Andrew Little: Winning together

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, November 4th, 2016 - 167 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, greens, labour, national, same old national, workers' rights - Tags:

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A message from Andrew Little from the Labour Party’s website:

The slogan of Hillary Clinton’s campaign is ‘stronger together’. It’s an idea that I think also applies to how I have approached leading the Labour Party and the Opposition. It explains why we have had so many wins in the last two years, and why the polls show the race for 2017 is now neck and neck.

The right wing of politics is always about dividing people from each other: whether on ethnicity, employment status, sexual identity, or simply those who have and the have nots.

I don’t buy that kind of politics. I believe if we all work together, we can achieve the good life we all aspire to – the Kiwi dream of a decent place to live and own, a good job that pays a fair wage, and public services that are there to keep us safe, keep us healthy, and give our children the best education.

We’ve worked hard to build a culture of unity. You see that in the MOU with the Greens, and in our cross-party homelessness inquiry as well as our close cooperation with the unions. When National can’t divide us, we win.

We won on zero hours, which has had a huge impact on many thousands of workers and their families.

We won on Keytruda and better funding for Pharmac.

We are winning on housing – every week, National is forced to adopt policies that are pale imitations of ours while still refusing to admit there’s a housing crisis.

We are winning on safer communities – with National preparing to concede they got it wrong and we need more police. We have won these fights, together.

And, together, we have taken the agenda away from National. They are now trying to play catch-up or reflexively opposing much-needed policies (like Auckland light rail) just because they come from Labour.

There’s a year to go until the next election, and the polls show that Labour and the Greens are neck and neck with National/ACT at 40-45% each. That’s a huge improvement on the 2014 election result. We’re on the rise; they are on the way down.

Together, we can win next year. We’re going to win because we are committed to restoring the Kiwi dream for all New Zealanders through a set of sensible ideas including:

  • making sure the government buys Kiwi-made and keeps Kiwis in work,
  • implementing a comprehensive housing plan that builds 100,000 affordable homes for first homebuyers and locks out speculators
  • reversing National’s cuts to health spending and funding cutting edge medicines
  • making three years of tertiary study fees free and investing in apprenticeships
  • recruiting 1000 more police to make our communities safer
  • You can read more about our policies here, and there will be more to come at our conference this weekend.

Our positive plan is winning. All National can do is make excuses for its failures. But winning won’t just happen by itself. We all need to pull together, to work together, and reject National’s attempts to divide us. We need to get the word out to our friends and family that we are on track. We need to support the work that Labour and its partners are doing.

We are stronger together, and it is through that strength that we can change the government next year.

If you support Labour’s vision and you want to help change the government – click here to say you’re in.

167 comments on “Andrew Little: Winning together”

  1. Richard Rawshark 1

    Only criticism of your whole post as it’s damn good is this.

    Homelessness is not a political point scoring opportunity. I don’t think anyone homeless wants to hear this..

    “We are winning on housing – every week, National is forced to adopt policies that are pale imitations of ours while still refusing to admit there’s a housing crisis.”

    Makes it look petty , political and amoral.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Labour is winning on this issue because it is showing how bankrupt the Government is with its approach to the crisis. And borrowing Labour’s policies and watering them down is a concession of defeat by the government.

      This is modern politics. Oppositions do not have power all they can is agitate and embarass governments into changing policies

    • Takere 1.2

      @RR
      Homelessness & Homes, House Building. Correlation?
      Causation, lack of homes to live in.

      House building could be accelerated by funding from the ACC account($31b), NZ Superfund ($33b) & borrow by going to the bond market. Borrow $15b all up?

      Because after the crash, 3rd Tier lenders (Private banks) went bust too closing access to capital for developers. About a $15b market. There’s still a void to fill.
      Starting up a Government House Building “Works Project” to build is a must because the actual rate for building houses is pathetic. Apartment builds too get counted as “Builds.” We’re luck if the total nationally is more than 1600/month. Houses & apartments, the majority being appartments.

    • Richard Rawshark 1.3

      NO you lot not what I meant..

      It can also be thought of, how do I say blocking the current government dealing with the issue by putting out pre emtive policy.. now I get that’s our job all i’m saying is choose the wording carefully.

      Perhaps it’s too negative and could disfranshise supporters who think it’s petty politicking and that Labour and National should on this work together..

      Perhaps saying

      Labours policy would have effectively solved the issue by now, but National are still in denial, with little in the way of policy to solve the issue. So we are also winning on Housing.?

      • Siobhan 1.3.1

        As long as houses are viewed primarily as tradable commodities, and the only way the middle class can see of paying for their expected standard of living in retirement is by being Landlords and trading the so-called family home every 5 years…well as long as this is our view of housing there will always be winners and losers, just as there are in any commodity trading market, be it milk powder, cocoa, bananas…or houses.

    • AB 1.4

      As long as National can get away with saying it’s a supply problem they are winning – politically and financially.
      Because the truth is it’s largely a demand problem and they refuse to restrain demand because so many of their supporters are getting rich investing (speculating) in houses.
      There is virtually free money up for grabs if you have the inclination and the initial capital. Very low interest rates on borrowing, no effective CGT and loads of unearned capital gain to be made. Any sniff of free money and the rich and greedy are all over it. That you drive the poor and the young into permanent debt serfdom by so doing doesn’t bother them – one section of society is simply waging war on another and eating them up bit by bit.
      Labour’s response is weak because the landlord/renter fault-line runs right through the middle of it.

  2. pat 2

    stronger together, while true, may be being oversold in this instance….while the rough edges may be softened I wouldn’t be expecting anything more should the current administration end up where it deserves.

