Lefties on The Standard #3

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, October 14th, 2017 - 139 comments
Categories: activism, election 2017, Politics, The Standard - Tags: , ,

A couple of months ago we had some posts dedicated to left-wing discussion. It went pretty well so I thought we’d try another. Given the waiting around vibe at present it might be good to have some clear space over the next few days to kōrero. 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 anything that’s relevant to the left or progressives but I am curious if anyone else is thinking about what we will do next if NZF chooses National. Or even if NZF choose Labour.

139 comments on “Lefties on The Standard #3”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Whether NZF goes with National or Labour, the left is in for testing times.

    Already voices in the MSM are rehearsing National Party attack lines: today it’s about NZFirst’s “secret” discussion behind closed doors being “anti-democratic”. Basically, the neoliberals see many NZ First policies as a threat, whichever party they choose to support in government.

    The NACToids fear a curtailment of their widespread hold on power – a misuses of power that has benefited the few at the cost to the many.

    T’is there way to undermine democracy, then claim democracy is under attack whenever there’s a threat to their dominance in political, social and economic power.

    But the negotiations between parties and elected representatives is far closer to democracy in the people’s interests, than the non-transparent methods employed by National and ACT.

    So, we need to keep emphasising the importance of democratic process, and why this is in the interest of the majority of the population. And then focus on the kinds of policies that benefit the vast majority, and the long term interests of the country and planet.

    • dv 1.1

      AND look for major attacks on MMP for a return to FPP too from MSM.

      • cleangreen 1.1.1

        Yes MSM is the trumpet for National who despise MMP and actually never agreed to it in the first place.

        This election has classically shown how to get rid of a corrupt power hungry ruling Party as we had till niow, so Winston knows this is his moment to get rid of corruption aand set NZ back onto the straight path to equal prosperity.

        Winston in the end will be known as the second modern MP saviour of NZ.

    • Agora 1.2

      Is this a new form of apartheid ?

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    And a surge of anti-Green rantings amongst the Right-wing bloggers and their salivating audiences. Vitriolic anti-Green Party and anti-James Shaw sniping is peaking on Kiwiblog, the main whine being that James is weaker than moth-wees for “allowing” negotiations to go ahead without The Greens at the table (they don’t say “moth-wees”, that’s mine).

    • Antoine 2.1

      I think the purpose of Right wing commentary at present can be summed up as a combination of:
      – Winding up lefties
      – Trying to interfere in coalition negotiations
      – Laying the groundwork for what they see as the inevitable collapse of a Lab/Green/NZ 1st Govt if such should come to pass.

      All this can be safely ignored (except pointing out the obstacles to a Nat/Green coalition was probably worth doing, once)

      A.

    • weka 2.2

      Lol, moth-wees.

      One of the things I’m looking forward to is the Greens continuing to practice politics outside of the macho culture and the KB-eque crowd getting left behind because they can’t even see what is being done.

      Also, Shaw and Turei have been dropping hints about wanting to change how politics is done. I suspect they have plans no matter which way the election goes.

    • tracey 2.3

      Ahhhh we have had some parrots here sharing the BS

    • Patricia Bremner 2.4

      2. Robert, I saw the anxiety of the whinge about the Greens and James Shaw, as an admission that they thought they could make bullets and he would fire them!!

      When he challenged them to make the first move, it petered out, as kite flying by the Right.

      The Nats desperately wanted a division between NZFirst/Greens or Labour/Greens.

      After responding once I think James realised that looked like a lack of trust in Jacinda, so he quickly dispelled those attack lines, with “We have known each other for years and Jacinda is for fairness, so I trust her.”

      One thing the Left must do well this time is Trust!! Keep the big goals in sight and all actions should support achieving them. IMO.

  3. cleangreen 3

    The winds of change are gathering pace as we see it happening all oround the world.

    let the dust settle as we alow the kinngmaker to statehis case in front of the NZF board so we can change the way we want NZ not simoply selling everyrthing like as we were having a garge sale!!!!!

    We need to take a breath as thus election was like no other we have witnessed before, and we can thank both jacinda & Winston both for there excellent efforts to transform this election into a very different system of a real MMP election (one that national hates with venom).

    if national is returned they will kill MMP so they can retain the next three elections and sell NZ completely.

  4. roy cartland 4

    Looking at the situation on a bit of a longer term, I can’t shake the feeling that the Left is actually winning the war if losing the battles. For eg:
    Marriage Equality
    Water (at least it’s on the agenda)
    Respect to women
    Respect to other ethnicities
    Up-to-standard housing (talk at least)
    Plastic bags, plastic use generally
    Inequality
    Rivers and the environment.

    NAT is now talking about all these issues – the NATs for godsake – it may only be lip service, but it signals what they think the public wants to hear.

    Of course we all see the negatives like the outrageous housing situation, the enviro degradation, etc etc etc. That’s because lefties intrinsically believe in justice (or fairness or equality or other synonyms). Personally, a belief in Justice is the closest thing I have to a religion. Justice between men/women, cis/LGBTQA, adults/children, culture/culture, old/young/mid, humans/animals, humans/enviro, and between all these groups with each other.

    It’s hard, this ‘religion’. Bloody hard, it takes a lot of thought and sustained engagement to maintain. It would be much easier to just throw in the towel and care about oneself and nuts to the rest, but for me (and I suspect many of us) that’s just impossible – we couldn’t do it if we wanted to.

    And that’s one area the Right and Left differ. NAT is happy to have all these areas of Justice realised, but to do that we have to all get rich first. That then gets taken to extreme and falls apart because ‘personal responsibility’ means that the poor just ‘don’t want’ to be rich. It also gets stymied because although it is mathematically possible to all be wealthy, it is impossible if we are going to have super-rich. And aspiring to super-richness makes the whole paradigm a false religion, but it’s the only way to sell the side-effects. Hence it appeals only to greed and selfishness.

    We on the other hand look at success from the other side. Let’s get Justice happening in ALL these areas and we’ll all be wealthy by default.

