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Can Labour win in 2011?

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 1st, 2010 - 82 comments
Categories: john key, labour, national, phil goff - Tags:

Chris Carter’s bumbling attempt at a coup has pushed the question onto the tip of everyone’s tongue can Labour win the 2011 election? And can Phil Goff be the one to lead them to victory?

Almost everyone is saying no.

The party is suffering in the polls, with the public still madly in love with John Key and still bearing a grudge against the perceived infractions of the last Labour government. Carter blames Goff, saying he’s a nice guy, but he can’t win. Political commentators nod sagely and agree that Goff is useless but Labour has no one else.

But 24 hours can be a long time in politics, and a year is a very long time indeed.

On current settings, victory for Labour looks extremely unlikely. John Key’s cautious, relentlessly poll-driven approach has ensured he keeps the poll numbers where he needs them to be. Anything too unpopular that can be put off, will be put off, no matter how many flip-flops it may take. He wants a second term and will sacrifice almost anything to get it.

But Key needs to be cautious. One look at what happened to Kevin Rudd in Australia will confirm that. Once Rudd lost his popularity with the electorate, he had no support within the party itself and his leadership imploded. Key, as a political newcomer, does not have many allies in the party. His control is entirely dependant on his poll ratings, and if those were to collapse there would be no shortage of challengers willing to seize the reins.

The public like John Key’s snake-oil salesman act. Phil can’t compete on charisma, and the real question is whether Labour should bother trying. Having charisma will not save a political leader when their time has come. The charming ones get voted out of office when the fundamentals catch up with them.

The real question is when the fundamentals will catch up with John Key. At the moment, he is riding the recession for all it is worth. All his sneaky little changes are being let slide because of the weak economy anything that might help is being welcomed by the public. But there are traps ahead. The first being the rise in GST that’s coming in October.

Inflation this year is expected to hit 5%. The tax cuts are not going to change the world for most people a few dollars here or there is not going to be noticed much. The changes in prices will be.

The second trap is the 90 day probation period being extended to all workers. When it was just small businesses it didn’t affect very many people. But now the policy can expect to claim a few victims who would never expect to find themselves on the wrong end of that law.

But by far the biggest trap is what happens when the economy picks up again. When workers notice that the recession is over, but things for them are not improving, there will be questions asked.

The biggest mistake Labour could make now would be to get into leadership battles. The political commentators are right about one thing disunity is not attractive. Supporting Goff as leader is the only sensible move.

Phil Goff is pretty universally acknowledged as a nice guy, a hard worker and good public speaker. He’s competent, committed and professional. There’s a sense that in his style as Prime Minister he would be similar to his predecessor acquiring the gravitas of office and being intelligent, dignified and well-respected.

It’s a style that served Helen Clark well. True, most of her opponents were in no danger of out-charming her. Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Bill English and Don Brash had not much charisma to share between them.

But being able to make a fool of yourself on Letterman is not the only valuable political commodity.

Phil’s strength is in his sincerity. Unlike Key, he does have principles. He is not a flip-flopping truth-twister who will smile and wave with one hand while keeping the fingers on his other hand crossed behind his back.

The public might be charmed into buying snake oil once. But eventually they will realize that the product doesn’t live up to the promises.

What Labour needs is for Phil and the team to keep chipping away at National, questioning their figures, exposing their spin and establishing their own policies.

They say luck is when preparation meets opportunity, and the opportunity for Labour to get some serious traction is coming.

Blue

82 comments on “Can Labour win in 2011?”

  1. Brett 1

    Who Knows?
    Nines years under Labour created an incredibility dumb, self centred group of voters.
    Promise enough shit and you might have a chance.

    • lprent 1.1

      Well it worked for John Key didn’t it? Look at what happened to the north of $50 per week tax cuts….

      They happened for the demographic funding the national party – and not for anyone else. They were promised when it was obvious that there were bad economic clouds already in play and amount to a straight political bribe – which they weren’t able to deliver.

      I suspect that those types of credibility issues are going to become the key downfall in the 2011 election.

