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Fear is a Man’s Best Friend

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, March 17th, 2016 - 141 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, Andrew Little, campaigning, democratic participation, Dirty Politics, election 2017, greens, labour, leadership, maori party, Media, nz first, Politics - Tags: , ,

It’s been an intense day or two for Andrew Little. An off the cuff response to an innocuous question from a small local paper journo has got a lot of Labour Party haters in a froth. But why?

Obviously, it’s not because he said something offensive. He didn’t.

It’s not because he lied. He didn’t lie.

It’s not because he prevaricated or tried to change the subject. He didn’t point at a shiny object or say “Look over there. A flag/panda/jihadi bride!”

Nope. Andrew Little is being dealt to by the usual suspects of the lying right and the infantile left because he has an obvious character fault.

He’s honest.

Andrew Little actually says what he believes to be true and answers questions accurately. He’s not a consummate liar. He doesn’t have a well paid dirty tricks squad seeding the media with talking points and provocations. He’s his own man and he is painfully straight. Paaaainfully straight. It’s not in him to bullshit.

Perhaps that makes him unfit to lead the country.

We’ve obviously gotten used to a much lower standard of leadership in recent years. Perhaps we’ll never get back to expecting our politicians to tell us the truth. But if we vote in a progressive coalition at the next general election, at least we’ll have the opportunity to find out what honest, sincere leadership looks like.

So why are the haters, even the ones who claim to want National gone, climbing into him?

Fear.

Andrew Little has turned the Labour Party around. The caucus are working collectively within and without. Labour are quietly building good relationships with the two prospective coalition partners. The third potential partner, the Maori party, are also leaning toward a change of direction, or so I’m told.

Fear.

The thought that the Key Government is going to collapse under the weight of its own bullshit is driving Key and his acolytes to personal attacks on a man on whom they can find no dirt. It’s driving them nuts that he is succeeding where Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe could not.

Fear.

The thought of a left wing lead Labour Party achieving power is anathema to some who claim to be lefties, too. The most obvious characteristic of these folk is their inability to work collectively. That’s often reflected in their insignificant influence in actual politics; nobody much wants to work with them either. Any fool can shout the odds in the pub. But its hard graft in the real world that gets things done.

Fear.

The Tories are on the slide. The loss in Northland is an indicator of the trashing to come. Bugger the polls we get to see, their internal polling is telling them the true story. John Key has burnt off sector after sector. His attack on the flag has made rural and provincial NZ question whether National really are their kind of party any more. That may not translate directly to votes for Labour, but any softening of the right’s vote will bring this Government down.

Fear.

We, on the left, need to hold our nerve. For the first time since the Clark years, all of the principal opposition parties have solid, sensible leadership. We may have a fear of a fourth term for Key, but it’s nowhere near his fear of us. If we can organise, organise and organise, we can win.

New Zealand can win.

So, fear not.

He may occasionally stumble, but he won’t fall. Andrew Little is closer to Bernie Sanders than some might like to think. Like Sanders, Andrew has been speaking truth to power all his adult life. Like Sanders, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog. And, like Sanders, Andrew wants to lead a country where fear does not haunt hundreds of thousands of Kiwis every day of their lives.

An end to fear; lets have fairness instead.

So, fear not. We can do this.

We will do this.

 

tereoputake.wordpress.com/

twitter.com/tereoputake

tereoputake@gmail.com

 

An afterthought. I thought I might start adding links to my post’s titles:

 

 

 

141 comments on “Fear is a Man’s Best Friend ”

  1. Ovid 1

    Hear! Hear!

  2. Ssor 2

    ya dreamin mate

  3. Dazzer 3

    Seriously? The fear on the right is that Little will go – at present, the best chance for the Nats is if Little stays and leads Labour lower (I like my alliteration).

    It’s not fear of his ideas. Key couldn’t believe his luck that Little was making his job so much easier. When Winston starts claiming that Labour is stealing its policies (not to mention the dog whistle), that’s when Labour should be fearful.

  4. Keith 4

    Well said. The bullshit eminating from Key at the moment in his retorts suggests to me Little is getting under his skin.

    We have a rather worrying, sizeable, growing problem in Auckland and in turn NZ, that is rooves over heads in our biggest city and who can or more to the point who can’t afford to live in them. But to deal with that multi faceted problem means National compromising all of their dodgy never spoken of deals just like cheap immigrant labour. They are so deeply compromised and so self centred they do not want the finger pointed at them when this roulette bubble that is housing bursts as it surely will, so they just sit there fiddling while Auckland burns. Trouble is with that non solution is that Little is starting to point the bleeding obvious out, loudly, and honesty like that cannot be taken lightly or lying down.

    Expect a bigger noise from their corporate media lickspitles (too many to name) and key Nat ministers over the next few weeks.

    • Whispering Kate 4.1

      You are so correct Keith, there is a growing serious problem in Auckland, housing is one serious baby and the friends I know, who are not in the destitute category are growing resentful that their children will have to leave the city and find housing elsewhere. Workers on the minimum wage haven’t a chance ever of owning their own home.

      The traffic here has gone beyond being just a problem, it is a serious problem.
      March, we realise is the mad month with newbies going into uni and getting their lectures and tutorials organised for the semester but it isn’t going to get any better than this and its almost gridlocked at any time of the day on the cities roads and motorways. One has to almost plan a day for an hour’s appointment these days, Auckland is going to hell in a handbasket and the super city council and the government have seen this coming for all the years they have been in power and are not doing much to curb the influx of people and cars into the city.

