How Labour and the Greens win it from here

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, August 11th, 2014 - 81 comments
Categories: act, conservative party, david cunliffe, don brash, election 2014, greens, hone harawira, labour, Metiria Turei, national, Steven Joyce, winston peters - Tags: , ,

Labour national campaign launch-1

You have to hand it to David Cunliffe.  He has had all sorts of stuff thrown at him this year but each time he gets back up and gets on with things.

The weekend’s campaign launch was an example of what he is capable of, a wonderfully passionate speech delivered well and with clearly thought through policy to a thousand people and Labour and Cunliffe look like they are ready to campaign.  And a recent reversal in some disastrous polling and a bit of momentum and suddenly anything looks possible.  David Cunliffe may be an inspired campaign away from being the next Prime Minister.

It seems that everything is currently going right,  Suddenly we are seeing some sympathetic media pieces such as this recent piece in the Sunday Star Times which are fleshing out Cunliffe as a person and showing that behind that huge intellect is quite an ordinary person.

And National must be looking at the current situation with real despair.  Its current polling is about 5% below where it was in 2011 at a similar time.  And it has not had a good few weeks.  Between Joyce’s ill tempered display of Tory arrogance, to Hauiti’s, McCully’s and Groser’s displays of Tory greed, to McCully’s ineptitude in relation to the Malaysian diplomatic incident and to the Lochinver Farm sale and the concern that we may become tenants in our own land there is a lot for National to be worried at.

So the discussion has to be, how does Labour win it from here?

Some things are working very well.  The leader’s office has settled down and is providing the sophisticated type of political approach that has been missing from labour for a while.  The membership are really energized.  I am seeing levels of activity that I have not seen since 2005 when the threat of a Don Brash leadership caused progressives of all sorts to mobilise.  And the on the ground feedback is overwhelming positive and there is also an intense negativity about John Key that I have not seen before.

Cunliffe has had a couple of incidents where some slight verbal inaccuracies has become major stories.  I do despair at the insistence of the media to focus on a few stray words and to ignore the real issues that we face but those are the rules that political parties play by so obviously Labour and Cunliffe has to do better.  The playing field may be tilted but that just means that Labour has to perform really well.

And Caucus needs to do better.  There have been some signs of ill discipline and of MPs not following agreed positions.  There is nothing that will make the membership more grumpy than seeing the benefit of their on the ground campaigning being undone by some stupid action.  Labour needs to appear united and competent if it hopes to win.  And MPs need to stick to the game plan which is to be positive.

The problem for National is that the media attacks on Cunliffe have started to look more and more like they have been choreographed.  They hit the really silly stage when he was criticized for having a few days off with his kids and for wearing a red scarf and for meeting a prominent New Zealander who may have something dodgy in his past.  A number of people said to me that the media had gone too far and the innate sense of fairness that most kiwis have has started to kick in.  Cameron Slater writing five attack blog posts on Cunliffe a day is no longer having the desired effect.  Of course if having something dodgy in their past was reason for total exclusion Slater would not be amongst us.

The collective right are in disarray.  It was interesting that the best performing of the leaders in the weekend’s minor party leaders debate were Turei, Harawira and Peters.  Dunne was nowhere, Craig not worth the admission price and Whyte was totally out of his depth.

It must be very worrying that ACT do not look like they will make it in Epsom.  I think asking the locals to vote for Seymour is too much of an ask given Whyte’s performances.  And it looks more and more likely that the Conservatives will not make the threshold and will instead siphon off a group of potential votes for National into never never land.

Of course Labour is not going to get there by itself.  The Greens are performing well and obviously they need to keep up their support while Labour increases its support.

As has been said many times by Matthew Hooton this election will go down to the wire.  An inspired campaign by David Cunliffe and he may win what until recently looked like the unwinnable election.

81 comments on “How Labour and the Greens win it from here”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I strongly think Act won’t win Epsom. They’re just too weird this time.