      • Brett 1.1.1

        The key question though is why would you vote for Labour again, what’s changed?,It’s still fill of the same faces,ideas etc. and no people weren’t fooled into voting for Key and National,. they were sick of previous Labour government and it’s policies.
        Labour need at least another term in purgatory before they get another go.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          no people weren’t fooled into voting for Key and National,. they were sick of previous Labour government and it’s policies

          So why did National campaign on the basis of being labour lite but also offering a tax cut?

          • Brett 1.1.1.1.1

            Because Labour had turned a great chunk of NZ into beneficiaries.
            Truth is these people need to be weaned of the teat but it has to be done slowly otherwise it’s too traumatic and people freak out.
            Look what Labour did in the 80’s, changes had to be made but the way it was handled was fucking ruthless, if you are going to make changes they have to be done subtly so people don’t notice.
            I thought this was obvious stuff.

            • bbfloyd 1.1.1.1.1.1

              brett,,, the only obvious thing here is your utterly facile approach to political debate. if you really believe the bigoted, inaccurate drivel you spout, then i have to thank you for, once again providing thinking people with an excellent example of just what needs to be weeded out.
              the day people like you finally realise that self serving ignorant reactionary namecalling is not a substitute for informed debate, then this country has a real chance of actually fulfilling it’s true potential. sadly, the longer your kind of politics dominate, the less chance of that ever happening.
              step one is to stop using your mirror as a sounding board.

        • Luxated 1.1.1.2

          If Brett’s post was written in 2007:

          The key question though is why would you vote for National again, what’s changed? Its still full of the same faces, ideas etc. People weren’t fooled into voting for Helen and Labour, they were sick of previous National government and it’s policies.

          National need at least another term in purgatory before they get another go.

  2. Of course Labour can win.

    A few months ago Roy Morgan reported National at 49 and Labour at 33. The Greens were at 7. The gap had been steadily closing.

    Since then we have had the credit card fiasco and the Chris Carter difficulties and the gap grew. Last week it was back to 49:31:9. I suspect after this week it will blow out again. But after things again settle down I believe the polls will again show a narrowing of the gap. National look venerable. If the debate can be focussed on matters of substance then their support will ebb. Already it is clear that they do not have a plan, just an expectation that they should rule because they are born to it.

    And super city should be imploding at the time the elections are held.

    I have not heard the fat lady singing yet.

    • Comedy 2.1

      Here you go.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        It was good in context (I was there) and the audience appreciated it during the delay. But Lyn had this comment after having a brief look at the video: “.. there are some things that should never be videoed. Could be the best PR advice the Labour party has had all year.”. Never thought I’d hear a film producer say that…

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Actually, a film producer is exactly the type of person I’d expect to hear that from. They have a better understanding of the power of video than pretty much everyone else.

      • Mickysavage 2.1.2

        Your video sums up the right’s approach to politics. Avoid at all costs discussion of issues of substance, concentrate on the banal and throw some peresonal abuse about.

        • Comedy 2.1.2.1

          Crikey I didn’t realise the singers were to the political right……. Chris Carter was right Danger Will Robinson Danger

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            Actually, you posting the video was the avoidance of issues and substance that Mickysavage was referring to.

    • loota 2.2

      National look venerable.

      Methinks you misspoke 😛

  3. coolas 3

    Yes Labour can be the major party in the next Government

    Coalition with Green & Maori parties is a real possibility, especially if Hide looses his seat & it’s all over for Act. Need a strong candidate against him and heaps poured into that battle.

    2011 will be one of the most crucial elections in our history. This Nact Government must be defeated. Another term and it’ll take a generation to recover from their destructiveness.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    A swing voter speaks … on Sunday morning, after the election 2011:

    “Yeah, I voted for Key in 2008. I’m a bit disappointed in him, to be honest, but I didn’t feel like switching to Labour. But it doesn’t matter, does it? The media said the election was done and dusted. A foregone conclusion. Game over. Boring. A cakewalk. They all said so. All the time. And when are they ever wrong?

