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The right wing only want to help us

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 19th, 2014 - 230 comments
Categories: blogs, clayton cosgrove, david cunliffe, dpf, greens, labour, national - Tags: , , ,

David Lange Fish and Chip

One of the most annoying things I read on the internet is when right wingers offer apparently sincere advice to the left on how the left’s electoral predicament can be improved. The advice drips of passive aggressiveness and when you boil it down basically they are saying that if Labour jettison the Greens and becomes more like National then all will be good.

There are two things that can be said of the quality of the advice, firstly it is essentially destructive and secondly it displays no understanding of left wing politics.

The latest attempt at persuading us we are all wrong has been provided by Kiwi In America in a guest post at Kiwiblog.  The writer appears to be a former Labour Party activist from Christchurch.  When you think that Roger Douglas used to be a member of the Labour Party you can see that some views held be ex members can be somewhat extreme.

The article has attracted some attention and a number of comments and National Supporters and United Future supporters someone who has stood in the past as United Future Candidate all think that he is talking a lot of sense.  But …

I agree with KIA that Labour had a very difficult time in the 1980s.  I was at the time a very energetic young member but let my membership lapse in 1988 in part because of the actions of Douglas and Bassett and co and at the time it was clear that there was an intense civil war occurring for the party’s soul.  David Lange’s pronouncement that the Government should have a cup of tea and a rethink before proceeding any further with Rogernomics was probably the one thing that saved the party from disintegration.

The fourth Labour Government did have considerable talent and was faced with the utterly appalling state the country’s economy was in because of the ineptitude of Rob Muldoon and National.  But the decisions made and the sense of TINA that was used to drive through radical right wing change almost destroyed the party.  The warfare that KIA was over the soul and future of the party.  If Douglas and Bassett and co had won then the modern Labour Party if it survived would be enjoying ACT like levels of support.

Mike Moore was replaced because as much as anything he was somewhat unusual and the party was drifting under him.  It was a whisker away from being overtaken by the Alliance.

Helen Clark saved the party.  She returned it to its historical roots while at the same time she professionalised the party.  Under her control the expectations of Ministers and MPs were high and she had a grasp of what was happening in the country that no other Prime Minister has ever shown.

I cannot understand how KIA can claim that the party is no longer a broad based party.  He talks about the lack of lawyers and small business owners.  Well I occupy both classes and I can assure him that there is considerable support amongst both groups, particularly amongst the ranks of lawyers who have seen recent Family Court reforms pushed through by Judith Collins trash what was a world class system.  And interestingly of the inner group of supporters he said were promoted by Helen Clark in the 1990s two were lawyers.

Meetings that I attend currently include people from diverse ages, circumstances and ethnicities.  Labour is still the party of ethnic communities despite all the window dressing that National has engaged in over the past decade.

KIA’s grasp of some details are pretty shaky.  The Cullen “coup” happened in 1996 not 2006.  And National lost 6 seats in 1996, 5 in 1999 and 12 in 2002.  It was not dominating the suburbs and the countryside at the time.

KIA seems to base his view on losing a vote in a meeting in 1994.  Maybe he should get over it.

As for his claim that Clark applied a “scorched earth” approach to candidate selections the only thing I can say is bollocks.  The sense of loyalty that she built up and the way that she was able to unite what had been bitterly divided factions is a testimony to this.  Not selecting right wing candidates is not a “scorched earth” policy for a left wing party.  And Clayton Cosgrove’s continued survival and high list ranking belies what KIA is claiming.

National does not have deeper and broader roots in the middle ground.  It is a party masquerading as a middle of the road party intent only on enriching the top 1%.  And I am confused.  Was Helen Clark an extreme left winger who applied a scorched earth selection policy for the Labour Caucus or was she someone who dominated the middle of NZ politics and won three elections?

And as for the “green extremism” I can recall clearly Helen and Jeanette Fitzsimonds campaigning together during 2005.  It was just the numbers and the insistence of Peters and Dunne that meant a Labour Green government was not formed.

Clark’s defeat in 2008 did leave a big hole.  It always does.  New Zealand has in the past given National Governments at least three terms and to change this will be a very good election.  Was it a shock for the party?  Not in the slightest.

There are a lot of other comments that cannot be sustained.  National’s increased borrowing was to pay for tax cuts, not maintain Working for Families.  With the benefit of historical analysis it is clear that the 2009 tax cuts were not “fiscally neutral” as Bill English described them in what can only be called a lie.

As for David Cunliffe?  He has been under the most sustained and brutal attack this year.  It is clear that every sentence he utters that is recorded is parsed to see if it can be spun into something.  Colin James is right that at his best Cunliffe can beat Key and this is why a sustained attack is occurring now.

To really cap things off and to show what his political leanings are KIA says this:

Labour was once a great party. It attracted people of energy, passion and ability from many walks of life. It had reforming zeal usually tempered by the realism of its once broader membership base and if it went too far, the voters returned the Treasury benches to the safer hands of National. Labour’s 1984 to 87 Cabinet, despite their leftist roots, embarked on a series of dramatic reforms that have transformed NZ into the more vibrant and dynamic economy it is today.

He obviously thinks that if only the Party continued to be solid supporters of Rogernomics then all would be fine.

Dear Right Wingers.  Before you tell the Labour Party what it is doing wrong can you firstly get your facts straight.  And can you avoid telling Labour that it needs to be more like National or ACT because that is not going to happen.

Update:  Pete George has asked it to be noted that he has nothing to do with United Future and is not a supporter.  My apologies for suggesting that this is so.

230 comments on “The right wing only want to help us”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    It is called concerned trolling, or by it’s newer name, “Pete George” and is best ignored.

    • weka 1.1

      PG Tipping ;-)

      • greywarbler 1.1.1

        Great photo. I love Mike Moore’s sideways glance. It seems to indicate the whole skewed and determined attitude of the conspirators.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          It is one of those timeless photos and the first one that I thought of when I wanted something to sum up the era.

        • mike sheary 1.1.1.2

          Hi Greywarbler remember reading somewhere that Mike just smelt the chips and was,nt invited

          • greywarbler 1.1.1.2.1

            Hah. Then he has arrived quickly enough – there are still lots in the pile on the newspaper. Doh, drool. I can almost smell them myself. Pity they didn’t cook up something that the rest of the country could profit from.

            • Anne 1.1.1.2.1.1

              You have to remember how that photo came about. The right wing cabal had just lost their first attempt to oust Bill Rowling and install David Lange. It was some time around 1980. They had gathered in one of the offices (probably Roger Douglas’) to lick their wounds. An enterprising news photographer was passing the door and instinctively threw it open and took the photo before they could stop him.

              It’s an absolute classic and indicative of the machinations that were going on behind the scenes. I must write down all my knowledge and experiences of that time – and the period which followed it. It would at least be interesting to political historians.

  2. fisiani 2

    I am glad that you link to the post at Kiwiblog. It shows a willingness to debate that is encouraging. Politics is essentially a contest of ideas. KIA contention that Labour has become essentially just a home for trade union hacks, rainbow activists, academics, government workers, feminists and PC metrosexuals is essentially true. A white middle aged hetero man who attends church will be obviously overlooked for eg a gay TV presenter or a transsexual. Labour has passed the tipping point of relevancy and people who do not belong to the categories above know that they have no future in Labour. It is sad. I used to be a Labour voter but now I am a white middle aged hetero bloke who attends church. I thank you for your considered post. I await the torrent of unjustifiable abuse to prove my point.

    • millsy 2.1

      So what do you have against homosexuals?

      What is your position on the Homosexual Law Reform 1986?

      Do you see homosexuals as vermin to be barred from public office and exterminated?

      And is that your position on trade unions too? Have them banned and union leaders jailed?

      • fisiani 2.1.1

        And the first left winger pops up applies some spin and reinforces everything I said…..

        • millsy 2.1.1.1

          you going to address my questions?

          I would hate to be a homosexual trade unionist. I would have fisiani chasing me around the room with a length of piano wire.

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          millsy simply asks what your issue is with homosexuals and trade unions.

          What makes you think it’s ok to say the problem with Labour is gays and unions, but not ok for anyone to ask why you think so?

          • fisiani 2.1.1.2.1

            I have no problems with gays or trade unions and have never made any such claims. This is the unjustifiable abuse I correctly predicted.

            • felix 2.1.1.2.1.1

              You said that the Labour party is full of homosexuals, trade unionists, academics etc (you missed gypsies & jews btw).

              The context of your comments was “the problem with the Labour Party”.

              :roll:

            • anker 2.1.1.2.1.2

              No abuse Fisiami.

              Milsey asked some very reasonable questions, that were justified about homosexuals and trade unionists.

              He didn’t then label and denigrate you for being a white middle class male (can’t remember if you mentioned hetero sexual, but think you might have) church goer. In fact, white, middle class church goer,………..That sounds a little like the Labour Party leader Mr Cunliffe; not sure of David Parkers religious beliefs but he kind of fits in that category too…..of and then then was Phil Goff, and David Shearer…..

        • BM 2.1.1.3

          If you’re not with us, you’re against us, therefore you’re our enemy.

          Strange philosophy for a political party to have but does go along way in the explaining why Labour is dying.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.3.1

            You should reread fisi’s argument. He claims that if you are for academics, gays, people who aren’t white, women, the young, and the old, you must have no place for white middle class men who go to church.

            Which would be news to David Clark, MP.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.3.1.1

              they see the words but that doesnt mean they understand them…

              govt workers.. gays… trade unions… feminists… teachers… thats actually not a minority per se…

              whereas white middle aged hetero men make up what %.

              god I get sick of the squealing of ythe poor oppressed white middle aged hetero man who is neither oppressed nor discriminated against and is very well represented by parliament.

              he can keep voting for whoever he likes and remain well represented across many parties.

              and just so you can feel more self righteous could you fuck off?

              • vto

                Tracey “god I get sick of the squealing of ythe poor oppressed white middle aged hetero man ”

                You sound exactly like 1950’s man who said “god I get sick of the squealing of the women and blacks and etc, they don’t know how good they’ve got it”.

                Truly tracey, this particular issue flies spectacularly and consistently way above your head. Try thinking.

            • fisiani 2.1.1.3.1.2

              David Clark – Who would struggle for first time selection in the Labour party of 2014 sadly.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Bollocks. What’s changed since 2011? Nothing, ‘cept praps you’ve got even stupider.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        So what do you have against homosexuals?

        Perhaps I can answer that question:

        People who held conservative views consistently found a mythical smaller group to be inferior to a similarly imaginary larger one. This was true even when the smaller group was described more positively. The researchers called this “illusory correlation.” They suggested that false memories about minorities tend to accumulate, leading to false reasoning about minority groups.

    • White, middle-aged heterosexual men are definitely on the outs in the Labour Party. I mean, with Ross Robertson retiring this year, that leaves only nine of them out of a caucus of 34! Even if you expand the age bracket to include Clark and Hipkins, they’re only just over a third of all Labour MPs! There’s some dark sorcery at work here.

    • sabine 2.3

      but we are the party of the Unions,
      we are the Party of the Feminists,
      we are the Party of the Government Workers,
      we are the Party of the PC Metrosexuals,
      we are the Party of the Rainbow activists, we are the Party of the Academics
      we are the Party of the Minimum Wage Worker
      we are the Party of the Miners, and Loggers
      we are the Party of the Office Girls
      we are the Party of the small businesses
      we are the Party of Lawyers, Doctors and Nurses
      we are the Party of the Child living in Poverty
      we are the Party of the Student and Apprentice
      we are the Party of the retired and/or still working elderly
      and we are also the Party of the Multicultural, MultiColoured heterosexual, homosexual, a-sexual, pan-sexual and transsexual

      we are the Party of all New Zealandanders, regardless of colour, sex, creed, and family fortune.

      If you want to join a Party of the poor, maligned, discriminated against white middleclass, middle aged churchgoing male, I suggest you join the conservatives.

  3. mickysavage 3

    And the first right winger pops up, applies some spin and reinforces everything I said …

    • fisiani 3.1

      And the second left winger pops up, applies some spin and reinforces everything I said…

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        You are a copycat Fisi and trolling. How about you actually engage in a discussion? Right now you are reinforcing everything I said.

        • fisiani 3.1.1.1

          I would be happy to engage in a discussion when I get an apology from millsy and felix for their outrageous personal slurs. The decline of the Labour party as a viable government is indeed a serious issue. It is not good for democracy.

          • Hayden 3.1.1.1.1

            You should probably apologise to Tamati Coffey and Kelly Ellis for implying that they won their nominations based on their race, homosexuality or transgender status, as opposed to being the best candidate. You could also provide a list of heterosexual white blokes who were overlooked for the nominations despite being clearly better candidates.

          • Delia 3.1.1.1.2

            It is time people like you, yes YOU, stopped saying homosexuals this and that. We are all the same. Now get over it and find something that actually matters to whip the Labour party with.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Helen Clark saved the party. She returned it to its historical roots

    -Maintained benefits at poverty inducing levels, making beneficiaries jump through more and more administrative and medical hoops.
    -Enforced a system of market rents for state housing.
    -Oversaw a mortgage borrowing boom which boosted banking profits but helped make both homes and farms unaffordable for ordinary Kiwis.
    -Used power SOEs as cash cows to suck more and more money out of communities in order to fund government surpluses, finally making them so profitable they became ideal privatisation targets.
    -Made it illegal for unions and workers to organise strikes except in the most narrow of circumstances.
    -Continued to hit labour in the form of PAYE earners with more and more taxes while capitalists speculating with capital gains got away scott free.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Bloody Romans, what have they ever done for us?

      Nothing, apart from lifting the minimum wage, removing the ERA, bringing back the right to strike, Kiwisaver, W4F, 9 years of budget surpluses, lowest unemployment in a generation, democratised DHB’s, nationalised AirNZ and the railways, civil unions, established the supreme court etc and so on.

      Where’s the Palaviperan Liberation Party these days? Oh there he is, all by himself. Splitter!

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Huh?

        Cullen got his 9 years of budget surpluses by swapping NZs government debt with private sector debt. Thats no achievement.

        Regardless, the Clark govt was a centrist one which prevented the worst excesses and failures of free market capitalism, while ensuring that free market capitalism itself continued.

        Yay.

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          The budget surpluses were a result of higher levels of employment and increased GST revenue, not the increased private sector debt associated with rising property and land values.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Without the increased private sector debt there wouldn’t have been as much business and thus the tax take would have been down. It’s the simple nature of the way money is created in our system:

            More debt = more money, less debt = less money

            It is this fact that will prevent the economy from growing while people save and pay down debt.

            Here’s a video on it.

            • SPC 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The increase in money/debt in the economy was in the higher price of property sales – this went on buying another house. Or it was an untaxed CG on an investment. Little impact on tax take.

              The so called link to tax take was in making those who owned property, that was rising in value, feel richer so they might spend more of their income (rather than save).

              • Draco T Bastard

                The increase in money/debt in the economy was in the higher price of property sales – this went on buying another house.

                Bollocks. The property sales were fed by debt that then got spent into the economy boosting the tax take.

                The so called link to tax take was in making those who owned property, that was rising in value, feel richer so they might spend more of their income (rather than save).

                People were spending more but it wasn’t because they felt richer* but because they could borrow more on the house as house prices increased. This increased debt, spending and the tax take.

                The only way money increases in the economy is through increasing debt. This has been proved and the Bank of England finally actually admitted it.

                More often than not it was because they felt poorer and were having to borrow to keep up as wages decreased in real terms.

                • SPC

                  It does not naturally follow that someone borrowing money to buy a house meant more spending in the economy (apart from the churn on property/margins in the real estate and banking business).

                  Because of their rising mortgage payments buyers were now were spending less of their income (why do you think the economy went into recession despite the growth in debt?). If sellers bought a new home they had no new money to spend either. Thus only those selling investment property (making an untaxed CG) had money for spending as a consequence of this borrowing/debt inflow.

                  The extent to which money was spent, rather than invested, is not quantified as far as I know.

                  And no one needed to borrow against their house, except when they did this to cover the cost of higher mortgage payments.

                  Most people simply spent more of their income – instead of saving a proportion of it. The relevance being there was no need to save if the rising equity in the home was doing the saving for them.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Most people simply spent more of their income – instead of saving a proportion of it.

                    That’s pure wishful thinking on your part. All that needs to be done is to look at the increase in M3 to prove you wrong. The primary increase in money was through people taking out more and more loans.

                    • SPC

                      Given there is no breakdown of M3, it is not evidence of anything.

                      One would need a breakdown of bank lending,

                      Whether existing mortgages were increased, and the reason

                      could not meet higher interest payments (c2007-8) so increased the mortgage
                      or
                      mortgage increase to pay for overseas holiday or renovate house

                      Compared to the number of people with mortgages who did not increase them at all. They would have been the great majority, and they simply spent more of their income and saved less – something the change in OCR rate was designed to address.

                      Much of the increase in change to M3 was based on the higher amounts borrowed from offshore to buy increasing in value property.

                      But this has little impact on tax revenue, the original issue.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      One would need a breakdown of bank lending,

                      Page 7

                      Looks to be just under 50% in 2011 going on housing.

                      mortgage increase to pay for overseas holiday or renovate house

                      That’s still an increase in money due to an increase in mortgages.

                      Compared to the number of people with mortgages who did not increase them at all.

                      A few very well off people buying tens and hundreds of houses would massively push up house prices and thus the borrowing to cover them.

                      But this has little impact on tax revenue, the original issue.
                      /facepalm

                      Without the increase in money there wouldn’t have been an increase in tax takes.

      • RedLogix 4.1.2

        Heck TRP… that’s a Googlewhack!

      • Ergo Robertina 4.1.3

        Linking DHBs with democracy is an oxymoron. All DHB members both elected or appointed are legally bound under the Public Health and Disability Act 2000 to serve the Minister of Health, not the wishes of the people.
        It was a classic act of third wayism to establish boards as pseudo democratic entities after the Nats’ radically undemocratic upheavals in health in the 1990s. An improvement, but not democracy.

    • Olwyn 4.2

      You are being too hard on Helen Clark’s government, which I think was as left as it believed it could get away with. It’s true that it did not increase the benefit, but it did end the culture of contempt for beneficiaries, and did genuinely, with some success, seek to increase the numbers of people employed, as opposed to callously telling them to get a job where none existed. Clark’s government also brought in income related rents to state housing, and had HNZ buy Auckland’s council houses that Banks was intent on selling. The housing bubble really gathered steam toward the end of Clark’s tenure, but they did have plans in train to address that, had they been re-elected, which unfortunately they were not.

      • greywarbler 4.2.1

        Thanks Olwyn and Colonial Viper I need to be reminded of that.
        Getting the balanced analysis!

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        under dyson those on sickness benefits were put through rigorous and in many cases unnecessary reapplication assessments. all so they could keep appealing to the beneficiary as bludger vote.

        keep in mind why nationals attacks on cullen were so limited… they agreed with almost all of what he did.

        • Olwyn 4.2.2.1

          OK. I didn’t know that. A friend of mine was on the sickness benefit during that time, and I don’t think they had to go to designated doctors, etc, as xtasy has described. But that was in about the middle of Clark’s term – the more stringent stuff must have appeared later.

          • phillip ure 4.2.2.1.1

            @ olwyn..

            ..working for ‘some’ families..?

            ..doing nothing to roll back what the tories did to beneficiaries..(in fact..made life worse for them..

            ..who was it who stripped away any add-ons to benefits..?..(i believe the term ‘level playing fields’ was used..or did i just imagine that/recognise it for what it is/was..?..)

            ..who left the rivers even dirtier..?

            ..who expanded dairy to way past sustainable levels..?

            ..who de-forested more than they planted..?

            ..who gave us just nine more years of neo-lib..?

            ..nine more years of what has got us to our current clusterfuck..

            ..who was that again..?

          • weka 4.2.2.1.2

            “OK. I didn’t know that. A friend of mine was on the sickness benefit during that time, and I don’t think they had to go to designated doctors, etc, as xtasy has described. But that was in about the middle of Clark’s term – the more stringent stuff must have appeared later.”

            The designated doctor system has existed since at least the 90s, but the policy was applied differently. It’s true that life on a benefit is easier during a Labour govt than a Nat one, in that the culture changes, it’s easier to access some entitlements, there is less punishment. But the Clark govt wasn’t good to beneficiaries – it removed the hardship grant of Special Benefit and replaced it with a capped benefit, it excluded beneficiaries from Working from Families and this entrenched the under class just as firmly as anything NACT did. This isn’t to say good things weren’t done too, but Labour still take a punitive approach to benefits albeit a less nasty one than NACT.

            • SPC 4.2.2.1.2.1

              The best way to help those on benefits is to make part-time work available, its good for increasing income and makes them more employable when they are available for full-time work.

              There are jobs in after school care (where their own children are involved or with free ECE for 3-5 year olds), as teacher aides and as nurse aides (basic care work under nurse supervision) that the government can fund/create for them. Teacher aides could prove outcomes and hospitals have nurse shortages because of budget problems.

              Another option is to offer incentives to beneficiaries with children to take up spending cards – there would be less public opposition to these incentives (increases in payment) if there was spending control in place.

              • weka

                Beneficiaries get penalised via part time work because of the abatement process on anything earned over $100/wk. This is even worse for people with children in childcare. I’ve known people on benefits who get less in their bank account each week from working. That needs to change.

                Many people on benefits are not able to work.

                Why should the govt tell me what I can spend my income on? What you have just suggested is bigotry pure and simple (this class of people can’t be trusted).

                • Olwyn

                  +1 weka. The very idea of spending cards makes me sick, and reeks of the assumption that it is perfectly OK for “the better class” to treat the rest as colonised inferiors rather than fellow citizens.

                • SPC

                  A $100 increase in income a week is more than any benefit increase will ever be and the path to full-time work is via an employment record.

                  If you know of those on benefits working part-time who are worse off, have you identified how policy can be adjusted to prevent this? Such as, where this happens they can claim some work cost allowance?

                  Can you convince Labour that increasing benefit rates across the board would not cost them votes – can you convince voters to vote for Labour if this is their policy?