    • gsays 4.1

      In respect to throwing in the towel: this year i have been working in a new kitchen with lots of youngsters ( I am attending 50ths and 60this).
      Without fail, when getting water for me, I would ask if anyone else wanted water.
      2weeks ago I got water for me, didn’t ask the others.
      This was pointed out to me, and all I could think of was the culture or encironment I had been in had worn me down.

      I did, however, use that as an example to give context about Aotearoa political history- from a social democracy (is my neighbour ok?) to neo liberal (I am ok, blow the bridge).

      • roy cartland 4.1.1

        I hear that! It’s weird that with some (young, old; haven’t worked out the pattern) there is just no awareness of reciprocation. I knew a dude who you’d buy a pint for, he’d respond with half-pints. Small bananas of course, but the interesting thing is: maybe he actually couldn’t see value in being just.

        I think you’re right – it just gets ground into you after so long.

    • Jack P 4.2

      I can’t help but wonder why those things you mention are so important over jobs, housing, decrease the rate between the rich and poor, disolve neoliberalsm, manufacturing, and exports. This is what boggles my mind. This is why I can’t be a “liberal” because you don’t have your finger on the pulse of the problem. Have you ever lived in poverty and the fear and disparity it brings?? I have and I really don’t give a rats ass about whether two men can marry or not.

      • weka 4.2.1

        and gay men living in poverty whose lives are harder because the society they live in condones homophobia?

  5. Some good

    Yay Jacinda and yay James. 2 leaders who use respect in their dealings with each other.

    Some big building needed whichever way Winnie goes.

    I have to say I’d like some extra strong voices for the disadvantaged in our parliament – they are there and we need to hear them more and more. Kia kaha.

    • riffer 5.1

      Oh my goodness. Imagine a government built on respect for each other, and everyone else. Imagine what could happen. It’s probably too good to be true.

      • roy cartland 5.1.1

        Getting everyone to respect e/o would be the easy part – reminding those who would rather dominate the rest why they can’t would be the challenge.

  6. tracey 6

    I wonder if the biggest challenge for the Left, apart from ceasing to apologise for being Left, is institutional appointments. Even under Labour there was an overt “business friendly” policy which in part meant giving them what they wanted to keep tgem onside and not pushing hard for stuff in return. Accordibgly a number of right leaning people got appointed to Boards and Advisory and Tertiary Councils. Then Labour is out and Nats are in. No Union friendly overtures. No Union people appointed to Boards or Tertiaries… or otherwise Left leaning.

    So our Institutions which implement and move the kind of policirs tgat impact health, education, welfare and justice have been moving Right and “full business model” in their thinking for for over 20 years.

    So the Left is fighting the Legislative ideology and the mechanism for pushing those in a strong single direction.

    • Antoine 6.1

      What’s the solution? Get in Govt, stay in Govt for a long time, and have someone real shrewd oversee the appointments?

      A.

      • tracey 6.1.1

        Short term and short sighted solution would be to do as you say. It simply perpetuates the inherent flaws. The better way is to elect people outside the paradigm and work toward appointing people on merit not self interest. There are people in the business world who are embracing new ways of leading ( byvthat I mean what we have learned in the last 20 years). Others continue to lead the way they always have with self interest and profit at any cost their only drivers. This latter group appoint board members to reflect the Chair and CEOs appoint managers who do not threaten them.

        • Antoine 6.1.1.1

          > There are people in the business world who are embracing new ways of leading ( byvthat I mean what we have learned in the last 20 years).

          such as?

          A.

    • Craig H 6.2

      Like the appointment of Dr Sir Michael Cullen to the NZ Post board? I dislike a lot about National policy and politics, but they do occasionally put a few Labour ex-MPs onto boards and other appointments here and there.

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        Michael Cullen? A centrist at best. The Mats struggled to sent Cullen as FM cos they agreed with spot of his measures…

  7. Ant 7

    In earlier times, when basic decency and honesty were more widespread, the deception by English and Joyce would have earned widespread public outrage. Our drift into alternative facts has followed the insidious pattern of the USA. Mau, Gower and a few others highlighted the dishonesty but it did not ignite the anger it should have. This may be subjective, but whenever a Nat comes on camera their output appears to be filtered through a screen of caution masking transparency and stifling the refreshment of transparency. Given the public’s apparent indifference to lies our drift into a post-truth world is particularly distasteful. Existence will became based on impression rather than fact, – a world in which neoliberals with the fattest bank balances will employ the services of leading spin companies.

    • roy cartland 7.1

      “earlier times, when basic decency and honesty were more widespread”
      I agree that that philosophy existed, if not the practise. For eg, my grandmother knew that she was ‘better’ than non-whites, non-christians, gays, etc even though every person from any of those groups she met, she really liked. It was always a surprise if a “maori girl” was lovely, as if they were all exceptions to some existential rule. And she had no trouble considering her ideas as basic decency.

      “did not ignite the anger it should have”
      And the increase in toxic individualism that has risen, and been encouraged, over the last few decades now makes the hating of others, or at least your mental separation from them, a virtue.

    • cleangreen 7.2

      100% ANT, well sited here.

  8. gsays 8

    I was thinking about what makes a person left wing.
    I have been mentioning the high rate of deaths in police pursuits this year: 16 so far, previous high was 6 in 2008, to work colleagues and friends.

    Most, I think, are leftish.

    I was surprised at the initial reaction of a lot of them ‘ if you don’t run then you will not be killed’ or bad luck, one less bad egg.’

    Now I get I am fairly anti authority, I expected more to have some compassion for the victims.

    • roy cartland 8.1

      Exactly. Look out for number one, everyone else is the “other”.

      • Cinny 8.1.1

        Far out, that’s why I divorced the ex husband

        Look out for number one he would say, put yourself first he would say. Sheez I wasn’t raised like that, it’s not in me to be that selfish. I mean it’s important to look after yourself but not if everyone else suffers. His put yourself before everyone else continued even after we had two children.

        Dude, kids come first, it’s not that hard to understand, I didn’t have kids to put myself first.

        Now for the political angle.. he now votes national just to spite me, telling the kids they should not have an opinion or interest in politics, it’s for the adults.

        One of my pet hates is the put yourself first, look out for number one mentality, I loathe that outlook, it has never built a great community, it’s merely a power trip for the weak.

