Andrew Little’s plan for Labour

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, November 9th, 2014 - 103 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags: , ,

(Sent out to all Labour members today and posted by Chooky in comments)

One of the most important challenges we must confront is rebuilding our Party and our movement.

If we’re going to be ready to win in 2017, we need to represent and serve more people, in our community and our affiliates. Our policies have to be tied to the interests and goals of more New Zealanders.

We have to be crystal clear about what we stand for: making sure people earn a decent wage, can live with dignity, and get a fair deal at work. If New Zealanders aren’t getting a fair go in the health system, the courtroom, or the classroom, our caucus needs to be united and proactive about campaigning for them.

Here are my ideas for making that happen. I call it my Five-Point Plan. It’s simple, practical, and realistic.

1. Greater coordination across the Labour movement

We have to remain relevant and represent more New Zealanders. A Labour Party I lead will:

  • have a joint plan between caucus and the Party to campaign and build our membership with measurable milestones.
  • communicate regularly to all members, not just during election campaigns.
  • coordinate external campaigns with community stakeholders, unions and affiliates.
  • link up our fundraising so we’re all working together.

2. A clear sense of purpose

It’s not enough to want to be in government. Caucus and the Party need a clear sense of what Labour stands for. A Labour Party I lead will:

  • go back to basics by fighting for New Zealanders’ rights to a fair deal at work, in the health system, in the courtroom and in the classroom.
  • make sure Labour’s policy platform is the foundation for everything we do.
  • have a single campaign strategy for caucus so we work as a team at all times.

3. Real community engagement

MPs and candidates are a national voice for local issues. A Labour Party I lead will:

  • give MPs the opportunity to report on their community and business contact, including work done by List MPs and electorate MPs in neighbouring electorates.
  • ensure caucus supports the work of Māori MPs who often cover vast electorates.
  • support important local issues through parliamentary questions, Members’ Bills and the resources of the Leader’s Office.

4. Constant campaigning

An effective Opposition not only keeps the Government in check, but campaigns for positive change. A Labour Party I lead will work with the General Secretary and Party President to:

  • create a permanent, active campaign team.
  • ensure all regional actvities include engagement with the general public.
  • regularly communicate with all New Zealanders about our values.

5. Review our policies

Too much of our policy is presented as if we are still in Government.  We must present a carefully prioritised set of policies without losing sight of our vision and values.  A Labour Party I lead will:

  • make sure New Zealanders know what we stand for well in advance of an election.
  • take a team approach to the submission of Members Bills.
  • remove the policy to increase the age of New Zealand Superannuation. It’s unfair to expect future generations to work longer to pay for the economic failure of the last thirty years and there are alternatives.

This is the plan which will get us back and ready to win in 2017. That’s why I’m asking for your first preference in the Labour leadership vote.

If any other leadership candidates want to share their plans, drop us a line.

103 comments on “Andrew Little’s plan for Labour”

  1. Chooky 1

    Yes thanks …my comment on Andrew Little’s strategy for Labour …was that it is impressive ….that he thinks like a philosopher and an organiser…(.but does he have the heart psyche /intelligence of Mahuta?…they could make a formidable Leadership duo…and why cant Labour have a male/female Co-Leadership like the Greens and Mana and Maori Party?l ( seems a wee bit old fashioned of Labour)

  2. weka 2

    “It’s not enough to want to be in government.”

    Very good.

    “remove the policy to increase the age of New Zealand Superannuation. It’s unfair to expect future generations to work longer to pay for the economic failure of the last thirty years and there are alternatives.”

    Also very good. Go Tara!

    Great to see some smart, ethically based strategic thinking that covers lots of good ground. The two bum notes that stood out were the complete absence of concern for beneficiaries, and the bit about the courts (what’s that about specifically?).

    • goodsweat 2.1

      ” the complete absence of concern for beneficiaries”

      I wonder if any leader with a desire to see Labour in power will see the voter swing required being won in appealing to the wish-lists of beneficiaries. Right or wrong, I fear not.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        reading isnt your forte is it sweaty

        • goodsweat 2.1.1.1

          Anyone can read and draw assumptions, insight lives between the lines of what is said.

          Between the lines, I see this: If Andrew wins the big seat and has a burning desire to lead Labour to a win in 2017 his focus will not be ‘I’m going to make everything fantastic for beneficiaries.’

          I think his primary push would be pitched to dispel lingering notions. Suggest that he is only partly a union man and is in fact a latent industrialist that loves businessmen.

          • Tracey 2.1.1.1.1

            you want him to be more like national, such a surprise. you claim to have moved from feeling to thinking. your compass is broken

          • Tracey 2.1.1.1.2

            actualy not anyone can read and then there are the ones who can read but wont.

          • weka 2.1.1.1.3

            “If Andrew wins the big seat and has a burning desire to lead Labour to a win in 2017 his focus will not be ‘I’m going to make everything fantastic for beneficiaries.’”

            What does that have to do with my comment? No-one is suggesting that Labour should make everything fantastic for beneficiaries, and your phrasing is just outright disingenuous.

            One of Labour’s recent leaders gave a speech demonstrating outright bigotry for a class of NZers. This included prejudice against people with disabilities. Some of us are waiting to see if Labour is going to recant. They don’t even have to do it with a big fanfare, but as far as I can see none of them can even bring themselves to use the W words. I don’t yet trust them to treat beneficiaries with the respect that is given and being promised to other NZers. For me this is the ongoing signalling about whether they will truly be a left wing govt. Other people see other signals too, this is just the one I am most familiar with.

            In other words, we’re still waiting to see which way this all goes.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.1.3.1

              sweaty has a slight variation on our rwnj theme but his cracks are starting to show. its tr***l time

    • Tracey 2.2

      the court reference might be to the victims of sexual crimes and the inherent bias and racism within the justice system.

      “can live with dignity” doesnt include beneficiaries to you Weka?

      • weka 2.2.1

        It might. But it might not either. It would help if he hadn’t bracketed it between two statements about people in paid employment i.e.

        “making sure people earn a decent wage, can live with dignity, and get a fair deal at work”

        The court reference jars. It’s too ambiguous I think. I hope he does mean victims of sexual crimes. And as you say, ethnicity issues. That would be surprising but very welcome.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          i agree it is not specific, politikpeke.

          • weka 2.2.1.1.1

            It’s an interesting list for a speech, used twice – health, court, classroom, workplace. I wonder if they could put unpaid work in there somehow, that might change the paranoia about the W words.

    • bruhaha 2.3

      Apart from dropping the super policy this looks to me to be a plan about how Little will build the Labour party to win in 2017 rather than a manifesto for what policy he will implement.

      I like it. I think it’s good. Labour has no shortage of good policy but seems to have no idea how to get into government and stay there so they can actually implement it.

      The only candidate who is really talking about how to fix that problem and now showing how he’ll do it is Andrew Little. Which is why I cast my vote for him.

      • weka 2.3.1

        Yes, I liked it for those reasons too. I think Mahuta also has some good plans. Would love to see them working together in whatever roles.

  3. Tracey 3

    impressed!

    he is talking about equality of opportunity. yay.

    greg oconnor was interviewed in sst business section. said something that this release of littles puts me in mind

    ” Do you think New Zealanders have a generally healthy attitude to money and equality?

    Definitely not equality. I had always assumed that everyone believed egalitarianism was good. However, I am alarmed at how many of my generation who benefited from things like subsidised home ownership schemes, farming, education and health are quick to resent the next generation getting any state help.

    Race masks class in this country and we have to keep investing heavily in the poorer part of town, which is increasingly the brown part of town. There will be failures and waste but many more successes and they will be our next generation of wealth creators.

    There are many I call “lucky spermers”, of which I consider myself one, who fail to understand the massive advantage it is to be born middle class and how difficult it can be to get into that club. ”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/63001658/Face-Value-Its-a-fair-cop

    • fisiani 3.1

      Choose you parents wisely. I was born in a family of ten with a father who worked as a welder and left school aged 15. My mother was forced to leave school at 15 as her mother believed education was wasted on a girl.
      She was determined that none of her children would ever be forced to stop education. My parents who never smoked or drank bought a house. Unheard of behaviour. All 12 of us were staunch Labour supporters. None of us are now. It’s the 21st century. Labour were relevant in the 20th century. Very relevant. The Liberals were very relevant in the 19th century. The world is changing. ‘Labour’ is an old fashioned brand.
      Little will probably win the selection but needs to purge the far Left to form a party of the far Left. He also has to allow a party to form that lies between Labour and National. NZF will disappear when Winston dies. NZF is not that party.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        whoooooooosh

        when did you all pay off your student debts?

      • felix 3.1.2

        This idea that Labour “needs to purge the far Left to form a party of the far Left. He also has to allow a party to form that lies between Labour and National” is definitely on the right-wingers talking points list.

        Think about what it really means. A small left-wing party with no chance of forming a government, and a small centre-right party that can work with National (when National feels like it of course).

        It’s the final solution for the parliamentary left. And that’s why you’ll only see it promoted by extreme right-wingers, National party spokespeople, and trools who repeat everything they read on Kiwiblog and Whaleoil.

      • weka 3.1.3

        fisi, your story sounds like someone who benefited from previous values in NZ and now wants to deny them to other people. Which makes you a greedy selfish fuck.

        • Tracey 3.1.3.1

          now WHO does that mentality remind us of. i bet his mum is very proud

        • Chooky 3.1.3.2

          obviously fisi wasn’t brought up THAT well…ie to be an ethical caring human being for others…fisi is a bit lacking imo

        • fisiani 3.1.3.3

          Au contraire weka , and there is absolutely no need to be offensive. Have a look at the rules. There are far more students now than when I graduated. I would never deny an education to anyone with ability. Note the word ability. It has more than four letters so you may have to look in a dictionary and a French one.

  4. Keir 4

    I have no idea how Little squares “make sure Labour’s policy platform is the foundation for everything we do” with his public statements that he’ll disregard the platform’s stance on a CGT because “leaders have to lead” even if that mean ignoring “democratically elected policy”. It’s bizarre.

    • Jamal 4.1

      Every single comment you have posted here has been to attack Andrew Little.

      What exactly is your role on Grant Robertson’s campaign, Keir?

      • Keir 4.1.1

        I don’t have a role on Robertson’s campaign. I was on the Policy Council when we wrote the Platform though, and it annoys me to see Andrew Little throw away one of the biggest tools for membership control of policy direction.

    • karol 4.2

      I didn’t understand Little to be saying he’d disregard the CGT policy. More that Labour needs to be more careful about which policies they foreground and, when they do that. He has said they had too much detailed policy during the last election campaign, and it just confused people.

      I think Mahuta said that the CGT is the sort of policy that that takes tine to explain to people. So it’s about building the understanding of what the CGT is aiming to do, before highly promoting it. And that could take a few years.

      Little said (on The Nation) that it’s about first explaining, and putting before the public, the core principles on which the policy platform is built.

      So it’s not about ignoring Labour Party policies, but about the strategies around which the party builds an election campaign – based on Labour’s policy platforms.

      • Jamal 4.2.1

        Yeah, what he’s said is that he thinks it should go and that a leader leads. Keir is only interested in personally attacking Andrew Little. I doubt Grant Robertson will be impressed that one of his key supporters is engaged in such dirty politics on the blogs.

      • Keir 4.2.2

        No, Little outright said he’d drop the CGT – and the CGT is in the Party Platform. And it was explicitly framed as “yes it was democratically decided policy, but leaders have to lead”. (Mild paraphrases from memory – cf the Christchurch Press report of the hustings for their phrasing of it http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/editors-picks/10677450/Andrew-Little-vows-polarising-policy-crackdown.) And it wasn’t just the CGT he was referring to – the idea was that, as leader, he’d show leadership by disregarding the democratic party policy process when it came to unpopular policies.

        I find that deeply frustrating. It’s not the Party leader’s role to announce policy by fiat anymore. That’s the whole point of the Platform. There’s no point having made all those changes to the policy process last term if the new leader will just walk all over it.

        [And, good grief, this isn’t a personal attack on Little! I think he’s a great guy and will be a great minister, and a good PM if he wins. I just don’t like the way he’s disregarding the party’s democratic processes here.]

        • mickysavage 4.2.2.1

          OK so we should never discuss a change in party policy because it attacks the integrity of the party platform?

          Really???

          • Keir 4.2.2.1.1

            Little explicitly framed it as “yes that was democratically decided but leaders have to lead”. The whole point of the Platform was that the leader and caucus gave up control over the Platform, which was a membership driven process answerable to the whole party, not just the leader and caucus. There’s no point having a binding Platform if the leader gets to change it just by his say-so!

            In the Green Party, in fact, the MPs make a conspicuous point of not getting ahead of the binding policy adopted by the membership – watch Kevin Hague be punctilious respectful about the less-evidence based parts of their health policy. It’s an admirable feature of their party.

            • Jamal 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Show me where he explicitly said he’d override the party’s democratic processes. Just one quote will do.

              Or do you think it might just be possible that he meant that a leader shows leadership by working within the party to ensure policies that make Labour less electable don’t appear in the manifesto?

              Looking at your earlier comments on this blog, it strikes me that you’re motivated by a desire to smear Andrew Little in order to advance Grant Robertson’s campaign for the leadership.

              That’s pretty disgraceful. I seriously doubt Grant wouldn’t approve of his supporters engaging in this sort of politics.

              • bruhaha

                What did Keir think of the three Labour leadership contenders, including Grant, announcing their own policy during the last leadership campaign? That was done outside of the policy process. We’re they acting undemocratically?

              • Keir

                As I say, it’s not a smear. I’ve given you a link to the Press report, and I was at the Christchurch hustings. I’m sure Little is an admirable man, a strong MP, and he’ll be a great Minister or PM, and I have no intention of “smearing him”, because quite apart from anything else, if he wins this race, I really want him to win in 2017 and lead a Labour government.

                I disagree with this particular aspect of his politics, because one of my (somewhat tragic, I will admit) pet obsessions within the Labour Party is increasing internal party democracy, particularly around member control of policy. I am worried that Little’s plans, especially around the CGT, are problematic from that point of view.

                • mickysavage

                  It is a Cameron Slater quality smear. Little advocates a change in two policy positions and you assert that he wants to remove democratic input into policy formation.

                  • Keir

                    Isn’t pre-empting the membership process to amend the platform precisely removing democratic input? There’s a process for amending the platform – motions to annual conference, votes, all that stuff. If the leader overrides it by saying “this is what I want the Platform to be”, what’s the point of having that process? It becomes a dead letter.

                    Seriously, put aside the fact it’s Little here. I don’t actually think anyone but a few tragics cares about this stuff, and no-one’s going to be voting on this basis. If I was trying to sway people’s voting intentions, I wouldn’t be quibbling over the party’s policy process! Doesn’t it bother you that a leadership contender outright said “yes, democratically selected policy, but I’m going to go ahead and say what the policy will be when I’m leader”?

                    And let’s be clear – the CGT is a policy that’s in the platform. It’s not like the Super age, which isn’t a platform commitment. If a binding Platform means anything it has to be binding when it’s politically difficult, and it has to be binding on the leader.

                    • Jamal

                      You’re saying the leader should never give their opinion on major policies, particularly at a time when we’re assessing the direction they want to take the party in? What kind of crazy shit is this?

                      Also, in reference to your comment about wanting Andrew to be PM in 2017 and not attacking him personally, here’s one you made earlier:

                      “Grant and Jacinda might be able to win in 2017. None of the others would – they’d be looking for a six year programme.”

                      I have the form – but none to vote for

                      Like I said, your previous history here betrays your real motives.

                    • Keir

                      I want Labour to win in 2017, no matter who the leader is.

                      Look, seriously, I don’t really think that the way to convince people to vote for Grant Robertson is to have an arcane argument about the party’s policy process. I just straight up disagree with Little on this particular procedural issue. There’s no grand conspiracy here – this is just me avoiding doing the dishes on a Sunday night.

                    • weka

                      “You’re saying the leader should never give their opinion on major policies, particularly at a time when we’re assessing the direction they want to take the party in? ”

                      No, I don’t think they are saying that. Keir is expressing concern about his view that Little will override the membership on policy.

                      Keir, can you please explain how Little could do that constitutionally?

