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’81: knowing your position

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, November 22nd, 2014 - 103 comments
Categories: labour, news, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

I didn’t have a strong preference in the recently completed Labour caucus leadership contest.  I marginally favoured Andrew Little, but also didn’t know very much about him.

Andrew Little

Now the media are looking to find out more about him.  Andrea Vance has an informative article about him.  If anything, Andrew Little’s considered, measured, reasonable and blunt approach is being foregrounded in the media, in spite of some journalists just uncritically repeating National Party spin.

In her article Vance reports how Little is standing firm and exposing the smear lines already being used by National’s well-oiled attack machine.

National are already sharpening their spin.

As well as being the man no-one wanted (in both his caucus and home-town New Plymouth electorate), political rivals will decry Little as a stooge, installed by the unions and the scourge of business owners.

He’s got National’s number, but says he won’t pretend to be someone else.

“Let them go. I’m not going to resile from being passionate about working men and women being looked after, having a voice, and being able to go to work safe and earn well. That’s what I stand for.

“The National party have continued to run what I think is a very 1970s prejudice about unions … We have [in New Zealand] accepted a culture that if you are big, bold and brassy you will stand up for yourself. But [this] Government is even stripping away protections [from] those who are bold enough to do so.

“I think New Zealanders are ready for someone who will talk bluntly about those who are being left behind. That’s what I’ll be doing.”

He’s no frothing firebrand.

“I guess what I’m pretty good at is picking the right fights … I can turn on the controlled anger when I need to to demonstrate a point.”

In his favour is respect won from the corporate world in the last two decades.

Excellent.

From Vance’s article, I learned something about Little’s background.  His parents where National Party supporters. It was Muldoon’s government and the 1981 Springbok rugby tour, that turned Little to the left.

The 1981 Springbok tour, when he was 16, was a “galvanising experience”.

“I saw [Robert] Muldoon and the National Party being at its most cynical and its most unjust. And I think that’s where I departed from my parents’ political views.”

Little has since won over his mum, now 91, and she – and her National Party friends – gave him her vote.

The main criticism of Little by Vance, is that he was late for the press conference on his first official day as leader.  This is put down to Little not using alarm clocks to wake in the morning. He prefers to use natural sleep rhythms to get him the rest his body needs.

A good political leader does need to know how to protect and conserve their energy for the long haul.

I reckon that Little has pretty much hit the ground running this week.  He made a “blunt” but well-focused statement about the Sutton debacle.  He has remained composed, in spite of some mainstream journalists uncritically running the National Party smear lines against him.  And he has already begun to stamp his mark on his approach to leading Labour.

Vance reports that Little says he picks his fights.  However, he will take a strong stand when it is required:

At his first press conference on Tuesday, Little said: “I’m not a product of anybody’s PR machine.”

But a whirl of media interviews, including with women’s mags, is necessary to initially build a public profile, building up to a crucial state of the nation speech in January.

“A blunt communicator, calling it as it is,” is how he eventually hopes to be seen by voters.

“They’ll see that when there is a fight to be had that I’m up for the fight.”

Like many others on the left, I am hopeful that Little will be the leader the Labour Party needs to strongly lead the left into the next election in 3 years time.  I will be watching with interest how he tackles the difficult issues and the infotainment media.

103 comments on “’81: knowing your position”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100…good post … thanks karol

    i like the bit about “Little says he picks his fights”….he seems to me to be coolly intelligent, strategic, articulate , blunt, witty and most important, for the ‘little people’….in other words a good down- to- earth REAL New Zealander, who knows and loves New Zealanders

    …unlike John Key .

  2. srylands 2

    In 1981 John Key was studying accountancy, dating Boonah, and working as a stable hand. He was focussed on his studies and future. There is no evidence he was on any side. He was studying for mid year exams at Canterbury University. The whole tour thing passed him by.

    • adam 2.1

      Apologist srylands strikes again.

      Thanks for a whole lot of mmmmhhhhh – any chance you could act like the rugged individual your lot purpose – nah, a non thinking lick spittle suits you. I’d call you a brown noser, but I think you’re in deeper than that.

    • John Key has principles, and if you don’t like the ones on display at any given point, he has others you might be interested in.

      Little Just publicly remembering rather than dis-remembering where he stood during 1981 is a good move.

      Is SSlands a long term Key hanger on, or is he just bullshitting?

    • karol 2.3

      The whole tour thing passed him by.

      Really?

      And yet, Key is reported to have expressed a desire to become PM at a very early age, as well as having said he was always interested in politics. And he participated in debates at school/uni.

      Key’s other ambition was apparently to get rich in business/banking. What motivated him to take a political position opposed to that of his mother?

      The ’81 tour was a polarising issue, which all Kiwis, however, busy, would have been strongly aware of.

      Little, on the other hand, was very clear of his political values and positions from an early age. This seems to have come before any personal ambitions for wealth or political power.

      In ’81, Little was probably just finishing secondary school. That would also require quite a bit of studying – must have done well as he studied law, philosophy and public policy in the ’80s – need reasonable grades to get into such courses: subjects that would lead to working in service of the public, rather than for personal wealth and power.

      He also was politically active at uni, while clearly being a successful student.

      • Vagabundo 2.3.1

        Fuck, man, the Springbok tour is the sort of thing that kids CURRENTLY in secondary schools would explain which side they would have been on had they been alive at the time. Hell, it’s taught at the Y9 level at some schools. What’s Key’s excuse?

      • Murray Rawshark 2.3.2

        In 1981, Key would have asked the richest person he knew which side they were on concerning the racist tour. He would then have adopted that view. Since he wouldn’t have really believed in anything except getting rich, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually has forgotten which side he pretended to be on.

    • Skinny 2.4

      What a nonsense Shrillands. I was a young rugby player (under19’s) I was at the infamous Waikato game that got called off. Up until that day I was pro tour, by the end of that day ( after seeing elderly protestor being beaten) I was anti tour. Everyone had a view after that day. Your talking crap and probably were just a twinkle in your daddy’s eyes back then.

      Key [deleted] doesn’t want to admit he was pro tour, too much of a bad look considering the dealing too they got. The posing with the All Blacks during the election is proof enough for me.

      [karol: please keep away from such negative ethnic/religious stereotypes when commenting under my posts][r0b: Keep away from them under any posts!]

      • Skinny 2.4.1

        Ok it was a bit blunt, point taken, however it was relevant to the racist and subhuman treatment the black South Africans were going thru at that time.

        • karol 2.4.1.1

          That meaning wasn’t in any way clear from your comment. It looked like an unnecessary sideswipe, and irrelevant to the rest of your comment. Maybe need to be more careful about how you word such things.

    • joe90 2.5

      The whole tour thing passed him by.

      Calling bullshit on that,

      In 1981, completing an advanced trade qualification, newly committed to a relationship, actively pursuing a sporting interest and paying the usurious interest rates of the day with two jobs, the tour dominated my community in a way which made it impossible to ignore.

      • mickysavage 2.5.1

        Yep I was at Auckland uni studying law. The tour was completely unmissable for months. Forgetting one’s position suggests the need for medical assistance …

        • Westiechick 2.5.1.1

          I was in the fifth form and passionate about my anti-tour views and the evils of apartheid. When Key first said he couldn’t remember, I was sure he was lying because history had inconveniently placed him on the wrong side. Now, I actually believe him. He is not burdened by values. He may have been marginally pro-tour but wasn’t really on either side. it passed him by.

    • Karen 2.6

      What absolute crap Srylands. It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest Key was too busy to take a stand. The tour dominated the media and everybody had a view. Key is simply being dishonest
      .
      Watch “Patu” on NZONSCREEN if you weren’t around at the time.

      • Anne 2.6.1

        The Hamilton game was compulsive viewing. Every man, woman, child and dog was glued to the TV screens watching. You could smell the fear, hear and see the the anger and ugliness. No-one knew what was going to happen next. It carried on for the rest of the tour. The country was in an uproar. Families, friends, lovers even became bitter enemies for the duration – some maybe permanently.

        And that shallow, gutless wonder… claims he can’t remember which side he was on.

        Of course he remembers – the wannabe PM and Muldoon fan boy was pro-tour. Why would he care about a bunch of black men and women and their rights.

      • Murray Rawshark 2.6.2

        SSlands has his own collection of police brutality videos. He knows what happened.

    • Blue 2.7

      You’ve been corrected on this point before, srylands. When pressed, Key stated that he was “probably mildly pro-tour”. So yes, Key did notice that the Springbok tour was on and he did have an opinion about it.

      There were plenty of New Zealanders who were pro-tour, and no one is particularly surprised that Key was one of them. He claims to like rugby a lot and has never proclaimed any great passion for human rights.

      It’s the fact that he has so much trouble admitting what his position is that keeps biting him in the arse. Pretending to forget where you stood on such a major political event is ridiculous. It is the modern-day equivalent of pretending you didn’t notice 9/11.

      Even the most self-absorbed person in the country would have noticed the events of 81 and someone who had always been interested in politics and wanted to be PM one day would certainly have had an opinion.

      It’s always the cover-up that gets the politician.

    • Beatie 2.8

      In 1981 I was in London and had been away from NZ for 5 years. I was well aware of the tour, as were my NZ friends. I remember attending a protest at NZ House with lots of NZers (including Sam Neill)

    • David H 2.9

      So in other words, Key was only a lowly shit shoveller.

    • Tracey 2.10

      Wrong. He didnt say he was on no side, he said he didnt remember which side he was on, this young man with a burning desire inside him since he were a boy, to be prime minister… Had one of the most divise times in modern nz history pass him by unnoticed.

      This is probably your funniest post to date.

      ” It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it. .”

    • felix 2.11

      “The whole tour thing passed him by.”

      I guess that’s why when asked, he said “the whole tour thing passed me by”.

      Oh no that’s not it, he actually said (squeaked) “AAaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh eeeerrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmm eeeeeeeeeeek aaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwww weeeeeeellllllll uuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm geeeeeeeeeeeeeeee aaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwkkkkkkkkkwwwwwaaaaaaarrrrrrrrddddddd”

    • amirite 2.12

      srylands, must be because he had his head stuck up his arse through it all?

    • McFlock 2.13

      lol
      So so he even remembers what he was doing as a part time job thirty years ago, but can’t recall his opinion on possibly the most divisive issue in NZ since its “peaceful” colonisation.

      An issue that spanned politcs and sport.

      I have difficulty believing that a craven oik like key wouldn’t have been keeping up with the sports news, just to take part in the social conversations he’d have while playing golf with people he wanted to suck up to.

      • Tracey 2.13.1

        He got paid in that job. People didnt start paying him to think political stuff til much later…

    • minarch 2.14

      Is Boonah your pet name for her ?

  3. ankerawshark 3

    Srylands @ 2. This is great. The nat (or Nact) trolls are on the back foot defending JK.

    I LIKE IT!

  4. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4

    🙂 I am really warming up to Little and liking him lots 🙂

    • weka 4.1

      Me too. I’m impressed. And it’s not because he’s a shining star (he’s not), it’s becauses he’s smart, grounded, comes across as well prepared, and doesn’t have that pre-emptive defensive thing that Cunliffe had.

      He also smiles with his eyes, hugely beneficial and makes me more inclined to trust him.

      • chris73 4.1.1

        Well then hopefully he won’t carry through on his burden of proof thing:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11289979

        • joe90 4.1.1.1

          Well then hopefully he won’t carry through on his burden of proof thing:

          Why not, unless if you’ve got something to hide…..

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            Because it was NEVER LP policy, which chris knows because it was widely discussed here at the time.

          • chris73 4.1.1.1.2

            I’m ok with the innocent until proven guilty way of doing things…slippery slope and all that

        • weka 4.1.1.2

          Chris, do you have difficulty knowing whether consent has been given when you have sex?

        • felix 4.1.1.3

          Hopefully one day John Key will take rape seriously.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.4

          READ the policy and educate yourself on what their actual intention was. Little misspoke their policy. God knows you accept so much more misspeaking and flip flops and outright lies from your govt.

          Nz femme wrote about this here at the time.

          “…put to rest an urban myth in the making – that the Labour Party Policy will see the presumption of innocence nullified under a reversed burden of proof.

          Stretching out behind and informing Labour’s Policy, is a long trail of Inquiries, Taskforce research, and Law Commission reports that goes something like this:

          2007, the Commission of Enquiry into Police Conduct Report by Margaret Bazley was released. Undertaken after the Louise Nicholas debacle, it led to a further investigation by the Law Commission into evidential law.
          Following recommendations within that report, the Government set up a “Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence”. Multiple specialist groups and Government Departments researched specific areas, and the following were identified and earmarked as proposals for public submission:
          The addition of a positive definition of consent. NZ law provides for a number of circumstances in which consent is not deemed to be present, but no statutory definition of what constitutes consent. The preliminary proposal made, was to add a definition of consent containing the concepts of freedom, choice and capacity to make that choice – something a judge may already direct a jury to consider.
          Adding further guidance on the reasonable belief test.
          An extension of the rape shield laws, to disallow any previous sexual history between complainant and defendant to be raised, without prior Court Approval.
          A recommendation that the Law Commission undertake an inquiry into alternative trial processes, including the potential for specialist sexual violence courts with an emphasis on Restorative Justice models and an investigation into Adverserial v/s Inquisatorial models.

          It’s important I think, to point out that a suggestion made during the Taskforce enquiry to reverse the burden of proof was not proposed, and was not investigated by the Law Commission enquiry that would follow. It was never on the table.

          “94. This has not been proposed as an option because a review of the burden of proof would raise major Bill of Rights concerns, such as the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

          Fast forwarding to 2010 brings us to then Justice Minister Simon Power’s directive to the Law Commission to pick up where the Taskforce into Sexual Violence had left off, and inquire into alternative trial procedures.
          While much recent media discussion has focussed on the Adversarial v/s Inquisitorial models (which received very mixed support from stakeholder’s submissions), what has been lost in the discussion, is the overwhelming support from all stakeholder’s for Specialist Sexual Violence Courts which would take a Restorative Justice Model as their starting point (proposal’s 5 & 6).

          The Labour Party Policy proposes that the Law Commission complete its report. The Policy maps to both the proposals contained within the Taskforce for Sexual Violence discussion paper, and the Law Commissions proposals which received the highest levels of support from stakeholders submissions.

          Finally, a bit of a plea. Sexual Violence is a sensitive issue. The least that ought be done, by those releasing policy around it; the media reporting it; the bloggers opining on it; and us, the individual’s commenting on it; the least we can do is try and make sure we have our facts in order first. Please? (And that means you too Andrew Little).

          Labour Party Policy on Sexual Violence – A Closer Look

          • weka 4.1.1.4.1

            Link?

            • Tracey 4.1.1.4.1.1

              See above.

              This was widely explained at the time by many, including me. Chris was, to my memory part of those coversations.

              • chris73

                “The Crown has to prove more than just sex; the issue of consent has to be raised by the Crown, they have to prove the identity of the offender. They would have to bear that burden of proof before a switch to the defence to prove consent,” Mr Little said.

                – Well maybe Mr Little might like to consider being 100% on top of his game when broaching contentious issues such as this

                On the other hand three more years of John Key is quite appealing

                • Tracey

                  Well maybe that paases for

                  “i was wrong” in your neck of the woods…

                  You have forgiven key for much worse… But repeating something you were previously told was wrong…

      • Skinny 4.1.2

        I had the pleasure of having a one on one hour meeting with him over lunch earlier this year. We talked many things, employment law, justice (his portfolio) and a wide range of other topics. What I liked was his passion and determination and straight shooting style. He has quite a good dry sense of humour. I’d met the previous leaders including Clark who wanted me to stand in her old seat from years back. Goff was too aloof, Shearer too indecisive and Cunliffe I always got the feeling he spoke at you but not to you. Now with Little I feel alot more optimistic that he will make the changes the party needs. I recall telling him he had my support when the time was right. He thanked me after a hustings meeting when I told him I’d pulled in some crucial votes from our Afiliates. He looked me in the eye, shook my hand and thanked me with a I really appreiate your support.

  5. coaster 5

    We all know that the dirty politics team are going to have a strategy for attacking andrew, it will be interesting to see what track they take.

    although I think andrew comes across as being a bit grumpy I agree with almost everything he says. I hope he ends up being the todd blackadder of the labour party, not flashy, not overly charismatic, but hard working and able to lead by example and able to bring everyone in his team with him.

    • Manuka AOR 5.1

      “the dirty politics team are going to have a strategy for attacking andrew, it will be interesting to see what track they take.”

      I thought the most vicious attempted attack so far was Gower’s: “It is the great union robbery – the unions have stolen Labour’s leadership.” http://www.3news.co.nz/opinion/opinion-unions-rip-off-labour-leadership-2014111910

      How do the Nats select their leader? I’ve searched on the Net and still can’t get a clear answer.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Yes Mauka. Read that earlier. Garner is really obsessive and blinded by his fervent National Party support. He has attempted to massacre each Labour leader but sounds sort of senile and pathetic.
        Wonder why they are not having comments on today’s tirade? Huh!

        • Manuka AOR 5.1.1.1

          Wonder why they are not having comments on today’s tirade? Huh!

          Yes the comments under that slurry one were massively “back at ya” – sometimes deriding him. They are still there and are a much better read than the article itself 🙂

        • weka 5.1.1.2

          Most of the MSM seem incapable of understanding what STV is, why there are three different groups voting, and that the Labour party chose the system. The ineptitude of people like Gower and Kathryn Ryan (and to be fair, some prominent left leaning commentariat) is astounding.

          I mean for fuck’s sake, if Nanaia Mahuta hasn’t stood, much of her vote would have gone to Little. This whole he didn’t get a majority shit is exactly the same as the bullshit in national elections where people can’t think in terms of a left block, and only look at Labour’s low vote. Wake the fuck up, FPP was a long time ago. Progressive parties use progressive means of sharing power. Sorry that that upsets your personal view of what’s fair to the point of indignation, but you might want to ask yourselves why you want people to have less power and place in the political system instead of more.

          • Manuka AOR 5.1.1.2.1

            why you want people to have less power and place in the political system instead of more.

            That’s why I would like to know the Nat’s official* process of leader selection. Is it their caucus vote? Does anyone know?

            * El Draco has duly noted the actual/ unofficial process below ..

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Auction maybe?

      • Maisie 5.1.3

        [deleted]

        [lprent: That is over the edge ]

  6. cogito 6

    “including with women’s mags”

    Yawwwwn…..

    Real men don’t do women’s mags.

    Or moisturiser.

  7. chris73 7

    Who cares? HC tried bringing the ’81 tour up with John Key during the debates and it was resounding failure. Very few people care about the ’81 tour and for the ones who do care its only because it was probably the high points of their lives

    The left, concentrating on the things that matter since 2008

    • felix 7.1

      Who cares, chris? You do, enough to spend your Saturday talking about it.

      “The left, concentrating on the things that matter since 2008”

      Hard to tell whether you mean opposing apartheid doesn’t matter or having a PM who blatantly lies about it doesn’t matter.

      • Jim 7.1.1

        “What matters is now and the future focusing on the past is a waste of time” – Nelson Mandela!

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          “You can’t reject your history, nor your destiny. In the abundance of water only the fool is thirsty.” – Bob Marley

          “What’s past is prologue.” – Oliver Stone

          Also, I don’t expect you’ll find Nelson Mandela lying like John Key about whether he supported the tour.

    • Tracey 7.2

      Like the lowering of debt from 99 -2008 and thegrowth of it from 2008 to date from 18bn to 86bn… Notwithstanding record dairy prices etc etc…

      There is the suggestion in quarters that without the chchch earthquake we would have had the barest of growth and be in some trouble. The whizz bang money men of the nats didnt orchestrate the earthquake… Still had to pay for the

      Tax cuts
      Rio tinto
      Warners
      Foreign investor payout despite not covered by the guarantee scheme

      And so on…

      Chris – ignoring the facts and swallowing the lies since 2007

  8. music4menz 8

    This constant referencing to the ’81 Springbok Tour epitomises the disconnect that folk on the left have with New Zealander life in 2014.

    It’s time that people woke up to the fact that the Springbok Tour and whether you were a protester or not no longer matters to the bulk of New Zealanders.

    If proof is needed, take a look at the person most associated with the anti-Tour protests- John Minto. What success has he had at either local body or national level? Zilch.

    Andrew Little would be wise to move on also. The only way to look is forward, and not follow the lead of so many ‘progressives’ whose focus seems to be constantly on their supposed glory days of the past.

    • weka 8.1

      And yet here you are commenting on it, and taking a side.

      Little talked about his formative experiences. Why should he not have said how the Tour affected him? Many NZers were affected by the Tour. Anyone Little’s age or older will have direct memory of it.

    • millsy 8.2

      The Apartheid government in SA was a nasty, evil government that treated certain people as second class citizens because of the colour of their skin.

      Even worse, it stripped black of their rights and citizenship by setting up micronations in the country, making them citizens of these “countries” and moving them there. To this day.

      Every other country had cut off sporting ties with South Africa by 1981 except for New Zealand. And rugby wasnt the only sport — I think the South African softball team visited in the 1970’s along with a surf lifesaving team and the like, and we still kept playing sport with them, even though they refused to play against Maori players.

      And this goes right back several decades:

      1) World War I, when a NZ Army team went to SA to tour, the star player, of West Indian extraction wasnt allowed to travel there with the team.
      2) When the Springboks toured in 1921, a SA journalist sent a telegraph back to his home country after the NZ Maori match, calling it ‘digusting’ that a white crowd would cheer on a rugby team of non white players, in a match against white players.
      3) In the 1928 All Black tour of SA, George Nepia (the Dan Carter of the 1920’s), was barred to tour because he was Maori. His career waned after that.
      4) During the famous 1956 Springbok tour, the NZ Maori team was advised to not to try too hard against the SA team, to the point where if they won, they would not be able to play the team.
      5) Maori players were not allowed to be selected for the 1960 All Black tour of SA, and for the 1970 tour, they were given the humilating status of ‘honoary white’.

      We were complicit in the apartheid system, and those examples above, showed that we encouraged it.

      • Murray Rawshark 8.2.1

        Sadly, after all the fighting, South Africans got a government that treated people as inferior because of their class. The ANC has taken over from the Boers. My position was that this is what would happen with the ANC recognised as the main anti-apartheid grouping. I wonder how Andrew Little thinks South Africa has turned out so far? This would tell me more about him than what he thought in 1981, where you basically had to be a microcephalic racist to support the Voortrekkers.

    • karol 8.3

      And yet, John Key going to Mandela’s funeral was big news in the NZ MSM media. And then Key called Mandela a “beacon of hope” who symbolised the freedom from apartheid. And didn’t Mandela thank Kiwis for opposing apartheid?

      • Tracey 8.3.1

        And he sat with david cameron who called mandela a terrorist or similar when he was at university

    • Tracey 8.4

      Its time you woke up to the notion that a PM with a history of constant lying is a problem for a democracy… Unlike ritchie mccaw trying to take the ball when not on his feet, or coming from the wrong side, a PM lying matters.

      I imagine you were quite frithy over a particular painting and a dash to an AB game. The later being something the current pm would be lauded for as an ordinary bloke.

      • music4menz 8.4.1

        You know Tracey, most New Zealanders like John Key and don’t think that he is a liar. The fact that so many do like him, don’t think he is a liar and vote for a party that he leads is ‘democracy’, whether you think this is a problem or not.

        New Zealanders of 18 and over are considered as adults and have free choice- we make up our own minds and accept the consequences of our actions, including the way in which we exercise our democratic rights.

        It is disappointing that there are people who applaud democracy when it produces the results of which they approve, but see problems with it when it produces results of which they don’t approve.

        • felix 8.4.1.1

          “You know Tracey, most New Zealanders like John Key and don’t think that he is a liar.”

          So why didn’t “most NZers” vote for the lying cunt then?

          • RedLogix 8.4.1.1.1

            most New Zealanders like John Key and don’t think that he is a liar.

            1. Because most people are very bad at telling when they are being lied to.

            2. They are especially bad at it when the person lying to them is skilled at a projecting a professionally smooth, charming and laid-back persona.

            3. And if the lies they are being told confirm their existing conceptions and media narratives – they will not only happily believe the lie – they will defend it vigorously.

            4. And the bigger the lie the better. Most us know that we all make little lies all the time – but we also have an ethical threshold over which we don’t step. We simply don’t expect people whom we like and have been telling us things we want to hear – to tell us really big lies.

        • weka 8.4.1.2

          “most New Zealanders”

          View post on imgur.com

          “It is disappointing that there are people who applaud democracy when it produces the results of which they approve, but see problems with it when it produces results of which they don’t approve.”

          Then there are the people who think we can improve democracy so that it actually represents all NZ, not just the ones with the money and power to get into govt.

        • Tracey 8.4.1.3

          47% voted for his party. So i guess it turns on

          A. Your definition of “most”

          B. Your personal ethical standards.

          Do you teach your children that lying is ok if people like you?

          I think john key is a liar based on his recorded lies. I havent called for the election to be overturned. I respect our democracy. That you consider a lying prime minister is good for nz is your issue. That key lies, often, and you consider its ok cos at most, 47% are okay with liars if they think their life will be better, says more about you than it does about my acceptance of election night.

          • chris73 8.4.1.3.1

            Try thinking of it this way, for Labour to gain power it would have needed to be Lab/Grn/NZF/MP/UF/ACT

            For National to gain power it only needed Nat/MP or Nat/UF or Nat/Act so you can bang on about 47% all you like (Lab/Grn 35% by the way) but the voters of NZ want John Key in power

            • BassGuy 8.4.1.3.1.1

              A quick examination shows that your claim is misrepresenting the truth of the matter.

              Simply put, your figure of 47% is not of those eligible to vote but of those who chose to vote. I can’t recall how many didn’t vote, but it was a good portion of the eligible.

              The fact of the matter is that the majority of voters did not vote for John Key and National.

              It’s not that difficult to understand. Why do you keep misrepresenting it?

              It does not change the outcome of the election, but it certainly challenges your belief of National ruling New Zealand at the behest of the many rather than the few.

        • Murray Rawshark 8.4.1.4

          Why do you accept a liar as PM? That’s the real question. I think most people realise he lies. His most fervent advocates probably even help him lie. They still think he’s a good bloke. That’s what worries me.

    • JAMESMAXTON 8.5

      Andrew was asked the question I assume by the reporter and he answered it.

      What is the problem.

  9. Jrobin 9

    Seeing as we are onto John’s principles, I read on Scoop that JK has been elected as Leader of the International Democratic Union (hope I remembered what the Abbrv. Means). You know the right wing group that David Farrar attended to learn about using social media and polling. As in Dirty Politics page 99, 103, 126. The Tax Payers Union are ecstatic but this seems a brazen and self righteous action even for Key. I knew that easy listening music he likes was a bad omen! As for the next Prime Minister, he seems to be coping with media spin with focus and sincerity. Three years is good timing to change the govt. Let the Nats deal with their own dairy slump first so the left won’t be blamed then bam! Get rid of ’em.

  10. bornleft 10

    I think Little is the one person who can get the measure of Key. It is a lucky break for the Labour that the numbers lined up the way they did. On the Tour, I am glad to hear Little’s comments. Growing up in provincial NZ it was the defining event of our lives. Key absolutely knows where he stood. He was pro-Tour, and cannot admit he was on the wrong side of history. Moreover, forgetting is a wolf whistyle to provincial NZ, who were also on the wrong side. Looking forward to Little’s leadership. . ..

    • weka 10.1

      Key could say he was pro-Tour then but realises now he was wrong. Which begs the question of whether he does think he was wrong (I assume not). Honesty, not a strong suit.

  11. Rosie 11

    “I can turn on the controlled anger when I need to to demonstrate a point.”

    Lolz. He did that with me, many years ago. We had a disagreement via email over a matter important to the left (I’m not going into it) and I thought he was unnecessarily hostile. I didn’t forget that and didn’t vote for him in the leadership election. I also distrust humourless people when they are put into a position of power – humour can be helpful with building rapport, a skill helpful to a leader, just imo.

    However knowing how to “pick your fights” is also a skill, and if he can succeed in the fights he picks with Key, then he will be the better for it. So have decided of late, that it’s time to let go former grudges and give him a chance. Maybe he will surprise us and maybe we will be stronger, generally on the left, for his leadership.

    All power to him.

  12. Brutus Iscariot 12

    You have to be 33 years old at present to even have been born at the time of the Springbok tour.

    Old activists might think of it as a defining moment in NZ’s history, but the truth is that few NZ’ers under 50 have any interest in it whatsoever.

    Factor in NZ’s vastly changed demographics since then (much higher number of immigrants and first generation NZ’ers) – small wonder that this argument resonates little with the electorate. My advice is to stop fighting the battles of last generation and actually focus on what you can accomplish today.

    • DS 12.1

      The issue isn’t actually whether Key was pro-tour. Half the country was, after all. The issue is that Key feels the need to overtly lie about his past beliefs – saying “I don’t remember” is utter tripe, and annoys people far more than if he’d said something like “I was pro-tour, but I realise now that was a mistake”.

      Given that the tour really was a battle for the soul of this country, you’d expect our political leaders to treat it with importance. Saying “I don’t remember” (when he clearly does) is not something we should expect from anyone with a memory of 1981. It’s Key refusing to take a moral stand on a defining moral issue.

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  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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  • Minister wishes students success in exams
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