        Some people vote for their own self interests, but the most switched on people vote for the benefit of their communities as a whole, and not for an extra $20 a week for themselves.

    • weka 8.2

      What makes you think they are leftish gsays?

      • gsays 8.2.1

        With work colleagues, they often offered up for whom they were intending to vote for- often Labour (ok, not the greatest indicator).

        With friends, their political affiliations are often traversed.
        ‘happy to pay more tax for increased social services, uncomfortable with inequality, aware and not happy with poverty and upset with wins culture.’

        Perhaps the police pursuit deaths says more about my attitudes.
        I perceive a lack of accountability generally with our constabulary.

        • Cemetery Jones 8.2.1.1

          Yeah I mean, you can have a sense of scale about it, right? Like sure, the IPCA could do with a few more teeth, but cops don’t get to operate under the impression that they don’t get investigated or held to account for pursuit incidents. They must call off pursuits if it’s likely to endanger the public, either from their driving or that of the offender. I don’t like the idea of being callous about it when the offender becomes the victim, but to blame to cops unless that’s determined by an investigation is the other extreme I reject.

          If I thought the cops were belting around the place like some kind of cheesy 70s Clint Eastwood movie, crashing into dozens of cars, ramming the offender off the road and/or shooting them dead, leaving half the city destroyed in their wake and at best getting a minor dressing down from a mildly overweight police lieutenant for causing some property damage before returning immediately to duty …. then I’d share your concerns about their culpability in these deaths. But that’s really not anything like reality.

        • weka 8.2.1.2

          So probably a mix of liberals and lefties. It’s the decline of compassion that bothers me.

    • Molly 8.3

      I had some cynicism about the recent Herald headline for an article on the recent death of Morocco Tai: Wrong-way motorway chase teen, 15, killed in crash while fleeing police.

      Headline implies that teen was engaged in going the wrong way down a motorway, when police engaged in pursuit. In fact, he was a passenger in that car.

      That incident – in which he was not the driver – in covered in some detail.

      The published reason why he was being pursued – further into the article – is that he was in possession of a stolen car and did not stop. No further details on the whys and wherefores coming from the police but a statement from an eyewitness:

      Bairds Rd resident Alapati Scanlan said he was walking his partner to the bus stop when he saw a vehicle being chased by police.

      A police car was following close behind the fast-moving fleeing vehicle when it hit the kerb and drove into a tree, he said.

      He was scared and shocked at seeing the incident, he said, but did not approach the vehicle to help because police wouldn’t allow him to.

      Now, have never had the type of vehicle that seems to attract joyriders, and have only been through one home burglary, but it seems incongruous to me, to decide on police pursuit on the basis of stolen property.

      Putting police, public and those pursued at risk, because of a stolen vehicle.

      I have concerns that the failure to stop, triggers an authoritarian response in the police, beyond that perspective of the initial request. The decision to engage in a police pursuit requires more discussion that the trite offerings of Inspector Dave Simpson:

      The car, which was stolen earlier from Takanini, hit a tree about one minute after the police pursuit began just before 6am.

      “Fleeing driver incidents are incredibly dangerous,” Simpson said.

      “They are putting not only themselves at risk but also their passengers, police staff and innocent members of our community going about their daily lives.”

      The vehicle crashed into a tree “less than a minute” after police started pursuing the vehicle, Simpson said.

      I suspect the reporting of such incidents in this way, promotes a looking away at the carnage.

      The flesh and blood loss of a fifteen year old boy.

      • RedLogix 8.3.1

        Something has changed; attempting to flee the cops like that would never (or at the least very rarely) occurred to us 50 or more years ago.

        American TV and movies probably have a fair bit to answer for.

        • In Vino 8.3.1.1

          50 years ago we would have had no chance of getting away. The police had slightly souped-up cars, and normal cars were slower. Nowadays every spoilt little brat can steal a GTI or WRX…

        • Molly 8.3.1.2

          Maybe.

          We don’t know enough about it to speculate. The chase itself lasted less than a minute.

          Why engage in a police pursuit (with it’s inherent risks to police, public and the pursued) for a stolen car?

      • gsays 8.3.2

        Thanks for that Molly.

        That is another newish habit of the police, the framing of the events with their initial statements. Heavy on opinion and speculation about ‘the perp’ but very vague, ill prepared and dismissive when questioned about the police actions.

        Frame the argument you own the argument.

        • KJT 8.3.2.1

          When was “execution by cop” part of our justice system. We abolished the death penalty if I remember rightly.
          After having seen several cop cars chasing a car around and round when they could have simply blocked the road, I do not think safety, is why the police, chase.

          The biggest risk is gung ho cops, not daft teenagers.

          • marty mars 8.3.2.1.1

            I tend to agree. This young man made poor decisions and is now dead. He needed help and chasing him wasn’t help and now everything he was and everything he could have become is gone. Yeah they love blaming15 year olds and putting them all over the news – why? It ain’t so other 15 year olds will get the message, no, it is arse covering .

            • greywarshark 8.3.2.1.1.1

              It’s being autocratic and showing the lowlife who’s boss and not caring about the consequences of sending them rushing down the road, high on adrenalin and possibly something else. It is said to be crime prevention. Yet they show it on tv as entertainment. With police agreement so it’s a mixed message. And it doesn’t matter where it is televised, it’s being shown on our screens as being an activity we might find exciting. It probably excites the police in the chase too.

              It is harrassing and entrapping kids who might be committing a crime, stealing a car and driving too fast, but there is every likelihood that there wouldn’t be a serious result, and rarely, a death from these youngsters.

              It’s very bad for a policeman’s soul to get into this cold, despising behaviour. They are becoming vicious under a cloak of righteousness and enforcing rigid compliance with a touch of bully boys as well, depending on the individual officer’s tendencies. And the comment we hear, “Well the car should have stopped and then they wouldn’t have been chased”. That shows a complete lack of understanding of the whole performance from both participants of the chase.

    • Andre 8.4

      On those vote compass type quizzes, I usually end up further left than any political party. Maybe if they asked about police chases that would move my result to the right. Because I take a Darwinian view of drivers that write themselves off fleeing from police.

