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John Armstrong is labouring under a reality delusion

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, November 2nd, 2013 - 91 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour, newspapers - Tags: ,

granny herald in her blue frockI normally take the Herald with more than a grain of salt.  This is the paper which since the creation of the Labour Party has opposed and criticised its policies.  It has been consistently critical and the sense of right wing bias is overwhelming.

In this morning’s Herald the tradition of right wing bias has been continued.  In an article titled Labouring under an electoral delusion John Armstrong has laid out his lack of understanding of the current reality for all to see.

Firstly he claims that there has been little to rouse the public.  Well yesterday was taken up with workshops and sector meetings.  These are never exciting to the press.  They are not for publicity purposes, they are for organisational and networking purposes.  I guess that they are not as exciting as a party stoush but sadly for Armstrong and co those days are over.

He then claims that the party is moving leftwards.  That is far too crude a word to use for a draft policy platform that is very sophisticated.  If moving leftwards is wishing to increase support for ordinary kiwis, opposing crony capitalism and wanting to protect the environment then yep guilty as charged.

I agree that very few electors  will ever read the policy papers but Armstrong does not appear to understand that these debates are important for party morale.  Also what matters with political parties are organisation, resources, campaign ability and passion.  And in these areas Labour is starting to look good.

The organisation is in robustly good health compared to even a few months ago.  David mentioned last night that over this time membership had doubled.

This has major implications.  The finances are obviously improving although Labour can never outspend National.  But what is evident is that the ability to campaign is dramatically improved.  Labour’s activist base and their ability to campaign face to face are critical to Labour’s chances and the more the merrier.

Armstrong then claims that Cunliffe is trying to be all things to all men by adding riders that all policies should be costed and affordable.  This I really struggle with.  Firstly he is being criticised for being too left and then for being wishy washy.  Which one is it John?

He then trots out some National supplied attack lines.  Apparently David has been invisible for the past couple of weeks?  Really?  His media exposure has been huge.

And a lack of urgency?  David has been working huge hours.  He has gone from being a lowly backbencher to the caucus leader very quickly and has put a huge effort into setting up the leader’s office.  Expect his performance to pick up as the office settles down.

John criticises the lack of new policy.  Umm wait for David’s speech today John.

Finally John picks on a rather far out remit to justify his claim that the party is moving leftwards.  Unfortunately the remit was voted down.  John chose to repeat it anyway.

I am afraid that this conference will be boring for the media.   There will be no blood on the floor or any manufactured crisis.  There will instead be a happy united group of activists getting ready to campaign for next year.

91 comments on “John Armstrong is labouring under a reality delusion ”

  1. phil 1

    Unless the conference addresses the two biggest issues for NZ’s future, namely climate change, and overpopulation of the planet, that NZ is a part of. There will be no future for our kids at all. I await the long pregnant silence…. ….. anyone there?

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Its the cohort of right wing politicians.

      In a world where neo-liberal politicans trickle down turned
      into a flood down the inside of the pants of the world economy;
      for a moment it was warm and relieving, then become cold and
      smelly with a overhang of social shame, global pollution and
      lost opportunities of clearer energy lasting far longer.

      Is it any wonder Key’s efforts, and his media lackies, are like a boxers,
      who have lost, desperately deluded, trying to protect their corner,
      their political corner, despite being laidout
      on the canvas (by the reality of GFC, the core errors
      of his economic philosophy and wasted professional lifes, as the US
      prints the stuff at rock bottom value); ignoring the final bell,
      Key and his ilk still fights on, blind to reality.

      The politics of impunity are done, get over yourself Mr.Key.

      The US is the world default currency and its printing it endlessly,
      your economic vision, thirty dirty years in the making, driven
      by turd blossoms from the fourth estate, is a shame, a big delusional
      shame. The trickle of piss down the inside of your collective pants is
      not a economic political solution to all economic woes.

    • muzza 1.2

      Phil neither of those two are the biggest issues.

      Addressing the global financial systems which enable the commerce which is destroying our finite energy base, is the most important issue, period!

      Until this issue is being discussed openly, there is no possible chance that other issues will be addressed, or can have options, solutions discussed which will provide the best outcome for the earth, and its inhabitants!

      If it is not going to be addressed, then we are all in for the worst ride anyone ever imagined, we are in the throws of its early stages right now!

    • weka 1.3

      “Unless the conference addresses the two biggest issues for NZ’s future, namely climate change, and overpopulation of the planet, that NZ is a part of. There will be no future for our kids at all.”

      I agree. But tell me this, if Labour came out at this conference and said that they were going to put AGW and overpopulation at the top of their agenda, or even in a prominent place, what do you think would happen? Do you think they would be able to win the next election, given that most NZers disagree that AGW/population are the two biggest issues?

      It’s about strategy. I don’t know if Labour are true about their intention to deal with AGW, or what they even mean by that, but it’s there in Cunliffe’s speech. What needs to happen now is that Labour party activists need to put pressure on the party to develop good transitional policy, and those outside Labour need to support them to do that. GP members need to do the same within their own party, and work towards a good working relationship with Labour alongside strategies in case Labour screw them over again. Sitting on the internet and criticising Labour in a way that damns them if they do and damns them if they don’t doesn’t take us any closer to dealing with reality.

      • miravox 1.3.1

        “It’s about strategy… criticising Labour in a way that damns them if they do and damns them if they don’t doesn’t take us any closer to dealing with reality”

        Yes, this is the way I see the political positioning of Labour (and the Greens) too.

        Parties have to know where they sit in the political spectrum, at the same time as knowing where their most likely voters sit and how far they’ll travel to the left with them. Shearer got this wrong by not realising people were willing to move further than he was. Cunliffe needs to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake at the other end of the continuum. Anyway the Greens and Mana are there to cover that space.

        • weka

          True, although I believe that parties need to remain true to their own values. From the outside that seems the biggest problem for Labour historically – that they went after votes at the expense of their core reason for being (obviously some of Labour were very happy with this). So it’s one thing to have core values and then have pragmatic strategy about how to achieve expression of those values politically*, and it’s another to just chase votes because you think that’s the only way to win.

          We are fortunate at this point in time to have a Labour renaissance at the same time as having a strong GP further left, and hopefully an increasing Mana movement. If those three sectors of society could work together well, it could be quite awesome.

          *the GP are very good at this now IMO. As a member not involved in the party my sense is that I don’t really know what is going on at the centre any more. They’ve got smarter and don’t wear their heart on their sleeve any more. This has paid off in terms of increasing their vote, and their political power both in parliament and in the public sphere. But it does require a greater degree of trust from members like me who are now treated like voters.

          • miravox

            “although I believe that parties need to remain true to their own values.”

            Yes, absolutely – another factor Shearer and advisors didn’t take into account.

            “If those three sectors of society could work together well, it could be quite awesome.”

            I think this is happening and that’s is why I expect Cunliffe to have some leeway to talk to the aspirations of not-so-poor employed people.

            Although I am holding out for a statement today that would relieve the poor (employed or not employed) from the market failure in producing affordable housing.

  2. tricledrown 2

    How is Armstrong going to defend John Key over his libor trades at Merril Lynch US prosecutors are going after banks that were involved in libor trades other countries and businesses that were ripped off by these high flying currency traders will follow up.
    BofA is facing other charges now JP Morgan has been found out.

  3. Tat Loo (CV) 3

    John Armstrong: if you really want a say in how Labour runs things, I’ll sign you up as a party member myself.

    If you think that the Labour Conference is a waste of time, please feel free to go home and enjoy your weekend.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    Nothing in your post really refutes what Armstrong said though? Just because you believe you are doing the right thing, doesn’t make it so. It’s not just boring for the media. It’s boring for all those who aren’t die hard labour fanbois of the rank and file. golden opportunity missed a year out from an election.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Nothing in your post really refutes what Armstrong said though?

      Did you actually read the post TR?

      • Tamati 4.1.1

        I think you’re being a little delusional yourself to try and claim Labour isn’t openly and obviously moving leftwards. What was Cunliffe talking about then when he said he wanted to be “true red Labour” if he wasn’t saying he was moving the party to the left?

        • aerobubble

          What’s delusional is selling NZ product in a currency being printed without end.

