He’s baaaack

Written By: - Date published: 1:28 pm, June 30th, 2017 - 153 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, national, nz first, Politics, Shane Jones - Tags:

One of the worst kept secrets in Politics has now been publicly confirmed. Shane Jones, former Labour Front bencher, will stand for Parliament in this year’s election in Whangarei.  But not for Labour, but for New Zealand First.

He was elected to Parliament in 2005 on the list and rose through the ranks to the front bench.  He then did not seek reelection in 2014.

Rumours of his return have been around for a while.  In fact a Standard post discussed this very possibility in April 2015.  And I posted about these rumours in September 2016.

At the time I said:

When Jones was a member of the Labour Party he had a somewhat contradictory position, claiming that Labour needed to be a broader church but then stating that if Labour formed a coalition with the Greens he would walk away from the party.  It appeared that for Jones a broad church did not include people concerned about the environment.

His means of exiting the party would attract attention in some jurisdictions.  A Government creating a well paid job involving the continuous touring of the Pacific and a Diplomatic Passport and offering the job to an opposition MP and causing them to resign would cause official investigations in other countries.  Who wouldn’t accept such a job opportunity?  But should public money be used for this purpose?

Clearly Jones would be more comfortable in New Zealand First because of his environmental views.  And he could cause problems for National in Whangarei although at the last election National’s Shane Reti won the seat with a 13,169 majority and New Zealand First polled third in the party vote.  Interestingly the result was not too different to the result in Northland although Reti’s majority was greater than Mike Sabin’s.

He has had problems in the past.  Although he was a very entertaining speaker his work load was not high.  And using a ministerial credit card to watch porn is not something that is normally permitted.

He has his detractors within New Zealand First.  This Facebook page Never Shane has attracted some media attention.

And you have to question the commitment of a former Labour MP who takes a plumb taxpayer paid job from the Nats and then decides to stand for New Zealand First.  I prefer that our Parliament is full of conviction politicians, not those who see it as a career.

The prospects of a Labour-Green-New Zealand First coalition just became more difficult and I shudder to think how policy differences could be resolved.  New Zealand’s best chance of a progressive future is for a Labour-Green Government.

153 comments on “He’s baaaack”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    I don’t think the Greens should even think about being in a coalition that included NZ First. It would only drag them down.

  2. The decrypter 2

    james thought shane could stand in this seat.

  3. Bill 3

    Micky (or anyone else), help me out a bit here.

    Parking a whole lot of stuff off to the side for a moment – would Shane Jones be reasonably viewed as coming from a social democrat position as opposed to a liberal one?

    Reason I’m asking is that when the positioning of NZs political parties gets broken down into left/right and social democrat/liberal, an odd picture emerges.

    By definition, Liberal can’t be left (no room for any collective sense of identity, eg – class).

    So, we have Labour and National and Dunne as a Liberal bloc.

    And the only social democratic, and therefor in any way left party (it’s frightening to realise) is NZ1st. Now sure, they are as left as, well…name any pre-84 National government in NZ or pre-Thatcher Tory government in the UK.

    So not at all left in the scheme of things. But still way to the left of those parties that have been ideologically blinded to any recognition of collective identity, at least insofar as they occupy a space that would allow for some recognition of “left” – even if they would oppose it politically.

    • weka 3.1

      I’d say no. For one, Jones’ basic position appears to be to actively exclude representation for the left of Labour i.e. the Greens and Mana. For me that’s fundamentally anti-democratic, so hard to see how that would fit with a social democratic agenda. I guess if you want to argue for authoritarian social democratic positioning, well that would certainly be interesting.

      There’s also the issue of the ceding of progressive politics around the collective sense of identity involved in gender, class, disability, etc. Jones strikes me as particularly against what he would call political correctness.

      By your other measurements the Greens are still well to the left of everyone else. Here’s wiki’s definition of social democracy, which reads like a Green Party mission statement 😉

      Social democracy is a political, social and economic ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, as well as a policy regime involving a commitment to representative democracy, measures for income redistribution, and regulation of the economy in the general interest and welfare state provisions.

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

      All that is fairly moot though, because there’s still a significant chance that NZF will choose National. How is that possible from a social democratic party? Assuming they were social democratic what could they possibly hope to gain by that arrangement? Unless they’re actually at core a centrist party run by an authoritarian powermonger who will do what he can to prevent NZ from moving left again.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I’d guess it could come down to whether he decides to jump in with what best accords with his social policies (right wing), or whether he decides to follow his economic inclination (left wing)

        If the former, then sure, National. If the latter, then on the basis that NZ Labour’s liberalism will be less damaging than National’s, then NZ Labour.

        The Progressives were social democratic btw and went into alliance with Helen Clark’s liberal orientated government easily enough. (I’ve heard say that Jim Anderton had an authoritarian streak mind, though I’ve no idea if that is true, or if Anderton became the convenient whipping boy for the demise of the Alliance.)

    • Carolyn_nth 3.2

      To me, NZF, and Jones in particular, have a strong (unstated) sense of collective identification with wealthy and/or powerful masculinity.

    • lprent 3.3

      I suspect that NZ first mainly fit the mould of being conservatives rather than anything else on your rather simplified spectrum.

      Rather than dealing with the present and the future, they look back to a mythic past and consider it to be way better than today. All of their policies will hark back to the glory days without considering why they changed. In particular NZ First seem to be unaware that NZ is now a trading nation with a diverse (but not diverse enough) range of products to sell to the world rather than being Britains farm.

      I have looked at NZ Firsts policies a bit and I can’t see a single resonably clear policy aimed forward into the future. As far as I can see, they are a nostalgic party for the past.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        As far as I can see, they are a nostalgic party for the past.

        That’s true of all conservative parties. With NZ First they’re looking back to the mid twentieth century and National are looking at the fifteenth century complete with aristocrats like sir John Key.