      However, I would still much prefer the police backed off chases early rather than late, because of the risk to innocents that have nothing to do with the chase (and that occasionally might even include passengers in the car being chased).

      • KJT 8.4.1

        Execution should be the penalty for being a stupid teenager? A lot of us would not still be around, if that was the case.

        • Andre 8.4.1.1

          That’s not what I said. Just like you’re not saying dangerous irresponsible idiots behind a wheel should be allowed to do whatever they want completely free of any consequences.

          • weka 8.4.1.1.1

            No but you did say that if people are so stupid it’s useful that they die (Darwinian view). I’m not sure a 15 yr old deserves that.

            • RedLogix 8.4.1.1.1.1

              However I’m quite sure that no innocent person who gets t-boned by said fleeing 15 yr old deserves to be killed either.

              The cops have some very tough choices here; either let them flee and get away scot-free, but quite possibly having a fatal anyway, OR giving chase in order to bring the incident to as fast a conclusion as possible and minimising the risk to the public.

              A better technical solution is on the horizon when all cars become automated, the cops will simply issue a remote override and the vehicle will be disabled.

              • KJT

                The cops. The adults? Have other options for ensuring that they face consequences.
                No one is suggesting we allow open slather on the roads.

                But killing teenagers for being stupid, or even the sending them to crime university, is not working.

                Have a squiz at Iceland’s approach to cutting youth crime, if you want something that works. rather than our “holier than though” approach.

            • Andre 8.4.1.1.1.2

              As a teenager I had two acquaintances that didn’t stop for police and got away from the chase. They both later went on to die separately in car crashes they caused, with no police chase involved, and they both killed innocents in those crashes.

              • Are you saying it would have been better for them to die early and not in your words cause innocent deaths?

                • Andre

                  One of them I have no problem with saying New Zealand would have been a better place had he never existed, or failing that, had left us a lot earlier than he did (without taking innocents with him). The other had a few redeeming features, but not many.

                  In both cases, it wasn’t family circumstances to blame, and they had plenty of social support outside the family to help them as well.

                  • They were bad iyo – I’m not judging you in this case but I do think the big judgments people make like that are dangerous – i make them too about child torturers/filmers/exploiters.

                    I’m just uneasy – it feels like it is a slippery slope – when I get judgmental as above I wonder about myself and my values and value. It often makes me pause and can sometimes lead to an infinite internal loop.

                    But I’ve never had family killed by a drink driver, a teen, or idiot tourist so…

                  • Molly

                    Re: your comment on your young acquaintances and their behaviour – I’m a bit of a sucker for withdrawn books from the library, and picked one up a couple of years ago and read it.

                    The Devil’s Children, by Loretta Loach.

                    Surprisingly good book about the history of child prosecution, and the considerations and thoughts that went into the convictions and sentencing of child murderers. The book covers many cases all the way up to fairly modern cases, and details the changes that have happened in legislation in different countries.

                    Cases involving children convicted of murder hundreds of years ago, showed leniency as it was understood that children’s capacity for rational thinking was limited until they reached maturity. Modern cases – in England – showed a change in both police procedure, prosecution and sentencing. But also particularly in public pressure for harsher penalties.

                    Denmark stood out as an example of a justice system that retained compassion, but still the heartbreak of the victims families is not alleviated by any type of punishment whether severe or lenient.

                    It is a good book to read when your thoughts about appropriate punishment and consequences become too simplistic because of the hard subject matter.

                    • Antoine

                      Funny, I’ve been reading a book of the same name, but by a different person and about a quite different subject (Also very good)

                      A.

              • KJT

                I had an apprentice that was all of those bad things. A nut on the road, a burglar and violent as well.

                After a year building with me he is ashamed of his past, and has now been a model citizen for the last ten years.

                Opportunity and hope is what kids need.

                Not hypocritical and overly judgemental adults, most of whom were just as silly in their youth.

                I know many people my age, most in responsible positions now, who would have constantly failed drug or alcohol tests in our young days. Drag racing on the plains at 3 am was just as common.
                Young people on the whole, are much more responsible about things like drunk driving and contraception, than we were. Unless they go to Otago!

          • Molly 8.4.1.1.2

            “Free of consequences” is preferable to me to “write themselves off fleeing from police.” when the crime is to do solely with property.

            If the police have concerns about someone’s safety or are looking to protect another from harm, then a decision should be made on a case by case basis for the decision to pursue.

            As you mention above “the risk to innocents is great” and that should take precedence over a lump of steel with a combustion engine.

            • KJT 8.4.1.1.2.1

              Unfortunately. Societies desire for revenge causes more problems than it solves.

              Talking to a prison officer. Most prisoners are easily led youth, those with mental deficiencies, and the illiterate and disadvantaged. People in need of help, in other words.

              Countries which help, rather than imprison, as a first option have much lower crime rates.

              Some police and judges get it. Like solving the problem of unlicensed drivers by helping them learn to drive, and get a license.

              The one time I agreed with English is when he said “prisons are a moral and fiscal failure”.

      • Anne 8.4.2

        On those vote compass type quizzes, I usually end up further left than any political party.

        Same here. My conclusion is that the centre in those quizzes has been moved to the right. Hence what was once centre-left has now become far-left.

        • Andre 8.4.2.1

          Yet somehow, I’m fairly sure some commenters here have thought of calling me a RWNJ, even if they haven’t got around to actually doing it.

          • gsays 8.4.2.1.1

            That’s kind of what I was getting at. Folk I know (lefties), sometimes have very conservative attitudes.

            I have heard the Darwinian approach apply to double bunking- you wouldn’t have got raped if you didn’t get sent to jail.

            • KJT 8.4.2.1.1.1

              To me, it is the right wing who are radical.
              Constantly experimenting with things that have been conclusively proven not to work.

              By profession and inclination I am firmly in “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it camp”.
              The sea doesn’t accept excuses.

              Our egalitarian and mostly equal welfare society was working fine, until Muldoon, and then Douglas, fucked with it.

              Sure we had things that needed improving. But. Throwing out the bath water, the baby, and selling the furniture, was not the answer.

