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Why I’m In – a response to the disillusioned

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, August 10th, 2012 - 143 comments
Categories: activism, Deep stuff, labour - Tags:

There’s a fair bit of disillusionment out there at the moment re the divisive goings on within Labour. Choosing a representative voice at random, the post by Scott Yorke of Imperator Fish fame attracted a bit of attention, so I’ll use it as a prompt and context for framing a response to the disillusioned.

Why I’m Out

I’ve reached the point where I really can’t be bothered fighting for a Labour government any more. I don’t really know what the party stands for, and there is an immense amount of crap going on behind the scenes. It’s coming to the fore and it looks ugly.

I’m not impressed with these goings on either. There’s no quicker route to electoral oblivion than internal division. It’s painful to watch some of that going on with Labour right now. But I keep in mind two points, that such divisions exist in all parties of size n > 1 (e.g. the current factional fights within National), and that most of us are seeing this only through the excitable and unreliable lens of the media. Labour needs to get its house in order, but rumours that the house is burning down are just so much self-serving nonsense.

I also sense a leadership void at the top. I thought David Shearer was the answer to the party’s woes, but now I wonder. I don’t have any inside knowledge, but the perception is growing that he can’t control rogue members of his caucus team. A leader who can’t control his team doesn’t deserve to lead. I know Shearer’s new to the leadership role, but he has to step up. Maybe he will, and perhaps this latest crisis in Labour will bring out some previously unseen strengths in the man.

I think Shearer can be an excellent leader and an excellent PM, given time to grow in to the job. Whether the sensation-hungry media, and the nervous Labour caucus, give him the time that he needs, that’s an open question. But to the nervous I’d say – get a grip. Leader of the opposition is the hardest job in politics. They’re never going to be close to an incumbent PM in the (almost meaningless “preferred PM”) polls, and the bulk of the public doesn’t even begin to get to know them until election time. So every new leader deserves a shot at at least one election. Talk of leadership change now is nuts.

But I am no longer the optimist. When I hear David Shearer speak he sounds to me more like a National Party leader. I’m sure his advisers are telling him to chase the middle vote, but all we seem to be promised is a slightly softer version of what we already have, and without asset sales. Why is he off chasing the votes of business groups and rural voters, when the main reason why Labour did dismally in 2008 and 2011 is the failure of traditional urban Labour voters to get to the polls? They are typically the poor, the young, Maori and Pasifika. They don’t give a crap about the knowledge economy or reforming the Reserve Bank Act. Many of them have figured Labour just doesn’t care about them. I’d like to assure them they are wrong, but are they?

The day that I think that Labour doesn’t care about its traditional voters is the day I’ll be turning in my card. I believe that Labour does care, it’s in the DNA of the party, we’ll see that in the lead up to the next election (which, let’s remember, is still 2 years away). And yes, Labour does have to turn out its traditional voters to win, but I don’t think that it’s wrong to woo “the middle vote” as well. Labour has surely recognised two basic facts, that the political left is well supplied with viable parties, and that their next government will be in coalition with those parties. So to worried activists I’d say “think MMP”. Think about the next Labour led government rather than the Labour party in isolation. The next Labour led government will be thoroughly of the left, and if Labour can bring some middle voters to that coalition, so much the better.

I have a fine local MP in Phil Twyford, and I will continue to support him. There are also a lot of amazing and dedicated people within the party, many of whom are immensely frustrated by what they see going on. I admire their commitment and energy, and the huge amount of patience they have. Many of them remain fiercely optimistic in situations where I just fall into despair.

I’ve only been a member of the party for a short time, so I can perhaps be criticised for being naive. I’m not renouncing my membership, or anything as dramatic as that, nor do I mean this post to sound like a prolonged flounce. I’m just going to stop helping for a while. I have many other uses for the energy that party activism requires me to expend.

In my experience the risk of falling “into despair” is highest in the early years. Survive them and you take a longer perspective. Politics is a long, slow game, ruled by a natural cycle that is actually pretty hard to influence. Every now and again your favourite party will get the wobbles. It’s inevitable, it’s transitory, and it doesn’t matter much, as long as the heart of the Party is in the right place. And the heart of the party is not the leader, or the current crop of MPs, it is we the members. The party will be exactly as good or as bad as we make it. So for the moment, I’m in.

143 comments on “Why I’m In – a response to the disillusioned”

  1. oscar 1

    New national under key is far more palatable than old labour under shearer to the soma’d masses.

  2. And the heart of the party is not the leader, or the current crop of MPs, it is we the members.

    That heart won’t help headless chooks.

    But there seem to be a lot of broken hearts, and it’s up to the leader and the current crop of MPs to deal with and repair the heartbreak.

    If their hearts are in it.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Shearer is the current leader he needs to lead now not in 12 months or 2 years time now. Does a CEO get three years to grow into the job would any captain of and National team get three years to grow into the job no. Shearer wanted the job he’s got it, now do it. No more excuses for Shearer.

    • Akldnut 3.1

      I agree. Shearer needs to take center stage and do the job right now – not further down the track. He needs to take the wind out of “Shifty Snake Eye’s” sail and start instilling confidence in the members.

    • felix 3.2

      Damn right Craig. We already did this three years ago waiting for Goff to step up, didn’t we?

      Feels more like waiting for Godot tbh.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        It’s a pity too, I really liked Goff’s performance in the last 6 months.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          So did I.

          All the Shearer Bearers in Labour were warned last year that Shearer was too inexperienced and WAS NOT READY for prime time leading a major political party.

          And what do you know, 8 months later.

        • felix 3.2.1.2

          Yeah Goff did well in the last few months, pity he didn’t start three years earlier.

          Oh hello.

          • rosy 3.2.1.2.1

            +1 lead me to think about actually joining the Labour Party. The current performance has sent me in a different direction.

  4. Carol 4

    I’m not a Labour Party member, but I won’t be voting for Labour while it has a leader that indulges in bennie-bashing, and in separating the “deserving” from the (allegedly) “undeserving” poor.

    I also won’t be voting for a party that has a leader that puts Parker into the shadow finance position rather than the more qualified Cunliffe. In my view, no left-wing leader worth his salt would choose the ineffectual, managerialist, neoliberal Parker as finance spokesperson.

    I can’t believe that Cunliffe has been labelled “lazy and sneaky”. To me it’s Parker that always seems lazy and sluggish in his responses – doesn’t have his finger on the pulse in the way Cunliffe does. And “sneaky”? – which Labour MPs went sniveling to right-wing journo Garner in a totally underhand way?

    • Olwyn 4.1

      “I won’t be voting for Labour while it has a leader that indulges in bennie-bashing, and in separating the “deserving” from the (allegedly) “undeserving” poor.”

      It is one thing to see the need to capture as many middle class votes as you can, and another to market yourself to them by buying into their prejudices. The traditional conception of “working class” applies to those without independent means who must sell their labour to live. In order to court the middle class Labour has re-defined the term to mean “those who have a buyer for their Labour” and are not reduced to begging (the dole, etc). You would think it would be possible for them to engage with both middle class and working class concerns, and to put themselves in the position to plausibly challenge the middle class contempt for the poor, rather than intimate that they share it.

      • Bored 4.1.1

        I’m with Carol. With regard to the centre, the so called “middle class” some clear thinking is needed.

        First, the economy is going down, down, down until further notice and with it the “middle classes” will be rejoining their grandparents as “working class”.

        Second, as importing from China etc becomes harder due to energy depletion goods will be made and serviced more locally…enter the reborn NZ manufacturing “worker”….ex middle class of course.

        Third: the newly ex “middle classes” will not go quietly, how they respond to losing “aspirations” and how that is addressed is going to be an electoral key.

    • Dr Terry 4.2

      Spot on Carol (fortunately I too belong not to the Labour party any more). The article above is bending over backwards to defend Shearer and numbers (not all) of his party. This is like waiting for the NZ cricketers to find form with bat and ball! How long will it take? If a “player” has not the basic ability required, no amount of wishful thinking will transform him/her in to sudden brilliance. Shearer’s main attributes seem to be long past “heroics”, and being a “nice guy”. Being a nice guy is fine, but it is not enough for the toughness required of a political leader, it is hardly a “credential”. Labour has been struggling over leadership not just since the advent of Shearer but for at least about four years now!! What Labour is doing (or not doing) must be gratifying to a terrible government such as Key is leading. Incredible opportunities are being let float by the whole time, with barely a whimper.

