web analytics

A sad day for the parliamentary Left

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, September 25th, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: Left - Tags:

Sue_B_web.img_assist_customStuff has announced the resignation of Sue Bradford from parliament. Over the years Sue has championed more pro-worker legislation than just about any MP I can think of and has in the last few years been a backroom powerhouse for the Greens through her ability to deal with people with a warmth and sincerity that is unusual for any politician let alone one with such a strong and comprehensive conviction of belief.

While the media is already bleating on about her role in the section 59 legislation and the Kiwiblog Right will spout their filth, the truth is that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who has worked with her who has a bad thing to say about her.

In some ways I can’t blame her for wanting to leave the shallow bear-pit that is parliament but I can certainly say that it will be a poorer place once she’s gone.

According to Stuff she’s going to go back to grassroots activism so she’s not lost to the Left but I think this is one of the rare occasions I can speak on behalf of all of the Standard and wish her well for her next steps and thank her for the work she has put in and the legislation she has had passed for the Left.


40 comments on “A sad day for the parliamentary Left”

  1. IrishBill: loser. Take a couple of weeks off.

    • Ianmac 1.1

      I assume that you are making the Happy Days theme a tribute to the work that Sue has done to make NZ a better place.

  2. Tigger 2

    Sue deserves huge kudos for being a politician who manages to get stuff done. I am immensely sad to see her go.

  3. Bright Red 3

    DPFs post is so very very poor. Trying to spin the resignation as discontent in the Greens.

    Just silly.

  4. ieuan 4

    For Sue’s undoubted talents she has all the finesse of a bull in a china shop.

    It was no surprise she wasn’t elected co-leader.

    That said, good luck to her, parliament is a better place for having people like Sue and my children will grow up never have been smacked.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      And that’s where you are completely wrong. Sue was particularly adept in one to one situations. You don’t get as much legislation through as Sue did without finesse.

    • Edosan 4.2

      ieuan, surely whether you’re children are smacked or not is more up to you than Sue? In either case, thanks to sue they won’t be ripped off until they are adults with unfair youth rates should they find themselves gainful employment.

  5. Good comment.

    The Greens and parliament will really miss her. She was a rarity, a true left winger and a perfect foil to the environmental focus of the other Green MPs.

    You are right about Kiwiblog. It is a scary place. The lack of compassion shown by some of the comments is chilling.

    • spot 5.1

      Where’s that leave the left within the Greens now ?

      Locke ?

      Maybe the Greens will go ‘Green’ (if that makes sense) and hence more electable to voters who might not normally lean that way, based on some of their more politically and ideologically charged angles….

      I didn’t go for her politics but sure as hell admired her for her courage.

  6. Ianmac 6

    In time the public will grant her the great respect that she has earned. Isn’t it great to see a politician (or any person) standing by her convictions and delivering honest consistent action. A great person.

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    micky if you saw some of the bile heaped on Mr Key yesterday in the apolitical thread about Sir Howard you wouldn’t be calling Mr Farrar’s place chilling.

    On Mrs Bradford, she always has struck me as a decent person motivated by her passionate beliefs which she argued for strongly. She might not have been the right face for the Greens as they try to rejuvenate themselves but she worked hard and honestly for what she believed in, and achieved some pretty major successes in terms of delivering what she was advocating, which is about all you can ask for in a politician.

    • felix 7.1

      That’s odd Tim, I just looked down that thread you mentioned
      and the worst things I could find written about Key were:

      back then we had talent but now we only have Jerry and Bill and John.

      Key’s all over this like a populist political opportunist rash.

      Key exploited the death of Ed as an opportunity to get publicity for himself and is doing the same again with Howard.

      Key is anti-treaty and anti-Maori it’s just creepy when he comes over all smarmy

      Is that it? That’s your parallel to Kiwiblog? You really are a delicate little flower, aren’t you Tim?

      • Tim Ellis 7.1.1

        Turning an apolitical tribute to a great new zealander into an opportunity to bag politicians was tasteless felix. It wasn’t the attacks on Mr Key, which would be quite legitimate in any other thread, it was how somebody thought it appropriate to make political grandstanding out of Sir Howard’s passing.

        • felix

          If you want to police the legitimacy of comments in a thread you should start a blog.

          concern-troll.co.nz is probably available.

        • Armchair Critic

          It’s a political blog site, the About section says this in the first paragraph. Expect political comment, even if it is in poor taste, and some of it was on the Sir Howard Morrison post.

  8. Tom Semmens 8

    She has been tireless campaigner for the liberal left, that is for sure. But I would hesitate to call her a hero for the working classes. In the end, it is as a Green MP she will be remembered. The Greens have always been a middle class party that has at its heart an ideological rigidity that is as every bit unfriendly to working class people as anything ACT could dream up. Her middle class credentials were nowhere more on display as in the Section 59 debate where her very middle class approach to change – a lazy and arrogant top down imposition of received values – made her the very symbol of the “Nanny State”.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      Tom, have you read the Greens IR policy? That’s Sue’s work as was the end of youth minimum wage.

    • George D 8.2

      “that has at its heart an ideological rigidity that is as every bit unfriendly to working class people as anything ACT could dream up.”

      What? That makes no sense to me. The Greens are constant critics of the neoliberal free-market that other parties, including Labour, so frequently embrace. Say they’re not left enough, sure. I’ll give you that. But they have never been to the right of Labour, and to say that they’d have to drift quite far (considering that Labour is being led by a reformed Rogernome).

    • Tim Ellis 8.3

      Mr Semmens I enjoy your irony in referring to somebody else’s “ideological rigidity”.

      I disagreed with pretty much all of Mrs Bradford’s politics but I would have thought that her many years working for the unemployed union might count in her favour as a card-carrying supporter of the least privileged.

    • toad 8.4

      Tom, The security code word on reply as I am typing this reads RIDICULOUS, which pretty much sums up your comment.

      Yous simply don’t have a clue. Sue has been the stauchest advocate of workers’ right Parliament has seen for decades. She puts everyone in Labour in recent years to shame in that regard. Its just a pity that she couldn’t actually achieve much of the Greens’ industrial relations policy, and it was Labour throughout this decade that prevented that.

    • Ron 8.5

      Tom – that’s just drivel. Sue’s actions on behalf of workinmg class NZers are well known and well documented.
      And the “top down imposition” line is getting really tired.
      Sooner or later someone has to take a stand for right.
      Otherwise we’d have the death penalty, no Treaty acknowledgement, people with coloured faces being expelled for driving offences and pretty much no environmental law. Sue – and many, many others saw the Repeal of section 59 to be a good thing. So – that’s what they did. NZ is the better for it.

  9. r0b 9

    Thank you Sue, and all the best in whatever you choose to take on next.

  10. rocky 10

    Wow. Sue Bradford is my favourite MP, and I can’t imagine anyone else living up to her. This is a great loss to NZ and to parliament. Let’s hope Sue really does stay in politics and activism.

    • lprent 10.1

      And my favorite Green party MP. The sheer volume of private members bills that she puts into the ballot and the range of issues they cover have been phenomenal. I’m sure that I’d disagree with her on many issues if I met her. But you cannot deny that she works at what she is pushing.

      Highly effective and not addicted to the sound of her own voice as so many MP’s are. It is a pity that she never got tested as a minister. I suspect that she would have made all of the current crop, and many of the previous group look ineffectual.

  11. Tom Semmens 11

    IB – Yes, I know. But in the end, no matter how right Bradford was on Section 59 (and no matter what the polls say, it WAS the right thing to do) it was a Phyrric victory for the left for the simple reason that Bradford has never understood that if you are politician who wants to lead, it pays to look over your shoulder to check the people are following. Bradford’s approach to change was never to take people with her – it was to tell people what was good for them and then do it. That is why she joined the every-so middle class Greens and that is why, in the end, she became the most disliked politician in the land.

    Bradford was and will be an excellent and effective advocate and lobbyist in public affairs. But in parliament, her undemocratic style meant a Section 59 type debacle was only a matter of time. She has become a liability to the left in parliament.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      I’d place the blame for that mishandling on Labour. I also disagree with your portrayal of her as someone who didn’t bring people with her because she was very effective in doing that within the Greens, within the broader Left and in her parliamentary dealings with politicians of all hues.

      • ieuan 11.1.1

        Irishbill you seem to be in denial as to how unpopular Sue is outside of the Greens or the Labour movement.

        • IrishBill

          Nah, I’m just too well aware of the fact that her unpopularity is the result of years of unfounded character assassination by right-wing f*ckwits.

          • lprent

            That is my opinion as well. For all of the righties rhetoric of people advancing themselves, it is noticeable that when you see someone like Sue Bradford doing it but focusing on helping others, they seem to treat it as a personal affront.

            The rhetoric of the right is that people shouldn’t use their talents assisting others, but only focus of being greedy (eg Double Dipton) and preferably drawing the ladder of their exit from poverty up behind them (eg Paula Bennett).

            The fuckwits of the right just love them….

  12. Mr Trotter has blogged well on this. The implications for the Greens of the loss of someone as staunch as Ms Bradford are serious. It did no harm to have a progressive Green tradition to work alongside and challenge the Labour Party. The Norman version of Green centrism has all the hallmarks of a politics that will drift without a clear direction. Labour may well gain from this resignation. I for one wish Ms Bradford a happier and more rewarding life back in the activist world.

    • ieuan 12.1

      I totally disagree, the Greens should get back to being advocates for the environment, there are plenty of challenges there and it gives a very clear policy direction.

      Their left wing social policies only narrow their appeal. You don’t have to be hard core left wing to care about the environment.

      • Robert Winter 12.1.1

        May I suggest that a Green politics without a class politics will be a failed politics? Environmental degradation does not stand apart from the system that promotes it.

        • George D

          Trotter doesn’t get it. Everything is workingclassmales for him, and he treats other things as distractions. He attacks feminist and Maori politics as irrelevant too. It isn’t either/or. Once you realise that the world’s resources are limited, then you realise that you can’t grow your way out of the problem, and you need a society that distributes those resources in way that is fair. And this is the basis of the Green Party, which takes its charter seriously.

  13. outofbed 13

    I wish Sue all the best She has been a very very hard working MP and will be sorely missed. I have met her a number of times and have always been stuck by the passion and commitment to her left wing beliefs
    An incredible person , we shall miss her

  14. BLiP 14

    A sad day for all of New Zealand. See you on the barricades Sue.

  15. Darien 15

    I wish Sue all the best and am sad she’s leaving parliament because I think the place will be poorer for her leaving. She came from the struggle, stayed with it in parliament and is now returning to it in the grassroots – I admire that and I hope we see more of her tradition in the Greens (not to mention Labour!)

  16. Hear hear, IB.

    A bloody terrible loss, she was an usually honorable politician and did a LOT of great work.

    I wish her all the best but wish more that she wasn’t going.

  17. randal 17

    ho hum…she never lived up to her promise because she was always too busy looking for someone to wrongfoot and make them look like idiots. she will be judged when she has done something like organise the boys in the congo open cast copper mines who have to grovel through dust day after day looking for copper nuggets that may have escaped the first pass so they can buy their dinners. if she can do that then her her kudos will be earned. squaring off against renecks is too easy and ultimately unrewarding when the reaction sets in.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • Freedom on the Seas – A gift from your friendly Government
    When the Government announced it would need to uphold public safety during the upcoming International Naval Review, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was talking about wearing life jackets. But actually, the Government is applying restrictions that stop people boating ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    16 hours ago
  • Time for Paula Bennett to front up on HNZ P Fiasco
      Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to rein in Housing NZ and sort out the mess that’s been created by the organisation’s misuse of methamphetamine testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    1 day ago
  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    3 days ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    4 days ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    1 week ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    1 week ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 week ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 weeks ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago