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The Standard

Political vision?

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, May 3rd, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, class war, cost of living, democratic participation, elections, jobs, local government, mana, national, political alternatives, poverty, public transport, sustainability, vision, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

What amounts to “good” vision as part of a political campaign?

Is it only in the mind of the holder and skewed by their political position?

Or is it a vision that appeals to the majority, in spite of whether they lean left, right, or to a different place form the left-right spectrum?

Many would say Obama’s “Yes we can” campaign crossed the usual political boundaries.

barack_yes_we_can_small

However, considering Obama’s bankster backers, I’m inclined to see such a “vision” as a “neoliberal” style presidential branding, rather than on a realistic vision of a fair and livable society for all of the 99%.

After it looked like the New Zealand Herald was starting to promote Maurice Williamson as future mayor, while bagging Len Brown’s Auckland Unitary Plan, I expressed a wish that the Herald cover the upcoming Auckland Council elections in a fair and balanced way.  Today, the Herald editorial, “Where’s the vision, Mr Williamson?” took a promising turn by offering an alternative view to the previous positive articles on Williamson as potential mayoral candidate.

The editorial argues for Len Brown having a vision that John Banks lacked in the last election:

Aucklanders then clearly supported a candidate with ideas and a vision that did not embrace Mr Banks’ perspective or tally with the National Government’s priorities.

The implication is, that Banks’s motives were the same as Williamsons':

… to ensure due heed was paid to a National government’s wishes, some of which would certainly not correspond to the desires of Aucklanders.

So what was Brown’s vision?  The NZ Herald on the night of Brown’s victory in 2010:

The 53-year-old Mr Brown stood on a platform of uniting Auckland’s diverse communities and promised rapid process on rail projects.

len brown mayor for all auckland

This actually amounted to a very narrow vision, focused on a key issue for the majority of Aucklanders – transport in an increasingly grid-locked and sprawling city. It manages to give the semblance of unity, by ignoring some more fundamental issues: realities that divided Auckland Central (Epsom?) and North Shore NAct supporters of “neoliberal” values, from those in West and South Auckland struggling to to survive on meagre incomes.

Today’s Herald editorial also glosses over a fundamental division: one which influences many people’s politics for the future.  The editorial dismisses Auckland mayoral candidate John Minto as, like Williamson, lacking vision.  The editorial argues that there needs to be a “worthy rival” to contest Brown’s “policies and planks”.

Only then will the advancement and assessment of alternative ideas, part of the fabric of a healthy democracy, take place. Unfortunately, such an opponent has not emerged. It is not John Minto, the Mana Party candidate for Manukau East at the last general election, who announced his bid yesterday. Nor is it the National Party’s long-standing Pakuranga MP, Maurice Williamson, who is considering running. In both cases, these are the wrong men wishing to be the mayor for the wrong reason.

The wrong reason given for Williamson is that he would just be there to do the National Party bidding, and to work in the interests of Aucklanders.  Presumably the implication is that Minto is just standing to promote Mana, and not in the interests of Aucklanders.

However, Mana does have a clear vision:

MANA will promote the principle that what is good for Maori is good for Aotearoa. MANA will promote policies that allow all New Zealanders to lead a good life. MANA will outline a budget to meet those expectations. MANA will bring courage and honesty to political endeavour. MANA will guarantee a measure of people power and accountability from its MPs, that has never been seen before in this country.

mana for all

And clearly, Mana and Minto campaign for those struggling on low incomes. Minto does see the mayoral campaign as the opportunity to get Mana’s message out there.  However, it is a message in support of the struggling people that are too often sidelined by the main focus of Brown’s vision.  Brown ignored the workers at the Ports of Auckland. He has a very good vision for compact housing, but it ignores the issue of the need for social, including state, housing.

Minto is standing for the “majority of Aucklanders struggling to get ahead”.  He will focus on these issues:

· Traffic gridlock
· Affordable rental housing
· A living wage for Aucklanders
· Who runs the supercity – Auckland or Wellington?
· Rates and council charges

And as I was typing, Minto was just talking on RNZ about Brown’s failure to support (Port of) Auckland workers, and about Brown’s mayoralty being barely distinguishable from that of John Banks.

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What sort of vision should left and progressive candidates and parties provide in the up-coming local authority elections around NZ, and in NZ’s parliamentary elections in 2014?

61 comments on “Political vision?”

  1. Tracey 1

    With Williamson not yet declared in the race it is premature to declare him visionless.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Well commenters like Rudman need to read the Daily Blog and get their heads around the fact that there is a highly credible third candidate in John Minto. An articulate experienced guy who has put himself on the line for decades, supports the GI residents and waterside union members unlike Brown.

    Minto’s ‘vision’ is pretty damn clear from his own words and published here by Karol. The trick is to get the vote out. At least John has not been captured by the right like ‘Lenslide’ Brown or is a natural tory like Williamson so he can unequivocally express Te Manas left wing and “unite all who can be united” views.

    The supercity was ACTs dirty filthy experiment with the undemocratic CCOs, no Māori representation etc. A genuine leftie is needed to help turn it around.

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      What a load of hogwash – some people here are badly in need of a reality check. John Minto is not a credible candidate. He has got no money and no constituency. While I admire his relentless energy he will be little more than an electoral wrecker for the left. Given he is an out-and-out unreformed 1930s Comintern style Marxist who probably thinks John A. Lee was a lackey of the capitalist classes for fighting in the Great War Minto is as committed to the defeat of Len Brown as any Cameron Brewer might be. To unreformed Marxists like John Minto Len Brown is a callaboratist class traitor whose actions merely mask the repression of the Prolitiariat by the capitalist class. He likes the idea of ensuring moderate candidates from the left(ish) side lose, because he still believes in the revolutionary theory that polarising the debate brings the revolution that one step closer.

      Minto is at his best as a tireless community activist, not as a politician.

      I know his yellow bellied response to the PoAL dispute has put Brown out of favour with the fervent true believers, but the airy dismissal by Karol of Len Brown’s achievements as the first supercity mayor smacks of the frankly ridiculous musing of a political naiveté. In face of a flawed supercity model foisted on the people of Auckland by Rodney Hide (whose weekly Herald column is like a slow motion strip tease revealing just how thick he actually is), the need to unite several different councils, IT systems, workforces, cultures and somehow keep the city functioning, and the lack of accountability of the CCOs, he has done a reasonable job. In the face of unrelenting and childishly spiteful opposition from central government Brown has managed to at least keep PT and the CRL on the agenda.

      Brown is far from pefect, but he has a solid political support base he is actually from and which he knows and likes and he is streets ahead in electoral terms than a card carrying Marxist from the self-styled Bohemian inner city ‘burbs.

      • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1

        :-D (She Sells, Sanctuary)

        • Jenny 2.1.1.1

          ….he is an out-and-out unreformed 1930s Comintern style Marxist.

          Twice within the period of a few weeks and 30 years after the cold war ended, we have the red terror thrown at us again.

          How about trying this for a change, Sanctury. Discuss the policies.

          • Populuxe1 2.1.1.1.1

            What policies? The only vision yet presented is a continuation of Len Brown’s soft left and generally quite succesful policies. Williamson hasn’t even said he’s running yet, and Minto – someone the electoral majority find off putting – has just got the usual Mana industrial strength weapons grade handwavium and warm fuzzy abstract nouns.

          • BLiP 2.1.1.1.2

            The Right is incapable of discussing the policies, mainly because most of them can’t be bothered reading them, let alone understanding them. No, discourse with the Right requires conversation be devolved to perjorative lables and a 1980s primary-school concept of economics, Te Tiriti O Waitangi, justice, and school yard taunts. The ones to watch out for are those who inject new lables and feed out salacious ad hom by innuendo. And seek to influence by the use of fear.

          • Sanctuary 2.1.1.1.3

            Red terror? What are you on about? Minto’s political beliefs are hardly a secret – he has been around long enough to have told half the nation personally. I don’t give two fiddlesticks that he is a Marxist, his politics are relevant because they inform the shrewd observer as to the real motive behind this political project in running against Brown.

            I don’t for a second believe he thinks he will come within a country mile of winning. His sole aim in running will be to wreck Len Brown, so he can then happily carry on as usual moaning “Oh! Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!” when the right start flogging off the CCO’s to all the “right” people.

            As for the policies – Most of Mana’s wider policy is feelgood waffle about issues it would zero ability to do anything about from the mayors office and that are rightly matters of national not regional government. It has an emphasis on bi-culturalism that might fly up North but would be poison in the most culturally diverse city in the country, and (by the look of it) Minto is quite keen on deliberately buying into a confrontation with Wellington – a disasterous policy that would inevitably lead to a fight he would have something less than zero chance of winning.

            What would he do about the UP? Bin it as part of the war with Wellington? His whole mayoral bid is preposterous, the very worst sort of left wing self-indulgence and wishful thinking.

            • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1.1.3.1

              John Minto will not be running for you Sanctuary. Candidates usually claim to support everyone, all citizens, Mana does not and that is the key difference. Welcome to a class analysis.

              Minto has been battoned, locked up and variously assaulted by the NZ blue bellies for years and had his ribs kicked in as recently as last year defending the people at Glen Innes Auckland. That level of dedication is what the people that will vote for him see. Gentler souls can vote for Len or Cits and Rats if they so desire.

              • Populuxe1

                “Class analysis” or “class war”? That sort of cartoon Marxism doesn’t really wash with the electorate, so don’t hold your breath.

                • karol

                  Ah, yes. We’re not supposed to provide any kind of class analysis, because that would disrupt from the fun of personality politics and neoliberal branding. And it would just make the comfortable middle classes a little uncomfortable, because elections are all about them these days.

                  Resorting to a “cartoon” as a dismissive, is a lame attempt to divert from the struggles of people on low incomes.

                  Whats more “cartoon” than “I’m a Key person”, or “Yes we can”?

                • Tiger Mountain

                  Does ‘wash’ actually with part of the electorate when you reduce it down to action like “Feed the Kids” and involve people that have previously been politically marginalized.

                  It may not suit some blogging woofters and mid level socio economic kiwis but Te Mana Movement is acting regardless. I mean why did the Nats extend K-GCSB powers and ban at sea protest action? It was a reaction to stuff mana and green activists had done.

      • karol 2.1.2

        Sanctuary, if you read my last post on the Auckland Unitary Plan, you will see I am far from doing an “airy dismissal of Brown”. I think the AUP has a lot going for it, and ditto for Brown’s transport plans.

        However, I can also see that Minto is focusing on issues that Brown’s narrow unity focus marginalises.

        It seems to me that whenever someone in politics starts speaking for the politically disengaged and people struggling on low incomes, their motives are questioned as being mere vote-getting, self-promotion, or “ideologically” underhand. Something similar has happened with MSM commentators’ responses to the Labour-Green NZ Power – the likes of Colin Espiner & Fran O’Sullivan dismiss it as a cynical attempt at getting votes. This is them avoiding saying they don’t support social justice for those on low incomes.

        For all the good things in the AUP, the promotion of it tends to focus on private sector accommodation. Brown’s Auckland Council seems unwilling to comment on the problem for low income people in finding affordable rental accommodation. And social housing just seems to get marginalised or ignored. For Auckland to be a “livable city” for those on low incomes, the issues of affordable rents and diminishing state housing stock need to be brought into the centre of the discussions and of council contests.

        Brown offers the same temptations and failings that I have struggled with for at least a couple of decades: he represents the lesser evil of Third Way compromise – the pitch is primarily at not scaring the middle-classes, while those on low incomes continue to languish.

        Even with Minto running and my support of his platform, it’s still possible that I will vote Brown – I’ll wait for the contest of ideas and vested interests to play out further before making my final decision.

        However I vote, I do not doubt Minto’s sincerity in his campaign for the disempowered and politically disconnected, struggling on low incomes.

        We need more political candidates standing up for strong left principles of social justice, workers’ rights, and social security for all. Then we will be able to relegate Third Way, soft “neoliberalism” to the dustbin of history.

      • Lefty 2.1.3

        Sanctuary, instead of speculating on what Minto might beleive you might want to compare his actual words and actions with Len Browns over a period of years.

        Len’s sins are far greater than his yellow bellied response to the Ports dispute. He refuses to confront the dodgy and overpaid leaders of the CCOs, he promotes PPPs and he is absolutely a part of the rotten elite who run the country – he just happens to disagree over a few details around transport and planning with the ones that are in government at the moment.

        We have seen no real vision around either housing or transport from him – just alternative ways of making the same old handouts to the same group of developers and transport multinationals that have been riding the local government gravy train for decades.

        For example we have not heard a word about things like reducing public transport fees to a nominal amount to get people using it, because that would mean taking back ownership of public transport.

        We have not heard a word about cutting private property developers out of the housing loop (apart from allowing people to build their own homes).

        In fact we have seen neither innovation nor imagination from Len we aren’t likely ever to do so from a any establishment figure because the establishment don’t do innovation or creativity.

        Of course Minto is unlikely to come anywhere near being a serious challenge to Len, or to any other right wing candidate like Williamson or Brewer either because he totally lacks the resources and the right wing respectability required but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t give people an alternative to poisonous old right wing men in suits to vote for.

        Fuck that shit about not splitting the centre right vote and letting the far right in.

        After all the lesser of two evils is still evil and voting for the likes of Brown because he might not be quite as nasty and arrogant as Williamson only encourages the sort of bad behaviour right wing social democrats have been conning us with for the last thirty years.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.4

        John Minto is far from being a 1930s Comintern Marxist. He believes in parliamentary democracy, for a start. He just believes it will never work in favour of the majority without continual pressure from the streets. He is one of the most honest people I have ever met and has more integrity in his little finger than a restaurant full of important politicians.

        Len Brown is a collaborationist class traitor though. You got that bit right.
        John as Mayor would be a breath of fresh air and honesty for Auckland. Even a strong campaign would show the majority of the people that the city can be taken back from the citrats and developers. Of course, the cops would have to be a bit more subtle in singling him out for the odd aggravated assault.

        • Sosoo 2.1.4.1

          Who wouldn’t agree that Minto is an honest man? That doesn’t stop him from being unelectable. A lot of regular folks consider him poisonous. I think they are wrong, but they won’t be swayed.

  3. What is Minto’s real reason for running? Too boost his lagging profile? To boost temana’s profile at the next general election?

    There is no way he can win. why run?

    How can anyone vote for such a vile racist party as temana, who one of their current members said she broke open champagne when she heard about 9/11.

    She was glad people died?

    That little soundbite you posted, is not what temana stands for.

    They dont give a f bout poor people, they just care about their own broken ideology. Take a look at their party list.

    If Minto gets more than 2% of the vote in the election, then more mug the people of auckland.

    • karol 3.1

      What is this “broken ideology” of which you speak, if it isn’t part of a politics that struggles for the well being of those on low income?

      • Brett Dale 3.1.1

        No, its what nearly every country around the globe has said no to.

        • BLiP 3.1.1.1

          Leaders who lie? Politicians sitting around getting drunk and abusing the servants? Carrying out illegal armed raids on New Zealanders at the behest of Hollywood? Flogging off essential infrastructure to multinational negatively geared credit default swap insurance companies? Surrounding Aotearoa with dodgy oilwells constructed over rumbling earthquake shaken tectonic plates? A police force which publicly celebrates those who corrupt justice and imprison the innocent? Ignoring thousands of hungry children? I’ve had enough of that, thanks.