    I think Chris Trotter has summed it up nicely with the following paragraph this morning…
    “Part of the explanation for Cunliffe waiting so long to announce his retirement is, perhaps, that he couldn’t quite bring himself to accept that Little was never going to radicalise, renew or reposition the Labour Party. In spite of the worldwide voter hunger for a principled alternative to the exhausted philosophy of free markets and free trade, the New Zealand Labour caucus’s preference for fudging and fiddling remains undiminished.”

    https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2016/11/radicalising-renewing-repositioning.html

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Chris makes a good point there. Labour is still holding on to the failed policies of the last 30 years and not accepting the lessons of the GFC/Great Depression that free-market policies simply don’t work.

      • Red 2.1.1

        Little also indicated this morning on hoskings that top tax rate will not change, hence really what will baring tinkering at policy settings, as our friend CV indicates labour really are just status quo so why change, not that I or I believe most of country want radical change but nor do I really fear a labour government The greens are a lot more radical but in any government will be constrained by labour and NZF, so again why change barring giving career politician in labour their turn to lord it over us and making some people just feel better because government has a left wing brand that in practice has little impact on general all policy and economic framework

    • Jebus 2.2

      Oh ffs. What on earth does Trotter know? He nots Cunliffe’s closest allies deserted him. There’s a reason for that – just ask them and they’ll tell you.

      I think when you counterpose Little and Trotter’s pieces the difference in attitude says it all. One is a winner, the other is wallowing in glorious defeats.

      • Leftie 2.2.1

        Trotter hasn’t been anywhere near “left” for a long time, he is a fan of John key and his Nats.

        “I think when you counterpose Little and Trotter’s pieces the difference in attitude says it all. One is a winner, the other is wallowing in glorious defeats.”

        +1

      • pat 2.2.2

        “one is a winner, the other…”

        curious that such language should be used….

        https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

        I recall it was once a favoured meme of this current administration in its earlier terms, curiously they appear to have dropped it of late….focus groups perhaps?

        • Incognito 2.2.2.1

          Thanks for the link.

          Good to see Paul Verhaeghe mentioned; he has very interesting things to say as well.

          Just one point, neoliberalism has gone beyond being a mere (!) ideology to become a culture. Therefore, our present day problems are not simply (!) ideological, they are cultural.

    • Incognito 2.3

      I see Andrew Little more as a conciliator than a political radical or a visionary leader with great charisma and an aura of ‘rock star’ confidence.

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    Jane Kelsey’s last paragraphs in today’s Daily Blog titled John Key & National ram through TPPA minus any real scrutiny

    It is important to remember that, even if Obama gets the legislation, through there are still opportunities for exit. The deal can’t come into force before February 2018 unless all countries have adopted it and the US is happy with what they have done. The fall-back of 6 countries with 85% of the GDP of the 12 TPPA countries is the more likely option, and on current count they could reach that by the end of this year, provided the US Congress was happy with what Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei have done.
    But that is after the NZ election, putting Labour in the hot seat of having to declare that it would withdraw NZ’s ratification. In that worst case scenario, there is still plenty of work for us to do.

    (My bold)
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/11/03/77705/
    Labour will have to make a positive commitment to withdraw NZ’s ratification to get my vote.

  4. save nz 4

    I like the slogan winning together, and the speech is ok. But I don’t think it is as heartfelt as it could be – too focused on National. I’d like a more passionate speech with an alternate change of government vision – maybe NZ being the forefront of the world in technology and climate change and food safety and clean waters, NZ teachers being the top of the world tables as they used to be for literacy, supporting doctors to bring 1st world health treatment to NZ, giving everyone a living wage and a fair go, getting rid of free trade agreements that give more to lawyers than to farmers and are designed to get rid of small farmers and suppliers in favour of large multi corporations who use tax laws to avoid paying local taxes and take money out of NZ.

    • Richard Rawshark 4.1

      err lol, in other words a completely different speech..just saying..

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Speech is on Sunday. This is more of a taster

      • Leftie 4.2.1

        Quite frankly MS, getting sick and tired of the cringe worthy Labour bashing hatefest that goes on every time a post on Labour is put up.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Take the criticism on board. There are good reasons why Labour keeps coming in under 30%.

          And I’ll bet that Labour will put basically the same team of people on to running the 2017 campaign as the one which lost the 2011 and 2013 campaigns.

          • Leftie 4.2.1.1.1

            You have a huge vindictive chip on your shoulder Colonial Viper, your wish in life is that Labour were dead and buried and John key and his National government would reign supreme.

            • Michael 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Not FWICS. Labour remains widely disliked and distrusted by many New Zealanders, not least for the fact it has never had the honesty or decency to give an honest reckoning of its lurch to the Right after 1984. Labour remains wedded to the neoliberal status quo in spite of a plethora of evidence that it is out of date (begging the question of whether neoliberalism was ever in date to anyone apart from the elite). It shows no real evidence of wanting to make itself relevant to the needs of contemporary politics. I’d dearly love to see Labour do what needs to be done to put itself at the front of progressivity but I’m sorry to say I just don’t see it happening. In 2020 perhaps?

    • Leftie 4.3

      “Heartfelt”???? What do you want him to do?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The slogan of Hillary Clinton’s campaign is ‘stronger together’.

    We are stronger together rather than competing against each other.

    So, when are you going to announce the renationalisation of telecommunications and power so that we can utilise that strength for all our benefit rather than the benefit of the bludging shareholders?

    Telecom is a great example of how competition costs us. With more than $20 billion taken out of the economy which could have been used to expand and modernise the network which is what it would have been used for if Telecom hadn’t been sold and kept as a government service.

