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Lefties on The Standard redux

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, November 29th, 2019 - 66 comments
Categories: activism, election 2017, Left, Politics, The Standard - Tags: , ,

In 2017, during the election campaign, we ran a small handful of posts as dedicated discussion space for lefties. I introduced the first post with this,

I had a gratifying experience last month, a late night conversation on twitter about the left and the NZ election and what the Greens are up to. There were maybe half a dozen people in the conversation, and all of them were left wing. The conversation ranged over a number of areas and sub-threads and lasted several hours. At the end I came away feeling buoyed by the debate, that it was not only productive, and gave us food for thought, but that it fed us too. One thing I noticed was that none of us slagged each other off, nor was there a slagging off of our political allies.

We certainly weren’t all in agreement, and the conversation started with us disagreeing on a number of points around Green Party strategy – this was just after the first GP election campaign launch and Metiria Turei had just called Peters out on his racist rhetoric. But it was a conversation free of antagonism and instead explored political issues in depth and offered a chance for people to talk with their allies.

I’ve seen conversations like this on TS. We have a range of views here amongst the left wing commenters, and recently there have been spontaneous outbreaks of troll-free conversation and debate that were also abuse-free and full of considered and in depth comments.

So I’d like to try an experiment. I’d like us to try and have this kind of conversation here, intentionally.

I’m thinking it might be time to try this again.

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.

The usual Policy rules around robust debate still apply to everything else. 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’m going to suggest if we want a starting point we consider that we are twelve months out from an election and what that might mean for the left as we prepare for the election campaign next year. Otherwise, grab whatever is of interest to you today and bring it to the conversation.

66 comments on “Lefties on The Standard redux ”

  1. roy cartland 1

    Great idea Weka.

    I just saw on the Guardian the tactics that the Tories (and presumably our Right) have come up with a 'smear' dossier:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/28/revealed-tory-candidates-issued-with-attack-manuals-on-how-to-smear-rivals

    How do we compete against this kind of thing? Do we fight fire with fire? Remain positive? Call them out every time eventually branding them unbelievable? Or ignore and harp on with our message?

    • weka 1.1

      Not sure this is exactly the same thing, but I liked Stephanie Rodger's tweets the other day,

      Seeing a lot of really good messaging around not boosting / repeating bad political takes, because they need oxygen. But I also know how frustrating it is seeing awful things and not responding / rejecting them (and of course that's how they're designed!)

      Here's my tip, which I will happily admit I am sometimes terrible at following: find the counter-message to boost instead. Don't acknowledge the nastiness – just put the positive out into the world, because it deserves to be there anyway.

      Find the politician or NGO or commentator putting the good messages and data forward. Or say it yourself. People who've seen the terrible take will know what you're responding to, people who haven't won't be exposed to it through you. AND you get to vent that frustration!

      I think multiple strategies are needed, and it depends on who is being attacked and why. The Guardian article seems to be around policies rather than people, which I think is probably easier to deal with.

      But I still remember that debate where Key basically repeatedly punched Cunliffe. It was brutal and a really low point in our politics, but what it makes me think is that politicians need support, and they need to know where their strengths and weaknesses are. What interests me is how lefties talk about our own politicians and to what extent we are critiquing policy vs bashing people. I'm also thinking a bit about what I might be writing next year during the election (am seriously fucked off with Labour over welfare, but I want them to win the election).

      • roy cartland 1.1.1

        Yes, it's true that people like Greta manage to get the message across without having to resort to gutter politics – she just steadfastly ignores the haters and makes them irrelevant. Maybe that's the key, just dismiss the rubbish and turn any convo to the facts and the actual message? I think Cloe Swarbrick is quite good that that too (OK Boomer notwithstnading).

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Chloe is one of my favourite politicians. I hope she gets looked after well enough to stay in parliament for a long career.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    Good idea Weka. One thing that came up on my Facbook feed yesterday was this story shared by a Green MP:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/117730772/landfill-levies-could-rise-in-govt-bid-to-urge-people-to-recycle

    "The cost of dumping construction and industrial waste could increase as the Government looks to shake up landfill levies.

    Household waste bills could also rise if regional authorities pass on planned increases, with costs expected to go up by up to 33 cents a bag.

    The proposal, which could earn the Government up to $250 million a year, comes as ministers look to rein in increasing volumes of rubbish being sent to landfill.

    …."Under the new proposal, the domestic levy could increase to as much as $60 per tonne by, while construction, industrial and other landfills could face a levy of up to $20 per tonne."

