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Impressed with James Shaw

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, August 11th, 2017 - 141 comments
Categories: greens, leadership - Tags: ,

I confess that I haven’t paid much attention to James Shaw before, but I have been very impressed with him during recent events. He stood by Metiria Turei completely, never wavered, never blinked. He acted decisively on the two dissenting MPs. He has assumed sole leadership of the Greens calmly and vowed to continue Turei’s mission:

“My main regret is for Metiria. She threw everything into this and politically paid the ultimate price.”

He said seeing the toll the saga took on Turei’s family shocked him, but he was glad a conversation had been started.

“As a result of the campaign Metiria has been running, thousands of people have come out of the woodwork to say ‘these are the circumstances that I’m in, and thank you for taking this on and speaking up’.

“So it is important to me we continue to speak for these people and do them the honour of continuing the campaign to end poverty in New Zealand.”

And now this:

Shaw calls for calm, defends media

Mr Shaw said it had been “a tough week” for the Green Party caucus.

“Passions are running high. I think people need to breathe through their noses and steady the ship and just get on with the campaign.”

Some supporters have lashed out at media online, accusing reporters of hounding Mrs Turei out of Parliament.

But Mr Shaw said he had “absolutely no hard feelings” for the media.

“In my view, the media have just been doing their job. Some of the interviews have been really tough, but they should have been tough.

“People should just calm down and realise everyone’s just doing their job.” …

The Greens may have lost Turei, but they have seen Shaw grow in stature. I hope and expect to see the Green vote rebound.

141 comments on “Impressed with James Shaw”

  1. francesca 1

    Me too, I think he’s awesome
    He could very well have turned tail and protected his own political interests and ambitions.
    The Greens have shown their authenticity.When other politicians leave office they show they were only there to burnish their CVs, heading into lucrative positions buoyed by little black notebooks of profitable contacts
    The Greens carry on the fight for a better New Zealand
    Russell Norman for Greenpeace
    Kevin Hague for Forest and Bird
    Go Metiria!
    Go Greens!

    • Carolyn_nth 1.1

      I suspect Turei will continue campaigning against poverty and for a better social security system after she leaves parliament.

      Unfortunately, some right wing guys don’t like the fairly even gender balance in the Green Party. There’s always a tendency for those beyond the GP and/or the left, to treat the male co-leader as THE leader.

      This from Duncan Garner today, after attacking Julie Ann Genter (he like so many non-GP people, ignore the fact that Marama Davidson is #2 on the list):

      The AM Show host Duncan Garner has awarded Green MP Julie Anne Genter the “tizzy fit of the week” award after she lashed out at journalists on Thursday.

      Ms Genter, tipped as a potential new co-leader for the party after Metiria Turei resigned, was asked by Newshub if she would be putting her hand up.

      Garner said Ms Genter needs to “calm her organic farm down”.

      “It’s like being at kindy and you’ve stolen someone’s bikkies or something.”

      He unfavourably compared Ms Genter’s response to Green Party leader James Shaw, who has “kept his cool” all week.

      “He’s too scared to raise his voice at all those women in caucus – he’ll get his head bitten off.”

      Ms Genter responded on Twitter, saying the thought the clip of her outburst was “kind of hilarious”.

      Co-host Mark Richardson said the Greens don’t appear to like freedom of speech.

      Some people have more power to get their speech heard than others. (And some of the (Garner-style) speech of those annointed by those with wealth and power is pretty puerile).

      Too many people ignore issues of power how how that impacts on politics, politicians and society.

      • popexplosion 1.1.1

        Campbell got it. Williams and Hooter didn’t. Meteria said to S.Auckland you want change, change because you fear you need a benefit, split vote Green for the party.
        Greens lost 4.7, Peters lost 3.8, 1% diff, Greens accordingly are going to miss the 5% but Peters is laughing he has more influence! Hooten and Williams did not analyse diddlysquat . Why should S.Auckland suffer from 3 more years of Nats Super city gridlock both roads and council chamber, they built the mess. Key promised to turnaround the flow overseas, yeah, he let dotcom lead a march of wealthy people buying out middle n.a. from the dream, clogging the roads, even the tourist traps. And what did national do, free farmers to pollute river, fail to build Auckland, and not fund infrastructure whether tourism, or whatever. Instead they built a bypass that any reading scientist will tell you will draw congestion. Now Goff says he has to break the rates promise, National aren’t backing down, they cannot and won’t get out and lead the economy. If it doesn’t make short term returns for bankers and brokers it has no place in their policy portfolio. Peters is worse, he’s their second choice if English fails.

        • alwyn 1.1.1.1

          “Greens accordingly are going to miss the 5% but Peters is laughing he has more influence”.
          If the Green Party goes under 5%, which I personally think is quite likely, they are gone from Parliament. Winston on the other hand has the lifeline of the Northland seat which he will probably retain. He may not have many companions but the party will survive in the House.
          Don’t knock it. After all the Green Party, with the co-operation of Labour, did exactly the same thing in Coromandel in 1999 when the chances of them getting 5% was severely in doubt. As it happens they did cross the 5% barrier but it was still pretty close. They needed a very good share of the specials to scrape in with 5.16% at the end. (They were below 5% on election night).

        • binders full of women 1.1.1.2

          But south Auckland hate the greens… They got about 300 party votes in manurewa.. Compared to the 3,000 party votes in leafy devenport

          • popexplosion 1.1.1.2.1

            Yeah. Epson are told repeatly ad nausium to split vote, now Dunne gets the same treatment. You’d think someone in s.Auckland would also like two mps representing them, if only the greens went left… …letting Labour go right of center. Then s.Auckland can vote for party green, local Labour. and something actually might change, coz Nats aren’t, key declare he was going to keep kiwis at home, grow dairy, saw house price rising, only to do nothing, wack sitting homes, wack shittng roads, wack shittng infrastructure for rising pop. they did not just stop there, they stopping building for the tourism boom, they even after forced to raise homecare providers wages openly admit they did not foresee the mental health workers would down tools for the new opportunities. oh Joyce is so full of it.

            Yeah vote Green if you want Labour in power get two mps.

      • Those three schmucks were totally inappropriate there. Sexism, self-righteous BS, and an over inflated sense of entitlement the lot of them.

        Should be fired for their total lack of professionalism.

        EDIT:
        Does make one wonder just why they’re so scared of her though.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    He’s shown staunchness when it was required and magnaminity when that was needed. You have to get these two things in the right order.

  3. AB 3

    Shaw radiates decency and calm, qualities I like.
    Given the media environment he has to live inside, he is saying exactly the right thing. (Though goodness knows what he actually thinks).
    He does need to team with someone who has the appearance of greater passion and warmth – qualities which Ardern seems to have nailed near-perfectly.