      Please stop defending the indefensible.

    • mike e 4.3

      Parker is a woos shearer is a woos
      National will call an early election if this pathetic Duo carry on being ineffectual .
      When Cunliffe got turned down I said give Shearer till Xmas this year to prove his worth.
      Labour continues to bleed to the greens and National .
      Parkers used by date has gone shearer is to woolly.
      Cunliffe has carisma intelligence and can take the Tories apart on economics.
      Parker has no authoruty in his voice likewise shearer.

      • Salsy 4.3.1

        Yes and poll afer poll show New Zealanders greatest concern is the economy.. . Sadly Bill English sounds more educated and believable in these matters than Parker…

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    New Zealand is an autocracy, not a democracy. The PM and cabinet wield unbridled power.

    Regrettably, every leading Labour MP is disdainful of direct democracy, a system in which all the citizens have an equal say in the decisions which affect their lives.

    NZ politics is limited to, “My Labour autocrat is preferable to your National autocrat.”

    For me, the struggle is direct democracy versus autocracy. Within the Labour Party this struggle is now between the caucus (the autocrats) who installed Shearer as leader, knowing Cunliffe was more popular with the members and public.

    This National government has made it painfully clear the public is impotent. But by publicizing autocrats’ failures and stupidities on the Standard, we increase the probability of direct democracy.

    Thank you to all of you who write and read here.

  6. I agree with you R0b but …

    IMHO caucus does need to get its act together.  This comment is going to be worded in a completely factionally neutral way but the party has had a series of feck ups in the past few years that have sapped support and morale.

    There is nothing more frustrating than spending huge amounts of time campaigning on issues, as I and many others have done over the past few years, but then watching that gradual increase in support being stuffed up by some idiot MP’s actions.  Chris Carter’s comments last year were an example.  

    Caucus needs to remember that they are there not through some inner ability or talent but because when they stand for Parliament they have “Labour” proudly stamped next to their name on the ballot paper.  The party is not there to provide them with privilege, they are there to further the party’s best interests.

    There is an increasing tension between Caucus and party members and I expect the current debate about reform of the party will bring these issues to the fore.

    • higherstandard 6.1

      Greg this is your best comment I’ve ever seen.

      “Caucus needs to remember that they are there not through some inner ability or talent but because when they stand for Parliament they have “Labour” proudly stamped next to their name on the ballot paper. The party is not there to provide them with privilege, they are there to further the party’s best interests.”

      This single paragraph is worthy of its own post so it can be discussed more fully in relation to MMP and whether the electorate MP is there to represent the party or their electorate.

  7. Bill 7

    I wonder how many people expounded the same opinion around ’84 Anthony? From where I sit, what is happening now is a lot more serious than a simple internal division. See, ‘caring’ isn’t in the DNA of the Labour party or any other organisation. Caring resides in the philosophy and politics of individuals. And if individuals within Labour have wedded themselves to a horrendously uncaring political philosophy and then manage to secure themselves in positions of power and control of the party, then the party will reflect their world view…not some notional world view based on what of members, voters or whoever believe the Labour party should be, ought to be or was.

    Helen Clark didn’t move the party away from the neo-liberalism that was grafted onto the party in the 80′s. Maybe she thought it wasn’t an option given the prominence of neo-liberalism in the ‘anglo-saxon’ world. But what have we now? In terms of mainstream legitimacy, neo-liberalism’s on the wane internationally. And yet a gaggle of political left-overs and ‘has beens’ from the 80′s/Clark years want to take a great leap backwards and raise that neo-liberal standard high and proud.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that neo-liberal prescriptions are going to be getting ever more vicious in the face of the capitalist crisis it has created, it might not matter too much. But that’s the point. It’s showing itself to be a very, very vicious ideology…civil society thought it got it bad in the 80′s and 90′s. But that will be as nothing to the evisceration of society and the lives and prospects of ordinary citizens should neo-liberalism be allowed to remain in the ascendency.

    And although Labour ought to be challenging the ‘self evident’ truths of neo-liberalism, the fact is that if a bunch of neo-liberal apologists control the party (be their front man Shearer or Robertson), then it ain’t going to happen. And we will all be very much worse off because of that.

    • AAMC 7.1

      +1

      “I don’t think that it’s wrong to woo “the middle vote””

      Surely the successful party needs to lead not woo the middle vote, by that thinking, if the prevailing consensus of an un or mis-informed public is neo-liberalism and the failed discipline of neo-clasical economics, are you suggesting we should acquiesce to those failed ideologies, because we want to woo those who believe the hype? Shouldn’t your job be to change and lead the narrative, it’s not like we haven’t got the biggest platform in history upon which to build a new one! The entire Global system is insolvent, austerity has failed, our economic system is based on the concept of “rational actors” and doesn’t account for Banks, Money or Debt in it’s models. This is stuff that the least informed can see as madness, “Economics doesn’t acknowledge banks? What?!” The problem is both the Labour and National parties are still running on Econ 101, 5 years to the day from the onset of the financial crisis, still promoting what brought us here. Have you people had your eyes and ears closed for 5 years? Why is this debate happening all around the world, in mainstream places like The Telegraph and The Financial Times, mainstreams Economists like Stiglitz calling for bankers to be hung in the streets, and here, nothing? Last week Bill English sends a tweet with a blog post calling for tighter regulation, they beat the Left to it, cause we’re too frightened of the “middle”. And so they outmaneuver you again, cause they’re not scared.

      “Politics is a long, slow game, ruled by a natural cycle”

      Seen the climate in the Northern Hemisphere this summer, Libor scandal, JP Morgan, MF Global, Bankia, Greek pensioners hanging from trees in local parks, shooting themselves on the steps of parliament? It’s time for urgency, for a street fight, not for the slow game your Political Science lecturer taught you about. The world is in crisis for f*$k sake!

      The problem is, there is no leadership in the dysfunctional pissing contest that is Representative Democracy, they’re all middle managers.

      “Does a CEO get three years to grow into the job”

      We’re not witnessing CEO’s, we’re witnessing their office juniors waiting obediently for orders, as the CEO’s grow the Corporatocracy and overtake the will of the people.

      • fatty 7.1.1

        Well said AAMC…wooing the middle is what Labour has been doing since the 80s and it has failed NZ. Its Pater Dunne logic. If Labour woos the middle and wins then we all lose again. Resist the hegemony and wait for Kiwis to wake up

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          The “middle” being the top quartile of the income earners and wealth owners in this country.

          Is there a political party which serves the interests of the bottom 3 quartiles.

    • Bored 7.2

      +1 Bill. I put a lot of blame on that “managerialist” Palmer who is said to have “redefined” political professionalism. Labour have been too caught up in managerial “method” and far too little in debate, communication and representation with their supporters.

    • prism 7.3

      Bill 7
      ++1

  8. Vivienne 8

    I do wonder why many cannot understand what is said.

    David Shearer in his speech this week was not talking about rural NZ. He was talking about Regional NZ. That is places such as The East Coast, Northland, Southland etc.

    These are the areas where people are leaving from, being hollowed out, as jobs have gone. Yes regional NZ includes rural NZ but there are cities and towns which act as rural service centres but also have educational facilities, industry and perform many other functions.

    The great New Zeland recovery from 1999 onwards during the Clark- Anderon years, the jobs machine, came from Regional NZ which fed into urban NZ.

    Yes the heart of the party is the membership, so please stay clear, listen carefully and remain focused on the fact that NACT has to go. Step out of petty internal games, which the media so wants. NACT is the enemy of New Zealand

  9. just saying 9

    I respect your faith and comittment Rob.

    I have a couple of good friends who are member stalwarts, and you couldn’t wish for more generous, community-spirited, compassionate, and wise team-Labour people. I try to be mindful of them and the many good people on here when I’m critical of the party, because the problem is definitely not the membership.

