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The Jones surpremacy

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, September 4th, 2013 - 58 comments
Categories: labour, Shane Jones - Tags:

The poor gallery journos. They’ve got to turnout copy each and every day on the Labour leadership race but, well, not that much actually happens. The contenders have laid out their pitches and, now, they’re going around repeating it to members. So, there’s a lot of story invention: ‘twitter rows’ that aren’t, ‘momentum’ stories based on nothing, ‘gaffes’ that ain’t. The latest is the idea of Jones winning, which, funnily enough was also the media jocks’ first idea, which they got bored of for a week.

OK, yes, 2 years ago when the media was bored with the two real candidates and clamoured for the outsider instead, they got what they wanted. Shearer. That won’t happen again. First, members and workers aren’t as stupid or media-driven as caucus. Second, anyone with any brains will have noticed that a number of rightwing pundits are saying that ‘Jones would be the smart choice, but Labour won’t go there’, which is the most transparent bluff in history. Third, there’s an object lesson in why not to listen to the media jocks when they tell you who should lead your party. He’s called Shearer.

Regardless of all that, here’s why it’s pointless even talking about Jones winning. He has, maybe, 4 votes from his caucus colleagues. That means of the 40% up for grabs from caucus, Jones has 5%. That means he has to win more than 45% from the remaining 60% held by the members and the unions. Who thinks that Jones is going to win three-quarters of the members’ votes, let alone the unions’? Yeah, nah.

Even to come second, and so theoretically have a chance of getting through with the second preferences, Jones would need a majority or there abouts from the members and unions. It’s just not going to happen.

Don’t expect the journos to come back to Earth, though. They need a story. A bit of suspense. And they’re very, very willing to listen to clueless righties who imagine they know something about Labour.


58 comments on “The Jones surpremacy”

  1. geoff 1

    Some of things that Shane Jones says make him sound like he’d feel more at home in the National party.
    He seems to think ‘left’ is a dirty word.

  2. Tracey 2

    Jones is confirming he sees women as two dimensional, either WW or GG readers. I note he made no comment let alone a commitment) to gender equality on his front bench. The other to did (rightly or wrongly). I also believe his GG comment shows he is stuck a few decades ago.

    Calling people “bro” doesnt make you a man of the people.

  3. Sable 3

    Yes Labour a wealth of poor leadership choices but then that’s really nothing new, is it?

  4. Clement Pinto 4

    I agree that Jones is the underdog in this context. However, I think it is silly to characterise Jones in disparaging terms. He is a very valuable and important person to have in the Labour movement for several reasons: A pragmatic moderating influence against any extremist positions, especially in business, economics, race or social issues. Unfair, cheap shot, insulting remarks against him or any of the three candidates is unbecoming, counter productive to the party and stupid.

    Hopefully, whosoever becomes the leader will be prudent, inclusive and genuinely unify the party and take Labour to its traditional base in terms of jobs, fairness in society, progressive and yet a very good economic and social manager. That is the question one must ask before casting one’s vote.

    • Hanswurst 4.1

      “A pragmatic moderating influence against any extremist positions, especially in business, economics, race or social issues.”

      They already have Robertson and Cunliffe for that.

      • weka 4.1.1


        “He is a very valuable and important person to have in the Labour movement for several reasons: A pragmatic moderating influence against any extremist positions, especially in business, economics, race or social issues.”

        That’s one reason. Got any others?

        “Unfair, cheap shot, insulting remarks against him or any of the three candidates is unbecoming, counter productive to the party and stupid.”

        Unfair, cheap shot, insulting remarks against him or the two geldings he is running against is unbecoming, counter productive to the party and stupid.


    • Craig Glen viper 4.2

      True CP the media would love the Candidates to be ripping into each other and their is a fine line I admitt for Party members as well, however I dont think this should stop members from raising valid concerns regarding a Candidates past behaviour/performance. When it comes to past performance only Cunliffe has had the experience to take the Party forward and beat Key. Who ever is leader has to be able to run a very slick election campaign and clearly that has been a problem for Grant Robson and his Caucus supporters.

    • lprent 4.3

      Unfortunately after running this site for 6 years, and on average having to apologise for Jones every 18 months; I have neither the time nor *any* respect for the dipshit.

      I’d point out here that my political views tend to generally be to the right of the NZLP. I’m a quite reluctant socialist, forced there because of the awareness of of how ineffective private companies are at providing business infrastructure.

      Just to give you an idea exactly how right-wing I tend to be, just consider that my family background is mostly management with a leavening of union delegates, I have a science degree and an MBA. I’m ex-army, ex-barman, ex-factory worker, ex-farmhand, and currently a high-end computer programmer concentrating on exports (because it is more fun coding than management). I’ve only worked in the private sector for the last 30+ years in a variety of either management or tech-head roles. In theory I should be exactly the type of person that Jones would appeal to according to the jonolists. In practice, I value competence and he does not appear to have any.

      Shane Jones has long since used up any chances I’ve been willing to give him. He appears to me to simply be incompetent. I also don’t consider that he is in anyway “moderate”, rather he seems to be a pretty typical beltway git whose business “experience” relies more on political contacts than any abilities.

    • geoff 4.4

      However, I think it is silly to characterise Jones in disparaging terms.

      Which is precisely what Jones has been doing to Cunliffe and Robertson on the campaign trail, making comments that undermine his colleagues and their politics. Have a look at his performance on Q+A.
      He clearly isn’t interested in the party’s unity, and it shows that he puts himself before the party.

      • Jim_Jam 4.4.1

        I agree, I think He is running for the sake of running and is just enjoying the limelight and spouting out policies that he knows will get traction in the media.

        I am sure he knew from the beginning he chance of being elected was minimal and that people have little time for him (I base this on what people I have spoken to say, no evidence of this) and his antics.

        I don’t think what Labour needs is a funny man who could, at any time bring more media attention of the wrong kind to the caucus and it’s leadership.

        At the end of the day I personally prefer someone who is going to clean out the tired relics and bring in some much needed revitalisation and inspiration to the voting public.

        • amirite

          The theory from some commentators is that Jones knows he wont win the leadership but this campaign will give him a high profile and he may snatch the win in Te Tai Tokerau from the Maori Party.

    • Lightly 4.5

      what are the disparaging terms that the post uses to describe Jones?

      • Clement Pinto 4.5.1

        I was not referring to the post, but making a general observation of posters using derogatory language/terms when describing any of the candidates. It not only demeans the candidate, but demeans the party itself.

    • miravox 4.6

      “A pragmatic moderating influence against any extremist positions, especially in business, economics, race or social issues”

      I don’t recognise this Jones.

      I recognise an immoderate man who calls women MPs ‘geldings’ and sings ‘over the rainbow’ after talking about a gay rival.

      I recognise an extremist man with such one dimensional views of women that he can’t comprehend that they may read both the Women’s Weekly and Germaine Greer (shorthand, I suspect for having feminist views – shock, horror).

      Expenses and Yan scandals, and tolerance of Foreign chartered vessels employment and environmental practices to maintain Sealord profits imply a level of pragmatism, but not the innovative, fair and ethical business practices that should be the foundations of Labour’s business and economic policy.

      I heard he did a reasonable job on the building regulations amendment, once. 2008, I think. Damned if I can think of any other newsworthy achievements since.

  5. Greywarbler 5

    Hopefully, whosoever becomes the leader will be prudent, inclusive and genuinely unify the party and take Labour to its traditional base in terms of jobs, fairness in society, progressive and yet a very good economic and social manager. That is the question one must ask before casting one’s vote.

    Well put. And the scrutiny has to be close on the candidates and considered, not indulgent of foibles that will detract from the position and the effectiveness of leadership.