                  If the problem is that the public would only accept higher benefit payments if a child was dependent on this income for their support and they were sure that the money was spent on this -then the answer is a connection to spending card uptake.

                  Thus offer a higher benefit payment where a child is being supported, provided the payment card is taken up.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Alternatively, address the disgustingly low ethical standards of a society that so resents caring for its most vulnerable citizens that attacking them is a vote winner.

            • greywarbler 4.2.2.1.2.2

              +1 weka

    • RedLogix 4.3

      Governments do not operate in a vacuum CV. The real power brokers are the corporates, the media and privileged elites. They determine what is allowed and what is not.

      Us ordinary people could elect a Labour/Green coalition by a landslide; but not much would fundamentally change.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        Indeed.

      • srylands 4.3.2

        That is crap. To quote Keating “you change the government you change the nation” you need to get over this rich mates elite evil blah. It is like a make believe taniwha for you. And for gods sake stop using the adjective “corporate” as a noun meaning”evil rich prick”

        • blue leopard 4.3.2.1

          Nah, it is not crap – well Princeton and Northwestern Universities in the USA don’t appear to think so, anyway:

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10769041/The-US-is-an-oligarchy-study-concludes.html

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.2

          Shitlands, why are you hiding from the fact that the 0.1% are conducting a global class war against the interests of everyone else?

          And yes, corporate systems of capitalism are indeed systems of death and destruction.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.3.2.3

          S Rylands, what makes you think corporate is synonymous with evil.

          A genuine left-wing analysis is far more nuanced than that.

          For example, Eisman’s experiences provide plenty of support for the thesis that the problems within corporations are systemic, not deliberate. Bankers and Forex traders deeply implicated in collateralised debt swap disasters pointing out that had they demurred they would simply have been replaced by another nodding dog.

          You can’t deny these influences unless you’ve spent your entire career in some departmental ivory tower. No, wait…

        • Lanthanide 4.3.2.4

          Have you never heard the term “political capital”? You might want to go look it up.

    • Ergo Robertina 4.4

      +100 CV; good points.

    • SPC 4.5

      Wrong on one point. They replaced market rents for state housing with a return to income related rent.

    • Murray Olsen 4.6

      Exactly right, CV. Helen Clark was the one who convinced so many that TINA was alive and well. She set the majority of the Douglas/Richardson attacks in stone, and truly made Labour irrelevant to the wider working class. She did what she could to ensure that the party would never return to its historical roots. I don’t understand why people have such a romanticised view of her time as PM.

    • millsy 4.7

      Add to that list:

      -Continued with National’s policy to close down the mental institutions, throwing mental health patients into insecure and unstable/unsafe evironments (the abuses that go on in our community care homes are really no different to the ones that went on in the bigger places).
      -Closed down the drying out facility at Hamner Springs, just as we see a spike on the rates of drug addiction.
      -Sold off assets (Terralink and its interests in a number of geothermal, oil and gas wells, and a few others that ecape me)
      -Closed hundreds of rural schools.
      -Oversaw a huge binge of outsourcing and privatisation of health services
      -Claimed record low unemployment while shoving people on courses and including part time and casual work in employment statistics.
      -Turned down an offer by Telecom to buy its fixed line network, thereby providing a starting point for better broadband access.

  5. weka 5

    “David Lange’s pronouncement that the Government should have a cup of tea and a rethink before proceeding any further with Rogernomics was probably the one thing that saved the party from disintegration.”

    Maybe we would have all been better off if Labour had disintegrated at that point. Then the Alliance would have grown much bigger than it ever did and replaced Labour as the main left wing party. ACT would have had the long term problem of its policies being associated with the history of Labour and the labour movement and just how fucking ridiculous and stupid that would have looked.

    • greywarbler 5.1

      Back to the future Weka. McFly coming in to put chaos theory into action. A change there and a different trajectory. Wish.

      • weka 5.1.1

        Not so much a wish as a speculation that survival of the Labour party isn’t necessarily a good thing for the left or NZ. Something worth contemplating at this time.

        • greywarbler 5.1.1.1

          @weka
          We spent a lot of energy avoiding being defiled by subversives from the communist side of politics and the economy. And when Labour was taken over by the middle class professional subversives and used as a vehicle for them to achieve their aspirations, it was not recognised for a revolution of aspiration and class.

          Working class, manual work, skilled manufacturers in the workshops and factory floors, have different needs and work patterns from the largely professional class, and these have been discarded or undermined by the policy direction of today’s Labour. Office work was usually regarded as being a higher level of work than the shop floor when I was working. There is class disdain to allow for too.

          I think that a new Party is needed, that pays attention to the more ‘humble’ workers who need to have their own respected place in society, not just to have the trickle down from the smaller percentage that make it to the more elite jobs.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    “As for David Cunliffe? He has been under the most sustained and brutal attack this year.”

    So, Micky, do you think his performance could also have something to do with dud advice from some of those in his inner circle?

    • RedLogix 6.1

      It takes most leaders some years, of not several electoral cycles to build a smooth running operation around them. So I’m not at all surprised Cunliffe has made some political missteps.

      Missteps way more serious and damning than anything going down in Key’s circus of corrupt clowns …. of course.

      • Hayden 6.1.1

        Key’s missteps are just good-old Kiwi bloke, one-of-us, down-to-earth successful businessman ordinary New Zealander honest mistakes, while Cunliffe’s are portents of the devious and sinister machinations of the PC, UN-mind-control, homosexual triplicate-form-filling vegan union brigade.

        Obviously.

    • Ant 6.2

      You’re a troll but ‘dud advice’ doesn’t make people like Claire Trevett report that Cunliffe is running from Key while completely ignoring Key challenging him to a debate and then chickening out the next day.

      Advice doesn’t make Patrick Gower make an attack on Cunliffe through the ‘battle of the mansions’ while ignoring John Key slagging off the Salvation Army.

      • tsmithfield 6.2.1

        Actually, I was referring to this advice. The relevant comment being:

        Factor in the news that Presland’s fingerprints are on Cunliffe’s other big trust blunder and it’s no surprise that there are rumblings from deep within Labour about its leader’s reliance on him for advice and as a sounding board.

        I guess Micky would be able to comment on whether he thought the advice given by Presland was ‘dud’ or not.

        • RedLogix 6.2.1.1

          Let me think now – seeing as how you have set yourself up as an expert in this matter; what advice would you have given to Cunliffe in those exact circumstances?

          Given the advantage of hindsight and all?

        • Anne 6.2.1.2

          Watch it smithfield. Its called SLANDER. Greg Presland, through his TS pseudonym, has already trashed the claim as having absolutely no basis of truth. In other words, Tracey Watkins was interviewing her typewriter – something she seems to do on a far too regular basis.

          Greg Presland is a thoroughly honest person. You, on the other hand, are a contemptuous creep who I suspect may suffer from little man syndrome.

          • tsmithfield 6.2.1.2.1

            Where is there any slander. All I have done is asked questions, not made statements.

            • Tracey 6.2.1.2.1.1

              he probably went to Catholiic school and doesnt get the irony of his taniwha mocking.

              • Populuxe1

                Do you really have to stoop to mocking Catholics? They’ve only been fully legal in the Commonwealth since 1829.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  odd isn’t it, how Catholicism isn’t mocked as widely or consistently as taniwha though.

              • Blue

                Michael Joseph Savage was a catholic, you going to mock him as well ?

                • RedLogix

                  Just to preempt any misunderstandings Blue – do you have a master list of things that are off-limits for mockery and the odd spot of piss-taking?

                  • Blue

                    Anyone’s spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation and race. I’m sure there are others that piss me off, but those are the main ones sweetie. You feel free to mock someones spiritual beliefs though if it makes you feel like a tough guy.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so that narrows it down darling.

                      But just to be on the safe side I should ask – is the Catholic Church (and I’m not picking on them specially) a spiritual belief – or an institution?

                    • Blue

                      Catholicism is a spiritual belief. The institute that belief is manifest through is the church. You really should read more and why does it matter ? If you are thinking of making a distinction between religion and the organisation if that religion you really are grasping. There you go, now run along would you, the adults are talking.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK that clarifies it for me big boy.

                      Because if your spiritual belief is the same thing as the Catholic Church – then yes I’m going to mock it all to fuck and back.

                      Have you any idea of the extraordinary history of that organisation? And that somehow we all have to be silent and respectful on any of this?

                      Because the distinction for me is this. If your ‘spiritual belief’ is too fragile to stand up to scrutiny, whether it’s an intellectual challenge or an emotive pricking – then I call what you have something else altogether – fundamentalism.

                      And that to me is always fair game.

                    • Blue

                      Spiritual beliefs don’t need to stand up to scrutiny. They are a faith and they are a persons beliefs, which should respected. Do you mock Islam because of their history and belief system ? Do you mock Maori spiritual beliefs because they are not open to scrutiny. Do you laugh openly at Samoan spiritual ceremonies ?

                      As far as history goes, things change and usually for the better. I think you’re a sad lonely figure if you get your jollies from religious bigotry.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you had been around here a bit longer you would know that I’m one of the few regulars who has consistently defended religion and faith over the years. Here’s one just comment of mine from over five years ago:

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/first-moves-on-holidays-act-reform/#comment-138794

                      You have a fair point – it’s plain stupid to go around being mean to people over their beliefs just because you can.

                      But that doesn’t mean that all beliefs come with ‘get of jail free’ card either. There is a threshold between a bit of a piss-take, some often justified mockery – and abusive offensiveness.

                      But in my experience, it’s the hypersensitive and easily offended who are usually guilty of being altogether too literal about their religion.

                      Spiritual beliefs don’t need to stand up to scrutiny.

                      Maybe – but the Catholic Church can bloody well stand for some.

                    • Blue, the point I think RedLogix is making is that there’s a big difference between an individual person’s spirituality or religious beliefs and the organised institution of the Catholic Church, which as RL has pointed out has a rather extraordinary, and occasionally disgusting, history.

                    • felix

                      Heh Red, I just noticed that the comment you linked to was in reply to something I wrote, and looking back I find myself embarrassed at my own arrogance to have written it.

                      I’ve truly appreciated reading some of your thoughts on religion and spirituality over the past few years. It’s helped shift my thinking on from what now seems such a naive and dogmatic position. Thanks.

                      Funny the things you can learn hanging around a blog arguing about politics, eh?

                  • greywarbler

                    Red good Blue bad. Blue will always find something to sneer at and add nothing of value. Just another trial. So let’s stick to RedLogix and stick it to Blue. In a silent non-violent way of course.

                    • RedLogix

                      On the other hand maybe the fact that my partner is an ex-Catholic convent girl is showing just a little.

                      The sad part is that the vast majority of ordinary church clergy have discharged their faith and duties with great dedication and integrity – yet the very human institutions they have served have so often been distorted to purposes and doctrines that Jesus would have never recognised.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Blue, do you accept the Catholic Church should be held to account for its organised programme of covering up endemic child abuse, including failure to co-operate with civil authorities and ignoring the pleas of victims who frequently sought to prevent further abuse?
                      Catholics I know cling to the distinction between the organisation and the faith, as otherwise it is rather grim for them.

                    • greywarbler

                      Redl
                      I think that is my opinion too. Humans can get great intellectual and spiritual insights that inspire a religion but the human factor clicks in somewhere and converts them to a more earthly pragmatic use.

                      There are too many gatekeepers in between Jesus and me always giving me their version of what the text means. I think Quakers sit quietly and wait for the great thought to come individually. Ba Hai quote their prophet. I try and follow what Jesus said and try and understand his analogies which is where confusion can arise I think, with different interpretations and not to be taken literally.

          • Blue 6.2.1.2.2

            Anne all he was doing was repeating something that is already in the public arena. If it’s untrue then the writer will get taken to court I would imagine. Greg is a lawyer is he not? Why not let him decide whether your hysterical cry of “Slander” is based on fact. Your last sentence shows you hold a smidgeon of “small” person syndrome yourself. Tacky and shabby personal attacks as usual.

            • Anne 6.2.1.2.2.1

              A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.

              Coolas @ 7.3.

              I repeat what I said. Right wing trolls who ‘repeatedly’ adopt this tactic are, in my view, behaving in a contemptible manner.

              As one of the worst kind of marketeers – a money dealer – I regard Key’s repetitious attacks on Cunliffe by calling him “tricky”, and his frenetic attempt to pigeon-hole the Greens as “hard left” equally as contemptible.

              They are lies and known by the perpetrators to be lies and, as far as I’m concerned, that makes them creeps.

    • anker 6.3

      Tsmithfield. I don’t think DC performance has anything to do with the sustained attack he has been under. Judith Collins on the other hand has been under sustained attack and this relates to her performance and is justified. Based on her performance, Hekia Parata should have been under sustained attack.

      Based on his performance, the sustained attack DC has been under IMO is totally unjustified. His performance IMO has been great. He’s fantastic when interviewed on tv and radio.

      DC has made very few errors. When he has, he has immediately admitted them, taken responsibility for them and fixed them. I admire this in a politician.

      I have closely followed how what the media say about him and how they spin what he says and I have to say it distresses me.

      He will make a great PM, I remain hopeful.

  7. Charlieboy 7

    Mickey is correct, Cunniliffe is under the the harshest attacks the Nats can mount.It is entirely because they knew he would make the election very tight.Their P.R. / Propaganda team, well established and well resourced,is the slickest I have ever seen in over 40 years of observing politics. They use all the usual tricks, early hits, choosing the battleground, fifth columnists. The characterization of Cunniliffe as a coward was a beauty,all thought up to counter Keys debate gaffe,and gifted to them by John Campbell. Their most effective tool though is that oldie, repeating. The modern forms of media have made repeating very effective and very hard to counter. To counter it as the left try to do is simply repeating.
    The best defence is a swift,different,more powerful counter attack especially when you can see the whites of their eyes.
    But do not be a repeater.
    It’s a war folks and the Nats are desperate for that third term, and as I always say to my grand kids and I say to Cunniliffe and McCarten ” Geronimo!”

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Thank you. That sums up what I’m seeing too.

      I do wish the left would wake up and understand their enemy with a lot more clarity.

    • greywarbler 7.2

      I don’t think you are right Charlie. Don’t repeat is your advice because the NACTs are doing it? In fact using their own tactics against them would be useful. Have your own spiel and when you are satisfied that it stands repeating, try the old thing of saying it three times, perhaps in slightly different words.

      There is a communication technique called the repeating record. When someone won’t be deflected they are hard to dismiss. Often the speaker only gets a short soundbite, so get a statement in. Your advice is on the ball – ‘The best defence is a swift,different,more powerful counter attack especially when you can see the whites of their eyes.’ But don’t waste much more than five words on the attack, just dismiss it as lightweight and present your own sound, well-advised and positive measure. Don’t let the others dictate the tone and content of the broadcast!!

      Espiner is adopting some metal-boring technique where he keeps on about some point he can bore into the flow with, in ten words or less. Listen to Winston. Adopt his approach. He is The Master at taking the high ground and maintaining it. Weasel words from Espiner is how I hear him, down on the ground, his slim body into a hole looking for some tasty morsel to nip the head off, and one he will indicate happily with a notch on his bragging belt. His Mighty Wrestler one.

      • blue leopard 7.2.1

        @ Greywarbler,

        Charlieboy’s comment resonates with me – I think he makes some very good and accurate points, however I also think you make a very good point and I suspect that your two comments are not in conflict at all.

        I wonder when Charlieboy mentioned ‘not being a repeater’ – he was referring to not repeating the slogans of the right’s propaganda (and thereby unwittingly propagating them)? ….Because with regard to repeating – I am with you, Greywarbler, on this one. I think positive accurate messages need to be repeated and repeated by Labour – to counteract the negative and false messages/slogans/memes being trumpeted ad infinitum by National.

        It all comes down to the theory that the more people hear something the more likely they are to believe it is a truth and it appears that this propaganda technique of Nationals – of repeating false ideas ad nauseum – requires counteraction by similar methods (i.e. repeating accurate statements of fact).

    • coolas 7.3

      Spot on Charlie

      “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”

      Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

      • Blue 7.3.1

        Agreed,
        Cunliffe is popular
        Cunliffe is popular
        Cunliffe is popular
        Cunliffe is popular

        ;)

    • Chooky 7.4

      +100…it is a war…and heaven help us if we lose

      But we are not going to lose ….there will be change of Government this year

    • anker 7.5

      1000

      They must be very scared of Cunliffe.

  8. Odysseus 8

    Bear in mind folks that KIA was the guy/gal who oh so confidently predicted a Romney victory. Inspire confidence – not.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Only right up until election day itself. “Nate Silver’s reputation will be in tatters!”

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/11/us_election_results.html#comment-1044239

      On social media, as Srylands notes, it is resonating that this guy is like Dick Morris. A fairly competent bullshit artist who could probably make a good enough living selling epistemic closure.

      • Judge Holden 8.1.1

        The similarity with Dick Morris occurred to me as well. Basically KIA is always wrong and terribly long-winded about it. Despite the fact he’s getting on a bit he writes like a first year pol student who’s just joined Act on Campus. That’s why the drongos and psychos at Farrar’s sewer lap it up.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1

          And the fact he was so obviously wrong in his polling analysis leading up to various US elections, (while lecturing everyone who disagreed with him about not knowing anything because ‘you’re not here, maaan’), kind of leaves professional pollster DPF looking like someone who thinks his readers are fucking morons when he promotes his drivel.

          Say what you like about DPF, he knows his stuff.

          • Judge Holden 8.1.1.1.1

            DPF knows his readers are fucking morons. I suspect he spends most of his time laughing at them.

            KIA’s excuse for being so wrong re Romney was the weather (I kid you not). Not sure what his excuse was for being wrong re McCain (voter fraud, the LSM, black racism….).

            • phillip ure 8.1.1.1.1.1

              and don’t forget he predicted hillary clinton wd beat obama for the democratic nomination..

              ..and then that the geriatric-warmonger mccain – and that barking-mad woman from alaska – wd beat obama..

              ..to his credit..he is consistent in his wrongness..

              ..and the similarities with p george are many..

              ..in their long-winded dissemblings..

              ..the only difference i can see..

              ..is that kia seems to believe his own bullshit..

              ..whereas pg knows full-well what he is doing with his faux-concerns/dissembling/slipping/sliding/avoiding-answering….

  9. srylands 9

    An excellent essay by KIA. I have shared it on social media and it is resonating. The central theme that Labour only appeals to a rump of welfare recipients, unionists and fellow travellers is compelling.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      But srylands you have to admit that some of the factual stuff quoted is wrong. Don’t you think that makes the conclusions suspect? And you are reinforcing the theme of my post that the right are just spinning when they attempt an analysis of the left.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        micky you’re a saint. Spending precious time in your break arguing with the citizens from Bedlam. Fly free while you can and be the One who flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.1

          Cheers GW. I’m just with a sick relative who is sleeping so have plenty of time. But that late afternoon walk is beckoning!

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        sorrylands isn’t interested in facts as they get in the way of his ideology.

    • Sacha 9.2

      “I have shared it on social media and it is resonating.”

      Empty rooms/skulls are like that.

  10. srylands 10

    Also the headline shows your problem. Your left right tribalism is an illusion. The current government is seen by the swing voters as a moderate centre left government. Thats why they will probably be reelected. When labour does eventually scrape over it will have greens and nz first to hold together. Well good luck with that. That is the best you can hope for as victory.

  11. Historic labour supporter 11

    I look at the website from time to time to get a counter-view to the more widely read kiwiblog and whale blogs. Every time I come here the posts are filled with bitter posts of frustration with your self-righteous assumption that the NZ electorate just doesn’t know what is good for it because it doesn’t vote in the majority for Labour. This is coming from someone who has always voted for the party but am seriously thinking about giving my party vote to the Nats.

    Wake up people!

    Kiwi in America has put into words what a hell of a lot of NZ voters are thinking. We used to trust Labour and its policies, but the party is just not relevant to the centre of NZ politics! This is the emperor has no clothes moment: Unless this party comes up with coherent, sensible policy which appeals to the centre/centre-left, it will continue to be an electoral failure.

    My view is the seeds of this were sown prior to the 2005 election (chewing gum budget and failure to revitalise the caucus), but that is another entire post.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      But HLS (if that is what you are) I am confused. KIA essentially advocated that Labour should be like National/ACT and I note that you agree with him. But you also want coherent sensible policy that appeals to the centre/centre left. Which is it?

      • Historic labour supporter 11.1.1

        Mate, I’ve got the labour party supporter credentials – don’t you worry about that. It is typical of this blog for you to play the man, not the ball. I realise this will be difficult as a supreme sycophant for you to acknowledge, but the party has very limited coherent policy at the moment. You’re swinging from a nappy bonus to complaints about photo-ops with Prince George to stopping trucks driving in the fast lane. It’s a complete and utter shambles.

        The electorate will not take you seriously until they think you’re a viable alternative to Key and the Nats. Even my old mum who is a staunch NZ nurses organisation member from way back thinks Labour is in a mess and questions whether to vote for them.

        • mickysavage 11.1.1.1

          OK so you claim that I am playing the man and not the ball and then call me a “supreme sycophant”. Got that …

          All I did was reserve judgment on you because I do not have the slightest clue who you are. It is not unknown for people to pop up and pretend to be all sorts of things.

          Then I asked you if you thought Labour should have left wing policies or be like ACT because essentially that is what KIA was proposing.

          And then I get the feigned hurt. You do understand what concern trolling is? And should Labour be like ACT or like a left wing party. I am still not clear.

          • srylands 11.1.1.1.1

            Neither. Just have some rational policies. Ditch the welfare babies nationalisations of power cos caravans. It is a pigs breakfast.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Any policies that you think are rational are, as a matter of fact, totally irrational.

            • mickysavage 11.1.1.1.1.2

              So adopt the corporate welfare sell everything to the rich and don’t care about poor kids is the way to go? Really?

        • greywarbler 11.1.1.2

          HLS
          Well what a wet newspaper you are. You know how to criticise others efforts to think about a new direction. But what would you do? What do you think about policy, how do you think good policy is chosen? Don’t you know it has to be presented, argued for and criticised? What do you think should be done, how should it be done, can it be argued on a reasonable cost basis considering the advantages it will bring. Or do you want a fairy godmother to do the work of thinking for you? The NZ way of sitting back and enjoying all the advantages that others have earned and not wanting to apply themselves to renewing, tweaking, making needed changes, meeting people’s needs better, understanding what market forces apply.

          All you wise old historic buffs just sit around and mumble at each other what fools everybody else is. And you don’t want to play with those silly Labour people any more, they don’t behave right, so you are going over to the other side. The other side know how to run campaigns and say the right things that impress people who have no ideas of their own, and consider themselves staunchly democratic while all the time they are happy to be serfs having someone tell them what to do and pay them for it. Parnell wept.

        • lprent 11.1.1.3

          I’ve heard exactly that same set of statements made about Labour since the late 70’s especially in the period leading up to campaigns. It isn’t like the rogernomes period in office showed any policy coherence either. For that matter National don’t even appear to have any visible policies to be coherent – their site mostly seems to have soundbites and photos of John Key.

          The time to get involved in policy is in the conferences and there has been more work done in those than I have seen any time since the early 80’s. After the mid-80’s there was a lot of talk about policy, but as far as I could see it was all made up on the hoof.

          Basically you read like a munter disappointed that others dare to disagree with you. In other words just another dickhead waffling on without putting in any effort yourself.

          If you want to get treated seriously, then I’d suggest that you stop whining like a spanked puppy and start saying what you’d like Labour to be like. If that turns out to be much closer to National’s policies than I suggest you do one of two things. Get involved inside Labour to try to shift the policies, or vote National.

          But playing the moron victim when people say you are a lazy fool isn’t playing the man – it is saying that people think you are a lazy fool. Live with it or argue more effectively for your viewpoint.

          • Historic labour supporter 11.1.1.3.1

            (written from another pc, so might not show up as me)

            So I’m getting knocked back for criticising Labour and not suggesting policy? Well a good start would be:
            1. Starting a rational debate about halting the land and house price bubble. As yet, Labour have put zero effort into promoting their CGT policy among the electorate (George photo ops and trucking policy took precedent)
            2. Retirement income policy: Key is very weak on his no change to current settings under his watch policy. The current policy is intra-generational inequity at its worst. Labour should seize the higher ground with a higher retirement age and a better designed retirement savings scheme (NOT compulsory, but better designed incentives to get more people saving). David Parker’s performance vs English the other week in the House when he questioned English on Muldoon’s abolishment of the national super scheme introduced by Kirk was pathetic.

            Yet the point KIA makes remains: no one on this blog is prepared to admit that Labour are seriously lost and the party no longer represents a wide spectrum of NZ society. Good luck, for the first time since I started voting in the 90s, me and a large number of people I speak to I won’t be voting for what has become an omnishambles Labour party.

            • karol 11.1.1.3.1.1

              There’s a few of us here who stopped voting Labour Party several years ago. Don’t assume everyone here is a Labour voter or member of the party.

              The Labour Party or at least the current caucus, gets a lot of criticisms from some people here. Depends on the issue.

              I tend to comment when I am critical of their policy – but, as I am not a Labour Party member, I tend to hold back from doing a lot of criticising of the current state of the Labour Party. I think there are quite a few LP members who want change, but they aim to do that within the LP.

            • anker 11.1.1.3.1.2

              Umm…………..in response to HLS.

              Labour will stop overseas non-resident buyers from buying property here. (English said he wont, I think it was Q and A or the nation). Labour is going to bring in the CGT tax, have said so many times. They MAY not be promoting this as such, cause it isn’t necessarily a vote winner, certainly not with mum and dad property investors. But anyone with half an eye on politics will know this is Labour’s policy. They will also change the Reserve Bank Act to allow them to better control interest rates and also to moderate LVR’S, which is what they said at the time LVR’s increased to 20%. There is also Kiwi Build to accelerate building of new houses.
              Labour current policy is to raise the retirement age. I think they are the only party who say they will.

              So you criticise Labour on these two points when actually they have clear policy on them. National doesn’t…………….they have done nothing about housing affordability and it astonishes me that you claim not to know this.

              Labour have made and continue to make policy announcements. Then they are criticized for not having policy. They rightfully launch an attack on Judith C and Key re Oravida, then they are criticized as being negative.

            • greywarbler 11.1.1.3.1.3

              HLS
              What is best for NZ with the policy offers and practices that we have? You want to throw your hands in the air and start again, but that’s a big task. The fact that the strength of the neo liberal economic recipe is felt worldwide, means it is very hard to get a political party to step off the moving walkway that has been carrying us along.

              Housing yes. Needs attention.
              Old age pension. Extending the age oppresses those being worn away by low wages, peculiar hours, under-employment, mistreatment by customers and bosses etc.
              The arguments on these lines are as strong on lack of fairness as anything intergenerational.
              And why shouldn’t savings be compulsory.

              You sound as if you are so far right you will fall off your chair soon. You have moved well away from having labour concerns in your sights, might as well follow your heart and vote National.

            • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.3.1.4

              Hls: I suspect your historic Labour vote was for the second term of the first ACT regime, in 1988. That doesn’t make you a historic Labour supporter, but does explain how you can so easily think of changing to National. By the way, I think I’m being generous in accepting that you may have actually voted for Labour at some stage.

              • Historic labour supporter

                Was not old enough to vote in the 80s.

                I get the distinct feeling from all of you tragics on this website that you feel very very sure that Emperor Cunliffe is most certainly wearing a resplendent cloak and will march forward to victory in September. If you say it enough to each other, it must be true, right?

    • Tracey 11.2

      when did you vote for labour and why

  12. JonL 12

    The current government is seen by the swing voters as a moderate centre left government.,

    If you honestly believe that, you are thicker than I thought – don’t any of you guys read history!

  13. Greg, you’ve made in a claim in your post that you must know is false. Will you retract it?

    [lprent:

    a. What claim?
    b. What is the fact you are wishing to contest.
    c. Show a link to refute it (you are meant to be a fact checker right? You should support what you say with a link.
    d. You just made an unsupported assertion against an author. Are you trying to get banned?

    You should know better by now. ]

    [I think it was the claim that Pete is a United Future supporter. Pete would you like me to add a retraction and state that you wish to deny the allegation? MS]

    [lprent: Grumble. MS: your problem. I have a neices squeal to go to (kids birthday) ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Even passive-aggressive bores have some principles, it seems.

      Today the High Court awarded the blogger known as Petty George damages of 1c after he took umbrage at being described as a supporter of a party he routinely rushes to the rescue of at every available opportunity, unwittingly damaging their credibility at every turn.

      A United Future hairpiece described the ruling as “a win for us”, and warned that “we have instructed our lawyers to sue anyone alleging an association between us and that pointless waste of oxygen”.

      I made that up.

    • You shouldn’t need to ask should you? I’ve made it clear I have got nothing to do with UF and am not a supporter.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1

        From being their complete and utter trainwreck of a candidate for Dunedin North to having no association whatsoever in the short space of twenty-eight months.

        I’ve got less than no interest in what Petty George has to say on the matter, but wouldn’t it be fun to speculate on the real reasons for the split.

        Did UF take the political equivalent of a laxative and give Petty the bum’s rush faster than any other previous political party candidate in New Zealand history? It has to be a record. Someone should fact check it :twisted:

  14. Charlieboy 14

    Here they come again. The letter writing army that the Nats employ, and I mean employ, all ex Labour voters,all suddenly sick of socialism, and what are they repeating, ah yes,the opposition are a rabble, can’t trust em,intellectuals unionists, gypsies,tinkers,vermin,blah, blah,blah.
    Don’t you know little repeaters, we ain’t listening to your whinging any more.

  15. adam 15

    Micky, Is the problem that labour don’t look like anything, they look like a bunch of hacks protecting their own self interest. They don’t have the economic policies to call themselves a left wing party, if you support neo-liberalism in any way, your really right wing. Hence why I think it quite reasonable for all the right wing trolls to offer labour advise – they are a right wing party.

    They have a odd voting record, indeed did they not vote with national to bash welfare recipients again recently? Labour does not take criticism from the left. Indeed the gentleman who stopped his car to yell at Mr C, was on the money as far as myself and many other were concerned (Yes: labour has been the party of sell-outs – even Ms C sold out for a plume job) and what does Mr C say – he calls him crazy, loony and mental case. Wow, that was honest.

    So now we see labour with the leadership of a gaggle of insiders, who think they can pull the same wool as Obama – Think again. Labour is not left wing. Your kidding yourself if you think it is.

  16. joe90 16

    Same shit.

    Per the document:

    The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce refers to the mode of communication employed by the right wing to convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media. This is how the stream works. Well funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the Western Journalism Center, the American Spectator and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Next, the stories are re-printed on the internet where they are bounced all over the world. From the internet, the stories are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) The story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media (i.e. the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and New York Post) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media. After the mainstream right-of-center media covers the story, Congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a “real” story.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/hillary-clinton-white-house-conspiracy-report

  17. TightyRighty 17

    Hulun -“Greg, it’s election year you little bitch, here is what to write”

    Mickeysavage -“hokay”

    • Tracey 17.1

      lord key

      I wunt to dibate cunliff on housing affrdibillyty now

      advisors

      fuck it takes us 5 months to prepare for a debate!

      lord key

      shut. oil have to have a barbie with wills while bull sez oive changed my mnd

    • bad12 17.2

      :roll: ,No-one seems to be looking Tighty, the reason i say this is that your abysmal abuse in my opinion should get you a substantial ban until at least after the election, just my opinion right…

  18. As for David Cunliffe? He has been under the most sustained and brutal attack this year. It is clear that every sentence he utters that is recorded is parsed to see if it can be spun into something.

    That sort of thing would only come from the right, wouldn’t it.

    Dear Right Wingers. Before you tell the Labour Party what it is doing wrong can you firstly get your facts straight.

    Getting facts straight is a fair request. It’s much better that a left wing blog would instead set a much better example.

    And can you avoid telling Labour that it needs to be more like National or ACT because that is not going to happen.

    Not sure who’s doing that.

    I’d like to see Labour look like a credible alternative lead party of Government. I don’t think theyre close to that yet, and signs of the substantial improvement required are sadly lacking.

    Cunliffe is getting more scrutiny and more of a hard time than he deserves, but he’s got a way to go to earn the levels of respect he needs. If he or any Labour supporters resort to criticising anyone but themselves and keep denying problems I think it’s a futile and counter-productive strategy.

    People prefer to have positives to vote for. There’s a word that’s starting to get a bit of traction and if it takes hold it could be hard to shake off. Whinging won’t win.

    [Corrected Pete. I did not comprehend how describing you as a United Future supporter would cause such upset – MS]

    • marty mars 18.1

      “There’s a word that’s starting to get a bit of traction…”

      What word is that?

        • phillip ure 18.1.1.1

          said by a master-‘whinger’…

          ..heh..!

        • marty mars 18.1.1.2

          Ta. Pete who has your eye at the moment – the reason I ask is that I wonder if Cunliffe could ever actually win your vote.

          • Pete George 18.1.1.2.1

            I’ve got no idea who I’ll vote for this election. If I vote I’ll decide in the last week of the campaign, depends on how things stack up. We don’t get much chance to tactical vote in Dunedin North electorate wise but you never know. Metiria gets a good chunk of the vote and could improve on that, Mike Woodhouse might be slightly better known now he’s a minister and I don’t know how much David Clark has impressed.

            It’s possible Labour under Cunliffe will get my vote, but for it to be this year I’d prefer to see a lot better from them – although it would be disastrous for New Zealand politics if they crash, which could happen. Oddly we might end up with a left-wing Government with a smaller Labour vote.

            Most likely I won’t vote at all but I’ll decide when I need to, on the 18th.

    • weka 18.2

      “[Corrected Pete. I did not comprehend how describing you as a United Future supporter would cause such upset – MS]”

      you’re a better man than most of us here micky. DC is fortunate to have you.

    • Not upset Greg, just suggesting you to act by the standards you asked of others in your post.

      Before you tell the Labour Party what it is doing wrong can you firstly get your facts straight.

      If you want others to be honest about David Cunliffe you need need to avoid getting things wrong don’t you think?

  19. Clean_power 19

    Micky Savage, the same person providing awful advise and misinformation to his boss, now claims him to be under attack.

    Laughable, if not downright incompetent.

    • karol 19.1

      Citations needed re providing advice and info.

      • anker 19.1.1

        +1000

      • Murray Olsen 19.1.2

        “Citations needed re providing advice and info.”

        [Whalespew bog, some shit cut and pasted from someone else who made it up, 2014.]

        Why do we put up with these rejects? I’m getting really sick of them spewing their crap everywhere. Are they declaring the payments they receive to IRD?

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      Please explain your comment? How do you supposedly know these things?

    • mickysavage 19.3

      It is part of a right wing attack line which involves attacking the messenger and not the message. All I can say is that you should not trust everything you read in the media.

      • Anne 19.3.1

        The interesting aspect of that Tracy Watkins article is: who told her the crap in the first place? Somebody did, and she fell for it hook, line and sinker – or she was in on the conspiracy to defame a well known and highly respected Labour Party member. If it was the latter then we can expect further such pernicious articles and staged claims (Slater?) concerning Labour personnel over the next few months. Be warned Labour. The slander and dirty tricks has only just begun. Key’s top drawer is wide open!

    • greywarbler 19.4

      Sounds like a promotion for Ha.pic – clean(-power) around the bend.

    • SPC 19.5

      Advice is given by an adviser, and it is all the better for being communicated in correct English.

  20. captain hook 20

    how does the right like it when you give them advice. like piss off. tee hee.

  21. captain hook 21

    and felix you haven’t apologise to fishyanii yet.
    I hope you haevn’t hurt his feelings.
    boo hoo.

  22. blue leopard 22

    Ah well I finally read the story by Kiwi In America and I’ll say this for the right wing people – they are very good at spinning a yarn. This is the biggest, nay, only strength they have.

    p.s The right are not ‘only wanting to help us’ – as Mickey Savage’s title to this thread actually hints at in a subtle kinda way.

    The advice that was being offered re Shearer springs to mind.

    As others in this thread have said. Cunliffe is a threat to them – this guy (KiwiAmerican) has spun a big long made up story in order to undermine this threat. This attention toward Labour should be worn as a badge of confidence by the left.

    My summary: That article by the American-NZ-Bird-with-a-Long-Beak storyteller is a pile of horseshit.

    • Chooky 22.1

      +100…they really are running scared….they know Labour will win in coalition with Greens/Mana-Int and NZF

    • Stuart Munro 22.2

      It might be helpful to have some similar extended advice narratives for our lacklustre minister for dairy in China, our minister for mining forest parks, and that barbecue guy who hangs out with foreign knobs, wossiname key. They seem pretty lost.

  23. Mike the Savage One 23

    The biggest problem Labour has is itself, full stop!

    Cunliffe was chosen and cheered on by the activists, and voted in by old and new members, same as the unions. He got smallish support from the Labour caucus.

    Robertson and Jones were never happy to play second fiddle, to they have continued to undermine the result and the appointment of Cunliffe as leader. Most of caucus do not firmly support Cunliffe, and since he appointed Matt McCarten to his Chief of Staff, things have really turned crap.

    This did not go down well, and communication within is at a low, support for the “leader” is at a low, and the best Cunliffe can do is talk about a “leadership team” now. Recent policy announcements and media appearances by Cunliffe have been a major failure and disappointment. We know the mainstream media has some bias, but in general, Cunliffe has turned out to be a flop, not all his fault.

    So we see the Labour caucus as divided or worse as under Shearer, and few are showing motivation and convincing talk or spirit. It seems they have all already resigned to another likely defeat later this year.

    Cunliffe may be looking for another job right now, I fear, and while you may spend time philosophizing about the past, and whether there are enough lawyers or small business people in the party and in caucus, this is a waste of time.

    What Labour needs is to get rid of at least half of the present MPs, and to make a totally new start, and reconnect with the ordinary worker, de-facto workers now forced to be self-employed contractors, the jobless, the homeless, and the real traditional Labour supporters, not trying to compete with National for some self serving jerks in the middle or upper middle class slot, who are only wanting their share of capitalism.

    Once people get this, things may start looking up, but with all this discussion above, you are missing the point, I am afraid.

    • Chooky 23.1

      @ Mike the Savage One …some of what you say has some truth but it is only half truths…….

      Sure they have had their problems but Cunliffe is now getting into his stride ( certainly Not looking for another job!….wishful thinking on your part?)

      …. and I dont perceive the caucus as wanting Labour to fail…in fact they will be out on their ears if it does…nothing more certain ….and for many in caucus a WIN is their only hope

      I think you can you sense that Labour is now heading by a nose….and the gap is widening

      …the Left wolves are now appearing out of the forest and getting ready to run

      ….NACT will not know what has hit it

      • Mike the Savage One 23.1.1

        Chooky, you seem to belong to the loyal brigade. I wish it was so, my observations of Cunliffe tell me something totally different, same as most in caucus. They are not at all “motivated” by the looks of it. It is a dismal lot, a disgraced lot. Look and listen to what they have done for raising the issues for the poorest. There is too little. A 15 dollars minimum wage is barely over what the Nats offer now, there is zilch for those on benefits, apart from those with a new child, but that will be compromised by getting less other benefits ($60 a week will be counted against other entitlements).

        Same the minimum wage, that will get some to lose the accommodation supplement, so few will gain much at all.

        Beneficaries gain nothing so far, as there has been nothing at all by Labour to improve the lot of beneficaries generally, even if this may have been something to restore fairness and pride, let alone monetary benefits.

        Who wants to vote for a party full of words, and that is after all not sufficiently different to a Key led National Party? Even a guy called Chris Trotter now thinks Key may deserve a third or fourth term, if not a fifth one. Where does this leave the “left” in this place I ask?

        Only the aged, loyal Labour battlers still vote Labour, not the younger ones, they have no faith in a grey haired membered party that is neither here nor there, I am afraid.

        • Chooky 23.1.1.1

          I can understand where you are coming from…there is one solution to this and that is to vote Green or Mana-Int…to give what you want more clout in a Left coalition govt….btw…this is the solution i am taking

          …in the meantime I think it is the Lefty’s duty to pepper up Labour and remind them of what they once were and who they once represented

          …but do it in a constructive way which doesnt blow up the whole damned shooting box or cause a fatal split when nothing can be done to oust the dead wood

          ….if the dead wood can not be ousted at this stage ….Labour as a team has to be encouraged to win anyway

  24. Whatever next? 24

    Agree with the whole post quite simply.
    I vote Labour for it’s ability to provide a cohesive government,which includes being able to work with any party in coalition, as decided by voters.
    Only concern is that we are falling for the blatant tactics of National propaganda machine by listening to their crass questions.

  25. Mike the Savage One 25

    I think it would also help Labour and “the left” here, once they realise that side shows by questionable characters do not serve their interests:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8fijqXI79I

  26. xtasy 26

    Let us accept the truth, LABOUR are DEAD, dead in spirit, dead in action, they are divided to the core, and this must mean A NEW LEFT PARTY, THAT MUST TAKE ITS PLACE, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, A LEFT PARTY THAT DESERVES CREDIT AND THAT STANDS FOR THE TRUE INTERESTS OF WORKERS AND EVEN BENEFICIARIES. Labour is a lost cause, a lost soul, they are a waste of a vote and time. We will work to try and soon announce the true new LEFT PARTY to serve the interests of New Zealand workers and those close to the movement. I f that may fail this election, it will happen for the next one, for sure, be loyal and faithful, workers and downtrodden.

    • Chooky 26.1

      Hi Xtasy…you are back!….great!

      I think a Labour led coalition is going to WIN this election!…

      …but for you the option will be to vote Mana-Int or Green….to give as much clout to the Left coalition as possible

      • greywarbler 26.1.1

        Xtasy
        We want you to have a mind holiday. You might not be able to take one away from your place, but let us do the thinking and worrying. It is a depressing world and if you are not well, you are not strong enough to cope with it all.

        Try and have something at hand that you can look at and enjoy when thoughts get you down, a flower, an autumn leaf, something simple and changed every day or so. Try displacing the thoughts that weigh you down. Have a book of art work and look at your favourite pieces and think what other colours could be used. Have a book of interesting poems and write out your favourite ones – seeing, writing and thinking will occupy your whole mind and relax those mental knots.

        If something enjoyable happens, take an extra minute to think about it and observe it. Bring as many positive thoughts as you can into your mind to drive out the dark ones. Make sure you have a drink of water each hour, perhaps on the hour. A half cupfull would do. And have a snack of some nuts, a bit of raw veg. And have regular small meals.

        Have an afternoon nap if you have disturbed sleep at night – I notice you writing at 2 a.m. In the middle of the night the gremlins rise and come to the top of your mind.

        While you are thinking and feeling reasonably well, try to work out what would help you – say a trip to town. Is there a helpful organisation with someone that could give a bit of time to support you in some way, like short transport to the shops. Someone dropping in some magazines or for a cup of tea. It needs to be someone who is pleasant and doesn’t interfere with your life though. That could be stressful, too many why don’t you do, when you just need to do what you feel up to. Could you go for a walk to the nearby park. Don’t forget to call Lifeline if you just would like to talk to someone who is positive and good-hearted. Just talking briefly about the weather is a help if you are getting that feeling that you are too isolated.

        Find some book or stories that have caring people working through problems that end in a satisfactory or even happy way. I like detective stories with human police who do their best and help to make a crime understandable and find the offender.
        Do you read this type. If not you could try them. I could recommend some. If you would like to get links to youtube video clips I can put them on Open Mike here. My latest pleasure that I use to keep me happy is Happy from Pharell Williams the official video with all the dancing people he has videoed, I don’t know how many.

        We are thinking of you xtasy. Give yourself a rest, build your capacity to deal with these purveyors of cold charity these days. And as you feel a little better, you are then able to enjoy more good moments, which then feeds back into positive feelings of strength. And the sun will seem warmer, and the birds and bees more noticeable
        and enjoyable.

