Keystone coups

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 pm, November 19th, 2012 - 89 comments
Categories: the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

I’m reading “The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson.” It’s in four volumes. It’s fascinating, beautifully written, a must-read for anyone with an interest in politics. I recommended it recently to David Cunliffe over lunch, and he told me soon after he had got all four out of the Parliamentary Library. But he obviously hasn’t read it yet. His supporters clumsy attempt to make the Party leadership the focus of last weekend’s Conference has  backfired on him and on others involved.

I’ve just returned from a wonderful family holiday in England. My first indication that something was up was the rising temperature of comments on the Standard, culminating with posts written under pseudonym days before the conference calling for Shearer to stand down. I don’t know if the posters are Labour members or not, but it now looks like an attempt to destabilise Shearer days before his first conference speech.

My response was to say look at what Gillard and Miliband have done to turn things around with one speech, and don’t panic.

The next intimation I had that something more was afoot was when I turned up at the Conference on Friday night to be told that the affiliates meeting had ignored the Party Council’s recommendation for what may trigger a leadership vote across the Party, and supported a motion from Northland and Te Tai Tokerau to turn the long-standing majority confidence vote, held at the start of each year, to an endorsement vote with a 60% threshold.

This was quite unexpected by the Party leadership but as became clear in the debate the following day, not unexpected by some in the unions, a few caucus members and some of the electorates.

While the rhetoric of the amendment’s supporters was about giving members a say in any future leadership change, that move was uncontroversial and supported by Leader and President. The actual issue under debate was about the trigger for a membership vote next February at the 60% threshold. This meant that a minority of the caucus could trigger another leadership vote across the party membership and the affiliates.  Member say became member say now. Cunliffe refused to rule out a February challenge. If it walks like a duck…

After an extensive debate, the amendment to the rules was passed on a card vote by a narrow margin, with a block vote from the affiliate unions, apparently on the basis of a resolution at their earlier meeting. If David Cunliffe or any of his supporters drew from this any expectation that unions would support a change of leader in February, I suspect they are likely to be disappointed once the implications become clear inside the unions.

And after Shearer’s speech, for which Audrey Young, Clare Trevett and John Armstrong have all given him 9 out of 10, any talk of leadership change has collapsed. Shearer rose to the challenge magnificently, as I expected he would.

Now perhaps we can get on with the real task, working hard for a change of government in 2014. I like David Cunliffe and it’s a pity he didn’t take the advice I gave him at that lunch,  and has had to learn the hard way that what was going on wasn’t doing him any good. Still a dose of humble pie will do him no harm; in fact it may be the best thing that has happened to him.

I think he  could still play a big part in that campaign if he chooses. So could his supporters.

89 comments on “Keystone coups”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    His supporters clumsy attempt to make the Party leadership the focus of last weekend’s Conference has backfired on him and on others involved.

    Give me a FUCKING BREAK

    Tell us Mike, which MPs were leaking to the media all through the weekend after the 40% vote was passed? And which MPs continued to raise up the media ante leadership stakes through last night and today?

    Not fucking Cunliffe was it?

    • Tim G 1.2

      Agreed. Good attempt at black smear, Mike. There is no hidden clique of Cunliffe’s officers here…

      Just a bunch of paranoid, panicking, ABC loons. Are you proud to now count yourself amongst them?

      Mallard and Shearer will be buying Chippie a beer for his strong showing on One News tonight, I’m sure.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.3

      CV: +1

      Shearer Patrick Gower’s sock puppet just squandered all the goodwill his speech performance generated.

      Labour will be unlikely to receive my vote in 2014 with him at the helm. The policies look good, I just think a mumblefuck “leader” with a talent for self-humiliation has little chance of implementing them.

  2. Galeandra 2

    And clearly you saw the exhibition on the TV news tonight from Hipkins et al.
    I’m glad I waited till now to make my membership decision which unsurprisingly remains negative.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      We need you. Please sign up – the ordinary membership finally have the tools to take back the heart and soul of this party from the neoliberals and careerists, its going to be a shitload of work, and every person counts.

    • rosy 2.2

      I renewed as soon as possible after the 60% remit was passed. Yes, there have been moments in the next few days that led to a bit of regret, but the main point still holds – the membership now has a say in the who leads the party and that, in the long run, trumps all. Shearer will be the last leader elected by a caucus that ignores the members of the Labour Party and you need to be in to take advantage of that. We have the opportunity for a decent say in the direction the party takes, and although it’s going to be slow going there is no turning back now.

  3. Member41 3

    Thanks Mike. Good to see someone here talking some sense!

    [RL: Start making an argument or you get ‘demoted’ for astrosturfing.]

  4. weka 4

    I’m confused. What did Cunliffe and cohorts actually do?
     
     

    My first indication that something was up was the rising temperature of comments on the Standard, culminating with anonymous posts days before the conference calling for Shearer to stand down. I don’t know if the posters are Labour members or not, but it now looks like an attempt to destabilise Shearer days before his first conference speech.
     

    There was only one anonymous post that week, and it wasn’t about Shearer –
     
    http://thestandard.org.nz/at-conference-vote-for-a-members-democracy/
     

    • QoT 4.1

      Um, very good point, weka. Mike … you wouldn’t by any chance be trying to play that wonderfully tired “ANONYMOUS BLOGGERS!!!!” card that the media love to bash us with, would you? In a post on the Standard?

      Thanks for basically proving me right, though.

      • Lightly 4.1.1

        also, Mike, everyone on this site has a name, so they’re not anonymous. If they’re not real names, they’re pseudonyms.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          I’d disagree a bit there Lightly. It’s the use of a consistent name that makes us pseudonymous rather than anonymous. There is a recognisable identity to most people’s names here (and on all good web places of conversation and debate). This is why it’s not true that we don’t know who the TS authors are. We know their online identities, their online histories, and sometimes detail about their real lives. This is the point that people who don’t spend time relating online miss (MPs, journos) – that the web is full of people who are known through their online identities. No way is that anonymous in the digital age.

          • lprent 4.1.1.1.1

            I deliberately hide a lot of my real life from the net – try finding a picture of me there?

            Lynn Prentice
            lprent

            What you get is a few pictures of people with the same names, whaleoil being a dickhead, stuff that is in my posts, and my icon.

            People are able to know a damn sight more about what I deliberately share online than they will ever be able to find out about me in the flash – unless they happen to be one of the relatively few people I actually socialize with – which is a pretty small set because I am always short of time, and blobbing out with a book is rare luxury.

      • King Kong 4.1.2

        He doesn’t have to. He knows who you all are so can see the links and allegiances

  5. Jesus Wept 5

    And after Shearer’s speech, for which Audrey Young, Clare Trevett and John Armstrong have all given him 9 out of 10, any talk of leadership change has collapsed. Shearer rose to the challenge magnificently, as I expected he would.

    Thanks Mike
    That’s all you needed to say
    1 out of 10
    Go to bed, you’re old

    • Member41 5.1

      Well isn’t that just typical of the nasty vitriol that you guys like to throw around. Have some respect.

      [lprent: Read the policy. Robust debate means exactly that. You can express what you like within quite wide limits provided it has a point, doesn’t violate other proscriptions, and doesn’t cause the site unwanted legal problems. That is what JW did (and I watch for attacks on our authors that are personal or vitriolic).

      One of those proscriptions is to directly or even indirectly attack the sites policies on our site as you just did. You can do that elsewhere on the net where it won’t trigger flamewars. If you want to carry on in this vein, go to kiwiblog which seems to attract a lot of people banned for this reason and pour your heart out there. Here it is regarded as an attempt at self-matyrdom.

      This is your warning on this behaviour. ]

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Fuck you’re funny. Trying to take the moral high ground, when the only source of talk about a leadership challenge has come from Beltway Labour, and certainly not from Cunliffe.

      • the sprout 5.1.2

        more jane austen m41, but you forgot ‘dastardly fiendish cad’ 😆
        he is pretty funny though, it’s quite cute really

      • Jim Nald - Once Was National 5.1.3

        Member41: 20 November 2012 at 12:38am

        Mmm, no thanks given what you have thrown around.

        • Member41 5.1.3.1

          Because I have been rude to you, you can be rude to Mike Smith?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1.1

            Fucking PC police. Who are you? Our Mum?

            • Member41 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Yes. I am your mother.

            • MrV 5.1.3.1.1.2

              A bit rich from the blog that has a nasty habit of bans isn’t it?

              [lprent: Read the policy and avoid doing things that get you banned. And blogs with large comment sections ban for behaviour. That is how we get to have large comment sections.

