web analytics

Listening to left wing dissent

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, December 16th, 2019 - 178 comments
Categories: Brexit, community democracy, democratic participation, Left, uk politics - Tags: , ,

You couldn’t pay me to vote for a right wing party, so it’s hard to imagine under what conditions someone who has traditionally voted Labour for decades would now vote for the Tories in the UK General Election. On the other hand, I can understand why the three-way standoff between traditional lefties, liberals and centrists is deeply unattractive.

It’s been edifying watching commentary from the UK on what might have gone wrong. There is the expected range of views from the left that it wasn’t our fault: it was the MSM, Corbyn, Brexit, Boomers, Blairites, ABU (anyone but us). These often have sound reasoning behind them, but they’re not sufficient.

What stands out for me are the voices of the people who are saying actually, there were solid reasons for abandoning Labour, this is why I did. There’s something important here about really listening to dissent and being willing to engage with views that don’t necessarily make immediate sense in the context of our own personal ideologies.

Bearing in mind that many of the policies in Labour’s manifesto were very popular, and that this list isn’t intended as a comprehensive view, or definitive explanation, but here are some of the takes I’ve found most thought-provoking.

Stability matters. A short vid of lifelong Labour voter Henry talking about why he voted Conservative,

What I hear from this man: he wants a government with the kind of stability you get from unity and doesn’t trust a Labour that is internally divided.

We see this value around stability in NZ with the tendency to vote more conservatively after an emergency (Chch2), or where people shy away from chaos and towards perceptions of competency (Greens and Labour respectively in the 2017 election), or where the radical edge isn’t trusted with parliamentary power even where there is support for policy (low vote for any of the left of Labour parties or even radical centrist parties like TOP).

Lefties like myself who see radical change as being a fundamental requirement for addressing large, intractable issues like the housing crisis or climate change often ignore that most people are naturally resistant to upheaval even when there is a perceived reward. I don’t think this necessarily means that the left has to resign itself to centrism, but maybe the people who want to smash capitalism could spend some time talking with the people who fear what would happen to them if we did, and find the common ground.

Culture matters. The lack of empathy comment from the young liberal woman in the video, it’s not that she is wrong, it’s that they’re both right but she is probably the one with the lesser ability to understand or accept the other. If the young liberal woman represents modern Labour, she exemplifies a kind of cultural blindness to why people legitimately feel Labour doesn’t serve them. For many people politics is about a good cultural fit, and there’s plenty of analysis about the problems with Labour parties generally on that regard. It also stood out to me that the man talked about voting with his heart and his discomfit with being a laughing stock over Brexit. For a party intent on identity politics, it’s weird that some people’s sense of belonging is so resoundingly ignored.

Brexit matters. Some of the solid Labour electorates in the north voted Leave in the original referendum. They’ve just voted Leave again.

While the Brexit campaign ran on a dangerous xenophobic, racist, and divisive platform it doesn’t mean that class wasn’t a driver for many voters, nor that liberals didn’t drop the ball from their own bias in ignoring class as a core issue.

From my green edge perspective Brexit always looked like the one rare chance the UK had of stopping or at least slowing the happy death cult of neoliberalism. My main memory of the original Brexit referendum was the impression of liberals all freaking out about how terrible it would be to lose privileges like the freedom to travel at will, without offering any solution to the genuine issues of social and economic decay that neoliberalism was generating. Or even any real acknowledgement that class issues might be legitimate.

Political education matters. This was one of the more heart-wrenching things I read,

There’s both great sadness and great hope in that, but it does make me wonder how there is such a large part of the working class that is non-political. How did that even happen?

That whole twitter thread is an eyeopener, with some challenging ideas about older white English people and their role in holding on to political and social hegemony.

Journalism matters. Yes, yes, there are massive problems with the MSM and social media giants. In addition, there is this,


And this is why the failure of Labour is a failure of journalism. Too much of the material that gets published under Left-wing mastheads is written by the Left, to the Left, under the assumption that there is an imaginary public out there who will automatically agree with their politics if only they are presented with them. (Owen Jones, king of this tendency, offered this on the eve of the election: “Young people have been hit hard. Now they can rise up and reject Johnson.” The young people declined.)

There’s a tendency for the left to blame centre lefties for the failure of Labour parties, but I don’t think any position on the left is without responsibility here where we are insisting that people should adopt our beliefs.  I’m not arguing for abandonment of progressive values. I’m suggesting that the liberal project is on the verge of failing, and that we cannot rely on ‘social progress is inevitable’. Nor can we carry on with the strategy that we can force people on board.

What we probably need is to build relationships across social and political difference. The Pākehā left has a lot to learn from Māori in this regard. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.

Update: post-election poll on why people didn’t vote Labour is here.

178 comments on “Listening to left wing dissent”

  1. weka 1

    btw, those that want to run a 'I know the single cause' line, might want to have a look at this poll out two days after the election. (Omitted from post because of length). Polls are pretty blunt instruments, and I haven't looked closely at the methodology and questions here, but I think we are better served by nuance.

    (sticking this to the top of comments after a number of single cause comments).

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      There is a big problem with interpretation of polls especially in FPP electoral systems. What matters for the election outcome is not the over-all aggregate favourite but the aggregate favourite by constituancy.

      By something called a Simpson's paradox the overall aggregate result (what is the most relevant issue in this poll) does not need to be the same as the result when broken up by into categories (say category by constitiuancy).

      For an intuition of how this comes about this is similar to the US election being won by the candidate with fewer popular votes.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Are you saying that the poll would be more useful if it reported the same questions asked in each electorate? In which case I agree. I'm guessing the questions were relatively simplistic too.

        • Nic the NZer

          It might be more useful. It would also require more respondents or have much higher margins of error to do so.

          When Simpson's paradoxes occur in scientific statistics there is no way to determine which aggregate categorisation in right. You pick one based on which model you think is correct. With FPP elections we know its per electorate at least.

          Its just worth understanding that the weightings of which issue are important to the average voter may differ from the issue which cost/benefited you in the most electorates. 


        • Nic the NZer

          Also, something I think the right wing have been very successful at is finding a wedge issue and making the narrative primarily about that issue. It could be that its a lot easier to identify what issue splits your political opponents rather than which issues generate broad support.

    • mauī 1.2

      The major swings in polls leading up to the election are pretty clearly based around Brexit related events. The newly formed Brexit party running on a single issue had 25% of the vote just a few months ago. You can't tell me that anything surrounding the Labour leadership was having anything like that kind of effect.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    So I went away for a lovely weekend with my partner but here is my take today on the UK election, for whatever it is worth.

    The gloating from centrist remainers (including our own version of them here) at the Labour defeat has been extraordinary, and the meta one can take from that is it speaks to how threatened by Corbynism these very important heroes of received common sense have felt everywhere. The economic assumptions that underpin their incomes and their cultural/political relevance has been challenged. They have responded to that by making common cause with the right to destroy the threat. The left is constantly doomed to being surprised by the vehemence of class privilege in protecting itself. Socialism never finds its friends in the middle class.

    The other thing is that despite the Lib-Dems getting destroyed and every "sensible" centrist who abandoned Labour in fits of histronics after their leaking, downright disloyalty and coups against Corbyn failed lost their seats the entire liberal press remains establishment Lib-Dems in outlook and they'll now seek to enable the destruction socialism in Labour. 

    UK Labour lost because Leave Labour voters in the North stayed home in droves and the Brexit party vote collapsed into the conservatives. Thats it in a nutshell. The narrative from the middle class press will be Workington man abandoned Labour because it has lost touch with the the working class, but the reality is the remainers who demanded Labour pivot to a second referendum and split the party in their dogmatic insistance Labour become a remain party handed this massive majority to the Tories. Not only did the factionalism of the extreme centre (The Tiggers, the independents, the virulent and flagrant disloyalty of the anti-Corbynites, the warmed over Blairites hijacking and dividing the remain camp, the orange Lib-Dems and their mates in the Lib-Dem press supporting a centre that no longer has a constituency) split the centre-left vote , their forcing Labour into a second referndum postion also forced Labour to fight an election on the issue where the party was weakest, and handed the northern leave seats to the Tories.

