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Another blunder

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, May 2nd, 2011 - 155 comments
Categories: hone harawira, labour, leadership, mana, phil goff - Tags:

Phil Goff has gone one step further today and ruled out working with anyone that signs up to The Mana Party, not just the already ruled-out Hone Harawira. A Labour Party spokeswoman is reported by the Herald as saying “He doesn’t prescribe [sic] to the values of Hone Harawira. You can’t work with that.”

Would Phil Goff care to explain which of Harawira’s values he doesn’t ‘prescribe’ [sic] to? It would make it easier for those on the left to make their party vote choice if they knew what left-wing values Goff finds so repugnant. I tend to think Goff’s choice to not work with Harawira is more about political ‘style’ than values but it would be helpful to have it clarified.

Strategically, I think it’s a very stupid move to rule the Mana Party out. Goff is once again taking the left vote for granted and trying to appeal to the centre or floating voters instead. He knows that centre voters find Harawira radical and is attempting to win their admiration with this move – but they won’t care. It’s going to take a lot more than ruling Harawira out to turn the heads of floating voters away from Nice Mr Key. Goff will instead succeed in pissing off a lot of voters and activists who are invigorated by the movement on the left of the party spectrum. Many see the possibilities of a party focused on groups marginalised by the current political offerings, but understand the Mana party would need to work with a broader left-wing coalition. I guess Goff is presuming that by ruling this option out voters will stick with Labour, but I wouldn’t underestimate the possibility of a swell of protest votes from those on the left.

Goff’s move seems particularly foolhardy given Labour is polling so poorly. It isn’t as if Goff will have many choices after the election so why rule out any at this early stage? He has refused to remove Winston Peters from the list of possibilities despite Peters’ ‘values’ seeming much further from Goff’s than the values the Mana Party’s espousing. I read one commentator say Goff is trying to appear principled in comparison to National, who will most likely continue to work with ACT (despite its wildly undemocratic leadership takeover). If this is really the primary motivation for Goff’s strategy it’s a weak one.

A bit of principle around policy direction would go a lot further.

155 comments on “Another blunder”

  1. Janice 1

    Last cab off the rank?

  2. Not sure Sprout.

    I posted this comment in “Mana up and Running”.

    “As for Goff’s statement can I venture an unconfirmed possibility but I am sure that Labour are thinking about contesting the by election. It presents an excellent chance for Labour to regain the seat. They have an excellent candidate, Kelvin Davis and the likelihood that the Maori Party and the Mana Party will cancel each other out. Kelvin could come through the middle.

    The Mana Party presents a couple of quandaries for Labour. If it is able to get over 5% or wins Hone’s seat then it will have a presence. If it achieves neither then it will be wasted votes for the left. It may also have the same effect on Labour that ACT will have on National, that is scare some of the middle.

    And there is not much time before the election. To get going would require a herculean effort.”

    Basically there are reasons going both ways.

  3. Shane Gallagher 3

    You know I think I was wrong about Goff – he isn’t just incompetent – he is actively trying to lose the next election.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.1

      Well if he does the decent thing and quits, (but he won’t). At least we would know where we stand, because from where I am, looking in, it looks like he’s just there to collect his pay packet and sabotage the election.

      • Drakula 3.1.1

        Well I don’t think that Goff is putting much effort and charisma into the show is he? I mean it’s not as if he is short of material in which to do battle with the opposition, is it?

        Could Labour get themselves a strong leader please!!!!

        One with real left wing principles, that is representing all NZ employees!!!!!

  4. Graeme 4

    Goff has it right. The left are already struggling, this new party is going to splinter the grrens vote and weaken them, the overall capture of hones party is not going to be enough to make any real difference. the left are way better off with a strong green party. the centre voters are less likely to be scared of don brash than they are they likes of hone, sykes, minto et al.

    Hone is going to be the reason the left dont just get beaten, they are going to get fucking wallopped and that is going to be bad for new zealand. he is splitting the vote and its a waste, and for what? he is a wrecker and will never ever be able to contribute to a constructive govt either left or right.

    • Peter 4.1


      • I also agree Peter. Not only is Hone unstable and unreliable but his ghastly mother will be hovering in the background . Who in their right mind would want that.

    • Anthony 4.2

      Oh so it’s going to be an astro-turf campaign to scare lefties away from voting for Te Mana incase of a vote split.

      Quick thinking by the right…

    • Jono 4.3

      Graeme, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Hone’s going to split the Green vote & even possibly knock them out of Parliament – the people who are going to vote for the Mana Party aren’t people who vote for the Greens. If you look at the South Auckland and Maori electorates (where Hone will get his votes) the Greens do really shit there – worse than ACT in some of them.

      Hone’s votes are going to come from Maori & Labour voters, and people who don’t usually vote – not urban middle class liberal whites (like a lot of bloggers) who vote Green.

      • Lanthanide 4.3.1

        Yeah, I think Mana overall has a stronger effect of “expanding the market” as opposed to “expanding their market share”, eg, get people who usually don’t vote at all, to vote for them.

    • lefty 4.4

      Labour has not been left for a long time. Votes taken from Labour are not votes taken from the left. Goff always has the choice of turning his back on his beloved neo liberal economics and competing for the left vote by becoming the leader of a left party.

    • Thomas Forrow 4.5

      I don’t know where you get the idea that the Green vote will be weakened.
      I think you will find that if anything it will be strengthened. I think its great that the  Mana party has been formed. Their likely supporters represent a totally different demograph to the majority of Green voters.
      MMP is great for representative democracy, If enough people want to support the aims and objectives  of the Mana party then so be it.
      It is up to Labour and Goff to get their message across strongly and coherently,
      something they are failing to do at the moment btw.

  5. Pete 5

    First smart thing Goff has said.

    >>Basically there are reasons going both ways

    Not for rainbow, of course.

  6. Pete 6

    >>Hone is going to be the reason the left dont just get beaten, they are going to get fucking wallopped

    Good call.

    That is exactly what will happen….

  7. In terms of ‘issue by issue’ politics – which I support, I agree that it is a serious error for Phil Goff and Labour to effectively write off the ‘Mana Party’, particularly for the reasons as outlined.

    “Labour spokeswoman Vikki Carter said Mr Goff had now extended that decision to any MP who enlists with the Mana Party.

    He could not work with anyone who worked for a party with values and core policy shaped by Mr Harawira, she said.

    “He doesn’t prescribe to the values of Hone Harawira. You can’t work with that.

    “At this point he’s ruling the Mana Party out.”

    In my considered opinion, Phil Goff and Labour need to look for points of unity – not write off possible coalition allies.

    Particularly on the pivotal issue of asset sales /privatisation.

    If the POLICY of the Mana Party is opposed to asset sales/ privatisation – why on earth would Phil Goff /Labour not work together with any person/organisation in order to maximise unity?

    (I was there at the launch of the Mana Party on Saturday.
    The marae was packed, and mood was VERY positive and enthusiastic.
    It is the stated policies of the Mana Party upon which people should be focusing – not Hone Harawira as an individual, in my considered opinion.

    As an ‘Independent’ Public Watchdog – I am not, and will not be a member of any political party – but on an ‘issue-by-issue’ basis – I am in full support of policies opposed to the ‘neo-liberal’ /’Rogernomic$’ model which has proven to be SO good for big busine$$ – but SO bad for the public majority.

    If the NZ Labour Party are now opposed to the ‘neo-liberal’ /’Rogernomic$’ ‘free market’ model
    – why on earth would you not be seeking to work together with ANY person/ political organisation which is ‘on the same page’?

    The need for unity is surely even greater now with the ‘Dictator Don’ and ‘shonky’ John Key, big business ‘money bag$’ coalition looming?

    Let’s see a bit of ‘commonsense’ being applied to serve the interests of the ‘common folk’ – shall we?

    There is simply too much at stake to do otherwise……….

    Penny Bright

  8. Anthony 8

    At least Key leaves himself wiggle room…

  9. goff has no Mana?

  10. bomber 10

    Why Goff will talk to Mana Party after election – http://tiny.cc/j7ber

    Look, Phil is too decent a NZer not to talk to Mana if the election gives Labour, the Greens, Maori Party and Mana Party a Parliamentry majority to prevent the excesses of a Brask Key Government from forming.

    • Rich 10.1

      You reckon?

    • Jono 10.2

      Adding to your point bomber, the spokeswoman also prefaced “ruling them out” with “at this point”

      One could probably safely assume that the circumstances at “this point” may be a bit different to “before/after the election when a left coalition is possible”

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Two days ago I would have agreed with you. Now, not so much. Goff is making himself and, by extension, the Labour Party look like a total fucking idiot.

      • lprent 10.3.1

        Phil Goff is unfortunately consistent (and I have posted about my dislike of this of ‘ruling people out’ before). Political parties should work with what the electorate chooses to give them.

        But I’m puzzled why people seem to think that Labour should treat Mana as being any different to Act. In the end result Labour will be running against Mana, the same as they run against every other party. The objective for Labour is to increase their vote, not to increase Mana’s vote.

        Labour has never and never should do nice electoral accommodations with other parties as National does for Act in Epsom (and no, there has never been accommodation of Jim Anderton in Wigram – he was just too hard to extract). It makes things too damn ambiguous at the activist level.

        Anyway, I rather like the idea of getting Kelvin Davis into an electorate seat.

        • Draco T Bastard

          But I’m puzzled why people seem to think that Labour should treat Mana as being any different to Act.

          Because the Act Party is radical right and the Mana Party is radical left. Chances are there’s something that a traditional workers party can find to work together on with the Mana Party whereas this isn’t something that could be expected between the workers party and the radical bosses party.

          Labour has never and never should do nice electoral accommodations with other parties as National does for Act in Epsom.

          Really, no ones expecting or wanting them to do so.

          • Colonial Viper

            The Right are smart enough to use various political parties to corner a large voting block, use dog whistles and every other device and alliance necessary to get votes FOR THEIR BLOCK; why in comparison is the Left so naive.

            Why is it that the Right understand the power of collective action and mutualism, and the Left get shafted.

            We are not in an FPP world any more folks.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yeah, kinda ironic that the right are better collectivists than the left.

              • rosy

                They have fewer factions to bring together at the moment. Extreme social conservatism hasn’t gained much traction so the only problem for them is the degree of neo-liberalism and plutocracy. The left is every single group you can think of that might be against that + the social liberals.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The RWNJs always accuse us on the left of being collectivists.

                  • lprent

                    Obviously haven’t met too many of us. Most individualistic pack I have ever met who can often cooperate. Instance: I am continuously amazed at how well this site works despite some extreme differences in viewpoints amongst the authors.

    • the sprout 10.4

      that’s a great post, nicely put

      btw, do i have to have a google account to comment on tumeke now?

  11. Pete 11

    I hope Mana do well, take out the Greens in the process, and they all split the left vote between them, meaning many wasted votes.

    We’ll have National/ACT/Maori.


    Roll on election day……

  12. bomber 12

    PS – Interesting to note that Mana is running 8% support on the Herald’s news poll – hardly a bastion of left wing love. The mainstream are missing the real support for political change from the poor.

    • Exactly. As Ive said on another post I hope Hone does well – there’s a demographic missing out on representation and he’ll do a good job representing it. But that demographic isn’t the significant majority of poor NZers (a demographic growing in number every day), for whom no party truly represents their interests.

      Some cling to Labour remembering what it was like 30 or 40 years ago. Some cling to National in the vain hope that “trickle down” may one day work if only the hopper at the top gets filled with even more money.

      Some support one small party or another because they figure no mainstream party deserves their vote anyway, they like one or another aspects of the small party’s policies, but wouldn’t trust it as a majority party.

      Increasing numbers don’t bother to vote at all.

      There’s still a market there, and it’s potentially a huge one. Labour may get it back two or three leadership changes and a decade or so down the road, if it learns from its mistakes (but with advisors who use “prescribe” when they ought to use “subscribe” or “ascribe” or indeed “duhhhh..”, I can’t see it happening).

      Or someone new can seize the day…

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        Increasing numbers don’t bother to vote at all.

        And I suspect it’s actually a high percentage of those people who Mana are targeting. The poor and unrepresented. It would be good to have their representation in parliament again.

        Mana has chosen a big task for themselves.

        • the sprout

          my understanding is that the Enrolled Non Vote Party is consistently the second or third biggest party of the last few elections, so potentially a lot of new non-cannibalized leftwing votes to be had

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.3

        Rex, it’s certainly a needed and massive job.

        Genuine question, if you were going to try and organise those disaffected citizens, who would you get on board to try and do it?

        I’m thinking that any attempt that didn’t have Matt, Sue, and Hone on it would be missing the track record holders. But who else?

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Matt absolutely. Politics is so riddled with self-serving dissemblers that there needs to be a “canary down the mine”… a person whose ongoing allegiance to the party acts as an indicator to the voting public that it’s on track because otherwise, that person wouldn’t have a bar of it*. Even if Matt’s health isn’t up to more than holding a membership (of course it’d be wonderful if he could do more) he needs to do so.

          Sue… ehhhh… she pissed off a lot of people (me included) who admired her for donkey’s years of standing up for rights and freedoms with the whole “anti-smacking” thing. I don’t want to relitigate that (because it’s in the past, because my problem is with the method not the motive and because what we’re talking about is more important) but there’s no denying that for a large number of people she came to embody “Nanny State”. That shouldn’t have erased decades of work for the unemployed but the political part of the minds of many are goldfish-like.

          It’ll no doubt upset a few people here, but if she’s to be effective then I think some sort of mea culpa is a prerequisite. Not for the intent, which was admirable, but for the perceived arrogance (that’s too strong a word, given the breathtaking chutzpah of the average politician, but I can’t think of a more mild synonym at present).

          Hone’s pretty much said he’s primarily focused on Maori, hasn’t he? And the flip side of that is that that’s what some Maori need to hear before they’ll be tempted to vote. An “all boats will rise” message – while true if the policy settings are right – isn’t what they want to hear because they’ve been told that for too long by politicians who then went on to do nothing for anyone, least of all them.

          So Hone’s useful doing what he’s doing and if he’s willing to co-operate with a broader-based left party he will strengthen rather than weaken it by bringing people to the table who wouldn’t come even if he were a member of that broader movement.

