provincial bloke, in what the hooha was about. And as I say, he was perfectly OK. Not great, but friendly, personable, thoughtful and at times humorous.

                    As for the Shearer/Cunliffe factionalising…….. my local LEC debated the leadership issue and decided to support Cunliffe. He seems a good man, though I’ve never met him. But, having supported Cunliffe in that arena, and the Party having gone through the process which was available to it at the time, Shearer won.

                    For me, that’s it, till February, when this member might get another say.

                    But I do have to say this, though I won’t allow it to influence my thinking unduly, that the quality of the argument in support to have Shearer bounced does not persuade me greatly, so far.

                    About that time in February, I will listen fiercely to the arguments especially from within the Party. I would hope that our processes will be able to filter substantive argument better than what we have in the main received here……..

                    Until then, if it’s name-calling and pettiness etc I’m just… not…. fucking… interested.

                    And, finally, Mike Smith. I salute your efforts in the face of the challenges which putting your name to your arguments involved. I know that is difficult.

          • the sprout 1.1.1.1.2

            Perfectly correct felix. It seems Team Shearer are now trying the cutting edge neocon argument of ‘if you don’t support us you hate freedom/love terrorism’.
            Plonkers.

    • deemac 1.2

      except that by treating it as a serious question, rather than a piece of Nat spin, he would be dignifying it as a topic. It’s an old political trick, and no serious politician would fall for it.
      (Some on the left have a naive belief that if only the “facts” were known, people would see the light. If only… )

  2. Jim Davis 2

    [RL: Deleted. Personal attacks on authors are not tolerated. Think of a smarter way to ask this question]

  3. felixviper 3

    Hi Mike.

    Know what else is “characterising and feeding the ongoing divide”? Every time anyone criticises anything about Shearer, you put up one of these hit-and-run posts that smear anyone who questions the leadership as disloyal (or worse).

    As for this: “None of them have the interests of Labour at heart. It is an old problem for Labour, when the outside left links with the far right to drag Labour down. “

    What absolute bullshit. The “old problem for Labour” that’s playing out now is the far-right linking with the right wing of the Labour party.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      +1

      I find Mike’s post unconvincing.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        Yep – this does not bode well methinks – the fight for the standard enters the next phase and this isn’t a phoney war for sure.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          There is no ‘war’ as it isn’t something that I’d allow in my role as sysop. And you have to remember that I fully control the site operations; everything from where the servers are located, to the overall implementation of moderation (like this pesky removal of personal details that I’m working on), through to paying the bills (a lot smaller now after the last few days work). Any ‘war’ that ever eventuated would be subject to my rapid and rather abrupt moderation style.

          But I really don’t care what authors put up provided it doesn’t cause us legal issues and has an opinion. I don’t expect authors to agree with each other. Just as I don’t really care what commentators put up so long as provides points to argue about that are on or near the topic, generally conforms to our policies, doesn’t cause legal issues. And I don’t expect them to agree either.

          The site is set up to allow for open discussion and outright argument and that is what it will continue to provide. So far I haven’t seen anything that has moved beyond that.

      • Rhinoviper 3.1.2

        outside left

        That is a deliberate attempt to marginalise. Hear that, critics? You’re outsiders, interlopers.

        links with the far right

        The sentence structure implies willful collusion by the “outside” left with the far right, which is both a smear and untrue – Slater is an opportunist who used Trotter’s story, Trotter did not collude with Slater. A generous interpretation might be that that’s not be the intention, but it is implicit in the syntax.

        to drag Labour down

        Oh noes! Woe, woe unto us all! Again, an attempt to dismiss and marginalise criticism by portraying it as purely destructive – and worse, deliberately destructive. No acknowledgment of content or intention, simply a demonic characterisation.

        Anyway, what Labour, precisely? The now-hollow brand of caucus, or the party, with people who donate, campaign and vote?

        This is a grossly unfair misrepresentation of the thousands of loyal Labour Party supporters or which I was once one.

        I’m reminded of something that was said about Arthur “Bomber” Harris; “He mistakes advice for interference, criticism for sabotage and evidence for propaganda.”

    • Yep. Had enough of reading that sort of thing. My vote is mine and you’re not entitled to it if you can’t stand up to criticism from your left flank. This is more thinking that lines up with the general theme that Labour is entitled to left-wing votes, which is an undemocratic attitude and simply untrue.

  4. Ad 4

    If those are the wrong articles to link to Mike, which articles can you link to that state clearly in his own words what David Shearer believes in?

    David Cunliffe can. Can David Shearer?

    If you can’t, or he can’t, how would anyone know what principles and positions he will have when he is running the country? That is a basic leadership test.

  5. xtasy 5

    “So we have Chris Trotter from the non-Labour left dredging up an old story originally planted on National’s behalf by Farrar’s Kiwiblog, and recently linked to by National’s Whaleoil. Now Karol, also from the non-Labour left, is apparently going to join them in another futile attempt to discredit Labour’s leader.”

    I am confused, Mike. Trotter has to me always been a solid supporter of Labour, and I am not informed, whether he was or is a member, but traditionally he was solid as when supporting Labour.

    So this comment about the “non-Labour left”, while referring to Trotter is really irritating me. I have learned from more radical lefties that they never thought much of Trotter. So where do we really stand with this here?

    Is it perhaps not, that Trotter, same as Edwards and Campbell realising the short-comings of Shearer as “leader”, rather than wanting to attack Labour as a whole?

    I read your comment on Kiwiblog today, reminding their readership that your involvement in the Standard, and the moderator team in general, having nothing to do with Labour Party agendas and influence. Thank you for that, as Farrar and consorts always try to misrepresent the truth on this.

    What so many here, and outside the Standard, have as an issue with Shearer is not so much him personally, but his apparent inability to convince, to talk to media and in public if unprepared, to show a clear political line, to be too ambiguous, to always delay policy clarifications and to try and be “middle of the road” for everyone. He also upset many with his rushed action to oust Cunliffe, based on exaggerated media stories of Cunliffe trying to challenge his leadership.

    That action, to strip Cunliffe of all spokesperson’s areas, to demote and shame him publicly, to send one of the most talented MPs to the back row, that has NOT gone down well at all.

    Also we are still waiting for clarification on Shearer’s position on welfare, which is overdue, given his bizarre comments re a sickness benefit roof-painter.

    Talk about pandering to the right of centre to get a few more hypothetical votes, strong leadership, based only on one speech, and the likes, and really, you are struggling to convince many of us.

    There are many who would love to go back and fully support Labour, but Shearer is now in charge of taking action, to mend the damage, build bridges and take the right steps, to re-instate Cunliffe and to face the true interests of the base of members and supporters.

    Allowing some MPs in his caucus to try and silence core contributers to this forum was the Judas act to me. Sorry, I do not wish to knock you personally, but it is not good enough.

    • Napkins 5.1

      Trotter was previously a Labour Party member, and did previously seek a position as a Labour Party candidate.

      • Jim Viperald - Once was colonised 5.1.1

        We should be absolutely confident that Mike Smith does not truly intend that anyone on the left, “non-Labour left”, or “outside left”, including anyone previously a Labour Party member or candidate/seeker, who says anything expressing less than total or blind support for the current, incumbent leadership, would be branded a mud-slinger.

    • Rhinoviper 5.2

      That action, to strip Cunliffe of all spokesperson’s areas, to demote and shame him publicly, to send one of the most talented MPs to the back row, that has NOT gone down well at all.

      No, it went down very well indeed.

      Like a lead balloon.

      • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1

        Labour and Shearer both went up in the polls after Cunliffe was dealt to, Rhino. Something I predicted at the time, because Kiwis like that kind of decisive action, even if they don’t understand or even care about the reasons for it. Shearer looked like a firm leader, which is what voters (and his internal critics) were looking to see from him.

        • Rhinoviper 5.2.1.1

          With the party, I mean. I agree with your point about the general public, detached from the detail of internal party politics (and I remember when you originally made it).

          • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1.1

            Good point about the difference in the party and in the wider public. The main thing for me is how the party goes forward. Its over for Cunliffe now there are no other challengers on the horizon. Shearer will still have work to do to get the activist base back on side, but I think the prospect of a genuinely left government will win out over any lingering distaste for Shearer. Especially if Labour can move the public debate to policy issues, where Labour and the Greens have the advantage of having ideas that are more in tune with the times.

            • Populuxe1 5.2.1.1.1.1

              The ability of the party to go forward rather depends a lot on the quality of leadership and the confidence of the party in that leadership. I don’t think we can just dogmatically rule Cunliffe out completely, if only because Shearer is just not ripping the nightie of so many.

        • muzza 5.2.1.2

          Even if the bloke is a blatant plant, your comment sums up just how stupid the average voter is, ot peraps you are projecting again!

          Did it impress you Voice, did Shearer look *firm* in your eyes?

          • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.2.1

            I think you are, from time to time, pretty representative of the average voter yourself, muzza.

  6. Napkins 6

    John Pagani vouches for Shearer? That plus Hooten on Shearer’s side must be almost scripture.

    Mike, does Shearer support a regulated 40 hour work week, like NZ had in the 19th century, with penalty rates for each hour of overtime beyond 40 worked?

  7. Jim Nald 7

    Am trying to connect the title with the first and also the second paragraphs.

    So Mike says what Khandallaviper and karol have raised are mud-slinging? Really? Truly?

    It is probably getting a bit late for me and the chocolate binge of the past hour has not helped clear my head. Will try again tomorrow.

  8. Jesus Wept 8

    Mike Mike. This is no John Kerry Mekong Delta story. Nobody wants peoples arms hacked off but the guy has little real world sense. Good on him for making a huge wad of cash for writing epistles with a proofreader (probably his fucking missus) about hired help in tight situations but it’s not going to derail him, especially with uber-dudes like you kissing his elusive arse. The problem is he WAS parachuted in. Rather like Pillay was parachuted in under your watch (and Andrew[‘s EPMU) to effectively destroy the Alliance Party with the loss of the wonderful Laile Harre. Stuff all of us are gonna smear. [RL: Deleted. Too far]

    You’re a good guy. You need to realise the middle ground are a pack of amoral shits who sometimes budge – they despised Rowling so they fucked him, they got sick of the Pig, they loved Saint Micky, whatever. You don’t appeal to THEM. You do a new thing.
    We have the wrong leader. SO BLINDINGLY FUCKING OBVIOUSLY WRONG. You appear to think it’s a fait accompli that the leadership issue is a split of the wise from the rabid, and the rabid are a minority – sorry not so, you’re just guessing and hoping the MSM et al makes for an ignorant flacid victory. Mike, come on.
    You’re a good guy. Talk to the ……. in the green seats.