          What’s delusional is looking to Key for economic advice, when his wealth was built on a ripe in the economic canvas of western banking and now is being plugged by printed money.

          A generation who supposedly won great wealth because of their acumen and we are still in an economic malaise, partly because they won’t stop talking delusional economics, and partly because nobody in the media has an ounce of integrity to call the cohort to account.

          As someone pointed out, for every debt there is a credit, we can deal with the economic crisises, they are easy, the rich take a bath. The problem is the very real problem caused by digging up and burning carbon compounds locked away when the atmosphere, was a lot dense, a lot more violent and the sun cooler.

          Its the losers who still feel the need to cling onto Key and his ilk; that their very identity comes from being arrogant stupid economic defenders of hands off, zero integrity, non-government.

          And the jokes keep coming, China is about to switch off its growth, a centrally planned economy that has been keeping Key and his ilk afloat as they relive the bastion of free market thinking, how it will save us again, like it did in the GFC.

        • McFlock

          Ok, let’s go with that. How is that wishywashy? Either condition might be true (red or allthingstoallmen), but to claim both in the same piece negates armstrongs credibility.

    • Murray Olsen 4.2

      Believing you are doing the right thing is preferable to knowing you are doing the wrong thing, but pushing the pedal to the metal anyway.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Thanks for this Mickysavage.

    John’s faulty piece served as yet another reminder that the basic duty of impartial news-reporting has long been abandoned by his lot of neocon presstitutes.

    • Rodel 5.1

      jim nald -‘presstitutes’ Love it. Where do you get these from?
      Hereafter I shall repeat that word in front of any journalists I meet.’ Oh, so your a presstitute?’ Can’t wait.

      • Jim Nald 5.1.1

        I was playing with coining it sometime ago, googled and then found that Gerald Celente had already got there a while back:

        At 0’51”:

        • Win

          Gerald’s got his finger on the pulse. If you can stand the swearing he’s right on the button about the world situation – politically, and financially. Warning – it may get depressing though.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Another new nadir for the simpering Armstrong (NZ Herald journalists have had so many nadirs the term is nearing worthlessness at that rag).

    I read this stinking pile masquerading as a political column to compare to Micky’s post and the pre conference material at The Standard. It really is a pathetic excuse.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Armstrong’s piece astonishes me for how loaded with neo-liberal ideological assumptions it is. Selling Mighty River power is not theft, but re-nationalising it is? And how come he thinks that an aging upper-middle class right wing white male like him is a “non-partisan observer”? I can’t imagine he interviews many people these days, so how does he know what will inspire “mainstream” (itself an ideologically loaded term – define your “mainstream” John – is it white middle aged families earning a combined $120K in nice suburbs?) New Zealanders to look at Labour? Perhaps “mainstream” could be two income (combined income of $65K) brown families in Manakau John?

    His whole piece drips of that of an arrogant man unhappy that his paradigms are being challenged.

    Armstrong actually believes that politicians have to be all chummy chummy clubby clubby with journos like him to reassure everyone in the club nothing is ever going to change, and evidence of a desire for change is interpreted as hostility to the structures that he, personally, is doing quite nicely out of thank you very much.

    The neo-liberal zombism he parrots is a great example of why neo-liberalism clings on as the dominant institutional idea in the west. It might be dead, but Armstrong still shuffles along repeating it over and over and over again.

    • Wayne 7.1

      Re-nationalising without compensation would definitely be theft. Sort of thing that only the Soviet Communists did, or these days, Argentina.

      Which is of course why a Labour Govt would never be so stupid as to actually do that. Labour in govt would know that a failure to compensate would put NZ in the same bracket as Argentina. And a quick exit from govt at the next election.

      New Zealanders do think we live in a sensible country, not some Latin American banana republic. I am not thinking of Chile or Brazil, which seem to have both broken out of that ideological space. And in the case of Brazil they have left wing govt, but one that is generally regarded as sensible.

      I imagine that not even the most left wing Standardnista would think NZ should be seen in the same bracket as Argentina or Venezelua.

      • greywarbler 7.1.1

        ‘NZs do think we live in a sensible country’. How sick we NZs are of hearing you speaking your mind on behalf of all of us. An old political trick implying ‘everyone’s’ consensus with your view. All the people that you meet over drinks or dinner that are NZs, consider themselves NZs etc, may well have similar opinions.

        Then there are a great heap of people who don’t think the same as your in-group, and a larger one who are bewildered, sad and sway between angry and resigned and hopeless. And that is getting larger.

        This description of the lumpenproletariat is illustrative of the position in NZ I think.

        It includes beggars, prostitutes, gangsters, racketeers, swindlers, petty criminals, tramps, chronic unemployed or unemployables, persons who have been cast out by industry, and all sorts of declassed, degraded or degenerated elements.

        In times of prolonged crisis (depression), innumerable young people also, who cannot find an opportunity to enter into the social organism as producers, are pushed into this limbo of the outcast.

        And this point is important. These pwople are not core Labour supporters. They are too bewildered and stressed to know what to vote for.

      • MrSmith 7.1.2

        “Which is of course why a Labour Govt would never be so stupid as to actually do that.”

        Isn’t that what Theresa Gattung said before Labour/Cunliffe split Telecom up Wayne.

      • muzza 7.1.3


        What do you have to say about the theft being executed via the current government of those same assets?

        How about the theft being executed through off balance sheet derivatives products, and accounting methods ?

        Theft through closed tender procurement contracts, corporatized legislation and bail outs etc, the list goes on, and on!

        We do not live in a sensible country, we are governed by criminals, because the average kiwi is too bloody stupid to understand that they are being lied to in the most cynical ways, on every conceivable angle!

        Then we have types such as yourself, you have their head stuck too far in the sand, or are simply part of the lies!

        Which is is Wayne?

        • Wayne


          Try and convince NZ’ers that they have a criminal govt. In fact try and convince any serious commentator of that.

          Because it is true that I have missed all the international articles (or indeed local articles) that have condemned the criminal govt of NZ.

          And I have not seen David Cunliffe argue that either. Perhaps it is because he values his credibility.

          Greywarbler, I am prepared to bet that a Labour Govt will not nationalize without compensation.

          By the way ACT argued in 1998, when the Nats allowed parallel importing, that we had expropriated the value of exclusive licenses. Which was as credible as Teresa Gattungs argument on the Telecom split.

          • KJT


            If Managers of a company sold assets that the company required to earn an income, and be viable in future, against the wishes of 80% of the shareholders, what would you call it?

            If a builder sold his building companies tools, at a discount to his friends, without permission. What would you call it?

            Fraud and theft!

          • KJT

            And Labour will not buy back the companies, because they cannot.

            Because National emptied the till.

            • Colonial Viper

              Since the gold standard went out, there is no physical limitation on the production of NZD. You don’t even need paper and ink these days, just use a keyboard.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.4

        I am a Kiwi. I think we live in something fast being turned into a kumara republic, where the rule of law means nothing, NAct politicians can do almost anything with impunity, and we don’t decide our own foreign policy. With the TPPA, we’d be signing over a fair chunk of sovereignty within our borders. As it is, the government acts on behalf of foreign corporates and a few well heeled local mates, while Teina Pora is left to rot in prison for a crime no one thinks he committed. We’re not so different from Latin America, which continuously shocks my wife, who didn’t expect this sort of crap in the so-called first world.

        • greywarbler

          Murray O
          I have just put a note in Open Mike about the doco on the great strike of 1913 – 100 years ago that comes on after midday on radionz. You might be interested.

          And under it – a note about the doco audio on past broadcasting that has an example of what you say. NAct politicians can do almost anything with impunity,
          The example is the demolishing of a state of the art purpose-built government broadcasting building – to make way for an extension of parliament by the NACT government of 1997.
          The parliament extension was too expensive, not really needed, and just a monument to right wing politicians. I remember Nick Smith was very keen on it.

          This was another piece of destruction by the National governments of achievements made by previous NZs. It is akin to the crazed ideologically-driven destruction by the Taliban of the ancient statues in the Middle East. Tear everything down that doesn’t fit their world view .
          This is from the Handy Guide for labelling people’s political drives that identifies NACTs themselves as revolutionaries. –
          Rumbling Revolutionaries, wanting – A repressive, racist, imperialist, capitalist, establishment.
          With goals to – Confront and destroy The System (where it doesn’t suit their immediate views, Other details worked out later).

          • Colonial Viper

            The Right Wing are determined, willing and unapologetic in achieving their vision of society. And what of the Left wing?

    • QoT 7.2

      how come he thinks that an aging upper-middle class right wing white male like him is a “non-partisan observer”?

      I think I could answer this but that would mean derailing The Great Project with my silly identity politics ideas.

      • KJT 7.2.1

        Armstrong’s views are because he is a self important, ashpirashonal, unthinking, dick, not because he is an aging upper middle class white male.

        Armstrong, and Jones, do not speak for this aging, fat, ex Westie, ex working class, now upper middle class, white male (Still working though) . Neither do Tamahere or Bennett!

        Some who object, quite rightly, to stereotyping of women and other groups, go on to do it themselves when they talk about “working class” males etc.

  8. IrishBill 8

    As someone closely connected with DC, I’m not sure it’s wise for you to be attacking a senior political commentator in this way. Which is not to say I agree with Armstrong’s analysis – I believe that it mistakes the centre as being more to the right than it is – rather I think that relationships with the gallery need to be better than this.

    Also, conference weekend is a time for a positive projection of the party’s values and a celebration of what sounds to be a very good and much welcome policy – it’s a time to build on your momentum not let it get bogged down in sideshow skirmishes.

    • Sanctuary 8.1

      This isn’t a Labour Party site, IrishBill – remember?

      • felix 8.1.1

        IrishBill’s first sentence refers to the author of the post, not to IrishBill.

      • IrishBill 8.1.2

        No it’s not a labour site. I’m simply offering some friendly advice. As I would if anyone so closely connected with the greens, the unions, greenpeace or any other organisation I support posted in a way that I thought was tactically unproductive for them.

        • muzza

          Pointing out that John Armstrong, via the NZH vehicle is paid, and hence representing interests which are against the best interest of the inhabitants/habitat of this country is tactically unproductive /scoff!

          Irish, could you explain more about why you see the MSM needing to be kept onside, and where the likes of JA, who are well paid to peddle the paymasters world view, are likely to about turn, and start writing about what is really going on at the heart of the worlds major problems, and the financiers who direct it!

          Because if the MSM (NZH) are not going to become neutral, then pointing out their bias, is a necessary service which sites/authors such as this must continue with, IMO!

    • mickysavage 8.2

      I agree Irishbill with the desirability of good relations with the press, particularly with such a senior commentator. But I was struck by the overwhelming negativity of the article, particularly the comment that there is very little on show.

      And for the avoidance of any doubt this post is my own work only and not influenced by larger considerations of party media relationships …

      • Tat Loo (CV) 8.2.1

        There are some members of the press who appear to have no interest whatsoever with cultivating “good relations” with Labour, nor any interest in putting any effort into understanding how Labour works as a membership democracy. Because Labour isn’t following a light blue pathway appears to be an automatic bad in their books.

        Trying to promote “good relations” with persons determined to smash away at you, without using some push back is usually futile.

        • Draco T Bastard


          • Sacha

            I’d go further and complain to his editor. The guy deserves to be retired.

            • Tigger

              But they won’t because he’s too valuable to them.

              This piece from Armstrong has a bitter undercurrent and more than a whiff of desperation. National is in trouble and Armstrong’s masters know it. Key is bored, he wants out and the vultures are circling. The asset sales programme has become the toxic cloud we all knew it would and that cloud will descend upon the electorate next year. Moreover, the economy is a mess and this will become more apparent early next year.

            • muzza

              The editors set the tone, and are responsible for the content…

              Complaining to the editors who operate under instructions from the the owners, ultimately, is not going to achieve anything!

            • QoT

              Given other choices made by his editors I wouldn’t hold my breath for any action.


        • Saarbo


          John Armstrong has a clear bias towards National, so he needs to be pulled up, so I support mickysavage writing this post. I find Armstrong’s continual attacks on Labour an abuse of his position as a senior political commentator, he doesnt seem to care about analysing political matters as much as continuously promoting National in a positive light.