    • Carolyn_nth 3.1

      Actually, Ardern seems to me to be smart and politically savvy. But she doesn’t really radiate passion to me. She performs it in speeches, but I don’t find it that convincing.

      Unlike Marama Davidson, who really speaks from experience of community engagement in South Auckland. So that’d make a really good pairing: Shaw and Davidson.

      Shaw has risen in my estimation over the last couple of weeks. He’s stepped up when needed, and maintained a cool head.

      I agree with what I/S (NoRightTurn) said on twitter this morning: Shaw needs to hose down criticism of the MSM because he has to deal with the press gallery daily. But that does not apply to us. I think we should criticise media biases and mis-information when we see it.

      • red-blooded 3.1.1

        So you’re going to ignore his direct appeal to Green followers to put the focus on the campaign and to back off the media-blaming? Do you think he didn’t mean it? He was pretty direct and specific.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          What direct appeal to Green followers? Link please.

          • Dspare 3.1.1.1.1

            weka
            From the OP:

            “In my view, the media have just been doing their job. Some of the interviews have been really tough, but they should have been tough.

            “People should just calm down and realise everyone’s just doing their job.”

            Though this does seem to willfully ignore that many in the media have been tougher with some than others. That said, with only six weeks left till the election, there is little to be gained in continuing a vendetta with no hope of achieving anything positive. Better to volunteer your time to doorknocking and putting up new placards than dwell too much on the recent past.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m trying to track down the source audio but as far as I can tell he made a statement about his MPs and the media.

              I don’t know who “People should just calm down and realise everyone’s just doing their job.” refers to, and it’s not clear from the RNZ article. It also is out of sync with what he says in the audio, but in both the audio and the article RNZ appear to be cut and pasting bits out of context.

          • red-blooded 3.1.1.1.2

            “”In my view, the media have just been doing their job. Some of the interviews have been really tough, but they should have been tough.

            “People should just calm down and realise everyone’s just doing their job.”

            – “People” includes people here, surely? If not, on what basis do you exclude online commentators from that statement?

            • weka 3.1.1.1.2.1

              I’ve addressed that above. RNZ are being selective and misleading IMO, which makes sense given they probably feel the need to defend themselves at the moment.

              • Came to the conclusion a few years ago that a political party needed their own press team that followed then around and recorded everything so as to be able to show how the MSM were spinning what they said.

                • weka

                  That’s a bloody good idea. Or a law that says if a presser is held in public then the whole audio needs to be released to the public within x hours. Fucksake, the tech we have now, this should be routine.

                • mosa

                  Political parties of the left need their own press team as they suffer most from the right wing rat pack.
                  Totally concur Draco.

              • lprent

                I as listening to some kind of journo panel last night on NatRad talking about Metiria Turei.

                They sounded pretty damn defensive to me.

          • Bill 3.1.1.1.3

            The audio refers to MPs taking a deep breath and getting on with things (sensible) and his comment on media is limited to the interviews that were conducted (fair enough).

            So yes. The written RNZ report is being disingenuous to suggest Shaw was appealing to one and all to give media a free pass.

            And anyway, even if he had…fuck that.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.3.1

              I’ve yet to find what prompted Shaw to say this. RNZ conveniently start their audio with Shaw’s words (or parts of them) without letting us know what comes before. Looks fishy to me.

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.3.3

              And anyway, even if he had…fuck that.

              I’ll second that. The media don’t have enough criticism. It is half of their problem.

              The only restriction that I’d place on that is that I find short-form criticism (ie just twitter) of journos to be stupid, usually offensive, and most unintelligible. More importantly it provides them cover to say exactly that. If you want to be critical of a journo, then actually point to instances of their pious, offensive, dumpster diving, or whatever and explain why it is an issue.

              If you do twitter then link it to a post, long form comment or article

        • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1.2

          here’s what I/S said in a succession of tweets – some discussion followed.

          Not the first tweet, but it indicates I/S’s conclusion:

          Also, the only reason Shaw has to try and hose down criticism of the media is if he is concerned that it will affect his relationship w them

          In a follow up tweet in that thread I/S replied:

          Good luck with that. What mobilises people is anger. Anger gets shit done.

          And also:

          Shaw’s made it clear he’s not picking a fight. Surely you’re not suggesting journalists would punish him for the criticism of others?

          Another tweet from I/S about James Shaw’s statement to the press gallery:

          But unpack that: it means he’s worried the media will take out their anger at criticism on him.

          And then he tweeted quoting a tweet from Stephanie Rodgers, whose tweet criticised Garner and another guy’s attacks on Julie Anne Genter. Rodgers had said:

          In which two men ignore a woman’s firm “no” then paint her annoyance at their rudeness as childish while calling her names.

          Basically, I/S was saying, journalists do behave unprofessionally and therefore should be held to account. James Shaw needs to maintain a cordial relationship with the press gallery, but others don’t. I/S was probably talking about himself, rather than TS.

          • weka 3.1.1.2.1

            Thanks Carolyn. I’m exhausted and trying to decide whether to write a post on this or not, but mostly I’m aware that yet again all our energy is getting sucked up by the media circus instead of going into what really matters.

            • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes. I think it is time to regroup and focus on issues, values, campaigns and policies.

              The guys dominating this media circus, in the shock-jock style, arose to dominance under John key’s watch.

              I suspect, if there’s a change in government, their dominance will subside, and they’ll be relegated to the murky margins.

              Under Clark, there was a less macho approach to politics. It and the media became strongly dominated by macho style under Key’s watch. These shock jock types may be aware their days of dominance are numbered, as left parties, with a stronger representation of women may gain dominance in the House.

              • weka

                I’ve been thinking similar. Direct line between Key’s misogyny and the sexism coming out today about Genter, or Ardern last week.

                The Greens will be ok, I trust them, and I wish others did more but I also understand why there is so little trust simply because they’re politicians.

              • red-blooded

                “Yes. I think it is time to regroup and focus on issues, values, campaigns and policies.”

                I think that’s what Shaw was saying, too. Even if you’re angry at the media, that’s not a productive channel for your energies while an election looms. Besides, I still see his comments about calming down and realising that people have been doing their jobs as relevant to all supporters, not just MPs.

          • Dspare 3.1.1.2.2

            Carolyn_nth
            I thought Bradbury had some good points this morning:

            The privileged broadcasters who act as the neoliberal culture police don’t know the reality of beneficiary life either, but they do know knee jerk bigotry and they know how well it rates. Their snarling orgy of derision and moralistic tub thumping was to in effect rally around the neoliberal cultural myth that punishes the poor for being poor…

            Labour hasn’t shown any willingness to date in directly lifting the lives of beneficiaries out of poverty and it was left to the Greens to show leadership.