        • Blade 3.3.1.1

          Well, if that’s the case, you need to ask yourself why Labour haven’t been in power for 12 years….could it be National are the modern version of Labour, while Labour are Luddites still demanding the world conformed to their warped worldview…a little like Christian missionaries of yesteryear?

          Like it, or not, political pragmatism rules. National are the masters of that strategy.

          Shane Jones has basically said as much. To summarise his korero: ‘Labour are irrelevant and out of touch.’

          • Sumsuch 3.3.1.1.1

            You describe a short-termism that will shortly short out us. The Left is about reality.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.2

            Well, if that’s the case, you need to ask yourself why Labour haven’t been in power for 12 years

            l2count

            It’s only been 9 years

            could it be National are the modern version of Labour

            Nope. They really are trying to take us back to the 15th century.

            while Labour are Luddites still demanding the world conformed to their warped worldview

            Labour are still trying to make capitalism work and it won’t ever do so because it physically can’t.

            Like it, or not, political pragmatism rules.

            We don’t get‘pragmatism’ from National – we get delusion. It’s that delusion that is destroying our environment, causing increases in poverty and generally making things worse for the majority of people.

            • Blade 3.3.1.1.2.1

              ”It’s only been 9 years”

              I took the liberty of stating reality. I did the same before the 2014 election.

              ”We don’t get pragmatism’ from National – we get delusion. ”

              No you don’t, that’s why Labour haven’t got a look in recently. National has PRAGMATICALLY moved into Labours turf of handouts and lush welfare.

              Can you imagine Nationals present crap under a Keith Holyoake leadership?

              • Can you imagine Nationals present crap under a Keith Holyoake leadership?

                Er, what? Holyoake presided over very generous welfare and public service systems compared to today, not to mention extensive trade restrictions and compulsory unionism. Present-day National is almost libertarian by comparison.

                • Blade

                  ”Er, what? Holyoake presided over very generous welfare and public service systems compared to today,”

                  No he didn’t. Solo mums got nothing till around 73.

                  No rent subsidies, taxis to doctors, especial Maori programmes, food vouchers etc.

                  ”Extensive trade restrictions and compulsory unionism.”

                  You got that right…. good on Labour for dealing to that bs.

                  • “No he didn’t. Solo mums got nothing till around 73.”
                    73! That’s shocking. By then their kids would be in their 60’s.

                    • Blade

                      Well picked up…for a fake teacher.

                    • Got my teaching certificate off the back of a Skippy Cornflakes packet. Thought; this is my ticket to riches and fame and haven’t looked back. Met Bill English for the first time in a school staff room, pushing his Bulk Funding nonsense. He’s not stopped to this day. He looked at me sideways, sensing, as you have, you clever devil, that I’m a fraud and shouldn’t be anywhere near a classroom full of pupils, let alone all the groups I claim to have taught (I forgot to mention the PlayCentre job I held at Mataura and the D’Urville Island principal’s role, but as you can see straight through my thin tissue of lies, there’s no point in bringing those up, aye!) I only hope the Kellog people don’t dob me in.

                    • Blade

                      We all have our roles to play, Robby. You don’t abandon them mid play…unless the police come a knockin.

                    • My most recent teaching appearance was last week, where I taught a class of 23 8-year olds for the day. Or should I say, to save you the effort of dismissing my claim, “wasn’t”.
                      And before that, 23 6&7-year olds on the Friday of the previous week. Wasn’t (just easing your anguish).

                  • I should have figured you’d feel nostalgia for a time when women lacked alternatives to staying with abusive husbands.

                    Things like rent subsidies etc didn’t exist back then because people on social welfare benefits didn’t need such extra assistance. That’s because “Holyoake presided over very generous welfare and public service systems compared to today,”

                    …special Maori programmes…

                    Yeah, Whitey’s outrage about that tends to go hand-in-hand with the solo-mums thing.

                    • “Te Tiriti o Waitangi” – there! I’ve said it. Go to town, Blade!

                    • Blade

                      ”I should have figured you’d feel nostalgia for a time when women lacked alternatives to staying with abusive husbands. ”

                      Such pratish remarks speak more of you, than me, PM.

                      ”Things like rent subsidies etc didn’t exist back then because people on social welfare benefits didn’t need such extra assistance. That’s because “Holyoake presided over very generous welfare and public service systems compared to today,”

                      You may be right. Under whose watch was the DPB introduced?

                      ”special Maori programmes…
                      Yeah, Whitey’s outrage about that tends to go hand-in-hand with the solo-mums thing.”

                      Your ignorance about racism that exists under affirmative action for Maori is understandable. You only see the fuzzy stuff on TV. You don’t see behind the scenes: lower marks needed for Maori student doctors, pakeha workers bullied out of jobs , or forced to quit, bureaucrats bullied and abused. Maori students given cellphones and other privileges not available to other students etc.

                      Please don’t give me your ignorant white liberal bs.

                    • Blade

                      Which version?

                      1- Maori

                      2- European

                      3- Littlewood.

      • Ad 3.3.2

        God Lyn you make conservative sound like a bad thing.

        Most of the things the left want now, were done far better thirty years ago.

        • lprent 3.3.2.1

          Lynn please. Lyn is someone else.

          Sure. But they have to be done within the context of what operates today.

          30 years ago we were running a dumb economy still largely based on physical power of humans and machines, stockpiles of goods, and with productivity growth based entirely on those aspects.

          These days more than half of the underlying economy is based on knowledge and information, the productive use of human grunt has diminished to a few small service sectors of the economy, and stockpiles of goods are largely a thing of the past.

          It is hard to find any productivity increases recently that have come from simple direct capital investments. Most of them have come from people interacting with the simple computing and communication devices we have managed to build so far and the systems between them.

          Kind of hard to see how a conservative party can deal with that kind of shift in the underlying basis of society, and certainly NZF don’t appear to have done so.