          Compare Armstrong to Fran O Sullivan, who I think isnt necessarily pro- National as much as pro- free market economics. So we dont see the same continuous blind promotion of National in her commentary, but she does blindly support free market economics. Although I dont agree with her extreme right wing views on this, its not an abuse of her position as a senior political commentator (IMO).

      • locus 8.2.2

        I know that it makes sense to be respectful of senior msm commentators, but I think that John Armstrong sounds jaded and pessimistic.

        From the little I’ve seen so far, David Cunliffe seems to be bringing some much needed Oxygen to the Labour Party.

        According to John Armstrong, David is apparently “talking to Labour’s core constituency of the low-paid and the jobless” – This remark is imo perjorative, judgemental and supercilious.

        Over the past few months it’s been a pleasant surprise for me to talk to young and old, from all walks and all levels on the wealth ladder who believe that Labour needs to bring back fairness to NZ. I think David understands this and is very clear that it’s his first job is to be right in the thick of this fight to retain a social democracy.

        Okay I admit to being hopeful and undoubtedly idealistic, but I am inspired – and like what I’ve heard so far from the new Labour leadership.

        If ‘substance’ is what John Armstrong wants from the newly elected Labour leader then I suggest that he gives David a chance and asks the right questions rather than making sweeping generalisations.

        Also I’m fed up with the laziness and misplaced respect of ‘comfortable’ msm commentators. In my view newspapers shouldn’t be cheerleaders for any political party.
        Perhaps it’s time for the msm to put some challenging questions about ‘rhetoric’ and ‘lack of substance’ to the right wing government – particularly it’s leader – that is clinging to the failed neo-liberal experiment which is damagingly dividing our society.

        • greywarbler

          +1 The critique of Armstrong comment is spot on – This remark is imo perjorative, judgemental and supercilious.

  9. Ad 9

    Commentators go to these things 5 times a year, every year, so they are jaded.

    But we have to put on a show. Would be great if it was solid wonk. Would love that.

    We are all on show here. Mickey, pop over to the media desk and work your charms. Take DCs head of comms with you. Have an honest exchange.

  10. i described armstrongs’ efforts this morn as the frightened mewlings of a scared rightwinger..

    ..bringing on an urge in the reader to offer him a banky..and a ‘there..!..there..!’..

    ..one of his most pathetic efforts..ever..

    ..phillip ure..

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    Yep, a provocative piece of spin by Armstrong imho

  12. phil 12

    I thought it was a clearly understood by the public that MSM were right wing cheer leaders! My beef is that it is not stated explicity as being corporate backed and paid for. But that would be too obvious and take the fun away! 😉

  13. Sanctuary 13

    Reading Farrar you can see how much he hates Labour’s return to offering voters a real choice. Sure, these guys are going to make things hard, but when did anyone ever expect a break from those like Farrar and Armstrong whose incomes depend on being parasites on the body of the current orthodoxy? For people like those two, a Labour victory on an explicitly anti-neoliberal platform spells not just the end of their ideological relevance – probably forever given their ages – but potentially personal economic ruin as well.

    The other thing is, to win without the support of the establishment conservative media pundits smashes the spell of their assumed power. Armstrong, Watkins, all of them have a vested interest in maintaining the fiction that they are part of a TINA establishment, omnipotent and immovable. Sweep away the aura of their infalliability and immovability and suddenly they are like the Wizard of Oz, glorious flaming heads exposed as normal middle-aged journalists who are just humbug.

  14. captain hook 14

    the more these dung beatles scream then the more you know that Labour is on course to win the next election.

  15. Saarbo 15

    Yes, after reading Armstrong this morning I was going to suggest to someone at the conference to give him a punch from me, but then i thought…no, I bet no one can find John Armstrong because he is hidden so far up John Keys arse.

    • Tiger Mountain 15.1

      So that’s what ‘embedded’ journalism means… I like Sanctuary’s comment –13 too, Irish has done the “hold me back” bit, but really Armstrong is too far gone to bother about.

      The best riposte to the media swine will be a unified conference and a clear difference from the right’s policies.

      • phillip ure 15.1.1

        @ ‘best ripostes’..

        to give colin james his due..

        ..on the nation this morn he laughed out of the room the ‘the reds are coming..!..the reds are coming!’ screams of anguish from the show compere..

        ..james pointed out that even including cunnliffes stated intentions of a more interventionist govt..

        ..that this did not mean labour had lurchd to the left..(which of course is keys/the presstitute-medias’ current spin/bullshit..)

        ..and that labour ‘is still very much a centre-left party.’.

        ..and in other media-trout news..dann raised a giggle around here..

        ..where/when on the same show..(after five years of his lips firmly attached to keys’ lowest orifice..barely coming up for air..)..

        ..dann this morning declared that for cunnliffe:..’the honeymoon is over..!’

        ..(said/declared with his best grim/intrepid-reporter face on..it was quite a hoot..!..)

        ..and i mean..bloody hell..!..already..?

        ..is that a new short-‘honeymoon’ record..?

        ..i mean..the emissions from the first couplng have barely cooled on the sheets..


        ..or is it dann who is suffering from premature-ejaculation..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • Bearded Git

          Premature speculation. How old IS Armstrong? Does anybody out there know? They retire judges at 70….

  16. phil 16

    Just as Labour MP’s cover the right /left spectrum let us put the Journo’s into categories I. e. extreme right(ER) , right(R) , CENTRE (C) and LEFT (L) . Who is in the extreme right group? Who wins the title of the leading MSM “National Party Toady (NPT) ” journalist for disservice to fair and balanced media in New Zealand. Your nominations please….. (DRRRUMM roll)….. is?

  17. appleboy 17

    Well, I guess you don’t see such utterly biased reportage quite so obvious – and at least we can see him for the tosser he is. What is the word for this, like there is for a policeman who’s not doing his job honestly and fairly. Bent.

  18. red blooded 18

    It would be a real pity if the conference was only aimed outward (i.e., just for show, with no purpose other than to give fodder to the media). Having said that, let’s remember that plenty of people form their opinions from a distance, via the interpretations of people like John Armstrong. And he’s right that Cunliffe is walking a difficult line – stay true to the values of the people who elected him leader while not frightening the horses, or giving too much ammo to people like JA himself, or JK. We all know that Labour governments end up diluting their policies when they are elected. That’s one of the reasons why I want a decent result for the Greens and a coalition that keeps the next government left of the centre line (and allows Labour to do what Nat have done for so long – blaming the policies that seem further out to the – in this case, Left and in the current case, Right – edge on their coalition deal).

  19. red blooded 19

    It would be a real pity if the conference was only aimed outward (i.e., just for show, with no purpose other than to give fodder to the media). Having said that, let’s remember that plenty of people form their opinions from a distance, via the interpretations of people like John Armstrong. And he’s right that Cunliffe is walking a difficult line – stay true to the values of the people who elected him leader while not frightening the horses, or giving too much ammo to people like JA himself, or JK. We all know that Labour governments end up diluting their policies when they are elected. That’s one of the reasons why I want a decent result for the Greens and a coalition that keeps the next government left of the centre line (and allows Labour to do what Nat have done for so long – blaming the policies that seem further out to the – in this case, Left and in the current case, Right – edge on their coalition deal).

  20. phil 20

    Geez Wayne. If I wanted to know what’s wrong with labour, it’s attitudes like Wayne. Join the light blues in the tories Wayne. I’m with you GW.

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      G’day, Phil.

      I understand Wayne actually is already a Nat and held office until recently. His regular comments here are at least well thought out and engaging, even if they reflect conservative (or maybe small l liberal?) values.

      And the ‘reply’ button is your friend; it keeps the threads together in a coherent manner.

  21. greywarbler 21

    After reading a few paragraphs of John Armstrong’s concoction I consider he has spoiled his presentation – he has served up a salad without a good amount of greens yet doubled the vinegar in the dressing. Unfortunately it is now so acid it would eat through most tables made of today’s materials, unless they were thick glass allowing transparency and vision, or real wood, with its historically known strength, substance and resilience.

  22. Blue 22

    It’s only Armstrong. Everyone can see that he views the world through blue-tinted glasses and cannot even fathom that there are people out there who don’t think exactly the same way he does.

    He’s becoming a more pitiable figure with each passing year. Attacking a speech that hasn’t even been made yet and begging David Cunliffe to lurch to the right is starting to get into Clint Eastwood territory. I think that when his beloved finally loses the election and retires to Hawaii, he’ll either hang up his hat voluntarily or the Herald will quietly get rid of him when he loses his rag completely.

  23. tc 23

    Good old JA shows yet again his bias, disconnection from reality and justifies his position as the senior political mouthpiece for the neo liberal interests at the Herald and a govt running the country into the ground so their backers can profit even more than they do now.

  24. Philgwellington Wellington 24

    Thanks Re Reo. Just learning this media stuff.

  25. Rodel 25

    The Press today has a silly article where Watkins purporting to write about Labour, tries to advise Cunliffe on what he should do, in the headline, but in much of the article text she just brownoses Key.
    Sooo predicable.I try to imagine Cunliffe taking her seriously..nah!
    On the next page is yet another unpleasant unfunny and as usual unclever Nisbett ‘cartoon’ attacking Labour and promoting National.
    An article about a major conference Labour initiative to do with a ‘state insurance’ notion, was buried somewhere in the minor pages.
    Ho hum!

  26. Philgwellington Wellington 26

    The sooner Stuff and Fox Heraldgo bbehind a pay wall the better. Then folks will have to pay for their bias, and there will be more room for a truly alternative voices.

  27. Tracey 27

    Why is deemed inherently better to move to the right than left?

  28. phil 28

    Muzza. Thank you for your response. All the issues must be dealt with, none in isolation. The global economy is a crock which NZ has very little control over. What it can control is its own economy, which it chooses not to. DC is on the right track in encouraging Kiwis into there own bank and insurance entities. The economy is part of the ecology and cannot be considered in isolation. NZ needs a population policy and a clean, unpolluted environment for those who live here. I remember when I could drink and swim in the rivers without a thought. This is not progress in my book. NZ should be actively developing policies for its own resilience in food, housing and finance. Can’t see it, though.

    • muzza 28.1

      No worries, Phil, you make some solid points at (28) also.

      If NZ is unable to develop policies which are to the aid our own resilience, it will be down to the control over the alleged foreign debt, via ratings agencies and so on.

      Should a government go down the path of attempting to halt the decline of NZ inc, and one day even turn it around in a positive direction, that government, and the people of NZ, will come under sustained attack through the international financial cartels. The IMF/WB/UN et al, would ensure any attempts at changing tact, will be swiftly, and aggressively dealt with!

      So while I agree that DC has made some encouraging noises in his speech, he will know all too well, as an experienced international operator, that should any future government seek to enact policy that is in the best interest of NZ and its peoples/environments, they will be going up against the most powerful criminal entities in the history!

      The current government in NZ, are very clearly going along with those powerful criminal entities, it is not the first NZ government to do so, and I do not expect it will be the last.

  29. Philgwellington Wellington 29

    Muz. AMEN! Or women. I am with you brother, or sister! We are not alone. Nice, and strong.

  30. Tanz 30

    I thought Armstrong was stating that Labour is out of touch with the general voter, a sentiment I agree with on the whole.

  31. Tanz 31

    whatever, ‘mate’.

    To win government, you do need the votes from a great chunk of the people, not just those on the left. Armstrong made some good points, and he is often proven to be correct.

  32. Tanz 32

    so, policies such as progressively banning alcohol (good luck with this) and forcing teachers and young students to learn Te Reo (more nanny state) is going to get Labour over thie finish line neaxt year?

    Key and Colin Craig will be very happy right now.

  33. Sable 33

    The Tory birdcage liner will never change which is why I refuse to visit their site or read their crappy paper. Armstrong is just what you would expect him to be, stodgy, right wing and not a little biased.

    Its time for UK style reforms of the gutter press in this country but whether that will happen is anyone’s guess.

  34. Delia 34

    Well John is mired in his dislike for Labour, but I saw something very positive in the Conference something you will not hear from John. This conference was assumed by those on the right to be another opportunity for the so called disaffected groups within Labour to battle it out. They were hoping – it did not happen. A good conference Labour, thank you.

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