    For the first time I’ve even toyed with the idea of joining myself in the last little while, probably for much the same reasons as onetime arch Labour critic, Imperator Fish joined – because we need a mainstream left party now more than at any point in history, and because the vacuum where Labour should be frightens me. With the suggestion that the general membership might start to have more of a a say, I was thinking maybe I could be part of a movement that is some kind of a critical mass forcing those with the power to change into something deserving of, and more like the general membership.

    Except there has been no hint, not a whisper, that the right wingers who have made it to the top can be moved. This term is an exact rerun of the last with a single place-change of one face. Repeated abject failure of the course they are on seems to have only redoubled their determination. The new face of this group-think phenomenon may be changed for another interchangeable one, but nothing seems to be able to change the trajectory of Labour. The majority of the shadow-cabinet are obviously hermetically sealed against any penetration from the real world, and have been for so long that any kind of rehabilitation back into it must be considered extremely unlikely at best. They are like alcoholics with an unlimited supply of booze, and a rock-solid team of well-meaning enablers smoothing the way.

    You suggest that those who despair of Labour attacking the most vulnerable should remember that this is MMP, and imply that this is all part of some kind of grand game. Once in power, apparently Labour’s coaliton partners will be able to protect the “core constituency”, and in the meantime Labour just pretending to be a bully-boy tory party. That the end justifies the means. Unfortunately, that argument has infinite scope for abluse.

    • Akldnut 9.1

      ” because we need a mainstream left party now more than at any point in history, and because the vacuum where Labour should be frightens me”

      Damn straight, if Labours caucus would just read these posts and take on the concerns of their members and supporters.

    • gobsmacked 9.2

      They are like alcoholics with an unlimited supply of booze, and a rock-solid team of well-meaning enablers smoothing the way.

      +1

      It’s time for honest friends. The ones who lock the drinks cabinet, not the ones who pour you another.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 9.3

      Just Saying: caucus needs better leadership. There are caucus members who could provide it.

  10. urban rascal 10

    There is one thing I have come to F*#king despise the last few months.
    The constant calls and excuses for Shearer that “He needs time to grow in the role”. This is a bunch of dribble. We are talking about someone who essentially has the opportunity to run the country. If he isn’t ready to run his caucus and needs time to “grow” just piss off and let someone who is ready and prepared to lead take the role.
    Our country is in the grips of a mad cabal of crazies and some just insist on flogging a dead horse. Maybe ten years ago we could afford to “grow” into it, but in this environment we need a true leader, someone that knows from day one how to project confidence and be a foundation for the Caucus to grow not the other way round.
    Look at all the assh*#les in the front bench now. That’s the area that needs to growth, the leader should already be prepared to lead. Not taking damn lessons on it.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Shearer is old enough and with enough experience that he should have been able to effectively lead from day one. The fact that this hasn’t happened is indicative that he never will be able to.

  11. Blue 11

    I can understand that some people will choose to be optimistic about the current situation with Labour. But the power of positive thinking can’t really bridge the worrying gaps we are facing.

    David Shearer, like Phil Goff before him, is failing to control the caucus infighting. The ABC vicious leaking to the media was going on under Goff and it’s still going on. The ABCs latest leak to Garner was just totally brazen. They didn’t deny that Shearer would be rolled if his numbers didn’t improve, and they said that Shearer didn’t trust Cunliffe. Clearly undermining Shearer on two fronts. It’s clear that the party is at the mercy of the ABCs and they will do whatever they want, totally disregarding Shearer.

    The lack of ability to say what Labour stands for is another real issue that can’t be swept under the carpet. No one knows what Shearer’s Labour stands for. He can’t articulate it and I’d challenge anyone else to make enough sense of his waffle to explain it. As I said yesterday, there are hardly any confirmed policy positions. Of course you don’t give it all away 2 years out from an election, but if you want to win people over then they do need to know what you stand for.

    The National-like noises Shearer and Parker are making don’t really help.

    Essentially at this point there’s only one thing that can save the party, and that is to hunt down and destroy the ABC faction. If Shearer can do that, then he will have my full support.

    But for obvious reasons I’m not holding my breath on that one.

    • You’re right. Shearer is not the core problem. He just happened to be the one plonked on top of an existing serious dysfunction, and can’t (or won’t) deal with it.

      Presumably Shearer has to take some responsibility for the content of his speeches – unless he is simply a puppet with an interesting back story.

      But too make any progress in recovery ABC has to be dealt to. Caucus is either too much ABC or too scared of ABC. Pressure will have to come from below. Like, major pressure. Try a mass membership resignation or something (you can rejoin if they sort their shit out).

      At the moment you’re simply being ignored.

      • Anne 11.1.1

        I had a communication yesterday with someone on the inside of the Labour caucus.

        You may be interested to know that the ‘rogue politicians’ who spoke to Garner came to the grand total of one. And even that appears to have been just a throw-away line or two, and not the dramatic version dreamed up by Garner. Even so, I’ve been told the culprit will be severely dealt to at the next caucus meeting.

        The consensus of opinion is that Garner extrapolated those few lines into a story that is short on facts and an awful lot of imagination… and were probably based on conversations going back six months or more to the time of the leadership contest. That sounds about right to me.

        There is an upside to this nasty episode. All Labour MPs have been given a very sharp reminder… be alert and vigilant around snoopy journos who are only after a chance to produce sensational crap for the political titillation of their viewers/readers/listeners.

        • Pete George 11.1.1.1

          It wouldn’t be surprising if the ‘rogue politicians’ is/are downplaying their role. I’d suspect somehwre in the middle of the versions is likely to be more accurate.

          I’ve been told the culprit will be severely dealt to at the next caucus meeting.

          If that’s what’s going to be done, good, but how does anyone on the outside know that it’s being dealt with? Do they really expect everyone to believe that silence means suddenly everything has become fine in caucus?

        • prism 11.1.1.2

          Anne 11 1 1
          Don’t you think that Labour should do a bit of playing off journos and defend their position publicly with a confiding interview about the strength and love within the caucus and their hopes for great things from the various stars? To hell with the severe words to be said in caucus – Labour do a Tongariro and emit some steam and a bit of flame and ash. Show everyone in kiwiland that you are bloody alive and pumping on all cylinders I say.

          • Anne 11.1.1.2.1

            Labour do a Tongariro and emit some steam and a bit of flame and ash. Show everyone in kiwiland that you are bloody alive and pumping on all cylinders I say.

            I agree prism and in recent years have said so – quite bluntly – at local Labour Party meetings.

            Haven’t always been very popular because of it, but that never stopped me saying it. :)

        • Olwyn 11.1.1.3

          I would rather it made them alert to the fact that their members and potential supporters are mightily pissed off and not at all happy with the direction they are taking. Even if Duncan embellished the story, it has brought a smouldering discontent to a head, which was already there with or without Garner’s detonating it. Members do not want a right wing parliamentary party, especially not one that hopes to dupe them into giving it their endorsement. And by and large they like Cunliffe a whole lot better than they like his detractors.

        • Sunny 11.1.1.4

          Who cares about Duncan Garner ? We want our party back! We’ve been patient way too long.

  12. tracey 12

    The last national loo made NO traction til they started peddling lies as policy. Dont make me recount the ways. If everyone wants a key-type as leader of labour then we deserve what we get.

    National pract means to an end politics which is sending nz to hell in a handbasket… Do two wrongs make it ok?

    Shearer has commented and strongly in support of cunliffe. He also passed no judgment on pm missing soldiers fuberals. That has some class to it.

    Tge pm is feeling very confidant to choose to bypass the photo op with the mourners unless national are scared it looks like hes happy to send our boys to their deaths?

  13. Scott 13

    Anthony, I have a lot of respect for Labour people like you who are prepared to hang in there and fight for a better party. It’s an option I considered, but right now I really can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sense a disconnect between the members and some in caucus, and I don’t detect any great urgency within the leadership to do anything about it. In fact, I don’t detect much leadership at all. It feels to me like the David Shearer we were promised and the David Shearer we got are two different people. I know it takes time for someone to grow into their role, but it isn’t as if the party did not have other leadership options, one of whom was ready to go.

