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Labour’s Choice

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, September 24th, 2014 - 140 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Labour now has a choice.

Spend the next 3 months in naval gazing about “why we lost” and “how to appeal to voters”, and playing musical chairs with the leaders. Again!

Then wait patently for your next “turn” in Dictatorship.

Or join the Greens in doing the job, that the Greens have already restarted, we pay you for.
Be part of the Parliament in New Zealand, holding National to account and preventing them ,as far as possible, from de-constructing, and destroying, the New Zealand our forebears, and ourselves, spent so much time and effort building.

Policies are not something you design to, “appeal to voters!”.
Being in Government is not a marketing game, even though National and the media have made it one.

Leave that to National.

Join the Greens, and even some in National, there are a few good people there too, in showing, in opposition, that you have the vision, care and concern for New Zealanders, (all of us) that makes you worthy to be our leaders.

I still have high hopes for Labour, and the Greens, after the passion and effort from people within both parties.
Work from David Cunliffe and David Parker towards the end, as they grew into the job, has been inspiring.

I have high hopes for all of you.

Don’t let me down.

140 comments on “Labour’s Choice ”

  1. Not a PS Staffer 1

    Who the hell wants to join a white, middle aged, middle class conservative organisation? The Bowling Club at least has a cheap bar!

    • weka 1.1

      Lew ‏@LewSOS 40m
      These Labour MPs won the party vote in their electorates:

      Lew ‏@LewSOS 40m
      Are you seeing the trend yet?

      Lew ‏@LewSOS 36m
      Let me spell it out.
      Six men, five women.
      Eight have been in Parliament less than five years.
      Six Māori
      Four Pasifika.
      ONE Pākehā.

      Interesting conversation then ensues https://twitter.com/GraemeEdgeler/status/514577104273297410

      • just saying 1.1.1

        Yeah Weka, but we both know exactly what will happen. They will repeat the mistakes of the past like amnesiacs and blame everything on “identity politics” just like they always have and always will.
        Just get the popcorcn and settle in for another repeat episode of “chasing the white ‘aspirational’ boof-head vote”. A sad story that always ends the same way – looking like the total fuck-ups that they are to the electorate, and blaming everyone but themselves.
        Oh and Hooten grinning like a cheshire cat.

        • KJT

          Well. I am exactly one of those mythical white, balding, pudgy aging middle class voters (working tradesmen) in the “centre” that everyone is supposed to be chasing..

          When I heard what David Cunliffe actually said, not as the media circus, of pretend journalists, in the National party propaganda sheets spun it.
          Comments which were entirely appropriate and, I thought, spoke for me to.

          We should be ashamed.
          Of how many women, and marginal groups, are treated in our society.

          Even if we are not personally responsible, we still have a duty to do something about it.

          • Sans Cle

            +++ Thank you, for your kind words. I take liberty to say that on behalf of those marginalised people who will never get to read your post.

            • greywarbler

              @ Sans cle 7.49
              ‘ Thank you, for your kind words. I take liberty to say that on behalf of those marginalised people who will never get to read your post.’

              is that being sarcy? I hope not. Swiping at people expressing sincere, well-meaning and moral sentiments is generally to be encouraged.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2

        Thats easy, the electorate there doesnt vote green !

      • bearded git 1.1.3

        great response weka

    • karol 1.2

      The Greens are not the aging bowling club lot you have in mind.

      Thanks to our ground focussed campaign we have built up a promising core of Auckland based Māori and Pacific young women support in particular. This is very exciting and is something I want more than anything to help grow. Whatever profile I am slowly building will also be used to support the Green Party in my strive for recognition of indigenous rights and social justice.

      I am not going anywhere folks. My whānau and I are on this waka for the long haul. Right now the opportunity in front of me includes the clear vision and good sense plan of the Green Party. My extended whānau will be cementing our Green Party membership this week which will amount to enough members for our own branch almost! I urge particularly our Māori and Pacific communities to get involved so that the Green Party can support our Tangata Whenua and Pacific green aspirations better.

    • Al 1.3

      I take it you refer to the National party?

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    I agree entirely. The immaturity and divisions in the Labour caucus were showing within hours of the election result. The voters knew that they could not hand power to such a totally undisciplined grouping – MPs who had apparently agreed not to speak out to the media but couldn’t even keep their mouths shut until Tueday’s caucus meeting.

    So how do you turn this around. You do everything that you didn’t in the run up to 2014. You show the electorate that you understand that LAB/GR are going to work together to form government, so LAB/GR are going to work together from day 1 to get into government.

    Make it happen, stop fucking around, these next 6 months are utterly crucial to determining how much National can do to damage NZ and its sovereignty, the Tories need to be Opposed every step of the way – and not just by the Greens and Winston First, while LAB runs around in circles getting its act together.

    • KJT 2.1

      “Stop fucking around”.


    • Anne 2.2

      So how do you turn this around. You do everything that you didn’t in the run up to 2014. You show the electorate that you understand that LAB/GR are going to work together to form government, so LAB/GR are going to work together from day 1 to get into government.

      Why did it not happen this time around?

      Please excuse the shouting, but I want to know why Labour turned the Greens down. Was it a consensus decision or was David C instructed to turn them down? Is this where the factionalism came in? Was it the right wing of the party who objected to full cooperation with the Greens? If so, then the truth becomes crystal clear and we can start doing something about it.

      • greywarbler 2.2.1

        @ Anne 5.08
        I used to think that Japanese committing harakiri was rather grotesque. But perhaps after a debacle like this there could be a NZ version. There should be a giant meeting where all people with an axe to grind are given something to chop up, symbolic of course.

        And then we ask the Labour leaders and players the probing questions. This meeting would be strongly monitored and adjudicated with a timekeeper as determined as in a debate, a limited time with warning to close down within say 30 seconds.

        All this self-propelling guff going on behind the Labour scenery is not enlightening and we are impotent on the outside. We can’t sideline Labour because they are the biggest game in town. They could be playing Scrabble or Cluedo at their meetings and we wouldn’t be worse off than with the outcomes we are getting now.

        This meeting would be open to the public, not just the bunnies frozen in the Labour headlights. They are good bunnies I am sure, but some people have said using the calcivirus that only dead bunnies are good bunnies. Let’s have a change of animal. Go for being birds, like Sirocco, he knew what he wanted and gave his choice of partner all he had. Go Labour with a kakapo or kea to inspire us.!

    • Foreign Waka 2.3

      Absolutely, too many self obsessed navel gazers. It must be horrendous for Mr Cunliffe to have to work with those clowns. I wont hold my breath though as I don’t belief that the current labor party has any chance at all to survive.
      Key is trying to get Winston on his side and this is even more worrying as he and the greens are the at the moment the only counter balance in parliament.

      • AmaKiwi 2.3.1

        In politics, “Friends may come and friends may go, but enemies last forever.”

        There are people on the Left who absolutely positively will not vote for the Greens (tree hugging economy destroyers, blah, blah, blah) but will vote Labour. There are others who will never vote Labour (closet neo-liberals, a bunch of fairies and Lesbians, blah, blah, blah) but will vote Green.

        That’s one reason to maintain separate identities.

        In my campaigning for Labour I told people I didn’t care if they voted Labour, Green, Mana, or Maori. I was not going to get into an argument about which Left party was purer. Implicitly I knew they would work together.

    • Bob 2.4

      “the Tories need to be Opposed every step of the way”
      This is yet another issue for Labour, they opposed EVERYTHING for 6 years the Cunliffe states in the TV3 debate that National did a good job with the economy over the past 6 years! How does that work? That just comes across as either Labour can’t be trusted with the economy, or they blatantly refuse to work with anyone (including their own caucus!).
      John Key got respect when he stood next to Helen Clark to work together on Sue Bradford’s ‘anti smacking’ legislation, opposing everything just makes you look either completely negative (turn off to voters), or, when things are going well it makes you look incompetent.

    • keith ross 2.5

      I agree with some of your comments and want to put in my two cents worth. David Shearer will only be prime minister when there is no other choice. My 6 year old daughter speaks better than him. As to Cunnliffe being arrogant, that is not the way that I have ever seen him act. Arrogant is the ABC club who have great paying jobs no matter what, win or lose it’s just a game for them. Get rid of the dead wood, and I don’t mean the best talent you have. For gods sake why not stand up for what you believe in? I could get behind the policy that was being pushed at the last election, the leader and deputy. (Drop the raising of the age of retirement though that’s not something to be proud of). Remember that you are a political party for the workers not a company selling lollies. Show unity and stick with the leadership and policies that you have and fight for them . If you don’t believe in them ask the members to vote on any contentious ones or get out of the way. There is arrogance in the top ranks of the labour party but it isn’t David Cunliffe that has an issue with it.

  3. Sam 3

    Labour only needs to take 5 – 10% from National and they will able to form a government with the Greens and NZ First. What they need is a likable leader who IS A LEADER and unifies both the caucus and supporters. You have to understand that the NZ political system allows for change every few years, and with National the only major party on the right (although the Conservatives are in a position to be thrown a bone if National need them in 2017), it really only takes a different spin on things and a bit of an olive leaf to the working/middle class to win them over. People this year voted for a “strong, stable government.” It’s pretty obvious. If Labour can show unity and the competence to be the next government, they could win. They will at least make it very very difficult for National.

    • KJT 3.1

      Cunliffe is that leader.

      There is no other contender at the moment.

      Caucus needs to get over themselves, and grow up, or quit.

      • Hami Shearlie 3.1.1

        I agree – Cunliffe is head and shoulders above the rest and should have been given a FULL TERM to cement himself into the leadership – Shame on you David Shearer for wasting TWO WHOLE YEARS!

      • Foreign Waka 3.1.2

        It all done and dusted by what we see. Mr Cunliffe should contemplate to start his own party. I have read the name Social Democrat somewhere. Maybe something to think about?

      • Treetop 3.1.3

        Thank you and thank you KJT for your comment @3.1.

        The emotions within the Labour caucus are here there and everywhere this week. Changing the leader is NOT the answer. Cunliffe needs to be given another year as leader. A year is a long time in politics and this week is crucial for the party to do self reflection as an individual and as a player within the team. Cunliffe is no more responsible for the election result Labour got than any other person in the party.

        As it stands there are some new MPs and they will bring a new dynamic to the caucus, especially the Maori MPs.

        In a year it will be known if there is not a better person to be leader and it will also be known how healthy the Labour team are.

        “The true goal of leadership is not to cross the finishing line first, but to take as many others with you as you can.” Bob Gass

  4. The Lone Haranguer 4

    So are you saying that if the electorate MP was successful but didnt win his/her party vote they were complacent or werent working hard enough, or werent committed to Labour enough?

    New Lynn

    Labour 10,160
    National 11,650

    • Hami Shearlie 4.1

      Considering that New Lynn with the boundary changes should really be a National seat, Cunliffe did very well to restrict the Nat party vote to that. Take a look at Shearer and Goff’s electorates – both lost the party vote by a HUGE margin!

      • indiana 4.1.1

        Coming second place is the first place loser…

      • brian 4.1.2

        @ Hami Shearlie (4.1)

        “Take a look at Shearer and Goff’s electorates – both lost the party vote by a HUGE margin!”

        This indicates to me that these two politicians are presenting an image to New Zealand that is better than the image of the Labour Party.

        What you have just said is the best endorsement possible for listening to these politicians. In other words, how can we change the Labour Party to increase it’s popularity to voters so that it as high as that of Shearer and Goff? Certainly by not getting rid of them!

        • Hami Shearlie

          Not when we hear that both Goff and Shearer did not display ONE Labour Party hoarding with David Cunliffe and Party Vote Labour on the front – they only wanted to secure their own seats and didn’t give a damn about the Party!

        • Richard Christie

          Nobody now seems to care where the hell Jason Ede is.

          • brian

            @ Richard Christie (

            I can almost guarantee that Jason has been gifted an all expenses vacation in a close friend’s holiday bach in Hawaii. The owner of the bach has told him to relax, play a little golf, and when he has time to keep in touch with Whaleoil, who has been feeling a little depressed lately.

      • The Lone Haranguer 4.1.3

        But there were a couple of thousand folk who voted for Cunnliffe, but then didnt vote Labour.

        A most peculiar thing really

        • adam

          And the Green, NZ first vote was 2,695, and 2,101 respectively. The green candidate got just on 2k votes. The NZ first did not regista effectively.

          Not really the lone harangure, you just need to look into it a bit more. Did the people in New Lynn vote Strategically?

  5. Doug 5

    Thoughts from a great lefty thinker.

    So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.
    George Orwell

    • KJT 5.1

      Thanks for the compliment.

      The left thinks. The right follows the leader.

      A small Scandinavian animal springs to mind.

      P.S. I am a filthy capitalist. It is my mates Draco, Weka, CV etc, who are the lefties.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Actually, you got that backwards – it’s the right-wing that play with fire without knowing WTF they’re doing:

      * It’s National and their cohorts that have promised to gut the RMA so that farmers can pollute more.
      * It’s National that are building more roads and encouraging more fossil fueled generation.
      * It’s National that are, basically, doing nothing about human induced climate change
      * It’s National that are putting in place policies that increase poverty for the many

      Make no mistake, if/when there’s a revolution it will be because of National and the right-wing.

  6. sabine 6

    When the Greens give me a good reason as to why they gave Ohariu to Dunne and Auckland Central to Nikki Kaye i might give a dime or two about them. In the meantime, the greens should go back to the drawing board and question why they did not get the 15% and infact lost ground compared to last election.

    If we ask these question from Labour we should ask the Green.

    why did the Green Party not support their Labour Allie in two electorates that should and could have gone to Labour if the Greens would have voted strategically.

    Until then, the Greens can go eat a vegan feast, and that is more than many people will eat.

    • KJT 6.1

      And that folks, as well as the infighting at the top, is what lost the election.

    • karol 6.2

      The Greens tried to form a pre-election alliance with Labour. If that had happened, then the sort of accommodations and explicit campaign statements against vote splitting could have been made.

      The way forward is a strong Lab-Green alliance.

      • The Al1en 6.2.1

        “The way forward is a strong Lab-Green alliance.”

        I can’t say the omens look good, if a shane jones style, pagini/commentator’s curse, old guard, right headed caucus have anything to do with it.

      • weka 6.2.2

        I would add to karol’s explanation, that the GP have been trying to work cooperatively with Labour for a long time and Labour have continually refused. Hence now the GP work hard for the party vote and that includes standing people in electorates. They won’t be willing to give concessions to Labour unless there is some kind of co-operation from Labour. Why should they?

        IMO they shouldn’t have had a candidate in Ōhāriu for the good of the left and because Dunne holding the seat might have cost us the election. Nothing to do with Labour. However we have to bear in mind that that would have cost them party votes (Look at the party and candidate votes for Ōhāiru for the past few elections).

        • framu

          “the GP have been trying to work cooperatively with Labour for a long time and Labour have continually refused.”


        • sabine

          The Party votes in Ohuria mean nothing when you have Dunne rubberstamping everything that National does.
          The Party vote in Auckland Central means nothing when you have Nikki Kaye muse about 55cent breakfast.
          These two seats are courtesy of the Greens, what ever comes from Peter Dunne and Nikki Kaye can be laid at the feet of the Green Party.

          I don’t wanna hear any whining about Dunne and Kaye from Green Party supporters. Your guys voted for them, you own them.

          What the Greens have shown to Labour supporters is basically with friends like these you don’t need enemies.

          On more than one occasion did I have the privilege to vote for Green. Here and abroad. But this current lot of Green Office Managers will never get a stamp from me.

          They helped the left to loose, and they did it because they could.
          And yes, I am over that smug smile.

      • sabine 6.2.3

        the green knew they would go in with labour, what did they need? A flax woven invite?

        • adam

          Yes sabine they did. And maybe a full stop of attacks from labour. But no labour is so arrogant they won’t even talk any concessions to the Greens or anyone else for that matter. I would not expect any less rubbish and more crap from a party which can’t get it’s shit together.

          If you have a close look at the electorates most greens voted strategically – but and I can understand and forgive them this – when the playground bully keeps acting like a playground bully. Then bugger them. And sabine – you comments are just another curlish example of letting that 2 year old out to throw their toys around the cot. Which is pretty much what labour is these days, a bunch of dicks who have not dealt with their issues and let their inner two year old out.

      • logie97 6.2.4

        So a Green or Labour voter in Ohariu or Epsom requires his/her parties to tell them who to vote for when it comes to the electorate.
        How patronising or on the other hand it demonstrates how thick they are and how they have yet to understand MMP.
        Odd considering the champions of proportional voting systems were the Greens.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.5

        And a Labour Leader and front bench who will back that.

      • Sans Cle 6.2.6

        May be a very stupid question, but why do Labour and Greens even contest with a candidate in Epsom and Ohariu? What is the strategy behind it? Do they feel compelled to have a representative standing?

    • Tracey 6.3

      its been explained to you many times that adern winning akld central wld make no difference to the seats labour holds.

      • phillip ure 6.3.1

        @ tracey…

        ..oh..!..so that makes the vote-splitting curse..ok..?

      • sabine 6.3.2

        It is about the principle Tracey. How about that. The left works together to try and defeat or at least do a maximum of damage.

        Seats is one thing. Showing sign of working together and being unified is another one.
        Personally me…..if asked, this Labour supporter will treat the green of aotearoa as the poisoned pill they have shown themselves to be.

        Consider this my vote of distrust.

    • GregJ 6.4

      Sabine – you really have to let that line of reasoning go. It’s not helping the left at all to go around blaming each other. I’m going to repeat what I posted before about Ōhariu.

      “I think people are too easily seduced by the 900+ vote majority in Ōhariu into thinking Ginny Andersen could have won.

      Look at the party vote distribution – 16,686 out of 32,698 voted National (leaving aside the 977 Conservative votes, 222 ACT & 241 United Future). The combined Green/Lab Party vote was 12,306. If there had been any hint of an accomodation between the Greens & Labour at the candidate level then the 5,000+ National voters who voted for Hudson would have simply switched to keep Dunne in. (If there’s one thing National voters know it’s how to follow directions from “Dear Leader”).

      Ōhariu is not the old Onslow seat, its not even Ohariu-Belmont. It’s now a firmly National seat. Dunne has simply moved right as his seat has moved right. When the Hairdo retires it will return a National member (unless they stitch up some deal with the Conservatives to coattail the Conservative vote).

      I’m not saying that tactical voting isn’t important – and that the Left needs to work out when it is important and when it isn’t (and that also means that sometimes Labour is going to have to surrender an electorate seat to someone else on the Left – oh I don’t know – say a seat like TTT!).”

      • sabine 6.4.1

        As I said to Tracey, this is about co-operation, voting to help each others riding Parliament together.
        And that was lacking in my eyes.

        • karol

          So you didn’t take any notice of GregJ’s clear explanation?

          Some Labour people seem to look for any reason to attack the Greens. That’s not cooperation.

          • Akldnut

            You’re kidding me Karol, of all the blogs I read the vitriol between Left party supporters being thrown around would be 80% Green supporters aimed at Labour.

    • Kat 6.5

      Good point.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    Policies are not something you design to, “appeal to voters!”

    Fig A. Why Labour may never again form part of the government.

    • KJT 7.1

      If Labour MP’s put power above principles, and a vision, of what they want to do for New Zealanders, then, like National, who cynically market themselves as something they are not, they do not deserve to be there.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1

        The arrogance is astounding.

        • BM

          Yeah, it’s quite mind boggling.
          So much for democracy.

          • KJT

            You really think we have a Democracy?

            • BM

              What did we do last weekend?

              Just because you don’t like the result doesn’t mean we don’t have a democracy.

              Bud, If the greens want to get involved, they need to lose the holier than thou attitude and work with National.

              Labour won’t be in power for a long long time

              • KJT

                Greens have got the most policy enacted of any party not in Government.

                It is the Greens keeping child poverty in the front of public dialogue, that caused National’s sudden interest in it.

                • BM

                  Then why not extend an olive branch and get involved.

                  • KJT

                    Because they are not really interested in solving it. Just putting enough of a fig leaf over it to get re-elected in 2017.

                    I will continue to advocate for welfare recipients and mentally ill people, when WINZ, pushed by Paula Bennett, tries to starve their kids.

            • chris73

              So basically if National win we don’t have a democracy, did we have a democracy when Labour were in power?

              • KJT

                One of the worst, most undemocratic Governments in recent times were Labour in 84.

                We should be able to vote on policies, like Switzerland, but both parties are too enamoured with power to allow that.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Chris has four weeks to reflect on this question:

                Iran and Saudi Arabia have elections. Do they have democracy? If not why not?

  8. Tracey 8

    yup… lose another year choosing a leader… another year getting them recognised… then election year…. new captain AFTE leader… another

  9. BM 9

    Policies are not something you design to, “appeal to voters!”.

    Why not?, voters are the ones who elect governments.

    Christ, no wonder the left is fucked.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      What they really mean is if you oppose something till you are blue in the face and then decide it will appeal to voters after all.

      20 hours free childcare anyone?

      or if you one of your founding principles is free enterprise and not pick winners, then promote a massive government subsidy for Chorus to build fibre optic.

      or if you tell schools to consolidate and merge because not enough money to go around, then provide double the funding per pupil for ‘no rules’ startups, with no school donations, free trips to school and free lunches

    • Foreign waka 9.2

      Well, I for one do not look for some customer service from the help desk, that’s for sure. I expect a bit more from the representative in parliament. Considering the hourly rate, a lot more. I also want to have the ideas presented because that is what highly paid “human future consultants” do. If I have to ask, chew through and design policies then please do away with parliament and introduce direct democracy. Advantage: No enormous overheads, absolute majority always needed before a decision is made and no interference from interest groups. Hurray, Eureka!

  10. Tom Gould 10

    This is a very strange rambling contribution. Problem is that only a narrow sect of people dreamily hum the tune to kumbaya and vote accordingly.

    • KJT 10.1

      What are you actually trying to say?

      • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1

        I think that’s what Tom was asking you 😉

        • KJT

          Please explain? Us working class males are a bit thick.

          If he is talking about the “Hippie Greens” that is a media construction. I know a great many greens and most are successful skilled people in the professions or trades. Jobs where success depends on a realistic view of the world, not corporate brown nosing.

          Hardly tree hugging hippies, singing Kumbaya. Though we have those to..

          • Te Reo Putake

            It’s not my place to talk for Tom, but I suspect he considers your contribution a bit unfocussed. Not the Phil Ure level of linguistic dysfunction, where the medium destroys the message, but just a bit vague.

            For example, Tom might be wondering who you are actually addressing? Cunliffe? MP’s? Members?

            Or what you actually think the LP should be doing? What practical steps? What does “join the greens” mean, literally?

            • KJT

              As I said.

              Join the Greens in showing the fallacies in National’s policies, instead of another round of naval gazing and musical cheers in the leadership. I thought that was rather clear.

              Even take a leaf out of National’s book. They have not wasted any time in starting the 2017 campaign.

              I considered that Cunliffe and Parker had reflected views and hopes for New Zealand enough, to give Labour my candidate vote for the first time since 1984. Party vote went to the Greens.

              Many working people will not vote for environmentally sustainable polices, still an issue getting Green votes, because they know that the non-workers and parasites at the top, will make sure that those at the bottom pay the costs of any action.

              Which makes the Labour vote, and a Labour party which is not simply “National lite” important to get a Government which truly “works for New Zealanders”, not speculators and foreign financiers.

              (David Cunliffes speech about anaesthetic and cutting your leg off, all the same, is exactly how I felt about the last Labour Government), “

  11. bearded git 11

    Look, before the results came in we all thought Labour had run a reasonable campaign with good policies and Cunliffe had performed well.

    Nothing has changed except it is clear that the way the message is packaged to the people must be changed; improved.

    Cunliffe must stay on the basis of the above.

    • weka 11.1

      Cunliffe staying or going is irrelevant if the core internal issues don’t get sorted out. If Cunliffe stays and keeps getting stabbed in the back, how well do you think Labour will do at the next election?

      • Foreign waka 11.1.1

        The fact that this backstabbing is going on makes them unfit for government. If they cannot trust each other and show unity and purpose then they are just a bunch of high school drop outs.

    • chris73 11.2

      No we didn’t, only the one-eyed thought it was a good campaign the rest of us looked at the polls and saw Labour 20% + behind National in every poll and knew National would win

      “Nothing has changed except it is clear that the way the message is packaged to the people must be changed; improved.”

      – the people heard the message and voted accordingly

      • KJT 11.2.1

        All they saw, in the media available to them, was the result of National’s dirty politics, lies, obfuscation and cynicism from a bunch of people who call themselves journalists, but decided to be the news and get “their” party into power.

        Helped along by a Labour party leadership in obvious disarray.

      • KJT 11.2.2

        What you really mean is you looked at the polls, thought all the lemmings must be right, and voted accordingly.

    • tc 11.3

      5 new taxes including the polarising CGT, raising the retirement age, same campaign manager as lost the last one, overly complex policy gifting the nats easy hits, a divided caucus etc scared the bejeesus out of middle NZ and they paid the price.

      DC did do well but he was way too nice when he needed some mongrel about him especially when JK was off kilter initially over DP as once they regrouped, the opportunity had passed.

      They will continue to flounder till they play to win, keep it simple, don’t scare the electorate and treat the MSM as hostile, which they are so use the interweb like Obama did in his first run and get in control of the message ffs.

      to quote mad mens Don Draper ‘…if you don’t like the conversation, change it..”

      • KJT 11.3.1

        CGT has about 54% support, according to polls.

        Not selling assets had a lot more.

        And correct. Own the conversation. Start your own. Instead of re-acting to the media framing.

        Agreed, DC is inclined to be pleasant and thoughtful. Something I value in a leader, but obviously others do not.

        • chris73

          Thats funny as I view him as smug and patronizing and theres probably a lot more out there in voting land that agree with me

          • KJT

            Have you met him?

          • Rodel

            Your impression is wrong. Suggest you try to meet him.He’s a real person of substance, not a CT figment.

            • chris73

              How friggin’ obnoxious, who are you to tell me my impression is wrong. He may well be the most amazing guy BUT the impression (the first and immediate effect of an experience or perception upon the mind) he gives me is of a smug, smarmy, patronizing git

              I don’t go around telling people that their impressions of John Key is wrong (and yes I’ve met him) because its their opinion and they’re entitled to it

              • RedLogix

                I’ve met both men.

                My impression of DC is the exact opposite of yours. And I’m mature and confident enough in my own judgement to know you are simply making shit up. You are repeating an attack meme.

                Examine everything Cunliffe has said and done and there is an integrity and congruence. Everything lines up.

                I’ve also met John Key. I evaluate him as an exact example of his type – a senior corporate operative who is very smooth, charming and knows exactly how to work a room. He has all the body language and skills to project a laid-back, almost lazy, dominance without appearing to try.

                Anyone who has worked for a large global corporate for more than a few years has met the type. They have reached their positions because they know exactly how to look like, act like leaders. They’ve mastered the art of conflating positional, organisational power with their own personalities.

                However it usually takes a while and a few hard lessons before you begin to understand their true nature. And even then it’s interesting how many people refuse to believe the evidence – even when confronted with it. Usually they create a great deal of damage within an organisation before suddenly one day you find they are gone.

                • KJT

                  John Key reminds me of two types I have met.
                  The school bully at my high school. He was in the first fifteen, and had a tribe of admiring followers. A similar bunch of admiring sycophantic, not very bright, “Girls”, who would do his dirty work, (Collins, Parata, et al) to be disposed of to cover his ass when convenient. And a bunch of boys who followed the leader. (Being male they were not as disposable) The school staff, of course, thought he was great, because he said all the right things to his superiors.
                  Many students looked up to him, mostly unaware of what he did behind the scenes.
                  And. Exactly the same type in the corporate world, who I have had to fix up after..

                  Yes. I have met him and many like him.

    • sabine 11.4

      thank you.

  12. xanthe 12

    Who decided that the internet mana was a more immediate threat than national….. expunge!

    • KJT 12.1

      Yeah. Join National in dumping on prospective allies because they upset the cosy duopoly in Parliament.

      Great tactics.

  13. newsense 13

    Does the constitution prevent
    Josie Pagani being elected leader?

  14. brian 14

    One News

    Who should govern Labour? Readers say Jacinda Ardern

    “Dark horse Jacinda Ardern is now well in the lead ahead of David Cunliffe in our (One News) poll about who should be at the helm of the Labour Party.”

    Not a scientific poll, skewed at the end by active Shearers supporters.

    Promises to be a battle between Cunliffe and Shearer with strong support each side. Would not surprise me if Ardern is a unifying choice.

    • karol 14.1

      Ardern? How did the Labour Party vote go in her electorate?

      Ardern seems to me to be the reality TV option.

      • brian 14.1.1

        Auckland Central

        2011 Election Final
        Candidate Votes

        14321 (43%) Labour (Ardern)
        02903 (09%) Green
        15038 (45%) National
        33481 Total

        2011 Election Final
        Party Votes

        08590 (25%) Labour
        07797 (23%) Green
        14447 (42%) National
        34370 Total

        2014 Election Preliminary
        Candidate Votes

        09393 (43%) Labour (Ardern)
        01537 (07%) Green
        10040 (46%) National
        21681 Total

        2014 Election Preliminary
        Party Votes

        04758 (22%) Labour
        04584 (21%) Green
        09799 (45%) National
        21677 Total

      • brian 14.1.2

        @ karol (14.1)

        “Ardern seems to me to be the reality TV option”

        A little harsh. She is no flake
        Six years experience; Prominent throughout;
        Promoted by Shearer; Demoted by Cunliffe

        In the context of this blog, I understand her association with Shearer is enough to damn her.

        But outside of this blog, and in the public context, she is worth serious consideration.

        • karol

          Ardern sometimes shows promise. But in the House her performance is patchy. She has delivered some excellent speeches, but other times she’s ho hum, and misses the target in the points she makes.

          I think she gets positive attention in the infotainment media because she presents as quite an attractive person.

          She maybe leadership material in the future, but she’s got a way to go. I can’t see her controlling or leading the caucus at the moment. She’d be a possibility for manipulation by someone more experienced.

          And she did very poorly on the party vote in her electorate this election. The Labour party vote in Central Auckland was about half of Ardern’s electorate vote. The party votes seem to have gone to the Greens, who may have seen Ardern as the best left option for the electorate vote.

          If Ardern is unable to inspire enough people to party vote Labour in the electorate in which she has stood now for a few elections, will she be able to inspire people to vote Labour nationally?

          • brian

            @karol (

            You may very well be right in your assessment of Ardern’s abilities.

            Comment on attractiveness. I note that, as an attractive woman, Ardern does have a higher barrier than most to be treated seriously for her intellectual power. A reflection on just how I see it, not how it should be. I am not criticising your post. Your concerns about her are solely about her performance.

            Ardern has stood in Waikato (once) and Auckland Central (twice)

            I will pick up on your analysis of Candidate/Party votes.

            Your analysis suggests that the responsibility for the Party vote in an electorate is the responsibility of the Local candidate.

            I read it differently. The Party vote is the more the responsibility of the Party. A bad party vote reflects badly on the Party campaign – primarily in this presidential style electioneering, by the Leader.

            A Strong Candidate vote ….much bigger than the Party vote ….. tells me that the electorate likes that candidate, despite their lower opinion of the Party as a whole.

            That to me is an endorsement of that candidate, and not a poor performance at all. It says that those sort of candidates may be the very best candidates to be given consideration for senior party roles. People with such characteristics are more likely to be able to inspire people on a National level.

            It’s not the full story of course, but I think its highly unfair to place the responsibility for the electorate Party vote fully on the local candidate. I never consider the local candidate any more than any other candidate when I make my choice of party.

            • karol

              The party vote is what matters most in the election. Every candidate should be campaigning strongly for the party vote. End of.

              • brian

                @ karol (

                I agree absolutely. But that does not change anything that I wrote.

                • karol

                  Yes it does. If an electorate candidate belongs to a party, and only campaign for the electorate vote, and don’t campaign strongly for the party vote, they are not up to leading the party.

                  • brian

                    @ karol (

                    Seems like we will have to agree to disagree.

                    I expect an electorate candidate to campaign strongly for the Party vote primarily.

                    The Candidate vote will be largely determined by how all voters perceive the candidate. Often how they have performed as an Electorate MP for everybody. A really good candidate may receive an extremely high vote from any other party.

                    The Party vote will be largely determined by the performance of the Leader and the Election campaign over the whole Country. The size of the Party vote is only marginally affected by the calibre of the local candidate (unless they are either A+ calibre or F- calibre)

                    • karol

                      You would think an electorate candidate would campaign strongly for the party.

                      But there has been quite a bit of anecdotal evidence, of this kind, to the contrary.

                      And there are several leading ABC MPs for whom the party vote went down considerably in their electorates, even while their electorate vote was reasonably strong.

                      During the election people have reported that some of these MPs did not have any party vote billboards with Cunliffe on them in their electorates.

                    • brian

                      @ karol (

                      You would think an electorate candidate would campaign strongly for the party. But there has been quite a bit of anecdotal evidence, of this kind, to the contrary.

                      There is no excuse for any electorate candidate not campaigning for the party vote primarily. If not they should in the first instance be punished to at least 25 hours of repetitive team talks from the All Blacks.

                      And there are several leading ABC MPs for whom the party vote went down considerably in their electorates, even while their electorate vote was reasonably strong.

                      There can be many reasons for this, as I’ve tried to explain that do not necessarily mean sabotage of the team.

                      One that comes immediately to mind, is that for long standing MPS, they will inevitably have built up personal following. Name recognition for past leaders such as Goff and Shearer will also be high. And for others, they may be attracting personal votes from other parties, simply because they are doing a bloody good job as an electorate MP. And your implied suggestion that the result could be that they are not doing their full share of advocating for the Party vote is also valid.

                      During the election people have reported that some of these MPs did not have any party vote billboards with Cunliffe on them in their electorates.

                      I’d like to hear the candidate’s explanations for this. Who was responsible for paying and supplying all these billboards?

        • lprent

          The question is can she drive the caucus to work rather than spending of their time pissing into the wind (and wasting everyone else efforts).

          As much as I think she is a contender at some point I don’t think she is now. In the absence of ministerial posts. She should seek a period as whip.

  15. RedLogix 15

    I’ve spent a bit of time reading numerous comments on various social media about this election this last hour or so.

    The degree of misinformation, lies and propaganda about the left, now firmly believed by so many people, is complete and virtually unshakable. Many commentators clearly state that Hager’s revelations of National’s dirty politics was rewarded by an electorate who unwilling or unable to accept the truth about Key – shot the nearest thing that looked like a messenger they could aim at in the voting booth – the Labour Party. Completely irrational but ruthlessly effective all the same.

    And how often have you seen them here repeating the attack line that DC is ‘insincere’, ‘smug and arrogant’ when the truth is the exact opposite? The US Republicans called it ‘swiftboating’ – making up lies and shit about your opponents strength in order to turn it into a weakness.

    The right-wing smear machine in all it’s incarnations has been and continues to be wildly successful. Slater may be winged – but he was rapidly reaching his used by date anyhow. The mechanism is far more embedded in the opinion-making classes than just WhaleOil.

    Unless and until this changes National will remain in power – indefinitely.

    Arguing among ourselves about anything else other than this reality merely plays exactly into their hands.

    My message to all senior and public figures on the left – grow up, breath through your noses and stop feeding the smear machine. Do the jobs you are paid to do.

    If you do not start doing this right now you will find your Party vanishing from underneath you.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Dire Straits.

      What you have described is National starting their campaign for 2017.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        How did you know my favourite band then CV?

        My point is this – the internal disarray of the left at the moment is irrelevant. We could have had Jesus Christ as leader of the most talented, hard-working, organised left-wing party conceivable – and it would have been taken down by the smear machine.

        Understand this crucial point – the electorate was maneuvered into rewarding John Key for his behaviour. The media know this, they were part of it and can see exactly how effective it is. This only ensures more of it.

        And ensures repeated defeats indefinitely. Stop blaming ourselves – start fighting the enemy.

        • blue leopard

          +1 RL

        • weka

          My point is this – the internal disarray of the left at the moment is irrelevant. We could have had Jesus Christ as leader of the most talented, hard-working, organised left-wing party conceivable – and it would have been taken down by the smear machine.

          I think this is very true, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s the sole truth. Labour’s internal woes are making them untrustworthy and that both feeds the smear machine and puts people off.

          I don’t agree with much of Dimpost’s post, but I think their analysis of what NZers trust is good. He uses an adaption of Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, with the base of the triangle being the most important thing that everything else is built on. I’m starting with the base –

          1. Politicians who are not incompetent, weird or down right terrifying

          2. Present themselves as a stable, credible government, not a fratricidal gaggle of rivals and enemies

          3. Good values

          4. Policy



          • RedLogix

            OK my response is this:

            1. The politician’s on the left are generally competent and non-weird. The Greens are terrifyingly reasonable and ethical.

            2. Yes they are reduced to a fratricidal gaggle at present because unable to touch their enemy they have turned on themselves. Pitiful.

            3. They have good values.

            4. They have good policy.

            As Dim states – it’s point number two that they usually fail on. If any National MP did a tiny fraction of the things Goff, Shearer, Mallard or Hipkins have done they would have been shown the door years ago – not as an act of revenge or malice – but to protect the party from political imbecility.

            Only a total fool would slag off his Party Leader at this point in time. Only an incompetent buffoon would be talking to the media.

            Maybe they do fail point 1 after all. Maybe they really are too stupid to see how they have been sucker punched over and over by a well-funded, slick and very sophisticated machine.

            • weka

              Yeah I think that was my point. All through the campaign I kept looking at Cunliffe and thinking he’s doing the right thing (mostly). But there was something wrong. I think we are now seeing the something wrong in a way we can name, but before it was still obvious that there was something wrong.

              I still think Labour is capable of running the country. But of running a left wing govt? I have my doubts.

              btw, do you not believe there is an internal struggle between left and neoliberal? You seem to be saying that the only problem is the smear machine and Labour’s current response to that.

              • RedLogix

                Are there not divisions of similar weight within National? Within ANY party?

                Of course this left/neo-liberal tension within Labour exists – it has all my adult life. It’s only a problem when various individuals start blabbing to a media who are for the most part their natural enemy – a media whose unwritten job description is to find gossip and backstabbing they can use against the left.

                It’s not a problem for National, first of all because they are far more ruthless in eliminating idiots – but more importantly because they know their good mates in the media will either not report it – or if they do – it won’t get hyped into an attack.

                • Scott1

                  If National had lost they would be having a go at national. But National is looking strong at the moment so they look for the weakest animal to attack. that happens to be Labour and has been for some time now…

                  • RedLogix

                    If National had lost they would be having a go at national.

                    I respectfully suggest not. Look back at English’s objectively worse loss in 2002. Yes there was a lot of comment and angst – but there was not the personal animosity and hatred from the media demanding his resignation and the hounding we are seeing directed at DC.

                    English remained relatively undamaged and made it back as Minister of Finance. This lot want DC to fall on his sword and leave politics altogether.

                    Spot the difference?

                    • Scott1

                      I remember that. I couldn’t remember the national leaders name – and I was trying to pay attention.

                      But Cunliffe is a different personality than English. As a leader it is much easier to get the public to dislike Cunliffe – English you just ignore as irrelevant.

                      Muldoon on the other hand is hated (and sometimes loved) more than any man in NZ history. Now that’s a man you can have an opinion on.

  16. Whateva next? 16

    Do people have such short memories, and complete lack of pattern recognition?
    Goff and Shearer were overwhelmed by negative narrative during their attempts at leadership. The ever snowballing undermining of ANY Labour leader causes resignations and instability…….and relative illusion of stability on the right…very clever

  17. Mark 17

    Hami Shearlie contends that boundary changes made New Lynn a natural National seat and Cunliffe did well to win the seat. I grew up in the New Lynn electorate and that is simply a cop out statement for a very poor performance by the party in an electorate that has been sagely labour for decades.

    Good god even Jack Elder won it for Labour so to lose the party vote there is catastrophic.

    This is not a time for those labour seat winners to be saying I lost the party vote by less than you did. Labour needs to first focus on those seats and understand why so many Labour voters voted for their candidate but rejected the party. It is also something that people on this blog need.to reflect on. Those who are constantly bagging the parliamentary wing of the party. It was the party and its policies that were rejected while the Labour MPS were re elected. Perhaps bemoaning the fact that the MP’s are not falling over themselves to become left wing idealogues the party need to shut up for a while and listen to what the MP’s are hearing from the voters. You never know they may just have learned a thing or two through the campaign by talking to ordinary Kiwis

    • greywarbler 17.1

      @ Mark
      You don’t quite understand what the Labour Party is meant to stand for. Not the comfortable middle class – for the ordinary people some of whom are struggling, and all of whom have an eye to the need for jobs for all, wages enabling a life and houses affordable to live in from that wage. All that baloney that is so essential to real people.

      Naturally those who remember this feel might aggrieved that the comfortable have stolen the Party from under them. To explain in a way that you might understand, imagine that you got up one morning and the sturdy people mover that you had been using had been sold off, and an attractive two-seater left in its place. It is not fit for its purpose no matter how attractive it looks to those who can afford such want-to-haves.

      The middle class can trot off to National. Then we can look at our lean and hungry committed people and get on with the struggle even if we have to travel round on the back of a ute. There is a message here Mark for you if you can read between the lines.

  18. Roy 18

    Yes, Labour got completely blown to pieces by National. Yes, there may be grounds for Cunliffe to resign, but who’s next? Robertson? Shearer Mach 2? Miss “the Green Party cost me Auckland Central? Or, Mr. “I pulled out to support Shearer?

    Whatever happens, I have one thing to say: ROBERTSON MUST NOT WIN.

    This is mainly for two reasons:
    1) He has been seen to be destabilising Shearer and Cunliffe in the hope he could take it for himself; &
    2) To some, he is the embodiment of an image of Labour that people do not like: a career politician who had less real world experience than others. Also, he may turn off more conservative Labour voters, solely because he’s gay (sadly).

    Do I care if DC stays? Not really. I just hope that Labour finds a leader that can WIN the centre from National.

    (By the way, this talk of “left-bloc, get National out with only 30-35% and hope the Greens and NZ First carry us over the line” is bullcrap. That is too low. Labour should take a leaf from National’s book and make their aim governing ALONE. This mob have proved that it can be done.

    Aim higher, Labour!

  19. les 19

    Robertson is a far better debater than Cunnliffe.The public dont like Cunnliffe.The public dont want a homosexual leader.So whos left?Shearer ,cant debate.The most impressive coherent left voice I’ve seen for a while is Helen Kelly…only Stephen Franks has mastered her.Give Cunnliffe another year and see how he performs/polls.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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