  2. fisiani 2

    You do not win an election by splurging money to the rich and taking a financial sledgehammer to crack a few nuts. The Ministry of Health does an annual health survey. One of their questions is whether someone has not gone to see a GP in the last year due to the cost. Here is the breakdown, in order, by age:

    25 – 34: 22.3%
    35 – 44: 17.8%
    15 – 24: 15.8%
    45 – 54: 13.9%
    55 – 64: 12.1%
    65 – 74: 6.3%
    75+: 4.7%

    As you can clearly see this principal policy/bribe by Labour gives money to 94-96% of pensioners who simply do not need it. Another example of Labour trying to buy their votes rather than actually dealing with real problems. New Zealanders are actually not that thick and greedy because they know that raising the pension age from 65 to 67 and taking $5billion out of every business, bach, farm and Kiwisaver account will not compensate for a few trips to the GP. This is just a cynical last gasp attempt to play a trick on the uninformed.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The Ministry of Health does an annual health survey. One of their questions is whether someone has not gone to see a GP in the last year due to the cost. Here is the breakdown, in order, by age:

      [citation needed]

      Personally, I’d prefer it if all GP visits were free rather than just select groups.

      • fisiani 2.1.1

        http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-health-survey-annual-update-key-findings-2012-13
        citation provided. Read it and weep. The Cunliffe has been found out again.

        • Enough is Enough 2.1.1.1

          Cunliffe has shown that he will care for that 6.3% and will do everything possible to ensure they do not die sitting in their homes because they can’t afford power or the GP.

          While no doubt your mob will be looking after that 1% demographic…..

          • fisiani 2.1.1.1.1

            Then the Cunliffe should care for the 6.3% and not waste the tax money taken from poor working people and give it to well off pensioners who do not need a subsidy. This is not a well targeted programme aimed at helping the poor. It is just a blatant attempt to get a headline and bribe a few votes. The folly of this failed try will be explained to the voters who will realise that they are being treated like mushrooms.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Targeting seems to cause massive government abuse through WINZ and is also far more expensive to administer.

              • Tamati

                We already have targeting in primary healthcare subsidies. The capitation system set up by Labour pays more for those with higher health needs.

      • karol 2.1.2

        Personally, I’d prefer it if all GP visits were free rather than just select groups.

        Exactly. That’s how it was when I was living in England – and the GP service was generally way better than what we get here, too.

        • fisiani 2.1.2.1

          The English system is not the New Zealand system.
          In England GP’s receive an annual fee for each person enrolled. There is no increase or decrease whether the person attends 1 or 12 times a year.
          In NZ if the person gets a check up every 3/12 the GP gets 4 lots of government subsidy called the GMS per year with a co-payment from the patient
          Under the Labour plan expect some doctors to suggest that the pensioner return every 2 months. Ka-ching 6 lots of increased fees a year. Monthly checks – wonderful ! 12 lots of fees.
          Labour do not understand the perverse incentives that could easily double doctors incomes. Daily dressings where the person is ‘checked” by the doctor and treated by the nurse. Ka-ching. Quadruple earnings.
          The Labour bribe would quickly become unaffordable.
          This is not a policy aimed at health. It is just a pitiful attempt to con votes out of the elderly.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1

            It uses the same assumptions #teamjoyce used, so if Labour erred National did too. Own goal Fisi 😆

            • Kiwiri 2.1.2.1.1.1

              National is the party of “can’t”.
              Can’t do this or can’t do that because blah blah blah [can’t change, can’t be good, can’t can’t can’t].

              Thank goodness I can spell or, next thing I know, FJK will say I am using a word he deems bad.

              Hey, CJK could be the other “can’t” chant.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.2

            NZ systems do seem to have been set up to be rorted and yet they were probably set up that way so that specific targeting could be implemented.

            A better way is the universal system where everyone gets to see the GP for free, the GP is hired for a fixed amount per year directly by the government and works in a government supplied clinic.

            But I’m sure that fisiani will complain about that as well.

        • The Al1en 2.1.2.2

          Agreed, but try selling NI contributions to a country where the top earners don’t pay the top rate of tax. There would be blood on the streets of Epsom and Helensville and the like.

    • thatguynz 2.2

      🙄

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      Which misses the point, fisi, that elderly people can have health problems that require them to go to the doctor.