    I’m not leaving Labour and I’ll still vote for them in 2014, but right at this moment I won’t be attending party rallies or telling people they should vote Labour, because if someone were to ask me what Labour stands for right now (as opposed to what it should stand for) I couldn’t give them a clear answer.

    I don’t honestly think Labour’s strategists have understood that the flogging the party got in 2011 was due to the party being irrelevant to a large group of traditional Labour voters. While David Shearer does his grand tour of the provinces and his finance minister tries to charm business leaders, traditional Labour voters (the young, the urban poor and working class, Maori, Pasifika etc) are turning away from the party.

    The party’s got some great talent, and some great MPs. Unfortunately the ship is sailing in the wrong direction.

  14. Kotahi Tāne Huna 14

    With the obvious exception of Mr. Irrelevant’s “contributions” this thread makes great reading.

    It demonstrates the health and strength of the NZ left, as does The Standard in general. I don’t think this strength is very well reflected by events of recent days, and it’s well past time David Shearer acted more as though he had that strength behind him.

    “Putting bad schools on notice” and ephemeral sickness beneficiaries who don’t vacuum the lawn? Give me a break.

  15. Peter 15

    I dunno. I used to think that politics was a long slow game, and that things would get better after the early years, but no, I just found that you witnessed a long, slow, decline of a once great party, which seemed unable to right itself.

  16. Stephen 16

    Danyl expresses exactly how I feel about those attempts to woo the centre voter:

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/shearer-and-the-roof-painting-benefit-bludger/

    Now, Labour “strategists” need to get that demonising beneficiaries is how the Nats scare middle class people who fear falling off the ladder, and how they drive a wedge between the beneficiaries and the next layer up who are the working poor. People who really buy view that will nod at Labour people who say it, and then go for the real thing and vote Nat anyway.

    The correct strategy is to remind the worried middle and working class that benefits are there for them too, when they fall sick, lose a partner, or lose their job, and that “beneficiaries” are not permanent underclass to despise but a tempory stage that many people honourably pass through and then out of again.

    • Jim Nald 16.1

      Cheers, Stephen.
      I have been wondering recently if there is no one else left in this country who feels and sees it this way.

      • gobsmacked 16.1.1

        A Labour leader’s speech:

        “Constantly in the courts … fraud … costing hundreds of millions … they’re called finance company directors … the collars are white … they are the true bludgers …” etc.

        If David Shearer is reading this, I’ll write it for you. No charge.

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    ABC and list MP’s

    My electorate Labour MP is not going to lose his seat. His LEC is too devoted to him.

    However, List PM’s are entirely dependent on their position on the list. If they have crossed Cunliffe in the past, their fear is Cunliffe will put them too far down the list to stay in parliament.

    OK, it’s a bit obvious. With a high list position you can return to Parliament even if Labour gets hammered at the next election.

    It’s very unhealthy for the party. List MP’s who may have upset Cunliffe care more about keeping Cunliffe out of leadership than about winning the next election.

    Many of those at the top of the caucus are list MP’s: David Parker, Andrew Little, Jacinda Arden, Shane Jones, and virtually all of the Christchurch Labour MP’s.

    How many ABC’s are List MP’s?

    Why do we have a Finance Spokesperson who is a pathetic speaker?

    • deano 17.1

      The leader doens’t choose the list

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        with the changes in the org review, a much smaller group of people will be choosing the list. And that small group of people will have far more say than they do now in how they rank the final list.

      • AmaKiwi 17.1.2

        @deano, get real. No one has more say than the party leader.

  18. NZ Labour has run its course. Old Labour united the classes in the 30s around economic nationalism when state ownership/or regulation of production etc took full advantage of NZs comparative advantage.
    Then when the postwar boom ended NZ lost its comparative advantage. Old Old Labour deregulated in the 1980s and become a Blairite Party before Blair.  Labour renounced ‘socialism’ for the ‘third way’ not because Labour had lost its way but because the onset of economic crisis dictated it.
    So came the end of economic nationalism and the recolonisation of Aotearoa. NZ sovereignty was hollowed out. This left Clark/Blairite Labour straddling the ‘middle’ over a widening gap as the main classes polarise. Shearer is great for that role as he is the most plastic of Blairites. 
    Social Democracy can only last as long as the majority working class is prepared to be conned into paying Banskters bonuses. Greece offers some lessons. PASOK lost most of its mass base who deserted to SYRIZA.
    Labour is heading for a split. The sooner the better.
     
     
     

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Just briefly (busy) …

    We’re mixing up 2 different issues here.

    1) MMP is here long-term, therefore there will need to be a party that is broadly social democratic, centre-left, forming coalitions with others (e.g. Greens). That party should be Labour, because starting afresh would take a generation, and the result might not be so different (careerist politicians are an occupational hazard). So yes, if you’re already Labour it is fair enough to argue the case for staying in and fighting.

    2) But … “staying in and fighting”. Not staying in and pretending. It’s one thing to say you’re still committed to the party. It’s quite another to say you’re giving the leader and senior MPs credit they don’t deserve. The party is not the caucus, but the caucus IS the problem, and hoping they will suddenly act differently, without a giant kick up the arse, is just flying in the face of the evidence.

    Finally , this really irritates … apparently, “most of us are seeing this only through the excitable and unreliable lens of the media.”

    That is condescending and just plain wrong. The past few days has not been about the minimal media coverage (thank God for the Olympics!). It’s been about the anger of the base, and the silence from the leadership – except when making speeches that make it all worse.

    (Ok not so brief after all, sorry … But seriously, people are pissed off and it’s not going away … face up to that).

    • prism 19.1

      gobsmacked 19
      Well said and well thought. The way I see it is that the caucus is the pimple (going to a boil) on the face of Labour, and as all ads point out no party looks good with that sort of blemish.
      Patience is one thing, making excuses for gross mismanagement and loss of mission by Labour is another. Allowing pollies to continue with flabby excuses and undercover rustlings hiding their lack of steel is stupid.

      Someone ran or exerted themselves, in some sport in the Olympics, after feeling their leg or arm actually break yet continued because they didn’t want to let the team down. We NZs are the team for pollies and we are being let down. Let pollies make a similar effort to succeed and win not just the next election, but the race to do something intelligent and nation building before its too late to make a difference in this unhappy 21st century.

    • Craig Glen Eden 19.2

      Well said godsmacked.

  20. bad12 20

    Sorry, being fair according to David Shearer is to spit upon beneficiaries without actually having ANY personal knowledge of the supposed beneficiary He was spitting upon,

    Better according to the Shearer speech to Grey Power to get the gossip on individual beneficiaries from their neighbours, (sort of sounds like the old East German Stassi),

    Lucky us, the Greens are a viable option which means our votes for the left can be cast and counted…

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      being fair according to David Shearer is to spit upon beneficiaries without actually having ANY personal knowledge of the supposed beneficiary He was spitting upon

      This is worth repeating

      • weka 20.1.1

        It’s worse than that. Shearer implies that he (and the man he is talking to) have knowledge that makes their judgement valid. He doesn’t deign to share that knowledge with us, which sets him up as ultimate arbiter of disability and no-one can argue with him (and in this he abuses his position of power as a Labour MP and leader). He (and other bigots) can now always say that the bene was a bludger because he, the man with the power, has established the facts without having to present them.
         
        In reality such judgements get made on the flimsiest of evidence, but the problem is the idea that the public have the right and qualification to make the judgement in the first place. They don’t.
         
        (I do have to say that TS authors and commenters have indulged in this shit on occasion as well.)
         
        In terms of the current debacle in Labour, Shearer opening his speech with this ‘anecdote’ says far more than the Garner affair. The shit that Garner was stirring was solvable. I vote Green and have been assuming that the only way to have a left govt again is a L/G coalition. I’ve been looking forward to seeing how that plays out. Now I’m flummoxed because if prejudice against disability and bene bashing is acceptable practice for the leader of the Labour party, we’re all fucking screwed.

  21. Sanctuary 21

    It is 12.18pm, and nothing on red alert about unemplyment rising, and the CTU was the main opposition on the radio this morning.

    See the problem? The current Labour caucus is full of lazy shitheads, being paid by taxpayers to do… not a lot by the look of it.

    As long as the cuacus is dominated by non-performing can’t be bothered do-nothings like Mallard, Dyson, Goff and King they’ll have trouble mobilising their base, let alone the issues of having an invisible leader getting terrible advice from the same senior staffers responsible for the 2011 electoral disaster and who seem hell-bent on going back to the failed ideas of 1990s Blairism.

    • xtasy 21.1

      What got me irate about King was to recently read another media comment in “Landlords”, a property investor publication, where it is claimed she wants to SCRAP the accommodation supplement, as it only serves as a “subsidy” to landlords.

      http://www.landlords.co.nz/read-article.php?article_id=4406

      Both Heatley and Bennett have been spreading misinformation about supposed “rorting” of the accommodation supplement, which is impossible, except if actual fraud is committed.

      It was raised to her by email that she is quoted as in that article, and she was challenged to make her position clear.

      What happened? NADA! No comment, no response, no press release and hence no trust she deserves. All I hear is the odd point scoring question coming from her in Parliament, but not actually challenging Heatley or Bennett on what lies they spread.

      With that and other things going on, who knows what to vote Labour for, it they cannot even do their jobs!

      Of further interest should be this story:

      http://www.landlords.co.nz/read-article.php?article_id=4420

      Why are neither Labour nor Greens raising this abysmal failure in regards to insulating homes that are rented?

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1

        Why are neither Labour nor Greens raising this abysmal failure in regards to insulating homes that are rented?

        Rentiers don’t pay out to improve what they’re getting free income from if they don’t have to and neither the Greens nor Labour are saying anything about it because they’re leaving it to the free-market.

        • weka 21.1.1.1

           

          The Green Party has a bill in the ballot that would introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1

            I just wish someone would be brave and reconstitute the MoW. The NZ Government could build tens of thousands of houses using the latest innovations, meeting the highest energy efficiency standards and effectively set the market benchmark.

            Trying to control the markets via legislation – its too slow and the effectiveness of the approach is highly suspect.

          • xtasy 21.1.1.1.2

            There are countries in Central Europe, where the climate is in much of the year much colder than in NZ, but where legal standards bind landlords to ensure that a minimum temperature of about 18 to 20 degrees in dwellings must be achievable through installed heating and/or insulation.

            Hence homes in many European countries are warmer than over half the homes in more moderate, partly subtropical NZ.

            It is time to bring in a law to ensure that minimum temperatures in rental homes, in homes in general. Still now over half of NZ homes are not or poorly insulated, many damp.

            As we know many landlords will not bother, as it is just another “cost” to them to improve home standards.

            An enquiry with Housing NZ also revealed, that “sufficient heating” is not a minimum requirement a Housing NZ tenant can expect (like for instance flowing water and sewage installations). Bizarre that, since the Warming Home insulation program would let one presume they value warm homes.

    • David H 21.2

      It’s now 4:17pm and still nothing about it. Oh well at least now we know they don’t give a shit about the workers and are only interested in their own agendas.

    • Stephen 21.3

      Actually, there was this last night:

      http://www.labour.org.nz/news/government%E2%80%99s-hands-off-approach-costing-jobs

      Whether more could be done to get the news media to report Labour reaction, I can’t say.

  22. Dr Terry 22

    I am so utterly fed up with the plea that we “give Shearer (and some of his team) more time, and yet more time, then still more time”. Eventually, we are assured, hay will blossom! Instead of bending over backwards to defend someone who never had such great opportunities, please start listening to the people (as voiced in these comments, for starters).

    • I think many voters will see this too, and will be very reluctant to give Shearer and Labour time to figure out how to run a Government.

    • QoT 22.2

      I’m with Dr Terry on this one.

      Maybe under different circumstances, you can afford to be patient and let a leader progress towards greatness.

      But when you’ve already had a fucking dismal performance with the last guy, you’re down to your absolute unwavering core of voters, and your party seems to be having a full-on identity crisis … sorry. You need someone to step the fuck up and say “Don’t worry guys, I GOT THIS!”

      Instead, we got someone who either chose or relied on advisors who told him to choose to make some fucking waffley-ass statements about “visions being like Excalibur”.

      Shearer couldn’t do worse if his leadership strategy was entirely based on watching re-runs of The West Wing (certainly his speeches might improve).

  23. Descendant Of Smith 23

    And I will not believe Labour is left again until I see them believing again in an 8 hour working day and a 40 hour working week, a commitment to increase benefit rates and to make me pay more tax to support the country as a whole.

    I’ve previously posted a longer list but those are four simple pre-requested.

    Who the hell knows what Labour stands for? They proudly claim the 8 hour day on their website as if it is a badge of courage but in reality it is an ever present reminder of labour lost

  24. Dot 24

    Why I am in _
    The world was not made a better place by Whimps

    • gobsmacked 24.1

      Under the current Labour leadership, William Wilberforce would be making “the world a better place” by saying that “if slaves work harder, then – in terms – I mean – they could – need to be realistic – it’s not about ending slavery – freedom is a “nice to have” – it’s more – well, er – the number of whippings should – well possibly could – er, be reduced – over time – er, mangoes …”

  25. xtasy 25

    “I think Shearer can be an excellent leader and an excellent PM, given time to grow in to the job. Whether the sensation-hungry media, and the nervous Labour caucus, give him the time that he needs, that’s an open question.”

    Shearer would make an excellent minister for education or the likes, but he is not made of the stuff that makes for a true, strong and successful leader of a whole major opposition party, let along a prospective government.

    I am sorry to say, but I strongly disagree with the presumtion that Shearer will need more time to “grow into the job”.

    Also does the party as a whole need to truly return to its roots, or it will go down and soon be the number three in the political wilderness.

    I am afraid that Cunliffe may also have become very disillusioned, but does not openly tell the whole truth about it. He may be looking for a way out himself, looking at an alternative career.

    A new party on the centre left is needed, that also adopts the fair, social, progressive, best, pragmatic economic and other realistic policies of the Greens. It must be clearly different from the out of date overly free market, laissez faire and in social and educational areas extreme right wing policies that National stands for. Perhaps such a new party could merge with the Greens to become the true force of the future.

    The only alternative to that would be resolute shake up of the Labour Party, which though I presently cannot see happening.

    Increasingly I do not know who to trust and vote for.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      I am afraid that Cunliffe may also have become very disillusioned, but does not openly tell the whole truth about it. He may be looking for a way out himself, looking at an alternative career.

      I worry about this too. If the Tories have any intelligence, they’ll be putting very nice job offers under Cunliffe’s nose right now.

      A new party on the centre left is needed, that also adopts the fair, social, progressive, best, pragmatic economic and other realistic policies of the Greens.

      Well, it think the Greens are pretty good, but they miss several important marks by a margin. Hence the need for a different political position to the Greens :)

      The only alternative to that would be resolute shake up of the Labour Party, which though I presently cannot see happening.

      It won’t happen overnight, but it will…

      • weka 25.1.1

        Might be easier to get the Greens to change, although I think  it is healthier to have several medium sized parties than one big one. Out of interest, which areas are the Greens dropping the ball on?

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1

          IMO their weaknesses are on
          - Understanding the severity and characteristics of the energy and resources crunch
          - Misprioritising climate change as the most pressing issue facing our civilisation
          - (Lack of) willingness to expend all effort and resource today to prepare for tomorrow
          - Buying into the current monetary and economic framework (making financial capitalism more tolerable and more sensible)
          - Explicitly and implicity believing that ‘green growth’ (in its various versions) is the answer

  26. deano 26

    Crisis averted?

    Lab+Green = 46% vs Nat 44% in the latest Roy Morgan.

    Confidence in Government continues to slide

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4810/

    It’s just a pity that every little set back has Labour’s ‘senior MPs’ sharpening the knives for each other.

    • gobsmacked 26.1

      The poll predates the “heartland” speeches that have dismayed so many. In this polling period, Shearer said virtually nothing, so said nothing wrong. Hard to keep that up for two years.

      The Greens are still doing the heavy lifting, and have continued their upward trend.

