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Fisiani Gets it Right

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, January 23rd, 2016 - 211 comments
Categories: election 2017, john key, national - Tags:

Let’s get this straight. Fisiani’s on-going sycophantic love-in with John Key may be nauseatingly embarrassing to read, but this does not make him necessarily wrong. Unforeseeable circumstances aside, John Key will see out five or six terms in office. He will then likely hand over to his carefully anointed National party successor. National will govern uninterrupted. Key is only the dark beginning. We already know most of the reasons why:

1. Key was appointed to run NZ from within his prior role at the the US Fed. He has powerful allies not just within the local establishment, but globally. In a highly globalized world this counts for a lot more than most of us imagine.

2. Thirty five years of neo-liberal dogma that is designed to appeal to the selfish and greedy in us all has eroded the foundations of civil society. 25% of us that were born here with pre-80’s pro-social values have left, and too many of those who have arrived came from countries where they are notably lacking.

3. National is funded with a landslide of money. It almost doesn’t know what to do with it all. Labour by contrast can barely afford mailouts to it’s membership.

4. The National govt runs an extremely well resourced PR organisation that the left cannot and never will match. Because the left sees itself as reformers, our internal discussions will always be louder and more rambunctious. By contrast the right is always united around the power of money, and will not only stay on message discipline … it will ruthlessly exploit any perceived dissent or weakness the left exposes.

5. At present there is no credible means for the left to effectively convey it’s message to the public. We have been shut down or marginalised, to the point we are pretty much constrained to social media.

6. A large fraction of the middle swing voters are fundamentally dubious about ever voting left because they perceive, rightly or wrongly that Labour and the Greens are prone to being captured by ‘PC gone mad’ special interest groups. Yes this is a fraught and nuanced issue … but none of this matters to a segment of the voting public who just hate it at a gut level.

7. At the same time too many of Labour’s senior people seem to have made their peace with the Establishment. And this just leaves another segment of voters uninspired, contemptuous of ‘beltway pollies with their snouts in the trough’, and lacking an option they want to vote for, they stay at home.

8. The continued assault on left wing institutions like unions, workers education, and social entities that once allowed us to organise effectively. Activism from behind a keyboard only takes us a certain distance; it’s weak at turning ideas into reality.

9. Increasing state surveillance and loss of civil liberties. What has happened to Ambrose, Hagar, Vance and others will continue to chill the public debate.

10. Too many activists on the left repeatedly make the basic mistake of confusing a dislike for John Key and what he stands for … for a lack of respect for his considerable political and managerial skills. It’s really time we stopped making this basic error.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. I’m certain others here can ably add to it or extend it. Nor is it meant as a counsel of despair. But it does inform us that Business As Usual will condemn us to more of the same.

Just waiting for the day when the NZ voters decided that they’re sick of Key’s face, and decide its ‘time to give the other guys a turn’ will not work. That plan is dead; fisiani is right on this one matter.

211 comments on “Fisiani Gets it Right ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Thanks RL.

    I agree that Key is a formidable opponent. My policitical activism started just before Muldoon became PM and he was the other modern National leader who had superb political skills. Key is brighter than Muldoon and has a much greater EQ which means that he will be that much more difficult to defeat.

    Us on the left despair about Key because his failings and his inability to lead New Zealand properly is so clear. By politics is not about this. Perception is way more important than reality.

    My personal view is that we will struggle against National competing on its terms because although it’s understanding of issues, and it’s knee jerk against the right solutions, is awful, it’s attention to PR means that it usually wins.

    This is really upsetting to the university educated analytical left because our thought processes and our approach clearly produce the better result. By how can people not see this …

    My personal view is that a Bernie Saunders or Jeremy Corbyn approach is preferable because a clear alternative is offered. Triangulating slightly to the left of Key’s positions which are reached through the finest of data driven political decision making means that Labour looks no different to the current regime. And people need a reason to change. And there are plenty of reasons right now.

    • Anne 1.1

      My personal view is that we will struggle against National competing on its terms because although it’s understanding of issues, and it’s knee jerk against the right solutions, is awful, it’s attention to PR means that it usually wins.

      And this is where the Paganis and Quins and their like-minded supporters are so wrong. They want Labour to use the same pathway to victory and they are incapable of comprehending why it can’t happen. National will always win on such a projectory. We can’t come anywhere near their hugely expensive PR campaigns and the political trickery that goes with them. The Nats effectively buy their winning power and we have no hope of ‘out-bidding’ them.

      We have only one path way. A clear and obvious alternative via a mix of Bernie Saunders and Jeremy Corbyn… finessed to suit the New Zealand way of life. That is our only hope.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        + 1

        If you want a glimpse to the Pagani approach I found this website recently …


        • newsense

          Don’tcha wish your leader had a website like me
          don’tcha wish your leader was fun like me
          don’tcha don’tcha

          Pagani 2017!

          (will stand as an independent if Labour doesn’t elect her their presidential candidate)

          Corbyn don’t have no website

      • weka 1.1.2

        “We have only one path way. A clear and obvious alternative via a mix of Bernie Saunders and Jeremy Corbyn… finessed to suit the New Zealand way of life. That is our only hope.”

        Except Labour doesn’t have a Saunders or Corbyn, and many Labourites hate the idea of such a thing. How can it happen then? Genuine question for you and micky and any other Labourites here.

        • sabine

          last i checked the Greens are not going to make it on their own either, and they have no Sanders nor Corbyn either.

          So maybe we her in Nuzillind just have to make do with what we have?

          And that is a genuine question to you and the Greens here, how can it happen here?

          • weka

            “And that is a genuine question to you and the Greens here, how can it happen here?”

            How can what happen here? A Corbyn-like shift? That’s for Labour not the GP. The GP kaupapa remains much as it always has as far as I can tell. They’re now making headway with the mainstream, both by influencing culture and politics, and by gaining power. NZ has a window of opportunity to vote/support the GP before they are forced to become more centrist. I would see the best potential NZ has is for a chunk of the left to swing behind the Greens. The GP on 18% and Labour on 25% would change things significantly, not least because Labour might finally be pushed to sort its shit out one way or the other.

            • sabine

              Why is it for Labour?
              Because you say so? Why can’t it be Mana or the Greens that unite the opposition?

              As you say they make headway in teh media, they are influencing culture and politcs they are gaining power?

              So why would it be up to Labour to come up with a Sanders or a Crobyn? Why not the Greens?

              Really ?

              I think I made it clear many many times ago, that unless the Green pull well over 30% (to replace Labour) the greens will have to go into coalition to go into government, so to me it is not Labour or Green, it is Labour and Green, and anyone else who wants to get the current National Led Government removed from power. I have voted for both Parties, i have however never voted for National.

              question: do you think NZ has the time for the Greens to get up to that number? Question: Do you think the Greens will make that number before it is too late?

              • weka

                “Why is it for Labour?
                Because you say so? Why can’t it be Mana or the Greens that unite the opposition? ”

                I’m not talking about uniting the opposition. I’m talking about a Corbyn-like shift to an actual left-wing narrative. That’s the natural home of Labour. I agree that Mana also hold this position, but they’re not big enough to influence at the moment. The GP have left wing policies, but they don’t fit easily into the traditional left-right (they’re on the vertical axis).

                I also think it’s not part of the GP kaupapa to have a celebrity-like leader in the way that Corbyn or Sanders is. The co-leadership will prevent that and the general way the party organises itself. I don’t think having a celebrity-like leader is a bad thing, I just don’t think it’s right for the GP (and I don’t see anyone coming up the ranks that could do it anyway. Could be wrong though).

                “question: do you think NZ has the time for the Greens to get up to that number?”


                “Question: Do you think the Greens will make that number before it is too late?”


                But it’s not that simple. I’m happy for NZ to have a Labour/GP coalition govt. But I’m not sure we are doing to get one and if Labour fails to sort its shit out and we end up with another term of National, then I think it’s better for NZ if Labour dies or splits. That’s not about Labour, it’s about the neoliberal strain within Labour.

                If we do get one, I’d like to see the Greens with more MPs so that they have a chance of bypassing the small partner syndrome and can form a real partnership with Labour. It would also give us the best chance of moving things left. The biggest obstacle to a left wing govt isn’t Key, it’s Peters. Think about that.

        • Anne

          No weka. A large majority of “labourites” voted for Andrew Little. What made it a close run thing was the Labour caucus whose votes represented 40% of the final total. In other words, the vote of each caucus member was worth nearly double that of the membership and affiliated unions. Since when, Andrew has successfully gained the trust and admiration of the entire caucus as far as I can tell.

          No, we don’t have a Saunders or a Corbyn but we don’t want a replica of either of them. We want a good hardworking Kiwi leader who stands for fairness and justice and who has the smarts to go with it. That is Andrew Little.

          • weka

            I like Little and think he has lots of potential as bother leader and PM. But he’s hobbled by the problems within Labour. I think he’s a good thing for Labour and I would guess he will do his best with what he has, but I really don’t see him pulling Labour into the kinds of policies and politics that Saunders and Corbyn are doing. He is not at any rate doing that thus far, so I am still curious as to how that would happen.

            I know that many members voted for Little. That wasn’t what I meant. What I meant was that many within Labour ties who have influence find the whole idea of Corbyn abhorrent. That’s a problem for any leftwards movement.

      • fisiani 1.1.3

        Thank you for the post which I first assumed would be ironic but on reading realise that there is an acceptance of the underlying perhaps unpalatable truth of of my posts. Here I agree with you Anne. No Labour leader can possibly outshine Key in personality. Key will have the job as long as he wants in all probability. The only way to win is to make it about policy and not personality.
        The British Labour Party for many years had what they called Clause IV
        To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.
        Nationalisation of the banks, the insurance industry, transport and housing is a clear alternative to National.
        That of course means the eradication of the Right from Labour and the imposition of candidates who reflect the views of the membership. Or just sit back and let Nash, Mallard, O’Connor Pagani et al achieve a vote of 30%. Sanders and Corbyn prove the point that many are thirsting for a real alternative and not simply being National-lite.

      • lurgee 1.1.4

        We have only one path way. A clear and obvious alternative via a mix of Bernie Saunders and Jeremy Corbyn… finessed to suit the New Zealand way of life. That is our only hope.

        Comfortable delusion.

        This is a small, right wing country now. Moving left is not an option. There is not missing million any longer. Nor are any part of the 50% voting for the right simply waiting for a more left alternative.

        Britain is different. The USA is different. New Zealand is New Zealand and we have to accept the reality of New Zealand’s situation.

        • Scott M


          Actually there is. [RL: Deleted. Not helpful]

          • weka


            Lurgee, 50% of NZ didn’t vote for National, stop reinforcing that bit of bullshit.

            • Colonial Viper

              and only one in five registered voters put Labour down on their ballot papers. Quite telling for a party which is supposed to stand for the interests of the 99%.

            • lurgee

              Lurgee, 50% of NZ didn’t vote for National, stop reinforcing that bit of bullshit.

              I didn’t say they did. I referred to “the 50% voting for the right”.

              National 47.04%
              Conservative 3.97%
              ACT 0.69%
              UF 0.22%

              That adds up to to least 52%. And that’s not even including NZ First, which I would regard as rightwing.

              If you are going to disagree with me, at least base it on things I’ve said, not things you want me to have said. I’m not entirely stupid, all the time.

              • lurgee

                At least = almost.

                It’s 3am. Gimme a break.

              • weka

                Fair enough, but my point still stands. The right didn’t get 50% ish of the vote, because of the missing million. You can say the missing million don’t exist, but they do. Whether or not you are right that we can no longer go left, it’s not going to be because 50% of NZ is neoliberal right wing, they’re just simply not.

                • alwyn

                  “The right didn’t get 50% ish of the vote, because of the missing million”
                  If you claim that you are “misquoted” or “quoted out of context” you are really going to have to be more careful in what you say.
                  The right did get 50%ish OF THE VOTE. The missing million you talk about are those who DIDN’T vote, aren’t they?
                  They therefore are not, by definition, part of the vote.
                  Now what do you find so hard to understand?
                  Or perhaps I should just call you a creepy liar and leave it at that.

                  • weka

                    Except I’m not a creepy liar, which my long history on ts shows. But your comment just now, seen in the context of other comments by you to me in recent times just reinforces the impression that you are a creep. Others already recognise that you routinely lie.

                    I’m pretty sure that you are quite capable of understanding the argument I just made to lurgee even if I wasn’t pedantically correct, so I can only assume now that you are here to harass me.

          • lurgee


            Actually there is.

            I agree there is. But – unless something truly stupendous happens – we can only arrive at the alternative incrementally.

        • sabine

          Votes by party 2014

          National Party

          Labour Party

          Green Party

          New Zealand First Party

          Māori Party

          ACT New Zealand

          United Future


          Internet MANA

          Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party


          Democrats for Social Credit

          The Civilian Party

          NZ Independent Coalition

          Focus New Zealand

          So the other side of the coin is that 52. 96% did not vote for National.
          And 1 million people did not vote at all. They are so disenfranchised or disillusioned or wary that they did not bother vote.

          • Pat

            I often wonder about the make up of the “missing million’….surely someone has done some work on that by now?…although it seems accepted they are disenfranchised potential left voters i wonder if a sizable portion arn’t perhaps immigrants with either no history of democratic action or expats of corrupt regimes (welcome home) with a proclivity to keep their heads down……if that is case then the assumption the vote would favour the left may be wrong.

            • sabine

              most non voters that i know are male, white and no one ever did anything for them and they can’t be bothered.

              These are the ones that I know and I did manage to talk a few people into voting, usually by reminding them that they do not forcibly vote for themselves but for their children that as of now are still to young to vote.
              I know that one person voted for Mana, another one voted for the Greens.
              Personally I don’t care who votes fro whom, i want people to vote and assert their rights.

              This time around i will make sure that the young ones in my life are registered to vote and then go and do tho. Again, whom they vote for who cares. Vote!!

            • Shona

              I absolutely agree Pat. I have had Filipinos work for me over the last 30 years. All NZ citizens. Only one , a young man who was educated here bothers to vote. He now has his own family. Immigrants are a collective that needs emancipating . These hardworking people are afraid to hold or voice opinions in my experience.

              • Pat

                “These hardworking people are afraid to hold or voice opinions in my experience.”

                thats been my observation as well ,and is often compounded by language barrier….and is also an understandable natural reaction.

                Suspect the likes of Matthew Hooton will have been commissioned at some point to analyse this but expect any results would lose their value by publicity

          • Tautuhi

            Alot of people are so disillusioned with politics and all the b/s in NZ they can’t be bothered voting which helps National?

          • acrophobic

            …or they are so content with the status quo, they do not bother to vote?

        • Anne

          This is a small, right wing country now. Moving left is not an option.

          What a load of bollocks! You ask the majority of voters how do you like being right wing? they wouldn’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Most don’t even know what right and left in politics means.

          Many of them vote for Nat. and co. because they’re greedy and think that if they align with National there will be some pickings in it for them. One day they will wake up and realise they were conned.

          Others vote for Nat and co. because they are gullible and fall for the dirty political lines fed to them by JK and a pliant media. One day they will wake up and realise they were conned.

          Then what? They’ll turn to the alternative opposition just as they have done so many times before. Now off you go back to your comfortable but delusional chair for another snooze.

          • Anne

            The above was an answer to lurgee @1.1.4

          • fisiani

            The majority of people who vote National are aspirational for themselves and their families. Back in the fifties you needed a labour government to give you an opportunity. Now things have changed and if you want a handout then vote paternalistic Labour. If you want to run a business or your children run a business then they vote National.

            • Keith

              Ah the worn out ol’ chestnut, National are good for business!

              Businesses are being priced out of the sick property market in Auckland at least, which I know to be correct, businesses that need to remain in Auckland and that Auckland need, a situation that National have sat idly by and watched, cluelessly. How the hell is that good for “business”?

            • Ch-ch Chiquita

              Bullshit. National is not good for small local businesses. They are only good for corporations.

      • Peter 1.1.5

        …… agreed ……. so who is the person in NZ who will get the emotional support from voters that BS and JC generate?

    • weka 1.2

      And the Saunders/Corbyn effect is missing from Red’s analysis. It might be that non-voters don’t vote left because they see MPs as troughers or they see the left as an embodiment of PC, but it’s also true that many people simply don’t see Labour as competent in general or at left wing politics, or providing anything worth voting for anymore. Until that changes I don’t think we will see an increase in voter turnout or leftwing votes.

      I suspect the GP loses votes to Labour at election time because some lefties still think that their vote should go to Labour if we are to have a strong government. People want to vote Green but they’re still stuck in the FPP mentality of what stable government is. I get that many Labourites are loyal, but one option is for a shift to the GP (as members, voters, supportes) and see what happens. Anything has to be better than this stalemate we are in now.

      I don’t think the PC issue is relevant to Green voters, they support those issues after all. It’s the traditional Labour voters that don’t have anywhere to go currently (or are voting NZF).

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        And the Saunders/Corbyn effect is missing from Red’s analysis.

        You are right, I left it out for the sake of brevity, but I hoped it was an implied conclusion you might draw from item 7.

        Otherwise I completely agree. My loyalties tend to be personal in nature. I still have an enormous respect for Helen Clark and Michael Cullen, and a strong soft spot for David Cunliffe. But this doesn’t make me a Labourite.

        Equally I still mourn the untimely death of Rod Donald. How that tragedy has shaped the political trajectory of NZ is something we can only guess at. The GP has always promoted very good people in it’s caucus, but relatively few who I’d describe as inspiring. I normally vote Green, but that’s more because the tramper in me wants to weight environmental issues over economic ones, rather than prompted by much tribal loyalty.

        For most people the Greens just don’t yet cut enough emotional mustard to get up past the sub-15% ghetto they’ve been marooned in for so long.

        Yet the idea of getting the Greens to move up and take over from a politically straightjacketed Labour party has intellectual appeal as one path to breaking the deadlock. It really does … and I truly mean no offense to all the loyal Labour party activists and workers who might read this.

        • weka

          I also still think about Rod Donald and what would have happened had he not died.

          “For most people the Greens just don’t yet cut enough emotional mustard to get up past the sub-15% ghetto they’ve been marooned in for so long”

          Another right wing (or left/centre) meme that I think we are best not to support/promote. If you look at the number of MPs that the GP has had over its time in parliament it doesn’t look stuck in a sub-15% ghetto, it’s just slowly increasing over time with the odd backwards step before moving on again.

          “and I truly mean no offense to all the loyal Labour party activists and workers who might read this.”

          Me too.

        • maui

          And there’s the loss of Peter Blake too, I can imagine him campaigning against climate change if he was around, although I may be projecting.

    • Barfly 1.3

      No not brighter…just evil

    • The Outrider 1.4

      I have been giving this subject plenty of thought recently and am following the trajectory of Corbyn/Sanders fairly closely. What I find striking is not the absence of such a figure in the NZLP but the seeming lack of a openly leftist parliamentary grouping in the current party incarnation. I am sure they are there but at present they must be timidly hiding under the bedclothes in fear of appearing too outspoken or going against the club moderate party line.

      In the case of the UKLP, this grouping never disappeared even at the height of New Labour. Often (even very recently) it was tiny but always there as the guardian of party values. In the US where the political landscape is vastly different, Bernie Sanders has been able to hold his seat while also holding his values. Left wing values had a voice in the land of the ‘free’ market.

      The NZLP desperately needs such a voice to ensure that they are not viewed as Nat Lite or a pale copy of their former self. Fresh ideas and policy debate will reinvigorate the party and keep it relevant to voters.

      So in the context of this thread, it is critical that a space is created or reopened from where a Corbyn/Sanders figure can emerge. At the moment such an environment is sorely lacking.

  2. Reposted from OM

    A thoughtful list red

    2 – if they leave and go to oz where the same neogame is on then what? Is it just the money? and if so what does that say about those that leave (not personal I know you are there I’m just trying to understand).

    a lot of your other points are true imo and they have produced kickback and still do and this process of opposing the lines and memes they push will continue.

    I cannot really get my head around the shorttermism though – shit didn’t labour run the show for 3 terms??? now after 3 gnat terms he’s emperor for life??? You guys need to take a leaf out of indigenous struggles which last until they are sorted – that is commitment and truth not some quick fix or skyalien solution.

    everything can turn on a dime (ironic I know) and it often does – as soon as we think we know what the story is nature and the universe are apt to drop a wee stick in the spokes – the sticks are already in there imo

    • weka 2.1


      Emperor Key is a potent meme that the right are currently controlling. Not sure of the value of having a post agreeing with it on such a prominent left wing blog.

      I agree about turning on a dime, and prefer to look at the situations at tipping points and where we can best intervene to influence which way it goes. We’re at one with Climate Change where so many people now are starting to feel the importance and urgency. I also think we are at one with Key because of the embarrassment factor and the bringing the Prime Minister’s office into disrepute. He doesn’t seem to be able to help himself and I’d be surprised if we don’t get more and more of this over the next year.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Yes it is a potent meme alright. In large part because there is some real substance to it. Contrast with the supremely capable Helen Clark who by this stage in her third term was struggling. Hell she only got a third term with a fat streak of good luck.

        Key on the other hand looks almost as strong as he did nine years ago, and there’s a huge gap between him and any contender.

        My contention is that the ground has shifted under us and we need to put our thinking caps on. I agree it can turn on a dime; but not just any old one. The right one.

        • weka

          But Key doing well now could also be because Labour are in such a mess. My favourite theory is still Lynn’s, that NZers want competency and Labour just doesn’t provide that assurance currently (whether it’s true or not). It’s not that National are better at running the country, it’s that they project that they’re better, plus they’re the encumbents. At the end of Clark’s years people were ready for a change and there was someone else competent to pick. Middle NZ doesn’t have that option at the moment.

          “My contention is that the ground has shifted under us and we need to put our thinking caps on.”

          Completely agree with that.

  3. weka 3

    When was the last time NZ voted a government in for a fourth term?

    I think there is a danger in being this defeatist without a plan. How many people read this and go, ok that’s that then, and then back to whatever they were doing?

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Yep there have only been two occasions, the first Labour Government which was that phenomenally good and the second National Government which did little but ruled during good times and looked after the PR. We do not live in good times …

    • cogito 3.2

      All we need is a good plan. If we value our country, our democratic institutions and our communities, we owe it to them to get our act sorted.

  4. sabine 4

    Left or more inclusive the Opposition will loose if they will not co-operate. That includes all the parties at the other end of the spectrum.

    pool resouces
    shared strategy
    etc etc etc

    if each and every one barks up their own tree the status quo will prevail. it is quite as simple as that.

    As of now, the opposition is barking up trees.

    • RedLogix 4.1


    • weka 4.2

      The Greens have been ready and willing and offering to cooperate for a very long time. In the last election cycle or so they started to run out of patience. I think the potential is there but there is only so long they’re going to play Mr Nice Guy.

      Winston Peters (not necessarily NZF) is the biggest obstacle to left wing co-operation (and he’s not even left wing).

      • sabine 4.2.1

        well the Greens will have to have a lot of patience then, unless they change their rules, policies and regulations about how they run their business and a and go into coalition with National. Or wait another 10 – 15 – 20 years until they have enough numbers to go themselves. question is, does NZ have the time?

        Simple as that. It does not matter that the Greens are almost there with labour, they are currently not. Without Labour the Greens get to sit on the side benches be inpotent and fete the opening of a cycle way. With Labour the Greens get to sit in government and could do some actuall good.

        Patience a virtue not many have.

        And Peter F Dunne and Nikki Kaye laugh all the way to the bank.

        • weka

          The Greens know from experience that they influence change in NZ without being in govt. That’s something not to be risked lightly. If you can’t see the influence they already have there is probably not much I can say that will make sense.

          Like I said the GP have been offering to cooperate with Labour for a long time. You can bring a horse to water and all that. What else do you think they could do?

          • sabine

            They could stay and not run away immediately when something does not go their way.
            They could vote strategically in electorates where their candidate does not stand a chance to win a cupcake contest.
            They could not throw a temper tantrum and throw away the toys.
            And if they take pictures with the Labour leaders and promote the idea that they will work together, they then should work together.
            As it stands we now have P.Dunne and N. Kaye in part because the Greens did not support the labour candidate in these electorates, both whom lost within the numbers of the votes the Green Candidate received. Would it have changed anything in the larger scheme of things? probs no, but it would have send a message, it would have shown unity.

            But obviously the Green Party will only work with Labour when Labour does what? Precisely?
            What do you want Labour to do? And please don’t go back to the eighties, or even the nineties. We are 2016 and we are running out of time and resources.

            So there.

            • weka

              Please provide examples (with links) of the GP doing the following (because otherwise it’s hard to know what you are on about):

              – running away immediately when something does not go their way.
              – throwing a temper tantrum and throw away the toys.
              – having their picture taken with the Labour leaders and promote the idea that they will work together, and then not working together.

              They could vote strategically in electorates where their candidate does not stand a chance to win a cupcake contest.

              As it stands we now have P.Dunne and N. Kaye in part because the Greens did not support the labour candidate in these electorates, both whom lost within the numbers of the votes the Green Candidate received. Would it have changed anything in the larger scheme of things? probs no, but it would have send a message, it would have shown unity.

              Maybe. The GP hasn’t yet cost the left an election via it’s standing in electorates. If they hadn’t stood in Dunne’s electorate it’s likely that National wouldn’t have either and we’d still have Dunne. So the GP have to weigh up the benefits of giving up some of their party vote for the symbolic gain (this applies to Waitakere as well).

              As for shows of unity, the GP had their hand out to Labour for a long time and were continually rejected. Despite disagreeing with GP and Labour policy on concessions, I also get that the GP won’t be wanting to give up party votes for gratis with no reciprocal arrangement (formal or informal).

              But obviously the Green Party will only work with Labour when Labour does what? Precisely?

              Oh, how about Labour being willing to? FFS sabine, it’s pretty recent that Labour have had a policy of working together instead of going it alone. That’s a change since the election in 2014, and Little has hinted at it but not a lot more (see Pat’s post elsewhere in the thread about something that Little said yesterday that is more substantial. Which is hopeful). I assume that Labour and the Greens are working on this in private, but the record shows that Labour have repeatedly over a long period of time rejected the notion of working with the GP in this way. They wanted to be the big party and now they’ve finally realised that they need the GP and are changing accordingly. There wasn’t much the GP could do about that.

              If you have evidence that Labour have wanted to work with the GP and the GP has rejected, please do post it.

    • Tautuhi 4.3

      Labour, Greens, NZF and Mana all self destructed at the last election, if they worked together and had a Plan things might be different today. Winston NZF, and the Greens came out of the Election with some credibility. However NZers are smitten with John Key and his relationship with his BBF’s Ritchie McCaw and Barrack Obama.

  5. BM 5

    The left is splintered and will never win or be a successful government unless one left wing party is at least 40% of the vote.

    Too many chefs scare the voter, because they have no idea what sort of dish will be cooked up.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Agreed. That could easily make Item 11.

      In one sense it’s a variation on the old “party with the most seats should form the government’ FPP thinking … but rational or not it still carries weight with many voters.


      • weka 5.1.1

        Why 40%?

        Helen Clark formed govt in 1999 with less then 40% of the vote. It was 38.74%, but still, it’s not like 40% is a magic number. All it takes is for the left to have the numbers to form a coalition. Let’s not forget that the last election was pretty close.

      • BM 5.1.2

        Especially when one major ingredient of the mix is rather exotic and untried

        For the long term success of the left the greens need to spend a bit of time on the winning side of parliament, at the moment that is National.

        This will give the voters an opportunity to see that they’re not an ingredient that will give them indigestion.

        • weka

          The Greens can’t form govt with National and remain the Green Party. This is so obvious that I can only conclude that your continually running the GP/Nact line is out and out astroturfing.

          • reason

            Asking the greens to join National is like asking Catholic nuns to join a swingers club …………….. different values and objectives you see.

            It seems to be a recurring tr0ll meme though …… It has been pointed out before that unless the Greens decide that polluting our clean fresh water with fecal pathogens and toxic algae bloom causing nitrates is ok …. as national do.

            And if the Greens also accept degrading our environment for greed and the short term buck is ok ……………… as national do.

            Then the tr0lls would be correct……

            If the Greens change and go the dirty National way ….. of seeing the environment as something they can change and exploit for a dirty dollar then yes ……they could go into coalition with 100% cow boy key and the nats……

            But the Greens value things like protecting the environment, having clean water and many other things that the Nats have no regard for.

            The Nats are about greed and the dollar you can make by exploiting whatever you can ……………….

            Also the Brash/Key/Farrar/Crosby-textor dirty politics way of governing is well beneath the Greens way of operating as well …..

            I’d like to see BM drink a glass of John Keys 100% clean green river water ….. from one of the many un-swimmable polluted ones that we have …….

            I’d then dress him in some flash white disco pants…… so when the dysentery came he would for all to see ………be the dirty arsehole squirting shit 🙂

            Which is what what he does here …… offering his ‘sincere’ troll advice.

            When the other tr0lls offer up their ‘sincere’ for the greens to join national, I suggest putting up some information with a link …….showing how our country is being poisoned and degraded through Nationals mismanagement

            ” WWF NZ’s recent publication ‘Beyond Rio’ shows that water quality has consistently declined over the last 20 years. It finds that of 300 waterways 96% were too polluted to swim in, a third of our lakes are sick and, below the soil, nitrates have invaded the groundwater in 39% of monitored sites.

            Two thirds of our native freshwater fish are in major decline. Up to 30,000 people contract waterborne diseases every year.

            The challenge is how to restore the health of our rivers, lakes and wetlands in the face of increasing intensification of farming and an ever-burgeoning car culture – the two biggest threats to our fresh water.” http://m.nzherald.co.nz/element-magazine/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503340&objectid=10887312

            And maybe ask a simple question like ……..

            How rich will national have made us? …. when all of our rivers are polluted ??

    • Halfcrown 5.2

      “Too many chefs scare the voter, because they have no idea what sort of dish will be cooked up.
      Agree 100%
      Also I feel National are more disciplined. They don’t appear to have the back stabbing Pagani’s in their party.
      I am sure there is dissent at times but with the help of the media they managed to keep it under wraps.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        I am sure there is dissent at times but with the help of the media they managed to keep it under wraps.

        They buy them both off – dissenters and media.

      • BM 5.2.2

        It’s also because they don’t consist of a multitude of factions all thinking that their crusade is the most holy one.

        • McFlock

          Yes. Or in other words, they don’t really care what the national party does as long as they get a tasteof the action: canterbury farmers don’t care if auckland slumlords don’t pay taxes, auckland property developers don’t care if canterbury farmers replace all the water with cowshit. As long as they get their money, fuck the rest of the planet.

    • Tautuhi 5.3

      Problem we have at the moment is we have an elected Dictatorship?

    • Tautuhi 5.4

      2016 is the Year of the Red Monkey so things could change very quickly?

  6. Once was Tim 6

    I agree with most of what you say, however I’m quite happy to continue to work under (what you have called) the delusion of his having political and managerial ‘skills’.
    I can’t accept that. I think the man is basically a bit of a dolt (the difference between animal cunning and instinct for survival, AND a level of intelligence).
    That may sound a little arrogant to most I’m sure – but its in the nature of things these days in our sound-bite world.
    He has the abilities of a used car salesman – many of whom are quite successful in terms of monetary gain – all well equipped with the lingo in vogue (going forwid), and an enterage of worshippers (in Key’s case – what once stood for individuals comprising our 4th Estate and various spin-meisters and trolls) …. a compliant hero worshipping ‘press’.
    In the corporate world, I’ve come across many of his ilk and thank Christ I no longer have to suffer it.
    I well recall a Michael Field article from years back to do with Fiji – where it was stated Key’s only understanding of the situation was from 30,000 feet above on the journey between Auckland and Hawaii – yet he was able to feign some sort of understanding of the reality through various mangled comments that were of sufficient volume to be acceptable to a fawning/hero-worshipping ‘press’

    I’m quite happy to persevere with my delusion – in the knowledge that the harder he rises, the harder he’ll fall, and knowing he’ll scamper up an Hawaian drainpipe when the shit eventually hits the fan.

    In short RL. he really is the Nick Leeson of NZ poltiks where rolling the dice once too often hasn’t yet occurred, and where rolling that dice is probably easier here than anywhere else on Earth

    • Once was Tim 6.1

      Ooops RL – I apologise. I made the mistake of assuming that what I think are good managerial ‘skills’, and what you think are – are one in the same.
      I also made the mistake of assuming ‘politics’ are just another commodity to be traded – bought and sold

    • RedLogix 6.2

      he knowledge that the harder he rises, the harder he’ll fall,

      If it were just John Key I would agree with you. But Key is no Nick Leeson. He’s a trader alright, but not a rogue one. Or at least he’s way too good to be ever caught these days.

      A large part of good managerial skills is surrounding yourself with capable people. That PR team at his disposal has no match anywhere else in NZ. Then there is Farrar’s perpetual polling machine, and no doubt regular checks back to Crosby Textor.

      Plus of course the inestimable advantage of the National party machine with its social links into virtually every board room, nook and cranny of power and privilege.

      Key didn’t come with a uniquely thick coat of teflon; on the contrary I’d say it’s perfectly average. But this machine he surrounds himself with is capable of painting it back on with astonishing speed. And that’s a trick no other politician in NZ history has ever done before. It’s why attacking him personally just hasn’t worked.

      • Once was Tim 6.2.1

        Well then … we’re probably in agreement – to the extent that its the people that surround Him. You’ll never get me to agree however, that Key is some great oracle with the brains of Britain. (There are countless examples of that – such as that Sackur interview; or his cowardice in fronting up on various platforms)
        As you propose “A large part of good managerial skills is surrounding yourself with capable people” ….. but its also a measure of the incompetent and one of those six or seven ‘bullet points’ that defines the sociopath (you know – the one that takes credit for the good stuff, but blames the other for the bad). I just call that animal cunning and learned survival kaka.
        The Emperor doesn’t ekshully have any clothes but he sure as shit knows when to hide and let the machine take over, and when to bathe in the glory.
        The best I’m capable of is to think of him as a flea and a complete bullshit artist. Sorry, but that’s just been my experience after half a lifetime of association with the likes of Key.

        But maybe you’re correct in treating him the way you propose. (It’s safer to believe in God after all)

    • Detrie 6.3

      Good summary. This article gives Key too much credit. Yes, he is cunning, which allowed him to do well in his field(s) as is his boyish charm and looks that appealed to many at the last election. But he has since proven to be ‘a bit of a dolt’ with socio path tenancies, which itself isn’t unusual in leaders and politicians worldwide. How to fix it? Wish I knew. Voters are like sheep after all, scared, simple-minded….

      • RedLogix 6.3.1

        No voters are fundamentally non-rational. Most vote an intuitive or tribal basis. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

        Because while they can exhibit scared, simple-minded behaviour, they can also be inspired to vote for something larger than themselves, to be courageous and hopeful.

        Besides insulting or shaming people is an almost guaranteed way to ensure they never vote for you.

        • Detrie

          Agree re the tribal and non-rational aspect. But we still need the right sort of person (like Sanders) with some charisma and morals, to lead the tribe…

          • cogito

            “But we still need the right sort of person (like Sanders) with some charisma and morals, to lead the tribe…”

            I’d say that Metiria ticks those boxes pretty well. (I don’t like Shaw, though).

            Personally, I would like to see Metiria being the leader for change. She has real qualities and more charisma and experience than Andrew Little.

            A Metiria/Andrew ticket, with the emphasis on Metiria could be a breath of fresh air. As for Winston, he did pretty well as Foreign Minister, so maybe he could be encouraged in that general direction again.

            • Detrie

              Yes, the Little/Turei ticket could work. She seems to have integrity. The left needs to be seen as more united, which is what was sadly missing last time, although the internet party was the real spoiler. Nat adverts played to that, showing the left is relative disarray, which it was. It will come back to appealing to the middle ground and what labour does for small business and how it can raise funds, since it lacks corporate ‘sponsors’

            • Manuka AOR

              @ cogito: I too think that a Metiria/ Andrew ticket would be a winner. But without Shaw lurking behind them – that would be a real no-go for some voters.

  7. Sirenia 7

    Similar story in Canada – same elements, same PR and international money. But Harper tripped up.

    • Anne 7.1

      Agree. Key has come perilously close to tripping up a few times now but managed to quickly get back on his feet again. There’s a likelihood that one day he will trip up and fall flat on his face. Here’s hoping. 👿

      • cogito 7.1.1

        Let’s make sure we put a few banana skins in his way.

        • marty mars

          yep rather than give up and let him kick us all until his boots wear out – fuck I’m going to eat a banana right now!

          • cogito

            🙂 We need to find his skeletons, then we’ll have him.

            • Colonial Viper

              no doubt the NSA etc have a full record of his indiscretions. The elite keep tight reins over their own.

              • cogito

                ….then someone spills the beans. Only a matter of time. People like Key make enemies – he was known as the smiling assassin after all – and enemies don’t stay silent for ever.

            • James

              You have looked and looked and never found them. Perhaps the left getting their shit in order would be a better use of time.

              Still – I guess all of you buying bananas is good for the economy.

              • b waghorn

                The biggest banana peel I see comes in the shape of collins , I see she’s already overstepped her boundaries once this year.
                He’ll be regretting bringing her back before the years out.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    RL you are on the $$$ with this post.

    One minor modification from my perspective however: I think that Key will win a historic 4th term, but hand over the reins to Nikki Kaye or Paula Bennett in a well signalled move just ahead of 2020.

    Key has got bigger things to move on to on behalf of the oligarchy.

    Oh yeah, although it matters not one whit, Andrew Little will be history early 2018 and GR2020 will be in charge of Labour, just as he has always wanted.

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Who needs enemies with friends like you?

      [RL: Cool it. Not helpful.]

    • Tautuhi 8.2

      Could be a coup before the next Election, I am picking Joyce and Bridges will roll him?

      Key will try and make up with Winston and NZF?

  9. greywarshark 9

    Very pertinent points. We have to be aware that to some our complaints amount to little more than a teenager throwing a wobbly and slamming the door to their bedroom there to play loud music meant to annoy the elders.

  10. Muttonbird 10

    RedLogix, I draw your attention to your own point 4. Why should the left not achieve harmony and singleminded purpose?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Because the Left no longer has any collective mission to accomplish. As I mentioned, Labour finished its work in the 1960s/1970s. It has spent the time since then undoing its legacy.

      Also, the Left/Right dichotomy is a structure of the 19th century class system and has increasingly limited use today.

      • Pat 10.1.1

        “Also, the Left/Right dichotomy is a structure of the 19th century class system and has increasingly limited use today.”

        that is an observation that has merit….it certainly appears to me that the younger generations by and large have no points of reference for that positioning and consequently it carries no relevance for them…but naturally those (few) that are politically active and involved at party level tend to have a very firm view in terms of Left/Right so reinforce the dichotomy within.
        So although there may be young voices within the party structure they are not necessarily representative of the wider cohort….though Im sure the parties themselves would dispute that.

      • Tautuhi 10.1.2

        Labour lost itself big time in the 1980’s and forgot where their voter base was, then Aunty Helen got more interested in light bulbs and anti-smacking legislation?

    • RedLogix 10.2

      That’s a good question muttonbird. I don’t have a magic wand, but personally I would love nothing more than for the various strands of left wing activism to find a better way to express both their own thematic passion and a unity of purpose. At times it seems impossible, but I do believe we are all capable of doing better.

      National unites around the power of money and privilege. As a commenter here once memorably put it, “The National Party is little more than a flock of surreptitious cheques flying about”. By contrast the left is replete with vital and worthy reform agendas, each of which wants to compete for attention. Which causes much stress and hurt feelings when people believe they are not being listened to.

      If you want me to point to a way out; I would suggest three things:

      1. Courtesy and respect in all communication. Model the behaviour you want other people to treat you with.

      2. Look for ways to converge the conversation rather than diverge it. It’s is not reasonable to think you will always reach agreement and or even consensus. But you do want to leave the conversation with both parties knowing they have been heard.

      3. Look for ways to be of assistance to the other party. Build trust by being trustworthy.

      I know this sounds pollyanna-ish, and none of us will live up to it all of the time … it’s the direction I choose.

      • weka 10.2.1

        Good list. I cannot see Labour doing that, because the divide is fundamental and respect simply isn’t possible when you have such a split over power. I am curious if it might be possible on the standard though.

        • RedLogix

          Well it is a New Year weka. I want to see if I can do better.

          I agree that the root of the stand-off between Labour and the Greens lies with the former. I’m aware that many individuals have attempted to heal the divide, but it persists.

          Fundamentally Labour is scared that if they get too close to the Greens, even more of their traditional blue-collar vote will slide away from them. Solve that problem and then you only have a few egos left to sooth.

          • Tautuhi

            Roger Douglas f***** the blue collar voters and Aunty Helen f***** the Maori voters?

          • Tautuhi

            Labour and the Greens need to put their collective heads together, if they had done so last Election things may be different today, hopefully Little gets this into his thick head.

            Winston will do what is best for New Zealand, at the first MMP Election in 1994 Winston tried to put a coalition together with Labour and the Alliance however Jim Anderton couldn’t get his s*** together, hence he was forced into a coalition with National. This turned into an abortion, when Shipley rolled Bolger and enticed the waka jumpers over to National, also I am led to believe Tau Henare tried to roll Winston and take over NZF?

  11. gsays 11

    well said rl.
    i agree, going the pm aint a working tactic.
    whether it be teflon, a likability or whatever it is, when you criticize him, folk who do like him (and there appear to be a lot of ’em), will get defensive and stop hearing your message.

    as has been mentioned on this site a few weeks back, the framing of the discussion is how debates are won and lost.
    too often a subject comes up, an extreme example is quoted and it is followed by “i don’t think most new zealanders want ….”

    a game switcher is needed- ubi, raising minimum wage, steps towards a living wage, wiping of student debt…

    also i reckon the need for the larger left to focus on some of the few areas where there is common ground – kids, inequality, health pharmac,the elderly perhaps, and cooperate.
    get into the stuff that may scare the horses after you have power.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      A positive and useful contribution thank you.

      Agreed, screeds of policy on website won’t win elections by itself. Nor will just a charismatic Corbyn-like figure. But combine with one or two strong, left-wing policies that will make a concrete difference, then you have all the core ingredients needed.

      A good solid UBI is my personal pick.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Corbyn didnt win on “charisma” (!) the man won on presenting a principled alternative to the Tories based on an exposition of authentic Labour values. And not based on aping Conservative policies.

  12. Olwyn 12

    I think that points 1 and 7 are the most telling, and that they are closely related. To whatever degree it is true, the belief that Key “has powerful allies not just within the local establishment, but globally” seems to people to guard against the kind of punishment meted out to Greece – with him at the helm, so it is believed, we can borrow away. But if anyone tried to do anything substantial on the social justice front, the international wallet may quickly snap shut. This in turn hobbles Labour, as accords with point 7. What we desperately need is a non-aligned left-wing movement with substantial social justice at its core. If we were able to build one and get some real momentum going, our support or its withdrawal would then start to mean something.

  13. Scott M 13

    If its not business, where is the money source for left wing parties?

    Labour needs to purge itself of neo-liberals. The lying and dishonesty of the 1980s needs to end if they are to have any hope of being trusted by voters.

    A true “left” Labour party would have already denounced the TPPA. Their silence speaks volumes.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Labour needs to purge itself of neo-liberals.

      They’ve had 30 years. Let’s just come to the difficult realisation that Labour is a supporter of the neoliberal status quo (except for some very mild tweaking around the edges).

      Plenty of today’s Labour Party MPs and Labour Party members think that Roger Douglas and co. didn’t do that bad a job. Heck there are still MPs from that era in the bloody caucus.

  14. Scott M 14

    Stop focussing on attacking National and start focussing on policy and why the left parties will make for a better NZ.

    Nats wont have any response to that as policy isnt their strong point. You will effectively turn the scales.

    • weka 14.1

      When push comes to shove National just steal left wing policy if they have to (eg raising some WINZ benefits).

      I think the left needs to attack National policy and their behaviour (eg Dirty Politics), and focus on policy. If focussing on policy were enough on its own the GP would be the government by now (they have the most developped left wing policies across the board of any party). Labour and the Greens need to join forces before the next election. I have no idea if that will happen because of the neoliberals in Labour.

      • Scott M 14.1.1

        Yes but the angle there would be “Do you want the person who actually came up with the idea implementing it, or do you want the person who has only grudgingly accepted it out of expedience?”

        The policy focus needs to be on middle NZ not fringe policies: What is party X going to do to:

        – raise incomes
        – address house price inflation
        – lower taxes
        – provide greater transparency in government (this is about reversing contracting out of govt services)
        – assist families e.g. childcare, parental leave
        – assist the elderly

        • weka

          But the GP policy isn’t fringe. Have you looked at their policy on raising incomes or addressing the housing crisis?

          This is why I said policy focus isn’t enough on its own, although I agree it’s a prerequisite for everything else.

          • Scott M

            Some of thr GP policies are fringe, I would go as far as saying electoral poison. Examples:

            – Cannabis policy. Opens GP to easy ridicule.
            – Treaty of Waitangi policies. As we’ve discussed on the other thread there is a sound legal basis to this , but that doesnt mean its electorally appealing.

            These fringe policies put off voters whonwould otherwise choose GP.

            • Colonial Viper

              trying to appeal to people who will never vote for you is not a good strategy.

              • Scott M

                In which case GP needs to get used to its 13% then.

                • Colonial Viper

                  which would be more than enough if Labour kept up its end in the 35% to 40% range.

                  • sabine

                    well you are not helping arent you?

                    • RedLogix

                      No it doesn’t come across as helpful sabine. And personally I can understand why. The CV we all knew from a few years ago has returned from battle with the Labour Party hierarchy in not quite the same shape we sent him off in.

                      I admire and respect him for making an effort I wasn’t capable of. I still count him as a good mate and stand by him.

                    • weka

                      I also value him here. Some of the lines he is running lately have been pretty interesting even where I disagree with them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “The CV we all knew from a few years ago has returned from battle with the Labour Party hierarchy in not quite the same shape we sent him off in.”

                      The red rose tinted glasses were ripped off my face and ground into the ashphalt. A bitter, but revealing experience. Several formerly very active Labour Party activists I know have also virtually gone on stop work for the organisation due to various negative experiences with the party over the last 12 months.

                      Cheers RL, weka.

                    • Once was Tim

                      ……. And therin lies the problem n’est ce pas?
                      CV (as he relates below – apologies the stacking level now doesn’t provide a reply to contributions beneath) had a bitter experience. I’m sure we can agree he used to be pretty staunch in his support of the PRINCIPLES and IDEALS Labour was supposed to adhere to.
                      If I could be bothered going back a while, I think I was commenting in various places such as TS and TDB before I could ever vote for them again, I’d have to see them prove themselves. I think I even suggested that Labour would be a spent force.

                      I used to have some pretty fucking ugly debates with my father-in-law before his death. He was an extremely staunch Labour Party supporter but gave up on them after ’87 (and he died at the age of 88) – yet here was me trying to convince him of things like the necessity for ‘pragmatism’, and ‘swallow your pride’, and who is ‘the enemy’, etc. etc. etc.

                      I’ll watch with interest at the machinations between Labour and Greens, and I agree a good combo would be Little/Turei.
                      Sure as shit tho’ Labour are now so distrusted, they need to prove themselves.
                      I used to find it hard to understand how many of my contemporaries (baby boomer protesting progressive) Labour supporters could suddenly turn (all that Chris Finlayson “I grew up and saw the light”; “I had kuds and settled down”; “I now have an American Express card and annual overseas holidays:; …… aside – ALL that aside!) [Fran Wildes, Roger Douglases, Union Kens and Tolliches and even Hills – full of shit the lot of ’em]
                      People feel betrayed by Labour – their core voters I’d suggest.

                      Like I say …. I’ll watch with interest, but so far I’m not that impressed. I maybe have one or two more elections – I’d LIKE to think I could vote Labour again but it’ll likely be the one after next. (There are many many many of us of like mind – in fact there’s a whole bloody settlement not too far north of Wellington who’re now as equally cynical of Labour as I am).
                      Labour shat in its own nest and its up to the political wing to get out the Jeyes Fluid before they even have any RIGHT to expect support.

                • weka

                  except the GP used to only get 5 or 6%, so obviously they’ve been successful in getting people to change and vote for them. I can’t see any reason why that can’t continue.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    so a few % of voters have migrated from Labour to the Greens. Maybe a very few from National as well. Are these sustainable sources of growth over the next few years? Hardly. That was already demonstrated in 2014.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I expect the Greens will continue to grow because they mostly do real democracy, which appeals to their constituency, and reduces the kind of internal squabbling that besets Labour. So long as they resist the temptation to ‘show blue’ by supporting things like the flag referendum.

                      Both Greens and Labour took a hit when Cunliffe announced no pre-election cooperation.

                      Is Green growth at the expense of Labour? Among activists, certainly – but new socially concious voters are more likely to go green than red because Labour doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

            • DoublePlusGood

              Well, haven’t half of kiwis used marijuana? I think there’s a lot that you could really sell to the public in a marijuana legalisation policy where you were going to set up a regulated market a la Colorado:
              – You can divert money spent policing cannabis growth on other policing. That basically allows you to say that you’re going to have the police focus on serious crime and not dope nonsense. After all, middle NZ is always wanting the government to be “Tough on Crime”
              – You can get tax income from the regulated sale of cannabis. Slogans here: “Using this income to fund better treatment for drug addicts” leads to “Get people back into the workforce”
              – Regulating the quality of marijuana and rules around its sale: “Improved public safety”
              Basically, if you focus on how marijuana legalisation will stop the wasting of police, courts and prison resources so they can focus on serious crime, and that there will be tax money going to help government spending instead of money going to gangs, it should be a winner. Middle NZ hate gangs. They hate wasting police resources. They want the government to stop rapists and murderers.

              • Craig H

                I saw an enlightening poll on cannabis a few years ago – basically most baby boomers used it when younger, many still do (includes occasional and regular users), they generally agreed that it didn’t and doesn’t significantly harm them, and yet, they still think cannabis should be illegal, and at least some of them vote based on that belief.

                However reasonable the policy is (I’m in favour of legalising and regulating), unfortunately there a lot of hypocrites out there.

      • Stuart Munro 14.1.2

        I think Labour has lost its traditional connection with real New Zealand, and the media is presently so skewed it is almost impossible for them to reconnect. They need another channel.

        I think too that they need to demonstrate what they can do for us – because pious mouthing isn’t going to cut it with folk who can’t pay their bills. If US charities like housing for humanity can build houses here, so can Labour or the Greens. A demo project that showcases Labour working for and with a community is doable – and Labour might learn something from the exercise. The Greens have good sustainability hacks. Do it in Northland and do it honestly and WP would come to the party. And WP can carry scorn to Key by the bucketload without getting splashed – a skill others need to acquire.

        • weka

          I’m not convinced that Peters can work with the GP. Or will. Otherwise it’s an interesting idea.

          • Stuart Munro

            Neither am I – but I believe his attachment to Northland is sincere and he will not mess up any initiative that actually helps his people. I don’t think he likes the Greens, but on that point he is probably persuadeable.

            It’s not just about Winston though – Labour under Savage represented a new way of living and new kinds of communities that brought hope to New Zealand. So did Gandhi, even Skinner had a utopian movement. While Labour represents retrenchment they have no appeal – a new community movement is a proven track for reform. And NZ could use some about now I think – moreso if we are to create a sustainable future society.

            • Scott M

              Is there any particular reason that Winston doesnt like the Greens?

              • weka

                He says their policies are too fringe for NZ (only he’s not so polite). I suspect there is some history there as well. And I’d hazard a guess that he can’t stomach hippies, being the authoritarian that he is.

                • Colonial Viper

                  the Greens have consciously jettisoned most of their pot smoking peacenik “hippy” demographic. Most seem to want priuses and Volts now.

            • weka

              I think Peters can work with the Greens on things that don’t lead to them becoming part of govt 😉

          • sabine

            So Labour is not gonna work well with the Greens.
            And NZ First is not gonna work well with the Greens.

            Who do you think would work well with the Greens, and why?

            Seriously, i would like to know, because according to you and Green Policy there are not many potential Coalition Partners left.

            • weka

              no idea what you are on about there sabine. Labour is capable of working with the GP. So is NZF. Peters can’t or won’t, and the neoliberals within Labour are slowing down any natural movement from Labour to present a coalition govt in waiting. Not sure what that the GP can do about that that they haven’t already.

              • sabine

                Oh I don’t know, it just seems that, you know, the Greens can work with anybody………, it is just that none of the others can work with the Greens in a way so as to not offend the Greens or snub the Greens or something. that is what I take away from your comments. labour is not working the right way with the Greens, and Winston can’t work with the Greens, and National will never work with the Greens cause Policy?

                As i said that is a very convenient approach to life.
                And thus, they are never really anywhere near government.

                • weka

                  Now you’re just making shit up. If you don’t understand what I am saying I’m always happy to clarify if asked. If you continue down the track of misreprenting what I am saying expect to get called on it.

                  The Greens have worked with pretty much every party (except maybe ACT). And the political reasons why a left wing coalition isn’t on offer yet have been discussed by more people than just me and not just GP members. You might not like the reasons, but please stop with the bullshit ad hominy pop-psychology smeary stuff.

                  • sabine

                    Look Weka, [RL: Deleted. @sabine and weka, I’ve moderated this thread fairly tightly in an attempt to keep it positive.]

                    you said that Winston can’t work with the Greens.
                    you said that Labour can’t work with te Greens and is not to be trusted.
                    you said that the Greens can’t work with National and still be the Greens.

                    There are enough of your comments here on these boards to that extend. And frankly thats ok, this is your opinion, and I am just trying to understand why the vitriol against Labour, considering that the Opposition needs Labour. And I am on record to have stated this several times on the Standard. Where we are now in 2016 we need the opposition to work together, regardless of the past, of hurt feelings and anything else, because simply this might be the very last chance we have to not fall into the abyss that is TPPA, loss of sovereignty, and natural decimation of resources and life on this planet.

                    So to say that the Greens can work with all the other parties, while at the same time saying that the other parties can’t work with the greens is convenient. It will put the onus always just on the other parties of the opposition. While in fact all Parties of the opposition have screwed up on occasion, have worked together on occasion and have done their own thing on occasion. I don’t think that the current political landscape in NZ is purely the fault of the Labour Party. Thats all. As for your last phrase, again thank you for your kind words. As always, much appreciated.

                    • weka

                      you said that Winston can’t work with the Greens.
                      you said that Labour can’t work with te Greens and is not to be trusted.
                      you said that the Greens can’t work with National and still be the Greens.

                      No, that’s not what I am saying. I think you are honestly having trouble comprehending my comments. Like I’ve said, I’m happy to clarify if asked, but please don’t make misleading statements about my views or opinions.

                      Peters can’t or won’t work with the GP if it means them being in govt. NZF has worked with the GP on policy.

                      Labour is quite capable of working with the GP (as I’ve already said), but is hampered by the neoliberal faction (and I suspect the old FPP crowd who can’t get over Labour not being big enough to govern alone).

                      The GP can work with National on policy. They won’t consider being part of a National led govt until there is significant policy overlap, which at the moment is fantasy land.

                      I want Labour and the GP to work together pre-election and present a coalition government in waiting. I am on record on the standard as saying this for a long time. I have some hope that Little intends to do this, but I don’t trust the neoliberal faction within Labour to support it. You simply don’t understand the complexities of this situation or my view if you think I just said that Labour can’t be trusted.

                      Like you I don’t believe that the situation we are in is all Labour’s fault. I think much if it is down to the Rogernomes and that Labour as a whole is at an impasse. Whether Little can overcome that or not I don’t know.

                      The GP have made mistakes for sure. But they are the party that has consistently been wanting to work with Labour on forming a coalition govt. Don’t believe me, ask other people.

                      If by all your argument you have a problem with me personally being critical on the standard about Labour, then that has nothing to do with the GP. I don’t speak for them or have much to do with them other than being a member and occassionally voting on internal things when we get the chance. I do follow their politics though.

                      So, to recap, I don’t think Labour are evil or all to blame or hopeless. I do believe that Labour has some serious internal issues and because they are the biggest left-ish party in NZ that affects us all. And it affects us all very badly. The GP, Mana and NZF could all be saints and it still wouldn’t get NZ a left wing govt. The ball is squarely in Labour’s court and many many people have run out of patience.

                      Red, all good, and helpful if we can see that something has been removed.

                  • Pat

                    “I want Labour and the GP to work together pre-election and present a coalition government in waiting. I am on record on the standard as saying this for a long time. I have some hope that Little intends to do this, but I don’t trust the neoliberal faction within Labour to support it. You simply don’t understand the complexities of this situation or my view if you think I just said that Labour can’t be trusted.”

                    you may get your wish…heard Little interviewed on RNZ today(think it was a replay) where that was raised and he indicated considerable effort is being made in that direction and it was suggested combined policy and support presenting a united gov in waiting was the goal.

                    He still needs to work on his presentation though.

                    • weka

                      Thanks Pat, that’s very good news and more concrete than I’ve heard before. I’ll have a hunt for the audio.

                      edit, do you know what time of day it was? Having trouble finding it.

                    • Pat

                      think it was focus on politics…but you’ll have to go back through the library

                    • weka

                      ta. They don’t have the audio up for today yet. I’ll check again tomorrow.

      • cogito 14.1.3

        “raising some WINZ benefits”

        These were announced in the last budget but have not come in yet (AFAIK). Those in need still haven’t got a cent.

        By contrast, how many tens of thousands of dollars have Key’s mates made on their Auckland properties in that time?

        The way the Nats twist and manipulate, promising crumbs down the track to the poor (when they are not kicking them) while themselves feasting every day is callous and cynical in the extreme.

        • weka

          I think the rise happens in April which is normal for this kind of policy change from what I remember.

          I’m very cynical about it too. I think it was a ploy to steal left wing policy to make them look less like the nasty party they are, and it was also just enough of a rise to mitigate some of the worst social effects of their policies. It’s not like they actually care or want to do something that would make a real difference (although I am glad for those who get the rise).

          • Colonial Viper

            Unlike Labour who cares so much about beneficiaries, but kept benefits at Ruth Richardson poverty levels anyway? Oh the political choices presented to NZ’s underclass.

    • fisiani 14.2

      before making such a ridiculous claim do a bit of research

  15. One Two 15

    Described in the points is the inevitable outcome of coordinated conspiracy

    The political , legal and financial frameworks are the weapons crushing life and soul from living beings

    The problems can’t be the solution. Not even in part

  16. indiana 16

    Point 1sounds like a pitch for a baseline plot in an episode X-Files, so do many of the others. If the keyboard activists are wearing tinfoil hats and trying to prove that there is a lot of underhanded plans afoot, what hope is there?

    • RedLogix 16.1

      In 1999 he was appointed a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until leaving in 2001.


      Factually it is true that Key’s prior role before coming back to NZ in 2001 to pick up a safe seat in Helensville, was serving in a very senior capacity with the US Fed. Nothing tinfoil about that. And that is a long way from a boy born to a single mum in a State House in ChCh.

      So having gone such a remarkably long way up the greasy pole that is merchant banking … why on earth did he chuck it in for a role as a lowly backbench MP for a party only just so comprehensively thrown out of power?

      The idea that he was motivated by some higher altruistic desire to serve his native land and leave it a better place than when he arrived, just does not line up with his actions since.

      No-one ever asks what motivated MJS, Norman Kirk or David Lange to enter politics. But for Key there is a vacuum; and into emptiness humans will naturally ask questions.

      • Matthew Hooton 16.1.1

        I think he was motivated by it being his boyhood dream. The reason he went from banker to backbencher was to become PM. And he wanted to become PM because it was his boyhood dream and also because you can get experiences as a national leader that you can’t in business.

        To use a symbolic example, when Warren Buffett’s private plane lands in Beijing he just gets off and hands over his passport. John Key gets red carpet and soldiers and national anthems etc. You can’t buy that sort of thing. And you don’t get it once you lose (Helen Clark wouldn’t get the same reception even in her new job as she got as PM).

        This may not be very noble on Key’s part, but it explains both his initial decision to go into politics, the do-nothing nature of his government, and his desire to keep the job better than the idea he was sent here by the Fed or something.

        And a bit of a risk sending him here to become PM don’t you think? What if he failed? Wouldn’t your global powers who control everything find it easier just to influence or buy people as they moved up the greasy pole and looked likely to become successful?

        • Scott M

          So if it was just another item to check off the list , and he really has no goal other than to keep the job, why are you such an avid supporter?

        • Jenny Kirk

          You might think that, Matthew H, and its a meme that’s been played over and over again – but I think Key’s motivation is more like RedLogix’s analysis, and he’s been helped along the way by people who saw his potential for their own use.

          ” The idea that he was motivated by some higher altruistic desire to serve his native land and leave it a better place than when he arrived, just does not line up with his actions since.”

          ” No-one ever asks what motivated MJS, Norman Kirk or David Lange to enter politics. But for Key there is a vacuum; and into emptiness humans will naturally ask questions. “

          Totally agree RedL. Key is like a vacuum cleaner – sucking up other people’s ideas, strategies, tactics – and not leaving a mess behind, except for the pile of messiness left in the cleaner bag.

  17. sabine 17

    I find it interesting that the future in this country apparently will only go ahead if the Labour Party is annihilated. but no one wants to come up with a better option or party, and just wants to comment on how everyone is just waiting for Labour to do the right thing, but no matter what labour does it is not the right thing, or if it is the right thing it just does not go far enough, and some had their fee fees hurt 30 years ago and thus Labour MUST DIE, even tho that maybe half of the country was in diapers or not even living here and have no idea what the heck these upset people are speaking about.

    It is simple. Voters will make the difference, so if people could focus on supporting their respective parties without having to malign the other one constantly, if people could focus on getting 1 million non voters to go to the poll and vote, if people could get organised and raise funds and help people get to the polls we might have a chance.

    But running around and constantly like a mantra go ‘ labour needs to change, labour needs to do this, and labour needs to do that, and we can trust Labour, ‘ why bother and why should non voters bother?

    Then frankly the Greens and any other party in opposition just needs to resign itself to being in the opposition for eternity or to be in coalition or in support of the current/next/royal Key National Party government.
    But then i guess that is better outcome for some than working together with the dreaded hated and maligned Labour party.
    And this is why we can’t have nice things, and this is why National is having a good time at the moment.
    Don’t blame National. When two are fighting the third one will eat the cake or something like that. Sadly for the people in NZ, nothing changes. But at least at the Standard the usual subjects can wax lyrically about how stuff would be better if we had a Sanders or a Corbyn or a Obi Wan Kanobi come to our rescue.

    So I say, Thunderbirds to the rescue.

    • weka 17.1

      lolz. I periodically go through a point of wanting Labour to die. It’s not that I think the Labour party should die, I’d be quite happy with a Labour/GP coalition. It’s just that I can’t see how the impasse that Labour is in can change. It might, but it’s painful waiting to see if it will, and even if it does I don’t think it will be a lot.

      Then there is the likelihood that Peters will monkey wrench a left wing govt anyway.

      So where does that leave us? It leaves us with the people. Which is not nothing.

      • Scott M 17.1.1

        Umm… Wasnt it LABOUR giving the Green Party the cold shoulder in the last election? Given a left wing government would be a coalition shouldnt Labour be happy for any vote that doesnt go to National or Act?

        • weka

          Yes and yes 🙂

        • Jenny Kirk

          That was the LAST election, Scott M . Hopefully Labour is NOW a different creature. Just gotta wait a while and see what comes out this year in the way of policy and statements.

      • sabine 17.1.2

        First of all, neither NZ Labour nor NZ Green are left wing in the sense that i perceive left wing. They are both parties that are middle of the mill, don’t rattle the boat to much, common sense parties. To not poison the nature and to house people are not left wing policies, in our day and time they are common sense policies.

        NZ First and Peter Winston is needed, as he is about the only one who could be our Trump…..the outspoken geezer who does not care what others think, not because he is rich or such, but because he is at the end of his life, not only professional/political but also physical. Knowing that your summers and winters are numbered, that your children and grand children will not have a good or as good a future and that your country is being sold to the highest bidder can change a perspective and goals rather quickly.

        so frankly wanting for some saviours to come from the outside, to do what we must do, is just pathetic, and a waste of time.

        there are 1 million people in this country that did not vote, 52.9 % effectively voted against National, and we are squabbling about the past as if it still has meaning. It has lost all meaning a long time ago. We have learned nothing . Divide and conquer still works supremly well, and NZ is dived and sadly it is conquered.

        • weka

          Peters has done some important things for NZ in his career, but he’s done much damage too. He is quite capable of preventing a left wing govt in NZ if he gets the chance. Nothing he offers at this point is worth that.

          • sabine

            It must be easy in life to constantly be able to blame others?

            I have no issues with Winston Peters, and I would not be surprised if he is going to be the one party that is gonna do well next election, simply because he is not a pious green, a whishy washy labour or a nact freak.

            It is going to be interesting whose voters he will suck up.

            • weka

              It must be easy in life to constantly rely on meaningless soundbites when one can’t formulate an actual political argument.

              Good to know I can put you in the group of people who claim to be left wing but are happy to have a centrist or right wing govt via Peters.

            • Stuart Munro

              I have an issue with Winston, having been in the Alliance when he backstabbed us. But he seems to hate Key, which shows he has better taste than might be supposed from that. The wakajumpers may have prevented him from showing some quality back in the day.

              His electorates tend to speak well of him – a locally focused approach is more likely to work with him than persuasion on unsupported principle – as fisi and the tr0lls find when trying to persuade us.

              • weka

                I think the most useful thing one can say about Peters is that no-one know what he will actually do. Lots of people have beliefs about what they think he will do, but all the evidence and his own stance on pre-election positioning tells us we can’t rely on anything other than his history.

    • Craig H 17.2

      Speaking as a Labour Party member – hear hear!

      I joined Labour because, like it or not (and some here clearly do not), they are the standard bearer for the Centre Left in NZ. They will not fold any time soon, and even with the last election result being seen as catastrophic, they still have far more votes than any of the other alternatives to National. If I want to see NZ move to the left, the only serious options are join Labour and push left, or join National and push left (not a chance).

      Also, if Labour goes under, National may well become unassailable, which would be substantially worse for most of us, and NZ, than Labour winning elections.

      • weka 17.2.1

        As a GP voter I’d love to see a Labour/GP coalition and I agree that Labour forming govt is the only way we tack left at this time. I’d love to know what’s happening with the Labour membership and whether it can push left from within the party.

        • Craig H

          I’m all for a coalition with GP – I’m not scared of Winston, but I prefer going left, and Winston is quite socially conservative as well.

          I can’t speak for other electorates since I don’t go to the LECs, but the Christchurch East LEC is decidedly left-wing, and there were a good collection of left-wing policies put forward as remits at the Regional Conference by Christchurch Central and Port Hills as well. From what I heard, at least some of them made it to Policy Council at the National Conference, so will be interesting to see what comes down the pipeline later.

          • weka

            Thanks Craig, always good to hear from people that are in there. I hear such comments from Labour members here from time to time, but I also hear the ones where members say it’s impossible to make headway on moving the party left. There are some good policies coming through, but I don’t believe that is necessarily enough for Labour to start picking up votes again. Time will tell.

            I’d be quite happy to have Peters in a L/GP/NZF coalition except for the fact that he claims he won’t work with the GP. Another impasse, and it makes him dangerous to the left because he is quite capable of supporting a National govt if it suits him. The best thing that could happen for NZ at this point is him retiring.

            • Colonial Viper

              lots of good ordinary members in Labour. But the view in the hierarchy is that those people are mainly there to donate money and deliver flyers, when asked. Would most Labour members like to see a more left leaning party? Of course. Ever wonder why the bulk of caucus remains stubbornly pro status quo then?

  18. b waghorn 18

    key and co are filthy little muck rakers yes but I’m not ready to believe in the grand conspiracy theme you’re running with this post.
    If it hadn’t been for two factors last election key would of been gone and with farming in the doldrems and people getting sick of his face I can’t see him getting another go easily..

    • marty mars 18.1

      + 1

      it is a myth that he is well liked – few like slimey ponytailing jailrape joking liars. Polling? fixed because preferred is always preferred.

      fear is the fucking mindkiller, fear is the chicken fixated in the middle of the road, fear is not an option. Don’t fear the keyster.

      He survives by the skin of his teeth because NO ONE actually politically wants him to go down – shock horror!!! think that one through and tell me it ain’t so.

      • weka 18.1.1

        I just had a look at the long term preferred PM polling. Apart from the middle term where Key spiked, his stats don’t look much better than Clark’s.

        Completely agree about the fear, although I think for many it’s despair. Same princple applies though.

        • Colonial Viper

          as others have said, and RL’s numbered points suggest, Nationals likely 4th (and 5th) terms is based on much more than John Key.

          Kiwis do not see any viable alternative (even though they might want one – they definitely dont want a Key Copycat) so National 2017 it will be.

          • cogito

            “so National 2017 it will be.”

            In which case why go through the election farce? Just extend his term now by another three years. While you’re at it, hand him the flag referendum as well, and anything else he wants. Just don’t expect him to be accountable. Key does not do accountability.

            • Colonial Viper

              You go through the “election farce” just like you go through the “six o’clock news” farce. Just as Labour pretends to be a party of the people (but consistently acts in the interests and according to the prejudices of the top quartile, those earning $50K or more).

              Because it looks good and engenders an air of legitimacy and facade of mandate.

          • Whispering Kate

            CV good friends of ours vote for, I don’t give him his name this year, so I call him “no name”, as I obviously do not vote for him I question them from time to time and ask them why they vote for “no name” and the National Party and what is so wonderful that they keep voting him in. I quote dirty politics and other skulduggery and the blatant lies he tells and all they ever say to me is “well, what and who else is there to vote for. ” They just don’t trust the other parties. Think they bicker and can’t work together etc etc. That’s their logic.

            Our MSM are not being fair and balanced and give “no name” a great ride and are in the pay of who knows who, so how on earth can people like them get the truth of anything – and they still get the Herald so if they were able to read daily the government being honestly rubbished by journalists who, if they could get off their backsides and do their job properly then maybe they could be aided in changing their minds. Also some people do not have a very well tuned moral compass, put their head in the sand and can’t spot a fake from a mile off. Some are just plain selfish and have no scruples at all and think “no name” is the perfect person to look up to. My friends are just not passionate enough to get involved and just do what they are comfortable with. I think this is a malady afflicting this country, nobody gives a shit anymore or wants to question or discern issues.

            You are either born a dissenter or a critical thinker or you are not, even a university education will not do it for you. I used to think it taught people to think outside the square, but I believe its a born trait and cannot be learned. It may be in our genes as I had an uncle who was nicknamed “why” because in the army during WW2 he questioned everything, he was a sapper and it was just as well as it saved his life a few times. I am nicknamed “twenty questions” – go figure.

            • cogito

              @ whispering kate

              🙂 The thing about NZ, inc the universities, is that questioning anything controversial is well and truly frowned upon. Not so back in old Blighty from whence I hail. Back there it was seen as a core part of one’s education to question and doubt everything. Do that in NZ and you just get shunned and shut out…. as I found to my cost on many an occasion, without quite understanding why. But compliance and acceptance are only good up to a certain point. Right now, there is a need for more engagement, even a little restlessness, some stirring of the soul, and some visible action. 🙂

            • Craig H

              I’ve had that chat with National voters and my explanation is always the same – in MMP and with the parties as they are, leadership of the parties makes very little difference. Regardless of how much they bicker, either National or Labour will successfully implement their policies while in government, and the only real obstacle will be the potential coalition partners.

              Having said that, Little might get more traction on that front than previous Labour leaders since the caucus have learnt their lesson.

      • sabine 18.1.2

        the National Party can’t let him go at the moment as they would kill each other in the ensuing shitfight.

        NZ First…..Winston would have a good laugh.
        Labour? Could do it, they have done it before.
        The Greens? Would have to take a decisions to either be part of a team, or go it alone.

        But the National Party, they need Key. Whom else have they go? Bennett, Collins, Kaye? Pass the popcorn.

        • Colonial Viper

          Little wont last past a 2017 defeat. Then its GR2020.

        • marty mars

          what I am saying is that politicians have more in common with each other than they even do with their constituents. This is the unspoken but known elephant in the political room. The animosity, fighting and apparent conflict are part of the charade of politics. Now sure some do dislike each other and some are not wholly captured by this rut but most are.

          • cogito

            True. Witness eg the Collins/King love-in every week on Paul Henry, and the fact that eg Shane Ardern and Jacinda Ardern are cousins.

      • b waghorn 18.1.3

        He survives for many reasons but Little is building force steadily and theirs no need to start swinging to early in the election cycle , the best thing the opposition can do is keep the barstards guessing for another six months .

  19. Sanctuary 19

    Posting from overseas (I am actually sitting in the most besutiful room in the world in the Mezquita in Cordoba lol) I dont think people in NZ actually grasp just how bad our “journalism” is now. I compare it to the Spanish media and seriously, it is a hopeless, amateurish joke. This collapse has coincided with the rise of a plutocracy that now controls the values and narrative of the NZ public debate, such as it now is.

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Hi Sanctuary. You’ve made us all very jealous 🙂 Enjoy the journey!

      And yes isn’t that a thing with the NZ media … the moment you go overseas, even just to Australia, the contrast is so stark. I’ve mentioned here a few times and I don’t think anyone quite believed me.

      • Tautuhi 19.1.1

        Labour and the Greens need to put their collective heads together, if they had done so last Election things may be different today, hopefully Little gets this into his thick head.

        Winston will do what is best for New Zealand, at the first MMP Election in 1994 Winston tried to put a coalition together with Labour and the Alliance however Jim Anderton couldn’t get his s*** together, hence he was forced into a coalition with National. This turned into an abortion, when Shipley rolled Bolger and enticed the waka jumpers over to National, also I am led to believe Tau Henare tried to roll Winston and take over NZF?

      • Tautuhi 19.1.2

        Journalism is dead in NZ, John Campbell was the last Investigative Journalist in MSM, and look what happened to Nicky Hagar when he wrote the book Dirty Politics, the Police raided his house and went through his daughters drawers, spooky stuff?

  20. Ad 20

    This column is what Nash accused TS of.

    Expecting too much will just give you heartburn. 1984 happened and all bar a few understand within a tolerable band it won’t be reversed in our lifetimes.

  21. Kay 21

    Bribery obviously works. Interest-free student loans, tax cuts. In our brave new neo-liberal world where so many vote for whichever party promises them the most money in their pocket, rather than who’s going to be best for NZ overall, then obviously the Left will have to resort to bribery.

    Write up a policy showing how (in plain language usable for soundbites) very rich people and multinationals can pay more tax, and that can be used to raise the minimum wage and benefit rates. Those costings have already been done, we know it’s possible. Just get some guts, sell it, and many of those missing million voters will be back because they’ll have a reason to vote. It’s a starting point, and of course, if the Nats want to steal that policy they’re more than welcome.

    • cogito 21.1

      Write out a policy which means that parents don’t have to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars each year supporting their kids’ education.

      Write out another one which means that parents are not scared stiff that their kids will be forced to be life-long tenants unable to pay off their student loans and get on the property ladder.

      Write out another one which provides young people with real opportunities, so they don’t end up going overseas to get work, and then get scared stiff that they are going to get treated like criminals if they dare to set foot back in NZ again.

      Write out another that means that our own kiwi sons and daughters are not competing for work with people who barely know which side of the road we drive on in this country, and yet have enough money to push up property prices.

      Write out a policy which gives our older people some security that they will have access to the health services they need, as opposed to feeling that they are just a nuisance and an expense, kicked from pillar to post, with more talk of euthanasia than of healthcare.

      Write out a policy which means that we have a cleaner environment and cheaper power prices.

      These are the sorts of things that people really care about…. Not that hard.

      By contrast what we get from Key are secretive overseas agreements, pandas and flags…

  22. Tautuhi 22

    Most constructive Blog I have read for a long time?

  23. John Shears 23

    RL what a great page (Book) my only complaint is that you made me late for breakfast as I didn’t open it till today.
    At the same time I found it compelling reading as the comments were all positive in their own way ( or their authors) and seemed to me to be completely lacking in snide and similar remarks which have tended to be the case on TS recently especially between 2 or 3 contributors.
    Congratulations .

  24. reason 24

    The way to not just beat National but rout them was shown in Northland …. if the opposition block can not learn from that and use mmp correctly in the main electionthen they kind of deserve to lose ……… but that is bad for our country.

    I would see Labour being the biggest obstacle to implementing the Northland lesson because of the egos and the factions within them ………. Nash etc

    Winston and the Greens would have to work together on some things ….. which is not as outlandish as first seems.

    They have quite a bit of common ground

    I see winstons main voting block as older people and a lot of pensioners/grandparents, It is their grandchildren, the younger generations and females who predominantly support the greens.

    Grandparents worry about the future and issues facing their grandchildren …….

    Student debt is an issue with the Grandparents remembering when university and higher education was just about free ….. like when John Key went to university for instance.

    Or house building and the price of homes ………. or polluted rivers that the grandparents remember safely and happily swimming but are now dangerous or even toxic.

    Winston and the Greens could announce a combined policie on a major modern Eco-home state house building project ……….. Pensioners and the young would both benefit from a large home building effort not involving speculators greed.

    Use the home building for a large scale apprenticeship and all the other skills like design, green energy etc .

    Ban tax havens and asset strip people or corporations using them ….. Winston has form in this area with the ‘wine-box’ tax scam he stopped after our IRD had accepted the fraud as legit.

    Let Winston run at the Nats in the country seats with the Northland understranding.

    Labour could run at the city seats and concentrate on zero hour contracts, unsafe employment law, and other exploitation of workers and human rights.

    And the Greens should stick to green principles and electioneering which also include humane rights ………….

    Most people do not like National and many of the rotten things they are doing

    But everyone forgets they are simply the largest MINORITY ………….

    If mmp were properly used ……. for the first time ever ………… the nats would be swept away.

  25. J G Clark 25

    I have given minor amounts to the Nats as quite frankly I think they are the party with the financial skills to manage our economy.
    The shadow finance minister with his university Union leader background scares me to death.

    • dv 25.1

      as quite frankly I think they are the party with the financial skills to manage our economy.

      Current debt NZ$ 120,309,961,116

  26. TheBlackKitten 26

    6 and 7 are your main reasons but when anyone tries to voice or change this they are yelled down and labelled as ither stupid or selfish. Not listening to the people will not win you and election and labour seem to be having a very difficult time understanding that simple concept. We have had three defeats in a row and yet still no change.
    Keys winning because labour is arrogant and refuses to listen to the people and what they want. And when we have no effective opposition we get PMs like Key who don’t really have to do much of anything to keep winning elections. Blame the arrogance of the Labour Party for Keys success, don’t blame or dream up silly little fantasy stories such as the Fed sending Key here to do the work of corporates. That’s just being paranoid and refusing to deal with the reality in that people do not like the current Labour Parties policies.

  27. cogito 27

    @J G Clark
    “The shadow finance minister with his university Union leader background scares me to death”

    Reality check, mate: who caused the GFC? Wasn’t people with “university Union” backgrounds, that’s for sure. Was greedy bankers and traders like KEY. And they’re the ones who are sending the world economy towards the next financial crisis.
    Read this: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/22/bankers-triumph-complete-the-big-short
    “Not a single “top banker” has been jailed and few, if any, have had to return undeserved bonuses. Measures taken since 2008 are being watered down before our eyes and, most dangerous of all, the deeper causes of the crash remain essentially intact”.

  28. Kevin 28

    The thought of another John Key term doesn’t scare me in the slightest. I think world events over the next couple of years will change the financial and political landscape in ways that Joe Public cannot even comprehend.

    We live in very interesting times and if I was a die hard National supporter I would not be looking too far ahead.

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    13 hours ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
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