          Beyond that, my own preference is for people with a mixture of commitment and common sense: enough commitment that they won’t flip on the core stuff, but enough common sense to not reject a solution out of hand just because it doesn’t fit their view of what a left party ought to do (which means accepting that a lot of potential left voters, epsecially older ones, are social conservatives) or, conversely, stubbornly pursue a noble cause that has no real positive outcome while alienating many people (cf my comment on Sue).

          I saw Nandor popping up at Hone’s launch… he’s the sort of person I’m talking about. People who’d have liked nothing better than to have written him off as a long haired dirty hippy found they had to pay attention to him because he has that mix of undoubted commitment coupled with common sense.

          Of course every time-serving seat-warmer is going to claim that description fits them, but the public are pretty good at detecting genuineness… and that, above all else, is the quality we need right now, whether the person who possesses it is 100% in accord with our world view or not.

          Here endeth the sermon 😛

          * Ironically, when I think about it, I’m suggesting Matt McCarten is the left’s Sir Roger Douglas 😀

    • JD 12.2

      The data from polls are only reliable if the sample is taken at random. Since the Herald poll is opt-in then it’s results are essentially worthless because its methodology is fundamentally flawed.

      I think you know this but because you have so much invested in Mana’s success you’d rather subscribe to self-deception than face reality.

  13. bomber 13

    Mana is no threat to the Greens, the Greens will be getting swelled from National Party moderates fleeing the possibility of a Brash-Key Government.

    Remember Pete, a vote for John is a vote for Don

  14. Pete 14

    >>Remember Pete, a vote for John is a vote for Don

    We have ACT now. People voted National with that in mind last time. That won’t be bothered this time, either.

    The way to reduce ACTs influence is to give National a strong majority. The chances of the left forming a government are virtually nil.

    So I certainly hope the far left vote Mana. It empowers ACT, whom I support.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      A vote for John is indeed a vote for Don.

      That won’t put ACT voters off but it will put National party voters off.

      National have just deviously snapped a ball and chain to their own ankles.

    • Puddleglum 14.2

      The way to reduce ACTs influence is to give National a strong majority. The chances of the left forming a government are virtually nil.

      Thanks Pete. You’ve just confirmed my earlier comments that this is exactly the line that the right will be running in the election. That is, ‘the only choice is what kind of National government we will have’. Forewarned, as they say …

  15. Lanthanide 15

    “I have read one commentator say Goff is trying to appear principled in comparison to National, who will most likely continue to work with (most undemocratic of all leadership takeovers) ACT. If this is really the primary motivation for Goff’s strategy it is a weak one.”

    No, this is Phil doing a “me-too” and copying Key ruling out Winston. Note that Key has also ruled out Hone as well.

    Phil thinks that Hone is somehow scary to middle NZ, and so in ruling them out is hoping to shore up his vote. But personally I think this tactic works much better for the right than it does for the left. Frankly the left is the underdog in the upcoming election, so keeping options open makes the most sense anyway.

  16. bomber 16

    We had ACT under Rodney, ACT under Brash is a totally different creature. Those who voted Labour in 2005 and National in 2008 won’t give Key their vote to empower Brash as the next Finance Minister.

    A Labour/Greens/Maori Party/Mana Party coalition is a lot more likely than you are pretending Pete.

    As for ‘rent a mob’ – it has over 16 000 votes. On a right wing news site, that’s a lot of votes. Hone is looking at 3.5% for 5 extra MP’s. I think Pete you along with the mainstream media are missing a large chunk of the poor in this country who will want political representation from Hone.

    • Sam 16.1


      Well this voter that Voted Labour in 2005, and National in 2008, will be voting for ACT in 2011.

      Reasoning: Labour is a fucking shambles. National are weak and apathetic. The greens confuse me with a trendy latte drinking liberal with a guilty concience. The Mana Party has Minto which automatically precludes me from giving them my vote, NZFirst are as laughable as Labour and the MP just dont have the nuts for my liking.

      Thus ACT will get my vote this coming election. With any luck they’ll get enough protest votes that BOTH Labour and National will wake the fuck up and pull their collective fingers out of their asses.

  17. Ron 17

    I wonder if Phil is running scared from the media.
    On The nation on Sunday morning Plonker – sorry Plunket – had a go at him over Annette Sykes “support” for the 911 bombings. Plunket had it workerd out and lined up Goff – “will you work with Mana?” Goff said something like “maybe” so Plunket went for the punchline -“even when Annette Sykes laughed and cheered the 911 bombings”. Plunket had worked really hard to show Phil was a flip-flopper and had run out of road on that line so changed tack to this one. so he went after this one.
    That is the sort of line the media will take throughout the election. Garner, Holmes, Espiner and Plunket are all Tory lovers and will do anything to discredit any other party.
    I wonder if Phil is shaken by that and is trying to distance himself from any possible shit-fans.

  18. vto 18

    Why on earth has Goff done this? Don’t seem to make sense to me. If Mana get a few seats it would probably the seats Goff would need to form a government…

    Seems pretty empty-headed.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.1

      Nope, it’s clever politics from Goff, as was ruling out working with Hone when he first left the MP. Goff will gain support from the middle ground who find Hone scary and Labour sends a message to voters in his electorate that if they want an MP who can acheive something, then best they vote Kelvin Davies in November.

      Goff will not need Harawira’s vote to form a governing coalition, but he can at least count on it not being used against him in support of a NACT alternative. That is, Goff can reasonably rely on Hone (and Sykes if elected on the list) not supporting either block, which means one less vote overall needed to form a coalition of the left + Winston. My maths being that if its a 121 seat Parliament (the extra hangover seat being Sykes), there will only be 119 votes cast by the other MP’s and a left majority would be 60 seats exactly. A right majority would have to be at least 61 votes (one more than all the rest, including Hone, voting against).

      I probably haven’t explained that clearly, but the essence of it is that Hone’s vote is only useful in opposition to a proposed NACT Government, it’s not nessecarily required for Labour to lead a leftish coalition. So appealing to voters in the centre and lifting Labour’s own vote is more important than sucking up to Hone, who will be forced to either support a left coalition or at least oppose a right one.

      • vto 18.1.1

        Oh wel that is all very clever. How are the voters goin to take all this in, and the Winston Peters ruling out by Key, and make an informed decision?

        Sounds to me like the entire election will get lost in tangles of complication and people will just vote as they wish, ignoring the oh-so-clever key and goff…

        I mean, apparently 25% of voters in the USA still think Obama was born outside the USA. Keep It Simple Stupid.

      • Jenny 18.1.2

        “….Hone’s vote is only useful in opposition to a proposed NACT Government, it’s not nessecarily required for Labour to lead a leftish coalition.”

        The Voice of Reason

        Very clever VOR, in your scenario Goff can rule, without ever having to make any concessions to his left.

        As you say, it’s not necessarily required for Labour to lead a leftish coalition.

        A Labour led rightish coalition with New Zealand first is obviously more to your taste.

        • The Voice of Reason

          You misread that line, Jenny.

          I said ‘it’ (Hone’s vote) was not necessarily needed for Goff to lead a leftish coalition. And I gave the maths that I think prove the case. The last time I looked, the Greens were to Labour’s left, so any coalition would require concessions to the left. I used the word ‘leftish’ because if NZF are also needed to get a Labour led Government, there will have to be concessions to the right as well, so it would not be as outright left as say, Labour and the Greens governing alone. But it would still be ‘leftish’.