      It seems that these days people in power just bury your head in the sand and ignore the obvious that is going on – its always placed into the too hard basket and how about a game of golf to get their minds off it.

      • AmaKiwi 4.1.1

        In the last 8 years the one third of the voters who live in Auckland have watched Auckland become disaster. And there ain’t no quick fix in time for the election.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        Auckland is the most economically successful thing about New Zealand.
        They flock here.
        Auckland is the Pacific’s USA.

        • esoteric pineapples 4.1.2.1

          I thought Auckland was Palmerston North multiplied 20 times

        • Whispering Kate 4.1.2.2

          Ad -That says it in a nutshell, who the hell would want to live in the USA. I have family who have lived in a lot of huge cities overseas, the US included and this country of ours is what they crave when they return home for holidays. They are coming home soon for good as they can see a haven and respite from the smog, millions of people and discomfort/danger living in those conditions. This is what makes us unique – and what is wrong with that?

          Why should these new immigrants come in and bring us down to their living conditions. We have enough crime of our own with gangs, without all their bribery and drug cartels as well. I am not saying stop these people coming in, just do as Andrew Little says and curb it in the meanwhile and try to get some housing and roading and more funds to the Police to cope with them all. This city maybe the Pacific’s USA as you say, I think it is madness to want to be like the USA – the whole bunch of them are loony tunes over there. Just look at how they are trying to manage and dominate the universe – Ad you need your bloody head read.

      • saveNZ 4.1.3

        +1 Whispering Kate

    • saveNZ 4.2

      +1 Keith

      Brace yourself for more personal attacks. The wheels are coming off the rural sector which Key gambled most of the NZ economy, Tourism and construction are up but mostly because of the immigration demand. Unfortunately, the government failed to create any sustainable jobs and not too many houses either, or public transport or motorways in time for the influx. When you get cronies involved who only care about money, actually achieving anything fit for purpose was never part of the calculations.

      As for immigration, like a giant ponzi scheme it depends of getting new customers in, so you can keep paying out and pretending your investment is working and achieving those higher than average yields.

      Key can’t afford to stop immigration now, because the ponzi scheme will be revealed.

      There are no new jobs in the economy, just piles of million dollar brick and tile subdivisions with people on the dole inside and outside of town the homeless grouped under bridges.

      The TPPA will make it all so much worse as the taxpayers are robbed of more taxes for less services while those earning it, don’t have to pay any taxes or employ anybody local and Dairy stops earning money for NZ but instead those export $$$ go to other countries while losses are claimed locally.

  5. McFlock 5

    I wonder if some people are so used to having a bunch of bullies, perverts, alledged criminal offenders and serial pony-tail tugging bullshitters as the leaders of the nation, that maybe they view someone with no obvious skeletons as maybe someone who’s a bit weird?

    • Yep. There’s a similar thing going on with Corbyn in the UK. Despite his decades in Parliament, a place where every weakness has an outlet, he doesn’t seem to have any real baggage. Which leads to nasty, personal attacks like Cameron reverting to toff, and criticising Corbyn’s dress sense. They used to do that to Michael Foot, too, sneering at his ‘donkey jacket’.

      Play the ball, not the man, isn’t a well respected saying in English public schools.

    • Smilin 5.2

      There are many in this country who see the flaws of governance in his country who, like always quietly get on and size up the dangers presented and decide en masse to act when the time is right
      Andrew Little is one in that I believe he is supporting the majority of the opposition to the TPPA articles which damage our sovereignty,which is most of it
      An increase in public political gatherings not aligned necessarily to any one opposition party should be a sign that people are smarter than that weasel Key thinks they are.
      People are calling for change to the BS Key is ramming down the throat of this nation

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    Of course it is fear, and that is why they are so successful at this game of politics.

    The Nats fear what a Labour government will mean for their supporters and pay masters. That fear leads them to be motivated and ruthless in their pursuit of power and never take power for granted. They poll and campaign continuously to stay ahead.

    Unfortunately our side doesn’t have that same level of fear and just seems to let every election just come and go.

    I hate their beliefs but admire their drive.

    • weka 6.1

      I don’t, because their drive comes from wanting to rule and feeling entitled to. I don’t want the left to win like that because then we’ve lost any sense of fairness and that being real is good.

      • The lost sheep 6.1.1

        ‘their drive comes from wanting to rule and feeling entitled to.’

        You are saying the Left don’t want to rule, and don’t feel entitled to ?
        They used to during the 40 years I was active on the political Left!
        What happened?

        No wonder they can’t win an election. If they don’t feel they’re entitled to rule, why would the voters?

        • North 6.1.1.1

          Care to tell us exactly where how and when you were 40 years active on the Left LoSheep ? You know……for provenance checking purposes. You can’t be Paul Quinn in disguise. Too old given the 40 years you claim.

          • The lost sheep 6.1.1.1.1

            At my age I don’t have to prove my Provenance to anyone.

            And what difference does it make?
            If I plonk a beer down in front of you, and ask you smell it and taste it and drink it, and then give me an honest judgement of it’s quality….and you do.
            Does your honest judgement then change when I reveal the beer was made in Samoa rather than Belgium?

            So If you disagree with my point that the Left Wing used to have a drive to rule and felt they were entitled to it – then give me good reasons for that argument?

            But don’t fuck around with that ‘provenance’ stuff. That’s bullshit.

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          You are saying the Left don’t want to rule, and don’t feel entitled to ?
          They used to during the 40 years I was active on the political Left!
          What happened?

          No wonder they can’t win an election. If they don’t feel they’re entitled to rule, why would the voters?

          Make up your mind, do they want to rule or don’t they?

