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All the left wants is a clean contest of ideas

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, September 15th, 2015 - 153 comments
Categories: afghanistan, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, International, Media, Politics, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics - Tags: , ,

The one thing the left wants more than anything else is a clean contest of ideas where all sides of an issue are properly explored.  That way the chances of the proper decision being made is maximised.

This is an especially important role for the media.  After all their power to broadcast ideas widely, although weakening, is still formidable.  And newspapers with national reach and State owned media ought to be especially careful that all sides of arguments are presented.

This is not a peculiarly New Zealand problem.  Australia and the United Kingdom also seem to struggle with the concept of independence.  Rupert Murdoch’s reach in all three companies seems to have tilted things permanently in favour of the right.

The argument about the flag yesterday is a classic example.  John Key says that Labour will not agree to changing the law to allowing a fifth option, red peak, to be presented, Labour sticks to its position that the vote to change should actually be held first, and suddenly it is again all Labour’s fault.

Exhibit A is Brook Sabin’s tweet:

But this is what John Key said according to that paragon of independence, Mediaworks owned TV3:

Earlier in the news conference when asked if he would consider changing the law to include Red Peak Mr Key said it was “not my intention” to change the options.

“You’d be asking me to jump in front of a process.”

Key was never going to change.  So why did elements of the media suddenly start claiming that Labour had been wrong footed?

Exhibit B is Josie Pagani’s recent Herald Column.  I have to admit that I find her comments really frustrating because she always advocates for a “middle way” approach without actually analysing if the “middle way” approach is right or explaining what it might entail.  I am a firm believer that elected representatives should support the correct way and educate and advocate if the “middle way” is not the correct way.

She says this about Jeremy Corbyn’s election:

Ashcroft’s analysis shows Corbyn has been elected by activists more concerned about validating their anger and feeling good about themselves than by people who will make Britain better. They think its more important to show their rage about inequality than to reduce inequality. Labour’s base has indulged itself, convinced of their own principled virtue rather than asking hard questions about why most voters don’t trust us to deliver on our principles.

But Labour’s purpose is to do good, not feel good.

Jeremy Corbyn blamed the media for Labour’s election loss multiple times in his victory speech. This is a cop-out. Lecturing the media won’t change their minds next time around, and only begs the question of why activists are able to see through pernicious lies while voters are not.

In relation to the media this is what Corbyn actually said:

“I also say a huge thank you to all of my widest family, all of them, because they have been through the most appalling levels of abuse from some of our media over the past three months. It has been intrusive. It has been abusive. It’s been simply wrong.

“And I say to journalists: attack public political figures, make criticisms of them – that’s OK. That is what politics is about. But please don’t attack people who didn’t ask to be put in the limelight, merely want to get on with their lives. Leave them alone, leave them alone in all circumstances.”

Anyone see where Corbyn blamed the media for Labour’s election loss?

Pagani also said this:

Corbyn’s politics are narcissism, where hard decisions never need to be made, where the unpopularity of a policy is evidence not of its failure but of its virtue.

Yet modernising Labour has failed to offer a compelling alternative. It has failed to demonstrate Labour can be hard-headed about our priorities as well as soft-hearted in our intentions, that we have a way to provide caring community services that meet voters’ aspirations for better lives and their questions over whether we can be fiscally competent. Alternatives to Corbyn’s emotional appeal have been so weak, it has sounded like the only other option is to split the difference with the right.

Here is an invite to Pagani.  How about she analyses Corbyn’s positions over the past few decades and says which ones are wrong and why.  Then we can have a proper discussion about if and why Corbyn will be a failure and an unfortunate distraction.  From where I stand he has advocated for and stood on the right side of many issues for many years.

If she wants a list this post from the World turned upside down is a good starting point.  No doubt Crosby Textor is busily attempting to undermine the blog post’s conclusions but such is modern politics.

My really abbreviated summary is that Corbyn opposed Apartheid for decades, was opposed to Pinochet’s take over of Chile, was an early supporter of Gay and Lesbian rights, supported the miners during Thatcher’s attacks on their union, opposed selling weapons to Saddam Hussein in the 1970s and 1980s, was involved in the campaigns seeking the acquittal of the Birmingham Six and the Guilford Four, opened dialogue with Sinn Fein not long before the Thatcher Government opened up secret talks with Sinn Fein, opposed Labour’s introduction of University Tuition Fees which was contrary to Labour’s 1997 election manifesto pledge and has resulted in the average student now having £53k of debt, opposed the private finance initiative which was used in part by New Labour and has resulted in a cost to the taxpayer of £10bn a year and will end in more than £300bn being paid for assets worth just £54.7bn, opposed the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001 and this view was supported by a majority of Britons in 2009 and Britain eventually withdrew its troops in October 2014, saw through the ‘dodgy dossier’, the claims of weapons of mass destruction and campaigned and voted against the Iraq war in 2003 and helping to organise the biggest demonstration in British history and remains a leading figure in the Stop the War Coalition, being a long-standing campaigner for the rights of the Palestinian people, beginning his advocacy at a time when Western public opinion was largely hostile to the Palestinian cause, advocating for public ownership of UK’s railways, being a long-term campaigner in CND, and has always opposed Britain having nuclear weapons and campaigning against austerity.

That is the most epic sentence I have every typed.  On issue after issue Corbyn was either at the forefront of change or he has been shown with the passing of time to have adopted a position that has been shown to be correct.  To describe Corbyn as being narcissistic and to claim that he picks unpopular causes only to be virtuous is insulting.

If you need to understand why Corban will potentially be an outstanding leader then the evidence of his decision making over the past 40 years and how over decades his decision making has been vindicated should be more than enough proof.

The guy is a freaking left wing saint.  Does Pagani really think that war mongerer and contributor to the weapons of mass destruction delusion Tony Blair is somehow better?

The frustrating thing about Pagani’s public role is that I cannot work out what she supports or what she things about important issues.  Yet she occupies a privileged position in our media apparatus and apparently speaks for me and many others.  But repeating right wing attack lines against left wing politicians only damages the left and means that the contest of ideas that the left yearn for is not occurring.

153 comments on “All the left wants is a clean contest of ideas ”

  1. Well said. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Bearded Git 2

    Shared the epic sentence on my facebook page. Thank you.

  3. swordfish 3

    Pagani: “Corbyn’s politics are narcissism, where hard decisions never need to be made, where the unpopularity of a policy is evidence not of its failure but of its virtue.

    And yet, as I and others have said before, most of Corbyn’s policy proposals (and there remains, incidentally, quite a bit of flexibility around some of these proposals) are highly popular with the British public according to numerous opinion polls.

    I’ll be setting out the poll data in a series of posts on my blog, starting with the broad issue of public ownership, and ending with probably the key valence issue – the British public’s attitude to austerity/the deficit/perceptions of Labour and Tory competence on the economy.

    For now, I’ll just link once again to some brief poll stats suggesting renationalisation is by no means considered “loony left” or “a backward-looking return to the 80s” by British voters.

    …… http://thestandard.org.nz/hard-left-corbyn-receives-public-backing-from-41-economists/#comment-1062265

    But, you know, we can say these things till we’re blue in the face but that incestuous little clique that comprises the British establishment – Blairite, Brownite and Tory alike – and all their various cheerleaders, enablers and hangers-on will just keep on cheerfully telling the same outrageous porkies.

