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The wrong conversation

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, August 15th, 2012 - 78 comments
Categories: activism, blogs, community democracy, david shearer, democratic participation, labour, uncategorized - Tags:

There has been a lot of discussion on the direction Labour  is heading and the direction it should go. There have been some very valuable contributions by Mike Smith, Rob Salmond, Jordan Carter and Josie Pagani.

I don’t have much to add to this other than, I think, they are having the wrong conversation. There are few votes in going left and few votes in pitching to the centre in the way we are doing now. People vote for a myriad of reasons that can’t be confined to a linear spectrum.

I hear activists tell me over beer after collecting signatures that we need to shift to the left to pick up the non-voters that stayed home. I am undoubtedly of the view that this is wrong. As Rob Salmond points out no one has produced any evidence to suggest that this would be a vote winning strategy or that those who stay home do so because our policies won’t help them or that their views differ from the “centre”. The act of voting or not is much more complicated than that.

However, similarly, I am adamant that there are no votes in pitching to the centre in the way Shearer is doing now and the way Pagani et al want. It is inauthentic and meaningless.

You can’t get people to think about policy unless they buy into the project. What is missing from Shearer at the moment is the articulation of Labour values. The articulation of a vision. The articulation of a narrative about where we are, where we are going and how Labour’s values best realise that. Only once you get buy in on that can you start getting buy in on how you get there. If approached this way- I think you will start seeing the centre and some of those who did not vote come with (note not to) Labour.

Without this, it’s just two products competing for an otherwise meaningless act in three years time. Voters want to know that we get them. We understand their struggles and successes; that we are part of their personal journeys; that we understand their lives. People don’t want silver bullets or lists of policies. Our voters just want to know we’ve got their back: that our future is their future, that our guiding values are theirs. Only a strong narrative can do that. Everything else is important: but only insofar as it contributes to the sense people have of you. Policies are important. But you can’t replace a narrative with lists of policies or dog whistles.

Labour needs buy in to the project. Not inauthentic sound bites to the perceived views of a entirely made up segment of the population. The centre is a very unhelpful construction; it’s really intelligent people with alot more to offer than a nod to the old beneficiary bash. “Centre voters” have very different and contradictory opinions on a range of issues pretending they are this homogeneous group to be placated by a few remarks just highlights how out of touch our leaders are.

78 comments on “The wrong conversation”

  1. King Kong 1

    Excellent. Another thread where I get to read just how crap the Labour party is…from its own supporters.

    • lprent 1.1

      I realize that openness is a hard concept for you to understand.

      But just think of the differences between the two ends of your alimentary canal. At one end you have your face screwed in knot as you spit out your latest inane bullshit at the left.. At the other you have the relaxation as you unpucker your bowels and drop some fertilizer.

      Openness is like that latter sensation – it is smelly, relaxing, but doesn’t cause ulcers, you die if you don’t do it, and ultimately fertilizes honest debate.

      Ah.. Ok honest debate – another concept you will have problems with. The difference between that and doing meaningless sniping is…..

      • King Kong 1.1.1

        I understand openness fine.

        However I also understand that if you had an unusual growth on your cock you might show it to your wife and doctors in the hope of fixing the problem.

        What I wouldn’t do is wap it out and head down to the high street showing it to strangers (which is what you guys are doing here)

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Voters want to know that we get them. We understand their struggles and successes; that we are part of their personal journeys; that we understand their lives. People don’t want silver bullets or lists of policies. Our voters just want to know we’ve got their back: that our future is their future, that our guiding values are theirs. Only a strong narrative can do that.

    A vision for the future eh?

    Well, we should say something about green, sustainable growth, something about making the country better for the next generation, something about how important children are and educating them, something about giving people a hand up not a hand out, something about not spending beyond our means, something else about how its important to be a supporter of global free markets and wealth creation for all, and for the real coup de grace, a national plan for how we win hosting rights for the Rugby World Cup 2029.

    That’s a vision for the future we can all buy into and turn out to vote for. Huzzzah!

    Now a lot of it seems awfully familiar, I accept that, but if we can come up with some new packaging for the messaging, it could work very well. The internal polling we are doing tells us its the message people want. Now deliver it and show them leadership! (/irony)

    PS let me assure you as a future Minister of the Crown on $220K pa (+ package) I will never fell isolated from the plight of those trying to get by on $18K pa, and who have to fight uphill everyday against a political economic slope of financial capitalism that they do not even begin to understand.

