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In Praise of Key

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, May 27th, 2015 - 331 comments
Categories: john key, labour, Left - Tags: ,

This society teaches us that life is all about making money and getting ahead.

John Key made money. Lots of it.

Some in Labour have also made money.

But here’s the difference. John Key only made money. John Key, it seems, didn’t attempt to improve himself (whatever that actually means). He’s just a guy who made a lot of money and didn’t take on any airs and graces on the way. And in that, there’s the beginnings of the making of a totem.

In this society that celebrates making money, losers are…losers. So when ‘taking out’ a wannabe, why wouldn’t an assassin smile? The execution is part triumph, part affirmation and…nothing personal; just business.

As an illustration of how it isn’t personal, a young lass from a poor background can be taken on a day out by a winner. There’s no animosity there. There’s just recognition that this society is made up of losers as well as winners. And a demonstration that both can walk side by side.

Needless to say, winners can be attacked, undermined and brought down. But failed attacks show them for the winners they are. So, attacks for abusive exercises of power could be one thing. But attacks for tugging pony tails and behaving as a child are quite another. The latter sees a winner riding on through any storm of embarrassment on the international stage and coming out the other side stronger. Now the winner has a fault that gets added to the totem. He’s not just a normal guy, but a normal guy who has, in addition, a dash of giggly, harmless, embarrassing spice. What a guy!

Andrew Little unwittingly helped create that perception when he merely said of Key’s behaviour at the café that it was ‘a bit bizarre’ – or words to that effect.

Moving to Labour.

Is Labour going to move beyond the personal and the celebration of the individual? Is Labour going to champion the cause for social wealth as opposed to personal wealth? Nope. Labour promotes winners. Labour wants people to ‘get ahead’. Labour bangs on about hard working families. Labour divides losers into deserving losers and loser losers.

Labour doesn’t commit itself to creating or defending aspects of social wealth like free education or free health care. Labour doesn’t champion or protect the poor or the vulnerable so much as implore them, with a hand up or a ladder dropped down, to ‘get with the programme’ and ‘get ahead’.

In short, Labour encourages us all to follow the self-same script that John Key has so successfully followed and in doing so, perversely, endorses him.

To end, if I identified with John Key at any level, if I endorsed this dog eat dog world, if I maybe drooled just a little at the idea of making loads of dosh, I’d say to the broader left – including the internet active left – keep up with the unflattering pictures, keep on with the snide snipes, the moral superiority and the ridiculously inflated accusations.

It’s all grist to the mill.

331 comments on “In Praise of Key ”

  1. Clean_power 1

    Three (likely four) times PM. An extraordinary achievement, by any political standards.

    • Ffloyd 1.1

      An extraordinary achievement perhaps but it isn’t all keys achievement. He has a big machine behind him. Lots of money/power to buy people off and get total devotion. A lot of the media is absolutely committed to the promoting of key as a person that he is not. Charming/humble/casual, just an ordinary kiwi as opposed to mendacious/malevolent/malicious/arrogant/emotionally absent. Key does nothing on his own. Everything about him is manufactured and managed. On his own and off script he is a liability and an embarrassment to the nats. Just my opinion of course.

      • halfcrown 1.1.1

        ” Just my opinion of course.”

        A very good opinion and the truth.

      • Amanda Atkinson 1.1.2

        On his own, away from politics, and off script, my information is that he is a very personable and likeable person. I have never met him (I assume you have seen as how you know so much about him), but I have 2 friends who have. 1 owns a stall at the Mangawhai Markets and she says he knows all the stall owners by name, always says hello, and these people are all grass roots hard working kiwis. The 2nd friend works at the TVNZ in make up, and says that he is most friendly and likeable politican to talk to in the make up room. She says Cunliffe is an arrogant prick, Little is a really lovely guy but conversation is very awkard and foreced, where as Key is always very jovial, and easy to talk to, as is Jacinda Ardern. Key and Ardern are her favorites.

        • Chris

          If you’re going to get down to this kind of analysis then all you need to do is be reminded of how Key waved barbecue utensils aggressively in front of Bronagh’s face – not once but several times – during Campbell’s interview as part of the ‘meet the leaders at home’ series just before the election. I’ll never forget it. The guy’s a pig.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The 2nd friend works at the TVNZ in make up, and says that he is most friendly and likeable politican to talk to in the make up room. She says Cunliffe is an arrogant prick

          You’re a fucking liar, is my pick. What I find fascinating is the knives that the right wing still have out for Cunliffe. What are they still so afraid of?

          • Chris

            Part of Key’s MO is to be as nice as pie to those he views as inconsequential or unthreatening.

            • Amanda Atkinson

              i don’t there is much to gain from Key pretending to be nice to a Stall owner in Mangawhai on a normal weekend when there is no press around. My friend says he genuine, I believe her. She has a good BS radar.

              • Kiwiri

                and you are most certainly turning on our BS radar

              • Chris

                “i don’t there is much to gain from Key pretending to be nice to a Stall owner in Mangawhai on a normal weekend when there is no press around.”

                Yes he has. He’s got people like you and your friend saying what a fabulous guy he is. FFS.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            I notice you conveniently left out my friends compliments about Little and Ardern. I wonder that means? You’re reading too much into this. My point was simple, I have not met Key, and many of these comments on here are from people who have not either, so all I have to go on is 2 friends who have met him. That’s all. Calm down, it’s a long weekend. Please relax.

      • Saarbo 1.1.3


    • felix 1.2

      “Three (likely four) times PM. An extraordinary achievement, by any political standards.”

      Really? By any political standards? Ok then, let’s use the standard of the National party.

      How many National governments have NOT been elected three times?

      • saveNZ 1.2.1

        “Three (likely four) times PM. An extraordinary achievement, by any political standards.” And what about the extraordinary achievement of Bill English and John Key can also bankrupt the country with their record number and extraordinary record of budget deficits (is it 9????) and selling off our country. Bribing the Saudi’s, spying on their people and neighbours, while letting the health and welfare levels of NZ drop.

        Go Nats Corporate Welfare and Propoganda Kings!

        Get a spine Labour and stop trying to emulate the Corporate Welfare and go back to Labour roots of an egalitarian society in NZ. That is what the voters are waiting for not National Lite!

      • SHG 1.2.2

        “times PM”, not “times government”

        • felix

          Ok, how many National PMs then?

          Shipley didn’t win an election.

          Bolger won three.

          Muldoon won three.

          Holyoake won four.

          Holland won three.

          Any others?

  2. Jenny Kirk 2

    I don’t know where you’re coming from Bill – but not only do you sound incredibly cynical about Labour, but you also sound contradictory, and you’re making things up.
    Contradictory : you state that Andrew Little merely found Key’s ponytail behaviour “a bit bizarre” and then you slate Labour activists for keeping on with the “snide snipes”.

    Making things up : You say “Labour doesn’t commit itself to creating or defending aspects of social wealth like free education or free health care. ” and other social welfare matters ………

    Labour’s values in protecting and enhancing state education, public health services, state housing, and a social welfare state which looks after people in need are bedrock values to Labour people.

    Okay – Labour went off the rails quite a bit between 1984-1990 ….. but we’ve been trying ever since to get back to those bedrock values and get them embedded within the NZ psyche again – a NZ psyche which has changed vastly since the original Labour Govt came in with its social welfare programme and living in a totally different and more complex era. That is no easy task.

    And we are not helped by the grizzling on the sidelines, or the people who leave us instead of trying to help us (and also grizzle from the sideline). In fact, I’m getting quite tired generally of all the grizzling and moaning coming from those who should know a bit better. How about finding some positive things to say about Labour for a change ? or how about just shutting up, and letting Labour get on with sorting itself out and putting together a realistic campaign for 2017 ?

    • Tracey 2.1

      shut up and trust labour to get it right???

      i vote Green Party

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        @Tracey I vote Green, but the Greens will never have any real influence or success in implementing policies while money-obsessed/total-lack-of-vision Key is PM.

        It follows all on the Left have to try to get Labour elected…or maybe Labour and another party from the Left apart from the Greens. I’m beginning to think that a Podemos Party could easily get over 5% here………

        • Tracey

          not quite. green party has been changing nz through its politics for 20 years. before the gp nats and labour had bugger all green policy. look at them today.

          the greens are not as interested in the baubles… hence insulation…

          many ways to skin a cat. i want the GP voice. I trust them.

          • Macro

            Me too.

          • tc

            Yup and with mallard, king, Nash, cosgrove, goff etc there’s plenty of reasons to stay the f away from such centrist lazy troughers.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            Trust the Greens? The green vote is a complete joke. They make all the promises in the world to attract the far left votes, knowing full well that they will have to sell those far left policies down the river to get into a coalition with a Labour.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              How do you know that Amanda Atkinson? Why are you making stuff like this up? What “promises in the world” are you referring to? Do you even have your own concept of what “Far Left” means?

              I am not expecting a reply from you as you seem to have not thought through your comment at all, but please do try and reply.

              • Amanda Atkinson

                Yes of course I made it up, there are no promises, and you are correct, I have no idea what far left means. Well done. Oh, and it’s “please try TO (not and) reply”.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Thanks for the tip

                  • Amanda Atkinson

                    Thanks for setting up the comment below so I cannot reply and Jumping and down with your big words and demands to “stop promulgating lies”. Economic lies? You clearly have no economic education or knowledge. Your answer proves it. What you said is complete and utter rubbish, and you stopped me from replying so could sound all important and knowledgeable. Good grief.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Amanda Atkinson: you should run scared from your lies. “Money printing” (by keystrokes into electronic accounts) is obvious to all by now. You can’t hide it any more.

                      NZ has no need to borrow at interest from Riyadh or Beijing the very NZ dollars that the RBNZ can issue itself at no cost.

                      Now that’s the truth, regardless of whether you can handle it or not.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      By the way it is convention on the Standard when you max out the level of replies to just use the last available reply button to ensure that the comments continue to stack.

                  • Amanda Atkinson

                    “NZ has no need to borrow at interest from Riyadh or Beijing the very NZ dollars that the RBNZ can issue itself at no cost” …. You really haven’t clue what you are talking about do you? I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I don’t have time to educate you on Monetary Policy, and money printing or (Quantitative Easing as Norman liked call it, as do the USA etc). It’s Saturday. But there are basics. Do some reading and educate yourself.

                    ECO 101. The more of something there is, the less valuable it is. Printing money out of thin air makes it less valuable.

                    QE 101. Those who get to use the printed money first, get to benefit from it from it the most, before it loses it’s value. And …. who gets to use it first? The dirty rotten filthy corrupt banking industry. You want to feed the corrupt banking industry, turn on the printing presses. You idiot. You stupid fool.

                    Printing money is like making money growing on trees. If money grew on trees, it would be as valuable as leaves. You idiot. You stupid fool. Ask Argentina and Zimbabwe how they got on by turning on the printing presses. You idiot. You stupid fool.

            • Tracey

              Could you give some examples?

              • Amanda Atkinson

                Ask them yourself … which of the 2014 Green policies, were specifically designed with a double edge sword to hoodwink voters and Labour. Which ones were designated as vote geters, but also were predetermined to be sacrificed (sold) in order to show Labour that we are willing to “compromise”. You’ll be amazed. Or not, because depending on how well connected you are, you already know the answer. Of course, the Greens are not the only ones doing this, but to think the Greens can be trusted to do what they promise is a little naive. That’s the anti-democratic, unintended consequence of MMP. The smaller parties have to break some promises they make to their voters (sell out), to go into coalitions, unless they are in a true King Maker position.

                • Tracey

                  you wrote

                  “They make all the promises in the world to attract the far left votes, knowing full well that they will have to sell those far left policies down the river to get into a coalition with a Labour.”

                  So I asked you to be specific, to which you replied “ask them yourself”

                  Does that mean you don’t really want a discussion about this just needed a chance to vent your spleen like a WWI gattling gun about something that annoys you (whether based in fact or myth)?

                  Most people I know who support small parties understand that compromise is required IF they are involved in a coalition. Some parties state ahead of time who they will negotiate with and who they won’t, and some don’t. Some say which policies they will NOT compromise and some don’t.

                  To my knowledge it’s not supposed to be easy (this negotiating a coalition) but why the animosity toward negotiated concsensus? It beats bullying by a big minority, but still a minority.

                  • Amanda Atkinson

                    “Some say which policies they will NOT compromise and some don’t” … exactly, a policy that will NOT be compromised, is a policy. One that will be compromised, is not a policy at all. It’s a predetermined sell out. The Greens are just like any other small party who has to do whatever it takes to get into coalition, which is unfortunately, sell out. They are no better or worse than any number of small partys. But, the view the Greens are the most trustworthy, and have some kind of moral high ground and can be trusted, is simply, a joke.

                    One example, … Norman talked about money printing, knowing full well, that that is Economic suicide for a small nation (maybe even large ones, time will tell). He knew it would sound good, and get votes, but he also knew, there is no way in hell that Labour would ever let him start printing money. He knew he could never be held to account for it, because he can just say to the Green voters who wanted that to happen, “Labour wouldn’t let us do it”.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      One example, … Norman talked about money printing, knowing full well, that that is Economic suicide for a small nation (maybe even large ones, time will tell).

                      This is an economic lie.

                      Don’t promulgate economic lies.

                      The NZ government should be issuing NZ dollars itself, not borrowing them from China and Saudi Arabia.

                      Get it into your head. It’s not that hard to understand that we don’t need to borrow NZ dollars from London, New York or Shanghai.

                    • Tracey

                      you must find national REALLY irritating then… if that counts as a lie.

        • saveNZ

          Yes when are Labour going to wake up and realise that a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition is what the people want. Nothing too radical in policy, just a decent society that put’s Kiwis and our country first before profit.

      • Jenny Kirk 2.1.2

        No – shut up, and HELP Labour get it right. and helping the Greens work cooperatively with Labour would be useful as well.

        • Tracey

          helping the greens work cooperatively with Labour? this woukd be labour party which said it preferred nzf to green party?

        • Kiwiri

          and equally, helping Labour work cooperatively with Greens, as well as with Mana, NZF, Internet Party and Maori Party 🙂

      • Clemgeopin 2.1.3

        “i vote Green Party”

        Yeah? So what? I voted Mana. (IMP)

        • Tracey

          good for you. jenny has this idea that everyone on left needs to shut up so labour can be whatever it decides it is going to be…

          being left isnt just about being what labour wants.

          • Clemgeopin

            No, she doesn’t.

            • Macro

              I’m sorry – but Labour – in parliament – want Greens to be a 5% party and lapdogs. eg the snub of Metria by Little over the appointment to the Securities Committee.

              • Clemgeopin

                Do you really think that She would have been more useful or more clued on than David Shearer? Be honest. At least Norman had some experience in security issues. Andrew Little himself is a novice in that work. The only suitable people that Little could have chosen from the opposition were Goff, Shearer or Peters. Little chose Shearer. I think an excellent choice.

                • b waghorn

                  I agree with you about Shearer ,from what I’m seeing on the devil msm is labour starting to look like a tight happy ship with Robinson and Shearer getting there chances on screen and doing a good job of it.

                • Macro

                  Your prejudice is showing.
                  And yes. Far more capable and parliamentary wise than Shearer, and a very capable Co-leader, far more so than Shearer ever was as a “Leader”.

                • Macro

                  You obviously know very little about her, to make such obviously biased statements.

                • Tracey

                  what was norman’s prior experience in security issues?

                • One Anonymous Bloke


                  At what, getting briefings where you’re not allowed to take notes or keep any materials? For less than an hour a year?

                  To be a rubberstamp? You’re saying Shearer is the ideal candidate. I’m not sure he’ll thank you for it.

    • Ffloyd 2.2

      I’m with Jenny!

    • Bill 2.3

      Haven’t made up anything Jenny.

      I take you get that I don’t really have any praise for Key, yes?

      Okay. Just googled it. Little actually said it was “weird”. As I wrote in the post, he said it was ‘a bit bizarre’, or words to that effect. (For clarity, I tend to use single inverted commas when paraphrasing).

      Anyway, my understated point is that anything and everything contained in comments around that incident should have been about the obvious abuseofpowerabuseofpowerabuseofpower. That was the heart of the matter and the only matter to hand…not some shit about somebody having a hair fetish or whatever, and definitely not the nonsense lengths some went to where they suggested he was a child molester.

      Labour has nothing to say about restoring free education or making the health service fully public. Or have I missed some statements on the matter?

      Criticism of Key at the level it is usually made is counter-productive. That’s an opinion you are free to disagree with. You’ll find a lot of company on that side of the fence I guess 😉

      I sincerely hope Labour can get their act together, but if you read between the lines of my post, you’ll understand why I don’t think that will happen… Labour is essentially fighting the same fight as Key fights.

      • Jenny Kirk 2.3.1

        There’s 18 months to go before the 2017 election campaign proper starts, Bill.

        Andrew Little has been Leader for approx 6 or 7 months. In that time, he’s started to pull the formerly disparate Labour caucus together, been out and about talking to various groups/ communities/ business people/ people with real job creation ideas (which NZ needs if we are to survive as a country) and Labour activists have been reviewing the Party’s past performance and investigating ways to do it differently …. and being different in the future.

        This has all been in the public arena.

        You will also have all noted the Nats have picked up on Labour policy ideas in their recent budget – no doubt Key and Crosby Textor were behind the scenes picking thru the bits they could use without it costing them anything (not a Robin Hood budget, but a give-on-one-hand and take-away-on-the- other budget).

        How about being a little less critical, and a bit more analytical, and give Labour TIME to get on with the job it needs to do if it is to effectively deal with ShonKey and his govt in 2017. And quit the carping !

        • Philip Ferguson

          And hanging out with business people is part of the problem.

          • Clemgeopin

            I don’t agree. It is completely foolish to alienate the business community who take great risks, crate huge employment and pay heaps of taxes through their business and through their employers. We need to be of great support to them while insisting on fair taxes, fair business practices, fair worker conditions and fair worker welfare.

            • Clemgeopin

              Whoops, spellings:


              • Colonial Rawshark

                Let’s cut the crap here – NZ Labour needs to get together with NZ SMEs real tight. Say businesses with less than $10M pa of turnover, fewer than 50 employees. Many SMEs will involve 5 people or less, including individual contractors.

                The trans-national corporations and banking giants – they are something entirely apart.

                • Clemgeopin

                  I don’t disagree. That is practically more or less what I meant, in reply to what Philip Ferguson disdain with ‘business people’.

                  What crap am I supposed to cut?

          • infused

            And you wonder why people dont vote Labour.

            You treat businesses like lepers and thats saying it nicely.

          • Clean_power

            @Philip: why your the antipathy towards business?

        • weka

          I feel for Labourites in your situation Jenny because I see a lot of good intention. But we’ve heard it all before – ‘Just give Labour some more time to sort their shit out’. We’ve run out of time. Even it was just about social justice and the environment, we would be past patience, but CC demands that we act now. We simply cannot afford to wait until 2017 and see if Labour has made the necessary change.

          As a GP voter and member, I’ve been waiting to see Little make some concrete moves towards a long term relationship with the GP. Hasn’t happened, he’s had time, and my guess is Labour are still hedging their bets and will continue to do so right up until election day. From here it looks like nothing was learned last year on that score.

          I think Little is a fine enough leader for Labour, the best of the bunch, and I’m looking forward to seeing if he does something with developing the UBI policy, but Bill is right, very little has changed to make those of us outside Labour think it will be any different. Reading Bill’s post, I though this is an outline of the classic National stab us in the front, Labour stab us in the back.

          And here’s something else. You can ignore me, because I vote GP and will never vote Labour while I have that choice, but someone like Bill should be a vote that Labour is after and here you are telling him to back off. This kind of proves his point about who Labour are and who they are willing to listen to.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Energy and resource depletion + financial system instability + A.G.W. are massive whammies coming down the pike in the next short while. Our political parties and politicians are currently far short of what is required.

            • Atiawa

              And you’ve put your name forward to be the next candidate for…………??

              • weka

                Yeah, he did that already. But that’s beside the point. I can’t be an MP and most people can’t. MPs are there to represent us, and Labour is failing this.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And you’ve put your name forward to be the next candidate for…………??

                Ahem. OK, candidates don’t make any difference to the direction of the party. Even members of caucus are usually pushing on a piece of string. I thought I’d make that clear to everyone here who hasn’t actually realised that yet.

          • Atiawa

            As a GP voter I’d be more inclined to keep a close watch on some of your own members. Everyone knows Labour has a broad church and there have been times when as a past LEC chair I have had to bite my tongue listening to fellow members whose views aren’t the same as mine on certain issues. But we have all come to realise that there is more commonality to bind us than those things that separate us. And we will, perhaps even with your parties support, have our day.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Labour isn’t really a “broad church.” Claiming to be a “Broad Church” is really a little bit of a conceit. For instance, very large sections of NZ reject Labour as being representative of, or as having any understanding for, who they are, their values or what is important to them.

              And let’s use another simple example. 12% of Kiwis identify themselves as “Asian”. A representative Labour caucus would therefore have around 4 MPs of South Asian, South East Asian, East Asian or Central Asian decent. How many does Labour actually have? Zero.

              And as another data point: only one in five registered voters voted Labour in 2014. Labour may claim to represent the aspirations of a broad church of Kiwis, but it looks to me as if the broad church of Kiwis doesn’t think so.

              • gnomic

                All good points in that post. The guts of the problem for Labour is that there is no longer any working class to represent. So what is left? Chardonnay sipping less the socialism, and the people of the rainbow, and what more can they want? And of course the Nats are gay-friendly now too, another aspect of swallowing dead rats and flogging any leftie policies worth some votes.

                And I think it is hardly likely that the Nats initiated immigration by the Chinese in the belief that they would become Labour voters. Rather the reverse. Same for other migrant communities. The Indians, the South Africans.

                Labour has become just another brand, short of unique selling points, and indeed any credibility. Effectively they are saying they can run the neoliberal minimal state better than the party of big business and kowtowing to the multinational dark state, ie ‘National’. If so who cares? Meet new boss same as former boss.

                What about the missing million, those who don’t vote? They are bound to be impressed by Labour’s plan to make benefits (aka entitlements) conditional on being on the electoral roll. Denying the pension to people who manage to keep a job past 65, now that’s a vote winner for all the ages.

                As a former Labour voter all this more in sorrow than in anger. I only wish there was any hope of Labour getting its shit together.

                • Atiawa

                  You are welcome to join us and share your wisdom. God knows we need some renewal.

          • Clemgeopin

            So what is stopping Greens to trumpet all those policies, convince voters and win most votes to be the majority party instead of putting the boot into Labour?

            • weka

              The Greens don’t put the boot into Labour, what are you talking about?

              I’m quite happy to talk GP policy and strategy, but I don’t think this is the place to do it (this thread).

              • Clemgeopin

                “The Greens don’t put the boot into Labour, what are you talking about?”

                Read the post and then some of the comments from those who identify themselves as Green voters/supporters on this thread alone.

                • weka

                  Bill thinks the Green Party is a middle class cult. So count him out. Me, I’m not the Green Party. Neither is anyone else commenting in this thread afaik.

                • Sacha

                  Clem, you may be confusing ‘run out of patience after 7 years of muppetry’ with ‘putting the boot in’ – and I for one am not a member of any party, let alone involved in running one.

                • Tracey

                  you mean like publicly announcing preference for NZF over the Green Party during an election campaign?

                  name some concessions or compromises that you know of that Labour has made tot he green Party in recent times.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    NZF are more likely to take votes away from National & Conservatives and to a much lesser extent from Labour or the Greens.

                    Greens are more likely to take votes away from Labour

                    Greens hobnobbing with Labour will help to increase the votes of Greens from Labour

                    Labour hobnobbing with the Greens will strengthen Greens but weaken Labour and scare away potential votes from National, NZF the conservatives and the swinging voters.

                    Those are the realities of NZ’s conservative, politically-superficial, easily-fooled, simple, trusting-minded people and society.

                    If that was not the case, a vast majority would have seen through the BS, lies and deception of Key, National, ACT, the dirty politics machine etc, all within one or two terms and would have kicked them all out by now.

                    • Tracey

                      so you are in favour of political expediency. Fair enough. But I won’t shut up so you can feel you have a better chance of getting a smiling kindly version of national in power.

                    • weka

                      I won’t either.

                      Clem, your analysis is flawed. You’ve failed to take into account at least two things. One is the non-vote. The other is that a big chunk of people won’t vote for a party they perceive as not being competent at running the country. These are the reasons why people have left Labour in droves.

                      oh, and a third thing, Labour and the GP both peaked in polling pre-election when they presented as two parties that could work together. Think about that, because it doesn’t fit with your ‘the GP steal Labour votes’ meme.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @weka ;

                      There was a surge of support primarily FOR the power plan, but not necessarily because it was a joint Lab-Green plan.
                      I think there was support to the prospect of reduced power prices through a centrally managed bulk buying scheme, rather than because it was a joint Labour-Green initiative. See the difference? That is just your take on it which may or may not be correct, especially because the supposed increase in electoral support did not show up in the polls.

                      The power policy announcement was on April 18, 2013.

                      The two polls before that date and one during, but mostly before that day, were as follows:

                      Roy Morgan Research[59] 1–14 April 2013
                      L 35.5 G 13.5
                      3 News Reid Research[62] 13–18 April 2013
                      L 30.2 G 11.5
                      One News Colmar Brunton[63] 14–18 April 2013
                      L 36.0 G 13.0

                      Average for those 3 prior polls was :
                      L=33.9, G=12.7, Combined=46.6
                      * 17 April 2013 – Labour MP Louisa Wall’s private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage in New Zealand passes its final reading 77 votes to 44.[60]
                      * 18 April 2013 – Labour and the Greens make their first joint policy announcement, NZ Power, a single buyer of electricity[61]

                      The three polls after those dates were as follows:

                      Roy Morgan Research[64] 15–28 April 2013
                      L 31.5 G 11.0

                      * 29 April 2013 – Sitting MP Parekura Horomia (Labour, Ikaroa-Rawhiti) dies from health complications, aged 62.

                      Roy Morgan Research[65] 29 April–12 May 2013
                      L 32.0 G 12.0

                      * 10 May 2013 – 49 percent of Mighty River Power is floated on the stock exchange in the first “mixed ownership model” float. The share issue price is set at $2.50, below the government’s expected $2.70 to $2.80.
                      * 16 May 2013 – Finance Minister Bill English delivers the 2013 budget. The government revised its expected 2014/15 surplus to $75m.

                      One News Colmar Brunton[9][66] 18–22 May 2013
                      L 33.0 G 9.0

                      Average for these three polls, after the joint Power policy, are:

                      L= 32.2 G=10.7 Combined total = 42.9

                      Note :
                      This is actually 3.7 points LESS than what it was BEFORE the joint power policy! So the theory that the combined Lab-Green increased or helped electoral support does not seem to be correct t all!


          • Tracey

            Concession to NZF in Northland
            No concession in a seat with Greens

        • Colonial Rawshark

          There’s 18 months to go before the 2017 election campaign proper starts, Bill.

          Yes, and Labour has a whole 3 year time line it follows on how it does things, procedurally, systematically, according to many layers of both tradition and process.

          It’s not working well in the modern age.

          BTW 18 months is no time at all to reposition Labour in the public’s mind and embed renewed, consistent narratives which can be drawn on for use during the election campaign.

          • SHG

            Yes, and Labour has a whole 3 year time line it follows on how it does things, procedurally, systematically, according to many layers of both tradition and process.

            Yeah, how is that election postmortem going? Still establishing the frames of reference I presume. Forming working groups. Identifying key stakeholders. Moving forward.

            • Tracey

              IF they had reviewed first, elected new leader second, I bet the review would have been WAY quicker.

          • Sacha

            Labour have run the same ‘we have plenty of time’ line for two election cycles now. How’s that working? Someone needs a rocket.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              this is the year we discuss and debate policy, next year is the year we finalise policy, the year after is the year we campaign on policy.

              If you can imagine ranks and files of British Red Coats, firing, kneeling and reloading in turn, this is the era of political warfare this system harks from.

          • Ron

            I am interested if you attended regional conference and if so did President explain the outcome of the Post Election review. If so then surely you would agree that all the suggestions make a lot of sense. Lets wait till June 6th to see what happens

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Waiting is fine; I think expectations should be kept very moderate as you cannot change organisational culture and assumptions without a vast clearing out.

              I did not attend Region 6 conference although my branch did.

              • Ron

                Presumably your branch briefed you on the changes suggested to Labour maybe some of the changes will address your concerns.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I’ve written a lot of consulting reports in my time, and usually you get a sense of the client organisation as to whether or not they will be effective in changing course and culture given all the best bullet points, good will and ample money.

        • Sacha

          The election ‘campaign’ is permanent now. Labour needed to have its core strategic messaging worked out by now, and tell the public month after month how those values and beliefs can be made real in their lives. What would a Labour+Green+? government look like (and it’s not the Greens who need any help cooperating. it’s your bunch).