    Jeremy Corbyn was an issue with voters. Clearly the years of unrelentling character assassination and smearing worked. I doubt changing him will make much difference. Milliband, Brown, Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot were all subject to similar smears and character assassinations that affected their popularity. Only Thatchers greatest achievement – Tony Blair – was not subject to massive character assassination.  

    Finally, Britain is now pretty fucked. The establishment has been revealed as both decadent and unreformable. The future for the UK appears to be a slide into an increasingly unequal, quasi third world authoritarian surveillance state. The centre has collapsed in British politics and the current political climate could be best described as one of toxic disaster nationalism. The Tories reinvented themselves along the lines of the Australian Liberal Party and the US Republican party and like them has become a party of nascent fascism. 

    What lesson for us? Well, it is obvious Simon Bridges is well along the path to reinventing the NZ National party along the same lines as the UK Tories, who have reinvented themselves as the party of nativist anger, English exceptionalism, xenophobia and empire fantasists (how else can you explain a transport policy that includes fining cyclists as a headline centre piece? that isn't policy, it is baiting angry drivers into a culture war againt cyclists).

    NZ Labour needs to understand that Bridges is trying to create the same toxic culture war here that has enabled the far right overseas and has delivered extremist conservative governments in three out of the four elections (Australia, USA, UK and Canada) held in anglosphere countries so far, and come up with a counter ASAP.

    • "Finally, Britain is now pretty fucked. The establishment has been revealed as both decadent and unreformable. The future for the UK appears to be a slide into an increasingly unequal, quasi third world authoritarian surveillance state."


      Airstrip One ?

    • Anne 2.2

      Absolutely and unequivocally agree Sanctuary.

      In a nutshell:

      Labour working class (which is most of them even if they won't admit it) have been taken for one bloody big ride by the Tories and, along with the years and years of character assassination of Labour by the tabloid press and others,  many lost their marbles and capitulated. 

      Yes, it was helped along the way by some of Labour's own members who were more interested in themselves rather than the party and country. Looks like most of them have been sent packing and good riddance to them.

      Maybe now Labour can get a new leader – preferably a woman – who can unite them and bring them back to where they once were – a party for all Brits and not just the chosen few. It shouldn't be too hard given what probably lies ahead of them. 

    • Molly 2.3

      "The gloating from centrist remainers (including our own version of them here) at the Labour defeat has been extraordinary, and the meta one can take from that is it speaks to how threatened by Corbynism these very important heroes of received common sense have felt everywhere. The economic assumptions that underpin their incomes and their cultural/political relevance has been challenged. They have responded to that by making common cause with the right to destroy the threat. The left is constantly doomed to being surprised by the vehemence of class privilege in protecting itself. Socialism never finds its friends in the middle class."

      I agree with this entirely.  

      Added to that is the arrogance shown by many of the remainers – similar to that shown to Trump supporters – that disdains their voting choice so much, that refusal to even comprehend why such votes were cast – works to build a wider divide. 

      There were many in Britain that have seen their prospects for employment, housing and an enjoyable life be diminished over the last twenty or so years.  This would be true for many in the US.  What has been on offer is more of the same.  The end result of the voters dividing themselves into factions has manifested in the victory of both Trump and Johnson.  It is not the result of the "far left" asking for too much, it seems to me to be the result of many players not listening at all. And many of those players are currently comfortable and unwilling to give audience to those that are not.

      Corbyn – and whoever replaces him if they are not another Blairite – will always be subjected to a smear campaign from the establishment and most of the media.  The fact that many within the Labour party persisted in joining that project, despite the membership indicating their preference, twice, is an indication of how self-serving many politicians are.

      I wouldn't have voted for Trump – but understand why many did.  I probably would have voted for Brexit, because I think the devolution of sovereignty happens in such a way, and the economic benefits and freedom of movement has not been evenly distributed. 

      The immediate reaction of the remainers to the referendum was often arrogant and demeaning, and created a divide in the media reporting that is hard to see a resolution to.  The denigration apparent in the media to Trump supporters also ignores the fact that there may be many reasons that they despaired over seeing improvement so much that they voted him in. 

      Corbyn, despite his personal view, took the party line over Brexit and included that in his policy.  He also made reference to uniting the country, something no other political animal in this current time would do, given the propensity to work on people's prejudices and bias to get votes.  (Adern's reaction to Turei during the election campaign shows how expected and effective this is.)  The Overton window has opened discussion about many issues, precisely because of Jeremy Corbyn's political movement and policy announcements.  This is progress, and it requires the input of many, not the few – to get further traction.  Which is how it should be.


  3. Sanctuary 3

    Just BTW – Sarah Ditum writes for the News Statesman, which should tell you everything you need to know about her perspective.

  4. Buster12 4

    If they got rid of Corbin  after the last election they possibly  may of beaten bojo. But nope they listened to the circle jerk that is twitter and nowblook certain  to lose the next couple of elections. 

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      Who is "Corbin" you semi-literate twat?

    • KJT 4.2

      You really think Labour would have beaten Bojo, with all the middle class "remainers", in Labour pissing off their Northern voters?

      Not to mention the establishment Labour MP's and even establishment, middle class "lefties" unrelentingly bagging Corbyn

    • mikesh 4.3

      Get rid of Corbin (sic) after the last election? Really? When, contrary to expectations, he came close to winning?

      I would think the results of the next two elections would be unpredictable a this stage, given that brexit will soon be no longer an an issue.

      • Nic the NZer 4.3.1

        Of course dump Corbyn now and give up. Remember, once brexit is not the main election item Momentum will be much stronger in Labour. If the 'right' lesson isn't learned from this election then the left might take over UK Labour.

  5. Sacha 5

    RNZ Morning Report interviewed a politics professor from Nottingham about UK Labour losing its traditional but Brexit-supporting northern seats (6m) https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018727062/uk-labour-s-red-wall-crumbles-in-heavy-election-defeat

    I heard someone else in passing this morning saying it was Labour's voters staying home rather than switching to another party. Someone else may have a link about that, but it fits with past NZ elections.

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    I tend to view the troubles of the Left as quality assurance issues, which always create a bit of difficulty when they involve less than perfectly concrete issues.

    Because the wealthy are a small and decreasing minority in our society, electoral problems on the Left indicate a failure to address the core concerns of their constituency.

    It tends to happen because those concerns are not acceptable to our ostensible representatives – Brexit in the UK and mass immigration in NZ are cleavage points between the middle class and mass left. Failing to address these issues clearly and meaningfully is potentially electorally fatal. They make poor hills for the Left to die on.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      I guess Ash Sarkar and Sarah Ditum – two well educated, London living women – bitterly arguing about who better understands northern working class men kinda sums up the utter cluelessness of the British media class. And I say that as a big fan of Ash Sarkar.

  7. Climaction 7

    a dry, incisive and intellectual look at the issues facing the left in the UK general election Weka. 

    Thank you for this. 

    Far better than the piece DPF has done from a conservative viewpoint over on kiwiblog.

    [I see that you have failed to respond to repeated moderation requests and somehow slipped through the Pre-Moderation filter. Unfortunately, for you, I try to be consistent and can be very persistent. Take three weeks off, a week for each assertion you made without supporting link, even when prompted. I’d also suggest you take this on the chin because you have wasted too much moderation time already and you have shown disrespect for my patience towards you. In other words, you got off lightly – Incognito]

    [“I can’t find all these mod requests? can you please provide a link. the only one i did find i replied too.”

    Are you kidding me? When I moderate, I always leave a reply and all you need to do is read the replies to your comments. Only trolls spray and walk away. Anyway, because you said “please”: /the-freedom-to-lie-during-an-election-campaign/#comment-1672444, /the-freedom-to-lie-during-an-election-campaign/#comment-1672478, /open-mike-13-12-2019/#comment-1672874, /the-freedom-to-lie-during-an-election-campaign/#comment-1672999 – Incognito]

    • Incognito 7.1

      See my Moderation note @ 8:53 AM.

    • Paddington 7.2

      Weka's commentary is very good, but don't be in such a hurry to dismiss DPF's piece.  He rightly identifies two of the key issues as 1. Brexit and 2. the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn ("Jeremy Corbyn was a uniquely awful opponent"), which ties in with Weka's follow up comment here /listening-to-left-wing-dissent/#comment-1673663.