          • Jenny

            Less “Leftish” than it would be with Mana in it.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Yep. But much more stable. And as I reckon above, Hone pretty much has to support (or at least not vote down) whatever coalition Labour puts together and would also have to vote against a minority National Government if one was possible. So Goff really can afford to snub him and look to get support from the centre of the electorate for doing so. And the centre is where elections are won and lost, not the edges.

            • Herodotus

              Where is Lab displaying their roots in being leftish, is it their economic philosophy (same as Nat but tax a few millionaires), is it their foreign policy (= Nat), social policy (same as Nat but perhaps increase min wage by $1), health (no) education ( modify Nat Stds), Enviroment perhaps by a few ha of New chums, let farming continual its current selfseeking practices, attitude to oil (like Nat close eyes), ecomnomic development (Lab had a great opportunity last time and stuffed it up big time). Increase or maintain living stds (already had a chance and failed) So what is the difference ??? No SOE part sales and some minor small print differences.
              How past members of the Lab movement must be turning in their graves, to see so little between the 2 main parties.
              The best thing for me NZ can have is strong govt and opposition. We have a mild govt and a void.

  19. Pete 19

    >>We had ACT under Rodney, ACT under Brash is a totally different creature. Those who voted Labour in 2005 and National in 2008 won’t give Key their vote to empower Brash as the next Finance Minister.

    Brash is more popular than Rodney. As evidenced by the 2005 vote, Brash has demonstrated he can attract significant support across from the left. More so than English, obviously.

    What you’re saying is *you* don’t want Brash as finance Minister. Hardly surprising, but I doubt the centre voters care, as they have supported Brash in the past.

    Brash isn’t as newsworthy as Hone and Sykes. He’s going to look very moderate alongside those clowns. It is the left who will appear extreme.

    • As evidenced by the 2005 vote, Brash has demonstrated he can attract significant support across from the left.
      In which particular dimension?  The left hate Brash with a vengeance.  Why would they support a misogynist rascist free marketeer?

      • Pete 19.1.1

        They did in 2005.

        Helen came very, very close to losing to Brash. That means many floating voters picked Brash over Helen. Not enough, obviously, but close.

        It’s only the far left who hate Brash. That’s about as surprising as recognising the far right hate Minto.

        • Richard

          They did in 2005.

          People voted for National in 2005. You/Brash/et al are deluding yourselves if you think that significant numbers of the supporters that National can attract will migrate to Brash as ACT leader.

          Brash might well be personally more popular now than Rodney is now — but it’s very long bow to draw to say that Brash is therefore actually popular now, or indeed ever was, except as National leader.

          • Lanthanide

            I think Rodney, as a person, is more popular than Brash, as a person, too. Rodney’s problem was his rorting and bad political mistakes.

          • Pete

            He won’t be the same draw, but he’s not the scary demon the far-left make him out to be. That role is played by Hatfield.

            The voters didn’t like Rodney, but weren’t put off voting National because of the existence of Rodney. The same goes for Brash, however I’d argue Brash is more popular as a person with that group than Rodney ever was.

            • handle

              What’s with you right-wing tossers calling Hone Harawira “John Hatfield”? Real smart.

              • The Voice of Reason

                There’s a racist meme popular with the stupider of the trolls that claims that Hariwira is Hatfield rendered in maori, the implication being that Hone is not a ‘true’ or ‘pure’ maori because there is pakeha blood in his family. Pretty sad that its come to that, eh, but at least they’re not demanding his birth certificate. Yet.

        • mickysavage

          Um Pete you first said that Brash attracted significant voters from the left and when challenged you then said that he attracted significant swinging voters.
          Which is it?

          • Pete

            Voters who previously voted left, but don’t always vote left i.e. Key had to bring these across in order to win, which he did.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Key brought them over, Brash didn’t. And after he failed to do it he became even less popular.

              • swordfish

                Pete-rick, me old statue-of-liberty-loving sweetheart, it looks like you’re deliberately being just a little bit vague and wishy-washy, here.

                Why did the Nats win in 08 ? Because about 6% of New Zealanders who had refused to vote for a Brash-led National Party in 05 were prepared to support a Key-led Party in 08. These are the floating voters Labour (or the Greens) need to win back. And they’re precisely the current centre-right voters most likely to be spooked by Brash’s influence in any second-term Nat government.

        • Puddleglum

          Pete, you’re confusing me. First you say Brash brought the ‘left’ over. Then you say it was actually the centre he brought over. Which was it?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 19.2

      Here we go again. The 2005 election lines all over again.

      Mainstream KIWI vs radical IWI and their supporters.

      Are you going to resurrect the blue/red billboards this time?

    • lprent 19.3

      As evidenced by the 2005 vote, Brash has demonstrated he can attract significant support across from the left.

      Ummm. You obviously don’t talk to too many women. The palpable level of disgust in women that his name engenders after 2006 seems to transcend political beliefs. His possible support level is a fraction of what it once was not only because of that, but also because of his drawn out machinations with groups like the exclusive brethren.

      I think you just got yourselves a electoral liability.

      • Pete 19.3.1

        My wife, who is not overtly political, and has a bad habit of voting Labour, likes Don Brash. She thinks he’s a straight talker.

        That’s the problem with anecdotal polls, you see. They don’t tell you much, and they don’t support arguments.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          Not saying dog whistle politics is not successful mobilising working class support. I just don’t like using a fear of others to garner votes.

          The Australian Liberals are the masters at exploiting fear for their own ends. See John Howard and the Tampa affair and his subsequent re-election. Abbott is attempting a re-run- I wonder how these guys can sleep at night.

  20. Pete 20

    >>As for ‘rent a mob’ – it has over 16 000 votes. On a right wing news site, that’s a lot of votes.

    It would take me five minutes to write a voting script that will do hundreds of thousands of unique votes via open proxies. It’s not hard. I’m sure a comp-sci rent-a mob member could do the same.

    Since when is a website only accessible to the “right wing”?

    • lprent 20.1

      It would take me five minutes to write a voting script that will do hundreds of thousands of unique votes via open proxies. It’s not hard. I’m sure a comp-sci rent-a mob member could do the same.

      Agreed. Taking any notice of online polls that don’t do full blown user verification is a sign of the foolish. It is too easy to make it do whatever you want if you can be bothered.

  21. Irascible 21

    The problem with Hone and his party is that the only consistency shown by him is loyalty to himself and his immediate hapu. A loose cannon, like Hone, is hardly one that any serious political organisation will want to commit to, especially if, as Labour will,you intend to seriously contest the electorate in November.
    I agree with LPrent – Goff is not allowing the Labour Party be dictated to by a tail party. Phil has not made a mistake he is saying to the Labour supporters in Tai Tokerau look to supporting your real candidate in November and don’t get distracted by the side show that is the Mana Party. This is known as leadership in normal parlance in contrast with Key’s willingness to sell National to the ACT tail.

    • lprent 21.1

      Personally I don’t put much credence in this new party based on history. Parties like this usually have the approximate consistency of a Rocky Road in sunlight. Full of hard bits falling off in a melting matrix. It makes it difficult to form coalitions.