                    • Keir

                      Weka – well, by doing it “through the usual channels” as it were. The leader has lots of places where they can make their case – there’s five caucus reps on the policy council, including the leader themselves, and the council generally gives quite a bit of weight to their views. And the finance spokesperson’s view on taxes is generally given a LOT of weight. The policy council tries hard to work with the leader to get things done, in my experiences.

                      And similarly, when it comes to Annual Conference which amends the Platform, it’s perfectly in line for a leader to make their views known to the membership and argue for their position – and accept the possibility of losing, of course!

                      So it’s not like it’s difficult for the leader to make their views known, make the argument, and get a change to the Platform – if they can convince the membership, of course.

                      I just don’t like the idea of the leader pre-empting that discussion by saying “this is the party’s policy”, and then, well, there’s very little the membership can do, which is very disempowering.

                    • weka

                      Ok, so Little could influence but no impose.

                      I think it would help if you can find a direct quote where Little says he will scrap the policy.

                    • Cave Johnson

                      Robertson also mentioned that Labour should talk more about what it wants to achieve and less about the mechanisms. i.e. Don’t talk CGT, talk tax fairness. Which I read as a similar message. I think any new leader (apart from Parker) is likely to ask the party to soften the CGT policy, and yes a leader has to lead, and if the leader presents a good case for something like that, having just been freshly elected, then I expect the party would be foolish to refuse.
                      .
                      And on the policy itself, it was unwise to create a complex tax policy without first building a broader consituency for it. It’s important to get fairer taxes like FTT and CGT out being discussed by the public in a non-threatening way over the next 3 to 6 years, and especially if they can be strongly linked to income tax cuts in the public’s mind then they will also be more positively considered.

                • Jamal

                  But you haven’t found a single quote to back up what you’ve claimed. You’ve jumped to conclusions and attacked Little stridently and repeatedly, and it turns out you’ve got no grounds. You can claim it’s not intended to smear Andrew and advantage Grant, but people can look back at your older posts and see the pattern for themselves. Frankly shameful behaviour.

            • mickysavage 4.2.2.1.1.2

              Um Little is saying what he believes in. We can accept it and vote for him or refute it and vote for someone else. We should know that if we support him he will advocate for the policy to change. Your line is disingenuous because he has not advocated for a change of policy in breach of the party’s constitutional processes, he has just said that he thinks the policy should change.

              For me I agree with him entirely about the age of retirement. I still think there should be a capital gains tax but there needs to be a debate about it.

              • Sirenia

                I think it is strange that only last year commentators on the Standard were so vocal in support of the party having a more democratic say in chosing the leader. But now they are happy for a leader to potentially overrule democratically decided policy. A true leader who disagreed with policy would say – I will go through the policy process again just like any member could – but I will go with the consensus. But what Little is reported as saying – in the media and by people attending meetings – is that he would just change it. I agree with Keir that this is worrying. (It is no pro any other candidate – it is about the integrity of party processes).

                • swordfish

                  “I agree with Keir that this is worrying. (It is no pro any other candidate – it is about the integrity of party processes)”

                  I won’t comment on the broad thrust of the sentiments you and Keir are attributing to Little (because I haven’t had time to explore it in any depth), but let’s just make it clear that both of you are highly enthusiastic Robertson supporters and have been pushing this argument about Little – arguably Robertson’s main leadership rival – for quite some time.

                • ankerawshark

                  Sirenia and Keir. I agree with Swordfish as below.

                  You and a few others have come on the Standard to do PR for GR. You are entitled to do that, but it hasn’t been a particularly effective strategy, certainly as far as I am concerned.

                  Your comments about GR and the ABC’s and Grant’s loyalty, forced me to really search my memory for why intuitively I felt GR had been disloyal to DC. And I came up with examples, from GR own mouth (not rumour and speculation) that I have detailed on other posts.

                  GR then got bumped down on my voting form.

                  Little is signalling how he thinks we can win. He said very early own that he believed we scared voters and this is the rationale for likely dropping two major policies. I feel I know where I stand with him.

  5. Zolan 5

    The Left needs a strong Labour party primarily committed to workers and social infrastructure.

    Security, dignity, and well-being will contribute to a more politically astute, benevolent, and active population. Such a foundation would open the public will to greater movement on other progressive issues.