    In fact, why don’t I just hang out with the Chamber of Commerce crowd, they hold much better evening functions than the Sallies.

  3. bad12 3

    Sounds like you might be talking about some ‘other’ Labour Party than the one that currently occupies the Parliament,

    Shearer ‘stands by’ His comment made to Grey Power about ‘the sickness beneficiary’, end of story really…

  4. just saying 4

    Aspirational “vision” speeches are meaningless without explaining how you propose to get there.
    Shearer has been producing little other than this kind of waffle.
    Why should anyone trust “values” rhetoric if it’s not backed up with a a clear map. And how can Labour counter National’s argument that Labour’s vision will bankrupt the country without hard facts?

    It’s just another patronising version of “trust us – we know what we’re doing”.
    But most people don’t trust Labour actually, and it will take substance to change the perception, not more waffle.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Why should anyone trust “values” rhetoric if it’s not backed up with a a clear map.

      Why should anyone trust anyone who suddenly starts spouting “values” rhetoric, after the longest time of doing and saying anything but? I would personally find it suspicious, you know like they suddenly want something from me…

      As you say, its little short of patronising.

    • Polish Pride 4.2

      Bang on this is exactly the problem. People have been lied to so often that they want to know the ‘how’. How are you going to do it. Show me the steps that common sense dictates you might be on the right path.

      When National came out with their vison or 12 goals or whatever it was earlier this year expecting the response to be all oohs and aaahs from an adoring public saying these guys are on the right track, they have goals. Thats not what happened. They got slammed all over the place with people saying thats nice but ‘how!’ how are you going to do it!

    • Pete 4.3

      Whenever I hear “aspiration”, I can’t help but think of Charlie Brooker’s thoughts on it (language NSFW)

    • Fisiani 4.4

      Shearer is the best Leader of the Labour Party for New Zealand

      • lprent 4.4.1

        From you as a ardent National brownnoser I guess that it means you think he will allow national another term. Yeah right.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    @Jimmy

    That is what Shearer should have done, when he became leader. He had every opportunity, with his early speeches, to articulate a vision.

    He didn’t, because there’s no vision, and he can’t articulate.

    It’s too late now. There was goodwill then, now it’s gone (and not just from Labour activists – nobody takes him seriously now). Any new “narrative” will be treated with suspicion. As you say, “inauthentic and meaningless.”

    I hope the next leader takes your advice, on day one. I hope that day is soon.

    • bad12 5.1

      I seriously think that Labour will contest the 2014 election with the ‘Leader’ they have now,

      I vote Green so thankfully don’t have to defend Him…

    • Polish Pride 5.2

      No its not too late – you get on with the job of determining it asap and the steps on how to get there. Then you announce it and when people ask why it took so long you say because it needed some serious thought to what it should be and we needed to talk to the people of New Zealand so that we can get back to the primary principle of a representative democracy that has been ignored for such a long time by both this National government and some previous Labour govts. The principle that we are your elected representatives here to represent you. We are here to ensure that NewZealand is a better place in the future for all New Zealanders.

      Here’s where we are today …. problems
      Here’s the vision… where we are going to be 3, 6, 10, 20 years
      Here’s how we are going to achieve it.
      3, 6, 10, 20 years

      You’ll wipe the floor with any other party that won’t have seen it coming and won’t have a clear vision. Then all you have to do is do what you said you would and listen to the people along the way.

      It will also provide a valid answer for those that want to discuss shearer being invisible for this long.

    • Matt 5.3

      “He didn’t, because there’s no vision, and he can’t articulate.”

      Precisely, it’s pointless for Labour to agonize over how to portray themselves when the problem is they don’t stand for anything. I wish they did.

  6. Jimmy canI suggest that the most important characteristics that a party leader must have are vision and passion? 
     
    Academic debates about the middle and working out how to triangulate issues is fine from an academic point of view but if a leader does not instil passion then the activists work a bit less and the swinging voters are more inclined to stay at home.
     
    Just think about the most successful leaders Labour has had, Savage, Kirk, Lange and Clark.  Each of them instilled passion and each had a strong vision.
     
    Lange may be the most telling example.  Despite leading a right wing Labour Government his oration gave his Government a veneer of left wing respectability and carried them through a most unusual election result in 1987.
     
    So however it happens the Labour Party needs to give activists and voters a reason to take note and engage.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 6.1

      That’s it exactly. Goff started to show a little vision and passion during the election campaign: had he done so for his entire tenure as leader we would be having an entirely different discussion.

    • Jackal 6.2

      mickysavage

      Jimmy can I suggest that the most important characteristics that a party leader must have are vision and passion?

      I’m not so sure… While people are expecting Shearer to deliver a vision to give people the impetus to support and vote, much of what being an opposition party gets left behind. In my opinion, Labour need to engage with the public by having a clear and precise dialog that points out where National is going wrong, not deliver visions of the future that are met with skepticism from many on the left and right alike.

      One problem is that the current Labour party is being blamed for what Nationals neoliberal agenda is causing… A very clever manipulation that’s been employed by rightwing spin-doctors. Labour need to distance themselves from the current agenda, and the best way to do that is to go on the attack.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Labour need to distance themselves from the current agenda, and the best way to do that is to go on the attack.

        Well, why not leave it to the Greens and Winston, they really do seem better at it. It was pointed out by someone that the Greens, Winston AND ACT got their party’s official responses to the MMP recommendations way faster than Labour did.

      • weka 6.2.2

        But only if they disagree with the neoliberal agenda.

        • Jackal 6.2.2.1

          There is that, but it would seem more probable that Shearer’s decision to not engage in so-called gotcha politics is sometimes leaving Labours ammo out of the gun. It’s not as if National isn’t giving them enough targets to shoot at either, it’s a conscious decision to try and appear like the nice guy, which in my opinion is just letting Nact off the hook. Politics isn’t about being nice, and choosing not to engage isn’t an effective strategy against Keys ever thinning Teflon exterior… It’s better for Labour to gain credibility by pointing out National has none.

  7. Polish Pride 7

    You can’t get people to think about policy unless they buy into the project. What is missing from Shearer at the moment is the articulation of Labour values. The articulation of a vision. The articulation of a narrative about where we are, where we are going and how Labour’s values best realise that. Only once you get buy in on that can you start getting buy in on how you get there. If approached this way- I think you will start seeing the centre and some of those who did not vote come with (note not to) Labour

    I think you are on the money with this. I spoke to an influential Labour MP and said the reason many don’t vote is that they are disillusioned with the system. It is not working for them. All they see is that we shift a couple of degrees to the Right and then a couple of degrees to the Left every few years but nothing really changes. The real problems facing society never get fixed or even close to being fixed. That there is no vision for people people to buy into.. and I don’t mean vote for us and we’ll make the world a better place. I mean Here’s our 3 year, 6 year, 10 and even 20 year plan. This is our vision and this is how we are going to get there and why it will work.
    Something that people can understand, buy into and believe in.

    To his credit he agreed people were disengaged from the system and were becoming increasingly of the opinion that politics is something that is done to them rather than something they are apart of. He did not think that a long term vision was required as most people were just focussed on the immediate problems.

    Great person but so short sighted.

  8. Mary 8

    “What is missing from Shearer at the moment is the articulation of Labour values.”

    Sure, but how can Labour articulate these when they don’t even know what they are? Labour’s more than lost on this front. Shearer’s sickness beneficiary blunder epitomises this. Until Labour accepts it must provide a voice for those who cannot participate in our wage-based economy and stop pandering to the unions’ ambivalence towards beneficiaries they will remain the most obvious coalition partner for the National Party which in practical terms means continuing as the Opposition followed by relegation to merely remaining in opposition.

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    Floating down that river in Egypt: Denial

    The Global Credit Crisis is alive and well. It is devouring people’s savings and jobs, laying waste to economies everywhere.

    People in the street KNOW it. Cunliffe knows it. He speaks about it often.

    Key, Shearer, and Parker are in denial.

    IMO this is not about Labour Party Left versus Right. It is about denial versus facing inconvenient truths.

    Yes, Grant Robertson, it is also about getting serious about the environmental crisis (Cunliffe) versus “Let’s not be environmental extremists” (Robertson).