    • save nz 5.1

      Draco, no offence by Telecom was a disaster for NZ! They pushed NZ into a black hole of poor technology and poor accountability and poor outcomes. Instead of adopting GSM on the advice of some crusty non technical US board members they adopted CDMA, routed the public and even today the telecoms is in a terrible state. Just ring up a call centre (Vodaphone or Telecom) and you will have a 1 hour long wait for your call to be answered. I could go on forever but there is some movement in between government and enterprise working together. Sadly under National this has become a joke, as cronies are getting assets cheap or running them into the ground… but I don’t think denationalisation of technology is the answer… transport maybe works to be nationalised, technology would not work.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        They pushed NZ into a black hole of poor technology and poor accountability and poor outcomes. Instead of adopting GSM on the advice of some crusty non technical US board members they adopted CDMA, routed the public and even today the telecoms is in a terrible state.

        You do realise that happened after privatisation don’t you?

        In fact, everything you complain about is a result of privatisation and the profit motive.

    • Richard Rawshark 5.2

      Stronger together is doing wonders for Hillary.. I don’t think slogans win elections..policy helps a little, pardon the pun.

      • Gareth Wilson 5.2.1

        “Stronger together” is the family motto of Supergirl, from the current TV show. Since the Kryptonian had it first, I think someone in the Hillary campaign is having a little joke about the first female president. She’s also using the Supergirl trailer music in her campaign: “This is my fight song…”

    • Nessalt 5.3

      Doesn’t it get boring being a broken record?

      aren’t you sick of promoting an ideology and way of government that has been proven to not work over and over and over again?

      I bet if you get your way you’ll find some other cart of misery to hitch yourself too. just like being one of the losers don’t you?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1

        aren’t you sick of promoting an ideology and way of government that has been proven to not work over and over and over again?

        I don’t support capitalism.

  6. Richard Rawshark 6

    I followed the link to labour policies, I hope like hell you have better ones than that patsy crap…neo lib business focused national light rubbish.

    no reversing employment law changes

    No raising minimum wage

    fuck all on dairy intensification issues

    water

    environment

    climate change

    disabled kids going back to special schools

    comments on charter schools

    asset sales

    hells bells are you FOR nationals reforms? is this a god damn scam.

    I fucking give up..

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      Can’t believe I’m defending Labour but here goes…to make the changes you want Lab/Greens to make they first have to get into power

      The message is something I approve of specifically because there’s nothing in there to scare centrist, swing voters

      Labour/greens won’t win the next election without convincing enough of the centre to vote for them

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        Always the same tired ‘centrism’ PR.

        You’ve swung the pendulum so far to the right society no longer works and you think you can nail it there. Fine for the tax-evading foreign crims and the troughing Gnat toadies – nothing in it for real people.

        • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.1

          Oh bollix, National is centre right if that. Student loans check WFF check, National basically ran on being Labour-lite and it worked, its what the voters wanted and its what the voters have returned for 6 successive governments so far

          Not too left, not too right but just around the centre

          So where else are these mythical voters going to come from to sweep Lab/Green into power?

          The missing million, the group that didn’t vote Labour because they weren’t left enough, is that it?

          They had left options to vote for in the Greens and if that wasn’t left enough for them they also had the Internet Mana party as well

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            Oh bollix, National is centre right if that.

            National is radical right-wing.

            National basically ran on being Labour-lite and it worked

            And they were lying about that. Lies work for some of the time.

            • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “National is radical right-wing.”

              No they are not: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far-right_politics

              • The endless quibble about labeling parties seems never to produce any interesting result. The debate churns, tumbleweeds cartwheel across arid landscapes, buzzards wheel…

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes they are.

                I’m really not sure if you’re trying to hide National’s radicalism or if you truly don’t understand just how radical they are.

                They will take us back to outright feudalism and serfdom.

                • fisiani

                  Your vision of National as radical right wing clearly means that you do not understand radical or right wing.
                  Radical right wing governments do not boost welfare payments, give free health care to kids or boost pensions. They do not free up land for a housing boom and do not boost educational outcomes or continue WFF. Your use of feudalism and serfdom tells me that you are deluded. It explains the steadily falling vote for the Left.

                • fisiani

                  Your vision of National as radical right wing clearly means that you do not understand radical or right wing.
                  Radical right wing governments do not boost welfare payments, give free health care to kids or boost pensions. They do not free up land for a housing boom and do not boost educational outcomes or continue WFF. Your use of feudalism and serfdom tells me that you are deluded. It explains the steadily falling vote for the Left.

                  Draco look at the crap link that you linked to. Read the final sentence. Delusional is very apt.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Your vision of National as radical right wing clearly means that you do not understand radical or right wing.

                    Actually, that would be you. Haven’t you noticed that this government is actively changing the way things are done? Implementing institutional corruption? Their lies to get their own way?

                    And they’re doing it to increase the amount of capitalism in the system. All of that is radical and right-wing.

                    Radical right wing governments do not boost welfare payments…

                    They do when it’s only an illusion of an increase. Really, how many people actually got an increase in their benefit from National’s rises? How many have been kicked off due to National’s punitive policies thus seriously decreasing their benefit?

                    They do not free up land for a housing boom and do not boost educational outcomes or continue WFF.

                    Freeing up land is most definitely a right-wing thing as it puts more untaxed capital gains in their supporters pockets while costing more for society in general which also means more profits.

                    WFF is a subsidy to businesses so that they don’t have to pay living wages and is thus also a right-wing thing.

                    And National have been steadily decreasing our educational system and the outcomes of that system – through the profit motive.

