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Clearing the decks

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, December 1st, 2016 - 127 comments
Categories: election 2017, elections, labour, Media, national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mayor-Nick-Leggett-MIP-web

In the 12 months before the last election I was amazed at National’s ability to clear out the dead wood. Over a short period they had a mass exodus of MPs with little public fuss and no fighting, at least on the surface.

Such superstars as Chris Tremain, Chris Auchinvold, Phil Heatley, Kate Wilkinson, Katrina Shanks, Paul Hutchison, Cam Calder, Tau Henare, Colin King, and John Hayes decided to call it a day.

I was surprised at the number that went voluntarily. I was particularly surprised at Hayes who had promised to put up a fight but then disappeared without a trace.

There was also Claudette Hauiti who committed the unforgivable sin of being found to have used her parliamentary credit card too vigorously.  She also disappeared without a trace and without a fight.

Such discipline amongst politicians is remarkable.  Getting so many poor performers to voluntarily give up the perks of office must require special skills.  Or special negotiating latitude.

We are now in selection season before the next election and the new list of resignations and retirements are feeding out.

First up was Hekia Parata.  I am sure that the Education Profession breathed a sigh of relief at the thought of her retirement.  Then Jono Naylor put his hand up,  Murray McCully and probably John Key are going list only both ready to bail if things do not work out.

One likely forced retirement in the wings is Todd Barclay, who made such a hash of local relations that it appears the local party is in revolt against him. When they send in an ex Merrill Lynch merchant banker to tidy up the writing is clearly on the wall.  I expect others will also go.

The current list is really problematic for National.  Unless by some miracle she wins the Mt Roskill by election I suspect that Parmjeet Parmar’s days are numbered.  She just has not inspired and has been too embarrassing to the party.

If she does win on Saturday then this nut job will become an MP.  For a very religious Samoan to celebrate Trump’s win requires so many levels of naivety and stupidity she should never be entrusted with any sort of elected office.  It’s sad but National appears to have problems with the quality of its Samoan candidates.

I am pretty sure that Parmar and Turner will be shunted down the list.

And Nick Leggett has announced that he has joined National and will seek the nomination for the Mana seat.  He has no chance of winning this seat although I suspect that he will be pushed up their list if for no other reason than to try and embarrass Labour.

The two policies he has mentioned as reason for his change are trade and immigration.  Clearly he thinks that the TPPA is a wonderful thing and that working people will celebrate its passing.  He needs to recalibrate his thinking.

As for immigration he fails to understand that it is not the source of immigrants but the volume that is causing problems.  For instance Auckland’s population grew by 3% in the past year.  The increased diversity is great but the number needs to be reduced.  Dressing up a bankrupt economic growth policy with ethnic tolerance clothing is frankly dishonest and the sort of spin that I expect from the right.

Leggett’s defection will be presented as being bad for Labour.  But he has been anti Labour for a while in a Roger Douglas way.  All he is now doing is showing his true colours.  And his loss to Justin Lester in the Wellington Mayoralty campaign despite the large financial backing he had indicates that his ideas are not necessarily popular ideas.

His suggesting that in this time of crisis all Labour has to do is be more like National shows how bankrupt his thinking is.

 

127 comments on “Clearing the decks ”

  1. Puckish Rogue 1

    The National party appreciate your thoughts and we’ll be sure to put them into practice 🙂

  2. lprent 2

    I suspect that the deep pockets of the National party help a lot with clearing out their deadwood. From the way that some of their retirees have gone, I suspect that they got bribed out with a carrot and a stick.

    Leggett – Meh! In my view just another egotistical dipshit from someone acting to be a political parasite. These days I notice them because they waffle about trade as a religious object, while clearly not knowing enough about the details of the agreements. Leggett appears to be no exception on the TPPA. They act like a parrot with no nuance or understanding.

    Usually I also notice that theit work history shows an distinct and strong absence of international trade from NZ. A bit like MPs talking about Uber.

    Good news is that it looks like the right rump of the NZLP must have failed to get their egos in check for long enough to form a party.

    • Stunned Mullet 2.1

      “an distinct” ……..i’m reporting you to Oleolebiscuitbarrel for remedial work !

      • lprent 2.1.1

        It is what happens when you type a comment (and then edit) on a cellphone.

        I have to say that the Samsung S7 edge has a very daft auto-correct. Every time I write “don’t”, it auto corrects it to “don’The” or something like that. Makes it very hard. Unfortunately my Asus Zenfone 2 proved to be unequal to handing our concrete floor as many times as I’d like. But I miss it.

        • dukeofurl 2.1.1.1

          Try changing the number characters it uses to suggest other choices, the default is 3 which gives silly choices , up that to 4 or 5

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          I found SwiftKey quite good when I was using it on my S2. I’ve been considering putting it on my new Nexus as I’m not fond of the Google keyboard so far.

          • lprent 2.1.1.2.1

            I will try it out. Bad enough writing on cellphone without the damn thing being as helpful as a troll explaining the implication of polling systems.

            • ropata 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I’ve turned off autocorrect completely as it messes up Kiwi phrases and places all the time. Auto-suggest is still useful though (words floating above the keyboard — on iOS)

        • Doogs 2.1.1.3

          Instead, try an iPhone 6

    • Pat 2.2

      assume you were the culprit….thanks for the fix

    • Anne 2.3

      I wonder if the pay-off cheques go directly into their bank accounts or whether they are laundered first through a trust account. Is the Waitemata Trust – or a derivative thereof – still operating?

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0609/S00262.htm

    • rhinocrates 2.4

      Please don’t be unkind to parrots. It has been repeatedly proven that parrots are very intelligent and capable of abstract thought. Indeed, I’d much rather have a Kea or an African Grey in parliament than the likes of Leggett. Possibly even a Norwegian Blue (deceased).

    • Sam C 2.5

      Hopefully Labour will employ you as their next campaign strategist, LPrent,

      Annette King for PM! No dead wood in Labour, eh?

    • The Lone Haranguer 2.6

      Iprent, are you implying that there arent pockets deep enough inside the NZLP for the party to be as effective at MP regeneration as there are in the Nats?

      Or is more of a case that the deep pockets within NZLP are maybe more to the centre, and therefore not trying to “reposition/relocate certain centralist MPs that seem to be the bane of many commenters on here?

  3. michelle 3

    Leggett is a joke he couldn’t win the Wellington mayoralty and now he has jumped ship to the Tories so great is his desire for power he can change his political leanings. This is a man that came from Porirua where there is poverty, homelessness and Rheumatic fever and the tories polices are showing the damage they can do to poorer communities. He is a hypocrite and power hungry and with these qualities he should fit in well with his new party. He has deserted the very people he once represented and now claiming Labour are too far to the left sounds like a Tuis ad.

    • Guerilla Surgeon 3.1

      Yeah well there’s Porirua and Porirua if you get my meaning. A number of reasonably wealthy enclaves around that area. So I’d love to know exactly where he was born/made.

      • michelle 3.1.1

        I didn’t say he was born there Guerilla he was the Mayor advocating for the people. Labour and National HNZ created the state house ghettos these two parties allocated these flats to Maori, PI and poor Pakeha whanau. Now they want to knock them all down and build flash new houses but for who, not the same people that lived in these slums. This is the gnats new pepper potting racist policy of HNZ . Who has been disadvantaged by the state the most the very group suppose to help people has actually harmed them at the same time who were initially employed by the state primarily Pakeha and many English people came here in the 50s and 60s and got these jobs and continued to practice discriminative and racist policies. ( allocation of housing) Many Maori were placed in these state created ghettos. How do I know, I was placed in a ghetto area and I refused to live there and then I was stood down for 6 months and offered another place in another ghetto area. Now the lands in the Hutt Valley sits vacant National are waiting to see if they get back in so they can sell this land to developers.

        • Roflcopter 3.1.1.1

          Now they want to knock them all down and build flash new houses but for who, not the same people that lived in these slums.

          Incorrect, and in fact if you travel further round Waitangirua you’ll see loads of brand spanking new places housing exactly the same people that were there before.

          Don’t believe everything you see in the news.

          • michelle 3.1.1.1.1

            roflcopter I was a HNZ tenant for 20yrs we ( Maori) got allocated housing in the ghettos the houses that were dumps and who allocated them not Maori as not many Maori had state jobs back then. Most of state ghettos have been knocked down in the Hutt Valley waiting for our govt to do something.
            Waitangarua use to be a nice area 40 years ago we use to go to Natone Park to watch League its been run down with the state housing ghettos same with cannons creek. Also I don’t believe anything I see in the media as NZ media are bias and one sided.

        • Guerilla Surgeon 3.1.1.2

          I was actually commenting on his T-shirt.

      • Phil 3.1.2

        Yeah well there’s Porirua and Porirua if you get my meaning. A number of reasonably wealthy enclaves around that area.

        I’m in one of those enclaves, Aotea, and the massive growth in high-value residential building in the Aotea/Whitby part of the seat, along with the gentrification underway in Titahi Bay (it’s one of the more attractive ‘affordable’ Wellington suburbs for first home buyers) is probably very encouraging for National.

        I recall from some analysis on booth-by-booth results (from the 2010 by-election and subsequent general’s) that National tends to rack up wins across the whole electorate, winning most booths, but gets swamped by overwhelming support for Labour in the Cannons Creek part of the electorate. In 2014, National narrowly won the party vote but Parata was soundly rejected as the local candidate.

        Leggett seems to be viewed reasonably favorably in Porirua City, certainly far more so than Parata, so i’d say he’s got a reasonable chance of pushing Kris Faafoi quite hard.

        • michelle 3.1.2.1

          Leggett legged it to the gnats I hope he does as well as he did in the Wgtn mayoralty race

        • swordfish 3.1.2.2

          “I recall from some analysis on booth-by-booth results (from the 2010 by-election and subsequent general’s) that National tends to rack up wins across the whole electorate, winning most booths, but gets swamped by overwhelming support for Labour in the Cannons Creek part of the electorate. In 2014, National narrowly won the party vote but Parata was soundly rejected as the local candidate.”

          Let’s start with the 2010 Mana By-Election (the topic that prompted me to start commenting on The Standard back in the day). What you’re recalling here is, in fact, David Farrar’s post-by-election spin. In a series of posts, he left the clear impression that National’s Parata won virtually every booth or suburb except for the big Labour stronghold of Cannons Creek. And used this alleged fact to somehow undermine Fa’afoi’s legitimacy. I demolished that argument in a detailed comment on the now defunct Red Alert blog (unfortunately their posts now appear to be inaccessible).

          Labour’s Fa’afoi won (from memory) just over half of the individual suburbs at the 2010 By-Election. Yes, he won overwhelmingly in the Labour heartland of Cannons Creek and the other Eastern Porirua suburbs and that certainly pushed him over the line. But, by the same token, National’s Parata won overwhelmingly in the large Blue Stronghold of Whitby … so, I mean, so what ? Are the votes of Eastern Porirua illegitimate because they’re poor, brown and Labour, while the votes of affluent, white Tory-voting northern suburbs like Whitby are the only bona fide ones ???

          In terms of the subsequent General Election results in Mana – it’s important to remember that, under MMP, which individual Party “wins” a booth / suburb / electorate isn’t necessarily all that important. It’s the relative performance of the Party Blocs that count.

          In 2011, of the 47 booths within the Mana Electorate, the Nats won 22, Labour won 23 and the Greens won both the 2 Paekakariki booths (Party-Vote).

          Lab + Green, however, beat National in 6 of the 22 booths where the Nats had prevailed as the most popular individual Party. So, L+G beat Nats in 31 of the 47 booths in 2011.

          In 2014, of the 48 booths within the Mana Electorate, the Nats won 24, Labour won 22 and the Greens, once again, won the 2 Paekakariki booths (Party-Vote).

          And Lab + Green, once again, came out ahead of National in 6 of the 24 booths where the Nats had prevailed as the most popular individual Party. So, L+G beat Nats in 30 of the 48 booths in 2014.

          Just doesn’t tally with this mythology that Labour and the Left only do well in dear old Cannons Creek (where there are only 4 booths !!!)..

          • Sacha 3.1.2.2.1

            “Are the votes of Eastern Porirua illegitimate because they’re poor, brown and Labour, while the votes of affluent, white Tory-voting northern suburbs like Whitby are the only bona fide ones ?”

            Indeed. One doesn’t want the wrong sort of dame turning up for one’s princess party.

  4. inspider 4

    Or to put it another way:

    Look! Over there; a tui! Yes it really is one. No truly, a tui with beautiful plumage. Look I tell you, over here, no not over there at that raggedy poll-ly. Who would be interested in an ugly poll-ly, especially a rouge one , when there is this nice shiny tui singing in a tree over there…see…look…please…

  5. Morrissey 5

    Good riddance.

  6. cohesion 6

    Nothing to worry about. The Labour Party can always count on the support of the sane Greens.

    • alwyn 6.1

      “sane Greens”.
      Now there is a perfect example of an oxymoron.

      • garibaldi 6.1.1

        Yes alwyn, sane Greens. We have been pushing recognition of CC since the seventies( when we were the Values Party) and you ‘smart’ bastards never listened, and you still don’t. Now that the world is doomed because of CC
        you might like to reconsider your attitude to the ‘sanity’ of our current path.

      • KJT 6.1.2

        Unlike “sane” National.
        Who think that truth, is optional,
        Science is a matter of opinion,
        And responded to the Paris agreement by selling more oil exploration licenses.

        • alwyn 6.1.2.1

          “Science is a matter of opinion”
          Do you mean that they follow the Green Party MPs lines?
          Fluoride will poison you?
          1080 will destroy New Zealand birdlife?
          GM food will poison you?
          Homeopathy is an effective medical treatment?
          And as a Green MP we should be able to live anywhere in New Zealand we please rather than move to Wellington where our job is and travel backwards and forwards, several times a week, to somewhere where we like the climate?

  7. tc 7

    Progress of sorts.
    Normally they stay a few terms sniping away and taking cues from their tory handlers with sinecures after they leave a la shane jones.