          I’m really fucking sick of this stupid shit level of debate here.

          No-one in NZ is entitled to rule. We have parliament not a monarchy. I’m sure there are people in Labour who want to rule but I probably wouldn’t call them left wing. Mostly the left want good governance and a fairer democracy. I think many conservatives want that too. But the neoliberals want to rule. If you can’t figure out what I mean by that you probably shouldn’t be here.

          • Jones 6.1.1.2.1

            And besides the talk shouldn’t be about ruling but representing.

          • The lost sheep 6.1.1.2.2

            ‘I’m really fucking sick of this stupid shit level of debate here.

            Well, as you have been saying to others yourself lately Weka, why don’t [Not necessary – MS]

            I did really wonder, when it was you who pointed out that this was a site that alienated people like Māori and feminists, why [Language please – MS]

            But to be honest, as time went on I came to think that was because [Unnecessary abuse – MS].

            But if you don’t. Just [Language please – MS]

            • mickysavage 6.1.1.2.2.1

              Weka provides a really sophisticated and interesting views of things. Her comments are really important and always relevant. There are three or four levels of interaction, authors, regular commentators, occasional commentators and readers. Weka is an important member of level 2, if she wanted to provide guest posts then I would be happy to put them up.

            • The lost sheep 6.1.1.2.2.2

              I apologise for my language towards Weka.

              It was misguided and ill judged, but the point I was trying to make is that it was exactly the kind of language that Weka has been using herself lately, towards other commenters at times, along with a general ‘hardening’ of her tone.
              She has changed, and if she really feels the way she states above, I believe she may well be better off doing something more positive somewhere else.

              She has also been making frequent negative comments about the ‘shit’ level of debate here, the amount of abuse, and the effect that has on alienating many people….
              If this blog does value commenters like Weka, and would like to think this is an environment such people should be ‘at home’ in, maybe you should all be giving some genuine consideration to the issues she has raised with the environment here?

          • International Rescue 6.1.1.2.3

            A thoughtful post Weka. I am a conservative, but there is no ‘right to rule’. Politics needs to be a robust contest of ideas, accurately and fairly reported by a balanced media.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.4

            Mostly the left want good governance and a fairer democracy. I think many conservatives want that too. But the neoliberals want to rule.

            QFT

        • AmaKiwi 6.1.1.3

          Ruling is what dictators do. Both our major parties love to do it.

          I want a government which follows the will of the people.

  7. Mike C 7

    @TeReoPutake

    I don’t hate the Labour Party … and I am not in a froth.

    Watched one of “Your Kin” … Chris Trotter … this morning on the Henry Show.

    He is not happy with Andrew Little’s stance on many Political issues … and he believes that Little is receiving extremely poor guidance from his Labour Party advisors.

    Not only that … Trotter does not think that Little is very capable as a Politician.

    When an Opposition Leader is getting slammed by his own Brethren … then what is that saying about the future of the Labour Party and next year’s General Election?

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      Trotter blows with the wind these days-a loose cannon. He let Henry manipulate him into the answers he wanted.

      Little’s stance on immigration, to turn it down “a bit” so that issues such as housing shortages can be addressed is sensible. NZ taking 60,000 a year is equivalent to the UK taking more than 800,000 a year.

      Little’s stance leaning on the banks is sensible-much better than the “do nothing” government we have.

      Trotter needs to look at the big picture and not trash Little for a couple of remarks that have been reinterpreted/purposely misunderstood by the MSM.

      • Mike C 7.1.1

        @BeardedGit

        Trotter has shown no confidence in Little for a while now … so why is he doing that?

        Is Trotter secretly supporting another Labour MP who wishes to lead the Labour Party?

        • Bearded Git 7.1.1.1

          Not sure Mike C. I think he just loses the plot a bit these days.

          BTW I just noticed on the Guardian website that a “high-level” of migration in the UK is 265,000 a year, so NZ migration is running at THREE TIMES a high-level in the UK.

        • In Vino 7.1.1.2

          I think Trotter is genuine in his views – but as soon as anyone criticises in any way at all, the party faithful will ascribe foul motives to the critic.

          • Richard Christie 7.1.1.2.1

            +1

          • b waghorn 7.1.1.2.2

            Did you watch the interview, the fake frown of concern on trotters face was a sight to see.

            • Mike C 7.1.1.2.2.1

              @bwaghorn

              Isn’t that how Trotters face looks all the time?

              I don’t think I have ever seen him smile … let alone laugh.

              He always seems very dry and serious.

              • lprent

                Not when I have been around him. But generally that is in some boozy disagreements.

              • b waghorn

                I call it how I see , if was wrong I’d be shot down quickly around here, I might leave trotter alone for now due to what Brendon says below.

          • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 7.1.1.2.3

            Chris Trotter’s dad just passed away and a few years back his mum also passed away. I think this may have affected his judgement -hopefully temporarily. Combine these personal losses with political losses of the like of supporting Cunliffe and that not working out and I think it is understandable how Chris got manipulated into attacking Andrew Little.

            I don’t think Chris has recognised that the left is getting stronger organisationally in NZ -some of that Andrew Little can take credit for, while some of it is a more organic ground swell -such as Bomber’s daily live interviews, the anti TPP movement…..

            I certainly think that the power brokers supporting Key and that includes MSM -such as MediaWorks is scared because their polling will be showing that Key is losing support -kiwis have a much more negative opinion of him now. They don’t trust him -they think he lies, he is superficial……. What these power brokers fear -TRP is right in that -is that the erosion of support for Key will be translated to a rise in support for Labour and/or the left wing block.

            These power brokers are terrified of the political changes sweeping through the US and UK -where political parties are explicitly representing the disenfranchised unprotected masses against the privileged self-entitled protected elites.

            Hence the playing the man not the ball behaviour.

            • Mike S 7.1.1.2.3.1

              “These power brokers are terrified of the political changes sweeping through the US and UK -where political parties are explicitly representing the disenfranchised unprotected masses against the privileged self-entitled protected elites. ”

              In terms of the US, I can’t see where you get the idea that either the Democrats or republicans are explicitly representing the disenfranchised unprotected masses? I would say that the two presidential candidates, Clinton and Trump (Sadly and scarily, one of these two will be the next US president.) are prime examples of the privileged self-entitled protected elites?

    • lprent 7.2

      Chris left the Labour party about 25 years ago. He has generally opposed the NZLP from the left for decades. Please explain how you think he is ‘brethren’.

  8. Jenny Kirk 8

    Great post, TRP – I’ve just come from reading a heap of ignorant criticisms of what Andrew Little said to the Hutt News re immigrant chefs, and am annoyed that so many sheeples prefer to believe twisted MSM or someone like Hooten than to face the fact that in Andrew Little we finally have a Leader who says what he means, knows what he’s talking about, and suggests solutions to our problems.
    An as for Chris Trotter, Mike C – he’s all over the place … he doesn’t know what he’s talking about (other than thru his blindfold hat) … and he prefers to criticise rather than to analyse . In fact sometimes Chris Trotter is just like the sheeples I’m complaining about.

    • In Vino 8.1

      Sorry to disagree Jenny – I think Trotter has better historical insight than any other commentator I have read so far. To my mind, he is definitely not “all over the place”. I find him fairly consistent. But criticism is always inconvenient for the enthused believers. I would hope that Labour notes his views rather than scorning them.

      • weka 8.1.1

        I’m not a Labour supporter and I find Trotter very uneven. I agree his historical insight is very valuable.

  9. Et Tu Brute 9

    This is disingenuous. By defining how everyone who is complaining must be thinking, you ultimately define the problem away. But there is a problem. Like it or not what Little said is offensive to many middle voters. He was fairly clear on what he meant. He’s either politically immature or lying therefore. My feeling is he was speaking out both sides of his mouth expecting two different groups to hear two different things. But in the end it doesn’t matter what he meant. This is politics and what matters is how it was taken.

    I am a swing voter. I am in the middle. I have voted right and left. And to me I have a deep uneasiness about any politician thatstarts playing the Chinese/Indian card. And I don’t appreciate being thought of as a Labour hater because I have this stance.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Like it or not what Little said is offensive to many middle voters.

      If they bothered to listen to what he said rather than what was reported then I doubt if they would be offended.

  10. sweety 10

    I am fearful. I just couldn’t stand another 3 years of the ridicule I get from those nasty natz over at TM.

  11. Hi.

    I’m pretty sure I’m not part of the infantile left, but I objected to Little’s comments.

    Not because they were honest- given a set level of racism between two candidates, I’ll choose the honest one.

    I objected because they revealed that Labour policy really is going in this populist, “soft-racist” direction where it’s “immigration makes the economy worse during downtimes.”

    I’d like to see him prove that before he talks about capping migration during recession or recovery. At best he should be saying that we get to apply skills tests and investment requirements more strigently, which is actually an economic argument. A cap just seems to be immigrant-bashing.

    And he should have known not to talk about Chinese chefs after the whole “chinese-sounding names” gaffe. Labour should be running anything that even touches on Asian immigration and economic influence by focus groups before talking about it after that, because they obviously can’t trust their instincts to get the messaging right. As Labour leader, he needs to have a better eye for how the public is going to read this sort of stuff.

    So: objecting to soft racism? Primary objection. Dumb political gaffe and poor optics? Secondary objection. But both valid IMO.

    • Michael 11.1

      While immigration contributes to GDP growth, I’m pretty sure GDP growth per capita has been pretty mediocre.

      I am very pro-immigration; I believe in a multicultural society and that we should celebrate our super-diversity as one of our greatest strengths.

      However, it’s also true that when the housing market is very overheated, and jobs aren’t being created at a fast pace, it can make sense to reduce the flow of immigration.

      It would be idiotic (and I think borderline racist) to say that immigration should be cut entirely at all times, but to say that it should be reduced in bad economic times and increased during good economic times is not ‘soft-racist’ at all.

      • International Rescue 11.1.1

        “I’m pretty sure GDP growth per capita has been pretty mediocre.”

        That’s been Robertson’s line and it’s bs. GDP growth resulting from immigration takes time to take full effect, and is highly dependent on the demographic of immigrants. Current GDP growth is very healthy by global standards, and this GDP per capita crap is just desperation.

        • pat 11.1.1.1

          “…..and this GDP per capita crap is just desperation.”

          awesome analysis! You should debate Mr Hickey sometime….

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/audio/201793630/immigration-cap

          • International Rescue 11.1.1.1.1

            No thanks. Hickey has been anti-migration for some time. Besides, I wasn’t aware he posted here?

            • pat 11.1.1.1.1.1

              “No thanks. Hickey has been anti-migration for some time.”

              so you only debate those who agree with you….good strategy….I bet you even win some.

              • International Rescue

                No, I debate those with an open mind, and who are posting here. Do you have a point to make, or are you simply appealing to authority?

                • pat

                  I guess if the points made by Bernard Hickey and his citing of the Australian study is too difficult for you then your statement “and this GDP per capita crap is just desperation.” would indicate that basic mathematics is also way beyond your ken.

