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What if Winston…

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, March 14th, 2013 - 86 comments
Categories: labour, national, nz first, Privatisation, winston peters - Tags: ,

With the ACT Party dead and the Maori Party dying, National is running out of coalition partners to get it over the line next year. One of the nightmare scenarios for the Left is NZF topping the 5% threshold and going in to coalition with the Nats. I think that scenario just got a lot less likely.

NZF’s policy is to buy back privatised assets at cost. Shearer is not ruling it out:

Labour leader David Shearer won’t rule out supporting Winston Peters’ policy of buying back Mighty River Power shares at cost if they form the next Government.

Mr Peters said he would be happy for a Government of which he was a part to borrow or to use the superannuation fund to buy back shares at no more than cost.

What if Winston holds the balance of power in 2014?

Mr Peters said his NZ First party was renowned for going into negotiations “knowing what we want and getting what we want”.

Although Key has been happy to leave the possibility of working with the dreaded Peters open, there is no way that he could ever agree to this. If Winston sticks to his guns the door to a coalition with the Nats is closed. But Shearer might agree, enabling a Left wing coalition, and forcing the buy-back of shares. Just a little something for potential investors to consider…

86 comments on “What if Winston…”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    If Winston has the balance of power in 2014, he will:
    * break his promise re buy back
    * form a government with John Key
    * become deputy prime minister
    * arise as Sir Winston Peters
    * enjoy a last hurrah as foreign minister
    * agree to the sale of 49% in, say, Transpower.

    • r0b 1.1

      Ho! Yes – very good! Have you thought of doing stand-up?

      • bad12 1.1.1

        i think Hooten would be better doing ‘disappear’, this particular organ grinders monkey has little relevance these days and being ignored by all but the lowliest of National Party MP’s is becoming a tragic comedy figure begging crumbs of information from the table of His masters which they have now deigned to withhold from Him…

      • fender 1.1.2

        I’ve heard his hooting on RNZ and concluded stand-up was his gig!

        • Don't worry be happy 1.1.2.1

          Have stopped listening to Nat Rad (except for Kim Hill, more power to her elbow! ) after daily listening over more than 30 years. Canny stomach the likes of Hooten and the smugness of Mora’s ‘guests’, poor old Uncle Geoff in the mornings with the hapless Simon…dull, predictable and lacking in courage.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.1.3

        which one of my points do you disagree with?

        • bad12 1.1.3.1

          Dunno, i stopped listening to the sounds of you and Williams making what appears to be an impression of a facial protuberance sucking an anatomical orifice months ago, my toilet is more informative…

        • r0b 1.1.3.2

          I think you underestimate Peters. Not his integrity (hah hah!) – but his ambition. What makes you think he is looking to end his career next term (in a big sell out)? If he plans to be round longer, then he can’t take the path that you suggest.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.3.2.1

            I suspect you wouldn’t want to bet your life on Peters not selling out (and neither would I)…but I also suspect that he also knows that he has only a few years left to build a lasting legacy for his political career. That can be quite a motivator for a seasoned statesman like Peters.

            • prism 1.1.3.2.1.1

              Peters has managed to keep the flame going of NZ First and I think would like to be in a position to retire and be an elder statesman in his continuing and successful Party. Because he joined up with NAT years ago doesn’t mean that this is the obvious path to follow now.

        • McFlock 1.1.3.3

          looks like wishful thinking to me.
          Any specific is possible, but all together would be unlikely. But then it is Winston, so the first mistake one can make is making any prediction at all.

      • Rodel 1.1.4

        Nah! To be a stand up he’d need someone who’d listen to him, thinking he might one day say something more relevant than, “F**k we’re good”. (ref:The Hollow Men by Hagar.N.)

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      As much as I hate to agree with Hooton he is probably right.

      Winston will go with whoever offers him the highest job. With National he will be their only partner and they can afford to offer him No.2 or 3 in the government. With Labour he will be the leader of one of probably four parties in government and will rank behind the Greens. Therefore the best he can hope for is a ranking of probably 5 or 6.

      He will go with the highest bidder which will be National. We have seen it before and we will see it again.

