Labour should not rush to judgment

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, November 28th, 2011 - 171 comments
Categories: Annette King, greens, labour, leadership, Left, nz first, phil goff, politicans - Tags:

One can understand why John Key is ‘speed dating” to form a one-seat majority in the upcoming Parliament.  His honeymoon is likely to be a lot shorter in the next term of government, given the state of the world economy. It is quite different for Labour. In my view the caucus would be wise not to rush to  decide who leads Labour into the next election.

There’s an old Irish joke about Paddy being asked for directions and saying “If you want to get there I wouldn’t start from here.” Days or even weeks after a comprehensive defeat, with a depleted caucus, some new arrivals and much to ponder about the reasons for the defeat, is absolutely the wrong time to make what is probably the single most important decision for the Party’s future. This is particularly true if there are a number of contenders for the position – they need to be able to set out their case, and most importantly they need to consult with and gain support from the Party organisation and its members.

With the single exception of Phil Goff’s ascent in 2008, recent Labour leaders have been installed by insider deals and caucus cabals, often preceded by a long period of white-anting. The results have not been good for Labour.  I supported Helen Clark’s takeover from Mike Moore in 1993, but the fallout was bitter and it took two terms before she was able to lead Labour to government. The fact that Phil Goff and Annette King intend to remain in Labour’s caucus for the full term although apparently not necessarily in the leadership again means that time should be given for a considered evaluation of their contribution to Labour which has been huge over the last twenty-seven years. Phil Goff also gave 110% to this campaign.

There are two other reasons for a considered approach. Labour’s strength  has always been its organisation on the ground. Rebuilding this was crucial to bringing us back to government in 1999, and its highpoint was demonstrated in the 2005 election when Labour won again against all expectations, internal and external. Labour’s next leader has to be able both to connect with and rebuild this organisation.

Secondly, if as now appears likely MMP will be confirmed as New Zealand’s electoral system and unlikely to face any more attempts to remove it, then Labour has to rethink its approach to what it means to be a “major” party. This means moving away from taking supporter groups for granted and building connections across the broad social democratic spectrum. It will also mean a new approach to tactical voting, this time in favour of the left. The success of the Greens and New Zealand First in this election highlights the point. Labour has to rebalance its relationship with the Greens. New Zealand First has always reminded me of the conservative wing of the Labour party in the 1980’s; it’s policy set is also a  lot more substantial (and closer to Labour’s) than is portrayed in the media.

Any new leader for Labour has to be able to build these connections and this organisation. It’s going to be a big task: in my view there should be the widest possible consultation and discussion before they are asked to start.

171 comments on “Labour should not rush to judgment”

  1. randal 2

    but what they have to do next time is make sure that they promise everyone a JOB.
    that should do it.

    • Tom Gould 2.1

      Promising everyone a “brighter future” seems to have worked.

    • Uturn 2.2

      Helen Clark didn’t base her style on the personality of Jenny Shipley, Goff should not try, or be expected to be, John Key and no party should try to emulate the style of the encumbent party’s leader simply because the monkey media or public dance to the tune. Pop culture is fickle and fleeting and rash decisions will fail.

  2. gingercrush 3

    I think the Labour caucus should simply be keeping their mouths shut and I’m not a Labour member or voter but do New Zealanders really need to hear from insiders. Annoying.

  3. randal 4

    and get rid of the stupid wordy adds that were real turn offs.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      What wordy ad[d]s? I thought Labour’s TV ads were great this campaign.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        “Labour will leave more than just debt for the next generation” or something equally useless, appeared on their hoardings.

        • Anne

          That was my view too. Add to that the golden egg… I bet few people had a clue what they were talking about. Not sure what it was about myself. 🙁

        • Fisiani

          That was the worst hoarding ever in 2011 as some read it as “Labour will leave more debt”
          Even those you read the THAN were left with the link between Labour and debt. Debt was the Achilles heel in Labours plan.

  4. Jimmy 5

    All fine and good, but if Labour were wise they would have prevented Goff’s unpopularity from being a factor in this election. The sharks have been circling for far too long to prevent a frenzy now.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 5.1

      Labour tried: Goff was the invisible man on Labour hoardings and in any marginal seat.

      Labour made it all about asset sales, and did some very nasty negative campaigning in the process with their baby-pamplets for one. Looks like they learned nothig from the 2008 trouncing.

  5. Blue 6

    The problem is that the media are pressuring Phil into stepping down NOW, because they’ve waited and waited for their Labour bloodbath and they want it so bad they can taste it.

    I personally want Phil to stay on as leader, but if he does step down I would prefer him to wait and do it perhaps early next year.

    He doesn’t have to hurry. The media sharks can wait.

    • felix 6.1

      Yep fuck ’em.

      The media haven’t done Labour any favours lately.

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 6.1.1

        You’re kidding?!?!?!?

        TV3 and Campell have been fawning all over the lefties for weeks! Itsl like they’re setting themselves up to be PartyState Broadcaster should the worst happened, and Labour wonn on Saturday and started re-nationalising Air NZ, broadcasters, and the like (you just know Labour are itching to have editorial control over what goes over the airwaves).

        • Jasper

          like how National want to have editorial control over teapot tapes, journalist questions, oh, and seeing wages drop. That kind of editorial control?

          • Colonial Viper

            Misanthrope believes that TV3’s corporate backers and mediaworks shareholders dislikes John Key’s corporate and investment banking background.

            There’s a Tui ad right there.

            • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

              Quite how you come to that conclusion is a facinating insight into a mind that also thinks that more press freedoms leads to authoritarianism, as you argued previously.

            • mik e

              TV3 another bailout

        • the sprout

          fawning all over the lefties for weeks

          no, i think you’ll find that’s week, singular not plural.
          for 35 months and three weeks they were happy to either ignore or pillory Labour every opportunity they got.

        • warren

          What looks to you like “fawning” is merely the fact that Labour fronted up to interviews on TV3, while Key and the invisible cabinet refused almost all TV3’s requests to appear!
          Key said he wanted to “debate the issues” yet he studiously avoided offers to do so.

          • Brooklyn

            Ha… quite right. RNZ too… Mary Wilson gives Key the shits… also remember Paula Benefit doing the media rounds after National released its welfare policy? Thought not.

            • Hami Shearlie

              Mary Wilson – Ah, if only she was on tv – then Key would be in the proverbial ordure!!

          • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

            Ah, no.

            I was refering to the stacked ‘impartial audiences’ for the debates sourced through activist networks, the framing of the questions in the negative, the prime-time propaganda screened “in the week before the election”, the ….

            You know, all the stuff that a simple person like you simply does/can/will not see.

      • Anne 6.1.2

        Have a read of John Armstrong on the front page of the Herald today. It was a barely concealed gloat!

        • Blue

          That’s specifically why I avoided reading it. I knew he would be on top on the world and unable to conceal his joy.

          • RedLogix

            Given that Armstrong is the Senior Parliamentary journalist of the largest daily paper in this country, and therefore arguably perhaps the most senior (or close to it) member of the Press Gallery… it’s more than a little disturbing to see just how little he now cares to even try and hide his utterly unprofessional bias.

            Well not so much a bias, as a barely concealed hatred for Labour.

            Which is all well and good, people are entitled to their political opinions and no-one expects absolute objectivity from anyone. But hell this guy has gone so far off the reservation…

            • Anne

              One of the things that did annoy me about Labour these past 3 years is that they allowed the likes of John Armstrong – and others – to get away with the most ill considered and mindless claims without so much as a murmer. I know from personal experience that if you have a good case – and are not being pedantic or petty minded – you can achieve your aim with a BSA or Press Council formal complaint.

              In my case, the BSA chose not to uphold the overall complaint (the reason was irrelevant and silly and suggested to me it was really because they were too timid to do otherwise) but they nevertheless agreed with my individual claims. The result was: the TV celebrity in question – and I presume his superiors – knew he had overstepped the mark, and his performances improved markedly from that time on.

              • Tom Gould

                Problem is, these people get themselves a fake job title that allows them to peddle their ‘opinion’ as reportage, in a way that allows them to carefully confuse the public. TV is worse than print, but only in the same way a nail in the head is worse than one in the leg.

      • Reality Bytes 6.1.3

        Yeah it would be hilarious watching the media trying to explain themselves if their much hyped Tuesday prediction didn’t eventuate. Even if Goff still planned to announce his resignation, it would a bloody awesome and deserved FU to the media to not do it on their schedule.

    • Hami Shearlie 6.2

      Agreed! I really want Phil to stay as well. He campaigned very courageously considering the way the media treated him for 3 years. Can’t think of anyone else who would have done better. With a tiny amount of publicity for 4 weeks his popularity went to 19 percent. The public need to be let in to his life more to find out who he really is and what he stands for. He is a decent man of huge intelligence,integrity, experience and warmth, and he genuinely cares for his fellow kiwis!

  6. gingercrush 7

    The problem is that the media are pressuring Phil into stepping down NOW, because they’ve waited and waited for their Labour bloodbath and they want it so bad they can taste it.

    Well Goff doesn’t help matters when he mentions the same day as the election that he was going to announce his future to his caucus on Tuesday. What did he expect the media to say?

  7. Alistair 8

    So now the judge can release the teaparty tape as the election is over. Now the media will discover if key sending the police to raid their newsrooms was worth all the hassle. I mean, thats if police raiding their newsrooms is um newsworthy.

    • DavidW 8.1

      The media have nothing to discover except that they are not the ultimate arbiters of legality or ethical behaviour. They already know what is on the tapes and we would all have been privy to the contents if there was anything other than a banal “time of day” conversation, but back to the subject.

      The trick for Phil and Annette will be how to stay around but let someone else hold the reins. Very few (if any that I can remember) politicians are capable of staying in the background. To have made the top means a larger than normal ego and suppressing that is likely to be a herculean task. Come to think of it Rudd has managed to play second fiddle in the string section but has still managed to be a thoroughgoing pain in the arse of Julia Gillard since she shafted him. A difficult call for “yesterday’s leaders”

  8. mac1 9

    I would hope that a serious and rigorous study will be made of the following unknowns before any leadership change is undertaken. The answer to them may well determine what change, if any, is needed.
    1. Why did so many citizens not enrol?
    2. Why did so many stay away from voting at all?
    3. How much tactical voting took place especially away from Labour to another party?
    4. Why did the young stay steadfastly disengaged?
    5. Why were especially results in West Coast/Tasman and Palmerston North against the trend and why did some Labour politicians do well?
    6. Some electorates, like Kaikoura, did not have a fall away to 65% in votes but stayed at 2008 levels. Why?
    7. What role did the composition of the Labour list have upon voter perceptions?
    8. What role did under-coverage of Labour in the MSM have?
    9. What role did continuous 27% polling ‘results’ have upon people staying away, voting tactically or encouraging/discouraging people to vote Labour or vote at all?
    10. What effect did buying into/ acceptance of/ having imposed upon Labour a presidential style race and who would be best suited for leadership if such a style happens again?
    11. When does the election begin- now or five weeks out? This in terms of policy, candidate and list selection, fund-raising, (re-)connection with the wider labour community.
    12. Tactical voting analysis and publicity.

    I didn’t have such a long list when I started this comment.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 9.1

      > 1. Why did so many citizens not enrol?
      > 2. Why did so many stay away from voting at all?

      Because they were happy (at best) or ambivient (at worst) about the direction of the National governments plans to reduce debt, create a fairer tax structure, take the benefit off those fleeing the police, specify and reduce waiting times for surgery ….

      > 5. Why were especially results in West Coast/Tasman and Palmerston North against the trend and why did some Labour politicians do well?

      Because O’Conner (for one) debranded from Labour, and actually worked for his electorate. Contrast that to the other Labour candidates,

      > 7. What role did the composition of the Labour list have upon voter perceptions?

      Huge. It was (still) stacked with nasty Cark-era has-beens bullies, turfed out in 2008, and now soundly rejected in 2011.

      • Craig Glen Eden 9.1.1

        What a load of crap. Paul Bully Bennett did nothing for the West in the last three years Neither did Tim Groser and as for being seen forget it. The campaign was to short for the message/ policy to be digested. The election being held after the world cup was a significant factor, I think I heard TV commentators say three times it had been a long campaign when of coarse it wasnt it was really short. The tea cup bullshit also took the focus off Labour and onto Winston and the rest is history.

        • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

          If you think that Bennett has down nothing for the West then you need to (1) reconsider waht the demographic of West is, and (2) frame your expectations along the lines of what Goff has done for Mt Roskill and Clark did for My Albert in several decades (which is nowt)

          The demographoic for West is the self-employeed trady, or somebody employed by them. These people have been hurt by the last Labour governments oppressive taxtion regeime to fund pottery classes and their beneficiary neighbours in Glen Eden (like you?), and Goff- et al wanted to borrow another 2.5Billion to do more of the same – and have these tradies pay for it.

          Bennett is doing what any (genuinely) progressive government would (and indeed much the same as the Aussie Labor governmenst has just announced): trying to move long term beneficiaries (and parasites on her constituency) into work, removing benefits from criminals fleeing police, and do it in a sustainable manner.

          And she increased her majority, in doing so, which is a vote of confidnec in her by the West

          • Colonial Viper

            And she increased her majority, in doing so, which is a vote of confidnec in her by the West

            Oh frak off, Bennett’s majority is now less than 400, which is less (not more) than her 2008 majority of 600-something.

            Can you righty astroturfers not count ffs.

          • Carol

            Actually Labour did a lot to cut down on the length of time people were on benefits. I remember people talked about it at the time on RNZ. Basically, it became that mostly the long term unemployed were people who were pretty unemployable… the very hardest to shift into work.

            So it must have been hard for Bennett to find another way to create more policies to create a bit of bennie bashing propaganda.

    • 9. What role did continuous 27% polling ‘results’ have upon people staying away, voting tactically or encouraging/discouraging people to vote Labour or vote at all?

      That’s an interesting point, especially in relation to the ‘bugger the polls’ thread.

      Labour’s lowest poll result, so far as I recall, was just over 26%, most were 27-28% at the end. If people responded with tactical voting to these polls (as discussed on the other post) then their ‘departure’ from the 27% must have been substituted by some others coming from elsewhere – i.e., other parties’ polling figures or from undecideds. Either that, or no-one tactically voted after seeing the 27% polls. They just stayed with Labour.

      But, if Labour ‘voters’ didn’t respond to those polls by voting tactically for NZF, was Winston’s vote ‘surge’ coming from nowhere? (i.e., the undecideds?). 

      So far as the leadership goes, I think the wisest course of action for Labour would be to stick with Phil Goff – though change the deputy and have major ‘retirements’ in preparation for the next election.

      I say ‘wisest’ because – despite the election night result for Labour – the electorate as a whole has warmed to Goff during this campaign.

      I was very sceptical about Goff at the start of his leadership (and still thought of him as the callow rogernome of the 80s) but, as Bob Jones wrote in that article where he predicted a one-term Key government (I know, he didn’t get that right), New Zealanders would start to quietly like Goff the more they saw of him. I think he will gain even more respect by still being the leader in 2014 (showing his commitment to the values and beliefs he expressed this time around) and Labour will not be seen as being in perpetual instability (and, therefore, not ‘ready’ for government).

      I’ve just heard too many kind and respectful words said about Goff over the past few weeks – by people I know did not vote Labour – to think that dumping him is a wise move, especially given the lack of a currently well known and generally admired heir apparent. There is no iron law of politics that says that a leader who fails at an election needs to be dumped.

      Of course, Goff may not wish to continue as leader – perhaps because of internal dynamics within Labour (about which I know nothing). 

  9. queenstfarmer 10

    Good comments, and agree. The immediate question must whether the potential replacement leaders can maintain disclipline and unity (at least in public), or whether public infighting breaks out among some/all of them.

  10. felix 11

    Keep going Phil, you’ve been doing really well for the last 4 weeks. Only 156 to go.

    David C, you’re going to be the next Finance Minister of NZ. That’s a huge job and you don’t need to get distracted by anything else.

    Andrew, this isn’t your time. You need to win a seat first. Get behind Phil.

    Jacinda, be patient. It’s coming.

    The rest of the Labour caucus, shut the fuck up and get to work.

    • the sprout 11.1

      agreed 100%

    • kriswgtn 11.2


    • Rain33 11.3

      again +1

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 11.4

      > David C, you’re going to be the next Finance Minister of NZ.
      > That’s a huge job and you don’t need to get distracted by
      > anything else.

      It’s a huge job, alright, and one [yeah very funny – how old are you? r0b] is unqualified for.

      > Andrew, this isn’t your time. You need to win a seat first.

      Little is a union hack. More of the same – desperate to relive 1978, and all the perils of that time. A incompetant campaigner with no cross-over appeal like that is destined to be a destructive disturbance: a Winston without the suit.

      > Jacinda, be patient. It’s coming.

      Who? Another party hack? You’re kidding, surely?

      • Colonial Viper 11.4.1


        Pay attention to Misanthropic’s mispelling of Cunliffe’s name.

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 11.4.2

        If I made an error with Cunliffes name (and I’m well aware of several of them that exist) it was unintentional and I blame it on my appalling keyboard skills, which are cleat for anybody here to see in what I write.

        I reiterat it was not intentional

    • warren 11.5

      It took a while, but Phil has now emerged as an excellent leader and should stay on IMHO

    • Frida 11.6

      +1 from me too Felix. Phil needs to stay and keep up the momentum of the past month.

    • Puddleglum 11.7

      Why didn’t I simply read down another couple of comments and simply say ‘+1’ to you, felix, rather than writing a long-winded comment above?

      • Campbell Larsen 11.7.1

        Because you will disappoint those that like reading your comments, and binary is better for machines : )

    • Campbell Larsen 11.8

      and +1

  11. Uturn 12

    I can only give a perception of a person from the outside of the Labour Party and their campaign machine.

    Goff appeared to be in control and a competent leader. His assets were his engaging manner, his calm but occasionally tenacious point making and that he did not try to be a rock star of Politics. The campaign was as good as it gets, given the context. I’ve heard Mike Smith comment that it was “negetive” and I’m not entirely sure what that means from his point of view. It had negetive aspects – it was at least 50% adversarial – but given the past performance of Labour campaigns, it was no where near as angry as it has been.

    But what happens inside the party, behind the scenes, is totally masked off to the non-member public. The media can’t cover it; we don’t even get to see Goff or other MPs in action as they move from venue to venue across the country. When I met Phil Goff he seemed like a high energy, charismatic person, but later I found his charisma did not translate to the TV screen – and that was a good thing because his ideas were what mattered. I’ve met him once, by chance, many people haven’t at all. We cannot accurately judge who Goff is, or what is best for Labour.

    As a voter I can only imagine what would be best for our combined political future. Unless there is some major internal hurdle, or if Goff is something in public that he is not in private, I cannot see why the party would not keep him as leader. If Labour seek to move further away from rockstar, slogan-driven politics, as suggested in the original article, the performance of Goff in this election confirms he can fit that role. A personality like John Key could not drive values based policies because he will not engage or debate; he seeks to inspire, but inspiration fades without creating substance.

    The loss of a leader should not spell the end of a party’s ideas. But to throw away an apparently competent leader for the sake of American Idol popularity style thinking, is madness.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 12.1

      In saying “The campaign was as good as it gets, given the context. I’ve heard Mike Smith comment that it was “negetive” and I’m not entirely sure what that means” one only has to look at Goofs lies (on his SIS breifing, Police recruitment, and AirNZ fligt diversion just for starters) and the disgraceful (and again lying) leaflets Labour used.

      To say you dont see the negativity of Labours campaign is amazing!

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 12.2

      Whats your problem with an illegally obtained recording of a private conversation being subject to a court order to keep it private?

      If there was anyting of note on it, lefty-media like TV3 would have released it and taken the (minor) concequnces, but instead such banalities like ‘brash is a dopey codger’ and ‘NZFirst support is dying off’ would sink the story, so instead they try a beat up.

  12. Rain33 13

    To be fair I was surprised by Phil Goff, he far exceeded my expectations and I think that any fair minded person would agree he ran a very good campaign but everything was stacked against him. I don’t think any of those ‘waiting in the wings’ could have done any better.

    Where there is smoke there is fire, and I question the amount of support Phil Goff had from some of his own. To say Phil is nursing the blade wounds in his back is possibly not overstating it.

    The worst possible thing for Labour would be to rush in with a knee jerk reaction and replace Phil Goff as leader at this stage. There is absolutely nothing to gain, the election is over. Sit back, wait and watch until the dust clears. It is time to exercise some patience.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 13.1

      If “The worst possible thing for Labour would be to rush in with a knee jerk reaction … It is time to exercise some patience” was a possiblty for Labour, they’d not ahve backflipped over:
      – ‘CGT are bad to ‘we’ll have one’
      – ‘Exemptions to GST are bad’, to ‘we’ll have one of those too’
      – etc …

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Read my lips National will not raise GST!!!

        And we will recognise improvements to Christchurch homes!!!

        Don’t play this game a-hole, being a National supporter you will lose to a long list of Key and English bullshit.

  13. Agreed Mike that there should be a civilised discussion but an individual is spreading untrue rumours about David Cunliffe. They should desist otherwise they will be inviting a public response.

    The focus should be on who can lead the party to victory. To achieve this requires a leader with Labour DNA in their blood and the ability to relate to ordinary people.

    And Labour needs to get away from the perception that it is a career choice for an inner circle and look like a group of ordinary Kiwis.

    • Pundit X 14.1


    • Anne 14.2

      an individual is spreading untrue rumours about David Cunliffe. They should desist otherwise they will be inviting a public response.

      ms, if the culprit is known then he/she should be outed smartly.

      I witnessed that kind of behaviour from a small group inside the Labour Party in the late 70s and early 80s and it ended up causing a great deal of damage.

  14. Irascible 15

    BBC world news has commented on the election result. Their economics expert informed the world that the assets sales were of minority interest.. Key has the mandate and will legislate immediately to sell NZ off to foreign ownership.
    If this is the interpretation being touted by the business analysts then watch out NZ as the sharks circle.

    • DavidW 15.1

      The Beeb must have been listening to the Labour campaign instead of the truth. Further proof of a left bias in the media HEH

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Yeah frak off Rupert Murdoch is not right wing

        • Carol

          According to the Aussie corresponednt in aussie on Nine-to-Noon this morning, the Aussie Murdoch press is pushing this line about Key having a mandate to sell state assets. As I recall, the correspondent said it’s as much about the push for such a plan in Aussie, as being about NZ.

  15. Colonial Viper 16

    Emloyers and corporate powers are highly organised. Workers should be too.

    But we also need a new generation of unions and new generation of union leaders.

    • mik e 16.1

      Rupert Murderocher is ultraaaaaaaaaa Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight wing
      The yellow media are here to stay the only way to beat them is through grass roots organization
      Unions need to get out into areas where there is weak representation and make a difference to workers quality of existence., Farm workers are one area where there is no representation new tecnology could be used to mobilize farm workers who are getting paid below minimum wages by being put on salary and worked extreme hours .Factory fishing boats . Cleaners..Contract workers. all need better reprsentation.

    • Bill 16.2

      We need new unions. Not new union leaders.

  16. prism 17

    Goff should ease himself out after there have been due deliberations as to the next leader. Six months has been mentioned as a decent time for that. And then they should look down the list and all the first twelve should go further down to be replaced by a nice selection of mixed centres ready for a new pick’n’mix.

    For goodness sake let’s have some fresh faces with practical ideas for all NZs now that the ideological changes have been implemented. That’s good to have done, civil unions, gay respect, community placements, but now is the time to look beyond special interest social policy matters and cluck about helping those on the poverty line, and do something positive about having a balanced commercial environment providing jobs for all with legislation for basic working hours, less casualisation and more part-time permanent and reasonable wages.

  17. ianmac 18

    This morning when asked on RNZN Key said that the first SOE might go on sale towards the end of 2012. Not immediately? Funny. Uneasiness creeps in to me, that National used Asset Sales as a bone for the dogs to scrap over and a distraction to the lack of policy and the lack of fronting by senior Nats.
    Ever been had? Surely not!

    • DavidW 18.1

      Well Ian, it is like this. You don’ty just slope down to the NZX and say in a loud voice “shares for sale, shares for sale” There is a mountain of regulations and paperwork required to list a company on the exchange, audits etc, and there is also some legislation to prepare and pass. Later next year looks entirely reasonable.

      BTW I’ll bet a dollar to a knob of goat manure that the instructions will go out to the Labour MP’s trustees and managers of their retirement funds just as it will from many of the posters and contributors on this blog (and of course the nasty rapacious Nat MPs) to take up as many PowerCo shares as they can get allocated.

      But what I am really looking forward to is trying to find peopel who voted NZ First after a couple of months into the next term. It will be about as difficult as finding people who would admit to voting for MMP for the first 10 years of its existence.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        But what I am really looking forward to is trying to find peopel who voted NZ First after a couple of months into the next term. It will be about as difficult as finding people who would admit to voting for MMP for the first 10 years of its existence.

        And yet MMP, like Winston, is still here, still popular, and still giving National gut pain.

        I’m laughing.

        • Half Crown Millionare

          I voted for MMP for the first 10 years, and voted on Saturday to retain it. I am extremely proud of this fact. It has a few warts but it was a lot better than the FPP when the likes Muldoon polled less votes than others but still formed a government.

      • ianmac 18.1.2

        David. It was well reported months ago that Treasury was planning the sale of SOE and that somewhere around $101,107,000.45 was given or will be given to an Australian bank to facilitate the sale. So another 12+ months seems a bit odd to me.

        • mik e

          Ianmac share prices are down their borrowing and hoping they don’t have to borrow come 2012 when the best performing asset goes under the hammer that they get a good price if we have another drought or the world markets are still in limbo National could be in serious trouble.

    • Brooklyn 18.2

      And he also said that Welfare reform was his number 1 priority.

  18. Brokenback 19

    Perhaps it may be considered that labour has taken the wrong leaf from National’s book and become obsessed with the centre , much to its detriment it would appear.
    It may be worthy of examination, national’s ability to hold almost without attrition its portion of the centre whilst re-occupying the overt right from which it historically evolved.
    Most definitely the absolute control of the MSM has contributed strongly to the ongoing preference for Brand Key by the witless & greedy but the phoenix like rising of Winston Peters from the political wilderness suggests that there is another end to the spectrum of popular support.

    How much of his support was a result of Goff & King’s political leprosy in the minds of the left/liberal vote is a matter of some conjecture   , but the gobsmacking obvious facet of the 2008 &2011 was the abject failure to inspire/capture/motivate the 20% of the electorate who are more influenced by Government policy than any other group .
    There’ where Labour needs to concentrate its policy& resources a, and where it needs to recruit its new membership if it has any aspirations of remaining relevant.

    A damned good start would be:
    Caveat Emptor
    To the prospective purchasers of New Zealand’s assets , be advised that when  we inevitably gain the Treasury benches we will immediately, without debate or hesitation , Nationalise the said assets.
    No compensation will be rendered in lieu of Nationalisation.



  19. My vote is to keep Goff.

    I’ve been fairly critical of his performance but in my eyes he’s more than proved himself this election campaign, he now has good name recognition and people are slowly warming to him – just as they very slowly warmed to Clark. And I think he’ll be the perfect foil to Key come next election.

    The other contenders aren’t ready or aren’t suitable.

    • joe90 20.1

      Agree, keep PG. I reckon Clark and Cullen going so soon after 2008 allowed the tories the luxury of bluffing their way through with a shitty hand and left Labour struggling through the term.
      The maroons are lining up and yelling jump and PG obliging will once again let the pricks bullshit their way through with an even shittier hand this time.
      PG to the helm the ship through the straits, heave the jetsom overboard, drag the best and brightest up to the bridge and when Goff’s confident that he’s got a crew that can win an election he can exit.

    • Blue 20.2


      I think the worst thing Labour can do is change leader now. Phil needed time to get there, but he did in the end, and he’s still the best guy for the job.

      If there’s anyone in Labour that can talk him out of quitting, speak up now.

    • lprent 20.3

      Yeah, I’m pretty much of the same mind. 

      The real problem that Phil Goff had  was with the idiot MP’s for the first part of the 49th parliament. Each time one of those stories would burst just as Labour was starting to gain some traction. By the time that Chris Carters foolish ‘coup’ attempt happened I was starting to seriously pissed off.  

      Basically Phil should look to if he wants to go (it is a prick of a job) rather than if he thinks others want him to go.

       fairly critical of his performance

      I would have said highly 😈

    • newsense 20.4

      Feel similarly- however this doesn’t seem likely from election night speeches?

    • My vote is for Goff to stay. Learn and build a party to win in 2014. No blood letting guys…go on holiday, enjoy the summer because “winters is coming”

      Key deliberately went after the leadership of the opposition with the direct intention of painting Goff as weak and embattled. He also pushed the line that the party was divided and Damien O’Connor and all just handed Key another election.
      The media, looking for a story that doesn’t require any real intellect to tell, lapped it all up.
      Don’t give Key the satisfaction, Phil. Stay and finish the job. Kick the money changer out of the beehive!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.6

      Phil Goff has shot up in my estimation during this campaign, and I am not convinced that it is a good idea to start from scratch with another new face.
      That partly depends on the media of course – is Key’s honeymoon finally over or is the election result going to drag them back into line? That matters at least as much as the Labour leadership – one other thing – whoever the leadership team is, get behind them!

  20. belladonna 21

    Phil Goff for leader – we lost!

    • mik e 21.1

      By one seat only but Phil has tendered his resignation effectively.So the best replacement is David Cunliffe he has handled himself very well against the right wing media left the likes of Guyon Espiner seething.He is also able to handle facts and figures something Phil was unable to do in the debates.Where as cunliffe was very patient and got his message home against Narcississtic right wing Media celeb interviewers.

  21. Pete 22

    I get the feeling that Phil Goff will be regarded as the Al Gore of New Zealand politics – initially portrayed as bland and robotic to the public and only showing his passion and surprising charisma too late to be of much effect.

    It’s a pity that he feels compelled to fall on his sword. I wonder if the party has considered keeping him on as they did Helen Clark after 1996, or indeed as the NZRFU kept Graham Henry as All Black coach after 2007.

  22. randal 23

    Labour has always delivered on the jobs.
    National only delivers blue sky and higher prices.
    complete with a shit eating grin.

  23. Afewknowthetruth 24

    WJ’s quotation summed it up the election quite nicely.

    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
    “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

    • Uturn 24.1

      A lizard that could swim. A lizard that could withstand high temperature. One that could change colour to suit the terrain and another that could last without food. A lizard for all seasons, now there would be a handy thing.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2


  24. Tangled up in blue 25

    David Cunliffe.

    That is all.

  25. gobsmacked 26

    Here’s a question … can anyone remember anything that a Labour portfolio spokesperson said or did, between the election of Nov 2008 and say, Feb 2009?

    No, of course we can’t, because it didn’t matter. So there’s no point in having a new leader announce a fresh new team and start talking them all up when nobody is listening.

    Let’s say (e.g.) Jacinda Ardern gets the Health portfolio, or Transport. That could be a headline – in March. But now, it won’t even be a footnote for politics junkies.

    It’s so depressing that the Labour caucus is addicted to Hamster Wheel politics. Busy with activity instead of achievement. A new leader on Tuesday? Immediately giving interviews and getting the message out to … who? Why? For the December opinion polls?

    The public are heading to the beach. Labour MPs should do the same.

    But they won’t. They will carry on doing what they do – insiders talking to insiders about insiders – and nobody else will care, and THAT is the whole problem.

  26. ak 27

    Goffy excelled when he dropped the “nicer than Mr Nice” act and spoke from the heart. The Labour heart that everyone knows.

    Actually being seen on TV for four weeks helped too.

    Now it’s back to the odd 10-second sound bite.

    And the only punters that matter are the 5% swingers.

    Who want a solid, recognisable brand and a touch of sex appeal.

    Little and Jacinda.

  27. Anne 28

    Looks like it’s too late. According to TV3 Goff is announcing his resignation tomorrow. I can do no more than express my contempt and disgust at the media. They have so much to answer for.

  28. lefty 29

    I cannot believe there are still people who want Phil to stay on as Labour leader.

    Everybody in the country except a few labour insiders has known for the last three years that Phil didn’t stand a chance.

    Thats because anybody over thirty knows what he did in the past. All the mea culpa’s in the world can’t alter his track record of being a major player in the Rogernomic era.

    He was the chief salesman for GST, he introduced student fees, he put the boot into the unemployed big time and he gloated and preened while he and his mates destroyed whole communities.

    Those of us who were there at the time will never believe he deserves to be Prime Minister. He hurt too many of our friends and family.

    To gain a real perspective on Goff’s historical role consider this: Key is awful and I have no doubt he will inflict a lot of pain in the next few years ,but he has a long way to go to catch up with Phil.

    We may be a forgiving lot when it comes to Labour but trying to foist him on us again was a step too far.

    In the middle of an election campaign he came up with a ‘courageous’ new scheme for inflicting more pain on workers by having compulsory Kiwisaver and raising the retirement age.

    His reasons: just like in the 80’s he came up with the ‘there is no alternative’ line. He is clearly still the same neo liberal economic illiterate he was then.

    Labour insiders who supported Phil for the last three years need to take a realistic look at his history and after giving appropriate consideration to who should be their new leader quietly move him on.

    • Bill 29.1

      Thank god for that! I was skipping down through the comments wondering what the hell was going on. It was a few months back that ‘everyone’ was saying Phil had to go. Granted, he performed reasonably during the election campaign. But I imagine he was dragged screaming and kicking to articulate some of the policy that was being put out there. (A trade off by the cowardly others who didn’t roll him when they should have?)

      Three years of zip, followed by three weeks of ‘something at last’ just doesn’t cut it. I’m desperately resisting drawing a parallel with people who maintain abusive relationships.

    • Colonial Viper 29.2

      Get over it, under Phil’s leadership the Labour Party is more left wing now than it has been for a quarter of a century, and continuing to move further to the left.

      And let’s pick up on the real danger here. That the Labour Party leadership are going to learn the wrong lesson from Saturday nights results, and decide that in fact, the electorate don’t give a toss about the gap between rich and poor, child poverty, minimum wage, etc. and that they should emulate the Green’s electoral success in chasing the cosy upper middle class vote.

      In other words, back to square fucking one.

      The name tag on the warm body inhabiting the Labour Leaders chair is the least of our problems here. And I wish everyone would stop talking as if it is.

    • Afewknowthetruth 29.3


      Yes. ‘Those of us who were there at the time will never believe he [Goff] deserves to be Prime Minister. He hurt too many of our friends and family. ‘


      ‘He is clearly still the same neo liberal economic illiterate he was then.’

      I’ll keep saying it. Labour lost its way (got hijacked) long ago, and until it starts to formulate policies based on reality that will actually be of benefit to coming generations I have no time for Labour. And nor will a lot of other people, whatever the die-hards may think.

      • Draco T Bastard 29.3.1

        Labour is closer to Nationals politics than it is to socialist politics. It’s why I don’t vote for them.

        I still think Phil is probably their best bet for leader ATM as he does seem to have learned from his past mistakes. Pity NZ is still paying for them.

    • joe90 29.4

      The Goff I remember was a junior in the Lange years and he went on to be minister of foreign affairs and trade, justice, defence and disarmament during the Clark years. Clark and Goff differed over economic policies but I don’t recall Goff introducing GST or student loans. Perhaps you could enlighten me?.

      • joe90 29.4.2

        Goff was a junior member of fourth Labour government and to say that he was responsible for the introduction of GST is a long bow to draw.

        Goff wasn’t in parliament when student loans were introduced in 1992 .

        The student loan scheme was introduced in 1992. It provides access to funding for course fees, course-related costs and living costs – so that students can defer paying for their share of the costs until the benefits of their study are realised in the income they earn. It is an income-contingent scheme, whereby repayments depend on the earnings of borrowers.

        • Anthony

          Pretty sure the big beneficiary boot was Richardson and Shipley during the period they were trying to drive wages down.

        • felix

          Fees, not loans. The 4th Labour govt brought in “user pays” student fees the like of which had never been seen before.

          National promised to do away with them (Lockwood even signed a pledge to that effect) but of course reneged on the promise, put the fees up even further, and introduced the loans scheme.

          Don’t remember what Goff’s particular role in that was.

          • Colonial Viper

            According to the all knowing Wikipedia, Goff was Housing Minister and Employment Minister during the 4th Labour Govt.

        • joe90

          In 1989, Phil Goff (now foreign minister) wanted to introduce student loans, but the
          dying government backed off in the face of massive protests (including a 6,000-strong march at
          Otago). In 1990, the most disastrous Labour government in NZ history fell, but not before they
          introduced a $1,250 university fee and abolished the universal student allowance.

  29. Anne 30

    That the Labour Party leadership are going to learn the wrong lesson from Saturday nights results, and decide that in fact, the electorate don’t give a toss about the gap between rich and poor, child poverty, minimum wage, etc. and that they should emulate the Green’s electoral success in chasing the cosy upper middle class vote.

    I nearly fell into the trap CV but came to my senses. If the Labour Party fall into that trap then many of us are going to walk…

  30. lefty 31

    Colonial Viper said ‘Get over it’.


    Forgiving the damage others have done after a while is a sign of a healthy well adjusted human, but forgetting is more likely to be a sign of senility.

    Those who forget history are likely to have to relive it.

    I have heard the line about Labour returning to their left roots before too.

    Always when they are in opposition.

    Once in Government it becomes too hard. Like Closing the Gaps for example.

    Thats why I would want to hear it from somebody with a track record on the left before I am willing to believe it again.

  31. belladonna 32

    This is the same Labour party that wouldnt roll Goff when it was necessary. I worry about their ability to chose a winning leader. If David Parker has been defeated 3 times why would he make a good leader. To me David Cunliffe is the only choice. He is intelligent, personable and as well as having a good television presence he would stand up to a hostile media. David Parker seems like he would be too soft. Labour needs to chose the best leader for the country not who they like the best. Helen Clark wasnt particularly likeable but was a good leader.

    • Bill 32.1

      Seeing as how politics is all about leaders is all about shallow perceptions these days…. Parker strikes me as having been the smarmy brief-case carrying kid everyone wanted to give a kicking to at school, but who got through without a scratch because his father was the Principle. If Labour want another kicking, elect him as the next leader.

  32. RedBaron 33

    I’d like to see Phil stay. He’s been looking like a real prime minister and given the age of many sucessful prime ministers he’s got some good years in him yet.
    What I would also like to see are two or three deputy or perhaps co leaders. The greens are onto something with two co leaders, as many people will identify more with one than the other. It also shares the load, good for those who are learning, and gives a big statement about what they are if these jobs are spread around. Last but not least, if they are perceived to have about equal power, then they are also delivering a message that no one set of needs is more important. i.e it’s not all about women, gays, unionists etc

  33. dad4justice 34

    Don’t rush as Aunty Helen and Heather the dry wether will sort it again. Haha Aunty Helen brought us this, Aunty Helen brought us this……………………………………….

  34. Anthony 35

    Personally I would like a Cunliffe/Arden combo – midway through next year.

    Still don’t mind Phil staying, as long as he stays away from the Key emulation that was obviously the idiotic advice he was given early in his term as leader.

    But they need a new deputy, Annette King was invisible, I think Arden as deputy would create the perception of new blood without actually doing that much.

  35. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 36

    Mike S says” Labour should not rush to judgment” while John Key is Speed Dating!

    We were judged by the public. They think we are slow and that a bit of rushing by Labour leaders might by be over-due.

    John Key is “Speed Dating” while Labour leaders play Hamlet.

  36. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 37

    Mike S says we should start the process somewhere else and not now!
    This is the wrong time to avoid making a decision. We have just had our worst defeat in history. Compared to 2005, Uni-Students don’t support us, Middle Class Liberals don’t support us, Environmentalists don’t support us, Ethnic groups are moving to the Natz . We have lost people and voters to the Greens and Winston. Critical irreversible privatisation legislation is about to introduced: we need our best person leading us immediately.

    • the sprout 37.1

      agreed circumstances are dire, we need our best person leading us (yes of course, who could disagree but our enemies) immediately that’s the bit I disagree with. the post’s title seems the wiser option.

    • Colonial Viper 37.2

      Sorry sending our best person over the top of the trenches straight into the same Tory machinegun strafing is not going to change a thing. Except get them killed.

  37. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 38

    Mike S says we should be nice and polite for Phil and Annette!
    Deferring announcing our new leader out of deference to the slowly outgoing leader would have Shakespeare and Machiavelli rolling in their graves.

    P.S. The last Parliament was considered the most nice and polite one! JAYSUS, next we will be taking elocution lessons.

    • Anthony 38.1

      That’s exactly why I hope they will wait, the attack narrative to undermine a new leader is already the gaggle of plotters waiting with their knives behind nice Mr Goff’s back.

      Especially transparent that the main target they want to tarnish if Goff stands down is David Cunliffe.

  38. Glenn 39

    Labour is going to be on the opposition benches for another 6 years, hopefully after year 3 in better shape than it is now. Anyone who thinks differently is deluding themselves.
    Key is National’s Helen and like Helen will probably last for three terms before the swinging voters give him the boot. By that time the usual “I’m bored wanna change”will be in place. To last longer than 3 terms takes a special Leader and JK isn’t that special. But he is certainly clever enough and manipulative enough to win again in 2014.
    Labour won’t benefit by Goff quitting or being backstabbed this term. Better that he retains Labours leadership and loses again than throwing Labours next new leader into a situation he/she can’t win.
    I’m for Jacinda Ardern leading Labour after the 2014 election. Mainly because the others mentioned are oh so boring.

    • prism 39.1

      Oh good now that’s an idea. Labour can go quietly into the night for the next three years occasionally putting its head up and then go to training camp so they peak at the right time and magically get in or not miss by much. Time for Peter Sellers on how to Win an Election or not Lose by very Much.

      Labour hasn’t impressed in opposition this last 3 years, so will they be up there for the next term sounding capable and responsible or making a feeble protest at how unfair NACTs are? No wonder this country is sinking beneath the sea with such a lot of sentimental, soggy-minded opinionistas. Goff did his best and came through at the end with something very creditable, so he ought to be encouraged to stay on? He has had a shot at being PM which he probably always desired while serving Clark. Doesn’t always work does it – think Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Goff gave it his best shot, now it is someone else’s turn to lead Labour into the 21st century and be a party for all but striving to encourage and see satisfied the aspirations of not only the middle class but the low-skilled growing lower class.

  39. prism 40

    Oh move on – Phil Goff did well at the end and can retreat with dignity. But Labour need to be more assertive and employment-job oriented. He sticks in my mind talking about making things easier for poor people, but not so much on what they would do to get jobs with a livable wage and organise affordable houses. Get some sweat equity ones going say. Something vital and action-oriented and not hugely expensive because we know we can’t afford it blah blah. We know we have to save more and go without services so we can pay the wealthy compensation for having so much money – such a burden.

    This is the song for today –

    I’m (their) yesterday man
    Well my friends that’s what I am
    I’m (their) yesterday man
    Well my friends that’s what I am
    That’s what I am, (their) yesterday man

  40. Reality Bytes 41

    I think it sucks that there’s this expectation that Goff has to fall on his sword, that seems to be pretty much a conclusion by our sooth-saying media. I didn’t support Labour this time round, but I really believe Goff is a positive and really good leader, who’s had a raw deal from the media.

    Yeah I know there’s this perception that:
    ‘oh gosh Goff’s being negative for calling out the Nats on such and such, he’s just bitter’.

    WTF is wrong with our media!!?! Where’s the objective:
    ‘So this is how Nat’s explained themselves to the points Goff raised etc…’.

    Goff has done a really good job under the circumstances. I hope he does the following (Goff I hope you are reading and consider this)

    Goff gives an inspiring forward looking speech, and instead of tendering his resignation, he calls for a vote for the positions of leader and deputy.. BUT emphasizes that he REALLY still wants to lead the Labor party, and would be grateful if people would vote for him.

    If he speaks from the heart and earns their respect AND vote, he has a mandate to lead, and a great bit of character building experience.

    • Hami Shearlie 41.1

      Totally agree with that!

      • Reality Bytes 41.1.1

        It would be quite a big confidence boost for him to get acknowledgment like that imo, and it would democratically legitimise his position as leader (Why not give it a shot Goff!?) The guy has the balls to stand up for what he believes in so far, why change now?

        My prediction is if Goff defies the expectation/challenges for him to resign, and somehow continues as Labor leader then Labor will win the next election under Goff. He will be our next Prime Minister if he toughs it out.

        It would be pretty big news if he stays on as leader of the Labor party, and it would only serve to raise his profile significantly, and if it happens under good circumstances that would earn him massive respect as the underdog-comeback-kid in the public’s eye imo.

  41. Cin77 42

    I hope Phil Goff stays on, I’ve enjoyed seeing him around lately and in the debates he seemed a lot more relaxed than Shonkey who only seemed to enjoy the debate when he was heckling.

    Lol, I think if Shonkey wants him to quit its probably a really good reason for Goff to stay!

  42. Dan 43

    Goff should stay and restructure, and the party should make a big point about selecting a new leader in the run-up to the election.

  43. DavidW 44

    Perhaps it is just time to say “our work here is done”, pack the bags and steal away into the night. When you look at the circumstances in which the Party was formed and compare them with today there is no real basis to say that the organised labour, cloth cap class division, lack of education, need for breaking new ground in the creation of a welfare state that cried out for a party to represent “the masses” and found its genesis in the writings of a Russian revolutionary, you can reach no other conclusion but to say that the Labour Party was a child of its time and times have changed.

    The socialist dream is now dead and the concept of state welfare is well entrenched to the point where it will never be done away with. It may become a little more or less generous depending on who is in power at any one time but essentially it is a given.

    Crowds in the street chanting for rights and liberty from the shackles of the industrial revolution are a thing of the past (although Chris Trotter clearly dreams of their return on a nightly basis).

    Slums on one side of town and big houses on the other have given way to a situation where people of all political stripes live in the same street and often in the same house. The knowledge that if you want to badly enough and are prepared to work hard enough for it, you can have anything you want is shared by most of the masses as a few exceptional people show on a regular basis. The rest of us match our efforts to our aspirations (by and large) and are pretty comfortable and I would defy each one of you commenting here to deny it.

    So where to go for those with the missionary zeal to save others and improve the lot of the downtrodden? For some it will be Greenpeace and its political wing, I am sure, for others it will be to fight a rearguard dreaming of the past and wishing for economic collapse to recreate the needs so vibrantly met 100 years ago. Its going to be hard going for some I am afeared.

    • lprent 44.1

      …for others it will be to fight a rearguard dreaming of the past…

      Like National has done forever? Their characteristic has been that they always try the failed policies of twenty years ago first to see if they work this time.

      But it is pretty easy to figure out where the brains and alternative policies come from in NZ politics. Just name more than one parliamentary party that majority formed out of the National party? NZ First and then….. ummm….zilch. And NZ First is a retrospective party trying to fight their way back to the 60’s.

      You seem to be looking at some crap out of history. I’m surprised that you aren’t trying to rouse the farmers to fight the good fight on the waterfront again….

      Labour on the other hand in recent history has spawned everything from the neolibs of the recently departed Act party to left reaches of New Labour. They moved on while you and National remain mired in past battles.

      Pompous twaddle…

  44. DavidW 45

    Lyn, if I had wished to start a knife fight I would have been critical of Labour and its policies, god knows I would have plenty of ammunition (to mix up my metaphors).
    All I was offering was a perspective on how times change and organisations formed in a particular environment may not necessarily be valid in another. I’m no seer but it is conceivable that the Greens for example will lose relevance once the streams are clean and CO2 is seen as a fertiliser rather than a toxin, who knows. So you don’t agree, fine.

    Your defensiveness however says a hell of a lot more about you than it does about me. FFS, citing ACT and New Labour as successful spin-offs of Labour is stretching an already taught rubber band a bit too far I think.

    • lprent 45.1

      Your defensiveness however says a hell of a lot more about you than it does about me. FFS, citing ACT and New Labour as successful spin-offs of Labour is stretching an already taught rubber band a bit too far I think.

      Nope it says that I’m an irritable old bugger with a good memory and who doesn’t tolerate pontificating fools well. In other words it is simply personal in response to your twaddle.

      In the case of Act and New Labour, I was around inside Labour when the Labour members peeled off to create them. Both parties were quite successful at changing the political debate for quite some time and then fell apart from inherent internal divisions. You simply just read as too young to remember, or too dim to remember, and in any case too damn lazy and arrogant to read. They were damn near textbook cases of organisations that fell apart from inherent internal divisions (almost worth writing up for a MBA course).

      Your comment was quite simply bullshit from start to finish (just like your understanding of earth sciences), mostly because you were waffling about something that you hadn’t studied to the point you actually understood it.

      If you’d care to look back a day, you’d find a rather barbed post I wrote that was far more critical of the Labour parties organisation than you’re likely to be capable of understanding.

      Perhaps if you put away the posturing juvenile bullshit you’d be worth listening to… But I make it a personal policy to prod posturing dickheads to see if they are worth listening to before they get too boring in their droning. Specifically seeing how they respond to being criticized.

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    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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