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Lefties on The Standard – 2017 government edition

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, October 21st, 2017 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, election 2017, Politics, The Standard - Tags: ,

In the past few months we’ve had some posts dedicated to left-wing discussion. The kaupapa for the debate is in the original post here (please read if you haven’t taken part before).

The rules are:

– To comment you have to be left wing.

– No personal attacks at all  (not even if they are hidden in comments with good political points)

– Be kind. If you can’t be kind at least don’t be mean.

– Bear in mind the part of the Policy about not using language or tone that excludes others.

If you’re not sure if you fit the criteria, there is always Open Mike.

We can talk about whatever we like, but the big topic of course is that New Zealand finally has a new government. Congratulations to Labour, the Greens and NZ First and all the people who worked to make that happen. We changed the government. That’s huge, and I reckon it’s important to take the time to acknowledge that.

For me it’s taking a while for it to sink in and to make sense of what we’ve got and what it will mean. There’s still more to come as detail of the agreements, policies and positions is announced over the next few days. But we have something to both celebrate and consider more deeply in terms of being left wing. It’s been a very long time since there’s been a centre-left government. What now Standardistas?

46 comments on “Lefties on The Standard – 2017 government edition ”

  1. Doogs 1

    “Once more into the breach”

    I like think of this more like the battle of Bosworth Field rather than Culloden Moor.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    It was scary – but we have a result. I hope the coalition achieves and develops sufficient trust to endure – the Gnats would benefit from forty years in the wilderness.

    • Doogs 2.1

      I like that SM. Wandering, lost and stunned. Waiting for that ‘road to Damascus’ moment. It’ll take that long for them to get it.

  3. Ed 3

    There are powerful vested and hidden interests who will do everything they can to protect the neoliberal revolution, by fair means or foul.

    When Peters says this,….

    “Far too many New Zealanders have come to view today’s capitalism, not as their friend, but as their foe. And they are not all wrong. That is why we believe that capitalism must regain its responsible – its human face. That perception has influenced our negotiations.”

    …..there will be people wanting to stop a progressive government.

    Trotter’s article is well worth a read by all lefties.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/10/21/dark-transactions-winston-peters-decision-to-go-left-has-already-set-his-enemies-in-motion/

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1

      One thing I noticed – Paddy Gower and other media immediately changed Peters’ comment (Gower within 10 minutes of him making the comment) to imply Peters opposes capitalism in general – they omitted the very important qualifier “…today’s capitalism”, which has quite a different meaning.

  4. ropata 4

    I would like to see real action against land bankers and property investors who leave houses empty. CGT is too weak, need a LVT with teeth or a more generalised TOP style wealth tax.

    So many of our social problems are made worse by homelessness and poverty and unreliable housing.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.1

      untruthful, nasty poor journalism helped the neolibers.

      This has to be culled, with a good public broadcaster.

  5. Oh hello ,… not sure if I belong here ,., was up all night drinking red wine and commenting on this blogsite ,.. and doing a bit of online playing of the game of my choice,…so now after 10 hours drinking the veno I’m still standing,… commenting on this blogsite,… do I still qualify as a ‘ Leftie ? ‘….

    I’ll toddle off to bed soon , mind , @ 10.35 am – or 22: 35 hours in military terms ,… and what I’d like to know is , … will I be axed and censured from the public discourse because I confess to be a Rate A pisshead ?

    Or am I allowed here because certain individuals like a bit of ‘ rough’ to justify their latte drinking leftist ideals?

    Hell ! , – I sure hope not.

    Lets all hang together because we want to stick it to the far right wing neo liberal bastard globalists .

    I have a nice wee website I’d like to present to all you exalted ‘ Leftist’s ‘ ,… it was born out of the misery of an unsuspecting and naive pubic back in the 1980’s and 1990’s…

    And some would say vicious pseudo Nazi bastards…

    But hey ! ,… that’s up to you all to decide….. Here Tis ‘ ,…

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    • Patricia Bremner 5.1

      Wildkatipo, You have celebrated, as some of us would like to xx

      I believe you are right about the Right.

      They said, “they would be back if it took a 1000 years.”

      So we need your commentary to remind us of their worldwide threat.

      So have some food and sleep, ready for the coming battle. Prebble just fired the first salvo.

  6. millsy 6

    According to Newshub, The Greens are going to get the Land Information and Conservation portfolios.

    Good start. Jan Logie (the minister-presumptive), will probably throw the miners and drillers out of our conservation estate, kill all this privatisation of DOC, and make it more accessable to ordinary NZers. Probably also try and reduce some of the rack and ruin that some of our parks have fallen into over 9 years. I hope the tinfoil hat wearers in NZ First didnt get their way on 1080 (and the Greens on flouride for that matter) though.

    • weka 6.1

      Green policy is to support non-1080 methods where possible 🙂

      • WILD KATIPO 6.1.1

        … ”Green policy is to support non-1080 methods where possible ” …

        Yeah , and when I was a young – un… I used a military police 1rst world war hickory baton to belt possums over the head before I skinned them after chasing them up the other end of the cage traps . Pretty humane. I always checked the eyeballs to see if they were dead, however before I skinned them… that was , after I gave them a good 20 minutes of lying in a sack to be sure , to be sure,… reckon I knocked back the possum population by a fair bit to protect the forest and bird weka introductions in the Waitakere ranges…

        I used to make vests and moccasins out of their skins… traded a few for an M16 bayonet at the time as I recall…

        Young people , dontcha know…

        Up to all manner of hijinks…

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          It’s a thing with killing possums for sure. I’ve seen possums assumed dead wake up again. NZ will need to get ahead of the animal rights issues if non 1080 methods are to increase.

          • WILD KATIPO 6.1.1.1.1

            Tbh …. these days I even hate the thought of killing an ant.

            Yet whether we like it or not ,… to fill our fat belly’s … something has to die,… be it either sugar cane , a Frisian bull or a pipi… what a peculiar world we live in …. unless we are going to eat rocks and dirt…

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree, everything dies and helps other things to live. I’m ok-ish with animals being killed where necessary (if it’s not the possums then whole species are going extinct). But I think we have a responsibility to do it as humanely as possible.

              I also think we have an obligation to limit human populations so that the rest of nature isn’t so burdened supporting us.

          • millsy 6.1.1.1.2

            Possum skins rendering plants are actually quite dirty as well. Lot of pollution there.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.2.1

              True, although I think that could be cleaned up. Some R and D needed.

            • gsays 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Hey millsy, what is tinfoil hatty about being opposed to 1080 use?

              I am agin it because of the painfully cruel way that it kills.

              The only justification for it is in ‘economic’ terms. A mindset that dominates too many decisions in our ‘race to the bottom’.

              • weka

                I”m guessing it’s a reference to some people thinking 1080 is benign beyond how it kills the animal while others think it’s not 😉

          • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.3

            The electric traps are pretty good – no pelt damage, no poison, a bit expensive but an advanced solution.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.3.1

              Are they being used by the fur and pelt harvesters?

              • Stuart Munro

                Mostly not so far – the unit cost is a bit higher than other methods.

                The appeal is in part that everything is recoverable in some way – which poison doesn’t achieve. Pelts are not damaged.

                Depends a bit on priorities but these traps would be a good fit for managing rural or semi-rural populations down.

                Poison is cheaper but it comes with a few other issues.

                This is the device http://www.electropar.co.nz/zap-trap/

                There are similar CO2 powered repeat killers available too.

                • weka

                  Ideally it would be treated as pest control and resource harvesting (meat, pelt, fur, fertiliser).

                  Website is a bit light on detail. What are the risks for other animals or children?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    They’re quite well designed – pets wouldn’t get into the zapping part – requires climbing. Children can get anywhere but they’d need to make a serious effort. They have been trialed – no bird kills was a feature. These days a smart trap is quite doable – one that only works within the target weight/size band.

    • weka 6.2

      The Greens having LINZ is interesting!

    • adam 6.3

      I’d rather see Jan Logie be given the state services. It’s a hell of a mess, and I can’t think of anyone else with the smarts and perseverance to fix it up like Jan could. Make Ron Mark the associate minister, that one – two punch would be great.

      Mind you it will take more than 3 years. I’m really worried, that the rot will continue unless it has someone with the right skill set to stop it, and change the culture.

    • lprent 6.4

      *sigh*

      Remember that anything a minister wants to do still has to get past the full cabinet.

      Think of it as being able to stand up and explain clearly and with incontrovertible facts in hand why a course of action should be taken.

      In other words a slogan won’t cut it because they are invariably mindless drivel that hasn’t been thought through.

      If I put my skeptical hat on, I can only think of one good convincing discussion here on any of the topics you just sloganed, and that was back in 2010. Which means that without more detailed information, that I would automatically oppose all except for limiting mining company access to conservation lands.

      Perhaps if you want the minister to have support, then you’d be better off helping to provide some argument and facts. As it stands right now, few of these things have either the legalities discussed, nor the budgets with which to deal with them. Both the time and money to do them would require it to be taken from some other area.


      It is like the slogan about “decriminalisation of abortion” I saw around here a few days ago. Despite supporting abortion reform through other acts, I’d automatically oppose “decriminalisation” – ie removing the crime of aborting a fetus from the Crimes Act.

      It would mean (for instance) that a person throwing someone else down the stairs thereby causing a abortion of a fetus would merely incur assault charges. Something that hardly seems commensurate with the levels of anguish that such an act causes on the mother or the people associated with the family. That putting abortifacients in a town water supply would merely be a case of dangerous behaviour or pollution.

      Final acts like the Crimes Act aren’t there for the legally illiterate to play around with. They are effectively reserve powers that define the surrounding edge of what is acceptable behaviour in our society. Changes to them need to be cautious to make sure that the change doesn’t give a free pass to some nutter doing something that is truly reprehensible.

      Besides, just using mindless slogans usually raises false hope and expectations about the degree of what is feasible at any point in time. Because social change to not cause massive aggravation and pain should be incremental rather than the revolutionary single point in time that kills people.

      • weka 6.4.1

        “Remember that anything a minister wants to do still has to get past the full cabinet.”

        How does that work with the ones outside of cabinet?

        • lprent 6.4.1.1

          It doesn’t in any formal way. There may be some informal contacts of soliciting general support and preventing rebellion in the backbench.

          • weka 6.4.1.1.1

            I meant what was the process for ministers outside cabinet to get cabinet approval. I’ve since heard Shaw explaining it on the Nation, so might put up a post.

            • Ad 6.4.1.1.1.1

              They would get a paper drafted through the relevant Department, and put the advice and recommendations up.

              Note that 90% of cabinet decisions agree with the advice.

              They would need to be particularly careful in a tight MMP government that they had the numbers in Cabinet to get it passed.

              Some of that work could be done beforehand if a smart and well connected Department ensured that there was multiple cross-Departmental eyes over the draft before it is put up as business.

              If it’s a particularly big matter it would be worth asking the PM if DPMC could get involved.

              The rest is up to them.

      • Wainwright 6.4.2

        We shouldn’t talk about decriminalizing abortion because some wackjob might put abortion drugs in the town water supply? Fucking bizarre argument there.

  7. Incognito 7

    I have wondered about this for the last few days and I am still none the wiser as to what or how “capitalism with a human face” might look like …

    • Siobhan 7.1

      “Capitalism with a human face refers to the usage of supposedly ethical procedures to soften the blow of capitalism.” a random quote from some chap called Sam Thomas, but to my mind the best definition around.

      Though as a close second I do like this…’capitalism with a human face’ has been looked up 422 times, is no one’s favorite word yet, has been added to 1 list, has no comments yet, and is not a valid
      (my bolds)

      I suspect this will be a ‘concept’ much debated and, I suspect, eventually derided amongst ‘Lefties’ in the coming years, both here and worldwide.

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        Thanks.

        To me “capitalism with a human face” sounds like a red herring or an oxymoron; it’s not a ‘concept’ as such but a myth-in-the-making IMHO.

        My quote would be something like this:

        Capitalism with a human face is like smoking filter cigarettes instead of ones without filter – it is still bad for your health and on top of that it produces heaps of litter.

        Where did you get your second quote from?

    • weka 7.2

      Does this help?

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        Yes, that was very informative and helpful, thank you!

        I now look at the future with much more optimism, which means I can loosen-up on the self-medication 😉

        • weka 7.2.1.1

          Lol.

          I do think that the statement from Peters is significant for NZ. This is mainstream, conservative NZ saying ‘enough!’. We should take advantage of that.

  8. Roy 8

    Many labourites and greenies I know seem to be aware that we mustn’t let our guard down, now more than ever. The right of this country, and the world generally, have nothing to offer – so they’ll focus their energy and considerable resources into the dirtiest politics yet. Trump-on-Slater-oil dirty. We’ve got to be ready to dismiss and counter the coming onslaught. It’s working in the UK, but only by momentum et al’s constant efforts. If we can do that, we’ve got this.

    • weka 8.1

      I agree. Not only are the right not wasting any time with the strategy to bring down the left, but we have a centre/left govt not a left wing one. So what do we want to have happen?

      I’d like to see some support thrown Labour and the Greens’ way to find their feet and establish themselves solidly with mainstream NZ. But there’s also the issue of how the left holds them to account too. I don’t know what I think about this yet. I caught some flak earlier in the year for writing a post critical of Little and Labour’s position on Māori, so it’s going to be interesting to see if it’s ok now to critique them or not. On the other hand, let’s hope the relentless Labour-bashing finds a more proactive and solutions-based focus.

  9. Karen 9

    I have been a bit busy and just now catching up with everything that has happened in the last few days. I am mostly relieved as there will be lives saved because of this change of government. Although personally I wanted a Labour/Green coalition with no need for NZF, I am still feeling very hopeful that there will be some progressive policy from this new government.

    One thing I haven’t noticed anyone talking about is the ethnic/gender makeup of this new government. I am particularly encouraged to see 20 of the 63 government MPs are Māori (13 in Labour, 6 in NZF and 1 in the Greens).

    There are 6 Pasifika, plus an Indian, a Chinese and 1 with mixed Indonesian/Chinese/Dutch heritage (all in Labour), plus an Iranian in the Greens. 46% of our new government are women (the Greens do best by far in this with 75% of their MPs). Looking at LGBTQI are at least 6 (maybe others I don’t know about). Sad we lost Mojo Mathers as she was a great representative for the disability community.

    Still can do better but this new government is starting to look more representative.

    • weka 9.1

      Nice one writing that up, thanks.

    • eco Maori/kiwi 9.2

      Yes this is the time to correct a lot that is wrong’s in our society but don’t over do it as this could chase away some of our voters and the big picture is that we need all the supporters we can get to keep the momentum for change going as it will take a few years to correct all the wrongs and one would start to plan for the long term 9 years now . . What the right and business don’t realize is they will benefit from a more equal society. Because the lower income people will have more disposable in come so they spend more and whom gets that money .Our sports team will benefit as more people will be able to afford to participate in sports. Our exports will boom as the rest of the world will no that we are not { bullshit artist } and that we are truly clean and green and they will pay a premium for our products. The right don’t realize that intelligent people around our world will pay a premium for our products because they believe in the cause of saving mother earth for our Moko/ grandchildren there are many gains for being a society of more evenly distributed wealth for everyone. Look around our world and you will see good examples of this Kia kaha

  10. Here is an idea for the new government.. What about providing an UBI for the people of Kaitaia. Having employment would not be relevant and it would not be means tested. it would be a test case. Say everybody over the age of 16 being provided with a weekly amount which is the equivalent of the same current weekly universal superannuation amount and on the same terms eg increased by inflation and wage indexation every April. Everybody under that age would receive $100.00pw. Kaitaia is a depressed economic area with most schools being decile one. I am sure the town would flourish. It would be such a good test for a UBI for all.

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