  8. James Thrace 8

    Round these parts his billboards were defaced with the wonderful moniker of “Dick Faggett”

  9. Nessalt 9

    Can just imagine parliamentary labour coming down on the labour wellington election committee meeting,

    “Hi Team, as we are the best labour has to offer here is what we say. Justin stands, everyone else stands aside. If you don’t like it, you aren’t true labour and you aren’t allowed to do anything except leave because rules.”

    DEMOCRACY!!!

    • Sigh 9.1

      Um, MPs don’t have a say on selections. It’s a local democratic decision by members. Leggett chose not to stand.

  10. rhinocrates 10

    Mallard, Robertson, Hipkins, Shearer, Parker, Nash, Sio, King… If only. Deadwood, parasites or in the wrong party (or all three).

    • garibaldi 10.1

      Trouble is most of the caucus are deadwood, and that, imo, is the big problem in Labour.

      • rhinocrates 10.1.1

        It’s a pretty uninspiring lot, for sure.

        Labour needs to attract new talent and it’s putting them off by showing repeatedly just what qualities earn a promotion and which will get you sidelined.

        Meanwhile Little’s indecisive and is hamstrung with appeasing the prima donna neoliberals than creating an alternative government anyone wants to vote for.

  11. DoublePlusGood 11

    But can Labour clear their decks of dead wood? Only Goff has bailed so far, yes?

    • Does it count as bailing to move into one of the three big mayoralty jobs? It’s more like a move sideways IMO.

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        3rd most powerful role in NZ.

        • Mayor of Auckland? Not really. I’d argue that at least, say, Attorney General ranks above that.

          It’s an important role, but it’s not just below the finance minister. It’s certainly more important than being a minister outside cabinet, though.

    • alwyn 11.2

      Cunliffe has also got the message as well. Took a while of being ignored by Little but he has said he will quit sometime next year.
      I have read he will not resign until it is within 6 months of the next General Election, so that no by election need be held. I presume that if National go along with that Labour will lose a vote in the house and National/ACT will then hold half the votes and even a combination of all the other parties would not be able to force anything through Parliament.

      Cosgrove is also out the door.

      Now if they can then get rid of deadwood Little, King, Robertson, Twyford, Ardern, Hipkins, Davis, Sepuloni, Clark, Woods, Parker, Mahuta and another 18 or so they would probably end up with a reasonable caucus.

      • Zid 11.2.1

        couldn’t do any worse….

      • Leftie 11.2.2

        What makes you think Little ignored Cunliffe?

      • gnomic 11.2.3

        Hahaha. Most amusing. But doesn’t this critique apply to 95% of the ‘National’ caucus as well? Plenty of unamusing clowns there, incapable dolts to boot. From the Prime Weasel down. As for Blinglish, he should be ashamed, but of course he is a senior National government operator so the concept of conscience went long ago. Too bad the country and the citizenry at large will have to pay down the track. Not a problem for the fully vested in the short term, sad for the grandchildren. Is this the government NZ deserves? A sad fate if so.

        Anybody else concerned for the fate of the skinks? I saw one today for a brief moment. Much more interesting than most human politicians.

  12. save nz 12

    Great to see Little clearing out the dead wood in Labour as well! Good Riddance to Leggett (but at least he has the guts to show his true colours and get the hell out of there!)

    May more right wing dead wood careerists from Labour be removed! I don’t think Labour supporters will find it embarrassing – I think they will celebrate the removal of Blairite Nat Lite’s from the party.

    Would love to see Nash go, but he’ll probably cling on to power even though he’s in the wrong party.

    • Stunned Mullet 12.1

      Isn’t Nash an electorate MP ? I’d be very surprised if Labour party caucus wanted him to go.

      • Siobhan 12.1.1

        I think its a real shame that Caniwi executive chairman Troy Bowker didn’t set up a new political party headed by Mr Nash.
        That way Nash and his friends could come out of the political closet and stand tall and proud of their Centrist Neo Liberal philosophies.
        I’m sure they would be a lot happier painting their billboards a nice beige rather than Red.
        And then we could all move on with a Labour Party that isn’t constantly trying to hobble itself in fear that it’s looking too ‘Leftie”.

        • Sam C 12.1.1.1

          neoliberal blah blah blah…

          • Siobhan 12.1.1.1.1

            Interesting.
            Am I to take it that you consider neo liberal to be a boring description?
            Are you offended as you realise ‘Neo Liberal’ has a rather unpleasant connotation these days??
            Or are you tired of hearing the word?
            Well, aren’t we all. If only they would take their flawed ideology and frik off we would all be alot happier.

          • Red 12.1.1.1.2

            Don’t forget “binary” binary this binary that, latest lefty high brow word of the year

      • save nz 12.1.2

        Nash might have got an electorate by having the right vote split, but some of his views are so disgusting (think back to his rant of the daily blog) that he’s probably haemorrhaging Labour party votes around the rest of the country.

      • Craig H 12.1.3

        Almost all Labour MPs are electorate MPs (including Nash), and are usually very popular with their local electorate committee, so getting rid of them is quite hard.

    • Yes ,…. yes,… a purge. A purge is what is needed,… yes.. a purge.

      And its starting , after 32 years of neo liberal dishonesty , it appears the purging of these cancers is… just starting. Let them go ,… preferably to ACT where they can be obliterated in the polls. Though possibly better in National to deny support party’s and to further wreak destruction among their ranks.

    • Leggett wasn’t Labour-aligned in the Wellington mayoral race. He was a National-lite candidate running as an independent, (most right-wing candidates run as independents because of the relative strength of the Labour and Green parties in local politics) against a National-strong candidate running as an independent and a Labour candidate.

      • alwyn 12.3.1

        “most right-wing candidates run as independents “.
        Really? And I suppose you will tell us the left wing candidates run under their Party banners?
        Goff, for example? Perhaps you mean Dalziel? Perhaps Wellington’s ex-mayor Wade-Brown?
        Funny that they all claimed to be “independents” isn’t it?

        • I was talking about in Wellington, apologies for not mentioning it, where the only parties anyone aligns with are Labour and the Greens. There are independents on the left, too, because some people genuinely are independents, it’s just very interesting that nobody actually wants to form an organisation that endorses any of the right-wing candidates in Welly.

          Wade-Brown was a Green supporter and former member, she just wasn’t endorsed by the party officially so she ran as an independent. I imagine had she given the Green Party enough notice to field their own candidate, it’s entirely possible we might have a Green-aligned mayor in Wellington again.

          • alwyn 12.3.1.1.1

            ” where the only parties anyone aligns with are Labour and the Greens.”
            Really? I suspect you mean “All my friends say they vote Labour or Green”.

            I may be wrong but as far as I can remember this was the first time for about 40 years that people ran for the council and specifically claimed to be representing the Labour Party.
            The last Mayor I can remember who did so was Frank Kitts who was Mayor from 1956 to 1974. Nobody else from the left since then claimed to be a Labour candidate until Lester came along.

  13. The Real Matthew 13

    Given recent poll results Labour may also be heading for a clean out at the next election albeit an enforced one.

    The reason why National does this so effectively is because their candidates have value outside of parliament and can take up high paying positions. Too many Labour politicians are life long politicians and have nothing to go to if parliament doesn’t work out to them.

    • Except that’s not how clean-outs work, because generally clean-outs are when higher-ranked MPs jump or are pushed out of politics. Labour would need to fall at least another 10% for any of the people who need to be cleaned out to go by pure virtue of low polling, and even then, some of them have electorates to keep them in Parliament.

    • KJT 13.2

      Their candidates have can get high paid sinecures’ outside of Parliament, despite their lack of competence, due to the old boys club. Fixed it for you
      Watch totally incompetent people like Parata get work in some high paid commission, or directorships in Charter school scams

  14. halfcrown 14

    To paraphrase Muldoon.

    “It will increase the IQ of both parties”

  15. RRM 15

    Speaking of “clearing the decks”… what about that Roy Morgan eh?

    Labour 23%, Nat 49.5%

    That’s 1 list MP for Labour…
    Little survives by the skin of his teeth…
    Mallard GONE…
    “Future PM” Jacinda GONE…

    On Kiwiblog we’re calling Andy Little “Gravedigger”, cause he’s digging Labour’s grave for sure!

    To think that I voted for the Clark/Cullen govt every time they stood. How far Lab has fallen…

    • Yeah, this does seem to reinforce that their earlier jump to 48% wasn’t rogue, although I expect as usual Colmar-Brunton is overstating support for the National Party when they had them polling at 50%.

      What is disturbing is that once I plugged in the most recent RM and CB results is that for the first time in 2016, based on polling trends, it now looks like National is expected to squeak into government and the backs of ACT and UF: http://tinyurl.com/hb6vdl4 (that’s what happens if the trend from polling as of today is accurate)

      That could change and we could return to the previous status-quo of NZF deciding the election. Or, of course, they could be off by a significant margin in National’s favour and we end up with NZF deciding again. Neither are particularly great outcomes, so Little, Turei and Shaw have some serious campaigning to do.

      In reality this is likely just a publicity bump because there hadn’t yet been any particularly negative post-Kaikoura Quake stories, and most governments get a bump after a natural disaster because they’re automatically assumed to have handled it well. This may tail off a bit next month, so I wouldn’t entirely panic yet as this may be a temporary bump rather than a permanent trend. Let’s wait for the December polls. By this time next year I expect that the Government may be paying for their bump right now with negative news coverage of how they handled things like repairing the road.

      Edit: oh, you’re coming from the sewer. Yeah, Labour is pretty uninspiring, but that’s no excuse to hang out on kiwiblog. You should vote for the Greens instead 😛

      • Leftie 15.1.1

        If you want the Greens in government, Labour has to cross the line. Just sayin’.

        • Actually, the Greens are more likely to get an additional seat from your Party Vote, being the smaller party right now, due to the way our Saint Lague distribution algorithm works being slightly more generous to smaller parties.

          And what matters is that the Greens and Labour need to cross the line together. You can do that with a larger Labour party, or with a larger Green party, it’s down to your particular values which one is better. I don’t want to stop Labour supporters from voting, but in terms of attracting new voters or demotivated voters back into the fold, I’d far prefer they go to the Greens than to Labour.

          And everyone who wants Green policies more than Labour policies (or I suppose, vice-versa for Labour) should be voting for the Greens, as we have seen before that having a large Labour party and a smaller Green party can lead to Labour having to push the Greens out of government.

    • Ad 15.2

      If those poll number don’t make the hairs on the arms stand up on the many lackluster Labour MPs to make them work to Labour’s polling numbers, then they deserve to be gone.

      The number of Labour MPs that have hung in there too long, way too long, and held the party back, gives me absolutely no sympathy for them if they are truly put to the sword in 2017.

  16. cohesion 16

    The problem is the lack of renovation in Labour ranks: when will we see the day the likes of Curran, Mahuta, Fenton, King, Mallard, Dyson, etc are no longer selected as candidates? Until then the polls will not improve.

  17. wellfedweta 17

    I admire the work Andrew Little is doing, because he is following a track he genuinely believes in, and it shows he is a man of principle. The problem, however, is that he is taking Labour in a direction that is rendering it unelectable, and the polls are showing that. When Shearer was dropped as leader, Labour was polling around 10% higher than where they are in the latest poll (http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7061-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-november-2016-201611301845). That is simply an indication that NZ has rejected the policies Little is pursuing, and is the reason people like Nick Leggett is jumping ship.

    It also strikes me as astonishing that Labour can’t see this. For all their profile and years in parliament, the highest % vote the Greens have ever achieved is 11.06% in 2011. Their average % vote over those 6 elections is 7.7%. Yet that is the direction Labour are moving toward.

    Meanwhile, National have eschewed the right (deliberately leaving it to Act), and moved unashamedly to the centre, even implementing/retaining centre left policy settings (WFF etc).

    Many here may be glad to see the back of the likes of Leggett, but the reality is Labour is dying a death by 1000 cuts.

    • What work exactly is Little doing?

      Legett is inconsequential. I have no time to care about what the investor class thinks of Labour.

      National have not abandoned the Right. What they have abandoned, largely, is the social conservative section of their base, with just a few holdouts like Joyce and Collins waiting in the wings to try and seize the Party back for them. This is probably part of New Zealand First’s popularity- it’s easy for them to seize soft centrist conservatives off National and Labour both, because the big parties have realised the truth that New Zealand is a comparatively liberal nation, even though we want to see proof that liberal policies are needed before we support them.

      National still supports right-wing economic policies, in fact they don’t have any other type of economic policy. The only things worth spending on are subsidies for business, everything else needs to make economies, and once we have a paper surplus it should be returned back in tax cuts that favour the wealthy.

      I don’t think it’s so much that New Zealand has rejected Labour’s policies as that they’ve rejected the current crop of Labour MPs, who they view as out of touch and disunified. Little has quieted the latter criticism to some degree, but Labour needs to come up with a convincing and positive campaign if it wants to govern, as this is the second election they’ve had that’s theirs to win if they try, and they’re not very convincing yet. Voter turnout suggests that very few voters have actually converted to National as such, it’s more that they’ve picked up some more of the soft support than they had under Clark, and that Labour’s core voters are demotivated and not turning out because they don’t believe the party will have solutions.

      • wellfedweta 17.1.1

        “National still supports right-wing economic policies”

        Not really. If they did they would have dismantled Working for Families, not increased benefit levels, not increased health and education spending, made further reductions to tax, not borrowed to see the economy through the GFC etc etc.

        “Voter turnout suggests that very few voters have actually converted to National as such…”

        That’s incorrect.

        In the last three elections, the swings to National have been 5.83% (2008), 2.38% (2011), -0.28% (2014). That shows real voter preference change, particularly given that during that period Labour’s share of the vote chnaged by -7.11% (2008), -6.51% (2011), -2.35% (2014).

        “I don’t think it’s so much that New Zealand has rejected Labour’s policies as that they’ve rejected the current crop of Labour MPs”

        By ‘current’ you must mean the MP’s and leadership over the past 3 elections, based on the numbers above. And now, with the leader pursuing policies you seem to support, their polling is plummeting further.

        • 1) Benefit increases are indeed a left-wing policy, (WFF is more arguable, as wage subsidies, which is what WFF is, are pretty centrist) however those dead rats that National has swallowed to remain electable are miniscule dents in economic policy compared to large tax cuts for the wealthy, reduced real government spending in most areas of government, (National has increased spending for most departments in dollar figures, but in most cases it is below the rate of inflation, thus in real terms it is a cut) and has borrowed tremendously to pay for its tax cuts after starving the country during the recovery from recession, which was largely driven by earthquake repairs. In short, they have been terrible for the economy and were actually quite lucky that they had an earthquake to recover from which let them drain the National Disaster Fund as a stimulus to overcompensate for their ridiculous Hoover-style economic policies.

          2) You’re talking about relative swing percentages, ie. the change in what percentage of voters picked National. If you look instead at the number of votes in each election, it paints a picture of National gaining a relatively small amount of support, and previous Labour supporters staying at home, or perhaps to a degree jumping ship to the Greens. Turnout is relevant to analysing election results.

          Please stop trying to imply I support Labour. I’m a long-time poster here and have been clear for years now that I vote for the Greens, (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it to you specifically recently, in fact) however I do talk about the relative records of Labour and National as well, (essentially because right now, Labour is required for the Greens to get into government) as of the two, Labour is better, not that such a statement is exactly a ringing endorsement given the low implied standard.

          • wellfedweta 17.1.1.1.1

            1. There have been no ‘large cuts for the wealthy’, and government spending has increased since 2008.

            2. I referred to the swing in votes because you asserted very few voters have changed to National. That is demonstrably incorrect.

            3. I didn’t imply you support Labour. I have posted elsewhere that Labour is now pursuing policies closer to the Greens, which have seen the Greens share of the vote parlous, despite all their years in Parliament.

        • James Thrace 17.1.1.2

          It’s the long con strategy being utilised by National. Merkel’s Germany has been doing it to good effect.

          How to do the long con.

          1) Soften up the electorate as much as you can whilst retaining as many of the core policy settings that enable society to function (even while cutting funding left right and centre). This means temporarily swallow the dead rats.

          2) Make the same soothing noises each time so as not to spook the horses.

          3) Utilise the lack of MMP understanding to your advantage knowing that by and large, most voters don’t really care about the ins and outs. It suits National for voters to just know the ‘high level’ overview which is “vote for this party, and vote for that person”.

          4) Incrementally, and surely, keep hammering home the same message of being “sound economic managers” and portraying the opposition as a bunch of inept muppets.

          5) Constantly belittle any brainfart or policy ideas that erupt from those quarters.

          5) Make any issues that crop up during your governing period anyone else’s fault but your own. Blame your support parties. Sheet home all responsibility to them (RMA delays = blame Maori party, Party Drug/Marijuana issues = blame Peter Dunne)

          Once achieved:

          Finally, once the electorate is softened up and all the ducks are in a row, go hard.

          Sell one message, and one message only.

          Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

          Play to peoples wallets because 9 years of constant tax rises means people are poorer. Everyone is sick of hearing the same things – housing crisis, bad water etc.

          Tax cuts, tax cuts tax cuts.

          The majority do not care. The majority want more money to continue to obtain the things to buy to make their miserable existence somewhat better.

          Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

          The majority listen, their ears perk up. More money say they! More money indeed say National.

          Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

          9 years in power with constrained control in order to keep selling yourself as the “long term” government is nothing. All people hear are tax cuts. No one hears anything else. All talk of “30 new taxes since 2008” is ignored.

          Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

          Overwhelmingly, the majority will vote for what’s good for their wallets. 9 long years of constantly struggling to get by and seeing more of your pay disappear each week means tax cuts will be a boon..

          Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

          The opposition decries, “no, we can’t afford”. Shut up say the proletariat ‘You’re not the government, how do you know what we can afford. That John Key is such a nice guy’

          Election day looms near. The repeated mantra of ‘tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts’ has assumed a soothing quality to the soma’d masses. No one wants to be a Delta, or an Epsilon. We all want to be Betas. Only the best can be Alphas. Being a Gamma wouldn’t be too bad, but a Beta is better. Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

          Election day itself

          Party vote “tax cuts” say the masses. The dutiful tick goes to the party with the right message.

          After 9 long years of softening up the hoi polloi, the governing party is returned with an outright majority. Too late, the people awaken. The look of horror is abject. The next three years is a selloff. Too late, the damage is done, the plan is to be carried out. The bankers and merchant men took over the country.

          New Zealand. The greatest experimental country for neo-liberalism since, well, ever.

          • Red 17.1.1.2.1

            Only if the poor dumb electorate where as insightful, enlightened and as intelligent as you James to see what you see and understand, alternatively they could just smoke what ever your smoking

            • James Thrace 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes indeed there Red. If only.

              Unfortunately, I don’t hold much hope for the electorate at large. Disengagement with the political process is high.

              The number one source of news for the common man is Facebook.

              News exists in an echochamber online these days. What people see on facebook is what is peddled by their browsing habits. Browse dumb, see dumb.

              Never mind, the enlightened, intelligent and foresightful aquarian that I am, I’m used to be constantly mocked, derided and outcast by those such as yourself in the short term, with the long term prediction always being the correct outcome. 16 Months ago when Trump first entered the race, I was mocked and derided for even daring to voice the opinion that he would win. At least that bet paid off handsomely at 20:1.

              Those blinkers you wear? Take them off sometime. Have less faith in people. That’s the reality we live in now.

              • James Thrace

                Right on cue

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11758511

                Belittle and pass comment on your oppo to make them look inept, no matter the outcome. #4

              • ropata

                Nice thinking JT. I wouldn’t expect a shallow dipshit like Red to understand your insightful comment. NZ is full of such addled lackwits who think politics is a horse race and want to be on the “winning” team. Thinking through policy implications is not something they can do. This is where the media have really dropped the ball IMHO.

                If we had a decent media, the stupidity and venality of the Gnats would be obvious to everyone. But it seems to be natural for reporters to forget context and critical thinking, and breathlessly report every burp issued from the mouths of the powerful.

                Read this Twitter thread for a worrying example

                1. This was the worst day of reporting on Trump since he started running for office. It's distressing.— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 1, 2016

          • wellfedweta 17.1.1.2.2

            …or…could you contemplate the possibility that rather than pursuing this ‘neo-liberalism’ you name but fail to define, NZ has for 30 years been pursuing sensible mixed market economics, that has given us one of the strongest economies on the planet, hence people continue to vote for that continued prescription. Keep believing NZ voters are all thick if you must.

            • KJT 17.1.1.2.2.1

              The right wing goal, growth has been considerably less than Australia over the last 30 years. A country which has not pursued the Neo-Liberal nirvana with the same enthusiasm as New Zealand.
              So the right wing have not succeeded, even in their own terms.

              In terms of quality of life for New Zealand, National have failed.
              I will never forgive National for the appearance of beggars on our streets. And both parties fir expanding poverty.
              That is not a sign of a “successful” country.

              • wellfedweta

                Beggars have been on our streets as long as I remember, back to the days when I worked in Shortland Street in Auckland City in the early 1980’s. NZ is not pursuing neo-liberal policies, we are a mixed market economy, as is Australia. And growth is not the only objective of current economic policy, and neither should it be. Economic policies over the past 30 years in NZ have delivered low unemployment, sustainable growth, cost stability and low debt. NZ compares excellently with other nations in terms of economic performance, and our quality of life is far superior than it was 30-35 years ago. That is reflected in the fact that NZ’ers have supported relatively similar economic policies from successive governments for over 30 years, only wavering when governments have started to deviate from those policies (as in the last period of the last Labour government).

                • KJT

                  A bulletin from planet Key.

                  “quality of life is far superior than it was 30-35 years ago”.

                  For who?

                  • wellfedweta

                    For most NZ’ers. That has been the case under both Labour and National governments.

                    I’m not a cheer leader for National, I’m arguing that the general economic direction followed by successive governments over the past 30 years has improved the standard of living of most NZ’ers. This is affirmed by the way most people vote.

                    • KJT

                      As the voters were never given a choice of any other direction, but the Neo-liberal option, by either party it is a bit hypocritical to claim public support.
                      70% against asset sales for example.

                    • KJT

                      As the voters were never given a choice of any other direction, but the Neo-liberal option, by either party, it is a bit hypocritical to claim public support.
                      70% against asset sales for example.

          • Leftie 17.1.1.2.3

            +100 James Thrace

          • Jenny Kirk 17.1.1.2.4

            + 100% James T.

            Yep – Labour needs to have a counter to the constant mantra of “tax cuts” ad nauseum.

    • framu 17.2

      “Meanwhile, National have eschewed the right (deliberately leaving it to Act), and moved unashamedly to the centre, even implementing/retaining centre left policy settings (WFF etc)”

      i bet you expect a maccas burger to look like the one on the menu

  18. Incognito 18

    I don’t know (about) Leggett but from the little I read & heard he is choosing stability and status quo over progress and change and that’s his choice and his right. No reason to get nasty or cut up about IMO. Nick Leggett is certainly not the only New Zealander who chooses the apparent security & safety of status quo.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11757918

  19. Dale 19

    All you have to do is look at the latest polls.
    Labour are toast.
    Time to face up the reality that the message they are sending is the wrong one.

    • KJT 19.1

      All it shows is the power of Nationals propoganda, and the ongoing effect of Labour MP’s who should be in ACT.

    • Pat 19.2

      I think the only thing we can take from recent polls is that there is either something very wrong with the polling methodology or the electorate is bi polar en masse……my guess is the former

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