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Open mike 07/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 7th, 2013 - 143 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

143 comments on “Open mike 07/01/2013”

  1. KhandallaViper 1

    Te Reo Putake yesterday in TS added a good big dose of spice to the “Internal Debate” that is consuming the Labour Party members and supporters.

    The very long string of comments focused on TRP’s adamant assertion that there will be a “UNANIMOUS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN SHEARER IN CAUCUS” next month.

    TRP strongly predicated this assertion on a few points.

    The core one was that Labour will definitely win under Shearer and that all the Cunliffe faction are sucking-up in the hope of ministerial positions.

    Friends, the relatively small recent movements in the polls show otherwise. We are no better off than when we lost in 2008. We would be better off if Phil had stayed. IMO. This is despite Key &co continually shooting themselves in both feet. The repeated trumpeting that there is a significant poll rise is just hype. Deluding ourselves will achieve nothing.

    http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/images/ONE_News_Colmar_Brunton_Poll_report_24-28_Nov_2012.pdf. http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4847/

    TPR’s next messaging is that “It’s policy that makes good government, not a slick leader.”

    While a less than capable and polished Leader would be a secondary issue if there was a front bench free to communicate new policy, that is just not the case at present. Since 2008 we have tried to make new policies the plank for the leader to gain popularity. We are using policy only to underpin a less-than-slick leadership strategy for over five years. And putting policy in that diminished role has failed.

    TRP then repeats the mantra that the 2014 election in in the bag, that it is Labour’s to loose. “And unless Shearer does something spectacularly stupid, he will be the next PM”.
    Sleep-walking to victory. It is our turn to govern. The Nats will loose, we do not need to win! Don’t rock the boat boy and girls, we can sail into the Treasury benches if we paddle very quietly!

    TRP then says that because he, TRP, cannot see any evidence of anyone throwing their hat is the ring then it is not happening. This stance suggests to me that TRP is a very well connected insider, possibly on the NZ Council or a similar lofty position.
    The members do not come into TRP’s Wellington centred reckoning. However, they are telling their MPs the same thing they have been saying for the past eight months: the current leadership approach has not won the imagination of the membership, of the 800,000 that did not vote nor of the voting public. The membership is saying there must be a change.

    We need a very wide change at the top, not merely the overdue retirement of King, Goff and Mallard to which TRP alludes. That change has to be in ATTITUDE towards reform as well as in personnel. The current attitude is damaging the party.

    The serious concerns of the membership about the wider leadership’s approach to policy and to winning in 2014 drove the divisions at the Conference. The Conference was only the start of the reform process, not the end. The membership wants those reforms to be advanced, not snuffed. The membership see a robust leadership debate road-show as a critical part of this reform movement.

    • Jenny Kirk 1.1

      Khandalla Viper – I totally agree with your analysis. And especially about the oft-repeated mantra ” the 2014 election in in the bag, that it is Labour’s to lose”.

      That is just what WILL happen if Labour does not change – both attitude, and the people at the top – Labour will lose yet again. And both our country and our people will suffer.

      Come election year, the msm will turn against Shearer, Shon Key will “charm” the electorate again (and the electorate will fall for it !), the 800,000-odd who didn’t vote in 2011 won’t vote in 2014 and there might even be a larger number of non-voters, and the belief that National voters will somehow go to Labour because they don’t like Nat policies is misguided at best. National voters like being in power – and they never vote for Labour ! So they head for the polling booths en masse, and Labour voters stay at home. Its happened before, and it will happen again – if Labour does not change now.

      • The Al1en 1.1.1

        “the 800,000-odd who didn’t vote in 2011 won’t vote in 2014″

        That no party has stepped up to the plate to capture this vote bemuses me.
        A huge opportunity wasted. If Craig can get the loony religious right to turn out, why not a party from the left aimed squarely at those disenfranchised from the system.

        I had a plan, sent it to the Greens, twice, but heard nothing from them, though of course, I’m still willing to chat to Mr Servian in Hamilton West. ;)

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          “the 800,000-odd who didn’t vote in 2011 won’t vote in 2014″

          And from the remainder who do vote, Labour could get 34%-35%, in an optimistic scenario. Certainly enough to hammer together a one term coalition of sorts, probably requiring NZ First. But climbing over 40%, to a result similar to what Labour achieved in both 2002 and 2005 is not a possibility that I have heard anyone even contemplating. Regardless of how many beers they have had.

          As others have noted, this is a historical juncture for Labour.

      • Rosie 1.1.2

        + 1 Jenny

        And + 1 Khandallaviper.

        As a complete aside does anyone know where Charles Chauvel’s loyalties lie in regard to leadership?

        • bad12 1.1.2.1

          From a comment to me on the Standard made by ‘i forget’ Chauvel ‘was’ in the Cunliffe camp but has not been demoted,

          He performs well in the house and has the type of presence,(future leadership material), when on His feet speaking that has National Ministers cowering,

          My view is that it isn’t important which particular faction the individual MP’s side with, more importantly is the willingness of the individual MP’s to vote to ‘trigger’ the party wide leadership February,

          Should that occur, and i have my doubts, then whoever wins such a vote should be said to be the party’s choice and have the full backing of the party and it’s MP’s…

          • Rosie 1.1.2.1.1

            Cheers Bad12. That is interesting to note.

            Hear what you’re saying regarding the relative lack of importance of the individual MPs’ factional loyalty. I agree.

            The reason I’m interested is that I’m in the Ohariu electorate and have played with the idea of lending volunteer support in the next campaign. For that to happen David Shearer would need to be gone and CC would have to be one of the ones to see him off with a cheery wave.

            I’m not a Labour party member and have almost completely lost faith in the party, while being increasingly Green and Mana. However, these are desparate times and you have to be practical so IF there were changes to the leadership and some solid and radical policy was announced I’d stand by them, as a voter and a practical supporter. It’s still a long and dreary wait till 2014 and much can change in that time so at this point I’m not holding my breath.

            • bad12 1.1.2.1.1.1

              To my undying shame as a Party Member i trudged the miles stuffing letterboxes to aid the election of the Lange/Douglas fiasco,

              There are still what seems a majority in the Labour Caucus who when the subject is broached nod sagely and intone with the utmost wisdom that what was inflicted upon the working class of New Zealand at the time ”had to happen”,

              I stuck with Labour right up to the point where the Clark Government denied beneficiary dependent families the same tax credits as were given to the upper middle class,

              I am now a Green Party Member and while my intentions this far out from 2014 are to vote Green i may be swayed by how close Mana can come to unseating Flavell, the Parliament could use the voice of Annette Sykes,

              Should Sykes unseat Flavell the % of party votes should rise for Mana and if there was a chance of Mana gaining a third MP from the party vote they may well get mine,

              Hope Metiria doesn’t read this or i am in trouble LOLZ, the above would of course depend upon the Green vote leading up to the 2014 election not only holding up but rising to at least bring one more Green MP into the house…

          • Fortran 1.1.2.1.2

            I must have missed the “cowering” part when I watch Parliament. Chauval is often set up for a laugh.

            • bad12 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Have you never watched the likes of Housing Minister Heatley when under fire in the house,

              He definitely cowers and looks to all extents and purposes like a small rodent looking for a hole in the floor to nip into…

              • yes but that is not down to the actions of chauvel..heatley was born cowering..

                ..and as a person who has done commentaries on questiontime for some years..

                ..like the rest of the front bench..chauvel has not particularly impressed..

                ..(the best performer in labour is cunnliffe..hands down..he makes national ministers nervous..and nails them with cold/hard intellect/logic..)

                ..there is of course humour to be had from watching genter from the greens vs brownlee..

                ..it is a mouse vs. elephant kinda conflict..

                ..and i noted in an end of year summary that the mouse seems able to make the elephant bellow in distress on cue/at will..

                ..and as others have said more eloquently..this is a crossroads for labour..