          • Ad 3.3.2.1.1

            It is hard to find any party now in Parliament that is proposing productivity increases. Other than National via per-hectare productivity; irrigation etc.

            Any party that can show it’s doing better for “shifting the underlying basis of society” through productivity increases would be great.

            But what I have seen from Labour is more about collective bargaining for the low wage economy.

            And what I have seen from the Green Party is a collection of abstract nouns without any detail about economic development. Plus some different taxes.

            I don’t have to like National, but their R&D programmes have at least tried to promote very high level innovation. Then most of it left for overseas.

            The economic “underlying basis of society” may as well be protected first, before yet another wave of reforms seeks to change it.
            That is the core attraction of the NZF party that you fail to understand.

            Small c conservative is a perfectly rational approach right now.

            • Incognito 3.3.2.1.1.1

              I don’t have to like National, but their R&D programmes have at least tried to promote very high level innovation. Then most of it left for overseas.

              Those “R&D programmes” are like a fertility clinic where they try and pick the ‘winners’ but they suck at raising ‘children’.

              Paradoxically, the ‘poor’ should not ‘breed’ so much.

              Innovation is stifled by such approach notwithstanding a few ‘successes’.

      • Bill 3.3.3

        I agree that they’re conservative or right wing. (I’m certainly not punting for them 😉 ) But conservative and right wing exists in a social democratic context, and that context affords for the possibility of an political left (obviously not NZ1st)

        On the other hand, a political left can’t find expression or any footing in a liberal context, because a core foundation of liberalism is the denial of collective identity.

        • lprent 3.3.3.1

          The funny thing about the world as it stands right now is that the individualistic (Randian) view of the right are directly at odds with the way that society is heading. Quite simply individuals have far less effective utility than they have ever had in the past.

          For instance when you analyze the current accumulations of wealth by individuals, what you realize is that they all derive from some quite vast accumulations of individuals cooperating. Few if any of these levels of cooperation were possible in the past, and where they were, they were usually done with massive amounts of social coercion – which is generally not possible today.

          The only thing that is a bit weird is that the remuneration disparities between people in enterprises has gotten so far out of whack.

          I’d point out that I operate as an extreme individualistic entity in my normal daily operations. While also cooperating in both large enterprises (like work), smallish (like this site), and tiny (Lyn puts up with me).

          • Blade 3.3.3.1.1

            ”The funny thing about the world as it stands right now is that the individualistic (Randian) view of the right are directly at odds with the way that society is heading. Quite simply individuals have far less effective utility than they have ever had in the past. ”

            True, that’s because we have no political party championing the rights of the individual. Cultural Marxism working concurrently has made sure the younger generation, on the whole, are unable to operate as sovereign individuals.

            We saw this quite clearly during debate on a constitution. No one, to my knowledge, submitted protecting individual rights before that of the collective. The idiocy of such a stance is breathtaking.

          • Bill 3.3.3.1.2

            Liberalism located identity at the level of the individual long before Rand was born. And insofar as miners co-operated while mine owners became rich, there’s nothing particularly new about “current accumulations of wealth by individuals”.

            And if we say that miners of the 1800’s were driven into their position by the enclosures, then we might say that modern workers are driven to their ‘holes in the ground’ by debt. Both are forms of social coercion.

            In addition to that, it just doesn’t make any sense to refer to “left and right” when speaking of liberalism. It fundamentally rejects the notion that exploitation and suppression is intrinsic to liberal capitalism because explanations of that give rise to notions of class (a very non-individual notion of identity). Meanwhile, acknowledging the systemic nature of capitalist exploitation is fundamental to any of the myriad version of “left”, so “left and right”, in a context of liberal capitalism, is very much a “one hand clapping” type of affair.

            We’re ‘allowed’ to run with other collective senses of identity that don’t threaten the integrity of liberal capitalism though – those based on ethnicity, nationality, gender etc. And liberalism can offer up “equality of opportunity”, and “equality before the law” and expanded property rights or whatever to counter and accommodate each one of those… and persist. What it can’t do is offer any sort of liberty to the working class because that’s an end to liberal capitalism. So instead, it seeks to deny its existence.

            Putting it another way, it’s perfectly easy to imagine a world without all the “isms” that are currently on the table (sexism, racism etc) and see that liberal capitalism could and probably would survive intact. What can’t be imagined is a world without class where liberal capitalism survives. (State capitalism might, but that’s a whole other story of straight jackets and dungeons)

            • weka 3.3.3.1.2.1

              I can’t see an end to sexism while the patriarchy survives, and the patriarchy underpins capitalism. I’m guessing the same could be said of most of the ‘isms’. Can racism end without decolonising, and isn’t decolonisation dependent on the end of neoliberal capitalism?

              Your analysis is thought provoking, although I think you run the risk of falling into that old trap of economics trumps identity. Hard to see where to go if the other collective identities are positioned in this way.

              I’m open to being persuaded that there is something distinct and intrinsic about class, but I don’t think it will work to do so by misrepresenting other identities. So I would rewrite your sentence thus,

              “We’re ‘allowed’ to run with other collective senses of identity that don’t threaten the integrity of liberal capitalism though – those based on ethnicity, nationality, gender etc.”

              Becomes,

              “We’re ‘allowed’ to run with other collective senses of identity that where they don’t threaten the integrity of liberal capitalism though – those based on ethnicity, nationality, gender etc.”

            • Pat 3.3.3.1.2.2

              elitism

            • Carolyn_nth 3.3.3.1.2.3

              Gender, race, sexuality, dysabilities, etc, are as collective a sense of identity as class. It’s a whole group of people becoming aware of the shared ways in which they are marginalised, suppressed, dominated and/or oppressed within a social or socio-economic system.

              • Bill

                I agree.