      In this term you can see the joys of such parties in both the Act party and the Maori party. Neither of which have proved to be very stable as coalition partners. In the past we have seen much the same thing happen with NZF and the Alliance. I can’t see any reason that a party formed around the people in the Mana party are likely to prove any more stable in government than any of the above.

      I suspect that the only reason that the Greens aren’t in this list is because they’ve never been in a coalition. They have just been in confidence and supply agreements. Probably wise.

      I don’t like ‘ruling people out’ – it sucks as a electoral tactic. You live with what the electorate gives you.

      But you also don’t spend too much effort defining who you’re going to get into bed with either. It is pointless until the voters have voted, and you find out how unrealistic the resulting parties are.

      End result – you just work on your own parties support and let other parties work on theirs.

      • Lanthanide 21.1.1

        I suspect that the only reason that the Greens aren’t in this list is because they’ve never been in a coalition. They have just been in confidence and supply agreements. Probably wise.

        The Greens were part of the Alliance. Admittedly not while it was in government, but they too have had some upheaval in their past.

      • PeteG 21.1.2

        End result – you just work on your own parties support and let other parties work on theirs.

        Yep. I don’t know if parties do it but too many commenters seem to worry too much about convoluted seat scenarios that can change dramatically in a week.

        Best to concentrate on putting your best effort out there, earn as much vote as you can, and deal with the numbers afterwards when you know what they are.

        (And too much attention also seems to be spent on trying to take others down rather than building your own up).

    • the sprout 21.2

      Goff is not allowing the Labour Party be dictated to by a tail party

      i don’t think you have to rule out working with a party to achieve that.
      cutting your nose off to spite your face seems a more appropriate analogy.

  22. Labour need left allies. Don wants to sell off assets, so we will see in several months time who is with who.

    Don, like Hide may turn out to be electoral poison: As Whale oil out it:

    “I am also pretty sure that Banks and Brash know that electorally they are rat poison as candidates. They are both pensioners, with Brash over 70. They also both know that their best years politically are behind them.”

    • Pete 22.1

      You know things are getting desperate indeed when the far left start quoting WhaleOil.

      • Lanthanide 22.1.1

        We sometimes quote WhaleOil on the basis of “takes one to know one”.

      • Puddleglum 22.1.2

        I take it you mean desperate on the right of politics?

        If you don’t, then presumably David Farrar was being desperate when he gave Danyl at DimPost ‘quote of the week’?

  23. Don Brash is old enough to vote for Winston!

    • Pete 23.1

      Jeanette Fitzimmonds was a spring chicken?

      Most trusted politican, I believe. So age doesn’t appear to be a barrier.

      • Pascal's bookie 23.1.1

        Seem to remember Brash came in just ahead of Brian Tamaki; ie second to last.

        • Pete

          Heh heh.

          • Pascal's bookie

            It’s funny because it’s true.

            • Pete

              It won’t be true in November.

              The Hone factor will make Brash look harmless by comparison.

              • Pascal's bookie

                No one doubts Brash will be pushing his racist ‘scary maoris’ lines Pete. It’s what he does. It’s all he’s got.

  24. Hone’s speech

    “Happy are those who dream dreams, and are prepared to pay the price to make those dreams come true”

  25. ” I want every Kiwi to get a decent days wage for a decent days work

    I want us to overturn National’s 90-day Slave Bill

    And I want us to support the rebuilding of a strong union base to give workers back the rights they’ve lost over the last 20 years”

    Which value was it that Phil didn’t like? Sounds like standard working class talk…

    • Deadly_NZ 25.1

      And there’s your problem, Phil’s forgotten what it’s like to be ‘working class’

  26. Whale oil is a mercenary, he will fire shots at the left and the right (sometimes just for fun)

  27. bomber 27

    GRIN – Well seeing as some of those here now justifying Goff’s stance are the same ones telling me last time that no such party would launch in the first place, I’m going to reserve my judgement on the success or not of this venture until after the election result.

    A Labour/Greens/Maori Party/Mana Party will be needed to prevent a Brash Key Government, maybe this sudden realization will force the Labour Caucus to look like a Government in waiting rather than a lame duck political party sleep walking to defeat so they can oust their leader.

    This country needs Keynesian managed capitalism with a strong focus on social justice and the poor to lift us out of the mess corrupt free market dogma has dug for us.

    A vote for John, is a vote for Don.

    • The Voice of Reason 27.1

      MP1 and MP2 in the same coalition? Not likely, I would have thought, Bomber. And where’s Winnie? I’d have thought either Lab/Winston/Maori Party or Lab/Winston/Greens with support on confidence and supply from Greens or Maori Party would be more likely.

      • bomber 27.1.1

        MP1and MP2 will work together for Maori, and they have more in common than the Maori Party and Don Brash

    • Jenny 27.2

      “A Labour/Greens/Maori Party/Mana Party will be needed to prevent a Brash Key Government”


      Bomber, Some questions:

      Some Labour Party conservatives are hoping for a resurrection of New Zealand First, to provide a coalition Party to their right.

      1. How do you see NZ First fitting in? (That’s if they get the numbers)

      2. Do you think that Peters would join a coalition that includes the Greens?

      In the past Peters has demanded that the Greens be excluded from any coalition he would enter;

      3. Has Peters softened this hardline sectarian approach to the Greens?

      4. Do you think a coalition including the Greens and NZ First is probable?

      4.A. Do you think a coalition including the Greens and NZ First would be stable?

      5. Is the Labour Party doing any of the necessary behind the scenes networking with of all these various Parties to sound them out about the possibilities?

      6. Instead of doing this networking, In your opinion, is the Labour Party just idly sitting on it’s hands and actively inviting defeat by issuing sectarian statements about who they won’t work with?

      • bomber 27.2.1

        1: I keep turning with NZ First. I thought he had it in him, his speeches are amazing, but now he is competing for space with two media magnates like Brash and Harawira it’s much harder for him to spark. I now think Winston will fall short of 5%. If people really are as fearful of Brash as Winston says they should be, they won’t risk wasting their vote, they’ll vote for Labour.

        2: The Greens would get mauled by Peters and would lose their best chance of forcing some progressive policy onto Labour.

        3: The new advisor to Winston will be toning Winston down.

        4: No way.

        4: No way.

        5: They silly buggers don’t think they can win and are all sleepwalking to defeat so they can dump the leader post election, now the Mana Party has spluttered into life at the same time I suggested a hard right move by Alan Gibbs, some seem to grasp that they can win by Parliamentry majority. But it’s taking a lot of prodding and poking, way more than I thought it would.

        6: No, its just hopelessness, but as I keep pointing out, the economic decline won’t abate and at some point NZers will want to talk about the issues. The looming Brash Key Government will collapse the big blue tent strategy of National to hold the middle ground, moderates will flee to the Greens and to Labour because a vote for John is a vote for Don. NZers who voted Labour in 2005 but voted National in 2008 won’t vote for Brash, their vote is up for grabs to parties that will count in defeating Brash. Mana will pick up the disaffected and much of the currently wasted Maori Party party vote while the Maori Party competes with Labour for the electorate seats.

        If Charles knocks Dunne out a Labour/Greens/Maori Party/Mana Party could well be the next Government.

  28. bobo 28

    Was Phil Goff at the royal wedding or something or has he has been in hiding the last few weeks, no idea why he has ruled out Hone is it just to copy Key, who is advising Goff if anyone?