                ..and yes..i also fear the party leadership is just planning on that sleepwalk to victory..

                ..which if successful..but without the needed policy u-turns on fighting poverty etc..

                ..they will be worse than useless..

                ..and like a previous commenter i have gone from a life-long labour voter..to green..to mana..

                ..and that because harawira seems to be the only one advocating concrete-policy to end poverty etc..

                ..why is labour scared of coming up with strong policies..and arguing them now..?

                ..i agree..that in tweedle-dee/tweedledum decades/govts like we have recently had/endured..that policy had to be kept hidden until just before the election..(‘cos tweedle could nick from tweedle..)

                ..but i really don’t think national are going to steal a brace of policies aimed at ending poverty..eh..?

                ..so i think that historical reality/way of doing things can be safely put to one side..eh..?

                ..and really..for a toxic govt such as this one – doing all they are doing that so many hate..(83% opposed to asset-sales…)..

                ..for labour to be smug/complacent/positively spinning the fact they are stuck down where they are in the polls..

                ..is self-delusion of a grand nature..

                phillip ure..

    • The Al1en 1.2

      I see nothing in those opinion polls but embarrassment for the Labour party. There’s spin, and there’s damn spin.
      Regardless of being an mmp nation, low thirties, after four years of dodgy government shit, isn’t a positive endorsement of anything.
      Someone in caucus must have been taking notes watching Bill English run the local economy – Do nothing and hope it picks up when other countries start spending up large again. Labour’s only chance is to forget the ‘credible alternative’ tag and make the agenda their own. Will they? If they past four years are anything to go by (save for three weeks of Goff flying solo in the election campaign) Will they f*ck.

      In my brutally honest opinion, Labour’s a goner. It’s not the only party on the left, and again in my opinion, certainly not the best party on the left by a long way.
      Shearer won’t be challenged, by anyone, and he’ll go on to mumble and fluster his way through every tv/house appearance all the way to 2014.
      The leader is not more important than the party some will say, and they’re completely wrong. It does and will transfer into lost votes. I won’t vote for DS GR TM or any of the fuck nuggets pulling strings behind the scene, so that’s one.

    • Blue 1.3

      I think TRP is right that no one will challenge in February, and that Shearer will lead Labour into the next election. The Labour caucus have shown such a remarkable lack of brains and guts that any other outcome is highly unlikely.

      Labour will lose in 2014 and National will be a three term Government. Shearer will do okay in the polls up until the election campaign starts – steady or even moderately increasing from present position. The Shearerites will crow and say they were right and everyone else was wrong.

      When the public get a look at Shearer during the debates they will baulk at the prospect of electing a PM who can’t string a sentence together and run back to John Key and National in fright. They will be pissed off at Labour for putting up an unelectable leader right when they wanted to get rid of National.

      Best we start planning for 2017.

      • Anne 1.3.1

        TRP is right Blue. There will be no challenge in February. I said so on yesterday’s O.M. He is also technically right that it isn’t so much a challenge as a ‘motion of confidence in the current leader.’ Shearer will get it, and it will be unanimous.

        I think it’s a bit unfair to charge the Labour caucus with a lack of brains and guts. Setting aside the duped ABC Club acolytes, it’s not a lack of guts etc. It’s politics and commonsense. There was a coup alright… against Cunliffe. With the help of the MSM the coup organisers won. If Cunliffe and his supporters were to retaliate now they would be cutting their own throats.

        I don’t agree that it’s all over for Cunliffe. He’s a relatively young man. He can afford to wait another few years – 5 years if necessary.

        • Olwyn 1.3.1.1

          Anne you may well be right about this, supposing that nothing arises in the meantime to change the political landscape. However, the questions that have arisen in the past year or so will not, as Robert Winter puts it, “be patronised away.” http://robertwinter.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/labour-in-new-year.html

          I have come to suspect that Shearer’s elevation, the handing out of rank with limited authority to various MPs, and the ABC concept itself are the result of deal-making of the “no Brash no cash” kind. To me, the speed with which the caucus raced to head Cunliffe off at the pass had all the hallmarks of a panicked group protecting a done deal. Furthermore, the defence that “Labour must appeal to the middle class” handily reduces the concept of middle class to those who think their interests coincide with corporate interests. No one seems willing to acknowledge that many of the angry commentators on the Standard, etc, are in fact middle class.

          If the Shearer clique continue to protect him from the party’s judgement, then his legitimacy as a leader remains compromised. The deal or deals that got him there (supposing I am right) seem make opposing demands on him to those of the membership, who for the most part want a centre left Labour Party. They will not be appeased by ambiguity and empty flattery. So, OK, Shearer might survive a motion of confidence, but that does not mean that his problems are over.

          • Anne 1.3.1.1.1

            Well said Olwyn.

            It’s true. My hypothesis does rely on nothing arising in the meantime….

            In the meantime, how Shearer rises to the reshuffle challenge will, in my view, give us some of the answers we are seeking in terms of his leadership and how genuine is his desire to reunite the caucus and a large section of the membership. He can only do it if he:

            1) re-instates Cunliffe to the front bench with his previous portfolios.

            2) promotes talent such as those shown by Charles Chauval, Sue Moroney (and others) who were effectively demoted 12 months ago because they supported David Cunliffe.

            That is the absolute minimum in my book.

            • Olwyn 1.3.1.1.1.1

              I wholeheartedly agree Anne, with the added caveat that these people are not just promoted, but given real authority over their areas of expertise, and not just empty rank with strings attached.

              • Anne

                +1.

                No more gagging and silly games like the one played on Cunliffe late last year. I refer to his… arriving at the meeting of the West Auckland Licensing Trust (I think it’s called that) to find David Parker had been sent in his place. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I saw it as an attempt by the ABC gang to further humiliate Cunliffe.

                • Olwyn

                  I suspect there are more malicious tricks that have not been made public – attempts to provoke him into lashing out a la Carter, so they can get rid of him once and for all. Which is why I think that deal-making must lie behind it – either that or the ABC group have a genuine crank among their number. I mean, Cunliffe is very much liked in his electorate, and is surely not that hard to get on with!

                  • Morrissey

                    I mean, Cunliffe is very much liked in his electorate, and is surely not that hard to get on with!

                    Not according to the almost uniformly hostile coverage of him in the media. I keep hearing and reading that Cunliffe is “not liked” by his colleagues. I’ve never heard or seen any “journalist” ever provide an example of what Cunliffe has done to incur this alleged opprobrium, however.

                  • Anne

                    I mean, Cunliffe is very much liked in his electorate, and is surely not that hard to get on with!

                    He is indeed, and not only in his electorate. He is highly regarded by a lot of people. And there-in I suspect lies much of the problem. Some of his caucus colleagues are jealous. Put it to them, and they would laugh out loud and exclaim… what a lot of nonsense. But imho, that is the core of the problem. It has been amply demonstrated that jealousy can cause some people to lose their marbles…

                    • Anne

                      Oh and btw… we know there was deal making 12 months ago at the time of the contest. That’s why Parker pulled out of the race. He was promised the shadow Finance portfolio if he did so. What’s the bet he has also been promised the role of Finance Minister when they become the government. I don’t doubt his credentials for the job, but underhand deals and being a part of attempts to smear and discredit a perceived rival should not be prerequisites for premium ministerial positions.

                    • Max Moss

                      I am a member of David Cunliffe’s LEC.

                      David is adored by his LEC. Over the past 11 years I have watched him build it into a large, ethnically diversified, well-managed team.

                      If Cunliffe switches parties, I predict the entire LEC will switch with him. If he drops out of politics, I predict his LEC will virtually disappear.

                      If that happens, New Lynn will go National. New Lynn is NOT a safe Labour seat. We work damn hard to get the numbers for David. Compare the significantly higher vote tallies for David than for the Labour party vote.

                      If there is no open leadership contest in February, I will join the Greens but return to help Cunliffe’s electorate campaign in 2014.

