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Labour and the working class

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, April 24th, 2014 - 325 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour, Media, Shane Jones - Tags:

Shane Jones Labour

So Shane Jones is going.

He was a real enigma. He was entertaining, a great orator and someone who when he got his teeth into an issue, such as the Supermarket corruption issue, wrecked havoc and caused all sorts of consternation to those in his aim. He always said what he thought and often I agreed with him although his skirmishes with the Greens were frustrating and counterproductive.  And he had the occasional well publicised difficulty.  He was one of the real characters in New Zealand politics and he will be missed.

In what feels like a finely choreographed dance the MSM has adopted the right’s framing of the issue and pronounced the decision as some sort of crisis for the Labour Party.  The loss of 15 MPs including its sixth ranked MP Tony Ryall for National is evidence of renewal.  The loss of fifth ranked Shane Jones is a sign of a crisis for Labour.  Go figure.

The right’s framing of issues is so powerful because supposed left wing commentators buy into them.  When they go for comment on the Labour Party they use washed up right wingers such as Michael Bassett to pour poorly described bile on the party.  Or they use people supposedly of the left who also accept the right’s framing.

Josie Pagani’s latest post at Pundit is a classic example of someone of the left buying into right wing spin.

She says somewhat breathlessly:

… Labour cannot keep Shane Jones and the people who support him unless it looks like a party capable of winning, and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all of us to do better in life.

I bristled at this passage because Labour is focussing on the very things that she says it should be.  Labour’s policies on the minimum wage, protection for contractors, best start and industrial law reform to mention a few are all targeted at achieving the goals that Josie says the party should aim for.  And the swelling of Labour’s membership would decry the suggestion that the party is not inclusive.

Pagani then says this:

There’s no problem finding other Labour party staffers and candidates who share the view that Labour needs fewer not more people on its side, and that it can define itself by throwing people out rather than bringing them in. These are the militants who make every issue, from man bans to building roads a litmus test, and if you fail – good riddance.

The viciousness of these heretic hunters is driving people out of the Labour party at a time when Labour needs all the votes it can get.

If you disagree with these policy police or attempt to debate an issue, you are not just an opponent  – you’re an enemy within.

This is a warning call for Labour; very few extra votes will be attracted to Labour because people like Shane are being driven out. And the more people who are driven out of the party, the more the party is dominated by people who don’t even realise there is a problem, let alone what the problem is. The risk then, is not just that Labour ends up in opposition next year, but that it is in no better position to heal itself for future elections.

All that I can say to this is that it is utter bunkum.

The problem with Pagani’s analysis is that the facts all point against her hypothesis.  Shane was not driven out of the party.  Following the leadership campaign he was promoted to the front bench and given important portfolios.  David Cunliffe has made a priority of uniting the caucus and making appointments on merit not faction and Shane’s departure was clearly for personal reasons, not political ones.

The analysis presupposes that the Labour Party has lurched to the left.  If you have a look at the party’s policy platform you will find no such change, rather a collection of policies and principles all intent on improving the country’s economy, its environment and the quality of life for all Kiwis.  You will see a platform designed to achieve the very things that Pagani says the party should be doing.  Things such as being inclusive, focussing on jobs, achieving better pay, and celebrating opportunities for all of us to do better in life.

The talk about a left lurch is frustrating because there is no evidence that this has occurred.  It is a slogan that National is pushing hard.  But it is a claim that has not been properly analysed by the media who instead seem happy to push National’s created line.

If only we had a media that did not unquestionably accept National’s framing of issues.  And if only we had commentators for the left who comment on what is actually happening in the Labour party.

325 comments on “Labour and the working class”

  1. just saying 1

    Josie Pagani’s latest post at Pundit is a classic example of a pseudo-leftist spinning right wing spin.
    Fixed it for you. (Someone had to be first).

    • Ant 1.1

      Totally, Pagani is one of those people that seems to think the reason people fervently and frequently disagree with her political analysis is because they can’t handle her ‘truth bombs’. The reality is they disagree because she says a lot of dumb shit.

      When tories agree with you more than lefties it must be an massive indicator that your political instincts are way off mark from your professed political leanings, or perhaps your political leanings aren’t actually what you thought they were.

      • anon 1.1.1

        Laugh. This is just what Pagani is talking about and just what you lot did to Shane Jones on this site. Kicking another self declared lefty and declaring him or her pseudo-left or not left enough or left – in – right clothing. The comments on this site have been ripping into Jones for quite some time. So he has left. Is Pagani to be our new scapegoat. Lets learn the lesson and get our shit together. We don’t even need Whale Oil to rip a new one for labour we do it to ourselves and our own. Stop the infighting and get on with creating a vision. Not policy a vision, and an identity that people can get behind. This site is read by your opponents, think about what you write. We need to define ourselves independently from the Greens. We need to know who we are. And then when Green Policy is consistent with our viewpoint – we support it. We are not Labreen. We are Labour. We need a fire in our belly for fairness and justice and right. Jones had that. I for one think Pagani speaks the truth. \

        • Ant 1.1.1.1

          Piss off.

          Pagani paints herself as some kind of martyr while constantly buying into and propagating right wing talking points. The propagation and authorising by pundits like Pagani of damaging right wing framing in the media is far worse for the left than any dissenting comments on a blog post, to suggest as such is just a disingenuous means of trying to stifle any dissent or criticism of people who hinder Labour far more than they help.

          • anon 1.1.1.1.1

            Piss Off? Is that me, Jones, and Pagani. 3 more lefty – but not left enough – tories you’d like to walk the plank. Any more that should walk? How many can you afford to lose? Refer back to Pagani article and re-read. It holds the truth. Or don’t……either way. I’ll come back to the site later to see if there are any ideas or policy being talked about.

            • felix 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “3 more lefty – but not left enough – tories you’d like to walk the plank. Any more that should walk? How many can you afford to lose? “

              How many tories can Labour afford to lose? Depends on the objective.

              None of them if the objective is a right-wing Labour party.

              All of them if it isn’t.

          • thechangeling 1.1.1.1.2

            I’m surprised Pagani is still being taken notice of because she’s still just a real air-head who is confused about where she should be on the political spectrum.
            Talking ‘about things’ and ‘around things’ without actually offering a real solution to the purported problem is just inane, insane and boring and it helps the right to continue to stigmatise the left in yet another frame of negativity.

          • Grantoc 1.1.1.1.3

            Clearly you can’t handle robust debate Ant. You revert to verbal abuse rather than intelligent argument and thus prove Pagini’s point.

            I imagine you are one of these types that sit around sanctimoniously promoting the ideal of healthy debate and tolerance of other points of view – except when others disagree with you. Then, as now, you exhibit your true values, which are quite the opposite – intolerance, unhealthy outbursts and a rigid ideological purity that wants to throw out anybody who is not a true believer; I think this is called Stalinism.

        • just saying 1.1.1.2

          Stop the infighting and get on with creating a vision.
          lol. Did you tell Josie the same?
          Not policy a vision,..
          Lol even harder. God forbid Labour talking policy when meaningless waffle has worked so well these past few years.

        • the pigman 1.1.1.3

          This site is read by your opponents, think about what you write.

          Yeah, what is it that keeps you guys keep coming back? I can’t stomach right-wing blogs for more than 5 seconds…

        • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.4

          He is a traitor, betrayed his party and group when it counted. An opportunist whose ego and grab for some taxpayer money (pension) was more important than the people of his neighborhood. If he would be a rugby player, no one would like to be in the same team with him. As simple as that. Point of view from the person on the street, not that it counts anything further up the ranks as we all can see.

          • Grantoc 1.1.1.4.1

            Off to the gulags in Siberia with him! How dare he criticise the one true faith!

            • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.4.1.1

              As it is so often, personal alliances override honesty and common decency. Tribalism, as I have already stated before. He is one day in the Labor camp and the next budding up with the Nats. No matter which way you try to work this, its still an opportunistic move that reveals the true nature of this men. And it ain’t pretty.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        Were you deliberately going for an illustration of what Pagani was talking about, or is that just a happy coincidence?

        • anon 1.1.2.1

          Deliberate illustration. And then we’ve just posted another anti jones post with associated hate comments.

          Broad church (some of the current policy is too fringe – academic + green and we need to include a wider group from the middle without demeaning and degrading them as tories every time they say something that isn’t from a uni textbook)
          Interject this site with something positive to break it up. So much whining.
          And it’s all politics. Look at the lives of regular people and actual issues. Most people don’t care about the politics of politics.
          Get on board with business – small business, family business, kiwi business. We need to show a real vision for how we would make the country economically successful. People want to know how labour would bring prosperity. Liked the guys comment below about the workers. Business, workers – related.
          Len Brown (until the affair disaster) won the Mayoralty on a really clear vision for Auckland that people could get behind. Based on the everyday experience of people in the city. It used design and vision and it was inclusive.
          Auckland Transport blog has a big following and we missed the mark on this key lefty audience with the transport policy. Go back to the drawing board, and re-look at this policy and re-engage with these lefties who were left underwhelmed.

          • just saying 1.1.2.1.1

            So much whining

            sigh

          • Ant 1.1.2.1.2

            I always like these ones, list a bunch of stuff that Labour ‘just has to do’ when they already do it, makes “broad church” claims and then want to exclude a bunch of stuff you don’t like as being “too fringe”.

            🙄

            Classic.

            • anon 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Again. If it’s working for Labour then just keep rocking on as you are.

              • Ant

                It’s like you took instant umbrage and hit reply to our responses to Micky’s blog post, all the while gloriously unaware of what Micky actually wrote in it and the subsequent context of the discussion. 😀

                A deliberate illustration of what Micky was talking about I take?

                • anon

                  I read Micky’s post. I just don’t agree . Critical thinking and all that. I think the Pagani’s post was spot on and there -in lies the truth and the way forward. But you have to see the problem before you can fix it.

                  • Hanswurst

                    Pagani’s argument is intellectually untenable. Her implication seems to be that all views should be welcome, and policy should be formulated that somehow incorporates every existent political standpoint. In the real world, however, you can’t simultaneously raise and lower GST, you can’t fund charter schools at the same time as refusing to fund them. Different views lead to disagreements, demarcations and changing membership within caucus and/or party. That is what happens.

                    Furthermore, if Pagani were to adhere to her own ideals, she would be attempting to articulate her commonalities and differences with the current leadership on economic and social issues, trying to formulate some sort of synthesis of right and left Labour policy (the only tenable consequence of the “broad church” she purports to be advocating). She would engage with real people and policy differences, rather than adopting lazy slogans like “man ban” in an attempt to discredit and sideline that nebulous and ill-defined group of individuals who apparently are trying to purge people like her from the party.

            • anker 1.1.2.1.2.2

              1000+

    • poem 1.2

      Chris Trotter is the same as Pagani, a. “pseudo-leftist spinning right wing spin” I like that, its a perfect description.

    • Populuxe1 1.3

      No True Scotsman

  2. I take it Ms Pagani knows the wider party recently overwhelmingly voted for Cunliffe in the leadership ballot, so who’s out of touch with who?

    • weka 2.1

      The membership is obviously out of touch with real NZ ;-p

      • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1

        I think it is highly likely Labour’s membership is out of touch with the real New Zealand. I know National’s membership is out of touch with the real New Zealand. The very fact of political party membership is unusual at present – members of political parties are almost by definition out of touch.

        I also think it is highly likely John Key, David Cunliffe, Bill English, David Parker, Gerry Brownlee, Grant Robertson and other senior politicians are far more in touch with the real New Zealand than political party members – simply because of the amount of travel they do and the very wide range of people they meet and talk to.

        That is why I think parliamentary caucuses will tend to make more astute judgements than party memberships about who is likely to make a good opposition leader and prime minister.

        • Paul 2.1.1.1

          Good for you Matthew.
          Of course you are really ‘in touch’ with the thinking of ordinary NewZealanders, aren’t you?
          Spinning….

          • The Al1en 2.1.1.1.1

            A 1984 Orwellian interpretation would read as.

            The people who say they will help are bad and out of touch. They don’t know what they’re doing. Don’t join a political party to oppose.

            The MPs are good though, all of them. They get about, they talk to the people, they are in touch with the real NZ. They know what they’re doing.

            Do as we tell you because we are astute, wise and we can choose for you.

        • miravox 2.1.1.2

          “I think it is highly likely Labour’s membership is out of touch with the real New Zealand”

          So Labour Party members are not ‘real New Zealand’?

          Keep going with that line Matthew, it worked so well for Don Brash when he tried it in 2005 with his ‘mainstream New Zealanders’.

          • Andrew 2.1.1.2.1

            Miravix: So Labour Party members are not ‘real New Zealand’?

            Nope!

            About 15% of the employed in NZ are union members and according to Radio NZ a couple of years ago 54% of union members are teachers. Doesn’t this explain a lot?

            It was a terrible mistake to let union bosses have too much influence in the leadership vote. They will ride Labour into the ground.

        • Mike the Savage One 2.1.1.3

          So the Labour members, who live amongst the rest of society, who are not some reclusive lot living in tribal, isolated groups, or like religious fringe fraternities, they are “out of touch”?

          There are many in caucus who are more out of touch. Indeed a fair few long serving MPs from all parties are out of touch, as they have over their time in the full time political world of meetings, of cocktail parties, functions, lobby group contacts and living off salaries that few other New Zealanders can enjoy, got used to a sphere that is somewhere else, not where most of us live in.

          The few hours of electorate work some of the MPs do at the coal face is often not enough to give them sufficient understanding of the seriousness and depth of people’s challenges or problems. Traveling between their local and Wellington offices, between home and there, and between other events, keeps them busy. They will hardly have much direct contact with minimum wage workers or even those on benefits.

          Look at Bill English, the “Wellington based Southland farmer”, look at Key in his Parnell or his Omaha domiciles, look at also some frontbenchers and backbenchers with a longer career in Labour, they have probably never worked in a blue collar or ordinary service job, and would not have seen a WINZ office, unless it was for some “official visit”.

          A Mr Hooton tries to turn the facts upside down here, what a bizarre man this is, a political spin expert, nothing else.

          Labour members are more in touch with the day to day dealings of people like them, and amongst their family and friend. Sad thing is that the media are not interested in ordinary people, so the common folk get little coverage or ears, unless they end up as heavy crims before a court or suffered devastating weather events now and then.

          When was the last report on people living in a damp, cramped Housing New Zealand home, or on a person denied a benefit for questionable reasons, Mr Hooton?

        • fisiani 2.1.1.4

          Real New Zealand thinks about politics for a few days every three years. People who join a political party think about politics a bit more than that. Party membership is a tiny fraction of the population. Active involvement is an even smaller number,
          Real people want things to stay the same or change for the better. Real people recognise genuine people like JK, Real people recognise fakes like DC. Real people do not see the Greens as change for the better. Labour are the hostage of the Greens. The Cunliffe knows this but has no option. Virtually all the statistics directly attributable to National about the last six years are looking better under National in the important areas of health, education, wages, employment and lower crime. Add in what will be a popular budget next month and a popular PM asking for a strong government coupled with the best campaign in history and a new record high vote seems not just likely but very probable. Better than 47.8% would be close to 50% and if that threshold is broken for the first ever time under MMP then a psychological breakthrough will have been achieved which could last a generation.

          • Hanswurst 2.1.1.4.1

            Real New Zealand thinks about politics for a few days every three years. People who join a political party think about politics a bit more than that. Party membership is a tiny fraction of the population. Active involvement is an even smaller number

            Oh, okay. Let’s just disband parliament and the executive and do away with politics altogether, shall we? Obviously doing stuff like governing and formulating policy is out of touch, so no one should bother.

            Real people want things to stay the same or change for the better.

            Yes. As opposed to all those politicians and people around here who think it would be a laugh if their own lives suddenly changed for the worse.

  3. Puckish Rogue 3

    Hey Comical Ali do you really believe this:

    “The loss of 15 MPs including its sixth ranked MP Tony Ryall for National is evidence of renewal. The loss of fifth ranked Shane Jones is a sign of a crisis for Labour. Go figure.”

    or are you just trying to gee the troops up?

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Same phenomenon, different analysis for some reason. And can’t you at least address the issue without the Cameron Slater jibes?

      • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1

        I’m sure I made the comical ali call before whaleoil did but anyway how long ago was the last retirement announcement of a National MP? Jones call is quite close to the election wouldn’t you say

        Ryall excepted who of the National retirees is loss and a talent? Jones for all his faults is talented and is a loss

        How many MPs in Labour hark back to the Rogernomics era, you know the one that all the lefties decry on here (wasn’t Goff in before that?)

        National do renewall well whereas with Labour it appears they have to be pried out of office like a limpet

        But you know all this anyway

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          Jones for all his faults is talented and is a loss

          Only according to the RWNJs.

          How many MPs in Labour hark back to the Rogernomics era

          Too many but at least some of them have seen the error of neo-liberal economics which is more than can be said of anyone in National or Act.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.2

          The more you rwnj’s back Jones, the more you tell us so adamantly that he was the only real man in the Labour Party – the more I’m pleased to see him gone frankly.

          Do keep it up. It’s looking more and more like a good day for the left.

  4. SW 4

    Hi Micky – you make some excellent points.

    In relation to your last paragraph however, I think it is also fair to add the Labour party having a more competent PR strategy to your list of “if onlys”.

    Blaming the media and the pundits simply doesn’t wash with ‘the facts’ either. Labour have made genuine blunders for a long time now – there were some real misfires during Helen’s last campaign – some very confused strategy under Goff – Shearer was an extremely poor communicator – and now we have Cunliffe.

    The hope was that Cunliffe would be the answer. Perhaps in time he can successfully change the current ‘narrative’ about the party, but would you put your house on it at this point in time?

    Please note, I understand being the LOO is a difficult job, particular for Labour who don’t get an easy ride from the media at the best of times. But surely this has to mitigated by Labour being disciplined and smart about how they present things to the public (via the media). Do you think this has been happening?

    If the current narrative cannot be changed, can a left wing coalition win this election?

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Thanks SW.

      I am actually impressed with the calibre of the people handling the media strategy. What I think the problem is that the party has set itself a herculean task in providing so much detail in policy areas and that it could actually simplify things down and perform better.

      An example from the beginning of this year. National comes up with a policy for more pay for some teachers with a $360 mil price tag. There was very little detail, just a promise of more pay for some “expert” teachers and headmasters. The policy is heralded in the press.

      Labour comes up with its fresh start package with figures and analysis and backing papers and all sorts of detail. It gets attacked heavily because of slightly sloppy wording in one sentence when the briefing papers makes the situation clear.

      I can recall in 2008 Labour released 71 separate pieces of policy the day before the election. 71 …

      This is entirely my own opinion but by simplifying the presentation of policy Labour could actually be clearer and more effective and not have to work so hard at producing media.

      Just my own 2c tho …

      • Puckish Rogue 4.1.1

        “This is entirely my own opinion but by simplifying the presentation of policy Labour could actually be clearer and more effective and not have to work so hard at producing media.”

        Yes

        • Sacha 4.1.1.1

          “simplifying the presentation of policy”
          is part of media strategy, so I can’t see why anyone would be impressed with Labour on that front.

      • cricklewood 4.1.2

        Regardless of calibre it is not good strategy releasing a manufacturing policy the day before easter to be lost in the churn not to mention a lampooned transport policy prior which definitely suffered from the to much detail…
        Using the examples you gave above on a basic level pay teachers more equals good, pay people earning 150k a baby bonus sounds ridiculous. Hence the reporting this is a mixture of strategy and detail.
        The other factor I feel in play is the speed of the news cycle these days all outlets are rushing to get page veiws etc the end of the day is to late. If a comms team can come up with a pithy one liner its very likely to make the story as it saves a journalist having to think both nats and the greens play this facet far better than Labour currently.
        I agree whole heartily with the simple well explained policy sentiment its close enough that half a dozen well thought through simple policies will make a real differnce to the outcome. The scattergun approach leads to errors due to the time pressure involved and is counterproductive ie ‘cluster truck’

  5. “All that I can say to this is that it is utter bunkum.”

    The polls would suggest otherwise.

    Working people do not want the job-killing Greens in govt.

    If they think Labour will allow the Greens to be part of the government, then working people will vote for National.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      “Job killing, job exporting NATs” more like.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        “job-killing Greens”

        Stick with those fantasies, bedwetter.

        • Redbaiter 5.1.1.1

          Do it then.

          Announce to the world that if elected, Labour will ensure the Greens are given Ministries.

          Put your votes where your mouth is.

          You won’t do it because you know I am right.

          The Greens are not only job killers, they’re vote killers for the left as well.

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.1.1

            “If elected” is a meaningless term under MMP. If enough of them get elected, they’ll be able to form a government with the Green Party, or not at all. Labour doesn’t have to ensure Green MPs are given ministries – the Green Party will do that.

          • blue leopard 5.1.1.1.2

            Yes, let’s face it the Greens would encourage a healthy environment – that is no good for profits – profits don’t grow on trees or in the fields; it’s so strange that some people still appear to think this is the case – we need more concrete, polluted rivers and toxins in order to thrive.

            Following on from this point I suggest that the Nats bring out a statement that they are banning all green considerations from future policies. That would have an absolute slam-dunker effect on this years elections.

            • Ants 5.1.1.1.2.1

              When you’re left to resorting to poor strawman arguments, you should really stop talking dude.

              • blue leopard

                What is strawman about that, Ant?

                I am merely supplying some helpful advice to Nats based on the view that Greens are a vote-killer and a job-killer to boot. I wouldn’t want them to be tarred with the dastardly Green brush. If they don’t want to take it – that is there problem.

                Additionally, they should announce that they think it was a mistake to have taken on board the Greens policy re warmer houses. I could have sworn that I heard Joyce saying in parliament just the other week that that was a big success – that was a big mistake of him to have said that IMO

        • RRM 5.1.1.2

          Who do we see in the news almost every week, opposing endeavours that would create employment??

          Here are a few hints:

          You can’t build a micro-hydro scheme here!

          You can’t mine for gold here!

          You can’t mine for coal here!

          You can’t drill for oil here!

          You can’t build a wind farm here!

          You can’t convert this sheep farm into a dairy farm!

          You can’t [insert industry that would employ people, pay millions in tax, make possible all manner of new Govt spending] here!

          You can’t, you can’t, you can’t.

          Almost invariably Greenies.

          Our natural environment is a treasure, but these nuts are burning goodwill faster than oil…

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.2.1

            A treasure I say, so the best thing to do is chip bits off it and sell them, and opposing that makes you anti progress!

            Transparent, dishonest, self-serving short sighted vandalism, all to get more campaign donations from oil & gas.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.2

            Our natural environment is a treasure, but these nuts are burning goodwill faster than oil…

            All your kind want to do is to exploit NZ’s natural environment for the benefit of overseas shareholders.

            Fuck off.

            • Grantoc 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Proving Pagini’s point as well Viper.

              We’re’s your well argued rebuttal of RRM’s critique of the Green’s job(less) policy? You don’t have one and so revert to abuse. Its unlike you Viper.

          • weka 5.1.1.2.3

            What you really mean RRM is that the GP opposes things that create profit for the few at the expense of everyone else (oil drilling, dairy farms). What you fail to comprehend is that they have well developed policies for creating other jobs instead. So you are either stupid (for not reading acutal policy), or you have some attachment to businesses that destroy the environment for no good reason. Or both.

            “You can’t, you can’t, you can’t.” 🙄

            Try reading what the GP actually promote, instead of relying on your prejudices.

            https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/work-and-employment-policy

            Some evidence that the GP oppose wind farms would be good too (because their policy promotes wind farms as part of the transition off fossil fuels).

    • You_Fool 5.2

      Would the polls you are talking about that show the lack of public faith in the Greens be the same that rate neo-lib parties such as ACT at 0%? Shows real support for the policies that are promoted by ACT. Maybe National should distance themselves from ACT and the Maori party and United Future and the Conservatives and NZ First. I mean they all poll less than the Greens, who are apparently hated by NZs and will ruin any parties chance who ally with them. I would hate to think what the other parties will do to someones chances if they are seen to be allied with them!

  6. shorts 6

    I await the lurch to the left with expectation… the love affair with the centre has done the party no favours, except with right leaning media pundits – you know not the target market

    +1 for the better media strategy, actually a media strategy full stop.

    • Ants 6.1

      Helen Clark got elected by pandering to the centre – going further to the left is not a good ploy.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        Time for another reality check for you. Helen Clark got elected in alliance with The Alliance.

      • Puddleglum 6.1.2

        Hi Ants,

        I’m not sure about this analysis that says ‘Labour pandering to the centre’ = electoral success.

        I think you’ll find that in 1999 a Labour-led coalition government with the Alliance party was elected after a ‘truce’ was called between Labour and the left-wing Alliance.

        Conversely, in 2002, Labour’s polling started to head south because (a) the Alliance imploded, and (b) the Green Party ran with Hager’s ‘Seeds of Deception’ findings against Labour.

        In other words, Labour’s polling slid when it’s left-wing partners either had trouble or looked like they were attacking Labour.

        By contrast, as Labour tacked to the centre between 2002-2005 with NZ First and United Future it only missed electoral loss by the skin of its teeth in 2005. And we all know what happened in 2008 after Labour went, again, with NZ First and United Future (supposed ‘centrist’ parties).

        Further, it’s pretty clear that John Key’s government’s popularity – in policy terms – does not come from any supposed ‘centrist’ policy positions.

        The positions on making welfare conditions harder (clearly a right wing position) on taking a harder line on sentencing criminals (clearly a right wing position – three strikes, etc.), increasingly privatising assets, prisons, education and health (clearly right wing positions) and making working conditions harsher and making it harder for workers to bargain collectively and through unions (both clearly right wing positions) all seem to run ok with that part of the electorate that still votes.

        That does not, of course, make such positions ‘centrist’ it just means, if anything, that among those who have continued to turn out to vote during a time of declining participation in electoral politics proportionately more favour right wing policies. That’s a problem for the left but it’s not an argument to wander aimlessly to a mythical ‘centre’ which, in reality, is just a proxy – a ‘gap filler’ – for right wing policies.

        Also, this idea that there is an ideological position known as ‘the centre’ is a complete myth. If there is a supposed ‘centre’, it is likely mostly made up of people who are little concerned with specific policy positions (and politics in general) and more concerned with ‘non-political’ and relatively superficial aspects of performance based on media reports of how a party is performing measured against some pretty pragmatic criteria like ‘who looks like they’re in a mess’.

        BTW, that’s one reason that the right are currently running hard on the idea that Labour are in ‘disarray’. The point is to paint a picture of incompetence and of Labour being a ‘joke’.

        It appears to pass most people by that, by any objective measure, the current government has been making mess after mess after mess – in political management terms – but, with a shrug of Key’s shoulders, remains strangely popular and basks in an inexplicable aura of ‘good management’.

        I’m very fond of paradoxes and the myth of this government’s ‘good management’ is an excellent example of one.

        The worse and more frequent the stuff ups, seemingly the more impressed people become with their ‘political management skills’. Fascinating.

        Similarly, people laud the current government for its skills in ‘economic management’ despite the fact that I have never heard one example from anyone of one piece of enacted government policy that has aided in producing the current ‘recovery’ (which is largely the result of random, uncontrolled factors entirely independent of any current economic policy settings).

        Legislatively opening up land and sea for mining and oil exploration of course has not yet had any impact so can’t have anything to do with the current recovery. The RMA ‘review’ is in the same boat. Charter schools, and increasing funding for private schools, the same. Cycleways, the same. The sale of shares in SOE’s, the same. Spending $1.5bn bailing out SCF, the same. Rewriting the GCSB legislation, the same. Putting Commissioners in at ECAN, the same.

        Perhaps not going ahead with the last round of tax cuts National had planned is one that helped marginally – but that’s hardly something to shout from the rooftops if you’re from the right.