    • BernyD 26.2

      They all think they’ll win the next election if John Key votes labour next election.

      • Draco T Bastard 26.2.1

        Perhaps the Labour leadership are just waiting for a cup of tea at the local café…

    • Olwyn 26.3

      The crisis is not averted if a right wing LP is to be elected. And 32% is still in the yo-yo zone in which it has spent the last three and a half years.

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    ABC (Anybody But Cunliffe)

    Stuff.co.nz had a reader’s poll yesterday for preferred Labour leader. More than 1,000 replied. OK, it’s not scientific. But it is indicative.

    Cunliffe 28%
    Shearer 15%
    Robertson 6%
    and an assortment of others.

    So replacing Shearer with an ABC gives Labour a leader with at most one fifth of the support Cunliffe has.

    I would like to know how much of the ABC crowd are list MP’s. Not surprising they would be afraid of Cunliffe. He has some different ideas about who should be at the top of the party list. A hint: It’s not the old deadwood.

    • BernyD 27.1

      I don’t really follow individuals in politics.
      It’s not the “Leader” it’s the overall “Mission” statement that is heard through your speeches and responses.
      You can’t win over John Key, He’s never going to vote Labour.
      You have to “Leed by Example”, regardless of whether your in power or not.
      Don’t be the m”Opposition”, Be the leaders of Civilised New Zealanders.

  28. The DNA was put there by leaders that gave a damn for the impoverished mass,however
    that DNA has mutated into an infected look alike far removed from the original.
    The power grabs within labour are frustrating,the silence is deafening,the logic is
    missing in action,shearer continues to attack those he should be defending,ie beneficiaries
    asset sales etc,education,police,public service workers,in fact everyone who has been
    set upon by the money sponge Key,with absolutely no regard for how his vile policies
    will affect the human outcome,there is plenty to shout about for labour,but shsh we
    must be quiet, is the quietly spoken utterence.
    If most of those politicians who have served many years would resign that would bring on the new labour faces and some fresh ideas and better focus on the people again, out-going politicians will not be without monetry assistance as the tax payer will provide for them for life and also pay for holidays etc.
    Time for those long time labour politicians to step down for the good of the party.

  29. AmaKiwi 29

    News Flash!

    New political party forming as Labour splinters.

    The Beehive is buzzing with rumors that the two anonymous Cunliffe character assassins are joining John Banks to form a new party based on Machiavellian principles.

  30. gonzo 30

    Just received email from David Shearer – “first of my weekly newsletters….”

    Issue is picked up in second to last para. No where near strong enough IMHO.

    I have to conclude his advice is poorer than I suspected. Regardless of what his instinct is (consideration, cooperation, conciliation?) – good advice can make all the difference.

    Will respond directly to David Shearer tonight. Need some time to write a brief response rather than lengthy one.

    (I hope my link insert ok below – have not done before).

    David Shearer Friend Email Friday

    • hush minx 30.1

      Mmmm now doesn’t that make depressing reading – at the time when the party is imploding he says there are 100 weeks until the next election. I’m sensing a misalignment of the urgency factor here…

    • rosy 30.2

      Link works fine… ta for this.

      In terms of a newsletter I reckon it’s pretty good – says what they’ve been doing, is inclusive, alludes to last weeks issues, but does’t expand on them, states what they’re working on. As a dissection of Labour problems it’s pretty useless, but it’s not designed for that.

      I’d be happy to leave that on my table for non-Labour voters to browse. Newsy, positive and highlighting that they’re doing stuff, that’s what it’s designed for.

  31. Murray Olsen 31

    I want a leader who tells this story:

    Last year before the election, I was chatting to a guy in my electorate who had just got home from work. In the middle of the conversation, he stopped and pointed across the road to his neighbour.

    He said: “see that guy over there, he’s on a sickness benefit, yet he’s up there painting the roof of his house. That’s not bloody fair. Do you guys support him?”

    I replied “All of us who pay taxes support him, because he has satisfied a doctor that he has genuine medical reasons for being unable to work. I don’t see how you can be so unhappy to live in a society where we look after our neighbours unless you are a particularly selfish sort of scumbag. In fact, the sort of scumbag that probably manipulates their tax returns so as not to pay your share. That’s not bloody fair and to make you think about what’s fair, the IRD will be going over your last 7 years of tax returns with a fine tooth comb. Thankyou for bringing to my attention just what sort of vile dog you are, and don’t bother wasting my time any more, because my party does not want the vote of scum like yourself.”

    • rosy 31.1

      Haha all well and good, but look what happened to Gordon Brown when he got caught saying what he really believed about a voter’s opinion.

      Personally, I think he should have been given a medal.

      Shearer, seeing as he was silly enough to use an anecdote like that, could have used it for any number of useful political points. For me it would be to highlight disjointed health and social welfare practices (e.g. have drugs that fix a problem – said drugs are too expensive for pharmac because cost-benefit analysis are only health system – person with problem ends up on benefit).

      • Murray Olsen 31.1.1

        I think the problem is that Shearer said what he really thinks. I think he’s too honest to lie about it. His days as a charity worker probably convinced him that, compared to the deserving poor in the 3rd world, Aotearoa just has a bunch of undeserving bludgers.

        • rosy 31.1.1.1

          I guess that’s the line between supporting Labour/Shearer, or not. If the leader really does have a knee-jerk reaction that the guy painting the roof is a skiver then he’s leading the wrong party. They need to change him. The natural inclination of a leftie should be to give the guy a fair go.

          His knee-jerk reaction should have been ‘what’s going on here? Can sickness beneficiaries paint a roof?’ and then gone through the scenarios. I thought he was meant to be a smart guy – this should be his natural inclination. If he is a smart guy, then I reckon this was a dog-whistle line (that he would do that makes me feel ill, though).

          I remember reading back in the 90s some treasury boffin saying they didn’t just want to change the economy, they wanted to change the way people think (about the economy and the social contract). It worked.

          • Olwyn 31.1.1.1.1

            It looked to me formulaic, and the reworking of an anecdote that Josie Pagani put on facebook a few months ago, citing a similar experience from when she was campaigning, and suggesting that the Labour Party show more sympathy to those who hold such views. I see it as cheap, vulgar and lazy thinking, that serves to reinforce prejudices rather than broaden the base, and hurt those whom Labour is obliged by its principles to defend.

            • Colonial Viper 31.1.1.1.1.1

              Pagani. Perhaps I am being hasty, but she’s not really Labour. Someone pay for her National Party membership.

            • Sunny 31.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m betting that The guy on the roof’ never existed except in the imagination of some one in Shearer’s speech writing/policy team. He’s a dog whistle and Shearer is a fake, a front man. It’s happened before. It’s happening again.

        • prism 31.1.1.2

          Murray Olsen
          Thats a point that occurred to me. I have noticed before that someone serving overseas comes back and tells us we’ve never had it so good. Everything is so much better than Kosovo, Burma, Yemen … But we have evolved our political and economic system past theirs and want to keep it at that higher level which has its own set of conflicts.

      • Draco T Bastard 31.1.2

        There would be a difference between being nice to someone’s face while calling them a bigot/scumbag behind their back and just calling them a bigot/scumbag to their face. Any politician doing the latter and, as long as it’s justified, I’m sure a lot of peoples respect for them would go up.

        • rosy 31.1.2.1

          You’d think, wouldn’t you? But some how politicians are terrified of offending any voter, no matter how repulsive the views being spouted.

    • Draco T Bastard 31.2

      +1

      That’s exactly what needs to be said.

    • bad12 31.3

      10 outta 10 for that one, you should email it to the Labour leader and maybe advise Him that if He wants to make speeches worthy of the leader of ACT He should go join them….

    • Murray Olsen 31.4

      Or he could have said “No, of course it’s not fair that a sick man has to paint his own roof. Seeing that none of his neighbours want to help him, I’ll go and talk to him now. I’ll see if we can arrange a working group of party activists to come and help tomorrow.”

      I suppose he thinks stealing the ACT vote is more important.

      • R 31.4.1

        nah, he should have said ‘on my way out I threw away some mango skins, and when I looked back I saw that the guy had scrambled down from his roof to eat them. And that’s why I decided to get into politics.’

  32. ak 32

    The day that I think that Labour doesn’t care about its traditional voters is the day I’ll be turning in my card. I believe that Labour does care, it’s in the DNA of the party…

    Spot on to that point r0b, but as to the individual in question, the contrived and repeated benny “anecdote” can only have ejaculated from blue genes. Or blank ones in the hands of idiots or deliberate anti-party manipulators.

    Either which way, this and the Parker apostasy is utterly inexcusable: paticularly in the face of the recent (admirably-intentioned) “listening” tour of party activists – which I know for a fact delivered a message the polar opposite to what we saw delivered in the instances referred to.

    Slightly different to the Goff situation of 09 however: as you (and Roy Morgan) note, not the time for decapitation just now (and Roy also provides the answer as to why Garner was instructed to drop his wee bomb at this time).

    Last chance for change at the top, Dave, in either your head or hands. One month, tops: spit on the base again in this manner, and reap your desserts. The tragedy being, you’ll take tens of thousands with you.

    • mike e 32.1

      akak shearer needs to be more relaxed and exude confidence tonight on TV he stuttered his way through the interview when he needed to nail national.
      if he had it would have been a small victory instead it was neutral.
      no one listens to parker his voice sounds like a scared little school boy squeal.
      Cunliffe comes across far more credible at the very least he should be given his portfolio back.

    • prism 32.2

      ak
      Right and add to that these points from Olwyn 26.3

      The crisis is not averted if a right wing LP is to be elected. And 32% is still in the yo-yo zone in which it has spent the last three and a half years.

  33. r0b 33

    Thanks all for the comments here – too many points for me to have a hope of replying to – I disagree with some of it but I also share the frustration that drives a lot of it.

    I hope someone from Labour is hearing the message from the activist base…

    • hush minx 33.1

      Guess that’s why all eyes will be on the Party leader and Deputy next week (and the President and the Party Council as well). It’s these testing times that shows the what leadership is all about, and that’s really what we need right now. I can’t bear to think how happy John Key and Steven Joyce must be feeling as the next sitting week looms.

    • Colonial Viper 33.2

      Hi r0b,

      A simple comment.

      Go Ahead, Make Me

      “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

      Franklin D. Roosevelt
      Comment to a group of reformers. His point: Until they lead the way, they shouldn’t expect political leaders to follow

      In other words, it’s time to make the Labour caucus do the right thing.

    • Anne 33.3

      I hope someone from Labour is hearing the message from the activist base…

      Oh they are r0b – loud and clear.

      I have to say though there is some misinformation being claimed on this site and that is unfortunate.

      Something I learned years ago is that there is always two sides to a story. How about standardistas sit back a little now and let Labour tell their side of the story. I’m sure they will in due course.

      • Colonial Viper 33.3.1

        How about standardistas sit back a little now and let Labour tell their side of the story. I’m sure they will in due course.

        I am supposing that the Labour machine realises that if there is an information or opinion vacuum, it will get filled – either rightly or wrongly.

        So sometimes you have to act fast – perhaps through an intermediary – to make sure that the space is filled correctly before it gets filled for you.

      • weka 33.3.2

        That’s unfortunate about the misinformation. Can you point it out?
         
        I’m interested to see where Labour goes next with the leadership/caucus issue.
         
        But I won’t be sitting back until Shearer apologises for the beneficiary and disability bashing. Or Labour makes some other ammends. That’s going to be a very hard one for Labour to live down if they don’t address the issue.

        • Bill 33.3.2.1

          That’s unfortunate about the misinformation. Can you point it out?

          I’m sure that will happen “in due course”, Weka. Now why don’t you just sit back and stop being pesky?

      • Bill 33.3.3

        How about standardistas sit back a little now and let Labour tell their side of the story. I’m sure they will in due course.

        Is that code for ‘shut the fuck up, your opinions are not welcome’? I mean, there is nothing and I do mean nothing preventing any mp coming here and telling their side of the story.

        Maybe it should read ‘sit back and allow the cabal to shuffle Roberston in for Shearer’

        • Anne 33.3.3.1

          Is that code for ‘shut the fuck up,

          No it is not Bill. There’s no need to be offensive. I was only suggesting that we give them a chance.

          Oh and rhinocrates below… I think you are the one being patronising. Grow up!

          Crosby/Textor will be opening the champagne bottles as we speak!

          • Rhinocrates 33.3.3.1.1

            I was only suggesting that we give them a chance.

            We’ve been giving them a chance – for over four years now. How much longer are we supposed to “give them a chance” and “wait for him to grow into the job” like Goff? Shearer isn’t just being clumsy – his speech has shown that he has decided that it’s politically expedient to attack the vulnerable.

            Crosby/Textor will be opening the champagne bottles as we speak!

            Oh right, now we get the “don’t criticise the leaders, because that will give aid to the enemy – so surely you must be an enemy yourself.” No, they’ll be opening the champagne bottles as David fucking Shearing speaks, because he’s bought their message himself. He’s surrendered, run up the white flag, accepted that they own the debate.

            I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a sickness benefit, but I have, and a couple of friends of mine are, and for good reason. To have Shearer shit on us to score a cheap point is way beyond the line. If you want to defend that, go ahead, call yourself “mature” even. I can tell you this however: I’m not a liar and I’m not a parasite. Do you want to tell me that I am?

            Again, since you haven’t answered, what about the real other side of the story – that of the guy on the benefit, not some party hack’s “other side”? Does that matter?

          • Bill 33.3.3.1.2

            Give them a chance to what Anne? Cover their respective arses? Come up with some (probably not very convincing) spin? The only chance they need is the chance to account for themselves – and they have that through a variety of forums etc. But for the past (how many days?) they’ve behaved as though they are above and beyond accountability…not a squeek from the wee shits.

            Shearers offensive remarks aside…
            Who are the two senior mp’s who ‘joked’ they would like an internal travel fund to keep Cunliffe abroad?
            Who advised Shearer to demote Cunliffe?
            Who is ‘Shearers source’ who claims Shearer no longer trusts Cunliffe and is disappointed in him? (And what does Shearer actually think?)
            Who called him (Cunliffe) lazy and sneaky?

            Those questions take seconds to answer; not days. Will they be answered. Of course not! Should they be? Yes. Undoubtably.

            • Rhinocrates 33.3.3.1.2.1

              They’ve had chances, year after year. How much longer are we supposed to wait?

              … and why?

              You see, that’s the question: political parties exist to represent people. We owe nothing to them, no patience, not trust, no loyalty. They exist to exercise the will of the people in parliament. That is their sole purpose and they have no other. We don’t have to trust them, or hope that they’ll do better eventually, or follow them as we are supposed to follow flags into battle. They are a service, and if they fail, then they should be abandoned. If my local supermarket starts stocking poisons instead of food, why should I shop there? If my doctor starts prescribing leeches, why should I trust them? Because of their “brand”? No, if they betray me, then I owe them nothing. “The Left” is my cause but “The Labour Party (as led by Shearer)” is not.

          • KJT 33.3.3.1.3

            Given them a chance. 9 years then 4 years more recently. Still waiting.

            How much longer?

            • Colonial Viper 33.3.3.1.3.1

              And year by year, we bleed New Zealanders, our young are permanently damaged and stunted, more wealth shifts to the top, the corporate and banking sectors strengthen while the rest of society stumbles, and generational/individualist attitudes harden.

              Year by year Labour fades as a historic force in this country.

      • Murray Olsen 33.3.4

        Labour can do what they like. I’ll still be voting Mana. Shearer needs to learn that there are two sides to a story and that the guy painting his roof may have had a side worth listening to.

        • Rhinocrates 33.3.4.1

          that the guy painting his roof may have had a side worth listening to.

          Yeah, incredible isn’t it? “Labour’s side of the story”? Give me a break! What about this guy’s side of the story? There are no excuses for Shearer on this, none at all. This is exactly the sort of person Labour was founded to support, but now Shearer’s publicly stabbing him – and by insinuation, all beneficiaries – in the back to score a cheap point… except that it’s quite clear that he’s lost a lot of support as a result. I’ve had it with Labour. It’s over, that was the last straw and I’m not going back.

      • Descendant Of Smith 33.3.5

        Sorry Anne I’ve been consistent about what I expect from a left Labour party for many years now and have been clear about this for many years and well before discovering quite accidently this site a few years ago.

        I’ve been pretty consistent here as well.

        The last Labour government pissed me off no end with increasing NZS by $20-00 per week but not benefits (and no I’m not on a benefit) but they had nine years to fix that and did not.

        This Labour party has shown zero inclination to fix that either.

        I don’t care who their bloody leader is I want to know what their bloody policies are and want them to return to standing up for workers and those out of work and unwell by having policies that do this rather than platitudes.

        It’s a serious question as to whether the Labour party (members, leadership, caucus, whoever) actually believe in an 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week.

        Growing up in the 60′s that was a fundamental source of pride in Labour and the country as a whole.

        Are Labour seriously that far fucking right now that it’s not even a consideration.

        The historical ads last election and the mention of it on the Labour party website just piss me off more because it just reminds how far away from providing some basic decent workers rights they are.

        It’s a simple concept and it’s not hard to get. I talk to shop assistants about this and other low paid workers I come across. I haven’t found one yet who wouldn’t want this back – including young people who only know about it from their parents.

        • Draco T Bastard 33.3.5.1

          Are Labour seriously that far fucking right now that it’s not even a consideration.

          Yep, they are.

  34. Rhinocrates 34

    How about standardistas sit back a little now and let Labour tell their side of the story. I’m sure they will in due course.

    How utterly patronising – it is almost a parody of the complacent arrogance and ignorance we’ve seen far too much of these past four years. Should I file this alongside “Give him time to grow into the job” or just “STFU, we don’t want to hear from you”?

    • QoT 34.1

      I’m with Rhino on this one – and also feel compelled at this late stage of the thread to point out that The Standard, glorious as it is, is a blog run by volunteers. The Labour Party is a large political machine which can produce media releases, has its own blog, its own website, multiple senior MPs with active social media accounts, and if all else fails regular spots on radio and breakfast TV. Why the fuck aren’t they “telling their side of the story” NOW?

      I forgot speeches, too! Maybe David Shearer could make a speech to explain his side of the story – OH WAIT NO HE ALREADY DID. (Sorry for the shouting).

  35. Murray Olsen 35

    If Labour is ever to be taken seriously as anything but NAct lite again, they need a big infusion of socialist spine. Remember when Norm Kirk sent a frigate to Mururoa? Shearer would send a polite email to the Champs-Elysées.

  36. newsense 36

    Guess I’ve missed this thread, but.
    There’s looking at ideas nearer the centre (Whatever this means. It seems to mean more redneck ie Goffs attempted race-baiting etcetc to the Pagani-ites)

    and then there is simply victimising those who are doing it tough, and for a Labour leader being very offensive. Particularly in trying to compete with Paula Bennett in hypocrisy.

    See this comment from Susan St John below:

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/08/09/gordon-campbell-on-labours-recent-bout-of-mid-flight-turbulence/#comments

    By Susan St John on Aug 9, 2012 | Reply

    Shearer says
    “I was chatting to a guy in my electorate who had just got home from work. In the middle of the conversation, he stopped and pointed across the road to his neighbour. He said: “see that guy over there, he’s on a sickness benefit, yet he’s up there painting the roof of his house. That’s not bloody fair. Do you guys support him?”
    From what he told me, he was right, it wasn’t bloody fair, and I said so. I have little tolerance for people who don’t pull their weight.”

    Let’s have another go David- perhaps A true Labour leader might have said:

    “I asked him to refrain from judgement-he does not know the facts. The audit of sickness beneficiaries is already tight- there has to be a reason they cannot hold down a formal job and medical certificates are required. The payment is very minimal and very tightly targeted –We would not expect or want someone on a sickness benefit to stay in bed all day surely. It can be much better for people who are sick including mental illness to be active and that doing tasks such as this if they can—it is a part of full recovery—working around the house does not mean that person is capable of a paid job.
    I also asked him to consider whether a $204 single or $170 married rate a week sickness benefit that made it irrational earn extra over $80 a week because of the 89.5% effective tax rate was actually likely to be the life of choice. This neighbour might get almost nothing anyway if his wife is earning because of the draconian joint income test.
    Would he swap his job for his neighbour -including surveillance by WINZ and the gratuitous judgements of others ?
    Good on him for painting his roof- could be the best therapy.”

    This is what you would expect from someone who wants to lead Labour- a defence of the Labour tradition of NZ of helping the weakest in society, not stirring up unwarranted bullshit against them.

  37. just saying 37

    The idea that a person should only receive a sickness benefit if they are 100 percent incapacitated is a relatively new and particularly ridiculous idea. The same people who twitch at the curtains and point the finger would likely be even more outraged if sickness beneficiaries were provided with gardeners, handipersons and housekeepers as standard during their sickness, yet rage against those who can, doing what they can, to help themselves. Taking the idea to it’s logical conclusion, people should show up to work despite any kind of illness or injury unless they are completely unable to do anything at all and therefore require round the clock nursing care. Bosses would really love that I’m sure.

    Someone close to me had to have a hip replacement because of a work injury. In the two weeks following his operation, he hobbled around (very slowly and with lots of breaks) and relandscaped his garden complete with new terracing and retaining walls. Would anyone like to suggest that it is unreasonable to be on a sickness benefit for the two weeks after a hip replacement? He certainly wasn’t anywhere near 100 percent fit and capable of working at normal capacity at his job. He was in pain and may have reinjured himself, or at least hindered his recovery. It was unwise, but he hates sitting around. However, I’m sure that if he hadn’t had visible dressings and crutches, bigoted stickybeaks could just as easily have made the claim that he was bludging.

    Would people prefer that sickness beneficiaries do nothing to help themselves to keep themselves safe from ignorant accusations? Would this be a healthy way of recuperating?

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    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville
    Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville Internet Party Leader Laila Harré will stand in John Key’s Helensville electorate because “the Prime Minister has some explaining to do”. Ms Harré wants to debate Mr Key at candidate meetings in his own...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Ministers condemned for failing to meet Papuan journalist
    West Papua Action Auckland is shocked that that Ministers Coleman and Tolley have decided against giving even a brief time to meet with visiting Papuan journalist Victor Mambor (Chair of the Papua Chapter of the Association of Independent Journalists...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Cliff Curtis Apolitical
    While I respect my cousin Annette Sykes commitment in engaging in the political process, I do not endorse or support any political party. I respect all candidates who make the commitment to stand for political office. It requires and takes...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • National getting students into science
    National Party Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop today supported the government’s launch of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara, a programme to boost community involvement in the science sector....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • NZ NGOs respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
    NZ NGOs are responding to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip with news today of an upsurge in violence and an increasing number of civilian casualties....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement
    ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement David Seymour, ACT Candidate for Epsom 29/07/2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Colin Craig (sic) Launches New Website
    Colin Craig today advised that his web presence was not large enough, especially when compared to similarly polling parties such as the Internet/Mana Party. “After extensive discussion and advice from my full time legal team, and my IT part timer...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Spat between Minister Smith and Fish and Game overdue – ACT
    With the latest spat between Minister Nick Smith and Fish and Games Bryce Johnston hitting fever pitch, ACT Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson says a review of the Fish and Game legislation will be an ACT ambition in the next...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Maori King challenges Ngapuhi leader to front up
    Following his strong condemnation of the Maori King, Tuheitia yesterday, Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has received a challenge this afternoon from prominent Kingitanga [King Movement] supporter Mamae Takerei....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Speech to Waikato Conference: Race has no place in law
    David Cunliffe recently apologised to a Women’s Refuge symposium: “I don't often say it – I'm sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.” The Prime Minister accused Cunliffe of being insincere....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Greg Campbell Chief Executive of Wellington Regional Council
    Chair of Wellington Regional Council, Fran Wilde today announced the appointment of Greg Campbell as Chief Executive of the Council. Greg Campbell will take up the role in September following the departure of outgoing Chief Executive David Benham...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
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