      Younger people are less likely to have serious conditions, and more likely to recover by themselves without having to see a doctor, so it’s much easier for a young person to make the call as to whether they need to see one or not.

      That doesn’t mean the elderly aren’t suffering from hardship from having to spend money from their fixed income on doctors visits.

    • karol 2.4

      25-34 yr olds are the ones most likely to have young children – do they include not taking their children to a GP because of costs in their answers? Free GP visit for up to 13 yr olds will ease some of the burden for 25-34 yr olds.

    • Adele 2.5

      Kiaora fisiani

      Most elderly people will visit the GP regardless of costs as the alternative is possibly death. However, that does not mean to say that they can easily afford to go to the doctors. Often they will forgo other luxuries in life, like food, in order to make ends meet. Many elderly absolutely adore Winston Peters and the reason is simple – he gave them the gold card. This Labour policy will resonate strongly with the elderly.

      The MOH health survey may provide some statistical basis for your opinion but its still uninformed by reality.

    • lprent 2.6

      As you can clearly see this principal policy/bribe by Labour gives money to 94-96% of pensioners who simply do not need it.

      Why do they not need it? Last time I looked most pensioners were on a pretty fixed low income. Many are renting in one form or another (for instance rest homes). Even with the assets I’ve built up, I’m not looking forward to when in the next couple of decades when I have to drop off earning income and my monthly income drops to well below my current net weekly income.

      For instance a single person living with other people will get in super $338.71 per week nett. Bearing in mind the average rental per person in Auckland takes up most of that amount, coughing up $40 or more per visit (mine is ~$60) each month starts to put an onerous burden on the elderly.

      Of course if you’d bothered to talk to the elderly with any regular visit to the quacks (ie most of them), you’d have found that out pretty fast. But I guess you are more interested in talking to your bigotry than finding out information.

      But if you’d used your brain rather than your other organs to think with, it is pretty obvious. We run a welfare system to deliver to people in need. We don’t try to provide benefits to everyone.

    • Murray Olsen 2.7

      Don’t understand statistics too well, do you, rotten fish? What the results say is that 11% of the people in the sample who couldn’t afford the GP visit were 65 and over. Approximately 14% of the population are 65 and over. This suggests that a slightly smaller proportion of over 65s forgo medical attention than the average for other ages. This will still be a significant number, and the percentage who never missed the doctor will be much less than 94-96%.

      Whoever sent you that information in an email is either thick, dishonest or both. Please stop talking shit and FJK.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Well said. I agree with everything you have written except about the Epsom seat.
    Going by the CR poll on the Q and A yesterday, ACT’s Seymour has a good chance of winning that seat IF Labour and the Green voters do not vote strategically in numbers. They will need to keep a close watch on further local area media polls to see how the preferences are panning out in the coming weeks to thwart Key and ACT’s dodgy and shameful corrupt deal there.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Labour needs to appear united and competent if it hopes to win.

    Need to be more than just appear united, they need to be united.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    The Green Party is the most organised and disciplined Party in the race with every candidate expressing a consistent message.

    The Green Party is a model for an effective campaign team.

    To win from here the left needs to work together and show the country we can govern together. That means joint media opportunities where we have a similar policy.

    Labour also needs to come out in support of Mana/Internet and ensure that Hone wins. The lefts needs their 4-5 votes in the next parliament.

    Winning is everything in politics.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      To win from here the left needs to work together and show the country we can govern together.

      QFT

    • fisiani 5.2

      Coming out in support of Internet Mana drives moderate Labour voters to National in droves. Even The Cunliffe know this and can do the maths. It explains his recent attempts to hide his real views. A Labour vote changing to National is a net gain to National of 2 votes. What is the point of gaining 4 nutters from the extreme Left and losing 10 MP’s such as Kelvin Davis,Jacinda Ardern and David Parker to name but a few.Winning is everything I agree but refusing to exclude Hone and Dot Con from power is really hurting Labour. Endorsing him would be ridiculous.

  6. Blue 6

    I have high hopes for this election. I am hoping for Act to lose Epsom and Peter Dunne to lose Ohariu. That’s two nuisances out of Parliament. And the rot has well and truly set in on National’s only asset, John Key. The tide of public opinion is turning against him, and once he’s done, National is finished. They have no policy and their other senior people are crap and largely reviled by the electorate. As long as Labour people hold the line, I am quite confident that there will be a few media eggheads eating humble pie on election night.

    • Anne 6.1

      I am hoping for Act to lose Epsom and Peter Dunne to lose Ohariu.

      Hope springs eternal but I fear you will be disappointed Blue. Your average Nat. voter is not independently minded like those of us on the Left tend to be. They think what they are told to think and do what they are told to do. If John Key says vote for the weedy Seymour they will do so. Likewise the Hair-do.

      • left for dead 6.1.1

        @Anne,.Look,if Labour an Green voters support the Natman,but tick party vote Labour,(act) are gone.its that simple

    • tricledrown 6.2

      National are 1 trick donKey so stop making an ass of you self fishy!

  7. “.. he may win what until recently looked like the unwinnable election..”

    ..i have never thought this during recent times..to me it has always been eminently ‘winnable’ for the progressives..

    ..and this is very much what you accuse others of..f.p.p.-thinking..(from a labour p.o.v. on yr part..)

    ..it matters little/naught from a progressive/left-bloc point of view if votes move from labour to internet/mana..or the greens..

    ..it is the total of the left-bloc that counts/matters..

    ..and in fact..if a voter is more progressive than they see labour currently being..

    ..they can vote for either internet/mana..the greens..without endangering any victory for the left/progressive-bloc..

    ..and by doing so will make the future govt all the more ‘progressive’..

    ..especially to what you could expect from a centre-right dominated labour caucus..

    ..but ‘winnable’..?

    ..hell yes..!

  8. Ad 8

    Mickey if you are still posting from a South Pacific tropical island, it’s time to shut the damn computer before your better half feeds you to the Parrot Fish. Seriously. 🙂

    • mickysavage 8.1

      She is sleeping in so I had a bit of spare time! Wonderful also what you can do on a long plane trip.

  9. weka 9

    I don’t see a lot of msm TV but that Paul Henry interview of DC seemed weirdly friendly. What brought that about?

  10. weka 10

    And Caucus needs to do better. There have been some signs of ill discipline and of MPs not following agreed positions. There is nothing that will make the membership more grumpy than seeing the benefit of their on the ground campaigning being undone by some stupid action. Labour needs to appear united and competent if it hopes to win. And MPs need to stick to the game plan which is to be positive.

    Anyone got insight into how the GP manages to be unified esp in how it presents publically but Labour often doesn’t? It’s rare for a GP MP to speak against the party or other MPs or generally create controversy. Apart from the obvious point that they are more aligned with each other philosophically, what does the GP do that Labour doesn’t? Is it protocol within caucus? More meetings together so they know what the party play is on any given issue? Labour allowing its MPs more freedom???

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      I think there’s a broader range of views in Labour.

      I suspect as The Greens increase their share of the electorate they will come under more of the sort of “gotcha” media scrutiny, too.

      • weka 10.1.1

        Yes, I know that OAB, I’m just wondering about the how eg is it part of the Laboru caucus rules that individual MPs can make policy statements without running them by caucus first?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          The broader range of views and increased media (not to mention targeted right wing) attention make it inevitable.

          • Sacha 10.1.1.1.1

            Lack of consequences for disloyalty (which therefore continues) is fuelled by caucus factionalism. Also, standing in winnable electorate seats makes some MPs more focused on their own personal situation and less subject to party pressure to toe the line.

            Green MPs are only campaigning for party votes. And maybe they’re just more grown-up.

    • Kenat 10.2

      It is the Green Party membership that develops and approves policy, not Caucus. Of course MP views can carry a lot of weight, but once a policy is signed off, all MPs and candidates must support it unless they specifically opt out of part or all due to some very strongly held view. In practice, opt-outs are rare and they are known to the membership at list ranking time as well. In other words, the membership has a lot of control over what sort of people become MPs, so it’s less likely those with very different principles would ever get through.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        And here, you hit the nail on the head. OAB makes some valid points re: a broader range of perspectives in the Labour caucus and more media pressure on Labour.

