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In the frame

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, January 25th, 2012 - 84 comments
Categories: labour, Maori Issues, Politics - Tags:

I understand there’s a bit of a following of George Lakoff in the Labour Party caucus. Now I’m not a great exponent of his but consider this “frame”:

“Labour is no longer the party that supports Maori.”

This is a very familiar meme that has been driven in by Laboour’s opponents and some pundits for a few years now.

Now consider this from a story covering yesterday’s Ratana gathering:

Church secretary Waka Palmer told Mr Shearer that just as the party wanted to rejuvenate itself, its relationship with Ratana needed work.

“It is timely, then, that we must also review the Labour-Ratana alliance. Much has happened over the decades, we must acknowledge, but more importantly move on, for Maori diversity has changed and we are in the 21st century.”

People today faced many challenges, especially the growing gap between rich and poor, Mr Palmer said. Politicians must follow through on their talking.

Mr Shearer acknowledged Ratana’s message and said Labour had to put more work into the relationship.

What we see here is Shearer accepting the frame that has been placed on him and his party and thus reinforcing it.

How strong is this narrative getting? Let’s have a look at John Key’s response:

Mr Key said he believed National had done more to improve the lives of Maori than Labour had done. “I think the links between Ratana Church and the Labour Party are well and truly gone in reality.”

Yes, that’s right. The Prime Minister that has overseen a massive increase in Maori unemployment, who’s party has been behind just about every anti-Maori act of state in the last fifty years, can claim his party is better for Maori. And the media didn’t even blink.

Now I know there are Labour members (and members of parliament) who will say that’s the media’s fault for not asking Ratana what they think of Key’s ridiculous statement. But why would they when Labour’s leader has more or less implicitly agreed with it? Surely that makes it a common wisdom?

That’s how this framing lark works. Now I know that Labour wants to show it’s moving on but accepting your opponents’ narratives doesn’t make you look like you’re moving on. It makes you look weak.

And if Labour thinks Kiwis will vote for a weak leader just because they like him they’re delusional.

My concern is Labour will accept other, more important, narratives from their opponents such as the need to crack down on beneficiaries and get tough on crime in some failed bid to grab the mythical “centre”. They tried this early in Goff’s tenure with his Maori bashing speech and it didn’t make him look tough because calling “me-too” never does. Instead it make you look weak for buying into your opponent’s line. Weak and opportunistic. With the added bonus of alienating your base. It will be no different if Shearer does it.

My hope is that Labour will stop all of this hand-wringing and buying into their opponents shtick and instead find ways to articulate strong progressive values in the language of winners. Because until they do that they’ll never be taken seriously.

84 comments on “In the frame”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    There was a 4-5 minute interview with Shearer on National Radio yesterday over the Ratana relationship. The bottom lines that I heard from Shearer’s message:
    – Labour and Ratana have a strong history, the history will always be there.
    – But the political landscape has changed with other more Maori oriented political parties.
    – Ratana members now support these many other parties as well.
    – Labour and Ratana will work on their relationship together in those areas they have common values and interests.
    – But Labour does not realistically expect to get 100% Ratana back on side like it once was historically.

  2. Peter 2

    Is this what happens when you put an inexperienced MP into the leadership? Or is there some logic to this sort of naievty that I don’t understand?

    I want Shearer to succeed for the good of the party, but yeah, appearing weak in a Maori audience isn’t a way to achieve that. Maori are the most loyal Labour voters we have, probably more loyal than we deserve actually.

    • Treetop 2.1

      If you put yourself second best you come last. What I really like about Cunliffe is that he does not put himself second best. Shearer was my second pick because he is too diplomatic for my liking. Also still waters can run deep and were Shearer to lose his rag I may change my mind.

  3. muzza 3

    What we will see over the coming years is a realisation that the party political system has failed the vast majority of Kiwis in recent decades. As people wake from their slumber they will go looking for alternatives, and it is likely that Labour and National will take the biggest hits.

    They can’t/won’t fix this country’s problems, because they have become a large part of the problem!

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1


      They’re so accustomed to working within the present paradigm that they can’t, and won’t, see that’s it’s failing the majority of people. Because of this they won’t (probably can’t) change, they’ll just keep doing the same thing over and over again.

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        Ditto for the MSM. For example, a rich person has the money to ply influence and also go on a march down central city. Whereas a benefitary has little money to get into the central city and so if they make the effort to protest the rich 1%, you’ve guess it, they get bagged by some whiny TV NZ presenter that thinks most kiwis think its wrong for benefitaries to be camped out on the civic lawn. Sorry, but in most countries the MSM would not be so, well, full of crap like it is here, and this gives the impression that the left are weak when the MSM editors allow for such obvious sandbagging of the poor. Geez, and think about it for a moment, a bennie meets lots of people some rich, some poor, on the protest and is actually ‘networking’ that may lead to opportunities for work. So I find it shocking that WINZ, or MSM, or anyone with one ounce of integrity would be narkd that bennies are protesting on the govt dime. Its good for their health, its good for their social self esteem, its good for political health and its good for their job prospects (and they may even pick up skills that could mean they are less likely to remain a burden or become more of a burden). Yet the MSM is too rich, too rightwing, and too stupid to realize that the real problem with the Labour party is the dictorial MSM that push the agenda to the right, and so make Labour look weak.

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    The first step to fixing a problem is to acknowledge it exists. Shearer is taking that first step, yet you criticise him for it.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      Thanks for your concern.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.1

        Welcome. Everyone should be concerned, because there is a significant chance that Shearer will be our next PM. Of course the chances of this are much greater if Labour alleviates some of its more left-wing ideology, which Shearer appears to be doing.

        • IrishBill

          No, I think National needs to get rid of Key and make Bill English leader if they want to get a third term.

          See how transparent concern-trolling is? Keep it up and I’ll lose my patience (of which I have very little).

          • queenstfarmer

            Gosh, haven’t heard of “concern trolling”, but Wikipedia says:

            “A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold.”

            My actual point of view is accurately stated, so I am not “concern trolling”, or any other sort of trolling. And besides, it’s a factually correct statement directly on topic:

            1. There is a significant chance that Shearer will our next PM.
            2. Shearer has already signalled a more pragmatic, less ideological approach.
            3. Shearer has said that Labout needs to do so in order to win back the electorate.

            • Muzza

              So anyone putting in an OIR to see if David Shearer is a member of Politicians for Global Order, woops, I meant Action.

              Pragmatic is easy to play when you have nothing to lose ! If Dave becomes PM we will all get to see the system in action working against the people, and around and around it goes!

            • Fortran

              Shearer will only become PM with the connivance of the Greens and possible NZ First.
              That is MMP.
              He should get into a relationship now with their leadership to form a coalition.
              It is only by a cancerted joint effort that the numbers required can be achieved.
              It can be done but by Labour alone – the numbers are not there.

              • Colonial Viper

                Key can only become PM through the connivance of ACT, the Maori Party, and the Hair.

                As for qstf – who ya trying to kid, face it mate you’re a fairly regular concern troll.

                • queenstfarmer

                  Give me one example.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Obvious concern troll is obvious and you are the last person I need to convince.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      So as usual you can’t back up what you say – not that I expected you would.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Back up what I say? You’ve been judged mate, don’t go around pleading that you’re somehow innocent and suddenly an honest broker.

                    • McFlock

                      So you really want Labour to rebuild support by outlining firm steps to address the concerns of an economically disadvantaged demographic group? A step with the ultimate objective of forming a government to implement those policies?

                    • felix

                      lolz, after a solid year (under THIS name) of trolling, lying, weaseling, NACT line running, semantic game playing, and all-round bullshitting the Queen st Framer wants us all to pretend we’ve never come across him before and take him at face value.

                      Fuck off troll, you’re no use to anyone when you’re so transparent.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      So you really want Labour to rebuild support by outlining firm steps to address the concerns of an economically disadvantaged demographic group? A step with the ultimate objective of forming a government to implement those policies?

                      Yes to the first sentence. Unless and until they do that, I can’t say whether I would support the second sentence.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So you really want Labour to rebuild support by outlining firm steps to address the concerns of an economically disadvantaged demographic group? A step with the ultimate objective of forming a government to implement those policies?

                      Yes to the first sentence.

                      Explanatory note to all: qstf considers the very wealthy an under appreciated, economically disadvantaged, overtaxed minority group.

                    • McFlock

                      The second sentence logically follows the first, otherwise the first does not involve “firm steps” so it’s self contradictory.
                      Do you want a government that redistributes wealth and restructures the economy to eradicate poverty, even if it makes the rich less rich? Because poverty is a very significant issue for Maori.

            • QoT

              Helps to quote the sentence after, qsf: “The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”.”

              • queenstfarmer

                Helps how? If you are saying I have done that, then I’m sure you can show one example.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Helps explain your modus operandi.

                • QoT

                  It’s okay, qsf, I’ll play along this time.

                  It helps because many people here don’t believe you really have the best interests of the Labour Party at heart, and your “concerns” are just attempts to derail and deflect the conversation away from constructive topics.

                  You selectively quoted from Wiki to make it look like you were just being accused of lying; actually, you’re being accused of lying, with the express purpose of derailing and deflecting the conversation etc.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    many people here don’t believe you really have the best interests of the Labour Party at heart

                    Which shows you (and those other people) are not paying attention and have the wrong end of the stick. When did I ever claim to have “the best interests of the Labour Party at heart”? Or, when did I ever claim have any party’s “best interests at heart”.

                    Answer: never.

                    your “concerns” are just attempts to derail and deflect the conversation away from constructive topics

                    Nonsense. My original comment (2 short sentences) directly addresses the article, and did not express any “concerns” at all. Yet it was labelled “concern trolling”.

                    You selectively quoted from Wiki

                    I posted the relevant definition (such as it is). You want me to post the entire Wikipedia entry? I note you too have selectively quoted from Wiki.

                    you’re being accused of lying, with the express purpose of derailing and deflecting the conversation

                    Accused falsely – you can’t back it up. In fact – what is the “lie” I am accused of?? My original comment (2 sentences) were totally on the article. The only “derailing and deflecting” have been your strange (and false) accusations of “trolling”.

  5. Tim 5

    You’re misunderstanding framing.

    The frame is the way in which you want something to be viewed. And neither Key nor Shearer’s framing is about “support” for Maori (i.e a safety net or help).

    John Key’s framing is a “link” that is “gone”. A connection or bridge that is no longer there.

    Shearer’s framing is about a “relationship” that needs some work (the equivalent of a husband and wife that need to “refresh” their marriage or get some counselling).

    Now that might be bad framing – but Shearer’s framing is quite different from Key’s, and neither framing is about “support”. In fact, by talking about a “relationship” Shearer is attacking Key’s framing about a “link” that is “gone”.

    And one might argue that Shearer’s framing (putting it into the context of a family relationship – with all its difficulties) is actually quite a useful framing. It’s honest and it reflects reality – the Ratana relationship does need some work.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      Perhaps I should have used the term “best represent the interests of” rather than “support”.

      I’m sorry but you’re looking as a “frame” as applying to a single narrow statement (ie Key’s “frame” and Shearer’s “frame”) rather than understanding that the frame provides structure to a much larger context.

      The give-away is that you feel the need to explain each leader’s statement in terms of only its own stand-alone meaning, rather than within the broader context.

      Indeed it is this context that is the frame and the statements made by both leaders, in this instance, work to support that frame. If Shearer wants to move on he’s going to have to find ways to shift this narrative rather than shaping his language to fit within it.

  6. Bored 6

    Galbraith said of Keynes (something like), ” He was of a time for the times, but not for all times”. Perhaps the same can be said of Ratana, he was the prophet for his people as they were then.

    I wonder what Ratana would make of Turia and the Maori Party, and their relationship to urban Maori?

    Would Ratana have considered todays Labour Party relevant to his people?

    • Populuxe1 6.1

      Personally I think there is something rather unhealthy about a political party being in bed with any sect just because that sect’s leaders tell everybody in that sect to vot a certain way. For me it just has uncormfortable associations of the Exclusive Brethren, Destiny Church etc.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Sorry that’s just tarring with the same brush any tightly knit community with shared values.

        • Populuxe1

          There’s a difference between a “tightly knit community with shared values” and being told how to vote on fear of exclusion and/or an uncomfortable afterlife.

    • Peter 6.2

      Didn’t realise that about Galbraith, but fascinating. Keynes like basically everyone else of that time, didn’t see limits on energy or resources, which is why, sadly, Keynesian economics as traditionally applied, won’t work currently.

      It’s also why quantative easing isn’t working either.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Yes, that’s right. The Prime Minister that has overseen a massive increase in Maori unemployment, who’s party has been behind just about every anti-Maori act of state in the last fifty years, can claim his party is better for Maori. And the media didn’t even blink.

    This is more about the reporting of truth that I mentioned a couple of days ago. The media just aren’t holding the politicians, especially NAct politicians, to account for the difference between what they say and what they actually do.

    Now I know there are Labour members (and members of parliament) who will say that’s the media’s fault for not asking Ratana what they think of Key’s ridiculous statement. But why would they when Labour’s leader has more or less implicitly agreed with it?

    Because it’s their job to hold politicians to account and they’re not doing their job.

    And if Labour thinks Kiwis will vote for a weak leader just because they like him they’re delusional.

    It’s how we got John Key who’s got to be the weakest PM in my lifetime.

    My hope is that Labour will stop all of this hand-wringing and buying into their opponents shtick and instead find ways to articulate strong progressive values in the language of winners.

    Hope springs eternal. Unfortunately, in this case, it won’t be realised as Labour will go still further to the right. I suggest we stop deluding ourselves – Labour is no longer a party of the left or progressive.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      The media just aren’t holding the politicians, especially NAct politicians, to account for the difference between what they say and what they actually do.

      That’s not the media’s fault. National has a research unit and a media unit that is constantly providing focus on Labour. Labour has a research unit and a media unit that are being cut and, for the last few years, has focused half of its off-the-record chats with journalists on internal backstabbing.

      For the most part in day to day politics the media is a level playing field. Labour have just been poor players.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        So you think that the political parties should be doing the journalists job?

        • IrishBill

          In an ideal world? No. If labour don’t want to get owned? Yes.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The political parties should have their own research units and pass information along to the journalists but the journalists still need to do the fact checking and it’s this latter that is not happening. The MSM are just printing what they’ve heard and been given without question.

  8. IrishBill 8

    And by the way, this is another classic example of a story being all about Labour. There’s a good story about how Ratana feel about Key’s claim that National is just the bees-knees for Maori but while the narrative is all about Labour and it’s internal problems nobody’s even going to think about a story like that.

    Perhaps if there had been some work by Labour to disseminate some stats and stories about National’s record on Maori issues in the days before the event the frame it was reported in would be different.

    • Blighty 8.1

      True, you’ve got to sow the seeds if you want to reap the harvest. but who would lead that kind of strategic thinking? The chief press sec, you would think. I see no sign fran mold thinks like that. What’s up with her being reappointed after completely failing to win the press gallery to Labour’s side anyway? All those anti Cunliffe and pro Shearer stories that appeared in the media last year? Guess she can do strategy after all, when her job’s at stake.

  9. James 111 9

    Is this the left already under mining Shearer ,and we arent even past the first month of the year? What a happy little bunch of comarades you are.

    I just wonder if its far to much to ask one Leader to try ,and pull all the factions in the Labour Party together.Often the most vocal in the Labour Party are minority groups who dont represent the thoughts of the majority of your voters.

    This leaves the majority feeling disillusioned with the party in general. As the party is seen to pander to the extremist view rather than the majority view. Might help explain your low voter turnout

    • McFlock 9.1

      thx 4 yr cncrn

      • Rob 9.1.1

        Not concerned, just amazed at how you guys keep missing the 40 stone gorilla in the room whilst you focus on trying to intellectualize why no one likes you.

        • Colonial Viper

          Funny, I’ve met a lot of people who like Labour in the last year…and if the commentary I have been getting since the election holds, a lot more are starting to like Labour now.

          As for the nice man John Key – what newspaper story is he going to try and suppress next?

        • McFlock

          As opposed to the minority (and falling) who like the tories?

          • Rob

            What is a “torie”?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Hey, look at that, another Tory showing his ignorance.

            • felix

              When pluralising in English, the letters “ie” are usually substituted for a closing “y”.


              • Rob

                Ok whatever, I was naturally curious as to what a Tory is.

                • Colonial Viper

                  wikipedia is on again now.

                  • McFlock

                    The question I pondered was “how can someone with natural curiousity be such a moron?”

                    • Rob

                      So from Wiki

                      Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada. Historically it also had exponents in former parts of the British Empire, for instance the Loyalists of British North America who sided with Britain and Crown during the Revolutionary War. The Tory ethics can be summed up with the phrase ‘God, King and Country’. Tories generally advocate monarchism, are usually of a High Church Anglican or Recusant Catholic religious heritage, and are opposed to the radical liberalism of the Whig faction.

                    • McFlock

                      Typical tory moron – any person with a functianl braincell would have looked at the section “current usage” in that article.

                      In Britain after 1832 the Tory Party was replaced by the Conservative Party, and “Tory” has become shorthand for a member of the Conservative Party or for the party in general. Many Conservatives still call themselves “Tory” to differentiate themselves from opponents, and the term is common in the media.
                      In Canada, the term “Tory” may describe any member of the Conservative Party of Canada, its predecessor party the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, or any similar affiliated conservative provincial party; the term is frequently used in contrast to “Grit“, a shorthand for the Liberal Party of Canada.
                      In Australia, “Tory” is used as a pejorative term by members of the Australian Labor Party to refer to members of the conservative coalition Liberal and National parties.[12]

                    • QoT

                      What the hell is WITH people selectively quoting Wikipedia today? Do y’all not realise that we can just go and see the bits you conveniently missed out?

                    • felix

                      They don’t realise that other people have the internets too.

                      It’s the developmental stage they’re stuck in.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s the web equivalent of indicating left then turning right in an attempt to lose the police pursuit.

    • Well here we go again Crosby-Textor sow a few sees of dicontent and a few Labour people buy it.
      Surely we have learnt from the way the Tory sleaze team attacked Phil Goff over the last three years should alert us to how Textor -Crosby go about their sleazy business. Aready they have started to covertly sow the sees of doubt regarding Shearer’s leadership.
      The facts are that regardles of David’s lack of parliamentary time served his creditials are pure Social -Democratic. However he can’t manage the party on his own he needs our support and we need to let him know.
      Our job is to make sure that we win the next election,albeit most likely Labour/Green coalition and theres nothing wrong in that.

  10. SpaceMonkey 10

    It’s not a mistake to accept your opponents narrative if you have a follow-up trumping argument or angle that can “burn” your opponent. That’s what’s missing. Otherwise it comes across as self-flagellation. There has been a bit of that to date, and that’s ok when acknowledging past mistakes, but there’s a time limit before you have to come up with something new..

    When Shearer was elected Labour leader my instinct said he was Labour’s equivalent of John Key… great back story but precious little political experience. In power Shearer’s leadership would be as vacuous as Key’s.

    At the moment, Labour has done little to separate them from National and vice versa… they’d probably do better to form a coalition and stuff the fringe parties but they’re still locked in that tiring dualistic left-right paradigm. Time will tell if I’m wrong… I hope I am. God knows NZ needs another Key-variant at the helm like a hole in the head, especially with the economic troubles heading our way from the northern hemisphere. So far our politicians (irrespectve of party) have only been outstanding in their ability to ignore the reality.

  11. randal 11

    David Shearer has come to [politics in new zeland after a stellar career elsewhere.
    at the moment he is at the mercy of the interest groups in the party when he should be reading the history of the party flat out and not listening to others with their own barrows to push.
    if the party thinks they can act like a business or the tories and just buy a new ceo then they are mistaken.
    it may have worked for the nashnil gubmint but it wont work for the Labour Party.
    look how David Lange was rolled by douglas and prebble and the other converts to the money at all costs party and how the party nearly went into terminal decline then.
    Lets see if Shearer can become his own man but the effort must be in his readin gof history and not pussyfooting around with the resident intellectuals and other softsoapers and backscratchers.

    • tc 11.1

      +1 particularly as those backscratchers and backers just architected one of their worst ever election results against what was a strong performance by Goff who did as asked.

      If it was professional sport they’d be sacked however with politics and big business it seems to be oh well try again here’s a payrise and bonus.

  12. randal 12

    much as the pinheads from ipredict and the other noonoo heads who bet on sports would have it politics is not sport. not yet anyway.
    there are real issues at stake such as who gets what how why and when.
    at the moment the nushnil gubmint just wants everything they can get their grubby little paws on.
    they have no give in them.
    they also have a commitment to destroying the middle classes so there is no fallback position and they can carry on like south american dictators.
    without the Labour Party the country would be in deep shit and when the Labour party regainsthe treasury benches it will take a lot of hard work to prise back the states assets off the bloodsuckers and the absentee rentiers and bondholders who dont give a stuf where their money comes from.

  13. shorts 13

    pandering to ratana and lossing the soundbite war virtually on their hometurf  – major fail (i apprecaite the media reality but its still not good enough)

    ignoring the port workers to do so – major fail

    want to win the election… best sort ya shit out labour or you’ll be the minor party in a green lead coalition, at best

    waiting but not for much longer        


  14. just saying 14

    Gordon Campbell’s latest is relevant:


    According to RNZ, the caucus meeting in Taupo will be discussing the party’s strategies on welfare reform and the retirement age, but no immediate announcements on changes to Labour’s policy stances can be expected, post retreat.

    If this is slow and careful to some, it also looks like unsure and tentative to others – and with no change from the former reliance on focus groups and polling before policy positions are taken.

    This really isn’t good enough.

    New Zealanders cannot afford to wait in line to meet David Shearer, one by one. By taking the slow and tentative approach, Shearer is going to let himself be defined by the parliamentary agenda that begins in early February. In other words, the early perceptions of him will be shaped by his opposing tack to the government’s timetable and agenda, and not through messages of his own devising

  15. randal 15

    some people should stop carping from the sidelines, get off their asses and do something like deliver pamphlets or hold street corner meetings.
    its too easy for bleaters to come on here and make like they really have something to say.

  16. shorts 16

    party has to earn respect begore people like myself willingly give our time to any particular party 


    • QoT 16.1

      Don’t you undestand, shorts? Before you can criticise any political party’s policies or actions, you have to earn enough Party Credit (TM). Giving them your money is usually a good earner, although if you roll snake eyes during your Criticism Check you’ll still get ignored as a splitter.

      The main thing to remember is that Labour deserves your vote and deserves your money and deserves your volunteer labour (boom boom) even if you completely disagree with its current actions or direction, and you just have to take it on faith that one day the Rapture will come and your good works will be rewarded.

      Because if you don’t just support Labour 100% through thick and thin and never ever criticise them, you’re basically Paula Bennett.

  17. Blue 17

    This is why John Key is such an effective politician. He just comes out with a breezy, confident, assured piece of utter bullshit, because he knows that the media will (a) report it, and (b) not question it.

    Key knows how to play the lazy, compliant NZ media like a guitar.

    • shorts 17.1

      this is what buigs me the most, Key and co don’t strike me as being very good with the media nor particualty intelligent… yet he/they stick to the plan say what is needed and wins the media day and thus apathetic publics eye

      meanwhile more capable and seeimingly intelligent labourites repeat the same thoughtful and consdidered, (sometimes dumb), approach and no doubt wonder why each and everytime they come out looking like losers – in a media that isn’t there to support them in the first place





  18. RedLogix 18

    Personally I’m in ‘wait mode’ on Labour. Shearer is inexperienced and will need time; that’s the cost of choosing him over Cunliffe. Whether it turns out worth paying that price has yet to be seen. Because in the meantime National will get all the running on framing the debate; leave that too long and the momentum will prove impossible to overcome. Invariably the party that sets the terms of the discussion is the one that wins it… regardless of facts or truth.

    Certainly Labour cannot afford to wait 2 yrs and 9 months for Shearer to fire like it took Goff.

    Frankly the next election is the left’s to lose. The Greens will hit 15% or more, Labour need to get over 33% again, … and that is doable.

    • felix 18.1

      My feelings exactly.

      • shorts 18.1.1

        most kiwis get less than 90 days to justify their existence to their paymaster when in a new role thanks to our good friends in power

        I’d like to think Mr Shearer and the party won’t make us wait too long for as you sat RedLogix National will set the agenda and win regardless of their many slipups

  19. I totally agree with you IB and the next person that says that Labour needs to apologise will get an earful from me.  If paying off the crown debt at the same time as reducing unemployment to its lowest level in decades and doing something significant about child poverty at the same time is a cause for apologising then I am going to emigrate.

    The right keep saying that Labour needs to do the mea culpa thing, the way I see things Labour needs to rethink and present a fresh view of the country’s future and what needs to happen.

    It does not need to apologise.  Did Micky Savage or Peter Fraser have to do this?

    I agree that by buying into this theme the current leadership is doing the party a disservice.

    If anyone wants to debate the merits of this I am more than happy to do so. But anyone coming up with a series of CT generated slogans should think again.

    When, when, when has a tory ever apologised for the damage they have done to our society?

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Precisely and exactly micky. I hesistated to say what I wanted to say about this earlier because what I wanted to write came out rabid and intemperate. You’ve nailed it.

      At every damned point along the road Labour has backfooted every issue when, with only a handful exceptions, they really had nothing to apologise for. I’ve lost count of the issues where I’ve seen amateur bloggers, dare I say it myself included from time to time, do a better job of putting Labour’s case than the Party professionals have themselves.

      As IB says.. in the end all this ‘apologising’, ‘re-connecting’, and ‘contrition’… just looks likes weakness. Everyone can see this.

      • ak 19.1.1

        Tautoko Red. But worse than weakness. Treachery. Renunciation of that greatest of all frames erected long ago on a middle eastern hill and surviving millenia of voodoo indoctrination by vested and invested forces of oppression, still loudly resonant in the hearts of wee Johnny’s socialist focus groups.

        The frame of succour, stark beacon of hope for the poor, oppressed, persecuted, raped and raupatued down the ages. Labour, proud bearer of the legacy and friend to Maori by irrefutable, immutable heritage. A truth known and held by all: and betrayed for thirty filthy pieces of polling comfort at it’s stewards’ fatal peril.

  20. just saying 20

    Everyone can see this.

    We can’t get rid of our parliamentarians, but is there ANY way the left can use its collective influence to change the “advising” team.
    Because the left still needs Labour, and let’s face it they’re going down.

  21. randal 21

    Labour is not going down.
    where is the evidence or are you being paid to repeat this piece of nonsense?

    • just saying 21.1

      Yup. Going right and going down.

      1 See policy and voting behaviour from 2007
      2 See polls from 2007
      3 plot graphs

  22. the sprout 22

    good post, well said IB.
    it also suggests to me that the current Labour caucus is intent on dragging us back to the neo-lib 80s of the Lange government, when Labour happily instigated National policies.

    it also strikes me as very Pagani that while Labour is being so cowardly about the POAL dispute, it’s happy to pipe up about Chinese ownership of Crafar Farms when there’s a chance of hooking a bit of xenophobic redneck vote.

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