                    Your use of feudalism and serfdom tells me that you are deluded.

                    Nope. You’re misunderstanding of capitalism is what’s deluded.

                    Capitalism requires that the majority of the nations resources are privately owned and that the population of the nation are then available to work for those owners.

                    We’ve been selling off our state assets for the last thirty years which gets the first bit done and the governments have been making welfare worse so that people have to work for the capitalists which makes the people serfs.

                    And what are those capitalists supposed to do? That’s right – compete with each other.

                    So, there we have it – capitalism is just another word for feudalism.

          • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.2

            Slave workers and the QMS have destroyed the fishing sector. 1% of Japan’s returns on an equivalent littoral area.

            The WINZ reforms mean there is no longer a social welfare system.

            Systematic corruption has got so bad that Christchurch, our second largest productive metropolitan area, has lain in ruins for a decade and the useless Gerry Brownlee will shortly be a centimillionaire from misdirected public funds.

            Broadcasting has been destroyed – the only TV worth watching is the weather and that’s delivered by a pom.

            If you drink from many NZ rivers now you won’t just get sick, you’ll die.

            Flat economic growth except capital inflow from migration which dilutes GNP.

            We can no longer escape to real jobs in Australia.

            National’s ‘Arbeit Mach Frei’ is less than convincing as jobs go to foreign ‘students’.

            Monitoring of leftwing blogs features intrusive and lumpen authoritarian commissars who propose to improve public morale by preventing problem solving.

        • Richard Rawshark 6.1.1.2

          Unless they have anything positive to contribute that’s not childish baiting I’ve refused to comment to them from now on.

          United we stand these fuckers are trying to divide us.

      • pat 6.1.2

        that is all likely true enough…however all the signs are that whatever changes that will be made once in power (should that occur) will be tinkering at best…. that to me indicates that Labour agree with the broad thrust of the current policy settings….do those that they hope will vote for them feel the same?….I would suggest not.

        • BM 6.1.2.1

          There is no ground swell for radical change, Labour would be committing suicide if they gained power and then tried to radically alter how the country was run.

          • pat 6.1.2.1.1

            so false pretences?…..we’ve been there before, and it didn’t end well (for Labour or their supporters)

            It occurs to me that it is exactly this form of politics that has resulted in low voter turnout, Brexit and Trump….we appear destined to repeat the mistakes of the rest of the world

            • BM 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Who are the Labour supporters the 5000 members? or the 604,534 people who voted for them at the last election.?

              Do those 5000 even reflect what the 604,534 want?, wouldn’t it be terrible if the 1% were riding rough shod over the 99%

              • pat

                “Do those 5000 even reflect what the 604,534 want?, wouldn’t it be terrible if the 1% were riding rough sod over the 99%”

                1% riding rough shod….really?

                There were 3,140,000 registered voters in 2014 and of those 1,133,000 voted for the National manifesto……a support level of approx 30%.

                70% did not

                theres the basis for your Brexit, Trump et al.

          • weka 6.1.2.1.2

            How come National are making radical changes then?

            • BM 6.1.2.1.2.1

              What radical change?, they’re not called labour lite for nothing.

              • weka

                Welfare reforms, removal of democracy from local authorities, privatisation by stealth.

                • BM

                  Welfare reforms

                  increasing benefits?, not very right wing.

                  Removal of democracy from local authorities

                  – place was a basket case and wasn’t doing it’s job.
                  Think labour did the same thing in the Hawkes bay?

                  privatisation by stealth

                  If you mean state housing, National has been very up front about selling old stock and have also signaled a huge state house building program, once again not very right wing.

                  if you went and posted a comment at Kiwiblog that National was a radical right wing party, you’d get laughed off the board.

                  They’re a centrist party at best.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    How many benefits were increased?

                    By reinventing what ‘unemployment’ means the Gnats ‘saved’ millions more than the supposed increase cost.

                    But they haven’t increased employment.

                    There are less employed now than under Clark and we threw her out.

                    • BM

                      That’s because she grew the public service dramatically, not by hiring more public servants but out sourcing “work” to all these external groups and organizations that did only public service work,

                      Huge amount of waste and was nothing more than an expensive job creation scheme.

                      At least with National you have real sustainable jobs.

                  • weka

                    I didn’t say National are a radical right wing party. I said they are making radical changes. Very similar to 80s Labour in fact, only in a contemporary way.

                    “increasing benefits?, not very right wing.”

                    If you think that is what I meant by welfare reform then you are far more stupid than I can imagine. More likely you are being disingenuous 🙄

            • Puckish Rogue 6.1.2.1.2.2

              Are they radical, I don’t see any changes to WFF, student loans etc it seems to me they’re merely tinkering around the edges

              • Stuart Munro

                If you knew anyone who’s had to deal with WINZ you wouldn’t think it was tinkering.

                The social support system has been destroyed and there is no work to replace it. This is why suicide is through the roof.

                The Key government has carbon copied the atrocious reforms instituted in England – including pernicious bureaucracy and dysfunction like requiring medical proof that permanent conditions have not spontaneously remitted.

                Clients need to take class actions against them for harrassment, but of course they can’t afford to.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  “If you knew anyone who’s had to deal with WINZ you wouldn’t think it was tinkering.”

                  Its always been thus with WINZ, I note Labour didn’t increase any benefits while they were in power

                  “The social support system has been destroyed and there is no work to replace it. This is why suicide is through the roof.:”

                  The unemployment rate is low

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Utter crap.

                    NZ has a lot of seasonal workers and WINZ used to work constructively with them. Back when I was MAF observing they used to sign me on cheerfully between contracts because MAF made no guarantees when there would be another. Freezing workers also met cooperative and helpful WINZ staff.