    How many of that 60/70/80% of UK voters who support public ownership have been misled into believing they’re just part of some tiny “hard left”, fringe-dwelling minority ?

    Orwellian stuff.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Thanks I thought about including your analysis of the popularity of the policies but I was running out of words …

    • Chris 3.2

      If Labour win the next election in the UK will Pagani say the same things about the public?

      • dukeofurl 3.2.1

        labour are 100 seats behind the conservatives, so impossible on their own.

        The recent 2015 election INCREASED labours vote about 1.5% , but the number of seats won fell by 25 because of the SNP in Scotland and erosion of support in England to UKIP and greens.

        As a labour, SNP and Lib Dems coalition its certainly achievable for the Tories to be thrown out

        • Chris

          If Labour’s part of a coalition government after the next UK election will Pagani say the same things about the public?

  4. just saying 4

    You do realise this is going to lead to another of Josie’s famous poor-me tanties about being picked on and bullied.
    She won’t come here are (or anywhere) and debate facts and ideas. She will misrepresent what you have said, twist and spin…and then have another tantrum about the commenters being mean to her in response, as if there had been no provocation from her whatsoever.

    Is she really so bogglingly devoid of self-awareness, or is she deliberate and dishonest? I think an ill-fitting mixture of the two.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Possibly but her description of Corbyn’s political beliefs as being narcissism and where policies are adopted because they are unpopular was an insult to all leftys both in England and here.

      I am debating what she said and have set out why I believe she is wrong.

      • Olwyn 4.1.1

        Generally, if you publicly disagree with the establishment, you are either naive, a dinosaur or a narcissist – sometimes all three. Varoufakis has often been described as a narcissist, being too young for dinosaur and too educated for naive. Russell Brand gets two out of three – narcissist and naive. 😀

        Josie should stop for a minute to consider how very undignified the Blairite faction now looks – scurrying like mice when a light is turned on.

        • tc

          If you aren’t part of the solution then you’re part of the problem which is a position her, Quinn and too many current labour MP’s occupy.

          Josie is owned now and a part of the smear machine to dupe the sheeple on behalf of the right by being promoted as ‘left’ when the likes of DeBoni and JC are shown the door.

          She fawns over the ‘right’ commentators on TV because she is one.

          • Anne

            As a long time member of the Labour Party I will seriously consider laying a formal complaint to the NZ Council about Ms Pagani. She is part of the right wing Dirty Political machine masquerading as a left commentator.

            I am in no doubt that article is a joint effort with others of like mind and not entirely her own work. They are full of hatred, revenge and entitlement and, without realising it, they are in point of fact projecting their own image on Jeremy Corbyn.

            Edit: Oops… I see Tracey also picked the ‘projection” fantasy. 🙂

            • Tracey

              I wonder if by attacking fellow Labour party members and reinforcing the meme that national and Act use regularly Pagani really believes she can
              achieve a resurgence of the Labour Party? I don’t see how joining the attack dogs of the right achieves that? There is a difference between open debate and calling others you disagree with, in public, names.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I wonder if by attacking fellow Labour party members and reinforcing the meme that national and Act use regularly Pagani really believes she can achieve a resurgence of the Labour Party?

                Are they really after a resurgence of the Labour Party or are they after more embedding of the neo-liberal paradigm? From what I can make out it’s the latter.

            • The Chairman

              Go Anne.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Josie should stop for a minute to consider how very undignified the Blairite faction now looks – scurrying like mice cockroaches when a light is turned on.


      • Tracey 4.1.2

        When she said narcissism I chuckled. There seemed to be a lot of projection in her epistle…

        “why of why can’t people see how right I am…” J Pagani

        Oh they can Josie, they really really can see how Right you are.

    • kenny 4.2

      Josie is a Blairite through and through and thus Tory/National-lite.

      • thechangeling 4.2.1

        And she’s off her illogical rocker as a result. Nothing she says ever makes any sense. she just raves on off on some tangent, never clearly saying whatever it is she wants to say (whatever that may or may not be). Someone put her out of her misery please.

  5. adam 5

    She is NZ’s Alan Colmes. She writes to her once, and future home.

    Watching her fawn over the Tory commentators on the nation some time ago, made me realise she is at best, a Tory wannabe.

    She is also very thin skinned, so well done for taking her on Mickey, but my guess the name calling will begin. And you are going to get it.

  6. Sabine 6

    She supports receiving a paycheck and paying her mortgage. Same as the hoskins, the paul and the other bloviators that dare not have an original thought lest they loose their income.
    What else would these guys do if they were to loose their paychecks? I doubt any of them actually have a skill that would allow them to earn a living in the ‘real’ world. So they will continue to kiss arse and lick boots, as that is what puts butter on their stale toast.
    Sad human beings really.

    • Anno1701 6.1

      My grandfather once told me ….

      ” 90% of all evil deeds are perpetrated simply to service a mortgage”

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        he sounds like a wise man

        Chris Hedges said something similar – that the evil of Nazi Germany could not have been perpetrated if it were not for all the “ordinary people” who went to work every morning to play their small role in scheduling railway box cars or shovelling coal into furnaces.

        • Sabine

          Hannah Arendt, coined the phrase” the banality of evil” in her book Eichman in Jerusalem.
          And yes, evil is supported by a whole lot of good people doing nothing.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2


  7. Bill 7

    That bit about Corbyn blaming the media for Labour’s loss ‘multiple times’… When I read it yesterday, I went searching for a transcript of Corbyn’s speech because I’d listened to it and couldn’t recall any such thing.

    Anyway. I found this nonsense and was musing it may well have been where Josie picked that assertion up from…before adding another torturous, negative twist to it, thus making it fit her preconcieved and rather sad notions of a left wing Labour Party.

    To be fair, it’s not just Josie who’s rather adept at not letting reality get in the way of ‘truth’.

    • Tracey 7.1

      So she wrongly attributed something to JC and then used it as an argument against him? There is so much rightly attributed to John Key that has been a lie or misleading that she could use on a weekly basis… and doesn’t.

  8. Tracey 8

    “So why did elements of the media suddenly start claiming that Labour had been wrong footed?”

    Because to anyone with half a brain that is WHAT Key’s think tank came up with… and those who say their is no “roll over and play dead” by our media to Key I say

    1. Our media are either painfully stupid and shouldn’t be in charge of anything sharp
    2. They are witting participants

    It’s Labours fault. Again. Even when it’s not.

    • tc 8.1

      Dirty politics is now Standard Operating Procedure after the election and a potential reason cammy gets to run free without a prosecution for his admitted breach of law.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Josie Pagani is an enemy of the Left who understands that principled politicians like Corbyn show her and her Tory Labour mates up for who they are – as irrelevant as the old Liberal Party that they are better suited to.

    • Tracey 9.1

      Interestingly she refers to the media as though she is not part of it, and to the Labour Party as “us”…

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        She is no doubt referring to the right wing/orthodox economic grouping within Labour: the Goffs, Shearers, Parkers, Rob Salmonds and of course the careerists whom she has so much in common with.

        • Tracey

          yes, activists must be wrong cos “us” is right.