            Metiria appealed directly to those beneficiaries, many of whom make up the missing million and not only promised them $180 extra each week in benefits, she told them her own story to show them that they should and could have faith in her because she had walked their walk in their shoes.

            The resulting media backlash was less journalism and more lynching….

            We either accept that political injustice, or we fight back and avenge Metiria.

            https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/08/11/can-we-just-pause-and-consider-what-just-happened-to-metiria-back-there/

            The links and images in the original make it clear that the; “fight back”, means; become politically engaged and vote. Rather than I/S’s tempting but ultimately selfdefeating:

            C19th solution: pitchforks and guillotines. I stand by that. Fuck them all, burn it all to the fucking ground.

            http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2017/08/burn-it-all-to-fucking-ground.html

            • weka 3.1.1.2.2.1

              That’s not what I/S said, *please don’t do what the MSM are doing and selectively quote. The whole bit was,

              “Earlier today, I said that if the right wants a C19th “democracy” which excludes poor people, they need to be reminded of the C19th solution: pitchforks and guillotines. I stand by that. Fuck them all, burn it all to the fucking ground.”

              Lots of ways to burn it all down btw 😉

              • Dspare

                weka
                If we want to get pedantic about it, I/S was paraphrasing themselves from the previously linked article:

                The overwhelming message from the political status quo has been that poor people have no place in our Parliament and no place in government. That’s been their message since the 18th century (hell, its been their message since fucking Plato). But if they want to overturn 150 years of democracy and go back to the C19th, then they are inviting the C19th response: pitchforks and guillotines.

                https://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2017/08/class-and-metiria.html

                But then we’d have to mention that this was based on a Timperley Newsroom piece which I/S themself selectively quoted (and is still well worth reading in its entirety, despite being overtaken by events).

                https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@future-learning/2017/08/08/41668/the-metiria-debate-its-all-about-class

                My point is that unless we want comments to get unreadably long, there has to be some editing somewhere along the line. Also; “pitchforks and guillotines”, are a bad idea when up against an allpervasive information state armed with; tasers, body armour, and firearms.

                • weka

                  Yeah, but I think your quote made it sound like I/S was advocating violence when I think he was just pointing out that if you fuck with democracy and poverty you’re likely to end up with a reactionary violent situation.

                  I doubt that he thinks poor people in this century will use pitchforks. And as I said, there are other ways to burn it all down (as in, non-violent ways).

      • Jenny Kirk 3.1.2

        Agree with you Carolyn_nth totally. Also am impressed with James S this last week or so.

    • AB- I’m pretty sure he’s actually saying what he believes. I don’t agree with it, but the Greens don’t make a huge habit of misdirecting in public. You’re of course welcome to be skeptical of that until you review things, I would be too on just the claim, but I think you’ll find it checks out.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    “He acted decisively on the two dissenting MPs.” ?????

    You forgot he flip flopped on that one. First he said they were going to be expelled from the party as well as the caucus for ‘nebulous reasons’

    nek minite- They werent being expelled from the party- the reasons why he changed ? he slept on it!

    Theres been no leadership from him. hes merely been Metiras handbag. If he convinced her to stand down earlier she could have saved her career and in the future this would have been seen as a bump in the road.

    • AB 4.1

      A bit unfair I think – presumably the caucus knew and supported her coming out with this confession in the first place. That done, he has to support her to the point that it’s clear that doing so causes more damage than cutting her loose.
      If you are actually a principled person, that’s a horrible dilemma and I think he got it about right.

      If there was any failure of leadership it was right at the start – not being aware of the levels of irrational hatred directed at beneficiaries in NZ. It is after all a classic ‘wedge’ issue that the right uses against the left – basically you can drive a wedge between the working poor/middle income earners and beneficiaries by casting the latter as lazy bludgers rather than “hardworking NZers”. And naturally, “hardworking NZers” can be persuaded to vote National, the party of aspiration and personal responsibility, blah, blah.

      Somehow we need to get tactically smarter, and address poverty while not even talking about it.

      • Dspare 4.1.1

        AB
        The tactics seemed more aimed at getting the politically disengaged to register and vote. It didn’t succeed last election for the IMPs (or rather increased their vote share, but lost Harawira his electorate seat), but the GP has a more solid base. Labour may be more focused on flipping previously National votes that give a juicy +2 advantage (+1 vote for you, -1 to your opponent), but I think the GP are right to be looking at increasing the number of voters rather than shuffling around those who have always participate in elections.

        You don’t win a fight for something by conceding to your enemies; the right to frame the issue their way, before you even begin the struggle.

        dou
        I think you are confusing leadership with dictatorship.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        Clearly they didnt know the full extent of her background story- a meeting may have been held with maybe 25 campaign topics covered, some covered in more depth than others. There may have been a general discussion after on the whole approach. I dont know how Green caucus meetings are held obviously, but no one was saying to MT- ” Its a big political mistake to make yourself the poster child for a particular policy”
        Certainly there was no ‘co’ in JS leadership role, he was more as a deputy leader. Then when the worst that could have happened occurred he suddenly showed a
        stalinist approach and vowed to expel the dissenters from the party, which of course he back tracked the next day.
        So many political mistakes shows hes not leadership material, after the election its likely the Greens will get two new leaders

        • marty mars 4.1.2.1

          rubbish dicko – he has shown more leadership this week than key or english have done over their whole political careers. They are lightweight mush compared to the solidity of Shaw. Can’t wait until he is PM – we would really sort this country out then.

        • North 4.1.2.2

          How spy-thriller can you get Duke’ ……

    • weka 4.2

      You forgot he flip flopped on that one. First he said they were going to be expelled from the party as well as the caucus for ‘nebulous reasons’

      nek minite- They werent being expelled from the party- the reasons why he changed ? he slept on it!

      Except that’s not quite what happened. He initially said the Exec would look at expelling them, not that they would be expelled. And he made it clear that he personally was fucked off enough to want that to happen. The next day he had obviously calmed down. But Shaw doesn’t dictate what the Exec does, it’s not actually his decision if someone gets expelled from the party.

      As for why he changed over night, it’s not hard to understand what happened there. MPs were feeling betrayed and after a bit of time they were able to sort out what the best thing to do was.

      • dukeofurl 4.2.1

        ” He acted decisively on the two dissenting MPs” No he did not.

        You dont float a ballon over some thing thats not in your control then back down on it. Politicians are supposed to be able to waffle on these sorts of things.- ‘Executive will be taking this up and be looking at all their options blah blah…”

        “MPs were feeling betrayed and after a bit of time they were able to sort out what the best thing to do was.” ….. he was the only leader left and he failed in his firts test of leadership.

        Even a high school student can tell you the Greens are a happy clappy sort of crowd with consensus their way of doing things.

        Here was Shaw playing rambo. Duh. If you cant see he was being a fool the mistakes of the past two weeks will be repeated again.

        • Dspare 4.2.1.1

          dou
          Once again, I think you are confusing leadership with dictatorship.

          • dukeofurl 4.2.1.1.1

            You havent read my comments, it was me saying his high handed threats were him playing rambo, which would seem to be at odds to the greens style.

            And so it turned out, failing at his first leadership test by playing rambo which naturally he would have to walk back from the next day.

            • Dspare 4.2.1.1.1.1

              dou
              Which movie was it where John Rambo announced; that he was referring colleagues to the executive whilst personally seeking their exclusion from his party, but in the meantime excluding them from caucus and reassigning their positions to others? I have only seen First Blood a long time ago now, so it must have been one of the sequels…

        • weka 4.2.1.2

          “MPs were feeling betrayed and after a bit of time they were able to sort out what the best thing to do was.” ….. he was the only leader left and he failed in his firts test of leadership.

          Um, there were two leaders dealing with the MP issue at the start of the week.

          “You dont float a ballon over some thing thats not in your control then back down on it. Politicians are supposed to be able to waffle on these sorts of things.- ‘Executive will be taking this up and be looking at all their options blah blah…”

          As a Green voter it doesn’t bother me in the least. Go back and listen to what he said on the night. He was clear that it was something for the Exec to sort out.

          • dukeofurl 4.2.1.2.1

            “http://www.noted.co.nz/currently/politics/rogue-green-party-mps-withdraw-from-caucus/
            Mr Shaw said he was happy for the pair to remain in the Green Party, after earlier saying he would seek their expulsion.
            When asked what has changed since last night, when he was talking about expelling the two MPs, Mr Shaw replied: “I got some sleep.”

            ‘seek their expulsion’

            What has changed – ‘I got some sleep’ why would he say these words if he wasnt ‘going to the exec and seek their expulsion’

            Im sure it doesnt bother you. Then again seeing MT walk herself over a cliff the last two weeks hasnt seen any note of caution from you either.

            • weka 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes, ‘seek their expulsion’ means he would ask the Exec. He can’t expel members and he can’t tell the Exec what to do.

              The reason it doesn’t bother me is because unlike you I understand the kaupapa of the Greens particularly in relationship to process. I also value being human and being honest far higher than being perfect, especially in politicians.

              He’s only made serious mistakes if you think politics is a macho game. But you seem to have missed the entire point, which is that some people are just refusing to do that shit now.

              • dukeofurl

                So ‘seeking to have the caucus and Exec expel them’ isnt macho shit ?

                You are clutching at straws to deny what occurred.

                I remember a few days back saying Shaw was acting like WINZ does, break our rules and you will be punished.
                Even to me that didnt sound very Greens like. And so the next day Shaw had to walk back his comments and say he slept on it.

                In reality the 2 Mps withdrew themselves at the caucus meeting, they worked it all out in the ‘greens way’

                Why these two MPs couldnt talk to Shaw before their public position hasnt been explained ? is Communication a one way street in the Greens caucus or only allowed when the leaders open debate ?? I dont know.

                A Co-leader who has a closed door has only made the situation worse. Shaw should have been pro active in getting the innermost thoughts of his caucus before they felt they take unilateral action. That is a sign he wasnt listening

    • First he said they were going to be expelled from the party as well as the caucus for ‘nebulous reasons’

      No he didn’t.

      He said that it was going to taken to the caucus and the party as to what would happen. there’s an entire video there on it.

    • First he said they were going to be expelled from the party as well as the caucus for ‘nebulous reasons’

      nek minite- They werent being expelled from the party- the reasons why he changed ? he slept on it!

      It wasn’t James Shaw’s decision to make either way, which hepainstakingly attempted to explain to reporters on multiple occasions. It was the caucus’ decision, and they decided. All you’re doing here is parading your ignorance and insulting people for reasons you made up in your own head.

      • dukeofurl 4.4.1

        he was now the leader, Im sure he was going to ‘put expulsion on the agenda’ and play rambo.
        Ludicrus move at the time and of course next day he had to publicly walk back from his previous comments to the journalist

    • KJT 4.5

      Is your name Patrick Gower.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Yes, Anthony, he’s managed the crisis well despite denial that it’s actually a crisis. I’m still waiting for him to educate his caucus in regard to political positioning and electoral strategy. You can see how the moderate sector of the party and supporters have been alienated by the ongoing attempt of the leftists to misrepresent them. Will the leftists learn from their latest mistake? Not if the GP poll numbers bounce back before the election, as James said he expects them to. I know, commentators here will probably tell me I’m being silly expecting leftists to learn from their political experience because it hasn’t happened in our lifetimes. Just hoping for the best…

    • Reality has a radical Left bias.

      It’s not the Left that are radical but the so-called moderates and the right-wing who want to keep things in their present delusional state.

    • KJT 5.2

      Another one. Are you actually a Green? Problem with consensus at conference is that only the comfortable middle class get to go. But there are many other Green members

  6. Ad 6

    Very graceful.

    They are lucky to have him.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      QFT. And demonstrates the wisdom of the ‘co-leader’ principle.

      • dukeofurl 6.1.1

        hes acted as a deputy not a co-leader. Its just been a pretence that the two have been ‘separate but equal’.
        Metira was the actual leader in both experience and personality. Her recognition amoung voters would have been high, his very low

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.1

          Yes absolutely Turei’s front-footing of the poverty trap/welfare issue stole most of the oxygen. I don’t see this as a big deal, with campaigns all about personality it’s pretty much inevitable one co-leader or the other will have a higher profile at any one point in time. But if one stumbles, the other is in place and ready to seamlessly step up. Which is what has happened here.

          Give Shaw a bit of credit; you can hardly call him ‘Turei’s handbag’ and then dump on him all the blame for the political mis-management that has happened.

          All we’re saying is the guy’s been given a horrible hospital pass and he’s handled it pretty decently.

          • dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1

            Clearly the mistake to make MT herself the poster child for NZ harsh welfare polocies was hers, but once the process had blown up he did nothing ‘but support her’ while she slow walked off a cliff.

            Even her final decision to quit seems to have been hers alone and his only role was to once again ‘support her’

            What works within the internal politics of the Green party is not a good guide to how its going to play out in the wider public stage. Its not going to be a fair go where the strong like national can win out because they are better

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Why are you so fearful of women in positions of power?

          • dukeofurl 6.1.1.2.1

            Since when has Shaw identified as a woman. This has been all about Shaw s failure as a leader.
            The candyfloss being spun has been amazing. certainly being in government is even far harder. Knock the stars out of your eyes people.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Since when has Shaw identified as a woman.

              You’re the one who said that he was being over-ridden by a woman.

              Metira was the actual leader in both experience and personality.

              This has been all about Shaw s failure as a leader.

              No, it’s about your fear of women.

              • dukeofurl

                Thats ridiculous. The woman issue is your fabrication. I was a big Clinton supporter remember.

                For better or worse the Greens have Co leaders of different sexes. Shaw was acting as deputy to the real leader Metira Turei instead of being an equal in this crisis.
                I dont have an issue with MT at all, she took a gamble and it failed, its much harder to see your flaws in a political calculation is understandable.

                • For better or worse the Greens have Co leaders of different sexes.

                  Yes, they do.

                  Shaw was acting as deputy to the real leader Metira Turei instead of being an equal in this crisis.

                  And there you go again with but, but, but, the women overshadowed him.

                  You seem to have a) a binary view of there being one leader and b) that the leader was the woman.

                  And you just don’t seem to be able to forgive that despite it being delusion on your part.

  7. Ieuan 7

    Sorry I just don’t agree, I think Shaw has looked weak and compromised. Leadership in a crisis is about making the right decisions and staying in control of the situation.

    It seemed obvious to everyone, expect maybe James Shaw, that Metiria Turei had to resign once her benefit admission exploded into a major scandal; and he lost control of his own party when Kennedy Graham and David Clendon resigned.

    I can’t think of one sound decision that Shaw has made in the last week and in his appearances on TV he has looked broken and beaten.

    I get that it has been a horrible week for the Greens and it must be very difficult leading a party when they are under such pressure but I struggle with the idea that James Shaw has been ‘impressive’.

    • Ross 7.1

      he lost control of his own party when Kennedy Graham and David Clendon resigned.

      On the contrary, they lost control, presumably felt they no no longer wanted to be MPs and consequently are not seeking re-election. It’s like a rugby player head-butting or biting an opponent and then blaming the coach for the player’s appalling behaviour. Well, maybe if the player is a young child, otherwise that excuse doesn’t wash. 🙂

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Lost communication with his own caucus would have been a better description of his lapse.
        Why couldnt the y been able to go to Shaw and speak openly of their concerns earlier?

        I can see how they saw their only option was to drop a bombshell. Shaw must have ignored the signs or not been an open door to any serious concerns of his caucus members

    • dukeofurl 7.2

      Agree there. If Shaw had stepped up earlier It would have been possible to save Metiras career. Supporting her to walk into a a lions den with no way out that finishes her time in Parliament has to be catastrophe which he bears major responsibility.
      Co-leadership means that you are watching out for each other, he just played the loyal deputy.

    • and he lost control of his own party when Kennedy Graham and David Clendon resigned.

      It’s not his party. It belongs to all the members and it’s all the members that will make that decision.

      • dukeofurl 7.3.1

        They dont have a one member one vote system.

        The party is run by cliques who run the branches

        From the Constitution
        Branches with 5 or less members- 1 delegate
        Branches with 200 or more members – 4 delegates

        Representation by proxy is allowed

        Conferences and Special general meetings are only open to those financial members who pay the registration fee

        For the Executive :
        Provinces with smaller than 12 electorates will have 1 member, all other provinces can have 2 members
        (The smallest province would have 3 electorates, while Auckland has 21, but executive positions are not pro rata)
        https://home.greens.org.nz/auckland

        • KJT 7.3.1.1

          Again. You are making false assumptions from the outside. Patrick.

          • dukeofurl 7.3.1.1.1

            No where is it ‘one member one vote’

            Executive isnt even proportional representation as the smallest province has half the members of the largest ( 7x bigger)
            Its not too different from old NZ when rural votes were worth more than city votes

            I notice you arent denying my details, because I got them straight from the party constitution.

            Much more in common with how the Roman Catholic Church elects the Pope

    • Dennis Frank 7.4

      I think your appraisal is reasonable and credible, except for “he has looked broken and beaten”. Grim, taken-aback, cautious, would be more accurate. After all, he is still learning the ropes.

      I think he has been deferring to her more than necessary, true, but that’s probably helped him acclimatise to the feminists within our caucus. His main problem remains the parliamentary leftist alignment, which operates as a substantial handicap on the GP caucus performance. Their ongoing failure to get their political positioning right has usually been rationalised as necessary in order to get into government.

      Clinging to this flawed strategy for too long has enabled Winston to capture and control the center ground of our politics (to choose the next government). Currently all James can do is represent his caucus consensus. Green centrists wonder when the bullshit will cease…

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.4.1

        “Green centrists wonder when the bullshit will cease…”

        And many supporters of Green party policies wonder who really gives a shit about poverty in NZ. I hope one of Metiria’s legacies will be that there is no room in a Green caucus for those with a ‘be grateful, BE QUIET, and (above all) know your place’ attitude towards beneficiaries (past and present), regardless of a caucus member’s environmentalist credentials.

        An independent future for NZ depends on prioritising both environmental and social justice issues. Sad to see some trying to play one off against the other.

        • Dennis Frank 7.4.1.1

          Then you ain’t seeing clearly, are you? Try reading what I wrote instead of fantasising. I was convenor of the Greens justice policy, personally wrote and updated drafts of it for several years, while extending consensus around it via securing agreement to it at various regional meetings and national conferences. Much of the content I put in is still evident in our current justice policy. And last year I was part of the working group that brought it up to date, too.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 7.4.1.1.1

            Apologies Dennis, the bullshit responses to Metiria’s recent efforts to raise public awareness of poverty in NZ have ensured that no MP will take that approach anytime soon, even if there were other politicians prepared to risk talking publicly about their personal experiences of being beneficiaries.

            You are right, I’m not seeing clearly. It is my problem that I don’t understand why the rump of NZ found her initial account so confronting and a step too far. The MSM played a role, but didn’t create the underlying attitudes/values. The dominant negative response upset me, as does the continuing disenfranchisement of beneficiaries.

            • Dennis Frank 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Thanks. No worries, I do understand and share your view. I even went online to defend her stand on several political blogs – just because I disagreed with various critics. I disagreed with her stand because it was politically unsound, even while agreeing that it was morally sound. My priority is to ensure that the green cause is properly represented by the GP.

              I said online that beneficiaries deserve a voice in parliament, had no problem with her aspiration to be that voice. It was just how she did it, and how our caucus screwed up, that has required me to be critical of the leftists. I did measure half-way across the left side of the political spectrum on the political compass website a couple of years back. It’s just that I’m allergic to sectarianism – which seems to drive their behaviour.

      • Clinging to this flawed strategy for too long has enabled Winston to capture and control the center ground of our politics (to choose the next government). Currently all James can do is represent his caucus consensus. Green centrists wonder when the bullshit will cease…

        Well, if you’re that concerned with it why don’t you leave and join your preferred party – NZ1st?

        • Dennis Frank 7.4.2.1

          Because it isn’t my preferred party (insert eye-rolling emoticon).

          • Draco T Bastard 7.4.2.1.1

            The way you go on it certainly seems like a better fit for you. Or, perhaps, the Peter Dunne Party.

            After all, if the Party is heading one direction with consensus support and you’re here whinging about it and telling us that we should all be radical centrists then it’s obvious that the Party has left you – or you left the party. Either way, the Party and you no longer seem to fit.

            • Dennis Frank 7.4.2.1.1.1

              Ah, but I didn’t tell anyone here that they ought to be like me, did I? Folks arrive at their political position via all sorts of influences & expecting them to be like oneself is ridiculous.

              No, incredible as it may seem, it ain’t really all about me. It’s about the failure of the leadership of the party to accurately represent both members and supporters.

    • …he lost control of his own party when Kennedy Graham and David Clendon resigned.

      OK, so you’re ignorant of how the Green Party works. How about you fix that before commenting about them?

      • KJT 7.5.1

        Dennis Frank, if he even is part of the Greens, is misrepresenting both policies and emphasis decided on by the members. Greens are for both social and environmental sustainability. It is gratifying that James Shaw has forgotten neither.

        • KJT 7.5.1.1

          If you are Green, you are not a bloody centrist.

          • RedLogix 7.5.1.1.1

            I think that is Dennis’ point. And in his own way what Nandos Tancos was saying too.

            Look I have considerable sympathy for your perspective here KJT, a healthy environment and human society are mutually and tightly interdependent.

            But equally you don’t have to be a raging leftie to care deeply and passionately for the environment; the Greens don’t have a monopoly on that.

            • KJT 7.5.1.1.1.1

              Only a fool thinks you can have a healthy environment. And make only the poor, pay for it.

              And, I am not even a lefty by most measures. I am a capitalist ex business owner, that knows successful business depends on a successful and healthy society. I am an advocate of a democratic sensible mixed economy. The Scandinavian, or even Holyoak’s/Kirk’s NZ model.

              It shows how far to the nutty right the whole “centre” has shifted.

              My mates Draco etc are lefties.
              I’ve long said there are conservatives that act in good faith and have a social conscience, as well as “lefties”..

              The split here is between three groups; Those who don’t give a shit so long as they are OK. Those who want to fight poverty, so long as nothing really changes to upset their comfortable middle class life. and those who “get” where Metiria is coming from.

              Some of these have been National voters at the yacht club, by the way,. Who think we should still look after people better.

              • Dennis Frank

                Well okay. Thanks for giving me some insight into where you’re coming from. I’ll illustrate where I’m coming from with reference to inequality. Our co-leaders last year told us they wanted to spend the year prioritising discussions on inequality & climate change. I suspected the agenda here was part of the traditional leftist sham: talking about a social problem instead of solving it. To provide a positive alternative, I presented an outline of a viable solution: creating consensus for a legal limit on the ratio between the maximum & minimum incomes.

                Plato, 23 centuries ago, discussed this and I’ve seen his commentary reproduced online. He advocated that wealthy folk ought to be able to earn four times as much as the poorest. He was a rich patrician pillar of the Greek establishment, but perhaps his advocacy indicates some sense of fairness and equity, right?

                I wrote that I could live with a ratio of 7:1 and last I saw the stats were reporting the current ratio in western countries is several hundred to one. At my local branch meeting the leftists reacted with fear, and didn’t even want to engage with my proposal. I sent it to central office anyway because they asked for contributions, but Metiria, who was leading their process, failed to respond. Too radical, obviously!

                • He was a rich patrician pillar of the Greek establishment, but perhaps his advocacy indicates some sense of fairness and equity, right?

                  He was, by the measures of his society, very much a conservative. he saw hierarchy as a necessity. He also said that society needed slavery.

                  I wrote that I could live with a ratio of 7:1

                  Even that is too much but then, IMO, we have too much income anyway.

                  Most of the Leftists on here have advocated for 12:1 or even 24:1 pointing out that the historical average before the neo-liberal revolution was ~20:1 and Japan is presently 40:1

          • Dennis Frank 7.5.1.1.2

            I’m living proof that you’re wrong. I’ve been part of the green movement for 49 years and a radical centrist for 46 years. I know there’s many in the party that still self-identify as neither left nor right, because they say so in conversation with them. Russel Norman a couple of years ago measured this via a straw poll at our conference: the audience in the hall demonstrated, via their show of hands, that the real greens out-numbered the leftists by a ratio of two to one.

            • McFlock 7.5.1.1.2.1

              sorry, “radical centrist”?

              Is that like a revolutionary conservative, but less extreme?

              • KJT

                A blue Green?

                A conservative radical?

                A bullshit artist?

                • dukeofurl

                  What ! Do you think playing the stalinist denunciation card is the way to debate the issues raised by Frank ?

                  • McFlock

                    nah, “stalinist denunciation” isn’t an oxymoron.
                    “Democratic Stalinist” would be.
                    But no doubt, as a static dynamicist you’d be way outside the paradigm…

              • Dennis Frank

                Basically it’s someone who sees the left & right as both being part of the problem. Someone who would rather move toward the solution than get distracted by left/right posturing. Someone who learns from experience that polarising people is counter-productive, and progress only ever comes via extending consensus. That’s why the GP adopted consensus decision-making as its political practice.

                • McFlock

                  Ah.

                  Someone who can give a full paragraph of examples of what they stand for, without actually saying what they stand for.

                  Have you met Pete George?

                  • Dennis Frank

                    No. What’re you fishing for? Spit the dummy, huh? I’m happy to expand if you can demonstrate relevance.

                    • McFlock

                      What I’m “fishing for” is what the fuck a “radical centrist” actually believes in, rather than a paragraph of waffle and complaints about the leftists.

                      You said above you’re for an income ratio of 7:1. That says a bit about equity, but nothing about poverty. What % of people are you okay with living at below, say, 50% median income after housing costs? What healthcare should be 100% taxpayer funded? What education? Where should benefit levels be set? Should the minimum wage be the living wage? Should personal greivances be back in trial periods? Where do you stand on union membership? Should it be compulsory? State housing vs accommodation supplements, or do you have a better idea? MJ legalisation? ACC paymnets and structures? Extending ACC to illnesses? The gender pay gap – how ill you address that?

                      You know, specifics. Not Plato, not waffle about how you’re beyond a paradigm, just what the fuck you actually stand for.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Hey McFlock, such micro-detail in those questions, such tedium in the prospect of answering, so I’ll reply by painting a picture that may include one or two specifics.

                      I’ve been supporting UBI since we approved it in the GP economic policy working group (led by JF) in the early nineties. I’m agnostic re education due to it doing as much harm as good. Basically I believe people ought to be upskilled by the education system, prepared for adult life, rather than be brainwashed with irrelevant crap.

                      Yes, the minimum wage & living wage ought to be identical, and also inflation-proofed to make it sustainable. No, union membership ought not to be compulsory (because unions need the incentive to operate in the mutual interests of members).

                      I agree with state housing, so long as the admin side operates better. I’ve been puzzled that everyone is reluctant to replicate the first Labour govt’s initiative. Perhaps we funded that via selling plenty of meat & dairy to the UK & nowadays we have too many people & not enough income.

                      I agree that legislation penalising businesses that are discriminating on the basis of gender is a good way to achieve pay parity. That enough??

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, pretty much.

                      You believe democratic organisations need an income “incentive” to serve their membership, think you know better than the entire education system, claim to believe in state projects but still fall for the idea that the public service needs to operate “better” in some unspecific way, and repeat the myth that our government is somehow more poor now than we were then.

                      Oh, and when it comes to policies that describe your beliefs, poverty is not a priority for you.

                      You’re not as beyond the left/right paradigm as you think.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Bullshit, McFlock. Misrepresenting the views of others is infantile political behaviour. Grow up.

                    • McFlock

                      Really?

                      Let’s take the last point – when you were “painting a picture”, where was poverty in that picture? Prominent in the foreground? A wee figure in the background?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Your meaning is too obscure. Poverty ought to be dealt with via the UBI & living wage concepts, right? Moving on from neoliberalism. Actually making progress rather than just wishing for it. If you don’t agree, then how would you achieve the goal of eliminating poverty?

                    • McFlock

                      Poverty ought to be dealt with via the UBI & living wage concepts, right?

                      Living wage would maybe affect half of the people currently in poverty (ISTR 45% of kids in poverty are in working poor households).

                      UBI, even if set at 50% median income, would still be dependent on housing costs.

                      I support current proposals to have a have a target of zero poverty, a systemic and regularly-gathered poverty measurement index. Expand and raise benefits for people most in need over five years until poverty is eliminated. Then look at expanding benefits into a UBI

                      These aren’t pie in the sky proposals, either. These policies are where the greens and Labour are heading if you read their manifestos side by side, and look at some of the active lobbying by respected NGOs.

                      And they’re much less “wishful thinking” than assuming a UBI will just get rid of poverty.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Okay, well done. I get that you’re closer to the leading edge of this than me. You have my support.

                    • McFlock

                      But I’m not a Green party member.

                      And it’s not about who’s more “leading edge” or support. Your comment seemed to be about how you thought the lefties were trying to dominate green policy, but the greens should be above all that.

                      The problem with that idea, if I have it correct, is that poverty can’t be left to solve itself. Nor can we merely assume that policy X will cure all poverty (assumptions often based on the back of an envelope, rather than closer examination).

                      To be effectively eliminated, poverty needs to be explicitly attacked, and then watched like a hawk to make sure the bastard doesn’t get up again. Otherwise it will grow like weeds, sneakily fertilised by tories.

                      Failure to explicitly confront poverty is the same as just leaving tories in charge. That’s not being above the divide.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I don’t disagree with any of that. My approach would be via lateral thinking (in my experience, leftists can’t handle that) and fine-tuning any methodology applied to solve the problem, learning from the initial experience (leftists usually go with a prescription then stick with it rigidly in denial of the initial failure to get suitable results). You seem to be saying much the same.

                      Socialism did seem to work quite well for a while. My family was the very lowest rung of the middle class. As a boy in the fifties it was traumatic when the other kids got to go to the movies and I couldn’t because my parents said we couldn’t afford it. I know things were worse for working class families, of course. But I never heard of poverty in this country while I was growing up (maybe, like sex abuse of children, there was a total conspiracy of silence in the culture in denial of it).

                    • McFlock

                      I’m a leftist.

                      And I’m nowhere near the smartest or deepest thinking leftist I’ve met.

                      Maybe your lateral thinking doesn’t extend so far towards leftists.

                      As for historical poverty in NZ, the relative poverty might not have been so bad, but it was ignored. Especially the poorest end, because it was more pigmented than the majority and therefore easier to ignore.

                • weka

                  What you are describing isn’t centrist though. Centrist has a particular meaning in NZ, on this site and in NZ politics in general. So if you are going to use it in reference to the Greens, there will be problems in communication.

                  I’d like to know Norman’s actual question. I assume he didn’t ask the conference to put up their hands if they were ‘radical centrists’.

                  I consider the Greens to be essentially beyond L/R but that doesn’t place them in the centre and more than it places them on the right to say they’re not LW. Quite the opposite. And their polices are overwhelmingly left wing, so there is far more complexity here than you are presenting.

                  I think your use of the term ‘real greens’ as a put down of lefties suggests that you’re projecting your own politics onto the Green Party. I don’t have a problem with wherever you position yourself, but when you start talking about real Greens vs the presumably not real Greens, you’ve just landed yourself in a serious mess in terms of what you are trying to argue here.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    He framed it as neither left nor right vs leftists. The green movement was neither left nor right at its origin. I was observing it in the late ’60s via the university newspaper features. Which carried ample socialist essays also (invariably devoid of intellectual content).

                    If, as you imply, some in younger generations have lost the plot, what else is new? I have no idea what you mean by trying to defy common sense & suggest that neither left nor right and centrist aren’t identical terms for the same bunch of people. Different planet?

                    I agree with your point that Green policies are mostly leftist. I’ve no problem with that – have always agreed with most of them. The problem lies in the sectarian pathology. It’s what always alienates people & defeats our attempt to extend consensus.

                    The real greens are the ones who remained authentic: neither left nor right. The schism that destroyed Value was caused by the leftists trying to misrepresent the movement. For those of you too young to be aware of this, Christine Dann’s history of green politics (thesis, available online) is helpful…

                    • RedLogix

                      The problem lies in the sectarian pathology. It’s what always alienates people & defeats our attempt to extend consensus.

                      Thank you, very concisely expressed.

                      I have every respect and admiration for people, like Turei for instance, who clearly know what they stand for. Corbyn and Sanders would be other prominent examples.

                      And those who a confident and secure in that self-knowledge are the ones who can reach out and engage constructively across the political spectrum. They are the ones who achieve results.

                    • BM

                      Dennis do you think the Greens should be flexible enough to be able to work with either Labour or National?

                      Or should Labour be the Greens only bedmate?

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s a tough choice for any minor party; express a preference for one of the major centrist parties, then by default the only space remaining is the marginal zones on the left or right.

                      Alternately like NZ1 and TOP they keep their options open and then everyone grizzles that no-one can predict whether they’ll finish up supporting a left or right wing coalition.

                      Of the two strategies I prefer the latter. I’m comfortable voting for a party on it’s own merits and letting the MMP chips fall where they may.

                    • BM

                      I think the key to electoral success for minor parties is to be able to get some or even one high public profile policy put in place.

                      For example, the gold card has been electoral gold for NZ First, if the Greens can come up with something that the voters can go “wow that’s great, those Greens are really good” then I think they’ll start having a hell of a lot more success.

                      At the moment it all seems a bit rigid and our way is the only way, a minor party can’t be like that it has to be more flexible.

                      Get gains with either labour or National, you’ll always be building and expanding.

                    • RedLogix

                      That makes sense BM. In a way what you’re saying is the best strategy for a minor party is to actually be minor, play to their strengths, and leave the boring business of govt to the big centrist parties.

                    • Ad

                      Stephen Rainbow also did a pretty good PhD on the Values Party and the Greens as well.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      BM: yes to first question, no to second. I do agree that working with National is currently a distasteful & unrealistic prospect – I’ve always anticipated that the GP would use the strategic long-term view (becoming the government). Winston has shown how minor parties can leverage their position to enter govt. Still seems the obvious pathway for the Greens & their ongoing failure to learn the lesson is only explained by the dominant sectarian ideology.

                      RedLogix: I agree that constructive engagement across the spectrum is the best tactic to catalyse progress. That’s what’s currently broken in the US govt – not much I liked about Bill Clinton but I’ll give him credit for being a sensible liberal in that respect.

                      Ad: okay, interesting, but he ended up going with the Progressive Greens (who made no progress) so suspect he couldn’t see the big picture clearly either..

                    • McFlock

                      Winston has shown how minor parties can leverage their position to enter govt.

                      He’s also shown how minor parties leveraging themselves into government get punished in the subsequent election after minimal policy advances.

                      As for “should the greenswork with either Labour or National”, your answer seems to be evasive. Should the Greens work with the nats as they are now – bene-bashing, prison-privatising, seabed-mining, river-shitting, housing-selling, and charter-schooling nats?

                    • BM

                      Thanks for the reply Dennis, personally I have a lot of time for the old school greens I relate heavily to their out of the box working with what you’ve got philosophy.

                      Wish you guys would get your party back.

                    • BM

                      Red

                      You have to be a small party before you become a big party.

                      Something the Greens seem to have decided to skip.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      No intention to be evasive, thought I made the point clearly. No, the trick is to signal in advance the willingness to work with them on specific policies or social problems. The Greens already did so on home insulation, right?

                      The strategy of collaborating on some fronts produces mutual-benefit results. As a businessman, you know how to do a deal. Negotiate a win/win outcome. Same thing. You remain free to object or criticise other things they’re doing, but establishing a track record of successful collaboration builds goodwill into the relationship. Eventually a cultural transform gets catalysed.

                      It’s how trade cross-fertilised separate cultures in ancient times & civilisation developed in consequence…

                    • McFlock

                      I believe the term is “Faustian”.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      You mean sup with the devil you need a long spoon? There is a real danger of spiritual contagion in the process. Some involved may get seduced & fall victim. Baubles of office etc. Folks of character & integrity would not. Hardly reinventing the wheel, after all…

                    • McFlock

                      You know who gets corrupted?

                      The ones who think that they’re smarter than the devil and also that they have the integrity to be incorruptible.

                      The ones who avoid temptation avoid corruption.

                      The only exception is Winston himself – he’s the one of whom people should be most cautious 😉

                • Someone who would rather move toward the solution than get distracted by left/right posturing.

                  Sounds good – except that the centre is away from the solution and heading rightwards.

            • KJT 7.5.1.1.2.2

              How many of those who don’t identify as left wing, still believe in the aims of the Greens?

              Social justice and the Environment.

              Was Russel demonstrating for the environment outside Parliament?

              • weka

                Lots of people don’t relate to the L/R spectrum but still support progressive and LW policies and aims. DF is conflating his own radical centrist politics with something else entirely. IMO he misrepresents what Norman was doing with his question about L/R.

                • Dennis Frank

                  You weren’t there so readers are likely to discount your opinion, aren’t they? Obviously most of those who self-identified neither left nor right would not self-identify with the radical centrist label. Most green party members I’ve met present as mainstreamers, not radicals! Always amuses me when the media try to spin the Greens as radicals. If only!!

        • Dennis Frank 7.5.1.2

          I agree with your second and third sentences. I’m not misrepresenting our policies. The question of emphasis is never decided by members. Representatives are free to emphasise whichever points they like. They are bound only to adhere to policies.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    What a party leader must do, and what their supporters must do, are sometimes different things. Shaw has stepped up well and responded generously to the crisis as media hounded Metiria out for doing her job.

    But we need not, and should forgive the media plague rats. We want real journalists who are smart, incisive and evenhanded. Malicious biased rodents like Hosking and Gower are what we have 1080 for.

  9. Tautoko Mangō Mata 9

    James Shaw has so many qualities that Garner, Gower, Hosking, Soper lack. The latter group act like overgrown, petulant children, still the centre of their own universe, who blurt out before they think. An alien coming down to earth would be justified in thinking that there are two distinct species of men:
    BOY-MEN: Trump, Kim Jong-in, John Key, Jonathan Coleman, etc who are totally self-absorbed and have difficulty thinking past themselves and what is in it for them
    and
    REAL MEN: Jon Stephenson, Felix Geiringer, Nicky Hager, James Shaw, Russel Norman, … etc who have integrity, compassion and can think rationally about issues, seeing the plight of others and looking for solutions.

    James Shaw has shown that he can handle hard situations with dignity and integrity. I hope he is in the next NZ government.

    • Jenny Kirk 9.1

      You could add Andrew Little into your list of REAL Men , Tautoko Mango Mata, and – like you, I hope James Shaw can pull his party together to make it back into Parliament – and hopefully, as part of a left-wing-green government.

  10. greg 10

    disillusioned green members should come home to labours broad church we need a green branch there is aways healthy debate in labour put activists unionists feminists
    environmentalists and those who care in a hall to a nact it looks like civil war but it is actually democracy in action

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      I’m not sure – I always saw democracy as an intention to represent a constituency rather than choose a number of policies deemed to be progressive and run with them. Competing interest groups comes closer to the Dahlian idea of polyarchy, which doesn’t serve voter communities particularly well.

  11. georgecom 11

    I have been impressed with Shaw as well. If the Greens leave him to steer the ship I believe he can deliver them a reasonable election results. The GP has had good leadership for a long time. Jeanette Fitzsimons, Rod Donald, Russell Norman, Meteria and now Shaw.

    Compare that to other parties such as Labour and National who have both had periods of churning through leaders. The only party with more stable leadership has been Winston First.

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