        Similarly, cutting community education courses by a couple of million might have marginally helped if it weren’t for the fact that the government then went on to give Michael Hill’s golf tournament a similar amount over the last few years.

        I would have thought that the relevant question, in relation to ‘economic management’, is ‘what have they actually done for the economy?’ rather than ‘what has happened in the economy?’ since they’ve been in government.

        We live in interesting times.

      • Puddleglum 6.1.3

        Hi Ants,

        I’m not sure about this analysis that says ‘Labour pandering to the centre’ = electoral success.

        I think you’ll find that in 1999 a Labour-led coalition government with the Alliance party was elected after a ‘truce’ was called between Labour and the left-wing Alliance.

        Conversely, in 2002, Labour’s polling started to head south because (a) the Alliance imploded, and (b) the Green Party ran with Hager’s ‘Seeds of Deception’ findings against Labour.

        In other words, Labour’s polling slid when it’s left-wing partners either had trouble or looked like they were attacking Labour.

        By contrast, as Labour tacked to the centre between 2002-2005 with NZ First and United Future it only missed electoral loss by the skin of its teeth in 2005. And we all know what happened in 2008 after Labour went, again, with NZ First and United Future (supposed ‘centrist’ parties).

        Further, it’s pretty clear that John Key’s government’s popularity – in policy terms – does not come from any supposed ‘centrist’ policy positions.

        The positions on making welfare conditions harder (clearly a right wing position) on taking a harder line on sentencing criminals (clearly a right wing position – three strikes, etc.), increasingly privatising assets, prisons, education and health (clearly right wing positions) and making working conditions harsher and making it harder for workers to bargain collectively and through unions (both clearly right wing positions) all seem to run ok with that part of the electorate that still votes.

        That does not, of course, make such positions ‘centrist’ it just means, if anything, that among those who have continued to turn out to vote during a time of declining participation in electoral politics proportionately more favour right wing policies. That’s a problem for the left but it’s not an argument to wander aimlessly to a mythical ‘centre’ which, in reality, is just a proxy – a ‘gap filler’ – for right wing policies.

        Also, this idea that there is an ideological position known as ‘the centre’ is a complete myth. If there is a supposed ‘centre’, it is likely mostly made up of people who are little concerned with specific policy positions (and politics in general) and more concerned with ‘non-political’ and relatively superficial aspects of performance based on media reports of how a party is performing measured against some pretty pragmatic criteria like ‘who looks like they’re in a mess’.

        BTW, that’s one reason that the right are currently running hard on the idea that Labour are in ‘disarray’. The point is to paint a picture of incompetence and of Labour being a ‘joke’.

        It appears to pass most people by that, by any objective measure, the current government has been making mess after mess after mess – in political management terms – but, with a shrug of Key’s shoulders, remains strangely popular and basks in an inexplicable aura of ‘good management’.

        I’m very fond of paradoxes and the myth of this government’s ‘good management’ is an excellent example of one.

        The worse and more frequent the stuff ups, seemingly the more impressed people become with their ‘political management skills’. Fascinating.

        Similarly, people laud the current government for its skills in ‘economic management’ despite the fact that I have never heard one example from anyone of one piece of enacted government policy that has aided in producing the current ‘recovery’ (which is largely the result of random, uncontrolled factors entirely independent of any current economic policy settings).

        Legislatively opening up land and sea for mining and oil exploration of course has not yet had any impact so can’t have anything to do with the current recovery. The RMA ‘review’ is in the same boat. Charter schools, and increasing funding for private schools, the same. Cycleways, the same. The sale of shares in SOE’s, the same. Spending $1.5bn bailing out SCF, the same. Rewriting the GCSB legislation, the same. Putting Commissioners in at ECAN, the same.

        Perhaps not going ahead with the last round of tax cuts National had planned is one that helped marginally – but that’s hardly something to shout from the rooftops if you’re from the right.

        Similarly, cutting community education courses by a couple of million might have marginally helped if it weren’t for the fact that the government then went on to give Michael Hill’s golf tournament a similar amount over the last few years.

        I would have thought that the relevant question, in relation to ‘economic management’, is ‘what have they actually done for the economy?’ rather than ‘what has happened in the economy?’ since they’ve been in government.

        We live in interesting times.

        • Puddleglum 6.1.3.1

          Edit: Of course, in 2002, Labour aligned only with the ‘common sense’, ‘centrist’ UF, not NZ First. My mistake.

          • Puddleglum 6.1.3.1.1

            Sorry about the double comment – I just did an edit and it seemed to post again.

            [No problem will see if I can delete one – MS]

        • karol 6.1.3.2

          Excellent analysis, Puddleglum.

          Of course, the right wingers want Labour to be chasing the mythical centrist vote. If it did manage to result in electoral success, they can then put pressure on for Labour to stick to centrist/right wing policies. Win-win for the right.

          • Pete George 6.1.3.2.1

            “the mythical centrist vote.”

            Like the mythical left wing vote and the mythical right wing vote?

            How many voters (outside those with political interests) think in terms of left or right or centre?

            One thing’s for certain, there is no clear divide between two opposing sides in the world of voters. If people vote I think it’s more personality and (perception of) competence based than policy or polarity inclined.

            Most policies aren’t left or right, they are somewhere in between, or a mix of socialist/capitalist/liberal/conservative or whatever.

            Most people have never considered political theory, they don’t care about labels. They just wake up from their political coma once every three years and make a superficial stab at who they think looks best or least worst.

            There’s no clear left right divide, no matter how much a few political activists wished it were so. The political spread is far more of a hillock than a chasm.

            • McFlock 6.1.3.2.1.1

              So no real benefit for labour trying to go right wing, because most voters are shallow and disinterested?

              Might as well promote social good then.

            • Puddleglum 6.1.3.2.1.2

              Hi Pete George,

              You seem to agree with me about the fact that some voters vote purely on personality/competence issues or, worse, simply make superficial ‘voting stabs’ once every three years. Note that that is not an ideological ‘centrist’ approach.

              You also seem to think, however, that because people don’t self-describe as ‘left’ or ‘right’ that that somehow means the terms are meaningless. This seems illogical and baffling to me.

              ‘Left’ and ‘right’ are terms used to categorise distinct accounts of the world that have political consequences. Whether ordinary voters explicitly use any such accounts of the world in casting their votes is neither here nor there so far as the terms’ meaningfulness goes. What matters is whether or not they vote for or against parties with ‘left’ or ‘right’ policy prescriptions.

              I also think you are wrong in your claim that most policies are a mix of left and right. This is because any policy, to my mind, is either left or right dependent upon the extent to which its predictable trajectory is towards maintenance and enhancement of existing sites of power or towards the constraining or reduction of existing sites of power. (That’s one reason why opposition to inequality is so strong on the left.)

              Let me explain what I mean.

              For me, right and left have very clear and, I think, very simple meanings. The ‘right’ favours existing power and so involves policy prescriptions that maintain and enhance those existing sites of power. Policies that favour those who already have relatively more wealth and power in society as compared to those with relatively less wealth and power have a trajectory that clearly categorise them as ‘right wing’.

              Conservatism is one obvious candidate for a right wing philosophy that favours existing (e.g., traditional) sources of power, almost by definition.

              But what I would term ‘neoliberalism’ (despite the word ‘liberalism’ in its title) is another candidate because its policy prescriptions amount to allowing those who have significant wealth and power – at the time that such policies are established – to entrench and expand their wealth and power.

              It amounts to ‘laissez-faire’ unleashed upon an inherent, historically produced, extremely un-level playing field – much as Britain imposed ‘free trade’ and ‘open markets’ on large parts of the world in the 19th century at a time when it had the bulk of the military, naval and merchant shipping capacity in the world.

              The left, by contrast, is about opposing existing power and the attempt, through policy, to dissipate (i.e., ‘spread’) concentrations of power (a progressive, redistributive tax system is exactly such a policy). It is fundamentally pro-democratic because a fully-fledged democracy is the ultimate end-point of the diffusion of power. It is sceptical of concentrations of wealth because wealth creates vast opportunities for the concentration of power (crony capitalism is only one version of how that happens).

              Of course it’s a lot more complicated than this but I hope you get the general picture.

              I just don’t see that there’s any such equivalent, coherent account of the ‘centre’ of politics – or at least not one that doesn’t quickly degenerate into idiosyncratic and confusing ‘ad hoccery’.

              • karol

                Yep. Well explained, Puddleglum. And, whatever people’s claims to be neither left nor right, it is evident from what they say and the policies they support as to where they are positioned on the left-right spectrum.

                The centre of politics shifts over time: it’s the position that dominates public discourse, and thence usually voter choices at any given time and place. The centre ground in the US, between Democrat and Republican has usually been right of the centre ground in NZ. The centre ground in NZ has shifted more towards the US “centre” since the 1980s “neoliberal” revolution.

              • felix

                I wonder if Pete knows that even though he’s not a nutritionist he still ingests vitamins and minerals with every meal.

              • I get the general picture but in particular agree that it is “a lot more complicated”, and that’s why I have difficulty trying to segment things as left and right.

                The National asset sale policy was to sell up to 49% of shares of SOEs, and to retain 51% in state ownership. Left or right?

                Even that is complicated because some of the 49% of shares may be purchased by ACC and Super funds.

                ‘right’ favours existing power and so involves policy prescriptions that maintain and enhance those existing sites of power

                Cuba has been one of the most socialist states over the past half century (although after the collapse of the USSR and the end of subsidies it’s very shaky finances collapsed and it’s now allowing private enterpise). It has very concentrated power and is far from democratic, so must have wanted to “maintain and enhance those existing sites of power”.

                • felix

                  “The National asset sale policy was to sell up to 49% of shares of SOEs, and to retain 51% in state ownership. Left or right?”

                  What percentage was in public ownership when they started? 100%

                  100% public to 51% public. Trajectory: rightward.

                  • “What percentage was in public ownership when they started?”

                    100%, so that could be seen as totally state owned/left/socialist.
                    If they sold 100% then that would make it (perhaps) totally capitalist.

                    But they sold less than half, and some may have been purchased by state interests. So what does that make it?

                    End point: left of centre.

                    • Paul

                      Please stop.
                      You are truly boring.

                    • Paul, you may think it’s interesting just carping at what others say, but don’t expect everyone to be spellbound by your every pissy diss.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      That is being pedantic, silly and clever by half.

                      The main point is not about left or right or centre, but about the wisdom and value to the long term good of the country of selling partially or otherwise of profitable essential assets. You have missed the point and are misleading in your very narrow argument.

                • RedLogix

                  The National asset sale policy was to sell up to 49% of shares of SOEs, and to retain 51% in state ownership. Left or right?

                  Right. Because your description of the share split is a distraction.

                  The sale turned these SOE’s (State Owned Enterprises) ultimately accountable to a Minister, into ordinary commercial corporates listed on the NZX accountable only to shareholders – only one of whom is a Minister. And whose ability to direct the company is very much constrained by the interests of the other shareholders.

                  We moved from a situation where all New Zealanders were the sole de-facto shareholders of these essential public infrastructure assets – to a scenario where we owned 49% less while a relatively few wealthy people got more – and to a business model where even the 51% shareholding the public retain is of a lessor nature and quality.

                  That movement away from a diffuse control by a public political process – towards concentrating control that is located in a purely commercial corporate model – is a policy that moves clearly in a rightward direction.

                  • No question that it’s rightward – to the centre.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so we have agreement that it was a right-ward moving policy.

                      But you don’t get to define where the ‘centre’ is. There is the concept of the Overton Window which is what most people think of as the mythical centre.

                      But of course this window keeps on moving about all the time. What we have been seeing over the past 30 years of neo-liberalism is that yesterday’s ‘centre’ is today’s ‘far left’.

                      For instance at one time it was considered normal for unions to negotiate better terms and conditions for their members than for non-members. Now it’s called a ‘rort’.

                      The direction of policy change also needs to be considered in a wider context. When SOE’s were first introduced they were opposed at the time as a right-ward moving policy that diluted the locus of control away from the political process.

                      Now we have another right-ward asset sale process that has dismantled the SOE’s and turned them into fully commercial entities.

                      And as long as ideological right-wing governments remain in power the direction and momentum of right-wing policies will continue. How long before another government decides to unload it’s 51% ownership, or collude in asset stripping the companies?

                      It is the direction of the policy movement that is important – not some ephemeral and transient definition of a ‘centrist’ destination.

                    • “OK so we have agreement that it was a right-wing policy.”

                      No we don’t have agreement on that.

                    • RedLogix

                      I did edit my first sentence to:

                      “OK so we have agreement that it was a right-ward moving policy.” That is exactly the same as what you have said and we clearly have agreement on that.

                      You can have policies that move you in one direction or another – but there is no destination called ‘centre’.

                    • If they had sold 50% then the end result must be fairly close to destination centre.

                      If the next Government bought back 5% of the shares that would be leftward, but it doesn’t suddenly change the Mixed Ownership Model to being left wing policy.

                      If you must define things as either left or right then 51% or more of state ownership must be left and not right.

                    • RedLogix

                      The share split is irrelevant to the fact that these SOE’s were turned into fully commercial corporates and is of virtually no importance compared to the fundamental, underlying change in the nature of these enterprises.

                      If the next govt brought back 5% within that same structure nothing important would change.

                    • “If the next govt brought back 5% within that same structure nothing important would change.”

                      I agree that little would change – the state would still have a majority shareholding so still has control of the asset.

                      That was a significant point of National’s Mixed Ownership model – retaining state control of the asset. Some private shareholding but fundamentally still in state control.

                    • RedLogix

                      Some private shareholding but fundamentally still in state control.

                      Not compared with the old ECNZ model in which the Ministry had full ownership and direction of all generation and grid transmission assets and was able to design, build and operate the system as a single engineering asset for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

                      In that era NZ enjoyed low cost electricity that was a benefit to all of us. 20 years of electricity policy moving in a rightward direction has seen the price of electricity consistently outpace general inflation by big margin.