                    That bloke in Timaru shot them because they were deliberately screwing him around instead of helping him. That’s what they do now. But they used to be much better.

                    The true unemployment rate is similar to America’s. Statistics have adopted their measures to facilitate the pretence that unemployment is low. But according to Robert Reich there are more working age men now not working fulltime in the US than in the Great Depression. The same is true here.

                    Real unemployment is at record levels. This government’s economic performance is lamentable and getting worse – and PR is pouring glitter on their turds and eating them as usual.

                    • BM

                      That bloke in Timaru shot them because they were deliberately screwing him around instead of helping him. That’s what they do now. But they used to be much better.

                      Do you think he was justified Stuart?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      On an individual level he was not – but on a systemic level he was perfectly correct. When you are in distress (he was homeless) and you go to the appropriate government agency for help, they are not entitled to screw you around. Nor should you let them away with screwing you around.

                      WINZ is not there to further traumatize people who come to them for help just because Bill English can’t grow an economy for toffee.

                      I will have nothing to do with WINZ and thus the people manning the front desks for this vicious and dysfunctional government have nothing to fear from me.

                    • Leftie

                      +1’s on all of your comments Stuart Munro.

        • Garibaldi 6.1.2.2

          I quite agree Pat. In my view Labour is still centre right because it is still glued to neoliberalism. Until it stops tinkering around “the softer side of the free market”, and gets some real separation from National, it will not beat John Key’s mob of lying misfits.

      • Siobhan 6.1.3

        Labour have been appeasing the centre for a long, long time now…in fact for as long as I’ve been a voter….and here we are.
        Brilliant.
        Maybe it’s working for you, but I personally don’t see it.

      • Michael 6.1.4

        Labour won’t get into “power” as you say you want it to without offering a clear alternative to neoliberalism. A year out from the election it still demonstrates inability or unwillingness to come up with effective and progressive policies that will inspire people to support it. AFAICS, Labour’s strategy for 2017 is to bang on about symptomatic issues (like Auckland house prices) and hope that the minimum number of fickle middle class Aucklanders (IIUC, the magic number is about 200,000 people) decide to tick the box next to “National-lite”. Whatever the wisdom of that strategy (and I acknowledge it might get Labour over the finish line, assisted by the Greens/Winston/Morgan) the result won’t be an authentic Labour government. Again. I think most people know this too, which is why I expect voter turnout to continue plummeting. A small matter of political legitimacy is apparent.

    • BM 6.2

      Different sides of the same coin, you reckon?

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        Yeah I think theres not too much difference between Labour and National and I think that’s what the majority of NZs voters want

        Look at how much of swing there was between the third National, the fourth Labour and fourth National governments and all the issues that caused

        Clark came in and took the centre and the Key has followed suit, I just don’t feel theres much of an appetite for the massive swings there used to be

        • BM 6.2.1.1

          Any change has to be gradual(frog boiling), lurching drastically one way or the other just leads to unhappiness and voter revolt.

          • Stuart Munro 6.2.1.1.1

            So the unprecedented shift in wealth that has home ownership headed south of 40% is not drastic?

            What a dreamworld you puppies live in.

        • pat 6.2.1.2

          whether there is appetite for “massive swings” or not will never be tested….the reality is the voters are being given no choice, and they know it.

          If Labour believed their own rhetoric about the current policy settings they would have the courage of their convictions and present an alternative, that they don’t demonstrates they have neither courage nor conviction.

          • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1.2.1

            Well yes, I guess the only way to test this would be for Labour to go very left although Labour, under Cunliffe, tried to go a bit more left at the last election and go their worst result in 80 odd years

            Whether that was because of the message or how the message was presented I don’t know

            • pat 6.2.1.2.1.1

              “Well yes, I guess the only way to test this would be for Labour to go very left….”

              or very alternative

              • Puckish Rogue

                what would be the difference? Legit question

                • pat

                  the possibilities are endless….bugger me I see Gareth Morgan has entered the fray….I haven’t looked at his opening salvo but expect there is some alternative thinking there, and probably not what would be classified as traditional left or right…..why assume an alternative has to hark back to the past, especially when the past solutions would exacerbate our future problems (i.e. growth)

                  Labour could (though appears incapable) evolve rather than regress.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Alt would see more of Robert’s forest gardens and less general strikes.

        • keepcalmcarryon 6.2.1.3

          Low voter turnout says you are wrong Puckish Rogue.
          How about those All blacks though eh!

          • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1.3.1

            Low voter turnout says you are wrong Puckish Rogue.

            – Can you explain further please

            How about those All blacks though eh!

            – Well they’re not at total rugby yet but if they play their cards right they’ll hold the record for outright test wins and that’s pretty impressive

            • keepcalmcarryon 6.2.1.3.1.1

              My point re low voter turn out refered to your comment:

              “Yeah I think theres not too much difference between Labour and National and I think that’s what the majority of NZs voters want”

              I argue that a bunch of people dont feel engaged or represented by the centrist parties so dont bother voting.
              If someone felt a party stood for everything they held dear you would expect them to vote for that party wouldnt you?
              Yet we plumb new depths of voter participation.

    • Michelle 6.3

      Rawshark if Labour want to win the next election they need to start with focusing on a few very good well thought out public policies. I would then say everything else is under review just like Donkey said.

    • red-blooded 6.4

      Reply to Richard R – above – You do realise that we’re not in the election year yet, don’t you? Labour isn’t releasing detailed policy yet because National tends to either steal it, water it down and present it as “problem solved” or exaggerate and over-simplify it, presenting it as loony and extreme and unaffordable. Plus, people listen more to policy in an election year, and if it’s all been pre-announced then you end up looking tired and out of ideas.