  4. Bill Engrish 4

    John Minto gets more attention than deserved for a guy who stood in Manukau East during the 2011 general election and won 461 votes to Labour MP Ross Robertson’s 19,399.

    I look forward to all the smart political analysis from commentators saying Minto will “split the left vote” away from Brown.

    What a distraction.

  5. MY AUCKLAND MAYORAL CAMPAIGN COMMENT PUBLISHED ON TV3 WEBSITE:

    (How you can still get the message out when you don’t have $500,000 in campaign funds! :)

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Protestors-Minto-Bright-to-run-for-mayoralty/tabid/1607/articleID/296315/Default.aspx

    PENNY BRIGHT wrote:

    I tried to warn you folks – that the Auckland $upercity would be a SUPER RIPOFF – a super public trough, for fewer but bigger private snouts.

    Where was I wrong?

    Why I stood as an Auckland Mayoral candidate in 2010:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10673942

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_objectid=10673942&gallery_id=113947

    2013 ACTION PLAN against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/action-plan-to-prevent-corruption/

    PROVEN TRACK RECORD, as a successful Occupy Auckland Appellant (in my own name) in fighting the corporate 1% who run the Auckland region, ‘like a business – for business':

    EVIDENCE in the following High Court document – exposing the role of the unelected Committee for Auckland, of which the CEO for Auckland Council, Doug McKay is a member. So – whose interests is he serving?
    The majority of citizens and ratepayers – or his corporate mates?

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OCCUPY-AUCKLAND-APPEAL-APPLICATION-BY-APPELLANT-BRIGHT-TO-ADDUCE-NEW-EVIDENCE-pdf.pdf

    There is more!

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    PS: My defended hearing in the above-mentioned Court case on the charge of ‘willful trespass’ for occupying John Banks electoral office on 18 June 2013 – has been adjourned until 27 September 2013 :)

  6. Ad 6

    Len Brown has generated what no-one else before him has ever done: an Auckland Plan that has a long term and unifying direction. He will also shortly deliver a Unitary Plan that replaces the swath of double-layered mess Aucklanders previously had. Both have been done with genuine consultation on a scale that has not been attempted before in the country let alone Auckland.

    He has also pulled the CCOs into line particularly Transport, and has already signalled that he sees that others will be merged or pulled in-house.

    Sure some will campaign less for him because of the Waterside Workers action. Agreed.

    But there is no other candidate from the left or right would would have had a chance of doing what has been done so far. Otherwise they would have put their hand up last time or now.

    So to be really clear: Auckland has a vision. It’s called the Auckland Plan. We don’t need any more “visions”, from Mana or anyone. We need to make the one that thousands of Aucklanders have engaged on actually turn into a reality.

    • Anne 6.1

      +1

      Sorry Penny Bright and John Minto… but Len Brown is our only guarantee we don’t end up with a NAct mayor. No, he’s not perfect (nobody is) but he’s the best we’ve had since Robbie. Think of the awful consequences of Brown losing…

      • Penny Bright 6.1.1

        With all due respect – it’s NOT a ‘left’ vs ‘right’ issue here.

        It’s the corporate and property developer 1% vs the public majority 99%.

        Although Len Brown promised to ‘open the books’ – they’re STILL not open.

        We don’t know EXACTLY where rates monies are being spent – the names of the consultants/contractors; the scope, value or term of the contracts.

        That’s why I have refused to pay rates for over 5 years – because we’re not being told EXACTLY where this money is going.

        I’m making a stand – which cannot be ignored – in support of our lawful rights as citizens and ratepayers to ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government – which we are NOT getting under the Auckland ‘$upercity’ Council.

        With all due respect – why would the Committee For Auckland and NZ Property Council want to get rid of Mayor Len Brown?

        Whose interests are being served?

        Have YOUR rates gone up or down under this Auckland $upercity – SUPER RIPOFF?

        NB: Some of us have opposed this corporate takeover of the Auckland region from Day One:
        Seen http://www.stopthesupercity,org.nz ?

        Penny Bright
        ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

        http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
        http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz

        • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1.1

          you bring an entertained smile to this “lefties” day Penny. You have some grit all of your own.

        • Brett Dale 6.1.1.2

          What are laws around candidates blogging during the local body elections?

          • BLiP 6.1.1.2.1

            Good question . . . found it!

          • lprent 6.1.1.2.2

            None.

            • Brett Dale 6.1.1.2.2.1

              Cool, thanks for the info. The internet wouldnt exist, if every question got
              answered by a link to “let me google that for you”

              • lprent

                We usually restrict what people say on a election day for a general election. There are requirements in the electoral act about what can be published in the media on that day. But are we media? We just don’t allow much political comment on that day because we don’t want to be the test case. Local government is mostly a postal vote over several weeks and runs under different rules.

                There are some restrictions about what constitutes political donations. For instance if I allowed a clear advertisement that has placement value on site for a candidate. But the only time we did that was for the MMP referendum, and we gave them a nominal amount to declare (to avoid being a test case).

                http://elections.org.nz has quite a lot of material and commentary on the restrictions

        • unpcnzcougar 6.1.1.3

          Surely there are laws that state you must be up to date with your rates to stand for Council!

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.2

        As far as I can see, the awful consequences of Brown losing are painted with the same broad brush strokes as the awful consequences of Brown winning.

    • Naturesong 6.2

      Since John Minto came to the public’s attention with HART, he has been consistently on the right side of history. I have huge respect for the man.

      I hope his run generates enough momentum to give Len Brown a big enough scare to bring him back to the centre left.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        More likely Williamson or any other rag-tag righty will just cancel the loons on the other side out.

        Seriously, Len Brown should have lost. He was avowedly Labour when the Labour Party in a time where Labour couldn’t win a lolly scramble. Aucklanders should have voted according to their real estate interests. Instead …
        … by the end of Brown’s next term the following would have happened, and no, Minto would have achieved none of it:

        – A plan for Auckland that a huge majority agree with
        – A functioning public transport system, with new train stations and bus stations at every major junction, and the entire motorway network completed
        – The City Rail Link under construction
        – New planned suburb at Ormiston under construction
        – Massey North – and much of the west generally – reborn from a tired sleeper-suburb to a massively integrated new development, not dominated by Westfield
        – A reasonable chance that for the first time in its political life, a united Auckland will be fully politically aligned to central government.
        – Auckland’s waterfront open to the public and flourishing, from the Harbour Bridge to Cooks Wharf.

        No abstract nouns about poverty or love or hope or any other bull. Just good progress.

        • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1.1

          yet, the prospective woes facing Auckland across the next 30 years are still substantial.

          • Ad 6.2.1.1.1

            After 60 years of motorway-fuelled real estate capitalism, what you will get in 6 years is a bit of softening. Don’t ever expect Auckland to turn into Copenhagen.

            • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              i was thinking a puddly Kuala Lumpur, without the attractions.(now where did I place my passport).

      • Populuxe1 6.2.2

        Not convinced his absurd protests against tennis-player Shahar Pe’er put him on the right side of history – personally I think it made him look like a dick. Given that every Israeli citizen has compulsory military service, surely there would be more relevant Israeli targets to protest – like perhaps actually political ones.

        And then there was his public “rejection” of the South African Companion of OR Tambo Award, even though he’d never been offered it in the first place.

        • Brett Dale 6.2.2.1

          and for the fact when that invercargill cafe refused to serve Israeli’s, and Minto refused to protest that cafe, saying “I couldnt care less if two isareli’s cant get a cup of coffee” shows that is not always on the right side of history.

          • BLiP 6.2.2.1.1

            Ummm . . . no. It highlights that when you ask John Minto a question he will tell you the truth. Like it or not.