        • mac1 26.1.1.1

          Well written, Greywarbler. As one who has been bitten by Churchill’s black dog more than once, your advice seems spot on.

          And, Xtasy, as I said above, there are many of us who have struggled with not being well. My heart and my thoughts are with you. I had a friend who helped me. We built a chicken coop together- more of a ‘hen hotel’ really, with rimu joinery and way over specification for the job- but the planning, the building, the cooperative work together but mostly his loving concern and professional wisdom did the trick when I hit the wall.

        • Anne 26.1.1.2

          @ xtasy

          I don’t think the situation is as bad as you may think. There are some positive discussions taking place in Labour at the moment and if all goes well, there will be some very good policies being announced over the next few months – policies that will give many people a lot of hope.

          I know it is frustrating at this point in time. I feel it too. I want to send out emails begging them to get some policy out there – NOW. But I know why they are keeping their powder dry. Too many times over the decades the National Party has “stolen” Labour’s policies (cleverly disguised of course) and presented them to the voters as their own. And every time sufficient voters have fallen for it to give them another term in office. Nothing has changed. In fact it seems the voters are even more gullible and non-discerning than ever before.

          I still struggle with personal anger and bitterness over some very unpleasant experiences in my past. And when the political left is being bashed around like it has been lately, it doesn’t help. The only thing you can do is those things greywarbler has suggested. My outlet is to get out in the fresh air or, if possible, go and visit someone. My love of British and European history (my heritage) helps me to rise above it too. There is a local library groaning with books on the subject.

          You are a person of substance and high intelligence. Your brain is needed both here at TS and elsewhere.

          • greywarbler 26.1.1.2.1

            xtasy and Anne
            Good things, cool runnings! Don’t forget to have a laugh xtasy, may be ironic at the system, the politics, the world, our pretensions, your own pretensions, but the amusing things are there, as comedians know. Look at the animal videos on reddit.com I think. Watching a kitty or dog having fun can settle oneself. We are just more intelligent animals, sometimes!

            • xtasy 26.1.1.2.1.1

              Thanks Chooky, greywarbler, mac1, Anne and others (e.g. Freedom on Open Mike) –

              Yes, I think I will take your advice, greywarbler, it is important to try and get some balance, to focus also on some humble positive things there still are in life, and I occasionally also still visit here to do some reading.

              But as some topics can get me worked up a lot, I try to keep that at a kind of minimum. I know some others are raising the same or similar issues, and have been making some information available about what WINZ are up to these days.

              Indeed I still hope that Labour may finally see the light again, that their conscience will call them to duty (that is those MPs in caucus, and those standing as new candidates in electorates and on the list). Something needs to happen, and if they can present some smart, constructive, fair and future oriented policies at last, maybe in the weeks leading up to Sept. 20th, then this will perhaps still change the presently gloomy outlook.

              Things can only get better, and Key and gang must be sent off, to do some “real” work, instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul (the latter representing their mates and the ones doing ok under them).

              So keep up the fight, dear all, there are always a few other options to cast our votes, and Russel Norman did give a great interview on Focus on Politics on Radio NZ National on Friday or Saturday:

              http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2593057/focus-on-politics-for-17-april-2014

              Try also to keep informed about welfare issues for those with illness and disability. A small blog is found under ‘nzsocialjusticeblog2013′ on WordPress, giving insight. It is not “flash” and with pictures and stuff, but for those not afraid reading a bit, it has enough to ponder on. Try a google or other search for it.

              Also do not forget some useful info on ACC Forum:
              http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

              • Chooky

                xtasy …keep us informed here too on what this blog is saying…your contribution is very valuable here…you speak for many

              • greywarbler

                Xtasy
                Try to visit us on Friday where I hope our social site will be put up and you can tell us about some good book or video or latest music/news and tell us if you can access video clips so we can pass on good ones. Don’t worry about every little thing that the morons in parliament say.

                There was a poster produced in Britain for WW2 Keep Calm and Carry On. Look out for a card with it on, it seems such a good motto to have around. I was just reading a bit of a book about Dowding who maneouvred Britain through the Battle of Britain with the brave and skilful flying group he achieved. He was given the push as soon as that was over with the most minimal recognition. So even in wartime, heroes get stuffed. So keep the message of the poster in mind.
                http://www.keepcalmandcarryon.com/history/

  27. kiwiinamerica 27

    I am flattered that Mickey Savage would devote an entire blog post to an attempted rebuttal of my guest post at Kiwiblog. However in his attempt to correct errors he has missed the boat and scraped the bottom of the barrel. First off the Cullen led attempted coup was a well publicised event inside Labour in 1996 and whilst I was no longer a member, I was well aware of what was going on – putting it down as 2006 was a typo and that has been corrected (with attribution to Mickey).

    Second – my comment about National winning suburban and provincial seats off Labour related to the 2005 and 2008 elections and yet you deemed my comments to relate to the tenure of the Bolger Shipley government (and the English led campaign of 2002) when indeed Labour won seats off National. My point was that Clark cemented her power via the list and, as Labour shed more electorate seats in the latter part of its time in office, the power of the list ranking inside Labour became ever more important.

    Your statement “the party was drifting under Moore” underscores my thesis which was that Clark and co plotted to oust Moore because he refused to recant from Rogernomics – a litmus test that you seem to heartily agree with. Moore almost defeated Bolger in 1993 and engineered one of the most dramatic comebacks in NZ political history almost reversing Labour’s historic 1990 defeat.

    You infer that my defection from party stemmed from bitterness at losing an LRC vote over the sale of a crucial party asset. Firstly the opposition was not led by me, I was but one of a number of party members who spoke against the foolish proposal. The folly of the party in listening to the demagoguery of Hobbs and selling this valuable source of income was final confirmation of the mindset that had taken over Labour – the systematic driving out of the party of anyone who supported Rogernomics was the primary reason.

    You cite Clayton Cosgrove’s retention in the party as evidence against any scorched earth policy. You neglect to mention the bitter selection meeting that Cosgrove had to endure to win the Waimakariri nomination after Moore announced his intention to retire. A union hack was head office’s preferred candidate and head office did all they could to ensure his selection. Moore and Cosgrove made sure the local party had the requisite 500 members to ensure parity of local delegates at the selection meeting. But even with a Cosgrove friendly delegate elected from the floor on the evening (usually done to ensure a 4 – 3 vote in Cosgrove’s favour), the LEC delegates reported that the Head Office delegates tired to manipulate then bully the floor delegate into voting with them and kept these tactics up for over 4 hours in an attempt to wear this person down to vote with them. This person stayed firm and Cosgrove won the nomination but it was very clear that he was not Clark’s preferred candidate.

    Cunliffe has come under attack for his pratfalls, bungled policy releases and duplicitous conduct most egregiously his use of a secret trust to channel money for his primary campaign when he railed so loudly against National using a similar mechanism and he compounds that folly by still refusing to release the names of all his donors. He talks of transparency but fails to practice it – something voters notice hence his poor poll ratings. And then there are the policies themselves that National will attack him for because …..that’s politics. Citing the withering fire Cunliffe is coming under from his political opponents as some major character virtue is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps it ought to go on his CV.

    Finally to commenters on this post who seek to undermine the central thesis that I posted because I made incorrect predictions about the outcome of US presidential elections I would have to say that if a person’s views are to be completely discredited and then disregarded over failed election predictions then the views of most of the contributors to this blog (Mickey savage himself included) must be similarly disregarded because they failed to predict National wins in 2008 and 2011.

    All in all this post was a weak and footling response to the Kiwiblog post.

    • mickysavage 27.1

      Greetings KIA

      You have not addressed the essence of my post and this is that you seem to be saying that Labour should have continued with Rogernomics and my response to that is this would have been the demise of the Labour Party. Perhaps rather than throwing lots of words around you could address this basic point. And if your answer is “yes” then can you reconcile this with Helen Clark’s election. And while we are on that point a 9 year term was rather an achievement doncha think.

      Point taken about the winning of urban seats which you meant to say occurred in 2005 and 2008. My point was based on the context. Your paragraph dealt with the 1990s and I took it to mean that you were referring to the elections in that decade.

      And you did not address my point that the Labour Party unanimously backed membership having a say in who the party leader was and the dispute was about how far the changes should go.

      I agree that the party was drifting under Moore. The Alliance almost supplanted Labour and in one poll it registered more support. Are you saying that if Labour had proudly continued to support Rogernomics things would have turned around?

      I referred to Clayton Cosgrove because he is still around and highly placed. If there was a head office push to get rid of him then why wasn’t he demoted down the list?

      And as for my wrongly predicting the 2008 and 2011 election results please provide citation. I knew we were toast in 2008. In 2011 I posted about the possibility of Phil Goff becoming PM if he had a great campaign. He did not and the rest is history. And in any event Labour was only about 20,000 votes away from the possibility of forming a coalition.

      You still do not appear to understand. Your premise appears to be that if Labour becomes more ACT like it will succeed. ACT’s own history shows that this is a hopelessly naive premise.

      • kiwiinamerica 27.1.1

        Hi mickey
        My premise is not that Labour should have stayed with Rogernomics or became more like ACT but that the attempts to purge the party of Rogernomics supporters has contributed to your thin talent pool and some of your difficulties. Moore was never vocal about his support for Rogernomics during his tenure as LOO but likewise when asked about the Douglas reforms he told the truth as he saw it – he fought a traditional Labour values campaign – but he did not try to conduct a witch hunt and realised that various supporters of Rogernomics both inside the caucus and the wider party still had much to contribute. The sisterhood’s quest to purge the party of Rogernomes is more the problem. Clark put great store on party unity as you state but it came at the price I detail. Labour has narrowed its electoral appeal and this helps explain its lower polling vs the Clark era. Some of this is MMP positioning but Clark managed to maintain the centre left vote in Labour’s camp even under MMP because she kept policies as close to the centre as Labour activists would allow.

        Cosgrove gradually gained favour in the eyes of the sisterhood by effectively distancing himself from his time as Moore’s right hand man and he tempered his abrasive style – it was the only way he could survive. For that penance he was forgiven.

        I completely agree that the Labour party membership supported the Constitutional changes – I’m not sure that it was unanimous but I have no doubt that is was overwhelming. When you burn off centrist activists then you leave behind those who have a bee in their bonnet about what Rogernomics did to Labour and they’d naturally vote for a mechanism to prevent it from happening again – that makes total sense if I was a left leaning activist. My premise was that this is of no wider electoral benefit to Labour and indeed since policies now are moving left to align the caucus with the party, this is making Labour’s task of overhauling a very centrist National party more difficult.

        You put yourself forward as a self employed professional still in the party. My premise is not that Labour is now totally bereft of such individuals but that, for the various reasons I cite, some of Labour’s constituencies that once supported it strongly have left and I’m not the only one to see this. I meet so many former Labour voters and activists who each had a journey similar to mine.

        I accept that you personally may have predicted a Labour loss in 2008 but others supporting Labour were confident. My making incorrect predictions in US elections in no way negates the history I was reporting on. I would make the point that you did not make any remarks on that issue rather others on the post. The point I was making was that partisan commenters (and you and I are partisan) often support our man/party to the bitter end – that is a widespread phenomenon on politically oriented blogs but the mere existence of such predictions doesn’t negate the accuracy of wider comment.

        • Pascal's bookie 27.1.1.1

          Rogernomes aren’t ‘centrist activists’ you fool, they ended up forming ACT.

        • millsy 27.1.1.2

          So what policies, in your opinion do you think Labour should adopt or drop?

          Genuine question.

          (As an aside, I think Labour would win a few votes if it promised to change the law so that companies that employed workers as owner/operators or contractors wouldnt be able to stop them from doing work for other companies, ie a courier driver could deliver parces for both fastways and posthaste, or a truck driver could haul frieght for both Toll and Freightways).

    • Tracey 27.2

      who are you thinking of party voting for this year

  28. Pascal's bookie 28

    Finally to commenters on this post who seek to undermine the central thesis that I posted because I made incorrect predictions about the outcome of US presidential elections I would have to say that if a person’s views are to be completely discredited and then disregarded over failed election predictions then the views of most of the contributors to this blog (Mickey savage himself included) must be similarly disregarded because they failed to predict National wins in 2008 and 2011.

    laugh.

    Your predictions of Obama’s loss were not only way, way, wider of the mark than those made about the close elections Key has won, but you made them over months and months using astonishingly and increasingly weird reasoning that was completely discredited.

    It’s not just the prediction, but your methodology. Which was to basically start with the answer you want and search around an epistemically closed shop for reasons it might be true. Your thesis here relies in the same method, you want it to be true that Labour should have kept on keeping on being ACT, so you blame everything that’s going wrong on the fact that they didn’t.

    No one in the electorate gives a flying shit about what went on in LIC’s in the early nineties and late eighties, for fuck’s sake. And if all that brilliant right wing talent was so damn special, then how do you account for the fact that ACT, who absorbed all that talent, collapsed after a few short years and is now a zombie shelf company used by the National party?

    And if Nate Silver’s reputation was to be “in tatters” for getting it wrong, (how’d he do again?), then you can hardly claim yours should be spared given how very very wrong you were.

  29. jh 29

    As fisiani said politics is about ideas.
    Helen Clark loathed the working class:

    “I find your society genuinely admirable in many ways. For example, I met Helen Clark while I was in Wellington. I was invited to her official residence, and waved in by a lone policeman who didn’t even check who I was, then I had a barbecue with her. I congratulated her on the public’s enlightened attitudes towards racial issues, but she disagreed. She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country, and she was determined to do everything she could as prime minister to change that. I thought that was a very bold, honest statement to make to a foreigner, and I really respected her for that.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/3751531/Acting-giant-reflects-on-NZ-society

    For most of the 1980s, the dominant cultural debates
    centred around national identity, and what might be labelled “post-colonialism”, or in
    During’s (1985) terms, coming to know New Zealand in our terms, not those which
    originated with a colonial power. At the core of this re-assessment was an emergent
    biculturalism which involved placing indigeneity and the effects of colonialism on the
    tangata whenua as a key consideration of political and policy development from the
    1970s, and more particularly from 1985. Whether it was the delivery of Maori-sensitive
    welfare and economic policy, increasing the awareness of the impact of colonialism both
    in an historical as well as a contemporary sense, or Treaty settlements, there was a
    significant re-orientation of public perception and practice. It also involved inviting
    others, notably Pakeha, to explore their own post-colonial identity (Spoonley, 1995). But
    almost simultaneously, decisions were being made about New Zealand’s immigration
    policies that were to have far reaching consequences for the cultural politics of New
    Zealand, although it was to be almost a decade before there was an awareness of what
    exactly this meant. Those decisions about immigration that saw policy altered from 1986
    onwards have remade the cultural mix of New Zealand and have added a new layer to the
    evolving imagery and policy concerns of this country.

    DEFINING IDENTITY AND CREATING CITIZENS :
    THE MEDIA AND IMMIGRANTS IN NEW ZEALAND
    Paul Spoonley

    The working class no longer has a common identity and labour no longer has a way in.
    And as the savings Working Group and Treasury note mass migration hasn’t brought increasing productivity and better incomes, rather it has put up house prices (inequality) and increased the deficit.

    • Chooky 29.1

      “Helen Clark loathed the working class”….what a load of crap!:

      • jh 29.1.1

        “She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country,”

        not looking good so far?

        • jh 29.1.1.1

          Why is this detail relevant? Because in making sure that Labour’s incoming 1993 caucus was configured in such a way as to engineer a successful Clark coup against Moore, significant talent was shut out – the kind of talent that would be a broader representation of middle NZ and thus vote in caucus more in line with the centrist sentiments of the wider country; the kind of talent that could’ve given Labour a broader electoral appeal and eventually the kind of talent that one day could go on to be an attractive Party Leader to take on a popular incumbent National Prime Minister. In Clark’s headlong pursuit of the numbers to topple Mike Moore, she made sure that the Labour Party selected people from her narrower world view.

          “She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country,”

          That’s not a centrists view is it?

    • jh 29.2

      Clark’s scorched earth policy to purge the party of Rogernomics and ensure there were no upstarts to her throne has left the party with a caucus deprived of serious talent and not representative of middle NZ and its values. The same is true for the wider party because the middle class, centrist moderate party members have also voted with their feet. This once proud party that was home to so many across the spectrum is now dominated by trade union hacks, rainbow activists, academics, government sector employees, feminists and PC metrosexual men. These groups make up maybe 15 to 20% of New Zealand’s population and have a political orientation much further to the left than mainstream New Zealand.

      that and embracing globalisation

      She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country, and she was determined to do everything she could as prime minister to change that.

      “Both in New Zealand and globally, the best of the leftwing tradition has always rejected small-minded nationalism, xenophobia and racism. In fact, leftists of an internationalist tradition have always favoured globalization and getting rid of national borders and barriers to migration. Progressive advocates of globalization of course do not defend a handful of rich imperialist countries, including New Zealand, dominating the world’s economy, but instead advocate an integrated and radically egalitarian world economy where production is based on social need and not on private profit. ”
      http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2012/02/guest-blog-post-john-moore-leftwing-xenophobia-in-new-zealand.html

      Eye on U.N?

  30. Olwyn 30

    “Your premise appears to be that if Labour becomes more ACT like it will succeed.”

    The thing that puzzles me about all people who hold variations on that view is, “How do they justify it?” especially now that it has become apparent that such policies offer little to nothing to Labour’s traditional constituency. It is as though they look upon it as a shell organisation to be loaded with whatever they think fit.

    The Douglas lot could say that they had no option, given the debt racked up by Muldoon. They could also say that after a short sharp correction, the new economic paradigm would deliver for Labour’s constituency. Well it didn’t, and this matters. The Labour Party was established by the unions. The unions were established to defend people whose livelihoods depend on selling their labour (which is not confined to those with a willing buyer for their labour, as Josie Pagani would have it). If the Labour Party fails to deliver for those people, then it fails to deliver, full stop.

    And even in allowing shell organisation thesis, if a complete paradigm shift was once envisaged, whereby the political landscape would end up as a town-mouse versus country-mouse affair, with the poor and the working class left to rot, what allows one to assume that the traditional right cannot accommodate both sides of that coin?

  31. JK 31

    Fascinating stuff, Mickey. Wish I had time to join in properly but the sun is shining here in the north, guests are expected, the outside beckons …….. from my own perspective, I would say the Labour Party is in good heart but rightwingers like KIA will always try to undermine and denigrate the efforts of the left.

  32. millsy 32

    I dont think Labour becoming more like National will help it win any elections. It could have some short term success admittedly, but would lead to serious division later on.

    Looking back at things, it is usually National becoming more like Labour that keeps Labour out of office. We have seen it with regards to National embracing Labour’s principles of public ownership and a welfare state, and even up to the present day with WFF, etc.

    (And too many people forget that National opposed Rogernomics until the 1990 election).

    Labour needs to convince people that that it is the party that build things up, not tears things down.

    It also needs to convince voters that government spending and taxation are forces for good. I havent seen much effort doing that from Labour for as long as I can remember.

    • blue leopard 32.1

      +1 Millsy

    • greywarbler 32.2

      +2 Millsy

    • srylands 32.3

      Some government spending is good.

    • Paul 32.4

      They should use the word citizen or people, not consumer or taxpayer. Controlling the use of language is key.
      While the Labour Party talks of ratepayers and taxpayers and ignores the word citizen, they are still on the neoliberal drug.
      Look at the type of people who set up organisations of taxpayers….Roger Douglas, Jordan Williams.
      We are human beings, not commodities.

  33. greywarbler 33

    I wonder where kiwiinamerica is stationed. Is he, it sounds like a he, in Harvard or is he at one of the think tanks that provide the fodder for the right wing dominance? They provide an answer to every question that the public might think of asking. `A cure for all diseases’!

    • “..I wonder where kiwiinamerica is stationed. Is he, it sounds like a he, in Harvard or is he at one of the think tanks that provide the fodder for the right wing dominance? ..”

      no..he/she is ‘stationed’ in/at a taco bell..in houston i believe..

      ..(works in product-delivery..)

      ..he/she is also an enthusiastic-participant in talkback-radio..

      ..where he/she beguiles many with his/her lowest-orifice-plucked ‘predictions’..

  34. Blue 34

    Ah yes Philip. “Work”. Something you’ve probably seen others do.

  35. DS 35

    I think the 1980s experience is best analysed in terms of opposition to Muldoon. Muldoon’s authoritarian social conservatism and paternalistic economics was opposed by social liberals, economic liberals, and the economic left. Because FPP meant that if you hated Muldoon’s National, you ended up in the Labour Party, this meant that people who weren’t Labour’s natural constituency ended up in the same party as the traditional working class.

    Helen Clark does indeed deserve some credit for restoring Labour as a viable party, but only “some” credit. Her debate performance in 1996 may have single-handedly saved the party from falling behind NZ First, but it is worth remembering that her purge of the Mike Moore faction during 1993-1995 was neither pretty nor popular (margin of error preferred PM ratings? Labour coming third or even fourth in some polls?). The Selwyn by-election in particular was downright embarrassing. Nor do I think Moore was as malevolent a figure as he was later painted – he nearly won 1993 on a “let’s pretend Rogernomics never happened” platform (only to be sabotaged by Treasury), while the last of the truly nasty figures (Prebble) was purged by the voters in 1993.

  36. jh 36

    Cunliffe comes across as a poor actor.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      What makes you say that? How do you think Cunliffe’s acting method compares to John Key’s acting method?

      • jh 36.1.1

        To be honest Cunliffe lacks fire in the belly.

        One thing KIA missed (I think) is that with the employment contracts act came a disconnection of the union official to the shop floor. The vacuum has been filled by elite academics.

        • Te Reo Putake 36.1.1.1

          Can you expand on that, jh? What role/s has been taken by elite academics?

  37. jh 37

    Cunliffe comes across as a poor actor.
    Shearer’s crimes were an anecdote about someone on ACC painting the roof, suggesting migrants shouldn’t take jobs of Kiwis um….? He was too pro w0rker for the Labour Party.

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