    Labour must serve its core purpose first, and then work to accommodate, rather than cannibalise the contributions of other Left parties.

    • goodsweat 5.1

      I think you’re wise.

      Being concerned about the wellbeing of other people is never going to go out of fashion or stop being an intrinsic component of a quality society.

      Unions won, their wish-lists are law. We need to progress the manner in which we take care of everyone.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        it has been out of fashion for over six years… I wonder who you are trying to fool?

        • goodsweat 5.1.1.1

          National borrowed heavily through the GFC to ensure all of the safety nets we had prior, continued. Many Euro countries have slashed. We still have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. Throwing ‘You heartless bastards’ mud at the Nats won’t stick enough to win an election.

          • Molly 5.1.1.1.1

            The “safety nets” for whom?

            Access to surgery, quality care in ACC, benefits and housing has been fundamentally lessened.

            The security and safety in the workplaces continues to be eroded. With the number of 90 day turnovers increasing, and part time hours contracts being offered more and more.

            Beneficiaries, are denied the right to have supportive relationships or provide housing for friends and family – in a bizarre and brutal attempt to both stigmatise and chase a imaginary $30 million national fraud cost.

            The “safety net” of a healthy environment is being trampled beneath the hooves of dairy herds and cast on the oily waves of deep sea oil drilling.

            Access to education continues to be narrowed, while the calls to “upskill” become ever more strident.

            Your comments and your family anecdote unfortunately show what happen when empathy and understanding is not part of the success model for families and people.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Neither National nor you show any concern for other people.

  6. mickysavage 6

    I am watching the life hustings. Grant Robertson thinks that the perception of disunity has hurt the party. I wish that he was right that it was only a perception …

  7. Tracey 7

    gower had a rant masquerading as news tonigth. called the labour leadership race a “flop” cos the public “dont care”. he ranted for a couple of minutes.

    they never rant about closed door appointments… and when they do mention the bod style of ACT it is as an aside.

    odd gower, just odd. four minutes to rant that could have been used for any manner of informative pieces… stll its not about explaining stuff so people understand, its about a constant audition for your own show

    • karol 7.1

      IMO, the mainstream news is not the place for such editorialising.

      • weka 7.1.1

        Agreed, it shouldn’t be. It didn’t used to be, did it?

        • b waghorn 7.1.1.1

          @ Tracy well said some days he’s just a muppet

        • Puddleglum 7.1.1.2

          No it didn’t.

          News bulletins were primarily reportage.

          It actually wasn’t that long ago but in this pastless present – in which we seem to be interminably stuck – I imagine hardly anyone ever reflects on the fact that things were different or, if they did, would consider it remotely relevant to them.

          Today it’s judged as elitist to question the quality of anything that the ‘market’ delivers up – even the news. It’s what the ‘audience’ wants, you know? So much for a nation of citizens.

          ‘What can the past teach me?’ … Sigh … only how to think and how to value.

          Today we’re meant to believe that the market (for news in this case) can do both of those things for us – all on its magical ‘ownsome’, instantly and without end, day after day as yesterday gets immediately sucked down the memory hole.

          Convenience food for the mind with no ‘added ingredients’ from the viewer needed. Instant opinion: Just add mouth and stir.

          Hence the supremacy of the style of Patrick Gower et al. A beltway bevy of pimps for effortless, depthless – and therefore usually insubstantial – thinking about the issues of the day.

          • weka 7.1.1.2.1

            I’ve been trying to think when it changed. I assume it was over time. I was born in the mid 60s and it was definitely different when I was growing up. I think until maybe the 90s? But I’ve had long periods of time avoiding the MSM, esp TV.

            I remember when the Listener changed, esp after Gordon Campbell left (mid 90s?). I also remember the shift to infotainment and celeb culture (again mid 90s??). A post-neoliberal revolution change? Or do you think it’s more recent than that?

            • Puddleglum 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I haven’t watched television since 1996, apart from at other people’s places or news items over the internet. I’m a bit older than you and can clearly recall Bill Toft, Philip Sherry and (the youngster on the block) Dougal Stevenson reading the television news. It was definitely only reporting then and it was watched by almost everyone.

