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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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    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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