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Happy Birthday Labour – 100 Years!

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 am, July 7th, 2016 - 100 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags: ,

Labour is New Zealand’s oldest political party. It was born 100 years ago today as an amalgamation of several groups (including the Socialist Party which dated back to 1901). The basics of Labour’s history are set out in this Wikipedia page, and see also the Labour History Project (itself descended from the Trade Union History Project founded in 1987).

Labour has a proud record of achievements, including the building of state houses, the creation of a comprehensive social welfare system, brave stances like our iconic nuclear free policy, and the establishment of Kiwi institutions like Pharmac, EQNZ, KiwiBank and KiwiSaver. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, Rogernomics and the associated social and political upheaval were a dark and difficult time. But while the world has changed hugely, and the mass participation of people in politics has waxed and waned, Labour’s mission today is as important as it ever was. Housing was a big issue for the country in the 1930s…

labour1938_fl16753279

…and housing is a big issue for the country today. No coincidence that today Labour will be releasing a major housing policy announcement.

Labour is marking its centenary with a range of events. Today might also be a good day to follow Labour on Facebook and Twitter. Or why not go all out – join Labour – and help change the government…

100 comments on “Happy Birthday Labour – 100 Years!”

  1. Observer Toke 1

    .
    . The wealth of this nation New Zealand, has been channeled by the $billions to the Tory few. To feed their Greed.
    .
    The Tories have no crises. They do not suffer. They despise and humiliate the common man. They smell of Corruption.

    Housing, Wages, Education; Health Services; Pensions. These things have always been at the forefront of Labour’s policy.

    Don’t worry about an unstable Key or sloppy English or a far fetched Paula. Get their dirty wealth back and give it to whom it belongs.

    A sincere “Congratulations” To New Zealand’s finest ever Parliamentarians. 100 years of crystal clear policy and action.

  2. Rosie 2

    Yes indeed! Happy Birthday NZLP. You’re looking great today, and in fine health. Keep up the new routine and the company you’re now keeping – it’s working! Rock on!

    PS: Really good chat with Grant Robertson on the Scoop report on Radio Active just now. Looking forward the housing policy announcements later today.

    And hey you, nat govt, you’re looking kinda lame and haggard. Your time is up.

    • Rob 2.1

      The nats must be worried as I see the hearld etc have more negative things about Andy little and L.P.today more than normal. but nothing about the current govts fuck ups.

      • Rosie 2.1.1

        They should be worried. It FEELS like the tide is going out on them. Key continues to deny the housing crisis, Labour will fill the vacuum…………..? This afternoon?

        Upwards and onwards. Build momentum. Keep talking with people, and keep listening, you can fill in the gaps for them. Had a great chat with a hairdresser yesterday who gave up on politics and didn’t vote last time, even though her values sounded leftish to me.

        Questioned what her concerns were and let her know what was going on. Told her that her 16 year old son can have a free 3 year education, whether it be a trade or a uni qualification if we change the government next year. Told her the details of when it kicks in, (2020 eh?) etc. She was chuffed! Will be voting Labour next time she told me.

        People need to know these things. It needs to be bedded in well before the election, so word can spread. Friends trust what their friends say but they don’t always trust the media.

  3. Ad 3

    Because no major domestic stories have broken this week, Labour is having the optimum run leading up to this weekend. Housing – from the poorest to the richest – is the only story around.

    If they are really lucky they will have all media eyes on them for their housing policy announcements.

  4. Don't worry. Be happy 4

    So Labour is 100 years old now? Silly me. I always thought Roger Douglas and his gang killed it.

    • r0b 4.1

      Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated.

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        I certainly agree.

        Has the Labour party ever been through such a long period of being this unpopular?

        • r0b 4.1.1.1

          I’m not enough of a historian to tell you – but recall that MMP changed the game and the Labour / Green vote is a lot healthier than just Labour.

        • mosa 4.1.1.2

          Labour was only a one term government from 1957-60 then 1972-1975 and not returned untill the scnapps election of 1984 where the infamous Rogernomics period began but after the 1987 election they collapsed in recrimination and were defeated by a landslide to National bringing in Ruth Richardson and the “Mother of all budgets” and the anti union employment contracts act.
          Labour was back after a long time and much suffering under the National party with Helen Clark begining a 3 term Labour led government from December 1999 to 2008 which by achieving that 3 terms for Labour was a historic moment in NZ political history and Labour had finally proved that it could provide a stable 9 year government and a deliver a successful progressive policy platform that has endured and is still delivering for kiwis despite the current National party being against these policies haveing seen the electoral support they get by keeping them in place.
          This current enviroment where the country has moved to the right and is being kept there by media and BIG MONEY support is the most challenging period for Labour that i can remember for 30 years as in the past they could always rely on the fourth estate to be more transparent and critical about the incumbent National government in place and rightly so but with the evidence of a dirty tricks campaign being waged against them and their leaders including David Cunliffe being subjected to a vicious and slandering campaign by some members of the media has changed the political landscape in which Labour has had to operate and survive and testing its caucus and party memberships loyalty and cohesion.
          Despite this huge block wall erected by its enemies it will break through and do what it always does best, clean up and repair the damage the National party leaves behind and leads the country back to what we thought was gone a fairer inclusive society.
          The greatest moment for me was seeing Helen despite a massive campaign to destroy her government come back on election night on the September 17th 2005 and WIN a third term against all the odds and in her words We had very big money against us , Very big money against us but we got through.
          A hundred years is worth celebrating and reflecting on but not for too long as the country that we know and love is slipping away and Labour needs to reconnect and be bold and take risks and do something that they have not done for a long time, to remind all of us that Labour has what National does not a proud history of progressive reform, and governing for all not just a few and start reminding New Zealanders that it only happens under a Labour led government and the enemy it was formed too fight is still here threatening good working people and denying them their rights still.
          Congratulations to the party for an amazing achievement.
          Those with the least always give the most thats the Labour movement !

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Convalescing well, if slowly, and in need of good friends to help it fully recover.

      • Puckish Rogue 4.2.1

        Labours needs friends? Well here I am with a rousing song to gee up the troops

        🙂

        • stunned mullet 4.2.1.1

          Future historians digging up Labour’s corpse.

          • leftie 4.2.1.1.1

            Looks more like the fate of John key (Dracula) and his National government (Coffin)… their time is running out (Ticking).

            • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1.1.1

              There’s nothing eternal or remarkable about the Key kleptocracy – banal and corrupt and better forgotten – except as a warning about geeks claiming economic rockstardom.

              Kiwis need not be ashamed, but neither need they be ashamed of media reform. The buggers know they’ve earned a set of regulations so strict it makes their eyes water. Ditto immigration, trusts, CERA, and PPPs.

              I never want to see as useless and corrupt a pack of hosers again.

              • leftie

                Agree and me neither Stuart Munro, +1, but please change the word “geeks” to “crooks” that describes the nat hosers better. My comment was not about eternity, it was about the Dracula principle, shine the light on it and it will wither up and die.

                David Cunliffe said it best “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”

      • weka 4.2.2

        nice comment OAB.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    I think Jim Anderton would have a thing or two to say about Labour claiming Kiwibank as one of their key achievements.

    They may have lead the government that established it but Helen and Michael only agreed to it with much reluctance.

    Left to Labour on its own there would never have been Kiwibank!!

    • Brigid 5.1

      Neither can they take credit for the introduction of Paid Parental Leave. That was Laila Harre’s bill.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        They can, and they will. Next will be feeding hungry kids in schools. And how does Kiwi Saver help beneficiaries and the unemployed in their retirement? Of course, it doesn’t.

  6. Gangnam Style 6

    I see NZ Herald online celebrating by having a picture of Little with the headline ‘He’s not ready to be prime minister’, though I do wish Little would be more unequivocal when he spoke. Anyway, happy birthday NZ Labour!

    • leftie 6.1

      The media beat up of National’s rival has begun…

      • Gangnam Style 6.1.1

        “He’s so angry” she says as she clutches her pearls, “he’s just so…common.”

      • mosa 6.1.2

        I didnt know it had stopped Leftie.

        • leftie 6.1.2.1

          That’s very true Mosa, should have said the media beat up of National’s rival has begun it’s election campaign early, and has turned up the volume to drown out all positive policy announcements.

    • mosa 6.2

      How would the BLOODY Herald know that he is not ready.
      They slobbered all over Key like he was the second coming and that hasnt changed scince he got their endorsement in 2006 and he had only been in parliament 2 years.
      His only qualification was he was a money trader and had made 50 million dollars and was born in a state house.
      Their 2014 election front page headline the day after he won a third time was” He’s our boy” !!!!! so their bias is always evident so they will cut down any leader Labour puts up unless they have right wing credentials.
      Little can do without the horrible Heralds bias reporting.

  7. swordfish 7

    Amongst other things, I studied Labour history at Uni back in the day. I’ve been thinking of doing a few posts on my blog. I’d really like to highlight the colour and vibrancy of those early years leading up to the formation in 1916.

    The best brief-but-comprehensive overview is still Barry Gustafson’s Labour’s Path to Political Independence (1980). Slightly dated in that it’s grounded in the older view of Moderates Vs Militants (in more recent times, scholars have emphasised greater complexity), but still an impressive work.

    Despite the more nuanced depictions of recent work, there remains more than a kernel of truth to the Moderate/Militant dichotomy (and a strong sense of the Judean People’s Front Vs the Judean Popular Front in those immediate pre-WWI years). As, indeed, there still is today with, say, TRP or Ad (People’s Front) vs CV or Chooky (Popular Front).

    Here are just a couple of little vignettes from the early years that have managed to provoke a wry smile.

    At the 1919 Election, the Reactionary, Reform Party-aligned Protestant Political Association (PPA) attacked leading Labour politician, former Red Fed, Aussie-Irishman and lapsed-Catholic (“Fighting”) Bob Semple for being a supporter of “the IWW, Sinn Fein, the German Kaiser and the Roman Kaiser.”

    In reply, Semple (always known for his piercing wit) attacked what he called the Puritan “Wowser Churches”, claiming they were “infamous dens for administering chloroform and dope’.

    Meanwhile, an unintentionally amusing article in a 1913 edition of Wellington’s TRIAD magazine. It was on the Waterside Workers’ lockout/strike (which a few weeks later snowballed into the General Strike of 1913 – notorious for Massey’s Cossacks – and ultimately encouraged the formation of the NZLP).

    The report began by describing the wharfies as “dark and furious persons of unpleasant aspect”.

    The writer then went on to spend more than a few column inches emotively listing the various inconveniences the lockout/strike had caused to the general public (still the media’s favoured rhetorical strategy 60-70 years later during the Muldoon years); … before ending on a moral high-note with this colourful little crescendo of xenophobia: “All of this because Wharfside Bill has a grievance…..Bill is sometimes an English subject, sometimes a non-descript Negro, and sometimes a representative of one or other of those deceitful nations whose men wear rings through their ears.”

    • Rosie 7.1

      +1 Swordy. I would love to read a Labour history post written by you.

      • mac1 7.1.1

        +1 I hope so too.

      • Rosie 7.1.2

        PS: I would like to go back in time to 1913 and meet these “……………men who wear rings through their ears” or a “non de-script Negro”. They sound very interesting, as does your little stories. Very colourful.

        There was a real life time traveller this week however. Our PM went right back to 1951, with his idea of bringing in the military or police to work at aviation security IF there is a strike IF bargaining doesn’t conclude.

    • No way…people were allowed to publish this kinda stuff?

  8. Save NZ 8

    Labour has done some great things over the last century and we are all ready for a change of government.

    • Rosie 8.1

      Simple as that. I agree.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Labour did all its best work before the 1970s. The last 40 years have been dismal in comparison. By Savage’s own standard of applied Christianity, today’s Labour Party is more like the Tories he fought against for years.

        • Muttonbird 8.1.1.1

          Labour today is fighting a different beast. I am as anti-establishment as they come without being totally removed from society and even I can see the world has moved on since the 70’s.

          Why do you refuse to?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            The world has indeed moved on Muttonbird. Protect the Labour establishment all you like but it has long become the beast it once fought in the 20’s and 30’s.

          • leftie 8.1.1.1.2

            +1 Muttonbird.

        • Rosie 8.1.1.2

          Yesterday the homosexual law reform bill celebrated it’s 30th birthday. We became a nuclear free nation in the 80’s. Changes that occurred under a Labour govt. They were socially progressive changes. Very influential for the kids and teens of that generation. I was one of them.

          Are you happy for kids today, to grow up believing that selfishness, greed and indifference to suffering is normal? That is what children of this generation are witnessing under the government we’ve had for the last 8 years. Do you want their parents to continue to foster those traits by voting for those that promote it?

          I observe in you a view that National = Labour. I don’t see comparison in such a cold hard light as you. There is a difference. And now they have some good friends to keep them on the straight and narrow.

          …….. And you know there will never a another Labour government, it will only ever be a coalition government. Labour just evolves into another incarnation.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.1

            Yesterday the homosexual law reform bill celebrated it’s 30th birthday. We became a nuclear free nation in the 80’s. Changes that occurred under a Labour govt.

            Great. These are the few things about Labour in the 80s that people want to remember.

            • Rosie 8.1.1.2.1.1

              I think “these few things” are what many people would like to remember, and to cherish. What would NZ look like today if those changes never occurred? These are important mile stones for our country.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, what would NZ look like today if Rogernomics hadn’t opened the door to neoliberalism and the Mother of All Budgets.

                • Rosie

                  Yes, CV, if rogernomics hadn’t of happened I would have got a free tertiary education and a good job for life. That would have been great, but that didn’t happen.

                  You are changing the subject. We can’t go back and change time. There’s only one way to look and that is forward.

                  • leftie

                    Totally agree Rosie, but I believe a National government would have most certainly done a “rogernomics” if the Lange government hadn’t of allowed Douglas to open the door to it. At the time National said they wouldn’t follow in Douglas’ footsteps if elected, but when they gained power, they were worse!!

                • Ch-ch Chiquita

                  You assume that if it wasn’t for the than Labour party, neoliberalism would not have been inteoduced into NZ. What would have prevented the electoral to vote for a National govt and bring neoliberalism?
                  No point in punishing the current Labour members for what their predecessors did and shouting if only they didn’t. What good would come out of it? The current under Little’s leadership look like they will do better than the current lot. Why not give them a chance? If they will not deliver, punish them in the following elections, but I see no point waiting for the Messiah to come and bring us the perfect party (it is well known he can’t bloody find that white donkey).

                  • leftie

                    Perfectly put Ch-ch ChiquitaI, I have the same view of you. I get sick and tired of these senseless Labour beat ups of what a Labour government did 30 plus years ago, the current Labour Party is not responsible for that, besides there has been a successful 3 termed Labour government since then. So their argument doesn’t wash, does it? I never hear of people bashing and holding John key and his National party responsible for Muldoon, Bolger and Shipley, do you? Where are the calls for John key to say sorry for Muldoon, Bolger and Shipley?

                • leftie

                  Colonial Viper, are you implying that a Nation a government would have never implemented/cemented neoliberalism?

                  • KJT

                    A National Government would not have got away with introducing Neo-liberalism at the time.

                    It took a Labour Government, and some Labour affiliated Union leaders, to keep us all quiet while they took away the ground under our feet.

                    If it had been National a general stike would have shut down the country. We expected that sort of betrayal from National, Not Labour.

                    Even now, National know they have to steal(sorry privatise), the country very gradually to avoid opposition.

                  • KJT

                    A National Government would not have got away with introducing Neo-liberalism at the time.

                    It took a Labour Government, and some Labour affiliated Union leaders, to keep us all quiet while they took away the ground under our feet.

                    If it had been National a general strike would have shut down the country. We expected that sort of betrayal from National, Not Labour.

                    Even now, National know they have to steal(sorry privatise), the country very gradually to avoid opposition.

                    • leftie

                      You may have a point there KJT but I do believe the Nats would have gotten away with it, they always do, just like they are getting away with it now, and we are way more informed as a people to whats going on today than what people were back then. Look at the measures Sidney Holland took in 1951 with the Waterfront strike. One measure being the complete blackout of the media, which was an unprecedented move for a NZ government to take. Most people didn’t have a clue what was happening. Holland was going to win at any cost, and he did.

                • mosa

                  New Zealanders cant make up their mind wheather they are socialists or capitalists.

                • RedLogix

                  Well me might want to consider Australia … while we got the extreme conc. version of neoliberalism, the lucky country managed to water it down to something fairly harmless.

                • mosa

                  If i remember correctly in 1984 the country was broke and a decaying backwater dominated by one man who ruled with a iron fist and refused too make any changes that would hurt the vulnerable and the middle class and was convinced that his policies would deliver wealth even with his crippling income tax rates and massive debt programme to shield the country from the forces of neo lib polices that he firmly believed would hurt and destroy the country and this was not a labour pm but one Robert Muldoon leader of the National party and old style conservative who was loosing control of his government and the economy.
                  Lange and his colleagues were confronted after his election win by the reserve bank governor telling them “Gentleman you are broke” and would have too agree too a IMF bail out that would mean enforcing harsh economic measures to deal with the crisis.
                  So the neo lib policy mix would be inevitable with or without Rogernomics but as it turned out Douglas was already way ahead of them with his prescription medicine for the dying patient.
                  The irony is that if Muldoon had made structural changes in the 1970s when the decline was beginning he would have prepared and strengthened the economy and spared the people the horror of the impact of the free market forces and the pain endured by so many and the unsustainable debt mountain that would guarantee bankruptcy and the excuse that there was no alternative to Rogernomics.

                  • RedLogix

                    Yes you can argue the evil seed of Rogernomics fell onto a soil well fertilised by Muldoonism. There is truth in that.

                    But keep in mind that few people who voted for Lange had ANY sense of the extremist betrayal his Cabinet would wreak upon us. To argue that Douglas’s prescription was the only possible response is to fall into the TINA trap neo-liberalism carefully laid out for us.

                  • leftie

                    What turned Douglas into a disciple of Milton Friedman? There appears to be quite a contrast with Douglas in the Kirk Labour government, compared to the Douglas in the Lange government. Douglas was the architect of Labour’s 1974 superannuation scheme that would have made this country extremely wealthy, a real Switzerland of the Pacific, not the cheating tax haven kind that John key has made us. And Muldoon ditched the scheme and threw away this country’s future wealth.

                    “Sir Robert Muldoon painted Labour’s fledgling super scheme as a step on the way to turning New Zealand into a Soviet clone.
                    A dreadful political decision, announced on December 15, 1975, transformed New Zealand from the potential Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere into a low-ranking OECD economy.
                    Without this decision we would now be called “The Antipodean Tiger” and be the envy of the rest of the world. We would have a current account surplus, one of the lowest interest-rate structures in the world and would probably rank as one of the top five OECD economies.
                    We would still own ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand and most of the other major companies now overseas-owned. Our entrepreneurs would have a plentiful supply of risk capital and would probably own a large number of Australian companies.
                    Most New Zealanders would face a comfortable retirement and would be the envy of their Australian peers. The Government would have a substantial Budget surplus and we would have one of the best educational and healthcare systems in the world.”

                    Brian Gaynor: How Muldoon threw away NZ’s wealth

                    <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10465138

          • KJT 8.1.1.2.2

            They were a very good smokescreen for the beginnings of Thatcherism and Neo-liberal vandalism in the 80’s.

            While we were, rightfully, congratulating ourselves on a few progressive advances the whole country was being removed from under our feet.

        • Craig H 8.1.1.3

          The 1972 Labour government did some useful stuff, like introduction of the DPB to allow people to leave abusive relationships.

          • mosa 8.1.1.3.1

            And the all important compulsory savings for retirement that would have transformed this country and changed our history but fell victim to Muldoons 1975 National super at 60 for everyone and got a mandate to cancel the scheme and told officials to STOP collecting the money forthwith forgetting conviently that parliament would have to vote on the issue, but he was the PM and had the numbers and they were to do as they were told !

        • Sanctuary 8.1.1.4

          Rubbish. For a start, Labour was out of power for all but three years of the complacent long lee of the NZ postwar settlement, so i am not sure what they were suppowed to do. When they did return to power in 1972 what about ACC and the DPB? Sending frigates to Mururoa a seminal moment in our evolution as an independent nation? You often come across as only having the flimiest understanding of our history. I suggest you spend a bit less time commenting and bit more time studying our history, you could at least start with Wikipedia.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Labour_Government_of_New_Zealand

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.4.1

            OK I’ll stick with a useless last 40 years, and agree with you some good things got done in the early 1970s.

            That’s still more than 40 years ago.

            Rubbish. For a start, Labour was out of power for all but three years of the complacent long lee of the NZ postwar settlement, so i am not sure what they were suppowed to do.

            Long years out of power are long years of failure as a parliamentary focussed political party.

            They are not years you get an automatic pass for.

            Remember that when Labour get the 25% +/-3% next year as I expect them to.

            I suggest you spend a bit less time commenting and bit more time studying our history, you could at least start with Wikipedia.

            Fair enough, a good idea.

    • James 8.2

      Whilst I appreciate you talking us “all” being ready for a change in government – Polls show that the majority of voters disagree with you.

      • swordfish 8.2.1

        Wouldn’t have thought so … NZF has theoretically held the balance of power in the last 4 Roy Morgans (March / April / May / June).

        So it really depends on the preferences of people currently telling Pollsters they’ll vote NZF.

        There’s a good deal of cumulative evidence to suggest that NZFers are disproportionately former Labour voters, with polls also suggesting they harbour a strong antipathy towards John Key, National’s recent history of Dirty Politics, the attempt to change the Flag and the TPPA amongst other things.

    • leftie 8.3

      I’m with you Save NZ.

  9. Peter Swift 9

    Labour isn’t perfect by any means and there are many who see the need for renewal in the plp as a priority in changing it’s recent electoral (mis)fortunes. However, in perspective, it’s still a thousand times better than national. The co op agreement with the greens is a positive move and with hard work and a bit of luck the electorate will see it in a different light of late.

    Disproportionate bashing by the disaffected and ultra left wing elements are a sad reflection on internet users and web politics, but that’s how it is, just ask any facebooker or youtuber about the nasty fringe elements.

    If we want to change governments, and I do, it involves a labour party. Banging on about neolibs and 80s labour is a con job smokescreen. If people were so bothered they wouldn’t have voted HC three times since. If they extremists were riding the crest of a revolution there would be a hard left party reaping the gains. There isn’t one, so make of that what you will.

    Best we pull together and vote out national.

    • b waghorn 9.1

      absofuckinglutly +10000000000000000

    • leftie 9.2

      Well said Peter Swift.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      However, in perspective, it’s still a thousand times better than national.

      Labour are about 20% better than National. They’ll still bleed you out because they subscribe to the same economic and monetary models, but with anaesthetic.

      Banging on about neolibs and 80s labour is a con job smokescreen. If people were so bothered they wouldn’t have voted HC three times since.

      I’m glad you think its a smokescreen. It’s this kind of arrogance and dismissiveness which drove UK Labour from Scotland, and which I believe will deliver Labour a result of 25% +/-3% next year.

    • Spot on, Peter. A few more activists like you and we’ve got this.

      • Colonial Viper 9.4.1

        Yes the more people like you standing for Labour the better

        • Peter Swift 9.4.1.1

          That’d be people who actually want to switch this horrible government, not blowhards who support one percenters and ideologues who make fools of themselves daily by lauding a dictator.
          I could sort of understand if it were first exposure to uni politics and all that entails, but it isn’t, so I just look for the motive and agenda rather than pay attention to the meaningless dogma. That’s where the real story is at.

          • In Vino 9.4.1.1.1

            I am inclined to look at the social equality aspect, and sorry but I see economical things like distribution of wealth as of prime importance, because poverty is the enemy.
            So reforms like homosexuality law and nuclear-free etc are just sideshows, which a Tory govt (if enlightened enough) could have implemented.
            These things are of no importance in comparison to Labour remaining cuddled up to neo-liberalism, and so far away from the practical socialism that the party used to espouse.
            I am still in favour of those reforms done under Labour, but I do not see how they link to the widening gap between rich and poor, which Labour has caused, and then failed to reverse since the 1980s.

            • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1.1.1

              the more general poverty and discontent increases, the more the fascist right wing is going to gain traction in rolling back progressive politics. This trend can be seen throughout the world.

  10. fisiani 10

    The centenarian Labour Party was a powerful force in the 20th century. But just like the Whigs they are just a footnote in history. Where is the evidence that Labour will poll over 30% ever again? Society has changed and the cloth cap wearers who dutifully regularly voted Labour are virtually all dead. The growth of Chinese members in National after the Chinese sounding names debacle has produced the Blue Dragons. Life moves on yet Labour are still stuck in the arguments of the 70’s. I see the Greens as the natural successor to Labour.

    • b waghorn 10.1

      They’ll be over 30% by years end and combine that with the greens 11-14% means the wind will be blowing in the right direction for a good old fashioned land slide to wipe the nats from the benchs’ of power.

      • fisiani 10.1.1

        Your crystal ball seems faulty. How will Labour ever be seen as relevant particularly given the housing damp squib today? No one is listening.

        • Gangnam Style 10.1.1.1

          You obliviously heard, are you ‘no one’?

        • reason 10.1.1.2

          Winston may end up going with national ………….. but his price is John keys head in a wine-box.

          Little has done a good job against Key ……….

          Key seems to feel bullet proof when telling his lies ……….. mainly because the press has covered for him……….. for a long time.

          Despite this his honesty ratings have been very low for a long time ……….and now they must be through the floor.

          Anyway You have a sense of humor and inside knowledge fizzy ………. explain this joke for me

          “David Seymour: In what century did the wine-box inquiry take place?

          Rt Hon JOHN KEY: One so far back I can hardly remember it.”

          I didn’t quite get the Nact humor but Im sure you do.

          I heard this other joke where John Key sent Don Brash and John Shewan to a tax haven ……. and they were going to teach this tax haven how to do world class nz GST …… legit az brethren stylze

          I can’t remember the punchline …….but you have to admit it sounds fucken funny so far.

          Labour although I don’t vote for them are clearly a much more principled party than the bunch of tax haven building criminals that you worship.

          fizzy

          • Hanswurst 10.1.1.2.1

            Labour although I don’t vote for them are clearly a much more principled party than the bunch of tax haven building criminals that you worship.

            In my opinion, National are a very principled party that has done a fairly comprehensive job of dishonestly convincing the electorate that their principles are in fact neutral pragmatism. I believe the relevant slogan is “There Is No Alternative”.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1.1

              In my opinion, National are a very principled party

              National are very principled.

              They are a political party which consistently and reliably puts the interests of their core constituency (the top 5% of households) first and foremost every day.

              Labour does not do this.

  11. Observer Toke 11

    .
    . There seems to be some fretting about a thing called NeoLiberalism. I am not sure what it means. Is it Syphilis? However, I am very sure what Labour has always stood for with crystal clarity.:

    Housing, Wages, Education; Health Services; Pensions. These are physical real life necessities. They come first. They are not nonsense words. They are the things every New Zealander requires.

    Happy 100th Birthday Labour !

  12. Wainwright 12

    Labour are trumpeting the glorious of their past, like homosexual law reform, state housing, paid parental leave, nuclear free. It would be even better if they looked at that list and realised what has made the Party great over the past 100 years ist he things they did which were bold and challenging. Not focus-grouped and centrist.

  13. DS 13

    Funny thing about homosexual law reform – the bill only passed 49-44 in a conscience vote. Nine Labour MPs voted against, while only three National MPs voted for. Which means that the margin was provided by the “for” votes of Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Michael Bassett, Mike Moore, and David Caygill. Sometimes even evil bastards are better than the alternative.

    I also wouldn’t buy into this mantra of Labour being truly socialist until the evil 1980s destroyed it all. Fact is, Savage/Fraser/Nash consciously refrained from frightening the horses – refusing to nationalise stuff, and eventually invoking peacetime conscription. The platform pledge to “socialise the means of production, distribution, and exchange” was removed in mid-1951, not the mid-1980s. Labour has really only been a radical party from 1916-1933 and 1984-1988. Apart from that, it’s been a genteel party of the mainstream.

    • In Vino 13.1

      Labour has, as you say, always had to refrain from frightening the horses, especially with the biased media doing their best to frighten those very horses as much as possible.

      But I believe that the 1980s saw the big betrayal, evidenced by the way the media suddenly played along with Labour during that period. Labour had become the ally of those who ruled the media.

      • leftie 13.1.1

        And obviously those who rule the media haven’t felt that about Labour for quite some time now.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          They’ve always felt the same about Labout. Use, marginalise and make irrelevant. Nothing about that has changed from the 1980s to now.

          • leftie 13.1.1.1.1

            Sure, that’s was my point. Those that rule the media don’t see Labour as an ally since the 1980s.

            I think In Vino’s point that: “Labour has, as you say, always had to refrain from frightening the horses, especially with the biased media doing their best to frighten those very horses as much as possible.” is spot on. The great Michael Joseph Savage for example, had to reassure the public that there was nothing to be afraid of having a Labour government, despite being overwhelmingly swept into power, crushing the right wing.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.1

              He didn’t have to “reassure the public” he had to reassure the capitalist class.

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