            • Brett Dale 6.2.2.1.1.1

              So hes a bigot.

              • Clockie

                Define your terms. Was it bigoted for much of the civilized world to refuse to play sport with apartheid Sth Africa?

                • Of course not, but to refuse to sure people in a cafe because of where they’re from is, and its also fuckin disgusting. But hey, you werent refused service, so thats okay then.

                  • BLiP

                    Huh – I’m sure it was the cafe owner who refused service? Had good reason to, as well. And that’s why they are not a bigot. See, a bigot, by definition, believes things based on ignorance. Like you.

                  • Clockie

                    @ Brett Dale; So refusing to play sport with Sth Africans who may or may not have supported apartheid was fine (you agree), but refusing to serve coffee to Israelis (who may or may not be supporters of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory) is morally wrong. Both things may be unfair (the affected parties may not support the thing you’re protesting against), but the point is that the evil being protested against outweighs a game of rugby or an espresso. Difficult philosophical and ethical concept for you to wrap your head around I know..

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Of course not, but to refuse to sure people in a cafe because of where they’re from is, and its also fuckin disgusting.

                    I thought you were fine with business owners having freedom of choice, brettyboy

          • Murray Olsen 6.2.2.1.2

            Did you hop down to Invercargill to protest outside the cafe? John puts his money where his mouth is, you put your foot where your mouth is, and Israelis are hardly without representation anyway. I’m sure they could have dragged the odd Mossad agent away from passport fraud duties to make them a cup of coffee if it had been a problem.

      • Lefty 6.2.3

        I don’t think Len was ever centre left. It has been a convenient lie to pull out now and then.

  7. Ed 7

    In many cities around New Zealand, standing for Mayor as well as for Council is he only way to get any publicity – hence there are often nearly as many candidates for Mayor as for Council. Those that stand only for Council have a much lower chance of being elected than those who get the publicity of the “presidential” race. After all, just as at national level, all wisdom springs from the one person in charge. . The drawback is that many do not know who has a real chance of getting enough votes to win the mayoralty, and too many could indeed split the vote. Not much chance of that with Brown, but it may be why the right is having difficulty. Perhaps they will put Aaron Gilmore forward?

  8. Stirring it up on Kiwiblog………….. ;)

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/05/herald_attacking_maurice_before_he_even_decides.html/comment-page-1#comment-1136792

    YOU WANT ‘VISION’?

    Try this for size Kiwibloggers

    2013 ACTION PLAN against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/action-plan-to-prevent-corruption/

    PROVEN TRACK RECORD, as a successful Occupy Auckland Appellant (in my own name) in fighting the corporate 1% who run the Auckland region, ‘like a business – for business’:

    EVIDENCE in the following High Court document – exposing the role of the unelected Committee for Auckland, of which the CEO for Auckland Council, Doug McKay is a member.

    So – whose interests is he serving?

    The majority of citizens and ratepayers – or his corporate mates?

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OCCUPY-AUCKLAND-APPEAL-APPLICATION-BY-APPELLANT-BRIGHT-TO-ADDUCE-NEW-EVIDENCE-pdf.pdf

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Protestors-Minto-Bright-to-run-for-mayoralty/tabid/1607/articleID/296315/Default.aspx

    I tried to warn you folks – that the Auckland $upercity would be a SUPER RIPOFF – a super public trough, for fewer but bigger private snouts.

    Where was I wrong?

    Why I stood as an Auckland Mayoral candidate in 2010:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10673942

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_objectid=10673942&gallery_id=113947

    Have YOUR rates gone UP or DOWN?

    Cut rates by cutting out the consultants and private contractors and return Council services back ‘in-house’ under the ‘public service’ model.

    Save MILLION$ by cutting out all those private ‘piggies-in-the-middle’ who are dependent on long-term ‘corporate
    welfare’.

    Open the books!

    I want to know where EVERY $ of ratepayer monies is being spent / invested / loaned ….

    Dump the ‘Corporate Controlled Organisations’ (oops – sorry ‘Council Controlled Organisations – CCOs), which have been the mechanism for the corporate takeover of the Auckland region, and bring Council services back under the direct democratic control of elected representatives.

    Stop this ‘market madness’ Auckland growth strategy, as outlined in the DAFT Unitary Plan.

    Why does all this ‘growth’ have to come to Auckland?

    Who benefits from this Auckland growth strategy apart from property developers, speculators and overseas investors?

    Where did this magic ‘million’ figure of Auckland population increase over the next 30 years actually come from?

    Where is the NATIONAL growth strategy – encouraging immigrants to settle in areas SOUTH of the Bombay Hills?

    Transport: Why are the public subsidising PRIVATE passenger transport?

    How about we change the uniforms and business cards and take back the operation and management of the Auckland passenger rail network back from French multi-national Veolia and give it to Auckland Transport to manage directly?

    (After we’ve got rid of the Auckland Transport CCO model).

    Same applies to Watercare.

    That should do for starters…………

    Have a LOVELY evening!

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner.

    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate

    ‘Her Warship’

  9. millsy 9

    The left are better off to stick to what they do best, and advocate for:

    Libararies
    Parks, playgrounds, community halls, community centres, and green spaces
    Swmming pools
    better public transport (AND TAKING THE GODDAMN BUSES BACK INTO PUBLIC OWNERSHIP).
    Social housing
    Keeping water assets in public hands

    ..and steer clear of:

    abstract “Unified Plans”
    abstract art in public places
    subsidies for professional sporting codes (the mantra should be “let Rupert pay for it”)

    .. and openly oppose:

    Road pricing and congestion charging in any way, shape or form

    The left has drifted from its bread and butter in recent years, Len Brown, I dont think, ever said anything about parks and libraries in his campaign.

    • karol 9.1

      The Unified Plan is far from “abstract”. It sets up regulations and rules for guiding future changes in the city.

      The Auckland Plan, which preceded and is coordinated with the Transport: Why are the public subsidising PRIVATE passenger transport?

      How about we change the uniforms and business cards and take back the operation and management of the Auckland passenger rail network back from French multi-national Veolia and give it to Auckland Transport to manage directly?

      (After we’ve got rid of the Auckland Transport CCO model). Auckland Unitary Plan includes libraries and park as part of the important thing to the city.

      662_ In Auckland, infrastructure refers to a broader range of services and includes investments in libraries, museums, and recreation and sports facilities. In addition, the public open space network is part of the publicly provided infrastructure….

      For the purposes of this Plan, critical infrastructure is defined as “Infrastructure assets, services and systems which:…

      are fundamental to the long-term well-being of the community, and contribute to Auckland’s liveability, such as those components relating to cultural and social infrastructure (e.g. public open space and libraries)”.

      Agree on taking buses back into public ownership, and with Penny when she said this:

      Transport: Why are the public subsidising PRIVATE passenger transport?

      How about we change the uniforms and business cards and take back the operation and management of the Auckland passenger rail network back from French multi-national Veolia and give it to Auckland Transport to manage directly?

      (After we’ve got rid of the Auckland Transport CCO model).

  10. Lefty 10

    All the great plans in the world won’t make the slightest bit of differencc while the same old group run the city.

    Unelelected power brokers make all the real decisions, while senior council staff have been bending the rules for developers for many years. They will continue to do so until the power is removed from them and the CCOs and put in the hands of elected representatives where it belongs.

    The interests of the well connected at national and local level will continue to be put before the needs of Aucklanders until there is a council leadership that does not come from that same elite group.

    Even within the grey men who control things there is some diversity. Len is simply one of their faces who happens to be a bit more user friendly than most and any competition between the him and the likes of Williamson or Banks is just a bit of friendly jousting among the boys.

    Len Brown is a creature of the system and will never lead the necessary rebellion against it.

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