                  • International Rescue

                    No, neither. As I said, Hickey has a long track record of opposition to immigration, he’s well known for it. But the wider point is you are appealing to someone elses authority without making your own argument. That generally means you can’t.

      • I don’t disagree the housing market is overheated and that Labour has been reasonable in its policies on New Zealanders having priority to own land. (it’s the politics of the “chinese-sounding names” thing that they failed on)

        Capping immigration during downturns really does seem to me to be saying “I don’t care how good you are for the economy, enough immigrants.” If you would restrict immigration to people falling into categories of investors or skilled workers we are currently short on, that seems reasonable.

        But an overall cap sounds like the first step towards becoming the next New Zealand First to, especially as it’s very hard to prove one way or another what the economic impact of a migrant will be.

      • Sacha 11.1.3

        This government allowing migrants to count investment in residential property rather than productive business does not help.

    • left for deadshark 11.2

      +1 Thanks Matt

  12. TepidSupport 12

    I don’t comment much- don’t have time- but am on record here as stating that NZ needs a strong, stable and coherent opposition that gives a credible option to voters.
    The beat up over AL’s comment about stemming numbers coming to NZ is stupid, those comments of his are rational and make sense!
    What gives me fear is his comment about regulating interest rates etc…
    National has, by and large, run the economy pretty well- I realise a number here will disagree but the majority how have backed them will generally think the same. Labour needs to continue to give us solid and convincing ideas about how they will run the country differently and how that will lead to better outcomes.
    They need to stay consistently on message and not give “the right”, media, etc any cause to discredit them or their message (think flip flopping on free trade/ interest rate fixing etc)
    I hope they do present a credible, consistent option

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      National has, by and large, run the economy pretty well…

      Pretty well into the ground. It’s all that they really know how to do as they give all our wealth to the already rich.

      • International Rescue 12.1.1

        You mean like the first real increase in benefits in over 30 years?

        The NZ economy is outperforming many other OECD countries on a range of measures, and is far better shape than was predicted in 2008.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1

          Far better shape. After all, Treasury predicted a whole decade of deficits and we’ve only had eight deficits in eight years 🙄

          No, wait, John Key and Bill English said the economy was in good shape in 2008. Perhaps you’re just lying again.

          • International Rescue 12.1.1.1.1

            In good shape to withstand the GFC/recession using debt. You’re first sentence is correct.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re unable to distinguish between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, yet you feel competent to assert facts about recent New Zealand history.

              Read the link, numbskull.

              • International Rescue

                oh, I did.

                “This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,”

                English was referring the nations debt position, right throughout the article. He didn’t need to say much more. The country new a recession was looming even before the GFC.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Between 2000 and 2007, the New Zealand economy expanded by an average of 3.5% each year as private consumption and residential investment grew strongly. Annual inflation averaged 2.6%, comfortably within the Reserve Bank’s 1% to 3% target range, while the current account deficit averaged 5.8% of GDP over this period.

                  The New Zealand economy entered recession in early 2008, before the effects of the global financial crisis set in later in the year. A drought over the 2007/08 summer led to lower production of dairy products in the first half of 2008. Domestic activity slowed sharply over 2008 as high fuel and food prices dampened domestic consumption while high interest rates and falling house prices drove a rapid decline in residential investment.

                  Treasury.

                  I note that our exposure to dairy industry risks was highlighted that long ago, and the National Party responded by subsidising dairy conversions from Southland to Saudi Arabia 🙄

                  I further note that Treasury don’t seem to be singing the same song as you.

                  • International Rescue

                    Thanks for confirming my point about the recession. As to dairy, it is only a single part of a highly diversified economy. And it will bounce back, particularly now that Labour have declared a crisis!

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.2

          1. They were the ones who dropped the benefit in the first place and
          2. The increase was to an extremely limited group and no one would actually get the headline amount.

          The NZ economy is going down the drain as it always does under National.

          • International Rescue 12.1.1.2.1

            Going down the drain?

            Record low interest rates.
            Record high employment participation.
            Most diversified economy in NZ’s history.
            Low inflation.

            “They were the ones who dropped the benefit in the first place ”

            Yet in 9 years Labour did zero about it.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.2.1.1

              1. The record low interest rates are because the economy’s collapsing
              2. Participation seems to be about average
              3. And yet we seem to have lost a lot of income from over dependence upon a single commodity. Also, it’s not an accurate measure anyway. Of course it’s more diversified than the 19th century. The real question is: Is it diversified enough? And I don’t see us manufacturing hard tech here and our R&D is well below what it needs to be.
              4. The low inflation is due also due to the collapsing economy. Although, there’s the very high inflation in housing pushing ever more people into poverty

              • International Rescue

                “1. The record low interest rates are because the economy’s collapsing”

                Ah, no. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/gdp-growth

                “2. Participation seems to be about average”

                Ah, no. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/labor-force-participation-rate. Jan 2015 was the highest on record.

                “3. And yet we seem to have lost a lot of income from over dependence upon a single commodity. ”

                Ah, no. “Almost half of New Zealand’s recorded dairy exports are added-value products, however it is estimated that the value-added export total may be even higher, due to the processing and packaging of value-added products in New Zealand.

                Fonterra is New Zealand’s largest company and handles more than 90 percent of New Zealand’s milk production. It represents more than 20 percent of total New Zealand merchandise exports and 7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).” http://www.nzdairycareers.co.nz/?page=Dairy_Industry&subpage=Dairy_Facts. Note the value add proportion.

                It amazes me the number of people on the left who make these claims without the slightest understanding of how our economy works.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ah, no.

                  Ah, yes. The RBNZ just lowered the OCR because the economy isn’t working.

                  Ah, no.

                  With nearly the highest unemployment to go with it. Two points:
                  1. People join the labour force because they want to or because they have to. I figure the reason we’re seeing an increase is because of the latter which happens when the economy is collapsing. Bill English saying that wages have been dropping would support that.

                  Note the value add proportion.

                  Note the fact that it’s a dairy PR website. It’s their job to tell us it’s all rosy.

                  Meanwhile, around 40% of dairy farmers are about to lose their farms.

                  • International Rescue

                    The RB lowered the OCR because growth is higher than expected.

                    NZ has record immigration flows, and the economy is still soaking up workers.

                    And 40% to lose their farms? What utter rubbish.

  13. The lost sheep 13

    ‘Fear is a man’s best friend,
    You add it up it brings you down’.

    Unfortunately, Andrew has more to fear from what’s coming behind his back than what’s coming at him head on.

    • Mike C 13.1

      @Lost Sheep

      Yeap … people like Robertson and Cunliffe will be rubbing their hands with glee.

    • McFlock 13.2

      Really?
      Judith Collins is in the Labour caucus?

      • Mike C 13.2.1

        @McFlock

        That was funny. LOL.

        Judith Collins was a Member of the Labour Party until the 90’s … so anythings possible.

        God help Labour or National if Collins ever gets a strangle hold on either one.

    • Oi, sheepish. It can’t have escaped your attention that there hasn’t been talk of a leadership change since … well, since Andrew Little was elected leader. The caucus are in a good place, looking forward to being ministers. National’s caucus, on the other hand, are looking at their future life on the opposition benches and they don’t like the view one little bit.

      • Ad 13.3.1

        And after unity and good hits comes … people prepared to write cheques.

        Keep attaching our economic oligarchs, Little, and I’ll change my mind and start donating again.

  14. Grim 14

    Little vs Key:

    Key’s lies are deliberate and on message.
    Little needs to ensure his honest answers are to.

  15. Ben 15

    Little may be honest, but that counts for little if every time he opens his gob he says something totally stupid.

    It may come down to a choice between an honest buffoon, and a not so honest leader who thinks about what he is about to say.

    • dave 15.1

      whats stupid about about turning down immigration when we are 40000 homes short roads blocked nzs living in garages please explain ben where are the john key answers ????

  16. adam 16

    When did the labour party become like the old communist league, and not handle criticism?

    Andrew Little has done very well on the dairy debate, so has Metiria. Even Winston is killing them, and this is good stuff.

    Dirty politics is a given Te Reo Putake, – it’s days of effectiveness will wane, but it will take some time. They reached for it very quickly this time round, so I agree with some of what you are saying, but and here is the but.

    Why even mention race at all? You know that the Tory scum have the machine in place, and you know some of what is said will be twisted and made to hurt. Look at CV, he’s hurting again. It’s exactly like when the Tory bastards attack Maori, it has one outcome, hurt.

    I do agree with you, Andrew Little is doing a fair job. He could do better, and that is what the constructive criticism is all about.

    To the disingenuous Tories here who read more into what Chris Trotter said this morning, you are lying to yourselves. Chris, always pushes the Labour party, the Greens, New Zealand first, the Maori party and Mana, to be better social democratic parties. To be the best they can be, for all of us. He has a anarchist soul, Ha, he will hate that. He says and writes what many don’t want to hear, but sometimes needs to hear. The only people his comments undermine, are those who already undermined, or so fickle, they float on the wind.

    • Good analysis, Adam. To be fair to Andrew, he didn’t raise race, the journo did. But he has to learn how to handle stuff like that. As I was trying to get across in the post, he’s not the kind of guy who thinks ‘how can I answer this in a way that makes me look cool’, he just answers. However, I’d rather have an honest man who makes mistakes than a liar who makes none.

      • weka 16.1.1

        “To be fair to Andrew, he didn’t raise race, the journo did.”

        I’m still unclear on that. In the audio the journo raises the chef issue, but Little is the first to bring up ethnicity. Was there a wider context to that?

      • Ad 16.1.2

        Little should just stay on target with dairy and banks.

        It’s so right. They are outraged because banks are poorly regulated and rich and powerful. Keep attacking banks and dairy Little. Fully support that.

        Keep showing me you are Labour without fear.

        • TepidSupport 16.1.2.1

          Um, where is your evidence the banks are poorly regulated?
          Our banks are some of the most highly/ best regulated in the world…

          Dairy accounts for around 5% of our GDP directly and probably up to 15%- 25% indirectly so to “attack” dairy is irresponsible.

          Sure, challenge them to ensure they find alternative investment and diversification, but attack?

    • In Vino 16.2

      +1 Adam

    • Stuart Munro 16.3

      Chris has bad days too – when the darkness of the benighted Key government seems endless. He just needs a millenium – all of NZ does – a 21st century that isn’t like the 19th running backwards.

    • International Rescue 16.4

      “Andrew Little has done very well on the dairy debate, so has Metiria. Even Winston is killing them, and this is good stuff.”

      I don’t agree. Their line of questioning is verging on the childish, and it is almost amusing watching the ease with which the government responds. The public know the government isn’t responsible for dairy prices. They also know Labour are no friends of farmers. On both counts Labour are just looking silly.

  17. Michael 17

    I think Andrew’s comments have been very misconstrued and I doubt he implied any racism at all. And the idea that immigration should be reduced in bad economic times, and increased in good economic times, is a pretty fair idea.

    However I think he just needs to get a bit better at being more PC. I think that he just needs to police his speech a bit more to ensure that he doesn’t say anything that could be *twisted* to be used as ammunition for the National spin machine.

    • whateva next? 17.1

      “….ensure that he doesn’t say anything that could be *twisted* to be used as ammunition for the National spin machine.”
      Not possible, and that’s why he pauses before speaking, which is also misconstrued.
      I take no notice and just focus on what we need to do to get back to decency in government, we are so far from it, we will forget what is is if we are not careful.
      Key is so far right, yet even intelligent people say he is the centre, now they have shifted the fulcrum.

    • DH 17.2

      “And the idea that immigration should be reduced in bad economic times, and increased in good economic times, is a pretty fair idea.”

      I don’t think you understand the economics of it very well. Immigration is used, quite cynically and deliberately by both Labour and National, as an economic stimulant.

      A large part of our GDP is merely catering for the increasing population. Stop the increase and GDP will quickly fall.

      Politicians love it because most of the GDP element of immigration is loaded on at the beginning whereas the actual costs of immigration is passed onto future generations.

  18. Richard Christie 18

    Little has turned the Labour party around?

    I doubt that.

    The Labour Party haven’t committed to reversing the Employment Contract Act.
    The Labour Party refuse to commit to a programme of re-nationalising our swindled state assets.
    The Labour Party’s opposition to TPP is paper thin.

    Until they find the spine to do these fundamental things, they remain, ideologically, the same party that Moore led to defeat in the early ’90s.

    • The Clark government reversed the ECA 15 years ago. Labour haven’t ruled re-nationalisation out, but given how far in debt the Nats have got us, it might be pushing it in the first term. The Labour Party were upfront about their specific objections to the TPPA. The modern day LP is nothing like the 90’s LP. Other than those minor corrections, you’re 100% right, Richard.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        lols

      • International Rescue 18.1.2

        If re-nationalisation stacked up, Labour could borrow the money. But the reality is the Gvt is receiving higher dividends with 51% than they did with 100%.

        • joe90 18.1.2.1

          higher dividends with 51% than they did with 100%

          Cite or you’re pulling shit out of your arse.

          • International Rescue 18.1.2.1.1

            Oh delighted.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/77227108/government-hits-back-at-green-party-claims-asset-sales-have-cost-1b

            Quote:
            “The Government now received more in dividends than it did when it owned the companies outright. “For example, dividends from Genesis in the decade before the float averaged $32m,” said Burrows. “This year, as a 51 per cent owner, the Government received $83m in dividends from Genesis.””

            Do your own homework next time.

            • tc 18.1.2.1.1.1

              How much investment in the infrastructure over those periods IR ?

              Profits can soar when you defer rebuilding your asset base. Gattung and deanes telecom did this which chorus still suffer from today…recall the XT mobile debacle.

              What’s the full story on genesis, and remember Gerrys dodgy power station shuffle.

              • International Rescue

                It’s unlikely profits would soar by deferring investment after such a short period of time.

            • joe90 18.1.2.1.1.2

              Oh delighted.

              Yeah, but that’s a media report of an alleged comment. Quote Finlayson’s Bill English’s statement verbatim.
              //

    • Andrea 18.2

      It would be more beneficial if they actually took GST back to the original 10%.

      And the UBI, or whatever it’s tripping about as – is about to be useless – unless that is made the level of income for pricing vital domestic overheads such as rent/rates, water and electricity and, for those involved, schooling.

      Otherwise the peasants will be dropping behind the gravy train as usual.

  19. Chuck 19

    Andrew Little is a moving car wreak. No one needs to “twist” his comments…they speak for them self. Little needs to get some decent advice, and then maybe then he can start to rebuild the Labour party. To have Winston Peters call you out as being racist is to be blunt, hilarious!!

  20. Whateva next? 20

    It comes down to trust for me, all the nit picking of our politicians is part of the current celebrity, drama, emotive style reporting.yes, Andrew does hesitate/ pause to consider what the questioner is saying, and then respond in a considered manner, knowing whatever he says will be blown up under a spotlight and shredded into bite size pieces.
    I trust that he has the best interests of ALL NZers at heart, whatever soul bites are reported, and I do not trust any of the National mob at all, no matter what they say.

  21. Cogito 21

    “He’s his own man and he is painfully straight. Paaaainfully straight. It’s not in him to bullshit.”

    !!Go Andrew!!

    So utterly sick of all the lies of Key and his henchmen.

  22. ianmac 22

    Well said te reo putake. When the agitators throw garbage at us we must stand firm. Sooner or later they must run out of ammo.

  23. Morrissey 23

    Little lost an immense amount of goodwill and trust when he decided, as almost his first act as Opposition “leader”, to back the government’s snooping bill.

  24. Chris 24

    “An off the cuff response to an innocuous question from a small local paper journo has got a lot of Labour Party haters in a froth.”

    Little has to learn that no matter where he is what he says matters. It’s no good claiming what he said was an “off the cuff” answer to an “innocuous question”. The guy needs to be prepared and disciplined which he clearly isn’t. Where are Little’s advisers? Has he got any? If he has are they dedicated/loyal/united? Little’s performance is a reflection of a fractured party that’s never been able to repair itself and as a result has become hellbent on destroying itself. Sad but true. Grant Robertson will crying with laughter.

  25. chris73 25

    Yes I absolutely agree, the right are running scared…I’m sure it sounds like what was being said about Cunliffe, Shearer and Goff but no this time the right are really, really scared 🙂

    But I’ll give you this, its one of the better geeing up the troops posts I’ve read

  26. Mr Tank 26

    Storming brother storming! You just cheered me up!

  27. Wainwright 27

    What a laugh. The best excuse Little had was that he was talking about the FTA with China. Turns out the FTA only allows 300 or so chefs in.

  28. Well written. I completely agree, that being honest, fighting in a good will and working for the good of the country are only a few examples of traits that should describe the political leaders. Yet, so little of them have those qualities. And for so many of them, individuals, who could be described by these characterictics are very inconvenient. So what can we expect from politicians in our (or almost every) country?

  29. tc 29

    Great post !

    Hooten frothing is probably a sure sign the DP crew are fully engaged so well done Andrew but please work on some simple phrasing and get all labour MP’s versed in them. Repeat ad nauseum the sheeple need to hear it a lot.

  30. Mike Bond 30

    It is comments like this that get left supporters all worked up and think they have a chance at the next election. Lets be honest for once. Little has had a total brain fade this week and taking on banks and slowing down immigration are just so stupid and will not get him one vote. You have a long standing Labour supporter telling it like it really is and he gets attacked. Labour seriously need to look at where they are and where they are going. Little is not gaining any popularity and that should be concerning. What I do know, is that New Zealand needs a strong opposition party and we need one now!

  31. Observer (Tokoroa) 31

    @ Te Reo Putake

    . This was an excellent Post. The Trolls are tripping over their own falsity. They have no concept of honesty. Nor of Fair Play.

    So dedicated are they to low life, they are the very people, male and female, who would willingly and slavishly scour the schools and kindergartens of NZ (and elsewhere) to provide our Prime Minister with little blonde girls – to relieve his strange urges and behaviours.

    They are dedicated to his lack of housing policy. His Gambling Den too.

    The triumph of Little is his honesty. His directness and his reliablity. A decent man – he needs no little school girls to tamper with.

    Unlike Winston (a fine and wise politician), Andrew Little does not employ legal split hairs – though he is himself a Lawyer. Neither is he an opportunistic Green hoping to be grafted onto some bent twig within the bizarre National Government.

    As I say, you fine Article is accurate and timely.

    But as a favour, could you explain to me simply and accurately what Chris Trotter has ever done for New Zealand and the common man? He strikes me as a rudderless tipsy gypsy.

    • Magisterium 31.1

      they are the very people, male and female, who would willingly and slavishly scour the schools and kindergartens of NZ (and elsewhere) to provide our Prime Minister with little blonde girls – to relieve his strange urges and behaviours.

      KDS post of the day

  32. Observer (Tokoroa) 33

    @ Sachs
    .
    Thanks for the link. It is quaint and disappointing to see journalists lacking the foresight of good employment policy and thereby good immigration policy.

    Not that Andrea bothers with such things as policy. She just wants to add a notch to her extensive belt of hack downs and entrapments. The substance of Andrews’ words neither crossed her mind or her somewhat incoherent writing.

    Can anyone decipher what she was saying?

    Sachs You apparently favour – non stop unlimited immigration? You are entitled to your stupidity. Good luck with it.

    • whateva next? 33.1

      “The substance of Andrews’ words neither crossed her mind or her somewhat incoherent writing.”
      All a game to her and the guys out there in journo land, trouble is, it’s not actually a game, it has real consequences Ms.Vance, even if you are too much of an air head to understand it.

  33. Grim 34

    Vote winners are holding the banks to account,
    demonstrating to farmers how they have been betrayed in such a way that they can remain blameless and turn their anger toward those who misled them.
    and logical immigration policy ( avoiding any language that can be spun against labour as racist)

    Look at that Vance article above, propaganda:
    not only belittles Little, but guides Labour policy away from real vote winners, have a good read, and see it for what it is, it exposes exactly what they want you to do.

    Can anyone name a kiwi family or farmer that would be opposed to hold the banks feet to the fire?

    Voters can and do the right thing when given the chance, it is not an Us vs Them battle.
    It is a battle to unity voters.

    So what do voters want?

    To prosper, and an environment where their children can prosper.

    Can Labour provide policies and demonstrate the ability to execute policies that benefit all New Zealanders?

  34. Incognito 35

    When you face your fears and realise that they are mostly irrational constructs of your mind they lose their hold over you. This, in turn, releases a power that is to be truly feared. Ultimately, we fear this power, which is real.

  35. Observer (Tokoroa) 36

    .
    To: Grim
    .
    “So what do voters want?
    To prosper, and an environment where their children can prosper.”

    I enjoyed reading your words. Any normal person would. The next phase of life in New Zealand must prioritise the prosperity of the common man and his children.

    The Banks, The Corporations and The Shareholders have done exceedingly well out of the ordinary person in the past 30 years. The landlords have done very well in the last 30 years. The doctors; the lawyers; the builders; the real estate gnomes; the wealthy immigrants. The Farmers. The Tourism sector; the Forest products owners. The Academics.

    Now it is the turn of the New Zealand common man. The same people who have been priced out of homes – and rentals too. The same people who have been denied a living wage and yet who work hard day after day. The same people who have been priced out of heating. Who have watched their jobs go across the seas to foreigners.

    We must calmly take back this country for New Zealanders.

    Tin pot journalists and TV smart asses do nothing for New Zealand. They exist only to give more wealth to already wealthy.

    Andrew Little is honest. He is for that reason the standout politician in New Zealand. He is not alone. The Greens are honest. New Zealand First is honest. The Maori party too.

    Honesty and Wealth Distribution are the two things we must retrieve for the sake of our Nation. There is no point in seeking it from our current parliament.

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