  9. adam 9

    Really enjoy listening to Rosa Clemente, http://rosaclemente.net/biography-of-rosa-clemente/ she always talks about getting organised. A 26 minute interview with Abby Martin. If you have the time, well worth it.

  10. Sigh 10

    Stupid graph. If you think Labour is on the right you’re beyond help.

    • adam 10.1

      In economic terms the labour party are on the right. Hence why they are right on that graph.

      • Sigh 10.1.1

        The only scale that makes sense is the current NZ political spectrum. Labour is clearly to the left of centre.

        Even in terms of that graph, the Labour Party is to the left of NZ First in economic terms.

        It’s utterly bizarre and shows why so many on the left end up screaming in a cup de sac instead of making change.

        • Sigh 10.1.1.1

          *cul de sac

          • Molly 10.1.1.1.1

            Go to the site for Political Compass and look at the test questions.

            You may then see why this particular tool places the current Labour Party where it does.

            • red-blooded 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Political Compass aren’t terribly good about giving background information about themselves, are they? And their unrelenting focus on economic issues is not the only way to measure the Left-Right spectrum. Checking out the US Presidential race from last year, for example, they have Clinton as further Right than Trump. Now, plenty of people here at TS may join them in lamenting the fact that the Dems chose Clinton above Sanders, but that doesn’t make this judgement accurate.

              Sorry, but I don’t see a lot of value in this chart.

              • Molly

                Thought Sigh had not seen the original site, and considered the image to be the author’s own. Didn’t take time to look into it further.

                Interesting about the Trump and Clinton comparison. I can only consider that Trump’s lack of coherent policy made answering the questions too simplistic to truly reflect what the Republicans are going to do in this term. And as you say, it is a crude tool for plotting political parties.

            • bwaghorn 10.1.1.1.1.2

              my compass score had labour , top then the greens all within 5 % of each other.

              • KJT

                The “budget responsibility rules” indicate that economically, Labour/Greens are well towards the right wing. A responsible, left wing, must know that the Government share of the economy is too low.

                • bwaghorn

                  ”Government share of the economy is too low.”
                  i thought it was the poor people’s share was to low ,

                  • KJT

                    Successful States have Government share of GDP over 45%.

                    Note that part of that share, in all the successful countries, pays for measures such as State housing, health and welfare, which makes for much reduced poverty.

                    • weka

                      GDP is a nonsense though. Not sure how such a measure can be used meaningfully by the left.

                    • KJT

                      It is a comparator between countries, in this case.

                      As they all use the same criteria for GDP. It is a valid measure of comparative Government spending.

                      I agree it is not a valid method of measuring socioeconomic wellbeing and advancement.

        • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.2

          What it really shows is how far NZ has been moved to the right since Douglas, without a public mandate, imposed his corrupt and ineffectual version of neo-liberalism on New Zealand. Biggest crook since Chernomyrdin.

          One need not be a fan of some variant of Marxism to lie well to the left of that.

          • weka 10.1.1.2.1

            That’s the value in the chart for me, that it shows how far the centre has been moved right.

            Having said that, I wasn’t that impressed with their 2017 one and how they placed the Greens. The welfare policy didn’t seem to make any difference at all.

            • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.2.1.1

              I think they lose themselves a little easily in Likerts poll questioning – a similarly poorly constructed tool pre-election was telling us that the Gnats were more fiscally responsible without recognizing the proliferation of funding shortfalls.

              As for left tendency, I’m reminded of something Paul Krugman had to say a few years back – that he was a moderate conservative who grew up when a lower middle class background did not exclude one from full societal participation. He hasn’t moved, but the advent of media forces like Murdoch and Fox means that in the US he is painted as some kind of far left ideologue – when in fact all he demands is that similar reasonable life for everyone that he enjoyed.

              I had a few friends who were big on Marxist theory – it didn’t seem to come up with much of value. I think we had it right back when Popper used NZ as the template for his The Open Society and its Enemies.

        • tracey 10.1.1.3

          Not if the scale is based on Left/Right ideology Sigh. If it is based on Ideology parties move across it. It doesnt move across the parties

        • adam 10.1.1.4

          Do you even understand economics Sigh? Or how economic policy effects working people. The labour party are solidly right of center in economic terms.

        • AB 10.1.1.5

          “The only scale that makes sense is the current NZ political spectrum”
          Why are you encouraging amnesia?

    • tracey 10.2

      Can you define Left and Right ?

  11. cleangreen 11

    My issue is now with why we are not seeing a strong voice from labour????

    As we are told they are the lead political party supposed to be setting up the “coalition” right?

    We need to hear a strong voice from Jacinda now before everyone gets frustratedn here.

    “Lets do this”

    • red-blooded 11.1

      Surely it’s obvious that both major party leaders are trying not to annoy Peters? The decision hasn’t been made yet – at this stage, the ball is still in his court. Plus, there are issues of confidentiality in ongoing competitive negotiations. I think Ardern is striking a good balance – she seems to be dealing positively with the Greens as well as NZF which, if they are to have an ongoing working relationship, is essential.

      • cleangreen 11.1.1

        Thanks red blooded,
        Good call.
        My son who switched to NZF this time emailed my wife saying he is getting “frustrated,”

        So it was a knee -jerk reation I posted.

        But you are correct here,

        Let’s give Winston his time to defend our long fought ‘policies’ he is supporting as he goes to his board and finaly speaks to those policies.

        • Jilly Bee 11.1.1.1

          Cleangreen, how do you think your son will react if Winston throws his lot in with the Nats?

          • cleangreen 11.1.1.1.1

            Hi Jilly Bee, He along with many will probably freak out or change party’s.

            We all believe in Winstons word, and his sentiment.

            Winston speaks for us, not over us, like we see National doing, relentlessly.

            The young feel very offended by any politician talking over our heads.

            ‘Respect’ is required for individuals now more than ever.

            Jacinda placed this in high regard in the openning speech in Auckland town hall when She said ‘everyone will be heard’.

            So we need ‘inclussion’ as National never ever had this included in their agenda.

            Winston is big on this inclussion and I have no answers for you how he would handle inclussion under a National/NZF Government do you?

