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Labour Congress EFA protest

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, April 14th, 2008 - 21 comments
Categories: activism, election funding - Tags: ,

Jordan Carter’s just posted a photo of what looks like nine EFA protesters having their say outside the Labour Party Congress on the weekend.

Looks like there are two journalists and a cameraman in the shot too so if my maths is right that’s a grand total of six genuine protesters. Nice work John.



21 comments on “Labour Congress EFA protest”

  1. Alfonso 1

    And in case you are wondering, yes, the woman holding the near end of the banner is National MP Kate Wilkinson.

    Sad, sad, sad. When you are meant to be demonstrating a grassroots movement against something it pays to have a few grassroots people present.

  2. Mike Collins 2


    That is most certainly not a National party MP holding the banner.

  3. Monty 3

    The conference must have been very irrelevant to Mainstream if that was all te attention they could muster. I also noted from Television shots that there were plenty of empty seats inside the Hall as well.

    My view of the conference is that it has been overshadowed by the stupid and immature song (which had Helen cringing) and Mike Williams encouraging delegates to break the law (which Labour wrote and rammed through parliament) – not a good look.

    The whole conference seemed to be reminiscent of a desperate General trying to rally troops against tremendous odds in a hopeless situation for a cause long forgotten.

  4. mike 4

    Yes Helen did not look very happy Mike W this morning on Brekky.
    She should have let the thug go after Glengate..

  5. Patrick 5

    What was even more amusing than the lack of people protesting the EFA was how quickly the National/ACT rent-a-crowd scrambled when Tama Iti’s mates showed up.

  6. Joker 6

    I remember that after the EFB march in Wellington last year that this blog had a go at the credibility of the protesters message based on the numbers participating.

    I watched 40 soap dodging students march through Lambton Quay last week. They were protesting student debt. By using the Standards own rule highlighted in this post and previously the lack of numbers participating renders the students message meaningless.

    Now I am sure that I am certain (though happy to be corrected) that you left wing types cant be that keen on the debt levels of New Zealand youngsters. Hopefully this example shows you that denigrating the message of a protest based on participation levels is idiotic.

    Honestly you chaps have to get over this fixation with size.

  7. r0b 7

    Monty: The conference must have been very irrelevant to Mainstream if that was all te attention they could muster.

    Translation: The Labour led government must be doing very well if so few people can be bothered to show up to protest.

    Monty I also noted from Television shots that there were plenty of empty seats inside the Hall as well.

    Translation: Labour booked a big venue for the 598 delegates to congress (probably it’s largest Congress ever – about 70 more delegates than the 2005 congress).

    Monty: My view of the conference is that it has been overshadowed by the stupid and immature song (which had Helen cringing) and Mike Williams encouraging delegates to break the law (which Labour wrote and rammed through parliament) – not a good look.

    Translation: I’m trying to beat up a non story about a song written and performed at a pub social, that was performed again as an impromptu standup to cover a 5 minute wait in the schedule. Ohh, and, I’m also trying to beat up the nonesense that its against the law for Labour members to distribute material that is freely available from WINZ and other sources.

    Monty: The whole conference seemed to be reminiscent of a desperate General trying to rally troops against tremendous odds in a hopeless situation for a cause long forgotten.

    Translation: Labour are cohesive, confident, on message, and delivering constructive policy. The Labour Party membership is in rousing good spirits, and ready to campaign hard. Bugger!

  8. AncientGeek 8

    Monty: you’re patheticly shallow. I suppose you think that NZ Idol bears some relationship to reality?

    I also noted from Television shots that there were plenty of empty seats inside the Hall as well.

    When? This was a working congress for activist delegates in an election year. There are limits on the number of people who get to go along. After all we were there figuring out how to ensure that the left (and in particular Labour) gets a 4th term. That doesn’t require a lot of people.

    There were major speeches where the whole hall was crammed full. I was wishing that they’d opened the gallery and kicked the cameras out from up there.

    Then there were speeches with just delegates and journo’s. Since there were only 500 odd delegates, the hall was only partially full.

    Now why is that? Could it be because the capacity of the hall was calculated with the public speeches in mind.

    Monty: I’d suggest that you need to actually get involved in a real party before you start talking about things you don’t understand.

    captcha: the report
    Monty would get an I for Ignorant…

  9. Robinsod 9

    Ha! So this is what happens to right-wing protest when you take the hundreds of thousands of dollars of advertising out of it?

  10. AncientGeek 10

    The semi-public speeches (I believe they were invite only as well) were quite claustrophobic. Especially after some idiot protestor triggered a fire alarm and we had to all file out.

    Mind you the singing of “We shall overcome” from the people coming back in was pretty cool. Almost drowned out the loudhailers and sound systems of the protestors. They were more than a little uncouth, and it was pretty difficult to see what they were protesting about. I got the impression that there were several sets of demonstrators. It was hard to tell – the messages were somewhat incoherent.

    At least the EFA people were polite and got their message over clearly.

  11. Mike Collins 11

    “At least the EFA people were polite and got their message over clearly.”

    Thank you AncientGeek. That’s precisely the reason we left when the other protesters showed up. We didn’t want our message getting lost amongst them or being associated with them. It had nothing to do with fear – if so we would have left when a Labour party delegate threatened us with physical violence (from his family he was willing to call down). By and large we felt we were able to get our message across with smiles on our faces and courtesy in our words. For the most part this was reciprocated.

  12. Monty 12

    Rob and Ancient – Thanks for the reaction. – But aren’t you just a little defensive? As a middle class family man I work very hard during the week and spend time with my family in the weekends. I am doing two full-time jobs to get ahead and resent the amount of tax these socialist pricks take off me. I had to laugh at that patthetic song – one line in particular – “I’ve made a life out of gambling people’s money not caring where it came from” that much better sums up you theiving socialists.

    But still I get the feeling from the socialists on the street such as my Fireman buddy and my unionist cousin (disdgrace to the family name) that even those two devout labour suporters are saying Labour is fucked. What is especially pleasing is that the Fireman is going to vote Act solely because of the EFA. – He has suported Labour for 25 years and can no longer support you beloved Labour. I believe there are plenty more out there who feel that this Government must go – so I hold true to my comments – this congress was like the desperate general trying to rally the troops when the war has already been lost – I think the turning point was the Battle of the EFA.

  13. AncientGeek 13

    Monty: you may have that opinion. We did not.

    What just got up my nose is you making assertions about something when you obviously had absolutely no idea about what you were waffling on about.

    BTW: The EFA is just an organising issue. I can remember exactly the same types of problems when we went into the first MMP election. Apart from EFA protestors, party organisers and on the blogs, I can’t remember having a conversation with anyone about it. It is a non-issue outside of a NZ’s small group of political activists. I haven’t even found anyone even amongst the right-wingers that I work with.

  14. I bet your fireman buddy is going to feel like a complete chump when he realise he’s been had by your lies.

    (oh dear, captcha: from investors)

  15. Come to think of it do National still want to reduce the size of fire crews?

  16. Monty 16

    Even although my mate is a fireman he is also one of the slightly more intelligent amongst them. (but have you seen the competition???) He actually used to support Labour because of what they stood for – but he is now disgusted with Labour’s general direction, and cannot believe the corruption of democracy that is the EFA, as well as the lies, the nastiness, and the move away from self responsibility (I call that nanny state). Interestingly he also believes that Winston is a wanker and should not be in parliament (can’t disagree there) Peter Dunny is a self absorbed prick, (as is Anderton) and the Greens are complete commie flakes. Not a bad summing up of the minor parties in my view. He would not vote for National on principle(he is a unionist Fireman after all) but the liberal values of Act are to him acceptable and in line with his personal convictions.- He has told me his vote will (not maybe) go to Act.

    And should National want to reduce Fire Crews – well personally I hope so – there are good reasons for doing so and without compromising safety of the communities where the crews are based. The models prove that cities such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru (with two stations – one of which does significantly less work than most volunteer station) and Dunedin can rationalise the number of crews available to respond in the evenings. Do not get into this argument with me – I used to work for the Fire Service and know and understand the models used. Firemen are the only profession (other than unionists) who get paid to sleep on the job. Two days on, two nights on (where they can sleep) is a very well paid and under utilised service.

  17. Funny all those fire officers didn’t agree when National tried it last time. I guess that working for the FS means you’ve also had a cut of my taxes. Parasite.

  18. higherstandard 18

    Arguing about the fire service and their staff after recent events is ……… sorry words fail me.

  19. ak 19

    Your surname isn’t Burns is it Monty?

  20. Monty 20

    I have every respect for Firemen and having worked for the NZFS think that when they are on the job they are great – The recent events are a terrible blow especially when you consider that despite the dangers that go with the job, this has been the first fatality in 25 years. How-ever that does not mean to say that rationalisation cannot be undertaken.

    And Robinsod – you ingorant fool – the Fire Service is not funded by taxes – but rather a levy on insurance premuims – so maybe my levies that I pay provide a service that you do not pay for – but no doubt live in comfort safe in the knowledge that the NZFS will be there should you have a fire, or be in a car accident.

    In my role at the Fire I made them a bucket more money because of the work that I did that would have paid many times over the pittance for which I was paid.

    I can also tell you that because of my right wing views the CEO (acting) did not like someone who was not part of the “Labour Family” so my job was structured out of existance. (Lucky for ma as I then went on to positions where I have made even more money in the private sector.

  21. lprent 21

    Mike Collins: Was good to see you there and to have a brief chat. Your group made more of an impact than the noisy and confused protest by the later protestors. Especially as we were inside learning about implications of the Act in our campaigning style. Still disagree with your views. But I’m starting to have a little list of amendments I’d like to see for the EFA after the election. Probably pick up a few more by the time it is over.

    Met a few people from the blog while I was at congress. Blogs must be making more of an impact than I’d realised. Kept having people looking at the name tag and either telling me their non-de-plume or that they read the blog regularly. The descriptions of withdrawl symptoms during the ‘day-off’ were a bit horrendous – sounds like an addiction to me.

    It was quite embarrassing because they’d compliment me for what the posters write – and I didn’t know who the posters are. I’ll reiterate what I was saying to them. As well as the obvious conflicts of interest in my role as a bastard sysop, I cannot write effectively. Give me some code or a knotty tech strategy any day. The writers deserve the credit. They keep getting better at making their posts more interesting. I’m starting to read them with considerable interest myself. At least after I scan the comments looking for incipient flamewars or bad behaviour. The comments are (largely) getting better as well, and I get fascinated by some of the links. I keep adding links to the blogroll where there is an interesting site on the end of it, and obviously so do some of the moderators.

    Anyway, it was a quite a change from my usual background roles (as a loose tech cannon). I think I’ll have to have a non-de-plume at conferences in future.

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