      • Bearded Git 7.2.1

        …and when they asked people what they didn't like about Corbyn they would say:

        1. His position on Brexit-so this should be added to the "Brexit" reason why they did not vote Labour and taken off the "Corbyn" reason.

        2. Corbyn's antisemitism-which was a myth created and perpetuated by numerous lies in the right-wing media as a slur against Corbyn.  

        I do think that the issue of immigration, and Boris's promise to clamp down on this played very well to the Labour voters. While this is also part of Brexit, it is a big issue in northern towns with the perception they were full of Polish plumbers.



        • Paddington

          1. Agreed.

          2. If, and I say if, the narrative about Jeremy Corbyn being anti-semitic was a "myth created and perpetuated by numerous lies in the right-wing media", then he did a really poor job refuting it.  Perhaps that's because that narrative originated from within the party itself, rather than the right wing media.

          • Nic the NZer

            Funny thing about proving the negative 'Corbyn is not antisemitic'. Turns out its virtually impossible. Where as proving a positive only fails due to there being no evidence what-so-ever of it being true.

            • Paddington

              You are right about proving a negative, of course, however here's the problem.  The UK Labour Party has had problems with anti-semitism, and these problems are being openly exposed by people within the party, and seem to have becoem worse under Corbyn's leadership (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/anti-semitism-claims-hound-u-k-s-labour-party-despite-n781621).

              • McFlock

                I think it got worse post-dolt45 and with the brexit jingoism. Fuckwits generally feel more comfortable to express themselves openly.

                But Labour failed to come down on it like a ton of bricks, and it festered away. Think University of Auckland's denialism as opposed to Auckland transport's zero tolerance.

                I'm not even sure how much power Corbyn had to deal with e.g. comments in branch meetings. There is a systemic issue in UK Labour that pissed off some members and was exploited happily by the tories, including trying as hard as possible to transfer that problem over to Corbyn personally, in my opinion.


                • Paddington

                  Good points.  I'm not a fan of Corbyn or his politics, but once a label like 'anti-semitism' is thrown around, and when some within his own party doing the 'throwing', no amount of teflon is enough.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, they're pushing shit uphill throwing that label at Sanders, because it's not valid at all.

                    But when members at all levels were complaining about antisemitism and their complaints not being addressed, that was a mud pit Corbyn was standing close to.

                    Every party has dickheads turning up. The question is whether those dickheads have been tacitly accepted, or challenged when their dickheadedness has come to the fore. I've been at branch meetings where someone has made excellent points, then suddenly takes a turn towards bad territory (racism, calls for violence, whatever) – you know you're in a good party when the tone of the audience goes from agreement to "no" when a speaker starts going into that territory.


              • Nic the NZer

                Good, so we have already established that this is based on an evidence free smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. You've already come a long way.

                • Paddington

                  One of the comments I was responding to was the claim that Jeremy Corbyn being anti-semitic was a "myth created and perpetuated by numerous lies in the right-wing media".

                  My point is that claims of anti-semitism have come from inside the Labour Party, and appear to have become worse under Corbyn's leadership.  That isn't 'evidence', as such, of Corbyn's anti-semitism, however it is evidence that, if it is a myth, not all of the blame can be laid at the feet of the right-wing media.

          • SPC

            Two factions in the caucus wanted Corbyn gone.

            Neither wanted the party controlled by the left wing membership. One used blocking Brexit and getting the voters to punish Corbyn for this to get back control of the leadership of the party. The other assisted them because they knew the left of the Labour Party was the only one criticising Israel and opposing annexation of 1967 occupied territory. They provided the Blairites and the MSM with an excuse for their attacks. 

    • Incognito 7.3

      See my second Moderation note @ 8:53 AM.

  8. For the most part I agree with your post, but don't follow this bit:

    From my green edge perspective Brexit always looked like the one rare chance the UK had of stopping or at least slowing the happy death cult of neoliberalism.

    I keep seeing this from Brexit supporters on the left, but don't see how it makes sense.  The Brexit referendum was an artifact of Tory concerns that the EU is too much of a brake on neoliberalism, and during the referendum campaign the right spent a lot of money on propaganda lies in support of Brexit exactly because it would remove that perceived brake on neo-liberalism.  The outcome of Brexit is going to be massive gains for UK neoliberals at the expense of the "commoners," and the removal of the UK from any climate change reduction measures the EU may implement. So, how was the referendum ever an opportunity to stop or slow down neoliberalism?

    • Nic the NZer 8.1

      The EU in itself need not be a neoliberal institution, however the Eurozone project and the way the European states run economic policy are.

      For examples the EU is still in the process of negotiating a trade deal which will be enforced on the members with little ability for states to resist.

      In line with the Labour manifesto many forms of industry nationalisation are prevented.

      And you may think the Eurozone is irrelevant to the UK, until your a country like Scotland who may want to join independently.

      Since we probably dont share a definition of neoliberalism you can take mine to be, the running of all institutions with the profit motive as a primary responsibility. The EUs preferred economic policy is all about that.

    • weka 8.2

      I'm not sure it was/is, but there was/is a chance that it might nobble the UK economy and slow growth. Not sure I would call my position a left wing support of Brexit, so much as a pointer to the problems of the left wing arguments against Brexit that suddenly seemed to be implying that neoliberalism wasn't so bad after all, hence no real plan to address it in the context of the disenfranchised Brits. In that sense the vote on Thurs makes a lot more sense, not because people were thinking this line, but because they could see that Remain was going to ignore them, again.

      There's some kind of sorting mechanism there, where the people that say that neoliberalism is bad for people don't seem to make the connection with the things they want from Remain being the things that neoliberalism enables (growth and climate destroying standards of living being the obvious ones). Or maybe I'm over-estimating the left wing criticism of neoliberalism.


      • pat 8.2.1

        " Or maybe I'm over-estimating the left wing criticism of neoliberalism."

        Suspect its more a case of over estimating the depth of engagement of the majority of voters, left, right or centre

      • Psycho Milt 8.2.2

        In that sense the vote on Thurs makes a lot more sense, not because people were thinking this line, but because they could see that Remain was going to ignore them, again.

        I hadn't thought of it like that, and yes it does make sense.  I've been thinking in terms of Brexit being bad for working class Brits in various ways and it therefore being counter-intuitive for them to support it, but if a working class person's assessment of the arguments against Brexit amount to "the rest of us were happy with the status quo that was causing you such problems and we'd like that status quo to remain in place,"  voting for that status quo to continue would have no appeal at all.

        • weka

          Yep, that's how I'm reading it. As a middle class person whose disability has meant I've had one foot in the underclass for several decades because of neoliberal policies from both Labour and National, I have more sympathy for the position than many other liberals.

    • weka 8.3

      Btw PM, thanks for reading that actual post and responding to that.

      • Anne 8.3.1

        weka I read your post but don’t fully agree with your take on the linked interview.

        Imo, the gentleman proved my point @ 2.2. He had lost the plot. There he was essentially blaming Labour for the parlous state of the country while giving his vote to the very people who were responsible.

        Ok, its not quite that simple and sectors within Labour played a major role in destroying their chance of success, but I've been down the road of ongoing character assassination and I know how easy it is to convince people of a lie/lies – even among those who should know better.

        As for the young woman, she came across as genuinely shocked and in a brief interview like that was not given a chance to properly explain why. 

        I agree with Pat @8.2.1. It happens here too. Labour and other centre-left parties always over-estimate the depth of engagement of the majority of voters. They produce lengthy manifestos and expect the voters will read them and no-one does. They get on telly/radio and fire away on all cylinders with detailed versions about what they plan to do and expect viewers and listeners to listen and no-one does – except for a dedicated few.

        Helen Clark had the right idea – a pledge card with half a dozen sound-bites. Yes, it was not without subsequent controversy but that's another story and was based on Nat “mis-truths” anyway.

        • weka


          Imo, the gentleman proved my point @ 2.2. He had lost the plot. There he was essentially blaming Labour for the parlous state of the country while giving his vote to the very people who were responsible.

          I didn't hear him blaming Labour for the state of the country, I heard him blaming Labour for the state of Labour, and saying he wasn't wanting to trust them to be in govt. I disagree with him (I think whatever Labour's level of competency, they're not going to fail as a govt), but the point here isn't what I think. It's what he thinks and what he does with his vote.

          Lefties calling him deluded is hardly likely to entice him to voting Labour again.

          I also think that while I support Corbyn's policy agenda, you can't force people to that, and the big issue here is the failure to get more people on board. Again, saying they've lost the plot and were stupidly susceptible to propaganda doesn't strike me as a way to win them back. We're not talking swing voters here, we're talking core Labour vote.

        • weka

          Re the young woman, you did get that I said both her and the older man were right, right?

          The problem is that the identity politics, liberal side of Labour are not listening to the more conservative side, and this is causing problems. Even worse, you should see how scathing some of the Labour-voting, socialist lefties are of Owen Jones, Momentum and so on at the moment.

          It's really complex, and I think the lack of ability to accommodate difference is going to be a huge problem going forward.

          • Anne

            Yes, but by blaming Labour for the state of Labour he was ignoring the reasons behind the perceived "state of Labour". Setting aside the bickering and undermining by the Blairites et al, the reasons were external and based on lies, innuendo and sabotage. That is where he "lost the plot". I used that expression not in the sense he was stupid or deluded – he didn't come across as either – but rather it is an unfortunate truism. However in the meelee of media generated claims and counter claims it's not surprising.  He was conned might have been a better way of putting it.

            Yes, I saw your comment about both being right. The young woman looked a nice person who was obviously upset so I was just trying to give her a bit of leeway.

            I agree with your analysis more than I disagree. I usually do.

            • weka

              What I'm suggesting is that in addition to the massive problems with the MSM and propaganda machines, we also acknowledge that the divisions in UK Labour matter to a significant chunk of voters and that we start listening instead of marginalising that.

              You might see those voters as conned, but I think it's still a patronising approach unlikely to endear them to voting Labour again. In terms of losing the plot, I think he read the novel and came to different conclusions than you and I, presumably because he has a different set of values and ways of making sense of the world. My argument here is that instead of framing those people as wrong, we allow them their politics and instead look at how to work across that difference.

              It's a basic principle of treating people as we would want to be treated.

              Yes, the interview of both was very short. A springboard for discussion.

              • Anne

                It was not my intention to sound patronising. All I was trying to point out is that – whether we like it or not – a lot of people seem to have got the situation wrong. It was not their fault because they had so much crap flung at them, it isn't surprising they became confused. If, I'd been in their shoes I would have been confused too.

                And I agree with the comment in your post:

                The lack of empathy comment from the young liberal woman in the video, it’s not that she is wrong, it’s that they’re both right but she is probably the one with the lesser ability to understand or accept the other.

                I put that down to youth, lack of experience and a genuine misunderstanding which will probably correct itself in time.

                • weka

                  It was not my intention to sound patronising. All I was trying to point out is that – whether we like it or not – a lot of people seem to have got the situation wrong. It was not their fault because they had so much crap flung at them, it isn't surprising they became confused. If, I'd been in their shoes I would have been confused too.

                  I'm sure it's not your intention to be patronising Anne. I guess I don't get how you can be basically saying that they were duped and not see that as patronising. I'm sure that there are people who weren't paying attention and just were influenced by the lies and MSM bias. But to suggest that all those people who voted Labour in the past and didn't this time were somehow stupid, rather than having legitimate reasons, seems hugely problematic. I don't see how this will lead to people voting Labour again. If the hope is that the left can somehow now control the MSM and social media, I think we're fucked. I think our hope lies in building bridges with people who are eg swing voters so that there is more trust. Otherwise it looks like telling them their concerns don't matter.

                  • Anne

                    Have you never been duped weka?  I have. More than once. It can have a devastating effect too once you realise you've been conned. And I'm not stupid. Nor are most of the people I have known who also succumbed to liars, scoundrels and thugs of one kind or another. 

                    If you've been the victim of all three its easy to see how others can be  easily fooled. It has little to do with stupidity as anyone who has been on the receiving end could tell you. It happens just as much in politics as any other walk of life.

                    oops: quick amendment. There are stupid people who spend their lives being conned and never know it. They can be found in all walks of life but it’s not them i’m talking about.

                    • weka

                      When you were duped were all the people around you also?

                      I guess the point of difference here is that I'm not willing to assume that most of the people who shifted their vote from Labour were duped, nor why we might want to assume that any individual has been eg the man in the video. I can't see any evidence for that. He may well have been, or his concerns might be legitimate.

        • RedLogix

          And as it happens I still have a full set of those pledge cards Anne devil

          • Anne

            Love to see them again. A reminder of how you should run a campaign. Keep it simple. 😎

  9. FPP sucks

    Huge generational rift


    • SPC 9.1

      Yup so Owen Jones was right about the left mobilising the young to supporting Labour. 

      The only reason why their 2019 vote was higher than 2015 and 2010 – after the internal division within the caucus opposed to Corbyn's leadership.  

  10. Jimmy 10

    I don't know much about UK politics, but it seems to me that while Labour had Jeremy Corbyn as leader, they never really had a chance. In fact, is it comparable to here in NZ when Andrew Little was leading Labour, I think if he had lead Labour in to the 2017 election, we would now definitely have a National lead government. I presume UK Labour have no person like Jacinda to 'save' them. 

    • soddenleaf 10.1

      Labour wasn't clear that's why we got a coalition. Johnson kept it simple, get brexit done fed into the propaganda of election fatigue and spend up on the NHS fed into the winter stay at home Labour voter. Labour doesn't have a game, either here or the UK.

      I, after a few days of thought, had a little chuckle because this was the best outcome. Aside, of course, Johnston giving the two finger salute to all those who stayed at home and effectively voted for him. But hey you can see why he is grumpy, he can't got far off the center with so many bleeding new MPs trying to w in over former Labour seats…

      And then on Scotland, they won but lost, they lost as one everyone is going to want to sit around for a decade to see how Brexit shakes out. Sure position yourself angry so London busy your silence, but hey, it's all good for the union.

      So I chuckle, The Tories are forced to the left, locked in fearing Annoying Labour voters come out in five years. Labour, likewise, have swallowed and choked on stupid and can come out with such lines as Failed Brexit, not Brexiting fast enough, and my fav full integration referendum dump the pound, we thrust the electorate, why don't you? did your not want Brexit.

      It's always been easier to destroy, so opposition to this current false flag govt in Downing street, with only be a joy if they had any labour balls. On that issue, finally find a female leader of the UK Labour party.

      Oh, on CC, the frog isn't noticing the rising heat, and it's body is starting to shutdow, the signal to jump out of the heating pot isn't firing. Enjoy the collapse of civilization, by buying as much carbon as you can ,  only then will they kick themselves into action. It's the old story, good intentions is the worst kind of evil, where helping mitigates the crisis and so insures the crisis happens.

    • mikesh 10.2

      As much as I like Jacinda, I would rather see Jeremy Corbyn than her leading the NZ Labour Party. Perhaps we should ask him to emigrate. 

      • Jimmy 10.2.1

        I can understand your thinking on Labour leader, but I believe if Corbyn lead the NZ Labour party, I think you would see a slide in the polls for Labour of at least 10%. I honestly believe Jacinda is that valuable to Labour but she is certainly not a traditional Labour party type leader.

        • greywarshark

          Oh dear.   Getting nostalgic about 'a traditional Labour party type leader'.    Define! and state last trad….leader.

          • Jimmy

            Helen Clark. A far stronger willed and decisive leader. If she was leader now, I think there would be a few changes eg. Twyford would no longer be there. And probably neither would ILG after the way he handled Sroubrek. 

  11. mauī 11

    It's quite simple. The election was over Brexit and Labour had possibly the most stupid and odious policy of all asking people – "You know when you said you wanted to leave the EU… well, are you really, really sure you want to do that?"

    Labour sides with the elite and the Conservatives make hay with the disenfranchised vote. The Conservatives are now better positioned to become a left wing force than Labour, how pathetic is that.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Very insightful, that first paragraph.  Labour elite patronising the working class, apparently assuming the workers lack the emotional intelligence to notice it!  So enough workers got pissed off enough to vote Tory.

      Dunno about Boris doing anything leftist tho.  Centrist, yes.  Workers mainly vote for govts that increase their sense of well-being, thus the old trickle-down gets recycled.  Brexit will force business back into being more nimble, but new jobs take time…

  12. Siobhan 12

    I'm not normally a pedant about such things..but should we assume you meant to put speech marks around..

    "actually, there were solid reasons for abandoning Labour, this is why I did." ?

    As for Brexit..its very weird, so much narrative has been .."oh, they* regret voting leave..we should have another referendum and get the correct vote"..NOW were being told Labour lost because of the perception that they didn't support enacting leave..a situation further confused by Corbyns history of wanting to leave..there's a lot of dots around Brexit and the election and none of them really join up..

    Also interesting is the unrelentingly negative coverage of Corbyn by the press, apparently, according to the press and the establishment intellectuals,  not a factor in the election…at least I've yet to see it mentioned…and they wonder why they can't attract advertising..



    *The Poors.



    • weka 12.1

      I'm not normally a pedant about such things..but should we assume you meant to put speech marks around..

      "actually, there were solid reasons for abandoning Labour, this is why I did." ?

      Only if you don't read the whole sentence (but I'd use single quotation marks, because it's not an actual quote).

    • weka 12.2

      As for Brexit..its very weird, so much narrative has been .."oh, they* regret voting leave..we should have another referendum and get the correct vote"..NOW were being told Labour lost because of the perception that they didn't support enacting leave..a situation further confused by Corbyns history of wanting to leave..there's a lot of dots around Brexit and the election and none of them really join up..

      Which is why I was more interested in listening to the voices of people that shifted from voting Labour to something else. Even with Brexit as a driver, the reasons are going to be complex and intersecting, not simple.

      • soddenleaf 12.2.1

        What, when, Where, why, whom. Austerity, fedup, n.England, stuff them, Labour voters. The Tories saw a opportunity to go fishing, brexit. Enough Fedup, stuff the economy it ain't working for me, seized on brexit. Then last week they stayed home and collapsed the Lab vote. Labour did not take a position on Brexit, did not even try to muddy the water when they didn't, no fight. Labour should have declared they respected the decision, and in tens years time have a full, dump the pound, intergate fully EU refeendum. Force the middle to decide did they really want to leave… ..but labour had no game. Austerity was the fuel, brexit the oxygen, and Cornyn the heat that brunt his house down.

      • Pierre 12.2.2

        I found this letter from Laura Pidcock a painfully honest, and melancholic, account of why some voters didn't vote for Labour. And she avoids the post-election blame game which people have been playing in the media.

        We'll have that Ministry of Employment Rights one day 🙁

    • Sacha 12.3

      Labour lost because of the perception that they didn't support enacting leave

      Wasn't it that they refused to commit to any stance on the matter?


      • SPC 12.3.1

        Most of the caucus did not like the 2016 result, and would have preferred the half exit – continuation in the customs union and single market after leaving the EU.

        They basically said they (in government) would negotiate such a deal with the EU and then put it to the people for their consent. Corbyn said he would be neutral in that referendum rather than promote the deal to the people. 

        It was never going to impress those Labour voters who voted UKIP in 2015 and or Brexit in 2016 (returned to Labour in 2017) . And their vote this time demonstrated that.

        Corbyn's mistake was allowing this election to take place, because holding in any election before Brexit was implemented was always going to cost Labour seats. 

  13. RedLogix 13

    Typing on phone so I'll confine myself to offering my sincere appreciation for your OP weka. 

    A few other contributors here would do well to read it again and contemplate.

    • gsays 13.1

      Hear, hear.

      A good read that gives some flavour to the mental chewing gum.

      Mmmm.. ugly metaphor but there you go.

  14. Ad 14

    Nicely structured post Weka.

  15. adam 15


    Nothing says support for the establishment, than support for the establishment. 

    What a load of crap all in one post – what amount of people just did not vote?  

    How many of the so called liberal left led the charge to attack and undermine the labour party?

    Ever see a publication called the guardian? 

    How many so called lefty liberals feel for anything the pop media feed them? 

    Russia did it!  

    So many conspiracy theories, and so many of the self identifying left who then went on to repeat said conspiracy theories. 

    So many smears, and so many of self identifying left who then went on to repeat said smears.   

    But, no account of the actual numbers of people who voted left (a majority by the way) 

    Just more of the same crap we got from the democrats in the USA – blame the voters, not a broken system and never, never, never – blame the liberal sycophants who hold that broken system up. 


    • weka 15.1

      I didn't blame the voters. In fact I went to a lot of trouble to not apportion blame to specific classes of people because it's clear to me that a left intent on eating itself will be the death of us.

      It's so interesting to see which lefties fail to grasp the intent of the post and then go on to attack other lefties, but utterly fail to explain or demonstrate how attacking other lefties will resolve the problem they perceive to be at fault. This seems to be fairly consistent across the spectrum of the left (lefties, liberals, centrists). Which is why I wrote the post.

      We all know the system is broken adam. Equally obvious are the voting numbers on the left and the problems with FPP. Likewise all the analysis of MSM and whatever.

      What I'm suggesting is that instead of various lw factions trying to claim the moral and intellectual high ground on what to do about that and thus gifting power to the right because we have no foundation for collective action, we might want to take the time to learn how to relate with each other again and then figure out how to work together. Left wing outrage, no matter how righteous, isn't giving us the results we want.


      • Siobhan 15.1.2

        I'd be interested to know what people think a compromising, co operative, pragmatic 'Left' (Labour) has achieved since the 80's? be it in the UK or NZ.

        • weka

          Hard to know what you are asking there Siobhan. Are you asking about the Labour Party or the left?

        • Chris

          In New Zealand Labour's simply held the baton until the next National government's been ready to govern again.

        • KJT

          1984 to 1990 Labour turned on us.

          Introduced the totally ideological right wing, Neo-liberal unfortunate experiment.

          Funny, when embracing the rabid right wing veiws they did then, there was no concern about re-electability.

          Rather a push to get it done, before voters realized they had been royally, shafted.

          It was such a betrayal that many voted National to get rid of them after only two terms.

          Of course, National doubled down with Richardsons attack on the poor and unemployed, begun by Labour.

      • SPC 15.1.3

        Weka – the neo-liberals in the Labour cuacus refused to back left wing leadership of their party foisted on them by their party members. There is no coming back from this.

        This caucus will seek to take back control of the party and impose a centrist policy to be the alternative neo-liberal regime to the Tories in 2022. 

        The left have only one choice, form a New Labour Alliance Party, take back the North and Midlands and force Blairites to merge with the LD to survive. N.O.O.  

        • The Al1en

          The current labour party have been under the grip of momentum and unite for two general elections, and they've tanked this last one and the last euro and council votes.


          • SPC

            They did OK in 2017. 

            In this last one they ran with a policy not popular with the working class in the Midlands and North and with a leader opposed by most of his own caucus. Voters punish disunity. 

            The left have no alternative if they do not want to be undermined or subjugated within Labour – whose own MP's are not of, by and for the working class. 

            • The Al1en

              A bit arrogant to suggest only working class people come from the north and midlands, and for every punish disunity, I’ll raise you a disliked, weak leadership.
              And as for that disloyalty, it didn’t stop Cameron or May winning with a split party engaging in open warfare.

              • SPC

                Trying to guilt trip me by accusing me of being arrogant?

                That the working class of the Midlands and the North withdrew support from Labour has been the story in the UK media since the election. 

                Parties get punished for disloyalty, saying the leader deserved disloyalty – and then should take the blame for the result is downright cynical. 

                • The Al1en

                  So, anytime you want to know about the staunch, working class boroughs of South London, where labour have drawn support for generations, you just give me a holler. 

                  The real story however, is why those cosmopolitan, diverse communities in the capital, some poorer than sh1t and rivalling any of those former northern bastions for lack of opportunity, decided to stick with labour and didn't defect to a party using immigration as a divide and conquer weapon to beat the vulnerable?

                  A hint: Deep down they’re not racist as fu*k little Englanders

                  • SPC

                    Wow, so there is a working class in England outside of the M and N ….

                    If you wanna know why there was less impact in the other areas, its because of reinforcement effect. Barking may have had some UKIP voting in 2015 and for Brexit 2016, but the wider (and more diverse) London community was for Remain – so their connection to the local debate was their class interest not Brexit solidarity. And also the strong youth vote for Labour. 

                    Thanks for denigrating me again by assuming I needed the hint. Is this why the real left needs protecting from the urban liberal woke as much as anyone else. Anti-semitic, arrogant needs a hint about not to accuse working class voters of being racists.

                    • The Al1en

                      With regards to the Brexit angle, I suspect the fact London is so cosmopolitan, the tory tactic of division was negated. Also, as I've mentioned elsewhere about Corbyn's mismanagement of the issue, if he had come out as the leaver he his, instead of trying to keep a foot in each door, he may have held on to some northern seats, but the urban working classes would have deserted him too, though I'm pretty confident not to the anti immigrant party.

                      To your edit: “urban liberal woke” lol
                      Tories voted for Brexit because they’re mainly racist anti immigrant little Englanders. Why do you think those ex labour people are any different now when they’ve voted tory, Ukip or Brexit party, BNP, EDL?

                      Of course not all who switched sides are like that, some just really disliked Corbyn, ultra left policies and inability to manage a piss up in a brewery.

                • The Al1en

                  That the working class of the Midlands and the North withdrew support from Labour has been the story in the UK media since the election. 

                  Sure, as has the dislike for Corbyn amongst former labour voters, but you seem to be ignoring that for some reason, preferring to blame anyone and everyone else instead. 

      • adam 15.1.4

        As I don't consider liberals to be left, I find your weak analysis just that, weak.  

        What moral high ground, I didn't undermine the UK labour party in any way on this site – I didn't attack the former leader like some authors on this site did. Nor have I ever pushed any of the bat shit crazy conspiracy theories which have been commonplace here. 

        The reality is the anti-state left and the statist left can't work together – I understand that well. That does not mean I won't point out that you statists are being utterly stupid and/or dishonest. 

        The thing I find you lot miss is when a group within the statist left keep stabbing you in the back you keep letting them.  It's truly odd.  

        Hard to talk unity when one side is bat shit crazy woke, holds a knife and is willing to use it. When the other side is bleeding all over the floor, going just one more compromise – It's a joke. 

        Like I said in another post – the reality is we are moving towards eco-fascism. And the liberals are the ones who will make sure that happens. They can't stand working class people having opinions or actually thinking for themselves.  


        • weka

          so what's the plan adam? If your position is that the two groups you perceive as critical can't work together, what is the basis of political progress?

          Btw, I'm not talking about unity. My sense is that you've largely missed what I am saying.

          • Ad

            I'm just impressed that Adam loathes us in currently close to equal measure. 

          • adam

            There is no plan – eco fascism is going to win. Liberals are going to make sure of it. 

            You really don't get the criticism do you . My sense is that you completely missed what I was saying.  


      • Bill 15.1.5

        There is absolutely no way to execute a left wing economic policy if you're operating within a liberal economic framework. UK Labour (before Corbyn) accepted and did not challenge the dominant liberal framework. Like NZ Labour today, UK Labour, in adopting liberal economic ideology had no option but to ditch class in favour of advancing inherently divisive "identity" politics. (Liberalism does not and can not acknowledge class – it's revolves around notions of the individual and has nothing to say about collective experience)

        Moving on.

        The political "normal" of the past 40 years has shifted so far beyond the edges of social democracy and into the liberal sphere, that the term "centrist" makes no sense in relation to speaking of "left".

        And as for "liberal", well obviously, liberal is that step out beyond social democracy into an ideology that denies even society as a really existing thing (there are only individuals and families….and markets).

        Meanwhile, all left political thought of whatever hue or stripe embodies an understanding of class.

        I'll away and leave any centrists or liberals to their thinking caps….



    • SHG 15.2

      blame the voters, not a broken system

      Exactly, working class voters need to be excluded from voting, they’re idiots

  16. Billy 16

    A lot of prominent left wing voices, largely belonging to people whose lifestyles are far from working class, spend a great deal of time mocking, deriding and arguing for the sidelining of men – who, many of the isolated, ignored and put upon are told – form a self-interested lobby group that includes them, within society as a whole.

    So run the pronouncements of the liberal red carpet set who have become so close to the Labour Party and the Prime Minister that one might wonder whether they form a new organ of the state, having the power, as they do, to socially embarrass and needle anyone who dares to challenge power or question the liberal narrative. Ah, but then, they are "activists".  

    Such power and influence is typically used to single out an aberrant citizen or character or minor renown who is held up as a symptom of a cultural problem – say, casual racism – that must be gotten rid of. That criticism may include criticism of institutions, but the criticisms are almost always made, often through newspaper columns, by celebrities who have it all and are in very close proximity to power, and often by personal friends of the PM.

    This is what many ordinary men, and women see, I would fathom, when they look at “Labour”. The red carpet friends of the PM lecturing people like them who have screwed up in often rather minor ways, with little sympathy and understanding, while posing as activists.

    It’s one thing to be told off my Helen Kelly, it’s another to be sniffed at by Lizzie Marvelly.

    When was the last time a union boss got a public airing, and in defense of ordinary workers?

    • Billy 16.1

      My point is that the public facing "Labour activists" are beautiful, wealthy celebrities who have their guns pointed at ordinary saps not at the rich and powerful, and rarely at institutions. Not only that but they are mocked all the while. Of course they are going to tell you to shove it in exercising the relatively little power they have at the voting booth. Labour’s got the image problem in some quarters and you won’t solve it by slathering on yet more make up and pracing about in high heels at hoity-toity functions talking about kindness when mocking working class men is bread and butter.

      • Billy 16.1.1

        Good was always synonymous with noble, noble the noblesse.

        Sorry for my rough, embarrassing contribution. I will get with the program and humbly recognize the moral superiority of my betters, the New Noblesse.

        • Dennis Frank

          No, don't.  They ain't your betters & they don't actually have any moral superiority.  Don't allow their pretence to fool you!

          The problem of factionalism on the left is due to lack of motivation to forge common ground.  All they really share is dislike of the political right.  Not enough to go on – but they've been failing to learn the lesson since the 1970s.

          • Obtrectator

            Make that the 1930s. The factions on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War took eventual victory over the Nationalists for granted, and fought each other far more ferociously than they ever did Franco’s mob.

  17. Olwyn 17

    Successful alliances require some level of shared interest or at least shared concern. For example. the alliance between social liberals and the economic left in the '70's rested on the establishment being understood as both socially and economically conservative. So both groups were able to unite in pushing against the same opposition, sometimes with different ends in mind. 

    The neoliberal establishment, by comparison, tacitly accepts social liberalism but is very hostile toward working class demands.  The "flexible workforce" is a euphemism for "the powerless workforce." So, one lot is allowed at the table and the other is not, which makes it hard to maintain a good faith, trustworthy alliance. That is why Corbyn (like Cunliffe here, years earlier) ended up getting hobbled by his own party, and lost the trust of working class voters because of it. Of course Brexit played a big part, but also, someone who is hobbled cannot be relied on to follow through on their policies, or even retain their leadership once the dust has settled. Labour politicians were allegedly seen in London celebrating their election loss, since it meant they were at last free of Corbyn. 

    As long as liberals fear that real pressure to represent the working class will cost them their place at the table, and the working class are convinced they need real change for things to improve, it is hard to see where shared interests can be established. The electorate itself is similarly divided between those who do fear that change will put what they have at risk, and those whose only hope is change. 

    I do not buy into the story that the electorate just didn't take to this or that person; it normally just means that the party and their friends in the media are averse to promoting them. 

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      Yes, your penultimate paragraph gets to the crux of the issue.  Used to be that a manifesto provided the rationale for change, so everyone could get their heads around the basis for working together.  Attention spans are too short for that to work now – nobody would read it. 

      Labour is a party consisting of a negligible proportion of labourers, so the traditional basis for identification is non-existent.  Hasn't been there most of my life, and I'm 70.  So the only way Labour can simultaneously represent affluent middle-class & poor workers is niche-marketing to each separately, via policies tailored to serve both.  That ad-hoc strategy only gets Labour into govt when voter disgust with the alternative escalates above a critical threshold.

    • Anne 17.2

      I do not buy into the story that the electorate just didn't take to this or that person; it normally just means that the party and their friends in the media are averse to promoting them. 