                      He is far and away the most intelligent and creative MP in NZ today.

                      The only way his opponents have been able to counter him is with character assassination. That should tell you a lot about him and them.

                    • KhandallaViper

                      Tall Poppy Syndrome.

                      Tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term primarily used in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and other Anglosphere nations to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Max. Respect to you and to your LEC. Salam alaykum السلام عليكم

                    • Jenny

                      Salam alaykum, to you to habibi.

            • David H 1.3.1.1.1.2

              And an apology from David Shearer to ALL voters for his bullshit way of treating Cunliffe and others, all on the back of a Gower story hunt. So when ever I see a Gower story on TV3 website I always ask how a Snot nosed schoolboy can get a job like that.

    • coronial typer 1.4

      I found TRP’s comments pretty odd as well. There needs to be a real distinction between leadership and policy; one is not a substitute for the other. Leadership is what makes policy real, even in Opposition.

      For me the current leadership did a great job with the housing speech, but that’s one hit on a year of nothing. And indeed since the conference in November, pretty much radio silence.

      Just astonishing at the lack of activity around the asset sales petition last week – indeed an unconvincing performance by Chippie that really did not carry beyond one news day. Anyone else stepped into that space?

      And of course the holiday season is fantastic downtime where everyone is reading and wants to engage about stuff other than work. So where were the think pieces from Spokespeople in the newspapers? At our place we had well placed sources doing stuff for our industry right the way through. Newspapers are begging for content at this time, as are TV.

      I know what leadership would feel like – and right now it’s just a hollow space. Holidays are not an excuse. They are a time to attack. Where’s the attack? Does Shearer have a date for this next massive speech, or is he going to wait for Parliament to resume?

      Shearer has squandered a ripe leadership moment. I want my leadership vote. Give me my vote.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.5

      Cheers, y’all.

      Kman: The election is Labour/Greens to lose. National are tired, running out of ideas, energy and, importantly, support parties inside Parliament. ACT and the Maori Party look stuffed, Dunne may just hang on, but that won’t be enough to keep the Nats in power. Key’s only hope is Winston, which looks like less of an option these days.

      Jenny Kirk: ‘Time for a change’ will be a factor, for sure. National will need to do better than they did at the last election to win because of the collapse of the MP and ACT. That improvement seems unlikely going into a third election.

      The Al1en: There is already a party like that. It’s called Mana. Nice to hear you’re on good terms with Mark Servian. He’s a great guy … the Golden Gordon of kiwi politics.

      Blue: thanks, you seem to get where I’m coming from, even if you are pessimistic about the election.

      Coronial Typer: you sound like you need a holiday yourself. Like it or not, parliament is on a break, there won’t be much political news for a few weeks yet. Which is fine by me, because MP’s are workers too and earn their breaks. (yes, I know, I snorted myself writing that sentence, but honestly, MP is such a shitty, all consuming and public job, most MP’s piss off overseas where noone knows them to get a real break).

      • The Al1en 1.5.1

        “There is already a party like that. It’s called Mana.”

        Not really. That’s a big assumption that those 800,000 identify with Hone’s agenda, just because they’re, for whatever reason out of the loop.
        I’m not personally convinced mana represents outside it’s core constituents, which is of course their right to do so. There’s certainly room for another left party. Certainly room for an extra 5% that doesn’t come with winston, and certainly a cup of tea for our side to negate the one in Epsom.
        I bet a new left party would consistently outpoll act, the conservatives and dare I say mana.

        “Nice to hear you’re on good terms with Mark Servian. He’s a great guy”

        I wouldn’t know. The point was I didn’t get a reply, much to my bemusement.

        “the Golden Gordon of kiwi politics.”

        No idea what that means, I’ll have to google, but I’m sure there’s plenty Golden Gordens.
        You may have to expand, or not.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.5.1.1

          Golden Gordon was a legendary footballer in the comedy series Ripping Yarns. Specifically an episode about the hopeless Barnstoneworth United. Since the series came out, BUFC’s have popped up all around the world, including in Hamilton’s sunday league. It was my privilege to make up the numbers in that team a decade or two back, alongside the good Mr Servian.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9KXrRUZqtw

          • The Al1en 1.5.1.1.1

            Makes a better reference than kitchen nightmare Gordon I though of.

            He still didn’t answer my mail though, so room for improvement on the left wing. ;)

      • David H 1.5.2

        Why don’t you just go back to Shearer and co, and tell em we don’t believe you. So now you can get your well done pat on the head.

    • kenny 1.6

      If Shearer is the leader at the next election (it may not be in November 2014) then Labour are gonners and the 800,000 non-voters will pale by comparison. Yesterday I looked at the Labour Party website for policy statements; couldn’t find one. Labour had the best policies at the last election but still lost; how is it going to be different next time? Labour need a strong, articulate, caring and capable leader with the best interests of the majority of NZer’s at heart….. David Shearer is not the one.

      The caucus is a mess. All down to the ABCer’s. Don’t they care?

      A couple of days ago I asked (if by some miracle) David Cunliffe was elected leader what would he do about the ABCer’s. I haven’t had an answer yet. Looks like the LEC’s have some urgent work to do.

      No wonder John Key is laughing all over his face.

      • mike e vipe e 1.6.1

        labour have to be very careful in releasing policy because a good right wing govt will steel those policies its better to be be vague until 6 months from the election the best thing the left can do is highlight govts failures and mistakes at this stage!

        • Colonial Viper 1.6.1.1

          3 left wing policies that the National Party cannot steal

          1) 50,000 social housing units built by a renewed Ministry of Public Works, provided on both long and short term leases at 25% of household income, or alternatively sold to those on lower incomes via 1% pa no deposit interest rate mortgages.

          2) 10,000 new trade apprenticeships for youth unemployed…working on building the socialised housing above.

          3) Rationalisation of the NZ banking sector ensuring KiwiBank plays a far bigger role, including holding tens of thousands of new social housing mortgages on behalf of the government.

          I’ll guarantee you that National could not steal the above policies. HOWEVER if you release CENTRIST MIDDLE OF THE ROAD POLICIES then yes, National will steal them.

          Of course, the other reason you might not want to release policy yet is if you don’t have any ready to go.

        • handle 1.6.1.2

          Waiting to release policy worked so well last election.

        • QoTViper 1.6.1.3

          labour have to be very careful in releasing policy because a good right wing govt will steel those policies

          And if they’re good policies, and Labour actually lets people know that they’re Labour policies, then Labour makes a huge song and dance every single time about it.

          Here’s the key messages, thought up in about two minutes off the top of my head:

          “We’re happy to see the National government taking up Labour policies.”
          “Clearly this government has run out of ideas, but that’s okay, because this is a good Labour policy.”
          “The Government has done the right thing by realising their policies haven’t helped New Zealand at all, and that Labour policies will get us out of the hole they’ve dug in the economy.”
          “We’re happy we can help steer New Zealand in the right direction by providing good, productive, sensible policies which the Government wants to steal.”

        • kenny 1.6.1.4

          And that has worked really well for us eh?

          Time to get serious; no more wishful thinking.

      • karol 1.6.2

        The thought of Shearer as PM is depressing to me. So far I’ve not seen anything about him that appeals: not his public performances, not his political positioning (or lack of any real commitment to truly left wing policies), not his personality – nada.

        However, I’m really not certain who there is that would make a good LP caucus leader. Cunliffe certainly needs to be in the front-tow team, but he may or may not make a good leader.

        In the face of this, the only way forward at this stage, is for me to put more effort in supporting the Greens/Mana, and in supporting whatever the NZLP members come up with. With more democratic tools, it’s only the membership that can shift the NZLP in a positive direction, IMO. And that also means focusing on promoting policies and directions that are soundly those of the left and wider labour movement.

        • Colonial Viper 1.6.2.1

          Need to find new talent? Must be time to promote a few more people from being Labour staffers to being Labour MPs.