    It should be noted on a positive note that the plan includes "Invest the additional landfill revenue in solutions that support waste reduction."

    While the plan is well-meaning in that it wants to encourage more recycling, many comments were that the burden is being placed yet again on the households, which is likely to see more fly tipping. My view is that depositing of rubbish should be as cheap as possible for households so that they can afford to go to the dump, whatever the arguments for recycling.

    Beyond that, I commented that I think the solution requires looking at the front end of the rubbish problem, not the back end, introducing laws to require all packaging, where practical, to use fully biodegradable material. And developing a longer term plan for requiring other packaging to be bio-degradable through innovation etc through progressive steps.

    The Green MP I was following (NB not ES and someone I also respect) replied, including saying "Banning single products won’t create system change."

    My argument in return was that "I think that a good old fashioned law change that forces businesses to switch to bio-degradable products is a simple, effective and fair mechanism. It has already worked wonders for supermarket plastic bags. All milk used to come in bottles once upon a time and that system worked perfectly well. I thought at the time that introducing plastic bottles was wrong and recall that that happened at the height of free-market, neo-liberal monetarist user-pays, level-playing field etc movement in government in the early 1990s. I think the right wing Monetarist policies that we imported from Thatcher, Reagan, which we called "Rogernomics" are inter-twined with the introduction of less environmentally friendly behaviour because the focus became on profit-first and the environment and everything else second."

    I added in a further reply that "I understand why the government would be afraid to introduce new laws banning non-biodegradable packaging and that is because it would cause a huge outrage amongst the business community. But to me, that only confirms my argument about the relationship between Neo-Liberalism and environmental degradation. I would argue that trying to find a solution within a Neo-Liberal paradigm can never succeed because Neo-Liberalism is based on the profit incentive at the expense of everything else."

    I also liked what someone else said: "We need the cost of disposal built into the product's price, then rubbish disposal is free. With massive increase in cost to dispose of rubbish you'll get massive increase in illegal dumpling. With the front end approach you will get massive effort from companies to make packaging recyclable and minimal."

    While this is a discussion about how best to approach the challenge of waste, it seems to me that even now, we still have a government that is still only looking for solutions within the paradigm that was created 35 years ago with the introduction of "Rogernomics", and one of its most notorious dictums – "User Pays"

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Good one weka.

      First I notice the large space under eps comment. We need to bring the cursor up to the end of the last sentence before submitting to prevent that.

      Environment – the built landscape, recycling. About this, 'The cost of dumping construction and industrial waste could increase as the Government looks to shake up landfill levies.' This is a recent story about the use of it in construction by Wellington City Council which heartened me greatly. (I thought about the piles of it in Christchurch as they cleared and repaired and rebuilt over the past years.)

      https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/news/2019/11/concrete-recycling 22/11/2019 Concrete from earthquake-prone social housing flats currently being demolished by Wellington City Council will be recycled, instead of going to landfill.

      And of course must mention Rekindle Christchurch where they have reworked good wood and other materials into useful, intriguing stuff that could be thought of as souveniers of the mighty quake or art installations as well as practical.

      https://www.rekindle.org.nz/

    • The Chairman 2.2

      While the plan is well-meaning in that it wants to encourage more recycling, many comments were that the burden is being placed yet again on the households…

      This highlights a problem which the Greens seem to be overlooking. I voted Green not only because I expected them to address climate issues but also because (with them being left) I expected them to ensure they would protect vulnerable, struggling households from bearing the full cost burden. Unfortunately, this example highlights their failure to do so.

      Transitioning to a greener society will come at a cost and the vulnerable need protecting from the added burden. Are the Greens up to this task? Seems not.

      • SPC 2.2.1

        The policy balance is not always within a single policy area but across the range of policy.

        • The Chairman 2.2.1.1

          Indeed. However, as yet, the balance isn't being met.

          Hardship is increasing. As shown by the sharp rise in hardship grants and food demand from social agencies. So albeit this will be a small increase, it's another increase in weekly costs that isn't being offset by any new increase in income or reductions elsewhere.

          The increases in income that have been achieved via this Government have been insufficient catch ups and go nowhere near covering new cost burdens being added into the mix.

          • pat 2.2.1.1.1

            "Hardship is increasing. As shown by the sharp rise in hardship grants and food demand from social agencies."

            Is it?…all that shows is grants are more freely available, potentially as a result of operational directive…and we know National were running a punitive regime through MSD

            • The Chairman 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Is it?…all that shows is grants are more freely available, potentially as a result of operational directive

              The large queues at 2am outside a social welfare office in the rain to get help from advocates to gain hardship grants indicate grants can't be that more freely available.

              • pat

                IF hardship were increasing there would be an increase in bankruptcies (the end point of hardship)….and surprise, surprise, since the change of Gov in 2017 there has been a significant decrease in the number of bankruptcies.

                https://www.insolvency.govt.nz/support/about/statistics/insolvency-procedure-statistics/monthly-bankruptcy-figures/

                The reason people are queueing at MSD offices is because NOW theres a reasonable chance they will receive a grant whereas before it was considered a waste of time and energy

                You dont queue if theres nothing to queue for

                • The Chairman

                  IF hardship were increasing there would be an increase in bankruptcies (the end point of hardship)

                  Not necessarily. There can be an increase in the number of people suffering from day to day hardship but not quite at the end point of becoming totally bankrupt.

                  The reason people are queuing at MSD offices is not because there's now a more reasonable chance they will receive a grant, it is because they are lining up to meet with the advocates that will assist them to get one.

                  If grants were now that easier to gain, people wouldn't need to queue in line to secure an advocate.

                  Food demand this year at the City Mission food bank is the highest in its history.

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12265240

                  [I’m not willing to have the same pattern of discussion under the Lefties posts that happens elsewhere, namely you concern trolling and refusing many times to take feedback from the community or mods on this about the problems it causes, and eventually the discussion descending into frustration or conflict. I’m not going to wait until the conversation deteriorates here today, so please stay out of commenting under this post. If that pattern changes at some point in the future I’ll revisit that decision, but I would need to see this demonstrated over time. – weka]

                  • pat

                    "Not necessarily. There can be an increase in the number of people suffering from day to day hardship but not quite at the end point of becoming totally bankrupt."

                    With bankruptcy being the end point it would show in the figures, at the best a continuation but NOT as a significant decrease (remembering we are also experiencing substantial population increase which should also be reflected)

                    "If grants were now that easier to gain, people wouldn't need to queue in line to secure an advocate."

                    Again, if theres nothing to queue for you dont queue..and just as we know of your faux concern we know the punitive regime National directed the MSD under

                    "Food demand this year at the City Mission food bank is the highest in its history"

                    two likely factors…increased population but crucially a diminishing of stigma in the act

                    • weka

                      I'd say the never-ending pressure of the housing crisis is an issue there too. We now have a permanent problem with people simply not having enough income to live on where housing costs are so high and there being no way within WINZ’s options to make much of a difference.

                      Lots of different things going on, thus multiple causes and effects. I think Auckland has some distinct issues (eg in the WINZ management culture) that don't necessarily apply elsewhere, as do other areas.

                    • pat

                      @Weka

                      there is no doubt that the financial pressure is cumalative and high rents are at its basis but the argument hardship is increasing as a result of gov inaction is spurious (as TC well knows)…there has been some relief in the form of increased minimum wage, a more accommodating regime at MSD and WEP….is it sufficient ?obviously not but the greatest effect requires a systemic change and the mandate is dubious at best…given that what is the best scenario in the here and now…the Coalition or a return to the Nats?

                  • weka

                    Mod note for you TC.

  3. Stuart Munro. 3

    One approach that might produce a bit of constructive discussion would be for people to float priority lists and discuss the relative merits of items. Rough headings might be environment, community, social justice, inequality, and the future.

    Working out real priorities and designing for outcomes is long overdue in our governance decision making. Part of the problem is that government has become accustomed to what might be called the Dennis Wheatly satanist model of democracy, "do as you will shall be the whole of the law", and any change, be it regulating the fishing industry for sustainability, or constraining our very high unskilled immigration levels, or requiring alternatives to the large scale and increasing use of poisons, is wont to meet resistance aimed at protecting, not the common good, but bureaucratic privilege.

    A few things that spring to mind:

    The OMV protest – I'm sure the company is as sociopathic as one could wish, but the way to achieve rapid significant change in fuel use is by developing and proliferating sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, and by improving the fuel profile of our transport infrastructure – prioritizing shipping over trains, and trains over trucks, for instance.

    Unskilled migrants – a requirement that employers undertake workforce planning two years ahead if they request work permits, and that no more than half of any workforce may ever receive work permits will prevent many of the abuses that have become prevalent. Chorus for example, has had minor flak about exclusively employing foreigners, but has not yet been prosecuted for large scale systematic racist hiring.

    The punitive rent-seeking inspection regimes of many councils are vastly increasing the costs of alternative housing to the point of preventing it. As a more sustainable and creative response to the twin scourges of the no-growth-except-by-immigration neoliberal economic basket case economy, and the uncreative destruction that destroyed local trades training, tiny house communities are a desirable outcome that councils should be required to support enthusiastically.

  4. gsays 4

    Thanks for a timely reminder for behaviour and engaging with others, especially at this potentially stressful time of year.

    I am fascinated by our left/right definitions.

    When involved in a conversation/squabble about 9/11, I was accused of being right wing. I suppose that is because of the likes of Alex Jones and his anti government rants.

    Being politically minded is kind of like being in a Venn diagram, where sometimes you find folk who share your opinion but come from a polar opposite angle.

    For me this occurs with euthanasia, I end up in the company of those with a strong religious conviction. I get there for different reasons but we share the space.

  5. Incognito 6

    Good initiative!

    Recently, I came across an old post by Anthony R0bins at a very similar time in the election cycle (2014-GE) and on a related (tangentially) topic: https://thestandard.org.nz/questions-questions/

  6. adam 7

    Left and right are not fully helpful terms anymore.

    Unless you are talking about economics, then the terms help. Left wing economics is fundamentally different from Right wing economics.

    As for social/personal politics – the lines blur, then the left and right definition fail completely.

    This has not been helped by 40 odd years of hard right economics coupled with austerity, and occasionally been thrown a socially progressive law. Some people think they are left, and support hard right economics. Conversely others have more conservative views on social issues, and are called right wing – when their economics is left wing, and the person they arguing with is economically far right.

    I say far right wing – because the so called centre in this country is far right wing economically.

    I also think the table you put up is a deliberate distortion of how far the economics has gone to the right in the last 40 odd years. Especially the labour party, they a different from national only in the minutiae when it comes to economics. The last two years have proven that.

  7. cleangreen 8

    Well done Weka;

    We oldies never knew people were mean spirited in our day under the 1950/60's era, so we feel estranged a lot now.

    My mother had never spoken one bad word against anyone in my day so that was our role model.

    I agree with you, and think we all need to be kind to each other, as it feels good to be kind to others.

    Thank you for your nice thoughts of our need to change our own behavior as the term goes; "courtesy is contagious"

  8. RRM 9

    👍 This is a great idea.

    I've always said there is far too much hard right wing ideology and opinion being espoused on The Standard. Some threads become virtual neolib sewers. This will restore some much-needed balance.

  9. UncookedSelachimorpha 10

    What chance do people think Corbyn has? He represents a wonderful leftwing view and a chance for a change that we haven't seen in the West since neoliberalism reared its ugly head in the 1980's.

    The polls for Corbyn look dire – which appalls me because he has excellent policies and is just a better person than most of the Tories.

    I can't help hoping like crazy on this one…am I just being foolish??

    • pat 10.1

      its not looking likely….but then the polls have been wrong before (more than once)

    • Anne 10.2

      I can't help hoping like crazy on this one…am I just being foolish??

      He's got the media against him UncookedSela…

      I can remember a time when there was no internet. Hell, there was no TV when I was growing up. People were not bombarded with false narratives like they are nowadays. Instead they were in a better position to distinguish fact from fiction and that served the centre-left quite well.

      Since then the middle ground has shifted so far to the right the old centre-left has become the far-left (5 mins. listening to a Hooton rave session on RNZ is testament to that) and voters are a bit afraid of the left because they have been cast as extremists. It's not extremist at all its commonsense, but they can no longer see it due to the brainwashing from the corporate media who are playing to their neoliberal, market orientated masters' hands.

      That's the way I see it anyway.

    • McFlock 10.3

      They're polls of total popularity in an FPP election. So not reliable about a verdict – either side can be lower, but still win due to how that popularity is distributed.

      That having been said, in 2017 the cons barely scraped in for the coalition win – a tiny majority in a House of 600+. And they've clusterfucked badly since then.

      So out of the gate my feeling is that the only description is that both main parties are on the back foot.

    • weka 10.4

      I can't fathom why more Brits aren't supporting Corbyn.

      • Craig H 10.4.1

        Horrible media coverage.

        • weka 10.4.1.1

          I'm sure that has an effect like everywhere, but it doesn't explain it enough for me.

          • pat 10.4.1.1.1

            Corbyn's personal appeal has taken several large hits…it is as covered in the previous link an 'unpopularity contest' and Boris is the least unpopular…and you have the Lib Dems muddying things.

            • weka 10.4.1.1.1.1

              which link?

              Hard to fathom how Corbyn can be less popular than Johnson. I mean, if they like Boris, then that says a lot about the English (the Scots at least have more sense).

              • pat

                10.3.2

                accusations of anti semitism, party defections, ambiguity on Brexit….may have something to do with it, whether you agree or not,

                We have a perfect example here in NZ of the importance of personal appeal over policy….Labour pre last election.

                • McFlock

                  ah, haven't listened to it. I find I can multitask better with text than audio.

                  Sounds like I'd largely agree with them lol

                  • pat

                    the unpopularity effect was a very small part of the podcast

                  • pat

                    harsh you think…and yet I came across this just now and while not agreeing entirely I found this (following) to be a curious reflection of our own Labour Party

                    "The change Britain wants is the change Labour is supposed to provide. The mood has shifted and there is public support for a programme of intervention far more radical than any since the post-war Attlee government. There is now only one obstacle: a Labour Party incapable of speaking to the working class. "

                    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/britains-labour-tragedy

                • weka

                  I thought NZ Labour's problem pre 2017 was too many leadership changes and perceptions of incompetency. I guess that applies to UK Labour too but I thought things had settled down. It's not like the Tories haven't had similar issues.

                  • pat

                    whatever NZ Labours problem pre 2017 election was it was all forgotten by the voters with no policy change but the introduction of a more appealing leader

                    • McFlock

                      Pre-Ardern it was a contest between two rather reserved guys in similar suits taking a moment to consider their answer to a question before delivering it in a slow drawl.

                      Appeal, energy, empathy and quick answers would have changed the game for either party.

                  • pat

                    @McFlock

                    so in other words an unpopularity contest….which had the incumbents far ahead in the polls

                    • McFlock

                      Bit harsh. More that it was a front neither side were fighting on, and Ardern outflanked them.

                      But then if it were two empathetic, energetic, approachable leaders trying to outfeels each other, that contest might have been flipped if one side had suddenly gone with a leader who appears more reserved and considered as a proxy for competence, strength, and intelligence.

                      Cometh the hour, cometh the wo/man sort of thing

          • McFlock 10.4.1.1.2

            I think he and Labour have wrongfooted it on Brexit and the antisemitism complaints from within the party.

            He sat on the fence when people wanted a firm position on Brexit – I reckon either yes or no would have been more popular than being coy about it. For the remainers, there's the suspicion he's a leaver, and the leavers don't trust him either. So anyone with a strong opinion on Brexit needs to look elsewhere if they want a firm policy.

            The allegations of antisemitism against him personally I suspect are bullshit. They read like beat-ups about where he went as a guest. But party members did report multiple instances of antisemitism within the party which received no action from the party hierarchy. Ignoring what tories say about it, and even allowing for a few who might be more anti-Corbyn than genuinely unhappy with how their complaints were responded to, that still leaves a non-trivial number of complaints that have been systematically unaddressed. We saw how that leeched on LabourNZ with sexual harrassment complaints, and I think the same thing has happened to UK Labour. People see valid complaints being buried rather than addressed, and ironically the burial gives the complaints more oxygen to stay in the news cycle (metaphors thoroughly mixed).

            • Sanctuary 10.4.1.1.2.1

              Labour in the UK has had no choice but to adopt the between two stools approach – and be excoriated in the process by the reactionary billionaire press and the liberal Fascisti of the chattering classes – if it wishes to retain it's identity as a broad based, socialist movement.

              The big meta of Brexit is a push by the right (including Putin, who has revived the Tsarist tradition of reactionary meddling abroad to try and prop up a failing and corrupt authoritarian regime at home) to permanently re-align British politics along the lines of the United States, where economic and class interests are submerged in an endless, febrile and debilitating atmosphere of permanent culture war that atomises resistance to Plutocratic rule and is designed to render attempts to organise collectively against the super-rich impossible.

              If Labour had gone hard remain (or leave) it would have simply reinforced the culture war narrative, and ultimately delivered the (not) working class of the north of the UK into the hands of Farage's genuinely Fascist Brexit party and it's successors.

              Even if Labour lose on the 12th – and given that the entire establishment has been ready for Corbyn and Corbynism this time and the gloves are off (the bias of the establishment organs like the BBC has been shameless, let alone the Das Schwarze Korps tone of the far right newspapers) it is probably likely all we can hope for is another hung parliament – they have to retain a class based analysis of politics if they are to have a path to power ever in the first past the post system. If the Tories win and Brexit happens, and Boris implements Thatcherism on steroids then the resulting economic catastrophe that will engulf the English precariat and poor means a Labour party that never abandoned the northern strongholds will defeat the Tories next time, and if they keep a radical policy agenda they'll have a mandate to implement it.

              • Ad

                Stop letting Corbyn off the hook.

                He did just fine in the previous election.

                And Labour did great in the local elections as well.

                It's not as if there wasn't enough material for him to work with.

              • pat

                So it is as it ever was then.

                The status quo is being defended by those who benefit and it will take a momental disaster (i.e widescale conflict) for those exploited to unite in a common goal…..and then the process will begin again.

                Except this time the only home we have is doing its best to eject us,

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Thanks Sanctuary, excellent analysis I think. You are right that the real issue Labour is trying to confront is the class issue and that the game Labour has to play on Brexit is not a simple one.

                You mention the long game if Labour lose this election – but can Corbyn (and the policies he represents) survive another defeat?

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.4.1.1.3

            The extent and degree of the hostility in the media coverage of Corbyn in the UK is extreme – beyond belief even. So it might be having a bigger effect – and also deterring people from voting at all.

            If we (or the Aussies) ever get a popular truly socialist / left option – they too will be vilified by our media industry.

            Direct canvassing of the electorate (in the flesh) might be the only solution – will require a popular grassroots base (lots of people to do actual leg work) – which Corbyn does have to some degree. This would need to happen for quite some time, not just in the month before an election.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.4.1.1.3.1

              And it continues

              A fake tweet suggesting Jeremy Corbyn sympathised with the terrorist shot dead by police on London Bridge on Friday is circulating on WhatsApp and Twitter.

              “A man was murdered by British Police in Broad daylight,” it says.

              And it seems many immediately assumed it was legit and started responding – instead of asking themselves – "is this fake?"

              “This is what you get if this man becomes PM. God help us,”

    • Molly 10.5

      "I can't help hoping like crazy on this one…am I just being foolish??"

      If you are – I'll join you in that fool club.

  10. Jackel 11

    Always good to encourage friendly feeling and fraternity.

    I've often wondered why people so easily buy the lies of capitalism. I can only assume they trick themselves with the cleverness of the mind instead of listening to the wisdom of the body.

  11. SHG 12

    As a brown former Labour and most recently Green party voter, I have to ask…. what has Jacinda's Labour-led government achieved? I've seen lots of feelgood symbolism and almost no actual legislation and policy implementation. Even the legislation that has been passed has been… mostly symbolism.

    • Ad 12.1

      You're one of the few people n the world who haven't seen this video explaining exactly what they have achieved:

    • Incognito 12.2

      Well, that’s an awful lot of symbolism then and I was only looking at Acts passed in Parliament: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/

      • weka 12.2.1

        This one's good too, all the previous Bills now in law,

        https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/previous

        Lots of what is being done is not flashy. I notice this with the Greens too, people reckon they're not doing much, but fail to see the stuff that doesn't generate headlines.

        • Incognito 12.2.1.1

          Ta

          I think there is some justification for the negative public perception of the Government but much (??) of it seems to be based on lack of and/or on poor information (and education). Mention this and you run the risk of being accused as an ‘apologist’ or worse. I’m not defending nor blaming because that’s a mug’s game IMO. I think the key indeed is to highlight achievements and progress, as Stephanie Rodgers said, even when it is little and/or falls short of expectation. In addition, it is crucial to provide constructive criticism that politicians can work with, assuming that they are not all as bad as some make them out to be.

          • weka 12.2.1.1.1

            it's tricky, because there is a fair amount to be disappointed about. However we do seem to have this expectation of perfection and if it's not attained then what? The left is very hard on people who make mistakes, and worse on people who are not doing what we want in part because they're working in a fucked up system. I agree about constructive criticism. Maybe listing what's been good, then looking at what still needs attention. I could try and do that with welfare, darklol.

  12. sumsuch 13

    Assumes The Standard holds people like Stephen Mills in honour. Good assumption.
    Why I've never voted for the friend-of-the -rich Labour Party.

  13. sumsuch 14

    No personal attacks I now see. But I think it captures the political point, despite your despite on that account. You do know we leftists hate Labour? How would we not. Being oold NZers, confirmed social-democrats.

  14. sumsuch 15

    Shouldne the whole of The Standard be for the lefties. You allow Labour.

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