              If we don’t moderate then the comments descend to the lowest common denominator in society – when people were children. Adults will leave and comments will drop in length and quality (ie like yours) with a slow drop in quantity. If we ban excessively then we lose commentators both directly and as a result of avoidance.

              Steadily increasing numbers and length of comments over the last 5 years here should tell you how this site is doing. ]

    • xtasy 5.2

      Have another CLOSE look at the video, you will soon detect Shearer’s WEAKNESS! It is all too much of a “show case” scenario, where he felt confident before a “home crowd”. Try that in an election, he will be an utter EMBARRASSMENT!

    • North 5.3

      Snorer has woken from his slumbers…….in effect publicly caning his own arse with a misdirected internecine volley of unconvincing “hard man”.

      Meanwhile Dunnokeyo mocks and minces on. Choice !

  6. Blue 6

    Yet another attempt to marginalise any dissenting voices. Anyone who comes out and says that they don’t think Shearer is the man for the job right now gets branded as some sort of Cunliffe-backed conspirator.

    What planet do you live on? The reason for the disquiet over Shearer is because, up until his only decent speech ever, he was making a real mess of the job. And shock horror, people noticed.

    They asked themselves why we have an inexperienced, bumbling fool in the job up against the slick political machine that is Teflon Key. And they didn’t like the answer – that Labour is playing kindergarten politics with a bunch of dumbarse MPs ganging up on David Cunliffe.

    The posts on this site were all from longtime Standard posters such as Eddie and IrishBill and even LPrent. They weren’t Johnny Come Latelys on here for some agenda against Shearer.

    It makes me angry enough when we get this sort of bullshit from media idiots who don’t know any better. But when we get it from Labour people it is all the more galling.

    • seeker 6.1

      +1+1+1 Blue

      • Anne 6.1.1

        +4
        You’ve been out of the loop Mike Smith. David Cunliffe has had nothing to do with the comments, or tried to influence the posters and commentators on this site. We are individuals who are strongly independent in the way we see things, and no-one tells us what to think or say.

        The traitor in the Labour Party has turned out to be Trevor Mallard. Together with his little band of acolytes they are going to destroy a once proud and principled political party and that is very, very sad.

        • King Kong 6.1.1.1

          As far as I am aware Anne, you have no idea who most of the authors on this site are, their motives or what connection they may or may not have to David Cunliffe, where as Mr Smith does.

          Probably puts him in a better position to make statements on who has been stirring the pot on who’s behalf than you.

          Don’t hate on Mallard just because he has managed to outsmart and crush another underhand Cunliffe run at the title.

          • felix 6.1.1.1.1

            “As far as I am aware Anne, you have no idea who most of the authors on this site are”

            As far as you are aware, neither does Mr Smith. Don’t get ahead of yourself monkey boy.

            Also, on stirring the pot, this: http://thestandard.org.nz/on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-551015

            • King Kong 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I can’t be fucked to find it for you but the other day lprent explained that him and Mike Smith are the site trustees and the only cats who know the true identities of all the authors.

              • lprent

                Correct. Although a number of the authors know who each other are.

                I wasn’t happy about Mike’s “anonymous” comment above. I’ve expressed that to him.

          • Anne 6.1.1.1.2

            As far as I am aware Anne, you have no idea who most of the authors on this site are, their motives or what connection they may or may not have to David Cunliffe, where as Mr Smith does.

            Your usual piffle. Mike Smith would have no more idea of the identities of most of the authors and commentators on this site than you or me. But the intelligent amongst us (most people here but certainly doesn’t include you) can recognise the independently minded personalities that lie behind the pseudonyms.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      And the key (spit) thing is not to get angry at the inevitability of what is happening to Cunliffe tomorrow, that’s just the reality of Labour politics today. It is to ensure that membership and supporters up and down the country know that as of Saturday afternoon last, they have a very significant say in the future of Labour.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    I like David Cunliffe and think he could still play a big part in that campaign if he chooses.

    Mike, you might genuinely think that … BUT THEY DON”T.

    It’s no good constantly failing to address the basic problem. Cunliffe is much better at his job than Shearer is at his. Therefore, if Cunliffe contributes to the Labour campaign, as he has done all year, then he will be perceived as a threat simply by doing what he is supposed to.