  6. Pasupial 6

    Bomber’s take had me LOLing:

    “I like Shane, he’s funny, brilliant and an incredible speaker who could make a real impact on the front bench, but he has so many skeletons in the closet he could start his own zombie army. ”


  7. bad12 7

    i wouldn’t entirely write off Shane Jones, 40% of the union members who get to cast a vote or have a delegate cast a vote for them in the leadership contest are Maori or Pasifika people,

    Maori have a bad habit of voting for Maori candidates, no matter how abysmal they actually are at their job simply on the basis of they being Maori,

    While that may get many going ???, its not an unusual human trait, many commenters here at the Standard will vote Labour no matter what, and i will be voting solidly Green in the upcoming local body elections even tho i have never heard of most of the candidates who will be on the ballot,

    i don’t think Jones has got enough support but he will probably do better than many will expect…

    • Raymond a Francis 7.1

      Maori have a bad habit of voting for Maori candidates, no matter how abysmal they actually are at their job simply on the basis of they being Maori,

      I guess you don’t think that is a racist statement

      Like pakeha have never done the same thing

      • felix 7.1.1

        “Like pakeha have never done the same thing”

        I don’t think many pakeha would be consciously factoring that into the decision, but it’s very common among maori.

        Ask your maori friends. I don’t think it’s racist to say so, it’s not exactly a secret or anything.

      • bad12 7.1.2

        Funnily enough Raymond Francis i do not think that that is a racist statement, i only have to ask the Maori in my family to know that in many cases the above is a statement of fact,

        The Maori Party being a a case which goes to prove the point, my nieces were out on the streets of Wellington in support of the original ‘take’ that saw the formation of the Maori Party and they voted accordingly despite the fact that their uncle pointed out what has happened was going to happen,

        i think your knee began to jerk long befor you had considered the comment above in it’s entirety, but the subject of my racism will certainly make a good topic of discussion next time my lot get together and should generate lots of laughs…

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      I don’t know a single Maori who openly supports Jones, and the further north they are from, the less time they have for him.

  8. Chooky 8

    Great photo of Jones!…lol

    ….maybe the geldings got too frisky

  9. tracey 9


    I get your point and note that so do pakeha which seems to be why key is still popular

    • Greywarbler 9.1

      I don’t think your comment has weight Tracey. Key’s popularity doesn’t come from being pakeha, it’s more from having been a top guy in finances in the Home Country of all the USA adherents, and having a lot of money and confidence which suits those who are servicing the wealthy in professional or trades roles, accountants, lawyers, Peter’s Principle Management types, and many who like his non-serious way of putting things that suits the laid-back she’ll be right types common here.

  10. Craig 10

    Some of Jones’ individual policies seem quite reasonable, but I do disagree with his overall excessive fiscal conservatism. Added to which, his Labour caucus supporters are slightly dodgy insofar as I’m concerned as a gay man.

  11. Craig Glen viper 11

    I get your point Bad12 except I dont think Union Pasifica will vote Jones it seems more likely they will be voting Cunliffe from what I have heard and seen. Cunliffe has had a large turnout of Pasifica folk at meetings held in New Lynn recently and the SFWU woman are definatly swing in behind Cunliffe.

  12. tc 12

    I thought Jones was allowed into the tent on the basis he’d help with the maori vote and add some business savvy etc.

    This was a judgement error as once in he’s gorged himself at the trough, not cared about his perception/performance and generally been a liability to Labour.

    Labour’s done a fair bit of this with list and electoral candidates since MMP.

  13. hush minx 13

    My take on Shane is that he has a type of charm and charisma – but ironically is probably more divisive and polarising that anything you’d find on Cunliffe except for the ABCers. In my ideal world Labour has the diverse talents, and finds a way to use them (including Shane) -as long as they can operate with a degree of respect and self-awareness. Shane might need to practise his listening skills a little to make that a viable prospect I think. But if he can, then all strength to Labour.

    • Tracey 13.1

      he has the type of charm and charisma some grandad’s had… you kind of laughed but felt sorry for them behind their backs for being outdated

  14. Winston Smith 14

    I like the way the picture used for Jones is unflattering and the picture used for Cunliffe is flattering 🙂

    • felix 14.1

      Yeah? Try to find a picture of Jones where he doesn’t look like a bag of shite then.

      Seriously, the guy would be a neanderthal embarrassment in the National party, he has no place in the modern Labour movement.

    • mickysavage 14.2

      If you look at the photo used in http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-leadership-campaign-day-five/ I believe you could describe this as being flattering.

    • lprent 14.3

      The one of Cunliffe was literally the first one that I found in our library when I was doing the final setup. However we have 28 shots of David Cunliffe, none of them are particularly “interesting”, all in a similar vein.

      I didn’t do the one of Shane Jones, however there are only three images in the library. One looks exactly like the one of Cunliffe, one is a publicity photo from quite a while back, and that rather interesting image. I guess Eddie or whoever did the image felt like the latter expressed their post the best.

      We don’t restrict authors on their images or their content unless it causes damage to the site. It is a restriction on me and the editors from within the about. No doubt eventually David Cunliffe will wind up with an unflattering image and some authors will use it, because there is simply a range of authors with a range of views. He will inevitably irritate one of the authors.

      But after looking at the images on file I suspect that it is going to be hard finding one for David Cunliffe because he obviously has what Lyn would call “a strong camera awareness”. Best bet would be a caricature from a cartoonist.

      BTW: I will change images for purely operational reasons is I have to. For instance if they don’t scale (ie when we stick then at the top of the site) or they are too large. I’ll clip if I can or I’ll find an equivalent image. For instance the class diagram on “Enough for us all, but they want it all for themselves” which was too small when it was used for top of the site.

      Any editor will drop in an image if there isn’t one provided by an author.

  15. Tracey 15

    Should Jones lose will he;

    a. fall in behind the leader and work really hard around his electorate mobilising Labour support; or
    b. do nothing and rely on his list ranking;
    c. go drinking with tamihere to discuss ways to undermine the Labour Party

    • Mary 15.1

      I just hope his attempt at the leadership hasn’t gained him a senior post. Cunliffe’s already alluded that it has. It’d be a monumental stuff up if Jones is given anything short of a sacking. The guy’s a disgrace.

      • weka 15.1.1

        “Cunliffe’s already alluded that it has.”

        Whereabouts Mary?

        • Mary

          In a televised debate where all three were there, perhaps the Q & A one? Was certainly some time in the last three or so days.

  16. Plan B 16

    Media really just want to run “What John Key thinks/says about the Labour Leadership Contect” But this competition is brilliant in that it gives Labour much needed media oxygen- the life blood of politics.

  17. Rodel 17

    Please stop referring to ‘media jocks’. As in ‘shock jocks’ the term is ‘ media dicks’.. with apologies to the female versions.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Shane Jones is Labour’s answer to Bob Clarkson (remember him?).


    But in fact he’s done Labour a favour. If it was only Robertson and Cunliffe in the contest, there would be much more media focus on the lazy false dichotomies (Wellington vs Auckland, ABC vs C, Gay vs Straight etc). Jones keeps the Jonolists amused and distracted, while their brains are struggling to process the concept of “three”, one too many for their infantile view of politics.

    He’ll lose badly, and quit Parliament at the next election … win-win.

  19. coge 19

    The thing about Shane Jones is he’s taking votes away from Cunliffe, not Robertson. So who benefits from that?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Don’t worry about that mate, the preferential voting system means Cunliffe will collect those votes on the second round.

  20. millsy 20

    I doubt that Jones will get the leadership.

    Though I think he should get a senior portfolio. Someone has to ensure buisness doesnt try and organize a coup.

  21. North 21

    I don’t believe Jones will accept the outcome. His very candidacy is the product of a fantastic ego and an innate taste for mischief. With a seasoning of teenage “Fuck You !”

    Not a quality number that man. Shane’s all about Shane.

    • Merrial 21.1

      @North: yup, that’s how it looks to me, too.

      If he were elected leader, he’d be a colossal liability: his fat ego, misogyny, and lack of insight into his own motivations collectively mean that sooner or later, there’ll be another pratfall. Bill Liu may not be the worst, either. He may be able to make people laugh, but he’d need more than that for effective leadership. Besides, Labour’s been down that road: David Lange had them rolling in the aisles, but he wasn’t an effective prime minister.

  22. amirite 22

    Watched that little sycophantic piece on 3rd degree last night. I really don’t get it how people seem to get an impression of Shane as an approachable and a likeable person.
    To me he seems to be chronically bored and terminally lazy. (can’t be bovvered…)

    • Maureen 22.1

      I agree it was sycophantic but part of me felt sorry for Jones. He must be bright enough to know how far he has fallen in people’s esteem. His eyes looked sad; I thought he squirmed there once or twice.

  23. Aotearoean 23

    Jones obvious ploy is not to win but to become an acceptable brown faced second place.

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