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Hone the victim or the playmaker?

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, January 20th, 2011 - 106 comments
Categories: maori party - Tags: , , , , ,

Hone Harawira is many things but stupid isn’t one of them. He has cleverly created a situation where Tariana Turia and her lackeys have had to attack him for daring to speak truth to power. It’s Hone who has been the protagonist. It’s he who has fronted to the media while Turia has hidden. He’s been planning this and he knows how it will play out.

The Sunday Star Times column was an ultimatum to Turia: return to the party’s roots or face the consequences.

It would have been naive and optimistic in the extreme to think that Turia would react positively to this critique. She takes everything personally, she has no wider values. So, she could only take Harawira’s column as an attack on her leadership to which she would be bound to respond.

Having initiated the fight, Harawira would have known it could go down in a couple of ways: with Turia being disposed or with him being booted from the party.

Knocking off Turia would take the support of his fellow Maori Party MPs. That was never likely. We’ve seen Rahui Katene sell out her personal mana in deference to Turia over the Emissions Trading Scheme – after she had written a minority report damning National’s ETS, Turia did a deal behind her back, leaving Katene in the humiliating position of trying to suppress her own views and then voting against them days later. Pita Sharples and Te Ururoa Flavell are both too weak and lazy to call Turia to account.

Turia having Te Ururoa Flavell act as her lackey in making the complaint, co-signed by all the other Maori Party MPs, only confirmed it.

So, Harawira knew that if would come to this. He’s facing being booted out but he has already telegraphed the fact that he isn’t too worried because he sees the Maori Party as only a vehicle for his ideals and, if the vehicle stops working, he’ll jump on to another. Supporting Matt McCarten during the Mana by-election (while Turia was up the road supporting Hekia Parata) was one sign. His frank admission that his daughter is planning to vote Green instead of Maori Party this year is another.

Now, we have seen Harawira at loggerheads with the leadership before and it has come to nothing. But this time is different – both sides have stepped up the level of brutality. It is hard to see how they can kiss and make up after this. And why create the situation at all if that’s the intended outcome?

No, Harawira hasn’t engineered all this without a plan. My money is still on him taking his safe seat and using it as the anchor for a New Left Party with McCarten and Sue Bradford among others.

Being evicted from the Maori Party for standing up for his (and the Party’s) values, rather than just leaving, means Harawira takes more cred into that new vehicle.

Turia will right now be considering whether she can afford to lose Harawira’s seat. But the decision isn’t really hers. Hone made it weeks ago.

(btw, Phil Goff may have said he won’t talk to Harawira but I think you’ll find he will talk to a New Left party that includes Harawira if the numbers work after the election. If Labour is smart, Kelvin Davis will be running a party-vote only campaign in TTT).

[Bunji: couldn’t resist adding the appropriate Herald cartoon: ]


106 comments on “Hone the victim or the playmaker? ”

    • Bright Red 1.1

      I se you have Bradford and Harawira as co-leaders. I wonder if a new left party could experiment with a rotating leadership.

      The danger for small parties is always becoming a vehicle for the first leader’s ambition and crumbling with them – Alliance, MP, Progs, (nearly) ACT, NZF, UF. Only the Greens, among the small parties, have had a successful leadership transition and that’s because they have a very strong international brand/value-set.

      Switzerland’s rotating presidency, which is just a figurehead drawn from the federal council, which governs collectively, seems to work.

      • Green Tea 1.1.1

        The danger is turning into United Future.

      • Anthony C 1.1.2

        I don’t know why they need co-leaders, it could just end up with another talent vacuum and another Russell Norman.

        I would definitely put my party vote towards such a party, especial with SJ campaigners like Sue and Matt.

      • KJT 1.1.3

        Switzerland works because people can vote on policies. It is a democracy, not a three yearly rotating dictatorship. If Swiss politicians want to change anything they have to have all their ducks in a row, and show that changes are in everyone’s best interests, or the electorate will overturn them.

  1. liberty 2

    “No, Harawira hasn’t engineered all this without a plan. My money is still on him taking his safe seat and using it as the anchor for a New Left Party with McCarten and Sue Bradford among others.”

    Which is great news. It will shred the left vote . Goff has already stated he want form a coalition with Harawira. Which is a bit of a joke. Considering he want be there. If by some faint chance he is still leader. Labour will be so weaken by defections by Labours voters to the McCarten communist party . Goff want be the one forming a Government.

    • Bright Red 2.1

      Liberty, the word you’re looking for is “won’t” not “want”

      I fail how to see how it will decrease the number of votes and seats the Left gets. As long as all the parties get in, this could actually increase the Left’s number of seats and make the mix of cnetre-Left parties more Left-ish.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Hey, does liberty sound or look like a New Zealander? I’m not so sure now. Might ask Henry.

