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Polity: A bad week

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, February 24th, 2014 - 142 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, Politics - Tags:

The original of this post is here at Polity

There’s no skating around it – Labour hasn’t had a good week. And the biggest shame is that beltway errors have been allowed to eclipse real progress on issues that actually matter to New Zealand families.

It may not directly affect New Zealanders’ lives where in particular Labour members park their bums when they discuss the party’s business. And David Cunliffe’s view about his home’s state of repair is almost certainly irrelevant to pretty much everyone. But that lack of direct relevance does not matter, because these issues matter for perceptions. If Labour is perceived as bumbling, or as lacking self-awareness, that will certainly be reflected at the ballot box.

My guess is that over the course of this weekend things will continue to look poor for the left. Another poll – that was in the field right through this week – will reports its findings on Sunday. I do not know the results, but if Labour can stay above 30 after this week then its MPs will be breathing sighs of relief.

To be fair, the other larger parties haven’t been winning too many tricks either, as Vernon Small pointed out yesterday. Whether the issue is Taurima or Slater or Dotcom, misere all round appears to be the bid.

As I mentioned at the top, however, there are a couple of bright spots amongst the gloom.

First was the news that Fairfax’s polling shows Labour as being more trusted to make policy for New Zealand kids. That whole space – paid parental leave, caring for young kids, early childhood education, schooling – looks set to become one of the biggest battlegrounds of election year, and getting independent confirmation of Labour’s superior public standing on those issues is heartening. (How that finding came to be buried in para twelve of a story with a headline about That Nice Man Mr Key is beyond me, but there you go.)

The reason that policy findings like this are more important that the state of the horse-race in February is that very few people are making firm political decisions at this time in the cycle. The firm partisans made up their minds when they turned 18, and a large majority of the swinging voters don’t make up their minds until the campaign. So the three point dip Labour saw in yesterday’s Roy Morgan poll is certainly real, but it is likely soft and reversible.

The second bright spot, of course, is Shane Jones’ success in getting the Commerce Commission to inquire into goings-on at Countdown. Anti-competitive behaviour in the supermarket duopoly directly affects almost every New Zealander and, thanks to Jones, any movement in this area during 2014 will be credited mainly to Labour.

These bright spots have the potential to grow into real strengths, because they actually matter to New Zealanders. But they can only pay dividends for Labour later in the year if Labour puts together a sustained period of solid, competent work and representation around the country. If it can, then events of this week will likely fade into the mist. The next few weeks will be critical.

142 comments on “Polity: A bad week”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    That is a good fruitful article.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That is the key.

    Labour should not get bogged down with irrelevant silly or nasty stuff that is constantly being put in the media by the right wing leaders, their PR machine or their mischief makers, including some journalists.

    What Labour needs to do is to remain on the message of being a fair, caring party for all people, including the business community.

    Labour’s social, economic and environmental policies need to be steadfast, sincere, clear and fearless, even if the right wing distractors or the self centred big business circles paint them as unworkable or unaffordable.

    After that, if the people do not elect a possible Labour led government, so be it.

    Do not compromise the noble principles, fair policies or the collective Labour conscience to appease the crooks or the selfish. Then Labour will prevail, earning more respect and increased support.

    • Rob 1.1

      When the going gets tough, Jones stands out , whilst the rest are found wanting.

    • JustLikeTigerWoods 1.2

      When the going gets tough, Cunliffe goes nowhere.

    • Concerned 1.3

      That is so true. Let us simply ignore the results of Fairfox, Roy Morgan and One Network news polls and move on as if nothing has happened and spread our tax and spend message.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1

        As distinct from the National Party’s tax and borrow and spend on corporate welfare, but if “Concerned” pays too much attention to that their rank vacuity might cause massive cognitive dissonance to erupt and render the merely stupid, vegetative.

      • Clemgeopin 1.3.2

        That is NOT what I said or meant. Were you trying to deliberately mislead?

        Poll is just that. A poll at a particular time.
        In order to improve the polls, Labour should stay steadfastly on their fair, just and wise path with constant focus on policies.

      • mickysavage 1.3.3

        Hmmm …

        Troll …

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    You are correct that “few people are making firm political decisions at this time in the cycle”.

    However I think back to this time in the cycle in the years 1984, 1990, 1999 and to a lesser extent 2008.

    There was a strong anti government sentiment at the beginning of each of those years with a feeling that the government would change.

    Think Muldoon, Palmer, and Shipley in February of their respective final year in power. They were dead men walking.

    Clark had the media in full attack mode against her in 2008 with the nany state campaign.

    It might just be me but that feeling does not exisit at the moment. This feels more like 2011.

    I am getting more uncomforatble by the day and slightly more down about the future of New Zealand as the Nats look more confiendt and stronger each day and Cunliffe looks more and more down.

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    Who the hell works for the opposition research unit? A bunch of morons? Or is it that they are just out of the loop?

    Why are policies such as the Early Start package not being put through their paces? It isn’t actually that hard to predict how they will be attacked… there should be properly thought out answers to these questions that push a positive image/focus negative attention on the government’s inaction.

    Politics is like chess in that regard, never ever move without trying to anticipate your opponent’s next most likely response – and be aware of potential traps/pitfalls.

    • Clemgeopin 3.1

      You are absolutely correct. Key and his National PR team is very good at this. Labour, sadly, no.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        Money plays some part… Karol suggested some time ago that Mark Crosby is paid $10,000 per visit.

        Nationala nd ACT have far more money to manipulate the public opinion.

        Labour has to be smarter. Greens struggle under the falsity onslaught from National but still manage to gett ehir core message across.

        Frankly when Colin Craig and Winston are getting big press coverage comp[ared to sitting Mps and parties of the Green’s size it is hard to argue that there is no agenda.

        • cricklewood 3.1.1.1

          it shouldn’t cost that much to ensure the info sheet handed out at announcement matches that on the net… a dose of common sense would go along way…

    • Enough is Enough 3.2

      Excellent comment PP.

      I think you nailed it.

      It is becoming common place. Think Kiwi Assure and Baby Bonus. Labour releases a very good policy. Yet seem so underprepared for the opposition which every policy release will attract.

      It should be someones job to think like a Tory and go through the process of thinking how will the Nats attack this.

      Every winge, moan and or even legitimate critique should have a prepared counter argument.

    • yabby 3.3

      If a policy of child assistance includes families earning up to $150,000 it’ll not get much support from struggle streeters or those who regards themselves as fiscally prudent – let alone your opponents. It does voters a disservice to assume they’ve have been tricked into not understanding or twisting what is a very straightforward policy.

    • Mary 3.4

      They are a bunch of morons.

      • mickysavage 3.4.1

        No they are not. They are part of a unit that has significantly less resources and the policy is subject to so much rigorous analysis …

        • xtasy 3.4.1.1

          Do “they” (research unit/s) bother reading the Standard and perhaps “dare” to “study” some information and ideas discussed here, with ample sources of useful information being offered “FREE of charge”?

          Or are they too “proud” to do so, too concerned this may reflect badly on their “professionalism”, I ask?

          Over the last two years I read and (particularly on social policy and medical science aspects) PRESENTED also so much stuff here by my (humble) self, that Labour and Greens should have had a treasure trove of information and policy ideas at their ready hands, but they seem to not use it.

          It is not always a matter of financial resourcing, it is a matter of jumping out of the ordinary circles or squares, to think outside the square so to say, and dare something new and different. So there is NO excuse to complain about limited resources in my view.

          Maybe they should be given a humble hint and study the archived comments and posts on The Standard, which may finally bring them some revealing insight, new ideas and the needed game changer!?

        • Mary 3.4.1.2

          “…and the policy is subject to so much rigorous analysis …”

          Do you mean Labour’s policies?

  4. Sosoo 4

    I am getting more uncomforatble by the day and slightly more down about the future of New Zealand as the Nats look more confiendt and stronger each day and Cunliffe looks more and more down.

    Just ignore them. Politics doesn’t have to eat up your whole life.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Labour’s support at 34% after recent pratfalls, support holding up, but doing little to give themselves a lift.

    National getting a lift from a relentless barrage of favourable media reports about business confidence and one commentator’s “rockstar economy” hyperbole, despite that overseas our currency is regarded as overvalued and we have added the biggest government debt in our history to huge public debt.

    Whether that confidence is well-founded remains to be seen.

    Labour activists stole the party from the media (not to mention caucus), stole the leadership, completely defied the prevailing narrative in electing Cunliffe. Retaliation was always inevitable.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Key wants to set the agenda?

    “The big issues are the economy, law and order and health and education and our programme’s working and the results are good,”

    We (the Left) can take National apart on education. Novopay for fucks sake! PISA ranks.

    Health? Scandals abound I am reliably informed and yet none ever see the light of day, despite Annette King’s press releases.

    The economy? Underemployment at all-time high, unemployment over 6%, child poverty? These issues have become more-or-less invisible. Reveal them.

    Plenty of grist for this mill.

  7. Stamper 7

    The Poll has shown a swing to the right from Green, through Labour to National.
    i.e. both Green and Labour have lost 5% which now resides with National.

    Given NZ First also lost 1% a common cause would seem to be Kim Dotcom. Talking to him in unannounced meetings seems a turn-off for Greens and NZF voters.

    The big question for Labour is, why did they loose the 5% they would have got from the dissatisfied Greens? Troubling times for Cunliffe.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      The big question for me is, “will there always be people who can’t distinguish the noise from the signal, or are they the noise?”

    • Tracey 7.2

      Turn off for green voters… 3 green voters have stated on here today it hasn’t turned them off… me included.

      Maybe this poll questioned different people tot he last poll…

      • Stamper 7.2.1

        Then why did they move back to Labour?
        I just don’t see anyone getting into the head of Labour/Green voters and trying to sort out what cunliffe & co should be doing/saying to lock-in and BOOST their vote.

        Arn’t there enough poor/benefit/souls at the bottom of the heap to look for help from a caring Labour Party? Surely there are 10’s of thousands who know better?

        Worrying trend!

        • weka 7.2.1.1

          No. It’s a small poll that is unlikely to reflect reality. If you want to look at trends, look at polls over the last year. There have been plenty of posts on ts about this.

          You can’t know why those points dropped or rose in this particular poll, unless you ask the people polled who they voted for before. Your analysis if guess work.

  8. Ant 8

    “The second bright spot, of course, is Shane Jones’ success in getting the Commerce Commission to inquire into goings-on at Countdown. Anti-competitive behaviour in the supermarket duopoly directly affects almost every New Zealander and, thanks to Jones, any movement in this area during 2014 will be credited mainly to Labour.”

    It might be credited to Labour in some ways, but it won’t be held against National which is what Labour needs in an election year. All National need to do is act on it (like they have) and it negates any advantage that Labour might get out of it.

  9. Ron 9

    Labour needs to be pushing policy and ensuring that it is spread widely. Take a leaf from Greens Solar release. Well presented and timely and just about every day there is something in media about it. Compare with Labour’s Best Start policy which seems to have mostly sunk because of lack of promotion. Why were/are Labour spokespeople not out talking to all childcare interested groups. Any forum that has an interest in the health of New Zealand Children should be a target for a Labour spokesperson. When new policy is announced every single Labour MP should be pushing that policy with public meetings all over New Zealand. It not only would spread the message it would also ensure that every Labour MP is fully familiar with the policy. Just because you are a spokesperson for XYZ does not mean that you should not be absolutely up to date on all the main planks in the Platform. If you are not capable of doing that you should not be in Parliament.
    Look at the polices released so far, Best Start, KiwiwAssure, NZ Power, KiwiBuild are all lost from sight. I doubt that many New Zealander’s are even aware of them anymore.
    The best way to invigorate MP’s is to make them work, and if they don’t start getting response from electorate then start the clean out process.

    • Stamper 9.1

      Dead right Ron – “The best way to invigorate MP’s is to make them work”
      Isn’t that the job of Cunliffe of and his office? [there is a message there]

      Maybe Robertson wants him to fail?

      Hmm – not a healthy situation.

      • fisiani 9.1.1

        Robertson does want The Cunliffe to fail. Robertson is very ambitious and is prepared to lose in order to advance himself. He proved it by letting the Labour vote fall to third place in Wellington Central in 2011.

        • bad12 9.1.1.1

          Fisiani, so Grant Roberston is the Member for Wellington Central after coming third is He, that’s a novel comment on how an election in this country is decided i must say,

          Have you been overdoing it on the idiot pills again you want to be more careful as the prognosis for those who use such on a long term basis is for massive brain damage,

          On second thoughts, carry on as usual, massive brain damage in your case will be bound to create an iMprovement…

          • srylands 9.1.1.1.1

            Charming. You know he was referring to the Party Vote. You are simply being vilely disingenious. What on earth is wrong with you?

            • bad12 9.1.1.1.1.1

              SSLands, ”vilely dis-ingenious” a comment worthy of a 1800’s toff and the subject of much laughter here, at you,

              Talk about my writing style being bad SSLands didn’t you notice the spell check red line your spelling of disingenious, clown put a hyphen after the dis wont you, or better still go back to kindy and get a proper education…

            • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Robertson didn’t get any party votes, as he was the electorate candidate. The Labour party did get some, though. Could it be that fisi doesn’t know the difference between electorate vote and party vote? And that srylands is the one being vilely disingenuous?

    • Clemgeopin 9.2

      Absolutely correct. The Labour caucus should all speak in one voice championing all their policies all over their electorates and elsewhere. Seems like the party organisational leadership and caucus MPs are failing in this regard. They need to show complete faith, courage and determination, NOW!

  10. If Labour have continuosly been preaching about the poor and how dire their situation is right now, why is the suggestion of $60 per newborn going to begin in 2016? Mr Cunliffe appears as a knight in shining armour to struggling voters yet wants to delay in aiding the poor’s suffering. It is obvious that he also wants to appeal to middle income voters going by his “if we can afford it” or “mm yes, thats right $60 per week” comments, but to a voter like me he sounds calculated and condescending. Labour’s strategy so far (if they have one) has been disappointing so they had better snap out of it or lose my vote to the Greens.

    • Ron 10.1

      I would imagine it is to do with Budgets. They will not come to power till 2014/2015 and they can hardly start spending money that has not been including in a budget. They will presumably present their Budget June/July 2015 and any major expenditure will commence in the April 2016/March 2017 financial year,

      • Clemgeopin 10.1.1

        Them the best way to convey that to the public is to state,’Our VERY first budget will have that policy incorporated’.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      Because the money to pay the $60/child payment will come from the capital gains tax, which takes some time to ramp up before it brings in significant cash.

  11. Skinny 11

    The latest polling could be causing concern to National. They will know that people’s perception of the probability of a easy National win may allow people to experiment with voting elsewhere rather than National. There will be some dissatisfied with National who will choose not to vote whatsoever. I think Key-National are worried about this happening.

    On the other hand a large bloc (800,000) of the non voters at the last election have been incentivised to vote by many of Nationals policies that keep them down at the bottom of the heap. I think a high number of them realised that had they voted at the last election a more ‘friendly Government to them’ would have prevailed.

    I think both the Labour and Green Party’s need to allocate half their campaign advertising budget to this and this alone. They will need 400,000 of the 800,000 bloc to vote, it’s as simple as that really.

    We need to collectively work at getting people to vote. I would like to see a ‘vote pledge card’
    One activists can promote like;

    10 previous non voters agree to vote = $10 donation from a sponsor to a registered charity of the voters choice (from the sponsors list) with each of the 10 sponsors being able to choose a charity.

    Using the pledge card at the point of people registered on the electoral roll, may pass electoral laws? and go from there. The vote would be based on trust of course and obviously no steering people into which way they vote.

    Must look into it to see if it’s legal?

    Getting a full card would mean 10 votes and $100 to a registered charity.

    • cricklewood 11.1

      “a large bloc (800,000) of the non voters at the last election have been incentivised to vote by many of Nationals policies that keep them down at the bottom of the heap”
      Tbh a lot still found themselves at the bottom of the heap under the last labour govt as well hence complete disengagement….

      • Ant 11.1.1

        As much as people like Bomber think the non-vote is a nascent political force, the odds of getting them off their bums and into a polling booth are low.

    • Stamper 11.2

      But what about the cynical Nats who would say – ‘yeah right – happy to vote for your Labour candidate’. ???

    • Lanthanide 11.3

      It’s really the other way around.

      If people see a very popular government with a huge lead in the polls, they are less likely to vote altogether – both for them, but especially, against them.

      That’s how Proposition 8 got supported in California. California is obviously quite left-wing, but coupled with that it’s also 4 hours behind the eastern states, so on election day when left-wing voters already have a good idea of the election outcome (based on polling, as well as seeing the actual election results from eastward states) they stay home and don’t vote.

      Proposition ended up with a very slim majority support in California that, had the issue been voted on by itself and not attached to the election, would certainly have failed.

      • Skinny 11.3.1

        Yes Proposition 8 backs up the coasting in win theory. On that basis NZF could reap votes from voters that don’t really want National to have too much of a free hand to turn nasty ‘right’. To some there will be a nagging feeling of the danger of the dreaded third term syndrome where National show there true ideological colours. I suspect the steady as we go will be replaced with full steam ahead, a scary prospect indeed. Limiting ACT’s numbers is most important.

        • Clemgeopin 11.3.1.1

          The one problem for many voters about NZ First is that no one knows which way Winston will swing. This ambiguity is a little cause for concern for many and including swing voters of Nat, Conserv or Lab.

          • Skinny 11.3.1.1.1

            You can say that again, I am about to make a pot of tea, will look into the tea leaves to see if there is any clues as to what Winston is up to and get back to you shortly!

            • Clemgeopin 11.3.1.1.1.1

              Winston has a very good reason for not revealing his hand before the election: It is because his main concern is to get at least the 5% of electorate vote. He doesn’t care where it comes from. He is hoping to attract not just the golden oldies that love him, but the undecided swing voters of National, Labour, and Conservatives, along with machos, xenophobes, emancipated Maori/pacifica people and some general voters who ;ile his style and the fact that he has always been an able and efficient cabinet minister……and oh, some National Muldoon loyalists and some old chicks that find him sexy and desirable,

              Right?

    • fisiani 11.4

      It’s not legal.

      • Skinny 11.4.1

        Well maybe not at the voting stage, however I think an agreement can be reached between someone getting people enrolled and someone prepared to sponsor the effort, a gentlemans agreement so to speak.

        I facilitated quite a few people to enroll (address changes mainly) by dialing the 0800 number and passing over the phone or getting them to fillout a form. So can’t see the harm in what I’m suggesting can you?

        • fisiani 11.4.1.1

          it’s called buying votes. next you’ll be suggesting KFC vouchers again.

          • Skinny 11.4.1.1.1

            “it’s called buying votes, next you’ll be suggesting KFC vouchers again”.

            Hardly buying votes chap, merely getting people enrolled and supporting Charities, not a bad idea since the Government is discouraging voting and has cut funding to many of charities.

            It’s all very well carrying on like ‘chicken little’ fisiani by taking the moral high ground, especially when National pull dirty stunts to stop overseas Kiwi’s from voting.

            If any Government department makes a fuss? I’ll just say I’m a contractor or consultant they will then think nothing of it. If they do they may er on the side of caution thinking I have some high connections within the National Party :)

            • JK 11.4.1.1.1.1

              Skinny – you are a fool. Not only is your suggestion re a pledge card $10 for charities totally illegal when it comes to NZ politics, but you’re also forgetting that Helen C got into trouble over use of a pledge card at one time.

              How about you stop suggesting stupid stunts, and get a bit more sense into your nut about what is really required for Lab-Greens to win an election ?

              • Skinny

                Who dropped a Weta down your big baggy bloomers JK… now pipe down it’s hardly like I’m Helen Clark…well I may sounds like her but that’s about it.

                Now you waddle off and line your numbers up to ‘try’ get back on the local LEC. No one at HQ wants to hear your sorry arse complaints anymore we have an election to win.
                Just remember where the power base belongs, and know we look after our own. Lastly it’s not a good look complaining when your stalking me for all to see. I shall choose to ignore your foolishness as do others.

                • felix

                  Nothing illegal about inducing to enrol.

                  Righties just hate the idea of a fully enrolled voting participating democracy.

  12. bad12 12

    Sorry to say this but in my opinion this post reads like a 2014 concession to a 3rd term National Government, Labour of course while campaigning on it’s child friendly policy need to remember one thing, Its–the–economy–stupid,

    That, its the economy stupid is where Labour have given the impression of being ‘light’, National have their (false) narrative well rehearsed and i would suggest that the Tory’s are simply holding their ground,(my pick is 42-43%) because Labour have not a suitable narrative which differentiates it from National,

    What will change a voters mind is if they feel the economic management of a Government puts in peril ‘their lifestyle’ and Labour need show the electorate an economic narrative which shows the real economic state of New Zealand, not the rock-star economy of the cheerleaders of National but the debt ridden Rock-Bottom economy of 82 billion dollars of debt on a trajectory to rise to 100+ billion dollars under a third term National Government,

    Where is David Parker, auditioning for the role of the silent man in an upcoming movie perhaps, where is the Labour economic narrative, the figures of the Rock-Bottom economy are there in black and white, Labour should be yelling this at the media along with the framework of policy which clearly states how they as a Government will get us out of such a mess along with the commentary of exactly who will pay to do this…

    • srylands 12.1

      I would really encourage this too – campaign on economic management.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        Perhaps you can suggest an economic measure to use. Good luck finding one that supports your fantasies.

    • Tracey 12.2

      here’s david parker

      A significant shortfall in tax revenue revealed in today’s Crown accounts shows only the lucky few are benefiting from National’s much-hyped ‘rock star’ economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

      “Compared to December’s Treasury forecasts, core tax revenue including GST, income tax and corporate tax receipts are $600 million below forecast. That’s the second month in a row that the smile has been wiped off Bill English’s face.

      “That shows that, despite National’s hype of its ‘rock star’ economy, Kiwi families aren’t seeing the benefits. This economy is as much of a rock star as Bill English is.

      “The only winners are National’s groupies, led by chief supporter Phil O’Reilly.

      “This is more evidence that reliance on dairying, held up by record commodity prices, and the Christchurch rebuild are shaky foundations for an economy that needs to be much more diverse.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        Criticism of the NATs is all fine and dandy but where is the NEWSWORTHY future vision that Labour is presenting to the nation?

        If Labour is given 6 or 9 years coming up, what is it going to do for the nation, for communities and for us?

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 12.2.1.1

          Here CV, I can answer part of your question, the part on Labour’s vision:

          My perception is that Labour are offering an approach that is going to make any economic ‘good times’ shared out to the greatest number of people in the country – as opposed to what we have now – where a few benefit and many don’t.

          I understood Labour to be acknowledging that opportunities are getting thin on the ground for some and they intend to ensure this is rectified – (educational and jobwise)

          Somewhat related to the previous point, yet worth mentioning separately, I understand Labour are going to focus on job creation, ensuring people are paid a good wage, and have safe conditions in their places of work.

          I understand Labour politicians have appreciation and respect for democratic principles and processes and will work to ensure these are adhered to. For this reason – that I trust Labour more than Key’s National to have respect for political principles I don’t think we would have degenerating circumstances in our education system, our workplaces, and our government if Labour were in power – we wouldn’t have had the privacy breaches, the ongoing Novopay debacle, the GCSB Bill passed, Asset Sales had Labour been in power (amongst other things).

          I understand Labour have an awareness of how having a wealth gap is bad for the entire society and lifting the bottom end will serve the entire society well.

          I also understand Cunliffe’s Labour is indicating they have an understanding of the importance of diversifying the ways this country makes money – I consider this very important for the benefit of our country’s future.

          All these things, as well as being heartening coming from the biggest political party in opposition, are NEWSWORTHY- I can answer your question on the vision Labour has spelled out to me – yet I cannot answer why this vision has not made headlines on a regular basis – perhaps you should ask our mainstream media sources for the answer to that question CV? – Might I suggest that perhaps it is just not petty or negative enough for the media to pick up on?

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1

            My perception is that Labour are offering an approach that is going to make any economic ‘good times’ shared out to the greatest number of people in the country – as opposed to what we have now…

            I understood Labour to be acknowledging that opportunities are getting thin on the ground for some and they intend to ensure this is rectified…

            …I understand Labour are going to focus on job creation, ensuring people are paid a good wage, and have safe conditions…

            Great.

            So this is an election year. Let’s get beyond the conceptual and the abstract, and transform all those good values and principles into the concrete.

            Concrete things like saying an immediate $15 minimum wage and putting in a 12 month timetable for reaching a living wage of $18/hr.

            Concrete things like saying that GST is being cut but income taxes on corporations and the wealthiest 5% are going up so that we can fund social services and properly free schooling for all.

            Concrete things like saying that we’re now bringing in corporate manslaughter charges for boards of directors who allow workers to work and die in negligently unsafe conditions.

            Concrete things like saying that we’re implementing a full employment and education policy for everyone 25 and under, including the creation of 20,000 full time jobs focussed on conservation, arts/creativity and green growth, to get youth off their bums and off the streets, and into good work habits with good prospects.

            At this stage I don’t give a toss that Labour is ‘going to create a fairer society with more opportunities for all’. Because I know that to the bottom 50% of the electorate it sounds just like so much PR drivel. It’s election year. It’s time to get past the abstract and go with the concrete, which communicates the Labour vision and values into concrete reality.

            • Skinny 12.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree it’s getting to the point of “it’s now or never” pulling back the wage and salary earner curse that is GST would make a huge difference as would dropping the tax rate for overtime. Make the top of the tree pay up or index their earnings to 10 times the lowest paid.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 12.2.1.1.1.2

              @ CV

              I observe that your comment requested ‘where is the vision’ of Labour – they are providing the vision very well.

              … I note now you are moving the goal posts and criticising something else….

              However, yes, I tend to agree – concrete ways in which they are going to achieve this vision would be good – I am wondering whether Labour are waiting to release these plans closer to the elections to give Nat less time to crucify them in the minds of the voters. I would have thought it good to start releasing their concrete plans now – give people time to digest and become familiar with the ramification of the ideas – however I do wonder about the issue with Negative -Nats and the negative media spin as they are – whether this is why they are not.

              [not apologising for Labour – simply toying with ideas as to whether this is what is slowing them down]

              • Sacha

                “whether Labour are waiting to release these plans closer to the elections”

                Worked so well last time.

  13. fisiani 13

    Labour cannot win an election by promising to be National Lite.
    They need something similiar to
    To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.
    If not then a party must be formed which embraces the above.

    • bad12 13.1

      Lolz, Fisiani’s idiot pills have Him swinging from one extreme to another, the problem with your little dive into Marxism Fisiani is that we would become the Cuba of the South Pacific as the overseas owners convinced their Governments to impose economic sanctions,

      i am of course happy with such a prescription, bring on Fisiani’s revolution now is what i say…

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      :shock:

      Fisi? Is that really you?

      • Tracey 13.2.1

        It’s unquoted and unattributed. Fisiani wants people to think he had an independent thought… but alas he has not.

    • Tracey 13.3

      You didnt put the quote marks and the attribution. deliberately plaguerising fisiani? Spending too much time at WO Iguess.

      • fisiani 13.3.1

        For goodness sake ‘ Its called Clause 4……..I’m not claiming it as my own thoughts. I thought it would be self evident to anyone who knows politics. No party in NZ espouses it.

        • Tracey 13.3.1.1

          I know what it’s called Fisi.

          i also know who said be the change you want to see in the world but I still attribute it .

          (Ghandi BTW)

        • weka 13.3.1.2

          “I’m not claiming it as my own thoughts”

          Yes you are. It’s a given that everything you write here is your own thoughts unless you point out they are not. Not everyone who reads here is a politics nerd and would recognise what you plagarised.

  14. Saarbo 14

    So 7 in every 20 people vote Labour and 10 in every 20 vote National, not a huge difference, the MSM are just doing their thing and the latest Polls reflected their work over the last 3 weeks, Garner managed to get his “source” to talk which is disappointing because the “caucus sources” had dried up for a while. Who ever it is needs to see the damage they have caused, and given a swift boot.

    Personally, I think these Poll results are good timing…because many Labour people were becoming complacent thinking that the Polls would continue to trend our way. Now members will be more determined than ever to get things going., I am part of a new branch which has really good numbers; my understanding is that this location has never had a branch before so very exciting, new people are getting involved suddenly. Another Branch I know of has also had good increases in numbers. So looking good in my area.

    And why has very little been reported on National missing their deficit target because of a weak tax take…I reckon that there is more in this than been reported…it seems that all tax takes were down…you have to ask whether the assumptions around our growth will hold.

    Growth driven by
    1)an earthquake.
    2)Auckland housing bubble driven by immigration
    3)Dairy pay-out (Outside of national govt control, its a commodity)

    What have National even done over the last 5 years except for increasing crown debt to $70 billion (from a ZERO start).

    • Tracey 14.1

      because for a number of reasons national dominates the message. But most sitting govt’s dominate the message, at least until deep into the official campaign.

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      So 7 in every 20 people vote Labour and 10 in every 20 vote National, not a huge difference,

      Spot on Saarbo.

      All you need is ONE person to shift from National to Labour. Then the numbers would be 8 Labour vs 9 National.

      But the real low hanging fruit which allows Labour to stay Left instead of going National Lite are the 800,000 non-voters which the Left needs to some how re-engage.

      • swordfish 14.2.1

        More like 500,000, CV. I’d suggest a large minority of non-voters express sympathy for policies generally associated with the Right.

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          I’d suggest that you are dead wrong in that analysis, partly because we know that the lowest turn out occurs in the poorest and leftest voting electorates, but also because these are people who are bereft of a true left wing working class/under class party to vote for.

          • swordfish 14.2.1.1.1

            Bear in mind I’m saying a hefty MINORITY, CV. Based on my reading of the published work of Jack Vowles’ NZ Election Study (admittedly from the 90s and early 00s). I’d say roughly 60 % Left / 40% Right. (Although also people with conflicting interests and commitments – people, for instance, who are deeply morally conservative but also opposed to Neo-Liberalism).

  15. rain33 15

    It’s not really that complicated. You can talk policy, preparedness, the media, the failings of National and Key etc etc as much as you like, but there is an element of being unable to see the forest for the trees going on here.

    Simple. Nephews Birthday Party this past weekend. My brother and father, always voted Labour (except once when my father had a brain explosion and voted for Winston). The topic of politics came up as it always does with my family. Long story short, do not like Cunliffe, at all, not authentic, tricky. That my friends is a major problem and one that is going to be very difficult to get around. No matter how excellent your message, if the delivery mechanism causes one to ‘turn off’ you have huge problems. One thing some people really do not like about Key is that he is ‘slippery’. Well, he has Cunliffe nipping at his heels for that coveted title.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The MSM spin of Cunliffe being tricky and smarmy has stuck in some quarters, that is true.

      Cunliffe needs to create more alternative media opportunities and face to face events so that he can break through that.

      • rain33 15.1.1

        Viper, it may be ‘lamestream’ media spin, but Cunliffe has not helped himself. He came across as a schemer behind Shearer’s back. He appears quick to throw others under the bus. He was guarded and paranoid at the Big Gay Out (unlike Key who seemed to revel in the attention). His house “is a very very very fine house, with two cats in the yard…” It is things like this that make people look at him and wonder, who is the real David Cunliffe?

        If you simply keep blaming the media the election will come and go and Labout will be left licking its wounds.

      • RedLogix 15.1.2

        If Duncan Garner is right:

        Garner alleges that the ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) club is reemerging within the Labour caucus: ‘And they’re a bit unhappy so they’ve reformed again and are just having a bit of a chat about how poorly performing Mr Cunliffe has been this year. They’re not going to roll him. They’re just concerned he’s not delivering on his promises. I’m told that there’s a bit of a go slow. Some of the MPs and the staff have decided well he can lose the election and we’ll roll him straight after the election.

        A go slow, that’s what I’m told, they won’t roll him but they’re not working hard for him’.

        OK. Time to physically eject a cabal of traitors.

        • karol 15.1.2.1

          Yes. I read that. Is Garner to be believed?

          If so….. what will it take for the ABC’s to realise, it’s not about them, it’s about what’s best for all Kiwis? Do they not realise the damage another term of Key’s government would do?

          • RedLogix 15.1.2.1.1

            It’s one thing to have personal reservations – quite another to gossip about them to Duncan Garner with a view to undermining your own party in order to lose an upcoming election.

            At this point Cunliffe has to identify the individuals responsible and eject them from his caucus, and subsequently from the Party. No other possible option is open to him now.

            The way forward is to confront the entire caucus. The people responsible must either step forward and resign, or Cunliffe will ask a formal question in the House as to whether Duncan Garner is lying or not. This is the point where he has to press the nuclear button.

            • Clemgeopin 15.1.2.1.1.1

              I don’t understand what you mean by, ” or Cunliffe will ask a formal question in the House as to whether Duncan Garner is lying or not. This is the point where he has to press the nuclear button”

              However I agree with the rest of your post.

              I do not fully trust what these so called biased trouble makers masquerading as ‘journalists’ or media personalities report..

              But if there are any disloyal idiots in the caucus undermining their ‘elected’ leader, they should have the courage to meet with Mr Cunliffe and air their views.

              If they are surreptitiously undermining their leader and by implication, the Labour party itself in an election year, they MUST be identifies and kicked out from the party IMMEDIATELY irrespective of the political or electoral consequences. I suspect it will only make the leader and the party stronger. Do not appease or be merciful to poisonous deadly snakes if any are indeed hiding in the caucus.

            • McFlock 15.1.2.1.1.2

              Duncan garner doesn’t answer to the house.
              His so-called “ABCs on a go slow” might be hiw wet dream, rumour, one person being a dick, or a third of caucus.

              Oh, and before people crow about how garner got the rundown on the shearer deposing, he didn’t – as I recall, he launched a sustained campaign, then claimed to have seen a letter, butt it was two months before any move was suggested within caucus (at which time Shearer stood down). If anyone outside caucus had an idea, it was TV1 who gave shearer a cople of months.

              Although this rumour does encourage all MPs to pull finger, for fear of being thought part of the “go slow” :)

              • RedLogix

                Duncan garner doesn’t answer to the house.

                Not formally of course. But neither do the supermarkets – yet Shane Jones put them on the spot.

                If Cunliffe put the challenge to Garner in the House to either confirm his source or resign for blatantly lying to the public, Garner would have very little wriggle room.

                If there was no admission and resignation forthcoming from anyone involved then Cunliffe could and should resign himself – leaving the ABC cabal dangling.

                High stakes politics yes, but at this point what has he to lose?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Um, the election?

                  Garner named names on Radio Live. It’s up to those named MPs to sort this out. Not Cunliffe. Otherwise I can imagine it might affect their reselection chances.

                  “It’s one thing to have personal reservations – quite another to gossip about them to Duncan Garner”. Precisely.

                  • felix

                    “Um, the election?”

                    He loses that anyway if he doesn’t sort this shit out, pronto.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No working mechanism currently exists for exiting non performing Labour MPs or MPs who have served their time and now simply need to be gone.

                      Almost all currently sitting Labour MPs are due to be reconfirmed in the next few days.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  He would have all the “wiggle room” in the world. He would just say “journalists don’t reveal their sources”. Cunliffe would look like an impotent fool.

                  And how do you think the rest of the media would respond to a senior politician using parliamentary privilege to try to make the fourth estate – and their friend and colleague – reveal a source?

                  You don’t by any chance work in Labour’s media team do you? It would explain a few things!

                  • felix

                    I don’t think parliamentary privilege comes into it. There’s nothing potentially defamatory involved.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Under the scenario suggested, he would be accusing Garner of lying to the NZ people and acting totally unprofessionally as a journalist, but Garner would not be able to sue him because or parliamentary privilege.

                    • felix

                      I disagree. Challenging someone to confirm or deny something isn’t an accusation unless it were deliberately worded as such.

                  • RedLogix

                    He would have all the “wiggle room” in the world. He would just say “journalists don’t reveal their sources”. Cunliffe would look like an impotent fool.

                    Of course I realise that.

                    Either Garner is telling the truth or he is not.

                    Either his ‘source’ is telling the truth or not.

                    Cunliffe simply has to say – that in election year either he has to be assured of the support of his caucas, or senior media figures will stop making up lies about him. It can only be one or the other. We’ve seen far too many cases of people abusing the ‘protection of sources’ principle to spread smears and make attacks they cannot be seen to do directly.

                    This abuse of professional privilege means journos become too big a part of the story and it has to be reigned in.

                    If OAK below is correct however and Garner has named his sources the response is obvious. A Party Leader cannot tolerate this kind of deliberate undermining and lack of discipline in an election year.

                    • felix

                      He hasn’t named the sources, he named several caucus members to whom the sources apparently referred.

                      The sources he described as one sitting labour mp and one former labour mp.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Garner named Mallard, King, Cosgrove and Shearer.

                  That said, he also confessed his bad feelings towards Mallard, so maybe that’s all this is about.

                  • Matthew Hooton

                    Exactly, it is for them to issue a press statement (along with Jones, Robertson and Hipkins and Nash) denying they have ever talked to Duncan Garner or anyone else expressing dissatisfaction with Cunliffe. Surely they would all be prepared to do that? There wouldn’t be any risk of anyone providing evidence to the contrary? Would there?

        • Sacha 15.1.2.2

          “a go slow”

          what a wonderful excuse for non-performance.

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.2.2.1

            For sitting back and collecting your pay check, meanwhile NZ voters who are looking for a left wing working class party who will fight the Tories tooth and nail have nowhere to go.

  16. fisiani 16

    What will be the excuse for Labour election failure in June
    1. Biased media
    2 Crosby Textor
    3 Voters excluded
    4. Rock star economy
    5. Electoral pacts
    6. Not being left enough
    7 Being too left
    8 Gullible electorate
    9 Royal visit
    10 All of the above

    [lprent: Not banning fis and preventing him from making inane tolling statements that were old in 2007? That I can fix.
    See you after the election. I’m getting irritated with ancient fossilised crap ]

  17. Huginn 17

    I’m having trouble reconciling this sort of thing from the Herald:

    ‘Massive’ Christmas sales reported – Business – NZ Herald News http://nzh.tw/11177643 via @nzherald

    With this:

    Kiwi steady after retail stats underwhelm

    Newswire – Mon, Feb 17, 2014 6:04 PM NZDT

    http://nz.sports.yahoo.com/news/kiwi-steady-retail-stats-underwhelm-050409289–spt.html

    There’s a lot of boosterizing going on

    • well I never 17.1

      Just perusing the way media present stuff coming up to elections, may be old news for many but …looks like here we go again

      Measuring Visual Image Incumbency Bias in the Print Media …
      apsapolicommpreconference.weebly.com/…/1/…/clairerobinson2012.pdf‎
      Aug 29, 2012 – C (2012 in press). The Eyes Have It: Visual Bias in Election Campaign Coverage. In Levine, S and Johansson. J (eds). Kicking the Tyres: The New Zealand General Election and Electoral Referendum of 2011,. Wellington: Victoria University Press. Associate Professor Claire Robinson. Pro Vice-Chancellor.

      • Huginn 17.1.1

        Same old, same old . . . except that this time we’re going to get Whale Oil and Rachel Glucina used to direct the hype.

    • RedLogix 17.2

      Living in Australia for the last six months it’s amazing what a difference the presence of a decent public broadcaster (ABC) makes.

      The Aussies still get a decent range of political coverage and debate in some depth. Sure the corporate media still does all the usual tricks to propagandise for it’s masters but they don’t have it all their way.

      And it shows. The polls are not pretty for the Abbot govt.

  18. tricledrown 18

    Huggin the tax take being down by $400 million their must be some reason for this if sales are up .
    More corporate tax dodging.

  19. tricledrown 19

    We need to say to hooten and all the other naysayers of course you so Right about everything and stop playing into their BS.
    Dumping on Labour ain’t going to win any election.
    We knew that the economy was going to grow because of the commodity spike and the eartquake insurance payout.
    So really the only way we can counter this is getting involved in the left block party which supports your policy position and get voters enrolled then out to vote.
    The negative in fighting is playing right into Hollow hootons game plan.
    Use this as motivation to get involved .
    Networking communicating. Amongst friends and family.
    Social Networking and getting the young out to vote Maori and Pacific Islanders have low voter turn out.
    Let’s get this done no more sabotaging its to late .
    Self imploding ain’t going to win us an election.
    Cut down blogging increase networking street meetings door knocking.
    The MsM is giving smile and wave a free ride .
    Forget about them .

    Just get out and help your Party.

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