        But there is way more to it than that, and it comes from both embedded culture and a long history. The Labour caucus has had decades where it has not needed to respond to anyone in the party outside of itself, has felt that it could run roughshod over its own affiliates/unions, has set directions completely at odds with what large sections of its own membership wanted, and has had a long history of internal caucus power struggles even since the days of John A Lee, not to mention the 4th Labour Govt and the splintering away of New Labour, then later on that of the Maori Party.

    • Murray Olsen 10.3

      The Greens never had the sort of internal treason that was Rogernomics. Imagine if the Greens gained power and the relevant Ministers rapidly let the miners, drillers, and frackers in, then cleared all the forests and sold the National Parks. Eventually the worst of the Ministers leave to set up another party, and the rest of the Greens try to carry on as if nothing had happened. Many of the movers and shakers and sympathisers of the treasonous faction stay in the party, not really doing much except publicly eating whale meat or shooting a kiwi now and then.

      Fast forward 30 years. Of course it hasn’t happened, and I’d say that’s what the Greens do that Labour didn’t.

      • weka 10.3.1

        Great analogy. That’s still the why rather than the how though. I suppose I’m just curious whether the unity is natural within the GP (as you suggest), or whether they also have different internal processes and protocols than Labour (I assume they do but don’t know what each party does).

  11. tricledrown 11

    Cunliffe kept calm and retorted Henry’s slings superbly!

  12. Local Kiwi 12

    We on the centre left who care about equality and fairness for all as an egalitarian society we used to be can see these NatZ really are beginning to freak out at the prospect their Fuhrer is failing to get the positive out to the masses this time around.

    They are losing control of the media as the Internet/Mana party rises like a phoenix from the ashes.

    This is healthy and good for democracy to finally see the cracks, in what has been to date a total media control of our nation by these NatZ and their Joyce/Goebbels Propaganda machine running the hearts and minds of the media and citizens of the land.

    I will have to revisit the Joseph Goebbels history website to see what he as Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda did when the opposition rose in Germany among the peasants to Hitler’s resurrection of the forth Reich in 1933 occurred.

    Oh that’s right they imprisoned and tortured them to death, I wonder if this Hitler like mob of storm troopers are contemplating this with us all?

    [lprent: Please don’t godwin a post unless you have a point that fits into the conversation and the debate. Your attempt at using it looks like simple minded wanking by the pretentious trying to look intellectual. It just makes me notice you and immediately start tagging you as a dumbarse troll. ]

    • fisiani 12.1

      Local Kiwi gets the Godwin award. Congratulations.

      The hyperbole on the extreme Left is amusing.

      • redfred 12.1.1

        Fisiani your a fucking moron.

        Not only is this policy taking financial burden off the most ill segment of our society it moves the ambulance from the bottom of the cliff to catch them before they crash primary healthcare approach.

        One untreated chest infection progressing to pneumonia ending in ICU costs approximately $7000 per day for a stay around 5-10 days. Plus the human suffering.

        A realignment of our health sector to primary health care is an excellent way to reduce cost; unfortunately the Nacts aren’t interested in delivering well-being to ordinary people, it well below Corporate Rent Boy Key and his elite.

        • fisiani 12.1.1.1

          redfred you are repeating the fundamental error of the 1948 NHS proposals in the UK. Every dollar spent in prevention appears to save money in the short term but inevitably costs far more in the long term by merely postponing morbidity.
          The 1960’s Commission of Enquiry into the cost savings of stopping all smoking in the UK was shocked to discover that such a policy was unaffordable. The reason- ex smokers would live another 6 years on average. Their pension payments would easily outstrip any health savings in the short term, additionally the last 12 months of life costs more health dollars than the first twenty years.
          You are obviously not knowledable about health economics.

          • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1

            after these hu-mons cease being productive economic units, they should be recycled into high-protein soylent green /sarc

            And, of course, preventive care off the back end will cost money.
            At the front end (children and young people) it helps them produce more. All in all it’s a net economic benefit, as well as being morally a good thing.

          • Murray Olsen 12.1.1.1.2

            Thanks for proving redfred’s point. You are a nasty prick. You want workers to die off before they can draw their pensions. In your Randian view of the world, this makes perfect sense. Moran.

            You also ignore the fact that our knowledge of the damages caused by tobacco has advanced in the last 50 years. Ah shit, I’m feeding a troll, albeit one that’s trying to be all intellectual tonight. Haha, what a joke. Moran. FJK.

          • miravox 12.1.1.1.3

            “inevitably costs far more in the long term by merely postponing morbidity.”

            Fisi – don’t you mean mortality, not morbidity? the aim of free GP visits is to reduce morbidity (granted, t may also delay death). But being seriously sick for a long time costs the health system way more than being a little bit sick for a short time. Anyone who has read a bit of health economics should know that 🙄

            It’s morally and economically just to reduce morbidity by getting onto ill health really early, don’t you think? Living longer will also be living healthier with Labour’s policy so your economics as well as your eugenics is bunk.

      • phillip ure 12.1.2

        listen fis..!

        ..go and watch key on tvone breakfast this morn..

        ..and then come and tell us he is not a lying propagandist/spin-merchant..

        ..who has had control of the media/discourse..

        (..and i say ‘had’…)

      • Tracey 12.1.3

        hooters got twitters first godwin last week

  13. kiwigunner 13

    If Internet/Mana get 5%, then Greens on 12%, means Labour need only 33% as a maximim. Hone and KDC will decide this election and it looks to me like they certainly have a chance of success.

    • Skinny 13.1

      I personally believe it is very stupid to be talking up Mana/Internet party’s chances. Too many idiot Kiwi’s get sucked in by all the negative spin. First you have to get enough votes in, and then there is Peters to trust.

      Pretty much backed up if you heard Hooton this morning on RNZ political show. He is playing a relaxed controlled game. Pushing the line that M/I look certain to get 5% and be part of a Left Government. Why is Hooton doing this is very simple. He is trying to keep the media shrill going to mop up soft middle votes that simply don’t like some of these party’s main players. It’s better to beaver away get your votes on ya own platform so your in a position so deal can be done later, if the other variables line up of course.

      • Thinker 13.1.1

        And, the hope that by talking up their chances, some voters will turn over and go back to sleep on election day.

        This is the year to get NZ back for NZers, provided no-one procrastinates.

  14. Tracey 14

    I think the lack of gotcha and dirt by labour and leaving the nats to that stuff has worked for them so far. Biggest obstacle now is insiders selling the rest down the river

    • alwyn 14.1

      You probably won’t approve of this Labour candidate then Tracey.
      Where do the Labour Party get people like Mr Gibson from?
      And given they exist why do they put them up as candidates, even in unwinnable seats?

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/shylock.jpg

      • They should be more like National, whose leader uses classy language like “sugar daddy” and whose Cabinet Ministers like to snark other people’s wardrobes.

        • alwyn 14.1.1.1

          It wasn’t just the Cabinet Ministers you know.
          The whole caucus snarked Tony Ryall on his last day in the house.

      • Tracey 14.1.2

        yes mr hooten already shared that news… I cant find his tweet about mr whyte and peters racism putting him in mind of a 1920 nazi speech.

        alwyn… this is but one reason I wont vote labour and havent for a bit.

  15. Skinny 15

    Labour, the Greens and NZF are starting to finally be seen working constructively together. We got a glimpse of this being potrayed during The Nation Debate. Working strongly together on policies they have in common, ones they don’t see eye to eye on they should park and shut down the debate. By doing this it gives ‘choice of a real alternative Government’ to the current Key-National regime, this approach also allows them to collectively pack attack National on their weaknesses.

    Using these tactic’s they are going to really hammer Key-National in some interesting collaborative events in the final 20 days up to polling day.

  16. Tanz 16

    I liked the fact that the PM’s name wasn’t mentioned once, that was good.

  17. John Chapman 17

    Targetting just doesn’t do it for Kiwis. It induces real resentment amongst non aligned voters. A much bolder move for Cunliffe would be to stop taxing the pension at source. Then superannuants could actually afford to pay for their GP visits themselves. If National announces a tax threshold next week then we really are screwed..

  18. disturbed 18

    How do Labour – Greens win it from here?

    Get the message out that you represent the ordinary Kiwi for goodness sake.
    (Opps is that to racist?)

    I was around in Walter Nash’s election and we all felt so warm and fuzzy that here was a man that was here at last to represent the ordinary Kiwi and will bring a caring, kinder, gentler, form of government back again.

    Nash followed after the stormy days of the Tory Sid Holland Government that tried to kill the Unions power base.

    This devastated all and caused the 1951 wharf strikes that lasted 161 days and broke up families as bad as the Neo liberal phoney Labour government of 1987 and Rogernomics.

    This National Government is repeating the Holland & Douglas rogernomics days, and the best way to repeat the winning back the election is stepping into the middle offering the caring gentle kind form of Government for the masses.

    • weka 18.1

      Who are the ordinary Kiwis, disturbed?

      “and the best way to repeat the winning back the election is stepping into the middle offering the caring gentle kind form of Government for the masses”

      It’s an attractive vision. Can you see a way of doing that and improving the lives of all people that are struggling?

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        Ordinary Kiwis are the ones who think about politics less than 5 minutes a day and they don’t mix with people who do otherwise. They very rarely have anything to do with politicians, candidates or civil servants. Their personal income is $50K pa or less. Straight talk is appreciated and that is what they use themselves. Detailed and intellectualised policy bores them but they also want to feel good about where NZ is going and about holding to good Kiwi values. And a large number think that John Key is a decent kind of guy.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          Why are they more ordinarly, or the only ordinary Kiwis, compared to many other kinds of ordinary Kiwis?

          • Colonial Vipers 18.1.1.1.1

            Its a category of political analysis convenience weka, nothing more than that.

  19. tc 19

    This election would have been over for nact if we had media who thrived on exposing a lack of due process, cronyism, corruption and hammered ministers for not telling the truth or failing to stick with their stories once established.

    Blinglish, smith, collins, joyce, bennett, mccully etc would have all been massively discredited and hounded till they walked.

    The increasingly nasty PM may have survived tranzrail but any one of the next set of fibs, like over the beemers, would have the press salivating for another run at shonky.

    We need independant public funded media, this lot are accessories to this govts sell out by serving corporate masters.

    As one Oz journo said to me Johnny K is gold, so much material, soo many lies where does one start……with a public broadcaster where he worked.

  20. disturbed 20

    Hi Weka, Viper has it somewhat right.
    Sorry we are from the 1944 era that came with the notion we are all similar, which was a part of the egalitarian era where all had a share in the country’s wealth but very few had a lot more than others.

    At our HB region the cities are small and in the 1950s as we grew up we virtually used to mix with and go out together with our entire community, and knew everyone as either neighbours, friends or family.
    This was Napier circa 1959 a City of 22 000.

    Friday nights we leaned on parking meters as folks walked past on Emerson St the main street and said hi to everyone passing or stopping for a chat.

    We felt all connected in a world of normality. This was pre TV time and folk used to talk and meet more.

    I used Normal in my memory of what was to me then normal but you may have actually woken me up to the fact that we are all living in a very different world now where no one actually meets in this way any more sadly as a big family.

    So I guess normal now means less- connected, insular, small families, and less meeting others in public, if that makes any sense as what’s normal but I take your point normal to one can mean different to the next person.

    When I came home from an overseas job in 1976 there was a big beaming man speaking on a black and white TV saying I want to look after the ordinary Kiwi bloke, and sometimes he would say with a chuckle “the ordinary New Zealander,” in the same context and of course this was Rob Muldoon’s common terms for describing the working man.

    Hope I made it a bit clearer, but of course now days we must include both genders so we would at least have to say “the ordinary person” and gosh today we have so many different varieties eh!

    I guess I should have said the common majority or such like..

    • weka 20.1

      Thanks disturbed, that’s what I thought you were meaning, and you describe it well. I agree that things have changed hugely, and this is where my problem is with the idea of ordinary NZ, or middle NZ or whoever. So many people are now pushed out of that privilege by society that when we start holding the ordinary Kiwi up as somehow epitomising NZ, this automatically excludes so many people.

      Of course back in the day, there were exclusions too. I think of how many Māori were excluded from the mainstream privileges, or how dangerous it was for people to be opening gay. Which isn’t to say that what you describe wasn’t also true. For me ‘normal’ in NZ now means that being gay isn’t a big deal, it means that people with disabilities have a voice, or people can talk about problems such as domestic and sexual violence openly. Women have financial emancipation and work opportunities that completely change what ‘normal’ is.

      I don’t think there is any such thing as the common majority. I think we are diverse in our communities and this is a good thing. How we rebuild those communities I don’t know, except I know we can’t do it under the current regime. I also don’t know how those people who you consider ordinary Kiwis can feel part of things again. I suspect the world they want is gone for good, but that there are other ways to belong.

      btw, I was eligible to vote for the first time in 1984, so our perspectives differ a lot no doubt. I appreciate the longer view you bring.

  21. disturbed 21

    Weka,
    your next question “It’s an attractive vision. Can you see a way of doing that and improving the lives of all people that are struggling?”

    We must return to an egalitarian society where we all supported each other, with even distribution of wealth and the fabric of society will heal.

    But we need a caring kinder gentler Government to get there and the what we see is this Government will never take us back there.

    We will have to form an alliance with those opposition parties who understand that is the only way back from the cliff we are currently on now.

    • weka 21.1

      “We must return to an egalitarian society where we all supported each other, with even distribution of wealth and the fabric of society will heal.”

      I wholeheartedly agree.

      “But we need a caring kinder gentler Government to get there and the what we see is this Government will never take us back there.”

      Interesting. I’m tempted to say we need a strong, brave govt given the problems we face, and it’s hard for me to imagine a caring, kinder govt. That’s a consequence of having come of age in the 1980s. I will have to think on this.

      “We will have to form an alliance with those opposition parties who understand that is the only way back from the cliff we are currently on now.”

      Who do you have in mind?

  22. Thinker 22

    The Herald put the results of an Epsom poll out, so I compared it with a similar Herald article from the same time last election (weeks until election, that is).

    On a party-vote, National seem to be polling about 95%, relative. I guess that factor may finally prove to be more in other electorates where voters are more amenable to swing.

    The interesting thing about Epsom, though, is that the Greens are doing much better than before. Maybe there’s a younger demographic crept in, but I think maybe the Greens are the protest vote of choice, for people whose blood runs blue and not red. It’s only small, so maybe its people who, deep down, think this lot’s become too toxic, but don’t want to let the side down completely.

    If I was a right-wing voter in Epsom, I’d be worried about Jamie Whyte – at least his predecessors took a while to do or say odd things, but Whyte’s incest remark was pretty much the first impression, followed recently by suggesting we get Fiji-style government in Godzone. And, importantly, why are we seeing Whyte at all, when he’s not even the candidate? He looks like a younger Rodney Hide, in some photos.

    I’d also be thinking maybe National needs some time-out to regroup. It’s never easy to admit it, when you’re dyed-in-the-wool anything, but politics produces early highs and it slowly goes dowhill from there.

    I think the irony is that if National wins this, they’ll be hamstrung by a super-small majority and without the luxury of being able to pick & choose which of their support parties will help them push legislation through. By 2017, they’d be in a very dark place that could take them longer to come out from than if they lose this election. So, there’s an argument for National to lose this election for its own good.

  23. mike 23

    Fisiani,

    I think you have covered the Labour election bribes in a nutshell. If Labour get in and if they put some of these promises into effect (2 bif ifs) the left would soon be bleating that the wrong people are getting the assistance as this is what Labour are promising. To help people who dont really need it and guess who will pay for it? The people who do really need the help. Government targeting is always a disaster. The best way to help the needy is exactly what the current Government are doing – growing the whole economy.

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    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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