    So I went to the beach. With my mates. My wife voted though. For Winston, she said. Well, why not? After all, our votes don’t matter, do they? It’s a foregone conclusion.

    What’s that? 60% turn out? Winston back in? Key shitting himself? Goff grinning?

    But they said it was a foregone conclusion! They said so! On the telly!”

    Moral: never, ever, tell the voters what they’ve already done, when they haven’t done it.

  5. Like i said aaaages ago…

    Phil could score some major brownie points with voters if he and Labour donate their taxcuts to charity, otherwise it’s like he’s accepting Key’s gift and seen to be in English’s back pocket. What better way to reject a fiscally imprudent budget than to say no to NACTS 30 pieces of silver bribe to their rich prick mates ?

    He could also do with calling Key out, face to face, on his relaxed ordinary schtick and ‘smile and wave’ photo ops. If he can reveal the nasty toff hiding underneath to the public at large it’d go a long way to increasing his personal popularity.

    I don’t think there’s much can be done about Goff’s dress sense and cadence though. It’d be too much like dressing mutton as lamb and would likely inspire more ridicule as in that ‘carrot up the arse’ swagger he’s adopted lately.

    I reckon he could also do with getting Carmel Sepuloni and Kelvin Davis in the media a bit more, fronting the Pasifikan, inclusive of Maori, issues around education and employment. Nothing like seeing fresh, young, goodlooking, eloquent and informed next generation Pasifikans walking the talk… 🙂

    • Bored 5.1

      Polly,

      You made mention of the Pacifika vote….I might add the urban Maori and Westie vote. Its there that the election will be won or lost. NACT are hoping like hell that these guys dont end up at the polls, or if so will vote for them which is why they are courting Inga and Ice. Labour need to get their heads around winning this block as the centre that they always try and apppeal to will go with whoever they think will retain their comparatively comfortable position. Get Davies and Sepuloni on the front benches asap.

      • pollywog 5.1.1

        Couldn’t agree more B…

        i can only speak for myself, but i dont feel best represented by teh smiley aging Winnie Labans, the morbidly obese Horomias or the humble matai like Su’a Sios and theres no way in hell right leaning, ex sporting, christian do gooders or wannabe serial troughers hooked into the good ol’ brownboy network should ever get a look in to represent the best of Pasifika intentions.

        Its a new dawn out here and we’re a new breed of political animal. We’re not just the equal of anyone, we’re better, and we deserve representatives who can sell that to the youngers that just don’t know it…yet 🙂

  6. nilats 7

    If Carter says Labour can’t win under Goff why should the electorate think Labour can? We all know carter is not the lone ranger.
    Seems the same in Aussie as well, Rudd is stuffing up Gizzard big time.

    • gobsmacked 7.1

      But Rudd couldn’t lose in Australia, could he? The polls said so. The commentators said so. Sound familiar?

    • Mac1 7.2

      If Carter says that, there could be many reasons why that as a piece of political ball-gazing could be wrong. The motives are important. Why did he say that? Was it a clear judgment, free of emotion and uncluttered by personal feelings? Of course not.

      The only real message in that out burst is that Chris Carter is deeply hurt for whatever reason/s.

      The electorate saw convincing and strong leadership from Goff. They can sort it out, Nilats.

  7. JJ 8

    What? Phill Goff has principles? I’ve always thought he has expressed what ever views he needs to in order to stay in power or advance his position in the labour party. Wasn’t he part of the Roger Douglas camp back in the day?

    • bbfloyd 8.1

      jj, jj, jj,,, sigh. you really have got to stop doing that stuff with vegetables. it’s interfering with your higher brain functions.

  8. Pretentious Prenom (1) 9

    1. I’m appalled at Labour Cabinet ministers uncritically scapegoating Carter as having mental or psychiatric difficulties (DSM III or IV anyone ?). It points to an appalling level of groupthink, such as that parodied by Orwell in Animal Farm.

    2. My impression – based on video and audio clips on Radio National and the net – is that Goff publicly monstered Carter over his latest travel expenses which were frankly trivial in comparison to those of
    others on both sides of politics.