                      This is proof that the state no longer has fundamental control and the system is now being increasingly run for the benefit of it’s shareholders. In other words the concentration of control and wealth that Puddlegum explained.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      the state would still have a majority shareholding so still has control of the asset.

                      No it doesn’t has been pointed out on this blog several times before. It has lost control to the minority shareholders as the government can no longer do anything to lower the minor shareholders returns. And that is a total loss of control.

                    • RedLogix

                      @DtB

                      Agreed. It’s the point that so many people missed in all the distracting dreck from Key about ‘mum and dad’ shareholders – was that this was much more than a sale of ‘shares’.

                      Far more vitally it was a dismantling of the SOE model that was the critical thing going down here. Everything hinged on that – the actual shareholding split was just an irrelevancy intended as a figleaf.

                      An increasingly tattered and narrow figleaf that affords PG less and less decency as time goes on. (And electricity prices rise.)

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The SOE model is broken.

                      They were public utilities established for the public good and returning them to that state is in the national interest.

          • Populuxe1 6.1.3.2.2

            This would be the mythical centrist vote that has kept National in power for two terms, yes?

        • geoff 6.1.3.3

          Whenever I see a Puddleglum comment I settle in and get comfortable, happy in the knowledge that I’m about to read something quality.

        • anker 6.1.3.4

          Puddleglum. Spot on. Superb. There aren’t any examples of what the Nats have done that they can claim as good policy economic management.

  7. Plan B 7

    WORK
    If labour means anything , is going to mean anything then I strongly believe that it has to believe in this.
    Labour stands for WORK
    National stands for MONEY

    National buys votes, we earn them

    With Labour Everybody works

    What does this mean?
    Work is inclusive
    Work gives worth

    This will work because it is the right thing to do, it is what labour is. It defines us and everything can be related to it.

    If we are the party of work, then we are the party of workers

    Who are workers in the 21st Century
    They are
    Entrepreneurs
    Self Employed
    Carers
    Students
    The retired
    The disabled
    Farmers- who farm
    Business owners- who work
    workers
    Public Servants
    teachers, Doctors, nurses etc etc etc

    No one is left behind, no one is left out

    What does this mean?
    Work is inclusive

    The struggle is
    Work vs capital- what does this mean, it means if houses go up $1000 a week in Auckland then working to buy one no longer works.

    All policy then moves to an idea of work, it can include everyone.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      “National buys votes, we earn them”

      So WFF and interest free student loans was brought in by National?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        No but they weren’t election bribes either as they actually had the purpose of progressing NZ. National’s tax cuts were as all they are is an unearned increase in income for the rich.

        • Ants 7.1.1.1

          Haha – an “unearned increase in income”.

          Your net income increasing when your gross income doesn’t is not an unearned increase. Its embarrassing having to point this out to you bro.

          Further more to that, the income tax take (sans GST, corporate tax etc) has increased by $2.5 billion per year since 2008.

          That must be mightily uncomfortable for you when you are trying to argue against tax cuts.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            Your net income increasing when your gross income doesn’t is not an unearned increase.

            When you’re already not paying your way – yes it is.

          • freedom 7.1.1.1.2

            “Further more to that, the income tax take (sans GST, corporate tax etc) has increased by $2.5 billion per year since 2008.”

            could you please present a link for that data?

      • Plan B 7.1.2

        There should be no such thing as student loans, Students should ‘pay back’ their education through progressive taxation throughout their working lives- the more they earn from that education, the more they pay back. Putting young people into debt (compounding debt) is no way to run a country.

    • shorts 7.2

      All for inclusive policies but not those that are based on a fiction – given the way our economy is structured and how technology is changing our world I believe work is not and should not be the priority – we’ll never see full employment again, so why stigmitise those who for whatever reason cannot find work – we’ve seen this for 30 years and its done the country and citizens no end of harm

      I’d like to see the major left leaning party address the real problems we face – the lack of work for all and the lack of meaningful work for the vast majority of workers

      If one works there should be more returns than simply a pay packet

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        we’ll never see full employment again

        We could see full employment again – just have to go back to penal rates and drop the number of hours before they cut in to 32. I do agree with everything else you said there.

        I’d like to see the major left leaning party address the real problems we face – the lack of work for all and the lack of meaningful work for the vast majority of workers

        QFT

        And if they did that I might actually think of voting Labour again. Not holding my breath though.

    • Matthew Hooton 7.3

      You are absolutely right – Labour’s brand it about WORK (hint: it’s in the name). It is OBVIOUS that Labour should build all its policy and communications strategy around this concept.

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        Unfortunately the modern Labour Party has bought into the neolib concept of waiting around for the free market to provide employment, while it massages around the edges of the economy with various nice sounding policies.

        • Matthew Hooton 7.3.1.1

          That “neolib” economy has created a net 750,000 new jobs since 1990 – see http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/employment/

          • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1.1

            Oh fuck off with your insecure service industry McJobs Matthew, that’s a completely irrelevant statistic to the 30% of NZ youth who are unemployed, and whom 30 years ago would have walked into full employment at award rates, union membership and free trade training.

            You do a good job of batting for the 0.1% and the 5% who serve them as well paid lackeys but you do a disservice to the rest of the nation.

            • Matthew Hooton 7.3.1.1.1.1

              In Q2 1984, unemployment was 4.4%. It is now 6.0%. So it is worse now, but not radically so. Don’t have stats for youth unemployment for Q2 1984 and now, but you may have.

              • Paul

                Matthew why do you bat so hard for the 1%?

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh FFS Hooten keep pushing your insecure service industry McJobs as somehow equivalent to the well paid unionised jobs in the 70’s and 80’s with which you could buy a house and raise a family on.

              • McFlock

                Not radically so? It’s only what, 50-odd thousand more people out of work.

                Who gives a fuck about them. Let them eat cake.

              • karol

                I had an idea that more jobs these days are part time, and on contracts. Also, I thought the ways of recording unemployment had changed.

                • Paul

                  Karol, he’s spinning, pure and simple.
                  He knows how to play games with numbers.
                  For his masters.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Also, I thought the ways of recording unemployment had changed.

                  It has and the two are incomparable.

          • Paul 7.3.1.1.2

            Of octopuses Matthew.
            Most New Zealanders are better off because of the neoliberal doctrine.
            You’re spinning.

            • rhinocrates 7.3.1.1.2.1

              Hoots spins so much he needs two assistants to hold him down every morning while he screws his pants on. He’d get dizzy walking in a straight line.

              Really Hoots, who the Hell do you think that you’re fooling except yourself?

          • geoff 7.3.1.1.3

            Have you read Thomas Piketty yet, Matthew?

          • Puddleglum 7.3.1.1.4

            Hi Matthew,

            How many jobs do you think might have been created if the neoliberal reforms had not been implemented? Zero new jobs? 100,000? 400,000? 800,000?

            Any idea?

            Try Figure 2 in this link. Looking back over the years 1959 to 2009 there seems to be a dampening effect on employment from 1984 (reflecting a decline in GDP) and uptick in the mid-1990s followed by an equivalent ‘down-tick’ for the rest of the 1990s followed by moderate improvements until the down-tick in the latter 2000s.

            A quick eyeballing of that figure suggests that, all in all, the ‘neolib’ economy has performed a bit below the historical average in terms of employment.

            Taking the long view helps enormously Matthew, when you want to see the actual impact of an event (i.e., the reforms).

          • bad12 7.3.1.1.5

            That’s a stupid statement Hooton, the Neo-lib economy has destroyed more jobs than it has created,

            If your pathetic use of such figures had any real relevance we ALL would have jobs now wouldn’t we…

      • fender 7.3.2

        Good to see there’s a righty getting eager to see those promised jobs materialise.

  8. Te Reo Putake 8

    Russell Brown’s tweet is on to it:

    “Labour must recapture the appeal to blue-collar males it had during those nine years in government led by a feminist PolSci lecturer.”

    • Redbaiter 8.1

      Things are different now.

      Russell and his extreme left mates no longer have open slather on political opinion in NZ.

      In case you haven’t noticed, there are some new boys in town.

      Labour can’t stand the increased scrutiny, and Clark would find it just as difficult as Cunliffe.

    • RRM 8.2

      I voted Helen Clark in in 1999 because a card appeared in my letterbox saying:

      My committment to you:
      WE WILL DELIVER

      And then a bullet point list of things Labour were going to deliver.

      And they were sensible things, not crazy schemes to re-nationalise the electricity industry or pay parental leave to people whose husbands pull in $150k or ban trucks from the right lane.

      Helen Clark had common sense. And balls! Shane Jones is not the loss she was, but he was one of the last of the Labour people worth listening to.

    • Matthew Hooton 8.3

      But Helen Clark was earthy and provincial in her own way – farm girl, loved the outdoors, patron of Mt Albert Rugby League Club etc.

      Having said that, Russell does make a fair point that I also made in an NBR column earlier in the year. I put it (deliberately provocatively) like this: “New Zealanders don’t expect their prime ministers to be ordinary Kiwis. The past five elections have been won by a childless feminist academic whose hobbies were Norwegian cross-country skiing and mountaineering in Africa and South America, and a multi-millionaire money trader who holidays in Hawaii. Voters do expect, though, that prime ministers will be genuine Kiwis, truthful about who they are.”

      I think Clark and Key (and Bolger, Lange, Muldoon) met this test. Don’t think Cunliffe does.

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.1

        Newsflash – any current Labour politician who passes the Hooten litmus test should be shunted out of the party ASAP.

        • Ants 8.3.1.1

          Thats why you guys are polling so fucking poorly. Keep it coming bro, can’t wait to see you scraping low 20s.

          • fender 8.3.1.1.1

            Yeah anyone without Hooton on their side will poll poorly 🙄

          • freedom 8.3.1.1.2

            “Further more to that, the income tax take (sans GST, corporate tax etc) has increased by $2.5 billion per year since 2008.”

            could you please present a link for that data?

          • Paul 8.3.1.1.3

            Such a charming turn of phrase

        • Populuxe1 8.3.1.2

          You just dismissed Clark and Lange there

      • felix 8.3.2

        “Helen Clark was earthy and provincial in her own way – farm girl, loved the outdoors, patron of Mt Albert Rugby League Club etc.”

        Yes I remember you saying those things about her pretty much non-stop for 15 years Matthew.

        🙄

        Oh no that’s right, it was “childless lesbian communist never had a real job”. Sorry, my mistake.

        • Matthew Hooton 8.3.2.1

          I would be very surprised if I ever said anything remotely like that about her.
          By her third term, I was calling her corrupt – but that was true.

          • Paul 8.3.2.1.1

            Always right Matthew and always so smug.

          • rhinocrates 8.3.2.1.2

            If you had Korsakov’s Syndrome, of course you’d be surprised… but if you were a lying bastard, or Matthew Hooton, which is the same thing, you’d claim to be surprised. I’ll go for the latter.

            By the way, Anders Brevik claims to be bored. Since you and your friends at the Malborough Sounds Symposia provided such inspiring reading for him, shouldn’t you be devoting your time to writing bedtime stories for him?

            • Paul 8.3.2.1.2.1

              How do people like Hooton sleep at night?
              He must be aware of his dishonest approach and he must know people struggle because of policies and parties he promotes…
              Or is he really oblivious?

              • rhinocrates

                Hoots is not oblivious.

                How does it sleep?

                Very well, I imagine. Cash is very soft and comfy.

                Money is all that matters to it. It’ll say anything for money. If we could gather up enough cash, it’d say “Sesame Street is the Ideal of the Working Class and has been forever and ever! It will be forever and ever! Big Bird is President for ever and ever! I have always said so!”

          • felix 8.3.2.1.3

            Of course you didn’t Matthew, not those exact words in that exact sequence.

            But you’d probably say you never said anything about “stupid maoris” either.

        • Paul 8.3.2.2

          People like Matthew Hooton…..
          care about themselves for than society.
          believe in the doctrine of Ayn Rand
          do not have any authority or experience to speak on the needs of working people

      • Paul 8.3.3

        “Deliberately provocatively”
        You sum yourself up perfectly.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.3.3.1

          Not surprising really, one would expect an extremely self-absorbed person to show ability in describing themselves. Such people shouldn’t be taken too seriously when commenting on things they are less interested in though (i.e everything that isn’t about them)….

      • karol 8.3.4

        I think Clark and Cunliffe (and Bolger, Lange, Muldoon) met this test. Don’t think Key does.

        FIFY

        • rhinocrates 8.3.4.1

          Hoots is always providing an example of the worst in human nature, which we should always be on guard against. Masked as pragmatism, itself a sin, we see greed and cynicism. What a despicable creature it is.

      • Anne 8.3.5

        So, what did Cunliffe do to you Matty boy? Did he make you look a fool or beat you in a debate or something? Your “I hate Cunliffe” fetish is getting to be a big bore – especially on the RNZ political slot. I don’t think there’s been a Monday in yonks when you haven’t served a snarky bite in his direction even when it had no relevance to the subject in hand.

      • Puddleglum 8.3.6

        Hi Matthew,

        What makes you think that John Key is “truthful about who [he is]”?

        Here are my reasons for thinking that ‘what you see’ of John Key is not ‘what you get’.

        What are your reasons for believing the opposite?

        • Melb 8.3.6.1

          The wikileaked cables from the US embassy in Wgtn noted there was no difference between Key’s public and private persona. He comes across in public as friendly and affable, well, because he is.

          • Puddleglum 8.3.6.1.1

            Hi Melb,

            Sorry if my post wasn’t clear enough about its central point. The question is not whether Key’s ‘public’ persona is different from the one he uses in ‘private’ meetings with officials.

            Rather, the point is that Key’s supposedly ‘laid back’ ‘affability’ is a means to an end, rather than a reflection of what drives his behaviour – the end to which his persona is a means is invariably his personal goals or ambitions.

            That is, he will use that persona in ‘private’ meetings with officials as much as in the media. Note that that was what he did in his time in the financial industry. Others, there, reported on his ‘blandness’ and his ‘smiling’ while also commenting that, ultimately, he would be completely focused on attaining his own goals – even if it meant sacking colleagues (or, later, rapidly dumping Don Brash). That’s why he was called the ‘smiling assassin’ because his actions did not reflect his demeanour. Quite simple really, and obvious I would have thought.

            The point, once again, is not whether his ‘public’ persona is the same as one he produces in so-called ‘private’ meetings. It is whether his persona (which he presents interpersonally in many situations, public and private) is consistent with ‘who he is’ – which is to say, is consistent with the motives that drive his long-term behaviour.

  9. RRM 9

    Shane Jones appeared to be a lone Labour voice who understood that industry employs most people, and therefore the way to get more people employed is for Government to make life easier for industry to flourish.

    NOT by smothering industries who WANT to employ NZers in bureaucratic requirements to do with rare snails.

    NOT by standing over industries who WANT to employ NZers brandishing the union (=gang) hammer.

    Mickeysavage:
    “In what feels like a finely choreographed dance the MSM has adopted the right’s framing of the issue and pronounced the decision as some sort of crisis for the Labour Party. ”

    And now you don’t even have his one, lone voice, and are exclusively a party of academic career politicians, and public servants who’ve worked their way up to being politicians, and union gang organisers who’ve worked their way up to being politicians.

    Look at the polls. This IS a crisis for the Labour party.

    It will be your own loss (and the Labour Party’s) if you do/will not see this.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Shane Jones appeared to be a lone Labour voice who understood that industry employs most people, and therefore the way to get more people employed is for Government to make life easier for industry to flourish.

      In other words, he was as delusional as the economists. It’s always been government that created jobs and innovation. The private sector is only a minor blip compared to what government can do.

      • RRM 9.1.1

        “The private sector is only a minor blip compared to what government can do.”

        The private sector gives the Government 33% of what it produces, and keeps the remaining 67% to grow its production or repay its investors (who will then use that money to “buy stuff”…)

        67% is bigger than 33%.

        Your assertion that “what government can do is greater than what industry can do” is therefore clearly wrong.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          You getting things backwards. The private sector isn’t the source of wealth – the government is. Because of this the government can do far more than the private sector.

          Take an illustration: The computer your reading this on was developed by the US government funding its development.

          • RRM 9.1.1.1.1

            Where does the Government get its wealth from?

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.1

              The resources that the country has available to it. The only things that really could be considered wealth. Money itself is nothing.

              • Populuxe1

                Would you care to explain which resources, because without exploying them they’re just kind of inert.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table

                  Although accurate that’s not really answering your question. I’ve got the entire dynamism of the economy running through my head here (I’m mildly drunk :P) where there is no start and stop and yet it is the start that you ask for.

                  Essentially, the government can make those resources available through fiat – specifically through its ability to print money. It can cause people to dig them up, process them, make them into things such as computers and then sell them.

                  That is, of course, a vast over-simplification.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Where does the Government get its wealth from?

              Individuals and families get their wealth from a strong and stable government which provides quality economic infrastructure for the common good.

              For instance…see that $10 note in your pocket…legal tender issued and guaranteed by the Government which ensures that money is in demand. Where would you be without government matey? Trying to buy and sell in seashells I think.

              • McFlock

                … or relying on unguaranteed bitcoin exchanges and banks that can fold at a moment’s notice.

                • Colonial Viper

                  and banks that can fold at a moment’s notice.

                  Although having TBTF banking casinos backstopped by the public purse is a wee little problem in itself…

              • Populuxe1

                But that wasn’t the question. Where does the Government get its wealth from in order to provide quality economic infrastructure for the common good?

          • Ants 9.1.1.1.2

            You’ve been schooled by RRM, admit defeat bro.

            If you knew anything about the history of computers you’d know theres not a component in a computer that is around because of the US government or its funding.

            The only case you would have is if you were arguing about the origins of the internet.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2.1

              If you knew anything about the history of computers you’d know theres not a component in a computer that is around because of the US government or its funding.

              I’m glad you made it falsifiable on a single counterexample. Makes life easier.

              How about the mouse?
              Ot the integrated circuit?
              edit: whoops, IC had origins in british government scientists, not US…

              • Populuxe1

                Falsifiability on one counterexample is all that the scientific method requires.

                • McFlock

                  not often encountered when some nutbar pulls libertarian bullshit out of his arse, though 🙂

            • felix 9.1.1.1.2.2

              We seem to have a whole new slew of morons here today.

              Is whaleoil down or something?

            • freedom 9.1.1.1.2.3

              “Further more to that, the income tax take (sans GST, corporate tax etc) has increased by $2.5 billion per year since 2008.”

              could you please present a link for that data?

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.2.4

              The only case you would have is if you were arguing about the origins of the internet.

              Wrong:

              Like the discussion in Chapter 2, whereby venture capital has entered industries like biotechnology only after the State had done the messy groundwork, the genius and ‘foolishness’ of Steve Jobs led to massive profits and success, largely because Apple was able to ride the wave of massive State investments in the ‘revolutionary’ technologies that underpinned the iPhone and iPad: the internet, GPS, touchscreen displays and communication technologies. Without these publicly funded technologies, there would have been no wave to foolishly surf.

              The Entrepreneurial State by Mariana Mazzucato

              There pretty much isn’t a technology anywhere in the world that hasn’t become useful without years, and often decades, of government funding and direction.

      • RRM 9.1.2

        “It’s always been government that created jobs and innovation.”

        Only in serfdoms and autocracies where everything belongs to the government.

        I thought the Labour movement was against that sort of thing?

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1

          That’s completely wrong. Why are you espousing such falsehoods? You need to study the concept of the entrepreneurial state because your education and knowledge of technological history is clearly lacking.

          Usually, only the public sector is willing to take the risk of true blue skies research, with the private sector coming onboard after some early potential has already been proven and some of the risks removed.

          That’s the way it worked with early semiconductors and computers, for instance.

        • RedLogix 9.1.2.2

          Or more exactly – the public sector is best at taking on long-term, high -risk development; whereas by complete contrast the private sector is perfectly fine for short-term, relatively low-risk ventures.

          Both sectors are perfectly capable of delivering results, but are clearly complementary in how they work best.

          • Populuxe1 9.1.2.2.1

            I’d hardly call the personal computer or the car a “low-risk venture”

            • RedLogix 9.1.2.2.1.1

              Well I would. Both of your examples were an extension of existing technologies.

              The car was first developed by Mercedes, closely followed by Peugeot around 1890. The engine technology had been around in various forms for a while and the chassis was largely an adaptation of existing horse carriages and bicycles.

              The personal computer was really just a merging of pre-existing firmware and OS methods already developed by the minicomputer industry outfits like HP and DEC from the 60’s into the 80’s – and the ability of silicon foundaries like Intel and Motorola to produce large-scale integrated circuits that could run the software on affordable platforms.

              At the early, innovative phase of any new technology there is always a churn of startups, successes, failures and mergers as various forms are tried out on the market. But typically over a period of some decades some three to four majors finish up dominating the market. Eventually a new disruptive technology comes along – and either it’s absorbed by one of the existing majors or it triggers a repeat of the cycle.

              It’s become quite a predictable process. While I accept there are some losses at the innovative, startup phase – from a global society-wide perspective these are fairly modest and contained from a risk point of view.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.2.1.2

              Which is why they weren’t developed by the private sector – except possibly the car that was developed by aristocrats.

    • TeWhareWhero 9.2

      RMM – Unions are not gangs and it is ideological to suggest they are. Although there have been examples of unions having been taken over by gangsters, that’s mostly in the USA and the gangsters are always rightwing thugs.

      In NZ, unions are made up of, and run by, ordinary, decent, hard working people.

      The only people who see unions as the ‘enemy within’ are idiots and/or members of the Amygdala Brigade,i.e. those people whose more evolved brain functions are subordinate to their primitive brain functions. I’d hate to put you into this category but if you persist with this foolishness I have no choice.

      I would also suggest that you work on your comma placement :

      “NOT by smothering industries COMMA who WANT to employ NZers COMMA in bureaucratic requirements to do with rare snails.
      “NOT by standing over industries COMMA who WANT to employ NZers COMMA brandishing the union (=gang) hammer.”

      And it’s ‘unions WHICH’….

      Sorry to be a pedant.

      • RRM 9.2.1

        Union: “Give our friends more money for working fewer hours. Do it, or else we’ll hurt you.”

        Oh, they’re gangs alright.

        And it’s RRM, not RMM, sorry to be a pedant.

        • Te Reo Putake 9.2.1.1

          What bit of employing a representative to negotiate good employment contracts don’t you like, RRM? Does your dislike of that sort of thing also apply to Sir Peter Jackson and the All Blacks?

          • RRM 9.2.1.1.1

            The cowardice of it, mainly.

            If you don’t like your job, get a better one. Go on. If you’re worth so much more, then show us.

            If you can’t get a better one, maybe you should learn to love what you have. The world doesn’t owe you a living, or even an employer.

            In a country where it is virtually impossible to get fired unless you are caught committing a crime, if you need to ride on the coat tails of union bullies then you are a loser. Sorry! But you are.

            • Te Reo Putake 9.2.1.1.1.1

              “If you’re worth so much more, then show us.”

              Umm, that’s what they did. As us humans often do, they worked collaboratively to make their lives better. Just like the AB’s and Jackson and his colleagues do when they use their reps to hammer out better deals with their employers.

              “In a country where it is virtually impossible to get fired unless you are caught committing a crime, ….”

              Are you talking about NZ? Y’know the place with the 90 day fire at will law and the recent changes to employment legislation that allow bosses to fire workers without proper process? The country where our Government changed the employment law to make it illegal to claim to be a worker at all in the film industry?

              • RRM

                “…the 90 day fire at will law…”

                You mean the “For a brief few months you can actually be fired, if you turn out to be completely shit at your job” law…??

                How UNFAIR that is!!

                I thought I was entitled to a job and income for life, as a kind of birthright, just for being me?

                • felix

                  “For a brief few months you can actually be fired, if you turn out to be completely shit at your job”

                  Nope, you don’t understand the law. You can be fired with no reason given at all.

                  Doesn’t have to be anything to do with how well you do your job. It could be that the boss doesn’t like the colour of your socks or the school you went to or the fact that you’re gay or that you don’t take well to being bullied.

                  Or anything else. No reason has to be given so it’s literally anything at all.

                  And yes, actually. We do have an intrinsic natural right to be able to earn a living, and not as a slave.

                  • srylands

                    Felix, I can only assume from your post that you have never been an employee. Or an employer.

                    The last thing an employer wants to do is get rid of good workers. They are like gold. At the same time, after that 90 days, the hassle of getting rid of a dud is extremely high – IF the dud digs her heels in. The 90 day rule is good for the country, the poor, the low skilled. Everyone. It is a no brainer.

                    If you want to look at the impact of restrictive employment laws on the poor, go to Spain or France.

                    You have no intrinsic right to be employed by someone else. In New Zealand you have a right to set up a new business.

                    • felix

                      “The last thing an employer wants to do is get rid of good workers. They are like gold. “

                      So address what I actually said then.

                    • McFlock

                      good luck waiting for that to happen, f 🙂

                    • Populuxe1

                      “The last thing an employer wants to do is get rid of good workers. They are like gold.”

                      Of course, when there is actually a supluss of good, and desperate workers out there, you can afford to whipe your arse on gold. Hence the sick drive to casualisation – whichis unfortunate because people can’t eat or pay rent casually.

                    • felix

                      Well said, Pop.

                    • RedLogix

                      And that is the critical point Pop.

                      Rents, mortgages, food, education, transport are all commitments that make a person a good employee. Good employees just don’t turn up out of thin air – they have family, food, shelter, health and an experience of life that enables them to accept challenges, solve problems and work with other people in teams.

                      Good employees bring a whole lot more to the table than just a strong back and a weak brain. They are much more than just a warm body you rent by the hour.

                      Good employees come with a great deal of energy and commitment. All we ask is some of the same in return.

                    • miravox

                      “You have no intrinsic right to be employed by someone else. In New Zealand you have a right to set up a new business”

                      And:
                      If you do not have the skills or finance to set up your own business, or your business fails?
                      If you do not own property with land attached where you can live at least at a subsistence level?
                      If you cannot meet the requirements of a disappearing social security system?

                      What intrinsic* rights do you have?

                      Surely you would at least have the right to be employed by the someone that is the State if no private employer is willing?

                      *I’m not sure intrinsic makes sense in a discussion about the right to employment. People in NZ do have a right to a living. However, it seems to me that some people would be keen for that right to be reduced or removed.

                      p.s. well said, Populuxe1

              • fisiani

                It’s called the 90 day chance to prove yourself law and over 15,000 have earned a job because of it.

                • felix

                  lol sure.

                  • srylands

                    You think that is funny or odd? Why on earth would you be against such a law?

                    • RedLogix

                      You have no intrinsic right to be employed by someone else.

                      I assume you are intending to mean that no-one has the right to be employed regardless of their suitability or whether they are capable of doing the job at all. If you accept this as fair enough – then has it not occurred to you that:

                      Why would an employer have the intrinsic right to employ anyone?

                      Regardless of their suitability, or whether they are capable of being employers or not?

                    • felix

                      “You think that is funny or odd?”

                      I think it’s funny that fizzy thinks it has created 15000 jobs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1.2

              If you can’t get your milk exports into China without bribing the National Party and parading your very own justice minister in front of their border officials, you must be a loser too then.

              Nah, RRM is a craven and transparent hypocrite who has nothing to say when the business round table organises to further its own interests.

              It shows exactly what they fear: organised labour. Rub their faces in it every chance we get: union members get paid more for their labour: join a union: increase your pay packet.

              The loser right wing whining will increase in volume 😀

            • Tim 9.2.1.1.1.3

              Aw, poor little RRM scared of the big union bullies who have the audacity to ask for fair working conditions for a group of employees… Actually who is the real coward in this situation – the employer who is only comfortable when bargaining with their employees one at a time with a huge power imbalance in their favour and who is suddenly shaking in their boots when the playing field is leveled a little bit, or the employee who stands up and says they want to bargain as a group to ensure everyone gets a fair deal?

              Do you actually understand why it is generally accepted that an employer can’t fire someone without good reason? Are you really too thick to see the connection between this and between what unions stand for and what they do?

              Go talk rubbish somewhere else you lazy, greedy dumbass.

        • TeWhareWhero 9.2.1.2

          RRM – terribly sorry to have got your initials wrong.

          You do realise that the first conscripts in the industrial revolution were pauper women and children and that their employers -bless their silk socks – fought tooth and nail against all efforts to improve the pay and conditions of their grossly exploited workforce?

          They bellowed and roared about the impossibility of getting a decent return on their investment unless they could continue to use children under the age of 10 to work in mines and mills for 16 hours a day 6 days a week for less than subsistence.

          Of course the reason the various Acts controlling the exploitation of children were passed was as much to do with technological advances and the need to get pauper men – always a potentially disruptive force – into employment. And with the men came unions and in turn legislation and employers’ federations to oppose the unions – and so it has been ever since.

          The first action of monetarist governments in the 1980s was to lift controls on the export of capital – to allow capital to run to places where workers’ pay and conditions, and corporation tax were low, and environnmental controls were non-existent or lax. Look at the relocation of the British asbestos industry to India as a case in point.

          If a union does behave like gangsters it’s always down to agents provocateurs or similar, or union members being lazy sods and not getting involved in what are – let’s face it – democratic structures. Way more open and transparent than the Business Round Table, and the various formal and informal employer’s associations.

    • miravox 9.3

      “the way to get more people employed is for Government to make life easier for industry to flourish”

      … “NOT by smothering industries who WANT to employ NZers in bureaucratic requirements to do with rare snails.

      NOT by standing over industries who WANT to employ NZers brandishing the union (=gang) hammer.”

      Race to the bottom 1 – lets not have a healthy environment and ecological diversity.
      Race to the bottom 2 – lets remove worker protections in the form of health, safety and fair pay for fair work.

      In terms of enabling industry to flourish lets have free trade agreements without clear environmental and workers’ rights clauses are valuable for producing jobs in other countries. Lets trumpet them as the great economic policy just to make sure that TINA to reducing environmental and worker protections in our own country.

      Lets not do anything to encourage local manufacturing and economic diversity in our own country because that will cost the government more money. Best just subsidise or help out overseas corporations to stay here (hello, Rio Tinto, how’re you doing international dairy manufacturers?) and leave struggling NZ firms to themselves (seeya later Hillside Engineering).

      [sarcasm entirely intended]

      • joe90 9.3.1

        [sarcasm entirely intended]

        Joe said to HG [entirely intended]:

        We must not forget the functions of the State in the bourgeois world. The State is an institution that organises the defence of the country, organises the maintenance of “order”; it is an apparatus for collecting taxes. The capitalist State does not deal much with economy in the strict sense of the word; the latter is not in the hands of the State. On the contrary, the State is in the hands of capitalist economy.

        http://www.newstatesman.com/print/node/201449?title=&text=

  10. Ants 10

    Sorry Mickey Savage, but “I bristled at this passage because Labour is focussing on the very things that she says it should be. Labour’s policies on the minimum wage, protection for contractors, best start and industrial law reform to mention a few are all targeted at achieving the goals that Josie says the party should aim for. And the swelling of Labour’s membership would decry the suggestion that the party is not inclusive.”

    You are completely wrong. Focusing on pay and jobs is not the same as having a policy on minimum wage and contractor protection.

    You are twisting what she said to try and fit Labour’s poor policy platform.

    The higher the minimum wage goes, the lower the incentive for people to better themselves. Similarly, with getting rid of 90-day trials, the less the incentive for an employer to take risks on people.

    Regardless of that, neither of those policies will result in economic growth, decent jobs or prosperity for the masses of middle-class, hard workers out there.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      The higher the minimum wage goes, the lower the incentive for people to better themselves.

      And back to the old To incentivise the rich you pay them more but to incentivise the poor you take from them.

      You have no credibility.

      • Ants 10.1.1

        No, you’re twisting what I said.

        I didn’t mention the rich at all.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          Doesn’t really matter as the two points go hand in hand.

        • mickysavage 10.1.1.2

          No but you are essentially saying that lower wages and less job protection will increase employment. Which it won’t.

        • freedom 10.1.1.3

          “Further more to that, the income tax take (sans GST, corporate tax etc) has increased by $2.5 billion per year since 2008.”

          could you please present a link for that data?

      • RRM 10.1.2

        “And back to the old To incentivise the rich you pay them more but to incentivise the poor you take from them.”

        But that’s not what ACTUALLY happens, is it?

        Through progressive income tax rates, the state takes from “the rich” a GREATER proportion of what they earn, compared to the proportion they take from “the poor.”

        • TeWhareWhero 10.1.2.1

          “Through progressive income tax rates, the state takes from “the rich” a GREATER proportion of what they earn, compared to the proportion they take from “the poor.” ”

          The operative word there is ‘earn’. It’s a loaded term in more ways than one.

          Does someone who inherits wealth in the form of property ‘earn’ their rentier income in the same way a worker who exchanges 45+ hours of his or her week for a wage?

          Does a shareholder in coal mine earn their dividend income in the same way as a miner earns his pay?

          Does a CEO who is remunerated at 500 times the average pay of his or her company’s employees contribute 500 times more value to the company?

          • RRM 10.1.2.1.1

            “Does a shareholder in coal mine earn their dividend income in the same way as a miner earns his pay?”

            Would there be a mining company, able to buy all that expensive gear and employ miners, without shareholders?

            • TeWhareWhero 10.1.2.1.1.1

              There you go again, answering a question with a question.

              But yes – why not? There were mines before there were shareholders and are you so lacking in imagination that you cannot envisage more efficient, economic, effective and EQUITABLE ways of organising production?

          • RRM 10.1.2.1.2

            “Does someone who inherits wealth in the form of property ‘earn’ their rentier income in the same way a worker who exchanges 45+ hours of his or her week for a wage?”

            Who’s to say?

            You??

            The tax system works on what people’s income actually IS.

            Not on meaningless philosophical debates based on subjective ideas about about who ‘earned’ his dollar harder.

            And those who earn more, are taxed not only proportionally more, but actually at a higher rate, as if to punish them for finding a way of making more money. it shouldn’t be allowed, right? They OWE the rest of us, right?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.2.1.2.1

              Nah, they owe the forces of chance for their wealth. They owe us for providing a society in which they could be so lucky.

            • TeWhareWhero 10.1.2.1.2.2

              Your answer to my question is a cop out.

              “The tax system works on what people’s income actually IS.”

              It doesn’t actually because the rich are able to hide their income in many and varied ways – so much so that some of them pay sod all tax at all.

              And the most important thing to consider is that ‘business’ only exists because there is ‘society’ – and that is more than the loose aggregation of self interested individuals and families as envisaged in the barren and bitter political philosophy of the likes of Thatcher – and, it would seem, you.

            • miravox 10.1.2.1.2.3

              “The tax system works on what people’s income actually IS.”

              Is that what you really think?

              I have acquaintances who are business owners who reckon they don’t have to pay tax because they pay their workers who have the income they pay them taxed. They feel they have no other obligation to pay tax themselves so make sure they don’t.

              I guess you think all those people buying a nice little rental property are doing so for the actual rent, as well?

              • “who reckon”

                How many of them show you their balance sheets and their tax returns? How many of them have no income to live on?

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Quite a few that I’ve seen.

                  They take drawings out of the capital value of the business which are not taxable and they draw other capital funds out of their trusts.

                  They purchase goods and items for the “business” that are in reality for themselves.

                  The business meanwhile makes a loss or a pittance particularly where they have layered their businesses to charge fees down the chain so each business pays the minimum tax possible.

                  They buy rental properties to ensure they have nil income – as one mortgage is paid off they put the profit into purchasing another one so the interest on the new one offsets the income from the rental profit on the others.

                  So yeah they have income to live off but taxable it ain’t.

                  And don’t even start on those who fold their businesses having not paid their employee PAYE and student loan money let alone any taxation through taxable profit – then go and start another business.

                  • Molly

                    I also know business owners on their second “family” who, as they pay themselves a minimum-wage (for tax purposes don’t ya know), consider it reasonable that they then meet the criteria to pay a nominal sum to MSD/IRD for supporting their previous families children.

                    I have never seen an article in the Herald about that little rort.

                    I have only met (and admired) one business owner, who paid his previous partner directly out of his own pocket because “It’s nothing to do with the government – she needs the money to bring up my son”.

                • miravox

                  These people have plenty of money. Anyway, that is beside the point, which was “The tax system works on what people’s income actually IS.” I’m saying that there a people who circumvent that, and then justify it by saying that their employees effectively pay tax for them.

                  What do you think of that circumvention and justification, Pete?

                  • If business people avoid paying prescribed tax they are breaking the law. I don’t agree with that. And when business people avoid tax illegally that puts more tax burden on employees who have tax deducted before they get their money.

                    Many employees, beneficiaries (and business people) also avoid paying tax when they obtain and provide goods and services under the table.

                    What do you think of that circumvention and justification, miravox?

                    • bad12

                      George, this is an absolute piece of bullshit, provide the proof of your absurd allegation that many beneficiaries avoid paying tax,

                      Facts George you fucking muppet, you are supposed to be dealing in fucking facts, try doing so instead of spreading lies…

                    • I thought this was a discussion and debate forum. I don’t see you (or most people) factually back every comment.

                      Do you really need the shadow/grey/black/hidden/underground economies explained to you?

                      Cash jobs, crime drive black economy

                      Cash trade jobs, crimes, wages under the table and online trading are costing the Government more than $7 billion a year in lost tax.

                      According to research by the international Tax Justice Network, that is equivalent to 44 per cent of New Zealand’s health budget. It estimates a “shadow economy” worth more than $20b makes up 12.4 per cent of gross domestic product.

                      I don’t think there’s any doubt that the non-tax economy is large and widespread. It would be extremely odd if beneficiaries were not a part of it.

                    • bad12

                      You don’t think at all George, full stop, fucking liar…

                    • miravox

                      It’s not a case of illegality.

                      It’s the way the tax system works – they can legally circumvent paying tax. The tax system does not work on what people’s income actually IS if people can legally circumvent paying tax.

                      Your question is irrelevant in the context of my original comment (however as a good leftie who believes in people paying their fair share for public good/s, don’t I support tax avoidance or tax evasion. I’ve no I idea why you think I might).

                    • miravox

                      “I don’t think there’s any doubt that the non-tax economy is large and widespread. It would be extremely odd if beneficiaries were not a part of it.”

                      However, from the same article, it seems that, in your haste to present some kind of weird beneficiary equivalence you missed the main culprits

                      The shadow economy comprises anyone evading GST, PAYE and income tax obligations – such as:

                      Owner-operated retail businesses that handle a mixture of cash, eftpos and credit card transactions, such as restaurants, bars, cafes, takeaways etc, who may fail to report some or all of the cash receipts.

                      Businesses paying wages in cash.

                      People trading high volumes of items online or carrying out a business without paying any tax.

                      People failing to declare offshore income.

                      Undeclared income from illegal activities.

                      Undeclared bartering transactions, where businesses are trading goods for goods rather than paying money for them and so avoiding tax obligations.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Nah there’s a difference between income and taxable income – drawings are the best example of that.

                    I’ve seen accounts where the drawings have been over $200,000 per annum but the profit less than $2,000 most years and a loss in other years.

                    • Drawings are taxable.

                      Business income tax basics

                      A business:
                      – receives business income for the goods and services it sells
                      – can claim business expenses against its business income to arrive at its net profit (the net profit includes drawings taken from the business)
                      – pays income tax on its net profit.

                      http://www.ird.govt.nz/business-income-tax/bit-incometax-basics.html

                      You pay income tax on net profit which includes drawings.

                      If you think you’ve seen accounts that exclude drawings from taxable income then look again.

                    • srylands

                      That is crap. If as a shareholder you take $200,000 out of your company as drawings it is subject to personal income tax. It is NOT tax free income in the hands of the recipient.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      No your scenario assumes that the net profit with drawings included is greater than the value of the drawings.

                      If there’s only a small profit or loss in the business and tax is paid on that small profit or loss.

                      It’s only drawings taken out of profit that is taxable.

                      From the IRD website.

                      “If you take drawings out of the profits the business is making you will need to put some money aside to account for the tax payable on this.”

                      No profit, no tax.

                    • “If you take drawings out of the profits the business is making you will need to put some money aside to account for the tax payable on this.”

                      See my previous comment that explains this.

                      Rewording your quote:

                      “If you take drawings out of the profits the business is making you will need to put some money aside to account for the tax payable on these drawings.”

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      So if I’m paying tax on the profit of $2,000 where is it that I’m paying tax on the $200,000 drawings.

                      It’s not in the business accounts I’ve seen.

                      Are you saying that the $200,00 drawings gets transferred to the personal taxation of the owner?

                      That would be interesting because one of the people I know who did this was quite open about not paying any tax.

                      Not having seen his personal taxation summary and only his business accounts I can’t answer that.

                    • You can’t extract profit from a business as drawings to avoid paying tax (legally). The IRD makes it clear drawings are part of the net profit which is all taxable.

                      I think you have a choice of paying yourself wages and taxing as PAYE or taking drawings taxed at the company tax rate.

                      But there’s exceptions to this. If you have put money into a business and draw some of that back out it won’t be taxable, you’re just being given some of your money back.

                      So perhaps that is what you’ve seen.

                      And you can take it out as a loan but should pay interest or fringe benefit tax.

                      IRD doesn’t let you choose a means of getting paid that avoids tax.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      So in other words what I’ve seen is correct.

                      They can take drawings out and not pay tax on it.

                      “And you can take it out as a loan but should pay interest ”

                      Yeah interest at 5% to your own business is so just like paying tax.

                    • It will have been already taxed if paid into a business and withdrawn, or tax has to be paid on it, so drawings don’t avoid paying tax.

                      You either have to pay back a loan or pay tax on it as a drawing.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Pete George

                      What is your opinion about a Transaction Tax ?

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Pete if the business has made a loss overall where is it that those drawings have been taxed and how much have they been taxed at?

                      If drawings become part of your personal taxation then say so.

                      My understanding is that it is only if you pay wages/salary to yourself that a transfer into your personal taxation account occurs.

                      Wages/salary to yourself is a claimable business expense whereas drawings are not – hence the IRD statement that profit includes drawings.

                      No question at all that if the business makes $400,000 and you draw $200,000 then the $400,000 is taxed.

                      If the business makes only $20,000 or a loss then tax is only paid on the $20,000 or the loss (no tax) respectively.

                      It’s one of the reasons IRD is supposed to clamp down on businesses that make a loss year after year after year. A business is supposed to be run for profit.

                      The capital being referred to is often not funds introduced as you suggest well but the capital gain made by the company especially where property is concerned. Depreciation is another area where there is no actual expense incurred that can be utilised as drawings.

                      It’s surely part of the reason welfare for instance assesses income differently – cause taxable income is not the only way to have an income.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So if I’m paying tax on the profit of $2,000 where is it that I’m paying tax on the $200,000 drawings.

                      It’s not in the business accounts I’ve seen.

                      A business owner who takes drawings out of his business and uses it as personal income will have personal income tax applied to those drawings.

                      The reason that personal income tax will not appear in the accounts of the businesses that you have seen is because the business is not the taxable entity in the case of this income tax; the business owner as an individual is the taxable entity.

                      You would therefore have to examine the business owner’s personal tax returns to see the income tax being applied, not the business’ tax return.

                      Depreciation is another area where there is no actual expense incurred that can be utilised as drawings.

                      I think you are talking about running down the balance sheet of a company to make the company appear less profitable i.e. reducing the taxable profit of the company in any given year.

                      That strategy however does not change the income tax payable on drawings taken out by the business owner and used as personal income. They are different taxable entities – one being the company, the other being the individual business owner.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      There’s some logic missing in there.

                      So the business makes a $400,00 profit and the owner draws $200,000.

                      The $200,000 is not a taxable expense so the business pays tax on $400,000. What you’re trying to say is that the owner now pays tax on $200,000 drawings. The same $200,000 is taxed twice.

                      Really?

                      The business pays the owner $200,000 in wages then it becomes an allowable expense. In that case it’s quite clear that the $200,000 is taxed as personal income and $200,000 as the business income.

                      I’m not trying to be thick here I just can’t follow the logic.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Drawings by a business owner are common for sole traders and owner/opperators. Drawings are typically taxed at the personal income tax rate with tax payable at the end of year. It generally causes provisional tax to come into play as well. Drawings are not double taxed i.e. company profit tax doesn’t also apply.

                      OR a business owner can elect to pay themselves a fair amount of wages/salary given the nature of the company and it’s size. Such personal income is then subject to PAYE, and as you recognise, is a deductible expense off the company’s profit line, hence again company profit tax does not apply to it.

                  • srylands

                    Can you give me some examples of how such people legally circumvent paying tax?

          • srylands 10.1.2.1.3

            Does someone who inherits wealth in the form of property ‘earn’ their rentier income in the same way a worker who exchanges 45+ hours of his or her week for a wage?

            No

            Does a shareholder in coal mine earn their dividend income in the same way as a miner earns his pay?

            Yes

            Does a CEO who is remunerated at 500 times the average pay of his or her company’s employees contribute 500 times more value to the company?

            Doubtful. There are no such CEOs in New Zealand. Can you point to any with such a remuneration? But most CEOs who are top notch are worth top dollar. Look at Air NZ. The shareholders got good value from Ralph Norris. Or do you think the flight attendants saved the company? (And please don’t say it was the Government.)

            What is it you want? Much higher MWs? Fat chance. Only Australia has much higher MWs.

            Governments can’t dial up higher wages via laws. Prosperity is delivered by markets. If you want to promote the welfare of the poor promote markets, free trade, and education. Stop whining about the “rich”. You are like a throw back to stories about 1950s class warfare.

            Also get out of New Zealand and do some travelling. You have lost perspective.

            • TeWhareWhero 10.1.2.1.3.1

              The argument that opposing the activities of the super rich is the ‘politics of envy’ or ‘whining’ is so stupid it’s not worth wasting time on.

              Prosperity may be delivered by markets – the point is how the relations of production that drive those markets are organised.

              As to CEO pay – do some reading.

              The average CEO pay in the US is $14m. The CEOs of Starbucks and McDonalds are paid 1000 times the hourly rate of their front line workers.

              The median for the top 10 earning US CEOs is $7,500 per HOUR against $13.30 per hour for the average workers’ wage – ie 558 times greater.

              This is the bloated extreme which is pulling other country’s top level salaries in both the private and public centres further and further away from the base.

              NZ is not as extreme obviously but no doubt those at the top would like it to be.

              Between 2004 and 2010 average CEO pay packets in NZ rose by 80% and there was more than a 5 fold increase in the number of CEOs earning over $1m.

              In same period average worker wage rose 27% – but if you look at the lowest strata – the trend was for P&C to worsen.

              Extravagant CEO and senior manager remuneration is a status issue – nothing whatsoever to do with performance or adding value to an enterprise. In fact, the way the packages are structured can act as a brake on development – which is well documented.

              Even by capitalism’s own logic, it is unsustainable.

              And then of course there are the relations of reproduction – it’s telling that 90% of these corporate fat cats are men. I think all the top earning CEOs in NZ are male.

              The women in the scenario are the ‘ceremonial consumers’ – as much symbols of male wealth and power as super yachts, private jets and islands.

              That theory of ‘conspicuous consumption’ BTW was first put forward relation to the grossly ostentatious displays of wealth in Edwardian Engand and Belle Epoque France and the rapacious robber baronies of the USA.

              Free market schmarket. It’s a chimera – longed for by idiots but an illusion and impossible to achieve.

              • TeWhareWhero

                AND – an increasing number of NZ workers live from wage to wage, never able to build meaningful reserves. Many are earning below subsistence given that they could not be housed, clothed, fed, educated, get to and from work, stay healthy…. (all the things employers need to ensure a supply of useful labour) without government subsidies – ie the State uses social capital to subsidise private capital.

                There was a small window of slightly more equal opportunity when the subsidies were channelled a bit more towards the workers – but that window closed with monetarism and your the so-called ‘free market’.

                The more affluent in our society have disposable income which they can invest – in shares or property – and thereby supplement their already generous remuneration with rentier income. Unlike the poor, who spend all their income locally, the rich tend to spend most of their income offshore – by travelling, importing luxury goods, investing in offshore finance houses, property etc. The trickle down theory is and always was a joke – a very cruel one.

                The ones who get it woefully, hopelessly, tragically wrong are the poor-but-haven’t-realised it-yet – those who are staying afloat by using their credit cards as a flotation aid, clinging onto the edge by their fingertips – and still stubbornly maintaining that the game is fair, it just needs to be more free – and if it weren’t for all those biassed referees, and those greedy/ feckless/lazy bums further down the pecking order, the market would be able to provide.

                It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

                • Paul

                  +100… Astute observations.

                  You’re wasting energy typing that out for sryland, though.
                  He’s either:
                  a) a true believer in the Rand cult
                  b) paid a salary to write this nonsense on this blog
                  c) a psychopath.

                  He would be funny if he wasn’t so tragic.
                  fify

              • TeWhareWhero

                Meant “countries’ ” – it’s hard work being a pedant.

                • Clemgeopin

                  Great posts. Very educative and thought provoking.
                  Should be compulsory reading for all, especially the right wing voters.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2

      The solution is massive borrowing, regular earthquakes, and stable high commodity prices for our milk exports.

      Oh, and pretending that making unsupported assertions about the minimum wage is the same as policy analysis.

      Ants, it’s time for your reality check

      Two different approaches are taken – one based on changes in the relative employment rates of young adults, and the other on differences in employment changes across industries. Both approaches produce a range of results. The conclusions regarding the negative effects of minimum wage increases on employment are strikingly non-robust.

      Translation: minimum wage Chicken Littles are full of shit.

    • TeWhareWhero 10.3

      “The higher the minimum wage goes, the lower the incentive for people to better themselves. Similarly, with getting rid of 90-day trials, the less the incentive for an employer to take risks on people.”

      What a load of boswellox. Does the same disincentive principle apply to the maximum wage?

      And what are all these CEOs, executives, middle managers, HR experts et al doing to earn their enormous / considerable remuneration packages if they need 3 months to find out if a worker, who they supervise, train and develop, can do a job that they specified and did the recruitment and selection for?

      Seems to me that if management needs 3 months to find out if a worker is any good, the management must be incompetent and should be sacked.

    • Puddleglum 10.4

      Ants,

      Are you saying that the only way to advance the cause of workers is to make it harder to be a worker so that the discipline of such hardship will coerce the worker into working harder?

      Are you also saying that the government should ensure that employers can hire workers for as little as humanly possible in order to ensure that jobs are ‘created’?

      It sounds to me as if that is what you are saying.

      Do you seriously believe such a view is ‘pro-worker’?

      If you do, then you have no idea of the history of the labour movement or the process by which conditions of workers were actually improved.

      It was not achieved through tilting power in the workplace relationship towards employers, which is what you are advocating. Nor was it through telling workers to ‘pull their socks up’ and ‘suck it up’, which, again, seems to be what you are advocating.

      The phrases ‘tugging the forelock’ and ‘doffing the cap’ were invented to describe the attitude you seem to think workers should have towards employers. Whether you realise it or not, you’re advocating subordination and subservience and a complete discounting of self-worth. Dickensian stuff.

      And, if you think that Shane Jones holds similar views, then how on earth does he get any credibility as being someone who is on the side of ‘blue collar workers’? Shane doesn’t strike me as someone who ‘tugs his forelock’ to his bosses, so why does he think anyone else should?

      It’s just nonsense.

    • freedom 10.5

      “Further more to that, the income tax take (sans GST, corporate tax etc) has increased by $2.5 billion per year since 2008.”

      could you please present a link for that data?

  11. Te Reo Putake 12

    MS:

    I thought “great orator” was Parliamentary code for someone who didn’t know when to shut up.

  12. finbar 13

    According to John Tamihere, the loss of Shane Jones,”labour have lost a person who could unite the blue collar vote”.Please what planet are these people on.Jones yesterday, ‘Labour are castrated,they are leaning too left”.This from a corrporate mind who worked for Sealords,a fishery that like all N.Z. fisheries exploit, not only blue collar N.Z. workers, but also off shore third world workers.

    So churlish is his departure going to be, that he will not be keeping his mouth shut, and doing the decency thing, packing up his office and working on his velidictory speech, with a decent amount of humble pie and rousing support for a labour victory.

    He has been there since 2005,lets hope his departure is short of his parliamentary pension.

    • TeWhareWhero 13.1

      Shane Jones unite the blue collar vote – how exactly? By pretending to be a Kiwi battler just like them?

      ‘Labour are castrated and leaning too left’ is (faux)bloke speak for the party being too influenced by the 3 Gs – gays, greenies and girlies – (listed in no particular order of importance).And of course it implies that all blue collar workers are male, heterosexual and hate/distrust greenies.

      That is nonsense of course – and if traditional working class politics have been sidelined within the NZLP, the solution lies in blue-collar workers joining the party, getting active and making sure that their voices are heard. Or, joining a union, getting active and making their voices are heard that way.

      What was Jones doing to encourage union membership or to counter the msm propaganda around the Greens being anti-jobs? Sod all from what I could see.

      • finbar 13.1.1

        Do not wish to get into a arguement.I have worked with workers in my skill,so called blue collar by wage exploitation and its rate of need to society.Male and Female,also wore the so called blue collar uniform.

        My piss off with Jones,and his ilk, they are purporting to represent those they say they are there to protect,but their main drive as he has said,i have to look after my future.He entered parlliament 17 September,1985.Labour victory Is his departure giving creed to his sayingi have to look after myself, selfish care,Murry and i talked about something like this some two odd years ago.

        Is his departure at this time going to cut him short of his parliamentary pension,if it is not, it should.

        Nothing sexist in the LABOUR MIND about wearing a blue collar.

        • Puddleglum 13.1.1.1

          Hi finbar,

          I don’t think TeWhareWhero was accusing you of being sexist – it was a comment in support of your point and trying to elaborate it further.

          But, of course, I wouldn’t want to speak for TeWhareWhero – it’s just my reading of the comment.

          I think the choice of word ‘castrated’ in your quote from Jones is ‘pregnant with connotation’, so to speak 🙂

          That’s what TeWhareWhero was picking up on, I think, when mention was made of ‘(faux) bloke speak’.

        • finbar 13.1.1.2

          The refrence to 1985 is refrence that the labour governence,spun its phillosophy around on,that today they are finding hard to shift.Jones 2005,just the same cloak.

          • finbar 13.1.1.2.1

            Puddleglum.My comment was nothing to do with threat of being put down as sexist or other wise.It was about the solidarity of being a member of a political party left or right, green ,blue, red ,of torquoise, or other, its honest and belief in its care.

            • Puddleglum 13.1.1.2.1.1

              Apologies then.

              I read your comment about “Do not wish to get into a argument” and interpreted it as you feeling that TeWhareWhero was arguing with you.

    • felix 13.2

      Apparently Shane Jones could unite the blue collar vote.

      So how did that work out for him in the last two elections?

  13. rhinocrates 14

    Labour – and Trotter – needs to get over a flat cap and braces stereotype of the working class and look at the real strugglers. Jones played up that stereotype in the shallowest possible way while serving his corporate masters in Sealord and National.

    It’s disturbing, but not unsurprising that a narrow focus on white het males (of which I am one) are supposedly the “real people”. We’re not the only ones and I will not be drafted to someone else’s war.

    This is deliberate and it’s racist and misogynistic.

    I want Labour to help me, but I want it to help the people standing around me too, not just those driving Audis.

    I was trained as an architect and I was instructed to put wheelchair ramps in entrances. How have wheelchair ramps ever made it more difficult for me to walk through a door?

    Nothing that has ever helped a disadvantaged person has ever disadvantaged me. It may have removed a privilege, but I don’t care about selective privileges. Rights are by definition universal.

    • TeWhareWhero 14.1

      Well said.

    • Ant 14.2

      Yep, thats the most insulting thing. Their assumption of the working class as some 1950’s smoko room caricature forgetting all the other ethnicities, sexualities, genders, and cultures that make up the workers in NZ. It’s massively condescending that they consider workers as simple idiots who sit around swearing and insulting women, and that acting like that might appeal to them in some weird way.

      Like all the herp derp about Labour forgetting about workers and focusing too much on unions…mother of god the stupidity.

      • Matthew Hooton 14.2.1

        Yes, you make a good point. But the fact is there are some of the “working class” who are “1950s smoko room” in their outlook, and Labour has to be able to connect with these people to win an election (as well as the other people who make up its core support base). I suspect that more of the so-called “missing million” are “1950s smoko room” types than, say, union members, urban liberals or the gay community – the first two of which tend to vote Labour or Green rather than National. (I suspect the gay community splits roughly the same as the population as a whole). Labour/Green has to find a way to connect with the “1950s smoko room” minority – perhaps a Labour/Green/NZ First coalition would be capable of this.

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          Rediscovering a left wing Labour Party with a strong socialist streak and wasn’t a politically centrist affair fawning to property owning middle class and upper middle class proclivities would be a good start.

        • Sacha 14.2.1.2

          “I suspect that more of the so-called “missing million” are “1950s smoko room” types than, say, union members, urban liberals or the gay community”

          and I ‘suspect’ most of them are none of those – just smart enough to stay home when nobody is competently representing their interests.

          • Matthew Hooton 14.2.1.2.1

            Perhaps. as I say, I am commenting here from gut, not data.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.1.2.1.1

              That’s a new way of saying you embody mendacity, as part of a perfect manifestation of your character.

              An orchestrated litany of lies made flesh.

            • miravox 14.2.1.2.1.2

              Who paid for that gut comment Matthew?

              oh… and +1 Sacha

            • Murray Olsen 14.2.1.2.1.3

              That’s a novel way of saying you’re talking shit. I might try it next time I need to buy laxatives. “Do you have something to ensure regular comments from the gut?”
              “You mean like that guy that hatched the egg?”
              “Yeah.”
              “Castor oil works well, for those 1950’s gut comments.”

          • karol 14.2.1.2.2

            The groups with the highest level of non-voting are the young, the unemployed and those on low incomes – also Asians and recent migrants.

            The most important ones to motivate to vote are the young. There are also studies that show people set their voting patterns at a young age. If people don’t vote when they first reach voting age, they are more likely not to vote when they get older.

        • felix 14.2.1.3

          Matthew who do you think unions are exactly?

        • Psycho Milt 14.2.1.4

          But the fact is there are some of the “working class” who are “1950s smoko room” in their outlook, and Labour has to be able to connect with these people to win an election.

          Oh, please. There are plenty of the “well off” who are “not complete arseholes” in their outlook, and National apparently doesn’t need to be able to connect with those people to win an election.

          • Paul 14.2.1.4.1

            “I suspect that more of the so-called “missing million” are “1950s smoko room” types ”

            Hooton does not know a thing about the working classes.
            Hence he suspects.

        • finbar 14.2.1.5

          Matt.Your reward is to riddicule,those today that say we have forgot about our being as your riddicule rules.How sad is your human compass of care.Just i have to care for my selfish future.
          The National govevernment sequested union funds and deregistered the seamens union in the fifties and brought in the navy to scab on human care in the fifties.

          Wake up Mathew and your care of care.

    • Puddleglum 14.3

      The focus on white males is especially perplexing today, in New Zealand, when just about every discussion or media focus on child poverty, the minimum wage or workplace conditions looks to the female dominated occupation of cleaners.

      Similarly, ‘workers’ more generally are identified with ‘freezing workers’, ‘forestry workers’ and ‘miners’ and yet not all workers in those industries are white, by any stretch.

      On the one hand, the terms ‘working class’ and ‘blue collar’ seem to connote white male factory workers for many but, on the other hand, here in New Zealand we almost always appeal to female and/or non-white worker dominated industries in our discussions of ‘workers” issues.

      Really interesting disjunction.

      Perhaps, in New Zealand, ‘working class’ is really code for ‘tradespeople’?

      The urban equivalent of the mythical, white, male farmer, perhaps? (not that white male farmers don’t exist, but that they have a mythical role in ‘Kiwi’ identity).

    • finbar 14.4

      Shame Jones, and his ilk would believe otherwise.

  14. Tanz 15

    Keeping Stock had a good comment re this, how Labour are pandering to the urban elite and have longforgotten the working class values that it was founded on. Think it was KS, could be wrong, one of the right wing bloggers, anyway. There was some truth there though. Too much social engineering, and the struggling continue to struggle in the backwaters of NZ…Labour was a great party back in the Lange era.

    • finbar 15.1

      As Lange said when he left,enough.His mate Prebble and Douglas,around founded their ACT.I seen Prebble, puting the boot into his freind Brash,when both were is the same studio.What loyalty does thein creed care for.Prebble saying his ridicule of Brashes lament book.Yet old time Prebble, saying about Langes book,well he did not have any freinds to speak of.

  15. Clemgeopin 16

    The real tragedy for democracy in our society is that the MSM and the so called ‘expert’ commentators focus too much on sensational political stuff and sound bites and too little on debating, discussing, analysing and giving publicity to the voters about various POLICIES and programmes of the political parties. We are all very poorly served by these commentators and the media. That is a real shame and a great disgrace practiced by our very inept fourth estate.

  16. fisiani 17

    Given that so many here are rejoicing at getting rid of The Jones boy and knowing that this will purify Labour I know that they will be expecting the next round of polls to show a huge upsurge in support for The Left. If this certainty does not arise will it be the fault of the media or just lead to an assumption that voters are not as clever as Labour activists but can be dragged out to vote in great numbers in September.

    • Matthew Hooton 17.1

      I think the far-left attitude is that the expulsions will continue until morale improves.

      • mickysavage 17.1.1

        Matthew there has been no expulsion and within the party there is a desire to have as broad based a party as is possible. And Shane left of his own accord for his own reasons.

      • Paul 17.1.2

        Expulsions?
        What are you talking about?

      • felix 17.1.3

        It’s weird that Matthew can be on the radio one minute saying Jones quit because Labour is gay, and then nek minit he’s here saying Jones was expelled!

        It’s as if nothing he says can be trusted by anyone, ever.

      • Clemgeopin 17.1.4

        What expulsions? Like you said elsewhere, this must be yet another comment from you from your gut, a sick one.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.4.1

          Nah, it’s a conscious and deliberate lie by a “man” who owes his entire career to deceit.

      • finbar 17.1.5

        Only would a care thought allow you to express your minds thought.

      • Ad 17.1.6

        Working fine for National though isn’t it?

      • Ben Adam 17.1.7

        Why have you run away like a coward instead of answering the criticism about your blatant lie when you stated with reference to Shane Jones, about the left, that ‘the expulsions will continue’. You call your self a political commentator? You are just a lying scum of a propagandist for the right wing. Shame on you, for misinforming and manipulating people with your dirty falsehood.

  17. finbar 18

    The hunt is on.The point of Jones getting im here.Well the islands are going to get his abrupt ego arrogance.Corrporate usury shall be their reward,pay back and hefty mana.

    Our hunt is just getting started,remember the prize.

    • Clemgeopin 18.1

      He may even try to save the Islands from the effects of global warming and rising seas by fighting like mad for the Green causes. The saviour has arrived! He might even walk on water. A great loyal ex-Labour macho man! The Islanders don’t yet know how lucky they are!

  18. captain hook 19

    hooton loves the working class. He is a winner and they are losers. i fhe had his way he would be allowed to whip them as a matter of principle and throw money out of a second story window on Fridays and watch them fight for it.
    waddaguy.

  19. Descendant Of Sssmith 20

    Labour and the working class starts with the 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week and the right to strike.

    Until they believe in those things again they don’t deserve the working class vote.

    Right wing wankers the lot of them.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Labour and the working class starts with the 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week and the right to strike.

      Until they believe in those things again they don’t deserve the working class vote.

      Yep.

      And from those basics the future is workers having a democratic say in the running of the business, which of course must also be associated with having an ownership share.

      Time to democratise the workplace, the economy, and the ownership of productive capital.

  20. captain hook 21

    that is not true.
    The neo-liberal consensus has effectively tilted the balance against workers by making their claims appear immoral. Until that shibboleth is slaughtered there is no hope for any of us.
    The rate of profit of any enterprise tends towards zero over time and the owners of production sitting around with their little spreadsheets know it. they can quantify anything these days including the number of suck asses and scabs who are willing to do their dirty work for them.

  21. RRM 22

    The problem was Shane Jones seemed like he was for the workers.

    Whereas Labour is for the Unions.

    And the Unions are for the Unions.

    No wonder he gave up and got the hell out of there.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      As felix astutely pointed out somewhere – who is being served by driving this wedge between ‘workers’ and ‘unions’?

      • RRM 22.1.1

        The workers. It might stop a few of them from being held down by self-serving, corrupt, criminal (oh hai, UNITE! Paid your staff’s PAYE yet?) gangs of thugs and toadies…

        • felix 22.1.1.1

          Unions are just groups of workers. That’s what “union” means.

          You’re trying to make a distinction that doesn’t exist.

    • Will@Welly 22.2

      Crap RRM. The Labour Party walked away from the unions years ago. Look at the 9 years of Helen Clark administration – nothing was fundamentally undone to reform the changes brought about by Roger Douglas/Ruth Richardson/Jenny Shipley. The “unions” in New Zealand hang on by the bare thread, overseas they tend to be much stronger, wages and working conditions are better, businesses tend to be more productive, and here, the bottom tends to be improve only when there is a sell-off. The trouble with that, is that profitably is a short-term gain.
      Shane Jones never related to the average worker – like John Key, he gave a nod and wink to them, all the while reaching behind them and taking the money out of their back pockets.
      Other than strengthening the importance of the iwi leaders, and their cosy relationship with the National Government, what has Shane Jones done for the average Maori? Maori youth unemployment remains high, as does the overall Maori unemployment rate. And you can’t blame Maori for that – I’ve worked alongside too many Maori to know that they are not lazy – they just need the opportunity to get a job.

  22. True Labour 23

    FFS – Josie Pagani has never got over the fact she only got number 38 on the Labour list at the last election. Such an over inflated view of herself and massive sense of self entitlement. She will spend the rest of her existence bagging labour and talking absolute BS to undermine the movement. People like Josie don’t give a shit about the people Labour and the left are there to serve. If she did then she wouldn’t be hell best on trying to sabotage Labour’s chances at this election. She’s also got this horrible woman against woman jealousy going on – a kind of alpha female complex. They feel this overwelming need to be the woman with the biggest tits in the room and when people aren’t giving them the attention that this would draw, then they spit the dummy. Sorry you didn’t cut it Josie but move the ‘F’ on and get over yourself.

  23. anker 24

    O.k. so Labour loses Shane Jones. The spin seems to be that Jones was the only one who reached out to the boy in the smoko room etc, etc. and that this is hugely damaging to Labour.

    There may be some short term pain for Labour in losing Jones in terms of the polls. I can’t be 100 % sure about that but that could happen.

    What a lot of people are overlooking is we’ve lost Shane Jones, but Labour has gained Matt McCarten. A major coup (down to Cunliffe I might add). Matt is the one with the proven track record of representing the people Labour need to be standing for and looking out for.Workers, who are amongst the lowest paid in this country. McCarten has an unblemished history of doing this. His colleague Mike Treen who has also done the same wrote on TDB, supporting a left government, get out to vote for Labour, Mana or Green. This is huge for Labour and signals we are on our way back to the Labour that was before the self interested types such as Prebble, Douglas etc who high jacked the party.

    So for me, the short term “pain” of losing Jones, is far outweighed by the overall gain that him going will mean. He clearly was in the wrong party. So good that he goes. Its hard to be particularly clear what he stands for other than himself. Those sort of people are not that helpful in politics, because they can’t sublimate their own needs and opinions for the greater good. I can’t help but reflecting on this both in terms of his personal situation as well and politically. And of course someone like him with a very loud voice and claimed a lot of attention.

  24. captain hook 25

    miravox.
    dont waste time with pete geroge.
    he is a tory suckup and has been all his life. he has never had to work as they gave him a job sitting on his arse as long as toed the party line.
    yet he has the cheek to comment on workers.
    piss off pete.

    • miravox 25.1

      Yeah, I know, captain. An eyeroll would have been better.

      It annoys me that he thinks he can get away with reframing the topic, or having the bullshit he spouts sitting as if it were true when it’s damaging to vulnerable people.

  25. Mike 26

    So the problem is a false consciousness on the part of the public because if we can catapult over the ‘MSM’ then people will see the reality that Labour Party is for working Class people…
    Like truck drivers

    An example of Labour controlling the message outside the ‘MSM’ without National ‘framing’ the issue:

  26. Philj 27

    xox
    Pg is another rw distraction. I just ignore his posts, and discussion related.

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  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
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  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
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  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
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  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
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  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
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  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
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  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
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  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
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  • Outstanding public service recognised
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  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
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  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
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  • NZ-China FTA upgrade negotiations conclude
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  • Fletcher Tabuteau congratulates winners of regional economic development awards
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  • More progress on cancer medicines
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  • New Zealand gifts White Horse to Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Japan
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  • High Commissioner to Canada announced
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  • New Retirement Commissioner appointed
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  • New Zealand and Japan commit to greater cooperation in the Pacific
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