          I wish we could all just ignore Labour, I really do. Sadly, everyone on the left has a stake in you sorting your shit out after years of woeful failure.

          • Kiwiri

            Sadly, everyone on the left has a stake in you sorting your shit out after years of woeful failure.

            + 100

      • KK 2.3.2

        You’re factually incorrect about Little. Please update your post and correct your comments.

        See his immediate comments here. It’s clear that his comments were all about abuse of power: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/ponytail-tugging-totally-unbecoming-pm-andrew-little-6297054

        I’m getting bloody sick of all this constant unthinking anti-Labour crap on the left. All you’re doing is undermining and you haven’t even got it right.

        • Puddleglum

          Hi KK,

          In that article, Little’s quoted and paraphrased comments don’t really address or highlight the abuse of power – which is Bill’s criticism.

          “Unbecoming of a Prime Minister” is not especially about abuse of power (e.g., many things that don’t involve abuse of power might be said to be ‘unbecoming of a Prime Minister’ like wearing only his underpants in public places).

          The closest would be Little’s reported comment (not a direct quote) that “you don’t do this to people on the job”. But, once again, that doesn’t unambiguously highlight an abuse of power. There are many things you don’t do to people on the job that would not amount to an abuse of power (e.g., repeatedly distract them from their job).

          Now, Little may have said some things about abuse of power that were unreported but I don’t see where such comments are in the article you linked to.

          • Atiawa

            Haven’t you been keeping up? We had an election less than a year ago and no matter what spin we put on the reasons for that result or how many votes were cast for the winners as a % of eligible voters the right faction won and the left has been licking it’s wounds ever since. Andrew Little would be mindful of squealing too loudly, too often and too early in the electoral cycle over an issue – abuse of power if you wish – far less treacherous than the exposure by Nicky Hager of the goings on in the PM’s office which seemingly turned-off the electorate to the extent that many would have perceived it as just another day in NZ politic’s.
            Little is nobodies fool. He is running a marathon not a 100 metre sprint.
            Let the court of public reaction be the test of our PM’s ponytail pulling antic’s.

            • Puddleglum

              Hi Atiawa,

              Haven’t you been keeping up? We had an election less than a year ago and no matter what spin we put on the reasons for that result or how many votes were cast for the winners as a % of eligible voters the right faction won and the left has been licking it’s wounds ever since.

              I’m not sure how my comment triggered that part of your response. I’ve been aware of the election result since it happened.

              As it happens – but which has nothing to do with the reasons for my comment – I am interested in such things as the breakdown of votes (and non-votes) and the reasons for the results but purely in order to see clearly what happened – not to advance (or impede) the chances of a Labour-led government in 2017.

              In the comment you have responded to I was specifically addressing your claim [Edit: sorry it was KK’s claim] that Bill had not noticed that Andrew Little had indeed responded to the incidents by emphasising abuse of power in the situation. As you {Edit: KK – sorry again] put it in the comment I was responding to:

              It’s clear that his comments were all about abuse of power:

              (I notice that in this comment, however, you shift slightly by saying that Little wasn’t “squealing too loudly, too often and too early in the electoral cycle over an issue – abuse of power if you wish“.) [Edit: Once again, apologies for claiming a ‘shift’ when you hadn’t made the first comment.]

              On the nudge from weka (thank you!) I looked at the video. I had missed that when I first went to the link as I had quickly scrolled down to the article (to the words) before the video loaded.

              I think weka is correct; in the video clip Little made some good points about the relationship between Key and the waitress which clearly implied the issue of abuse of power.

              I thought it was also insightful of Little to mention that Key may well have known the management of the cafe in a familiar manner but that did not give him reason or right to treat someone working in the cafe in an unwanted and disrespectful way.

              It was interesting because it, too, indirectly points to the way that those with power dominate the entire tone of interactions in any setting. I hadn’t thought of that before in relation to these incidents.

              Let the court of public reaction be the test of our PM’s ponytail pulling antic’s“.

              Of course.

              My view on these sorts of incidents is that reaction (e.g., by opposition politicians) and commentary should always focus on the broader issues that specific incidents highlight rather than personal qualities of those involved. I think that was also Bill’s concern in his point about focusing on abuse of power rather than personal characteristics of Key’s psychology (irrespective of whether Bill was correct or not in evaluating Little’s reaction to the incidents).

              In C Wright Mills’ terms, I believe that it’s always the public issue rather than the private matter that should be the focus of political debate and discussion.

              For example, when it comes to John Key, I have no interest at all in him as a person (his qualities and the like). I’ve never met him, he is not directly interacting with people I personally care about, etc.. It would only be in those circumstances that I would have any interest in what he is like as a person (and judge him personally).

              What I am interested in, though, is how and why his particular approach to political self-presentation resonates, it seems, with so many New Zealanders. (It’s a bit baffling to me since I just don’t resonate with his manner in that way.)

              The interesting thing is that many New Zealanders respond primarily to his interpersonal manner – as if he were a friend or acquaintance. That is, they seem to focus on personal matters when making political decisions about voting.

              In this sense, looking at Key’s political manner (his ‘persona’) has become relevant to political analysis if only because it provides insight into current New Zealand political culture and society – and psychology.

              On my own blog I have written quite a few posts that have focused on Key but, I hope, those posts have always been to provoke reflection on the kind of society and political environment we have here in New Zealand – and, perhaps, on the kind of people and personal life strategies it generates and encourages.

              None of this, I suppose, is what concerns you – which seems mostly about the electoral challenge for Labour heading towards the next election.

              I have some views on that too (as a lot of people do) – and on how Labour could rise to that challenge.

              But my comment wasn’t about that. It was about a specific claim made in this thread.

          • weka

            The video is better than the article.

        • Tracey

          Yea cos everyone not on the right must be supportive of Labour and tell it what it wants to hear. Labour has no obligation in return to anyone on the left that doesn’t vote for them?

          I don’t understand why anyone on the left votes for Labour when Labour is quite clearly positioning itself to try and snatch back National voters by being, like national, hence they publicly prefer NZF as a coalition partner to the Green Party or IMP.

    • Clemgeopin 2.4

      +1 Good points.

      I am saddened at the untruths about Labour and the unfair gall thrown towards it, for whatever unfathomable reason by the author, in the article. If you dislike or hate Labour and its ideals, policies and principles that much, that is your right, but misrepresenting or making up false stuff about Labour is certainly not helpful for Labour nor for the left cause, though National/ACT may even want to knight you for it. It is just too hard for Labour to fight those on the right and those on the left or the same side at the same time.

      The author of this article should take a closer look at the policies that Labour went with in the last election and see how wrong his/her armchair thesis in the article is.


      • Bill 2.4.1

        Outline or point to the untruths about Labour in the post.

        • Atiawa

          So what are you doing about Labours seemingly inaction to better represent the down & trodden, except writing about where you think they are misplaced?
          Are you a party member Bill?
          If you are, you likely attend LEC meetings and debate these issues with others.
          But if you aren’t, then you need to shut the fuck up.
          Jenny is spot on. Give Labour & Little time & a fair go.

          • swordfish

            Let me explain things to you, Atiawa. This is a Blog where Left-leaning authors, pundits and commenters of various stripes vigorously debate issues, party policy and broad ideological direction etc

            Extraordinary, then, that you should presume to tell one of the Blog’s authors to “shut the fuck up” for simply carrying out The Standard’s underlying raison d’etre.

            Or, to put it all another way, this aint Red Alert.

            • Atiawa

              Yep I know how it works thanks pal but I’ve never heard, say, Stephanie Rogers, a card carrying member of the NZLP, slag off or preach the gospel according to Stephanie about the fraililties of the Greens or Mana – albeit I’m something of a newbie to this form of view sharing – , and if she did I’m sure she would understand if contributors were a little pissed and colourful with their language towards her.
              I’m about affecting change from within, and as most of us know, that sometimes ain’t as easy as running off and forming new parties (RIP the Alliance), but if we share similar values and have more things that we can agree upon rather than disagree on then the strength of my argument and my beliefs will sometimes carry the day.
              Without wanting to sound condescending, Bill writes many comments that I agree with, just as the Greens or Mana and sometimes NZF have policies I find agreement with, but I’m not going to run off and join them nor will I sit back and allow Bill on this occasion to publicly ridicule a party that I have supported and along with countless others have derived benefit from through their policies and values for over 60 years and especially a new leader who has dedicated much of his working life for the benefit of workers and their families.
              Now if I receive a yellow or red card I don’t give a shit.

              [Posts are intended to generate debate, Atiawa. You’ve shown you can argue the issues raised in the post, so stick to that approach and don’t tell authors what to do. TRP]

        • Clemgeopin

          “Outline the untruths in the post”

          Ok, here are just a couple of examples:

          * “Andrew Little unwittingly helped create that perception when he merely said of Key’s behaviour at the café that it was ‘a bit bizarre’ – or words to that effect”

          On the day the story broke about the pony tail pulling John Key’s despicable behaviour:

          Headline read :
          ‘Ponytail tugging ‘totally unbecoming of the PM’ – Andrew Little.’

          The report also includes this line:
          ‘Leaders of both the Labour Party and Green Party have weighed in, both calling John Key’s actions “weird”.’

          Full report and more comments are here:

          Not only that, on many occasion on subsequent days in the media on MANY interviews, as well as in the house, Andrew Little had many more comments views and questions about this disgraceful conduct of the Prime Minister.

          Your article has the effect of undermining Andrew’s handling of this shameful Key’s saga
          * “Is Labour going to move beyond the personal and the celebration of the individual? Is Labour going to champion the cause for social wealth as opposed to personal wealth? Nope. Labour promotes winners. Labour wants people to ‘get ahead’. Labour bangs on about hard working families. Labour divides losers into deserving losers and loser losers.

          Labour doesn’t commit itself to creating or defending aspects of social wealth like free education or free health care. Labour doesn’t champion or protect the poor or the vulnerable so much as implore them, with a hand up or a ladder dropped down, to ‘get with the programme’ and ‘get ahead’.

          In short, Labour encourages us all to follow the self-same script that John Key has so successfully followed and in doing so, perversely, endorses him.

          All that is such shitty hogwash in my opinion that it does not even warrant wasting too much time trying to debunk your theory apart from
          (i)directing you to the Home page of the Labour website to see everything for yourself as to what the myriad of stuff they are actually doing:
          (ii) to direct you to better educate yourself about Labour party policies so that you may write about it fairly and more accurately.

          You also need to realise your attack is premature, unfair and nasty at this time because, as you may or may not be aware, the future direction, policies, strategies etc of the Labour Party are not yet decided by the leadership and the members because a serious detailed review about everything is underway and has not been concluded and voted on yet.

          In the mean time, it would be fairer to wait a while now and attack it later to your heart’s content, if you still think that it is a good idea.

          • Bill

            On your first point, I’ll point you to my response to Jenny who made the same complaint. The prescient point is that there was no criticism of the abuse of power. As such, the substantive matter at hand got buried beneath nonsense about fetishes and such like.

            Your second point is, as you say, an opinion and not pointing out an untruth. As for my take being premature, unfair and nasty at this time, Labour has been focusing on the individual at the cost of concentrating on society for fucking decades now!

            • Atiawa

              So whats your party doing about it all Bill?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Why are you trying to hold Bill to account? Isn’t it Labour who has the power and the position and 32 MPs paid over $5M per year that you should be holding to account?

              • Bill

                Presumably, Labour are the only party who can do anything about Labour.

                Quietly noting all the STFUs spilling on this thread in light of the claim from Labour that they were going to be listening….

            • Clemgeopin

              “Labour has been focusing on the individual at the cost of concentrating on society for fucking decades now!’

              Stop talking crap.

              The best thing you can do is promote the policies of which ever party is yours ( suspect it is Green) and win the voters over. Don’t use Labour as the tree to clime up on to as a prop up and at the same time try to saw it away from the bottom. Not good for either parties.

        • KK

          I have, above. You are factually incorrect about Little not talking about abuse of power. I think you should retract your remarks and update your post.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.4.2

        It is just too hard for Labour to fight those on the right and those on the left at the same time.

        Well this is what you get for being middle of the road – you get hit by traffic going left and right.

        • Philip Ferguson

          Spot on. This made me laugh out loud. Hit the nail on the head precisely.

          Perhaps Jenny and co should stop grizzling that some of us have the temerity to adopt the same standards towards Labour as we do towards National.

        • Clemgeopin

          So, stay carefully on the left and the extreme left, or right or the extreme right, and try and win the majority of the votes all by your self and form a government. What is stopping you and your party? (I suspect your party now in one of the non middle parties (Greens or ACT) from your comments and from the way you have been putting the boot into Labour lately.)

          • KK

            Some of the far left simply don’t like the fact that you need to win the middle in order to govern. I share a lot of radical views, but it’s simply not possible to win an election in New Zealand’s current political climate without being relatively moderate. The Greens have been in great form in recent years and they’ve topped out around 10%. Mana had as good a left platform as you’ll get in a liberal democracy and they got what, 1%? 2%? I think some on the left don’t like political reality and would rather remain pure while shouting from the sidelines.

            • Tracey

              Which party do you believe Labour will need to form a coalition with in 2017 to form a government?

      • adam 2.4.3

        And via your link Clemgeopin http://campaign.labour.org.nz/monetary_policy_upgrade

        And there is the full support for Bill’s argument via labour party and where they stand. Liberal economics through and through. What is left wing about that? Nothing, nothing at all.

        • Clemgeopin

          You are wrong, but if you are correct, go join Mana. What is stopping you?

        • Clemgeopin

          “Liberal economics through and through. What is left wing about that? Nothing, nothing at all”

          Did you even read the policies in detail? You claim that Labour has no left wing social/economic policies, you either can not read or are prejudiced.

          Just a FEW examples : $60 per week announced for families was not leftist? Extending paid parental leave to eight weeks was not leftist? Minimum wage & living wage initiatives was not leftist? Bringing back adult education night classes was nor leftist? Mechanism to reducing power bills was not leftists? Building affordable houses was not leftist?
          Labour is mostly Centre left and Centre, and slightly right in certain issues like not putting up ‘excessive’ taxes etc. Also centre right in allowing ownership of property and having sensible economic measures such as mining, drilling, oil exploration etc but done with modern methods and extreme care for economic growth, prosperity, jobs and wages. We can only move much more towards the left when the voters (and indeed the western world in environmental measures) begin to clearly indicate a more definite desire/move towards that. The bottom line is that it is the voters that do the call in a democracy, not just the party machine. It is a delicate balancing act.

          Sorry, you are very wrong there to state that Labour’s policies are not socialist based! I am not sure what policies you saw. Here are some for you to soberly meditate on. These are just some of the policies of Labour at the last election:
          Minimum wage wound have gone $16.50 dollars/hr, All govt and local body contracts wound have required the living wage, Changes to employment laws would have driven up wages and given better rights and security to the workers, NZ power policy would have stopped the rampant power profiteering, Kiwi Assure for New Zealanders would have helped stop money leaving these shores, Changes to reserve bank act would have helped kiwi saver/house deposits instead of paying higher interest rates to the Aussie banks, Cullen fund would have been restarted, Christchurch would have given boost to apprentices to help mop up the young unemployed, More affordable houses built faster through Kiwi build, Paid parental leave extended to 8 weeks, boost primary health care funding by $60 million dollars, Would give all families with a newborn and earning less than $150,000 a year, a payment of $60 a week, through to the baby’s first birthday with continuation for low earning families up to three years, Restrictions on foreign house buying, Auckland City Rail Link, Public Service Television Station, No cosmetics sold in New Zealand tested on animals, A Best Start for all Kiwi kids, Extending Free ECE to 25 hours, Restoring Adult and Community education night classes, Capital gains tax (excluding the family home), Immigration control, Increase government procurement undertaken by small businesses to $500 million per annum, Regional Development policies, Abolition of secondary tax etc. There are heaps more excellent policies and programmes. You can see them all here: http://campaign.labour.org.nz/all_our_announced_policies

          • Colonial Rawshark

            NZ needs to spend about $10B per year more on its people and infrastructure, and in its current orthodox economic outlook Labour was never ever going to be able to come close to that. Even cutting NZ super has been a topic of Labour caucus conversation for years, because it is apparently the fiscally responsible thing to do.

          • adam

            And all inside a supply side liberal economic model. Please no need to cut and paste I understand economics. And no you are wrong – it’s liberal economics. Liberal economics and the left are not the same thing. Social liberal you may be – but liberalism is capitalism.

            But the kicker is the link I put up, and the first line of said policy. I’m not about to explain the basics of liberalism to you – I hope you get it – or start reading some economic text. Because the BS you’re throwing at me is a typical social liberal who has no idea of the real world impact of economics. Liberal economics is the problem, playing nice with policy within the framework is a failed idea. Sorry all you social democrats, but you tried for a very long time to reform capitalism and guess what – it’s still nasty, brutish, and monopolistic.

            Ever wondered why national have been able to push the boat out so much? Because, labour and national play from the same economic playbook. Liberal economics. Why was it so easy to pursue the policies they have? Liberal economics. So what if labour change some stuff, the base is still the same, national can change it how they want the next term they are in office.

            Or in lay terms – labour will cut you off at the knees, and national will cut you off at the hip – you will still bleed – just one lot will demand you be grateful for it. And at the moment that ant the Tory scum – they quite proud of their ideology.

            • weka

              How would you describe your politics adam?

              • adam

                Inspired by Dorothy Day, Murray Bookchin, Emma Goldman, Tolstoy, Lucy Parsons, Peter Kropotkin, Mary Harris Jones, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Errico Malatesta, Louise Michel, Ricardo Flores Magón, Alan Moore, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.

                I could add many more weka – but I have work to get to 🙂

                • weka

                  sorry adam, but I don’t know who most of those people are. Can you sum up your politics in a sentence? Doesn’t have to be exact or comprehensive, I just want to get a sense of it (you write some interesting and challenging comments so it’s always good to have context).

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Can you sum up your politics in a sentence?

                    I suspect if you go with the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, and Dorothy Day you’ll be on firm starting ground understanding re: where Adam is coming from.

                    • weka

                      If I knew who Dorothy Day was, and if I knew what specifically it was about Mary and Jesus, maybe. But I don’t.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Dorothy Day, Obl.O.S.B. (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) was an American journalist, social activist, and devout Catholic convert. She advocated the Catholic economic theory of distributism. In the 1930s, Day worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist movement that continues to combine direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf. She served as editor of the Catholic Worker newspaper from 1933 until her death in 1980. The Catholic Church has opened the cause for Day’s canonization and therefore refers to her with the title Servant of God. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Day

                      [Kind of like Mother Theresa who devoted her life for the poorest of the poor and the forsaken]

                      [I am guessing the following]:
                      Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ and their family were kind of very first peaceful progressives, socialists and Godly, just, ideal and peaceful communists….kind of, to put it in secular modern lay terms. Just my take on it but I may be completely wrong.

                      Adam will be the one who will be able to answer best from his point of view.

            • Clemgeopin

              Oh dear, more arm-chair theoretical political science : Gandhi, Mao, Lenin, etc and even Jesus tried it (do you know the sermon on the mount?).
              If you think you or anyone can change the psyche of people’s about their back pocket, self preservation, greed etc through your theory, I have a ‘free’ patriotic convention centre for you for ‘sale’, including tables!

              Instead of all your criticism of Labour and the feel-good great economic definitions and theories, why don’t you come down to Earth and clearly state what exact policies YOU would like labour to have NOW?

              Spell it out. Give us just ten concrete, well defined, constructive ones, rather than theory, boots and bile.

              I am looking forward to your brilliance, wisdom and ideas. Have a go. May be useful to you, me and everyone else here.

              • adam

                I wish I could feel as superior as you Clemgeopin. If you are what the labour party has to offer – no wonder I believe, like so many who write here – that the labour party is a sick joke on the lives of working people.

                Why are you so smug with self righteous of labour? When you obviously don’t even understand that your views/lack of understanding on economics – is the problem.

                Oh and before you go on another rant about armchair – what are you doing to fix the messes this economic system makes to people’s lives? Apart from political games, rants, and being a labour party hack? Any chance you do community work – as a volunteer. Any chance you work with disabled, as a volunteer. Have time to look at the big picture, run a house, plus a business? What’s that phrase again, about assumptions making asses…

                What would I like labour to do now – how about roll over and die. The left are sick of it’s lies, and it’s attack dogs. It’s boot may not be as shiny as the Tory one, but it feels about the same on my neck.

                • Clemgeopin

                  Ok, granted all that about me that you state is correct, I asked you this:

                  “Clearly state what exact policies YOU would like labour to have NOW?
                  Spell it out. Give us just ten concrete, well defined, constructive ones, rather than theory”

                  Do you not have any such practical ten or so policies (or even 5 good ones according to your wish will do) that Labour can go with to the voters in an election?

                  Believe it or not, I have nothing to do with the Labour party apart from being a supporter here, as I think that it is the best party under the circumstances for New Zealand and the people overall.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Not sure if “take the fucker apart right down to the foundations and rebuild it using better materials, a sounder design and much more thoughtful philosophy taking into account the coming crunch” counts as a policy. But that’s what is required. Neoliberalism has changed the entire ethos of the nation and the people. It has been social engineering on a massive scale. Figuring out some ‘good policy’ is not going to cut through even a centimetre.

                    The time has passed for tinkering with this policy here and that policy there.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      No, that does not count as a policy which one can take to the voters before an election and in that theoretical form. You need to be clear and specific so that the common people can understand and support .

                      Here, give me 5 to 10 policies in concrete clear terms in lay person’s language by choosing a few of the following issues or any others others……

                      tax, education, health, workers, employers, farming, environment, welfare, housing, poverty, businesses, corporates, monopolies, immigration, crime…….

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Plz see my other recent comment

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Colonial Rawshark,
                      which one? Does it have a few SPECIFIC policies for voters to vote on at an election? Please post a link to that ‘recent comment’ you made a reference to.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      In Praise of Key


                  • Tracey


                    this site is full of people stating what they want to see from Labour…

                    use the archives… when the leadership contenders were posting here

                    during the campaign 2014

                    prior to that.

                    I don’t have to trawl back to prove something to you. I know a lot of Labour policy and GReen Party policy. It’s become clearer to me today how many Labour voters know next to nothing about gReen Party policy.

                    • Ron

                      I wonder which Green policies you refer to. Did you visit he Greens candidate meetings in recent weeks.
                      At least one of the candidates seemed to me to be keen on moving the party closer to National with the comments that we will never attain power working with Labour

                    • Tracey

                      Was that for me because I don’t get why you are asking me that?

          • gnomic

            if wishes were fishes … too bad these goals are just worthless promises

            and these will be the policies that haven’t been changed yet in the hopeless struggle to trim and triangulate – here today, gone by tomorrow lunchtime

          • Tracey

            You seem to be missing that from what I can tell many of the folks you are railing on for getting at Labour are

            1. former Labour party voters;
            2. people who would love to vote Labour again

            However they don’t appear to be prepared to vote for Labour again cos some folks in Labour think it’s the right thing to do. They want to vote for them cos they represent what they want for the future of NZ and NZers. For my part, I see some value, but not heaps, in having Labour over National… but only because of who they will need with them, and I want THAT voice to be heard by labour to make Labour way LESS like National.

    • Philip Ferguson 2.5

      So Labour looks after core values like social welfare? That would be why National is the first government in over 40 years to increase welfare benefits.

      Helen Clark had three terms in which to reverse the 1991 benefits cuts and did nothing.

      It’s now a quarter-of-a-century since the fourth Labour government and there’s no sign of Labour getting back to core social-democratic values, let alone anything better.

      Holyoake and Muldoon were miles to the left of where Labour now is in terms of economic policy.

      I guess people will “grizzle” about Labour for as long as Labour continues ,to be National-lite and National continues to be Labour-lite. In other words for the foreseeable future.

      One thing I do agree with is that there’s limited value in such continued sniping at Labour. After all, it’s not like it’s ever going to change – the past 25 years should convince even the slowest learners of that. Instead of relentless sniping, what’s needed is a political alternative to Labour.

      • Facetious 2.5.1

        A Labour government sat idle for nine years doing nothing and their followers now complain bitterly, unable to grasp National and Key have left them behind.

        Greens and poverty groups are playing Labour and gaining at its expense.

        • Sacha

          To be fair, the Green party itself is not exactly increasing in the polls.

          • Tracey

            It has to fend of the smearing tactics of ACT/National?NZF and Labour, so 10% is pretty good when you consider the disparity in resources and media coverage

        • leftie


          Hardly idle, Labour not only paid down National’s debt that they left, but posted 9 budget surpluses in a row.

          Labour under Helen Clark out performed Key’s National government by a long way, and achieved way more as well.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.5.2

        Someone said Cullen reduced taxes on some beneficiaries circa 2005 to the tune of $36/wk or similar.

        • weka

          Open mike 25/05/2015

          He’s talking about WFF, which excluded beneficiaries unless they also had a waged job. Although I have heard it said that they also brough in tax credits for beneficary families (not all beneficiaries), but I’ve never really understood that.

      • weka 2.5.3

        “One thing I do agree with is that there’s limited value in such continued sniping at Labour. After all, it’s not like it’s ever going to change – the past 25 years should convince even the slowest learners of that. Instead of relentless sniping, what’s needed is a political alternative to Labour.”


        So let’s start talking about what that political alternative might be (us here, on ts). I’d like to see some analysis of why Mana failed in the way it did (beyond the KDC bogeyman stuff). What would an alternative to Labour look like? How would it work with the GP? What about NZF? We’ve had good stuff recently about the SNP, Podemos etc, what is NZ’s potential equivalent?

        • Clemgeopin

          “After all, it’s not like it’s ever going to change – the past 25 years should convince even the slowest learners of that…..+100000′

          Utter rubbish

          plus -200000=-100,000

      • weka 2.5.4

        “That would be why National is the first government in over 40 years to increase welfare benefits.”

        National haven’t increased welfare benefits, they’ve increased welfare benefits for some beneficiaries with children at variable rates. There’s a difference, and it’s important one, and I wish lefties would stop fudging the difference.

        • Tracey

          me too…

          and those with disabilities? How has National helped them? Not financially and in Christchurch it (MBIE – Joyce) has excused commercial owners from having to have their buildings accessible (ramps etc) on the grounds of cost. Given that when you factor in the disabled through birth, accident, illness, and old age, that’s about 25% of the population of future Christchurch that are to be denied reasonable access to many commercial buildings. Cos ramps and door opening buttons are SO expensive compared to the overall cost (and many of these buildings are insured…)

          So who speaks for these 25%?

      • Clemgeopin 2.5.5

        I suggest you join Mana or ACT, neither takes the centre ground.

        Or join the Greens and keep putting the boot into Labour relentlessly at every opportunity you get, hoping that by such a clever dick strategy the Greens will improve their low ratings, be able to convince the population to give them their votes, over take Labour’s vote, and in fact get over 50% of votes all by itself! Easy peasy! Go right ahead and enjoy the cool bananas that are ever green on the outside and dull yellow on the inside.

        • weka

          Clem, stop smearing the GP. The Greens have always been for a good working relationship with Labour. It’s Labour that’s been unable or unwilling to come to the party on that. And as I said above the GP doesn’t put the boot in to Labour, you are making shit up.

          • Clemgeopin

            Having seen so much of boot put into Labour just on this single thread, I took just a little frustration out. Sorry sensitive weka. See how it feels and how destructive to both.

            • weka

              There is no-one from the Green Party commenting in this thread afaik. I get that you don’t like people criticising Labour, but please don’t make things up.

              edit, you can makes your points known without smearing or telling lies. If you don’t like what people are saying, address the points.

              • Clemgeopin

                May not be from the green party, but Green supporters/sympathisers and fellow travelers. Check out their comments. There are heaps on this thread.

                • weka

                  You appear to be guessing on that. For the record, my criticisms of Labour have nothing to do with being a GP member, and I don’t represent the GP in any way. That’s true of most people here who support a party, people are for the most part commenting here as individuals.

                  Just don’t make out that the GP puts the boot into Labour, because they patently don’t.

                  And address the issues.

                • Tracey

                  and how do you think you and Jenny Kirk (how about shutting up) have come across?

                  I note you keep focusin gon people here putting the boot into Labour (on a blog) and avoided the head kicking Labour gives Green Party in MSM and during campaigns?

        • Sacha

          Do please provide evidence of the Greens ‘putting the boot into’ Labour. Recall who reached out to form a coalition before the election?

          • Clemgeopin

            There was a reason for Labour wisely not to do so before the election, as it would have possibly collapsed the total support further downwards. You need to understand that there is a real or perceived fear among most voters of the possible Greens extremist policies, excess taxes, excess demands on businesses etc as well as pre-election open demands/wishes made about ministerial posts, deputy PM post/posts, finance post etc. All scaring the Labour voters as well as the centre/centre right voters.

            All that such a pre-election prior coalition would have done would have been to give a boost for Greens vote at Labour’s expense.

            • weka

              Both Labour and the Greens polled highest pre-election when they presented as working together.

            • Sacha

              “there is a real or perceived fear among most voters of the possible Greens extremist policies, excess taxes, excess demands on businesses etc”

              what ‘extremist policies’ were those?

              • Clemgeopin

                Ask the voters who give the Greens about 10% of the vote. Have an internal poll done.

                • weka

                  I’m a long time Green voter and member and have a reasonable lay person graps of their policies, and none of it is exreme. Extreme would be Colonial Viper or Bill’s suggestions (except they only look extreme because the centre has its head buried in the sand regarding resource availability and sharing). Compared to their ideas the GP are positively benign. The GP has worked to make their policies possible for the world we live in now without resorting to revolution.

                  You don’t like them, that’s fine, but your smeary labelling just reflects how little you know about what the GP actualy does.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    No, I do not not like the Greens. I do agree with their long term aims but not the urgency they are scaring our population with when knowing that unless the rest of the real culprits go with the plan fast and concurrently, what we the 4.5 million in a far off place against the nearly 7 billion others in the world would be a punitive lopsided ineffective solution to the real problem.

                    What I dislike is the nastiness shown by the Green supporters putting their constant boot towards Labour of all the parties! How stupid is that strategy!

                    • Sacha

                      Can you please give us some actual examples of this ‘constant ‘ putting the boot into Labour from Green supporters, and where you are forming that impression from? I just don’t see it myself.

                    • weka

                      “What I dislike is the nastiness shown by the Green supporters putting their constant boot towards Labour of all the parties! How stupid is that strategy!”

                      I think you are looking in the mirror. I’ll back up any criticism I have of Labour, but I don’t see you doing the same with yoru criticism of the GP.

                      btw, you are wrong on multiple counts about GP policy and AGW, which rather confirms that you don’t know what the GP is really about and instead rely on the MSM and your own biases to form your opinion of them.

            • Tracey

              “You need to understand that there is a real or perceived fear among most voters ”

              You need to understand that Labour is a party to that and by making some of the public statements it does, and by such actions affirms it as a genuine fear (fact based- which it is not).

              You seem to be criticising people for being horrid to Labour while extolling them to understand that Labour needs to throw others under the bus for the good of… everyone?? or Labour?

      • gnomic 2.5.6

        On closer analysis I think you will find that benefits have not been increased one iota. Solo mums off to work when baby is 3, off the DPB. Goebells would have been impressed by this application of his big lie technique. The present regime no longer seem to care what they say, all is gospel if it spouts from their lips, and who is to say them nay. Only a handful of leftie losers.

      • Puddleglum 2.5.7

        Hi Philip,

        I asked you (probably belatedly) on a previous thread whether or not you included the Third Labour Government in that ‘over 40 years’?

        In that previous comment you also said the last three Labour governments – which I took to include the 1972-75 government – had not increased welfare benefits.

    • gnomic 2.6

      ‘How about finding some positive things to say about Labour for a change ? or how about just shutting up, and letting Labour get on with sorting itself out and putting together a realistic campaign for 2017 ?’
      Positive comments on Labour? How is life on Cloud 9? Here on earth there is nothing good to say about a moribund political organisation which no longer has a reason to exist and couldn’t fight its way out of a wet paper bag. And the new leader is just another noodle with negative charisma. On that I’m afraid I agree with Matthew as Mike Williams would say.

      A Labour win in 2017? Yeah right. Only way would be if the global house of cards falls over and/or the ‘National’ Party screw up badly, so obviously that even their fans can’t help seeing it. As the Irishman reputedly said, you can’t get there from here.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.6.1

        As the Irishman reputedly said, you can’t get there from here.

        That’s actually quite funny.

    • saveNZ 2.7

      Don’t agree the Ponytail has made Key stronger, he is an international joke and embarrassment! All the ‘left’ discourses about Key being so popular is falling into the Nats propaganda machine. Key is not popular!

      The Nats win because they cheat in everyway possible, and Labour have a split identity!

      Greens need to re connect and NZ First is making a comeback because they at least stand up to the Nats (not in parliament but on the street!) and understand dirty politics!

  3. infused 3

    wow lol.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Bill, you got it!
    Splash of cold water on the face – no, not cold, frigid!
    Had to happen.
    Wake up! Wake up!

  5. SHG 5

    This is the sort of article that the Left needs to write more of and disseminate as widely as possible. Because passive aggressive little sarcposts are like this one are guaranteed game changers.

    [lprent: Brer Rabbit has a lot to answer for. Perhaps you should acknowledge your plagiarism. ]

  6. Toby 6

    Unfortunately Bill has nailed it.
    In this world we live in, we only get anywhere if you are a winner.
    The world punishes losers.
    Unfortunately that means if the country wants to get anywhere on the global stage, we need a winner running the country, that’s half the reason JK has been so bloody popular.

    Andrew Little and the current labour line up just don’t exude winningness, you kind of get the feeling if they were to go up against anyone with half a brain they would walk away crying, asking their mums to tell them to stop being meanies.

    Labour needs to grow some knackers, stop pandering to small loud minorities and start appealing to all the people who just want to win in life (everyone).

    Labour, show us you can win and most of all, show us how NZ can win.
    Show us how people who are currently losing can become winners.

    • Bill 6.1

      Well, if my post was a nail and your comment was a hammer, you just missed. (Hope your thumbs okay)

      My point is that Labour just wants us to want the same shit as National wants us to want. Labour says it will tweak the environment that surrounds our wants somewhat favourably. My contention is that it’s all shit; that we need real change.

      • the pigman 6.1.1

        “Well, if my post was a nail and your comment was a hammer, you just missed. (Hope your thumbs okay)

        Oh come on Bill, all good JK cheerleaders know that when hammering a nail, you don’t put your finger anywhere near it for fear of getting caught. You just make wild, flailing, uncoordinated swings at it to show the camera what a winner you are.

    • Tracey 6.2

      “stop pandering to small loud minorities and start appealing to all the people who just want to win in life”

      How will that make them winners when it’s National’s ground?

  7. Colonial Rawshark 7

    Modern Labour has been rapidly drawing down on the goodwill it gained from its remarkable historical legacy circa 1930s to 1960s. That old reservoir of goodwill is nearly empty now.

    Whole voting generations today have experienced nothing but neoliberal, managerial, micro-issue focussed Labour.

    • Facetious 7.1

      Is that a funereal oration?

    • Atiawa 7.2

      Ladies & gentleman please put your hands together for the next Labour candidate for????

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.2.1

        Yeah, no thanks. I think my point is simple – Labour arose in NZ from a sense of historic purpose and mission. Its been reduced to cutting back on NZ Super to balance the books. This is not a mindset which is going to help NZ get through the coming crunch.

        • Atiawa

          Here we go again. blah fucking blah blah fucking blah. By your account of current Labour you would fit in well with the bunch – blah blah blah fucking blah blah fucking blah -.
          People who rant and rave like you are all piss & wind and would never have the ability to take people with you. The sideline critic.
          Put up or shut up pal!

      • Atiawa, to be fair to CV, he’s already been a candidate and fought a good fight by all accounts. Sure, on current form he’s never going to be asked to try again, but he’s at least given it a go.

        • Realblue

          2008 Bill English majority 15000, Labour candidate votes 7156, Labour Party vote
          8091. Labour candidate Don Pryde.

          2011 Bill English majority 16000, Labour candidate votes 5200, Labour Party vote 5200. Labour candidate Tat Loo.

          Good fight……yeah. Hate to see a bad one.

          • te reo putake

            If you ever do want to see a bad fight, cast your mind back to the Northland by-election. Clutha Southland is a safe National seat, Tat was never expected to win, but, as I said, he worked damn hard, from all I’ve been told. Mind you, I suspect hard work is something you’ve not personally experienced, so I can understand your confusion.

            • Realblue

              Ooh a bit touchy there [deleted]. He was a complete failure as a candidate , he lost votes despite “working hard”, yet you sing his praises. Says a great deal about the difference between working hard and working effectively. But I guess you’ve never done either.

              [What I’m really touchy about is homophobic abuse. Take a week off. TRP]

            • You_Fool

              and as stated he at least stood. I am sure all the others that are having a go at him about not doing something have also stood for a seat

              By my count CV is ahead of everyone else….

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Thanks TRP.

              Campaigning for Labour/Goff in 2011 was far harder than campaigning for Labour in 2008, when Helen Clark was still at the helm.

              I like to think that I prevented a collapse in the Clutha Southland candidate vote as bad as in the party vote, but I realise that’s probably just conceit.

              In that election Labour did not have its party vote campaign sorted out and unfortunately it showed across the country.

              • Ron

                And who knows maybe your campaigning frightened Bill off and that is why he stood list only?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  IMO Bill is looking for the flexibility to leave Parliament at a time of his own choosing without having to consider the triggering of a by-election.

          • Tracey

            which seat have you contested?

            One person slams CV for not standing, another attacks him for standing…

            One from Labour, one supporting National…

            BUT CV, bill, weka, me and others are mean to Labour…

      • Tracey 7.2.3

        sorry. which electorate are you standing in?

  8. Jenny Kirk 8

    oh for goodness sake, Col Rawshark. Labour is not cutting back on NZ Super to balance the books ……. please keep up-to-date.

    And as for all the other arguments above – here’s something else to throw into the mix.
    At Budget time, Andrew Little said the govt had failed to lay the foundation to generate future wealth, and our economic future looks increasingly precarious. He asked : So, what would a responsible government have done between 2008 and today? And in reading these questions, you get an idea of where he wants to take this country.
    · First, a responsible government would have laid the foundations to diversify the economy. Our over-reliance on dairy has never been more stark than it is now.
    · We should have used the economic growth of the last four years to increase our investment in innovation. The untold millions speculators have poured into Auckland housing could have been so much more useful to New Zealand in productive businesses
    · The third missed opportunity is that a responsible government should have revitalised New Zealand’s regions. Instead, this government ignored them.
    · The government should have listened more to business, found out where they saw the skill shortages, then invested heavily in vocational training. That hasn’t happened.
    That’s what a responsible government would fix, he said. “This government won’t.” But there is a strong implication in those words that Andrew Little would be looking to do all of these things.

    And okay – there is nothing here about social welfare – but that is all a part of it. You cannot have good social welfare without a good economic base.

    And you guys are going to go on no doubt ad nauseum about Little’s emphasis on business – but unless we all live sustainably off the land (ie our suburban gardens, and barter food products between us which I’m sure Robert Guyton would agree is ideal – but is it practical ?) then we’re going to need the smaller business which NZ is renowned for to be strengthened, and to get us going.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      First, a responsible government would have laid the foundations to diversify the economy. Our over-reliance on dairy has never been more stark than it is now.

      We should remember which government was in power when the “dairy boom” (including the dairy farm conversion/dairy farm price boom) was in full force.

      • Clemgeopin 8.1.1

        Instead of all your criticism of Labour and questioning which past government “was in charge during the dairy boom” etc, why don’t you clearly state what exact policies YOU would like labour to have NOW?

        Spell it out. Give us just ten concrete, well defined, constructive ones, rather than theory, boots and bile.

        I am looking forward to your brilliance, wisdom and ideas. Have a go. May be useful to you, me and everyone else here.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          With regards and credit to the ABP Branch of the Labour Party (Dunedin South):

          1) A UBI for all NZers 18 and over set at 45% of the full time minimum wage.

          2) Citizens Grant: at ages 21, 40 and 65 a one off ‘citizens grant’ of $10,000 is distributed to each person which they can use towards their education, setting up a small business, paying off a mortgage or their retirement plans.

          3) Direct government creation of money. Each month, the Reserve Bank shall credit the Government’s operating bank account with a sum equivalent to 10% of the Crown’s tax take for that month as averaged over the previous 5 years. (Giving the government an additional ~$500M to spend per month without borrowing or taxation).

          4) The minimum wage will auto-set every 3 years at 2/3 of the average wage.

          5) A top income tax rate of 49% will be introduced at 10x the average wage.

          6) The lowest income tax rate shall be reduced to 10%.

          7) An FTT shall be introduced allowing regressive GST to be halved to 7.5%.

          8) NZ jobs guarantee: minimum wage employment to be provided for each and every citizen who wants to work and who has been resident in the country for at least 12 months; citizens will have the option of full time or part time work as best suits them, but must perform to all normal employment standards.

          9) MMP threshold to be halved to 2.5%.

          10) Electoral MPs to be elected via STV> ranking.

          11) All entities registered or resident in NZ shall incur an annual wealth tax of 0.25% on each dollar of financial assets (including property), held whether in NZ or overseas, over a NZ$1M threshold. (Across generations this tax will effectively act as an inheritance tax).

          12) Compass to provide all meals on Parliament grounds: all existing food outlets on Parliament grounds are to be shut down and replaced with self-serve kiosks supplying Compass frozen meals flown in from Auckland daily.

          • Sacha

            That last one is brilliant.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              We submitted versions of most of these to the Labour Party Region 6 Conference. Especially the last one.

          • Atiawa

            How many attendee’s at your meeting? two, three? I noticed you either took your mobile device to allow you to make new comment’s or the meeting concluded early because there wasn’t a quorum.

          • mauī

            Awesome! That would give Labour a heart attack at first sight. Have you thought about using it as policy for a new political party?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Thanks – a lot of work went into these from our ordinary branch membership. As a branch we are definitely encouraging other Labour Party branches to put forward their own policy ideas to break the stranglehold of the neoliberal thinking framework. We will need to, if we are going to have a Labour Party capable of properly responding to the coming Energy, Resource and Climate Crunch.

          • weka

            Thanks CV, great to see that laid out.

          • Clemgeopin

            Well done for the effort and the thought that has gone into those 12 ideas.

            I do ‘personally’ like many of them.

            The only question is, are the people (the voters) ready to support those policies or could most people be persuaded to make a paradigm shift in their thinking and ways of live? I can easily see many of those policies being enthusiastically embraced by people in very poor countries or in more socialist countries such as those in S America. New Zealand is a relatively wealthy/very wealthy country, not that socialist any more, with a large majority of people doing quite well financially, except for the housing crisis in Auckland.

            The most important thing to do would be to have secret scientific polling done to gauge possible support for each of those policies separately and the combined package too.

            • Clemgeopin

              Correction : Not to see if there is majority support, but to see what % of support the policies & the package may get from the general public.

          • Ron

            CV How do you feel about Branches being done away with well at least as far as delegates are concerned?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              It will probably exacerbate the existing disconnection of the regional and central Labour Party hierarchy from ordinary Labour members and supporters (particularly those in the provinces and smaller cities), and accordingly accelerate the downhill slide of the overall Party in terms of ability to be relevant and in touch with Kiwis.

              • Ron

                Not sure why you would think that. LEC’s would gradually become member based. Branches can still exist but would not have delegates instead they would exist to fulfil a purpose. With extra powers proposed for LEC’s and Hubs it should help right some of the rorts that exist in some electorates

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  One of the major roles of branches, IMO, is to democratically hold MPs and head office to account, every day, week and month of an electoral cycle. Not to simply drop off flyers and raise money (“fulfil a purpose”).

                  I have seen too many LECs which have effectively been made into closed shops to have trust in a tilt towards giving them more powers and independence from ordinary branches. The democratic distribution of power is what Labour needs to go to; not the centralisation and concentration of it.

                  • Ron

                    I agree with some of your comments but so many branches were fake just existed to get delegate votes. I can thing of quite a few electorates that used those votes to get a particular candidate selected.
                    Are you going to Palmerston North for Guy Fawkes. Would like to have a meet and get a feeling for your end of world. I appreciate some of the problems you have down in the boon docks we have similar problems here

          • Clemgeopin

            Have you done any costings of these policies and where the money will come from to fund these initiatives?

            For example, for the UBI, I estimate that at the present rate, each person aged 16 or over at $14.75 an hour will need to get 45% of $118.00 per day for an 8-hour day. There are about 3.5 million people in NZ over the age of 16.

            So, the cost per day for UBI will be =$3,500,000×0.45×118=$185,850,000/day (Nearly 186 million dollars a day or over 60 billion dollars per year).

            Is this correct? If correct, the question is, is this practical and sustainable?
            What were your calculations?

            Similarly, what are the costings and benefits for the other policies you have listed? Cheers!

            [Whoops, I just realised your policy is for UBI for over 18 year olds. My calculation was for 16 plus year olds. That was an error.
            So the amounts will be slightly less than 60 billion per year, but I can’t edit the figure just now as it will take me time to go back to the graph etc].

    • Kiwiri 8.2

      Hi Jenny. Please can you help explain and expand some more in relation to:

      ” Labour is not cutting back on NZ Super to balance the books” ?

      For example, so why is Labour cutting back on NZ Super?
      Or is Labour not cutting back?

      • KK 8.2.1

        Labour has said it’s not intending to cut Super. Do keep up.

        • Kiwiri

          Ah ok, KK, and how should the comment that Andrew Little made be interpreted:

          Mr Little said it was unfair for people working after they turn 65 to be able to claim superannuation as well.

          “I don’t think we can avoid looking [at that], when you look at the driving cost of superannuation, by 2018 over $15 billion a year, by 2030, $30 billion a year.

          Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/274322/super-for-working-over-65s-unfair-little

          • weka

            Although I think this was a blunder by Little, I also think there is context that we are not seeing (someting to do with Peters drawing a pension and Little being asked by reporters about that?).

          • Clemgeopin

            Little stated a legitimate personal view in answer to a tricky question but realised it was an unpopular mine field and then stated CLEARLY that under his leadership the universal super at 65 years will stay as it is. That last bit about 65 years (and not 67) was ALWAYS his personal stand, even before this curve ball thrown at him.
            My own personal view is quite different:

            (1) The super should be to those that retire at 65 or from the time of their retirement whenever they so choose after age 65.

            (2) If they work after 65, their pension should have a corresponding draw back because of the ‘spirit’ of the super being for retirees in their old age. If they work after 65, they are kind of double-dipping in my opinion and also depriving jobs for the young and the unemployed.

            (3) I am also in favour of people being free to retire at 63 (as people may be unfit or tired, and also maori/pacific isle people have a lower life span) with reduced pension, but going up each year until full payment at 67. But if they again start work anytime, then slow draw-back of previous payments made until 67 with with corresponding draw back as in (2) applicable after that. (Sounds complicated, I know, but not really) [Also consider the alternate retirement plan proposed by Dunne some time ago]

            (4) People should have worked for at least 25 years in NZ to receive full super. If not, reduced pension until 25 years have passed.(plus the above rules)

            (5) Cullen fund, the contribution o which this stupid government stopped, to be re started

            (6) The $1,000 kick starter this crap government stopped to be restarted.

            (7) The kid’s kiwi Saver idea of the Greens to be implemented.

            • Tracey

              “a legitimate personal view i”

              yikes he wore his personal hat, not his LOO hat? If he hadn’t been LOO or an MP would he have been asked at all?

              I am thinking of opening up a miliner’s shop on Lambton Quay

              • weka

                lolz, nice one Tracey. We could have a publicly funded design competition for the hats of various MPs 😈

                • Tracey


                  IF you are not saying it the capacity that has led to the media asking you the effing question, then don’t answer…

            • Clemgeopin

              Correction : Not to see if there is majority support, but to see what % of support the policies & the package may get from the general public.

    • Tracey 8.3

      You know Jenny, don’t tell people here to shut up, it is pretty clear it’s not our votes your Labour party wants anyway.

      You and it are after those who currently vote national and you want us to sit back and let you do that.

      So have at it, but don’t accuse anyone, especially CV of not supporting small business. He has posted many times on how important that is. Don’t make me search and post the myriad of posts he makes in this regard. You seem to be indirectly perpetuating the nonsense that only National (and Labour) ar epro small business. Many of the non Labour voters of the left who post here have some knowledge of the LP policies/platfrom. I continue to be amazed at how many Labour supporters who post here know next to nothing about Green Party policy (other than what they hear from National it seems). So, continue to see the Green supporting voices on this site as your (and Labour’s problem) and see where it get s you and the LP?

      I am pretty sure you wont’ find small business in the SkyCity box at Eden Park and at the endless cocktail, jockstrap sniffing black tie meals the pollies go to.

  9. Colonial Rawshark 9

    Anyways off to an ABP branch (Dunedin South) meeting later tonight to discuss some good left wing politics. Cya’s.

  10. Robert Guyton 10

    “Collective clarity of purpose is the invisible leader”

    Dee Hock

  11. North 11

    In my take Bill is not wrong, but neither is Jenny Kirk. And to others…….it’s not really adding anything to the pot to aggressively lambast CR with sneer about being a candidate or not.

    It’s all very puzzling. Let me articulate a sense I experienced leading up to the last election – “Yeah, rallying us to draw on the ‘tribal Left’ within us while ‘they’ don’t give a toss about ‘tribal Left’. To the point where there’s no such thing anymore. So stop calling on it !” Rubbish ? The small matter of Kelvin Davis and Hone ?

    Just a sense. From someone who wholly blames neither the immediate past nor the present leader for his puzzlement. Just putting it out there. Expecting comment not abuse.

  12. Aaron 12

    This is similar to what Chomsky used to say about George W Bush. The more intellectuals attacked him and poked fun at his idiosyncrasies the more his blue collar supporters got behind him

  13. Incognito 13

    The point is not that Key identifies with the “normal guy”, the “ordinary Kiwi bloke”, but that many identify with Key. They admire him, possibly envy him, and may not even realise it. There are many that have shades of Key [no pun]; Western society is struggling with a tsunami of individualism – actually, egotism is a better description – that is drowning any ideals of collectivism and social justness. I agree that NZLP seems to have a branding if not a fundamental identity problem.

    • Bill 13.1

      Thankyou Incognito. Final comment I read after having been away for a few hours is the only one that seems to encapsulate and echo what I was getting at.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        Bill, perhaps you and I have similar views on this and the other commenters are on a slightly different ‘wavelength’. Perhaps, your message got ‘scrambled’ somewhere. Perhaps, we have a problem(s) that is too big to get our heads around without ‘help’. I really don’t know the answer but if we don’t agree on what is the problem(s) then we will not be able to fix it or even simply ‘adapt’ to it. Keep trying is all I can say.

        • Scintilla

          Re: Teflon John. Chris Trotter holds that kiwis are a conformist lot and I agree – it is the team mentality that keeps Key afloat. Incognito said above that kiwis admire Key and that’s the befuddling thing, they do – because Key has been a successful financial operator up there with the big boys, ergo he must be smart, gutsy and shrewd? People want to believe in their leaders, that they are competent, even if they are a bit sleazy, evasive, tell porkies and act out classic bully boy behaviour in parliament. It’s like the political version of the Osbournes or Kardashians, with the provocative progeny and good old Bronagh who, you notice, has never been a target or examined beyond woman’s day fodder, as the family scenery.

          • Tracey

            To be honest I think it is also cos they lie and fudge and besmirch and stuff in their own lives… as we all do to a greater or lesser extent… and because the focus of our society is money, many secretly want lots of money like him and assume that if you made lots of money you must e

            a. great
            b. know lots about everything

    • Puddleglum 13.2

      A very good comment Incognito.

      That was something that struck me in the post on Michael Cullen’s Fabian Society address. He spoke of reclaiming ‘aspiration’ as a left value.

      Yet it came across as claiming that the left should embrace the value of individual aspiration rather than collective aspiration.

      In other words, it seemed to echo the notion that all of us – ‘of course’ – want to aspire as individuals as opposed to having aspirations about what we want our society, our country and our collective experience to be.

      I’d always thought that the left was about enhancing collective aspiration for a better society – and ensuring through policy that those structural changes needed for a better society happened.

      I thought it was about prioritising what kind of a human world we want (e.g., here in New Zealand) not whether or not I can – personally – have the opportunity to get a ‘McMansion’ in the latest subdivision or make sure my children become doctors and lawyers.

      I’d always thought that – paradoxically – by emphasising collective aspiration over individual aspiration we could ensure that far more people are able to improve their (individual) situations than through all being left to pursue our own individual interests.

      By emphasising, in other words, the support we provide to each other (collectively all ‘getting each others’ backs’) over the ‘go it alone’ efforts of individuals we will achieve a society in which all individuals can thrive (not just some).

      Isn’t that the heart of the left-right distinction?

      • Karen 13.2.1

        +1 Puddleglum
        I want a country where everybody gets treated fairly and everybody gets to grow up in a safe and secure environment. Personal aspiration is of much less importance to me.

      • Charles 13.2.2


      • Clemgeopin 13.2.3

        Very well said. New Zealand, as well as the world is becoming more and more materialistic, selfish and corrupt. It is an uphill task to persuade people to think collectively in a socialistic way now. People vote for a devil than pay an extra bit of tax for the general good.

        It is great to see the Scandinavian countries, as well as Germany and some S. American countries with reasonable good leadership and many good socialist policies.

        Capitalist nations including USA, China, India are going to the dogs with ever increasing wealthy and the poor, and the ever increasing income/wealth gaps.

        The wealthy worth billions of dollars, even ECO’s getting 5 million dollars plus per year, private jets and expensive schools for ‘their’ children and what not, while people lack enough food, health and shelter is just nasty. Fairness, Equal opportunity, Christian principles etc is a big lie in reality.

      • Incognito 13.2.4

        Thank you Puddleglum (and also Scintilla), I take that as a compliment.

        You succinctly described the apparent – and paradoxical – tension between individualism and collectivism.

        My personal view is that collectively we are stronger, better, safer and happier as humans without having to sacrifice our individuality. In fact, we have more scope – for lack of a better word at this time of the night – to express our individuality in a collective society that not allows this but, in fact, encourages it and thrives on it.

        By nature we are social beings and, in the not so distant history (evolution), we could only survive by working and sticking together. The modern-day illusion is that we don’t have these needs anymore to ensure our survival and we can celebrate individualism (egotism) without immediate danger to life & limb.

        I think this illusion is exactly that, and that modern-day society is as dangerous to us as ever and a lot of psychological but also physical harm and even death is a result of not ‘sticking together’.

        A society that embraces a collective aspiration is already a ‘better’ society in my opinion and will produce and require completely different policies than the ones that are currently being developed and discussed by our current politicians.

        I like to believe that this ideal is imminently possible and achievable because it has never left us.

        • Tracey

          THIS ^^^^^

        • Puddleglum

          You’re right Incognito that individuality is actually more an attribute of collectivist (especially ones with relatively flat hierarchies) than individualistic societies.

          It’s a paradox on the surface but makes sense when you think about it. In relatively flat, collectivist societies individuality is valued because the collective requires individual diversity in order to ‘insure’ itself against the unpredictability of the future.

          By contrast, individualistic societies incentivise conformity and a ‘conservative’ approach to social risk because they tend to be socially competitive societies in which individuals are judged on individual life performance/success. As a huge amount of research confirms, one of the greatest anxieties people have is ‘social evaluative threat’ – being judged by others.

          That means that, psychologically, the rhetoric of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ is a great social clobbering machine. The safe option for most people is to do the ‘normal’ thing and avoid anything that might be different or creative for fear of ‘failing’ or being judged as ‘odd’ or ‘not normal’.

          Individualistic societies do not actually celebrate individuality – only ‘success’, and going your own way is not actually the surest path to ‘success’; conformity to social expectations of being successful is a far more guaranteed method of achieving acceptable levels of ‘success’.

          Hence materialism and consumerism are joined at the hip with individualism (and vice versa). ‘Individuality’ gets reduced to – at most – marking yourself as ‘different’ through consumer fashion choices but not really being different in any more fundamental sense.

          Individuality becomes a commodified parody of itself.

          I’m often stunned to find out that people dressed to be different demonstrate, in conversation, remarkably conformist and ‘normal’ beliefs and attitudes. It’s as if ‘being an individual’ to them just is choosing different clothes or a novel body piercing or tattoo.

          • Incognito

            As usual, your words describe and explain it very well, thank you.

            I think the issues go deeper than the fear of being judged or disapproved of. There is an instinctive fear of being expelled from the group to which one belongs and of becoming an outcast. In the past this was a certain death sentence but nowadays it is more of a mortifying experience of embarrassment, shame, guilt, fear of the unknown, isolation, etc. However, it can lead to severe depression and even suicide so it is definitely something to be taken seriously and not to be laughed at.

            Sadly, many believe that they are expressing their individuality as unique beings – egotism being a more extreme form of this – whilst keeping up appearances, giving in to peer pressure, and conforming to social behavioural expectations.

            It is a recipe for disaster and we can see many elements of this slowly unfolding process in daily life. Yet few have made or are making the connection to our need for belonging and unity in contrast to individualism and separateness.

            Although I may sound negative and cynical I am actually relatively optimistic because when people – myself included as prime example – read or hear about ‘collectivist ideals’ it often deeply resonates with them because it has the power of truth; it is timeless and knows no cultural or geographical boundaries.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Great discussion thanks both PG & I.

      • Tracey 13.2.5


        Cullen is still, imo, talking to the National lite idea because after 1984 the substance of Labour caucus changed and hasn’t entirely changed again.

        I wrote a smidge about this somewhere here yesterday about hwo if someone stood up, unashamedly, proudly and repeatedly for the vulnerable, for the hard working who struggle and did it that way most people I know would respond

        “he has a point, those folks DO need help”

        BUT it is how you frame it, the examples you draw upon and not backing down every time you are criticised and sprinting for the so-called middle

  14. SMILIN 14

    About what NZ aspires to in the most ordinary, team spirit, take any of our national sides what makes them tick
    Its the way they get to be the top of the heap they are composed of the best leaders in each position of the team and the standards are set by what is a democratic appraisal of their performance by the number of people who support their endeavours to win
    There is no illusion the truth is blatant, open for all to see instantly
    Pity we cant say the same about our politicians we have to put up them training themselves in the job and our democratic process is severely restricted by subversion and Dirty Politics.

  15. Facetious 15

    Stark reality: NZ people prefer John Key far more than Andrew Little, who has his job cut out.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      It even has a name: incumbency advantage. You will recall Helen Clark’s popularity I’m sure.

      • Facetious 15.1.1

        I do. That is why Labour will have to wait another five years (2020) for a political victory.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Mirror mirror on the wall,
          Facetious has a crystal ball,
          Wait a second, no he don’t,
          Just like me – he’s got one vote.

  16. Michael 16

    2 important things: MMP and the Overton Window.

    Labour is the mainstream centre-left party. Its goal should be to take votes off national – mainstream left-of-centre voters. It shouldn’t be National lite, but it should not be a radical left party, that’s not Labour’s place. The Overton window means that if Labour adopted a radical left programme, it couldn’t win elections – it’d just take votes off the Greens. Which would leave the collective vote share on the left no better off.

    MMP creates a multi-party environment compared to 2-party FPTP politics. The left can be diverse in having the mainstream/moderate social democratic centre-left in Labour, a more left-wing party in the Greens, and then there might be something like Mana for an even more left wing party. The left should be looked at something *as a whole*, not just Labour. Labour is an integral part of a left government, but it should not be expected to be the only part.

    But Labour should stop attempting to alienate parties to the left of it. It should aim for around 35-40% of the vote, that key mainstream social democratic vote, composed of its own Labour constituency and swing voters who it can take off National and perhaps NZF. National has governed so strongly because it retreated from ACT Party territory and ideological radicalism. This doesn’t mean Labour should abandon its roots – it shouldn’t – but it should take into account the current Overton Window and political situation.
    The Greens should aim for around 15% of the vote. If Labour gets 35-40 and Greens get 15, you have a 50-55% left vote share. No need to rely on NZF.

    This way the *collective left* vote share is better off. My point is that the overall size of the collective left is the key to a left government — not how left wing Labour is.

  17. T Chris 17

    There are 2 things Labour should have learnt by now.

    1) Going after Key frankly doesn’t work.

    2) Trying to turn their leader into Key doesn’t work (or though, I personally think it would have if Labour had stuck with Shearer)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      If it doesn’t work, why did you guys go after Helen Clark’s marriage so violently?

      • T Chris 17.1.1

        Because like it or not, a lot of things that would normally hurt a politician bounce off Key.

        No one knows why, but it’s just fact

        • Tracey

          because he is not being attacked by the people, resources and apparatus that so constantly and brutally attacked Clark personally…

  18. Jenny Kirk 18

    I haven’t dipped out of this discussion (argument ? ) in case you think I’ve given up ….. just gotta couple of appointments in “town” (the little village of Whangarei) … before I get back to it but in passing through –

    Incognito said “” Western society is struggling with a tsunami of individualism – actually, egotism is a better description – that is drowning any ideals of collectivism and social justness. “” and Bill agreed with his (her?) analysis .

    Which is also what I was trying to say further up …… that Labour will have a struggle to imbed some of its values/principles among the voters because our society is now so much more different from what it used to be given the huge influx of immigrants that we’ve experienced in the last three decades.

    And I repeat, it doesn’t help to have lefties carping all the time on major blogs like this, instead of trying to be constructive.

    • adam 18.1

      But arguing the point, is constructive.

      It’s the back room, boys club deals – which created all the problems. And you think the boys are not at it?

      If labour supporters can’t handle the criticism – why do they call themselves left then?

      I’m confused on that one – I mean I have a go at the Tory scum on a regular basis, I don’t want my so called allies acting like the Tories, thinking like Tories or whinging like Tories. And I’ve been criticised by Iprent for my name calling of labour – but I stand by my comments. Especially, when as a party – they embrace liberal economics.

      What is up with that disconnect? Maybe it is because we don’t call it what it is – political economy.

    • Tracey 18.2

      Do you think the left is really just a whole bunch of different shades of the Labour Party? Rebellious children who need time to see how much they really respect their parents (Labour party)?

  19. T Chris 19


  20. Scintilla 20

    I seem to recall Bill suggesting Labour needs a touchstone issue to capture the public interest, set the agenda and galvanise support. For my money, that issue is water. Everyone needs water, every aspect of how much we’ve got, how we allocate it and how we keep it sustainable is crucial to life itself. It affects us all. We all have an opinion about the water we drink, swim and fish in, the water needed and used for agribusiness, the privatisation of water etc.

    Making water the touchstone issue gives the Left an opportunity to SHOW it can create a strategy that may pan out as a joint effort agreement, or complementary narratives that establish a cohesive way forward.

    Frankly, the Left needs to prove itself.

  21. Jenny Kirk 21

    I guess I can only go back to what I originally objected to in Bill’s post – statements such as these :

    “” Is Labour going to move beyond the personal and the celebration of the individual? Is Labour going to champion the cause for social wealth as opposed to personal wealth? Nope. Labour promotes winners. …….. Labour doesn’t commit itself to …… social wealth like free education or free health care. Labour doesn’t champion or protect the poor or the vulnerable …….. In short, Labour encourages us all to follow the self-same script that John Key has so successfully followed and in doing so, perversely, endorses him. “”

    And to say that I see Labour starting down a different path, maybe its not so obvious because it keeps getting side-tracked by ponytails, by-election, budget etc – and maybe the language used sounds just like “more of the same” to most people but I see it differently.

    “” The social inequality we suffer today, built up over the last 30 years or so, must be the driving force for the change we need to make. It’s a vicious circle. More inequality, slower growth, more inequality. We have to break that cycle if we want to succeed. And working on how we do that will be the priority for me as the new leader of the Labour Party……. The truth is stark. Doing more of what we’re doing today won’t support the standard of living we as New Zealanders want in the future. As a country we need to do things differently. That is going to take courage……. “”

    This is what I see, and hear, coming from Labour. The need to do things differently.

  22. Big Al 22

    I’m a so called swing voter – one of those the major parties are reputedly trying to attract. I read all the blogs, and generally follow most threads which interest me. I have voted National the last 2 elections, and before that roughly equal between National and Labour, so I am NOT a right wing idealogue, but rather a voter who listens to party leaders and policy.
    I have a couple of observations to make.
    It appears that both National and Labour are committed to helping people “get ahead” and be “successful”. Andrew Little has been/is courting SME’s and Businesses, trying to encourage them to think of Labour as being Business Friendly. John Key is a perfect example of “personal success”.
    But here is where the difference is :
    National appear to uphold the view that if you are successful you are entitled to the rewards of hard work : higher salaries, more spare $$$, and the right to decide for yourself how, when and where you will spend that reward.
    Labour appear to say : Work hard, get ahead, do well, and then we’ll tax you higher and take away more of your rewards to give to people who chose to sit on their ass and refuse to help themselves.
    This may be over simplification, but as a reasonably intelligent observer I can’t get away from these impressions. Hence I will probably continue to vote National.

    My second point is :Labour has had many reasons to consider their history as essential and life changing for millions of workers around the world : Miners, low paid workers, mill workers, all those at the “bottom” of the pile. Labour did a magnificent job of raising the bar and improving pay and conditions. But here’s the rub. Those days are (pretty much) gone. The so called middle class is getting bigger and bigger in society, and this is the class, from working class roots, that Labour is now out of touch with. If I had followed Labour dogma and listened to what Andrew Little is saying, then I would have pulled myself up, improved my life and income for self and family, and be faced with paying more and more tax! The so called “wealthy” ALREADY pay more tax :
    Not just in tax rates but in actual dollars.
    Given the current growth in wealth (and this is relative to where you started from) to the growing majority of workers around the world, there really is no reason why the Labour movement should be viable in the current and distant future. Labour as a political movement is no longer necessary to the majority of voters – they HAVE pulled themselves up, improved their lot, and contributed (through tax) to the benefit of the lower workers. I am not saying Governments should abandon those in genuine need (and there are many), but the portion of those in real need is getting smaller with time. So, where do Labour go from here? I really don’t know, but I do sincerely believe their time as a political force is just about over. In New Zealand we have had many Labour Governments, and, like National, some have been better than others, but the idea that Labour will ever again get 45/50% of votes (enough to govern) is no longer realistic. Hence the need for coalition with the Greens (who really are the hard left Party Labour used to be). And the Greens are scary with some of their policies!
    Hence, as far as I can tell at present, I will continue to vote National for the forseeable future.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      The so called middle class is getting bigger and bigger in society,

      Citation needed, and for more besides.

      • Big Al 22.1.1

        No. No citation needed. This is a blog, where we can express opinions and beliefs without statistics. Let’s face it, any statistics can be made to oppose others, and I am happy to express my opinions by observation of what I see and hear every day. I came to NZ with literally nothing almost 40 years ago, and can look back on “picking myself up”, working hard, house / mortgage etc. etc.. I came as “working class” from the UK, and now think of myself as “middle class”, along with many many other friends and neighbours who have done the same. So as far as “crossing over” from working to middle class : Been there, done that, and the last thing I want or need as I move towards retirement is to have my living standard eroded by higher taxes.

        • Atiawa

          So why would you not want those same opportunities you were able to take advantage of 40 years ago to be as accessible for todays workers as they were for you?

          • Big Al

            “Opportunities” today are just as “accessible” as they were 40 years ago. In fact, probably more so. As for taking advantage of them, ANYONE can look at their personal situation, the environment they work in, and decide to improve their lot in life. I decided I didn’t need to ask the Govt for help.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              It’s called social mobility.

              Research on the subject is easy to find.

              The dynamics of internal mobility and migration therefore tend to perpetuate rather than counter the pre-existing geography of social deprivation.

              My question is: why are your perceptions so far removed from reality?

              • The lost sheep

                As always, it pays to read the whole study before one implies anything from an isolated quote……

                In short, the study finds that people living in an area of a specific decile who shift within a 5 year period are more likely to shift to an area of same or similar decile, (Wow!),

                But the authors stress the importance of understanding the limitations of their study, the need for much more research around social mobility issues, and conclude…
                “one cannot tell from our evidence whether it is primarily residential sorting which drives individuals to move between neighbourhoods with different deprivation deciles or whether neighbourhood effects do actually play a role and how. The distinction is important because the first largely reflects income and wealth inequality and the second reflects presence of externalities within neighbourhoods….”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Are you saying you can’t find any other examples of research into social mobility? That would be pitiful.

                  • The lost sheep

                    No. I made no comment on the wider issues of Social Mobility or other research available on it OAB.

                    I just thought that the extremely limited quote you provided from that particular piece of research, and the context you placed it in, might mislead some to infer that it ‘proved’ anything at all about possible barriers to social mobility.

                    So I thought I’d just illuminate the quote with a little more context for those who can’t be bothered running through it themselves.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah, if if cite Fergusson & Woodward you’ll no doubt find that doesn’t “prove” anything either. I expect you’ll conclude that the science isn’t settled.

                      Slow clap.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Perhaps you would have been better citing Fergusson and Wood then, instead of an extremely limited quote from a piece of research that offered no proof of the point you were intending to make?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      All you did was cite normal scientific caution. “No further research is needed on this subject” said no peer-reviewed paper ever.

                    • The lost sheep

                      That’s both yesterday and today you have been citing evidence in a way that you know very well is academically dishonest OAB.

                      You love to lecture other people on ethics….

                  • The lost sheep

                    Which of Fergusson & Woodward’s papers do you suggest I read OAB?

                    And what is the specific point regarding social mobility that would have me find in it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Haven’t you figured that out? Perhaps you should read my remarks as a response to Big Al’s ignorant assertions to get a little of the context of the thread you’re participating in.

                      You could also have a look at info released by the Treasury department at the effects childhood household income has on adult earnings and education outcomes.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “Haven’t you figured that out?’

                      O.K. We’ll do it by riddles.
                      I’m picking it’s this one?

                      Fergusson DM, Woodward LJ. Family socioeconomic status at birth and rates of university participation. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 2000; 35(1): 25-36.

                      “read my remarks as a response to Big Al’s ignorant assertions to get a little of the context of the thread you’re participating in.”

                      You are saying the contention that “ANYONE can look at their personal situation, the environment they work in, and decide to improve their lot in life.” is “ “removed from reality”, and the study above proves that?

                    • The lost sheep

                      Thought you might go very quiet at the point I started getting specific about your quoted ‘evidence’ OAB.

                      The reason for that is that the study you quote does not provide any ‘evidence’ at all that Big Al’s comments are ‘far removed from reality’ as you suggest.
                      As you well know, the research does NOT make any suggestion that there are concrete barriers preventing any particular individual from achieving social mobility.

                      Kids from all socio -economic backgrounds can and do go to University, but those from professional/managerial families are 5 times more likely go to University than from unskilled/semi-skilled families.
                      This is consistent with the well understood general linkage between socio-economic status and social mobility.

                      The study does NOT suggest that simplistic economic or political barriers are responsible.
                      It investigates and discusses factors likely to contribute, such as cognitive ability, class related attitudes to educational achievement, and yes, the financial cost of University attendance.
                      Nowhere does it suggest this latter is a dominating or persuasive barrier to University attendance, or that such a barrier exists.

                      It does state that “despite substantial efforts on the part of the New Zealand public education system to offer equal opportunities for all, this ideal has yet to be fully achieved.”.
                      That is a fair and balanced conclusion that I accept entirely.

                      I have noted OAB that you are increasingly tending to knowingly misrepresent ‘evidence’ in order to ‘prove’ the arguments that back your worldview.
                      Maybe when you get to that point of conscious deception you should be looking at your own beliefs, and why you need to distort facts in order to support them, rather than focusing on attempting to mislead others?

                      As you are a self proclaimed expert, it shouldn’t be too hard to judge the ethics involved.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You still haven’t got it have you Sheep? Big Al claimed that there is perfect social mobility in NZ. Would you like me to quote Treasury: they put actual figures on it:

                      The intergenerational income elasticity for people from Dunedin was 0.26. This implies that a 1% increase in the income of a person’s father is associated with, on average, a 0.26% increase in their own income when they are an adult.


                      Then, you butted in. I didn’t suggest you read anything. I wasn’t talking to you at all, in fact, hence the ‘silence’.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “Then, you butted in. I didn’t suggest you read anything. I wasn’t talking to you at all, in fact, hence the ‘silence’.”
                      Coming from someone who makes as many interjections into other peoples discussions as you do OAB, that is priceless. But if it is now considered bad form, I’ll stop doing it as soon as I notice you have.

                      I interjected for the same reason you normally do, i.e. I thought you were talking shit. And specifically I thought you were quoting academic studies in a deliberately dishonest manner.

                      So I addressed that point and asked for a reply, in exactly the same manner I have seen you do on countless occasions.
                      You have not responded to my specific criticisms, because you know very well you have no good defense, and so you choose silence rather than conceding any point.

                      And once again above you are deliberately distorting the facts. Big Al DID NOT claim “that there is perfect social mobility in NZ” as you have quoted him.
                      What he said was that “ANYONE can look at their personal situation, the environment they work in, and decide to improve their lot in life.”
                      He also said “….those in genuine need (and there are many), but the portion of those in real need is getting smaller with time”.

                      “Would you like me to quote Treasury: they put actual figures on it:”

                      No I wouldn’t like you to quote that OAB, as I don’t see why we should move onto still another set of data when you have utterly failed to address the genuine and reasonable points I put to you concerning the first 2 studies you referenced?

                      Shouldn’t be too hard for someone of your erudition.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Big Al presented his case that social mobility is a matter of choice. The studies presented demonstrate clearly that it is not, that there are other factors at play.

                      If you choose to misinterpret my entirely uncontroversial remarks as somehow claiming “proof” of anything you’re an idiot, since by their very nature these studies don’t claim to ‘prove’ anything.

                      As predicted, you’re squealing that the science isn’t settled.

                      How about you take some time to understand what I’m saying before subjecting me to any more of your trite bullshit?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …the portion of those in real need is getting smaller with time”.

                      Really, Sheep? Is it? Citation fucking needed.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Anyone following this discussion, please note that when it suits them, these assholes will claim that the welfare state is producing a cycle of dependence, but right now it suits them to claim that the number of people it affects is getting smaller.

                      Right wingers demanding proof, just like tobacco company trash.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “Big Al presented his case that social mobility is a matter of choice. The studies presented demonstrate clearly that it is not, that there are other factors at play..”

                      Big Al did not even mention the phrase ‘Socail Mobility’ OAB, let alone make any claims about it.

                      His claim was limited specifically to the idea that “Opportunities” are “accessible” to “ANYONE to look at their personal situation, the environment they work in, and decide to improve their lot in life.”
                      Can you show me where in either of the works you cite they say that any specific individual is denied that level of opportunity?

                      Can you also confirm that you do agree with Fergusson & Woodward’s suggestion that Cognitive ability and class related attitudes to educational achievement are significant factors in restricting social mobility?

                      I ask this to emphasise that it does not make you a right wing arsehole to want to consider such factors as part of a genuine discussion on social mobility.
                      It just means you do want to face up to real world factors that have been identified by credible research, and not distort that reality by excluding factors that don’t happen to suit particular ideological dogma.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “Would you like me to quote Treasury: they put actual figures on it:

                      The intergenerational income elasticity for people from Dunedin was 0.26. This implies that a 1% increase in the income of a person’s father is associated with, on average, a 0.26% increase in their own income when they are an adult.”


                      I have read the paper you quoted OAB, and I can see why you have rapidly back peddled out of this discussion.

                      I can confirm that YET AGAIN, you are deliberately using a small quote out of context in order to make a dishonest and misleading implication that a piece of research is evidence for the points you are making.

                      I’ll say again that when you knowingly have to distort and misquote evidence in order to ‘prove’ a point, isn’t that time you should be re-considering your point rather than trying to mislead other people?
                      And I will also say again that this kind of behavior is ethically repugnant. When you have spent so much time pointing the finger at other people for lying and cheating and deceiving, how do you justify your own use of exactly the same tactics?

                      The Treasury paper does not in any way at all back your implication that there are concrete barriers to social mobility in NZ.
                      In fact it shows a degree of social mobility that compares favourably with other developed countries. (“only men in Denmark are more mobile than men from Dunedin.”)

                      And as with Fergusson and Woodward, the study suggests that the underlying mechanisms that explain mobility or lack thereof are not primarily due to economic disadvantage.

                      “Indeed, New Zealand research shows that individual specific factors, such as child poverty and coming from a dysfunctional home environment, tend to have a modest effect on subsequent outcomes for people. Multiple disadvantages are associated more strongly with negative outcomes, but many people are still able to overcome them. Protective factors include individual characteristics, family cohesion and warmth, good parenting and external support systems.”

                      “Parental incomes also explained only a very small proportion of the variance in the incomes of men and women who were born in Dunedin, confirming that other factors have a large effect on their incomes.”

                      “a family’s economic circumstances when a person is growing up had only a modest effect on that person’s subsequent economic outcomes.”

                      There is an interesting discussion in there alright, but I suspect an inflexible and dogmatic ideological position would prevent OAB (and many other commentors on TS) from approaching the subject honestly…..

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yep, you still haven’t grasped the point.

                      Can you define “concrete barriers” – and then point to what I actually wrote, by way of contrast, you lying piece of shit?

                      Or are you going to continue jerking off your stupid feeble strawmen?

                      I’m saying there are constraints on social mobility in this country. That’s all I’ve been saying. Not any of the twisted shite dribbling down your chin.

                      Now fuck off.

                    • The lost sheep

                      A ‘concrete barrier’ is a factor that would prevent someone, or a particular class of people, from social mobility if they choose to achieve it.

                      The studies YOU referenced (all very well to say I am making strawmen when i quote directly from them!) DO NOT claim there is any such barrier.

                      As above, they provide a lot of evidence to the contrary.

                      Fuck off?
                      A lot of talk this week regarding whats wrong with the Left OAB, and I reckon you are demonstrating a very important aspect of that.
                      Utterly constrained in a straitjacket of dogma, and viciously hostile to any one who dares to threaten it.

                      Why would anyone be attracted to an environment full of concrete barbed wire lined barriers of dogma erected by bullies like you?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If you don’t like receiving such a hostile reaction, stop putting words in my mouth.

                      There are constraints on social mobility in New Zealand, according to the New Zealand Treasury department (they even put a figure on it) the OECD, Massey University, etc.

                      Meanwhile, you’re busy talking shit, pretending (“if they choose to achieve it”) that it’s all a matter of choice. We’ve already discussed your grotesque self-attribution fantasies. I don’t propose to school you again.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “There are constraints on social mobility in New Zealand, according to the New Zealand Treasury department”

                      You can’t help yourself OAB, and I’m not in a mood to let you off the hook.

                      The Treasury paper you reference above DOES NOT state that there are “constraints” on social mobility in NZ.

                      If I have missed that statement, please tell me specifically where I can find it?

                      When we have that out of the way, I look forward to a genuine and honest discussion on the mechanisms it DOES identify, which are consistent with the Fergusson and Woodward study you also quoted.

                      “The results show that only a small proportion of variance in income or SES was explained by the economic situation of people’s parents, indicating that other explanatory variables are more important.”

                      If then we have an assumption that people want to achieve social mobilty (oh, and the studies you quote suggest that is not actually a given), and we have a genuine concern about it….
                      Then we should be spending more time focusing on ‘the other explanatory variables’ than the relatively insignificant economic factors?

                      I suggest we could do that in the order Fergusson and Woodward chose for those factors.
                      Lets start with cognitive ability, and work our way through class differences in attitudes to education, before we get onto economic mechanisms?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Seriously, you’re going to state that there are ‘class differences’ in NZ and yet object to the remark that there are constraints on social mobility?

                      Treasury’s figures on the relationship between parental and adult income also demonstrate such constraints.

                      Education levels also affect social mobility. The single largest influence on education outcomes is household income.

                      “An assumption that people want to…” whose assumption is this? The facts demonstrate the level of social mobility, not some brainfart of yours where you get to tell me what people you don’t know think.

                      Now, since you’re so keen to pretend that Fergusson & Woodward agree with you…

                      This association was in part explained by the effects of socio-demographic factors correlated with socioeconomic status, and by differences in children’s cognitive ability and achievement during middle childhood. However, even after taking into account the effects of socio-demographic factors, cognitive ability and educational achievement, young people from professional/managerial family backgrounds continued to have a rate of university participation that was more than one and half times the rate of their peers from unskilled/semi-skilled family backgrounds.

                      Yeah nah, there they are, discussing constraints on social mobility.


                      a limitation or restriction.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “Seriously, you’re going to state that there are ‘class differences’ in NZ and yet object to the remark that there are constraints on social mobility?”

                      Of course I’m not OAB.
                      The ‘class’ reference is a direct quote from Fergusson & Woodward, and refers to the aggregated, or ‘classified’ socioeconomic/demographic groupings of Elley/Irving scale, as used for the purposes of their research.
                      If you have an objection to that, you will need to take it up with the researchers you have referenced, not me.

                      “Yeah nah, there they are, discussing constraints on social mobility. Duh.”

                      Well, No.
                      They are not.
                      You are committing the (deliberate) logical fallacy of attributing a definite cause to a phenomena, when no such linkage has been established or claimed.
                      YOU are placing YOUR inference into their mouths.

                      I won’t bore the good readers here with a rehashing of the above thread in the hope OAB might actually concede a point.
                      Has anyone ever seen him do so?

                      I recommend anyone who is genuinely interested in Social Mobility in NZ to read the studies that OAB quoted and are linked above.
                      Much of what you will find will be disturbing to those who are ideologically committed to a worldview based in concepts of active social and financial oppression.
                      If you find your dogma threatened I suggest you study the techniques OAB has demonstrated in this thread in order to prevent his inflexible belief system being threatened by reality.
                      But If you have a genuine concern, and believe that solutions must be based on the real world situation rather than ideological dogma, then there is some very practical stuff to be considered.

                      I am going to leave this here OAB, as I don’t want to be like poor Stuart and spend the next 100 posts trying in vain to get the last word on you. It’s all yours!

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Your living standard would be eroded by higher taxes?

          Says who? So far as I’m concerned you have no pride or faith in your community and you think that’s the same as having a clue about economics, so I’m not particularly inclined to take your word for it.

    • b waghorn 22.2

      “”The so called “wealthy” ALREADY pay more tax “”
      John keys wealth increased by 5 million last year he played roughly 3% tax on it .
      All this aspperational bs would stand if every one started from a level playing field which is why its such a load of shit.!
      And as a swing voter how do you choose who you vote for do you watch which way the wind is blowing and then follow or are you a free thinker.?
      And is honesty not something that’s important to you I could understand someone getting fooled by key once or twice but three times.!??!

      • Big Al 22.2.1

        Wow! You obviously have insider info on JK’s tax returns! I’m seriously impressed.
        The level playing field never existed : never will – What makes a difference is what you do.
        And I’m honest enough to admit I will look at policies which favour my personal circumstances and vote accordingly. (Including Helen Clark).

        • b waghorn

          Keys tax stuff was public last year some where.
          Wouldn’t it be a much better world if people thought of the bigger picture rather than self interest.
          As for my self being a “lower middle class”worker neither of the big parties do much to me so I vote with my conscience..

      • Clemgeopin 22.2.2

        Most voters don’t seem to be altruistic. They are there to see what is there for them and their families. That is why Key/English gave a massive tax cut that continues each year! (though they increased GST, that is not something that really bothers most!)

        English did not pay up any debts at all. Instead he has increased it to a huge amount. Now he has cut the Kiwi Saver Kick starter of $1,000 technically stealing about 100 to 200 million each year. (but will pay after another year, $25 for very poor beneficiaries with kids, but has put nasty conditions of work as claw back)

        Also he has ALREADY signaled that there will be more tax CUTS in 2017, the election year! Yes, people are salivating already for that. See the difficulty that Labour has to over come to get sufficient electoral support!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.3

      Name one Green policy you consider ‘hard Left’ – you’d better link to their policy document while you’re at it to wash out the failoil.

      • Tracey 22.3.1

        But, but, what about Big Als’ concern? Hes just an ordinary everyday person who voted for national but wants to vote for Labour except that National makes it all about him, which he likes, cos he works hard and deserves what he gets. C’mon Labour! Make it all about Big Al… PULEEEEZE

      • Big Al 22.3.2

        Rather than get into policy exchanges and “you said/I said/they said, let’s look at the bigger picture. I don’t have to justify my distrust or dislike of the Greens : BUT the Greens have to show me why I should vote for them. Supposedly, a Green Party cares for the environment, the planet and the future. With 6 grandchildren I do too. But this is only one aspect of Government, and a casual review of the on-line Green policies is overloaded with “fairer society” and “smarter economy”. In fact, only 4 of 28 policies are for a cleaner environment. So I see the Green message as more Labour policy with a tinge of green, rather than the other way round. And that is why IMHO the green message is confusing to the 90% of NZ’ers who DON’T vote Green.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          So, they have policies that are similar to those adopted by the party that pays down debt, gets more people working, and increases per capita gdp at a faster rate than any National Party government ever?

          Which ones are “hard left” again?

          Or were you just expressing some bile?

        • weka

          “With 6 grandchildren I do too. But this is only one aspect of Government, and a casual review of the on-line Green policies is overloaded with “fairer society” and “smarter economy”. In fact, only 4 of 28 policies are for a cleaner environment.”

          Not sure that number is correct, but you’re missing a major point. The GP don’t consider the environment to be an add on, it’s core to everything they do, and their policies all interrelate. So you will see the environment underpinning all the other policies. Did you count their economic, ICT, agricultural, employment, research, tourism, transport, etc policies? There’s environmental care in all of those.

    • Tracey 22.4

      thanks for your honesty swing voter, and your concern

    • Karen 22.5

      Well Mr Swing Voter, I rather hope you stay with the Nats as it seems the only way Labour and the Greens could appeal to you is by becoming right wing.

      Do you really believe you deserve to be paid lots more money because you work hard? Lots of people work hard. Rest home care assistants for instance, but they are usually on the minimum wage.

      Chances are you are intelligent, ambitious, and a bit lucky. It seems you are also incredibly selfish and unwilling to look at the reasons you are doing well financially while others are not. You will have had advantages that others will never have, yet you think you deserve to get more and more wealthy at the expense of those on the bottom of the heap. I don’t know how you sleep at night.

    • Sacha 22.6

      “And the Greens are scary with some of their policies!”

      Can you give me some examples?
      Genuinely interested in which things are putting people off.

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