              I remember when the hour long 3 News came along (here’s the Wikipedia entry for 3 news – quite interesting to be reminded of the details)). John Campbell became co-anchor in 1998 and, I think, Bill Ralston provided the slightly irreverent ‘commentary’ – a precursor to editorialising in an extended, hour long 6 o’clock bulletin? (That may also have been Campbell’s role under Hawkesby?).

              So that may have been the start – of course ‘Holmes’ had begun almost a decade before but that wasn’t the news bulletin.

              I’m pretty sure Pamela Stirling took over the Listener (from Finlay MacDonald) in the mid 2000s (2006?). At the time I remember thinking it seemed part of a quite deliberate ‘push’ to oust left-leaning editorialising under the guise of trying to resurrect subscriptions and circulation numbers.

              Sure enough, Stirling got rid of Campbell (probably, then, the best mainstream investigative journalist around but now pushed to the margins by the corporate dominated market). Stirling claimed that it was not ‘ideological’ just a ‘business decision’.

              It was at roughly the same time that Kathryn Ryan took over from Linda Clark on Nine to Noon and I remember right wingers (Farrar?) claiming that it was an excellent choice because Ryan had no ideological leanings. Clark had been more opinionated. (My partner still has trouble recalling Ryan’s name and refers to her often as Linda Clark.)

              • swordfish

                Stirling took over in 2004. Argued that The Listener was losing circulation because it had become “predictably Left-Wing”.

                Campbell left (or was ousted ?) about a year later, I think. Braunias and Matthews had already left by that stage and I remember saying to family members that if Campbell goes I’ll stop buying. A few weeks later, Campbell was gone.

                The broad dumbing-down of TVNZ current affairs and network news had its roots in the Rogernomes’ deregulation of broadcasting in 1989 and the subsequent commercialisation / intense competition for the advertising dollar.

                Content analysis of primetime TVNZ News carried out in separate studies by Joe Atkinson and Daniel Cook revealed that by the mid-90s there had been a marked move to brief soundbytes, human interest stories (away from more in-depth items on politics and the economy) and a significant increase in advertising time over the entire bulletin.

            • Tracey 7.1.1.2.1.2

              when it became a tool of the market to generate profit rather than a public service.

              the proliferation of us tv and its attended shallowness has also contributed imo.

              weka, we are a similar age. once we had tv it was predominantly british programming.

              then there is the cheap, profitable and numbing “reality” tv popularising nastiness.

          • felix 7.1.1.2.2

            “Today it’s judged as elitist to question the quality of anything that the ‘market’ delivers up – even the news.”

            And even those who present us with news. Remember when Holmes had the whole industry – probably including himself – convinced that people were tuning in to the news because he was presenting it?

            And how he chucked his toys and went to Prime, and no-one followed?

            And how surprised he was to discover that people had only been watching him because he was on tv?

            Gower and the rest could do well to remember that.

    • weka 7.2

      “its about a constant audition for your own show”

      Next up, Patrick “I wish all these people would just leave me alone!!” Gower 🙄

      • b waghorn 7.2.1

        Gower went up a couple of gears on 3 this morning regarding labour , the great ego implosion might be coming soon

      • Tracey 7.2.2

        it would be nice if he remember his job is to disseminate information for people to understand the world around them, as opposed to lectures on what he wants us to think.

  8. Pat O'Dea 8

    There is much to admire in Andrew’s program. (I have condensed them down)

    “Our policies have to be tied to the interests and goals of more New Zealanders….”

    “coordinate external campaigns with community stakeholders, unions and affiliates.”

    “making sure people earn a decent wage, can live with dignity, and get a fair deal at work….”

    “remove the policy to increase the age of New Zealand Superannuation.”

    I like it that Andrew repeats the need to campaign between elections.

    It is my opinion that this is the key to building a permanent Left movement to sustain and feed into the Labour Party. There is an old saying in the union movement, that goes like this; “Workers who fight Left, vote Left.” Labour needs to take this old union truism to heart.

    But more than this, in the modern era, this old union motto should be expanded and adapted to be taken into the political sphere, to go; “People who campaign Left, will vote Left.”