    • roger nome 2.2

      How dare you defame that sacred word liberty, you gormless goon.

      Social democrats are different to Communists in quite a few essential ways. That you don’t see this makes you unfit to contribute here.

      • Liberty 2.2.1

        “Social democrats are different to Communists in quite a few essential ways. That you don’t see this makes you unfit to contribute here.”

        Labour apologist get very touchy over there communist connections.
        The number of hard core communist will only be small maybe 2% if that
        It would have been a lot higher when the party was born out of the miners union.
        The communist philosophy has been watered down. So it is now politically acceptable Socialism.
        It now appears there is another Communist party is forming . Out of flotsam
        From Alliance, Greens and the Maori party .
        With party support of 29% labour might have to accommodate them.
        Labour will have a hell of a job selling that to middle New Zealand
        Now it interesting you say I am unfit to contribute.
        Why ? Can’t you handle criticism.
        Did I not see a anti censorship banner on this blog.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.2.2

        It’s like redbaiter. Now with poorer spelling! And fewer elan!!

        • liberty 2.2.2.1

          I find it amusing how lefties get there knickers in a twist over spelling
          And yet vote labour.

  2. I have been wondering about Hone’s motivation and the timing is exquisite.

    What better way to kick start a new left wing party than to be booted out of the party making a stand on a matter of principle.

    The danger for the Maori Party is that they will make Hone a martyr if they kick him out. And it will tear the Maori Party apart.

    Maybe this is Hone’s intention?

    • jcuknz 3.1

      Is it not how the Maori Party started with Turia standing up against the Labour Party?
      Reading Bomber’s last para justifies my voting for them when I would never vote for National Labour Greens or Maori parties ….Originally when the choice was between Alliance and ACT, I chose the latter because it seemed more likely to succeed.
      “The illusion of the hyper consumer culture and neoliberal financial structures it requires to justify the constant rape of our environment leading to increased global warming is a lie we can no longer afford to believe in, and that’s why we need a New Left Party to galvanize other political party’s away from managing to challenging”.
      It sums up the current position rather well I think.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    I was thinking about Goff’s comment that he can’t ever work with Hone.

    If Hone stands and an independent and wins his seat, it is unlikely his one vote in the house will make or break forming a government.

    If on the other hand Hone becomes part of a new left party and brings three other people into parliament, then Goff can talk to the new party and simply dismiss his previous comments, saying he has confidence in the ability of Hone’s new caucus colleagues to manage him.

    So thinking about this, it seems politically astute to put distance between Hone Harawira – a man politically toxic to most white New Zealanders – and Labour before the election, whilst leaving enough wiggle room to see how relevant he is afterwards.

    My view though is Hone will go as an independent and seek to seize control of a weakened Maori Party after the next election.

    • Pete 4.1

      then Goff can talk to the new party and simply dismiss his previous comments, saying he has confidence in the ability of Hone’s new caucus colleagues to manage him.

      Would anyone believe that?

      • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1

        Why not? Goff would say that Harawira as an independent MP is different to Harawira in another party. If he had to, that is. Even if Hone wins his seat, he’d need a solid performance in the party vote to bring enough MP’s with him to be worth bothering with. And each MP Hone brings would be as hostage to him as ACT’s MP are to Rodney Hide.

      • Eddie 4.1.2

        people (ie. people like you) believed john key when he said he would do everything possible to get the miners out, when he said he would build a cycleway the length of the country to get us out of recession, when he said he would be relentlessly focused on jobs, when he said the average kiwi would get tax cuts “north of $50” etc etc

        I’m sure they won’t have any trouble with that.

  4. BLiP 5

    Its a shame to see the maori party crumble. What could have been a real force for effective rather than token representation in parliament dwindles down into another squabble. I wonder if its not about the foundations of the party, the driving force for its establishment having been bitterness. Watching the principals being soft peddled by the ever smarmy John Key, smirking in parliament and luxuriating in the BMW leather seats showing off their baubles really annoyed me. It played right into the hands of the Kiwi/Iwi attitude of “oh, just give them some beads and they’ll be happy”.

    Good work, Hone, but sad to see as well.

  5. kriswgtn 6

    I was one who didnt like Hone because of his remarks re white mofo’s etc etc

    But he IS one MP I now admire because he has convictions and yeah he has mana

    Someone had to stand up to Sharples and Turia- both of whom I cant stand and only he has the balls so yeah good on him

    They both have sold out everything they stand for to ensure those limo rides and a free lunch whilst backing tories

    disgusting

  6. Eddie – I kinda concur with your analysis. Harawira certainly knows that this is a fight to the political death and he’s consciously in struggle to win control of the party, and failing that to depart.