        • kenny 1.6.2.2

          But surely Cunliffe is a BETTER option than Shearer. With Shearer there is no way Labour will win; our only chance, irrespective of policy, is with Cunliffe…. there is no other option that I can see.

          • karol 1.6.2.2.1

            Yes, I would prefer Cunliffe. Don’t know how he will go in leading caucus, and if he will be able to unite them, though. Shearer is a non-starter, IMO.

          • Anne 1.6.2.2.2

            OMG we’re all at it again. Now where did I put those darkened curtains…

            • kenny 1.6.2.2.2.1

              Because this issue needs resolving….. the ABCer’s may think it has, but they clearly can’t see the elephant in the room.

    • Colonial Viper 1.7

      KhandallaViper.

      Just noting that TRP is very consistent; last year he said that as long as Labour’s polling stayed good, Shearer was “home and hosed” as Labour Leader and that we should all get used to it.

      PM Shearer is a distinct possibility in 2014. For what it’s worth.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.7.1

        Cheers, CV. And welcome back, comrade.

      • The Al1en 1.7.2

        But Shearer’s possibility, on previous form, is reliant on a nat fall over and certainly not from what I’ve seen, the inclusive politics he spoke about in the race to succeed Goff.
        A win by default is still a win, but not really what I want from a party chasing my vote, or the sort of ambitious, aspirational government I’m looking for in exchange for it.

        Gut feeling about 2014, still very much key’s to lose.

      • David H 1.7.3

        Oh yes they have been consistent They have NOT polled above 33.5% since 2008. And this is good why?? SO Shearer may lead them to the next train wreck/election. As I said before it’s all about trust. And the only thing we can trust Shearer to do, is protect his pay packet!

        • Colonial Viper 1.7.3.1

          Labour on 33.5% is a perfectly respectable polling number. For the first half of National’s first term honeymoon.

          • David H 1.7.3.1.1

            I know that CV But with all the screw ups the NACTS have had last year, anyone with half a brain would have made hay at their expense. But what did we hear from Shearer and co the deafening sound of Silence, as usual! And with all the screw ups then Labour should have been about 40+ not stagnant at 32.5.

      • Another Viper 1.7.4

        The Nats are preparing to torpedo Shearer in four streams.
        a)They will get tame journos to ask “off piste” questions to try to embarrass him.
        b) Key will push for heaps of face to face opps to try to embarrass him.
        c) The Nats have background and context to his “Kiwi of the Year” nomination.
        d) The management style and tactics deployed in the UN job will be compared to the Labour job.

        The Nats are determine not to give 2014 away without a fight and they will fight as dirty as it takes. They believe they can win because Winston’s price is known.
        They vuew the current labour leadership as its Achilles heel.

      • KhandallaViper 1.7.5

        Welcome back, o original and much revered VIPER.

        Did Clare Curran apologise?
        Have you served sufficient time in purgatory?

        • Colonial Viper 1.7.5.1

          At your service, KV. Did I mention that it was the comment of yours saying that CC had me as her first target which made me realise that the temperature was climbing higher than I expected and that action was required? Thanks for that.

          Curran apologise? **guffaw** That’ll be a democratic socialist day in caucus. Regardless, I don’t require any apology from her.

          As for pugatory mate, I had a good stay, better than that I made good friends with a few leviathans while I was away :twisted:

  2. Last week the Syrian Government announced it had captured the brother of assassinated Al Qaeda leader al Zawahiri (who if we have to believe the US has been killed several times over the last few years). No Western MSM wanted to run with it.

    Mohamed al-Zawahiri was captured on what the rebels and the MSM are calling a humanitarian mission!

    What gets me is that we have invaded Afghanistan on what we were told was to eliminate the worlds most dangerous terrorist organization. We invaded Iraq and killed a million people to catch these bastards and now the leader is doing humanitarian work?

    This is how stupid they think we are!

    • bad12 2.1

      That a good one, He who was captured is just as likely to be in the employ of either the UN or the US via the Saudi Government,

      You have to get with the real picture, prior to September 11 Al Qaeda were US funded and armed assets during the Soviet/Afghan war,

      Priorities tho have now changed, Syria being the new target of US sponsored destabilization calls for new strategies and assets of Arab extraction are of premium value in turning Syria into a failure of a State to match those of Afghanistan and Iraq,

      Next stop for the road show of course is Iran, all that oil yummy…

      • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2

        Bad12, from what I can make out the west is panicking. there are no real good options. the chances of Zawahiri being in the pay of the Sauds, let alone the west, are remote. He considers the sauds to be apostate.

        The west at the moment is most concerned about assads weapons falling into the hands of the rebels, and who may get their hands on them after that. If the west sends in troops, that’s what they will doing, isolating and destroying as much of assad’s stockpile as they can.

        the Russians are moving ships, and marines into the area, probably to be a counter force (ripwire) against escalation, and to protect a pocket for Allawites to flee to. Also, to cover the withdrawal of Russian ‘civilians’.

        • bad12 2.1.2.1

          That’s highly amusing, i always enjoy someone who parrots the news gathered from the MSM as if it were the Gospel,

          Lets see now,Zawahiri thinks the Saudi’s are apostate but happily worked alongside Bin Laden, whose family is Saud and part of the ruling class as well as personal friends of the Bush family,

          Are you suggesting that the group Bin Laden lead while fighting the Russians in Afghanistan was not funded by US cash funneled from the US via various ‘foundations’ and think-tanks’,

          Even more amusing, is the supposed fear of ‘weapons of mass destruction’, now where have we heard that little tale before,

          What the US in particular is most concerned about at the moment is the destabilization of the Arab country’s with strong leadership who do not align themselves with the US,

          The strategy is to smash these country’s back to the stone-age in terms of intercine tribal and religious sects battling for power, the US can then deal favorably in terms of arms and support with the faction that has control of the oil production,

          Bin Laden and any group He headed are essentially mercenaries, they may hate the West and the ruling class of the various Arab potentates, but, are still guns for hire as are a large number of other Arab staffed groups currently aiding in the destruction of the State of Syria,

          Feel free tho to allow the mainstream media to tell you what to think of the current situation as it is at the least amusing to examine your belief system which does not seem to have been altered by the events in either Iraq or Afghanistan…

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            The strategy is to smash these country’s back to the stone-age in terms of intercine tribal and religious sects battling for power, the US can then deal favorably in terms of arms and support with the faction that has control of the oil production,

            Don’t forget the tens of billions in reconstruction contracts for western corporations coming in to rebuild infrastructure smashed by western laser guided bombs a la Libya. It’s a great deal: one $50K bomb can create $20M in reconstruction contracts. Excellent return on investment.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2.1.2

            I’m glad you find it amusing, but it’s ironic that the amusement is based on so much ignorance.

            Yes, Bin laden is (or rather was) a Saud. But his citizenship was revoked at around the time he declared jihad on the regime. This happened a long time ago. You can find his declaration of war on the Sauds in plenty of places.

            If you read it, and only that, you’ll find it useful to understanding these guys. You’d be better to read “The Looming Tower” which is very thorough.

            The main thing, I guess, is to understand what AQ, Islamic Jihad and related theorists mean by “the near enemy”, and “the far enemy”.

            And it’s not accurate to claim that AQ was funded by the CIA. AQ was set up to act as an alternative for jihadis. Bin laden felt that western funding of jihad was counterproductive, that it would co-opt any jihad and prevent sharia being implemented. that’s why he set up “the base” and sought funding from wealthy salafists. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, he offered to use this ‘base’ of supporters and jihadis to wage jihad. The Saud regime turned him down.

            none of this stuff is secret, or propaganda, it’s history.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2.1.3

            I was going to leave this, but given your demands in another thread that people debate in a manner fitting for this site, or whatever horseshit it is you are saying, I’ll give it a few minutes more, for your amusement.

            Are you suggesting that the group Bin Laden lead while fighting the Russians in Afghanistan was not funded by US cash funneled from the US via various ‘foundations’ and think-tanks’,

            Yep. I’m saying that. There is little to no credible evidence that the US funded AQ, and nothing at all that is conlcusive. The so called ‘Arab afghans’ were few in number (under 10,000) and pretty much kept to themselves. They were funded by Arabs, including OBL. OBL, late in the war, set up AQ as a database of arab mujaheddin to be used in fighting the ‘near enemy’ That’s why it translates as ‘the base’ and it’s why in those grainy ‘training videos’ you see them doing guerilla warfare training rather than terrorist training.

            Those who claim AQ was funded and or created by the CIA or the US, tend to be ignorant about the war and the philosophies of those involved. They assume that because the CIA was providing funds and weapons to mujaheddin that this included AQ. It’s lazy and ignorant,, but suits their purpose.

            Even more amusing, is the supposed fear of ‘weapons of mass destruction’, now where have we heard that little tale before

            All sorts of places. the most relevant would be Iraq after the first gulf war. The regime admits it has them, the rest of the world’s intelligence agencies agree. Are you saying they do not? based on what? A logical fallacy along the lines of ‘Bush claimed Saddam had wmd in 2003 but he didn’t, therefore all such claims are false” perhaps? (And I’ll just note in passing here that I never mentioned WMD, the concern around that is real of course, but the missile stocks and other conventional weaponry is just as troubling).

            Surely you could not be that stupid. So please. if you doubt he has chemical weapons, outline the reasons for that doubt in the face of the evidence that he does have them.

            Bin Laden and any group He headed are essentially mercenaries, they may hate the West and the ruling class of the various Arab potentates, but, are still guns for hire as are a large number of other Arab staffed groups currently aiding in the destruction of the State of Syria,

            Citation very much required, because that is hilarious. If one reads the histories of AQ and Blackwater, one is struck by the similarit.., nah, that’s just fucking daft.

            Feel free tho to allow the mainstream media to tell you what to think of the current situation as it is at the least amusing to examine your belief system which does not seem to have been altered by the events in either Iraq or Afghanistan…

            So come on, tell me about my belief system and how it related to those wars, and how it didn’t change.

            And then, tell me where you get your information from, if not from the media. Because at the moment it looks like you reject something if it is said in the media, as long as it doesn’t conform to your preconceived notions about how things ‘really are’.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2.1.4

            Reposted from bad12′s attempt at a reply here:

            http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09012013/comment-page-1/#comment-571037

            It’s all pretty weak, and anticipated in my comment.

            You’ve ignored most of what I said, and have, as predicted, conflated mujaheddin with AQ.

            Here’s your initial; claim:

            You have to get with the real picture, prior to September 11 Al Qaeda were US funded and armed assets during the Soviet/Afghan war

            Operation cyclone was about supporting the mujaheddin, and there is no conclusive evidence that OBL was funded. The implication that he was directly funded by the US is even harder to substantiate, which is probably why you are having such a hard time coming up with any good direct sources or quotes.

            I’ll repost this in the relevant thread and hopefully we’ll see something substantive.

            I really want to hear about my belief system and the evidence for doubt about Assad’s weaponry

        • Rogue Trooper 2.1.2.2

          “intent of Russian landing ships to discourage West from placing special forces on the ground”

          -Kakariki

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Where is anyone in the western MSM calling it a humanitarian mission ( as opposed to reporting that it is being called that by the syrian rebels)? (Your link is 404d and I can’t find it).

      Here is a copy of the guys peace proposal from back in september:

      http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/14/suggestion_for_mediation_between_the_islamic_movements_and_the_west?page=0,1

      (Hope that link works, you might need to register to FP to see it, which is free to do and well worth while, even if just to see what FP pros are saying).

      There is nothing too surprising in it. Mohamed al-Zawahiri is a founding member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and his ‘peace proposal’ reflects that. ‘Sharia law = peace’ pretty much.

    • joe90 2.3

      Here’s the link cache and Mohammed al-Zawahiri rebuffing reports of his arrest in Syria.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.3.1

        Thanks.

        Eve: not seeing any justification for your claim that the ‘MSM’ are calling it a humanitarian mission. That piece, and it looks to be the one you linked to, outlines the links between violent Islamic extremists and the rebels in some detail.

        • One Tāne Viper 2.3.1.1

          Reality diverging from something Ev said? This comes as a surprise to you?

        • travellerev 2.3.1.2

          No you are right. The “rebels” are telling us he was there on a humanitarian mission. And the article is faithfully repeating that. While claiming that Assad will no doubt try to make the most of the capture of this friendly old man who was according to the “rebels” only trying to broker deals so aid could get through and daffodils could grow in peace.

          That would be the same rebels who force children to decapitate unarmed prisoners, <a href="chop Christians up and feed them to the dogs, Force children to dig their own graves and captives to do suicide missions to save their families just to name a few of the “liberators” humanitarian actions!

          Oh, and chant allegiance to Osama bin Laden whom you still believe send 19 young Muslims to the US to break Newtons laws of Physics!

          • Pascal's bookie 2.3.1.2.1

            I’m confused as to what your complaint is.

            The article reports some facts.
            - The regime claims about the capture
            - The rebel’s response to those claims
            - Some background on some of the rebel groups.

            What’s the actual problem?

            Which claims do you dispute?

            • travellerev 2.3.1.2.1.1

              You stated that the MSM had never suggested that al Zawahiri had been on a humanitarian mission. I put it to you that by omitting his connection with extremely unpleasant CIA financed “rebels” and these “rebels” claiming that Zawahiri was only in Syria because of humanitarian reasons the did not dispel the notion that under the circumstances it would have been extremely unlikely that he was there because he wanted to be nice.

              In fact they suggested that Assad would do just that, implying that just because Zawahiri was in Syria talking with “rebels” and with his violent al Qaeda background this did not mean he was there for nefarious reasons and that Assad would just use his capture for propaganda reasons.

              Other than that your comment is disingenuous as you were the one “complaining” that the MSM had not in fact claimed themselves that Z was in Syria for Humanitarian reasons. I like it when you do that because while I know you won’t go to any of the link I give there are many who do which helps spreading information which might allow people to make up their mind in different ways than the Propaganda machine would like

              • Pascal's bookie

                I put it to you that by omitting his connection with extremely unpleasant CIA financed “rebels” and these “rebels” claiming that Zawahiri was only in Syria because of humanitarian reasons the did not dispel the notion that under the circumstances it would have been extremely unlikely that he was there because he wanted to be nice.

                Well, let’s see what the ‘MSM’ said after reporting the conflicting claims about what the claimed presence of Zawahiri means:

                Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over as al-Qa’ida leader following the killing of Osama bin Laden, has declared that it is the duty of Muslims to take part in a jihad against the “pernicious, cancerous regime” of Bashar al-Assad and warned the opposition against depending on the West for help.

                Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist rebel group with links to al-Qai’da, has become increasingly powerful in the conflict, overshadowing the more moderate fighters, and its leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, is said to be in personal contact with Ayman al-Zawahiri.

                There is also evidence of groups of foreign volunteers, albeit not in large numbers, joining the uprising. Mohamed al-Zawahiri has, however, denied in the past that he wanted to get involved in the Syrian struggle. Speaking in Cairo recently, he stated that he had no plans to join the rebellion. Mr Zawahiri spent 14 years in an Egyptian prison on charges of being involved in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and taking part in terrorist acts. But he has protested his innocence and insisted that he now devotes his time to attempt reconciliation between jihadists and mainstream Islam.

                Mohamed al-Zawahari is a former military commander of the Islamic Jihad movement, but has, he has stressed, turned away from violence. He claims to have been a conduit for talks between hardline Salafist groups in the Sinai and the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government. Last year Mr Zawahiri offered to help in negotiations between the US and Islamists and maintained that his attempts at reconciliation had made him a target for hardline Islamists who have accused him of betraying the cause. There is no evidence that his offer was taken seriously by the US administration.

                The reports of his presence in Syria have come from rebel factions but remain unconfirmed.

                Deraa, near the Jordanian border, has, however, become a stronghold for Jabhat al-Nusra where its “emir”, the organisation has announced, is Abu Julaybib, a brother-in-law of the former leader of al-Qa’ida in Iraq who was killed in an American air strike in 2006.

                They detail the reported presence of various AQ related people and groups within Syria, if anything, that supports the regimes claims, does it not? Are they denying, or downplaying the links to AQ?

                What would rather they do:

                1) Censor the claims by the rebels and just report the regimes claims?

                Or

                2)report the claims of all sides, and the known links, and allow readers to exercise their judgement about the claims made?

                • Populuxe1

                  PB, are you really trying to use logic on a ticking fruitcake? Well good look and I applaud your optimism, but keep that up and we might be questioning your sanity too.

  3. Saarbo 3

    Labour is at a critical point in its life cycle. If it doesn’t make changes soon it will continue to slowly slide backwards in the poles. The main winner will be the Greens. The other winner will be National as the swing voters will chose to stay with them.
    I have been a member of the Labour Party for a mere 18 months, and its been a real let down the way MP’s treat members… “amateur” is the word that comes to mind. The Caucus need a real shake up otherwise long term Labour support is going to continue to decline. But then you get the impression that many in the caucus don’t really care about the Party in the long term!

    (ps: I have always had the impression that TRP has a contact in the ABC club.)

  4. National’s friends are wanting the Commerce Commission to be gutted because it is attempting to reduce Chorus charges.

    According to an earnest sounding Simon Botherway on Radio New Zealand the surge in the share market experienced last year is threatened because investors will be afraid that the Commission “has become an activist body for consumers and forgotten about the risk that investors take with their money.” Obviously the return to investors should be the only concern of the Government body.

    He makes no comment about whether or not Chorus’s charges were justified. Perhaps he thought this to be irrelevant.

    This typifies the attitude of the wealthy and was an underlying cause of the global financial crisis. Returns to investors are never enough and any entity which stands in the way must be weakened.

    • ad 4.1

      We have still got a long way to go before New Zealand’s utilities quake before regulators. It’s the usual drill:

      (A) Ask the (insert major industry) for advice on how to regulate, to which they reply it’s too hard, truly, and should be best left to self-regulation. Under National this usually works, but often works under Labour as well.
      (B) When the self-regulation idea fails, the (insert major industry) sets itself up as the collective wisdom in this terrifyingly complex field and provides all the research for the government Department drafting the regulations. And then poach their staff.
      (C) When the limits of this – and all the stalling entailed within it – are reached, the (insert major industry) seeks “peer review” from “international best practise” which a thin little country like this couldn’t know, and all the major consultants in the world for (insert major industry) know that the government job will be a one-off, but the industry will be around for ever buttering their bread.
      (D) After several years, and a change of government, which (insert relevant industry) 3rd party funded up the wazoo to get in, the Board of the regulator is formed after all manner of golf games have been played
      (E) The regulations are finally enacted, which are so complicated because of the size and power and national importance of the (insert major industry) that only a real dork of a lawyer couldn’t find a loophole, and finally
      (F) By the time everyone’s filed and counter-filed and appealed to all relevant layers, there’s been no regulation for well over a decade. Or another fresh government has decided the whole thing just wasn’t worthwhile so we all just have to start again with a different kind of regulatory system, new legislation, and a restructure of the regualtors themselves.

      This is practise we are seeing now, as with the massive utility price case we see down at the Wellington High Court which has been going on for several years now and will be appealed for several more.

      Or you could do what the last Labour leader with any balls did with a major utility: cut their head off. Poor old Telecom. They hadn’t realised that David Cunliffe had ensured that the Cabinet SubCommittee had been fully delegated to make the decision to cleave them in half, rather than needing the next full Cabinet meeting.

      That was not only policy in action, that was Leadership. That’s what it feels like.

      • tc 4.1.1

        +1 an interesting analysis would be the amount in each utility bill that goes to lawyers, auditors, staff and management overhead required to deal with compliance issues including base regulation, comm comm tiffs etc, so in effect the whole shooting match that’s grown since these were all gov’t departments.

        Some are nonsense and must be challenged as the regulators often go ‘how about this, that should give us all something to do…’ and some are essential to prevent profiteering. Problem is the big money isn’t spent by the rule makers it’s the Utilities who invest big to ensure they stay one step ahead, all at the consumers cost.

        DC showed how it’s done with TCom and they showed arrogance and contempt for the open market. IMO it effectively set a standard the cowering caucus know they’ll not measure up to.

        I miss the box on the voting form to re-nationalise industries, that would be an interesting result.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        The only thing that needs to be done with utilities is that they should be brought back into government ownership as a state monopoly. It’s the only way to get lower costs and it does that by getting rid of the mass duplication of competition.

      • Rogue Trooper 4.1.3

        hmmm

  5. Coronial Typer 5

    Hey IrishBill you issued a major policy challenge on the weekend. Big call for the authors here, and the editors.

    When are you going to start turning that into a project – something beyond the usual wishlists and fantasies and theoretical catastrophies I see here usually?

  6. Morrissey 7

    Standardistas to the barricades!

    Over at the National Business Review there is a lively comments section underneath their printing of Brian Edwards’ now infamous paean for “Sir” Paul Holmes.

    What makes it more interesting than usual is that one of the commenters is one David Walden, a puffy advertising man who, together with Murray Deaker, ran the idiotic Black Heart campaign in 2003, which had to be closed down after a series of incidents, including restaurateurs refusing to serve the Alinghi crew, and some supporters physically threatening the Alinghi crew members’ families.

    With not even the slightest sense of irony, Walden has posted the following gem: “God I hate the small minds in this country who take a swipe at anyone who has the balls to put their head above the parapet, have a go , and succeed. Get a life!”

    Why don’t YOU comment? It’s easy and you’ll get straight through….

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/paul-holmes-–-starry-starry-knight-ck-134310#comment-600818

    • lprent 7.1

      Back at work again. The DIY “holiday” is now behind me. No more cables to hide, washing lines to install, doors and windows to fix, toilets to stop dribbling, computers to change hard drives with SSD’s, etc etc.

      I got a lot less done than I wanted on The Standard.

    • McFliper 7.2

      damn. I just looked at the article and comments and got all tired.

      • Morrissey 7.2.1

        C’mon, McFliper, you c’n do it! Best strategy, seeing as you’ve already read the offending article, is to skip the mediocre thing and go straight to the comments.

        • McFliper 7.2.1.1

          it’s a week old already.

          • Morrissey 7.2.1.1.1

            You obviously are immune to the very real pleasures to be had in flogging a dead horse.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep. I prefer to let them rot, if they’re well out of my way. It’s only when I’m in danger of stepping in one that I feel compelled to manhandle it out of the way.

  7. Colonial Viper 8

    Shearer shows he means it – by Mike Smith – December 21, 2011

    Quoted below in full, without further comment.

    Labour’s new leader promised a fresh approach. He’s delivered already in his speech in reply today. Gone is the ritual opening denunciation of the government’s programme – Shearer begins with where a new Labour government would start.

    He puts Labour firmly on the path to winning in 2014 – the intention is clearly stated and the programme for the clean, green and clever New Zealand is exactly the right one. He understands what New Zealanders expect of their MPs. It’s a very good start.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/shearer-shows-he-means-it/

    • Hi CV

      “Gone is the ritual opening denunciation of the government’s programme”

      yeah, cos they probably intend to do much the same if they ever get into power.

      “He understands what New Zealanders expect of their MPs.”

      Is this a statement of fact? I guess if it is said enough times some people will start to believe it.

      • McFliper 8.1.1

        Far be it for anyone to point out that being positive and looking forward might be just as legitimate a political tactic as doing nothing but criticising and whinging from the sidelines like a tool.

        • blue leopard 8.1.1.1

          I’m not doing nothing. I’m questioning these above statements.

          When an opposition party remains as quiet as Labour have this year over the vast array of issues occurring, you can be assured that a large number of potential voters will assume what I have in the above comment. Crying and complaining about that being stated as much as you like, however it won’t change the veracity of it.

          It goes like this: “Why bother voting? The two main parties are much of a muchness”
          Sound familiar?
          Many voters not voting is o.k for whoever gets in, they still get the baubles of office. This is not-so good for the general welfare of the country however. Is this type of moral hazard going on in our main opposition party?

          You are welcome to be positive. At present I see no real reason for that with regard to Labour’s recent behaviour.

          Any business would know that complaints are an opportunity for improvement. Far better than people having a negative thoughts/experiences and keeping quiet. Word of mouth is the most effective advertising. But of course, McFliper, you know that, that is probably why you wrote your comment. Here’s a thought: instead of complaining about well-founded comments, how about complaining to the Labour caucus that their message ain’t strong enough? That way we will both be happy.

          • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1

            yeah sorry, I wasn’t actually meaning anybody here when I wrote it, and that’s the truth. Sorry I didn’t express myself properly. Possibly linked to the wrong comment, too.

            Indeed, part of my opposition to the seemingly incessant anti-shearer stuff some commenters put forward here is expressly because this forum is not just an echo-chamber. And I fundamentally disagree that nact and lab are “much of a muchness”.

            But I think that putting positives forward rather than attacking directly is a legitimate tactic in this case:

            a) key and nact will not rise to it. They don’t give a shit, and will lie without a flicker of doubt. This lessens the effectiveness;
            b) Mana/Greens/NZ1 are attacking, and even some good work by labour front benches (Ardern has been very active in areas of my interest). Rather than overload the opposition with negativity, I think the leader (whomever it be) should provide vision (in a positive comparison to when Key lays down the credibility of his ministers to save himself);
            c) Labour did the attack thing all through the last term, to little avail. Time for a reconsider, is my guess.

            Yes, complaints are an opportunity for improvement. But sometimes the squeakiest wheel is not needed, at which point it behoves one to consider the cost/benefit of just letting it seize up or fall off rather than feeding it more grease.

            ps sorry about the handle change – form autofill on another machine :)

            • blue leopard 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah that’s a relief, I thought I was heading for another “be positive; no I won’t” type conversation. There have been enough of them!

              Yes it is good to list the positives I agree with most of the list apart from c), which I don’t think amounted to much compared with the other parties. I really do have a real worry about what type of government Labour are planning to create next time they are in power and this concern largely comes from the weakness surrounding their attacks on this current “government” (well that’s what is is commonly called, anyway…more closely resembling a circus if you asked me…).

              I usually get rather annoyed with people saying that Nat and Labour are much of a muchness, there is a distinct difference when each party is in power (for those on the extreme ends of poverty/wealth anyway). My comment was really trying to illustrate what I believe is a general impression created by a lackadaisical opposition style…didn’t Labour have an approach of cooperation with the last term’s Government in order to come across as “fair and reasonable”? What effect did that have on the voter turn-out? Just sharing my train of thought here, not hard and fast conclusions, however they are getting that way….

              That is an interesting comment re letting the squeaky wheel seize up…that is a good point.

              • McFlock

                The trouble with the 2011 campaign is that it can be made to say nothing of note.

                People who want to point out Labour being reasonable as a cause of their turnout, can.
                People who want to say Labour was “too left” in the campaign by going back to its roots and scaring off voters, can.
                People who want to say labour was “too negative”, can.

                It’s like 2014: if the next two years are like 2012, then Labour’s low vote will be blamed on Shearer by Cunliffe supporters, and blamed on negative-nellies by Shearer supporters (or those who are happy for any change from National and hope that the minor parties rather than Labour will drive the major policy shifts).

                There’s also an instinctive bias that what we recall of Labour 2008-11 is what others recall. My personal impression is that Labour left the policy push too late, and that prior to that they still had the tired look from the 2008 defeat.

                I think that if Labour bounce around policy ideas this year (and yes have an open leadership vote if Cunliffe or anyone wants to run), they can have a bit more “oomph” in 2014 than 08/11.

                • ..which kinda leads to a question I have been pondering recently. Are the Labour Party doing any market research on their strengths and weaknesses, as in, doing some sort of information gathering on what might have been the cause of their poor results last election? Or low voter turnout?

                  I realize this type of research would never be entirely accurate, however it would be good to know that some sort of feedback loop was being conducted; trends could probably be discovered.

                  I get the impression this is not occurring.

                  • McFlock

                    I get the impression this is not occurring.

                    lol
                    cf: comments here, here, here,and here. Some people disagree with your impression, and indeed think it’s occurring too much :)

                  • KhandallaViper

                    Talk to the membership.
                    NO NEED FOR MARKET RESEARCH. That is what is f#c@ing us.

                    We are a political party. The values, issues, concerns, worries, ambitions and the family, community, business activities of our members is our information database.
                    That is why we changed our constitution, so that the input of the members will have more influence on the Caucus.
                    Our MPs, NZ Council reps, Policy and Sectoral people are connected to most facets of society and the economy. (Perhaps a few in the “Beltway” of Wellington are not!)

                    Most of the frustration expressed in these pages in the past year have been a cry for the Caucus to listen to the MEMBERS.

                    • McFlock

                      and there :)

                    • hmm yes…I see what you mean McFlock re KV’s response (heh), however the links you provided appeared to be talking about focus groups for policies. I was more talking about perceptions and finding peoples’ reasons for the non-vote…I think there would be important information to be had out of such research. In fact I have already commented on what I figure might be one cause.

                      Khandalla Viper (&McFlock) I believe I am referring to something different than what you are talking about. The end result of what you promote in your comment and what I am referring to may achieve the same thing; more connection with the voters.

                      Lets not be forgetting that a lot (if not most) voters are not reading up on policies at election-time*; there is something else that they are basing their vote on.

                      *I admit this is an assumption, yet one I am prepared to risk making.

                      It is my perception that Labour have been really flailing around, kind of stabbing in the dark, as to their general approach, for years. Policies are very important (obviously), however strategy is too. I believe Nat is popular solely due to strategy, not policies. Isn’t the Asset Sales policy a case in point? Knowing what is turning voters off is pretty important information, and when it comes to elections I suspect (sadly) that policy is a very small part of what makes a Party popular.

            • Puddleglum 8.1.1.1.1.2

              And I fundamentally disagree that nact and lab are “much of a muchness”

              I can’t speak for anyone else, but my version of that complaint is that Labour has, in effect, become part of the mechanism of shutting out opposition to the assumptions of neoliberalism, or whatever you wish to call it.

              It’s like the ‘good cop’ to National’s ‘bad cop’ – but the overall effect is the same; to get the electorate to submit to the ‘inevitability’ of a deregulated, market-based, ‘non-political’ means of making collective determinations about our future as a society.

              To the extent that Labour continues to cleave to the economic individualism rationale for solving social issues (e.g., housing crises) it remains a non-left party by any substantive definition of what the term ‘left’ means.

              Only through proudly advocating collective, political means to solve social issues could it correctly be called a left-wing party. Remember that even Douglas claimed that he wanted the same ‘ends’ as Labour had always wanted – he was just implementing different ‘means’.

              The means are actually what distinguish ‘left’ and ‘right’ because the means are the ends – it’s all about different ways to run a society, after all.

              It is in that sense that I think the current Labour caucus is part of the same ‘symphony’ and acts (no doubt unwittingly) in concert with National – albeit Labour performs a different ‘movement’ from that performed by National, with correspondingly different ‘tones’.

              • @Puddleglum
                I fundamentally agree with your comment, Your first two paragraphs describe well, in my mind, why I hear many many comments re “the two main parties being much of a muchness”.

                In the bigger picture, perhaps they are not so very different, however, when it comes to details, I disagree with them being (exactly) the same. i.e. it does make a difference having a Labour/coalition government. i.e when someone says to me “I’m not voting because all parties are the same” I implore them to vote (as long as they seem like a left wing voter!!).

                • Agree.

                  I believe that even small differences matter greatly – often to many people.

                  ‘Good cops’ are better to have dealing with you than ‘bad cops’.

                  Voting matters immensely – and always will – in that way. It is one way of making society less painful for many people.

                  My father always used the old line – ‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain’; and he was a lifelong socialist (having given up on the Communist Party at age 13). The lesser of two evils is still the lesser of two evils.

              • McFlock

                Labour is not a revolutionary party and hasn’t been for decades. I doubt it ever will be again.

                Reversing neoliberal market-based approaches needs revolutionary perspectives forced by the minor parties so that the accepted norm shifts left again. Kiwibank, rail, are cases in point.

                People who want a fundamental reversal of key’s policies, let alone lab4, need to givetheir vote to either parliamentary left parties, or even get more extreme left parties up to approaching 1% so that parliamentary parties start poaching their policies. Or the ~1%ers even get elected themselves.

                Give power to the greens and mana and labour will move left despite those in its caucus who are idiot careerists. The difference between labour and national is that national need act to make them look like a moderating force rather than looters and thieves. Labour want to do good but are too afraid. It is still a fundamental difference.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.2

            People by nature have a bias towards optimism and expecting the best outcomes. That’s why a slogan like towards a brighter future is so manipulative and cynical. Sometimes “optimistic” is exactly the same as “unrealistic”.

  8. Coronial Typer 9

    On the about-to-be sold assets; advice from DPMC:

    “DPMC’s guidance note sets out how ministers and officials should talk publicly about listed companies, stressing the importance of making any market-moving decision outside of trading hours.
    Ministers should only make a major statement that could affect a listed company when trading is open when there is a compelling reason.”

    Opposition unbound, with National caught in the worst of both worlds.
    So the Asset Sale Opposition Leadership mantle Race begins again: Which Labour or Green or NZ First MP will be the first to talk the price down?

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    Posted this on Sunday night, reposting now to catch a few more peeps, relevant since we are talking about more manufacturing job losses in NZ.

    Rolls Royce Engines: the beauty of high value manufacturing

    An amazing documentary, showing the kinds of wealth, capability and community that high tech, high added value manufacturing brings. It also makes it clear that this kind of expertise is gained over many years or decades and has to be protected and nurtured over the long term.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3XssrFqWF0

  10. Pete 11

    There’s a couple of books that I think would be good for Labour to have a look at in the leadup to 2014:

    Get out the Vote : how to increase voter turnout (2nd ed) (2008)
    The Victory Lab: the Secret Science of Winning Campaigns (2012)

    Yes, they are in the US context, but campaigning has changed – and it’s more than just flinging up a Facebook page or tweeting now and then. Buying ads on Youtube to get younger voters for example.

    • McFliper 11.1

      I’m not so sure the fundamentals have changed:

      Target advertising messages/policy discussions at the medium for each market;
      target each speech to the audience;
      get as much facetime as possible;
      release news statements to frame discussion as soon as possible – lead events don’t just react (or even worse do nothing);
      involve your party membership in electioneering activities;
      maintain contact with voters who show interest;
      keep initiating contact with voters who don’t;
      use party activists to register electors in target areas;
      get the vote out on the day.

  11. Rogue Trooper 12

    another Irish blessing
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2013/0107/1224328508613.html
    It’s a Beautiful Day; U2?

  12. Rogue Trooper 13

    Forking Hay (again)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault#The_History_of_Sexuality
    Haberdashery
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCrgen_Habermas
    A Place in The Sun?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043924/

    Shilo, when I was young, I used to call your name, when no one else would come…

    The Turn of The Shrew
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turn_of_the_Screw
    The Taming of The Screw
    http://www.amazon.com/Varieties-Religious-Experience-Penguin-American/dp/0140390340
    James Gang
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443680/ (and the Coward Robert Ford)

    more Habbadashery-Why do we look at injustice? Why do we tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before us; strife and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed (aware of the backlog in the courts since “reform school”), and justice rarely prevails.

    -You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler. The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net. he gathers them up in his dragnet; for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food. is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?

    “Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on? Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; It speaks of an end and it will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it;

    ‘Iranophobia” pursued across the border
    http://www.china.org.cn/world/2013-01/07/content_27607673.htm
    Yesterday I found an article about H1N1 cases in China (but it’s disappeared now)

    The Never-ending Story in The Labyrinth cacooning
    http://www.espnwsummit.com/brightspotcreative/index.php/attendee_bios/view?name=Faith%20Popcorn
    scattering cushions and sitting back to watch the future

    -a plan so cunning we can pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel :)

  13. Rogue Trooper 14

    “to live at all is miracle enough”-Peake experiences
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0197154/
    Pico… pico…pico
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_Mirandola

    “Nourish the cock, but do not sacrifice him, since he is sacred to the sun and the moon”(forget the greek I think it was)

    -every pebble is an exception so Blam Blam blame?

    “Allegory is life giving and and biblical “literalism” as meant today, is life denying”. Now all these things happened unto them for examples and they are written for our admonition.

    Can we hear the bells of St Paul: Shane

    another “confession” http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Confessions.html?id=GbpZpda5y4QC&redir_esc=y ; an Excellent translation
    just Bragg ing
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-book-of-books-by-melvyn-bragg-2276039.html

    (I’m not looking for a New England) William Wilberforce read the KJ every day (obviously I don’t) and had it’s cadences and rhythms running through his veins= Obama-care

    meanwhile, now the Commerce Commission are under attack (for being a “consumer Watchdog” ??? wtf) by Investors and their fund managers

    Greed! was a discussion I had with a tangata whenua tane the other day; “No Limit to it”, he asserted. Pushin’ buttons? see the supermarkets after the New Year break? people were clearly emaciated and needed some more chippies and soft drink.

    Face To Face http://www.paperbackswap.com/Human-Face-God-John-A-T-Robinson/book/066420970X/

    Honest! :)(On The Beach; the lifesavers are rescuing record business) :(

    -John

  14. AmaKiwi 15

    @ Colonial Viper

    A personal note to Colonial Viper regarding your comment yesterday:

    “Like “freedom fries”? Not sure if this is where you are coming from, but I have a dislike of the American-style use of ‘freedom’ as a word pseudo-representing all that is good and wholesome and God-fearing in the world.”

    For a first hand account of what it is like to lose virtually all of one’s “freedoms” at the hands of a dictatorial regime, contact an amiable acquaintance of mine, Kim Dotcom.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Hi AmaKiwi. For real ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ we have to move beyond a sole ballot box focus to that of broader democratic institutions, checks and balances (which might include binding referenda), and values throughout society.

      Specifically applied to the Kim Dotcom case, the police and the SIS need to be acting in ways which uphold democracy, natural justice and due process, not offshore corporatism.

  15. lprent 16

    Brief outages this evening are to setup the firewalls at the main servers and to widen the data pipe

      • lprent 16.1.1

        Test that I haven’t broken the awkwardly fragile re-edit

        Seems to be working

        Ok – looks like the SSL for authors works ok.

    • lprent 16.2

      Another brief outage to increase the server CPU, and then I’m off to bed

      • lprent 16.2.1

        Ouch. Didn’t really expect that the server would very slowly resize it’s disk footprint because I wanted more CPU. But it is ok now after the site was offline for an hour.

        I’ll see if that fixes the peaking issues from todays dose of bots.

        Tommorrow’s task is less of a problem – round two of the backup systems.

  16. Colonial Weka 17

    my own test message to get my viperous name back.

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    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
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  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
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  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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