      • tracey 11.1.2

        Absolutely. There is a time for chest beating. Nats and ACT have any number the media will host chest beating without English having to do it. Labour does not or the media dont care or Labour isnt playing that game.

        I have been impressed by what Ardern is saying when she does speaking.

  12. UncookedSelachimorpha 12

    Overall I feel positive. Either we get a (slightly?) “less bad” National, in coalition with NZF (and in all probability, the back end of National at the next election) or we get L/G/NZ1, which should also be an improvement on the last 9 years.

    Any rollback of neoliberalism will only be mild (and rampant inequality and all the ills it brings will largely continue), but encouraging to hear Winston actually mention that 1984 was a major turning point for the worse in NZ development.

    There is a growing tendency to question neoliberalism around the Western world, albeit still small compared to the continuing noise of money and power. It will probably not happen until after the next NZ election – but we might see generational shifts to the left in Britain (Corbyn) and USA (??? after Trump) and these will make movement towards a more socialist society seem more reasonable in NZ.

  13. Decentralise 13

    Everyone here is passionate about caring for people and communities which is great. One trend which disturbs me over the decades is the decline in membership of so many community groups/ sports clubs and things which brought people together instead if just spending time at work and at home and with chosen friends. Actual community groups/ hobbies/ clubs bring people together and if they had more resources it would do a lot of good.

    The current approach of people working and their taxes going to national government and then the money going off to different things leaves people detached from what is going on.

    Perhaps having some of taxes go to local government would be an improvement.

    Also I think it is great that labour and the greens were talking about running surpluses and fiscal responsibility. I know it doesn’t seem to be caring compared to spending more money on another worthwhile policy but there is a huge unseen benefit by keeping inflation lower. And inflation hits the poorest hardest and the wealthiest are protected by their assets which go up in price. Also over time we reduce the amount of money paid out in interest. Ideally we could continue the good work managed by Cullen in getting us on track to being debt free which then makes it possible to build up asset bases as well as maintain spending.

    National’s ramp up of the national debt was disgusting.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.1

      “One trend which disturbs me over the decades is the decline in membership of so many community groups/ sports clubs and things which brought people together instead if just spending time at work and at home and with chosen friends. Actual community groups/ hobbies/ clubs bring people together and if they had more resources it would do a lot of good. ”

      My impression is that so many people are having to work very long hours at low-wage jobs just to survive, and have little time, energy or money for hobbies and clubs. Part of that is the general erosion of working conditions (holidays, time off).

      If very rich people are to be even richer, then other people (a LOT of other people) have to tighten their belts to pay for it.

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        Some parts of our community remain strong in volunteerism. South Auckland in particular. It is a mindset born of growing up in a community rather than sealed up boxes where we don’t know our neighbours.

      • Craig H 13.1.2

        As a club secretary, I’d agree with that summary of why membership struggles these days.

      • Andrea 13.1.3

        I’d be looking elsewhere than ‘very long hours at low-wage jobs just to survive’ for the causes of decline.

        Why?

        The British brass band movement started in the early 19th century among working class people doing hard physical labour in factories, mines, shipyards – and there was no eight-hour day, labour-saving devices, or private vehicles.

        Yet people turned up, played, competed, pooled funds to hire transport.

        Cultural coherence – which we don’t have now. No big factories or labour pools such as railways, forestry, wharfies. Fragmentation, where people stick with their own ‘tribe’ (in a Seth Godin sort of way).

        Who wants to walk into a gathering as a newbie where you’re not known and have no idea whether the other members are people you want to enjoy your hobby with?

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.1.3.1

          That is a fair point – working conditions then were as bad and in fact often much worse than now. So my comment is only a partial explanation – but I do think more leisure time, all else being equal, will help.

          I agree re cultural coherence – we also have a lot of entertainment “piped into our homes”, which probably reduces face-to-face interaction.

        • Stuart Munro 13.1.3.2

          Putnam did some research on this – turns out that ‘melting pot’ societies have significantly lower social participation. They are much more isolating than is generally supposed.

        • Molly 13.1.3.3

          I would expect that transitional housing impacts on community building as well.

    • cleangreen 13.2

      100% Good call Decentralise.

      We came home from USA in 1998 and got involved and still are on several committees NGO’s for the community so we now feel strongly in what you are saying is correct.

      “reap what you sow” was the religous term to get the message accross so we need involvement with ‘local bodies’ very much, as they are often very lacking and not in tune with the real world.

  14. Peroxide Blonde 14

    Jeremy Corbyn is more a conservative than a leftie.
    Just like the Conservatives/Tories are selling the English a vision based on a distorted view of the past so also is Jeremy Corbyn.
    Corbyn is not painting a picture of a socialist egalitarian future: he has solutions for the manifestations of current ills but no vision.
    Tony Blair is cursed for many reason, fair and unfair: however he did possess vision and was capable of crossing a few Tibers along the way.
    New Zealand Lefties are advised not to take too much comfort from Corby and his recent success. We need to develop an NZ vision.

  15. Dan 15

    To me the simple difference between left and right is that those on the right say “I” and those on the left say “We”.

  16. Sparky 16

    Whoever chooses who I think the point needs to be made that as people we can not reply on politicians for solutions to serious problems.Its up to us to all work collectively and peacefully push for change.

  17. NZJester 17

    The Maori party helped prop up a National government and the people who previously voted for them deserted them in droves because of it. They did very little to hold National to account on its many lies and had just become National lite. Their previous voters now realize they will get a much better deal under Labour.
    Sure they will be paying higher taxes under Labour, but the higher wages they will end up getting will help to offset that and they will end up with more money in their pocket after tax than under a National Government.
    If Winston goes with National his days will be numbered. I can see National already having plans in place to stab him in the back and try and take over his party as just another National puppet party.
    Every public service in this country is under funded and straining at the seams and I can see National taking this country into even higher debt as they try to put in more Public/Private partnerships that are meant to improve a service but in reality just cost the tax payer more money for a lower cost sub standard service. The bulk of the money spent on those go into the pockets of the so called investors and management who are just money sucking leaches that put in a small amount of seed money and are then growing fat off the public cash.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 17.1

      “Every public service in this country is under funded and straining at the seams ”

      I experienced this myself this week, applying for a licence to do with fish from MPI. Licence will only take them about 1 day to process, but they say they cannot look at it for 6 months! Meanwhile a business, facility and staff have to sit idle while we wait.