    You can read my analysis here:
    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2011/01/understanding-the-latest-maori-party-schism.html

    As you’ll see from this blog post, there has been a lot going on within the Maori Party and Government over “the Hone problem”, including directives from Key and National for the party to expell Harawira. National’s future has a lot riding on the need to get rid of him.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      This parliamentary system is somewhat less than the democratic ideal, isn’t it. Thanks for your thoughts B.E.

    • Marjorie Dawe 7.2

      Funny that but I am sure that when Garrett was outed as a sleeze bucket, John Key was not going to interfere in another party’s internal battles. Has this changed and is this yet another example of flip flopping?

    • Jenny 7.3

      It is not only Key and National who want to get rid of him. Goff has called for the Maori Party to expel him as well. On the understanding that he would then consider the Maori Party middle of the road enough to be a Labour Party coalition partner.

      • just saying 7.3.1

        God help us
        – do you have a link for that Jenny?

        • The Voice of Reason 7.3.1.1

          Goff did say something along those lines. Two years ago, when Hone was calling for Goff to be killed. Remember that madness? That was before we knew he was an unapologetic racist, too. Hone really is the Michael Laws of the current parliament.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3046737/Hone-Harawira-attacks-Phil-Goff-after-conditional-apology

          • just saying 7.3.1.1.1

            I had forgotten about that VoR, and it gave me a good lol being reminded. In it’s full context it’s not quite as serious as you’ve made it sound. After Goff had called for him to be expelled Hone was obvioulsy pissed off, and goes on to make a valid point:

            “Now if I should be suspended for swearing, him and his mates should be lined up against the wall and shot,” Mr Harawira said.

            When asked about that later he would not back off.

            “Phil Goff has his own demons to deal with in terms of Foreshore and Seabed Act; and they stole it, we intend to get it back,” Mr Harawira said

          • bomber 7.3.1.1.2

            I’ll bring it up with Phil at his BBQ he’s invited me to next weekend.

            • just saying 7.3.1.1.2.1

              We’ll be expecting a full report Bomber 😀

              • bomber

                GRIN – after the BBQ I’m off to speak at the Labour Party Conference in Christchurch – look to everyone (including Voice of Reason) all I want to do is stop this bloody Government, now if you’ve got a better plan in how we get the numbers in Parliament using the MMP math – I’m all ears

                • Pete

                  It sounds like you are looking for a quick fix, a miracle cure.

                  Hint – appeal to voters, not to magicians.

  7. Lanthanide 8

    Pita was on Summer Noel this morning, but refused to say anything about Hone.

    One thing he did say, though, is when Noel asked specifically about Hone saying in the article that they need to make alliances and find common ground with Labour the Greens. Pita sharply rejected it and said that the Maori Party must stay separate and have their own goals, and when they go into a coalition it is because the other party is agreeing to what the MP want, and not the other way around.

    It’s a nice ideal, but clearly doesn’t play out in reality when they vote for a budget that raises GST, an an ETS bill that they mere days before spoke out against.

    • Pita’s comments prove it – Henceforth – the Maori Party should be known as the “Have a Cigar” Party. Why?

      Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.
      You’re gonna go far, fly high,
      You’re never gonna die, you’re gonna make it if you try;they’re gonna love you.
      Well I’ve always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.
      The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think.
      Oh by the way, which one’s Pink?
      And did we tell you the name of the game, boy
      We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

      😛

  8. Aotearoa- the New Left Party

    “Until an explicity anti-capitalist current emerges amongst Maori radicals and radicalism, the misleaders of Maoridom will remain hegemonic content to be the jailers and exploiters of their own whanau. The Maori working class – rural, urban, jailed, poor, well off, unemployed, employed – cannot be led by the iwi corporate fat cats to their own enlightenment in Key’s brighter future. The freedom of the Maori working class can only be achieved by the working class itself. Maori liberation and the end of capitalist exploitation and dispossesion are not one and the same but in Aotearoa one cannot be achieved without the other.”

    http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2011/01/harawira-oppose-nats-anti-social-agenda.html

    • pollywog 9.1

      and i’ll ask the same question i asked over at your blog that you declined to post up there…

      Where do you see Pasifikans lined up in your grand visionary struggle or are we as invisible to your lot as we are to everyone else ?

  9. And the Hui has been postponed, at Harawira’s electorate organisation’s request.

    This suggests that the chances of him jumping are less likely and will affect the announcement of any new party.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10700914

    • bomber 10.1

      Or it’s making time to come up with alternatives. How much do you think Mai Chen charges Mickey? $20 000? You think the Maori Party are shelling out that kind of cash to force Hone out because National are leaning heavily on them for fun do you?

  10. bomber 11

    Perhaps a different deal altogether has been cut?

    The Last Temptation of NZ First – http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2011/01/last-temptation-of-nz-first.html

    • Eddie 11.1

      hey bomber bro, you’re welcome to link to your posts, and I’m really finding them interesting, but your comments have got to have a bit more substance to them or it’s just link whoring. same with bryce.

  11. Much as I like the idea of a new left party i am not sure it would have the legs.

    My advice to Hone is to consider a ‘left maori party’ to compete with the existing maori party. It is a big ask but i’m sure with the will it could be bought together in due time to contest the next election. Perhaps Matt would like to be involved and Sue. Perhaps pasifika people could be involved as well Polly.

    This party would hold fast to the kaupapa and consider the people and would be excellent holding the balance of power.

    • Pete 12.1

      I can’t see a Harawira, McCarten and Bradford party being a very together sort of party, there would surely be at least as many directional tugs as in the Maori party. Sure they all have leftishness in common, but I’d also expect strong wills competing.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        I don’t see that as a bigger – people get on when they want to.

      • Eddie 12.1.2

        any small party is going to risk personality clashes but mcarten/harawira/bradford would probably form the most ideologically unified party in Parliament – except the one-man bands.

        • marty mars 12.1.2.1

          That is true and a great advantage – and there are many other people equally skilled and devoted to equality and wanting a vehicle to express it.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.2

          the most ideologically unified party in Parliament – except the one-man bands.

          Peter Dunne is ideologically unified???

    • Eddie 12.2

      aren’t so saying ‘let’s have a New Left party but exclude half its potential supporters by making it just for Maori (and others maybe)?’

      Seems to me that Maori have an identity politics vehicle in Parliament already, and it’s coming apart. The alternative isn’t a narrower identity vehicle but a materialist one.

  12. Further to my comment above – if the left maori party got more party votes than the maori seats allow does that mean they get more members, based on their actual party vote or is there some ceiling or restriction because of the maori seats.

    • Eddie 13.1

      if a party is entitled to more seats due to its share of the party vote than it won as electorate seats, then the number of seats is topped up with list seats

      unfortunately, can’t find the one with Cooch explaining the party vote top up using a jug.

    • Pete 13.2

      Maori Party have a list so if they get more party votes than seats the list would kick in.

      http://www.guide2.co.nz/politics/election-guides/maori-party-list-2008/9/3070

      • marty mars 13.2.1

        Thanks so that means if a Left Maori Party, with appropriate policies, got support from all those who support the disadvantaged and oppressed, all those who believe in tino rangatiratanga, all those who believe in equality for other groups that they are not members of, all of these people could vote for a Left Maori Party and ensure those areas had a voice in parliment. That seems like a very doable task to me.

        • Pete 13.2.1.1

          While Maori have voted strongly for the Maori Party in electorates, but voted strongly for Labour for the party vote. So a left Maori party going for party votes would impact on Labour.

          • marty mars 13.2.1.1.1

            As would any left party but that is good – there are many who do not feel represented in this parliment – they are some of the people this Left Maori Party could represent.

  13. Eddie 14

    anyway, it looks like hone isn’t leaving after all and this is just a long-term leadership play to replace sharples

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      The second round of cards hasn’t been dealt yet so don’t ante up before then.

  14. bomber 15

    The reality comrades is this – IF you want this National Government and all the damage they would cause this country to end at the election, then the left need new friends.

    Do the MMP math – Labour + Greens + Maori Party won’t do it. BUT Labour + Greens + Maori Party + New Left Party would be just enough to win. Hone’s electoral seat means a New Left Party would only need 2.8% to get 3 MP’s into Parliament and a percentage that small won’t destroy the Greens or the Labour Party and the party vote for the Maori Party is wasted vote anyway.

    The alternative is Winston Peters – ask yourselves what do you want?

    • The Voice of Reason 15.1

      I’d rather have Winston, ta. At least he has proven himself capable of working with Labour and isn’t an ill disciplined racist flake. Clearly, he would get on well with Goff, which ads stability to the coalition. How on earth do you think the MP would work with Hone under your arrangement? And what makes you so certain Hone would even win his seat? If he stands against good candidates from Labour and the MP it could be a 3 way split, with one of the others nicking it by a few votes.

      The Hone Party is not going to get 2.8% of the party vote either. I’d suggest a strong showing in his electorate might generate 0.5%.and there may be enough votes elsewhere to double that by stealing votes from Labour and the Greens, but it will still be a waste of time. Ultimately, a vote for Hone First, or whatever it ends up being called, is a vote to retain a National led Government.

      • just saying 15.1.1

        VoR,
        You really aren’t living up to your handle imo.