      In saying that he will bring the government down when they try to sell 49% of anything.

      • Colonial Weka 1.2.1

        +1, although I would say that the only thing that is a foregone conclusion is that you can’t predict what Peters will do (so r0b or Hooten could be right).

        When will the left stop relying on Peters for anything?

        • Colonial Weka 1.2.1.1

          Plus there’s that little matter of how NZF and the GP could be in coalition. Am still waiting for someone from the left to explain how that could work.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1

            With great difficulty but I do think it could work. It would mean that Winston would have to wear his Great Statesman hat a lot more than he likes.

            One place I think the Greens and Winston could agree on would be with massive investment in renewable energy and investment in rail – Winston was part of Muldoon’s government after all – but the sticking part on that would be financing. The Greens would be looking to print the money and I think NZFirst would be against that. Still, they could be persuaded.

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.2

            well, both parties would offer labour support on confidence and supply in exchange for policy or bauble compromises. Both would push for as much as they can get, and when they push in the same direction labour will be more likely to follow. Like asset renationalisation.

          • Slartibartfast 1.2.1.1.3

            Just out of interest (not being an avid follower of political relationships), what particular policies do the Green Party and NZ First violently disagree on?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        I really don’t think he’ll do what he did in 1996. That burned him badly and I really don’t think he wants to repeat the experience.

      • Wayne 1.2.3

        The only point of disagreement is Transpower, but Winston will go for the rest.

        But the baubles will never be enough for Winston. He will want significant things on the policy front as his price – more stuff in the Gold Card, free doctors vists for children up to 12, compulsory KiwiSaver, Auckland CBD rail.

        He will need some big stuff as a Legacy – thing that will have people saying Winston did that. And every National Superannuitant today says Winston did the Gold Card.

    • millsy 1.3

      At last, someone else who remembers 1996.

    • xtasy 1.4

      Matthew Hooter Brain

      Winston hates Key, he hates Key, he hates Key, and he will NEVER work with Key, EVER!

      Stop misleading the public with agendas that have been hairs pulled out of the back of your a*se.

      You are making a fool of yourself.

  2. Dv 2

    If John has the balance of power in 2014, he will:
    * break his promise re buy back
    * form a government with Winston
    * become deputy prime minister
    * arise as Sir John Key
    * enjoy a last hurrah as ??????
    * agree to the sale of 49% in, say, Transpower.

  3. just saying 3

    But Shearer might agree, enabling a Left wing coalition, and forcing the buy-back of shares. Just a little something for potential investors to consider…

    I’m sure they are quaking in their boots now Shearer has mumbled nothing in particular. Again.

    Rob, I’m glad you are able to make lemonade – what with the Labour leadership showering industrial quantities of lemons on us :-).

  4. Sorry but the thought of a Labour-NZFirst-Green coalition government fills me with a certain amount of dread …

    • r0b 4.1

      Yeah me too. I just think that it is a possible outcome.

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        It is the only possible outcome with the current leadership.

        And that is why I dread it but actually struggle to see it working. I cannot see how a cabinet with three quite different parties in it can work. Two yes but three will be a shit fight, especially if Peters is in the middle of it.

        Labour must improve (changing the leadership would do that). We have to get into a position where Peters is not needed, and that means 36% at least.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          It is the only possible outcome with the current leadership.

          Indeed. Imagine an E-day result with Labour on 33% and the Greens on 13%. To get to the 49% to 50% required NZF will almost certainly be needed.

          Also there is a question I’ve never seen anyone address – will Labour bring Mana onboard. Or is Mana (ie Hone) too radical and Left for Labour?

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            I believe Goff said that he wouldn’t work with Hone. Dunno about this new bureaucrat.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think Mana and Greens need to negotiate as a block when it comes down to coalition talks.

              • xtasy

                No Cv this is NOT going to work. We NEED ONE united party on the left that is UNITED. This bit of here and there, fringe group crowd business is going to get us NOWHERE. We must UNITE for heaven’s sake. A Block is too weak, we need a united LEFT PARTY!

        • prism 4.1.1.2

          Peters would get lots of photo ops in a troika power set-up I’m sure, in disagreeing with this point or that.