      Tax cuts often result in higher costs elsewhere…

  18. Tony Veitch (not etc) 18

    I’ve read with interest the comments on this thread – and would like to add my little thoughts,

    I think the “I” rather than ‘we’ culture we have had imposed on us since 1984 has a lot to do with all the current problems of society.

    The lack of compassion among those who vote for National is an obvious manifestation of this “I” culture.

    And because such attitudes divide society into winners and losers, individuals, left by an uncaring culture to fend for themselves, have mental health/suicide problems.

    Thatcher’s “There is no such thing as society. . .” has got to have been the worst thing said in my lifetime.

    What society needs is ‘purpose’ and, I’m afraid it’s going to get all the purpose it can handle in the next few years, as climate breakdown sets in with a vengeance!

    But this could/should motivate a ‘we’ mentality, because even the most selfish will realise he/she cannot combat nature on their own.

    Any government, serious about attacking/mitigating climate breakdown, will need to be much more interventionist and encompassing. It will need to marshall all the people in the struggle – for the good of all. Purpose will return, and we’ll all be (momentarily) better off for it.

    • weka 18.1

      Yes, and not so much a liberal/conservative divide or a L/R one, but a egalitarian/neoliberal one.

    • greywarshark 18.2

      I fear that there is also a winners and losers division. To assist others is consorting with losers, and therefore losing status.

      That makes it difficult to amass a group with community values and wanting to move forward together, though not necessarily to the same level, but even acting as a supportive citizen for each other and acting to enable a fair democracy is regarded as near to communism by certain USA people who have come here to live.

      There is a ‘clique’ mentality amongst many of the young, and it’s inward looking, self-centred and adopts the winners and losers sorter for who they are going to associate with.

      • Tony Veitch (not etc) 18.2.1

        I agree, Greywarshark – but the point I tried to make is that climate breakdown will necessitate a ‘community’ response! There won’t be any winners and losers if the climate threatens to end human life completely!

        • AB 18.2.1.1

          But the two things will not happen congruently. Climate will start breaking down before any mechanisms exist for community-based responses.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.2

          and acting to enable a fair democracy is regarded as near to communism by certain USA people who have come here to live.

          A democratic society is, by default, communist as it is the people making the decisions rather than a small clique.

  19. greywarshark 19

    I know what you are getting at Tony and I am trying to work in community efforts to build resilience and get ourselves educated as to what is likely to happen and how to do it. But inertia and habits of thinking get in the way. It is very hard and very sad to see how calmly people accept the degradation being visited on so many of the young. It is cruel and wilful ignorance, the stony hearts that are obssessed with style and self importance can’t tear themselves away from their grand toys to think about how we are and where we are going.

    How do you break through this barrier of mental idiocy?

    • Tony Veitch (not etc) 19.1

      They’ll get as good dose of climate breakdown reality – but even then, I suspect, there’ll be some who refuse to accept the collective need!

      So, in answer to your question – I don’t know! I wish I did!

  20. Brian Tregaskin 20

    Prediction:-
    “NZF will be part of a collation”
    If NZF sit on cross bench National will try and find an excuse force a snap election after the first big disagreement hoping NZF will go under 5% for the public backlash
    Winston is no sap he know thats and won’t make that mistake.

    • greywarshark 20.1

      Now that’s an interesting thought Brian T. We must have covered every possibility with conjecture now. I admire how inventive we all have been. We aren’t as green as we’re cabbage looking. Has everyone heard that old quip probably from early Brit comedians?

    • Stuart Munro 20.2

      Though there’s something in what you say, a charismatic void like Bill might be wary of a snap election – they often humiliate governments, and three and a bit terms of toxic buildup isn’t going to help him.

      • Rob 20.2.1

        After this parade of idiots, bring the snap election on.

        • greywarshark 20.2.1.1

          Rob
          There is no certainty that with your emotions, we wouldn’t get more of the same. They are not a parade of idiots, a sort of New Zealanders On Display competition like Miss World, they are all involved in using their intelligence in getting an elevated position in society. That is very human, so if they are idiots then they represent us all. I don’t think so!

          Some of them do have a sense, even a desire, a mission, to advance NZ and our standard of living and environment and at the same time assist and enable a business model that give us all a place and something to do that will be beneficial to us, and help to overcome present and looming future problems.
          That is not idiotic at all. So don’t be so quick as a bystander, to pass judgment on all the politicians, even though it is tempting to make sweeping statements.
          It just means that the commenter has stopped thinking about complexity, which is our human elemental concern and should be part of NZ’s zeitgeist.

          • left_forward 20.2.1.1.1

            Excellent response greywarshark. This should be one of those ‘sticky posts’, an automatic reply to commentators who fall down the tedious, ‘all politicians are bastards’ rabbit hole.

            • greywarshark 20.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks left-forward
              One or two line rants and sweeping statements either negative or positive
              are unlikely to be helpful to the discussion and thought, only useful for relief of stress and anxiety, and probably reflecting what all have thought from time to time.

              But after that, cool heads need to return and get on with analysing and implementing policies that solve problems. Let’s all be solvents, the Green solution that you rub on the pollution to display the essential goodness underlying and hidden!

    • Craig H 20.3

      Labour and the Greens can counter that by forming a government with NZ First. Might even work!

    • cleangreen 20.4

      Well thought out Brian,

      Winston needs to get his “Policies” enacted so he is going with the party who offers him the most “policies” that he can get for his members.

      Winston told us at several meetings all this year that National are at complete odds with many of NZF policies!!!!

      So this means labour are most likely to be the favoured coalition.

  21. CoroDale 21

    How’s this for strategic-finance and green-growth-economics? https://biocoin.bio/files/Whitepaper_en2.pdf Projects like this are rebuilding a decentralise P2P left, beyond the reach of govt.

  22. greywarshark 22

    This started at 9.05am and by 10.20 has 109 comments. Go for it lefties, we need to have everybody talking, not so much about politics, but about policies and direction and efficacy of them.

    Then we can see that our fishing net has such big holes in it that the numerous small policies that would be the basis of a good socially healthy, vibrant, working, busy society doing good things (not making money out of building software programs, hardware, for the armaments industry for instance).

    • weka 22.1

      Most of the comments were made yesterday (I bumped the post up at 9am this morning).

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        Hi weka
        You are doing great strides. We may not get as many comments on TS today if the weather is as fine as in Nelson. I heard the Rural Report on Radionz this morning and so much of the country reports wet and difficult conditions, they are holding out for a fine day, and sunshine please, if that’s not too much to ask for.

  23. adam 23

    Personally getting sick of people not getting the basic economic divide which makes one left or right.

    Do you support capitalism? If you answer yes, then you are right wing.

    Do you find capitalism terrifying? if you answer yes, then you are left wing.

    Do you want to reform capitalism and make it better/work for people? If you answered yes, then you are maybe left wing. A couple of caveats might help. Like acknowledging that past reforms have failed, and the capitalism is basically a flawed economic modeled. The reality is many on the right want to reform capitalism, to save it. So this reforming of capitalism does not automatically make you left wing. Indeed many I hear speak, like Grant Robertson, speak in the terms of saving capitalism.

    Economics matters, becasue people lives, the lives of their children, indeed their whole extended family rest on an economic system that works for them. They don’t need a system which supports the unfilled greed of the rich, or those who would destroy our world in the name of profit.

    • weka 23.1

      the middle classes won’t give up capitalism without seeing a better alternative.

      • adam 23.1.1

        So what.

        The middle class is dying.

        • weka 23.1.1.1

          No, they’re really not. They’re the ones who’re doing well out of the housing market, who’re still taking overseas holidays, still believe their kids have a future similarish to theirs. They’re still running the MSM and they’ve got major power within the political class. They’re buying electric cars and will keep on with the capitalism green vision because nothing else is on offer yet that they can take seriously. Especially given the people on the left who seek to change society for the better write them off just like you did.

          Capitalism understands that the middle classes are essential to its functioning.

          And even if some or many have to take a drop in standard of living, all those people aren’t going to suddenly disappear, which means we have at least another 40 or 50 years of people raised on middle class values.

          • adam 23.1.1.1.1

            These middle class values, are what? Is that the ideas of a deserving, and a undeserving poor? The idea that profit is fine, and indeed it is a social good? The idea we can let people live on the streets because capitalism is good!

            By the way I’m not writing people off, you are doing that. I’m just pointing out that they are not left wing, and as such people should stop listening to their lies.

            I’m over people who think just because they are socially liberal, it gives them a free pass to ignore the destruction of people by unjust economic system. That they do well out of the capitalist status quo and we are meant to listen to them – why? The middle class in this country both realistically and the what did you call them – the values middle class have spent the last 35 odd years doing bugger all to stop this hard right shift.

            Sorry, but I don’t give a damn about their values. Which at this point prove they are morally repulsive. It’s been nothing but worship at the alter of ego, and cupidity.

            • weka 23.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m middle class, so useful I guess to know that you don’t give a damn about my values and that you think I am morally repulsive.

              You made some statements up thread about the need for the end of capitalism. I agree with the general idea, and I pointed out that without middle class buy in, it’s probably not going to happen. And for the middle classes to get on board, they would need to see a replacement that makes sense to them. There’s nothing particularly controversial about that, most people don’t throw away their security if they can’t see something better.

              There are plenty of left wing middle class people.

              I’m not saying we are meant to listen to them, I’m pointing out that despite the recent idea that the middle class is dying, the middle classes are still in many positions of power that run society.

              I agree with you that the middle classes have done bugger all to stop the shift right. I think they need to be held accountable for that.

              btw, I think you will find that concepts of deserving poor are shared across class including by working class people. The worst shit I’ve had directed my way as a disabled person on a benefit has come from working class people (mostly men with a chip on their shoulder about taxes and welfare).

              • adam

                How the can you be middle class on a disability benefit? I know some middle class people bleed ACC to keep themselves in Chardonnay. But not on a benefit are you anything close to middle class.

                This is exactly what I’m talking about the death of the middle class, do you own any means of production, do you own property which gives you income? Do you have wealth that was inherited which means you can live independently?

                If no to those, then you need to do a reality check on what class you are in weka. Because the middle class owns things which generate wealth like property and the means to produce things.

                If I found you revolting weka I’d tell you. I don’t by the way, I might think of you as wet on occasion, but I’m sure you think I’m a nut bar extremist at times. 🙂

              • Union city greens

                Indeed! How about that radical left-wing upper class toff the 2nd Viscount Stansgate?
                You couldn’t get a more lefties lefty than Anthony Wedgwood Benn.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Benn

                He sure weren’t no hollaback slogan boy.

    • CoroDale 23.2

      I’m mostly agreeing there adam, but does that mean that lefties should oppose KiwiSaver? I’ll offer the slight modification to your perspective; that with pubic owned finance the capitalist model would have much in common with modern monetary theory.

      • adam 23.2.1

        I’m more for the left working out what it means to be left, not some sort of wet liberalism, parading as a leftist.

        As for what constitutes a challenge to capitalism, I don’t know all the answers.

        All I know is most are doing it wrong and embracing the beast which ripped the heart of working people culture 100 years ago, and is doing the same again, except this time, it will kill us all.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • U.S. Federal Communications Commissars say ‘neyt’ to net neutrality.
    The Internet has faced many threats. Dictatorships building cyber walls, a hostile takeover bid by the International Telecommunications Union and states and companies trying to block websites, but last night the U.S. Federal Communications Commission repealed U.S. net neutrality rules. ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Nga hapū o Ngāpuhi, kōrero mai!
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little continues his Ngāpuhi listening tour throughout Te Tai Tokerau following the announcement of six more hui this weekend.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pike River Recovery Agency advice released
    Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little has released advice on the establishment of the Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • When gaming becomes gambling
    I was really looking forward to playing the new Star Wars: Battlefront 2 game. It looked pretty cool and I liked the first instalment. But when I checked out the reviews online, nobody was talking about the new game; they ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago