Labour media commentators

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 14th, 2015 - 70 comments
Categories: labour, Politics - Tags: ,

A recent article by Phil Quin in the Herald made me wonder.  I understand that he was a Parliamentary staffer for the party in the 1990s but I have never met him.  I have never seen him at a meeting, never heard of him being involved in a campaign, never come across him at a party conference despite being a religious attendee since 1999, and never seen him campaigning.  Yet he is apparently a Labour insider.

I can say that members find him frustrating.  His constant sniping at the party and his constant negativity during the last election campaign neatly reinforced an impression that the party was not fit to govern.  Crosby Textor could not dream of more damaging “friendly” fire.

I mention my failure to have ever met him because I am a staunch believer that politics is essentially retail, and that the on the ground face to face contact is absolutely vital.  And Labour’s activists are really important.  I have had the privilege of meeting many of them but I have never met Phil.  You need helpful media but left parties will not win unless they have the on the ground work being done by dedicated lefties.

Phil’s Herald article starts off by panning the effort of the Labour Party in the last election.  We all know that Labour did not do well.  Amongst other things the caucus was far too divided to function effectively and everyone knew it.  Thankfully things are much improved now.  I am still trying to locate the text in Phil’s latest post where he acknowledges this.

He makes some fact free assertions.  A single comment to one of his posts by a semi retired person called Kat is evidence that Labour members had branded him as a heretic.  Kat’s comment was actually prescient.  All the membership wanted was some unity amongst the MPs and some positive press and anything was possible.  It is a strange thing when the leader of the opposition can best Key in the debates yet the party still do poorly.  And the toxic mix of Dotcom support for a support party and the failure to deliver the damning piece of evidence against Key hurt.  This was always beyond Labour’s control.

Quin then says this:

The Labour Party does not tolerate dissent, not just in a cultural or attitudinal sense, but in its rules. Its governing bodies are elected en masse via first past the post. Sector Councils ensure minority groups have a place at the table, but there is no space whatsoever for minority opinions.

Get that?  Having a democratic system and having representatives of Women, Youth, Iwi and Pacifica is evidence of not tolerating dissent.  And I can safely say that the Labour Party does not tolerate intolerance to dissent.  Phil Quin you have to be joking.

He raises as an example Labour’s response to ISIS.  He obviously thinks we should be in Iraq boots and all.  Without saying what Labour’s position is he says they are wrong and an alternative view should be advocated.  The party’s position is actually very mild.  All that Andrew Little has said is that it is wrong to prop up a corrupt and inept Iraqi regime and that the situation is complex.  If it was up to me every single cent spent by New Zealand would be to support the millions of refugees in the area and I would leave it to the UN to sort out the military response.

Quin claims that holding an opinion such as his renders you a sell-out, a secret Tory, an apostate.  Well that is true but only because sell outs, tories and apostates hold such views as his.  If this is what he thinks then he should join National.  It is helpful if you belong to a left wing party, even one as centrist as the Labour Party, that you actually hold at least mildly left wing views.  Wanting to persuade the party to support a right wing failing state involved in the genocide of others will end in tears.

Quin then gets upset that Labour is standing a candidate in the Northland by election and uses a tongue in cheek tweet that I sent as evidence of organisational disorder.

You see what was really f*&^*#g annoying about Quin’s tweet was that some young political activists up north were expressing an opinion during a campaign, and expressing an opinion I totally agreed with yet Quin chose to frame this as head office incompetence.  Peters did not care at the engagement.  He probably enjoyed the interaction.  Locals expect this sort of exchange during an election campaign.  For Quin to make a big deal about this shows how out of touch with retail politics he is.

Phil’s views are unusual.  He thinks that Tony Blair was a good bloke even though he is that toxic that UK Labour candidates are returning his donations.  And he thinks that all Labour needs to do is triangulate, that is have a solid left wing policy platform but toss in some rabid right wing policies to confuse the punters.  Adding the reintroduction of capital punishment to a bunch of solid left wing policies ought to do it as far as Phil is concerned.

The basic problem is that the media choose to go to the right wing rump of the Labour Party to seek comment on what is happening in the party and the comment is inevitably negative.  These guys would be comfortable if Roger Douglas was still finance spokesperson.  If the media wants to present a real insight into what is happening within the Labour Party they should go to this person or this person.

Update:  Phil and I have had a twitter conversation about this post.  He has taken exception to the suggestion I made that he supports capital punishment.  Rereading the post I intended the reference to be ironic rather than factual and I am happy to accept this comment is not accurate and I have amended the post.

70 comments on “Labour media commentators”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    This comment made after the article titled “Phil Quin: Little looking ready to take bullet meant for Key” appeared in the NZH really sums it up for me.

    “just a point – one of labour”s problems in the last election was a continual stream of media stories generated off the back of party insiders and disaffected ex members

    You were one of those people, and yes, you’re free to say what you want – but i do question why people who claim to be in the same “zone” as labour always seem to pop up to put the boot in, for money, during electoral proceedings.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11414503

  2. Logie97 2

    Agreed MS. Unfortunate second link there. The name that shows up most clearly is woodhouse. Obviously you wanted Helens name to be more prominent.

    [Right you are Logie. Now fixed – MS]

  3. It is interesting that a Billy no mates like Quin gets quotes as an insider. As you point out, he holds no position of influence, has been away for a long, long time and is stuck in an idealogical time warp that has less and less to do with the NZLP as each day goes by. At least Josie Pagani is involved and engaged in the party and can and does talk with party members and leaders. She may have similar Blairite tastes to Quin, but at least she has put her money where her mouth is and stood for selection and election within the party.

    It’s problematic that there are few ‘go to’ media voices that genuinely reflect the views of party members. The best regular is Mike Williams (and yes, I know there are many who will say he doesn’t reflect their views, but he is at least in the loop). Quin is the same kind of option for the media as Bryce Edwards; a sneering, dismissive who can be relied on to run the party down while claiming credibility by association.

  4. Lindsey 4

    Yes, and if it is not this chap – it is Josie Pagani.

    • North 4.1

      It is fraudulent of Quin to hold himself out as ‘of’ Labour given what appear to be connections (such as they ever were) now quite specious; fraudulent also of those who seek his commentary as one ‘of’ Labour. He’s entitled of course to comment as much he wishes about whatever. However his lack of integrity is palpable when he comments purportedly from territory he does not presently occupy and hasn’t occupied for a long time.

      What’s going on in the fellow’s mind ? Is there enduring sadness within ?

  5. jenny kirk 5

    Agree MS – I, too, despite 32 years of active participation in the Labour Party , have never heard of Phil Quin until he started popping up as a “left” spokesperson.
    Did I hear somewhere that he was a staffer for Roger Douglas or one of his cronies ?

  6. philj 6

    This looks like another smear of Labour from a supposed Labour supporter by the Herald. The Greens leadership issue is being framed in the MSM as questioning the greens current stance on holding out on staying green outside the tent than being blue/green and getting into bed with the Nats. Is this another DP example or just business as usual from a right wing MSM?

  7. Saarbo 7

    Spot on MS.

    People like Quin do enormous damage to Labour, clearly he is an advocate for National. He is also savvy enough to know that there is strong demand for Anti Labour comments from Ex Labour commentators from our Right orientated news media. It keeps a nice little revenue stream rolling in for him.

    These commentators are a serious problem for Labour, they do have a influence over swinging voters unfortunately. Clearly Quin is a major arshole.

    • tc 7.1

      About time Little and co denounced all of them as part of the current DP/MSM machine and NOT part of the labour party to show a regeneration process.

      True believer time as a unique selling point taking up mickeys retail theme with the likes of Pagani and Williams marked as MSM shills not labour party representatives.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        Hardly need to. The Herald seems to be the only place for his views. Most readers would skip it by.

        Its only intriguing here because everyone is thinking WTF .

  8. lprent 8

    I remember Phil Quin was a Labour staffer at parliament back in the early 90s. And I think that he had some staffing role with Phil Goff at some point as well. I knew him mainly by reputation. In my view he was a complete prancing twit then with stupid advice, just as he is now.

    But more importantly, he has as far as I am aware, never had anything to do with the membership of the party to any significant degree. As far as I can remember, his most significant interactions with the Labour party had to do with trying to suppress dissent within it.

    As far as I could see he was really only interested in cuddling up to MPs. This was always noticeable when at conferences in the 90s. It doesn’t sound like the irrelevant crawler has changed much.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10716608

    I suspoect that he is also an extremely poor loser.

    • North 8.1

      Aha…….a failed wannabee. Maybe the failed star-fucking is the enduring sadness within ? Well then, if the only connection is miniscule and risibly 20 years plus historic, and it was service rendered to Phil Goff when Phil was a youngster, isn’t the wood on Phil to cut him off at the knees ? Out the fraud as a disgruntled, losing wannabee ?

      • Murray Rawshark 8.1.1

        Goff might well agree with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Goff had a Tony Blair portrait in his office.

    • Anne 8.2

      I suspoect that he is also an extremely poor loser.

      Right. My belief too. He’s conducting a vendetta against the L.P. He looks an arrogant bugger and he behaves like one. Bet he’s never so much as delivered a pamphlet in a letterbox.

      That he is used by sections of the media (TVNZ in particular) to opine as a so-called Labour Party activist… says more about them than it does him!

  9. Sable 9

    Saying you support an organisation and actually doing so by words and actions are two different things. That said some of what this man said about Labour especially the dictatorial nature of the party is on the money. This is why they have trouble forming alliances with other parties. Just look at how they have been treating the Greens.

    Anyway to hell with Labour, just National 2.0. Roll on NZ First and the Greens.

    • lprent 9.1

      I haven’t seen any evidence of Labour having problems forming coalitions after the voters intentions are plain.

      But I suspect that you are talking about deliberate attempts by politicians to remove choice from the voters in grubby backroom deals for electorate seats before elections.

      Have you ever figured out what that nasty and despicable style of machine polityics does to a democracy over time?

      1. The turnout diminishes as there is less choice for voters to select from.
      2. The major party blocs get more alike as they kill off alternative parties.
      3. The political system shifts from to being less on the ground as local activists are sidelined, and the system goes more paid professional.

      In short you eventually wind up with a us style jammed up
      rigid political system with limited abilities to change or grow.

      One where unelected ‘political operator’ staffer turkeys like Phil Quin with no actual ground level experience rule politics badly.

      Somehow I don’t think Labour is going away anytime soon. Damn good thing as well. It is a party of members who have a history that points out why you don’t do the kind of stupid shit that you and Phil Quin are advocating.

      I really find it odd looking at the number of people who don’t think strategically about politics.

  10. philj 10

    “It doesn’t sound like the irrelevant crawler has changed much”
    Seriously, how does Labour allow such a ‘crawler’ into a responsible position in the party? Is their any quality control? Is the current LP any better?

    • lprent 10.1

      As far as I am aware, he hasn’t had a position in the party, certainly hasn’t had one in about the last 20 years. Then it was as a paid by parliamentary services flunky. And nothing much to do with the Labour party.

      I can’t recall him ever doing much with the membership or the party organisation. I suspect he keeps as far away from the actual Labour party as possible.

      He is a self appointed louse commenting on a party that he knows little about.

      Parliamentary staffers are effectively selected by individual MPs or small panels. They are screened more for their competence than their specific political positions for doing the job required by the parliamentary wing. Usually with Labour, they prefer staffers to be vaguely left. But that could be anything from a anarchist to a neo-liberal with a social conscience. It is a broad party.

      If it isn’t a broad party then its support level would be that of every small factional party. Like the 1.6% of Mana. Which is why Labour tolerates dissent more than a small tight group does.

  11. tc 11

    DP continues unabated and now with added local body politics for that extra binding zip between GE cycles.

    [lprent: Too opaque. I could barely figure out some of what you were saying when I was looking for its relevance to this post. ]

    • tc 11.1

      My bad, just that we’re seeing DP extend out from Central govt with this newish so called labour expert to local body politics now with brewer in the thick of it in AKL to keep the themes going across as many fronts as possible.

    • Grant 12.1

      suspect dirty politics?

    • greywarshark 12.2

      lprent
      Why is your comment from 10.46am, below mine just entered at 12.05pm and both on the same number, which is 17 ? And also an apparent reply to yours also at 17?

      Now at 12.14 pm yours has been pushed down to 19 by another couple of comments and this is 19 too now, we are getting pushed around! Something gone @*#!

      • lprent 12.2.1

        Usual problem with someone removing a comment. Looks like the database isn’t running the fix. I wonder why?

      • alwyn 12.2.2

        greywarshark.
        I think Grant, at 11.02, may have answered your question, although perhaps inadvertently.
        As he said “suspect dirty politics?”.

  12. Sanctuary 13

    Essentially, he has been left behind by the rapid evolution of the left’s thinking over the last 6-7 years.

    Quinn – and Paganis – problem is while they have been fairly recently involved with the Labour party, their Blairite, liberal Toryism has been completely left behind by the sudden evolution of the left that occurred as a result of the GFC. Thus, although chronologically they have recent experience of the Labour party, intellectually an enormous chasm now exists between the Clark era “left” of identity driven social liberalism combined with mitigating the excesses of the neo-liberal paradigm and the post-2007/8 era “back to the future” left which now wants to again talk about the economy and has grown more confident with the discrediting of capitalism that the GFC entailed. The GFC taught the socialist left that history, after all, is not over.

    However, Quinn and Pagani are also Blairite in that they’ve inherited the unpleasant Blairite habit of never being able to say they were wrong about anything that occurred on their watch, an egotism driven by the sense they were part of a great movement that is still relevant and creditable. It isn’t and it’s not, but they’ll never admit it.

  13. This was Quin’s argument for giving caucus more of a say in leadership elections:

    In electing a leader, there’s a strong case that it makes more democratic sense to call on MPs – who collectively represent 600,000 voters, even at Labour’s low ebb – than a handful of members exceeded in number by a medium-sized bowls club.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11340029

    i.e. caucus should elect a leader without the members and affiliates having a say because caucus “represent” more people.

    I still can’t actually get my head around the “logic” of that statement, and if people are going to presume to speak for the Labour Party I’d at least like their arguments to make sense.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      Thats how the Holy Roman Emperor was ‘elected’- by a handful of hereditary princes

    • lurgee 14.2

      The logic is perfectly simple. MPs represent voters who voted for Labour. So they have a mandate to select their leader. Given that members and affiliates will (probably) have voted for Labour, they’re still being represented, indirectly. As this is how democracy works in parliament, it’s how it could work in the Labour Party.

      I don’t agree with him, FWIW, but don’t pretend the argument is incomprehensible. It just makes you look silly.

      • So they have a mandate to select their leader.

        But that’s incomprehensible rubbish. Voters on election day are electing their lawmaking representatives, not taking part in internal party processes. If they were that invested in Labour’s internal processes, they’d be Labour members.

        The argument also assumes that caucus members are voting with the best interests of all their local voters in mind.

        Political parties are built and sustained by their members. When key decisions are being made, they deserve way better than “indirect” representation – especially when historically that representation has not, in fact, been representative – hence the move to give members more say in the leadership.

        The only way for this argument to make sense is to assume that the profile of Labour Party members is completely aberrant to the profile of people who party-voted Labour, and thus conclude that the whims of caucus are more “valid” than the desires of the people who do a lot of the hard work supporting their careers and campaigns.

        And that’s incomprehensible to me, so please can the “makes you look silly” patronising crap.

        • Pascals bookie 14.2.1.1

          Yeah, his arg also misses the fairly significant point that the voters elect candidates who are selected by an internal party process.

          Should MPs from safe seats be given no vote because a psychotic weasel would win if selected to be candidate? I don’t know the answer to this, but it’s not my theory.

    • greywarshark 14.3

      Quin appers to know all about presuming – he is a mass and mess of presumptions and assumptions. Labour should be able to sanction him, and step up with a response to each of these white anters preferably with a solid sole that squashes them.

  14. The Fairy Godmother 15

    I am a relatively new Labour Party activist and I get really irritated by the likes of this twit. The media have never bothered to ask anyone who works on the ground for the party as far as I know. I could certainly tell them that we all pulled together and worked really hard at the last election and we are continuing to do so. I am in the party because I want something done about decent jobs with fair pay for our young people. Anyway we are a democracy we elect people to hold positions such as party president. Why don’t the media ask these people. Oh that’s right they don’t care if they have an agenda provided its anti labour.

  15. Dorothy 16

    Interesting that Quin is questioning the ability to get views across in the Labour Party
    as in my experience that is easier than contributing on the Pundit Blogspot.
    I seldom go there now and do not miss the comment of Pundit’s so called Labour writers.

    • Scintilla 16.1

      Agree about pundit – it is awful to navigate and attempt to comment on. Like you, i gave up ages ago and rarely read it now. It wasn’t obvious how to get to the bit where you can comment on Gordon Campbell’s blog on scoop either. But isn’t it stunning that a media/communications site should be such a dog to use? Don’t these people ever get their sites test-driven for ease of use, so the public actually feel welcome in the conversation?

    • I was once moved to reply to a post there – either by Phil Quin himself or maybe Nick Leggett? – and on being informed that there was up to a 24 hour waiting period for my profile to be “approved” I gave up. It’s the 2010s, people!

  16. The Fairy Godmother 17

    Actually why don’t they ask Winston Peters for an inside commentary on the National Party after all my understanding is he was a National MP 20 odd years ago. Surely he would have just as much relevant inside info there as Quinn has on Labour.

  17. Chooky 18

    this is interesting… “Phil’s views are unusual. He thinks that Tony Blair was a good bloke even though he is that toxic that UK Labour candidates are returning his donations. And he thinks that all Labour needs to do is triangulate, that is have a solid left wing policy platform but toss in some rabid right wing policies to confuse the punters. Adding the reintroduction of capital punishment to a bunch of solid left wing policies ought to do it as far as Phil is concerned.”…

    and

    “He raises as an example Labour’s response to ISIS. He obviously thinks we should be in Iraq boots and all…”.

    ….is Phil a friend of David Cohen and Cameron Slater ?…

  18. greywarshark 19

    I was surprised at the negative comments of a supposed Labour supporter before the election and looked for info on this Phil Quin. He had been employed to do some work for Labour at one time and it seems in his tiny mind, that he is now a Wise Old Man about Labour and the left and a fount of wisdom. WTF.

    In a business do employees consider they know enough to direct the business, are their pronouncements received as sacred text from the media or anybody except their nearest and dearest and those who have some gripe? And he is an ex-employee who is not now involved intimately with the Party, and can’t claim to have any special knowledge or wisdom or prescience or anything.

    He has a narcissistic confidence in his own brainstorms, and makes good copy by presenting himself as a Labour mole and a prophet. The fact that he likes Tony Blair is an indication of his type – a destructive and shape-shifting amoral confidence man who navigates the best channel for his own advancement and notoriety through events despite the negative results to everyone.

    An example of his white-anting from July last year.
    Phil Quin: Inept Labour needs to aim higher
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11301000
    edited

    • Karen 19.1

      I always suspected Quin was the “Labour Party insider” who complained about Cunliffe having a skiing holiday. Pagani and Nash both denied it was them, and evidently wasn’t an MP, so he seemed to be the likely suspect based on his view of Cunliffe. “White-anter” – great description..

  19. alwyn 20

    I am curious.
    A major objection to Mr Quin seems to be that the Herald shouldn’t interview him because “As far as I am aware, he hasn’t had a position in the party, certainly hasn’t had one in the last 20 years.”
    There is a suggestion that they should go and see Helen Kelly. I wasn’t aware that she had any position with the Labour Party either. She is President of the Council of Trade Unions, not the Labour Party, isn’t she?

    There is also a suggestion that “But I suspect that you are talking about deliberate attempts by politicians to remove choice from the voters in grubby backroom deals for electorate seats before elections.”
    As an outsider, who has never been a member of any party, I was under the impression that this reached its peak when Helen Clark was the leader, and also that the number of party members plummeted during that period.
    Can someone tell me how many members there were in say 1980 and 2008?

    • lprent 20.1

      Helen Kelly has a pretty good idea what happens at Labour conferences over the last two decades – she has often been there and speaks at them. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is a Labour party member. She runs an organisation that has a number of Labour affiliated unions, many of whom (I believe) coordinate strategies between themselves for their members using the CTU.

      Phil Quin? Last seen in Labour circles in a patheolithic era when Act still existed as a political force (ie in the 90s).

      As an outsider, who has never been a member of any party, I was under the impression…

      Your impression was wrong. It is a myth that was originally perpetuated by the New Labour Party and then picked up widely by wight wing nutters.

      The nearest it ever got to for Labour was the way that Jim Anderton made a frigging fortress of his electorate and Labour candidates keep losing votes as he consolidated it. But Labour always put up a candidate and always put up a fight so that the voters had a choice.

      Quite unlike Epsom where the National candidate at the last election didn’t turn up for meetings and personally tore down signs promoting himself. Tell me – do you approve of that kind of behaviour from candidates?

    • North 20.2

      Yes all very interesting Alwyn but the point (from which you risibly divert) is this – Quin claims authority he does not have. He is not the insider he promotes himself as being. He claims special expertise and insight if you like. But he does not have it, if ever he did. Thus he’s bogus and his stuff is jack-shit honest and jack-shit reliable. And you’re a fool for muttering on notwithstanding that you know that. Oh well, anything to get you through the Northland nightmares I guess.

    • Sacha 20.3

      “‘grubby backroom deals for electorate seats before elections.’ As an outsider, who has never been a member of any party, I was under the impression that this reached its peak when Helen Clark was the leader”

      Really? Which seats were those?

  20. Scottie 21

    Agree Fairy Godmother but maybe their objective is all about profit and being anti labour just sells more papers.

  21. Karen 22

    Great post Mickey.
    What really gets me about these opinion pieces from Quin is the claim he is a former Labour Party strategist. I’d like the Herald to print what his role was and when, as it seems to me he hasn’t been involved for at least 20 years. I put him in the same box as the other Rogernomes that MSM pull out to talk about the Labour Party – Michael Bassett and Richard Prebble.

  22. swordfish 23

    Yeah, Phil was active with the Right-leaning Mike Moore faction during the 90s. Ran Phil Goff’s numbers for him during the attempt to topple Clark before the 96 Election.

    He was then active for many years as a political operative in the dominant Right Faction of the ALP (from memory, he worked for a while as an advisor to the then Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans) and now champions the idea that the NZ Labour Party should adopt the formal factionalism of their Aussie counterparts. I think it’s fair to say that Phil does enjoy – possibly revels in – having a bit of a go at the Left of the Party (as well as the broader Left outside the Party).

    I do get the impression, though, that Phil knows his shit when it comes to the dark arts of extracting a winning strategy from a few shavings of the electoral vote. He seems to have a bit of a gut instinct – from organising local constituency campaigns in Victoria – about what gets the punters into the polling booths. So I’ll credit him with a certain amount of campaign nous (albeit of that rather cynical machine politics variety where the emphasis is on winning at all costs and sod any ethical concerns ).

    Phil’s also recently written of his on-going battle with severe depression (North wasn’t too wide of the mark in his speculation above), so I’m not going to criticise him too much at this point (though obviously I agree with the broad thrust of Mickey’s critique).

    • greywarshark 23.1

      @ swordfish
      Hey that’s invaluable background to understanding this jerk. And he does seem one whether skilled at electioneering or not. However he could be useful in plotting Crosby Textor moves and critiquing their machinations as his mind and theirs seem aligned.

      Sometimes it is invaluable to employ a car-thief on counteracting methods, a hacker on guarding against the electronic raid etc.

    • Chooky 23.2

      advocating “the reintroduction of capital punishment “…is a sure sign something is ( morally) wrong somewhere…maybe this is a symptomatic of his “on-going battle with severe depression”….he has company here with Slater…but should we have sympathy?….

      ….. a lot of damage can be done to the NZ Labour Party (and its potential Left coalition partners) by the Labour Party’s supposed friends….the NZ Labour Party should be more careful of its ‘friends’ imo…eg David Cohen paid adviser to Andrew Little

      • mickysavage 23.2.1

        That was a tongue in cheek suggestion by me. I don’t know Phil’s views on this subject.

        Thanks for your comment Swordfish. If I had been aware of this I would have dialled my comments back.

        • Chooky 23.2.1.1

          Ok …well that is a relief !…however I still think the Labour Party needs to do something about its ‘friends’ and its media presentation…otherwise people are going to be thinking it is a right wing warmongering party that cant work in with Left coalition partners …it isn’t true is it?

    • newsense 23.3

      Yep and any comment in the middle of the opinion page from Mike Moore, Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble or say Peter Dunne would be seen for what it is, so instead we get someone from that era with an axe to grind, a buck to make or whatever his motivation is for what he writes and is unknown by the public at large so unlike the names above where people would got ‘yeh fukn right whatever’ they go ‘more Labour party strife’.

      But I have to agree, DP.

  23. Colonial Rawshark 24

    Labour hasn’t developed an ecosystem of bona fide Labour political commentators matched with a system of independent media who will get their views out to the wider public.

    So its going to have to keep putting up with this Quin/Pagani nonsense.

    • emergency mike 24.1

      FFS Richard Prebble still gets asked for comment on Labour Party ‘issues’.

    • Chooky 24.2

      CR +100..it has to get its act together

    • Leftie 24.3

      These pretenders Quinn, Pagani, Trotter et al need to be called out, and frequently.

      • Colonial Rawshark 24.3.1

        Why are you putting Trotter in that list??? Quin and Pagani don’t understand a miniscule fraction of left politics that Trotter does.

        • swordfish 24.3.1.1

          Spot on.

        • Leftie 24.3.1.2

          Because left pretender Chris Trotter is a huge fan of, and a suck up to John key.

          • Naturesong 24.3.1.2.1

            Remove your filter.

            Trotter is what he is, primarily a historian.
            He has strengths and blind spots, just as we all do.
            And like all humans, a product of his generation and experiences.

            #tweetliketrotter

            • Leftie 24.3.1.2.1.1

              Then Trotter should permanently put himself out to pasture and retire, and write fictional novels which suit him best. His adulation of John key in previous writings of fantasy were sickening.

        • Murray Rawshark 24.3.1.3

          Trotter has a historian’s understanding of left politics. He can perform a social democratic centralist analysis of things that have already happened. That may be good for writing books, but I don’t think it’s much cop as a guide to activist politics.

    • Sacha 24.4

      Yes. We need to see a strong push of viable commenters and messaging to counter the lazy choices media are currently making. Labour needs to show some leadership, preferably with allies on the left.

  24. Pascals bookie 25

    Also, his whole Herald piece argues that:

    1) The Labour party does not tolerate deviation from a party line, and this is outrageous.

    and 2) I saw some Labour people on TV saying something I think is stupid. They should be silenced obviously, so who is running this slack arsed ship where people say what they bloody well like?

  25. newsense 26

    I suspect it is ‘rotating the fouls’. If you get one person doing and saying the same thing constantly it gets a bit obvious. If you have a few and you rotate them, less so.

  26. Scintilla 27

    So who would decide what commentator to use – is it the producer of Q & A? Why do the same old faces keep cropping up?

  27. millsy 28

    Phil Quin would have opposed state housing and universal health care in the 1930’s.

    That said, the struggle between the right and left factions of the Labour party as to what direction should be taken go back longer than we seem to think. From what I read, as early as the 1950’s and 60’s

  28. Alfonso Peres 29

    When you look at Labour’s disastrous election result, it does make you wonder whether the stuff that Phil Quinn and Josie Pagani said in the lead up, wasn’t right on the money.
    If they weren’t “real insiders”, then hats off to them as they were more astute than all of the insiders who post at the Standard.

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