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Internet Mana: the sell-out and the reaction

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, May 27th, 2014 - 191 comments
Categories: election 2014, hone harawira, mana - Tags: , ,

A common response I saw to the Mana/Internet alliance today was, “Oh great, Mana’s sold out. Mana’s meant to be grassroots! Mana and the Internet Party have nothing in common!”

The thing is, it largely (not entirely) came from people who aren’t Mana members or supporters. It came from Labour supporters.

So my initial reaction was to say “Maybe Labour members shouldn’t crow too loudly about the idea of a party moderating its views in order to get broader mainstream appeal. Maybe, if you really love Mana’s kaupapa/ideology/vision/tactics that much, you should put a ring on it. I mean, join it.”

It wasn’t a particularly nice thought, but I was saved from tweeting it by character limits – probably for the best, because this kind of snark goes over much better in the longform.

The thing is, it does feel like there are some on the left who approved of Mana’s out-there down-and-dirty politics … in a very condescending way. An “isn’t it cute? They organise people living in state houses to go on marches and wave little flags, just like real revolutionaries!” way. An, “of course they’ll never win anything because they’re too scary and loud (and unashamedly brown) but wouldn’t it be great if we could all be ideologically pure like them? Bless” way.

I think Mana is seen by some in Labour as admirably extreme: but oh, they’re just not our kind of political ally. Obviously it would be delightful if they managed to pull 3-4% and bring in some definitely-not-going-into-coalition-with-National MPs, but until then we’d really rather they use the servants’ entrance while we do the grown-up politics thing.

Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing bad about wanting to work within a larger party like Labour to pull it back to its social justice roots (hi, I’m Stephanie and I’m a Labour Party member) and appreciate having a more radical minor party in the picture to shift the discourse (I refuse to say “Overton Window” because it’s terribly wanky and also the name of a Glenn Beck novel).

But if you are a member of that larger party, you just shouldn’t be too quick to scream “SELLOUT!!!” at the first sign of an unusual, untested, practically unique allegiance of two parties with very distinct, pretty well-defined interests and approaches. (Approaches which I don’t think are mutually exclusive, but that’s a post for another day).

Especially before we even know who the Internet Party leader will be, or what the joint policy platform looks like.

There are many valid criticisms of Kim Dotcom – my most generous assessment is that he’s like any number of self-centered socially-awkward politically-adrift nerds I’ve known, only with a big pile of cash, which doesn’t tend to prompt a lot of self-reflection and moderation. And there is still every chance that this alliance spells the end of Mana as the kind of radical force people both inside and outside wanted or expected it to be.

We’ve already seen resignations from Mana, so clearly some in the party aren’t happy, and that could lead to a loss of members or a Labour-style internal power shift if the process for deciding on the alliance is seen as unfair or undemocratic.

All I’m saying is that it’s probably too early for any outsider to start making grandiose declarations about another party’s kaupapa.

191 comments on “Internet Mana: the sell-out and the reaction ”

  1. Macro 1

    Well said Stephanie.
    I sincerely hope that this new alliance works well.
    To those of IMP ……. Kia Kaha.

  2. McGrath 2

    Lets not beat around the bush here though. The uniting factor here has been the almighty $$$ and the dislike of JK. Principals (if any) went right out the window…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      I figure that that is just you projecting your own psychological frailties onto others.

    • Anne 2.2

      Don’t agree McGrath

      It takes money to run a successful election campaign. It’s okay if the Right rakes in the dosh – illegally sometimes – but woe betide anyone from the Left raising some serious cash to fight a decent campaign. Oh yes, that’s deplorable!

      And anyone who dislikes JK is okay by me. What it actually shows is they HAVE principles and are therefore deserving of a fair go.

      • McGrath 2.2.1

        I’m just trying to see what KDC brings to the Mana party (apart from a large wad of cash). KDC does not exactly strike me as someone who can be one with the indigenous peoples of the land…

        • Chooky

          KDC brings hip to Mana…he brings nerds to Mana…he bring tech savvy for the message of Mana

          …many of the nerds i suspect believe in a socialist society or at least an egalitarian one ….but they are so engrossed with the world displayed on their screens they are not going to go out and flag wave or try and convert people in factories ( actually i dont think there are any factories left in NZ much ) nor are they going to sell red newspapers on the street corner…..but they will vote for the Internet Party because it is a voice for safeguarding their world.

          ..and if that is combined with Mana Party looking after the most disadvantaged in New Zealand society …then all to the better…they will not disagree…in fact many would be positively in favour .

          Hone and Dotcom look like they get along just fine!….the Blues Brothers in arms

          • Disraeli Gladstone

            This comment is such bizarre stereotyping.

            • Chooky

              @ Disraeli Gladstone

              go away Cambridge Man ….stop the sniper fire and trolling ….(Cambridge is so other side of the world and full of yesterdays men with yesterdays dreams)

              face it the right wing are more than a little disturbed by Hone and Dotcom getting married down under in New Zealand….and John key and mates will be gnashing their dentals and frothing

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                First of all, you think that “nerds” are some voting bloc. They’re really, really not. The tech-oriented youth of society have various different goals and beliefs. They’re not a group of people who all vote in the same way. They’ll be some underlying lines of commonality but that’s about it. Some will be for strong copyright protection, some will be for the abolition of intellectual property as a concept. Some will be conservative, some will be liberal. Some will be left-wing, some will be right-wing (I’ve met my fair few of neoliberal to the bone “nerds” as you would put it).

                They’re not all going to come flooding to the Internet Party.

                With that in mind, you then buy into some strange baby boomers stereotyping that all these people are stuck staring at computer screens and never do anything besides being “connected”.

                And then, when commented that the two concepts of “youths are only concerned with gadgets” and “nerds are a single group that probably buy into socialism” you resort to attacking me personally for my past.

                • BM

                  From my experience most nerds don’t think too much of our darker skinned brothers.

                  Which is why this “marriage”, is I believe completely dysfunctional.

                  • weka

                    I think that says more about the circles you move in than anything else.

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    You’ve just done the exact same thing Chooky did but in reverse, and far more offensively. You both seem to labour under the delusion that people who care about tech issues and are knowledgeable about the new world are a homogeneous group.

                    • I agree that nerds aren’t a giant hivemind, but when we talk about the Internet Party we’re talking about a party which got to its required 500 members in only seven hours. So it’s got definite pull.

                    • Tracey

                      well said, twice

                      Political parties and politics are inherently about sweeping generalisations.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Are you implying that nerds are mostly white? As a matter of fact, there are more dark skinned nerds, (Indians for example) in the computer/tech industries than you imply in your ignorant post! In fact, there ARE more dark skinned people on earth than the European descent whites!

                    • BM

                      What a cock, so only white people can be racist.

                      Indians are some of the biggest racists I’ve ever come across, they think they’re superior to every one.

                      (Please take this kind of pointless abuse elsewhere. – Stephanie)

                    • Populuxe1

                      We are talking about New Zealand, not India. Remember that in your rush to score a point.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Better to be poor and pure, eh?

          Question is – better for who??

      • Populuxe1 2.2.2

        Are you saying it was ok when John Banks was raking in the dosh for his mayoralty campaign? I seem to remember Dotcom had a hand in it somewhere.

    • Given we have no idea what the joint party platform will look like, as I said, it’s far too early to draw any conclusions about their principles [sp.]

      I do find it interesting how many on the left were apparently just waiting for their chance to jump up and point at Hone Harawira shouting “See? See! We told you he didn’t really care about the oppressed!”

      • McGrath 2.3.1

        Politics is a strange beast indeed. I’ll be curious to see how this one pans out.

      • karol 2.3.2

        I have more concerns about Kim Dotcom, than about Hone (or Annette Sykes or John Minto). Ultimately, if the IMP doesn’t support the principles he (they) has long fought for, he (they) will split from the Internet branch.

        On past record, KDC just doesn’t look to me like he will support the basic/core left wing values – maybe some socially liberal values. I don’t trust his medium-to-long term motives for starting a new party.

        My question is – why did KDC opt to start his own party? Why not throw his support behind an already established left party to start with?

        My feeling is that he likes to be in control and/or, committing himself to a full raft of left wing policies is a step too far for KDC. Mainly, he wants to just bring down John Key – an excellent short term aim. But I don’t see KDC as adding anything to the development of a strong left wing movement.

        I did have hopes for where Mana was going. I think they were working hard on the ground to develop flax roots actions, involving local communities in a way that helps to build a movement.

        I’m not a Labout Party member. I’d welcome a really strong left wing party in NZ. Right now I vote Green as the best option available.

        • bad12

          Karol, it is Dotcom that discusses ”internet poverty”, a phrase i would suggest would have many people sniggering,

          But ask yourself who among the various demographics would the lack of access to an internet connection adversely effect the most,

          90% of employment positions are advertised first online,
          Most accommodation is advertised first online,
          The best place to find a car, if you need one, is either through a high interest charging add on to a finance company, OR, online,
          Furniture if your hard pressed financially is either the Sallies where you definitely wont be spoiled for choice, OR, online,
          Not a good analogy i know, but, where did i, with a severely reduced income find a rest of lifetime supply of cigarette filters for a tenth of the retail cost, online,

          That’s just a few of the material things of normal life that ”internet poverty” has a marked effect upon,

          Can read and write, have no formal qualifications, whats the most effective tool of self education found on the planet today, online,

          i think you give Dotcom far less credit than He deserves when it comes to addressing issues of poverty as He sees them…

          • karol

            Internet poverty does need to be addressed. But the Grees already were already onto having a strong IT policy, plus a strong wider focus on pverty generally. Why didn’t he jiust decide to get in behind that.

            Dotcom didn’t really start talking about poverty until he was overtly courting the Mana party. Easy for him to say. But he’s still a neoliberal, touting the importance of getting overseas investment into NZ.

            • Colonial Viper

              Dotcom didn’t really start talking about poverty until he was overtly courting the Mana party. Easy for him to say. But he’s still a neoliberal, touting the importance of getting overseas investment into NZ.

              Firstly, in this tie-up with Mana, any seriously neoliberal economic policy IP was going to tout is likely history.

              Next, not everyone understands the economic technicalities of why “overseas investment” is often a bad thing for a nation. On the surface it sounds like a pretty good idea, and if you are a local asset owner wanting to cash up a house, a section or a business for a good sum of money, it of course sounds like a very good idea. From Dotcom’s point of view, he has put millions into the NZ economy and created jobs which would not otherwise be there.

              Further, I suspect that when Dotcom is talking about “overseas investment” he is talking about foreign money starting new tech ventures and new tech plant in NZ, as well as supporting innovative start ups and R&D. Not the selling off of existing industrial infrastructure, ports, airports, roads, power stations etc.

              • karol

                If IMP does help oust the Key government. I will be cheering. If they then go on to positively support left wing policies – more cheering.

                In the mean time, I remain skeptical of KDC’s role in the IMP, and am putting my energies into pushing for as big a Green Party vote as possible. And will continue to advocate for a more equal, collaborative and inclusive society.

                • The Al1en

                  “I remain sceptical of KDC’s role in the IMP, and am putting my energies into pushing for as big a Green Party vote as possible. And will continue to advocate for a more equal, collaborative and inclusive society.”


                • Tracey

                  Agree 100%

            • phillip ure

              “..Why didn’t he jiust decide to get in behind that…’

              possibly because norman is on record as going to see dotcom to try to talk him out of starting the internet party..

        • Colonial Viper

          But I don’t see KDC as adding anything to the development of a strong left wing movement.

          the IP will push back hard on the security and surveillance apparatus overtaking our world, and also push back on the insidious “free trade” aka corporate rights documents that we are being signed up to.

          I also expect the IP will lean very favourably towards green, high tech entrepreneurial small business and start ups.

          That’s pretty good for starters, no?

          • Populuxe1

            But will it put food on tables and rooves over people’s heads, which is probably more where I would have thought MANA were coming from.

            “I also expect the IP will lean very favourably towards green, high tech entrepreneurial small business and start ups.”

            Snort. NO lol. Ironically IP is anti-IP, or rather the Internet Party is anti Intellectual Property, which is what “green, high tech entrepreneurial small business and start ups” rather depend on. Similarly the only internationally recognised legal protections against exploitation Maori tikanga and kawa have are as Intellectual Property. It really sucks if you’re an artist, author or entrepreneur trying to make any money off your ideas because the cyber-libertarian AnCaps of IP don’t think you have any right to own them.

            So actually, that’s all really bad.

            • Colonial Viper

              Reasonable IP laws and enforcement are no problem; it’s a pharma corporate trying to get a 25 year patent to lock out competitors which is anti-innovation.

              It really sucks if you’re an artist, author or entrepreneur trying to make any money off your ideas

              As I said, reasonable IP laws giving you patent protection for 7-8 years and copyright protection for 15-20 years should not be a problem.

              It encourages ongoing innovation by ensuring that advances are not locked up by big corporates, while setting up a system for entrepreneurs and creators to profit for several years.

          • karol

            So why didn’t he just get in behind a party that already supports those things? He still looks like a neoliberal to me, wants to maintain control over his own political agenda by starting his own party, and didn’t throw his support in behind a party/ies that already support those things.

            • bad12

              Karol, one thing we do still have left in this cold little neo-lib paradise is political freedom, Dotcom like anyone else including Sue Bradford is free to join or establish a political party as they see fit,laws allowing,

              i could put the same question to you vis a vis Sue Bradford, if She is so much into political purity why did She leap aboard the Mana Movement,

              Having such ideological purity why does not Sue Bradford start and lead Her own political vehicle…

            • weka

              I’d prefer to see KDC in the IP and allying with Mana, than joining Mana as a member and putting his money and influence in behind the scenes. The way they are doing it is much more transparent.

              Also, the IP and Mana have different focusses. I can’t see Mana pushing the IP tech and industry policies in the same way that the IP can. So it makes sense for KDC to form a separate party.

              I do agree that there is reason for caution. The IP’s internal processes are a worry (I had a quick look and couldn’t quite make sense of it, but it looks anti-democratic to me. On the other hand, I can understand them wanting to keep control of a party that gets its membership overnight off the internet). KDC seems like his ego is a driving force (although he seems to learn as well). As long as the IP remains the KDC party, this will be a problem. It will have to eventually become a party in its own right.

              In terms of neoliberalism, the guy is obviously a capitalist. Time will tell if he is neoliberal as well, and whether he will be influenced politically by Mana. I expect he is on a steep learning curve.

              • karol

                I am interested to see who the IP leader and candidates will be.

                Neoliberal is a bit of shorthand for those who promote free market capitalism and conservative values.

                Dotcom seems pretty right libertarian to me – fairly socially liberal – but, we will see.

                Yes, there are many uncertainties as to how things will work out in the future around this.

                Hmmm being a funder in the background (can you imagine KDC wanting to keep a low profile?), still gives KDC less influence over policy and direction than through a party of his own. And the IP has pushed for having an IP in position #2 in the IMP, to ensure they get an MP of their choosing, if the votes go the way they are aiming for. Mana wanted both #1& #2 positions.

                My questions have been around KDC and the IP aims – ie why go for a separate party? They were intially going for an independent party, and the IMP is a fall-back position. For me that points to KDC wanting a considerable amount of control over the political direction.

                • bad12

                  Karol, the reality of the %’s possible i would suggest need only identify the 1 Internet candidate for position 2 on the InternetMana party list,

                  Positions 1,3, and 4 are the province of Mana and in my wildest dreams i cannot ‘see’ more than 4 MP’s resulting from this alliance,

                  But, you only have to look at what occurred with the ‘worm’ at a previous election to know that with the ”novel” in New Zealand politics ”anything” can happen…

                • weka

                  Re the list placement, this is interesting from Polity,

                  It is a reasonable bet on current polling that the party vote will give Internet MANA an entitlement to two seats, so long as Hone Harawira holds Te Tai Tokerau. If Sykes wins Waiariki, then the delegation will be Harawira and Sykes. If Sykes loses, the delegation will be Harawira and the Internet Party leader.

                  So, if the Internet Party wants to ensure itself a seat in Parliament even on current polling, it should use its power of the purse to actively de-fund Sykes in Waiariki.


                  There is another scenario based on if IMP do well.

                  I disagree with the conclusion, but the on the ground reality presents a different idea about the list placement negotiations.

                  “My questions have been around KDC and the IP aims – ie why go for a separate party? They were intially going for an independent party, and the IMP is a fall-back position. For me that points to KDC wanting a considerable amount of control over the political direction.”

                  Not really following that sorry karol. The Internet Party is an independent party, that is in alliance with Mana. The alliance is the IMP but that doesn’t mean the IP ceases to exist.

                  • karol

                    “My questions have been around KDC and the IP aims – ie why go for a separate party? They were intially going for an independent party, and the IMP is a fall-back position. For me that points to KDC wanting a considerable amount of control over the political direction.”

                    I don’t udnerstand why you don’t get my main point. i will re-state it:

                    KDC originally set up the IP as an independent party. It aimed to stay just that. Why did KDC do that, rather than align with another party originally? My answer is that he wanted to set his own agenda and have a considerable amount of control.

                    Remember, KDC is a neofite in terms of NZ Politics – fell foul of the “treating” claims. But the initial launch failed – the launch date had to be changed. It was somewhat on the back foot then, and since aimed to go for more momentum by aligning to Mana – plus maybe having learned something of the idosyncracies on MMP.

                    Yes – the IP continues to exist – that’s part of my point. KDC’s motivation is not for the good of Kiwis genreally, or a more inclusive and equal society – he is out for power and influence. Hence my skepticsm about him and the party he intitated.

                    • Tracey

                      Perhaps he needed to be independent first to show another party he was worth being in partnership?

                    • karol

                      Hmm… not likely, in my view,Tracey.

                      KDC already had the ear of some left wing party leaders and others.

                      KDC said after his failed launch, that they were going for seats in parliament. As I recall, KDC said that, if they looked like they were not getting the required level of support in the run up to the election, they’d pull the plug on the IP and throw their support behind another party.

                      The IMP is a compromise between these two positions, that keeps the IP in tact, and still gives it a fair amount of independence and control over policies and their candidate/s.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      karol knows full well that starting a new political party is a fraught affair and there are always lots of mis-steps and mistakes on the way. Most are not noticed, but in the case of KDC he had the spotlight on him from Day 1. It’s a steep learning curve as you find out who can give good advice, who is full of BS, and you figure out what you want the party to stand for.

                    • @..karol..

                      ..is not every political party ‘ out for power and influence’..?

                      ..if not..why are they there..?

                      ..for the catering @ bellamys…?

                      ..the long holidays..?

                    • weka

                      “Yes – the IP continues to exist – that’s part of my point. KDC’s motivation is not for the good of Kiwis genreally, or a more inclusive and equal society – he is out for power and influence. Hence my skepticsm about him and the party he intitated.”

                      I got that part of your point. I just wasn’t really following the bit about IMP being a ‘fall back’ position as if that’s somehow a lack.

                      I suppose this is my pragmatic politics – do what is possible rather than ideal. If IMP gives Mana a boost into the mainstream, that’s useful. It’s also risky, and I agree that caution is needed re KDC. I suspect that he’s been party apolitical rather than having strong neoliberal views, and in that I think Mana’s influence might be a positive thing.

                      As for KDC wanting power and influence, yes, that puts him up there with many others.

                      “Hmmm being a funder in the background (can you imagine KDC wanting to keep a low profile?), still gives KDC less influence over policy and direction than through a party of his own. And the IP has pushed for having an IP in position #2 in the IMP, to ensure they get an MP of their choosing, if the votes go the way they are aiming for. Mana wanted both #1& #2 positions.”

                      As I pointed out with the Polity link, it’s not a given that IP gets the second MP despite the list order. I’m pretty sure that the people involved in the IMP negotiations would be aware of that. Other than that I think maybe we are talking at cross purposes. We both agree that the IP gives KDC more power than if he was simply a member and funder of an existing party. Where we differ I think is how much we think that matters.

                  • bad12

                    Lolz weka, that would presuppose that Annette Sykes has ever had ANY funds in the first place as She battles Flavell for the Waiariki electorate,

                    i would suggest that the reverse is true, it aint money what has got Annette breathing down Te Ururoa’s neck, it is human capital, the Maori seats are i would suggest the least able to be bought with money, it is Mana, the Mana judged from within the particular rohe that decides the fate of the Maori seats at election…

                    • weka

                      Yeah, I pretty much ignored that whole bit about money from Polity and read the post bearing in mind that he’s a Labour party bod 😉 I linked because of the insight it gives into the list placements (although I disagree with his conclusion)

                • Colonial Viper

                  Neoliberal is a bit of shorthand for those who promote free market capitalism and conservative family values.

                  Assuming that is what you meant, I’d say no, not really. They’ll promote any family values and identity politics platform that they think will get them elected and enable them to conduct their financial and economic agenda. As an example:

                  -The Democrats push for more availability of abortion, and billion dollar bailouts of banks.

                  -The Republicans push for more restriction of abortion, and billion dollar bailouts of banks.

                  When this kind of thing happens election after election its pretty clear where the consistent emphasis is.

  3. Ad 3

    I don’t think we have to be too shy here.

    If National put a huge sponsorship banner under every statement and tv advertisement – bought to you by Nestle, or the Greens fronted every media conference with the Chairman of BHPBilliton, we’d call it for what it is.

    If Labour had merged with a party formed solely as a vanity vehicle by (say) a Rothman’s CEO currently on trial, we’d probably be able to name this a little easier.

    Oh but not for these two leftie pets.

    We are simply letting Mr Mana hold the filmiest of veils in front of a great stack of jiggling dollars and call it democracy.

    No one needs to be under any illusion of what the Mana Party stands for now. Pop out to Coatesville and have a look: it sure ain’t the little guy.

    • Thankfully we still have laws around electoral spending, and if you think the right won’t be watching Mana’s campaign expenses like a nest of hawks, I suspect you’d be wrong.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Arguing from mere legality is a long way from arguing from principle.
        Not Guilty is not the same as presumed innocent – and neither party in this uncivil union could profess innocence.

        • I’m not arguing from mere legality, or saying that I completely endorse the alliance. But the simple fact is Kim Dotcom will only be able to bankroll this political movement as far as any other self-sponsor – Colin Craig springs to mind.

    • Tracey 3.2

      you mean act wasnt alan gibbs vanity vehicle shaping hide into what he wanted.

    • Ad – big banners aren’t required. National has Big Donors sponsoring them with bucket loads of cash.

      Did I mention Oravida?

      Funny how millions of dollars from various businesses are ok for National and ACT – but similar amounts to Left wing parties suddenly result in National/ACT supporters crying “foul”?

      Did I mention Oravida?

      Of course, Ad, what you want is for left wing parties to stay cash-strapped. That suits your mates’ agenda in the National/ACT party very nicely.

      Oh, Oravida… Did I..?

      I look forward to an election fought on a level playing field. The same kind of “level playing field” you neo-liberals wank on about incessantly when it comes to doing away with tariffs and subsidies and suchlike.

      Now. About Oravida…

  4. BM 4

    Hones going to look like one of those rich rappers when he turns up in dot coms hummer.

    All the Maori boys are going to be like:
    “Ow that hones da man with that choice car cuz and all those gold chains, wicked bro,I vote for him!”

    Well, that’s the plan any way.

    • the pigman 4.1


      Racism was the political issue du jour. Note to the fuckheads in the media: this is what it looks like ^^^^

  5. Ho hum.
    Principals can go out the window any day.
    Schools should be run by the kids.
    As for the great sell out.
    That was Labour in ’85.
    Lets see what this alliance turns out like.
    Neither is compromising its program.
    They are an alliance to validate the otherwise missing or uncounted votes of youth and others alienated by a capitalist parliament.
    That’s a plus.
    They are committed only to Confidence and Supply.
    That’s like saying we go on a date but not to bed.
    That should also be the policy of Labour and the Greens so they can keep their own programs untainted by the bad habits of the other.
    The bosses have parliament sown up with their money and the media.
    Lets have some realpolitik on the left for a change and put some real politics back into parliament.
    Parliament is only a theatre after all.
    If Mana and Dotcom stand for anything it’ll be on the streets.

  6. greywarbler 6

    Sue Bradford has left and radio says that about four have gone from Mana. Who are they?

  7. McGrath 7

    I’m not a great fan of Sue Bradford, though I do applaud her for her principled stance. Is John Minto one of the others who has left?

  8. red blooded 8

    I have a bad gut feeling about this. Having said that, it’s not so different from The Alliance, which included Social Credit (not exactly natural lefties) along with New Labour and The Greens. They clubbed together out of mural self-interest; the difference being that there wasn’t a petulant multi-millionaire sitting in the background trying to bring down his former buddies. (And let’s note the The Alliance didn’t manage to stay allied for very long…)

    • BM 8.1

      This whole arrangement is a load of shit.

      Dotcom is only using Mana to stop his extradition.
      Hone the racist mofo is only using dotcom for his money.

      That’s it, so I do wonder about the longevity of Hone in politics because this is a very short term situation with very bad long term consequences.

      Especially with that comment Harawira made about not sticking around if Shane Jones wasn’t part of the political scene in 2017.

      I think Harawira will dip out of politics in the near future.

      • McGrath 8.1.1

        How stable is Hone in his electorate? I’m wondering if Hone getting down on his knees before KDC will lower his mana and cost him his seat?

        • North

          Thing is McGrath, the getting down on the knees stuff is your invention and not a widespread sense in Hone’s natural electorate. You obviously don’t have any capacity to identify the power of “mana”. More underestimation of Hone Harawira. That’s the whole point really. It’s hilarious.

      • Tracey 8.1.2

        good to see you taking this in your stride without over reacting or getting emotional.

        It’s funny to see the apologists for key collins et al getting apoplectic about supposed lack of integrity in this arrangement.

      • North 8.1.3

        Oh BM……your judgment is just so fucked and your mouthings so hair trigger.

        Hone out of politics in the near future ? And on the other hand somewhow he’ll be Minister of Immigration. Get real BM. You’ll be continent before either occurs.

        Oh hang on……now I see……that explains your wish for imminence of the former prospect.

        Happy bowel motions chap but could you project less of it the way of The Standard ?


        • BM


          Hone time in politics is drawing to an end.

          • North

            BM…….still incontinent I see. Remember……..te reo…….Hone = John.

            As sang Johnny Cash/Joaquin Phoenix – “Cry Cry Cry”.

  9. red blooded 9

    … MUTUAL self interest. Sorry folks, for some reason the edit function wouldn’t work.

  10. lprent 10

    As a person who did at one stage read quite a lot about how the turgid politics of money, members and political will operated in the formation of both the Labour party and the National party* – I think that Stephanie is right. Stranger things than this alliance have happened and worked.

    In recent history, the Alliance was exactly the same kind of disparate groups forming a “common” cause for their own separate objectives. So for that matter was the formation of the NZ First party. Neither of them were particularly stable and tended to shed bits at the drop of a hat. But hey, both National and Labour were great at doing that in the 80’s and 90s as well.

    Like SR, I like to wait for a while to see what happens.

    • For an examination of how political self interests can weld a viable party together you don’t have to look past the National party formation. It formed out of parties, personalities, and interests who actively despised each other. Reading what they said about each other before the Labour party interfered with their political disputes was a joy of vitriolic abuse.
    • Ad 10.1

      If actively despising each other was a criteria of success, Labour’s caucus would have been home and hosed years ago. 😉

      • lprent 10.1.1

        And National. Just think of the very selective dismantling of Judith Collin’s patronage system that is so apparent in the resignations and subsequent selections for safe seats this year

  11. DS 11

    Good on them. The partnership makes perfect sense: (1) the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so this is an extra nail in John Key’s coffin, and (2) both benefit. Hone provides Dotcom with guaranteed representation, Dotcom provides Hone with money and a voter base beyond his immediate family and far-leftist types who think brown people can’t be racist.

    The hand-wringing over Mana “selling out” rather overlooks that the working class don’t vote Mana (or Green). They either vote Labour, or they don’t vote (or, depending on the part of the country, they vote National).

  12. Chooky 12

    DS …good points

  13. North 13

    Thank you for your thoughtful post Stephanie.

    To me (and respectfully I exclude Sue Bradford from this), there is amongst the sellout criers an element of – “Ooh, look at Metiria’s pricey coat.” – “Ooh , look at Cunliffe’s flash house.” – “Ooh, look at whoever fails to meet my gratuitous definition of them.” “Hone and Mana are just NOT entitled to confound me so.”

    Broadly, and for a long time, New Zealand has been comfortable to brand Hone Harawira variously as a subversive, a pakeha hater, a dumb, aggressive, foul-mouthed Maori boy with no manners. The fact is that Hone has confounded this element. He’s playing them at their own game and it infuriates them.

    It’s also embarrassed weeping for themselves having been proved so wrong, rather than Hone having sold out his principles. The spectacle is no less comedic for the fact that the worst offenders are those who were always SO dismissive, often foully so, of Hone and the principles he’s talked AND walked. “Fukn little hori bastard !” sort of thing. We’ve all heard it.

    It’s instructive that in ’81 Hone fearlessly wagered his physical safety AND his personal liberty in the name of principle. Principle now vindicated and routinely respected. ShonKey Python ? So frightened of, and so bereft of the principle which moved Hone…….well he’s still lying about it.

    Just as I respectfully exclude Sue Bradford from the above assessment I equally exclude all those not of the ilk I describe who have a considered, genuine beef . Of course. But I’ll shit when I hear ShonKey Python cackling about sellout to his sad replicants. Less than they will be of course, as the effete cackle will prove.

    • I would really be interested to hear more about Bradford’s particular disagreements, because (one hopes) she will have had a much better look at how this deal came about than any of us outsiders. But yeah, there’s a big difference between those who are part of Mana (or were) and have issues than those of us who are looking on from a distance.

      • karol 13.1.1

        Sue Bradford laid out her reasons on Checkpoint tonight.

        [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20140527-1736-the_mana_internet_deal_costs_members-048.mp3" /]

        • Thanks for that karol. I have to say I’m really not convinced by the idea that a majority of Mana supporters are just too silly to see they’re being taken for a ride by Dotcom. He’s not exactly a subtle person and I think Bradford did come off as a bit condescending, especially with lines about “beads and blankets for 2014” and “well this will definitely benefit Labour!” – surely any increased support for Mana would, even if they don’t go into coalition?

          • karol

            I wasn’t keen on the beeds and blankets line. That seemed to me to be Bradford’s anger/frustration talking.

            I didn’t think she was saying Mana supporters are too silly to notice they’ve been tricked. It seems to me that many people get charmed by KDC. I’ve long thought of him as the Pied Piper.

            I don’t understand why so many people seemed to be charmed by KDC. He just seems like a high-octane player in the great capitalist competition for wealth and power – very egocentred – to me anyway.

            • weka

              I was impressed by KDC’s oral submission on the GCSB.

              • yeshe

                +1 Weka. Also, the raging on about KDC as convicted criminal ? To my knowledge, his crime was hacking, and he was obviously very good at it in Germany. But the story goes on a little longer .. KDC was then employed by the companies he hacked and he ensured their security against future hacking. I want this kind of smarts working for us all in understanding, then undoing the machinations of current GCSB legislation that has us in bed so warmly with USA and illegal murders. Personally, I think the man is one of the most brilliant internet minds in the world, capable of enormous innovation.

                I want him fighting Key with all of his wits, and money if necessary.

                Also, worth noting, that KDC’s criminal record is expunged from public record in Germany … no more convictions in a given period, thus the record becomes hidden. I guess he disclosed all of this to become a Kiwi resident.

                And I trust Hone. This is a kickstarter.

                May it be the watershed moment in removing Key and the ghostly hollow men. They may ‘own’ the MSM, but KDC ‘owns’ the internet space … watching with glee I am !

                • Tracey

                  there’s some fraud in there too isn’t there?

                  • yeshe

                    thx tracey .. i’ll have a look …

                  • yeshe

                    Hi Tracey … thx, you are right; this is from Wiki. But goodness, it is colourful and he seems almost less of a hardened thief to me than some of the folks currently running our gubmint !

                    “As a teenager, Schmitz acquired a reputation in his native Germany after having claimed to have bypassed the security of NASA, the Pentagon and Citibank under the name of Kimble – based on the character of Dr Richard Kimble in the long-running television programme The Fugitive.[11] He also claimed to have hacked corporate PBX systems in the United States and said he was selling the access codes at $200 each, bragging that “every PBX is an open door to me.”[31]

                    In 1994, he was arrested by German police for trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers. He was held in custody for a month, released and arrested again on additional hacking charges shortly afterwards. He was eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud, 10 counts of data espionage, and an assortment of other charges. He received a two-year suspended sentence – because he was under age at the time the crimes were committed.[31] The judge in the case said the court viewed his actions as “youthful foolishness.”[32]

                    In 2001, Schmitz bought €375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company Letsbuyit.com (de) and subsequently announced his intention to invest €50 million in the company.[33] The announcement caused the share value of Letsbuyit.com to jump[34] and Schmitz cashed out, making a profit of €1.5 million. One commentator suggested that Schmitz may have been ignorant of the legal ramifications of what he had done, since insider trading was not made a crime in Germany until 1995,[31] and until 2002 prosecutors also had to prove the accused had criminal intent.[35]

                    Schmitz moved to Thailand to avoid investigation[11] where he was subsequently arrested on behalf of German authorities.[32] In response, he allegedly pretended to kill himself online, posting a message on his website that from now on he wished to be known as “His Royal Highness King Kimble the First, Ruler of the Kimpire”.[32][36] He was deported back to Germany where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and, after five months in jail awaiting trial, again received a suspended sentence (of 20 months).[35] After avoiding a prison sentence for a second time, he left Germany and moved to Hong Kong in late 2003.[11]

                    Schmitz found Hong Kong to his liking and registered Kimpire Limited in December 2003, soon after moving there. He set up a network of interlinked companies, including Trendax which was claimed to be an artificial intelligence-driven hedge fund delivering an annual return of at least 25%.[37] However, Trendax was never registered with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and the company was legally not allowed to accept investments or to conduct trades.[18] Dotcom was subsequently convicted for failing to disclose his shareholding to the Securities and Futures Commission, and was fined 8000 Hong Kong dollars.[25]


                • karol

                  I don’t really care about KDC’s criminal record.

                  There’s many that have stayed on the right side of the law, and siphoned money from the commons, undermined the social good and enriched themselves. John Key, for instance, and any number of tax avoiders and corporate game-riggers.

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              I felt Bradford sounded really disingenuous, trying to spin the “people have been tricked” line and the “oh no I’m not being condescending” line at one time. To me, saying “not tricked, just charmed” means much the same thing: to accept that the alliance is completely antithetical to Mana’s values, you have to assume either that the Mana membership and people like Hone Harawira are being conned and can’t see it, or that Hone really is, as infused so helpfully puts it below, “a selfish fuck”. I really don’t buy either.

              • karol

                Well it’s stalemate then. I don’t buy that KDC has suddenly done an about face and become a leftie.

                To me, I just don’t understand why KDC gets so much support, any more than I understand why John Key gets so much political support. They look like mirror images of each other to me. Two guys who each want to be the most important person in the room, locked in a power contest – with big stakes.

                Putting down those of us who don’t agree with supporting KDC, as being condescending, or whatever….is not that helpful either.

                It’s like no disagreement will be tolerated.

                • I think you’re reading things in my post and comments which aren’t there, karol. I don’t see many people saying KDC has “suddenly done an about face and become a leftie” and I don’t necessarily support KDC.

                  I am not saying that disagreeing with Dotcom or the alliance is condescending. I’m talking about the specific way Bradford framed it – and multiple times in that interview she talks about people being conned or tricked or not understanding what Dotcom is about.

                  She doesn’t raise any issues with how the alliance was formed, or the process for approving it, and has in fact said that she understands Mana’s decision was reached democratically. All that’s left is “I’m Sue Bradford and I know better than you what’s going on”. That sounds really condescending to me.

                  • karol

                    I didn’t agree with that beads and blanket line. I think a lot of the framing of condescending, etc., came from Wilson, as much as Bradford.

                    I think Bradford was focused much more on KDC and the direction the alliance would likely go, than Mana people’s reasons for signing up with the IP. She was largely positive about others in Mana making their own decisions, and agreeing that there may be some positives in it. By saying “tricked” her focus was on KDC as a game player.

                    But my understanding was that Bradford had in mind, what I have stated lower down in this thread – something many of us have seen happening too often over decades – from the slide to neoliberalism within NZ (and UK) Labour, and from Clinton to Obama.

                    What do you call it when, time and again, loads of people on the left sign up with the new hope for a change away from “neoliberalism”/neoconservatism, towards genuine left/progressive values, only to find they get (often a softer version of) more of the same?

                    I think for some of us, we have grown weary of being offered such new hopes, rather than sticking to a strong agenda of building left momentum from the flax roots. That’s what Bradford has been working on with AAAP. And it’s where she seemed in sync with the Mana community initiatives. The KDC backed IP is coming from a totally different direction – starting at the “top” in the political arena.

                    • but karol..that ‘movement-building’ bradford talks about..as now being in some sort of peril..(?)

                      ..has been going on for how many years now..?

                      ..and the widespread acceptance of those not-so-radical ideas is/has been happening..?

                      answers:..years..and… it hasn’t been happening..

                      ..i see this grouping as having the potential to kickstart the mood for change..

                      ..that is needed before those changes can happen..

                      .and..for the like of me..i cannot see how this marriage-of-convenience with the internet party..

                      ..how this dilutes the mana movement message/entities in any way..

                      ..in fact it will help to get that message out..

                      ..to help build that movement for that change..

                      ..and isn’t that what bradford says she wants..?

                      ..to ‘build the movement’..

                      ..and i am still waiting for the rational-reasons for bradfords’ dummy-spit…

                      ..’sucking up to a german millionaire’ ..and ‘dotcom is tricking harawira/all of mana’..may be simplistic enough to serve the corporate-media..

                      ..but really..that is mindless-drivel..

                      . and her fellow-members in mana deserve a better explanation..

                      ..of what bradford apparantly sees..

                      ..but we can’t..

                    • I feel like you’re splitting hairs here. For KDC to be tricking people, someone has to be being tricked.

                      You and Sue Bradford can be as weary and disillusioned as you like. You can be as critical of KDC as you like. The point remains that Sue Bradford quite clearly thinks the Mana leadership and membership are stupider than she is because they believe KDC is a progressive leftwing hero (and I’m yet to see evidence that anyone actually does believe that, either.)

                • Tracey

                  I don’t think he has become a “leftie”. I think he is finding a way to defeat John key and advance his particular interests in Internet and privacy. Insofar as Mana wants that, they have common ground.

                  They have an alliance they are not identical, that’s the point isn’t it?

              • Tracey

                Fascinating that a person so enamored with Key considers being a selfish fuck a bad thing in others.

            • Populuxe1

              Go Karol! You go gurl!

          • infused

            Everyone can see it. kdc wants his extradition stopped. hone is a selfish fuck. simple as that

          • Tracey

            Bradford is a self-proclaimed radical. That’s her line in the sand, her position on the spectrum. She is the loud-hailer, the mud thrower, the chain to the tree, and so on. She acts out her frustrations rather than using process and paper to do it. She left Greens cos in her opinion they moved tot he right… that is how she also sees Mana now.

            She is necessary for sure. She is the extreme view, banging the table and being dragged out that makes the person advocate to move a lil from the centre seem acceptable. BUT those table bangers rarely get elected because voters are by and large conservative.

            before we had social credit, and to a greater extent Greens and MMP, environment was hardly a vote winner. The two major parties largely ignored environmental factors. Now they have policies on it… We need the fringe voices, the radicals, the extremist viewpoints, to shift us from he status quo which has always served the wealthy oh so well

            • Colonial Viper

              Well said. Bradford’s stance is her line in the sand. Both her comments, and the IMP alliance, help to break down the monotone narrowness of perspectives that the MSM spits out day after day.

              btw I support IMP as a very smart electioneering tactic; I am less sure how robust and philosophically aligned the combination will finally prove.

        • weka

          Karol, can you please do me a favour? When you post RNZ audio links, can you please post the Share link? It has the streaming option and the two downloads in it. Works better to download on a slow connection. It also allows people to see how big a file it is before starting to play.

          eg (I think this is what you linked to) http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2597494/the-mana-internet-deal-costs-members

  14. Phil 14

    Nope to all of the above.
    Look, these things matter, the “Party of the People, For the People”, well, I was ready to sign up, then Bishop Brian and the Blackshirts and Hone took the invitation, along with Jones and the rest, That was me, Out. Then Matt signed up, and I’m in if Matts in. Now Cunliffe plays the immigration card rather than the foreign, offshore tax haven investment card, and I’m in no longer.
    Principles are not for sale, barter or personal gain. They matter to those at the bottom end.
    What the hell are Matt, Minto and Hone thinking?

    • lprent 14.1

      Now Cunliffe plays the immigration card…

      I know that he did not. That is just the way Gower has been encouraged to frame it. The guy is a bit of a poodle – wave a nice juicy story with a HEADLINE IN CAPS in front of himself and the fool will always just gulp it down without thinking.

      He is a jonolist.

      • Phil 14.1.1

        Then FFS he should hit back, rather than allow the hack to portray Labour policy in this way, but wonder if the hit on the surveys has kept him quiet?

        • lprent


          I suspect that he and his handlers will just let the story collapse under the weight of its own futile edifice of straw and glue of bullshit. It is a diversion story for the simple minds of the press gallery.

          The point that Cunliffe was making was about the effect of immigration on the housing stock that was in such short supply. That problem isn’t going to go away and should just keep being repeated.

          Everyone who lives in Auckland and who wants to buy their own property is aware of that. You only have to go to an auction on a relatively mundane apartment like mine and see the 30+ buyers there to know that. Lyn did that and bid on the apartment next to mine last year, as she wanted to get into the property market herself. And next door would have been pretty damn convenient. But the bidding was intense and rapidly rose above the level that she was sure of her financing on.

      • karol 14.1.2

        And TV One News picked it up tonight.

        • lprent


          Once a dumbarse story line like that goes out, then the ratings war means that the other media channels have to follow. It is the political gallery lemming effect. They follow the smell of the excrement of the pack leaders.

          • Tracey

            unless it is a story showing Key lied about the appointment of Fletcher… I havent seen him for years, and iain rennie contascted him. Both lies, but that got no traction.

            NZEIR says the BIGGEST danger to our economy is the prices of property DROPPING.

            Might explain why national are not in the slightest bit interested in affordable housing. Joyce trumpets building consent numbers BUT no detail about the value of ther works or the completed building. How many fit the affordable category mr Rove, oops Mr Joyce.

            • Colonial Viper

              Well, when the NZIER comments on “our economy” they are referring to the top 5% of NZ society, you know the ones who actually own and control the largest chunk of the economy.

    • Tracey 14.2

      Sometimes you have to look deeper than soundbites. Cunliffe, it seems to me is aiming at the foreign property buyers who don’t live here, don’t intend living here, have no intention of joining our society, that 11% or so.

      Also, Key says 50% of immigrants are in skills category. A number will be family and a smaller number refugees. So, how many buy their way in through paper investment promises, like Mr Liu?

      he comes, he tries to make a profit which presumably goes offshore, and he bases himself somewhere else. That’s surely not about racism, but about ensuring our immigration serves NZ, not the other way round?

  15. bad12 15

    A well thought out Post Stephanie Rodgers, i do not see a lot ‘Radical’ about what Hone Harawira has to say about most things,

    i would suggest ‘radical rhetoric’ when we look at the two, hone and Sue Bradford would be more the province of Sue,

    Hone’s forte i would suggest is in the Radical language he sometimes employs to express normal, not so much radical to someone with my life experience more a ‘radical expression in terms of what the majority have come to expect,

    Normal i would suggest is this, in a climate where the beneficiary parents of young children are regularly denigrated, devalued, and demonized addressing their poverty of income to both the rest of the country and the politicians that represent them is virtually impossible,

    Hence Normal would be a comprehensive food in schools program,(i support such with the reservation that it does reinforce the above mentioned demonization,devaluation, and denigration meted out to the parents of these kids),

    Normal i would again suggest is Hone’s stance on State Housing, the words Hone may use to express His frustrations at the abuses being meted out to the States housing estate i would agree might seem radical, but, a State House in the worlds that Hone and i have inhabited for large parts of our lives, totally normal,

    Radical is the current National Party mistreatment of the States Housing estate, Radical in terms of a departure from its past is the Labour Party kiwibuild policy, Radical is the current Green Party policy of the variable mortgage payment scheme, which i like, but Radical it is,

    That’s my view of Mana, using at times radical language to address what are the normal outcomes of poverty with Normal policies that have in the past proved entirely effective and in my opinion will prove to be so in the future…

    • Phil 15.1

      That’s about as good as it gets Bad.

    • dave brown 15.2

      Hone appears radical to the extremists on the right who think the tiny minority of capitalists and their middle class hangers on are entitled to the profits that the working class makes for them. Now that’s revolutionary!

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.1

        Yes. Globalised corporate capitalism is indeed a revolutionary force – it remakes and upends entire countries, governments and societies in its own narrow interests.

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    Frankly we’ve got two and a half far-right silly parties without a principle among them – ACT, CCCP, & disUnited Future – if Mana wanted to ally with a fictitious party led by an anime character, and that got rid of the pathologically corrupt Key mafia that’d be fine. I think KDC is actually a bit better than is generally supposed – or the reptiles would’ve recruited him long ago.

    • Olwyn 16.1

      Well said, Stuart.

    • Populuxe1 16.2

      The reason the reptiles haven’t is because Key has his head firmly planted in Washington’s back pocket and Dotcom is persona non grata as far as the Yanks are concerned and therefore poison to the Nat-ACT-UF etc coterie. If Washington hadn’t put the hard word down, I expect Key and Dotcom would be happily skipping around golf courses holding hands.

      • Tracey 16.2.1

        Maybe… any sniff that Dotcom ever tried to donate to any party prior to his arrest? Cos he donated to Banks in 2010, and although he is national, he is firmly right, too

        • yeshe

          tracey .. donated to banks for mayor tho, not as an mp …

          • Tracey

            indeed but no sign he swung to the left just cos he was mayor

            • Populuxe1

              Yes, but it didn’t fly foul of party politics. The Americans and Key don’t care about civic politics

  17. Olwyn 17

    I see Hone as a conviction politician, and his teaming up with the IP as based on a judgement from that perspective. His disagreement with Sue Bradford is about whether or not it is a good judgement. If he wanted to sell out, he had plenty of chance to do that with the Maori Party, but he chose to walk instead. He does not just want to be a guy who holds certain values, he wants to go as far as he can toward putting them into action. And all strength to him. It might work, it might not, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    • bad12 17.1

      Well said Olwyn and i agree entirely which is why my vote will be going Internet/Mana,(although i really want the Green Party to grab at least 13% of the party vote which will see Marama Davidson who has a laser beam intelligence with an innate ability to express this in words that go over nobodies head in the Parliament)…

    • Populuxe1 17.2

      Arguably he sort of did sell out with the Maori Party. He was effectively in coalition with National from 2005 to 2011.

      • bad12 17.2.1

        That Populuxe1 is an entirely misleading argument, the Maori Party was formed out of the one issue, the Labour Party proposal that would prohibit Maori approaching the Courts over the ownership of the foreshore and seabed, such ownership claimed by Maori having never been extinguished by any Law,

        At the point of National proposing to enact Legislation that would have left Maori in a position no better than that Legislated by Labour Hone walked,

        i would suggest that Hone walking was entirely consistent with the Maori Party kaupapa…

        • Populuxe1

          A tad disingenuous, bad. The Foreshore and Seabed Act may have been the original impetus for forming the Maori Party, but there were three other core policy principles: a retirement age of 60, the teaching of Maori and Pacific history in NZ schools, and tax reduction. It very quickly evolved into a multi-issue party (Mana Ora for example). It’s not a misleading argument at all. His wee misadventure in Paris seems ample evidence he took to the Nat’s perks and misuse culture wholeheartedly…

          • bad12

            Yeah right Populuxe1 20,000+ Maori took to the streets of Wellington many of them in full tribal regalia protesting for a tax cut,

            Your Dumb is really so, but, good for a belly laugh, keep it coming…

          • Tracey

            Be fair, Turia left because of that one issue and with it has carried a single thought ever since, that she will never do a deal with Labour again. Sadly it has led to a party being a lapdog tot hose you might naturally suppose she would despise. She hates Helen and labour, and that allowed her to take MNP down some paths never really envisioned. Sitting under the table near the leader, getting scraps under the table.

            I always thought MP was more naturally allied to Greens.

  18. Clemgeopin 18

    I think it as a brilliant novel move that will be very good for both the parties and the country. Mana could learn the importance of money to help the less wealthy while the Internet Party could learn hopefully….well, the same thing….making both their lives worth while.

    If Labour is in power and this alliance supports it, then it could actually help Labour focus more intensely on important issues such poverty, technology, spying laws and privacy.

    All good! True democracy and freedom in action.

    • Populuxe1 18.1

      “Mana could learn the importance of money to help the less wealthy ”

      God that’s patronising

  19. TheContrarian 19

    “The thing is, it largely (not entirely) came from people who aren’t Mana members or supporters. It came from Labour supporters.”

    Firstly, who cares – you don’t have to be a National support in order to criticise the direction National has/is taken

    Secondly you can still lean left and think cosying up to Dotcom, a vapid self-absorbed cynical huckster, is a fucking stupid idea.

    • I wasn’t saying the only response came from Labour people, or that Labour people can’t comment. I was referring to a very specific response – the “Mana has sold out” response.

      I also haven’t suggested that “cosying up” to Dotcom is a winning plan for Mana. I said it’s too early to know for sure.

    • Stuart Munro 19.2

      “A vapid self-absorbed cynical huckster” you’ve described Key, and you were restrained about it.

  20. Jrobin 20

    Having read the policy statements of the Internet Party on their clear and easy to navigate site, they have quite a lot in common with Mana. Surprisingly I liked their ideas. Sue Bradfords leaving isn’t likely to hold them back anyway. They might look more appealing, sorry to be mean as I do respect her pluckiness, but she is a distinctive figure with stereotyped persona, who hasn’t got much appeal to the average punter. Good luck to them all.

    • bad12 20.1

      When proposal of an alliance with Internet Doubled the membership of the Mana Party in a week then what i suggest Sue Bradford should do is in fact unprintable in a family friendly place like this…

      • weka 20.1.1

        Just listened to the Checkpoint bit, where Bradford denies being patronising towards Hone etc when she says that they don’t see the trick for what it is (what KDC is offering), and then goes on to say it’s beads and blankets for the 21C.


        • bad12

          Lolz, all’s i can say is Yes Ms Sue, you know best, all the rest of us are after all ”easily fooled” and it only you that has the skills to carry the light to guide us all on the path of the one true truth,

          Off you go Bradford, feel as free as the birds what have wings to go and start you very own political party with you,you,you as the only person allowed to express a view and of course, as ‘the leader’,

          We all here look forward to the establishment of this political vehicle and judging its political success as elections occur…

          • Anne

            I don’t know whether Sue Bradford is right or wrong (she has the honesty to admit she’s not sure herself) but she is really hurting at the moment. A purist in many ways, she put her heart and soul into MANA and it’s not gone the way she hoped. Leave her be…

            • bad12

              Pardon Anne??? Sue Bradford ”chose” to toss Her toys,(again), because She didn’t get Her way,

              Not only did Sue toss her toys, She then got on the radio dissing this Party you claim She put Her heart and soul into,

              i expect that the weekend political tv shows, The Nation and Q+A will fall all over themselves to get Her on the TV to vent Her spleen, what do you bet that Sue will happily oblige,

              Public figures making public statements must expect to have those statements and their actions put under scrutiny which may even be full of scorn,

              If Sue don’t like that, damn that’s tough, befor you will get me to ”shut it” on the issue of the InternetMana alliance and Sue’s public dissing of it you best get Her to ”shut it” first,

              My comments are at present both presented with an eye on the ”rules of use” and a self moderation of my admittedly feral nature, should Bradford keep the violin concerto going full bore in public, they can only get worse,my comments that is…

              • Anne

                Hey Bad12, I didn’t mean to be overly critical of your comments. I heard Sue on RNZ yesterday afternoon and I could tell by her voice that she’s very upset. I know what it feels like, so was just suggesting we give her a bit of space for a while.

            • Sacha

              “she has the honesty to admit she’s not sure herself”

              That would be major progress, if true.

  21. Mike the Savage One 21

    Yeah, roll on Internet Mana, more cheap and free internet access to all, 21k socialism with a tech flavor, I suppose.

    More power to the data harvesters like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Twitter, Bebo, and whosoever else is into it. But perhaps we will get encrypting for free, not just for Mega customers, but also those wanting protection from the NSA, from the British, Canadian, Australian agencies, and of course the GCSB, I trust.

    Yes, so much is now done via on-line services and the web, and that has made us and will make us all “freer”, I suppose?!

    While we are at it, we are all having user profiles made up on us, and data from our browsers gathered, to be stored, converted and sold to advertisers.

    And yes, I am sure, they will abolish the GCSB on the first day of sitting in government, alongside Labour and Greens, I trust.

    Mega bucks for Mega, that will be one ulterior motive, I argue.

  22. bad12 22

    As LPrent points out above, MMP has as a ‘feature’ instability, parties regularly come and go, some splintering into other entities which in turn are cannibalized by yet another,

    InternetMana may become yet another casualty in a long line of casualties within this ongoing instability, but, the one truism inherent in the political process of MMP is that coalitions must be built, and i see no more or less honesty in openly building such a coalition befor an election as opposed to one which is built ”after the people have spoken”

    To a certain extent, from a perspective of the voting public it can be argued that the proposed members of a coalition being known befor a vote is cast is a far more honest form of politics than say the position of NZFirst,

    Mana alone reliant upon the one seat held by Hone Harawira was always going to be vulnerable to being devoured by Labour, exactly what such a snack for the old Dinosaur would provide to ”the left” in the way of political gain is at this point beyond my limited comprehension,

    The question must be asked of those who decry the alliance of InternetMana, how much gain did Mana as a Party alone in the political spectrum make in the 2011 election and until talk of the proposed alliance made front and center in the mainstream media how much gain did Mana as that Party alone make in the ensuing years,

    The answer to those sensitive questions above would best be answered with a simple, ”not a hell of a lot” which would then have toi be followed by another query directed at those that oppose this alliance, ”in building this mass movement of the people how many years/decades do you need”,

    Indeed i delve into the cynical there, but lets finish here on a high note and address Sue’s inherent question of ”how can a rich prick like Dotcom claim to represent those living in poverty”,

    Of course all poverty is relative right,??? by that i mean compared to the haves in our society here we have a level of have not’s that definitely screams ”poverty”, that we all understand right,???

    Compare tho poverty in little old Noo Zild with say poverty anywhere in Africa and i would suggest if we could get the view of the average African living on that continent in poverty She or He would in all probability look at those judged to be living in poverty here as ”rich pricks”,

    The other side of the coin tho is also in my opinion relative, a person living in poverty in New Zealand is certainly going to get the impression that Dotcom is loaded,

    Dotcom’s wealth would certainly have the kids of say Porirua going ”chur bro how many dairies did you have to tax to afford that lot”

    What of the bush shirt wearing Sue Bradford tho, wealth like poverty is all relative, i would suggest that if given a tour of ”the lifestyle block” the kids of Porirua would ask the same question of Bradford as they would of DotCom,

    My view is that its an ego game on Bradford’s part to consider that Her level of wealth being less than that of Dotcom’s gives Her the right to judge His competence or otherwise to provide political representation to the have nots in our society, those that live in that relative poverty…

  23. ianmac 23

    Sorry to say I tuned in to Paul Henry tonight at about 10:45.
    An interview with Hone was programed and I thought given Paul’s antipathy for Hone and anything leftish this will be very mean. But it wasn’t. It was another clear reasonable interview that shrieking Espiner would do well to emulate.

    Paul put it to Hone that Key reckons that the joining is so that Kim will get saved from extradition. Hone made it very clear that not once in any conversations with Kim or others in the Internet Party was extradition mentioned. (Desperate Key and Paddy etc will try and make it so!)

    And that money was not part of talks except perhaps at the end of negotiations which a coalition must get straight..

    And that the Leader of the Internet Party to be announced on Thursday is a very respected person and will be a pleasant surprise for all.
    No link yet but about halfway after the ukelele band.

    PS. And Hone thought that we should tune in relate to what the younger ones think and believe. We may be missing the opportunity.

  24. North 24

    Please don’t lash me. I’m tuned to TV3’s VOTQ-PH (Vicious Old Tory Queen – Paul Henry). Very rare in this house. The flat screen’s writhing painfully all along the mock-antique Korean cadenza on which it normally sits so placidly. Being batted about the head by several persons’ soft slippers. The cat’s under the sofa yowling.

    “Why so foully tuned ?” you ask. Can’t avoid it……Hone’s on !

    Here he is just now…….be back in a bit.

    Back now. VOTQ wasn’t prepared to really mix it obviously. Preferred buffoonery. Algud. Interesting the new members Hone reported what ?

    Anyway. The point of this comment is to remark on the ‘expert’ view of Assoc. Prof. Somebody Duncan from Somewhere University played in the 3 News round-up just prior to Hone. Damn ! It appears some young Maori might say “Oh, Hone’s talking to a white man millionaire…….sorry, no Hone !”.

    What arrogant talking head eurocentric bullshit ! This jerk doesn’t know a fucking thing about young Maori. The same old story. Stylishly imposing offensive, gratuitous, ignorant definitions on people they’re many, many worlds distant from.

    Sorry Mr Assoc. Prof. Somebody. It’s not you. You’re just showing your tits at the request of TV3 or VOTQ I know. Nothing personal.

    TV3, VOTQ…….why do you even try ?

  25. Lefty 25

    There are many reasons why the Mana/Internet alliance is a mistake but I would like to concentrate on just one of them because it is an international trend and has happened time and again here.

    It is a mistake social democrat parties all over the world are making and I think it is a major contributor to why so many people are turned off politics and don’t bother voting.

    Politics have always been about playing a game to some extent. I accept that, and can even enjoy the cut and thrust of that game at times.

    In fact I am well schooled in how the game is played and have been a practitioner at times.

    Likewise I acknowledge a certain amount of pragmatism is required in any political movement if it is to survive.

    But as Labour/Socialist/Democrat parties in the developed world have increasingly embraced neo liberalism they have also had less and less to offer their traditional supporters.

    To compensate for this the game has become all important. So much so that the choice voters have to make at election time now is between which parties are going to provide the best sound bites, memes and attack lines while they fuck us over.

    The game has totally overtaken any substance and our political elites on the left seem to be totally unaware of it.

    The right of course have engineered this situation and love it.

    But recent generations of people have grown up having access to a huge amount of information all their lives and are adept at sorting out bullshit. They know all about games and when they are being manipulated.

    Likewise many of the 20 – 30% of the population who are ignored by the political establishment because they are ‘other’ rather than the middle ground understand that any party playing the game is not their friend.

    Mana offered the possibility of being something different. It has an active life outside parliament, and while it needs to keep up a parliamentary presence, gradually building it while continuing its actions on the ground would have been fine.

    The alliance with the Internet Party is a signal Mana has been pulled into playing the same game as the other social democrat parties. It is a signal it puts the short term benefit of being seen as a player that can do its bit in supporting the ‘Bring down this Government’ meme ahead of building a movement that threatens the status quo. It is a signal it is no longer to be feared as a potential harbinger of change but is a party that really just wants to be accepted as part of the capitalist establishment.

    The commentariat will find it increasingly interesting and newsworthy and it may even attract the votes it is after.

    But for the disenfranchised, for those who have been turned off voting or never seen the point of it, Mana risks being seen as just another bunch of capitalisms gamesters, posturing and scheming but never delivering.

    For me it is just another example of the social democrat left being so clever they have outwitted themselves by burning off any possibility of engaging large numbers of people in a movement for real change in exchange for imaginary short term gains, just as they have been doing for the last thirty years.

    And the end result of this will always be the growth of the likes of Golden Dawn, The National Front or UKIP.

    • karol 25.1

      I tend to agree, Lefty. I’ve come from seeing something of this sort happen, time and time again.

      I was in the UK, watching CNN daily as Bill Clinton campaigned for his successful run at the POTUS. He said things like trickle down isn’t working and we need to do things differently, etc, etc.

      Then, still in the UK, I watched as Tony Blair was gaining momentum in the MSM, while John Smith was looking like making UK labour a successful left wing party again. Then Smith died, leaving the leadership open to Blair. Many on the left, though not so keen on Blair, got on board with the hope of ousting the tories.

      Then here in NZ, some of us were sceptical that Obama, with all his “We can do it” rhetoric, was on the primary trail vs Clinton. Many here on the left were really excited about Obama, eg for not being in the same mould as the elitist, wealthy-supporting Clintons…. some of us argued Obama was pretty similar to the Clintons when they started out, and he already had some major banks and other vested interests funding him. But Obama was the great hope for the younger social-networking-savvy Americans….

      … and on and on it goes.

    • bad12 25.2

      Here’s the factual counter to your argument from admittedly a very basic view,

      From a couple of Roy Morgan’s back while the mainstream media was concentrating full force on the InternetMana proposal,

      Mana up to 1%
      Internet up to 1.5%
      Labour UP
      Green UP,

      i rest my case…

      • Lefty 25.2.1

        I did say they might attract the increase in votes they are after (a few per cent more). My point was that to make any significant change we need to change the political behaviour of political parties from gaming the public for short term gains to something more substantial.

        • bad12

          Algood Lefty, hows that going, changing the political behavior of political parties, a long term assignment is it,

          Sounds a bit like Sue Bradfords, ”building a mass movement of the people”, MMP forces us to take what gains we can manufacture,

          It is the manufacture of such political vehicles that can promote political movement to the left that is all important to me not the personalities involved,

          The right of the spectrum at the moment is streets ahead of the left in the ability having bought what is essentially the left wing Maori Party at a bargain basement price while at the same time having undertaken a hostile takeover of the far right in the form of the ACT Party,

          The left have to speed up the ability to merge small chips of disparate political voices into viable small parties, as one evolves or dissolves the ability must be present within the left to build another even if it’s longevity can be measured only during the one Parliament…

        • Tracey

          If people want less game playing from their politicians, truly want it, then vote Green. If you vote National or ACT and say you don’t want game playing politicians……….

    • Pauley 25.3

      Excellent comment Lefty, I think you’ve nailed it.

      I do not typically vote or follow the spectacle of “politics”. However before I heard about the alliance with Dotcom’s party I was probably going to vote Mana, partly because I’m sympathetic toward Mana’s concrete support of real struggles around poverty, housing etc, helping people empower themselves rather than scoring political points through the media.

      By embracing Dotcom, Mana is distancing itself from this important aspect in order to become part of the political spectacle, capturing votes and media attention in a way completely alienated from the communities and concrete struggles it supports. Dotcom’s social outlook is utterly foreign to this aspect of Mana, and given Dotcom’s financial influence this aspect will inevitably be weakened or become a source of internal conflict. As for the predicted increase in votes for Mana based on Dotcom’s popularity, these would not express the struggles of communities or political convictions but rather superficialities inculcated by our moronizing media. Moreover its likely this type of popularity could only be maintained at the cost of moderating and diluting Mana’s political views.

      This alliance, and the typical response to it evidenced by this thread, is just one more depressing sign of the disintegration of the left and any real alternative to the prevailing misery.

      • Mike the Savage One 25.3.1

        This is one of few comments in this thread that makes sense to me.

        Politics, also almost a bit like the media, has become so much preoccupied with strategies to simply achieve attention, with headline catching, with games, with tricks and cunning tactics, with going on about superficial or slogan like messages, most have become so used to it, they do not even see that this alliance is not that much about political principles.

        And when principles are thrown over board, then anything will go and become “trade-able” at one stage down the road.

        One consoling news I read in John Armstrong’s article today, and that was, that this is apparently only a temporary “marriage of convenience” so to say, to get some candidates voted into Parliament.

        After that it will all be over with Internet Mana, and they will all fight their own battles again.

        My concern is, whether two or three more Mana and IP MPs will make that much of a difference in the House, especially should Labour and Greens not be able to form a government. It will end up having been a lot of huffing and puffing, and the media will give the new MPs as little attention as the ones from the Maori Party or Brendan Horan.

        Laila Harre would though be a formidable IP candidate, but I fear that there will be personalities she will have to work with, that will make it too difficult for her to achieve what she may plan to achieve.

  26. Pete 26

    I think this post makes extensive use of a straw man argument. Which is your right, I guess, but it generates a lot of heat and not much light.

    While I condemn the illegal surveillance and heavy-handed tactics in respect of KDC, I am ambivalent about his politics. He did, after all, donate to John Banks. For me, the jury is still out on the direction of the Internet Party and this arrangement and I’d like more information.

    • I’d like to know what you think I’ve misrepresented, Pete. As I had to point out to Contrarian, above, I’m not trying to comment on every single reaction to the Internet/Mana alliance, and I’m not trying to say that people from outside Mana shouldn’t comment. I also make no comment about KDC’s personal politics or whether or not I approve of the Internet Party, because that isn’t the topic of the post (though obviously people are discussing this in comments.)

      But I did see multiple comments from Labour supporters along the lines of “This means Mana has sold out”, and I am responding to those comments, and the kind of thinking I believe is behind them.

      The actual strawman would appear to be from people who want to read all kinds of things in my post which simply aren’t there.

    • yeshe 26.2

      nit picking I know, but he gave money to banks for mayor, not as an act mp … my understanding anyway.

  27. bad12 27

    That old cadaver,John Armstrong in the Herald online occasionally among the abject Jonolism produces a ‘gem’ of a column worth every minute of the ‘read’,

    On the InternetMana alliance He does just that, Lolz, ”If Hone Harawira just sold the soul of the Mana Party He got a price for it that no one in their wildest dreams would have thought possible”, or words to that effect,

    All this ”Dotcom has fooled Hone Harawira and the members of the Mana Party”, being used as currency to attack this alliance presupposes that we all are dumb little Maori/Pakeha girls and boys without the intellect to have carefully have weighed up the pro’s and con’s of such an alliance…

  28. bad12 28

    Heh, heh,heh, this has me sniggering, do i detect the cutting intellect and velvet hand of Annette Sykes in this:

    ”the agreement provides for a review of the alliance arrangement 6 weeks after the election when a decision will be made whether to continue with it”, wicked…

  29. bad12 29

    Lolz Pauly, lets do the numbers, from RadioNZ National news i learn that 3 people have quit the Mana Party due to opposition to the InternetMana alliance, add you, wow that’s 4,

    A quick glance at the other side of the ledger says that with the initial discussions surrounding the proposed alliance the Mana Party membership doubled,

    Add into that mix the Internet Party membership and it just doubled again, haere ra, you wont be missed…

    • Pauley 29.1

      Can you not read bad12? I’m not interested in quantity but quality. Crassly looking at this purely in terms “the ledger” and “the numbers” suggests a lack of principle and poverty of imagination on your part.

      • Colonial Viper 29.1.1

        It’s an election year and for both Mana and IP this is a smart electioneering move. In terms of how this will play out in terms of effects longer term on policy and positions…wait and see.

        • Pauley

          It almost sounds like you’re saying we should suspend criticism and reasoning based on logic and history because this is a “smart electioneering move”?


    If dotcoms convictions for fraud and insider trading had been in NZ I doubt anyone would support him, his foray into politics is clearly cynical. Having said that none of his convictions involved violence so perhaps he will be given a pass at election time. Mana has displayed pragmatism and cooperation in its alliance with the IP and that, I believe is what democracy is about. There is no reason the poor Maori kid and the rich European can’t be friends, especially when the white kid gives the brown kid the packet of sultana’s he stole from the sleepy Indians dairy (true story).

  31. I think Kelvin Davis will be the the winner out of this(just finished my cracker)

  32. Mary 32

    Labour are the sellouts – just have a look at the detail of MANA policy, which is practically identical to traditional Labour. Giving support to Labour = stomping on the most disadvantaged in our community.

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