          As a non Labour voter, articles like this seem to suggest Labour is being urged to be national to get voters favour. That seems as pointless an exercise to me as pushing an agenda to justifies ones anger. BTW Josie seems to have some simmering anger or bitterness from my reading of her epistles. be what we have to be to get power an then do the “right” thing.

          That is not a definition of courage on any front. I wonder, what is her list of achievements for removing inequality for the vulnerable of NZ? Does anyone know?

          Is it that National is not quite right, but doing some stuff right, and so LP needs to keep the right stuff and just change some fringe stuff? Is that what Pagani means?

          • Colonial Viper

            BTW Josie seems to have some simmering anger or bitterness from my reading of her epistles. be what we have to be to get power an then do the “right” thing.


        • Anne

          Not Annette King CV @ 9.1.1. She won’t have a bar of Josie P from what I’ve heard. I think JP’s standing in the party is as low as it can go. Especially after her “narcissistic” attempt to set up a Labour Party think tank without even consulting them.

          • Tracey

            Goff seems to have gone very quiet. The Shadow Minister of Auckland must be preparing his Mayoral campaign while on the taxpayer payroll.

  10. Tracey 10

    Whereas unselfish people like Ms Pagani, with heightened self awareness, would do this while on holiday…


  11. Bill 11

    On the flag (triangular or otherwise) Thinking I want a box of matches…

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    I’ve found that listening to sh*t contaminates my soul. Sometimes I trip over it accidentally like dog pooh on the footpath. Other times people warn me where it is.

    Among the sh*theads I NEVER listen to are Fox Lies, Murdoch, Hosking, Henry, Cameron Slater, and Pagani.

    I sincerely appreciate all of you who warn me so I don’t step in bowel motions like Josie Pagani.

  13. Vaughan Little 13

    pagani stood for Labour didn’t she? does anyone have any info on her track record?

    • Tracey 13.1

      There’s a lot on her background in this article by Audrey Young in 2012


    • dukeofurl 13.2

      from herald article:

      Returned to New Zealand in 1989.
      *Brian Edwards’ researcher at National Radio.
      *Alliance press secretary.
      *Matt Robson’s ministerial press secretary.
      *Communications manager, NZ Aid.
      *OECD aid adviser in Paris for three years.
      *Progressive candidate, Otaki, 2008.
      *Missed Labour selection for Mana byelection.
      *Labour candidate, Rangitikei, 2011.

      • tracey 13.2.1

        in the article she also speaks of her motivations and background as a young person (dare i say, activist)?

        • Colonial Viper

          She didn’t include any of her work with her corporate consulting clients. And her husband having close links to the oil and gas industry, which I am sure she has done work for too.

          • Ad

            Nothing wrong with having corporate clients, largely.
            Most employed people in the private sector have corporate clients.

            • Colonial Viper

              Most people in the private sector have potential conflicts over their interests, their clients interests, and the wider public good.

  14. maui 14

    When I was unenlightened I used to listen to her on newstalk radio, I think I was encouraged because she appeared to be on the side of the left, at least more so than the opposing commentator she was on with, But now I realise she would say a lot without saying anything really at all. Lots of waffly words and not statements like Labour has to do this if they want to be successful. She would spend as much time being critical of Labour and congratulatory of National. Toxic to the brand for sure. When your so called friends (ex-members) aren’t helping you out and the referee (media) aren’t either no wonder it’s tough going.

    Within a day of a political election she can come up with a lengthy opinion on it. But 3 months and counting of being in a “think tank” can’t come up with ONE new Labour policy idea.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Oh I am sure they’re right wing think tank has “new policy ideas” its just that they would be unpalatable to traditional left wing voters and hence are being kept quiet for now.

  15. NZJester 15

    Josie Pagani is just like some of those same center types that helped Rodger Douglas become finance minister in the fourth Labour government with his horrible Rogernomics and lead Labour into decline. The so called center seams to do nothing but dance to the strings of those on the right trying to placate them while they chop away at all the things that made New Zealand and the Labour party what it was. All of the good things that Labour helped bring about to lift people out of poverty have been systematically crushed by those in the center helping those on the right to do it. John Key and Paula Bennett are where they are thanks to old Labour policy they have since crushed or are in the process of crushing.
    John Key had free well funded education and a good state house over his head growing up helping him get out of poverty, something he is now denying a lot of other children. Paula Bennett closed down the very Work and Income scheme that helped lift her out of poverty as an unemployed mother. The centrists are fools lapping up the lies of the hypocrites on the right that left-wing policy is bad for the country.
    The current National government has been sailing along due to the previous Labour governments policy of paying off our overseas debt. Without that we would be in deep problems like a lot of other countries that spent heavily and borrowed heavily during the good times and are now crushed with crippling debts they must pay back.

    • Tracey 15.1

      The reason national aren’t seen as to the Right very much is cos of how right Labour moved. This created an opportunity for people to pretend and perpetuate that national is not a real right-wing party. ACT’s disintegration makes the lie of this, cos that vote has gone to National, and that vote is very much right wing.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      All of the good things that Labour helped bring about to lift people out of poverty have been systematically crushed by those in the center helping those on the right to do it.


  16. Ad 16

    Josie Pagani is going to have to hold her breath to see whether Mr Corbyn can form an effective and sustained attack on the Government, and also unite his caucus with his activist supporters. Just as we will all have to. That after all is the job he was just elected to do.

    Know them not by their ideals, but by their results.

    Personally I am seeing the merits of the boring old LIttle-King approach: unify the caucus, attack weak Ministers, dump the rhetoric, and let political entropy do the rest.

    • Tracey 16.1

      the test is yet to come Ad, imo. The test will be a year out from the next election, and the polls at that time. That is when those who were keeping quiet despite their misgivings, become tempted to speak out…. as the prospect of more time on the opposition benches beckon.

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      see whether Mr Corbyn can form an effective and sustained attack on the Government, and also unite his caucus with his activist supporters. Just as we will all have to.

      Screw that for a strategy; all the naysayers in his caucus should be unceremoniously dumped. Tory Labourites have no place in the new Labour Party. They’ve made it clear that they neither respect Corbyn’s politics or his leadership and trying to make nice with them is a futile sign of weakness.

      Cunliffe should also have known better.

      • Ad 16.2.1

        Caucus renewal is but one task ahead of him – LPrent outlined a few of the other tasks a couple of days ago.

        The way people are setting him up with their ideals, he will inevitably fail, because the media will frame the “Great Rise and Fall” narrative with or without him.

        Some key tasks are:
        – Hire some amazing staff, including a great policy team
        – Convince some of the media about his values, personality, and direction
        – Convince and unify the caucus, either by cleanout or by discipline
        – Form and sustain an effective Opposition, and turn it into a believable government
        – Get some serious funding; either major donors who will go public, or a ginormous grassroots fundraising campaign
        – Form some distinct campaigns, including seizing media opportunities
        – Remain true to himself

        People can add to the list.
        He is not Jesus. He’s just a straight talking guy.

        It’s not enough.

        • Colonial Viper

          Although that is more than any other candidate at the UK leadership hustings had, by spades.

          And like Jesus, Corbyn is utterly consistent with the principles he utters, day or night.

  17. jimekus 17

    Capitalism cannot tolerate a clean contest of ideas; – just look at what happened to the 2000 US presidential vote in Florida. What is needed is an elegant mathematical consensus of the truth without a ruling class framing bias.

    Sixty years ago a technique was created by George Alexander Kelly which he called Personal Construct Theory. A couple of decades later, Patrick Slater developed Ingrid using principle component analysis to explore Kelly’s intrapersonal space.

    In the last three decades Ingrid has been expanded to form a common AI where anyone can add anything of significance. However it cannot be activated without causing a major disruption to civilization, so it continues to develop while waiting for the Singularity.

  18. The Chairman 18

    Labour should come out and make it clear Pagani doesn’t speak for them or the left, while putting forward someone who does.

    That will rob her of her so-called left status.

  19. Mike the Savage One 19

    “The frustrating thing about Pagani’s public role is that I cannot work out what she supports or what she things about important issues. Yet she occupies a privileged position in our media apparatus and apparently speaks for me and many others. But repeating right wing attack lines against left wing politicians only damages the left and means that the contest of ideas that the left yearn for is not occurring.”

    Who really cares about that Pagani woman, who is really just a self promoting wannabe so important figure, that loves media attention, hence her endless invites on TV and radio shows, where a “commentator” from “the left” is needed?

    She is hardly ever a person from “the left” when I hear her speak, she is indeed all over the show, and changes her tunes as the wind blows. If Labour had any guts, they would release a press release today, disowning her, and stating most clearly, Josie Pagani does NOT speak for Labour, she does NOT speak “for the left”.

    The MSM just love such play persons, such self important ones, who have a bit of an ego, and who think they are still relevant. Hence we also have long semi retired Mike Williams speak as a commentator “for the left” on Radio NZ and at times on Radio Live. There are few others they have there and on Q+A or The Nation, and the very few others that get an invite are mostly the same faces, all well to do baby boomers, with a career and a home or two, or near that generation.

    History tells us that times change, public sentiment changes, and the time of overly politically “correct”, trying to make it “right” for everyone, and trying to please as many as possible, and to thus focus on “the centre” are in my view over.

    The new age we have entered is asking for outspoken, straight talkers and shooters, such politicians who do not bend over for others to kiss their bums, or those who don’t walk like cat walk model, trying to please the observers from all angles.

    Jeremy Corbyn and some other new leaders, in various nations, that may also include such as Italy, Spain and Greece, have recently shown this change of heart in public sentiment.

    So perhaps it is time to be courageous, and to be bold, and tell the clowns from the MSM to bugger off, if they do not like something, and keep walking, and meeting the people face to face, cutting that corrupting middle (media) man and woman out of the game. That is just my thought on this topic.

    • Watching her on the TV political panels is torture . By who’s authority does she speak on behalf of the Labour Party. More important is why do the Nation or Q&A select her as the LP spokes person.
      Labour Party Council need to challenge these so called Labour Party experts .
      I have in fact mentioned this fact before its time it was solved.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The Labour Party has no power over Josie Pagani speaking as she wishes.

      • dukeofurl 19.1.2

        Are even listening to what they say on those panels.
        She is NEVER introduced as a spokesperson for the labour party.

        Your absurd statements just show that you arent even listing

        • maui

          No, she’s never introduced as a “former Labour candidate” or “centre-left political commentator” is she….

  20. Brian 20

    Excellent piece.

  21. millsy 21

    I have challenged Pagani about what policies that she would support or oppose and why.

    She never seems to have an answer or even responds for that matter.

    As much as I try and give her the benefit of the doubt I cannot but symphathise with those who reckon she is a Tory.

  22. Josie Pagani 22


    Let’s just go through your list of what it takes to be a ‘freaking left wing saint’.

    Anti Apartheid. Yes, I was an active campaigner against apartheid, and helped organise the demonstrations in Trafalgar Square in the 1980s.

    I marched against Pinochet; was an early supporter of Gay and Lesbian rights. I helped organise the picket lines and the soup kitchen during the miners strike, particularly in the midland and north areas. I was opposed to selling arms to Saddam (and the Contras).

    I marched for the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four and organised speeches in their support. I invited Sinn Fein to talk when they were banned in the British media and received bomb threats. I was part of a rent strike against University tuition fees, and worked for free tertiary education in New Zealand as well (which the former student leaders now in charge of the Labour party no longer support). I supported the invasion of Afghanistan because I believe supporting the Taliban and their sheltering of Al Qaeda makes politicians reactionary not progressive. I opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and have said so in a lot of media appearances in the last five years. I joined the PLO (I would have blanched at Hamas and Hezbollah, which you’ve left out of Corbyn’s list of anti-semitic associations) . I was a member of CND and marched at Greenham Common. While PFI are after my time in the UK, I have campaigned against asset sales in New Zealand for decades.

    Your question was – where are my disagreements with Jeremy Corbyn? I oppose him because he will never be in a position to do anything about those issues. You write as if the defeat in the UK, and NZ last year didn’t happen. You can’t keep ignoring that most people didn’t trust us to deliver on our core principles, unless you think the voters are wrong and you’re right.

    The reason we lost is that, while people had no problem trusting us on the ‘saintly’ issues you list, they didn’t trust us to look after their job, look after the government’s finances responsibly, and prioritise day to day issues in their lives, not all of which are about struggle. You can believe people are misled by commentators like me, but I think I’m a voice for those voters who are desperate for Labour parties to take their fundamental everyday concerns seriously.

    When I look back to the miners strike in the 1980s, where are those miners now? We on the left failed them too. We didn’t manage to elect a government that would have looked after the worker, not just the job, or a government that would have created new jobs in those communities. That was the major lesson I look from the failure of Michael Foot in 1983. If you don’t accept that, then you’re supporting a repeat of the same failures, and you’re letting down a new generation.

    One day in government is worth a thousand in opposition, not because power trumps principle, but because in order to get power, most people have to believe you will deliver for them.

    • mickysavage 22.1

      Thanks Josie.

      I applaud your political activism.

      But why do you see being on the correct side of these issues as being a hindrance?

      And yes the perception is that the right are better at looking after the economy. But the reality is that the left almost invariably do better at job creation and equality and growth and there are statistics to prove this. Why not adopt this as a discussion point rather than repeating the right’s line that the left is somehow a threat to jobs and the economy?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1

        It’s very very simple: she’s lying.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.2

        Why not adopt this as a discussion point rather than repeating the right’s line that the left is somehow a threat to jobs and the economy?

        And now, also a threat to national security and to the security of every family.

    • weka 22.2

      All of which completely misses the point (or distorts it) yet again, except for one thing. You are right, we don’t trust you.

      • dukeofurl 22.2.1

        There goes the rational debate, Id back Josies activist background against your armchair politics anyday

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          the reality is that the left almost invariably do better at job creation and equality and growth and there are statistics to prove this. Why not adopt this as a discussion point rather than repeating the right’s line that the left is somehow a threat to jobs and the economy?

          As someone who seems to know where Josie’s coming from, what’s your take on this? Does Josie’s dearth of facts not bother you?

          • dukeofurl

            I one sense her younger days she did have a more ambitious view on what change meant, and looking at her background as a media advisor for various labour/progressive party figures, she has a much smaller view on where change is heading now- partly I think its the ‘media group think’ .

            Shes only speaking for herself- I get that- but Its a valid view that marginal change is far better than keeping Key and English in charge.

            The rabid stalinists who dominate the posts here will never be convinced, but fortunately they are too busy drawing up lists of people to be purged to be bothered about. Essentially most are incompetent are should be left to wither in their bedsits and their memories of the mid 1980s.

            Its often forgotten that Michael J Savage had to spend much of his final months alive kicking left wing radicals like John A lee out of the labour party !

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Its a valid view that marginal change is far better than keeping Key and English in charge.

              Apart from the whole losing elections thing. Bummer.

              The basic premise of the ‘neoliberal’ experiment was that it would deliver better outcomes for all. It doesn’t. The SOE model has not lived up to the hype. Parliament needs to get real and eat crow then set about cleaning up after themselves.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The basic premise of the ‘neoliberal’ experiment was that it would deliver better outcomes for all. It doesn’t. The SOE model has not lived up to the hype. Parliament needs to get real and eat crow then set about cleaning up after themselves.


                In fact, not only doesn’t the neo-liberal paradigm not deliver better outcomes, it makes things far worse for the majority of people.

        • maui

          Looks like you missed the point too.

        • weka

          “There goes the rational debate, Id back Josies activist background against your armchair politics anyday”

          I was going to pull Pagani’s comment apart, and demonstrate where it failed and link and all that, but it’s a waste of time. It’s blatantly obvious from everything she says, all the time, that she’s centrist not left wing. I just wish she would be more honest, man up and go off and form a party that can support that instead of this interminable death by a thousand spins of the Labour party that the whole country is having to endure. I’d have a lot more respect for her if she did that.

          But hey, at least we have all this on record, so that if UK Labour form govt via Corbyn we can see if she still thinks he is wrong, or if she changes her tune.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.3

      Yeah, because neoliberalism has really really delivered for them, eh. No wonder they don’t vote for you.

    • millsy 22.4

      So Josie,

      As I said before, say for arguements sake, there are some resignations, a few by-elections, some pretty crazy events, and in many twists of fate, you find yourself leader of the Labour Party (either UK or NZ, it doesnt matter).

      What would you do?

    • Colonial Viper 22.5

      Your question was – where are my disagreements with Jeremy Corbyn? I oppose him because he will never be in a position to do anything about those issues.

      Josie Pagani.

      Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically elected leader of the UK Labour Party,

      Which means that he is far more in a position, and with the mandate, to tackle these issues than you will ever be.

      Especially since he is a Labour Party member who has resisted selling out to big money interests and easy careerism for decades, which is more than can be said for some others in politics.

      Either stop advocating for the interests and prejudices of the top 5% in society or go away and join the old Liberal Party where you belong.

      Tat Loo

      • The lost sheep 22.5.1

        Ah, the edifying sight of The Left tearing at itself.
        I honestly believe that the one thing a Leftie hates more than a Tory is another Leftie with a slightly different vision of what the REAL LEFT looks like!

        And all the talk of Corbyn being a ‘revolution’ in the general sense is bollocks because it’s purely occurring on the Left. It’s just another episode of the Left tearing at itself, and all that has changed is which part of the UK Left can now claim it’s dogma as The Real Left.

        And does this tendency for bitter infighting have an influence on whether or not the general citizen views the Left as a credible option for Govt?
        Hell yes…..

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I recall how upset you were when the National Party “tore at itself” over workplace injuries recently. The whole notion of competing interests is so icky, poor petal.

          • The lost sheep

            And if I wanted a textbook example of the kind of vicious bigotry that poisons effective co-operation among the Left and the chance of being Govt., your collected comments would be the first place I’d point to as evidence OAB.

            But at least with Corbyn The Left have finally figured out how to indulge their love of dogmatic splitterist infighting and still win an election.
            I’m picking it as a sign that Leftist politics are going to become more and more tribal, and less and less relevant to the wider sphere. The Leftist political landscape may increasingly invite a ‘Syrian’ metaphor from here on in.

            Or. The Left could harness that much vaunted higher intelligence, and actively work at presenting a cohesive and stable front in the interest of regaining power?

            Speaking of power, here’s a quote from Comrade Lenin, speaking just before a REAL revolution….
            ” The key question of every revolution is undoubtedly the question of state power. Which class holds power decides everything……
            The question of power cannot be evaded or brushed aside, because it is the key question in determining everything in a revolution’s development.”

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Your little tanty concern is touching and so obviously sincere.

            • dukeofurl

              “Happy is the man who learns early the wide chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers.”

            • Bill

              ” The key question of every revolution is undoubtedly the question of state power. Which class holds power decides everything……

              And therein lay the destruction of the Russian Revolution and the setting back of the left by some 90 years (and counting). The Russian ‘Revolution’ was no revolution at all insofar as it was a simple transfer of power from an old elite to an emerging elite (the Bolsheviks).

              • esoteric pineapples

                Was thinking just yesterday for no particular reason that there was always some sort of hope for Russia under Communism, even if it was just the possibility of overthrowing it with something better. Now, it feels like a totally lost country that has no possibility of rising up politically/socially from its current situation which seems to be being largely a dictatorship riven with corruption. The conversion from Communism to a democratic free market economy was a complete shambles, like a stool trying to stand upright with two of its three legs broken. I don’t think anything good ever came out of Ronald Reagan because he was essentially corrupt. His only aim was to bring the USSR down. He is also indirectly responsible for the current mess in Iraq as there wouldn’t have been a George Bush Junior without Reagan.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Now, it feels like a totally lost country that has no possibility of rising up politically/socially from its current situation which seems to be being largely a dictatorship riven with corruption

                  Incomes and life expectancies are well up and poverty well down on the wretched 1990s though. The corporate oligarchs annointed by the western banksters have been taken down. And Russians love President Putin – even as they generally despise the corrupt and inefficient Russian government bureaucracy, appalling systems of military conscription, etc.

                  One of the many paradoxes of the country.

              • The lost sheep

                Whether any one example turns out to be good or bad from any particular viewpoint doesn’t in the slightest alter the truism that state power is the key element in determining everything.

                If you believed the change you would impose was for the good, what reason could there possibly be for not seeking to be in the most effective situation to impose it?
                Particularly if that power is currently exercised by someone who is using it to undermine what you consider good?

                Corbyn’s supporters seem to be rightly focused on power, but my prediction is that the rest of the Left will destroy them before they obtain it.

                • Bill

                  State power is only the key when the institutions of the state are preserved or ‘reformed’. But that takes us nowhere in terms of revolution. As I said, all that happens in those situations is that power transfers from one elite to another, at which point we’re in Who territory – new boss, same as the old boss type stuff. They might run things a bit differently – eg a command economy instead of a market economy, but all the old power imbalances ‘follow through’ in some form or another. Waste of time and, too often, lives.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That depends on the will of the state, and how closely it follows the public interest. It also depends in large part upon the rule of law, since the state is so often tempted to ignore it.

                    • Bill

                      States are always a conglomeration of top/down institutions (Yes, even the ones predicated on some notion of ‘democratic centralism’). So even the most benign of dictators is inhabiting structures that are geared for abuse.

                      Look at history?

        • Dialey

          There was a very radical, you could say extreme left winger, who once said; ” By their fruit you will know them”. By which he meant it is not what people say that matters, but the effects of what they do.

          The Blairite/centrist camp of “so-called” Labour party members have by their actions and policies both in the UK and here created a disconnect from everything Labour was founded to achieve and also from the people they are supposed to represent: the poor and downtrodden.

          For the political pundits to continually claim that Corbyn is so far left that he doesn’t have a chance of election is to fail to recognise that he is actually true Labour, steadfast to its original principles and that those who disparage and mock him are so far removed from Labour as to really belong elsewhere.

          I’m not a Labour party member, feeling that the treachery of the Rogernomes and their disciples still have too much influence over the Labour movement. But I have to say that what Corbyn expresses is very much what would attract me to Labour if it were the party line in NZ.

    • vto 22.6

      But your argument makes no sense Josie Pagani.

      You say Corbyn cannot win by doing something different than what has led to all the labour losses of the last 30 years….

      … do you see the glaring hole in what you suggest?

      • McFlock 22.6.1

        That’s the basic problem.

        And it comes from assuming a straight line relationship between the two blunt variables of “degree of change promised” and “electability”.

      • Karen 22.6.2

        Exactly VTO.

        Pagani’s argument makes no sense. Labour (here and in the UK) has repeatedly lost elections doing exactly what she says they need to do to win elections. The SNP won all but one of the safe Labour seats in Scotland with policies similar to Corbyn. Corbyn was given no chance of winning the Labour leadership, yet he won handsomely in spite of an well resourced campaign against him from the media and the Labour establishment.

        Yet Pagani still keeps spouting her Blairite credo in spite of all the evidence against it. She has every right to do so of course, but I wish she would stop claiming to represent the left.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s like neoliberalism in general. When you say it doesn’t work, the proponents say its because you haven’t done it hard enough for long enough and all you need to do is double the dosage,

          • Stephanie

            I’m sure there’s a quote about this in The Shock Doctrine re: the Chicago School’s excuse for their failure in Chile was blamed on Pinochet nationalising everything EXCEPT the mines. I was looking for it the other day but couldn’t bloody find it.

            • Olwyn

              I think you may have a typo there Stephanie – surely you mean “Pinochet privatising everything except the mines.”

    • millsy 22.7

      And what makes you think that ‘he will never be in a position’?

      Its a long way between 2015 and 2020, anything can happen. The future isn’t written.

    • millsy 22.8

      And anyway, people are kind of sick of being treated like target markets, not everyone is a meathead tradie, a yummy mummy or a professional dog-walker (all the politicians seem be bothered with people who fit those stereotypes now..)

      • dukeofurl 22.8.1

        The politicians ARE interested in those that can change their votes, do you think labour wants to stay on 25%?

    • swordfish 22.9


      (1) Those same (socio-economic) DE and C2 voters you’re talking about deserted Labour in droves during the Blair Government because they couldn’t detect any difference between the values and policies of New Labour and the Tories. Thus fatally undermining Labour’s core support and virtually guaranteeing defeat by 2010. (From memory, Labour’s % of the eligible vote at its victory in 2005 under Blair was actually lower than its % in the 1983 defeat under Foot)

      (2) “You write as if the defeat in the UK…didn’t happen. You can’t keep ignoring that most people didn’t trust us to deliver…they didn’t trust us to look after their job, look after the government’s finances responsibly…”
      And you, Josie, are writing as if Jeremy Corbyn was the leader that took Labour to defeat in 2010, that the British public’s lack of faith in Labour’s competence over the last 7 years has something to do with backbencher Corbyn.
      I think you’ll find the personalities UK voters have exceedingly little confidence in are the very people you champion – the Blairite / Brownite Cabinet of pre-2010.
      And please don’t assume that widespread disdain for the competence of leading New Labour politicians indicates support for austerity – despite simplistic (and, often, deliberately misleading) claims from Blairite Grandees to the contrary, it patently does not.

      (3) You appear to wilfully disregard the wealth of opinion poll evidence that shows Corbyn is largely (not entirely, but largely) in tune with public opinion. Significantly more so than the out-of-touch Right/Moderniser faction you support. There is, of course, the separate question of issue salience, that’s another discussion, but I wish you and your Blairite/Progress chums would cease with the “Hard left” / “Loony left” bullshit (why not make a start in educating yourself by clicking on the link to poll data in my earlier comment).

      The reality is that, according to the poll and survey evidence of the last 30 years, the British public (ie the median voter) has moved, not Right, but Left.

      (4) Labour’s woeful nadir in 1983 (and I witnessed and participated in that election, while I was living in Lincoln) had far more to do with the Falklands War than Labour’s Left. Sure, the split by a small section of the Labour Right – Limehouse Declaration, subsequent formation of the SDP and alliance with the Liberals – had a significant impact on Labour’s fortunes. But that’s also true of the Tories, too. Both plunged in the polls as a result of the SDP rise, both then revived slightly, before the outbreak of the Falklands transformed everything in the most dramatic way possible. Up until that point, Labour had consistently remained ahead of the Tories in the polls. After war was declared, the Tories skyrocketed overnight.

      Putting aside the fact that while the Labour Left always endures years of Right-wing / Blairite dominance while staying loyal, the Party’s Right, it seems, are more than happy to throw their toys out the cot if they don’t get their own way. Owen, Jenkins etc have a lot to answer for.

      (5) “Hamas and Hezbollah, which you’ve left out of Corbyn’s list of anti-Semitic associations”
      No, Corbyn doesn’t have any “anti-Semitic associations” – that’s the smear emanating from the Israel-Right-or-Wrong brigade because he has a long, very proud history of anti-racist activity, including opposition to Israel’s brutal 48-year Occupation, carpet-bombing and regular massacres of a largely defenceless Palestinian population. (I realise, of course, that you and Phil Quin won’t get any of that from your favoured analyst, the banal Israeli apologist Nick Cohen)

      Open mike 31/08/2015

      The Attack

      • weka 22.9.1

        crikey, that’s the rebuttal of the week.

        What is issue salience?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          evaluations of the president’s performance on issues have more impact on presidential approval when the issues are salient to the public.

          George Edwards

        • swordfish

          issue proximity = How close a Party is to most voters / the median voter on any particular issue

          issue salience = The issues that voters place greatest priority on at any particular time / How much importance do the public attach to a particular issue / How high or low is it on the public’s agenda

          Your Party may be far more in tune with public opinion on a particular issue or set of issues (than your rivals are), but that may not mean all that much electorally if voters attach greatest importance to issues/policies/concerns that they perceive are better handled by your opponents. (among other things, that includes valence issues like perceived economic competence)

          All of which leads political parties into agenda-shaping in order to increase the salience of the issues on which they have a relative advantage.

          There are a number of theories in political science – Saliency Theory, Ownership Theory, Dominance/Dispersion Theory = all suggest in one way or another that in order to maximise their vote, political parties will selectively emphasise their best issues (their “owned” issues, where they are closest to the weight of public opinion and most trusted) while either downplaying or attempting to neutralise the significance of their opponents’ perceived strengths.

      • Puddleglum 22.9.2

        From memory, Labour’s % of the eligible vote at its victory in 2005 under Blair was actually lower than its % in the 1983 defeat under Foot

        I had a look here for turnout percentages and here for percent share of the vote. The figures are:

        1983 – Labour got 27.58% of a 72.7% turnout.
        2005 – Labour got a 35.19% share of a 61.4% turnout.

        That means that, as a percent of the eligible vote the figures are:

        1983 – Labour got 20.05% of eligible votes.
        2005 – Labour got 21.6% of eligible votes.

        So a very similar percentage in both elections. Yet, in 2005 Labour got 356 seats (out of 646) while in 1983 it got only 209 seats (out of 650).

        One thing that people tend to do is look for explanations in what seems salient to them. So, for Josie (and many others), what was salient in 1983 may well have been that Foot (the leader) was known as a leftist. Ergo, the reason Labour only got 209 seats was because Foot was a leftist.

        Similarly, Blair’s homily about the ‘centrist’ ‘Third Way’ may well have been salient for Josie (and others) in 2005. Ergo, the reason Labour got 356 seats was because Blair was Third Way.

        Yet, as the figures show, Foot and Blair managed to get to the polls – for Labour – a very similar proportion of the eligible vote. in those two election years.

        It’s a common weakness in human reasoning. We explain things in terms of what is salient (i.e., what stands out) for us.

        Facts, figures and science tend to spoil that particular ‘salience party’; a ‘party’ based as it is on each of our favourite ‘hunches’, ‘theories’ or prejudices.

        • Puddleglum

          And, if anyone wants proof that it was not Foot’s election as Labour leader that led to a decline in Labour’s fortunes, here’s a graphic that shows the likely ‘culprit’.

          As you’ll see, the formation of the SDP/Liberal alliance saw their fortunes skyrocket and both Labour and the Conservatives take a rapid hit.

          Then, the Falklands War comes along and immediately does the magic for the Conservatives.

          Interestingly, the table in the link shows that the Conservatives were polling as low as 23% and consistently in the 26-30% range for much of the latter half of 1981. In fact, after Thatcher’s election in 1979 Conservative Party polling headed south almost immediately and Labour’s polling went skywards.

          It’s amazing what everyone forgets once the myth-making takes over (Iron Lady, wondrously popular Maggie, etc.).

          • Colonial Viper

            Thanks for doing this leg work Puddleglum and discarding some myths for us in the process.

        • swordfish

          Cheers, Puddleglum. I knew it (83/05) was fairly close.

          Emphasises the massive drop in Labour’s share of the eligible vote during the Blair Government (especially 2002 relative to 1997). First and foremost, a section of Labour’s disillusioned core constituency moving into non-voting.

          • Puddleglum

            No problem swordfish and thanks CV.

            I’m one of those sad souls who compulsively enjoys doing this kind of ‘legwork’ 🙂

            I’m also strangely happy if I’m proved wrong. Nothing like getting a fresh perspective.

        • lprent

          I don’t think the Josie Pagani is that much interested in figures.

          But that is a useful analysis.

    • McFlock 22.10

      One day in government is worth a thousand in opposition, not because power trumps principle, but because in order to get power, most people have to believe you will deliver for them.

      only if you make it count.

      You bring up the defeats of the 1980s. You know what? Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you’ll lose. Not because you did anything wrong, not even because you were better on the whole than your opponent, just simply because you’re fighting under a handicap, or have a bit of bad luck, or maybe your opponent has one technique you just can’t counter that day.

      Defeat is part of every contest.

      But in politics, the key question is “why are you competing in the first place?”
      Do you really think a sell-out Labour government in 1983 would have saved the miners? Hell no, if they didn’t do a Douglas they’d simply have postponed the inevitable by a couple of years. The miners were workers in a position to affect the energy supply of the nation, and were always going to be on the tory hit list. There would have been no fundamental change to the course of history in that regard.

      But every so often there’s a revolutionary Labour government that creates genuine change that lasts decades. That’s the true prize in politics, not putting “PM for 18 months” on your CV and getting a nice retirement package.

      But if nobody puts forward a plan for fundamental change because the chances of election are slim, fundamental change will never happen.

    • Olwyn 22.11

      When I look back to the miners strike in the 1980s, where are those miners now?

      According to Owen Jones’s book “Chavs: the demonisation of the the working class”, their towns are mostly now chav towns – they have become the kind of people who, according to third way wisdom, you are not allowed to mention, let alone try to represent – the middle classes allegedly find them too distasteful and offensive.

      The third way was predicated on the idea of a maturing market economy, but that idea went out the window in 2008. Now, in order to occupy that position, you must support further austerity for those ex-miners and their descendants. And there is a contradiction in claiming that you must get into power to help people, when you agree that one of the conditions for getting into power is not helping them. That is why Corbyn is far closer to where Labour needs to be now than his opponents were, and why the membership voted for him and not them.

    • Mike the Savage One 22.12

      Dear Ms Pagani,

      You have presented us a long list of what you once did, and what you once stood for, then you take a critical position on how things could have been done better, and mostly, what you have commented on media sounds awfully vague, at times rather in line with what National Party members say, and at other times a bit hesitantly “progressive”.

      For many of us that is neither here nor there. Is it perhaps that many of your generation, and also those that were active before, have since settled very comfortably in middle class or upper middle class lifestyles, and rather go around telling others how things should be done, rather than standing up for the very ones that are simply ignored or totally marginalised by the present system and establishment? There were 800,000 plus who have given up voting, close to a million are a disillusioned, potential voter-ship.

      Have you been talking to those living in derelict Housing NZ homes, have you been at the forefront of those dependent on WINZ handouts, have you been taking part in soup kitchens at Christmas, are you familiar with the debt burden of students, do you know many on casual, part time, or de-facto zero hour contracts?

      We have students now volunteer to do lengthy internships, to work for nothing, just to get into work they studied for, many having little future perspective, also with technological innovation meaning that 40 percent of present day jobs may become redundant in the coming years. Who in Auckland, where there still are jobs, can these days afford their own home, let along a house to pay? Apartments, tiny as shoe-boxes, already cost heaps, to rent, before people may even contemplate to boy into it.

      I feel we face immense challenges, and sadly you come across with having few answers and solutions, and yet being at the media forefront, supposedly representing a voice for “the left”?!

      Maybe somehow some persons have forgotten where they once came from?

      • Coffee Connoisseur 22.12.1

        Summed things up very nicely Mike. And this isn’t just a New Zealand Problem it’s happening in the US and the UK too hence Corbyns popularity.

    • Bill 22.13

      Hope this isn’t too obscure or taken as an attempt to ridicule.

      I learned ‘yesterday’, when it was raining, that it wasn’t such a good idea to have left the house without a waterproof jacket. I learned from that and now never leave the house without a waterproof jacket.

      What I apparently failed to appreciate is that circumstances are never constant – things change, and so my ‘lessons learned’ must be as dynamic as the changing environments I look to apply them in.

      1983/2015. Pre-Thatcher/post Thatcher. Neo-liberal hopes/neo-liberal disappointments. etc, etc, etc.

      The only constant arrived at the point I miraculously stopped aging. I like that particular constant.

    • leftie 22.14

      Please Josie Pagani enough with the “we” and “us” etc, you are speaking only for yourself, you do not speak for the rest of us. And given what has been written here and elsewhere, those on the left do not agree with your views and see you as a tory.

    • Morrissey 22.15

      That supreme moralist Josie Pagani solemnly states: “I supported the invasion of Afghanistan because I believe supporting the Taliban and their sheltering of Al Qaeda makes politicians reactionary not progressive.”

      The United States and Great Britain armed, funded and diplomatically supported Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Therefore Josie Pagani will support the invasion of the United States and Great Britain, the bombing and obliteration of British and American schools, hospitals, power stations, and churches and the killing of hundreds of thousands of American and British civilians.

      And if not, why not?

      (After that, this paragon of conscience might like to explain how exactly Hezbollah and Hamas are anti-semitic.)

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.15.1

        It’s because she’s lying. To herself and us, in that order.

        • Morrissey

          I don’t think she’s lying. She apparently is proud of her support for the destruction of Afghanistan. She’s not a liar, she’s just a steaming hypocrite.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Fairly sure hypocrisy involves an unhealthy dose of self-deceit but whatever.

            • Morrissey

              That’s true. But I don’t think she actually LIED about her involvement in any of the causes she mentioned. Her problem is that she doesn’t read a lot, and doesn’t know a lot, so she’s easy prey for cynical politicians. Hence her support for the assault on Afghanistan, and her mindless, ignorant words about Hamas and Hezbollah.

    • The Chairman 22.16


      The way I see it, I’m not really fussed about your past history. I’m concerned about the hogwash you’re spinning now.

      It’s not that voters didn’t trust Labour to deliver on their core principles, it’s that they felt Labour abandoned them.

      Nor is it that voters didn’t understand what Labour were offering, it’s that voters didn’t like what Labour had on offer.

      It’s not so much that you are/were misleading voters, it’s more that voters don’t resonate with what you have to say. The ones that do, already vote National.

      You and your ilk within Labour are turning voters away, thus the party needs to distance itself from them and you.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.17

      I oppose him because he will never be in a position to do anything about those issues.

      That’s not a valid reason to oppose anyone and it certainly looks like he’s in a position to address those issues now.

      You can’t keep ignoring that most people didn’t trust us to deliver on our core principles, unless you think the voters are wrong and you’re right.

      Just because the voters don’t trust Labour to stick to their core principles doesn’t mean that they’re voting for National. In fact, it usually means that they’re not voting at all.

      look after the government’s finances responsibly,

      Which is rather interesting considering that the Left always looks after the government finances far better than the Right-wing.

      One day in government is worth a thousand in opposition, not because power trumps principle, but because in order to get power, most people have to believe you will deliver for them.

      Not according to our last election where most people didn’t vote for National.

    • Saarbo 22.18


      Josie, NZ Labour has been following your prescription in the 2011 and 2014 elections…your prescription failed dismally, twice.

      Hear, hear Micky.

    • yip 22.19

      The left block lost the last election because of dirty politics.
      I have seen you many times repeating the whales and others on the right attack lines without a blink of a eye Josie.
      Take a look at any paper in the UK like the daily mail and Corbyn is being attacked now by a dirty political machine.

  23. Micky with all the talk regarding the Silver Fern , Now Im pretty sure that way back in the 1930s the Labour Party registered the silver fern for our membership badge.
    I remember the late Bob Reece of Hamilton telling me that the LP had one of a hard job to make sure we had the right to register the silver fern for our membership badge.

  24. Coffee Connoisseur 24

    Josie Pagani is a Right wing commentator posing as a left wing commentator. Its as simple as that and should be called out time and time again whenever she says anything remotely like this until she is gone.

  25. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 25

    This is not a peculiarly New Zealand problem. Australia and the United Kingdom also seem to struggle with the concept of independence.

    Not as much as that bastion of socialism Venezuela.

  26. Michael 26

    Pagani is no leftie. Her politics are of the 1984 status quo, all the way. I’d love to know who pays her bills. I think we should be told.

  27. Trey 27

    Since when does caring about workers rights, wanting illegal and immoral wars to stop and sticking up for your fellow human beings regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation make you a narcissist. I would have thought John Key displayed more characteristics of a narcissist than Jeremy Corbyn. Josie Pagani needs to answer Florence Patton Reeces question and ask herself, “which side are you on”. I for one am sick of neo liberal plonkers pretending to be left wing as they sip their chardonnay in 2 million dollar villas on the city fringes. So which side are you on Josie because as “they say in Harlan County there are no neutrals here, you’ll be a union man or a thug for J.H. Blair” or in your case Tony Blair and his neo liberal bollicks.

  28. Olwyn 28

    This article seems pertinent to this particular thread, since it outlines why the author thinks the political class are freaked out by Corbyn, why they opened up the leadership vote to supporters in the first place, and how it backfired on them:

  29. gnomic 29

    Pagani babbled thusly:

    ‘Your question was – where are my disagreements with Jeremy Corbyn? I oppose him because he will never be in a position to do anything about those issues. You write as if the defeat in the UK, and NZ last year didn’t happen. You can’t keep ignoring that most people didn’t trust us to deliver on our core principles, unless you think the voters are wrong and you’re right.’

    This may be the most confused and confusing paragraph i have ever read. So much so that one can only enquire as to the colour of the sky on the planet where the writer lives. Who is this ‘we’ you speak of in speaking about core principles? What core principles anyway? Does the NZ Labour Party have any? Pretty obvious the writer doesn’t have any apart from Blairism till death, not to mention the rather unsavoury Mandelsonism. Anyone else recall ‘Lord’ Peter Mandelson, ideologist of the Blair regime at its inception?

    And how odd we see repeated the standard twaddle from the rightist trolls here claiming that anyone daring to differ from the verdict delivered by the sheeple in the farce we call democracy must be against the learned and informed decision of the mainstream of the populace, and thus profoundly anti-democratic. Cos the sheeple are always right, innit? Even when they are so so wrong.

    ‘The reason we lost is that, while people had no problem trusting us on the ‘saintly’ issues you list, they didn’t trust us to look after their job, look after the government’s finances responsibly, and prioritise day to day issues in their lives, not all of which are about struggle. You can believe people are misled by commentators like me, but I think I’m a voice for those voters who are desperate for Labour parties to take their fundamental everyday concerns seriously.’

    I’m afraid I can’t detect any hint of meaning here at all. Still just a ragbag of truisms (or perhaps falsisms?) thrown together pell-mell. One reason people don’t trust the Labour Party is that it doesn’t trust itself. Another is that the admass is manipulated by subtle techniques of political propaganda financed by the agents of capitalism with access to massive funding.

    As you have no idea what you are talking about, why not refrain from political commentary?

    But wait. Ms Pagani demonstrates a little insight towards the end of the original article. ‘So the election of Jeremy Corbyn has thrown a grenade into parties of the left everywhere. . . . The support for Corbyn has shown that people want their politicians to be courageous. They don’t want bland unity.

    They want Labour to stand for something they can believe in.’

  30. Lucy 30

    It is probable that Josie really does think she speaks for the left, in the same way that people who set up the early unemployed rights organizations thought that they were speaking for the poor. It is easy to be nice and middle class thinking you understand poverty then go home to your nice house at night. that is sort of the position Josie is in she can speak for the dispossessed without having to ever have any of them enter her nice life – because a large segment of the disenfranchised have views and ways of coping with their grey lives that are not nice. I don’t care what marches she was on, none of that counts today. What she appears to be saying is say anything to get into power that is a very Tory idea, if you win like that you have already lost!

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