        There’s a lot I could comment on or take issue with but this phrase stood out for me:
        “…stealing votes from Labour and the Greens,…”

        Stealing? – very telling that you believe that Labour (and the Greens) own the left vote. A bit of the ‘entitlement’ mind-set that, imo, is a big part of Labour’s problem in regard to the disaffected working class. Voters own their votes. If Labour (and the Greens, or anyone other party) want to be voted for they might need to earn the trust of the electorate not expect votes as some sort of god-given right, with the threat of hell to back it up.

      • bomber 15.1.2

        Corrupt old Winston is your preference is it Voice of Status quo? And if he brings his friend Michael Laws? Yeah, NZ First helped Labour win 2008 didn’t it? So many Labour Party voters were turned off it led 2008 to be one of the lowest voter turn outs in NZ political history, you are certainly onto a winner there Voice of Status Quo.

        The Maori Party will be seeking a negotiated truce, they don’t want a massive blood on the floor civl war, but the because they are currently suffering from stockholm syndrome under the National Party the hard word has been given to force him out, that negotiated truce could take many forms and your utter lack of any understanding of that suggests you are more the voice out of the loop than reason.

        One thing I can assure you is Hone will win his seat, and based on Matt’s 3.6% showing in Mana, once that seat is guaranteed the poor and the minimum waged in this country can have real representation. There are now over 338 000 people on benefits, 2 376 480 people voted in 2008, they represent 14% of the vote – who do they want in their corner fighting for their interests when the powerful gather to cut their welfare? Do they want Winston Peters and Michael Laws or do they want Matt McCarten, Sue Bradford and Hone Harawira?

        The 2.8% threshold is all a New Left Party needs to bring in 3 MP’s, that won’t cannibalize the Greens or Labour, indeed the wasted party vote of the Maori Party that doesn’t add any seats could be targeted.

        NZ First WILL NOT bring the policy a country facing the worst recession since 1929 needs, indeed Labour’s decade in power has shown they will do anything to avoid being a left wing party – a New Left Party in combination with the Greens and Maori Party could do more to promote a genuinely liberal progressive agenda than any other time in our political history.

        I’m sick of managing, it’s time to challenge, and NZ First sure as hell won’t do that.

        • just saying 15.1.2.1

          …”Labour’s decade in power has shown they will do anything to avoid being a left wing party”

          You’ve been a strong supporter of Labour’s alleged swing to the left in the past Bomber. Can we take it that you too are calling bullshit on the charade, and that you see them as remaining firmly in the neoliberal camp?

          • bomber 15.1.2.1.1

            I wouldn’t go that far just saying – I was at the conference and believe it was the best speech of Phil Goff’s life – and the most left wing swing in 25 years from the Labour Party, my fear however is that without some seriously hard prodding from a New Left Party, Labour will cut a deal with NZ First and it will be the old ‘manage’ rather than ‘challenge’.

        • The Voice of Reason 15.1.2.2

          Winston is not my preference, Bummer. A stable, Labour led, government is what I’d like to see and the less coalition partners the better. Winston has already proved himself capable of working with Labour; the others have not. Laws does not enter into the equation. He’s a beaten man, too busy dealing with his personal and family issues to be of use to Peters, even assuming he’d be welcome back in NZF.

          The idea that Labour would go into Government with both Hone First and the MP is laughable. It isn’t going to happen, even if it was an option. There is no gain for Labour in leading a bunch of squabbling children, but a minority Government, with support from others on C&S seems possible.

          • bomber 15.1.2.2.1

            Look everyone – VOR managed to twist my nickname into ‘Bummer’ – that’s cutting edge wit there – if this pathetic come back is all you have as a response to my post, I think I can rest easy that my points have been made.

            I’m not suggesting a coalition Government between New Left, MP, Greens and Labour, I’m suggesting those numbers could defeat a National Government and provide the type of liberal policy the worst economic recession since 1929 demands, something NZ First are incapable of.

            And your position does in fact make Winston the preference Voice of Status Quo, because the Polls clearly show the left need new allies. The MP are going to force Hone out because they’ve been told by National to do it, then all options are on the table…

            Maori Party have Stockholm Syndrome – why they will dump Hone http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2011/01/maori-party-have-stockholm-syndrome-why.html

            • Pete 15.1.2.2.1.1

              the Polls clearly show the left need new allies.

              The key allies “the left” need are voters, not a proliferation of parties. If you spend to much time fretting over complications (more of the same thing in another package) you can overlook the simple. Find out how to appeal to voters. That’s not being done successfully.

              And the key votes “the left” needs are from “the middle”.

              • KJT

                Yeah. Labour was doing so well trying to be in the middle.
                Goff’s conference speech was the first glimmer of hope for 30 years. If only they return to their principles.
                Labour lost out because they stuck to Neo-Liberalism and selling out NZ.
                NACT will lose either this election or the next one as people wake up to the big con game.

                Labour needs to show they have a genuine alternative and a vision for a more fair and decent society in NZ to gain votes they have lost.

              • bomber

                And did the NZ First – Labour combo appeal to voters in 2008? It was the 3rd lowest voter turn out in NZ Political history.

                As for ‘the middle’ – knock yourself out, have Labour and the Greens appeal to ‘the middle’ as much as you like, but a 2.8% slither is all a New Left Party require to bring in extra allies.

                And why the hell shouldn’t beneficiaries who make up 14% of the voting electorate be represented in the room where their fates are decided?

                • Pete

                  If Labour want to position more to the left, and signal they want the backing of a New Left Party, it will affect how the middle votes, which is crucial. You can try and chase some idealistic leaning all you like, most voters are far more centre than either extreme. The party (and coalition) that wins is the one the appeals to the centre the most. Fact of political life.

                  • KJT

                    Interesting, and sad, that NZ has now swung so far to the right that moderate left policies of fairness and a opportunity for all our now seen as extreme. Ideas that people owe a return to the community for their education, health care and infrastructure are now seen as extreme. Not to mention supplying the rich with an educated and competent labour force and security for “their” property among many other things. Mostly, paid for by moderate income PAYE payers, as the rich evade taxes.
                    In reality the extreme is the right wing con job we have all been subjected to for 30 years.

                    Labour will not succeed if they aim for the centre. They need to re-ignite the dialog about NZ as a fair and decent place to live. Not a right wing nightmare with aspirations to be like Somalia.

                    • Pete

                      Funny – there is plenty of moaning from the right that National have swung too far to the left! Some call them Labour-Lite. In practice they are very mild righties at most.

                      National strategists must be laughing, seeing all the “move to the left” panic, as they sit quietly across the centre.

                  • bomber

                    I disagree Pete – not in a time of deep recession Pete – your theories of the centre work fine when things are humming along nicely – they don’t work so fine as we face the worst economic recession since 1929.

                    You didn’t answer my question – why shouldn’t the poor have political representation, or do only the middle classes get that kind of right?

                    • Pete

                      I’m not talking about the middle classes, I’m talking about the middle of the political spectrum. The poor have more votes than the rich because there are more of them. Not all poor people want to be totally supported by the state.

                      A recession is a time where you have to carefully consider costs, not double the mortgage.

                    • The Right have a simple fear. That the working class and the underclass will mobilise and vote.

                      As for the political middle – the econmic middle class is being destroyed in NZ. Our income distribution is slowly turning into an uneven barbell shape. Big and fat on the poor end, a few in the middle stretching out long and thinly, then a small bump at the high income end.

                      IMO you have to be earning at least $60K p.a. to consider yourself on a ‘middle class’ income. $45K p.a. pays the bills effectively but not much else. But we know that fewer than 1 in 5 NZ’ers make $60K or more. How “middle” is that really?

                      So we will see how political the actual economic “middle” (median income $27.5K p.a.) gets shortly, and when that happens, we’ll really see what the “centre” of NZ politics is like.

                      Don’t mind admitting though, that so far the Left have not been able to utilise these facts at all effectively.

                    • KJT

                      Pete. National are not! on the centre. Compared with nearly all Western Governments except for the USA and UK they are far to the Neo-liberal right.

                      Why else is a right wing Labour Government considered in the centre.
                      The right wing nut cases will never be happy until all traces of social cohesion are lost and they get their ideal society where they live as warlords in guarded compounds. Until they have taken the NZ people for every last dollar.

                      Then as usual they will then have to have a real left wing Government to fix things up so they can rob us again.

                    • bomber

                      Not all poor people want to be totally supported by the state.
                      And they won’t be thrilled by having their welfare slashed by the ideologically stacked welfare razor gang to make up the $2billion deficit because Bill’s so called GST turbo charge of the economy failed so miserably.

                      A recession is a time where you have to carefully consider costs, not double the mortgage.
                      No – we have failed because low tax, deregulated, Milton Friedman Free Market dogma has crashed the global economy, we need to get back to managed Keynesian capitalism and borrow to invest into our society. Labour did what you are supposed to do during the good times – they paid down the debt while they were in power, we need a Government with the courage of their convictions to borrow now to protect our communities knowing that those changes will build a more prosperous society.

                      Austerity measures will only damage the vulnerable – we now this because in the last recession in this country our suicide rate tripled to the horrific world leading levels they are today.

                      I for one don’t wish to see my family. my whanau, my friends suffer further while this Government pass legislation that hand that borrowed money to the rich in the form of tax cuts while the ‘unpeople’ of NZ are asked to do with less because of an economic meltdown they had no hand in causing.

            • The Voice of Reason 15.1.2.2.1.2

              Well at least I engaged with you, dude. Nobody makes that effort on your own site, which is presumably why come here to linkwwhore and wank on about things that ain’t gonna happen. It was you that twisted my name and while my response was pretty inane, it can’t be the first time somebody has used it, surely? As for wit, well yes, clearly I am witty and you, my friend, are well on the way to being witty too. In fact, I’d go as far to say you’re already half witty.

              • bomber

                pfft

                Well at least I engaged with you, dude. Nobody makes that effort on your own site, which is presumably why come here to linkwwhore and wank on about things that ain’t gonna happen. It was you that twisted my name and while my response was pretty inane, it can’t be the first time somebody has used it, surely? As for wit, well yes, clearly I am witty and you, my friend, are well on the way to being witty too. In fact, I’d go as far to say you’re already half witty.

                If all you have is childish abuse Voice, that clearly shows you’ve lost the debate, there isn’t one point in your last post that even has anything remotely to do with the debate at hand. Grow up.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Dude, you started the childish, remember? Ok, here’s an adult question. How do you reconcile these two statements?

                  12.57, Sat:

                  “Do the MMP math – Labour + Greens + Maori Party won’t do it. BUT Labour + Greens + Maori Party + New Left Party would be just enough to win.”

                  9.48, Sun:

                  “I’m not suggesting a coalition Government between New Left, MP, Greens and Labour …”

                  My real problem with your reasoning isn’t just pedantic, it’s that it’s based on an unlikely event; the coming together of four parties to support, in some form or another, a Labour led government. One of those parties is currently actually in government and viciously opposed to Labour. Another is a putative offshoot of that party, who will be dependent on the whims of an ill disciplined racist who acknowledges loyalty only to his his electorate, even while in his current party.

                  The Greens have never been in government in their own right and will have to balance their independence vs the need to move from influence to actual power. And Labour? Well, nothing good happens without Labour.

                  If Labour had the votes of all the above and snubbed Peters, they would be risking two things; driving Peters to National and having them cobble together the numbers they need to govern instead or, if Labour can get the numbers without Peters, having a coalition of some kind doomed to internal bickering, disharmony and the threat of dissolution on a daily basis. But all that assumes a new left party would get seats. That is not a given in any sense.

                  Labour/NZF/Greens would be tricky too, particularly stopping Winnie being rude to the hippies, but it’s cleaner numerically, involves people who can work together, and most importantly, it’s the most likely combination to actually roll Key.

    • Fisiani 15.2

      do the MMP maths .. Sure.
      National perhaps on 60% by November at this rate. Currently polling 55% then add in rising employment, an exporting boom, better informed parents of schoolchildren, cars being crushed, people feeling safer. Add in an All Black World Cup and 65% is probably more realistic.

      Cant be greedy. Happy enough with 63%

  15. Jenny 16

    Hone is only stating the obvious.

    National are just champing at the bit to introduce the ‘austerity measures’ that are being demanded by their wealthy backers.

    The banksters and financiers responsible for the recession, are demanding of ‘their party’, that the economic crisis be loaded on the backs of those least responsible for it, while they get off scot free.

    The only trouble is, that at this present time National just don’t have the mandate for the sort of attacks on the vast majority of us, that their wealthy backers are demanding. If National tried to implement austerity with out a mandate of some sort, they would be severely punished for it by the electorate.

    This is why John Key has also waded into this dispute, making an appeal to the Maori Party for continued support for a National led government.

    Both;

    A second term –

    And continued institutional support from the Maori Party –

    – will be considered the necessary mandate required by National to release their full right wing agenda.

    • Deadly_NZ 16.1

      “And continued institutional support from the Maori Party –

      – will be considered the necessary mandate required by National to release their full right wing agenda.”

      Yep the permission to rob and pillage the poor and weak for the benefit of the rich few.
      Have they not worked it out yet, Or even worse they don’t care that the young and poor and weak that will be attacked will be Maori Youth. Oh well maybe Shonky will allow them to have another Maori run Prison to keep all these reprobates in. Maybe 2 if they really crank up the pain.

      Yep that will be something for the Maori Party to be proud of. Selling their own young down the river for 30 pieces of silver and a shabby coat of power, the Hand me downs from key and Co.

      • Jenny 16.1.1

        DNZ, It’s not cut and dried yet.

        • Deadly_NZ 16.1.1.1

          Yeah and how far off do you really think it is?? Because if The NACTS win the next election with the aid of the Maori party, and the real bene and low income bashing becomes common place, as the NACTS do what their backers want, it’s going to be a little late for the Maori party to say ooppss we did not want this. And yes I do think that the young and not so well off have been sold down the river by this lot in power. I have a baby on the way AND I despair at the world that he/she is going to get left . If the NACTS get in next year this country will be one step above Ireland after the rape and Pillage has been done. There will be nothing left but years and years of debt and pain for the young and unemployed which will probably double or triple. and then JK and crowd will smile and wave their way to their houses in America.

  16. ianmac 17

    When National start announcing Election Policy it will be interesting to see the Maori Party reaction as the policies such as privatisation are likely to be damaging to the unemployed Maori.

  17. just saying 18

    Response to Pete at 11.01

    Quoting victor’s reply to one of CTs blogs again:

    Victor said…
    “… a nation’s finances aren’t the same thing as a household’s.

    Faced with huge private international debt and a substantial (and inevitable)increase in
    public debt, the average prudent and intelligent householder finds Treasury belt-tightening to be an obvious and responsible policy option.

    It will take a massive shift in awareness to convince the mass of voters that… a degree of ‘deficit spending’, however counter-intuitive, may be relevant to our circumstances.

    Unless Labour is able and willing to articulate and explain a different approach to the economy, it will always be easy to paint it as the less realistic and responsible of the major parties…

    • Pete 18.1

      They will need to articulate exceedingly well, or misleadingly, why at a time when we are already borrowing 300m per week, Labour proposes to borrow even more.

      More especially if this recession ends up being a prolonged recession, or as some are suggesting, it may really turn to custard yet.

  18. millsy 19

    Its either we burrow that 300 million, or we have people living on the street, and hositals closing. Obviously, people like you are prepared to tolerate the latter.

    • Pete 19.1

      That’s what we’re borrowing now – how much more do Labour propose to borrow? And for how long?

      • millsy 19.1.1

        They can burrow as much as they like AFAIAC.

        Public services such as health, education, social assitance, infrastructure etc are sacrosanct, and must not be sold, or shut off to people.

        • bomber 19.1.1.1

          Hold on, how much of that $300 million are we borrowing to pay for tax cuts for the rich?

          • Pete 19.1.1.1.1

            You might be able to give a more accurate amount but I’d guess bugger all when the GST increase and PAYE bracket creep catch-up are taken into account.

        • Pete 19.1.1.2

          I agree that essential services shouldn’t be degraded if at all possible, but none of those can be operated on an open chequebook basis.

          Health should be available as much as possible for as many as possible, but there are limits.

          Education must have limits and be targeted at the most beneficial in tertiary, there has been a lot of waste (and unnecessary student loan accumulation).

          Social assistance must be targeted more at the needy and must be stopped to the greedy.

          There always has to be choices over infrastructure.

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.2.1

            I agree that essential services shouldn’t be degraded if at all possible, but none of those can be operated on an open chequebook basis.

            LOL

            $9.1B tax cut gift to the rich over 4 years
            $2.0B to bail out investors and big bond holders in crappy investment companies
            $25M to help disease hit kiwifruit growers, on top of $15M given to their industry last year

            So how come these geezers get an open cheque book from Bill and John and you are nickel and diming us?

            Social assistance must be targeted more at the needy and must be stopped to the greedy.

            You mean the extra ~$500 p.w. Bill English’s household got from the tax cuts?

            • Pete 19.1.1.2.1.1

              $9.1B tax cut gift to the rich over 4 years

              Offset by how much GST?
              Who do you classify as “rich”?

              • No offset. If you are entering a debt hole one option is to keep the top bracket tax high AND raise GST. Or just raise the top tax bracket.

                For every dollar the Govt fails to gain through tax revenue it must borrow a dollar AND pay *interest* on it. Best to borrow sweet FA actually.

                In fact, since the dollars that the Govt borrows simply gets spent into circulation, why doesn’t the Govt just print the money interest free instead of borrowing it with interest charges? How is Mr Smith, teacher, going to know the difference between $2000 which appears in his back account which is borrowed from the Chinese Government, and $2000 which our Govt has printed? Certainly the corner store and the petrol station won’t care when MR Smith EFT POS’s that money into their accounts to pay for goods and services.

                Anyways, personally, I go with the top 5% of income earners as well off ($90K p.a. and over – thanks Marty), and probably the top 2% as actually rich enough (I’m guessing $125K p.a.) not to care about dropping a hundy or two for dinner out and another hundy for a decent bottle of wine or two.

                A lot of people consider $70K-$80K p.a. as being well off and relatively speaking it certainly is, but its also nothing to write home about.

      • Fisiani 19.1.2

        Add up the cost of promised spending up large on ACC again, hiring back thousands of back office bureaucrats, axing the tax, and restoring government spending. ie $670,000,000 borrowing eack week with no aim for budget surplus in your lifetime and not a single step to growing the economy.
        So in short an extra $370 million a week or 19.24 billion a year borrowed overseas or stolen off the Kiwiswho remain in perpetuity.

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