          In a three-pin plug – Greens for Earth, and which of the other two pins matches Labour and NZFirst?
          From ehow – The top two pins of the male power plug are the live and neutral pins. The live pin feeds power into an appliance while the neutral pin draws unused power back to the power source, creating a closed circuit for power to flow through.

          A heavy fuse wire might be needed, nothing too thin or there would be too many outs in the system.

        • James N 4.1.1.3

          Haven’t we already got a cabinet with three – oh, four – quite different parties in it and it – No, wait. You’re quite right.

    • Colonial Weka 4.2

      Micky, I think you mean a Labour-Green-NZfirst coalition 😉

  5. Green Viper 5

    Much as I hate to admit it Hooten’s analysis is probably on the money.

  6. Saccharomyces 6

    I think that Mr Hooten’s analysis is a fairly likely outcome, but even if that weren’t the case, I don’t think that it’s all that big a deal, so what if Winnie bought back the shares? Wouldn’t be the end of the world, investing is about risk, and it’s a fairly low risk really (A, in thems of likelyhood and B, in terms of total possible loss).

  7. gobsmacked 7

    This isn’t “fool me twice” … it’s “fool me thrice”.

    What on earth has Winston’s posturing in opposition ever had to do with his subsequent actions in government?

  8. Ed 8

    Initial shareholders will be hoping to re-sell at a profit in the short term – given that National have to make the sale a “success” they will be setting the price at a level that encourages that result. A promise to buy-back at purchase price will not worry those that have sold, and there would be enormous pressure to pay the price paid by more recent purchasers, if not to pay everyone at the last sale price. The chances of quick gains will still be judged to be fairly good for the merchant banker types – nobody else really matters do they?

    There must be other “regulatory risks” that shareholders face however, and these should be highlighted, so that Directors can be put under pressure to include them in the prospectus. I think there has to be a risk of the company being required to meet the cost of Treaty settlements – either directly or through additional government charges to recover that cost. Is this a valid concern? What are other risks that apply to Mighty River than may not normally apply to a share float for other companies?

    No wonder the Directors wanted large fees – would it be worthwhile someone asking whether the government has provided any indemnities to the Directors regarding signing off the prospectus the government wants?

  9. Raymond a Francis 9

    And let us not forget what Winston did last time Labour thought they had him in the bag

    Personally I have no idea what he might do but doubt that it will be to nobodies advantage except “Sir” Winston

  10. Macro 10

    A sorry analysis by a sorry lot. Here are Labourites stumping up and down the country bellowing “NZ is not for Sale” etc and when the erstwhile leader has the chance to actually slow down and stop the sales – he mumblef*cks again!
    Surely to god he is not that stupid? Fence sitting will get Labour no where. Yes! or No! is what is required now. Nothing less. Winston knows that, and that is why he is such an astute politician. And Rob you are as much a fool as Shearer if you think that fence sitting is going to win votes.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      +1

    • r0b 10.2

      I’d like to see stronger statements out of Labour too, of course. And yet in the real world, it is the centrist parties that win elections, whereas the strongly left and right-wing parties are marginal.

      • Macro 10.2.1

        rOb our country is being literally sold down the river at this very point in time to a few greedy individuals. Day after day there is more news that saddens my soul and I hear my father turning in his grave – he fought all his life for Social Justice. We now have a society that is almost as unequal as it is it is possible to be, and labour laws that are the equivalent of those of the early 1900’s. All the result of a so called Party for workers chasing after the middle ground. I’ve had enough of them.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        r0b, it’s my view that National is better at playing the centrist game than Labour is.

        Especially when the political centre = the radical right wing of a couple of decades ago.

        If Labour is not willing to make the political argument for a left wing approach to NZ, then it’s already lost every single policy debate in advance.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2.1

          +1

          Standing on principle is radical is this day and age of the Worship of Greed.

        • Populuxe1 10.2.2.2

          National is more centrist than not when on the global spectrum it is well to the left of the US Democrat party.

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.2.1

            Ahhh yes that is also accurate.

            In this RT interview Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick describe how Obama simply continued Bush’s policies, and in fact, put many of them (like drone strikes) on steroids.

            • One Tāne Huna 10.2.2.2.1.1

              Pretty sure the National Party would love to have some drones. The only difference would be that they’d close the factory where they were made and buy them from China instead.

              • Colonial Viper

                LOL re: China made drones. The Chinese have literally copied the US Predator drone etc.

                Ahhhh this is the youtube link to the Oliver Stone interview.

      • Anne 10.2.3

        I’m a day late, but don’t necessarily agree with that scenario r0b. It’ s true minor parties have the freedom to present as strongly left or right whilst the major parties need to adopt more centrist positions. But those positions can still be presented in a strong and idealistic way without frightening the horses. That is exactly what National has done over the Asset Sales programme
        and it is working.

        Labour, on the other hand has been trying to have a bob each way without strongly affirming its basis principle of publicly funded core infrastructure and social services. That leaves it looking like it’s aimlessly drifting and, together with Shearer’s ambiguous commentary, is reinforcing the impression of a party that doesn’t know where it’s going. I believe Labour does know where it’s going, but it can’t or won’t specify in terms of its basic political philosophy.

        • Anne 10.2.3.1

          I know you’re an extremely busy person Lynn but there’s some of us who seem incapable of producing mistake-free comments first up.

    • Ed 10.3

      See my previous post. A promise to re-purchase at issue price may be quite different from a promise to purchase at the price people paid. The latter would be being administratively feasible, but if the issue price is set fairly low, it may well increase by say 20% by the next election, and people will have bought at that higher price. Precedent for compulsory purchases suggests that fair value (ie recent share prices) should be paid. Overseas shareholders would be incensed at losing through government action, and you could rely on smart market operators to ramp the price up by some careful sales and purchases at “key” dates . . . – especially if the current government carefully makes sure no warnings of such risks appear in a prospectus . . .

      What sounds simple for a sound-byte may be impractical in practice.

      I too would like more definite statements – the possibility of development charges, or fees to cover Treaty obligations may be possible, but no-one seems to want to discuss those options.

  11. vto 11

    I can’t see it ending in anything other than a shit-heap.

    The only thing Winston Bjeikle-Peters is good for is raising awareness of issues while in opposition, firing audiences of old people up, and making the odd funny quip. That is all he is.

    Nothing more.

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      if in power, he (and NZFirst) want the same-sex marriage matter put to a referendum (ironically, in the house he was ranting about the “divide” between the pollies and the people (the million? eligible voters who did not front last batter-up.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    As for anyone still calling Labour a “centre-left” party I think they need to be realistic. Labour is a centrist political party. They sit squarely on the median barrier. Occasionally they might briefly dangle a leg on to the left side, just for auld lang syne.

  13. geoff 13

    This suggests to me that Cunliffe should form his own party and try to get 5% so he can hold the balance of power.
    People always say on this site that there is no point starting another party because it would take years to build up support but what if you’re just trying to get 5%? Is this like Alliance?

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    Well if Winston wants to buy the assets back why wouldn’t the Greens say “yes” to a decent ranking if that is what Winston wants. How big a rat is that to swallow to get a core flagship policy through?
    BTW the Greens & Winston look a lot closer on many issues than either would like to admit to.

    Then if they agree Labour goes ” you’ve twisted my arm, I’ll have to join in” so they swallow the rat but get to blame Winston & the greens for having to do so. Win, win for them really, they please a bunch of Labour supporters and get to shove the blame onto the other parties as far as the rest of the voters are concerned.

  15. g says 15

    Labour leader David Shearer won’t rule out supporting Winston Peters’ policy of buying back Mighty River Power shares at cost if they form the next Government.

    this appears to be a double whammy for any greedy wannabes who want to buy shares in something they already own. a built in profit oppurtunity in a coupla years time.
    roll up, roll up, get em while they are hot….

    • Greedy Wannabe 15.1

      In the Investment Statement required to accompany the MRP IPO the Government is required to set out all and any risks it sees or is aware of that could affect the future price.

      Clearly the possibility of any future compulsory re-purchase at anything less that the then market price is a major risk which should be mentioned, and if any political party with a chance of being part of a future Government makes a committment to such a repurchase the Government would be in breach of its obligations under the Security Regulations if it failed to mention it – rendering it liable to compensate investors who lose on any future repurchase. If no party has made such a committment at the time the Investment Statement is published the Government would be entitled to assume no such risk exists.

      So what does that mean? If Labour and/or the Greens made a committment now to repurchase the shares at cost upon becoming the Government, National would be required to list that as a risk in the Investment Statement and could be immediately taken to Court – freezing the sale – if it didn’t. That would, of course, be likely to depress the sale price considerably meaning a lower price realised for New Zealand and greater profits for purchasers if, down the line, it becomes obviuos the shares are not going to be repurchased. So yes, the investors are taking a gamble but New Zealand loses.

      If no party makes such a firm commitment the Government need not list it as a risk. However on any subsequent re-purchase of the shares investors would be quite entitled to sue the Government for compensation for failing to disclose the risk of repurchase by the Government – the fact it is a later Government of a different political make-up doing the repurchasing being irrelevant to its continuing legal obligations under the Securities Acts.

      Thus Labour and the Greens making a firm commitment now to repurchase the shares ‘at cost’ would depress the price gained on the sale and mean greater profits to the investors if Labour et al subsequently failed to do so, or were never in a position to do so. So such a commitment can only be made if they really, really meant it – and I don’t think they do.

      If Labour and the Greens don’t make a firm commitment now to compulsorily repuchase the shares ‘at cost’ they will in the future be limited to only repurchasing at the then market price. Given that the Government is retaining a majority shareholding and doesn’t need to buy any more shares in order to control the company I can see no reason why it should do that.

      Hence neither Shearer nor the Greens have done anything like enough to dissuade me from putting up $30,000 for MRP shares.

      And yes, although I have pre-registered for the float I also signed the anti-asset sales petition and would vote against asset sales in any referendum.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    I think it’s high time R0b and the dwindling band who put their faith in Shearer faced up to reality. There is optimism, and then there is wilful self-delusion. And when the self-delusion is foisted on others, it becomes dishonesty.

    This is from the horse’s mouth … David Shearer, on the Farming Show (Newstalk ZB/Radio Sport):

    I don’t see how we can afford to buy them back when we came into office.

    I’m not going to rule it out, but certainly I think it’s very unlikely.

    Got the message yet?

    But this is nothing new. Here’s a simple question: why is there a daily diet of Shearer on right wing blogs? Why aren’t Labour-leaning and/or left blogs rushing to tell us what he has said on Radio Live, Maori TV, Newstalk ZB, etc, etc? Why is he quoted with glee by Labour’s opponents, and ignored by Labour’s supporters?

    Because you can’t find anything to back up your invented hope. All you can find is shambolic, incoherent nonsense. And yet you persist in pretending he stands for something, and the something is worthwhile.

    It’s painful. It’s false. Please stop it.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.1

      I’m not seeing what the problem is in what Shearer is saying, gs. The sad fact is that by the time we get Key out, the country will be broke. He’s going to leave us as knackered as Muldoon did in ’84. The money from the sell off will have been redistributed to the rich, just as the hundreds of millions Key has borrowed since 2008 have been. I think Shearer is simply being honest by saying he doesn’t think we will be able to afford to but them back. Which is why I suggested a few weeks ago that we dont buy them back immediately, instead nationalise them and pay for them over ten years at cost or market rate, whichever is the lowest.

      • gobsmacked 16.1.1

        Yes TRP, those are two understandable positions … 1) won’t buy back 2) long-term plan to deal with SOEs.

        Neither is coming from Shearer. He’s trying (I guess) to keep the left happy by “not ruling out” Winston’s policy, so R0b and Bunji on here – and others, probaby – see this as a postive “left” possibility. But in reality, it ain’t gonna happen. And false hope is political poison. Major repercussions down the track.

        Labour have had months to formulate a policy – or at least, a coherent sentence – on asset sales, and they either haven’t got one (which is ridiculous) or they’ve got one and the leader can’t explain it (which is pathetic).

        Here’s the future timeline:

        – Referendum announced
        – Campaigning for referendum under way
        – Referendum held
        – (probably) positive result for those opposed to asset sales

        When does Shearer say where he stands? When does he announce that Labour will – or will not – buy back? Does he wait for the referendum result and then say “Sorry, too late now”? How is that going to go down with all those who have worked so hard?

        I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I just don’t think he knows what he’s doing. As usual.

        • Te Reo Putake 16.1.1.1

          Labour’s policy is clear. No asset sales. But we need to be equally clear about what the referendum is and what its limits are. It is not a referendum to return assets, only to stop them being flogged off. Hopefully MRP is the only one damaged prior to the election. I have hopes that the wider party will force the caucus to move to a nationalisation stance at the next annual conference in Chch. Certainly, the debate in the party about policy has already started and hopefully will crystalise in November.

          There are a couple of factors unknown at present; is there going to be a referendum and if we did get the numbers, when will the referendum be held? I believe the Labour and Greens strategy for the referendum is not just about winning it, its about making the debate a live issue going into the general election. National could hold the referendum early, and hope the fuss has died down by election time. Or they could have it with the general election and hope the issue doesn’t cost them seats. I’m not 100% sure, but I think they have the ability to have the referendum after the general election, depending on when its called. ie early general election means the referendum can be put off till afterwards.

          As I said earlier, a lot depends on the state of the economy, but a lot more depends on Labour Party members voting in policy that binds Shearer and caucus in the direction we want.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            Labour’s policy is clear. No asset sales.

            Actually, what you have put down there is a campaign slogan, not a policy.

            If it were policy, you would be able to explain: objectives, regulatory mechanisms, budgets and funding, measures for different contingencies.

            Campaign slogans and policies are two quite different things. Labour has no policy around the reality of asset sales, and “no asset sales” as a slogan will be increasingly obsolete in the next few months.

  17. r0b 17

    And when the self-delusion is foisted on others, it becomes dishonesty.

    So anyone who doesn’t agree with you is dishonest gs? Mmmm – mind how you go there.

    Love to chat but I’m away from my desk for the rest of the day – may be back here late tonight but not at all sure I’ll make it – stuff happening.

    • gobsmacked 17.1

      No, disagreeing is fine. But anyone who decides on a conclusion regardless of the evidence – in fact, in direct contradiction of the evidence – is being dishonest, or at best, very naive.

      I don’t agree with creationists who put faith before evidence. The same goes for political issues. Yes, Shearer might buy back the shares, and Key might have Hone Harawira in his cabinet, but the evidence strongly suggests that neither will happen.

      Genuine question: do you deliberately avoid Shearer’s interviews? Because that’s the only way I can think of to keep the faith. If you want a bundle of links, I’d be happy to oblige at the weekend. But I can’t help feeling that Shearer’s supporters don’t want to hear what he says.

      • Rogue Trooper 17.1.1

        that is both funny, and sad

      • Rogue Trooper 17.1.2

        however, your analysis is rarely tongue-in-cheek from what is observed

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.3

        A long time Labour member and mate of mine told me that Shearer spoke “quite adequately” to a crowd of Labour supporters down in Dunedin yesterday.

        In the next breath, he said “better than the mumbling mess he made on National Radio this morning”.

        Shit, you just can’t win.

      • r0b 17.1.4

        Yes, Shearer might buy back the shares, and Key might have Hone Harawira in his cabinet, but the evidence strongly suggests that neither will happen.

        I doubt that Labour would buy back the shares. Would you really want them to – or would you want them to put the same amount of money into social programs?

        Genuine question: do you deliberately avoid Shearer’s interviews?

        I don’t have a (working) TV and I don’t listen to the radio, I get all my news off the Web, 99% of it in written form. I think the only Shearer speech I’ve heard is the one he gave to conference last year (though I’ve read many of them). I understand that he’s not a good speaker, but I expect that to improve. And I gave up trying to predict what was “electable” when Don Brash (whom I swore was an electoral impossibility) came within a whisker of winning an election. Labour believes that Shearer, warts and all, will appeal to the electorate, and they may be right.

        Perhaps your objection isn’t to his delivery, but to his policy, which you think isn’t left enough? Well, (1) Shearer / Labour will only govern in a coalition that includes the Greens, and (2) the membership have taken control of policy (and leadership decisions) to a much greater extent than previously. We can’t have a repeat of the 1984 ambush.

        And finally, I don’t buy in to the whole “presidential” focus on the leader anyway. Leaders are just one person, it is the team and the party that are important. My party has chosen its leader, I support that decision and that leader until the facts clearly prove it to be a mistake. You might have some rude words to say about that attitude, but then I might have some to say about yours too, and where would that get us?

        ‘night.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.4.1

          My party has chosen its leader

          Hi r0b. At my last count, only 23 party members voted for the Leader of the Labour Party, out of roughlt 6000 financial members and several tens of thousands of affiliate members. As always, I’m more than happy to be corrected.

          I doubt that Labour would buy back the shares. Would you really want them to – or would you want them to put the same amount of money into social programs?

          What is this “money” stuff again? Last I heard, “money” was something created by a simple electronic keystroke and ledger entry.

          Real resources are important. People are important. “Money” however is not more than a civilised contrivance and convention that we use to help make society work to those priorities. When the system begins to fail to do that, it needs intervention and reform.

          • xtasy 17.1.4.1.1

            CV – just declare the partial asset sale ILLEGAL, and it is done!

            It is illegal to sell something that someone does not own, and the burden of proof needs to be asked, right?! Who owns the assets in question, where is the legal and commercial consent then? And how can the government pervert the course of the law by simply saying, all we need is to win an election to sell what has been in the public’s hands for generations?

            Hey, this is illegal, the consent is needed, that is express consent, and an election result is by no means offering a mandate to own and sell. I feel the law is being bent and twisted, ignored, really. Well there is supremacy of Parliament, but hey, can Parliament overrule previous rulings by Parliament just like that. Even given that, there must be a legal challenge, as participatory interests demand that everybody who has any interest in the SOEs has a right to be heard. So where is natural justice then? Have all the parties understood the legal implications? I doubt it and challenge you, take it one step further.

            • Wayne 17.1.4.1.1.1

              Mostly because we have a democracy where the elected government has a majority in Parliament to make law

        • xtasy 17.1.4.2

          Rb; To sell anything you need the full consent of all parties that have any real interest in it. If that is tried to be overruled, this is reaching a stage where a breach of natural justice is happening. That leaves it for parties (i.e. the people of NZ) to take legal action and enforce their rights. Maybe it is due to lack of funds that this has not happened? It is not acceptable what is going on, and people should wake up and talk t o lawyers and take a bloody stand.

        • Enough is Enough 17.1.4.3

          r0b

          I take it your comment that your support for the Labour leader is fairly close to unconditional or as you have said until the facts clearly prove it to be a mistake?

          Well fact…we have the worst performing government in history. Not one measurable aspect of their government is positive. Everything they touch turns to shit. Yet they have unprecedented popularity. Why…..because people will never vote for captain Mumblefuck. That is fact and it proves he is a mistake.

          I encourage you to buy a new TV so can you see for yourself what a train wreck he is.

          We desperatley need a strong Labour party and to get there we need a leader who will inspire a generation. Think Helen, David, Norm. We can’t do it without a strong leader.

          And simply accepting that the party elected this guy so he must be right is a cop out. We must demand better, or move to a party that does listen to its core voters. Think how National and the Greens introduce policies custom made for their grass roots supporters. Why cant Labour do that?

        • Scintilla 17.1.4.4

          @ rOb: “I don’t have a (working) TV and I don’t listen to the radio, I get all my news off the Web, 99% of it in written form. I think the only Shearer speech I’ve heard is the one he gave to conference last year (though I’ve read many of them).”

          Well, 3 monkeys come to mind – if you can’t see him or hear him, you don’t have to face up to the persona he is projecting to the nation. You might read all yr news online but I suggest most time-poor kiwis get theirs via TV and radio. And make their judgements based on those experiences.

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