  10. chris73 10

    I quite like the direction Shearers taking, it seems to me that for a very long time the Labour party has been lumping low-paid workers with the unemployed.

    By making a stake in the ground and saying we support low-paid workers and the sacrifices they make and will work hard to weed out the shirkers is a well needed change and will resonate with kiwis around the country

    As long as he sticks to his guns of course

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      So you just implied the unemployed are shirkers. When in fact they are discarded workers.

      Fuck you man.

      • chris73 10.1.1

        Go fuck yourself big brave man behind a keyboard. They’re two separate paragraphs which means two separate statements which means I’m not saying all unemployed are shirkers, I’m saying that (hopefully) Labour will actively work to deal to the shirkers that are out there.

        Go have yourself another coffee and stop trying to frame someone elses viewpoint in a manner that suits you.

        Douchebag.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          :roll:

          What you wrote is there for everyone to see my friend. Two separate paragraphs, one after the other, talking around the same idea.

          They’re two separate paragraphs which means two separate statements which means I’m not saying all unemployed are shirkers

          But you ARE saying that a good number of them are, right? And that was my point. Don’t get upset at me for highlighting it.

          • QoT 10.1.1.1.1

            CV, it’s like you’re in my head right now, stealing my thoughts. Fucking love how the “left” have started picking up the right’s “but I never said all [group] were [junkies/unfit parents/lazy/evil/bludgers], I just said some were! Over and over and over!”

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              CV, it’s like you’re in my head right now

              I honestly can’t tell whether my uncontrollable laughter is due to surprised delight or abject terror.

        • tracey 10.1.1.2

          how come no mention of the need to weed out the dishobest company directors then chris?

      • Polish Pride 10.1.2

        ……And a by product of a system that has reached a level of technological advancement that can easily discard a worker but a system that has not evolved so that the discarded worker does not need to go and find another job.

        This is not the situation for all workers but none the less it is an serious flaw in the system that will only grow as we grow tecnologically.

    • Mary 10.2

      “…it seems to me that for a very long time the Labour party has been lumping low-paid workers with the unemployed.”

      It may have seemed like that to you but from 1999 Labour’s welfare policies have been indistinguishable from National’s, and in some cases more like ACT’s. Shearer’s finally confirmed nothing’s changed.

      • chris73 10.2.1

        Well it seems to me you’re probably right. The parties policies do tend to sound the same but I’m thinking maybe the implementation of the policies might be a point of difference?

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1

          Yes its an improvement of sorts when you shaft beneficiaries with a friendly smile, instead of with a demeaning scowl.

      • tracey 10.2.2

        a recently as 2007 labour completed their intensive fraud investigation into benefits, a point lost on many when nats crow about targetting these so called offenders. The number of shirkers is actually tiny, but that wld make some people have to accept there is some societal respobsibility instead of blaming non existing bludgers.

        Need i remibd you all of my earlier story of wealthy family encouraging son to borrow full amount on student loan to fund a home for himself in three years. None so smug and self righteoys as the anti bene brigade.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      By making a stake in the ground and saying we support low-paid workers and the sacrifices they make and will work hard to weed out the shirkers is a well needed change and will resonate with kiwis around the country

      They’re not shirkers but people who have been thrown on the scrap heap by a failing socio-economic paradigm.

      • adam 10.3.1

        A neo-liberal driven paradigm that says we must open our country to internationally deregulated competition so that our manufacturing sector eventually shrinks to below a 5% capacity to make anything at all, as it cannot compete without the reintroduction of tariffs and quotas so we could once again protect locally producing industry and the jobs and wealth that that would circulate throughout our economy.
        NZ is slowly becoming a social and economic wasteground of failed economic policies derived from neo-liberalism and put into effect through both National and Labour governments support of those policies that are cemented in via the IMF, WTO and the WB.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    Mickey’s on spin cycle.

    ??? “we support low-paid workers” ???

    How about we are outraged at taking from low-paid workers and giving it to the wealthy?

    Low-paid workers pay a huge amount of their income in taxes: 15% GST, petrol taxes, rates (which landlords pass on), high ACC levies (which are a lot higher if you work with you body than sit at a desk), income taxes, etc.

    I’m going to Bastion Point this weekend, put my ear to the ground, and hear if Mickey Savage is turning over in his grave! He’s probably on spin cycle!

  12. Kaine Thompson 12

    “You can’t get people to think about policy unless they buy into the project. What is missing from Shearer at the moment is the articulation of Labour values. The articulation of a vision. The articulation of a narrative about where we are, where we are going and how Labour’s values best realise that. Only once you get buy in on that can you start getting buy in on how you get there. If approached this way- I think you will start seeing the centre and some of those who did not vote come with (note not to) Labour.”

    Of all the posts I’ve read, this one nails it for me. It articulates for me what the actual issue is. It’s not a case of build it and they will come but if voters have a clear sense of your principles, they will come to you with a tolerance for the fringes of your policies. I think that may be a little earnest, but as a basic, I can’t see any other way to start.

    Analysis of those who voted and those who didn’t, who is left, who is right, who is centre, what centre is – none of that matters if you can’t establish clearly, a sense within voters that they know who you are first. Labour must offer positive alternatives based on principle, not positions in the negative and for me the Grey Power speech was that low point.

    I don’t blame Shearer, I don’t blame anyone, for Labour’s current position because that’s pointless unless there’s a plan to fix it – fixing it for me, at least in the first instance, would see Shearer lead from the front and for him to trust his instincts and his own words rather than second guess himself.

    For all the gazing in to the future anyone can do, it must be… to do what you must do… with the world as it is now… and, for how you want it to be. It should not be about how you think it might be… and, then to try and get ahead of it. This post proposes that the conversation is not the right conversation, I agree. Of all the things I have seen here, the question of whether voters see themselves reflected in Labour is the important first-question.

    I think the answer is still “no” at the moment, but the solution is not in shifting to where Labour thinks the majority of them are because that is ever-fluid, it is to bring them to where Labour is. This to me is where the conflict is being created by some elements of the current approach, it’s simply that so many don’t know where Labour is.

    Labour must not only say what it wants to achieve, but how it will achieve it. The positive alternatives are missing such as in the Grey Power speech in my view. The things Labour says it will do have to be within reach of people, they have to be able to touch it, know it’s real and that it will make their life better. Importantly though, people need to trust Labour will work to do it.

    • Tom Gould 12.1

      @ Kaine, if I had a dollar for every time I have read over recent weeks mention of “Labour values” and “Labour principles” … Can you clearly articulate these for me, please, perhaps in the context of your call for “positive alternatives”. A few examples of these alternatives would be nice, too.

      • Kaine Thompson 12.1.1

        @Tom, don’t get me wrong, I’m not stargazing either… But, Labour’s values include inclusiveness for example, say what it means, say how that translates into what it is we want to achieve by being in government. I mean for me, the principles/values are there already but there’s a disconnect because the focus is on policies that resonate, rather than – by some views – demonstrate consistency with the principle/value.

        Positive alternative – an opposition must oppose, clearly. But by opposing something, there should be a clear plan of what the alternative is. “Tax Cuts for the rich”, what’s Labour’s alternative, be clear, be honest. “No Asset Sales”, what’s Labour going to do in response to those if it becomes government? “Where are the jobs”, what’s Labour’s plan to encourage job growth? “National is bad”, how’s Labour better?

        That’s where I was coming from… :)

        • Tom Gould 12.1.1.1

          @ Kaine, with respect, you have evaded the question. Can you please explain to me what are the “Labour values” and “Labour principles” you and others regularly refer to? You say they “are there” so can we see them please?

          • dancerwaitakere 12.1.1.1.1

            - Social Justice
            – Equality
            – Solidarity
            – Multiculturalism
            – Collective Responsibility
            – Compassion

            These are /some/ of the values, I believe, that Labour need to articulate.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              And what kinds of things (not specifics) is Labour willing to do to enact those values.

              Hint: “incentivising market actors to consider those values from time to time as part of the pursuit of economic growth” is NOT going to cut it.

              • Kaine Thompson

                The only thing I would add to what Dancerwaitakere said is “inclusion” but off the top of my head, that’s a familiar list of things. Tom, the things I would point to include marriage equality, raising the minimum wage, trade training, broader student support, investment in R&D, capital gains tax, extensions to paid parental leave, mondayisation of public holidays, using dividends from state owned assets… these are all positive alternatives.

                If you’re asking me to come up with a list of new ones on my own, I’d say no one person has the answer and there would be better ideas than mine but reinvesting in the cullen fund, addressing inequality that came about through an increase to GST, redirecting resource in to trade training, taking advantage of clean technology alongside a programme to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and on and on.

                The broader package of policies though, have to be linked to a clear sense of why they’re important to Labour. Take National for example, you may not agree with them but their view is that low taxation allows individuals to make decisions about how to use their own money because they will make better decisions than government. I don’t necessarily agree and think there is a balance. Take the Greens, “Drill it, mine it, sell it, cut it” Clean Rivers, Safe Communities and on and on.

                If you have better ideas, then put them out but in saying we have heard enough about a demand for vision, all we are doing is criticising Labour for doing the same thing we choose not to do at the same time.

                It’s just my view and I accept it’s one of many, and like I said, I agree with the post and what it says. It resonates with me well, but without any collective sense of direction both in Parliament and amongst supporters (members or not), we may as well talk about the international space station as a solution to global warming.

                • Tom Gould

                  @ Kaine, thanks for the list of policies, but what I was after were Labour values and Labour priniciples. I guessed you could not articulate them. The Labour Party website says:

                  The Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles –

                  
• All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot.

                  • The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular non-renewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.

                  • All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.

                  • Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.

                  • All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.

                  • All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people are always more important than property and the state must ensure a just distribution of wealth.

                  • The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand and that the Treaty should be honoured in government, society and the family.

                  • Peace and social justice should be promoted throughout the world by international co-operation and mutual respect.

                  • The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

            • newsense 12.1.1.1.1.2

              shared prosperity

            • Mary 12.1.1.1.1.3

              Yes, I couldn’t agree more, but they don’t, and more importantly, they don’t want to. Unless you’re a worker, of course.

  13. felix 13

    “Voters want to know that we get them.”

    But you don’t.

    “We understand their struggles and successes;”

    But you don’t.

    “… that we are part of their personal journeys;”

    But you’re not.

    “… that we understand their lives.”

    But you don’t.

    “Our voters just want to know we’ve got their back:”

    But you haven’t.

    “… that our future is their future,”

    But it isn’t.

    “… that our guiding values are theirs.”

    But they aren’t.

    Voters don’t want to hear any of that shit. What we want is for it to actually be true. So stop trying to figure out how we’d like our shit sandwich wrapped and get to work on making a better fucking sandwich.

    When we see you doing that – really doing it – we’ll come running to join you and you won’t need your meaningless platitudes and branding exercises.

  14. ‘Value speak’ is just bureaucratic bullshit.
    The only value of value is the value of the commodities produced by the working class.
    Whoever lives off the bulk of that expropriated value can pay all the toadies and hangers on to articulate conversations about spurious values while depriving said class of the value of its labour. 
    The Labour Party is misnamed, it is speaking for those who appropriate value not those who create it.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    I finally got around to listening to Josie Pagani on radio NZ from Monday, and she is full of nonsense, but a very particular nonsense that reflects the wider abandonment of socialism in Labour in favour of faction driven post-modern relativism. I think Josie Pagani (and by extension, certain advisors who have Shearer’s ear) is nothing more than a not very good post-modernist in a party founded on principles of modernity and that she is dimly aware her world view is instinctively hostile to. Socialism – a supremely modernist creation – believes science establishes facts, political theory establishes the social state, that secularism usurps religion, and in this country this expressed itself in our welfare state. Pagani implicitly rejects this rational approach as obsolete modernism in her ever so clever post-modernist world. This is why IMHO she is resistant to class based analysis – she has no time of the old paradigm of the rich, the middle class and the working class. She sees the world instead as the information elite, the middle class and an underclass. In her world, the information elite craft the message for the millions of individual middle class realities and the underclass are ignored. Gone for Josie is the simple socialist focus on the wants of the poor and working class complete with objective measures of their needs; Instead there is a kaleidoscope of competing interests and wants some of which – such as feminism and biculturalism – seek to reject as patriarchal or culturally inappropriate scientific fact they don’t agree with and want to replace class with cybernetics as an explanation of the organisation of society.

    The trouble is politics, like war, is defiantly anti post-modernist. Pagani’s belief that modern politics is fundamentally post-modern is simply wrong, and it is proven wrong every time it comes into contact with objective reality. Pagani sounds like an blathering idiot completely devoid of common sense because she is. When confronted by the unapologetic realpolitik of the economic/demographic divide and conquer politics of the hollow men she has no real answer, as Hooten showed when he wiped the floor with her. When confronted by the ugly intrusion of objective reality in the form of angry activists she retreats into the denial of cognitive dissonance.

    Stripping politics of innate meaning and reducing it to merely debating the semantics needed to frame a huge number of individual (middle class) realities is a form of political nihilism that is consuming Labour from the top down. It is why we don’t see an articulation of Labour values – Labour values are modernist, scorned by the post-modernists like Pagani – or a Labour vision, since a political vision is futile when it can be legitimately interpreted in as many ways as it has readers or listeners.

    In short, Labour needs to re-assert the fact it is modernist party committed to certain ideas and ways of interpreting the world. When the institutional culture again reflects the values that led to the party being created in the first place, the articulation of those values will come naturally and the vision will be the cause and the effect of policy.

  16. fatty 16

    Labour need to define inequality as the prime issue. They must start pointing out that rich people are the problem, not the solution. Its OK to denounce greed, Labour should not be encouraging greed. The Occupy movement put inequality into the mainstream discourse, now is an opportunity which has been provided by the people…Labour are watching the boat sail by.
    Accumulating resources such as housing is a burden on us all and should be prevented.
    Labour are afraid of the wealthy, Labour used to challenge them, now they allow them to thrive.

  17. Blue 17

    Or Labour could try being Labour again.

    Housing and jobs. As in, many people can’t get a decent job and can’t afford to buy a house.

    If Labour made a real attempt at tackling those issues, they’d be voted in with a landslide. But, just like National, Labour have some watered-down, piss weak tinkering around the edges crap passing as policy on these issues.

    Leaving it to the market to fix is a right-wing solution. The left wing solution is active intervention. The Government building houses and creating jobs.

    Labour bought the right-wing way of doing things, where the state is hands off and just tries to prod private enterprise gently in the guts with the tip of their pinky finger.

    • Peter 17.1

      Yep. Darkhorse had an interesting graph about the decline of the State and the subsequent rise in law-making, over the past 15 years. Whereas once a Minister would instruct the relevant agency of state to deliver something, now Parliament has to pass a law, invariably, a very badly written law, that in all probability, will hardly be used.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      And what do you do if the jobs are disappearing faster than the government can create them?

  18. lefty 18

    If the present Labour Party wanted to truly reflect its values it would rename itself Capital.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      The Capital Party

      I like it. Financial capital-centric, and Wellington-centric.

  19. Karen 19

    I think there’s way too much expectation that Labour can win more votes if only they can articulate their position more clearly. I think that most people who vote already know which side of the left/right divide they sit on. The reason so many people didn’t vote at the last election in my opinion is because they couldn’t be bothered thinking. The mainstream media guided those non-thinkers to believe that Goff was a loser and therefore anyone voting for Labour would be a loser by association. Just like McDonald’s advertising gets little kids to believe anything associated with McDonald’s must automatically be delicious, the MSM got people to believe anything associated with Labour is naff. Just before the last election I met someone who could be described as your typical ‘Waitakere Man’, not overly articulate, but skilled and reasonably intelligent. We got talking about the up coming election – he said he used to vote Labour but this time was voting for National. I asked him why, and he answered as though it was all perfectly logical …”Well you wouldn’t vote for Goff would you?”. I asked him why not and he just could not frame one single reason why not. Then I pointed out that voting for National would be a vote for asset sales. He was genuinely nonplussed at that, and said “but he (Key) wouldn’t go ahead if we didn’t want asset sales would he?” This guy simply could not join the dots because he’d been sold a message (“Key is cool, Goff is a loser”) and he hadn’t bothered to think further about it. Anyway, I met him again after the election and asked him if he voted for National. He said he didn’t bother voting at all in the end…

  20. Michael 20

    Labour, or whatever replaces it, must create solidarity among the working and non-working poor. After all, both groups live in poverty because of the defects of modern capitalism and both will benefit from its reform (not eradication, IMHO). Labour has managed to do this, very successfully, before (1935-1949) and intermittently thereafter. For a start, I reckon the bureaucracy must be overhauled (repeal the State Sector Act) so that the “poor” (not sure how to define the term but anyone earning less than me will do for now) can have some confidence that public servants will actually serve them, rather than themselves and the elite. Ministers must be accountable to the people for the performance of their officials and must be given powers sack or discipline those who won’t do what they are told.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      So you’re going to reform private sector capitalism by reforming the State Sector Act as a priority?

      I’d suggest if you really wanted to reform capitalism you would start by reforming the role of banks, money and credit in the economy.

  21. AnnaLiviaPluraBella 21

    A thoughtful piece today from Bryce Edwards  in the NBR
     
    “Should politicians lead political debate or follow it?
    Do political parties best serve democracy by ‘listening to the people’ or by articulating their own vision?
    These are two distinct approaches to the role of party politics, and it’s worth keeping them in mind when following the ongoing online discussion over Labour’s political direction.
    …..
    The different political approaches boil down, according to political scientists, to whether politicians and parties should be ‘preference-shapers’ or ‘preference-takers’. Much of the debate around the Labour Party – and all New Zealand parties – occurs within a mindset that assumes that political parties are ‘hostages’ of the fixed ideological preferences of voters. Rob Salmond epitomises this, as does the Pagani approach.
     ….
     ‘You can’t get people to think about policy unless they buy into the project. What is missing from Shearer at the moment is the articulation of Labour values. The articulation of a vision’ .”
     
    Have a full read on teh NBR.   

  22. newsense 22

    anyone else nostalgic for the golden days of Phil Goff ’11?

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Yeah man. Goff in the last 3-4 months put in a Herculean effort, against an unfriendly media and too many disloyal MPs; he could speak and hold a crowd then go outside and kick ass in front of the TV cameras. It was a mistake for him to step down as quickly as he did IMO.

      • KJT 22.1.1

        Yeah. Goff put up a good fight for three months. Pity it did not start in 2008.

        Almost made me eat my words about him..

        Unfortunately Goff was too nice, and probably too taken aback by Keys bare faced lies in the debates.

        Definitely much better than Shearer so far. From what we have seen a good Labour leader, from Nationals viewpoint!

        • Colonial Viper 22.1.1.1

          Definitely much better than Shearer so far. From what we have seen a good Labour leader, from Nationals viewpoint!

          I’m sure everyone here remembers everyone from Fran O’Sullivan to Hooten to Farrar praising the hell out of Shearer while discounting Cunliffe.

          Well, Labour got exactly what those people wanted.

          • felix 22.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. And there’s no real pleasure in saying “I told you so” but we all fucking told them so.

      • mike 22.1.2

        “It was a mistake for him to step down as quickly as he did IMO.”

        In the days after the election I expressed my disappointment here that sticking with Goff didn’t seem to be an option on the table. He really did step up for the election, and looked like he finally had Key figured out. It’s not easy to beat someone who doesn’t play by the rules, but with another 3 years he could have made that transparent tool his bitch. Maybe. Or maybe Shearer will learn by 2014, maybe, he’s not been so convincing so far.

        • jasper 22.1.2.1

          Emailed goff and told him that. Got a standard reply from his secretary. Finally rescinded my membership. Labour aint the party for me. Work full time. Got a house mortgage kids and a fulltime disability. No help from the state for the last year and I’m glad I got myself going again felon the depressive funk I was in.

          This blabour party under shearer sucks. It’s you either vote a shyster or a clam.

  23. Zola 23

    What Labour needs is someone who can speak from their heart, from their gut about things they passionately believe in. Disembodied men in suits prattling on something that they think the voters might go for turns off everyone. Let’s have some passion and anger, and some courage to make the real changes that are desperately needed. I’d follow them – boots an all.

  24. Alan Ivory 24

    “You can’t get people to think about policy unless they buy into the project. What is missing from Shearer at the moment is the articulation of Labour values. The articulation of a vision. The articulation of a narrative about where we are, where we are going and how Labour’s values best realise that. Only once you get buy in on that can you start getting buy in on how you get there. If approached this way- I think you will start seeing the centre and some of those who did not vote come with (note not to) Labour.”

    I agree and this is what Cunliffe has been doing in his recent speeches.

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    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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