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First Amongst Equals

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, April 21st, 2011 - 47 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags:

I heard David Cunliffe on Morning Report on Tuesday, and he was superb.  But as soon as he finished I knew the Right would try to deflect from the substance by writing it off as leadership ambitions.  And sure enough we have Audrey Young, making exactly that connection.  Labour can turn that on its head.

Phil Goff can come out and say: yes, we are the party of talent; I am merely first amongst equals.  Then let’s not focus on me, let’s focus on the National front bench.

The Cabinet system is a real strength of our system, where the PM is meant to be primus inter pares, and because John Key isn’t hard-working enough to be on top of all departments, that’s most definitely how it works in substance at the moment.  Style-wise, he’s definitely presidential, being all over the photo opportunities, hiding his unpopular front bench, only absent when there’s bad news to deliver.

But Phil Goff should embrace it in both style and substance.  Let’s have more of Labour’s ‘contenders’: David Cunliffe vs Bill English; Grant Robertson vs Tony Ryall; Annette King vs Paula Bennett; David Shearer & Sue Moroney destroying Tolley; David Parker vs … I’m not sure the Nats do Economic Development, which might explain the current state of the economy…

– Sam

47 comments on “First Amongst Equals ”

  1. Rich 1

    Perhaps Goff would be well advised that all his spokespeople (except the very crappest ones) make themselves unavailable for all media interviews until the election is over and the Labour leadership campaign (if more than one person actually wants the job*) starts.

    (* what happens if there are *no* candidates. Does the Labour party dissolve itself).

    • Carol 1.1

      And there you go, difflecting and diverting. With our system, a party is as much about all the MPs as the leader.  We elect parties & electorate candidates, not leaders.  John Key is promoted in a presidential way that is more suited to the US – part of the sham in which Key is sold as an “ordinary Kiwi bloke”.  Meanwhile, there’s a dirth of talent amongst NAct MPs.
       
      Also, National takes a top-down corporate approach, while Labour and the Greens do more things through relatively open debate.

      And Cunliffe made well researched responses, critiquing the government’s performance,

      DC: I’ve got the Stats Department figures in front of me for the year to March, Household utilities were up 4%, food is up 4.8%, alcohol, beverages and tobacco up 11.4%. Look, apart from the smokes and the beer, the rest of it is stuff that people just cannot afford. They cannot avoid and 4.8% for food in a year when people have had wage rises of less than 2% is a kick in the guts for Kiwi families who just cannot afford it. So I’m just sick to death of hearing a Prime Minister who made a cool $5million on his investments last year, telling other people they choose to be poor. He should put himself in their shoes and try to feed a family of 3 kids on 80 bucks a week groceries like the story like the story we heard from Maori budget advice service yesterday.

      RNZ: OK but the, um, it’s not all bad, is it, Mr Cunliffe. I mean as the Prime Minister points out, interest rates are at the lowest levels since the 1960s.

      DC: The interest rates are low, Simon, because the economy is in a hole so deep it can’t see the light at the top of the tunnel. I mean, that is hardly something to celebrate. But you know a government is desperate when they say, “Oh, interest rates are low, because the economy’s as flat as a pancake.” [Laughing] And the reason it’s as flat as a pancake, is not because it’s somebody else’s fault. As Treasury said, it’s not because of the earthquake – two thirds of the reasons are non-earthquake related. It is because the government has no idea how to grow an economy. They have no plan for growth.

      and showing that they have a costed plan for what they will do in government, and will be rolling it aout gradually over the next few months.

      RNZ: What would Labour actually do?

      DC: Well, firstly Labour would take immediate steps to relieve the pressure on ordinary Kiwi household budgets. That means adjusting the minimums wage upwards very quickly. That means fair tax policies so everybody pays their fair share and everybody gets a fair go. And part of that is GST off fruit and vegetables. That’s 5 or 6 bucks a week for a struggling family.

      And it’s the first $5,000 of everything that everybody earns tax free, within the first 5 years. That’s 10 bucks on the table for a family that can’t feed its kids. Now that’s not everything, by any means, but that’s a real tangible, definite, costed down-payment on our intentions and our values, which are to put ordinary New Zealand people ahead of profit and put food back on the tables of families that are struggling to feed their kids..

      RNZ: Mr Cunliffe, is there room in the budget to put those measures through though.

      DC: Oh yes, there is. I can tell you that I have a spreadsheet, which can, ah, roll out debt reduction within the forecast period, quite happily and can front end-load some immediate relief to New Zealand families. And we have pledged – I will repeat thi pledge on, and now we will go to this election with a fully-costed, fiscally responsible set of policies that will relieve the pressure on Kiwi households, and grow the economy and give New Zealand the brighter future that its been cheated of , by this lacklustre National government.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        Carol – in 2007 morgage rates 10.4% that hit many in their ability to pay the bills, not to forget petrol and dairy are at similar levels as also in 07. I get the impression from Lab of Crocodile tears, and until there are some policies that display that Lab is different I will be viewing anything out of their camp with the same skeptism as the blue camp.
        And the answer from DC as saving of $5-6/week ($45/week) is at difference with what the average household suvey from Dept Stats as to spend on F&V. The avg household spends approx $20/week = $2-$3/week.
        They all talk the talk, but wait until post election then Pinocchios nose begins to grow.  
        If Lab can delivery real policy then great, but where is all the $ comming from?
        Dont believe the hype

      • Bazar 1.1.2

        “And there you go, difflecting and diverting. With our system, a party is  as much about all the MPs as the leader.  We elect parties & electorate candidates, not leaders.”

        See, that’s at best idealolgy thats very detached from reality.
        The leader is a LARGE part of the party. At least when it comes to votes. To suggest that voting for national does nothing to ensure key remains PM is either stupidty or semantics. The reverse is true for labour, which is a large reason why people want Goff gone

        “John Key is promoted in a presidential way that is more suited to the US  – part of the sham in which Key is sold as an “ordinary Kiwi bloke”.
        I fail to see how you can say his PR is better suited for the US, when a quick look to the polls shows otherwise.

        “Meanwhile, there’s a dirth of talent amongst NAct MPs.”
        I think you mean “dearth”.

        “Also, National takes a top-down corporate approach, while Labour and the Greens do more things through relatively open debate.”
        Thats rich, so tell me, is this the old labour that ordered its members to support the smacking legislation regardless of their views, or the current labour, which when it came to the abortion vote: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10717863
        The only party with split votes was National. All four Maori  Party MPs voted in favour. No ACT, Green, Labour or United MPs voted in  favour. Hone voted against. Of the 52 National Mps who voted, 27 were in favour, and 25 against.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.2.1

          I think you mean “dearth”.

          Given this:

          See, that’s at best idealolgy thats very detached from reality.

          I think you should shut the fuck up about that sort of thing.

          Thats rich, so tell me, is this the old labour that ordered its members to support the smacking legislation regardless of their views,

          IIRC Labour had a remit from a conference duly approved democratically from the party at large, saying that this should be party policy. So when legislation came up they were democratically obliged to follow their memberships lead. The debate had already been held, IOW.

          This is in contradistinction with the National Party, who had most members wailing and crying about the far reaching destructiveness of the bill right up until their leader came up with a legally redundant amendment; at which point the leader told them to bloody well vote for the bill in spite of everything they had been saying, just the moment before.


          • Bazar 1.1.2.1.1

            Haha!

            So by which definition of open debate are you using, when the labor party decided that it’d force all its members to vote the party line.

            Because having a closed door meeting and deciding that it’d be a party vote, isn’t open as far as i’m concerned.

            Forcing mp’s to vote regardless of what they believe defeats the purpose of having mps in the first place.

            The only justification i can think of for forcing a bill that has 85% public support against it, and insufficient mps willing to vote without being coersed, is “the ends justify the means”.

            Time will tell if we got a crap law that makes good parents criminals, or if it significantly improves child-abuse.

            So with that covered, how the hell you could say “legislation came up they were democratically obliged to follow their memberships lead”, baffles me

            Democratically obliged? Bullshit. Electorate mps were democratically obliged to support their electorate, and with 85% opposed, they didn’t.

            Open debate? Democratically obliged? Go on, pull the other one, its got bells on.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Have you heard of political parties there bazar? A fairly recent development, if you take a historical view, but you should really catch up with the play mate.

              Basically it goes like this. Parties have policies and candidates. Voters have found it convenient to elect party candidates over independent candidates. True fact, you can look it up.

              This is because, (and pay attention here ’cause it’s important), when you elect a party candidate because you like that party’s policy, you have the party there to not only hold the mp in line, but you also have all those other party mps to leverage more weight to your policy preferences in parliament. Voters vote for party candidates because parties are more effective at getting things done. 

              It does mean that there are compromises for voters to make. No party will offer 100% of the things you want, and all will be committed to things you don’t want. But that’s all a part of the deal making that is part of democracy.  You sort out your priorities, weight them accordingly and cast your vote. Or, if you are a rightie, you just do as you’re told (cf Epsom).

              So if a party has a policy, then it is democratic for that parties mps to vote for that policy.

              How about ol john key then eh? telling his mps to fall in and vote for the bill that they all had just moments before describing in all sorts of horriffic ways? 

              The labour party worked out what their policy was. If candidates could not support that policy, then the democratic option for them would be to quit the party. But they would have to do so before being elected.  Being elected on the policy platform of a party, is committing yourself to follow that policy.

              • Bazar

                “So if a party has a policy, then it is democratic for that parties mps to vote for that policy.”
                Amazing how you wrote a whole article, and nothing about it was meaningful, except for the contradictions.
                But i suppose that’s only understandable given your warped perception of democracy.
                I also fail to see how its “democratic” for a party to develop a policy that trumps their mp’s mid-term.

                “This is because, (and pay attention here ’cause it’s important), when you elect a party candidate because you like that party’s policy, you have the party there to not only hold the mp in line”

                An electorate MP is supposed to represent their electorate. THAT IS THE ENTIRE REASON for having electorate mps. Otherwise we’d simply have a party based voting system with only list mps to elect.

                Your entire outlook on that fact and suggests that they are are simply a different way of casting the party vote, and that electorate MPs have no responsibility to represent their masses if conflict arises.

                Your idea of democracy is so incomplete/primitive its probably the worst thing i’ve read all week, and that its not intentional only makes it harder to stomach.

                If you want some homework, read up on representation and how important that is to avoid tyranny of the majority.

                As for national turning back on the bill and being forced to support it, i suspect, but i’m not certain ti was because labour had enough votes to force it through regardless of what national wanted, but national was able to slip in a revision that wouldn’t make it illegal for parents that used ‘light force’.

                So between not-supporting it and having it passed in the worst possible state, or supporting it on paper and having it amended, they chose to support it.

                A lesser of two evils don’t you think. To do evil to prevent a greater evil?

                • Colonial Viper

                  If you want some homework, read up on representation and how important that is to avoid tyranny of the majority.

                  National believe that it is far better to have tyranny of the minority.

                  Where the top 5% of the population take most of society’s wealth, and subjugate the other 95% into onerous low paid jobs to feed trickle up capitalism.
                   
                  Yeah that’s just so much better in terms of “evils” to choose between lol
                   
                   

                • Pascal's bookie

                  bazar you’re an idiot.

                  People elect candidates that campaign under a certain party banner. They choose to elect these mps. They do not choose to elect independent mps that promise to run plebiscites on issues, or campaign on doing whatever is you want me to do. Instead, they freely choose to vote for and elect candidates that say, “I am a member of party x, and will vote accordingly”. That is what they vote for. This has been happening for at least the last two hundred years.

                  Given these undeniable facts, it is democratic for an mp to act as if s/he is a member of the party whose banner they campaigned under. Doing otherwise would be turning their back on the mandate that they have.

                  Honestly fool, you need to pay attention to the last few hundred years of politics. You will see some patterns. 

                  And John Key’s amendment was legally redundant. All it did was say that the police should have discretion about whether or not to charge. the police already have such discretion. the whole thing was politics. It was about John Key playing the part of the great mediator, calming the troubled waters and finding a sensible solution that all sides could agree to. But the amendment changed nothing in practical legal terms. And he made his mps vote for it.

                  • Bazar

                    How the hell can you think that its democratic for an electorate MP, elected by their electorate, to represent their electorate, that answers to their party over their electorate.

                    You seem to think that the moment an electorate candidate associates himself with a party movement not his own, he’s sold out, and thus voting for them is simply a second party vote.
                    Your either incredibly stupid, or incredibly cynical.

                    “Given these undeniable facts, it is democratic for an mp to act as if  s/he is a member of the party whose banner they campaigned under. Doing  otherwise would be turning their back on the mandate that they have.”

                    You keep repeating the word democratic over and over, i’m beginning to wonder if you know what it means, and how unqualified it is without context.

                    New Zealand is a representative democracy, we elect people to represent ourselves, and to represent our party views. That is the MMP system.
                    But to go back to your paragraph i quoted. Doing otherwise would be representing their electorate over towing the party line. There is nothing “democratic” over how the electorate mp votes, it is simply a matter of ethics and loyalty.

                    When the labour electorate MPs voted through the policy with an overwhelming opposition, they proved which quality they had more of, that being labour mp’s are loyal to their party.

                    I’ll add in case you haven’t worked out. I can agree with you that MPs have to tow the party line, but only if they are LIST MPs. Those MPs have a duty only to their party policies.
                     
                    The final thing i’d like to point out, is how the original comment was about how national was top down and labour was more open. All i’ve replied to since then has been how labour MPs aren’t allowed to have individual votes and the party is greater then the individual.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      It is democratic because they are acting they way they said they would act when they stood for election. They explicitly campaign for votes saying that if you vote for me, this is how I will act.   

                      As you say, we live in a representative democracy. We elect representatives, that’s the democratic part. The governing is done by those representatives essentially as they see fit. They are elected to use their judgement. They are beholden to the electorate for re-election. Part of that includes the fact that if they go against what the people really want, they won’t get re-elected. Representative Democracy. geddit? 

                      Now that’s all about how it works. You might wish it worked otherwise, but that’s no matter. The world is as it is, not as it ought. 

                      And your own example of s59 belies your argument re nat vs lab. Labour mps were made to vote the way they did by the fact that the broader party had passed a remit defining the policy that the mps were to follow. That’s about as bottom up as you can get in a political party.  National mps were made to vote to repeal because John Key told them to, for purely political reasons. It was about branding JK as a centrist deal maker. That’s some top down shit right there. And how many broke ranks? Zero. And after all those passionate speeches too.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      You also seem confused on another point. As I understand it, (and I am not a labour voter let alone a member)  labour did not make it policy ‘mid term’.

                      Seeing you are so het up about this issue, it might have paid for you to actually follow it. Work out what happened, and why. Observe the world as it is and form an opinion, rather than having an opinion and observing that world confirms it.

                    • Bazar

                      “It is democratic because they are acting they way they said they would act when they stood for election. They explicitly campaign for votes saying that if you vote for me, this is how I will act.  ”
                       
                      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0703/S00297.htm

                      It is unheard of for a private member’s bill to be put into urgency, but this shows the desperation by the Prime Minister to get this legislation rammed through before her MP’s hear the voice of their constituents during the Easter recess and change their vote.”
                      Mr McCoskrie says that the Labour MP’s must be finding this incredibly difficult, especially as they campaigned before the election that it was a conscience vote. Electorate based MP’s should be concerned about a voter backlash at the election next year.

                       
                       

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Arguing from the specific to the general. Is that the best you’ve got?

                      fact is, voters vote for party candidates. All parties whip their mps. If the voters didn’t like parties with that sort of discipline, such parties wouldn’t survive.

                      National was far more top down and whipped than Labour over s59, and yet they won the government benches.

                    • Bazar

                      “Arguing from the specific to the general. Is that the best you’ve got?”
                      My post was very specific, it countered your argument that labour MPs were only doing what they said they would do at the elections.
                      And that’s all it did, and it did it well.
                      Your post just ignored that aspect in its entirety, and now goes on to talk about how all parties whip their mps.
                      Who is it that’s gone from specific to general again?
                      I guess that’s the end of this argument.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      My post was very specific, it countered your argument that labour MPs were only doing what they said they would do at the elections.

                      Your comment was a simple cut and paste from a McCroskie press release.

                      My argument is that party mps (and not just labour ones) stand as party candidates, and are elected on that basis. To counter it you would  need to show that candidates do not campaign as being a part of a party.

                      Your copmplete failure to actually adress what i am saying does tend to indicate that further discussion is futile. I was unaware that you had an argument, to be quite honest.

                    • Bazar

                      “Your copmplete failure to actually adress what i am saying does tend to indicate that further discussion is futile. I was unaware that you had an argument, to be quite honest.”

                      I’ve addressed it repeatedly, and repeatedly we come to the same fallacy of yours: That electorate MPs are democratically obliged to follow the party over their electorate.

                      Your reasoning for such obligations being that when they were voted in, they said they’d follow party lines. But with the anti-smacking case, which is what this has all been about, many said they would do a conscience vote.

                      They were voted in, with the promise that they would not tow the party line in regards to the smacking bill, yet that’s exactly what happened.

                      Now i’m going to have to take a step back from this argument to try and show you where things are.

                      The last valid point you made, before becoming defensive and claiming how little i understood was:

                      “It is democratic because they are acting they way they said they would act when they stood for election. They explicitly campaign for votes saying that if you vote for me, this is how I will act. ”

                      I’ve shown that to not be the case.

                      Since then you’ve:

                      – Ignored that the labour electorate mps campained one way, and voted the other.
                      – Failed to explain how such an action is democratic, given your previous definition would seem to contradict.
                      – Accused me of giving a general statement when it was very specific to your reply.
                      – Given a general statement that “… All parties whip their mps…” in return.
                      – Talked about how national is more whipped then labour, but i haven’t been talking about national. “They did it too” arguments justify nothing.
                      – And finally the exit clause, because it’s easier to blame my inability to think logically and leave then it is to counter what i’ve provided.

                      I’ll give you a cheat-sheet on how you can continue, since it seems you’re unable to follow the flow of this arguement:

                      – You could agree that what happened with s59 wasn’t very democratic with electorate MPs and that labour is normally better than that.
                      – You could argue that such an action is democratic, in that once they have power they can do anything they like regardless of what they said. But that does nothing to justify it, which in turn comes back to how Carol was calling labour a party that does things through open debate instead of top-down corporate approach.
                      – You could try to further explain how MP’s doing what they said they wouldn’t is their moral obligation. But it’d be pretty hard to build such a case without creating more contradictions.
                      – Finally you can use the exit clause you’ve readied, in that I’m unable to understand anything you write and that arguing with such an imbecile is a waste of your time.

                       

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      You keep saying that I commit a fallacy, but fail to explain why. Disagreeing with you about the nature of representation is not fallacious. 

                      The fact remains that mps stand as party candidates. They say that if elected they will act as members of a political party, and they do. 

                      You raised s59 as some sort of counterexample. But here the fact is that it was a private members bill from a Green party mp. 

                      The labour party never campaigned on introducing such legislation. From memory, the fact that a remit had been passed at conference was not widely discussed. It is quite likely that candidates were unaware of it. So as proud as you are of the example, it doesn’t actually prove what you think it does. 

                      If you have a quote from a candidate saying that s/he knows what the party policy is and that they will ignore it, I’d like to see it. I think you will find that candidates who said they would vote against it were not aware of the remit. 

                      But in any case, there is no contradiction. Because what I was saying about candidates doing what they promised on the hustings related quite specifically to ‘acting as party mps’. Read that quote of mine in context, if you don’t mind.

                      So party candidates, standing for election as Labour party mps, ended up accepting Labour Party policy and voting accordingly. Just as my theory of representation said they would.

                      When the bill came up, the party had to say that as party mps they would be whipped, given that the remit had been passed. This is the party grassroots membership controlling mps. ie bottom up within the party structure.

                      You object to this and say that it is undemocratic because their electorates didn’t agree with the measure. There is a logic to this. But it is an outmoded and abandoned view of representation. It assumes that an electorate mp is elected to cast proxy votes on behalf of the electorate. The more modern view ( by which I mean for at least the last 2 hundred years) is that mps are elected to exercise their judgement. They are not proxies at all. 

                      I am not saying that you have to believe this is the way it should be. You clearly think that mps should act like proxies for their electorate, however that might be managed. 

                      All I am saying is that the way that our system actually works, in practice, is that mps stand on a party platform. The mandate they have is to act as a member of the party whose banner they are elected under. It is not ‘putting the party ahead of the electorate’ in the sense you seem to mean. The  mandate they have is to act as a part of the party. They don’t have a mandate to be a loose cannon. This is what I don’t think you have addressed.

                      This is why it is not uncommon for mps who quit a party to face calls to stand down and face a by election to regain a mandate as an independent electorate mp. 

                      Often they refuse to do so and linger out the end of the term at which point the electorate ditches them. Think about what that means.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Or perhaps you can point me to the last electorate candidate elected on a platform of: “I’ll do whatever you tell me to. I am a blank slate and will merely transmit your voice through my parliamentary vote”

                      That candidate would have no mandate to do anything but what the electorate wanted.

                      Candidates who stand on a platform however, are democratically obligated to try and fulfill that platform. Would you agree with that?

    • Mac1 1.2

      Would that be the same tactic that the Nats are using. Key does only the good news, McCully does the bad and other Ministers don’t. Examples of the latter took place earlier this week when first Minister Bennett and then newby Minister Parata both declined to be interviewed by National Radio on their portfolios.

      They should be called on this by the reporters who are deprived of journalist opportunity and by the opposition for being afraid to front.

  2. PeteG 2

    Captcha: missing

    Let’s have more of Labour’s ‘contenders’:

    Yep, I’m all for that. I don’t care if they are all “leadership contenders” (far better than leaderless pretenders) as long as they can be seen to contribute strongly to the caucus and parliament – I’m sick of poliwhingers.
     
    Friday joke: How do you know when a plane load of Labourites has arrived at the airport?
    You can still here the whining when the engines have stopped.
     
     

    • lprent 2.1

      How can you tell a PeteG comment without looking at the name?

      Look for the simple spelling errors that require human intelligence to solve – betting on those is the most interesting part of the comment.

      Like hear vs here vs hair…

      Hey I made a ‘joke’ comment as fatuous and boring as PeteG does!

    • RobC 2.2

      Thursday Joke (at least I know what day of the week it is):

      How do you know when a plane load of NActs has arrived at the airport?
      They don’t. They all travel in helicopters.

    • Armchair Critic 2.3

      Speaking of arriving at the airport – how’s National’s plan to stem the one way flow to Australia going?

      • Luxated 2.3.1

        Well they’ve long since cut off the flow in the other direction.  The westbound lane is proving more resilient though 😉

  3. feijoa 3

    Also heard Goff on Checkpoint last night, and  he clearly listed the reasons why selling the Crafar farms to the Chinese was a bad idea, in the very short time he had to speak. Will TV and newspapers also please give the man a fair airing? Wont hold my breath….

  4. outofbed 4

    But the credibility gap is, that when he was in the R Douglas Government
    He would have supported the sale quicker then a ferrit up a drainpipe

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      A long time ago now, and people learn as they go through their lives.
       
      Labour should be far more emphatic about issues of economic sovereignty however, lets turn it all up a notch so there is no doubt left.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        A long time ago now, and people learn as they go through their lives.

        Well, we hope they do anyway.

        Labour should be far more emphatic about issues of economic sovereignty however,

        Yep. Need to readdress quite a lot of the economic policies that the 4th Labour government brought back in as well. One that needs to be discussed is the renationalisation of natural monopolies. Leaving them in private hands does the country ill.

        • outofbed 4.1.1.1

          yeah an election policy saying ‘
          nationalisation of power generation’
          would have me voting labour in a flash
           
          I won’t lose any sleep though

      • M 4.1.2

        Economic sovreignty along with social wellbeing should be uppermost in people’s and politicians’ minds. If Goff seems too diffident he then needs a good wing man like David Cunliffe if the RNZ performance is anything to go by.

        If David is coming out saying that Labour’s policies will be properly costed and if they are set out clearly for the public then Labour may have a chance because Phil is a little tarnished by the NACT smear machine.

        The old saw that power does not always reside with the most obvious person may be true in this case, if David by shadowing Phil can make Labour appear more competent and therefore electable.  

  5. Tanz 5

    I would rather live in Herne Bay, too. Must be an improvement over Glen Eden, eh what. Good on him. The politics of envy.

    • Monty 5.1

      The problem is that Labour is bereft of intellectual grunt the likes of which Clark and Cullen had (as much as I detest them both). But the problems in Labour are deep, and the public are not listening. No one is interesting in a factional party, with no idea how they are going to address the problems that NZ is facing. Labour make spending promises the country knows are unaffordable. labour have no plan to reduce the $15b annual deficit which is the legacy of Cullen. No one in Labour really wants to see the return of the corrupt Winston.

      No wonder Labour are so demoralized.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        No wonder Labour are so demoralized.

        Oh my friend, the party is only getting started 🙂

        labour have no plan to reduce the $15b annual deficit which is the legacy of Cullen.

        The plan is simple, replace that disaster of an incompetent Finance Minister, English. You know, the one who gave himself and all his rich mates tax cuts to the tune of hundreds per week, then wondered why he had to urgently deal with an unfunded deficit a few months later.

        The guy belongs in the 1980’s textbooks.

        Now, any other questions Monty?

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Quite like Glen Eden myself but I do like Helensville if I was the MP for Helensville I definitely would live their. Why dosent Key live in Helensville?

    Dipton on the other hand I hear is a shit hole but cleaners  are cheap, yup if I was the MP for Dipton I would live in oh I dunno maybe Wellington.
    How much would you pay for a cleaner in Wellington Tanz any idea?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Why dosent Key live in Helensville?

      Hawaii has more sun and less cows?

      • Rich 6.1.1

        I thought it was because he hasn’t found a house with a yard big enough to land the helicopter.

    • Tanz 6.2

      Twenty bucks an hour, minimum.

      I don’t blame Key for not living in Helensville, too far away. His electorate office is actually in Huapai, quite a few miles from Helensville.

      Yeah, Glen Eden is quite nice, I was only joking really.

      Happy Easter.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.2.1

        and dont forget the Kumeu office Tanz, the office someone tried to burn from memory,nothing wrong with Kumeu either he could live their?

        Happy easter to you as well.

        Anti spam word (fires)

        • Tanz 6.2.1.1

          At least Kumeu is a bit closer to the city, but then, many other MPs don’t live in their electorates, either. He can live here, there, anywhere.

  7. Fat Uncle 7

    Amen

    rather have too many potential leaders than not a fucking one…

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