      Little has learnt some lessons from the last few elections and is keeping his powder dry.

      Plus, even if you’re looking for Left with a capital “L”, that’s not what the NZ electorate tends to look for. Labour does best when it wins office and then takes the electorate with it, over a number of years.

  7. Richard Rawshark 7

    More cops, always a National voter favorite

    Flexible Tax for Business hmm National

    Young Entrepreneurs Policy hmm business- National

    Our Work Our Future hmm NZ business-National

    not one thing about ummm labourers.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      More cops, always a National voter favourite

      – If you were to ask most people in NZ if they favoured more or less cops I’m guessing the answer would be more

      Flexible Tax for Business hmm National

      – Make it easier for people to run business’ oh noes how horrible, they may end up making more money and so paying more tax and/or employing more people

      Young Entrepreneurs Policy hmm business- National
      Our Work Our Future hmm NZ business-National

      – Business is evil mkay

      not one thing about ummm labourers.

      – So who do you suggest employs these labourers then?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Make it easier for people to run business’ oh noes how horrible, they may end up making more money and so paying more tax and/or employing more people

        Doesn’t seem to have happened yet. In fact, they keep paying less tax even though they;re making more money.

        Business is evil mkay

        It’s not business that’s evil but the selfishness and greed that drives it.

        So who do you suggest employs these labourers then?

        I’m all for cutting out the bludging business owners and having the workers work together.

    • Red 7.2

      Laboures are doing ok, construction, distribution, manufacturing never has there been so much work

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.3

      RRS – you have a point! Does look fairly National Lite to me too.

      Hopefully they might be more progressive than they are brave enough to present.

  8. Richard Rawshark 8

    Ignoring the above usual shit stirrers..

    I posted because there is also a ground swell of people who would really get behind labour policy except when they are in fact trying to appease the National or right voter.

    Both of which I believe is welcomed by National if you want to play business politics, well the right wing that’s there forte. They will be preferred over Labour if that’s the aim with those businessmen.

    Common sense tells me this is just the early policies to put up, Stuff that won’t trigger major bad curry with the media, and that bigger more focused announcements will happen as we near the election day.

    I just want to hear it.

    • Anne 8.1

      I posted because there is also a ground swell of people who would really get behind labour policy except when they are in fact trying to appease the National or right voter.

      Suggest you hold fire for just a few more days then RR.

      Little and Labour will be revealing Labour’s principle policy planks this week-end – one year out from election. They selected the issues they proposed to run with a long time ago and are still fine tuning the details. Nevertheless there should be enough detail released to give most people a good idea where Labour is going. I think/hope you will be pleasantly surprised – that is, if you (and others) can overcome your clinically induced cynicism of everything Labour does or says.

    • Red 8.2

      Any one working who is centre left or right thus the great majority does not want to see a lolly scramble hand out, bloated public service, a return to an economy beholden to unions, a health system with limitless cost or the ilk of what you are looking for, they want sensible stewardship of economy and , understand that we live in a world that is not perfect and requires trade offs, that also requires you living with in your means, similarly equal opportunities not equal outcomes, thus a real difference between living off your own labour vs welfare Push to far away from this and you are electoral dog meat

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        a return to an economy beholden to unions

        Well, I for one want to stop having the economy beholden to the bludging capitalists.

        a health system with limitless cost

        It’s not a limitless cost but it should cost what is needed to ensure that everyone’s health is well maintained. Having is cost less than that costs more as productivity and well being is seriously decreased.

        they want sensible stewardship of economy

        Which will never happen under National. Selling off the economy to rich pricks is not stewardship.

        understand that we live in a world that is not perfect and requires trade offs, that also requires you living with in your means

        True but the RWNJs such as yourself don’t don’t understand what those trade off or our means are as they focus on the purely delusional money.

        similarly equal opportunities not equal outcomes

        Equal opportunities will always result in equal outcomes. The fact that we don’t have that is proof that we don’t have equal opportunity.

        thus a real difference between living off your own labour

        Capitalists live off of others labour. It really is how capitalism works. And that, of course, makes capitalists the biggest bludgers ever.

        • Red 8.2.1.1

          Problem Draco your view is not mainstream, so even if your right acppeting you can argue the opposite of any argument what really counts is what will win you power in regard what do the majority population see as plausible

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.1

            Problem Draco your view is not mainstream

            My view is based upon reality and what’s physically available. If the ‘mainstream’ doesn’t have that view then the ‘mainstream’ are not only wrong but completely fucken delusional.

            And the rest of your sentence is complete gibberish.

            • Red 8.2.1.1.1.1

              I am right and every one else is delusional, a phrase often quoted by patients in an asylum for the insane

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s physical reality that is right – not me. Ignoring physical reality is delusional. Don’t believe me on that? Then ask psychiatrist.

                • Red

                  You observe physical reality with your senses, and then judge with your brain, your senses are not full proof and if your grey matter is not wired right, inbuilt bias and synapses are not firing at 100pc your view of reality may be distorted . Who really knows what reality is however on the whole much better to go with reality of majority in regard to plausabilty, especially if your trying to win an election

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You observe physical reality with your senses

                    Actually, I use scientists and the research that they do.

                    Who really knows what reality is…

                    I figure that the scientists have a fairly good handle on it.

                    however on the whole much better to go with reality of majority in regard to plausabilty, especially if your trying to win an election

                    No, it’s always better to stick with reality. You may not with the election but at least you’ll have a plan ready when the delusion has run it’s course.

