Fare thee well

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 pm, November 9th, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: articles, helen clark, john key, labour - Tags:

Firstly I must say congratulations to the winners on the night, and sympathies to those who did not succeed. We may not hold politicians in high regard but they put themselves on the line.  The voting public have had their say and that, if nothing else, we must celebrate and respect. But for Labour the price has been high. It is the end of an era – and a time for both reflection and optimism for the future. Ian Lllewellyn said it well when he wrote:

…it was Miss Clark’s political and policy partnership with her deputy and finance minister Michael Cullen that built a legacy that is likely to stand the test of time. The introduction of Working for Families, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (also known as the Cullen Fund), Kiwibank, KiwiSaver and the renationalisation of the rail system all stand as a complete turn around of the policies of the 1990s.

It is a testament to the Clark/Cullen administration that the only way National leader John Key could win office was by promising to keep all of those institutions in place or tinkering with them at the edges.

Clark and Cullen have been a formidable team – the challenge for Labour is to create and support the next generation. Meantime we can look to the challenges ahead for Mr Key, as summarised by Steve Braunias:

The real John Key – assuming he exists – now has to stand up. He said he was ambitious for New Zealand; New Zealand, broke and vulnerable, is ambitious for John Key. He has been granted the opportunity of a lifetime.

And we will all be watching.

37 comments on “Fare thee well”

  1. John Dalley 1

    I look forward to Winston hanging around in politics and repaying Rodney, ACT needs to be removed from the 2011 equation and i welcome Winny getting his revenge.

  2. keith 2

    Michael Cullen, hands down, best finance minister ever.

  3. Vinsin 3

    To be honest John, i think Rodney and Act will destroy themselves. They’ve had the luxury of being the opposition shit chuckers for quite awhile now, when they actually have to do something I think the tide will turn very quickly, and then they might just drop off the map completely.

  4. TimeWarp 4

    Vinsin.. we now have Roger Douglas, who didn’t think the government should invest in much – or even steward that it had already invested in – in cahoots with a party that wants to spend $1.5 billion on fibre to the home. So yes, it will be very interesting to see what eventuates.

    Most of the supporters of that strategy have not thought it though enough that they are even likely to smartly point out to me that the plan is not for ownership and operation but co-investment with other parties.

    That not withstanding, it’s the ultimate in what KB reactionaries would label ‘marxism’ that the Nats in effective want to nationalise Telecom’s ownership of the copper local loop.

    Maybe National really has moved back to the centre, because we haven’t seen such generous largesse since “Think Big” todays. We haven’t seen the consequences, either.

    Principles, whether right or wrong, seem to have been sold out here. A coalition that doesn’t know what it’s principles could make for some challenging and interesting times!

  5. ken 5

    Both remarkable for their time served.

  6. SeaJay 6

    Hey Vinsin, I’m pretty sure the new Minister of Tourism will be able to wrangle the fractious bunch of goons he now sits around cabinet with. When in doubt he can trade them up and down as their values rise and fall. Oh the joy, the right have gone and ripped off this election with bullshit and jellybeans and we have the front seats to the coming tsunami of incompetence, mismanagement and ill suited solutions, 156 weeks of lightweight entertainment and real-time misery. Blog On.

  7. Lampie 7

    Ummm might be off subject here and already mentioned

    Did John Key thank his wife?

    TVNZ cut it short (which I didn’t think was good) and he may have at the end. Few ladies I’ve spoken were not impressed

  8. fiona 8

    With Clark gone, who to succeed her ? I am concerned that Goff, from the same political generation as Clark seems to be considered a strong contender. Doesn’t Labour need renewal? Who else?

  9. Janet 9

    There was an extremely good interview on Friday night on Alt TV with Helen and Oliver Driver. He said then it could be her last interview as PM and it had a completely different tone to the others – much more personal and gentle. Can someone put up a link to it?

    Maybe Oliver D will now do one with her on her analysis of the election and the future.

    I really hope Helen and Michael get a chance now to reveal a bit more about some of the nasty stuff thrown at them.

  10. Lampie 10

    Leadership between Goff and Cunliffe, Cosgrove dep.

  11. infused 11

    Yes Lampie, he did.

  12. Lampie 12

    Thanks infused, I see that in the Granny today, still thought she might be in the leading bunch of thank yous, wouldn’t you?

  13. higherstandard 13

    Lampie I would think that his family would have been the first he thanked after Helen phoned to concede.

    Unless you think he was too busy shouting them down to thank them 🙂

  14. Janet 14

    There is a great photo tribute to Helen Clark on the stuff website http://www.stuff.co.nz accompanied by her speech on Saturday night. Good tonic for us grieving Helen fans.

  15. Ianmac 15

    Nine Golden Years. Helen, Michael and Team,
    Thankyou!
    Thankyou!
    Thankyou!

  16. Lampie 16

    “Lampie I would think that his family would have been the first he thanked after Helen phoned to concede.

    Unless you think he was too busy shouting them down to thank them ”

    Think any good leader would thank them publicly wouldn’t you? Just called good manners as family would be important to a family man

  17. Dom 17

    I echo lanmacs sentiments and wish the Labour and Green MPs all the best – there are enough of them in Parliament to do some effective opposition work in the next three years.

    As for National and ACT and their allies, we’re going to get a soap opera akin to the 1996 fiasco.

    Anyone want to take bets on how soon we will:
    (a) get a newbie National MP doing something absolutely laughable (I give it 18 days)
    (b) see a breakdown in the ‘relationship’ between National, ACT and UF (a year)
    (c) Turia splits off a faction of the Maori Party to go with National when the others can no longer stomach the ACT fuelled effects of government (fifteen months)
    (d) Have the next election (2 years, three months)

  18. ak 18

    True, Ianmac, and those golden gains are cemented in for at least three years.

    Nothing to grieve about, Janet: Helen Clark’s place in history as one of our greatest ever PMs is assured. She has endured more than most over a stellar career, selflessly given her all, and achieved real and enduring succour and life-improvement for hundreds of thousands of our citizens. Not often I agree with the cretinous Hooton, but his comment that her greatest achievement has been to force National to the left is not far off the mark.

    After a cruel and bruising couple of years at the hands of a misogynistic moronity and our braying gaggle of self-appointed media commentators and “celebrities”, Helen will now enjoy her well-deserved reward and in the process continue to enhance our proud reputation as a world leader in all that matters.

    Meanwhile, the domestic political entertainment will be delicious: when the honeymoon is cut short by the tsunami of economic gloom on the near horizon and our gawping fourth-former is no longer bathed in the adulation which comprises his sole motivation, sparks will fly. And Douglas will be gleefully standing by with a can of benzine. I just hope the Maori Party has the sense to keep a prudent distance.

    Thank you, Standardistas: keep up the good work.

  19. Janet 19

    There was a poll on one of the websites about whether people were happy with their vote or later regretted it. A surprisingly high number regretted theirs. I wonder if they are the people who voted for mild change, or the smiling Mr Key, but didn’t count on the strong Act influence on government. Or those who voted Green in their electorate vote and the Labour candidate lost (there were many seats when the Green vote was bigger than the gap between National and Labour eg Auckland Central).

  20. its the “tinkering with them at the edges” that worries me…

    Did anyone see tv1’s montage/story on Helen last night? The bastards just couldnt let her leave on a high. Disgusting media.

  21. insider 21

    what are we going to talk about now…?

    Janet

    Could be all those NZF and Greens voters that saw their influence evaporate

  22. Daveski 22

    One comment about the list of Labour achievements – we all know I’m no Jim Anderton apostle but it must be frustrating to him that Labour has garnered all the kudos for Kiwibank.

    It is certainly notable that Helen is held in high regard across the spectrum. JK has impressed me with his inclusive approach and the way in which he has also acknowledged her skills and contribution, even allowing for the political divide.

    There was a risk that the Nats in their enthusiasm to get out of opposition would create resentment but perhaps the economic reality has tempered their obvious enthusiasm. Likewise, Key seems intent on building a range of partnerships with a view to 2011.

    Which obviously brings us to the new political landscape. No HC, MC, or Winston First. The MP is trying to position itself as independent of both Labour and National.

    The Greens – while obviously disappointed – still grew their support among the carnage.

    I’ll be fascinated to see the comments about the shape of the Left to come, particularly from SP. While it’s early, there are real issues for Labour to address – not about policy but about carving their place in the new landscape.

    We shall live in interesting times.

  23. forgetaboutthelastone 23

    leftrightout –

    yeah i saw that – i was disgusted and outraged. Some discussion of it here:

    National Spinners

  24. forgetaboutthelastone 24

    whoops!

  25. Dom 25

    The Green voters who double ticked didn’t vote smartly at all. I know several in various electorates who did that and botched their party’s chances to have a larger voice in Parliament.

  26. Daveski 26

    Dom

    I also heard similar comments eg Auckland Central. Likewise, it would seem that Labour votes weren’t engaged in the same way that the centre right was and many stayed at home

    Sorry, don’t have the stats but heard the comment on Nat Radio this am.

  27. Janet 27

    Insider
    What are we going to talk about now?

    So many things to watch.
    Amending the huge and significant 1989 Education Act, to allow for national testing of kids to be rushed through before Xmas. Bringing testing in next year while reducing compliance requirements for schools AND reducing Ministry of Ed so called bureaucracy.

    Trying to do so much contradictory stuff will be something worth watching.

  28. Patrick 28

    Sorry this is off-topic, but any idea when the next Drinking Liberally Wellington will be?

    Lets hope it doesn’t take the left too long to pick up the pieces and form a strong opposition.

  29. Mark M 29

    I note the comments about the negativity of respondents on Kiwiblog which is correct.
    However the comments on this thread are equally bitter and twisted including one by AK which seems to relish the economic disaster looming because it might reflect badly on John Key.

    Sad , very sad

  30. higherstandard 30

    Mark

    Don’t worry about ak – just a very bitter nasty piece of work.

  31. lprent 31

    Patrick: My mailbox is full of stuff related to DL Auckland. So I would expect activity shortly.

  32. r0b 32

    ak – thanks for your kind words in a thread just before the election, and thanks too for your heartfelt and excellent contributions here.

    I’m in complete agreement with you re Helen. A class act from start to finish. Her place in history as one of our great PMs is secure, and the clean break she has made was classic Helen, firm, decisive, no nonsense. We’re going to miss her, and Michael Cullen too. What a team,

    Speaking of fare wells, I’m not going to be about here so much for a few months. I’m shortly off overseas in circumstances that will leave me with infrequent internet access. I might be popping up occasionally, but not as regularly as in the past. I think that The Standard is going to have an important role to play in the years ahead however, and I look forward to participating – I’ll be back.

    Go well friends.

  33. Billy 33

    I’m not going to be about here so much for a few months.

    I’m sorry to hear that. I will miss you, you old commie.

  34. ak 34

    Thanks r0b and all the best, contemplating something similar myself, look forward to your return.
    Zai jian (just guessing)

  35. Chess Player 35

    Cheers r0b, enjoy your trip,

    Presumably you have sufficient carbon credits in the bank to counteract your environmental impact from flying?

  36. s ryan 36

    while i grew up reading lots of stuff about social justice and my forefathers were indeed men of the wig i recently discoverd to my horror that there is thing called double entry book keeping.now unless someone has a model for the transfer of money that does not involve the exchange of good and services then im afraid the impervatives of the market will prevail longer after the regulation of the money system is attempted yet again. if you want goods and services for no money then create the system. even doctor cullen was unable to create a new order and make it work. im afraid the coming deficits are going speak for themselves im afraid.

  37. r0b 37

    Billy: I’m sorry to hear that. I will miss you, you old commie.

    Don’t worry you young fascist, it’s still a while before I leave, and I’ll be back. Wouldn’t want to miss holding this new government to account.

    ak – close. Pottu varan.

    CP – I’ll take a wild guess that I’ve planted more trees than you! But you’re right, I need to look in to that.

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    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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