    An example: At the anti-TPPA marches there was no visible Labour Party presence, (There was a union presence, but not of the big Labour Party affiliated unions).
    There was also a clear Green Party presence with MPs speaking from the stage.

    This needs to change, Labour need, as Andrew says, to make it crystal clear where we stand.

    As Andrew says Labour need a clear sense of purpose.

    I support Andrew’s stated initiative to “create a permanent, active campaign team.”

    Labour can not be seen to be pulling in all sorts of different directions as they are at the moment.

    An example, some leaders for the TPPA, some against, with no clear decided party position or policy direction. The result; dithering and indecision, leading to paralysis and lack of action and immobilisation of members and affiliates. The very opposite of Andrew’s stated aim to “coordinate external campaigns with community stakeholders, unions and affiliates.”

  9. Pat O'Dea 9

    “We have to be crystal clear about what we stand for.”
    ANDREW LITTLE

    In his statement, Andrew misses two big things.

    The environment and the Green Party.

    It is like these two big things don’t exist.

    I can understand that Andrew Little with his union background and coming from Taranaki where many of his former union EPMU members work in the oil and gas industry, (As well as coal mining in other regions), is leery of mentioning the environment and the Green Party.

    But this has to change.

    First off, there has to be a recognition that Labour cannot get into parliament on its own. (No party gets into parliament on its own under MMP).

    Secondly, there also needs to be a recognition that the environment particularly the climate and its health will have a growing negative impact on all of us, union, non-union rich or poor, and that this is a fact that cannot in all conscience be ignored by any serious political party, Left or Right.

    On the first point, it is my opinion that a big part of the reason that Labour lost the last election is Labour’s sectarian approach to the Left. While it is true that a few (minority) Labour MPs are supportive of the other Left parties, the publicly perceived Caucus direction was to court and build up the more conservative Parties, New Zealand First and the Maori Party, as preferred coalition partners. (Over the Greens and Mana).

    Effectively what this did, was buy into the National Party’s campaign of demonising the other Left Parties, and scare more voters into the National Party camp.

    Overall it is not very clear, what Labour’s stance toward the Green Party is.

    The impression given, is that the Green Party are a necessary evil, we will work with them if we have to. (Because they are the third biggest parliamentary party and we can’t rule without them.)

    This approach doesn’t inspire much confidence in a Labour led, Labour/Green Coalition government, when it is perceived that even the Labour Party regard this government as second best.

    On the second point. As the impending climate crisis threatens to engulf all of human society, it can no longer remain unadressed by anybody.

    • Karen 9.1

      I agree.

      Andrew is the weakest of the candidates when it comes to climate change, Grant and David the strongest. I suspect the Andrew is being influenced by loyalty to the EPMU and coal, oil and gas workers.

      He needs to be educated on this topic.

    • Tracey 9.2

      as long as labour thinks it has to get 47% of the popular vote it can only see the green party as its enemy.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 9.2.1

        Quite.
        A meaningful, real change in perspective is required.
        There is ‘an’, if not ‘the’, answer.
        If their hearts and minds are truly in the progressive and MMP space, the leadership candidate can see it and will find the words to express it.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.3

      +1 Pat.
      I was disgusted by how Labour chose Winston First over the Greens, not to mention their despicable treatment of Mana. They need to get over themselves and sort this out.

  10. vto 10

    Andrew Little’s plan seems to be pretty obvious. In fact so obvious that it is surprising that those matters are not attended to already? If they have not been then it is probably no wonder that labour did so poorly….

    sharpen up people

  11. Karen 11

    My comment that he needs to educated on this topic was overstated – I just think Grant and David have more in depth knowledge about climate change issues than Andrew, and he is somewhat conflicted as the candidate for Taranaki and ex head of EPMU.

    On the other hand, I think Andrew has a better chance of getting the caucus sorted than any of the other candidates, and he has the best analysis of what went wrong.

  12. True Karen, I have been saying that from day one. Labour can have all the ideology it likes but that does not translate into policies unless they can gain the Treasury benches.

    Aim first at getting voted in and then build on that to introduce new ideas prior to the 2020 election. If they had done so this time they would have managed to have policies like the CGT in place after 2017.

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