                But what I’ve been trying to say is that there is a specific form of economic exploitation that is systemic and unique to capitalism that gives rise to class…and that capitalism cannot persist if the working class ends its own exploitation.

                Other collective senses of identity exist, and yes, capitalism can exacerbate or reinforce negative dynamics associated with them,or take advantage of them for its own ends or whatever. But they come from non-capitalist places and times (eg -from religion and/or pre-capitalist)… ie, they are not inherent to capitalism and so could easily persist in capitalism’s absence – just as capitalism itself could persist in a world free of racism and sexism etc.

                So the original comment was made around ideas of liberalism and its ideological placement of identity, of liberal capitalism, of the historic refusal of liberalism to acknowledge class…

                Just to be clear. What I am not saying is that particular discriminations should be disregarded or sidelined. Hell. If the economic exploitation inherent to capitalism was ended tomorrow, but other forms of discrimination ignored in the process, then oppression would continue under new emergent forms of domination. I’ll confidently say we absolutely agree on that.

                All I’m saying is that a failure to acknowledge class is also a failure to challenge capitalism, while also pointing out that liberalism does not, and arguably ideologically cannot, acknowledge class. Now given we have a smorgasbord of liberal parties in NZ….

                At least social democratic parties (eg – UK Labour) have the ideological space to acknowledge class, even if in the end they seek to contain class antagonisms in favour of accommodating capitalism.

          • Sumsuch 3.3.3.1.3

            lprent, commend the individuality. My socialist g. grandfather modelled his activities on Christianity. He was described in a book as being the first to ‘bring the word to Preston’ in Lancashire. The photo on my wall of him has a halo behind him. Of course, everyone in his family could only love him at a great distance–that is the personal price of those fanatics. Savage understood that and took the right actions. So much … price.

      • Stunned mullet 3.3.4

        “As far as I can see, they are a nostalgic party for the past.”

        The thing they’re most nostalgic about is having their collective head in the trough.

        • mary_a 3.3.4.1

          @ Stunned mullet (3.3.4) … just about choked on my drink when I read your last sentence 🙂 So true though.

    • Jones is like Trotter, a left-wing conservative. He didn’t really belong in a modern Labour Party, and extending their “big church” philosophy to include arch conservatives is IMO a mistake.

      He’ll fit in well in NZ First if he makes it into Parliament. The real question will be whether he’ll be showing up on their List, as that seems far more relevant to his chances of election.

      As for NZ First- the last time they talked about bottom lines, they were giving ones that Labour and the Greens supported but National didn’t. I don’t think that guarantees anything, but I would weight that a bit more heavily than them picking up a new MP, that like some of the existing ones, has had some issues with the Greens in the past. NZ First will do what it has to do, and if it actively supports the nats, it will cost them at the next election.

      • Ad 3.4.1

        You say “left-wing conservative” like that’s a bad thing.

      • Sumsuch 3.4.2

        Your position against Trotter would be interesting to me. I roundly have no time for what is politically digestible in the moment. Oh, no, I’ve discovered your objection.

      • Psycho Milt 3.4.3

        As for NZ First- the last time they talked about bottom lines, they were giving ones that Labour and the Greens supported but National didn’t.

        Winston’s “bottom lines” are things he throws out there for headlines. When he’s a cabinet minister six months from now he’ll be laughing at journalists who mention any of them.

        • I don’t entirely disagree with you that his “bottom lines” aren’t bottom lines as such but more “hey this sounds good.”

          What I’m saying is that the only analysis of Winston that works is one where you assume he’ll do whatever he thinks is best for him- screw anyone else, NZ First included, who stand in the way. But it’s difficult to know what he’ll think that will actually be, so the best we can do is evaluate his and his party’s public statements, and they’ve actually been pretty aligned with Labour.

    • red-blooded 3.5

      Bill, Labour are not a “Liberal” capital “L” party. There’s a strong lens of social class that feeds through most of their central policies. Check out their employment relations policy, for example. “After nine years of National, working people’s share of the economy is falling. Less than 40 per cent of economic growth under National has gone into working people’s wages. If working people’s slice of the economy hadn’t shrunk under National, workers’ pay packets would have been $23 billion larger.”

      The focus on protection from fire-at-will policies, industry standards, collective bargaining… all of these are premised around class consciousness and are practical steps aimed at improving the lives of the working class. You don’t have to vote for Labour, but you don’t get to make sweeping, dismissive claims like this about them unchallenged.

  4. Takere 4

    NZF are in the “Box Seat” at the moment. Its either change the Government or be happy with what you already have but 4.0!
    It has to be a 3 way coalition because the numbers dont look good & the Greens have supported a lot of the National Government’s Bills lately in the House & dumped on Labour SOP’s so they could do a dirty on all of us … better the devil you know as the saying goes.

    • weka 4.1

      The Greens have said they won’t support National to form govt again. Peters has said he can work with either National or Labour. If you want to change the govt then the Greens and Labour are the only sure bet. All we can say about NZF is that we have no idea what they will do, because that’s their fundamental election position, not to tell anyone and wait until after the election.

      (btw, Labour voted with National more than the Greens in recent years).

      • Ad 4.1.1

        NZFirst in coalition would change the government.
        Just not as much.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          Of course. But my point is that there is no way to know before you vote what NZF will do. If changing the govt is the desired outcome then voting NZF is a gamble. Labour and the Greens are the only parties who have ruled out working with National and who are intent on changing the govt. Whatever else people might think about the situation that’s the reality.

          • Karen 4.1.1.1.1

            With Jones presumably about to get a high place on the NZF list, then NZF is far more likely to go with the Nats.

            Winston is an old-fashioned conservative like Muldoon but could work with Labour and the Greens, but Jones is an economic neoliberal with extremely reactionary attitudes to social issues and the environment. The worst of the worst IMO.

            • weka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              How do you think that’s reflected in the wider NZF party Karen? (Old school conservative vs neoliberal)

              The thing that’s fucking me off right now is that if it wasn’t for the powermongering from Peters etc, the left could have a pretty good starting replacement govt made up of L/G/NZF. Imagine if we took the best of those parties and got them working together.

              • Karen

                I see problems ahead, including between Peters and Jones. This from Manhire is quite interesting:

                https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/30-06-2017/shane-jones-joins-winston-peters-and-nz-first-genius-or-jeopardy/

                Depends on what Jones wants long term. He’s smart enough to pretend he no longer is a globalist in order to get into a position of power within NZF. Maybe what he wants is to be Minister of Foreign Affairs in a coalition – he’d love swanning around the embassy circuit with a loaded credit card.

                I do feel very depressed about this. Jones could well get some extra votes for NZF disaffected National voters and those who voted Conservative in the last election, particularly in rural areas. The danger is that they will also get some extra votes from Labour from the socially conservative, blokey types.

                Personally, I have never seen any signs of the charisma that so many in the media claim Jones has. He may have oratory skills, but that only works in parliament and public meetings – most voters don’t listen to parliament or go to public meetings.

                • weka

                  I was also very depressed about it until I saw Turei’s tweet (below) and was reminded that there are still good people around parliament who hold a vision of not just good policy but of how to be in relationship well with others.

  5. mauī 5

    You have to hand it to him though he’s got a decent chance of unseating National in Whangarei for the first time in 40 years. Where can the left achieve something similar?

    Interestingly David Shearer got close to winning Whangarei in 2002 only falling 3,000 votes short.

    • Takere 5.1

      If he “Pulls it Off!” Haha! It’ll put the squeeze on the List only partys share, it’ll surely kill off Mana-Maori Party & hurt the Greens too! Haha!

    • weka 5.2

      “Where can the left achieve something similar?”

      That’s an odd question mauī. There is significant overlap between NZF and National so it makes sense that NZF might win a Nat seat. We don’t want that kind of overlap from the left.

      But good to see you saying that NZF aren’t left! 🙂

      • mauī 5.2.1

        I also see a lot of overlap between the 3 current opposition parties when they call out the government. It makes me wonder why there isn’t a left leaning populist candidate that could cause National real problems in any electorate.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          ..makes me wonder why there isn’t a left leaning populist candidate…

          Remember the Alliance? Or the Progressives? People could argue over what “did for” them, but whatever, it seems all that survives of the pre-84 or pre-liberal political context is Winnie.

          Which, when you think about it, isn’t the bestest.

        • weka 5.2.1.2

          “I also see a lot of overlap between the 3 current opposition parties when they call out the government. It makes me wonder why there isn’t a left leaning populist candidate that could cause National real problems in any electorate.”

          True, and I don’t know Whangarei but I am assuming it’s pretty blue*. So I don’t think much inroads will be made even with a Corbyn on our side. Other electorates I agree with you.

          * yep http://archive.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-63.html

    • Skinny 5.3

      I went along to the Whangarei candidate launch. Jones had a real crack at National and their connections to Corporations. Really strong on proper economic development which will be the key to any chance of Jones winning the seat.

  6. adam 6

    Long live the beige revolution!

    We now have another champion of it in a mild plaid.

    Tossing his salad, in the middle of the road.

    Viva Viva!!

    Boring as it is predictable, this is how they win, they grind you down with constant mediocre performances, and people.

    • lprent 6.1

      The problem with Shane Jones is that in my opinion, he only turns in mediocre performances when it comes to getting elections. Good at talking. Useless at working to get votes.

      My bet is that he doesn’t do much better for NZF

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Yeah, I’m thinking that this may actually be fatal for NZ First. Such a toxic contender is not going to look good for them.

        • Poission 6.1.1.1

          And the greens contender is a good look? or merely confirms suspicions.

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1702/S00210/ash-holwell-named-green-candidate-for-whangarei-electorate.htm

          • dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1

            Wow . What an interesting background. probably not going to like parliament ( but not high enough on the list) but will make his mark in his own way

          • Skinny 6.1.1.1.2

            Yes I saw young Ash watching on from his push bike as the big boys were at play with the media fawning all over the place. The Greens are not popular in the Tory town, nice kid but green as grass with ears that are painted on from what I have noticed.

            Had a chat with a local reporter who has been around many years. No upset win with Jones she said, I agreed only the master of spin Peters stood a real live chance.

            Reti is it unless the Rail campaigner comes out big time behind Jones, which I doubt very much he will do as there is bad blood over Jones TPPA position. Though I just heard Jones on RNZ admitting his folly on that one and has learnt from Peters it isn’t all what his mate Mc Cully talked it up to be. May flick him a link see where that goes.

        • JanM 6.1.1.2

          This is Whangarei, don’t forget – the North isn’t like anywhere else IMO

      • adam 6.1.2

        I hope you right lprent, I hope you are right.

        Last time I heard him talk it was waffle, mind you I’m struggling to remember the last NZ politician I heard that didn’t make want to grind my teeth.

        No wait, Annette Sykes I enjoyed listening to her, but she is not in parliament so she probably does not count.

  7. wonder what ron mark thinks – there can be only 1 – he’ll be watching his back and old shano will bounce him quick from the mate side – gonna be fun watching this sort out…

    • Karen 7.1

      I think Kate Davis has the best take on that:

      Kate Davis‏ @kateinthebay 3h3 hours ago

      “Has anyone reached out to Ron Mark? #nationnz”

      • Karen 7.1.1

        Oops – Missed out half the tweet.

        Kate Davis‏ @kateinthebay 3h3 hours ago

        “Has anyone reached out to Ron Mark? – sitting at home with Shane Jones doll, pins & chicken foot”

  8. tc 8

    Winnie knows the morally flexible opportunists he needs, jones is a first class operator on that front.

  9. Anne 9

    My impression of Shane Jones when he was a minister in the Clark govt… he was a good orator and debater but lazy. Simple as that. His antagonism towards the Greens is curious. I suspect he had a run-in with them over something and he’s allowed it to colour his views of them to the point of absurdity and ignorance.

    Does anyone know what it was about?

    • Jenny Kirk 9.1

      Jones is pro-oil drilling, Greens are not. It could be as simple as that, Anne – but I don’t know for sure.
      You are right he is seen as lazy. Which makes me wonder whether he’ll be able to pull off the Whangarei electorate for NZF. He couldn’t win Tamaki Makarau when it was handed to him on a plate.

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    Makes a coalition with NZ first that much more uninviting.

    Hopefully this results in votes coming from them to either Labour or Greens

  11. james 11

    “The prospects of a Labour-Green-New Zealand First coalition just became more difficult”.

    I know – right?

    Music to my ears.

    Ive said for ages that NZ first and National is already stitched up – Key leaving was the price.

    No inside info – just my gut feeling.

    Feeling confident for the election.

    To Paraphrase George Gregan “3 more years” (Thats a rugby reference for all on here who avoid rugby

  12. Philj 12

    I always considered Jones a Nat. The strangeness of it all!

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    I’d characterize the decision as feudal – Jones is seen as a potential leader of some kind, though his policy positions are not exactly clearly defined. Wouldn’t’ve been my pick – but then again, who else in NZF has a credible shot at the electorate?

    Winston has something of a habit of rehabilitating people, and the incident that destroyed Jones’s credibility was probably a relatively trivial oversight at the time. The exception to the Greens is founded in some form of pragmatism, and arguably NZ government desperately needs a bit of pragmatism, having long since lost its way chasing “the wild elusive butterfly of free market monetarism”.

    In some respects the alliance is natural – nobody knows wtf Winston is going to do – or Jones for that matter. It’s the fish I feel sorry for – and New Zealanders of course. This is the best we have to offer? Whatever will become of us.

  14. Sabine 14

    the bottom line is obviously what counts.

    anyone who pays can have Shane Jones. Ladies and Gentlemen place your bids.

    • Grafton Gully 14.1

      Them that pays call the tune. Reminds me of Lange. A big mouth fronting the real agenda.

      • Jenny Kirk 14.1.1

        Lange had a heart, Grafton Gully. And a belief in the community of people.
        I doubt that Shane Jones has either. A big difference.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    NZ First is the party of elderly nostalgists and revanchists, plus artisan and blue collar nativists. It is the party of the popular nationalism off whatever is left of the old fashioned rural proletariat, long ago dumped on the scrap heap by the two main parties of capitalism and liberal managerialism.

    Much of it’s cross race appeal lies in it’s embrace of a genuine, naive and unsophisticated nationalism of the Warriors that is the antithesis of the globalised, middle class Pakeha faux patriotism of the America’s cup.

    The liberal ruling class hates the parochialism of NZ First voters because it is a threat to the globalised movement of Labour that as a class it has most benefited from.

    • BM 15.1

      A serious amount of wank there, bud.

      • Red 15.1.1

        Another political science major I suggest

      • Psycho Milt 15.1.2

        Fairly accurate wank. I’d dispute the last sentence though – you don’t have to be a member of the ruling class to find NZF’s parochial conservatism obnoxious.

    • Anne 15.2

      NZ First is the party of elderly nostalgists and revanchists,

      True. NZ’s version of your typical Trump supporter. In fact, Winston Peters is not dis-similar to Trump although I do give him credit for having a little more grey matter than Trump. They’re both populists, they both indulge in simplistic rhetoric, they both like to create political storms and to foster intrigue, and they both like to collect shiny baubles.

      I agree with the rest of your comment too Sanctuary – assuming you mean “Labour” in terms of the proletariat work-force.

      • Carolyn_nth 15.2.1

        I’m glad you could make sense of Sanctuary’s last sentence. It seemed to me to be saying the opposite to that which you claim…. or at least to be contradictory.

    • RedLogix 15.3

      elderly nostalgists

      If by that you mean someone old enough to remember life before Sir Roger Fucking Failed Pig Farmer Douglas …. then you’d have to count me in.

  16. BM 16

    NZ First is the party for baby boomers who loved NZ the way it was before all the darkies and Asians turned up.

    • adam 16.1

      Silly point BM – which I think you know, but there were quite a few brown people before NZfirst turned up. And before the parliamentary type of government thing as well.

      So NZfirst voters want a time before, before??!?

    • greywarshark 16.2

      There seemed to be Chinese in NZ way back. One man went crazy about it and started killing them. They put him in an asylum where he was said to have thought he was JC. Watch out BM the powers that be might come for you if you start getting too wacky.

  17. Tamati Tautuhi 17

    NZF is pro economic growth export driven growth not immigration and house price inflation growth and wants to invest in youth education & personal development.

    Totally contrary to National Party Policy.

  18. David Mac 18

    The 55+ part of our population is booming. They’re the people that have the money, observe media and vote. They’re conservative, nothing to do with their political allegiance, they’ve got stuff to conserve. Memories, toys, traditions, baches.

    New Zealand First study ‘What do these people want?’

    Once established, the next step is ‘How do we get them to take notice of us in the 10 second grabs of modern media?

    Warts and all, I think Jones is a pretty good choice of soundbite generator.

    I like the idea of stretching MMP to the max. Greens at one end, NZ First at the other. That’s us isn’t it?

    • RedLogix 18.1

      Becoming more cautious with age is absolutely normal; after all you can fuck up at 20 and usually stage a recovery, much harder at 60.

      But cautious is absolutely NOT always the same thing as conservative; and painting everyone old enough to draw super as a rabid right winger is ignorant.

      • David Mac 18.1.1

        Yeah red, that’s my point, as we age we conserve, nothing to do with whether we voted left or right in the past.

        NZ First’s target audience aren’t worried about their housing arrangements, they’re looking at the mountain their loved ones have to climb.

        • Carolyn_nth 18.1.1.1

          I am 60+ and never voted Nats, NZ First, ACT, or conservative, and never will.

          Many of the poorest never live to my age. I understand that I have tended to have a pretty privileged life. And am still angry, that it’s not a level playing field – want a better world for the future.

          • RedLogix 18.1.1.1.1

            Same here. Although I must confess I voted ACT just the once.

            My excuse is that I was young and stupid.

      • Incognito 18.1.2

        As I’ve aged I’ve become more progressive. The risks I take are no fewer but more calculated than when I was younger and I tend to take the inevitable ‘fuck ups’ more in my stride. It is great to err and be human …

        • David Mac 18.1.2.1

          Conservative = Family get together at Christmas. Our kids would rather be in Sydney with 2k tucked in their top pockets

          • Incognito 18.1.2.1.1

            Hmmm, “Family get together at Christmas” ∈ “Conservative” but is “Kid would rather be in Sydney with 2k tucked in top pocket” ∈ “Progressive”?

    • Do you fucking mind? I’m 55 and most of the conservatives I know are a lot younger than me. Age-based stereotyping is still just bigotry.

      • David Mac 18.2.1

        Hi Milt, yes I mind. If you were marketing European River Cruises would you buy a display ad in Smash Hits or Retirement Weekly? Nothing to do with bigotry. Human nature and targeting. I’m not suggesting you voted for Colin Craig, I’m suggesting as we age we gather stuff to conserve, like a history of voting a particular way.

        • marty mars 18.2.1.1

          Nah as we age we don’t conserve. I’ve never voted right never will and as a 55 year old I am getting more left not less as I age gracefully. Your generalisations are not true they are just the way you see it.

          • David Mac 18.2.1.1.1

            I fear I’m just lousy at getting my point across Marty. You have a long and proud history of voting left to conserve.

            • marty mars 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Could be the word conserve and what that actually means. At one level nothing is or could be conserved from energy on down. The constant divine movements of everything means nothing can stay the same or be conserved. Which is good.

              Perhaps some people get a bit grabby as they get closer to their death day.

              • RedLogix

                I feel it’s not as simple a ‘getting a bit grabby’. In our experience we’re increasingly less interested in material things for their own sake. Big house, flash toys and lots of possessions hold little appeal for us now. They’re just a burden really.

                What does interest us is the chance to experience life after work, on our own terms. I’ve spent over 40 years pleasing other people every day; now I want to do things that are important to myself and my family.

                On the other hand we’re very aware that you can be a long time retired. I look at my own father and make the calculation that he was forced into retirement at age 58, and now 30 years later he’s long used up any cash savings. If not for his freehold home and family support he’d be living on super alone. Often families face the prospect of two generations in retirement at the same time.

                • I’ve met a few grabbys . Good luck to them if that is what they’re into. At 55 I’m getting some interesting thoughts about death. And with a 2 and 9 year old all in this tiny house with the fire heating rain lashing and internet going plus no work yay – I find it hard to think of when I’ve been happier.

                  And I think about my father for a little bit and realise my boys will be the same when they are older and living their lives. It is as it always is and it is great.

  19. David Mac 19

    With a Green, Labour and NZ First government we would all have a voice in the Hive like never before. The planet, the worker and the wisdom.

    It would take forever to get a contentious bill through the house but we could be confident that it’s for the best for us all. No more ‘Wham bam, law passed.’

  20. Sumsuch 20

    Some of the degradation of politics has been about everyone and their dog voicing opinions about ‘presentation’ of such. Instead of just our opinions. Y’ know, the democratic revolution of the people. As so media is more than immedia. Reality. My opinion.

  21. savenz 21

    Scary stuff for NZ First. Shane Jones is a morally bankrupt opportunist, who true calling should be wanking on the public purse for the National party.

    • Karen 21.1

      +1
      Shane Jones is a greedy, rightwing, misogynist, egotistical arsehole.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 21.2

      Nah that David Seymour and The ACT Party, professional bludgers, Prebble, Douglas, Gibbs etc

    • mary_a 21.3

      SaveNZ (21) … Agree. Jones would contribute well to the Natzianal culture of sleaze and slime.

  22. weka 22

    The Nation‏ @TheNationNZ 2h

    Shane Jones softening his stance on @NZGreens won’t rule out working with them in government. What do you think @metiria

    Metiria Turei‏ @metiria
    Replying to @TheNationNZ @NZGreens

    Ah, the Pacific clearly mellowed him! And he doesn’t have much choice either. Say hi for me.

    https://twitter.com/metiria/status/880916851433144320

    • weka 22.1

      Jake‏ @jacobjakemo 59m
      Replying to @metiria @TheNationNZ @NZGreens

      @NZGreens: always taking the high road, with good humour and a warm heart. #nzgreens #nzpol

      True, and also stand your ground.

    • savenz 22.2

      Nice reply by Metiria!

      • weka 22.2.1

        She is one cool politician, I’m often very impressed by her in this regard.

  23. millsy 23

    I think the question is now: Will John Tamihere follow suit and sign on with NZ First. I thought he would stand for the Conservatives, but seeing as Colin Craig decided the bit in the 10 Commandments about coveting women could be re-negotiated, that option is closed,

  24. Tamati Tautuhi 24

    I thought Shane Jones came with too much baggage for NZF however their Caucus obviously thought he was worth the risk, but I think JT may be just a bit too loose for Winston even though he has a good brain when used constructively.

  25. newsense 25

    Gee.

    He’s a complete judas in my opinion. Doing deals with Murray McCully just out from an election? Getting a complete wankfest from the Guyon Espiners (though doing a decent enough job on Morning Report) and Tony Vietchs..

    The man talks about himself in the 3rd person.

    He’d have to do a lot in the way of humility before I’d be happy to see him anywhere near NZ politics.

    Shane first. Beliefs second.

  26. Anne 26

    Here’s a little gem which Shane Jones shared with a small social gathering of Labour members about ten years ago. It seems he was selected by his local “kaumatua” for a leadership role when he was just a small boy. I gather it is normal for Maori elders to pick out those youths they believe are destined for big things and they groom them for these roles during their formative years.

    I have the impression that Shane Jones has been trying to live up to expectations ever since and he’s not that particular about which political party he does it with. I recall after his speech asking him whether he would stay with Labour and he claimed he was a Labour man through and through. Yeah well… 🙄

    • Tamati Tautuhi 26.1

      Give the guy a break he took time out after contesting the Labour Leadership, Labour shot themselves in both feet last Election, so Key offered him a good job in the Fisheries/Foreign Affairs, now he’s back for another crack, he will have to earn his stripes at NZF as they have processes I doubt whether he will be allowed to que jump.

  27. Mrs Brillo 27

    I used to work with Shane, years ago when we were both young, and I liked him then. Even though he had a bad case of “entitleitis” and was a Big Picture man, leaving the actual work to others. But over the years he has changed, and I now think he is the sort of Big Soundbite man that is just a poli for hire. You write the cheques, he’ll turn up. But it’s a sleb role he will be seeking, and he is in no shape now to do actual work. And I still resent him stitching up that deal with McCully, that was lower than a snake’s belly and unforgiveable.

  28. Jenny Kirk 28

    Sorry Anne I’m not quite sure you are correct when you say ….”I have the impression that Shane Jones has been trying to live up to expectations ever since ” …….

    It’s more like Mr Jones expected everyone to bow and scrape and pick up after him, and when he got into Parliament and found that this didn’t happen …. well, he just sat back and waited for it to happen. Looks to me like he’s found another place where it might happen but I wouldn’t bet on it. Ron Marks will be looking for his own place in the sun with NZF and won’t give it up lightly.

    • Ad 28.1

      Shane Jones will be a Minister no matter who is in power, and has chosen an excellent vehicle to get there.

      He is also exceedingly well qualified to be a Minister, which is more than you can say for most in Labour or almost any in the Greens.

      Jones would do an interesting job in either Foreign Affairs or running MBIE as Economic Development Minister.

      Labour need to prepare to work very closely and cooperatively with Jones, Peters, Mark and all of them. NZF is the only route Labour currently has to power.

      • David Mac 28.1.1

        Yes, the intrigue revolves around Winston gaining enough leverage to offer Little an ultimatum: ‘I’m PM or you’re in opposition for another term’.

      • Psycho Milt 28.1.2

        Any Labour or Green MP who hasn’t been involved in a dodgy immigration scandal and has managed to avoid blatantly and egregiously misusing their taxpayer-funded credit card is better qualified than Shane Jones to be a cabinet minister.

        It does seem likely that Labour/Green are going to have to deal with the parochial conservatism of NZ First if they want to win power in September, but if that does come to pass (unlikely, since parochial conservatism’s natural home is with National), their focus will need to be on quarantining the effect of pompous, corrupt blowhards like Jones on their government, not endorsing it.

        • David Mac 28.1.2.1

          Have you never masturbated? Some consider I never cease. Then there is the using of government funds…what $10? The school secretary scooting down to the bakery in the school car for Gwens going away sausage rolls cost the taxpayer more. Let’s string her up!

          I think those pointing out that Jones spent 10 bucks of our money on a dirty movie 10 years ago are saying a whole lot more about themselves than Jones.

          Now that we’ve hung up our guns, sabres and dueling pistols, we fight with words. They are the ammo. Jones is a marksman.

          I want to see Julie Anne Minister of Transport, I think she’ll be a beaut. Not jousting with Bridges but actually holding the keys to the office. I want to see Jones Minister of blowing our trumpet overseas. God knows he’s a blowhard. Who better to represent the worker than Little. When we start putting people like this in the hotseats I think we are getting closer to representing us all. Isn’t that why we’re doing this MMP thing?

          • Psycho Milt 28.1.2.1.1

            I’ve watched plenty of porn myself. That’s not the point, is it? The point is that it takes a stunning lack of integrity and, more importantly, judgment, to book porn up to your employer and claim it as an expense. Also, it’s not about $10 – that was just the bit the media chose to focus on (for obvious reasons).

            The immigration scandal alone should have been enough to sink any chances of him ever being given authority over anything ever again.

            He’s also anything but a marksman when it comes to language. Look at his comment about National’s international students/cheap migrant labour scam:

            … immigration policy, international education is now synonymous with butter chicken – rancid,

            The “marksman” manages to come up with a statement that makes no sense while also making it clear he’s a racist. I’m not sure what you call that, but marksman-like it isn’t.

        • Ad 28.1.2.2

          All parties have their fair share of pompous blowhards.
          (except the one we vote for, obviously).

          The left need to start holding their noses and accept the cards the electorate deals.

          • David Mac 28.1.2.2.1

            What suits everyone the best contends with what hurts everyone the least. I’m challenged making life harmonious between two people. 4.5 million…sheesh. We learn to live harmoniously with a negotiated compromise or spend our lives discontented. I think that’s the deal when we share anything.

    • Anne 28.2

      Hi Jenny Kirk,
      I wasn’t intending my comment to be particularly complimentary. Rather, he had been chosen by the kaumatua to be a future leader and he was going to live up to the name one way or another. I agree with Mrs Brillo. He has a well developed sense of entitlement. The fact that he told us the story was imo a good example of it.

  29. Tamati Tautuhi 29

    Anything is better than the current National/ACT/United F%^k Up/Maori Deal, I think Labour/NZF/Greens has the right balance.

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