  9. Mary 9

    What you call mud-slinging will end when it’s believed Labour has truly rejoined the Left. There’s currently not a jot of evidence of that ever being possible let alone happening soon. That’s why you’re finding fewer and fewer people “have the interests of Labour at heart.” And quite rightly so.

  10. xtasy 10

    Who is the “enemy”? NatACT, or at least, once Banksies ACT has gone, the Natzies!

    How do they need to be dealt with? By presenting resolute, clear policy alternatives, that are presented convincingly, understandably, that are inclusive enough to get the support of most NZers to back them and vote for them.

    Who is the main opposition party and thus in charge to bring this about? LABOUR!

    What are we getting? A half baked housing policy, the years old tax reforms bringing in CGT, perhaps a little increase of income tax rates for top earners, no clarity on welfare, on how jobs will be created, how environmental policies will be balanced with economic policies, how the poor will get the income and support they need to survive, how foreign investment is going to be dealt with, how assets are to be sold or rather not, that is the sad story.

    At least NZ First said they would buy sold power company assets back somehow, but Labour is NOT committed on that. Labour also has not given clear alternatives how it would reform welfare and health and education, rather just tried to fire selected, often muted, shots at the government for doing things wrongly.

    We are over a year after the last election, and Labour has presented too bloody little as a new program. Shearer farewells himself with a 22 second silly video message from before Christmas, with a BBQ backdrop, saying, he is going to go surfing, to go to a beach up north, to relax and take it easy.

    Now has that man any conscience and guts? NOOOOO!

    When the country is going downhill and struggling, you do NOT go surfing and put on flippers to go for a bit of a nip in the ocean. You take bloody time to prepare a plan, action and to sort things out. Shearer is a happy go lucky layabout of sorts, too easy going on too much and NOT up to it, Mike, that is my bloody impression. You are welcome to fire back at me. Thank you!

    • Mary 10.1

      A Labour-led so-called left coalition won’t necessarily cut it, either. We can hope that Labour gets the minimum level of support that allows such a coalition to form – and as a result brings the greatest amount of Green/Mana influence within that coalition – but the only trouble with this is that Labour will on many issues have the support of National. The work of government caucus of course would be important, but a clever National opposition could do some serious damage, particularly with members bills, given they can rely on the support of a right-wing Labour party that’s part of that so-called left coalition.

  11. I’ll try to be charitable, Mike, and assuming that when you say the outside left links with the far right to drag Labour down you’re not actually suggesting a conspiracy by “the outside left” in conjunction with the far right. You’re not proposing that “the outside left” are irrational and hysterical and solely focused on destroying Labour because, um, they hate Labour’s freedoms.

    You’re certainly not asserting that “the outside left” are inherently anti-left themselves, as shown by their criticism (did I say “criticism”? I meant “traitorous white-anting”) of the Labour Party’s recent bullshit shenanigans.

    Because you know, that would be some fucked up shit right there, if you were saying any of that.

  12. “Now Karol, also from the non-Labour left, is apparently going to join them in another futile attempt to discredit Labour’s leader.”

    wow. that’s just… ok, i’m really flabbergasted here, mike.

    the only person who is discrediting labour’s leader is labour’s leader. and he’s doing that quite well, with help from his caucus colleagues. he did it by his reaction to the membership vote on the leadership remits; he did it by calling labour members “followers” on national television (no, we’re not followers, we’re activists and leaders who influence the structure, shape & direction of the party); he did it by forcing a caucus vote in the week after the conference; he did by failing to take any disciplinary action against chris hipkins; he did it by failing to take any disciplinary action against those in his caucus who leaked to the media regarding the leadership vote; he did it by failing to provide evidence on the kim dotcom issue; he did by buying into right-wing framing of beneficiaries. he did it, mike. he did it in conjunction with those who were advising him.

    it’s about time that you stopped blaming everyone else for david shearer’s actions, words and decisions. it’s about time that he took some responsibility for the farce that the labour caucus has become, and it’s about time you started to place some responsibility on him for that as well.

    i’m a long-time labour member, and you can’t brush me off as the “non-labour left”. i’ve kept quiet for as long as i can about this crap, but this post is really too much.

    and let’s make one thing absolutely clear. i know it’s common parlance, but in actual fact david shearer is not the leader of the nz labour party. moira coatsworth is the leader of the party, and she is the duly elected leader, elected by the membership of the party, who are not “followers”. david shearer is the leader of the parliamentary caucus, and the only people who elected him were some members of caucus – probably no more than 20 people in all. members of caucus are put into their positions to serve the interests of the party, as decided by the membership via party processes. the party does not exist to serve the interests of caucus.

    when the parliamentary leader and his advisors can get that basic fact into their heads, show a little humility and some kind of basic understanding of their place in the scheme of things, then they will deserve the support of the membership. until then, they deserve all of the criticism they are getting here, and more.

    one fear i have now is that karol will stop posting at the standard, and that you have succeeded in silencing her too. frankly, if it comes down to a choice of having her or having you as a author here, i know who i’d choose. and based on what you’ve written today and the way your recent posts have been so dismissive of extremely fair & justified criticisms of the parliamentary leadership, it really isn’t you.

    • felixviper 12.1

      “the only person who is discrediting labour’s leader is labour’s leader.”

      Absolutely true.

      “one fear i have now is that karol will stop posting at the standard, and that you have succeeded in silencing her too.”

      I have no doubt that that is Mike’s intention in naming her. Part of the program to “bring the standard into line” so it can become Red Alert.

    • Zolaviper 12.2

      + 1

      • Rhinoviper 12.2.1

        +1 Than direct naming (albeit by handle) is very pointed. Karol seems to be in the sights lately, doesn’t she? This isn’t the first thinly-veiled warning. I wouldn’t put it beneath Mallard and Curran et al to leak or “link” with the far right by letting slip a few names of the “outside left” bloggers on TS to Farrar or Slater for their sport.

        Who’s next?

        [lprent: It would be kind of hard as I’m the only person who has any idea who Karol is in real life (and I seldom bother to tell myself). If you want to make up a conspiracy theory then something more credible please.

        If I ever did detect leaks from this site, then you’d find that there is an abrupt relegation of authority to remove the ability for it to reoccur. Everyone associated with the site is well aware of my views.

        Please remember that this site is run by an old school sysop with ogrish tendencies. People with tendencies to dick about with private information are not welcome. ]

        • karol 12.2.1.1

          If they did that to me, it wouldn’t achieve much. It may make work a little trickier to negotiate, but, mainly because, IRL, I’m not that keen on being the visible centre of attention.

          I would be comfortable with continuing to post under my birth name, and saying exactly the same kind of things I say as Karol.

          • Rhinoviper 12.2.1.1.1

            lprent and Karol, thanks – that’s reassuring.

            If you want to make up a conspiracy theory then something more credible please

            Well, I was thinking of two nameless senior MPs taking complaints to Garner (Espiner?) about Cunliffe, Curran silencing Colonial Viper using information she’d gleaned from elsewhere.

            I have no idea who Karol, what associations she has or what kind of pressure could be brought to bear, but we already have the precedent of bullying and smearing.

            Sorry if I gave the impression that I thought that there would be leaks from this site in particular.

            • mike 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Great comment stargazer.

              “the party does not exist to serve the interests of caucus” I’m not sure it’s that they don’t understand that, but rather that that’s the spin they’d like to push – that failure to sing the company song is not in our best interests. There’s a similar logic at work in Fox news’ labeling anyone who criticizes the Iraq war as ‘not supporting the troops’.

              I wonder if there’s any chance that saying STFU will backfire with the intelligent readers at The Standard?

              Karol has being doing terrific work here both in quantity and quality. I’ve appreciated her highlighting issues that need urgent attention. I think Smith’s post will only encourage her, along with the support she’s got from peeps here. I hope so.

              Many pundits said that National won in 2008 by portraying themselves as being not much different to the Labour party of the day. It seems to me that this Labour party is trying to return the favour. The problem with that is that Labour supporters aren’t so brainless – they want a real alternative to NAct. The unspoken motto of “We’re slightly less shit” isn’t going to cut it I’m afraid. (Greens a’ grinnin’.) Nor is vague and thus non-committal ‘commitments’ to tinkering around the edges of a failing system.

              I was prepared to give Shearer a chance. Then a second chance. Then the benefit of the doubt. Then a third chance. But he’s gone to that well once too often for me now. It’s bone dry.

              Can someone please direct me to the Team Cunliffe membership form?

      • J'Accuse 12.2.2

        +1

    • xtasy 12.3

      “one fear i have now is that karol will stop posting at the standard, and that you have succeeded in silencing her too.”

      That is not what my impression is of Karol, and even if she has any doubts to continue writing here, she should take my and others strongest advice, DO NOT GIVE IN, Karol, you wrote some damned good pieces here recently, and you are a real asset to TS!

      Never accept such snubs by the know it better brigade, that instead must make you feel stronger and more determined.

      So this is just a fear by a poster, also a long time Labour member, do stand by us and keep on writing, Karol, that is my appeal and request!

      • karol 12.3.1

        Thanks, xtasy, felix, Stargazer and everyone else. I will stop posting here when the moderators and managers (especially Lynn) ask me to. Yesterday I auto-scheduled my post for publishing. It should be up on the TS any minute now.

        So now we have 2 sides to the same issue being posted – seems democratic to me.

        • RedLogix 12.3.1.1

          Absolutely. The Standard is a place for the left to communicate and discuss things with each other.

          If it ever stops being that I’d be the first outta here ….

    • bad12 12.4

      This comment sums up nicely my view, saves my stubby little fingers the typing, would make a good post in it’s own right, and, adds weight to my often expressed view that while a huge step in the right direction Labour’s recent constitutional change doesn’t quite go far enough,

      Give the membership at the annual Labour Party Conference by vote the ‘trigger’ on the issue of ‘the leadership vote’ and give the members a further vote from the floor of the conference on those who would be Cabinet Ministers in a Labour Government…

    • geoff 12.5

      nailed it, Stargazer! loving the tone! +1

    • LynWiper 12.6

      Excellent retort stargazer. +100

      I am a life time Labour voter, now disillusioned and disappointed with what I have observed since Labour lost office. To take a greater interest in the party I got involved by attending the leader debates which developed into a farce, and then my first Labour Conference, only to see the leader debacle unfold. I went to the former with no previous agenda or opinions on any of the contenders and the latter as an observer and with an open mind. Both times, from personal observation, Cunliffe was treated appallingly.

      I believe The Standard provides an incredibly important service by enabling a ‘collective conscience’. Out of honest and open debate comes clarity of thought and hopefully sensible solutions.

      Thanks so much to all who make this site possible.

  13. hush minx 13

    I had sort of hoped we could end 2012 on a happier note – but until the current leadership can acknowledge that there is a problem (and I include you as part of that team now Mike) I can’t see how we are going to start off 2013 any better. Constructive conversation involves allowing people to have different interpretations of events. We’re pretty good at that here- I wish I could say the same for Labour.

  14. Tim 14

    Wow! It’s little spats like this that help confirm my decision to give Labour a big miss for the first time ever at the next election!
    There are alternatives. I’ll be doing so too with a number of voting age family and friends

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Yes, I’m wavering on the labour-vote front as well.

      At this point it really depends on the policies they and the greens come out with for the election. In the past I’ve effectively voted against the greens as i think some of their policies are too idealistic. But this time I might vote for them.

  15. Tim 15

    Actually more than that ……… there seems to be a new breed of Labour politician that posesses some sort of sense of entitlement because they think they’ve “paid their dues”….done the “hard yards” ….played the game. Well they haven’t, and they haven’t if only because they’ve forgotten principles and been seduced by a neo-liberal agenda.

  16. Jim in Tokyo 16

    Mike, I’m sorry to say that found your argument here rather superficial and offensive. Are you saying that questioning Shearer’s academic work produced while a research associate at the IISS is ‘mud-slinging’ based on your own truly held opinion that Shearer’s “Outsourcing War” era papers are beyond criticism? Or is it ‘mud’ because those criticisms first appeared on right wing blogs? Or is this actually about an extension of the new paranoid ‘with us / against us’ NZ Labour style?

    I went to the library and checked the 1998 Foreign Policy paper “Outsourcing War” when the first references appeared on the blogs, and in my opinion Shearer’s think-tank era work reads like more well-intentioned but weasel-worded third way market logic rubbish. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Shearer’s basic argument seemed to me that the privatization of military conflict is inevitable and that the best we can hope is that the excesses of this “emerging market” might be softened by light-handed regulation. I can see ample reason why those of the “non-Labour left” might wish to take issue with the kind of Blairite marketism expressed in passages such as this…

    “Regulation of military companies will be problematic, given the diversity of their services and the breadth of their market niche.Yet, in many respects, the private military industry is no different from any other sector in the global economy that is required to conform to codes of practice – except that in the former’s case the risk of political instability and social mayhem is amplified if more unscrupulous actors become involved” (80)

    Shearer, D. (1998). Outsourcing War. Foreign Policy, (112), 68–81. doi:10.2307/1149036

    • mike 16.1

      “Yet, in many respects, the private military industry is no different from any other sector in the global economy that is required to conform to codes of practice – except that in the former’s case the risk of political instability and social mayhem is amplified if more unscrupulous actors become involved”

      Oh I’ll try one! Um… “In some ways shooting Iraqi civilians is no different than shooting paper targets at a rifle range – except that in the former people die and innocent families are torn apart.”

      “weasel-worded third way market logic rubbish.” Indeed.

  17. Ianmac from Vienna 17

    Mike Smith. Well said mike smith. It takes courage to enter the anti-labour anti shearer pages of this blog. As mcfliper wonders, so do I. If Mr shearer (who happens to be the leader) is confirmed as leader next February, where will the commentators go next? Perhaps Whaleoil will welcome your strong support for his spiteful mischievous rants.
    The big picture is to support the democratically leader whoever he is, so that control of the Treasury benches will allow progress. If anyone gives support to the critics here then roll on another Key stint.
    Perhaps those who are so far “left” as they claim then get cracking and do the hard yards in creating a wonderful party that gathers the dissidents. Good luck with that!
    But don’t expect the Green party to welcome you as you are Leader Deniers.

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      I think the only outcome that will really placate a lot of people here is of the vote goes to the membership, regardless of whatever outcome that ends up delivering.

    • geoff 17.2

      Ianmac, are you pro neo-liberalism?

    • Craig Glen viper 17.3

      Nothing will change in February 2013 if Shearer is still leader because Shearer will be Shearer.This is a guy who chose to belittle sickness beneficiaries for his own political gain.
      Mikes poor attempt to frame people who don’t support this type of behaviour as anti Labour is pathetic as are his posts. Mikes post consist of nothing but attempts to shut down Labour members voicing genuine concern about a poorly performing Shearer and his equally poor caucus.

      Oh and lets not forget Mikes now in Shearers paid employment.

    • QoTViper 17.4

      It takes courage to enter the anti-labour anti shearer pages of this blog

      It what?

      It takes courage for Mike to make a post on a site he’s a co-trustee of? It takes courage for Mike, as a trustee of the site, to (as others have clearly interpreted his recent posts) pressure other authors to change their tune?

      Funny definition of “courage”, that.

  18. “apparently going to join them in another futile attempt to discredit Labour’s leader.”

    Not being funny, mate, but have you seen DS make a speech? No-one does a better job of discrediting Labour’s leadership than those in the party who’ve convinced Shearer he’s leader material in the first place.
    Hiding to nothing, we all say “told you so”, another three years of shit government and failed opposition,

    I can understand Labour being upset at the negativity, but that’s what you get when you’ve been shit for the last four years.
    As a recent post here suggested, if you can’t win the core left, you’ve got no chance with the centre.

    Apologists, I shit ‘em.

  19. Descendant Of Sssmith 19

    And some of us still don’t care who the leader is without decent policy.

    Having read your manifesto I’m less than impressed about getting a further tax cut (and I’m in the top quartile of earners) – this government is leaving the country in massive amounts of debt.

    I’m less than impressed when you have posted that you want dialogue here but only engage in discussion about David Shearer and his leadership. Something I care little about right now.

    I’m not the only one asking about the 8 hour day, 40 hour week now so it would be good to get some clarity from on high about that. It’s a simple easily articulated question that only requires a yes/no answer. Labour will re-instate it for everyone or it won’t.

    Still you did say that manifesto was this year policy next year.

    I’ll look forward to your policy posts in four days time.

  20. Socialist Paddy 20

    Wow, way to start a shit storm Mike.

    The only solution is for Shearer to put his leadership to the vote in February. Let the members decide. It is the only way.

    Until then Shearer has the moral authority of a right wing plant.

    Have you ever wondered Mike why the right wing were so enthusiastic for Shearer when the leadership campaign was on?

    • The Al1en 20.1

      “Wow, way to start a shit storm Mike.”

      If his first job assignment was to win back the blogs, that 90 day sacking law must be a bit of a concern. :lol:

    • tc 20.2

      +1
      It’s not like DS has worked his way into the leadership position via years of hard work in or outside the house for Labour and the country as a whole.

      There were others more deserving of the leadership on merit, performance and track records of achievement, so how did it get to this.

      Too few have far to much power and have been driving Labour into the middle of the road where they’ll be hit by both sides and left a shadow of what they were under Clark, happy now trev.

    • geoff 20.3

      +! Paddy

    • Tim 20.4

      I’d had more faith in “Mike” given what I’d seen as an occasional interloper to this site.
      Now I reliase . From what I gather he may have even been an instigator of this forum. The comments I’ve seen recently though from him make me think he’s from that “I’ve paid my dues, done the hard yards -all that kaka” crap that’s contributed to his sense of entitlement of “fighter of a Labour cause”.
      All the while though – tossing up/mulling over the dilemma between ideology and pragmatism at the bvack of a mind.

      I’ve thought about it all though…. The use of the word and claim to principle is easy – the hard part is adhering to it. Thus far – the NZ Labour Party ISN’T and HASN’T since 1984/7.

      BE a Blair-like party of tools though Labour – if that’s all you’re capable of. See where it get’s you!.
      I’d be happ to return as a supporter – as would be a whanau and friends that amount to substantial numbers.
      SURE AS HELL though not under current circumstances.
      Btw – that insipid little Hipkins is beginning to become more see-through EVEN placed alongside a Jaime Dipstick. The capability for critical thinking sure as hell has evaded that guy, but it looks like Hipkins ambition is to become the Party ass-licker.

  21. Napkins 21

    I’m hoping that Shearer will come speak for himself, in his own words, on The Standard. Radical idea I know. But I suppose he hardly even knows this site exists.

  22. karol 22

    Mike said:

    Shearer had written a couple of articles in 1998 discussing the possibility of using private military forces to support aid initiatives.

    Actually he wrote at least 3, including this one:

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09557579908400275

    The 2 articles on this by Shearer that I read, including Privatising Protection, which I refer to in my own post today, have this added to the bottom:

    AuthorAffiliation
    David Shearer

    AuthorAffiliation
    is a Research Associate with the International Institute for Strategic Studies and has written extensively on private military force.

    Of course, as I say in my post, if Shearer had made any more recent statements as to exactly where he stands politically, his earlier articles would not get so much attention. The problem is further deepened by the way he embraces neoliberal ideology in his earlier articles.

  23. IrishBill 23

    I’m having some difficulty with the terms here. When I think right I think Farrar, O’sullivan, Armstrong, and Hooton. All of whom have endorsed David Shearer. When I think non-Labour left I do think Trotter but I also think Matt and the issue is Trotter backed Shearer to start with (although he runs hot and cold and is now running cold), and Matt just announced him politician of the year.

  24. Dear Mike

    While we are on the subject of the interests of the Labour Party and the indiscriminate slinging of mud by disaffected lefties do you have a view about the amount of mud thrown by some caucus members at David Cunliffe over the past few years?

    Some of us are really perplexed by this. It seems that some in caucus do not have the interests of the party as a whole at heart and are willing to engage in activity which is destructive of the party’s interests for what appears to be self benefit.

    The National Party does not do this. Despite intense pressures under the public gaze generated by the Collins Joyce wrestle for the future leadership there is never any sense of disunity.

    If we want a truly united caucus seeking to further the interests of the movement then this sort of action against the “losing” side ought to be just as unacceptable as it is against the “winning” side.

    • AmaKiwi 24.1

      The character assassination of Cunliffe.

      Cunliffe’s “crime” was that anonymous members of the Labour Carcass “knew” he was totally repulsive.

      Never any facts.

      Shearer never exposed or punished the authors (leakers) of that ABC article when DC was overseas.

  25. Jenny Kirk 25

    Mike – I am intrigued at the title of your post – MudSlinging.

    This is just what has happened to David Cunliffe – a lot of mud slung at him from a variety of people – media people who were “leaked” so-called information by other Labour MPs, the current Labour Whip, the MP who sat in his seat at the Trust meeting, and who was the person punished by the Labour Leader for all of this? Cunliffe, of course. Not the leakers, the whip, or the insulting senior MP !

    As a longtime Labour activist (and former MP) I am thoroughly disgusted by the behaviour of current Labour MPs over past months, and despite a number of attempts – have not been able to contact the Leader to talk to him about any of this.

    You started this post with a quote from Khandallaviper “What is characterising and feeding the ongoing divide?” and you go on to use the Trotter story, comments from Karol, etc to assume that the radical left (non-LP members) are “stirring” things up to disenchant and divide Labour supporters.

    I disagree. It is the Labour MPs including the Leader who are doing just that. They do not appear to have yet shaken off the shackles of Rogernomics policies, and they are dealing to Cunliffe in the same manner they dealt to Lange when he questioned those same policies.

    Labour has been down this track before. It is a track dominated by a right-leaning Caucus which dismisses any attempt to question it. And it will lose Labour support at election time, in the same manner that happened in 1990.

    • bad12 25.2

      And here +1, and so much for the ‘those with concerns should contact me directly instead of commenting in on-line forums’ message from Shearer…

      • Rhinoviper 25.2.1

        I think we can add that to “My door is always open” “You call does matter to us – please hold” and “Our staff are our greatest asset”.

    • J'Accuse 25.3

      +1

      What if they gave an election and nobody came ? Oops .. that happened last time.

      On current form, it will be a reprise.

    • Populuxe1 25.4

      +1

    • Anne 25.5

      +1 Jenny.

      It’s no good. Mike Smith has caught the ‘see no evil (blindfold) hear no evil (fingers in ears)’ disease that is all too prevalent in the Labour Party right now. I’m reminded of a witness in the Lindy Chamberlain murder case (he had knowledge that proved she could not have killed her baby) who said after the trial… he felt like a goldfish in a goldfish bowl swimming endlessly around opening and shutting his mouth but nothing was heard.

    • the sprout 25.6

      hear hear Jenny, says it all

    • Saarbo 25.7

      +1
      Mike,
      As Shearers advisor the best piece of advice that you can give him is to call a membership vote in Feb. For me Shearer and the ABC crew lack integrity, and quite frankly if you haven’t got integrity, the party is finished.

      Unless a membership vote takes place in Feb, there are so many of us members (members Mike, not Non Labour Left) who are so pissed off with what has happened that we will work for the Greens or Mana to make sure that Labour is buried.

      The ABC brigade in Labours caucus are no better than National. something has to happen!

      Integrity is critical!

  26. Peter 26

    Mike, you are better than this… I hope this isn’t the bidding of the Leader’s office.

    I put this in the same category of stifling debate as the ham-fisted attempt recently by Clare Curran to “out” the identity of Colonial Viper. That backfired spectacularly.

    What you are effectively saying, if I get it right, is that the Standard must slavishly support Shearer, at all costs. You know as well as I do, that short of maintaining a closed blog (which Labour does, and few now read), that will never happen with left-wing activists.

    What you seem to want is the Standard to run the party line, in order to then influence mainstream journalists. The logic is a bit backwards though – if you want to influence mainstream journalists, then get Shearer to start leading, and you won’t need to worry about the chatter here.

  27. Mike Smith 27

    Thanks Jenny. Of course I remember you well, as an MP in the most difficult caucus of them all from 1987 to 1990. The full story of those times remains to be told, particularly of those who stayed and fought from the inside to reclaim Labour. I saw it in those days from reasonably close range, working at the Engineers Union with Rex Jones when he was Party President.
    As for the current Labour caucus, I don’t agree that it “hasn’t shaken off the shackles of Rogernomics policies,” or that it is a “right-wing caucus.” That has been repeated so often that it is an article of faith for some, but in my view the evidence doesn’t support it. I’ll say some more about that later.

    • bad12 27.1

      Ummm, Dave Shearers ‘roof-painting sickness beneficiary speech, tell us that that wasn’t a dog-whistle to the right wing bene-bashers,

      KiwiBuild, an ‘announced’ piece of Labour policy totally disregards Labour’s previous policy of State owned rentals for 25% of household income, ignores the low waged trapped in the market rent sector, and in it’s announced form is a piece of socialism of,by, and for the middle class who can afford to service a 300+ grand mortgage…

    • geoff 27.2

      Mike, do you understand that being slighty to the left of National does not = left-wing?

      My impression of what most people on TS want from the Labour party is for it to bring ideology back on to the plate. We want Labour to be blunt and explicitly state that the reason why, for the last 30 years, wages have stagnated, houses have become unaffordable, inequality is at its highest ever level, electricity prices have skyrocketed, is because of a failed system, a failed ideology.

      Shearer is never going to deliver that.

    • Jenny Kirk 27.3

      In reply to Mike Smith re evidence doesn’t support my belief the Labour caucus is still rightwing :
      The Leader using an illusary sickness beneficiary to illustrate a story about everyone pulling their weight, the environmental spokesperson telling a Labour meeting that there is some good in GMOs, the Leader stating clearing that schools could “choose” whether or not to have National Standards as a measurement, no mention of rebuilding any of the lost state housing, half-hearted opposition to the TPPA (including the watering down of the one policy remit on this subject at conference) : these are just a few of the examples off the top of my head. It is not an “article of faith” – its actually listening to what caucus members are saying, realising they are following a path to the where they perceive the votes to be – centre/right – and in so doing are compromising themselves to retain that vote – and leaving the real Labour voters behind them.

      • felixviper 27.3.1

        Hi Jenny,

        We can also add “supporting National’s narrative on asset sales” to your list.

      • Wayne 27.3.2

        Labour is not going to opposse the TPPA. Jenny, you were on the left of the caucus when you were there, but now you seem to more Green. Fair enough – that seems to be the position of the majority of the commenters (and column contributors here).

        So for many of you the solution must be pretty simple. Aim to get Greens to say 20 to 25% and Labour around 25 to 30%. Now that would be a left wing bloc. Not sure it would be electable, but maybe left New Zealand is changing in that direction.

        Certainly Dr Norman is trying to make the Greens more mainstream. Metiria Turei seems more traditional Red Green which would probably hold the Greens back fom 25%.

        Can’t see Winston lining up with such a bloc, and of course the Nats would really be able to focus on the risks of such a Govt. In that case I reckon middle NZ (Chris Trotters “Waitakere Man”) would stay with the Nats. And Waitakere man is a constuct covering more than the actual 5% he actually is.

        For instance, I used to meet many teachers (members of NZEI) who were going to vote National. While they were not that keen on National Standards they were much more concerned about the overall balance of society (crime, welfare, taxes, CGT, less “busy body” regulation, etc). Their vote reflected their overall sense of what they thought was the best approach for NZ, not just their sector and in fact NS is just a small part of the overall role of a teacher.

  28. Yoza 28

    As I understand it New Zealand is a signatory to the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Mercenary_Convention).

    Shearer’s support for hired killers is nauseating, regardless of the rationale he puts forth in support of his argument. Instead of sending out an attack dog to attempt to silence those who also find his support for mercenaries an affront to civilised progressive ideals he should have come out and apologised for and renounced the position he held on the matter.

    • karol 28.1

      In his articles Shearer argues that professional private military companies are not “mercenaries”, because they act professionally and within the law.

      • Yoza 28.1.1

        As the ‘law’, in international terms, is defined by those who possess the largest arsenal of weapons, using euphemisms for mercenaries must surely be seen in this context; the US, for example, ‘legitimately liberated’ the people of Iraq.

        If these ‘ professional private military companies’ acting ‘professionally and within the law’ can not turn a enough of a profit protecting humanitarian aid convoys, then market conditions demand they find opportunity to find profit in spheres of activity that would not be so readily reported on by their publicists.

        http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/business-and-human-rights/private-military-and-security-companies

      • xtasy 28.1.2

        Karol – you could argue though that “mercenaries” would in many cases also operate professionally and within the law, e.g. following rules under what is called the Vienna Convention, if I rightly remember.

        It may depend who commissions and employs a mercenary, and what is expected of them, whether they are doing their not very savoury jobs in an acceptable form.

        That comparison between private military companies or forces and “mercenaries” sounds bizarre anyway. I am not a supporter of using mercenaries, and I am astonished about what Shearer wrote and stood for in this regard in the past.

        But apart from that, he has also hinted in a few interviews in this last year, that he wants to look at doing things “differently”, that he does not believe in the left-right debates, and he has not ruled out more outsourcing of services to private agencies, be this in welfare, housing, administration or whatever.

        Sadly I cannot reference this directly with particular interviews, but most certainly, I remember him making many such vague comments, which only cause many to wonder, what Shearer really stands for. My impression is not that he is standing solidly for traditional Labour policies.

        • karol 28.1.2.1

          xtasy and yoza, you make some good points about the (non)distinction between mercenaries and private military companies. I made that comment because I thought it important to provide Shearer’s actual argument about that.

          My main interest, as you can see from my post on the issue, is about Shearer’s politics around neoliberalism vs traditional labour/left values. As some like gobsmacked have said, the main problem is that Shearer really has been too vague about his political position, so we are left reading the entrails of his earlier writings.

          Saying he is not into left/right debates to me is a Blairite centrist position and avoids really owning left wing values.

        • xtasy 28.1.2.2

          What I was really referring to was of course the Geneva Convention, how to treat prisoners of war and that kind of stuff. I got a bit mixed up between dear old Austria and Swissiland, both highly valued countries with great traditions and cultures. Apologies.

  29. Good article Karol, it opens up more understanding of what Shearer is all about.
    McFlipper complains of ‘bitching’ about Shearer by commenters,posters, surely, if such
    thoughts are prevalent, then there has got to be a wide consensus that he is not accepted
    as the Labour leader and for very good reasons.
    Strong believers in the Labour Party do not want to hand it over to another neo-lib leader,
    people are prepared to have their voices heard and put their thoughts and opinons on
    their chosen site, that is democracy in action, detractors should just smoke the peace pipe.
    Shearer himself must know that he is not Leadership material,so why is he hanging on ?
    Shearer was interviewed by a reporter on tv in his parliamentry office, he was playing a guitar,there were no pictures on the walls, no photos of past leaders or any labour party paraphernalia, that, to me, is sign that his passion for labour values and principles,are missing
    in action, he continues to walk but does not talk the talk.
    McFlipper also ponders that if there was a vote in Feb and Shearer won,would we ‘shut up’,
    my understanding of the way Shearer operates, is that he is not entirely democratic and he probably would ‘pressure’ those within caucus to vote for him, as he has already done,
    how can a man be admired when he strong arms his cucus by demanding to know that
    they will vote for him in a ‘secret vote’ in Feb,what punishment would be forthcomming
    if those members refused to say who they would vote for, a further sign that his leadership
    approach is replicating his past work history.
    The fact that a democraticly elected leader was voted for in meetings around the country and the
    person who won was not installed as the rightful leader and then a ‘false coup’ situation was set up at the conference in order to oust that winning elected leader,shows the low levels that this current caucus and leadership will go to, so why the hell in god’s name, would anyone want to vote or support the Shearer led Labour Party.
    NZ really needs a ‘left’ win in 2014,or earlier, the Labour caucus is showing signs of
    the continual neo-lib thinking and have announced a housing policy that provides for
    those in the upper income levels, while ignoring those on the low incomes,in these trying times
    this is just not the true ‘Labour way’
    To get my vote Labour caucus needs to respect democracy and the opinions and
    expressions of the people, it also means having a ‘clean open contest’ for a leadership vote
    in Feb, the result to be respected and not set aside by caucus.
    An early election is a distinct possibility given nacts problems to date, with more to come.
    Labour caucus and allies should also respect the ‘peoples’ voice and not attack them,because if
    one arrow is aimed at bloggers, commenters etc,then ten will come back, there is plenty
    of ammo to fire back, it is what it is.

    • McFliper 29.1

      Hmm. If he’s not accepted as labour leader, the problem will solve itself in feb. pointless bitching. Oh, and where did I want people to “shut up”? I just can’t be bothered with the bile, exaggeration and doomsaying. And it will stop the left getting a majority in 2014

      What vote in electorate meetings determines labour caucus leadership?

      NZ has a “left”. It ain’t labour. It’s a hodgepodge of lab/green/mana.

      • Crimson Nile 29.1.1

        But will all the members get a say in February? Or just the 30-odd of them? That’s the nub, surely. Also, is Labour not primarily centrist in it’s ideology nowadays? Why is it necessary for the ‘NZ left’ to be anchored with a largely centrist political outlook?

        • McFliper 29.1.1.1

          I thought they changed the constitution? Wasn’t that the big vote?

          • Crimson Nile 29.1.1.1.1

            Not too sure. I don’t think that Labour members will necessarily get any say at all in February. Which might be why a few commentators seem annoyed.

            • McFliper 29.1.1.1.1.1

              See, nobody’s actually said THAT (or if they have, not for a while or I missed it). They just bitch about Shearer. FFS.

  30. ColonialPete 30

    As leader of the parliamentary caucus, David Shearer has a duty to live and breathe the principles of the Labour Party as outlined in the party constitution

    The very first principle states “All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot”. The treatment of Mr Shearer and his surrogates of Mr Cunliffe’s refusal to say how he would vote in February in a secret ballot is a betrayal of this principle.

    Another two principles are: “All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process” and “All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work”. The beneficiary on the roof debacle was not Mr Shearer’s finest hour in this respect. It is not up to him to second-guess a medical assessment of any particular beneficiary. Nor is the subtext of bringing all beneficiaries or those on ACC under suspicion likely to encourage their full participation in the social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres. It certainly diminishes their dignity.

    In fact of the nine principles, there’s only really one that he’s advocated for: “The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability” and that is in his support for Louisa Wall’s bill. Yet his failure to censure Su’a William Sio hints at very weak support for that at best.

    In short, Mr Shearer fails to be an advocate for the principles of the Labour Party and only barely succeeds at being one for a “We’re not National” Party. Which is not enough. You might say the talent pool is shallow given the size of the caucus, but he must at the very least act in accordance with the principles set out in Labour’s constitution. Looking at his leadership through that lens so far, I don’t believe he is and I see no indication that he will in the future.

    • Olwyn 30.1

      I would like to see Labour MPs held to the party constitution, and not just to the point that refers to Labour as the “party of change.”

  31. ak 31

    It’s pimply sissing as the duchess said to the taxidermist, which brings to misty mind a smilarly warm wet 1998 or 9 day and a cheery band compising half a dozen physically and mentally-challenged now mostly deceased sept- and octogenarians and other social misfits and outcasts sloshing through suburban streets on decrepit bicycles and holey gumboots, drenched to the pallid skin, man women child all risking already-shaky health to deliver semi-sodden, amateurishly compiled Alliance pamphlets to every innocent box or body in sight.

    Later they’d bake cakes and muffins into the night and plot raffling off junk while moaning about the vain little puffed-up leader and his lazy arrogant sycophantic coterie and the mish-mash of party egos at the top and their inalbility to unite, and some would even write lengthy, heartfelt and sensible letters, dutifully discussed, endorsed and signed by all fully paid-up members present, to be dispatched and invariably, totally, ignored.

    Then they’d do it all over again the next day. Why? Because although the word had not yet been coined, of that vain little fart’s backstory. Because alone among the privileged left, he’d rejected Lab/ACT – in action and word. He’d put his life on the line for others; compared to establishment and former-friend opprobrium of the most severe type imaginable, baking was a doddle. And days, weeks, months later, they’d celebrate: as the Left assumed a seemingly unassailable political stronghold and succour seemed at last at hand to the victims of 4th Lab/1st ACT and the terrible nineties.

    But again, of course, the coterie cancer struck. The fish’s head rotted over nothing and took all with it, leaving hapless Hels alone and fatally wounded, hopelessly appeasing into the abyss.

    Get their ship together pronto Mike. Without dad’s army they’re chickenless heads: the backstory’s sound, but without the sacrifice, verbal steel and above all unity at the top, the bikes will stay in the shed. With the ballot forms.

    These are the sensible letters of today Mike. And until we see progress we’ll continue posting them to the tories as well, like it or fracking lump it.

  32. Alinsky 32

    79 comments and none saying Shearer is the best person to lead Labour into the next election.

    Got the picture, Mike?

  33. Jim Viperald - Once was colonised 33

    Hmm. Time to activate the next plan –

    Grant Robertson to step up to the leadership.

    • Alinsky 33.1

      But that was the plan all along.

      • gobsmacked 33.1.1

        And everybody knows it, which is what makes the charade so infuriating. Insulting, really.

        We’re being told to get behind Shearer, when we know the same people will be telling us to get behind the guy who takes his job. Who is more honourable – the ones who tell it like it is, or the ones who pledge “100% support” before withdrawing it overnight?

        Get on with it, Grant. We know it’s going to happen, so let’s not waste another year.

  34. gobsmacked 34

    I’m not too bothered about Shearer’s well-known views about resolving international conflicts. To recall them is not “mud slinging”, but to draw substantive conclusions from them about NZ today is a bit of a stretch. Very different challenges, very different environments.

    But conjecture fills a vacuum. And who created that vacuum? David Shearer.

    He has stated (not misrepresented by the MSM, but in his own words) that he doesn’t believe in “left/right”. He believes in “whatever works”. He wants to “make a difference”. He supports science. Science is good. (Who knew?). Mike Smith is a student of UK Labour history … remember “the white heat of new technology”? It didn’t mean anything when Harold Wilson said it, it doesn’t mean anything now. It’s a platitude. Steven Joyce could say it.

    Given a platform, a chance to outline his beliefs on his own terms, David Shearer says … nothing. This was his first big speech as leader …

    http://www.labour.org.nz/node/4637

    It’s vacuous. Google February and March 2012, and try to find some indication from the new leader that he stands for something – anything. Long BEFORE the naughty people on the Standard were “rocking the boat”, or “slinging mud”, or whatever the official pejorative is today.

    And this has gone on all year. He has had little to say, and he’s said it badly. Two speeches in twleve months had a bit of meat. That’s the lot.

    Personally I doubt that he’s a closet right-winger, but that’s just a hope, not a conclusion based on solid evidence. He doesn’t give us any.

    Soon he’ll be making his Big Speech to kick off 2013. He kicked off 2012 by announcing that Labour would support National in suspending payments to the Cullen Fund. Yes, after months of preparation that was the new leader’s Big Idea. Nobody cared.

    David Shearer and his faction have created this problem. it’s their job to solve it. They won’t achieve that by telling everyone else to “sit down, sit down, you’re rocking the boat”.

    • Populuxe1 34.1

      +1

    • Socialist Paddy 34.2

      Aye. And what Labour needs to realise is that Cunliffe has the admiration of the Standard and of the left because when he gives a speech he speaks with passion and conviction.

      He makes sense. He correctly identifies problems and offers a way forward.

      He does not engage in that mind numbingly stupid mode of speech where he talks about some fecking beneficiary repairing his roof and how some indignant tool takes exception to it. He uses the power of ideas and not the power of the dog whistle.

      If Shearer could do this then I am sure he would get more support on this blog. But he has responded to commentators indignation by dissing them.

      The stupidity of this as a course of action is so clear.

      [lprent: The Standard is a lump of software mounted on some hardware that resides in various places in the cloud. It doesn’t give “admiration” because (like you) it doesn’t think. Unlike software, people do think – and they mostly have wildly differing opinions. This space on the net is no exception. People, unlike machines, also get irritated when self-appointed mindless fools try to claim that they know how each of them thinks – it usually starts flame-wars.

      Read the policy on the subject of self-martyrdom offences. Thank yourself lucky that I’m willing to just give you a mild spray from the fire-hose of sysop sarcasm. ]

      • Socialist Paddy 34.2.1

        Right you are lprent. Excuse my verbal sloppiness. Of course the Standard does not of itself have any thoughts or opinions.

        Prhaps some within the Labour Party caucus also deserve at least a mild spray :smile:

    • Karen 34.3

      Well said Gobsmacked. I am not at all convinced by the argument that Shearer’s support for private militia in certain circumstances means that he is a neo liberal However, I am concerned that Shearer has now been more than a year in the job and I still have no idea what he believes in and what kind of NZ he wants to build.
      Those of us who were around during Rogernomics are justifiably suspicious, and Shearer’s refusal to enter into dialogue with Labour Party members with doubts about the direction the party is taking does nothing to allay their fears.

      • Olwyn 34.3.1

        When someone says they believe in “whatever works” while claiming that they want to “make a difference” it is fair enough to want to know more about the difference they have in mind, and what that person would see as “something working.” And it is fair enough to remain suspicious when explanations are not forthcoming.

        If we had a heroic left wing leader who was able to persuade the right wing media that he or she was onto it, then claims like “Even right wingers are getting to like him” might have some substance to them. But not when the person in question constantly equivocates and refuses to admit to thinking anything. Similarly, if someone was kneecapped because that person was actively thwarting decent left wing initiatives, all might be forgiven, but not when the reverse appears to be true.

    • Vinscreen Viper 34.4

      “He … doesn’t believe in “left/right”. He believes in “whatever works”.

      It would be easy to imagine the same words coming from the mouth of Barak Obama as he leans over backwards – or should that be leans over forwards – to try to reach a consensus with the foaming-at-the-mouth Tea-Party extremists of the GOP while managing to ignore, somehow, the fact that these people want to see him fail -and will sabotage anything he does or tries to do whatever the cost to Americans and America – just so they can feel justified.

      I visit this site regularly looking for and hoping to find a reason to vote Labour at the next election. I haven’t found one yet.

    • Populuxe1 34.5

      “Whatever works” – well Fascism “works” (rather too well) and Stalinism “works” but I wouldn’t recommend either. It’s the same old saw: you can’t make an omelette without breaking some (l)eggs. However I’m not sure it’s an omelette I would particularly want to eat.

  35. Shearer is hardly a war hawk, unlike John Key: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIXgJ7r2vU

  36. coolas 36

    Farrar endorses ‘nice’ Mr Shearer because he’s National’s best chance of getting a third term. That Mike Smith can’t see it is disturbing.

    Shearer is a bumbling embarrassment and will be minced in TV debates where he has to improvise … um, err, ahh .. I’m cringing already. His intellect is lazy and his delivery of what he thinks is muddled. Can he shape up by 2014? I don’t think so.

    • Marty 36.1

      That’s a sobering view really. By the time the other side is happy with your choice of leader, there has to be something wrong!

      Shearer has to go.

      Can you imagine him keeping Russel Normal under control in a coalition government?

  37. Molly Polly 37

    You see Mike, many Labour Party members and potential supporters are currently despairing of Labour.

    Take my family gathering at Christmas for instance.

    My extended whanau are on the whole favourable to Labour. I myself am a long serving LP member. Even had a crack as a candidate in a National stronghold many years back. There was no hope of winning but at least Labour supporters had someone to vote for! My kids (now adults) were brought up delivering LP pamphlets, helping at fundraising events and taking turns working on LP stalls at the markets.

    At Christmas lunch the talk turned to politics. There has been a noticeable shift in my once staunch LP family members. Those under 40 are now Green Party members or supporters. Some voted that way at the last election or split their vote. My adult kids stood behind Labour, but they were faltering until Phil Goff lifted his game in the last few weeks and his heroic push at the end persuaded them to give both their votes to Labour.

    Without exception, their support for Labour has now waned. They feel more in tune with the Greens and particularly their Leaders, Turei and Norman. They like their policies, they like what the Greens stand for. I doubt they will ever come back to Labour. Just like many of the friends.

    Those over 40 at our family gathering said they were increasingly despondent with Labour. One of them over dinner said, “It feels like Labour is a train wreck about to happen, albeit in slow motion, and there is nothing we can do to stop it!”

    He went on to say, ” We had Goff slowly inching his way to disaster in the last election…and now it feels like history is repeating itself. For Goff it was going to be a hard task to win as Key was still basking in undeserved public glory. But today the general public are beginning to see through Mr Nice Guy, and the Government, is in fact, a fucking train wreck. A perfect opportunity for Labour. But what do we have? A boring, uninspiring, insipid, bumbling Leader, who so far, is unable to display much confidence in Labour winning in 2014.”

    For the first time in over 40 years as a Labour supporter I am questioning my political allegiance. The trouble is, I and my older family members, just as the younger ones already have, are warming towards the Greens. We like the way they vote for their leaders, we like the fact they have a man and woman co-sharing the leadership, we like the fact they speak up clearly about the economy, the environment, child poverty, health and education. We know what they stand for.

    It’s hard for a Labourite like me. Loyalty runs deep. The hours and hours and hours of stuffing envelopes, walking the streets delivering pamphlets, phone canvassing 1,000’s of people and baking for fundraisers…all for the Labour cause. Deep in my heart I believe in the ethos that has always been Labour – fairness for all, social justice, equal rights, a living wage, etc.

    But Labour has become unstuck. There was some light at the end of tunnel after the election with the leadership candidate meetings. What an inspiring process. We all knew which one was the winner. But the caucus knew better. We hoped to hell they were right. But it has become increasingly obvious they got it wrong Big Time despite the memberships’ gut feeling about who should have won the leadership.

    Despite a good speech at Conference, it really was too little too late. And who believes that Shearer will run rings around Key in the election debates come 2014, or that he will even come close? And it’s not that we don’t want him to, it’s just that we can’t imagine he will as there has been, so far, no stirring off-the-cuff statements or passionate interviews that can convince us otherwise. And he has been Leader for over a year now.

    So as you can see Mike, many of my whanau have lost faith in Labour. The younger ones of course have already departed, but for those of us who remain, we are struggling. We feel so dispirited that we can’t even face going to LEC meetings. When we do it feels like a charade…everyone pretending to be positive about Labour and the direction it is taking, but never a mention of the elephant in the room. We know we should attend more and speak our minds, but that is difficult to do when one’s MP is close to the Leader and is part of the ABC group.

    For many of us it has got to the stage that even that person is not likely to get our vote at the next election, let alone the Party.

    (I can’t believe I have actually written that last sentence…)

    But back to our whanau Christmas gathering.

    After the younger family members had gone skinny dipping in the sea (following one of the hottest Christmas Days on record)…us oldies came to the conclusion over the last dregs of wine, that unless a miracle happens (perhaps a full membership vote in February?) and/or Labour finds it’s mojo again, the chances of ditching Red for Green is now very much on the cards.

    • LynWiper 37.1

      +1

    • RedLogix 37.2

      And to me that sounds the most authentic voice (among many fine contenders) I’ve heard.

      Right from the beginning I’ve felt ambivalent about Shearer. Frankly I still feel that Labour would be in a better position if Goff had stayed on. Like most members I would much prefer Cunliffe as caucus leader, but at least Goff had decades of experience and had earned some street-cred in the last weeks of the 2011 campaign.

      Instead we now have the stagnant consequences of the Labour caucus overriding the clear wishes of the membership reeking out everything. Let’s be absolutely clear. The Labour caucus have only themselves to blame for creating this situation in the first place; the onus was on Shearer’s performance to justify the decision they made, and now it’s up to caucus to acknowledge that they have failed to convince their own party membership that they made the right decision.

      It’s not ok for Mike Smith to misappropriate the notion of ‘party unity’ to demand the party membership paper over the gaping cracks in what is now clearly seen to be a wrong caucus decision.

      • xtasy 37.2.1

        RL – I have never been a “fan” of Goff, but he surely did much better than the “surfer” and “guitarist” we have now, formerly UN staffer, trying his luck on a job back after his lengthy OE!?

        I was actually a bit disappointed about Goff throwing in the towel after the defeat. Of course he stuffed up, but he was trying to turn a ship around that had followed the wrong course for too long. Trouble was the wider public were still infatuated by a money dealer, promising them little pain and much reward (which never came), while Labour was not trusted.

        The whole matter goes much deeper than just Shearer, who though was an unfortunate choice for “leader”.

      • Mike Smith 37.2.2

        RL – Shearer is at 25% as preferred leader in today’s HoS poll. Goff at 0.8%. Cunliffe and Ardern at 0.6%. That’s an equivalent three-quarters of Labour supporters in the poll supporting Shearer

    • Alanz 37.3

      + 2014

      Alanz shed a tear.

    • Mike Smith 37.4

      Molly Polly – you will have noticed as your whanau went skinny dipping that the tide is always furthest out before it turns. In my view the tide is well past the turn, the trend in the polls favours Labour – and today Shearer is up to 25% as preferred PM, a sign that he is getting better coverage and in the mix. I’ve seen the dwon times before, as you may well have; I’ve seen Labour come out of them too, and I’m positive about 2013.

  38. Tim 38

    Dear Labour,

    I WAS your member. YOU were my servant – an elected servant thru’ elected representatives in a parliament. You were given entitlements that were fitting in light of various sacrifices you were prepared to male – but sacrifices that were not concealed and that you CHOSE to undertake.

    Then you got ideas above your station. You thought – I’ve fought hard and I want more. Despite the hardships of people those you CHOSE to represent were somewhat more than you has to endure, your growing sense of entitlement made you demand more, and gave you some false idea that you were able to convince and convert them to your way of thinking (as a “leader”), and them as “followers”

    Seems you forgot the basics. Not only were the tensions between an ideology and pragmatism challenged, but you forgot PRINCIPLES because they all became inconvenient to your lifestyle.

    Tuff shit – If they’re inconvenient – GO FIND ANOTHER PARTY.

    The Labour Party is its members and its electorate supporters. It ISN’T you as politicians manerrrvering and manipulating, Pagani-ing and Smithing, or Shearering and Cunliffing.

    Can’t handle the concept? – GO FIND another rock, from under which you’ll emerge in a bid to exercise your ego – or forever be confined to irrelvance, ridicule and jibes.

    Labour as a Party (though currently completely munted) is hugely bigger than you as Paulie Politician. You’ll either destroy it, or build it by adhering to its PRINCIPLES – not its ‘ideology’ or whatever comes along to challenge it.

    If the lessons of pathetic little specimens such as a doddering Roger Douglas or a number of others aren;t sufficient to have learned a lesson, then you are incapable of learning . AGAIN – fuck off and find or found another political party in which to exercise your pathetic egos.

    (and Mike – even if you were a founder of a magnificent forum such as this) – [IB – settle down.] or don’t presume to represent Labour Pary principle

    • karol 38.1

      Tim, in your own interests, you might consider withdrawing your last sentence and apologising. Mike is a Standard author. Abusing an author is a banning offence, as in the sites policy:

      http://thestandard.org.nz/policy/

      • Tim 38.1.1

        Hello Karol.
        Since Mike is (as I understand things) not only an author, but part of a team that was the inspiration for this site, I concede he probably has the right to determine its flavour.
        Since I also think that supporters of the current Labour Party LEADERSHIP betray its principles and do so whilst they embrace ANY part of the neo-liberal agenda, I am just as happy to read some of the brilliant posts such as your own, and make no further comment myself.
        I am not alone however in voicing the sense of betrayal many (such as extended family and friends) feel having supported a party for nearly half a century, at times being directly involved in its promotion, and to the extent that after waiting, waiting, waiting, they’ve lost our votes.
        If Mike is offended by my suggestion that he does not represent what I believe Labour supporters (and the Party as it was instituted) stand for, then I believe that is part of the problem – a Party that professes to be comfortable with a diversity of opinion.

        As I say – I am happy to simply read the posts and comments, and make no further of my own.
        Mike – for all I know is quite probably a decent sort of fella. It doesn’t change however the disenchantment many feel for the people he is supporting and canvassing support for WHILST they embrace current ‘leadership’ thinking.
        Hopefully I’ll see/read more from you (not on this issue) soon.

        • McFliper 38.1.1.1

          The thing I can’t comprehend is why anyone who stayed in labour through lab4 can talk with a straight face about opposing supposed right-wing tendencies in their leadership.

        • karol 38.1.1.2

          Tim, the rest of your comments are fine. But there are some minimal rules for commenting on this site. I see the moderator just deleted one phrase from your comment. There is not a problem with expressing your discontent with the Labour caucus leadership, or your unhappiness with any political party here, or with anything Mike or any author posts. But if you abuse an author, the moderators are going to take notice.

          As I understand it you are not alone in your sense of frustration. You expressed that well.

          I hope to see more comments from you in the future. Such comments help explaine the situation, and also maybe help to finding a positive way forward.

  39. Marty 39

    Ok, some of you people are looking at this like it’s a glass half empty.

    Stop focusing so much on individuals and zoom out a bit. We’re talking a 4% shift in the polls between now and the election and we’re in charge of a Labour-led government.

    And those of you voting Green, look, I can understand the emotions here, but think strategically for a moment: The next government will be a Labour-led government in a coalition with the Greens.

    Do you really want to give all that power away to the Greens? Do you really want Russel Norman as a finance minister?

    No.

    So let’s focus on the big picture here.

    • bad12 39.1

      Pssst, hate to burst your bubble here, BUT, the Standard aint a Labour Party web-site, and, the Green Party of Aotearoa aint some form of bolt on construct whose sole purpose is to rubber stamp the decisions of a Labour Government,

      The fact is that the Green Party promotes policy that was at the core of the Labour Party prior to the Lange Government, i support such policy and as such support the Green Party,

      Would i like to see Russell Norman as the Minister of Finance, why yes, no emotion involved, there is nothing i would like to see more,

      As far as i am concerned the more votes for the Green Party at the 2014 election the greater the chances there will be of better economic and social justice decisions being forthcoming from the next Labour lead Government…

    • mike 39.2

      “…and we’re in charge of a Labour-led government.”

      Who’s we?

      “Do you really want to give all that power away to the Greens? Do you really want Russel Norman as a finance minister?

      No.”

      The phrase ‘speak for yourself’ comes to mind.

      • xtasy 39.2.2

        WE are DA PEOPLE, for heaven’s sake!

        Da People may wish to have a SAY!?

        I know many have been told they have no mind worthy and no brain functioning, as that function is supposed to be “reactionary” and resulting to commercial incentives, based on brainwashing – to buy certain products and services, to otherwise shut the brain off, or risk being classed as “mentally ill”, as they may not fit the “main stream”!?

        So once you question the consumerist, commercial, capitalist society, they will class you as “mentally instable or even ill”!

      • Marty 39.2.3

        All I’m asking is for us (can I say us?) to zoom out a bit.

        Or have “we” arrived at a point were “our” collective expectations are better served by the Green Party?

        Aren’t “we” just caught in short term thinking?

        Wanting instant gratification to ease our current frustrations?

        What happened to the long game?

        Are we truly that powerless?

        Do we have to abandon the vehicle that served us so well for so long just because we have a problem with the people driving it?

        We now celebrate that life-long Labour party activists are leaving the Party?

        This doesn’t bother anyone?

        Is the appropriate response to run away?

        Has it all gotten to difficult?

        Are we happy to abandon what our parents built?

        While “we” on the left are a house divided, everything we like to see is in the hands of those that destroy everything.

        “We” didn’t have this problem when Helen was in charge.

        Helen Clark left, and suddenly “we” are a political vehicle that needs to be abandoned for the Greens?

        Are “we” this fickle? Wouldn’t things change if there were a few different people in charge? What does that say about “us”?

        • bad12 39.2.3.1

          There’s a little bit more to it than that don’t you think??? the obvious leadership coup beat-up by in particular TV3 at the Labour Party annual conference being a glaring example,

          If the Shearer ‘camp’ within the Labour Parliamentary Caucus were not involved in planning what was essentially ‘lies’ put forth by TV3 news, (there was never going to be a coup attempt by Cunliffe at the Conference), then ‘team’ Shearer gladly engaged in the pretense that there was to be a coup attempt,

          It is obvious to one and all that until the Shearer leadership is tested by a party wide vote that many of the activists who engage in the grunt work of organizing the Labour Party out-side of the Parliament will remain agitated and there will not be a unified Labour Party until such time as a vote is held,

          To my undying shame i trod the miles stuffing letter-boxes with Labour Party election material in effect helping to elect the Lange Government along with Sir(spit) Roger Douglas and the rest of that story has been well canvassed,

          Labour left me at that point in time and in the ensuing years have done very little to attract me as either an activist or a voter…

        • karol 39.2.3.2

          I stopped party voting Labour during the time Clark was PM. I’ve been voting Green since then. The Greens are offering policy more suited to NZ’s long-term benefit than the parliamentary NZLP these days. We need a strong Green Party to keep the NZLP from further rightwards slippage.

          • Te Reo Putake 39.2.3.2.1

            “We need a strong Green Party to keep the NZLP from further rightwards slippage.”

            Er, how does that work, karol? I would have thought the Greens would be too busy shoring up their own vote to be worried about Labour, even if they had some influence over the LP, which they don’t. It’s in both parties interests that they both do well, but they are seperate entities.

            The funny thing is, that despite all the whingeing from non LP commenters here, the Labour party continues to enjoy the support of a third of Kiwi voters and will lead the next Government. The PM will be Shearer. The Greens will continue to max out at low double figures, because their policy and branding restricts them to that result. They are going to be a great coalition partner, in my opinion, because they have matured over the last 15 years and are now ready to take the big step of being part of Government, rather than having to accept scraps from the master’s table.

            I’m looking forward to the next election more than any since ’99, because the result is going to be a Government for the times, and the for the real issues we face.

            • Macro 39.2.3.2.1.1

              You answered that question yourself TRP.
              As you stated, Labour has approx 1/3 of the popular vote. Well you know that is NOT enough to govern. They need the support of another party and that is the Greens who are continuing to accumulate support from disappointed Labour voters as well as from other shades of the political spectrum. The more people become aware of the rapidly changing climate and the loss of national power in this country – the more they are going to expect more radical policy, and that unfortunately is not what is being voiced by Labour spokespeople at the present time.
              In short, Labour must accept some Green Party Policy (and vice versa) – the more the better – if it wants to form a Government.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Agree, Macro. It’s the combination of the two parties that excites me, because I think they will compliment each other to form a truly great Government. Not that it won’t be without its difficulties, starting with policy and portfolio allocation, but the potential is amazing.

        • Olwyn 39.2.3.3

          At this stage we are being asked to give a man whose position is largely unknown to us a blank slate. Jenny Kirk has listed a few things that suggest that the team behind this man lean rightwards. http://thestandard.org.nz/mud-slinging/comment-page-1/#comment-567801

          This suspicion is exacerbated by the fact that the anxieties of party members are not being addressed, despite the fact that they are readily known. Any heading on this site containing the name Shearer gets upward of 100 comments, most of them expressing concern.

          We have no mechanism for holding parliamentarians to Labour Party principles, and the party has been hijacked before. While I would like to see the back of Key, I do not see any good reason for complacently waving red pompoms until I see Labour parliamentarians standing firmly behind Labour principles. I do not want to see Key followed by Key* and nothing said by Shearer so far has assured me that this will not be the case.

        • Rhinoviper 39.2.3.4

          Do we have to abandon the vehicle that served us so well for so long just because we have a problem with the people driving it?

          That’s not a very good analogy. If I was in a Rolls-Royce, a Volvo – or whatever good car you nominate – and it was being driven by a drunk committee, I’d want to get out, no matter how many airbags it had.

    • Galeandra 39.3

      The ‘big picture’ is that I don’t want a pinkwashed neoliberal party called ‘Labour’ to subvert the drive for much needed radical change. If you can’t abide Russel Norman’s economic policy then go on on Frogblog and say so- preferably with some intelligent explanation.
      Surely to God we can all see that it isn’t about ‘winning’ in 2014 but about expressing modern socialism for electoral inspection and acceptance. Green policy is already on that path to a significant degree.

      • Marty 39.3.1

        “Surely to God we can all see that it isn’t about ‘winning’ in 2014 but about expressing modern socialism for electoral inspection and acceptance.”

        I can’t see that.

        All I see is a house divided and people turning in on themselves instead of addressing the practical issues of getting the right people to run this country.

        This is about pragmatic strategy, not ideological purity.

        Ask the LibertariaNZ how ideological purity is going for them in terms of influence on this country.

        Being in charge is the first and only objective. If that is distasteful, perhaps it’s better to join Toastmasters or a debating society.

        Or, dare I say it, rejoice in filling a blog with comments better than any other.

        When does all this turn into action (other than voting Green?)

        • Crimson Nile 39.3.1.1

          “Being in charge is the first and only objective. If that is distasteful, perhaps it’s better to join Toastmasters or a debating society.”
          Power at almost any cost, as an end to itself? Nice.

          • Marty 39.3.1.1.1

            No.

            The reality is that you need to be in charge to get to decide where to take New Zealand.

            That’s all.

            The ideologically pure can watch the decisions other people took on TV while sitting in comfort on their righteous and ideologically pure couches.

            Of all the compromises, back stabbings and evil plotting that makes up politics, “we” are going to turn up our noses at winning an election as our first and only objective?

            As for “almost any cost”, no.

            Just like the All Blacks won’t have it in their team plan to arrange for an accident for the opposing team’s best players, you can be assured that their primary focus is on winning.

            Shifting left votes between left parties isn’t going to make the prospect of taking down John Key and his band of merry men and women any more likely.

            By the time “we” here have convinced ourselves another term of National is better than a Labour-led government with the current people in charge, we really need to ask what game we’re playing, exactly.

            • karol 39.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s not a game. It’s called democracy, and it’s about all of the people in NZ, expecially the least powerful.

              Supporting the Greens, is not about foregoing getting into government. It’s about working to get a strong left wing government. You fallacy is your dismissal of the Green’s potential.

            • bad12 39.3.1.1.1.2

              Sorry, you may view the Labour Parliamentary team as ‘left’ i don’t, i see the Labour Parliamentary team as being divided left/right,

              But, you obviously see Parliamentary Labour as left, in such a situation what then is the difference whether anyone votes Green or votes Labour???,

              My view is that the more Green MP’s that there are in the Parliament the further to the left a Labour lead Government will have to target it’s policy’s to keep the Greens onside and ensure a longer lasting hold on power…

        • Sanctuary 39.3.1.2

          “…This is about pragmatic strategy, not ideological purity…”

          This is a ridiculous strawman argument that is basically saying we should be happy to vote for a speed-bump to the neo-liberal steamroller. Screw that. I want to vote for something that wants to not just stop the steamroller but turn that mother around and squash a few cherished right wing dreams. Why is that so hard for a left wing party? Why it not possible to do more than offer tinkering with the neo-liberal paradigm? National has plans to sell state assets and create looney tune charter schools, both driven by little more than extreme ideology. Why can’t a Labour party promise to buy back the power companies without compensation in 2014, reform the reserve bank act, to introduce currency controls, to introduce a Robin Hood tax? Because that is “to ideologically pure?” This fear of ideological purity is noticeably absent on the other side.

          So I don’t see a fear of ideological purity, I see a fear of losing the benefits of being part of the elite. At the moment I think the Labour party caucus is full of fat cat cowards who have been subverted by their big pay packets and the ludicrous trapping of status and now don’t have the guts to take on the right wing establishment.

          Look, Labour at the moment seems intellectually moribund and scared to be even the softest shade of red. I am not saying it need to embrace Marxism – but Labour DOES need to display some sort of intellectual vigour, some awareness that new ideas are needed and show a willingness to take on the right and adopt a more pragmatic approach to getting it’s economic hands dirty by intervening to fundamentally change the prevailing economic orthodoxy that is re-creating exactly the same society the Labour party was founded to get rid of in the first place.

          I think there is a widespread feeling that Labour is not rising to the challenge, that it has come so completely a creature of the prevailing establishment that it cannot address the very issues that it was created to address, and instead it has become fundamentally part of the problem, part of the establishment that needs a root and branch reform. If Labour cannot address the social crisis of the early 21st century, a crisis of the same making the Labour party was originally SET UP to deal with, then maybe after nearly 100 years this dog really has had its day.

          • QoTViper 39.3.1.2.1

            This is a ridiculous strawman argument that is basically saying we should be happy to vote for a speed-bump to the neo-liberal steamroller.

            Perfectly phrased, Sanc.

    • xtasy 39.4

      The “big picture” always changes. Key may pour you half a glass of bourbon, and it is FULL for the effect then, while someone else may pour you half a glass of water, and it is not giving you any “kick” at all, while it is the more truthful and natural, healthy dosage of a drink. So re-think perhaps your size of glass and what is in it??!

    • The Al1en 39.5

      “Do you really want to give all that power away to the Greens?”

      Yep!

      “Do you really want Russel Norman as a finance minister?”

      Would make a better PM, for sure.

      ‘So let’s focus on the big picture here.”

      Or how shit Shearer and his ‘insider backers’ are.

  40. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 40

    I nominate “the non-Labour left” as the most awesome criticism of anything, ever. First Curran, now Smith – it’s just gold.

  41. Antony Cotton 41

    I have come very disappointed in the Labour Party In the new year I am joining United Future NZ. That’s Peter Dunne Party Labour is stuck in the past Goff King Mallard Fenton Ross Robinson Street Maroney Jones Horomia Dyson Prasad Dalziel Mahuta all should go at the next Election I would have Cunliffe Leader Robertson Deputy Parker Finance Wall Social Development Curran Health Chauvel Justice Hipkins Education Ardern Acc. Shearer number 10 Foreign Affairs Spokerperson. You could get rid of the some List M.Ps Now Like Street Fenton Jones Prasad Moroney. You bring Beaumont Davis Sepuloni over ride Rick Barker Bring in Deborah Mahuta Coyle and Stuart Nash.
    Here Labour Caucus Would look Like
    Cunliffe Robertson Parker Wall Curran Chauvel Hipkins Ardern Cosgrove Shearer Mackey Whip Little Junior Whip O Connor Beaumont Davis Sepuloni Nash Clark Twyford Sio that top 20 Unranked Goff King Mallard Robinson Mahuta Coyle Dalziel Dyson Huo Woods Rino T Mahuta Horomia Lees Galloway Faafoi. It looks a bit fresher even Shearer is Leader and some of the old Guard go it looks fresher.

  42. Im with you Mike. I just wonder where the hell some off these critics come from//It seems to me that most off them are

  43. Huginn all God's Vipers 43

    Thanks for the heads-up, Mike. I couldn’t agree with your more.

    Sad but true – there IS ‘ . . . an old problem for Labour, when the outside left links with the far right to drag Labour down.’ Their open, and perverse support for John Banks as Mayor of Auckland comes to mind as a clear example.

    Things are going to get ugly over the next 18 months. The Nats can smell defeat at the polls in 2014 after what many of them will see as a wasted second term – they’re going to try and turn that around any way they can.

    And yes, they will try and recruit the Millenarian Left.

    • karol 43.1

      Huginn all God’s Viper:Their open, and perverse support for John Banks as Mayor of Auckland comes to mind as a clear example.

      [citation needed]

      I certainly didn’t vote Banks. I voted for Len Brown and told anyone who was interested that was how I was voting, on and offline.

      • Huginn all God's Vipers 43.1.1

        Banks vs Hubbard, 2007

        • karol 43.1.1.1

          I don’t know any lefties who were openly promoting Banks back then. I was in Waitakere and some of us gave Aucklanders a bit of a ribbing over Banks. But none supported him.

          I voted Harvey because I didn’t want Tamihere as Mayor. And, after the nasty treatment the current Labour caucus leaders dished out to Cunliffe, having them then welcome Tamihere back in the fold is pretty galling. Tamihere is the one who has been bad-mouthing the LP and offending women and LGBT LP supporters.

          • Huginn all God's Vipers 43.1.1.1.1

            There was an open endorsement of Banks in the Op Ed

            • karol 43.1.1.1.1.1

              What’s the Op Ed?

              PS: As I was one of the people (pseudo)named in Mike’s post as being part of the “outside left”, I think it’s a pretty loose and wild allegation to connect me/us with Banks supporters – or DPF allies for that matter.

              • Rhinoviper

                outside left

                I found the whole tone and content of the post to be both disingenuous and lame. The author, I thought, was above that sort of dismissive, mean-spirited nonsense. -sarcasm- The post should have just used the stock phrase “useful idiots” and been done with it. -/sarcasm-

                • karol

                  Well, there is certainly little substance to the criticism of me and Trotter beyond the fact that we have both critiqued Shearer’s PMSC pieces, and so have some right-wingers. And we all have some criticisms of the parliamentary LP leadership. But, as Mike’s criticism of me was for a post that hadn’t at that point been published, how did he know I was siding with right wingers?

                  I don’t think right-wingers would make the same criticisms that I made in my post – which was largely to do with me being anti-neoliberal.

                  What of Team Shearer being critical of Cunliffe like some right-wingers, and Shane Jones using the same sort of arguments as right wingers against the Greens? And John Tamihere criticisIng the NZLP in ways similar to right wing criticisms of the NZLP?

              • Huginn all God's Vipers

                Sorry, I did not mean to imply that you had offered comfort to John Banks’ in any way. I really didn’t mean to do that.
                For the record: I’ve always found your posts straight forward and thoughtful and I appreciate the work that you it into writing them.

                Please bear in mind that I know you here only by your pen name, and the work presented by you under that name here is all that I can know of you here.

  44. peterlepaysan 44

    Why Trotter posted his Shearer blog somewhat escapes me.

    Negotiators in war zones do what they have to, period.

    NZ is not a war zone (yet).

    The real issue for the NZLP is where the hell are the non voters who (once upon a time used to vote Labour)?

    Caucusians will never figure it out, they betrayed us in 1984 and have not stopped,(except for breath).

    National and Labour are Tweedleddum and Tweedlledee in Wonderland

    • Colonial Viper 45.1

      Full employment is absolutely the right idea, but this report is no where near satisfactory I’m afraid. It relies on a pro-Keynesan BAU capitalism strategy which is largely, though not wholly, unsuitable for the real-economic age we find ourselves in.

      Despite it being a dominant global economic force for the destruction of well paid manufacturing industry employment all around the world, the 86 page report only mentions China once (!) and that in a passing remark about the UK needing to increase exports there (!).

      The report makes minimal to no reference to the real world context of gradual economic collapse which has been in full swing for the last 4 years (peak debt and peak energy), severe event climate change (peak weather), or the causative role of neoliberal free market globalisation in local job destruction.

      Simply getting ready for the oncoming storm eg by establishing community gardens in every neighbourhood, weather and energy proofing every house in NZ, building systems which reduce the number of road vehicles by 50%, reinforcing our urban infrastructure against severe weather (and seismic) events, employing resources for people to care for one another, cutting out the deadweight of private sector profit (thanks DTB), nationalising our energy and financial systems, and going to higher employment democratic collective enterprise, we already have a formula for full employment.

      And the best thing: doing this now not only means a better life for many right now, it also means that thriving in the near future of ongoing global economic collapse is going to be much less of a pain.

  45. Michael 46

    Here’s my Labour dream team for 2014: Little (leader); Robertson (deputy); Parker (finance); Cunliffe (economic development). The other portfolios are of secondary importance but I’d like to see Dalziel take welfare and ACC (the latter should be folded into the former, with disability replacing sickness/invalid/long term incapacity categories). Goff would be useful at Foreign Affairs and Defence (with associates to handle trade negotiations and improving NZDF morale). Next, Labour should publish its principles and demonstrate how each of its policies complies with them. Finally, knighthoods and QCs should be scrapped immediately on Labour taking over the Beehive. No place for feudal relicts in modern Aotearoa.

    • Colonial Viper 46.1

      Is there some new rule I’m not aware of where the Labour Leader must be a novice MP who hasn’t even served out one full term yet?

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    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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