    If Shearer is a secure and confident leader, tomorrow he will ask for a commitment from Cunliffe, and when he gets it, give him a top job.

    After all (according to you and the Shearer fans) there is no problem with Shearer’s performance, right? He gave a speech. He changed everything (apparently). So what does he have to feel insecure about? There’s no chance of the MPs or members opposing such a great leader.

    In good armies, generals promote good officers.

    In corrupt dictator’s armies, weak generals purge good officers, to eliminate the threat to themselves.

    Then the army loses the war.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      You’re real good at this stuff. Can I offer you a membership form? 😎

      Don’t forget that initiating an ideological purge usually requires some trumped up circumstance and charges…seen any about in the last few days? Haha

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Over the last few months I’ve pretty much agreed with everything gobsmacked has said, right down to the small details. It’s getting a little eerie. Has also saved me from having to reply myself, on occasion.

    • Member41 7.2

      If Cunliffe could offer that commitment then he would get a top job. Simple.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        If Cunliffe could offer that commitment then he would get a top job. Simple.

        Yeah, no.

      • seeker 7.2.2

        Cunliffe did commit, has never spoken disloyally since Shearer became leader and is still pilloried by his own disloyal supposed ‘brothers-in-arms fellow Labour MPs’. It must be awful for him – who can he trust? I know I don’t trust too many in the Labour Party just now – and certainly not the apparent weak leadership of Shearer. If he manages to do something strong, principled and wise tomorrow I might change my mind. Remember we have had 4 years of Key to know weakness and incompetence when we see it- not to mention manipulation.

        • Member41 7.2.2.1

          Yeah, yes. That’s why he was Finance under Goff and Econ under Shearer. Because they recognise his talents and thought he could be a part of the team. Trouble is – he has actively undermined them. Not in the interests of the Party, but in the interests of his own ambition. Hopefully for the last time.

          • RedLogix 7.2.2.1.1

            Trouble is – he has actively undermined them.

            In that case you should have no trouble giving us lots of examples. Convince us.

          • One Tāne Huna 7.2.2.1.2

            M41: “he has actively undermined them”

            Citation needed.

            I expect this sort of made up bullshit from Tories. Who told you you’re entitled to your own facts?

    • AmaKiwi 7.3

      “In good armies, generals promote good officers. In corrupt dictator’s armies, weak generals purge good officers, to eliminate the threat to themselves. Then the army loses the war.”

      You hit the nail on the head.

    • xtasy 7.4

      gobsmacked: Well spoken!

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    Selective memory, Mike.

    Dec. 2011 – the members are asked to participate in the leadership selection to replace Goff.
    By a wide margin the members want Cunliffe. He is popular. Shearer is not only a lame speaker, he is inexperienced (2 years in Parliament).

    Some in caucus character assassinate Cunliffe. A very successful MP for 12 years is suddenly said to be the devil incarnate. He was an excellent Minister of Health. As Minister of Telecommunications he unbundled Telecom. During Goff’s 3 years as opposition leader Cunliffe was a very able opposition finance spokesman. Suddenly they say he is a demon.

    Overturn the leader? NO! In February WE will to select the leader.

    My only surprise at the conference was to discover that the delegates were as furious as the bloggers on The Standard had been for a year. The Standard is not the crazies of the party. The Standard is mainstream Labour.

  9. seeker 9

    Well said Ama K

  10. xtasy 10

    LABOUR IS DEAD, MIKE!

    When the “leader” David Shearer threatens to demote Cunliffe and put him into the backrow, that is sign of weakness, not leadership.

    Your bit of justifications and criticism of posters on the Standard is ridiculous. Anonymous or not, persons commenting here have adopted identities and are commonly familiar and known. Do you not know that this is the largest, and only leading left wing forum of commenters and bloggers in this country?

    Do you want to rubbish commenters and writers on this forum for telling how it feels and is for far too many on the left, workers and those unable to work, for various justified reasons, be this unemployment, sickness, disability or force to look after kid(s) after a relationship break-up?

    We had Shearer a couple of months hold a speach to the “heartland”, rubbishing beneficiaries. Never was there any explanation or excuse forthcoming. He now had another speech-writer get another speech together for him sounding nice and passionate, even convincing. I read it and though, ok, but when I saw the video I thought, hang on, this man has a problem.

    He is NOT coming across in a convincing manner. He is artificial in that speech so many now think was good. He is not himself in that video of the speech. He talks and says all the things he and his promoters want the public to know, but I am not convinced that he really means it.

    He has now shown his weakness by lashing out at Cunliffe, as he cannot handle criticism and pressure. That is NOT a strong leader, that is a WEAK leader. Labour will not gain by keeping Shearer up there!

    You are dreaming yesteryear dreams. The future will be with the Greens, and possibly a new left party, which I expect to be founded very soon, largely by totally disillusioned former Labour supporters and members.

    Enjoy your fantasy Shearer!

    • geoff 10.1

      At the next conference the next constitutional change should be that the members get to decide the caucus!

  11. xtasy 11

    While we are at it “Mike”, what the hell are your Labour “soldiers” offering in the way of support in view of submitters who will shortly face the Social Security Committee to take a stand against the new draconian welfare reforms?

    What was bloody said and done during your so “great” conference in this regard, please?

    I hear and see bloody NADA!

    You have a leader who apparently, going by past comments in a major speech, frowns on people on benefits, possibly to pander to biased, negative sentiment amongst prospective “middle class voters”.

    That leaves me and thousands of others out of your support base, dear Mike!

    We feel treated with contempt and disgust by your party, we have NO reason to vote or support you and your pandering “leader” Shearer.

    There are by the way people driven to SUICIDE while not able to cope with unemployment, mental illness and other issues. NZ still has a very high suicide rate amongst young and not so young. So where is Labour on that? Where is the health policy, the decisive economic policy and else?

    We get served a half baked “housing policy”, but that will only help a selected few.

    There are increasing numbers of people furious, desperate and seeing NO future in this country, if they cannot leave to Australia, or somewhere else, they may choose crime, addiction, prostitution, or in the worst case suicide.

    I hold you and your useless opposition responsible for some of these problems. You have a bloody lot to answer to us, same as the rotten gang ruling the show now. NO sympathy with Shearer and your sorts!

    • Jenny 11.1

      We get served a half baked “housing policy”, but that will only help a selected few.

      xtasy

      Indeed.

      “Affordable” $300,000 homes.

      For a large number of the most severe housing need I don’t think so.

      State rentals are being demolished and replaced with “affordable homes” by this government now. Despite the huge wating lists for a state rental Housing New Zealand rental stock is being diminished but not a word was said about this.

      No wonder the right of the party when they heard about it, moved swiftly to withdraw Evonne Sainty’s invitation to address the conference.

      Shearer’s affordable housing as xtasy has pointed out will only help a selected few.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Cunliffe is not the problem.

    It’s Shearer who is:

    1. The darling of the right-wing media pundits who recognise him as one of their own.

    2. Cannot competently express sound Labour party convictions except in well-rehearsed set pieces. I’m thinking that this is because Shearer is conflicted between what he really believes and what he knows he should be saying.

    3. Is a weak leader under pressure who is lashing out at other people simply because they are doing their jobs well.

    4. Has demanded people reveal how they are going to cast their ballots in what is a constitutionally secret election. Thereby breaking the rules himself.

    5. Is demanding that the February election be reduced to a one candidate sham. Pure authoritarian arseholery.

    This man is a right-wing stooge cast from the same mould as Roger Douglas. The signs have been there for a while; they are now open and plain.

    Demoting Cunliffe today is the end of it for me. I would encourage all Labour party members to actively hand in their resignations en-mass.

  13. Jenny 13

    Demoting Cunliffe will only increase his mana.

    Leaders lead. That is what they do. They can’t help it. It doesn’t matter if they are stripped of title or rank.

    Just as being artificially promoted to high office doesn’t automatically make you a leader.

    To Cunliffe; Be yourself. Don’t be intimidated.

    A demotion to the back benches will set you free and be a liberation not a sentence.

    • One Tāne Huna 13.1

      “Leaders lead. That is what they do. They can’t help it.”

      And that is why I like Cunliffe and not Shearer.

      Cunliffe leads. Shearer fumbles.

  14. Jenny 14

    Remember this, Churchill was a backbencher (elected as an independent), before he was made leader of the British parliament to head the necessary wartime coalition of Tories Liberals and Labour.

    Only an outsider had the qualifications to do it.

  15. IrishBill 15

    Jesus Mike, you’ve jumped the shark on this one. If you think Cunliffe has control of teh blogz, the party, and the affiliates then you’ve been reading too many coup stories.

    It’s occam’s razor mate. If a whole host of people from across a broad and messy left are calling David Shearer on his poor leadership (and have been for months) it’s probably not because of some labyrinthine conspiracy. It’s probably because he’s a poor leader.

  16. tinfoilhat 16

    [deleted]

    [lprent: astroturfer ]

  17. KhandallaMan 17

    Sue Moroney and Louisa Wall are now threatened with punishment for backing the change of rules.  This was on RNZ at 7.00.

    Robertson (7.10 on RNZ) says those who do not support Shearer to declare themselves.  

    Does he want those who feel that Shearer has performed poorly all year and can not lead the party to a strong government to march down Lambton Quay and Queen Street?  

    • Jenny 17.1

      Sue Moroney and Louisa Wall are now threatened with punishment for backing the change of rules. This was on RNZ at 7.00.

      KhandallaMan

      But KM, who could possibly be promoted by the Shearer gang to replace them?

      Arise Shane Jones? (again?)

      I doubt it. Nobody could be that stupid.

      However; it will be interesting to see if the Shearer gang carry out their threat against Louisa and Sue. Personally I don’t think they would dare. Any Labour MP picked for elevation to the front bench at this time and this manner, might have cause for thinking that their sudden promotion may wind up a poisoned chalice.

      P.S. Can we have the link?

  18. Santi 18

    Shearer must demote Cunliffe today and continue as the strong leader he is.

    • Sunny 18.1

      @ Santi. By definition a leader needs to be out in front…and have people (willingly) behind him. Shearer’s got his own ‘forced march’ thing going on.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      Santi, you’re a NACT voter so all we can assume is that you want the worst for the left.

  19. KhandallaMan 19

    Santi, 
    Shearer gave a good speech and the coaching and rehearsing seems to be working. 
    Can you list any other evidence of strong leadership demonstrated by Shearer since he was placed in the role?  

  20. Stephen 20

    The missing link here Mike is a clear connection between DC and the organising in support of the amendment.

  21. gomango 21

    “1. The darling of the right-wing media pundits who recognise him as one of their own.”

    Not quite. I think more that he is recognised as someone who will get flayed by Key in head to head campaigning. He is a bland NZ version of Mitt Romney – what are Shearers beliefs? Is there something fundamental there or is just whatever he thinks is necessary to remain in control. Latest attempted reinvention is the “I’m tough” version.

    Righties don’t like Shearer because of allegedly common beliefs, they like him because he is he Labour leader most likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. You think Goff’s “show me the money” moment was bad, just wait for Shearer to go one on one with Key.

    I’m not a party member of any stripe – libertarian probably if classified – but it is so obvious that the Labour caucus is at odds with what is best for Labour. They are apparently actively working the Nats medium term strategy because the economic and ego self interest of a few politicians is more important than the greater (left) political good. Add in the side effect of vitriolic civil war fracturing the party. Hilarious for the Nats.

    • kiwicommie 21.1

      Eh? John Key is our semi-version of Mitt Romney. He might not be homophobic, but he treats the ‘free market’ as his bible and digs into the 47% percent with his claws, raising taxes on the lower class while cutting them for the super rich.

      • felix 21.1.1

        “He might not be homophobic, but he treats the ‘free market’ as his bible”

        Well he uses the word “gay” as an insult, and he thinks pretending to be gay and mince down a catwalk is a good joke, so I think you’re dead wrong about him not being homophobic.

        But otherwise yeah, he’s our Mitt. He even goes as far as saying that he thinks Fox News is a reliable source of information from which other MPs such as the well educated David Parker “might learn something”.

  22. Fortran 22

    Trying to push the tide back whilst King Keynute Government keeps on keeping on at whatever it wants – there is no Labour opposition, all left to Norman and Peters.
    Nacts and Greenpeace are loving it right through to February at least.
    When is someone going to take charge ?
    Can we all wait for a golden summer ?

  23. Jenny 23

    I’m reading “The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson.” It’s in four volumes.

    MIKE SMITH

    Hey! Hey!

    LBJ

    How many kids did you kill today?

    Everyone Else Not four volumes, just ten words. And tells all you need, to sum up Lyndon Johnson

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    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    4 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    4 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    5 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    5 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    5 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    6 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago