It’s 2014 and we have a job to do

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, January 1st, 2014 - 252 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2014, Environment, identity, Left, Politics, Social issues - Tags:

… and I’m worried we’re not going to do it.

It’s not just about winning an election.  It’s not just about getting Labour, or Labour/Greens, or Labour/Greens/Mana etc over the line.

It’s about getting the people of New Zealand to turn out and vote for a different kind of country.  Not a country where Paula Bennett gets to pull the ladder up behind her.  Not a country where finance companies get bailed out while rail workshops have to close their doors.  Not a country that uses material wealth as a moral yardstick, blaming the poor for being poor and assuming the wealthy should be listened to.  Not a country which points a finger at those who have no power and makes them the scapegoat for our failures.

But we may be our own worst enemies.

This isn’t me telling people to shut up for the sake of unity.  It’s not labelling my ideological enemies as Redneck Stormtroopers.

It’s a plea for understanding the difference between strategy and tactics.

To get to the New Zealand we want to live in, from the New Zealand we have now, is going to take a huge amount of work.  We need to change how our economy works, our whole system of industrial relations, our social welfare systems, how we support vulnerable people, how businesses invest and create real jobs, how families and communities are able to support each other, our criminal and justice systems, our attitude towards our natural environment, our position on the international stage

Every aspect of that work is important, and interconnected.  And we can work on more than one thing at a time.  We can have tactics like a capital gains tax and amending the Reserve Bank Act and we can push for a living wage and we can discuss sexual discrimination in the workplace and we can increase paid parental leave.  We can create financial disincentives on property speculators and implement environment and accessibility standards for new builds and demand rental properties are fit to live in and build more state houses.

We can do the big serious economic policies and give a fuck about people’s day-to-day lives, because all of it will feed into the brighter future big picture.

In 2014 the New Zealand Left must have more on its agenda than “win power”.  We should want to create a better New Zealand, and doing that is about so much more than economic policy (which is also, obviously, important).  It has to touch everything.  And it’s going to take people working in different areas on different parts of the plan to make it all happen.

It may sound all a bit Pollyanna, but I absolutely believe we can do it … if the heterosexual leftwing dudes could please just stop complaining every time we spend five minutes on issues which don’t purely benefit them.

We’re all in this together, guys.  We’re all aiming for the same thing.  We all want that better New Zealand and that strong leftwing government.  And you know what, we’re here on the left because we’re fighting in the same war: the war against the powerful elites standing on our necks.

Now give me some fucking cookies for saying all that without using the word “vision” once.

252 comments on “It’s 2014 and we have a job to do ”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Cheers! I agree.
    I have been away but have regularly looked in.
    Keep up the good fight, y’all!
    Happy New Year to Everyone.

    And if you live around the corner, QOT, you will get lots of my baking all year.

    • dave 1.1

      there is only one job this year and thats door knocking , plamflet delivery and the odd protest getting out the vote we can only get the change we all want if we can get out the vote and make sure slippery takes a to all those who want change sign up get involved its only a grass roots effort that will seal slipperys fate!

      • Skinny 1.1.1

        I agree door knocking is very important. DC should force all his MP’s and candidates to door knock starting from March. I spoke to a former labour MP about how she won a blue ribbon seat, she said it was simply that she spent 6 months door knocking, people are more than chuffed to be heard and come polling day bingo we have a winner!

  2. Jimmie 2

    Trying to get the left to agree on a common message is akin to herding cats QOT.

    I’m not a leftie but I think the left would do a lot better if it could minimize the tribalism, almost denominationalism of the left.

    I never supported Helen Clark politically but one of her strengths was her ability to push the left together under her leadership through a combination of pragmatism, strong arming, and strategically placed allies (sisterhood if you were)

    Since she has left there has been no replacement with the gravitas to be able to draw the left together as she did. Goff couldn’t, Shearer couldn’t, Cunliffe……time will tell.

    I actually don’t think the left can bond under a male leader…….too much hostility and suspicion. Perhaps if Labour loses this year Jacinda Arden may be needed to step up to the mark?

    • QoT 2.1

      I don’t think “tribalism” is the problem. There are plenty of “tribes” on the Right but we only see the occasional symptoms of whatever ideological feuds they’ve got going on. And I really doubt it has anything to do with gender, since Helen Clark hardly had what you’d call a “maternal” or “nurturing” style of leadership. And she faced plenty of hostility and suspicion!

      • weka 2.1.1

        Good rallying cry QoT, thanks.

        I’m not sure what people are meaning by tribalism, but let’s remember that we have existing indigenous cultures within NZ, tribal ones. Perhaps we might learn something from the whanau/hapu/iwi structures and processes on how to work together.

        Diversity within the left is an asset. God forbid we get rid of the denominations.

      • Rather ironic really; the Right – which espouses the Cult of Rugged Individualism – can work together with minimal public antipathy between factions – whilst the Left, which is Big on collective action, shows more internal bickering than is healthy…

        Of course, there is a need for passionate debate and weighing of ideas. The ‘trick’ is to do it without personalising it and deflecting from the issues we were originally discussing…

        Buggered if I know how to go about it.

    • Shona 2.2

      Nonsense. While no one would doubt Ms Arden’s sincerity and compassion fact is she lacks Clark’s ability , nous and intellect not to mention life experience.
      She can’t even win an electorate seat! to be pilloried in parliamentary debate by an over- privileged, intellectual lightweight like Maggie Barry proves Ms Arden will never have what it takes to lead a party.
      Cunliffe is the leader we need right now.
      FFS! get in behind and give him the support he needs and stop equivocating people.

      • QoT 2.2.1

        As my post said, this isn’t a call for people to shut up for the sake of unity, Shona. I objected to that strongly enough when Shearer was leader that it would be hypocritical for me to do the same thing now my preferred candidate as leader.

        By all means, we need to work together, but I want to be very careful that “working together” or “unity” don’t get used to stifle useful debate.

    • kenny 2.3

      Distraction warning!

  3. karol 3

    Well said, QoT.

    Anything but tribalism. About working together.
    I think the post is about the broad left working together. Totally not tribalism.

    The neocons/liberals split feminism, etc fromthe left.

    Time to recognise that and work together.

  4. karol 4


    Neocons tried to split feminism from the grass roots left.

    1st effort at using mobile to comment. No edit function.

  5. RedLogix 5

    if the heterosexual leftwing dudes could please just stop complaining every time we spend five minutes on issues which don’t purely benefit them.

    OK – fair enough. I can take that on board QoT.

    The other thing is this – when the right attacks us – front foot it back into their faces. If it’s a real fuck up, apologise and do whatever it takes to stop the story becoming a narrative, but when the attack is a beat-up like the Len Brown drivel – take it back to them without reservation or equivocating. Never buy into their false premises and lies.

    This year has to count. Forty years of neo-lib madness has been quite enough.

    • QoT 5.1

      when the right attacks us – front foot it right back to them

      Let’s not get too ambitious now!

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      if the heterosexual leftwing dudes could please just stop complaining every time we spend five minutes on issues which don’t purely benefit them.

      Five minutes is fine, go for it, no probs there.

      1) Global trans-national corporate and banking dominance leading to austerity and neo-feudalism.
      2) Fossil fuel and real resource depletion.
      3) Climate change (now expected to hit 4 deg C by 2100, and possibly up to a civilisation ending 5 deg C).

      These are the tier one issues. These are the issues which will likely make life nearly unbearable (and possibly nearly unsurvivable) for all under 20 year olds today, during their lifetime. Those who are over 60 now will fortunately miss the brunt.

      Any peaceful political or civic approach which helps sort the above out, I will back. Can the Left focus on many other things at the same time: yes. But given the tightness of the above timeline I suggest doing so for only about five minutes.

      • QoT 5.2.1

        Five minutes is fine, go for it, no probs there

        And this comment is why you can fuck off, CV. Laying down the law about what you consider to be “tier one issues” is kind of the entire problem.

        • Draco T Bastard

          CV’s right – we do have to put in some priorities but I think those priorities need to be about what we do first after the left win power. Until then we can talk about everything including what needs priority.

        • Craig Glen viper

          “We are all in this together we are all aiming four the same thing.”
          Clearly not Qot you words and actions are totally un helpful to electing a left wing Government.

          You have behaved like a total bully, you are a hypocrite pure and simple. Using language like that against another person is not acceptable as far as I am concerned seriously get some counselling.

          [QoT: actually, I take back my remarks below. For making assumptions about my mental health, and using ableism to criticise me, you can get the hell out of this post.]

          • QoT

            Oh good, another person who wants to pre-emptively blame me for Labour’s presumed failure to win in 2014.

            … hang on, it’s almost like that’s exactly the kind of shit I’m complaining about!

            (Oh, and I’ll tell anyone to fuck off if I want to. If you want to scold me for my unladylike language … guess what you can do?)

        • phillip ure

          @’fuck off’..

          why would you react like that to a reasoned listing of the most urgent issues facing us..?

 can have identity-politics up the jacksie..

          ..if the planet is frying around you..


          phillip ure..

          • QoT

            “Reasoned listing” is subjective, and if you don’t see why Colonial Viper’s comment was exactly the kind of smug privileged silencing that this post was about … well I don’t believe it, frankly.

            • phillip ure

              @ qot..

              ..actually..on a re-read..(i previously missed the beginning and ending..)

              ..i withdraw my objection to yr objection to his comment..

              ..(and i do agree with the tone/timbre/content of yr original post..and agree it is not a matter of either/or..)

              ..but why not let his own words show him up for being a dick..?..(‘five mins’..indeed..!..)

              ..and use him as a foil..a spur to restate/hone yr words/arguments..?

              ..i still object to both the telling dissenters to fuck off/shut-up!..

              ..and the censoring of the words that led to their summary-justice verdict..

              ..i feel free-(political)-speech/transparency overwhelms the offended feelings of any individual..

              ..the other way lies totalitarianism..

              ..phillip ure..

              • QoT

                I have let his own words show him up, phil, because I left his comment there, just like I left KJT’s, and just like I let KJT’s fifth post-moderation comment through to illustrate the sense of entitlement some people feel to come into other people’s houses and dictate what conversations happen.

                And I’m going to say again, for the benefit of people who will label this comment hypocritical: I have never said people should stop talking about climate change, or globalisation, or fossil fuels. I have only objected to being told by others that my issues and my human rights should take a back seat to the “tier one” issues, which just happen to be the ones preferred by privileged leftwing men.

                • Corokia

                  Climate change is a human rights issue, it is also about inter-generational justice. The people who will (and are already) suffer the most from the increase in extreme weather events are the poorest and least powerful people.

                  When disasters strike the rich get by better than the poor -a recent example of this was the way wealthy Christchurch residents moved to their holiday homes after the earthquakes, leaving the ordinary people to cope with liquefaction and portaloos. Women and children bear the brunt of the increase in domestic violence and alcohol abuse that has followed such disasters.

                  When the shit hits the fan, those people in our society who are already disadvantaged get even more crap. So IMHO (as a privileged left wing woman) we need to multi-task and fight inequality and discrimination and climate change.


            • Frank Macskasy

              …well I don’t believe it, frankly.

              And that’s my ‘cue’! 😀

              I fully concur with QoT’s comment,

              Every aspect of that work is important, and interconnected. And we can work on more than one thing at a time. We can have tactics like a capital gains tax and amending the Reserve Bank Act and we can push for a living wage and we can discuss sexual discrimination in the workplace and we can increase paid parental leave. We can create financial disincentives on property speculators and implement environment and accessibility standards for new builds and demand rental properties are fit to live in and build more state houses.

              There will be many problems (I refuse to employ the “issues” euphemism) confronting a new Labour-led coalition. After 6 years of National rule, and 30+ years of rogernomics, there is much that requires fixing.

              Of course we all have out “pet” projects. I’ve got a truckload, and my #1 is addressing the crisis of child poverty and the strong symbolism of Cunliffe taking on the role of Minister for Children when he becomes PM.

              At the same time, Colonial Viper has a point – global warming is the threat of this century, much as nuclear annihilation threatened human civilisation in the 20th Century.

              We also need to review the GCSB/SIS/Police inroads into our privacy; review mining in DoC land; address the housing problem in this country; introduce a full Scandinavian style food in schools programme; dump anti-worker legislation, and so it goes.

              Labour and the Greens will be busy post-election. There is much work to be done. Thankfully, with enough Labour, Green, Mana (NZ First?) MPs, there should be plenty of hands available to get stuck in. No MP should be backbench “fodder” for the Debating Chamber.

              And we all need to help by supporting a new government by presenting solutions to problems.

              But it all boils down to a basic theme; since 1984, the cult of individualism and self-serving attitudes has become the “norm”. It’s “what’s in it for me” that is the mantra of the shrill and vocal when debate rages in this country on a problem. (Eg; alcohol laws. How many times do you read/hear the refrain, “Why should I have to give up —- just because of booze-fueled violence, crime, etc”)

              We have to replace that notion of individualistic dominance, with a return to community values and priorities. So that it’s what’s in the community’s interest that matters – not just someone enjoying a tax cut because poor families don’t deserve to eat because yada yada yada…

              QoT, you can have some of my sugar-free cookies. You’ve earned them.

      • RedLogix 5.2.2

        Mate – sighs.

        The temptation to say something stoopid with the ‘five minutes’ thing was too much eh?

      • weka 5.2.3

        Five minutes, how magnanimous of you CV.

        Myself I have no problem with priortising tier one. But let’s not forget that the reason we are in the shit in the first place is because we have a system that over-privileges white-dudery. We need the voices and smarts of Maori, women, queers, disabled people, Pacifica, the working and under classes etc precisely because those peoples have been actively working against oppressive systems and understand them. They also have been working on solutions for a long time. Further, different kinds of peoples think and behave differently, and that diversity gives us the best chance of doing something constructive and useful.

        The idea that people who are not part of the white-dudery club can have their ghettoed 5 minutes before returning to the real work is patronising, insulting and worst, just really fucking stupid. It’s crucial that all those people are in the centre of what we do because their specific perspectives and skills are crucial to the finding and making of solutions.

        • marty mars

          “different kinds of peoples think and behave differently, and that diversity gives us the best chance of doing something constructive and useful.”

          This is the guts of it for me – if we actually respected the diversity of people and their different ways of framing and finding solutions we would have a good chance of making change that helps people. Imo we have to search out that diversity of view just as we search out the positive – it is an active process that is at least as much about the journey as the destination.

        • geoff

          But let’s not forget that the reason we are in the shit in the first place is because we have a system that over-privileges white-dudery.

          Privileging white dudery is a symptom of how power was constructed in the past, it is not a leading cause of how power is constructed in the present.

          Power has shifted to faceless organisations, (such as multi-national corporations or the NSA), to such a degree that even people who consider themselves cognizant of this fact often do not appreciate the scale of the problem.

          I agree with CV and I think he has highlighted those 3 aspects (Global corp dominance, fossil fuels, climate change) because they are the key issues driving what is happening now in the world, not what was driving things pre-industrial revolution.

          • QoT

            Good point, geoff. Now let’s have a think about what kind of people tend to dominate those faceless organisations. Hint: not overwhelmingly queer women of colour.

            • phillip ure

              is that yr ‘number one priority’..

              ..and i am call for ‘unity’..

              ..then 5 mins later seem to attack anyone who isn’t ‘queer women of colour’..?

              ..perhaps to clarify/put into context yr words..

              ..perhaps you could succumb to ‘listing’..

              ..and give us yr take on the top three issues energies should be directed at..?

              phillip ure..

              • V de Plume

                Can you please explain how pointing out that multi-nationals and powerful govt agencies etc are overwhelmingly run by cis white men (ie, not queer women of colour) is “attacking” cis white men? Is the implication here that describing someone as having societal and institutional power is an attack?

                Also, I don’t believe QoT called for unity. Or listing. Or a “top three issues energies should be directed at”. In fact, I took her point to be just the opposite: that we *don’t* in fact, “succumb to listing” as you ask her to do… that we *don’t* pick “the top three issues” or a “number one priority”… that we can look at things like climate change and neo-feudalism and everything else that’s going to make the world unlivable in fifty years’ time, AND ALSO let people who aren’t cis white males fight against the things that are making their lives unlivable RIGHT NOW.

                • karol

                  In fact, I took her point to be just the opposite: that we *don’t* in fact, “succumb to listing” as you ask her to do… that we *don’t* pick “the top three issues” or a “number one priority”… that we can look at things like climate change and neo-feudalism and everything else that’s going to make the world unlivable in fifty years’ time, AND ALSO let people who aren’t cis white males fight against the things that are making their lives unlivable RIGHT NOW.

                  Ah. Agreed. Also, i think the issues and problems indicate where to look for solutions \: e.g. poverty also has a gender and Maori/Pasifika angle – there are particular issues related to single mothers on benefits, and other issues more directly impacting on male workers within the forestry industry.

                  The casualisation of the workforce has been done by playing on gender differences within our culture. These things need to be understood when looking for solutions.

                  Domestic violence, rape, sexual violence etc, have more to o with patriarchy than capitalist arrangements, but are severely damaging lives right now.

                • @v..well..that’s your reading of my comment..

                  ..i don’t have the energy to refute point by to disagree totally with yr interpretations..

                  ..and as someone succumbing to the listing-urge..

                  ..i have about five issues battling it out for top-spot..

                  ..but this does not mean i am not sympathetic to/will not argue for/support….

                  ..another 15/whatever number..of issues..

                  ..and doesn’t mean i don’t want to hear from those with others top of their list..


                  ..and those ‘lists’ must vary from person to person..

         pot-smoking vegan-fight..vs old skool beer-quaffing bbq-unionist..

         examples of being on the same side..

                  ..but very very different..(and viva la differance..! broad-church..and all that..)

                  ..and once again..who gets to play god/censor..?

                  ..and who can hire and fire them..?


        ’s a slippery fucken slope that one..

                  ..and if we don’t learn from totalitarian-history of both the right and left..

                  ..then we are fucken idiots..

                  ..and this whole brouhaha is like a strawman-argument convention..

                  ..and ultimately both depressing and annoying..

                  ..this much energy being dissapated arguing for the right/rights of..censoring..(!)

                  phillip ure..

                  • V de Plume

                    It might have taken less energy to refute point by point, as I didn’t make many points.

                    1) You said QoT “seemed” to be attacking anyone who wasn’t a queer woman of colour, by observing that they (QWoC) are not the people running faceless organisations. I asked what about that seemed like an attack to you. That’s not a reading of your comment, that’s a question. Please explain how this seems like an attack to you, because I genuinely do not understand.

                    2) No one can hire and fire anyone here as it is a blog and not a company with jobs. The third word of “slippery slope” is “fallacy”. There is not a slippery slope here. There is a moderation policy. It is in writing, it is linked to, you can read it.

                    3) You keep insisting on people having ‘lists’ when the point was that we SHOULDN’T be putting things on a “priority” list and telling people their issues aren’t important enough. That’s why the objection to CV’s initial “okay you can have five minutes for your issues then deal with THIS LIST”. You asked QoT if “queer women of colour” was her “number one priority” when the point of the post is that we can focus on more than one thing at a time. Why do you have this obsession with lists and priorities?

                    Once again, the person who gets to play “censor” (spoiler: it’s not censorship) is the post author. Because those are the rules of the site. It is not a slippery slope. Do you also consider a newspaper editor to be “censoring” people when they choose which letters to the editor to publish?

                  • QoT

                    I simply must raise an eyebrow at the dude who insists on adding “..” to the beginning and end of every sentence fragment complaining about how anyone else chooses to dissipate their energy.

  6. karol 6

    Front foot media/right beat-ups, RL?

    You mean like not buying into, and pandering to their “manban” type beat-ups?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      [QoT: You aren’t welcome to comment on this post any more, CV, unless you want to say something which contributes to the discussion at hand instead of merely illustrating it.]

      • KJT 6.1.1

        “This isn’t me telling people to shut up for the sake of unity. It’s not labelling my ideological enemies as Redneck Stormtroopers”.

        Haven’t you just done that above, QOT?

        Yes. I agree we should be concentrating on all aspects of human rights. (I consider human rights a much better term than identity politics). We can multitask.

        I also agree with CV that the right wing is happy for us to concentrate on narrow aspects of human rights while they run off with the money, and the real power.

        Imagine if Maurice Williamson’s speech had been about more support and money for solo mums, for example, instead of something which doesn’t cost anything?

        Read up on South Africa. While they were concentrating on one person, one vote, those who were really in power made sure that there was no way the economic arrangements could be changed.
        Most South Africans are just as powerless as they were before.

        And, I think the Labour caucus should have just come out boldly and said. “We are for equal rights for women, and we are proud of it”. Instead of giving in to the media narrative.,

        • QoT

          I think the situation in South Africa might be the teensiest bit more complex than you portray, KJT. And there are a number of reasons why Maurice Williamson’s speech wasn’t about supporting solo mothers, chief among them because he’s a National Party libertarian douchebag.

          And I haven’t told CV to “shut up for the sake of unity”. I’ve suggested he’s a jackass who doesn’t get to keep derailing every thread with his demands that everyone else shut up because his favourite issues are the most important. This is one post. You will find him on many others. Hell, he can write his own post.

          I’m also not demanding we “concentrate on narrow aspects of human rights”. Identity politics is about far more than marriage equality, and only people like CV insist on limiting its scope in that way. Because he wants people like me to shut up for the sake of unity. Ironic, huh?

          • KJT

            You mean that a National party member, these days, could never advocate for any human rights that cost their supporters money or power, don’t you. Supports what I said.

            As usual QOT you area attacking without reading.

            • QoT

              Nope, I’m pointing out that marriage equality was an issue which wasn’t already clearly divided along party lines. The demonization of solo mothers has been a National Party/ACT totem for decades. Trying to reframe it as being about “human rights” when it’s been framed as an economic issue for a generation means your argument has no basis in reality.

              • KJT

                I think you are being deliberately obtuse here.

                The point is that the right wing have no problem with allowing the left/progressives a few token victories, that don’t cost them money or power, to let us think we are making progress, while they keep the real power. Which is access to most of the wealth.

                • QoT

                  You said:

                  Imagine if Maurice Williamson’s speech had been about more support and money for solo mums, for example, instead of something which doesn’t cost anything?

                  For this argument to work, you have to pretend that the only reason Williamson isn’t advocating for more support for solo mums is cost.

                  Supporting solo mothers is quite obviously an issue which is not about cost, and not about human rights, because the rightwing narrative for years has been about bludgers and lowlifes and poor life choices.

                  • RedLogix

                    because the rightwing narrative for years has been about bludgers and lowlifes and poor life choices

                    Which serves two purposes simultaneously:

                    1. Scapegoating. The narrative of the ‘outsider’ is necessary to cohesion of their propaganda.

                    2. It provided justification for benefits to be kept low. (Cheap is very important to them.)

                • Murray Olsen

                  I think I agree with you here, KJT. What actually worries me more is the number of progressive activists who have allowed themselves to be corralled into fights for these token victories over the years. I see many of them, when fought for in an individualistic way, as admissions of the weakness of the left.

          • karol

            I also agree with CV that the right wing is happy for us to concentrate on narrow aspects of human rights while they run off with the money, and the real power.

            I agree with you that it’s about power – but allocating “money” as the “real power” is part of a fairly traditional masculine discourse.

            In the 21st century, capitalism is central to most power plays. But it isn’t the only source of empowerment.

            A focus on economics over wider humanist issues or other forms of oppression is a part of pretty traditional masculinity. And it largely focuses on some instrumental aspects of economics in the sphere of production and consumption, largely removed from an understanding of the role of the domestic sphere, personal relationships and various social groupings.

            And many on the left have incorporated such a masculinist version of economics into their ways of challenging the corporate plutocracy under which we currently live. It’s interesting that some on the left a very clear about how money is created – largely a social and cultural construct, used to exert power over resources, and other sections of society – but they don’t see how much that is part of a masculinist construction of economics.

            Capitalism arose within a very patriarchal (and imperialist) context and is inextricably interwoven with it. Any person that aims to be successful within it, needed to negotiate these interwoven systems of power, without providing too obvious a threat to either capitalism of patriarchy – it can be seen in the different ways that women like Thatcher, Judith Collins, and, from a more humanist and left wing perspective, Helen Clark negotiated with both capitalism and patriarchy.

            Masculinist economics focuses on production and distribution of resources, while failing to see how it is inextricably intertwined with the power dynamics of unpaid domestic and community labour, and, on the most personal level, sexuality and various kinds of personal relationships.

            Unfortunately, some on the left want to dismantle capitalism (or at least ensure a more equal distribution of wealth within it), while either appeasing traditionally masculine values, or actively supporting them.

            Dismantle capitalism alone, and some will still resort to other ways of exerting power over others – through slavery, physical force, etc, and on a more personal level through gender and sexuality.

            Underlying economics it’s more about power than wealth – wealth is only useful if it provides power and privileges.

        • RedLogix

          Read up on South Africa. While they were concentrating on one person, one vote, those who were really in power made sure that there was no way the economic arrangements could be changed. Most South Africans are just as powerless as they were before.

          An arrangement just as bad for most whites too. The white South African guy I’m working right next to has told me shit I won’t repeat.

          The point KJT is that there is a major strategic lesson to be learnt here. But it’s not that the South Africans should not have pursued ‘one person, one vote’ as a goal is it?

          • KJT

            Of course they were right to pursue universal franchise, never said they weren’t, and we need the QOT’s that keep us aware of what needs to be done, but while they were concentrating on that one issue alone they dropped the ball.

            I know white South Africans that have left, including black sash members, who are disgusted with the domination of, what they hoped would be a much better country, by capital and the wealthy.

            Brash said ” hit them on all fronts before they know what is happening”. Well, if that is the case we need to fight back on all fronts.

        • weka

          “Haven’t you just done that above, QOT?”

          No she didn’t, and this is an important point. Healthy, functional groups don’t allow a single, dominating voice to derail necessary work.

          I’ve not seen CV attempt to meet those of us who disagree with him in any kind of conciliatory or collaborative way. On the contrary in recent weeks he has upped the ante and taken a new tactic of being bluntly dismissive of his natural allies here and posting comments that increasingly look like propaganda from the authoritarian stance. There are others who agree in various ways with CV’s key point, but they’re finding ways of engaging in dialogue that don’t dismiss people they disagree with.

          The Standard has long had a policy of authors moderating their own threads in ways they see fit, and I appreciate the threads that moderated hard, because we don’t get so distracted by all the crap. There is a balance to be had between allowing everyone a voice (not shutting down dissent) and keeping debate functional and useful. For me, it’s 30 years of being in many different situations where allowing everyong a voice has meant work just didn’t get done, so now I am more in favour of the pragmatic approach. The irony here is that one of CV’s main points is that we don’t have time for distractions. On this I completely agree.

          CV can of course still post comments on Open Mike, and I believe he has author access so can put up his own post.

          • KJT

            I don’t see that CV was disagreeing.

            He dared to mention that the right are successfully using “divide and rule”.

            “On the contrary in recent weeks he has upped the ante and taken a new tactic of being bluntly dismissive of his natural allies here and posting comments that increasingly look like propaganda from the authoritarian stance.”
            I feel that way often when I read QOT. Attacking people who are on the same side because they do not use the exact approved words.
            I don’t censor however

            • QoT

              It’s not the right who are dividing and ruling, KJT. It’s people on the left who demand that only their issues get talked about, who label anything else as a “distraction”, and who jump into every single conversation they can to make irrelevant digs about identity politics – i.e. exactly what CV has been doing recently.

              Unless of course you’re suggesting he’s a rightwing plant?

              • KJT

                CV making digs about identity politics is only in your head.

                Neither of us has said we should not pursue human rights for minorities, women, LBGT, and everyone else. Fully support that.

                But, without economic, and there fore, political power, we are at the mercy of the next bunch of ideological nut jobs that may propagandise their way into parliament supported by unlimited funds from the plutocracy.


                And for calling me a liar you can get the fuck off this post.]

                • weka

                  “CV making digs about identity politics is only in your head.”

                  You are denying the reality and experience of quite a number of people who regularly post here. What gives you that right? How do you think that will help?

                  “But, without economic, and there fore, political power, we are at the mercy of the next bunch of ideological nut jobs that may propagandise their way into parliament supported by unlimited funds from the plutocracy.”

                  Yes, and I’ll say this slowly because I’m sick of being treated like and idiot. We understand the politics and dymanics of the situation just as well as you do.

              • weka

                QoT’s moderation has to be understood in the context of the past few months. It’s not about a couple of sentences in one comment. It’s about a pattern of behaviour that I suspect a number of us here see as destructive.

                “I don’t censor however”

                That’s fine, and you are entitled to not censor. But did anything I wrote about a long history of working in groups that got undermined by making sure that everyone had a voice mean something to you? What’s your experience with that?

                • @ weka..

         are out of one side of yr mouth saying ‘everyone must have a voice’..

                  ..and out of the are saying:..’except those whose voices i don’t want to be heard’..

                  ..what is wrong with using yr intellect to dismantle ‘wrong’-ideas..?

                  ..instead of ‘banning’/censoring them..

                  phillip ure..

                  • weka

                    I haven’t said either of those things phil. Please explain what you mean and link to some specific comments I have made so that I can understand.

                    Please also understand that (a) I didn’t write the standard’s moderation policy, (b) that I have no power to moderate on this blog and (c) were say CV to put up a post I would fully support his right to moderate as he saw fit. I might express an opinion about that moderation, but I wouldn’t challenge his right to do it.

                    I think you are confusing and conflating many things I have said. I’m not surprised, the level of listening and communication on ts is pretty poor at the moment. But I remain committed to good communication and am trying to find a way back to that.

                    • @ weka..

                      the last para of yr 12.25pm..

                      ..and even in yr question @ advocate for the rights of individuals to censor..(??)

                      ..and a hat-tip to yr last sntence @12.28pm..

                      phillip ure..

                    • weka

                      “@ weka..

                      the last para of yr 12.25pm..

                      ..and even in yr question @ advocate for the rights of individuals to censor..(??)

                      ..and a hat-tip to yr last sntence @12.28pm..”

                      Still not making any sense phil. I feel I’ve explained pretty clearly where I stand, and I’m not interested in relitigating your assertions that I said something that I didn’t.

                      btw, I think you bring some interesting perspectives, but I’m not going to respond as much. I have a cognitive disability and your posts are just really hard to read because of how you use type.

                  • QoT

                    Here’s the problem, phillip: you and others keep complaining about censorship. When the simple fact of the matter is that, for this one post on this one occasion, a few people have been told they’re not allowed to dominate the conversation at the expense of others.

                    Take a look at the Open Mike. There those people are, happily leaving all the “QoT is the meanest bitch ever” comments they like.

                    People who are from marginalized groups, who have already had to put in more effort just to be part of the discussion, are not obliged to educate, reform, or burn energy and goodwill on pointless arguments. No blogger is obliged to give a platform to people who break the rules and derail the conversation.

                    This is funny to me, though, because whenever someone like Matthew Hooton or Pete George come to The Standard, everyone cheers when they’re told to fuck off and stop derailing the conversation. Everyone gets the idea that lprent doesn’t have to put work into creating a space for rightwing trolls to spit in our faces. Suddenly when it’s a different part of the left saying “hey dudes, can we have a turn please?” the screams of CENSORSHIP!!!! are instantaneous.

                    • @ qot..1st para..

                      ..”a few people have been told they’re not allowed to dominate the conversation at the expense of others..”

                      and the censor gets to make that oh so subjective call..?

                      ..surely you can see that one persons’ ‘dominator’ anothers’ ‘robust/enlightening debate of the merits of competing ideas..for observors/readers..?

                      ..and who gets to make that (subjective) where it all goes gooey..

                      ..para three..

                      ..i’m sorry..i can’t comprehend what you are saying here..are you giving automatic censorship rights to ‘marginalised’-folk..?

                      ..(hey..!..i’m a vegan ex-con..!..that’s fairly ‘marginalised’ i be a censor too..?..)

                      ..i say that to illustrate the paucities i see in that argument..

                      ..yes..of course everyone must have their voice heard..

                      ..but not at the cost of censoring others..

                      ..that is a price too high to pay..

                      “..No blogger is obliged to give a platform to people who break the rules and derail the conversation. ”

                      once again we run smack into that subjective-judgement wall..

                      who gets to make that call/those definitions..?..(c.f.previous robust-debate point..)

                      para four:..

                      “..whenever someone like Matthew Hooton or Pete George come to The Standard, everyone cheers when they’re told to fuck off and stop derailing the conversation..”

                      (as (paraphrasing) what tonto said to the lone ranger when surrounded by other hostile indians..)

                      ‘what’s with the ‘we’/(everyone)..?..white man..?..’..)

             do not cheer at dissenting voices being banned for the crime of ‘derailing’..

                      “.. Suddenly when it’s a different part of the left saying “hey dudes, can we have a turn please?” the screams of CENSORSHIP!!!! are instantaneous..”

                      i’m sorry..could you please re-word that..?..(if you can be bothered..)..

                      ..i fail to see the connections made/attempted..on a basic logic/understanding level..

                      ..phillip ure..


                    • QoT []

                      “Censor”. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                    • weka

                      Ok phil, so I take it you are opposed to all moderation on this blog?

                    • V de Plume

                      Phillip, who gets to make that subjective call is the author of the blog post. I read the site policy before I commented on this post, and it states quite clearly that authors get to moderate their posts. That’s pretty straightforward. It might pay you to refresh your memory if you haven’t read it for a while, you may find it answers a lot of these questions for you.

                      As QoT pointed out, CV et al are not ‘censored’, as they are quite freely able to make their comments not only elsewhere on the internet, but even elsewhere *on this very site*. And in fact *are doing so*. I’m not sure why you think ‘free speech’ is at stake because they are quite clearly, vigorously, still enjoying that right.

                    • weka

                      “I’m not sure why you think ‘free speech’ is at stake because they are quite clearly, vigorously, still enjoying that right.”

                      It’s ideology. Trumps reality every time.

      • weka 6.1.2

        +1000 to that bit of moderating QoT. Would be good to see if we can focus on where we go from here rather than getting into another tedious round of defense.

        • KJT

          You mean of people who basically agree talking past each other.

          • weka


            • RedLogix

              We are on the same side weka. We have a lot of common ground and I’ve personally learnt a great deal while we all blundered about exploring it. I’ve still got a lot more to learn.

              Of course we are different people, different lives and experiences and we go about things differently. This year I want these differences to be our strength.

              • weka

                I appreciate that RL. Sometimes your responses to what I write make me wonder if I wasn’t understood that well, but like you I am open to us continuing to learn.

                QoT’s states that the issue is to stop marginalising certain politics and groups of people. I think there is also a deeper problem around communication and collaboration.

      • phillip ure 6.1.3

        oh dear..!

        ..the banning of dissenting voices always brings me out in a cold-sweat..

        ..that’s enough of this conversation for me..

        ..i’m outta here..!

        ..phillip ure

    • RedLogix 6.2

      Yes – a great example karol. The Labour caucus mis-handled (like so many other things) that very poorly.

      All it needed was a simple plain statement from the leader to say that it was a perfectly legitimate conference remit. That it was Labour Party democracy in action. And that while the Party had yet to decide if it was the best way to achieve the goal – the goal of gender balance itself was not in question. It is a goal we are proud of and one that we will always be exploring new ways of living up to and honouring.

      Instead we got this piss-weak equivocation that bought into the attackers meme and burned everyone off.

  7. Ad 7

    The prime logic of this post for me is that the great majority of those who volunteer around national elections in progressive politics are women, young people, unemployed, Pacifica, gays, unionists, and other less than fully empowered. They are the base. I don’t always agree with them politically, but I know the preciousness of volunteer labour in campaigns that have a chance to change for good. So the call for separation of policy and politics is accurate and always necessary.

  8. red blooded 8

    Good on you. QoT. There’s a difference between healthy debate and dysfunctional anger and attack. We need to remind ourselves about what links the concerns of those of us who identify as Left – it’s a desire to live in a fair, inclusive, functioning society. A sense that we are connected to each other (and to our planet), not just separate and competing individuals, driven to get the best and too bad about the rest.

    Side note (and example) – I saw a lot of personalised abuse of Jose Pagani on this site the other day, and while I agree that she has erratic judgement (ably demonstrated in the original post, which listed some decisions that seem hard to reconcile), I have to say that her plea for a more caring and less personally abusive approach to debate on the Left was not all that different from what is being said here. She used different words because she’s a different person, but the message was basically that we should live by the values we espouse (and yes, I know that she doesn’t always reach that ideal), and that the tendency of the Left to cannabalise itself plays into the hands of the Right.

    Please don’t respond to this with another set of comments about Pagani. This is just a recent example of the tendency I’m commenting on. I’m not a particular fan of hers, I don’t admire her political judgement, but it’s possible to say that without the level of vitriol that was dumped into that discussion.

    It’s fine to debate with vigour and passion, but there’s a difference between that and viciousness, and that line is sometimes crossed on this site. Plus, we don’t all have to have exactly the same weighting of issues, so long as there are broadly shared principals and a desire to get things done.

    [QoT: I suggest that in future you not try to relitigate a conversation and then dictate what people can or can’t say in response. Josie Pagani is not saying the same things as me, she’s demanding that people stop pointing out her severe lack of a clue or solid leftwing principles, and yes, I will be “vitriolic” when I see the left screw the pooch following advice from people like her and then blame “identity politics” for it.]

    • red blooded 8.1

      And here we go… I don’t give a bugger about Pagani – I am not trying to ‘relitigate’; I was simply giving an example. It seems a bit quixotic of you to be asking for a accepting approach from others, emphasising that there can be unity in diversity, and then insisting that it’s OK to attack those who identify as Left but don’t have what you regard as ‘solid leftwing principles’. How is that different from CV identifying his list of priority areas then saying that anyone who doesn’t make those their own priorities deserves exactly 5 minutes?

      • QoT 8.1.1

        You didn’t give “an example”, you advocated for Josie Pagani’s interpretation of things. Josie Pagani’s distinct lack of a leftwing philosophy is already being thoroughly discussed here:
        There is a world of difference between criticising and demanding silence, especially when the people demanding are already in privileged positions and the people being silenced are oppressed.

        • red blooded

          Bullshit. I used an example of a discussion line that had degenerated into personal attack and abuse. I referenced it because it was a recent example – there are (as I’m sure you know), plenty of others. To be honest, it is a tendency that I find very off-putting sometimes and one that sometimes sees the genuine contest of ideas swallowed up.

          I’m not interested in discussing Pagani’s political viewpoints. I’ve already said that she doesn’t represent my view. (Hmm… I do seem to recall quite a few people “demanding silence” from her, though…)

          How about trying to see the intent of the original comment (which was to endorse what you had originally said in your post)? However, I think I would also ask you to try to see the incongruity of insisting that there is one “correct” leftwing viewpoint and this is the only viewpoint that should be advocated in public and identified as Left, while at the same time arguing that people shouldn’t be silenced and that we all have something of value to contribute towards the greater leftwing movement for social justice and inclusiveness.

          • QoT

            I’m not saying there is “one correct” leftwing way of thinking. I am saying that Josie Pagani is factually wrong, a shit writer, and not someone who should have her level of authority and credibility in the mainstream as a “normal” or “standard” example of leftwing thinking.

            Take a different example. There are radical feminists who are incredibly transphobic. They’re still on the spectrum of feminism, at one extreme end, but I’m equally vocal about not treating their viewpoints as representing all feminist thought.

            But don’t have a fucking moan when you introduce a topic into a discussion and people comment on it. Especially don’t try to pre-empt people’s disagreement by saying “but don’t comment on the thing I just brought up”.

            • red blooded

              Please note, “the thing I just brought up” was the tendency of some people on this site to do exactly what you have ended up doing – stomping on someone who questions or disagrees with them and getting abusive. Responding to that isn’t “having a fucking moan”, it’s pointing out a discrepancy between the standard of behaviour you are requesting of others (a request I was initially impressed by) and the standard you have displayed here.

              To quote your own words:
              “But we may be our own worst enemies.

              This isn’t me telling people to shut up for the sake of unity. It’s not labelling my ideological enemies as Redneck Stormtroopers.”

              It seems to me that you’ve been pretty quick to label and to look for an enemy in what started off as an approving comment. That’s a bit sad, and more than a bit disappointing. Feel free to respond, but I’ve spent enough of my time today on this to-and-froing.

              • QoT

                red blooded, you brought up Josie Pagani. You then demanded no one respond to your comments about Josie Pagani. Yes, you will get “stomped on” for demanding, as a commenter, that you dictate how conversations go. I’m the author of this post. Yes, this means I get to decide how this conversation goes. If you visit the Open Mike post, you’ll see that Colonial Viper, for example, has quite freely continued to comment – he just doesn’t get to do it here. This “discrepancy” is necessary so we don’t have exactly this kind of derailing shit cluttering up every single damn post on this site. Don’t like it? Guess what, you don’t have to comment on my posts.

            • Psycho Milt

              But don’t have a fucking moan when you introduce a topic into a discussion and people comment on it.

              Good advice. One could even extend it to not deleting their comments, banning them from the thread, telling them to fuck off etc.

              • QoT

                It’s not the same thing, PM, and I think you can spot the difference.

              • @ qot..+ weka..

                and what some people call ‘moderation’..

                ..others call ‘censorship’..

                ..(especially if dissenting views are told to ‘fuck off!’..)

                ..and in general..with the qualifications of slander etc..taken as a given..

                ..that within the course of normal discourse..

       do not believe in ‘moderation’/censorship..

                ..i prefer to see arguments stand or fall on their merits..

                ..and to let the audience be the judge of the writers’-words..

                ..not an anonymous/unaccountable/unable to be questioned ‘moderator’..

                ..blocking those words from even being said/seen..

      ’s where i stand on that one..

                ..phillip ure..

                • V de Plume

                  Others may call it ‘censorship’, but they would be misusing the word ‘censorship’.

                  QoT is not anonymous, and presumably not unaccountable (I imagine authors can be removed from TS), and certainly not unable to be questioned because that’s all you’ve been doing here since you said at 8:38 this morning

                  “oh dear..!

                  ..the banning of dissenting voices always brings me out in a cold-sweat..

                  ..that’s enough of this conversation for me..

                  ..i’m outta here..!

                  ..phillip ure”

  9. “And it’s going to take people working in different areas on different parts of the plan to make it all happen.”

    Yes I think this is essential – the areas that bind us together are the important ones not the areas where we are different. Big year we are in now – time to take that fake wanker key and his mates, from whatever party they profess, down.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      marty – totally.

      This time the goal is too big for anyone person or group. We’re just going to have to hack away at the bit’s of it within our grasp and help each other where we can.

  10. The Outrider 10

    Have been reflecting on this after seeing contacts in other forums being harangued and patronised by said elitists. I feel there is a real scope for something along the lines of a Council of Social Justice and Equality (ignore the name, it just encapsulates the purpose) to be set up and organised by left-wing activists, many of whom have been tirelessly working on these issues individually and in small clusters for aeons despite frustrating obstacles and setbacks. Progress could be advanced if such an organisation transcended party loyalties and had the ability to be inclusive yet decisive. To succeed it would need to be run as a face to face concept and not via social media clickfest An online presence would be necessary but as an organising tool used primarily to promote actual work being done. It may sound like a pipe dream but it could be done. I’m in.

    • QoT 10.1

      I really don’t think another committee/council/working group is going to help. They tend to reinforce existing power structures (especially if you demand a “face to face concept” which limits many people’s ability to contribute) and get bogged down in procedural fuckery.

      We have existing political parties with various policy processes. We have existing activist and community groups. What we need is for people to acknowledge that being Diet National and shitting on vulnerable groups in society hasn’t worked for the past two elections, and that as glorious and world-changing as macroeconomics and fiscal policy can be, people vote for a team which looks able to govern, and concrete policies which they can see will benefit them – even if it doesn’t benefit them directly.

      This is my beef with the way some leftwingers moan about marriage equality being a “distraction”. Sure, in practical terms it directly gave certain rights to a small, specific minority. But plenty of other people – the majority of people in NZ – supported it anyway because it said something positive about our country and because we give a shit about other people being treated fairly. It was the right thing to do, and frankly getting it passed when we’re in Opposition so we can’t amend the Reserve Bank Act anyway was a fucking brilliant move.

      • The Outrider 10.1.1

        Fair enough, but your post was in some ways a call to arms without a template. What do you propose that we all do to ensure the creation off a fair and just society?

        • QoT

          Um … have a plan, stop shutting out identity politics, get the voters to buy in to that plan. Like the post says.

          • KJT

            [QoT: This is the FIFTH comment you have left after being told, by a moderator, that you were no longer welcome to comment on this post. This is telling in terms of your sense of entitlement and disrespect for obeying the rules. Fuck. Off.]

          • The Outrider

            I am with you 100 per cent and found your post inspiring but believe the debate needs to focus on how to achieve these aims as well as what needs to be done. I look forward to your future posts to see how this develops. Keep up the great work.

            • weka

              I also want to discuss the how. What are your thoughts on this Outrider?

              • The Outrider

                One aspect is outlined in my original comment above. I have a number of friends and contacts with affiliations to most of our left leaning parties and organisations, and believe there are ways we can harness all that collective good will and desire for positive change, not necessarily in a council (purely a label of convenience) but in some form that goes beyond clicking ‘Like’ or sharing feel good memes on Facebook etc. There is nothing wrong with those activities but they are limited in their scope for achieving useful outcomes.

                Forums like this one are very helpful for bringing like-minded people together and sharing/debating ideas. I am very interested in translating such ideas into meaningful action as the stakes are too high to allow this government to have unfettered access to the dismantling of our democratic rights. There is still a place for real time, face to face activism that utilises the power of social media rather than living entirely within it. Lives and our country are being crushed out there by real people and real policies. In my opinion it is time to step out from behind our screens from time to time and meet these challenges head on together, in the flesh.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  Excellent & constructive comment The Outrider.

                  I think that alienation is a big part of how these utterly useless policies have been enabled to be pursued for so long. The Standard allows one to realise that there are many like-minded people around (if not somewhat prone to bickering 🙂 ), which is really excellent and counteracts the media and those in powers’ attempts at alienating this type of like-mindedness.

                  I’m unsure how one would translate the ideas expressed here and elsewhere into reality – yet like your ideas on this – and it certainly seems time to act. You appear to convey a ‘can do’ attitude. This is great and what we need to focus on.

      • dancerwaitakere 10.1.2

        But was simply extending the institution of marriage (and all of its associated privilege) to one group actually going to be looked back on in 100 years as a being a giant leap forward for challenging the inequalities that exist in a capitalist world?

        I mean surely if we were actually being realists we would abolish marriage from the law, removing its ability to be used by the state to promote an idea about a ‘good relationship’, and thereby allowing anyone to have whatever ceremony and call their relationship whatever the hell they want.

        In the same way that having quotas for boards might mean that 5 women earn 6 figure salaries, does not do a whole lot to challenge the system as those women just become a part of capitalisms ugly wealthy elite. Where as paying low wage women (actually ALL low wage workers) a living wage, as part of a re-structered economy would actually be CHANGING SHIT.

        Isn’t the catch cry smashing patriarchy? why settle with tinkering around the edges. This is social democracies failures.

        Use the means of production to challenge and reform equality, because ‘identity’ issues are all a reflection of the same ugly system that keeps a few people very very wealthy and screws everyone else over.

        QOT, we are on your side, why are you pillaring people on this post? That isn’t going to help anyone win in 2014.

        • karol

          Actually I think extending marriage to same sex couples was only a minor victory for LGBTI people – especially considering the decline in significance of marriage in our society. It doesn’t really tackle the underlying homophobia in our society – but small steps should still be celebrated. it does give many LGBTI people more confidence in themselves and takes of some pressure. It could also mean that some low income same sex couples experience a little less negative pressure on their lives.

          I agree that it would be better to totally restructure society: and that would mean recognising the value to the economy of all the unpaid work done in families and communities, largely done by women. It would mean totally changing the occupational system away from one that is masculine based, and one that values child birth, child care and other nurturing activities.

          Characterising feminism as being about equal numbers of women and men on corprorate boards is a way to reduce the breadth and depth of what feminism, especially left wing feminism is about.

          There’s been a lot of muttering on the left (and on some TS discussions) indicating pressure to just STFU about any gender issues, and focus on ones that don’t upset a lot of guys, or people who support the current system, where traditional masculine values are still dominant: and lack of recognition of how patriarchy and capitalism are strongly intertwined.

          • Lanthanide

            “It could also mean that some low income same sex couples experience a little less negative pressure on their lives.”

            I’m curious what you mean by this. Because de-facto partners have pretty much all of the same rights as married ones; the only significant differences I’m aware of is when it comes to adoption, and that’s a product of our adoption law being so woefully ancient.

            • karol

              I was thinking of social pressures resulting from homophobia. Apart from adoption, I think the main positive from marriage equality is that of institutional acceptance of same sex relationships – at least superficially.

              Homophobia is still pretty strong within NZ society – look at the kinds of things Tamihere says for instance, and accepted by some/many on the left and right.

              • Lanthanide

                Ok, not really sure why you invoked “low income” then, except possibly as a route towards “working-class” or something; the people who are likely to live and work in a less accepting community.

                • karol

                  No I wasn’t thinking of low income people as being less accepting – but just saying that low income people already have enough pressures undermining them, and homophobia just adds more.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Ok, got ya. Still think that’s a bit odd to single them out in this context though, because even someone who isn’t feeling any ‘pressures’, but who is gay, is liable to then feel homophobic pressure.

                    • karol

                      yes. Agreed and homophobia damages lives no matter what the income.

                      Also, the privileging of heterosexual relationships that women are often kept in a secondary position – as domestic carers and supporters of the hierarchical workforce.

        • QoT

          Marriage equality and the associated changes in how same-sex couples and their children are treated absolutely is a big step forward in our society’s development away from capitalist/patriarchal notions of “family”. I see plenty of merit in the idea of the state having nothing to do with marriage, but we aren’t anywhere near there yet, and in the meantime I am quite happy for parents and children to be treated equally.

          I think you mean “pillorying”. And I already acknowledged that the “broad church” of the left essentially wants the same things. I haven’t told anyone to stop discussing industrial relations or fiscal reform. On the other hand, marginalized groups have been frequently told to shut up and sit down and stop making a fuss over issues of basic human rights. Maybe you want to rethink which of those attitudes is going to “help anyone win in 2014”.

          • dancerwaitakere

            Yes I did mean “pillorying”, but alas my auto correct was turned on.

            QOT you have missed the point. I would argue that if you talk to most of the people who you have had a go at tonight, they totally want to achieve the same changes in society that you do. But instead of being reliant on having patchwork solutions to problems (not saying that is what you want, but it is the tendency of identity politics, which is NOT mutually exclusive to feminism or any other social movement), they are actually acknowledging the seriousness of inequality in all of its forms by highlighting the need to do something which is the root of the problem (in every case)… the economy.

            Privilege reinforces economic power. In a capitalistic society it is money that is pursued by those who wish to retain their power. They will then also pursue ways to assert that power, and retain their wealth, over other groups, manifesting itself in the range of social issues that exist today.

            Lets look at Kevin Rudd apologizing to the indigenous population of Australia. I totally agree that the apology was the right thing to do. It was arguably a modern liberal party pursuing an ‘identity politics issue’. But for all of the effort that went into staging the apology, was there much thought going into the fact that the economy could be restructured in a way that could mean lot more to the lives of people who have been systematically oppressed, than an apology.

            That doesn’t mean the apology wasn’t a good humane thing to do. But fluffy liberalism that makes privileged people feel better, actually just reinforces the power of the elite.

            • QoT

              See, you say “but patchwork solutions!!!!!” in a comment on a post which specifically, deliberately and clearly states that what’s needed is an overarching strategy.

              And you’re surprised I don’t assume good faith on your part?

              • dancerwaitakere

                Ugh. I also specifically said “not saying that is what you want”, because I read the post.

                Also I did not say “but patchwork solutions!!!!!” …. I actually said “patchwork solutions”.

                I actually agree with your original post. I just find the treatment of this discussion, by yourself, to be quite horrible. And guess what, on a blog, you can respond to the discussion at large, which often moves beyond the original post. I wouldn’t have commented if I didn’t find your response to people, who were adding to the discourse, to be relatively unreasonable.

            • karol

              by highlighting the need to do something which is the root of the problem (in every case)… the economy.

              Actually, the economy is not the root of every problem: the root is that some groups seek power and privilege over others – the main way this is done today is through capitalism – through economic arrangements. But this is also supported and motivated by patriarchal values: competitive, instrumental, insensitive to the ways cultural practice and the daily conduct of human relations damage lives.

              If you only recognise the economic (monetary-financial, resource allocation) part of that, then the underlying problem remains no matter how egalitarian the economic arrangements. And meanwhile – wives and children still get bashed, women (and others) still get raped, and too often concerns of the most dominant men get met and attended to, while those of many others get ignored.

              And these cultural practices are continuing on this site – with some of the most dominant male voices demanding that their priorities be attended to, while those asking for attention to the power dynamics of gender relations, are told to get to the back of the bus.

              And on other threads, CV twists and turns and just keeps commenting and commenting and slipping around, demanding that we accept his priorities, accepting no criticism.

              The same guy who said:

              Who cares if marginally more men have one of the too few life rafts than women in the patriarchy? The Titanic is fucking sinking. Most of the passengers aren’t going to make it, male or female.

              And then yesterday was saying:


              Thanks for the misrepresentation of my definition of boutique identity politics.

              Which are to do with policies – albeit sometimes necessary ones – which will never provide concrete benefits to more than a very small % of the population, and sometimes a vanishingly small % of the population. Hence the term “boutique.” While leaving issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% of the population largely or wholly untouched.

              Then claimed that attending to the economic issues of the many will sort out most of the other issues for the minority. While also claiming that survival of the species so pressing, no other issues should be attended to in the present. And that, anyway, gender issues can’t be solved by parliamentary politcs, only economic ones can. And then claimed he wasn’t marginalising issues of the minorities, while continuing to say just that:

              karol – I know what can be solved by parliamentary politics in relatively short time frames. Unemployment, poverty, and economic sovereignty is amongst them. Your issues around many women being a single step away from outright poverty can be ameliorated by initiatives like a UBI and policies of full or emergency employment, for instance.

              As for issues of domestic violence, sexual violence, homophobia, etc. I have no confidence that parliamentary politics can tackle those issues with much more than glancing efficacy, at least in the short to medium term. You clearly have more faith than that however.

              Also, minority issues are just that – I am staggered that you think life-damaging bigotry against any minority should be ignored because they are only a minority.


              Where did I say that anything like this should be ignored. Get over yourself. What I am saying however is that issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% must take precedence over issues which affect a tiny % of the population, not the other way around.

              Surely it is not too difficult for you to accept that more than one thing at a time can be focussed on.

              And the last sentence is just too hypocritical from the person that wants to attend to economic issues first and foremost.

              So no matter what we say, CV accepts no criticism, twists, turns and sidesteps, and continues with an endless stream of comments saying we should all attend to his priorities, as he says, and ignore, basically feminist issues.

              Underlying it is a masculinist concept of economics, that does not accept any other oppression is really worth the NZ left to attend to currently.

              • just saying

                When you get members of one sub-group trying to talk about things that are important to them, and you get members of another sub-group insisting that the others concerns are not really important, that even their own feelings caused by the other’s expression of what matters to them is more important than those “exaggerated” issues themselves, it really doesn’t bode well for that utopia after the revolution – not for many, many people (one way or another the majority, in fact). It feels more like “meet the new boss, just like the old boss”.

                I know CV is on my side in many things, but a few things lately have got me reevaluating my own activism, and one of them is this: I’m done with being patronised by left-wing men in the movement – I’ve literally done my time. I know there is an urgent need to get off the sidelines and take action and “united we stand divided we fall” etc. but this is becoming a real stumbling block for me. Why should I be a good little soldier fighting for a movement in which things that are important to me and impact on my life (but not yours) don’t actually matter that much at all, but what matters to you, even if that happens to be the content of your freaking toothpaste, trump my trivial boutique concerns every single time because they matter to you?

                • Bill

                  For me you’ve somewhat banged the problem with operating through groups on the head there. The larger group will dominate the smaller groups. In this case I guess we’re merely looking at numbers of people identifying with a particular group – but it could be access to resources or other criteria that lead to one group and the concerns it espouses gaining dominance or a louder voice in relation to the others.

                  Take away the group setting – where groups interact and compete for oxygen – and it’s possible that divisions disappear…each person can only have so much influence where groups don’t thrive – and each person brings a richer and often multi-facetted perspective to any issue than will ever be possible where the voices and experiences of people are subjected to the process of homogenisation/simplification inherent to any traditional group.

                  Kinda comes down to many people = many voices or many people = one voice.

                • karol

                  <but a few things lately have got me reevaluating my own activism, and one of them is this: I’m done with being patronised by left-wing men in the movement – I’ve literally done my time.</i

                  Exactly. I've started remembering why women started organising separately from the mainstream left in the 60s & 70s. Why waste one's time having to repeat, ad nauseum the same old arguments to people not wanting to listen?

                • QoT

                  This is very much how I think!

        • phillip ure

          dance waitakere +1..

          phillip ure..

      • Mr Tank 10.1.3

        QoT – I’m scanning the comments and kinda paying attention (you know like maybe kinda etc) I love seeing the debate on this site – particularly since I find I don’t need to comment as some other (more dedicated soul) goes and makes my point for me. Any way I like your point about the gay marriage thing being of little direct benefit to the vast majority yet of benefit to all of us as it speaks to how we ALL like to think of ourselves. Nicely done! Now as to the thing about the Reserve Bank Act I’ll assume that as I continue to scroll one of the other sterling contributors will have parsed the sentence and will seek to hold you to account as to WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN? Or maybe not – now that I pause to reflect – after all – I figure these folks know your views on most subjects! Anyway – If I were Labour Leader I’d be going the Reserve Bank as soon as they raise interest rates and leveraging that into a policy debate that provides the NZ public with a real Left Wing Alternative. There is no justification for being the first nation in the world to raise interest rates since the GFC. Not if you have more arrows in your policy pack than just monetarisms sad fuck up of a solution…Happy New Year Comrades!

        • QoT

          Amending the Reserve Bank Act is simply an idea I’ve seen tossed around here. It’s not my area of expertise, it’s just an example I used of things which aren’t my pet issues but other people are thinking about and working on.

  11. Chooky 11

    QoT….I like your post!!! ( my New Years resolution was not to comment or get into arguments here any more because I am too busy…but I have to say this)

    It is unequivocally a bloody good post! Norman Kirk and Helen Clark would agree !

  12. Chooky 12

    I also have to say that this year there will be attacks on blogs like this from people who are not what they seem ie they will be pretending to be Left and for the little people Labour should be representing ……. but are in fact working for their own monetary and vested interest groups …..and will have more vested in Key’s Nact agenda than what appears….so severe moderation is going to be very important…

    Labour must be a broad church …as it once was under Norman Kirk…In fact he is a very good yardstick….above pettiness and faction fighting and able to inspire all New Zealanders of good heart for justice, dignity( non-exploitation) , and equality towards a true Labour ( /Green /Mana / New Zealand First) ….2014 Election victory for all New Zealanders…..

  13. Sacha 13

    A good start will be Labour and the Greens coming out with a couple of joint policy positions early in the year – to show they can work together.

    As for the broader left, until people grasp the impact our lack of cohesion and cooperation has on the real people and communities we supposedly serve, the current destructive bunch of righties will keep winning and exercising power. If that prospect is not enough to get some folk to pull their heads in, then the rest of us need to minimise their influence.

    • weka 13.1

      “A good start will be Labour and the Greens coming out with a couple of joint policy positions early in the year – to show they can work together.”

      Is that on the cards?

      • Sacha 13.1.1

        I’m being optimistic saying ‘will’ rather than ‘would’.

        Maybe people connected with those parties can tell us?

        • weka

          Oh, damn, had my hopes up there for a minute 🙂

          I’m a GP member, but not involved in the party, and I’ve not not heard anything like this being planned. I wish it were so. Tricky for the GP though, because part of their attraction is their difference from Labour.

  14. Treetop 14

    Many issues are important from the micro to the macro when it comes to improving the daily life of people on many levels.

    Sometimes people just do not stop to think about the smallest difficulty that a person has e.g they know how to use an eftpos machine but they do not know how to use an ATM. To protect the person from theft they need to learn how to use an ATM.

    Increasingly I think that people who have a problem are not being listened to by the government as to why they have the problem. This is so evident when it comes to housing. Poverty and stress will be halved when people have decent affordable housing.

    A them and us attitude is what divides society and not being willing to listen and deliver, further divides socitey.

    To win the 2014 election Labour need to listen to find out what the main problems are and to deliver policy which is going to improve the lives of those who vote for them.

  15. Pete 15

    I think I heard Mike Williams say once that an election was a contest between two narratives: Don’t risk it all and It’s time for a change. Now we are already hearing that 2014 is going to be the big year for economic growth. Mainly from milk and the Christchurch rebuild. The government and its surrogates will keep on pushing that.

    I believe the narrative coming from the Left has to be one of security in an uncertain world. Key is a dealmaker – Warners, Sky, Chorus. He likes the uneven playing field. He likes allowing those with the means to speculate regardless of the consequences on people’s live – through cavalier health and safety enfforcement, oppressive employment law, disregard for the environment and so on.

    The Left should point to a country where people can depend on a fair society, where they’re in a position to plan and know what to expect. Where people are safe and their rights are respected. Our problem is that is also a boring vision. Good governance is boring and predictable. This whole election will be like a casino versus a library.

    • Sacha 15.1

      A party in the library, perhaps. There’s an exciting story to tell about a confident nation with smart sustainable enterprises both business and social.

    • kenny 15.2

      Good points Pete.

      ‘Don’t risk it all’ would mainly worry those who have something to lose (the ‘Have’s), and ‘It’s time for a change’ requires a clear set of differences in policy from the Nat’s which people can see will benefit themselves. The so-called economic recovery will be a jobless one I’m sure.

      I think enough people now recognize how naked the ’emperor’ really is, but it is up to the Left to convince the voters that THEY have the answers which will create a fairer, more equal society where everyone (including the Right) feels a part of. To my mind we are not far enough left yet and too many of the Labour caucus are still influenced by neo-liberal ideas. This year we have to finalise policy as a left-leaning group with the Green’s/NZ First/Mana – (why not, if we have to consult/talk to each other after the election, why not before). Once we have our policies in place we then have to select candidates who believe in them.

      Big job? You bet!

      While I’m here I may as well put forward two proposals I’ve been thinking about recently:

      1. Make superannuation and all benefits tax free.

      2. Make it illegal for Government to borrow money. The government is the only organisation which should be legally entitled to ‘print’ money, so why should it have to borrow? If it needs to borrow $300 million dollars (at interest) why should it not be allowed to ‘print’ this amount interest- free and at no other cost other than that of production? This money can then be spent directly into the economy, debt-free.

      The neo-liberals have had their way for over 30 years and look what they have left the world with – time for them and their big ideas to go!

  16. Will@Welly 16

    Not sure who QOT is, but whoever that person is, deserves a big thanks for starting off a much needed piece of conversation. Then the comments descend into a diatribe of infighting and nothingness. Wow. So who are we opposing. The National Party and Act are the opposition, but wait, they are the Government, the Greens/Labour/Mana & NZ First are in the Opposition.
    So come election time, we have to convince voters that our policies are better that those of the right, we have to get those people out of their houses to vote, we have to motivate them to get on the electoral rolls, we have to show them that ours is not a brighter future, but one that is tangible and offers real hope. So we can argue and bicker amongst ourselves as much as we like, but that won’t inspire one disenfranchaised voter to caste his or her vote against the right.
    F**k me, all I can see, with all this infighting and procrastination, is in 6 – 10 months time, John Key, Steven Joyce and Bill English laughing all the way to the ballot box, as the left tries to argue which policy is right to present to the electorate. Old snake oil won’t give a rats.

  17. greywarbler 17

    I object to other bloggers coming on to this site and limiting the people who like to comment here. We don’t want censorship being imposed willy nilly by other bloggers – not by QOT, Whaleoil, not by Bomber Bradbury, not by anyone who is too narrow focussed and domineering.

    • karol 17.1

      And yet, some have been doing their best to derail and/or silence any expression of gender politics.

      It’s not censorship so much as ensuring a particular line of discussion can happen without some continuing to sabotage the discussion and trying to silence others. The people excluded can continue their line of argument elsewhere – and will take every opportunity to do it.

      not by Bomber Bradbury, not by anyone who is too narrow focussed and domineering.

      Sounds like some of the behaviour exhibited here of late by CV.

      • phillip ure 17.1.1

        “..And yet, some have been doing their best to derail and/or silence any expression of gender politics. ..”!..who..?..when..?

        ..since i have been reading here..i have not seen that..

        ..and possibly slightly thicker-skins might be in order..?

        ..y’know..!’s only words..!..the debating of ideas..!

        ..take a chill-pill..smoke a joint..


        ..but seriously..i have never seen anyone commenting here attacking/trying to silence ..

        ..discussion on gender/identity-politics..

        ..i just take that whole package as a given..

        ..part of the raft of changes needed..

        ..and i think most others here would too..

        ..the progressives are a multi-hued bunch of people..

        ..trying to march in roughly the same direction..

        ..and including all..

        ..can we all accept that as ‘a given’..

        ..phillip ure..

        [QoT: The topic of “people trying to silence identity politics discussions” has already been thoroughly canvassed here. I suggest you actually read things before commenting on them, because your wide-eyed ingenue act combined with your awful typing style is really grating.]

        • V de Plume

          Common derailing and silencing techniques include:

          “I’ve never seen that (so you must be imagining it).”
          “Lighten up, take a chill-pill, grow a thicker skin.”
          “That’s just a given, of course we’re all against sexism, (so we don’t need to discuss it).”
          “No, seriously, I’ve never seen anyone here do that, (so you’re imagining it).”
          “It’s only words, what are you making such a fuss about?”
          “We’re all on the same side here.”


          (aka “BINGO”. Does someone win a prize?)

          • phillip ure

            @ that i am ‘the enemy’

            ..i am secretly/cunningly working against things like full gender/orientation


            ..loved how you put those words/meanings into my

            ..(where the fuck are monty python when you need them..?

            ..phillip ure..

            • V de Plume

              “so..proof that i am ‘the enemy’”
              “loved how you put those words/meanings into my”

              This is so perfect, I may embroider it onto a doily.

    • QoT 17.2

      I am not an “other blogger”. I have been an author on this site for over a year, and the only complaints I have received about my “domineering” style of moderating have been from people who are pissy I won’t let them derail threads, personally insult me, or continue to ignore moderator’s instructions. Boo fucking hoo.

      [Edited to replace “commenting” with “moderating”.]

      • Chooky 17.2.1

        +1 OoT…. you are an excellent moderator !

        …and women built the Labour movement and the socialist movement…New Zealand Maori women and pioneering women Pakeha were the first to get the vote in the world……they built this country ……..anyone who tries to undermine or put down women posters on this site or in general womens’ rights to freedom, dignity and not be exploited(sexually or otherwise ) in New Zealand ….. is taking on New Zealand culture and the NZ Labour and Green environmentalist movement.

    • thechangeling 17.3

      I think we’ve all got more common ground that it would appear at times. We all need to fight a bit between ourselves to allow each other as individuals and collectively to synthesize, focus and develop an understanding on a deeper level of just what are the salient issues facing us, and how we go about effecting change.
      So called ‘division’ is normal and healthy as long as we are also able to garner and extend the common ground. We seem to mostly all agree that the macro (neo-liberalism) in it’s various forms and as represented by the current National Government, is the damaging enemy (ably escorted by the international governing institutions the WTO, IMF and WB) who develop and facilitate neo liberal derived international trade and finance laws.
      Garnering the common ground will be essential in 2014 and beyond if we are to make an impact at improving the collective standard of living of all of us through our respective political institutions.

      • lprent 17.3.1

        So called ‘division’ is normal and healthy as long as we are also able to garner and extend the common ground.

        That is my view.

        I also think that the only way that the “common ground” can be extended is to have places to argue about it. The “labour movement” that this site targets is far wider than the narrow confines of any single party, so arguments and discussion is inevitable.

        For some strange reason there are political fossils around who seem to think that political discussion is going to held within a political party. The majority of people I know of whose politics grew out of the basic ideas of the labour movement of the later 19th and early 20th century, are not members of any political party.

        Many used to be especially the large group I call “Labour ulterior” or in those who feel away from New Labour/Alliance. But anyone who has been involved in policy discussions in those types of organisations are acutely aware exactly how difficult free flowing discussions (or often any discussions) are in a structure that hasn’t caught up with the 21st century and fast communication links.

        Besides, as far as I’m aware, no political parties in NZ have even something as basic as closed forums discussion areas at a party level. The nearest to it is probably in something like the Labour parties LEC’s, where usually you get just one person talking at a time…

        • karol

          It seems to me, a lot of the most recent angst around the politics of class, gender and sexuality has originated from within the Labour Party and/or in response to the Labour Party’s recent history.

          Some seem to treat this forum as the forum for the Labour Party, while many of us have a broader left wing focus on such issues. So we get this line from some about which policies Labour should promote – it becomes focused on Labour strategies, with some sort of PR focus on trying to shut down certain lines of discussion on gender and sexuality.

          The Greens seem to be able to incorporate issues of poverty, low pay, gender and sexuality without so much angst – at least, as far as I can see

          • lprent

            Some seem to treat this forum as the forum for the Labour Party, while many of us have a broader left wing focus on such issues.

            Yes, it tends to irritate me frequently. Personally I’m a member of the NZLP who is planning to vote Green (I’ve always made up my mind about elections in the mid-term) and who on every measure of self-interest should vote National or even Act. But I don’t operate purely on a simple-minded self-interest. I can take care of that myself, and I don’t need politicians to do it for me. I’m more interested in making sure that everyone has an opportunity, and National isn’t.

            The Greens seem to be able to incorporate issues of poverty, low pay, gender and sexuality without so much angst – at least, as far as I can see

            It tends to be subsumed a lot more inside their internal processes if only because they are somewhat more up to date than Labour’s processes that were designed around a party with 100k members and expensive phones lines back in the 30s and 40s. But if you hunt around the Green members and particularly the ex-Green members you’ll find that there has been a lot of rather often acrimonious debate and quite a lot of frustration.

            • karol

              Well there must have been quite a bit of robust debate within the Greens, looking at their official history:

              In May 1972 a meeting at Victoria University, Wellington, launched the Values Party, the world's first national Green party.

              The party contested the 1972 general election, with radical new policies such as zero economic growth and zero population growth and promoted reform of laws covering abortion, drugs and homosexuality.
              In 1979 Values was also torn by internal debate about its political orientation with an Auckland-led environmentalist faction and a Christchurch-led socialist/unionist faction. Those strands are still there in the contemporary Green Party but they are in concert rather than opposition.

              Interesting this last bit, in that I recall Martyn Bradbury has long complained about the shortage of Green MPs in Auckland.

              But the changes and developments indicate there must have been some struggles over policies and direction.

          • geoff

            It seems to me, a lot of the most recent angst around the politics of class, gender and sexuality has originated from within the Labour Party and/or in response to the Labour Party’s recent history.

            That and the roastbuster incident was the starting point for a lot of division amongest people commenting here.

            • karol

              Actually some quite intense debates about rape culture began before that – it intensified even further with the roastbuster news.

        • phillip ure

          @ iprent..’closed forum discussions’..

          ..some time back the greens used to have this..

          ..i dunno if they still do..

          ..greens commenting here will know..

          ..phillip ure..

  18. lprent 18

    Please keep the scrabbling down. I’m trying to enhance the reply mechanism for the mobile version. I’m doing it with a slight hangover.

    For the other authors, if you want to write an alternate vision to QoT’s vision* – write a post. We could do with some more.

    In the meantime I’m having a look at Josie Pagani’s proffering of a guest post for yet another vision. It does show a distinct lack of understanding about how the net makes social media operate…

    * I see I wrote it twice in a sentence. I’m wondering if the dread disease that politicians get is contagious…

    • QoT 18.1

      Well I avoided using the damn word so someone had to make up the shortfall!

      • lprent 18.1.1

        Just realised that the main device that I’ve been working on for the last 3 years has a product code of XB9000, but is more commonly known as a “Vision”. The company I worked at for a decade started life as a Vision Software or something like that.

        Maybe it is an occupational hazard for me in my profession as well as politicians.

        Arghhh. New laptop. Trying to get the development environs set up is irritating. Right now I’m trying to remember passwords to things like email.

  19. Pete 19

    Well well, I sailed into another load of wannabes that like to talk about it but don’t do anything. More concerned about the crappy computers and laptops they try to operate than working on the real issues. Typical NZ bullshit. When do you clowns get your arses into gear and actually do something constructive!? (Spelcheckers do not comment!).

    • karol 19.1

      Well, clearly you’re a person of action that is out there doing stuff on “real issues” rather than wasting everyone’s time, tapping on a computer, adding nothing of substance to a discussion forum….

      This is a forum – the point is to discuss – the guy talking about computers is the one who keeps this blog functioning.

      I guess you are not a woman, especially not a woman struggling on a low income, so, of course, doesn’t impact on your life in any “real” way.

      You got any ideas of how to improve social security, stop the media undermining (young) women by treating them as a saleable commodity – paid parental leave? increase in benefits for mothers with children under 6 years – they are contributing a lot to our future economy? Ways to provide more living wage work for Maori and Pasific women?

    • adam 19.2

      I love ya man I really do – now make me some bloody eggs and do the dishes. off topic – mmm yeah ya are.

      And +1 for what Karol said.

  20. Lionel 20

    With you all the way girlie we are at war with the right we have to win the country,s stuffed if we don’t it will be hard fought and you are right winning which will be tough enough is,nt good enough

  21. Sosoo 21

    To get to the New Zealand we want to live in, from the New Zealand we have now, is going to take a huge amount of work. We need to change how our economy works, our whole system of industrial relations, our social welfare systems, how we support vulnerable people, how businesses invest and create real jobs, how families and communities are able to support each other, our criminal and justice systems, our attitude towards our natural environment, our position on the international stage.

    We don’t.

    What needs to be done is, in the grand scheme of things, minor tweaking. The only conceivably “radical” thing that needs doing is to overturn the idea that state intervention in the economy is bad, and the only reason people think it is radical is because the right endlessly trumpets the claim.

    There’s no need for heterodox economics, deep ecology or any of the usual nuttiness that pervades this site.

    [QoT: For reading into my post shit which simply isn’t there, you join the list of People Who Can Fuck Off.]

  22. Yes 22

    QoT..dreams are free..all arrows are upward for the country and economy. And it’s a safer place to live…crime down…roads are safer…and more people employd. This is exciting …writers on the standard should hop back on the merry go round.

  23. Tracey 23


    you know how many people out there believe we can keep the present system AND not have another economic meltdown to benefit banks in, say, 18 years.

    scary shit

  24. Ennui 24

    Have just read your whole thread and the “moderation”. What a circus, a call for unity that includes a dig at an identity group (hetero males). How fekkin oxymoronic,. Then the objections, so you ban them. In the most foul language. Very clever QoT. Ask yourself, who would follow you?

    • karol 24.1

      So consider this scenario: QoT has perceived there to be some (largely male) people attacking gender politics/feminism and wanting to separate them from the preferred politics of some mostly left wing men. She then makes a plea for unit and not to be so dismissive of (left wing) feminism so-called “identity politics”. –

      Then some of the same or similar (divisive) people jump in with the same divisive sorts of comments that she was railing against, what would you recommend she do?

    • just saying 24.2

      …an identity group (hetero males)…

      Now you’re getting it Ennui.

      And welcome to the boutique – now we’re all in here.

  25. Ennui 25

    K, put it this way….she was doing really well calling for acceptance, diversity and unity but she could not help herself, she had to have a dig. Pin to a balloon. She offered up the bait. It was taken. Why did she need to do it unless she wanted to resume a divisive conflict? I am absolutely certain Q is clever enough to have realised this as she penned the line, yet she chose to continue.

    I might question that this was the intention all along: have you been taken in, become a little gullible?

    • QoT 25.1

      Yes. This was all a dastardly plot on my part. It couldn’t at all be the case that I’m incredibly frustrated with privileged men’s constant fuckery.

      Things I am also frustrated by? When person A fucks up, and person B says “wow you fucked up, that’s shitty” and then douchebags like you cry “OMG person B, why are you so mean and divisive???”

      The divisive conflict was already being waged against people like me. Pointing it out and naming the people doing it does not “resume” it.

      • Grumpy 25.1.1

        The fact remains that the left will never succeed in parliamentary terms without the support of white heterosexual males. To demonise a complete demographic is silly.
        If a swinging voter looked at the latest exchanges between lefties on these pages, they would run a mile.

        [QoT: and another one on the “waaaaaah shut up you’re going to lose the election for us” list. Guess what: swinging voters don’t tend to read blogs.

        And white heterosexual males are absolutely the least powerful demographic for the left. Ask any Labour Party strategist, or take a quick gander at the recent US election (for a given value of “left”, obviously.)]

        • karol

          You know, most of my work colleagues are not political – but in the last couple of months I’ve heard a couple of comments (unsolicited by me) referring to the male dominance of parliamentary politics and being critical of it. As far a I know, they could be swing voters too.

          This blog has always tended to be quite masculine dominated – as has the organised left.

          It doesn’t surprise me that some leftie males jump in to support males here who are resistant to many expressions of feminism/gender/LGBTI politics. I’ve also seen comments elsewhere online from leftie women who perceive TS to be a pretty unfriendly place for women.

          And I’ve also become fed up with the way “identity politics” (ie feminism/gender/sexuality politics) gets blamed for the failings of parliamentary Labour over the last few decades. Cop out.

          • Grumpy

            Karol, I came from a West Coast working family. My mother was the most staunch women’s rights, Labour supporter imaginable, I’m not.
            As a union branch secretary at the Addington Railway Workshops, I met a huge number of white heterosexual men who were the guts of the Labour movement. I was one of them.
            Things have changed and so have my politics but I will always remember those guys.
            The ones QoT and others are so quick to dismiss.

            • karol

              Are we dismissing them? I have some respect for the union and labour movements. I have posted of some of its history in the past. I didn’t think any of us were dismissing them – just asking for gender and sexual politics not to be dismissed by any leftie men (or anyone else on the left). Just saying the issues many men decide are the crucial ones, are not the only ones.

            • QoT

              Sigh. I don’t dismiss all white heterosexual men. I dismiss a specific viewpoint which is put forward, most typically by white heterosexual men. And only people like you need to pretend otherwise.

              • How many bloody times do you need to spell it out QoT – too many times imo and still they just don’t get it – they are too locked up in their little worlds of privilege, holding with grasping hands and pretending to care about those worse off than them – and their catch-cry resounds “What about MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”

                • Grumpy

                  If “they” don’t get it, how do you expect to win over middle NZ?

                  • I think that is a point – perhaps the righteous lefty men are like boulders in the river – very deeply entrenched and not apt for moving especially as they have formulated their positions over time and have submerged the protection of their privilege with the pretend-tears for the poor. Whereas the less entrenched middle-men out there have less riding on it all because they haven’t planted their credibility upon their righteous position. They are like smaller stones moving as the river takes them especially when the big flood comes through.

                    anyway been playing in the river of recent times – one thing I do know is that the water keeps coming, sometimes low, sometimes high but always moving, always flowing – bit like life really.

          • SPC

            This is largely because Labour is attacked by its opponents and critics for being a rainbow coalition of identity groups. And this sometimes leaves an echo in wider media. Such as when such issues as quotas in party selection are covered.

            This enables the usual people in Labour to play their real bloke card, to answer some supposed call for someone who can get “Waitakere man” to vote Labour.

            This is only an issue when Labour has lost elections.

            The irony being it is the loss of female votes to Keys National and the lower turnout in South Auckland that were the major change since victory in 2005.

            Of course when National lose them, the question turns to how they can appeal to women voters and the non Pakeha vote (as per threatening the MP with abolishing Maori seats to coerce compliant coalition arrangements and charter schools).

            • QoT

              The thing is … I don’t see Labour getting attacked by its critics for this. They don’t need to. It’s the Damien O’Connors, Chris Trotters and John Tamiheres (all people at least superficially of The Left) who are the most vocal about it.

        • Grumpy

          …but QoT, I will never vote Labour. I don’t care if you lose, in fact I would be overjoyed. Just offering an opinion for you to ignore…….

          • millsy

            So who would you vote for? National? A typical working class traitor who would vote his compariots a drop in their standard of living.

          • Naki Man

            What made you stop voting for Labour???

            • McFlock

              a big gay rainbow, obviously

            • Grumpy

              Very good question and one I hadn’t given much thought to until you asked.
              I voted for Norm Kirk and David Lange also Helen Clark the first time. I have also voted Values and NZ First…..last 3 times National. I would not class myself as a loyal voter for any partly. As Lprent says in his later post, Labour has changed hugely since I started to work for them, I now have little in common with Labour and even less with Greens. I could never vote for Act (maybe NZF if I thought it would achieve anything), so it’s almost National by default. I think that is the case for a lot of centre voters and echoes what CV was saying. Turned of by identity politics, seen too much of the left’s Trojan horses whether Lange or Clark.
              I was a Union branch secretary for one of the NZR unions when they started to shut down the railway workshops at Addington under Lange and remember guys like Corliss and co more concerned with playing politics than their own members. The right might have done the same thing but at least would not pretend to be your mates while shafting you. Later, in another large organization, I saw huge layoffs but to a different view of the process as I was now corporate management and saw the laziness and incompetence of the unions we were negotiating with first hand.
              Now, fully self employed, I find that if I finish up in the shit, then I have got there on my own, not by some politician or pseudo union “rep”.

              • heh.!..grumpys’ journey from left to right..

                ..and the first definitely-worded attack on identity-politics i have seen/read since i have been @ the standard..(did it used to be rife..)..

                ..and it is from a reactionary natty..(

                ..and how could grumpy not be a textbook case of my exhoratations to let idiots be hung by their own stupid words..?

                ..come on down..!..grumpy..!..heh..!

                ..i was laughing out loud..

                ..reading his grumpy old mans’ tale..

                ..imagining him..(florid of face?)..banging on about person..

      ’d hafta

                phillip ure..

                • Grumpy

                  You would be quite wrong Phil. You know the saying “if your not a socialist at 20you have no heart, if your not a conservative by 50 you have no brain”. I think you prove the point there.
                  Funny thing is, if there was a decent centre left party that did not make a point of pissing off white males, I would probably vote for them. At the moment, the party closest to that is National.

                  • mac1

                    Quoting Churchill can be fun, Grumpy.

                    “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

                  • @ grumpy..are you jonesing for a cliche-award..?


                    ..and ‘that did not make a point of pissing off white males’..


           national you are in yr natural

                    ..that labour stuff was just a youthful

                    ..a rebellion against parental-politics..?..perchance..?

                    ..and do you really want a ‘quote-off’..?

                    ..phillip ure..

                    • Grumpy

                      Hi Phil, you are much more readable now you are taking your medication.
                      Actually some of your stuff is quite good.

                  • Saarbo

                    “if your not a socialist at 20you have no heart, if your not a conservative by 50 you have no brain”.

                    So what happened to the “heart” at 50 Grumpy?

                    • Grumpy

                      Reality and good luck…….

                    • “if your not a socialist at 20you have no heart, if your not a conservative by 50 you have no brain”.

                      @ Saabo, funny, for me it was the other way around; Conservative at 20 – socialist (or Social Democrat) by 50…

                  • Saarbo

                    Reality and good luck???

                    I would suggest that in your old age you no longer mix with people who are suffering at the bottom, so your “realty” has changed. If you are over 50 then economically speaking, that equals “good luck”.

                    “if there was a decent centre left party that did not make a point of pissing off white males”

                    I suspect you may be a bit of a bigot as well, you are suited to National.

                    • Grumpy

                      Maybe…….but I do employ people and I do pay considerably more than the “living wage”, so I like to think that despite being old, white and male, I am still doing something other than just talking about it.
                      You might find it very hard to believe running as it does against the narrative on these pages, but there are many “old white guys” who actually have quite a bit in common with the disadvantaged, given that we have experienced disadvantage in our past but have, through luck mostly, finished up on the other side.
                      Someone did a survey of all those earning over $500,000pa in Auckland and found only 10% of them had been to university……..

                  • adam

                    Grumpy that would be NZ first. They really are going for that vote, especially with the new Deputy leader, Tracey Martin. She is more than capable of keeping NZ first going and she is on the left of the party, actually NZ first has taken a whole big step to the left – I was shocked really. But there you go.

      • geoff 25.1.2

        This was all a dastardly plot on my part. It couldn’t at all be the case that I’m incredibly frustrated with privileged men’s constant fuckery.

        Nah it’s because you’re an aggressive person that loves a good verbal stoush.

        • QoT

          Both of those things are true, but I still reject the insinuation that this entire heartfelt post was just written as an excuse to start a fight. When I want to start a fight I don’t bother getting all thoughtful about it.

    • karol 25.2

      Maybe you have been taken in by the people determined to derail any discussion on (women’s/LGBTI) identity issues – and who jumped in pretty quickly with lines bound to trigger QoT off…. maybe it’s you who have been taken in…. or can’t see the divisive dynamics in play from the attempted derailings.

      Qot has her own style, and, in comparison with a lot of stuff she’s written, her post was pretty tame and constrained – and strongly focused on the positive.

  26. Sacha 26

    Any commenter who keeps commenting here after being banned just shows his lack of respect for common group rules rather than ego.

    And that’s sadly symptomatic of the left’s problem in an election year.

  27. ecossemaid 27

    First of all, Happy Hogmany & Peaceful 2014 to one and all!
    I am a relative new comer to this site an on the whole I have found it illuminating, thought provoking & forward thinking. I don’t have a problem with the free, frank exchanges of views on all topics, it’s one of the ways of learning and valuing others viewpoints.
    I just wonder if the Mud Fight above which seems to be between established contributors is healthy. The debate of how to be a consolidated force to Oust Those Fascists from power in 2014 with equitable policies, social justice for all, and protection for the weakest in society and therefore a better NZ, is best served when, some people are acting like spoilt admins in some wannabe chat room?This detracts from the initial debate and makes others whom may have valid points apprehensive from posting them.
    Meanwhile at National Towers, they must be rubbing their oily hands in glee. “Are You Thinking What I Am Dreading?” That they will waltz back into power, as a fragmented opposition does nothing, apart from a game I am a better Author/Admin/MP than you!…This just plays into there hands, as they get ready to unload their bile, of appealing to lowest common denominators in NZ society, ready with illicit donors cash to carpet bomb advertise the unwitting into another 4 years, hit the poor, vunerable ….Slash and Burn public services and then also to add insult try to sell you stuff you don’t need and already own!
    .Do all of you want this to occur? I don’t! Surely there is more that unites us on this forum than divides us…..Start acting like it before you all have four years to regret it!

  28. Mr Tank 28

    Ok I’ve made it to the end. Now I can comment on your original post. Well…I liked it. Nothing particularly original or controversial – pretty much a boiler plate “come together”piece for the first day of a new year. Nicely done at that – I even liked the last line regarding not using the word vision (after all leave that word to the visionaries!) Yeah, pretty much a nice tight piece of writing (ok now this member of an identity group is fucking with you!). Interesting tho how many comments it garnered. Methinks there is a core here without much else to do on New Years Day. Love you all! Onward to victory!

  29. Zorr 29

    Your posts are excellent QoT and then I come back and read the comments a day later and with all the bold text everywhere – it’s almost like there was a party.

    I have always been what would probably be called a “progressive socialist democrat” or something similar. In the past, I was probably a lot more like CV and had a world view that was completely limited to my realm of experience. Several experiences led me to question that viewpoint and attempt the change to correct that most serious of flaws – ignorance of others.

    You’re one of the people who has forced me to continue re-evaluating that even when I think I might be getting near the end of the journey.

    Keep it up! ^_^

  30. Bomber 30

    You calling for unity on the left QoT???

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    • QoT 30.1

      I didn’t call for unity, Martyn, but you always have had a difficult time (a) reading things properly and (b) accurately describing what other people have said.

    • Megapope 30.2

      You’re criticising someone else for causing disunity Bomber???

      Wow. Just. Wow.

  31. JK 31

    I’ve finally made it to the end, too, Mr Tank – and I think QoT has come up with the best slogan yet in her original post for the left to use – creating “a better New Zealand” – that’s a great message for us to put out – and we can wrap it around everything – economics, feminism, gender, poverty, race, the environment – you name it ….. we all want a better NZ (because the one we’re living in now, just sucks!)

    • we all want a better NZ (because the one we’re living in now, just sucks!)

      Does that reflect a lack of familiarity with other countries and/or history, or are you just the kind of person for whom anything less than utopia is beneath your dignity? Living conditions in NZ right now are better than almost everywhere else in the world at every point in history – it can be made even better, sure, but… it just sucks?

  32. JK 32

    It sucks, Psycho milt, for all those who don’t have enough money to enjoy our lovely country ….. and that’s heaps of people – for whom the Nats have not provided a brighter future at all, who are sick with preventable diseases, who have inadequate housing, who cannot get out and about easily because they cannot afford the petrol, there’s no public transport, they live a long way from the facilities that those who live in cities take for granted, etc etc etc.

    • No doubt even Utopia would suck for some people (military types, perhaps).

      The fact that NZ can be made better does not mean it currently “sucks.” If you stop to think about it, you’re living right now in one of the best places to live that has ever existed in the history of Homo Sapiens – a little credit for the efforts of your predecessors wouldn’t go amiss.

      • phillip ure 32.1.1

        @ pm..

        ,,go tell those one in four children living in poverty yr demands for ‘a little credit’

        ..and just looking @ nz..

        ..we and our ‘predecessors’ have well and truly fucked this country in the past..

        ..and we continue to do so today..

        ..and in such a blink of

        ..and given the environmental-whirlwind we/our children are about to inherit..

        ..and those one in four children living in poverty..

        ..yr call on this moment in time..

        ..i think you deserve a special ‘rose-coloured glasses’-award..

        ..and you are factually wrong..

        ..we did not have one child in four living in poverty..

        ..before rogernomics/ruthenasia.. is shown..

        ..everything you said was utter shite..

        ..basically just one big lowest-orifice-pluck..

        ..(shall we end with a chorus of bill englishs’ favourite ditty..?

        ..that one that he has on repeat-play every questiontime..?

        ..’you don’t know how lucky you are!’..


        ..phillip ure..

        • Psycho Milt

          It’s truly encouraging to think there are New Zealanders for whom Utopia is the minimum spec, beneath which everything “sucks.” People who set heir standards that high must be incredibly high achievers themselves, that they can look down their noses at the achievements of their forebears and declare them suckworthy – what awesome accomplishments these superhumans must be piling up

          • phillip ure

            @ pm..

            ..are you disputing the fact that there weren’t one in four children living in poverty b4 rogernomics/ruthenasia..?

            ..and our environment isn’t fucked..and about to get worse..?

            ..amongst a slew of facts that makes your ‘we’ve never had it better1’ a total crock..



            ..btw..don’t know what tf you are banging on about in yr strawman 10.20 pm..


            ..and/but don’t bother

            ..phillip ure..

            • Psycho Milt

              ..are you disputing the fact that there weren’t one in four children living in poverty b4 rogernomics/ruthenasia..?

              I don’t see why I’d need to dispute it – the existence of some unpleasant feature of your existing society doesn’t mean your society “sucks.” It also doesn’t necessarily mean your society is worse than it was – for instance, there may be a higher proportion of children living in poverty now (which has more to do with demographics than social policy anyway), but anyone nostalgic for NZ society of the 1980s must be too young to remember it. For me, the NZ of 30 years ago was one in which the PM could just proclaim it illegal to raise either wages or prices until further notice; it was one in which we were allied with a nuclear power engaged in brinkmanship with an equally-nuclear-armed power; it was one in which it was illegal to engage in homosexual sex acts, and being revealed to be gay could end your career; it was one in which declaring Maori interests non-existent would not harm your career; the list could go on.

              ..and our environment isn’t fucked..and about to get worse..?

              Again, do you really want to hold up the level of environmental protection we operated 30 or 40 years ago as superior to what’s been put in place since then? The fact that something can be improved does not mean it “sucks,” unless you’re God.

              • Milt, no one denies those things.

                But there were good and bad things then – as there are good and bad things now.

                An example; we have umpteen free-to-air TV now – but I find myself watching less and less f-t-a tv than I did 30 or 40 years ago.This is highly subjective, but there appears to be more unwatchable crap on tv now than there was when I was a young adult.

                Forty years ago (before the two oil shocks of the 1970s – especially the 1979/81 event) we had a considerable balance of payments surplus.

                We led international opposition to apartheid and atomic testing in the Pacific.

                Forty years later, we have extended full civil liberties to gays and lesbians, paid parental leave, and a much more democratic electoral system.

                Maybe it’s time to bring back some of the good things we’ve lost over the decades?

                • Sure – this blog’s seen plenty of comments from me about stuff that’s deteriorated rather than improved over the last 30 years, and I certainly wouldn’t mind a return of the days when most workers were in unions and people working outside their normal hours got paid penalty rates. But that doesn’t mean our society “sucks.”

              • @ pm..

                i never said everything was better back what are you talking about..?

                ..i just noted that the dpb-levels etc then meant that one in four children were not in poverty..

                ..(what you dismiss as a ‘demographic’-miss-reading..?..really..?..)

                ..and then came roger and ruth and helen..(remember how labour cut ‘allowances’..?..i do..)

                ..and the massive intensification of the cow concentration camps..

                ..means our rivers etc are now much more fucked than they were..

                ..and i was noting yr easy dismissal of those realities..

       yr ‘we don’t know how lucky we are’-attempt..

                ..and the facts of the matter are that there have been advances on some areas of concern since back then..

                …but in those issues of child-poverty/environment..

                ..we are far worse than we were back then..

                ..phillip ure..

                • What’s your point? I’ve mentioned twice in comments above that the fact that things can be improved doesn’t mean our current society “sucks.” Your response is to point out things that can be improved – ie, your response is pointless.

                  • V de Plume

                    “Sucks” is a subjective evaluation for which everyone will have different criteria. The entire CONVERSATION is pointless.

                    But gosh, I’m glad this post didn’t get derailed by a bunch of leftwing dudes insisting that the dialogue be exactly on their terms.

  33. Sacha 33

    Sheesh, Mr Ure. Look at the amount of energy people have expended today responding to you. Think of what they could have discussed instead rather than your flat-earth libertarian assertions that political discourse is a level playing field and your freedom to speak without consequence must remain unimpinged. Then perhaps have the good grace to STFU for a bit.

    And you wonder why conversations need to be moderated..

    • @ sacha..

      so now i’m a ‘libertarian’..?

      ..well..maybe on things like drug-reform..

      ..but that’s about it..really..

      ..and just to clarify the depth of my libertarianism 4 u..


      ..and perspective is a funny

      ..because i am seeing myself ‘responding’ to what others are this case..

      ..and i have never made the claim that ‘political discourse is a level-playing field’..

      ..and seeing as i argue for full-gender/orientation equality/a vegan diet/ending the cancer-causing dairy paradigm in new zealand/shutting down all the vivisectors..(370,000+ animals tortured then killed..every year)/declaring war on poverty/taxing the banksters/ending the war on all drugs/taxing the dairy-farmers to clean up the fucken mess they have made of this country/partially nationalising a raft of industries…etc..etc..

      ..if talking on these issues i would be inviting responses..

      ..but like i this case i will repeat..i am the responder..

      ..and as for your shouted exhortation/order to shut the fuck up.. won’t have been the first to have date..i regret to inform..

      ..but i do agree with the charge/allegation that i believe in ‘freedom to speak’..

      ..yes sacha..yes i do believe in ‘freedom to speak’.. is the voice of democracy..

      ..the other road leads to demagoguery..

      ..whether on the right..or the left..

      …and of course there are ‘consequences’ for speaking yr mind..

      ..if the writer talks utter shite..

      ..they will be laughed out of the room..

      ..the pointed-barb inviting derision is far more powerful/effective at destroying those stupid/regressive/repressive ideas..(of the likes of grumpy)..

      ..much more powerful than the censors’-pencil/’authority’..

      ..phillip ure..

      • karol 33.1.1

        And when you’re in somebody eles’s house, club, worplace, pub, classroom?

        • phillip ure

          @ karol..i respect their environment..

          .i don’t walk in and say:..’i hate what you’ve done to the kitchen!’..

          but i was under the impression that this is an open political forum..

          ..somewhere to come to engage in political discourse..

          ..occaisonally to disagree times..?

          ..and without having to tip-toe around/stepping on eggshells..

          ..have i got that wrong..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • karol

            phillip, it’s pretty open usually, but there are limits. The moderation is no where near as heavy as I undersand it can be on The Daily Blog.

            Most usually the limits on thread derails (what I consider CV did – if he’d continued, he would have dominated the discussion and diverted from QoT’s intent – in fact, he has quite successfully managed to do that anyway) are at the discretition of the moderator/author.

            More usualy moderation tends to fall heaviest on right wingers – and they respond exactly as some here have, as do some left wngers when moderated – complaining about censorship.

            The usual reply from lynn is that he/managers/moderators runs the blog, authors provide content – for no pay – if people don’t like the rules and how they are applied – start their own blog – and often it’s been likened to how people behave in someone else’s house.

            On this thread it’s some people being moderated in relation to gender issues, rather than the more usual moderation related to general left wing issues – some guys respond by claiming censorship. I have actually moved comments from my thread to open mike, by people who continue to dispute my moderating decisions. I consider it a thread jack. In fact, QoT has allowed you to continue moaning about her moderating decsion – moderators can/do issue bans for continual thread jacking.

            QoT has been more lenient on your moans – off topic, than other authors or moderators have been at other times.

            Get over it.

            CV continued his arguments on open mike – continually addressing people like me, drawing me/us in to replying – it became very time consuming – he was unrepentant about his “identity poltics” dog whistles, and his antagonstic entry to this thread – he was hardly censored – he had free reign. There are more ways to silence people than being dismissed from one particular discussion. I believe CV also has authorship rights on TS, and could write his own post on the topic.

            So – I reckon just get over it – move on. There’s an issue here about why/how CV has upset many of us by continually telling/pressuring us to be quiet about gender and sexual issues – he has quite a powerful presence on TS and seemed to be trying to silence some of us on particular issues, prior to the publishing of this post.

            The topic of the post was about how, we can focus in election year, on various issues, and also not silence people raising issues of gender and sexual oppresssion.

            Anything to say on that?

            • phillip ure

              @ karol..

              ..last paragraph:..+ question..

              ..i repeat..that since i have been writing/reading here..i have not really seen any evidence of this wholesale ‘silencing’ you/qot allege..

              ..and i do object to being accused of ‘moaning’..

              ..and again i repeat..i am responding to what others are saying..

              ..i am not leading/driving the argument..

              ..and as for ‘moaning’..i was under the impression there was a discussion/debate on the merits or not of censorship..

              ..a discussion i was not the only one participating in..

              ..have i got that wrong too..?

              ..have my questions/contentions made me worthy of/deserving of..’moderation’..?

              ..and really..this thread seems to have ended on a real gender

              ..and that is both sad and disconcerting..

              ..and i personal beliefs include all that qot is fighting for..

     is the censorship/stifling of free speech i have issues with..

              ..phillip ure..

              [QoT: Yes, phillip, it’s abundantly clear that you don’t see the problem that multiple other people have observed, and that you still don’t understand the concept of “censorship”. As karol has noted, I’ve been bloody lenient with your incoherent derailing on this thread. Any further repetitions of this pointless argument will be moderated – but of course you’re welcome to take them to the Open Mike. Which is a funny kind of “censorship”.]

              • Sacha

                “i do object of being accused of ‘moaning’”


              • karol

                Well I have experienced it over time. CV has been very quick to deliver a slap on some of the (limited number) of occasions I have raised gender issues – he seems to have a problem with it. Recently his repeated “boutique identity politics” dog whistle was not appreciated by some of us.

                There has been a line – laregly coming from Labour Party guys (and the Tamihere’s etc), that “identity politcs” (wirth specific reference to gender and sexuality) has caused a lot of Labour’s problems re voters etc. This seems to me a very misplaced blame. CV has repeated lines in that direction.

                It also seems to me to be an issue very much within/from the labour party that has somehow assumed we should all be following Labour party lines.

                • weka

                  “There has been a line – laregly coming from Labour Party guys (and the Tamihere’s etc), that “identity politcs” (wirth specific reference to gender and sexuality) has caused a lot of Labour’s problems re voters etc. This seems to me a very misplaced blame. CV has repeated lines in that direction.”

                  Which is why this is a highly political issue, right here on ts.

              • too late qot..

                ..i’ve already left the room..

       are shouting at a departing shadow..

                ..and have ensured i will not engage in any form of conversation with any time in the future..whoever you may be..(a ‘relief’ for you..i am sure..)

                ..consider yrslf ‘moderated’..

                .i have tired of ‘bad’ qot..


                ..but i guess you can always throw grenades at me (yr ‘enemy’!..)on open

                ..did you not read that i support all you are arguing/fighting the real world..?

                …once again..f.f.s..!..

                phillip ure..

                [QoT: You persist in threatening to leave this thread. I will make it easy for you and delete any further comments you’ve made, since you haven’t added anything original in your last half-dozen attempts.]

      • Phillip, thanks for the link to this:


        It’s very close to my own personal journey from conservative right winger in my teens and early/mid 20s, to a social democrat (“socialist” according to others). Back then I would have been a typical young Act member. Ghu help me.

        So, I get where you’re coming from, mate.

  34. Sacha 34

    Not convinced you have much understanding of what democracy means. Or much else.
    And we’re not on the radio… ok …

    • @ sacha..

      ..”..Not convinced you have much understanding of what democracy means..”

      heh..! go first..!

      and..sorry..i won’t use metaphors again..(however light-touched..)’ll be literal..all the way..

      phillip ure.

  35. SPC 35

    “It’s a plea for understanding the difference between strategy and tactics.”

    The right has attempted to divide us against women by class or circumstance.

    The poorly educated raised in unhealthy homes who struggle to find work and then more generally those who raise children without a partner. By such means they launch an attack on both welfare and those raising up children in poverty.

    Basically daring the left to take up their cause and be subject to attack for not towing the line on applying market type incentives on the have not’s so that being a have not is undesirable.

    Many working women, sole parents or with parents are susceptible to this thinking because they don’t want to fund the “lifestyles” of those in poverty with the money they worked hard for.

    For now WFF has been accepted by National, because it delivered outcomes for these women who they want (and need) to vote for them (note that most men voting for National oppose WFF).

    This shows the area where the campaign could be fought. But this does not mean abandoning the poor but by building solidarity or common cause between the two groups of women.

    Extending parental leave to 12 months is something in this policy area and National knows it.

    But there is further that Labour could go and it is something I suggested to Laila Harre when parental leave was first raised in the first term of the last Labour led government.

  36. SPC 36

    4th paragraph, correction for clarification

    Many working women, sole parents or with partners are susceptible to this thinking because they don’t want to fund the “lifestyles” of those in poverty with the money they worked hard for.

  37. Sacha 37

    Stargazer has posted a wonderfully concise summary of this conversation here:

  38. It’s a shame that good ideas here have been over-taken by raw emotion and personalisation…

    • karol 38.1

      Agree, Frank. It’s disappointing, really, after all the topics that we have been discussing here and elsewhere in the left over the last few years. After all the struggles, we get this.

  39. QoT 39

    This conversation has about done its dash, but I did want to point out this classic, for everyone above and in other threads who have moaned and whined about CENSORSHIP!!!! and SILENCING!!! and “oh my god how DARE you tell someone to fuck off!!!”:

    That, my friends, is how lprent moderates threads when people have pissed him off. I don’t see y’all whining about him being a mean nasty bitch.

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