    3. Carters reaction of giving notice to the media of a leadership challenge (for the moment aborted, if it ever existed) *in his own handwriting* is inexcusable form the point of view of the current leadership, but – broadly speaking – understandable as a reaction to what is starting to emerge as a pattern of harassment. It can also be seen as the reaction of a long-term Labour supporter concerned about the long-term future of this country.

    4. Many others have been slapped over the wrist and allowed to carry on, on both sides of the House.

    5. Nevertheless, the actions of the Labour leadership in banishing Carter from the Caucus for manifest disloyalty (to this leadership) are understandable.

    6. Goff’s threat, however, to expel Carter from the NZ Labour Party (“there is no place for him in the NZ Labour Party”) seems to be an over-reaction, a waste of political colour and talent, and unreasonable.

    7. Solution. Annette King slaps both boys on the wrist and gives them detention in the back room while taking interim leadership of the Labour Party .. with Cunliffe, Dyson, Parker, and Street as deputies.

    8. Result ? Stable experienced leadership during the crisis together with a smooth and transparent route to an openly contested succession involving a balance of forensic, intellectual, and life experience.

    9. Last, but not least, it gives me an opportunity to ponder and pontificate on a cold, wet, and windy afternoon.

    10. Keep it up guys ! Lots of colour and movement .. and not a mention of Lorenzo (de’ Medici) Key.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      p.p… have you ever considered writing childrens books? with an imagination like yours allied to an obviously overblown assessment of your analytical ability i think storybooks for preschoolers would be an ideal use of your talent.
      btw.. just cause your mum says your special doesn’t mean you actually are.(you really are her special little guy)

      • Pretentious Prenom (1) 9.1.1

        bbfloyd .. you do not seem to be in the mood for a bit of gentle irony, or comedic critique.

        You are in good company – Animal Farm was thought by some to be a kids book.

        From what I see happening on the street, there is nothing childish about what is happening in Aotearoa today.

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Inflation this year is expected to hit 5%.

    What’s the inflation in food? Because I can assure you it’s higher than 5% and people are already feeling it.

    • loota 10.1

      People can’t afford meat and milk in a land rich with meat and milk. Yeah that’s what happens in a high cost low wage economy.

      And what is NACT doing about it? Oh yeah, giving tax cut largesse to the wealthy, so they can afford yet another sirloin steak dinner with bubbly at SPQR every week.

      • comedy 10.1.1

        Next they won’t be able to afford the Sky TV, Big Wednesday ticket, pack a day of fags and getting drunk every day over the weekend……. it is the end of civilisation as we know it.

        • felix 10.1.1.1

          Who is it you’re referring to there comedy?

          • comedy 10.1.1.1.1

            Gingas, I is a racist of the Rodney Wayne school of thought.

            [lprent: And I’m the intolerant of bigotry type, which is why gingas is in the auto moderate list. I’d suggest strongly that you don’t use it even in jest or I may declare a pogrom on comedians ]

        • bbfloyd 10.1.1.2

          comedy..which paticular dimension did you say you lived in again? i want to go there. the reality here is too desperate for comfort

      • felix 10.1.2

        loota,

        I reckon the milk problem is well on the way to being sorted.

        See the trouble is we produce so much of it that we have to sell most of it offshore. And ‘cos we sell so much of it, it makes no sense not to charge ourselves top dollar for it. See otherwise we’d be losing out on making that money offshore which we can then use to buy milk from ourselves.

        The way to lower the cost to ourselves is simple: Sign a free trade deal with China so they can buy more of our milk and invest in our businesses. Then we sell the farms and the dairy companies and the whole dairy industry to the Chinese govt.

        Now seeing as they’ll mostly just be selling milk to themselves they’ll naturally want to keep the price low (‘cos being fewer enlightened than ourselves they don’t mind interfering in markets) and viola! Affordable milk for us too!

        (which, considering the wages they’ll pay us, will be greatly welcomed)

  10. SHG 11

    IMHO Labour cannot win while its front benches are stacked with relics of the last Labour government. I see the same old faces waiting for another turn with the Ministerial credit cards and I turn away.

    Labour needs new blood. It needs to select its candidates based on ability rather than on their position in Helen Clark’s rolodex.

    • felix 11.1

      And yet National won in 2008 with a fresh-faced line up of Brownlee, English, Williamson, Ryall, Carter, Smith & Smith, Henare, McCully, Mapp et al.

    • lprent 11.2

      My only response to that paranoia is to ask why you’re so terrified of Helen? Or is it just competent woman? Or just woman that you can’t handle?

      • SHG 11.2.1

        I admire Clark for the sheer strength of will and force of personality with which she ran her governments. I think the Clark-Simpson pairing is one of the most powerful leadership teams the country has ever seen.

        The problem is, Helen isn’t here any more. It’s not Helen that terrifies me – it’s the talentless sycophants that she’s left behind. Carter has always been Clark’s creature and his meltdown is simply a reflection of the fact that he’s a previously-protected client now without a patron. His credit card and privileges were taken off him, he had become answerable to a leader who didn’t need to be surrounded by gay men, and now he wants someone to blame.

        As right-wing conservative commentator Matt McCarten puts it,

        Any new leader of the Labour Party against Key was always going to struggle. It’s not Goff’s fault. It was Clark who lost the last election. Goff inherited her baggage and unfortunately some of her courtiers. Carter was Clark’s favourite and it is widely believed his promotion was beyond his competencies and was due to his personal relationship with the former prime minister.

        Clark’s need to surround herself with creatures like Carter, and rewarding them with high office, reflects a personal flaw.

        Knowing what we do of him now, can you believe Chris Carter was ever raised to the office of Minister of Education? Really?

        To bring the discussion back to the present Labour lineup, I’m sure I’m not alone in looking at some of Labour’s front bench and being reminded of recent things I didn’t like. I see Annette King and I remember “the court of common sense” and her weather-centric crime theories. I see Trevor Mallard and I remember the character assassination he performed upon public servant Erin Leigh while hiding behind parliamentary privilege like a bitch. And worst for Goff, I see him and I remember him in the Cabinet that sold off (and I quote the PM) “Telecom, the State Insurance Office, the Post Office Bank, Air New Zealand, the Tourist Hotel Corporation, New Zealand Steel, Petrocorp, the Government Printing Office, the DFC, the National Film Unit, the Rural Banking and Finance Corporation, the Shipping Corporation, New Zealand Liquid Fuel Investment, Maui Gas, SynFuels, forest cutting rights, Health Computing Services, and Communicate New Zealand”.

        • loota 11.2.1.1

          Nice thing is, Labour has learnt from the neo-liberal free market crapshoot of yesteryear, National is still twitching away at the trigger like its the only game in town.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1

            Yes, but they still don’t seem to have a plan to renationalise those necessary monopolies as they should.

        • felix 11.2.1.2

          And the funny thing is that if SHG and the others who spread this meme actually believed that that’s where Phil Goff’s heart was at today, they’d vote for him.

          But they don’t, and it’s not, so they won’t.

          So remind me again, why do they spend so much time spreading these ideas around teh blogs?

  11. The notion of Phil Goff being a ‘sincere politician’ is lulzworthy

    Remember. Phil Goff ran an “Axe the Tax” campaign. But when asked whether Labour will roll back GST he didn’t make any firm committments.

    Remember: Phil Goff was one of the Rogernome proponents – there’s a classic shot of him in the NZ Film “IN Someone Else’s Country” confronting a group of protestors with platitudes in defence of neo-liberalism.

    If Phil Goff is a ‘sincere politician’ then I’m straight.

    • swimmer 12.1

      The distant past – he’s not like that now. Of course he couldn’t commit to anything – he has to look at the books when he gets elected.
      I’m glad you’re out and proud 🙂

    • felix 12.2

      It’s amazing how many throw-away blogs the right-wing ops put up to try to create various impressions, give back-stories to their sockpuppets, and sow discontent (or in this case foment division).

      This has to be one of the most transparent and stupid examples I’ve seen yet.

      • Anne 12.2.1

        It would be interesting to know who is putting up the money to finance these breast-feeding right-wing ops blogging sites. I mean it must cost to keep their trolls fed 24hrs a day and to occasionally change their soiled nappies. Might be worth an investigation by some of the left’s IT wizards.

        • SHG 12.2.1.1

          Exactly! It’s a shadowy conspiracy! Help us, IT Wizards of the Left! You’re our only hope!

          • felix 12.2.1.1.1

            I note you haven’t answered my question above.

            If you really believe Phil Goff is harbouring a right-wing privatisation agenda why don’t you vote for him?

            And if you don’t believe it then why do you publicise the idea?

          • Anne 12.2.1.1.2

            Who’s talking about shadowy conspiracies SHG? Only you.

            • SHG 12.2.1.1.2.1

              You’re the one calling for an investigation into the identities of those financing right-wing blogs, not me 🙂

              • Anne

                I never mentioned identities SHG. I postulated the question in a general way. Who is putting up the money to feed the trolls – or sock puppets as Felix called them? Is it coming direct from the Nat coffers, or through some subsidiary group? If the latter, which is it likely to be? Perfectly reasonable question to ask.

                Read “The Hollow Men” yet?

                As I said, you are the one who is putting up conspiracy oriented and/or distorted crap about former Labour ministers. But let’s be fair. You aren’t the only one!

                • comedy

                  Can I borrow that tinfoil to make sure the Sunday roast doesn’t scorch ?

                • felix

                  There’s no way it’s directly funded. My guess would be that the easiest way to feed them is via companies which can legitimately bill the nats for providing some other service – pr, consultancy, polling – you know the sort of thing.

                  • Has it ever struck your mind that this is not some sort of shadow conspiracy set up by the exclusive brethern/business roundtable but the work of a genuine grassroots disgruntled by the piss-poor treatment that a loyal Labour member got?

  12. Look mate. I’ve supported Labour all my life and will give my party vote to Labour in Te Atatu (and to Chris Carter if he stands as an independent)

    I even wish, hope and pray that Labour will win in 2011.

    But wake up. Phil Goff is a rogernome politician who’s as spineless and flip-floppy as John Key was.

    • felix 13.1

      I don’t believe you.

    • Outofbed 13.2

      Yes some of you may whistle and look the other way but yes Goff was a Rogernome
      And if he has now changed his opinion wouldn’t that make him guilty of the lack of conviction that we routinely accuse Key of ?
      So what choice are we given if we are Labour supporters ? Hold our nose and vote for the centre right Goff rogernome because he a labour party man?
      Better to hold your nose and vote Green ( they might be 99% white and middle class to the core) at least they are genuine in pursuit of their left-wing principles.
      Read the GP minority report from the Select Committee on the subject of welfare reform
      http://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/07/31/beneficiary-bashing-bill-back-in-parliament-and-worse-than-ever/
      the Labour party never restored the Tory cuts the last time.
      If you want a principled progressive left-wing Govt Who will you vote for?

      • loota 13.2.1

        And if he has now changed his opinion wouldn’t that make him guilty of the lack of conviction that we routinely accuse Key of ?

        No it would make Goff guilty of being able to reflect on and learn from experience.

        On the other hand, Key has plenty of Conviction – but its all to do with keeping him and his mates in power/money, nothing to do with furthering the strengths of NZ.

  13. QoT 14

    See, I’m a raving leftie … but reading the carefully-worded phrase, “perceived infractions of the last Labour government” just makes me fall straight in with the righties who scream “You think Labour can do no wrong!!!”

    It’s pretty fucking arrogant to talk as though the public only turned against Labour because of “perceived” infractions. Sure, we can talk about National’s nanny-state propaganda and Kiwis’ tendency to think it’s just fair to give the other guy a turn at the wheel, and sure we can point to ridiculous situations like the “anti-smacking” bill getting 113 votes but somehow getting spun as a Labour-only piece of social engineering.

    But Labour still messed up in plenty of ways. I did not vote Labour last election because I agreed with CPAG on Working for Families. I did not vote Labour last election because it was a bit bloody late to start promising universal student allowances at the last minute. I did not vote Labour because I was still quite pissed off about the kowtowing to fucking Peter fucking Dunne at the expense of the Greens. These aren’t “perceived” infractions, and it’s like we’re straight back to some of Steve Pierson’s post-election whinges about how Labour would totally have won if those Other stupid lefties hadn’t thrown their votes away on RAM or the Workers’ Party.

    And at that point, the burts and comedys of the world who delight in calling leftists arrogant and self-centred have a pretty good point.

    • loota 14.1

      Yep Labour made plenty of stuff ups in the past. Being National-Lite-Left for starters. And being the warm up act for Ruth Richardson.

      But thinking about it, are the Leftists truly more smug, self centred and arrogant than the Keys, Bennetts, and Brownlees?

      I’d say no, not by a long shot.

      • QoT 14.1.1

        I always hate comparative arguments, loota. Like, “but poverty in NZ is so much less severe than in the US!” doesn’t mean that poverty in NZ isn’t a problem that needs to be addressed. And the comparative arrogance of Key/Bennett/Brownlee et al is frankly irrelevant unless I was thinking of voting National any time before Hell freezes over.

        • comedy 14.1.1.1

          I don’t hate comparative arguments – I don’t even hate foul mouthed fatties.

  14. johnbrash 15

    If democracy is a true and fair process, then Labour will win

  15. Salsy 16

    Listening to Goffs attack on Carters mental stablility on RNZ was quite a revolting experience, and clearly shows who is indeed the weaker of the pair. At least Carters criticism came from a place of fact – Goff is failing in the polls, and simply, somehow cannot convert Nact major error into Lab win, he just cant do it…. But wait “The caucus supports me” – who cares? Virtually the entire population of the country dont, so who really matters here Phil?

    • felix 16.1

      “Listening to Goffs attack on Carters mental stablility on RNZ”

      I’m trying to find that now. When did you hear it?

    • felix 16.2

      Ok Salsy I’m listening to it now. Where is the attack?

    • handle 16.3

      Oh come off it. What Carter did was not “criticism”. It managed to be both clumsy and bitchy but above all it was cowardly, stupid and disloyal.

  16. Jerry 17

    I think labour has to address housing to make any change to their position. We have thousands of New Zealander heading towards retirement with no homes.

    This is going to cost our welfare system plenty in the future. Its time to reduce immigration that puts housing out of our reach. For many at the bottom of the heap it also put jobs out of their reach. The free markets policy has reduced our wages to the point where low wage earners are anti beneficiaries getting enough to money to meet the most basic bills becuase they often work full time and still cannot cover their bills.
    I have a few ideas for housing that you might want to look at.

    The first one is to use state housing as a developer to subdivide land and build houses for New Zealanders at cost. If you cut out the middleman housing becomes much cheaper and the deposit isn’t needed becuase the value of the assett is much higher than the mortgaged amount.

    Reverse the tax cuts and put 2 billion dollars into a roliing fund, flick off the houses to qualifying applicants as soon as they are built then put the money back into the fund and for more houses.

    You would need to have a large amount of land available for subdivision early on to keep the houses turning over as soom as you have built and sold one the land would be ready to build another. This would be a great stimulus for the economy.

    Lets face it what we spend our whole lives paying for and working towards is the family home.
    This is what Kiwis often want more than anything else. Why shouldn’t the government help them get it.

    If It reduces property prices then thats a good thing. If people with big mortgages loose their homes as a result of prices falling then let them apply for the scheme.

    How much are we paying to landlords in rent subsidies when we could be giving people what they want “their own homes”.

    If the new landlords of our country dont like it tough. Why should we be subsidising housing to pay their incomes when we can get New Zealanders set up for prosperity and future security in their own homes.

    Ill bet the crime rate would go down also.

    • Carol 17.1

      Why should owning your own home be the only viable option? What’s wrong with assuring affordable rents?

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