  29. HC 29

    It seems to me that Phil Goff is planning for a “grand coalition” of the supposedly “sensible” middle NZ after the election – by joining reduced Labour forces with reduced National forces in a new type arrangement in NZ politics.

    This has been tried in other countries, where the conservative minded at heart (whether you call them centre left or centre right or else) decide to “stick together” to fend off the “radicals” from either side.

    This may look laughable at present, but given that both large parties also depend on the generosity and goodwill of big business to be able to “govern” in our present economic environment, this may be the way things will go after all. We know that it is business that dictates to governments what policies shall be “tolerated”. Otherwise they will move offshore, workers move to Australia and the government will become a one term government.

    It would be the most daunting outcome of the election, but do not rule this out! Big business has more clout and influence than most of us dare to think. A big business scheme is also behind the Brash the Dagger in the Back ‘coup de ACT’, in order to throw the nasty right wing tomcat among the pidgeons and force National to move further to the right. Rest assured about this, and John Banks the “Holy Man” in the rich man’s mansion on the hill is also the chief of Huljich Wealth Management (to which Brash is supposedly also linked).

    Do a bit more research and you may be able to write the next follow up edition of “The Hollow Men” soon!

    Although I doubt that Hone is in for the long haul, and he will primarily follow his past intentions, Mana should not be ruled out as a future partner of sorts by Labour.

    So why again does Goff say and decide as he has? Not many answers left to explain this.

  30. odysseus 30

    Apparently he won’t work with Osama either….

    • burt 30.1

      Don’t be so sure, if he can pretend Winston is honest he can pretend Osama is alive.

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    Winston got more votes than ACT, for starters.

    What was Don’s polling like when he had to quit parliament in disgrace? He never topped HC in preferred PM as far as I can remember.

    The best ACT can hope for is to just get a few more seats than what they’ve got now, but the Don is too arrogant for that. He’s the man who wants to be king. He’ll go hard into National’s support base. And the more Key tries to sideline him, the more National right wingers will flee to ACT

    The more the polls show Don eating National from the right, the more the centrists will look askance, and who shall they see but bland old bucket of milk tea Goff, busy distancing himself from Mana, a small insignificant party like ACT used to be before the Brash man cometh.

    ACToids and randiots fail to realise that Key isn’t popular in spite of kicking Brash’s 2025 report and Douglas’ ministerial hopes to the curb; he’s popular while he does that.

    • Pascal's bookie 31.1

      That was in reply to a Pete comment, which he seems to have thought better of 🙂

      • Pete 31.1.1

        They are deleting my comments for some reason.

        I’m not being rude, and I’m on topic, so I can only assume they don’t like the message.

        That’s not very grown-up, is it. It’s a shame, as sharing views might mean we all might learn something new.

        It’s why I left Labour years ago. I didn’t like the intolerance.

        • Pascal's bookie

          So now you hang with iwi/kiwi Brash and John Banks. Onya mate.

          • Pete

            I don’t particularly like any politician.

            I vote what I feel is in the best interest of the country at the time, as I’m sure you do. Tell me, how do you think we’ll grow the economy? Is that an aim we should have?

            • Pascal's bookie

              Didn’t say you like them. You said you left labour on account of intolerance, and here you now stand with Brash and Banks. Neither of whom are particularly well known for their flexibility of thought.

              I think you basically decided that you would vote for people that agree with, rather than people who disagree with you. That’s perfectly sensible and correct. But it’s got nothing to do with tolerance.

              • Pete

                The intolerance that flows through the Labour movement is not something I experience out on the right to anywhere near the same extent.

                I’ve been in both camps. I’ve found the left are considerably more intolerant, in my experience, when it comes to throwing around ideas. But Labour supporters aren’t the worst. The Greens are the worst, by far – their sugar-coated f****m is really quite something.

        • The Voice of Reason

          You didn’t like the ‘intolerance’ in Labour? That makes a change from the usual right wing blather about how PC the left is. What persecuted minority are you from then, Pete?

          • Pete

            No, I didn’t.

            I voted for Lange. Twice. The new version of Labour didn’t appeal to me. There always seemed to be an intolerance for views, or people, that didn’t follow the party line.

            It’s childish.

            I’m not convinced any politician has “the answer”. So, it’s good to talk. I like hearing views that are different from my own, else one ends up in an echo chamber. Sometimes, the other guy is right.

            • Colonial Viper

              So you voted for the First ACT Government?

              And then went on to vote for Ruthanasia?

              YAY what credentials.

              • Pete

                You’re young, huh.

                Labour got rid of Muldoon. Clark/Cullen/Goff voted for those policies, and actively supported them, despite their subsequent historical revisionism. Are you saying they enabled the first ACT government?

                They did the right thing. At the time. It was probably too fast, and mistakes were made, but a NZ based on being England’s farm – and all that enabled in terms of affordable social policy – was long dead.

                • Pete

                  You seem to form political opinions by how certain individuals treated you. Did you ever think about the policies and the principles when deciding who to vote for?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Labour got rid of Muldoon. Clark/Cullen/Goff voted for those policies, and actively supported them, despite their subsequent historical revisionism.

                  I think you need to go read this

                  It was probably too fast, and mistakes were made, but a NZ based on being England’s farm…

                  You do understand that’s all NACT are suggesting now don’t you? It’s just that instead of being England’s farm we’ll be China’s but still poor with a declining culture.

            • burt


              Don’t be too surprised in a few decades time when people ridicule you for voting for Clark.

              • Pete

                That’s already started….

              • The Voice of Reason

                As opposed to voting for the Government that gave us mass unemployment, a tanked economy and no fucken plan beyond getting on tonight’s news?

                • burt

                  Yes the recession well underway when Labour left office must have made people who voted for them feel pretty stupid. How gullible were they for believing the “prudent managers” BS.

                  I’m glad I didn’t vote for that govt who’s policies tanked the economy and handed a basket case economy to National just like they also did in 1990.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Still reinventing the past I see burt. No matter how many times you do that it still won’t be the truth.

                    It was the John Keys of the world that crashed the economy.

                • Pete

                  The unemployment and economy is due to the recession. We aren’t immune.

                  What would Labour do?

                  I’d like to continue these interesting discussions, but it appears a moderator is randomly deleting my posts. I don’t know why.

                  All the best, VOR.

                  [lprent: You have a moderator note on one of your previous messages. Evidentially you are too arrogant to read responses to your previous comments. It makes it hard to communicate with wankers who are too busy yammering to be bothered listening to warnings about their behavior. So I dropped you into auto moderation.

                  Perhaps that explains your problems at red alert as well. ]

                  • Pete

                    What problems at Red Alert? I think I’ve posted there once or twice, and don’t recall any problems.

                    >>It makes it hard to communicate with wankers who are too busy yammering to be bothered listening to warnings about their behavior

                    I read them, but there was a time delay. I’m not sure why you’re so quick to call me names, yet the same editorial standard is not applied to other posters.

                    Oh well…..

                    [lprent: Because I enjoy being a pain when a luser like you causes me to waste my time pointing out the rules here. It is bad enough having to read your crap without having to run around attracting your attention. Oh well you have had your only warning. ]
                    [lprent: I see there are some comments of yours in the trash. Not my doing, and it is unlikely to be other moderators because they’d leave notes. But I will add a noteyo the wish list to store who trashed comments. ]

                    • i deleted those comments when P had contributed around 20 of the then 80-odd comments. i consider more than 25% of all comments in a thread coming from a bore as an interference in my freedom to read an interesting discussion.
                      as author i deleted the more spamesque comments without wasting keystrokes on an explanation.

                    • lprent []

                      Ok. Pays to tell them. Otherwise I start to have to waste keystrokes. I’d agree that the ones in the trash were definitely troll spam. Pointless

              • Campbell Larsen

                left/ right – divide and conquer – how ridiculous it is to be bickering about the different sides of the same face of betrayal and deceit that is our hobbled political system.

                Much better to discuss how we can ensure that banks, lobbyists, greedy old men with toy media empires and foreign powers do not undermine our attempt at democracy.

                Here’s a start:

                1. Reduce the term of government – say 2 yrs max
                2. Make election promises binding
                3. NZ signs up to international anti corruption initiatives and appoints independent commissioner to oversea major contracts expenditure/ deals made by Govt
                4. Full disclosure of MP’s financial interests including blind trusts.
                5. Suspension of share trading by ministers while sitting and for a full year after they are ousted from Parliament.
                6. Ban on MP’s holding positions in companies/ SOEs related to their portfolios for two years after they have been ousted or leave Parliament.
                7. Ban on lobbying by foreigners/ foreign companies.
                8. Tag the budget to a human rights charter which stipulates a baseline spend (linked to inflation) and thereafter a percentage of GDP spend on Health, Education etc, etc which can only be amended by a 75- 80% majority in the house.
                9. Monitor the media via an independent body charged with eliminating bias in political reporting and coverage, and give this org some teeth.

                I’ve got more, but I am happy for this to be a group effort…

                • Pete

                  Good ideas.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    Something tells me that if you are agreeing with me I have made a mistake or mistakes….

                    P.S. saying ‘good ideas’ is not the same as contributing to the effort…

                    • Pete

                      How so?

                      I favour transparency. I dislike the political class. I think that notion cuts across the political divide.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A couple of OK ideas mate but going to two year electoral terms will simply worsen yet again the over-politicisation of how Government policy is executed today and lead to (more) massive short termism from Cabinet.

                • burt


                  I don’t agree with shortening the term to 2 years. In a three year cycle we basically get 6 months of celebration, 6 months of think tanks, 6 months of policy, 6 months of action, and a year of spending staying popular for the next election. (forthcoming budget may prove me wrong under National but Labour always delivered a lolly scramble prior to an election )

                  I fear that shortening the cycle to 2 years would simply remove the policy and action stages.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    lways delivered a lolly scramble prior to an election )

                    Better than the corporates

                    Boards of Directors and CEOs seem to have been giving themselves 14% lolly scrambles year after year after year

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    Burt/ CV – shortening the term of Govt to two years does have the pitfalls that you have highlighted.

                    The issue with a three year term is that Govt’s like the present one attempt to justify changes to legislation and policy that we never part of their election platform on the basis that ‘times have changed’ – the GFC being a prime example of exactly this kind of ploy.

                    ‘Unexpected’ circumstances have left us with a whole lot of unpalatable policy and unwanted (and probably unnecessary) austerity measures. The question is how do we ensure that we still have a responsive political system while at the same time ensuring that Govt’s do not implement policy that they do not have an electoral mandate for.

                    Three years is a long time for a Govt to be able ignore the people and ride roughshod over democracy.

                    I personally thing that all parties should have to table all of the legislation that they are planning to implement during their term (should they be elected) and campaign on that basis. No Surprises. If changes to what has been declared are proposed the Govt should be forced to seek cross party support (75 -80%)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The issue with a three year term is that Govt’s like the present one attempt to justify changes to legislation and policy that we never part of their election platform on the basis that ‘times have changed’ – the GFC being a prime example of exactly this kind of ploy.

                      Neither a two year term or a four year term is going to be able to deal with this problem.

                      Note National completely lying about increasing GST – that hasn’t hurt them in the polls at all. Holding the election sooner would not have stopped them nor will it affect them, as people don’t seem to mind.

                      Essentially, the problem is not all with the pollies, a large chunk of it is with an uninformed electorate which is largely sleep walking.

                    • Campbell Larsen

                      CV – ‘Neither a two year term or a four year term is going to be able to deal with this problem.’……
                      ‘Essentially, the problem is not all with the pollies, a large chunk of it is with an uninformed electorate which is largely sleep walking.’

                      Perhaps you are correct about amending terms not being the answer, certainly I don’t think increasing the term to four years would be a good thing…. It’s hard to argue with ‘uninformed electorate which is largely sleep walking’ too….

                      The question remains then: how do we ensure that we still have a responsive political system while at the same time ensuring that Govt’s do not implement policy that was not declared during the campaign process (and thus cannot be said to have voter support).

                      I think it is a truism that when people are consulted in a decision making process they are more interested in the issues/ outcomes. So in essence the ignorance and dislocation of voters is a result of them only being required to/ asked to participate in the democratic process once every three years. The breaking of campaign promises, abuse of urgency and ill-considered reform further reinforces the idea in many voters minds that there is nothing that they can do.

                      Hopefully you can see what I’m driving at – we should be asking more of citizens when it comes to engagement with decision making. How exactly this is achieved needs more work.

                      I accept that tinkering with our political system is fraught with danger, especially when the MSM is so controlled by vested interests, however it is a discussion that we can have here.

                      Participation (in particular informed participation) has always been the problem with democracy – We cannot blame the people for being disinterested when their disinterest is actively discouraged by the system and processes that are currently in place. We can, and should talk about ways to improve the situation.

                    • Campbell Larsen

                      Oops, I ment to say ‘their disinterest is activity encouraged by the system’ …ah well I’m sure my intent was clear

  32. ianmac 32

    @HC: “So why again does Goff say and decide as he has? Not many answers left to explain this.”

    As just another voter rather than a pundit my guess is that Phil Goff is waiting before firing off the big guns. In spite of pressure engineered by the Right, it would be a mistake to expose your strategy too soon. So I think that Phil will wait for the right time, perhaps a week after Budget Day or June/July and then roll out his canons. Peaking too soon would be a problem. Why roll out your ideas soon so that the other side has time to plan replies. National has the same problem really. To tell the people just what mandate they seek too soon and they would be vulnerable. And scare the voters.
    So in spite of criticism from the Right and from the Left I think Phil will endure. Watch this space!

    • HC 32.1

      My fear is that – since many of us have already been waiting for months on end for some big guns to be fired – we will continue waiting, waiting until the budget, waiting after the budget, waiting a few more weeks, yet waiting until just before the election, and then, just a brief “premature ejaculation” – and it is all lost and over!

    • Deadly_NZ 32.2

      Or more likely he is waiting for his small pile of political powder to dry, and is hoping it goes bang and not PFFFZZzzz

      so when is the right time???? December, January ????? Someone need to point out that the election is in November 2011 and make sure it sticks.
      Because he has royally fucked over most of his support by just being silent, and fucking useless when he finally gets on air, the interviewers are after him, because he is like a Possum stuck in the headlights and gone.

      And he is just fodder for the NACT trolls that work at TV3 they can see he’s running scared. And they can smell fear.

  33. Bored 33

    I am so fekkin bored with waiting for Goff to do something to popular acclaim. Watching paint dry is far more rewarding. I wont call for his head again, the loyalists get too agitated. Will somebody wake me up when Goff has either won the election or just pissed off elsewhere. Until then sweet dreams of something more rewarding like Scrabble or ant racing.

    • PeteG 33.1

      “waiting for Goff”

      At a glance I thought that was “waiting for God” – is the death of Labour inevitable? Maybe Mana will rev them up at the same time Brash revs up National and we get a bit of life back into our main party politics.

      • burt 33.1.1

        I think a better outcome would be to see both self serving major parties decimated to about 25 seats each. Then we would actually have a coalition formed rather than a major party and a collection of poodles.

  34. fatty 34

    Looks like Goff won’t be getting a slice of my vote then, or the vote of many people I know.

    We’ve been waiting years for a party that represented the left, since about 2005 when Rod Donald died.

    • Draco T Bastard 34.1

      Waiting since about 1987. Labour got voted out in 1990 because they were too right wing and the people were sick of it. Unfortunately, due to FPP, we only had one other choice and that was National – a hard right-wing dictatorial party that enthusiastically followed in 4th Labours footsteps. Even now Labour are still more to the right than the left.

      • fatty 34.1.1

        You are right DTB, we only have the choice of a right government or a right government….but I do prefer to vote for a left party.

        I was talking about the Green Party pre 2005 (not Labour) and referring to the good old days when they cared about issues like poverty.

  35. Annaliviaplurabella 35

    “We’d have potentially a very good candidate there in Kelvin Davis, he’s a person with a huge reputation in the north,” Mr Goff said.
    What damning praise by Goff of Kelvin: an excellent candidate.

  36. @Campbell Larson
    10. Lower the threshold over which a party must poll to enter parliament on the party vote to 1%
    11. Increase the number of electorates – 50,000 people is too much. An electorate should consist of no more than 10,000 eligible voters.
    12. Make the seats available to the party vote equivalent to the electorate vote
    13. Peg politicians salaries to the average wage, no politician to earn more than the current average wage.

    None of this will happen, the parliamentary system is designed to serve the interests of that minority which controls the largest portion of the country’s wealth. For this reason John Key and Phil Goff both abhor the thought of a more representative system, no one gets to be a senior member of either major party without first demonstrating their obeisance to established dogma. This is why Phil Goff has ruled out working with Hone Harawira and the activists supporting him, Phil Goff’s fear of a more representative form of democracy is far greater than his fear of a National party victory.

    The general population are required to be subjects of the decision making process, they are not considered competant enough to be trusted to, other than superficially, contibute to the formation of those political decisions which directly impact on their lives. Afterall, how often does anyone hear the mainstream media calling for greater political representaion – the only campaign I have witnessed the mainstream media champion was the one to limit parliament to 99 seats – apparently less representation is better.

    • Campbell Larsen 36.1

      Hi Andrew – I like the way you think.

      After consideration the one item on my list that I feel most strongly about is

      8. Tag the budget to a human rights charter which stipulates a baseline spend (linked to inflation) and thereafter a percentage of GDP spend on Health, Education etc, etc which can only be amended by a 75- 80% majority in the house.

      There would perhaps be challenges getting cross party support to set it up but I do feel that minimum spends on clearly defined social needs should be enshrined in some kind of charter. These necessities of any healthy functioning society should not be subject to the whimsies of ever changing governments. Bankrupt is not just a notion that can be applied to money – our Government is morally bankrupt whenever it places money before the needs of ALL of people it is supposed to serve.

      In the case of surplus funds a left leaning govt may choose to spend more again on social services. A right leaning govt may choose to spend more on supporting business but in neither case can they spend less than the minimum on the things necessary for a healthy society. As to what these things are, well that’s another discussion

      Budget speak that goes from ‘we have this much money’ to ‘what kind of society can we afford?’ is backwards.
      The discussion needs to start with ‘what kind of society/ services do we want? to ‘what steps need to be taken to achieve and maintain our goal’

      Budget surpluses/ deficits should not decide how much compassion we exhibit as a society – the very notion is abhorrent.

    • Colonial Viper 36.2

      13. Peg politicians salaries to the average wage, no politician to earn more than the current average wage.

      You want workers on the average wage to put up with 60+ hour work weeks, three to four days a week away from their families, long hours frequently on the road, open inspection of their private lives and general loss of privacy, and be subject to personal attacks and criticism while having very limited job security for what…less than $50K p.a.?


      • Campbell Larsen 36.2.1

        CV – I think the point that Andrew was trying to make is that funding politicians salaries on an corporate equivalence basis inevitably means that many of our MP’s lose touch with what it’s like to try and live on the minimum wage. There is a lot of rhetoric about the need to raise the minimum wage from the left – but its easy for this to be just remain an academic discussion when you are on $250,000 a year.

        I also think that it is a myth that there is a shortage of people who are willing to become ministers – just look at the current lot that the Nats chucked in their jobs. There certainly don’t seem to be particularly stringent entry requirements either going from certain garbled nonsensical speeches on the copyright bill.

        Yes the job does come with a loss of privacy, and in the case of diligent MP’s long hours – however I would hate to think that the notion of ‘service’ ie serving the people/ community (rather than just ones self) had disappeared completely from our notion of democratic representation.

        Plenty of people with poor job security work 60+ hours for less than 50K in this country – and that is not a laughing matter.

        Andrew raised some quite valid points I think about the entrenched attitudes which ultimately contribute to the disengagement of the voting public. Rather than attempting to reinforce the myth of superiority (tinged with martyrdom) that appears to prevail in Parliament I had hoped (am still hopeful) that you would discuss/ contemplate ways to close the gap between our representatives and the people they are supposed to serve.

  37. Tanz 37

    I thought this was a Labour blog, so how come you are knocking Goff? He’s got a horrid job right now, and no one else seems to want it, yet. Where is the support factor?

    • lprent 37.1

      Read the About. It isn’t a ‘Labour’ party blog or a Labour party supporters blog. It is a coop of authors from the left from around the rather wide-ranging labour movement – that existed long before the Labour party formed and has always been quite a lot larger than any single political party.

      I volunteer for Labour, so does r0b, and if you read the posts by the various authors it is evident that a few of the other authors do as well. The Sprout used to and may do again in the future, and so do many of the other authors. Many of the authors have had no relationship with the Labour party at all. They came out of the alliance side or unions or just don’t go near political parties.

      It gets even more chaotic when you look at the commentators. We exclude or educate the trolling idiots and the people with bad blog behavioral problems. But we don’t bother filtering for more than that. So the range of opinion is far wider than even the authors.

      That this is a Labour party site is just a myth beloved by the people who don’t like the site, or who are too thick to understand the distinction between the labour movement and the Labour party, or people who don’t read the About which explains what the site is actually about.

      Incidentally, you will find that it is very rare for the author supporters of Labour to praise Labour politicians. That would just mean that they are doing their damn job – praise damn near has to be forced reluctantly from us (in other words we’re not like the sycophant brown-nosers that are so common on in the right). Occasionally, you’ll see a brickbat when one of us thinks that they are not doing a good job.

      But we usually think that the politicians on the right are usually screwing up big time – so we write about that.

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