                    Of course, at present rates we’re not going to survive the delusion as it’s on course to wipe out better than 90% of life on Earth.

                    • Red

                      Pointless argueing if we start with Your reality is self evident, your pretty much on the same level as a hard core creationist who hold the view, the bible is the word of god now let’s start a discussion on the reality of the bible

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Pointless argueing if we start with Your reality is self evident

                      The problem isn’t my acceptance of reality but your, and other RWNJs, denial of it.

                      As I say: Once you start thinking of the economy in physical terms it takes on a whole new meaning.

                      What we can and cannot afford changes drastically. You realise that the only thing that we cannot afford is rich people.

                    • Red []

                      Believe it or not I get where you are coming from Draco but your self assurance and over simplification to what is the solution is what I disagree with. Think peak oil, Thomas Malthus, yep physical challenges can’t disagree but Marxism or some of your wacky ideas are not the answer, however no malice intended from this delusional RWNJ 😁

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Believe it or not I get where you are coming from Draco but your self assurance and over simplification to what is the solution is what I disagree with.

                      It’s not simple. I never said it was. I just put it in simple terms for the blogs.

                      And do you also distrust John Key because of his self assurance?

                      Think peak oil, Thomas Malthus, yep physical challenges can’t disagree but Marxism or some of your wacky ideas are not the answer

                      Malthus has been proved correct and so has Marx as far as his critique of capitalism went.

                      The point is that we should be viewing capitalism as the wacky idea. It’s failed every single time that it’s been tried throughout the ages in its many guises. The profit drive is driving the world to an extinction level event that we’re unlikely to survive.

                      You really can’t get any more wacky than believing that capitalism works when the evidence shows that it doesn’t.

                    • Red []

                      If we accept that the human condition is flawed and on a path to self destruction ie there is no way we are going to agree on the way forward, capitalism and the innovation it drives is our only salvation. While Marks had some fair points in theory it has been proven communism is not the answer and Mathus was wrong as he totally underestimated technology in regard to what was and was not possible re a sustainable population, similar debate around peak oil Saying all of that all for blue green policy and not unfettered capitalism but definitely not for hard core socialism, communism or stateism 😁

                    • BM

                      Worth repeating.

                      That Draco T Bastard he’s nuttier than squirrel poo.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If we accept that the human condition is flawed and on a path to self destruction ie there is no way we are going to agree on the way forward, capitalism and the innovation it drives is our only salvation.

                      Capitalism doesn’t drive innovation. If anything, it restricts it. In fact, that’s the entire purpose of patents and copyright.

                      While Marks had some fair points in theory it has been proven communism is not the answer and Mathus was wrong as he totally underestimated technology in regard to what was and was not possible re a sustainable population

                      When communism has the same drive as capitalism it gets the same results.

                      And Malthus may not have foreseen what we could do with more knowledge than he had but we still can’t, and never will be able to, support infinite growth on a finite planet and no amount of technology is going to change that. It is physically impossible and yet capitalism requires it.

                      Peak Oil still happens to be true. And so does Peak Gold, Peak Uranium, Peak Copper…

                      Saying all of that all for blue green policy and not unfettered capitalism but definitely not for hard core socialism, communism or stateism 😁

                      Saying what?

                    • In Vino

                      Red and BM – if you are unlucky enough to live long enough, you may well find that squirrel poo beats simple bullshit. I used to say that people’s optimism was refreshing when I thought them naïve. Your optimism is not refreshing – it is tragic, because you need it to sustain your destructive right-wing policies.

                  • Doogs

                    This is not even English. For god’s sake get off the dance floor, you’re an embarrassment.

        • Richard Rawshark 8.2.1.2

          bang on + infinity

          • Red 8.2.1.2.1

            To much Vino, Vino

            Your arguement as predicted has now become circular Draco, just like the hardline creationist,

            communism has the same drive as capitalism, and the tooth fairy is real

            peak oil is true, yes it is but substitutes and replaments technology is found

            Patents restrict innovation, really shit the last 100 years has not been bad then re innovation under a legal system that respects patents that provides reward for innovation

            Communism and socialism are not the answer to the worlds ills, they simply lead to misery on a grand scale Just ask a Venezuelean, North Korea, 1970s Brit , ……………….. Easter European and on and on.

            And finally saying that simply means I am open to some regulation for the common good but I and many other don’t want a bunch of Draco clones runningt society based on they no better re some guys 18th century scribbling that caught thier fancy

  9. Richard Rawshark 9

    still ignoring..

    i’m getting old i’m hearing this whine all the time.. real fkn annoying..

    • Red 9.1

      Your are not ignoring if you say you are ignoring, by default you are responding by saying you are ignoring, the only way to really ignore is refusing to come onto the site, thus not observing, initiating or responding to comnents, 😉

  10. pat 11

    If the “most prosperous country in the world” can’t afford the provision of basic public services, nor house an increasingly large segment of its population and has to import its labour to remain competitive, boost its currency and prop up its finance sector then the world is truly fucked

    • Red 11.1

      possibly but at least relative its better here, thus doing something right

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Yep, pretty much.

      That article seems to be more concerned with how well the top 1% are doing while ignoring the fact that everyone else is going backwards.

  11. adam 12

    You know it’s a bit rich this.

    Mike Lee

    David Cunliffe

    Just to name those in the news this last week, who funnily enough were stabbed in the back by labour.

    Unity, with you lot, what you really mean to say is “shut up and do as you are told…”

    Bugger off labour, you really are just Tory scum in sheep clothing, at best. At worst you have us singing shitty songs, whist marching off to some factory.

    • Barfly 12.1

      meh voting Green in future and if Shearer bothers to canvas here…”fuck off your trespassing”

    • Garibaldi 12.2

      Well said Adam. Labour has no integrity and is doomed to failure under its current course. National lite cannot hope to beat National.

    • red-blooded 12.3

      Oh, get over the “stabbed in the back” meme. Did Cunliffe et al stab Shearer in the back? Did Shearer et al stab Goff in the back?

      Parties change leaders when things aren’t working. Remember National under Bill English? He wasn’t a good leader, and they dumped him. Shock, horror!

      Cunliffe took on the leadership and gave it his best shot. He wasn’t a good leader, and he was dumped.

      adam, you don’t have to vote Labour, but how about accepting that plenty of us do and that we’re not “Tory scum in sheep’s clothing”; we’re working with the party that we’re committed to and that we think has the best chance of leading a left-leaning government. If you want to commit yourself to another party, then do, but cut the abuse, eh?

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.1

        Oh, get over the “stabbed in the back” meme. Did Cunliffe et al stab Shearer in the back? Did Shearer et al stab Goff in the back?

        Grant Robertson stabbed all of the above in the back.

        NB Grant is smart enough not to be pictured holding on to the bloody knife himself, but he definitely did a whole lot of the sharpening in each case.

        btw my prediction is GR2020.

        Cunliffe took on the leadership and gave it his best shot. He wasn’t a good leader, and he was dumped.

        He was dumped by a careerist caucus who never wanted to work with him from day 1.

      • adam 12.3.2

        “but cut the abuse, eh”

        Does the truth hurt that much red-blooded, that you think what I said was abuse? I think you might want to take a cold hard look in the mirror.

        As for supporting a political party, that is the problem is it not . Each time people follow a leader or form a party – someone is always there to corrupt, twist, or warp it. As a left wing person you should know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

        And yes I feel completely justified in calling labour a Tory party. Look at there economic policy red-blooded, more austerity, more crap for the poor and working people, so ultimately more of the same crap we are living with. Yeah some smudging at the edges, which as always does a great job of keeping the disillusioned, and fearful in line.

  12. Roflcopter 13

    The right wing of politics is always about dividing people from each other: whether on ethnicity, employment status, sexual identity, or simply those who have and the have nots.

    … and there goes your chance of bringing back any swing voters.

    • Red 13.1

      The left wing is all about manufactured class and identity, bugger the individual or what really makes us all the same. You must fit into a group and stero type and god help you if you don’t

    • Simon 13.2

      Agree 100%. When will they learn (Answer: Never)

  13. Leftie 14

    So…. judging from the commentary, Labour is damned if they do, and damned if they don’t?

  14. Red 15

    Yes but more importantly I do note from photo Little appears taller than the prospective mp for Mt Roskill, is this correct or an optical illusion or are more darker forces are at work. Both look like garden gnomes but been even handed so does Jk 😁

  15. Simon 16

    Labour lacks talent. The great hope (J. Ardern) has done nothing but loose a safe central Auckland seat (see recent LB elections) and pester Bennett on measuring poverty for 8 years (yes, measuring).

    My guess is that the internal machinery of Labour is so protectionist and toxic (legacy of dear Helen) that any well meaning individual with actual experience in their chosen field (i.e. teachers, doctors, principals, business owners, psychologists etc.) who wants to make a move to politics for the purpose of making a meaningful contribution to wider society are totally unable to get into the Labour ranks. This means that there is a dearth of individuals in labour with experience that is relevant to their portfolio’s etc.

    For this reason, Labour is going to loose this election (unless things change very rapidly…but they won’t, they haven’t changed in 8 years).

    Keeping in mind that the Labour party has made zero traction against aNational govt that is comprised of ministers (which, with the exception of Amy Adams) who are almost totally incapable of making a coherent (read: not circular) argument (looking at your Joyce). It’s frankly depressing. I say this as a Labour member too.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      For this reason, Labour is going to loose this election (unless things change very rapidly…but they won’t, they haven’t changed in 8 years).

      Labour is now organisationally and culturally unfit to carry out its historical mission (which today it only superficially cares about as a historic relic).

      The electorate fully knows it, unconsciously, and news of David Cunliffe’s leaving confirms it.

      Next year is a done deal.

      Even if National is removed from office – unlikely – the electorate will ensure that Labour has to deeply compromise with a very strong NZ First and Green component to the next government.

    • fisiani 16.2

      Labour had a great candidate Campbell Barry for Hutt South dumped by the Party apparatchniks because he was a white male professional despite being the preferred candidate of the local members. Chris Bishop will win that seat for National.

      • Simon 16.2.1

        Yep..classic example. My guess is he was too good (read too threatening). Again, a cultural legacy from the Clark days.

        Similar situation out West Auckland with Twyfords very obedient (read non threatening) underling Sepuloni.

        This is the downside of a cabinet with no transferable skills or experience. Their ability to eat/house themselves requires them to ensure that no one with experience or ability gets near their job.

        This is why Labour is a mess and will continue to be.

      • mlpc 16.2.2

        Yes Chris Bishop will win.
        Not least because Labour decided that someone is unfit to stand on the basis that he has a penis instead of a vagina.
        The person they picked couldn’t beat Peter Dunn in Ohario, so how can they expect her to beat a far stronger candidate like Bishop?
        Working people in Hutt South deserve better than doctrinaire stupidity.

  16. The Chairman 17

    Do we need more police and more prisons or do we need to focus more on what’s driving up crime?

    For example, tobacco taxes.

    Little says the right wing of politics is always about dividing people and he doesn’t buy that kind of politics, but what about Labour’s position on taxing smokers?

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