      Spot on. They did it to Corbyn and went one step further… they politically assassinated him. And yes, they did it to Cunliffe too and I haven't forgotten who 'they' were.

      Nice to see you Olwyn. Your comments are always worth reading twice. 🙂

    • Stuart Munro. 17.3

      Well put.

  18. SPC 18

    How, why did those people vote Tory … 

    People first voted for UKIP to realise a referendum, then for Brexit. Then they watch Labour obstruct May's Brexit and support continued links to the customs union and single market as their preferred negotiation position. 

    Labour offered in government to negotiate such a deal and then propose it to the people in a referendum. Labour voters who wanted Brexit now simply short circuited that by preventing Labour winning the election. 

    One thing though – Labour still got more votes than in 2010 (just beat LD for second) and 2015 (UKIP 12%) . 

    • The Al1en 18.1

      Labour in 2010 were 6% ahead of the lib dems and 7% behind the cons, and they had 55 more mps than they have now.

      In 2015 they were on 30.4%, 6.4% behind the tories, and 18% clear of third place, and Ed ended up with 29 seats more than Corbyn.

  19. SPC 19

    I wonder how many of those who said leadership were influenced by Labour MP's who basically said he was not the choice of our caucus and we do not want him as leader so do not vote for the party so we can get rid of him and all his lefties with him. 

    Tom Watson (leader of the caucus resistance) is now trying to claim it was the left wing manifesto that was the problem … 

  20. Exkiwiforces 20

    This may hurt your feelings for those on the Woke Left.

    To all you latte soy drinking tofu eating over educated middle class Muppets etc etc. This what happens when you Insult, ignored the working-class and its values with your airiy fairy woke left B/S.

    Labour used to stand for the train driver, the storeman/ storeperson, the Hospital worker, the shop assistants, manual worker and, those of the lower ranks/ deck of the 1st responders and the of Military etc etc, and Labour now stands for the middle class issues that excite the inner city woke left.

    We the working-class gave the woke left of the party a punishment for its arrogance on Brexit. We the working-class voted for Brexit and we voted to leave, but we were treated with such disdain from the party that our forebearers established many moons ago which were based on good old fashion Methodist, Presbyterian and Quaker values.

    “You want to leave?

    No, you must be stupid.

    And so, we’re are going to ignore you.

    Or else, we’re going to ask you to again, until you give us the result we want.

    The vote we think is best for you actually”.

    Well, we have news for you woke left clowns and we think its bloody rude, to ask for public what they want and then tell them they are stupid for making their choice.

    These days Labour stands for issues that truly seem to excite the woke left these days are fringe issues. Unlike the issues that matter to us working-class, which are jobs with good conditions, with reasonable hours and holiday pay etc. But todays Labour Party stands for trivial and divisive things.

    And remember we the working-class fought bloody hard for the right to vote. We aren’t about to let it be trashed by over-educated tossers in the newly PC Woke Left Labour Party. This revolt was coming weather its was National/ Torrie or the Woke Left PC Labour/ Green, we are voting to protect our democracy from the assaults of an out of touch elite.


    I was born with red socks and read underwear.

    Look up my great great Grandfather Frank Henry Sherman or my,

    2x or 3x Great Uncle Aneurin Bevan


    It’s shame my Great Grand Father got his name trashed by the likes of McLagan and his fellow travellers, when he stood up to McLagan on a number of issues before he resigned from the Miners Union in Blackball, before his final show down with McLagan and co in Blackball. My Great Grandfather was probably would’ve been one of the greatness Trade Unionists that NZ would’ve had, hadn’t his name been trashed by the likes of McLagan and his fellow travellers.

    I vote Labour and my list vote goes to NZF to keep you woke left Muppets in check. 

    • SPC 20.1

      Just one thing, it was the of by and for the middle class "urban liberal" centrists in Labour, not the left, behind Labour's policy of new referendum on Brexit. And they intend to use this result to get rid of the left and retake control of the leadership of the party. 

      I find it interesting that the term left and urban liberal woke get conflated, as they are not synonymous. That's the propaganda of the media of the Christian conservative capitalist Republican and Christian capitalist Tory (the God, mammon and imperial fortresses Atlantic brotherhood) to label political opponents as the urban liberal/liberal left/UnAmerican fellow traveller/woke liberal left/woke left.

      I sure your disdain for urban liberals who manage the Blairite/Clark/Ardern centrist regime, while claiming to represent the underclass (they fight just as hard as the right to keep the left out of power – as the UK now demonstrates). But I vote Greens and otherwise would advocate for a revival of the New Labour/Alliance (many of the gains of 1999-2008 were because of them). 

      • Bill 20.1.1

        Left ain't 'woke'. Ever. 'Woke' is a subjugation of class under a thousand and one warring identities (and tofu).

        • Stuart Munro.

          You're right of course – but tofu is different in different contexts.

          In Korea, tofu is proletarian and authentic, the product of the hardworking rural poor. Freshly prepared it really is something nice to eat – rather than being an unpalatable metaphor for liberal guilt 

    • RedLogix 20.2

      I've had many an ugly exchange with the so called 'woke' left over the years. Long before I even heard the word.  But I always respected their idealism; wounded as it often is.

      My firm view is that we are all broken in some way; now we need each other more than ever. Yes we will always contend with each other; that is necessary. But as a species we are now entering our time of adulthood and become responsible as stewards of all life.

      • Anne 20.2.1

        I still haven't properly figured out who the "woke" left are supposed to be.  Are they a reincarnation of the Blairites and their passengers or does it go deeper than that?

        Isn't it better to judge someone on their honesty and decency no matter whereabouts on the scale they may fall – within reason? 

        Whatever it is a horrible expression and I refuse to use it.

        • SPC

          It's a term used by urban liberals. Out and proud as woke. PC is probably the best synonym. Now used by their critics who do not like the PC – men attacked by feminists, feminists attacked by gender activists. 

          There is a long history to it, the human rights activists and civil libertarians who campaigns for equal rights for minorities against privilege – each expansion of the cause mobilised conservative resistance – negative reaction to the activists. Then critics expand their meaning of the term to all those to their liberal left they do not like. 

        • Nic the NZer

          The trouble is that this refers to multiple groups. I don't think woke needs to be turned into an ugly word as there are people who have a legitimate interest or self interest in such issues.

          The problem group (as far as I see) only care about being woke when it suites their agenda and (I think) have no real interest in following through.

        • gsays

          Hi Anne, Kim Hill interviewed this chap on RNZ on Saturday.

          He is polarizing but a good communicator.


          He may explain a few of the questions you have.

          • pat

            Well that was interesting…..expect his twitter feed is busy

            • gsays


              Isn't that what one says when fearful of offending?

              A lot of what he said resonated with me, some of it I would distance myself from (especially in mixed company).

              Nowadays someone can grab a quote from Douglas Murray that is controversial or challenging and expect that to discredit everything about him.

              In the context of the U.K. election, this occurred with Corbyn: a la anti-semitism.

              Part of the direction we are headed as a society, unfortunately,

              A Century of the Self, while ostensibly about the rise of marketing and consumerism, helps to explain this.

              • pat

                "Isn't that what one says when fearful of offending?"

                now that highlights the the issue….when I say 'interesting' I mean interesting…you know, as in arousing curiosity and a desire to know more.

                Sometimes an eggplant is just an eggplant

        • Psycho Milt

          I still haven't properly figured out who the "woke" left are supposed to be. 

          Oh, no need to over-think it – "woke" left is just a euphemism for "those people on the left I don't like."  There's no complicated exegesis waiting to be revealed. 

          • SHG

            Woke is the label that applies to you if you think that having a 3rd “X” sex checkbox on passports is an issue that people need to be lectured about in the leadup to a national election.

            • Psycho Milt

              Oh, for sure there's often good reason to dislike the people involved – don't get me started on the people who think that sexual reproduction involves a "spectrum" of sexes.

          • Sanctuary

            There is a bit more to it than that. Olwyn made a fabulous post here yesterday (/listening-to-left-wing-dissent/#comment-1673728) pointing out the alliance between social liberals and the working class that was possible when the ruling elites were both socially and economically conservative has collapsed under neoliberalism, which has absorbed the social liberals in the economic ruling class. 

            "Woke" left is therefore often a term used for self-absorbed social media autocrats who insist on complete adherence to their socially liberal identity politics proscription whilst not representing any constituency beyond their bathroom mirror. They distract by demanding policy and focus be exclusively on whatever social issue obsesses them rather than on economic or class issues.

            • Anne

              "Woke" left is………… a term used for self-absorbed social media autocrats who insist on complete adherence to their socially liberal identity politics proscription whilst not representing any constituency beyond their bathroom mirror. 

              Oh god, I've met those types. 😯 They have been around, in one disguise or another, for decades.

        • Dennis Frank

          Google:  Woke as a political term refers to an awareness of issues concerning social and racial justice. It is derived from the African-American Vernacular English expression "stay woke", whose grammatical aspect refers to a continuing awareness of these issues.

          They could go further & point out that the next stage after continuing awareness is obsession.  Those that reach it exhibit a syndrome I call `collective narcissism'.  As in `my group is the most important'.

          Martyn Bradbury takes this view:  "For me as a class leftist, the delineation of power in society is not woke intersectionaism [sic], or skin colour, or gender, or sexual identity, it is the 1% wealthiest with their 9% enablers vs the 90% of the rest of us. Identity Politics, while an important personal journey on how the individual comes to politics, can’t be a recruitment tool to get to 51% democratic majority because if your starting point as a woke activist is that every male is a rapist, every white person a racist, anyone arguing for free speech a Nazi and anyone questioning 1% Trans mantra a homophobe, you aren’t about Broad Church politics, you are about a Pure Temple politics where exclusion is the new inclusion."

          So far, so accurate.  "The Right looks for recruits to join them, the Left look for traitors to de-platform, call out and cancel. Woke Left has all the nuance of the Cultural Revolution."  Yep.  [https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/12/14/the-modern-rule-of-politics-post-corbyn-woke-social-media-is-death-and-white-males-quite-like-their-privilege-thanks/]

          "The real danger of identity politics over class politics, as we have seen in the UK election and with Trump, is that when white poor men start seeing themselves not as a class but as an identity, the Right win.  In the NZ context that means 500 retweets by Wellington Twitteratti = alienation not winning. If it’s popular on The Spinoff, it’s poison at the ballot box and if Action Station have a petition on it, avoid it like the fucking plague."

          As someone who helped originate Action Station after the gfc, who has belonged as a supporter ever since, I'm not inclined to take offense.  Their messaging is crass much of the time, precious even when not crass, and they have a bad case of collective narcissism.  But I still sign many of the petitions they send out, and toss them a few dollars now & then.  Woke?  Definitely.  Eyes often a-rolling in result.  But oldies ought to support young idealist do-gooders, eh?

          • Anne

            Thanks one and all. 🙂

            I suspect there's an element of truth in what PM says. 😉

            And being old and cynical too, I have sympathy with Dennis Frank's view. 😈

            Collective narcissism sounds about right in some cases at least.

          • Billy

            How did you help originate ActionStation? I thought it came out of the Greens?

            • Sacha

              Dennis also came out of the Greens. 🙂

              • Billy

                They are impressively organized but need to decouple themselves from some of their very sinister funders and infrastructure providers. DNC included… Would have no issue with a fully local iteration – well, I’d rather they be fully local and not an iteration of anything.

                Dennis Frank, to what extent were the originators of ActionStation knowledgeable about its funding arrangements and did you also take many trips to Washington like the rest of them?

                • Dennis Frank

                  I've no idea about funding or any trips to Washington since Bill & I had disengaged from the establishment process by then.  I'm intrigued!

                  Is involvement with DNC just a rumour or do you have inside word on that?  Hard to imagine the Dems being that organised. I'm reminded of the famous Will Rogers quote: "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

                  • Sacha

                    The Dem campaign Howard Dean led developed some campaign volunteer and donation organising software that was later shared freely with any organisations that wanted it.

                    Not sure how that fits with whatever ActionStation are using (or with any of the dark influences hinted at by one commenter here) but it would make no sense to reinvent the wheel locally.

                    The action coordinated on top of that platform is where the value lies. ActionStation has done great work giving younger citizens confidence that there are ways to make a difference beyond traditional political parties.

                  • Billy

                    Dennis, we should have fair trade coffee. You’re going to want to be sitting down.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      smiley  I'm provincial nowadays – retired to New Plymouth, where I was born & raised.  Incidentally, Sacha makes a good point re the actions created by the platform & how they enable & empower young activists.  That is indeed the upside, and has been a frequent feel-good factor for me in recent times – so all the developmental work years ago was worth the effort!

            • Dennis Frank

              It started with a conversation I had with Bill Watson the year he was NZ coordinator of Sea Shepherd.  Bill said Aotearoa ought to have a petition site like Get Up in Australia.  So we got together with a few others in a Ponsonby pub (the one on College Hill) and brainstormed it over a few beers.

              Bill wrote to the folk who operated Get Up but got no response.  I'd suggested to the group we start an alternative political movement instead.  Petitioners are mere supplicants & I'd rather operate from a position of strength.  That was due to Bill having a Masters degree in psychology but me being the one who actually does deep psychology.

              Almost two years later Bill got an email response from Get Up, to our considerable surprise, apologising for the delay but they'd been so busy.  Agreeing to our using their format, so we had our fourth or fifth group meeting and decided to call our version Stand Up (a la Bob Marley).  A Sea Shepherd volunteer named Matt (part of our group) volunteered to write the code for the website.  About a year later he was part-way through developing that in his spare time and we heard of a Wellington group with a similar idea.  Bill established liaison with the lawyer Joe Cederwall, who advised they could finish the software development faster than Matt, so our group agreed to pass the project along to their group.

              I've still got the Stand Up folder somewhere – it's primarily the Get Up design they sent us, about 40 pages.  Joe told us there were likely to be copyright problems with the name since a group here was already using it, so the young woman who had run an election campaign successfully for the Greens and subsequently got the job of running the petition site organised a poll for a new name and Action Station got chosen.

              Incidentally, none of this history appears on the capsule story on their website.  That would be because young folk mostly don't do history.  Reinventing the wheel is much more fun…

              • Billy

                Fascinating stuff, genuinely. What role did Ben Brandzel play or did he come later? Via Cederwall? Who provided the initial funding?

                You should write a post about it. If anything, it will go towards the fact that the left is much more transparent around political fundraising / donations

                • Dennis Frank

                  Don't know that name, so he may have been part of the Wellington group.  I suppose those people must have got funding somewhere to get the website up & running, but our group was entirely voluntary.  Matt did quite a lot of software writing for free, but that's just traditional activism – been the driver of progress here since the late 1960s.

                  I've written all I can contribute, Billy.  Transparency is relative, and the Greens usually do it okay.  I do have experience to the contrary – learnt that some activists put partisanship ahead of ethics.  So I trust leftist Greens as far as I can kick them.  I reported the rule-breaking to the leadership back in '94, took a year to get an apology out of them, and by then had left in disgust.  I'd given them the evidence and there was no excuse.  I was Convenor of the Standing Orders Committee.  It's not in my nature to let a stalinist get away with it.

                  • Billy

                    Well you must extremely disturbed to see one of your babies line up with NED and the CIA. But well-funded now, of course.

          • Billy

            "when white poor men start seeing themselves not as a class but as an identity, the Right win."

            No-brainer, really. Deeply stupid move.

            It’s extraordinary that the group of people who seem to be attempting to elevate offensive speech to the level of capital crime can’t see the effect of their speech on the traditional Labour base and if they do see it adjust their behaviour accordingly. Identity politics is an apocalyptic ideology for those that hold it.

        • Billy

          Evidently they're a bit like the abstract expressionists.

    • millsy 20.3

      Nye Bevan would be regarded as a Corbynista now. So would Atlee, and maybe even Harold Wilson and Callaghan. Even Gaitskell and Crosland would be too left for the Blairites.

      People dont seem to realise how right wing the Blairites are, when you match up their political views and policy enactments with previous Labour governments and even some Tory ones. Alan Johnson, David Blunkett, Jack Straw, Harriet Hartman, Ruth Kelly, Jaqcui Smith, Peter Mandelson could have all slotted into any post WW2 Tory cabinet.

      Im not trying to make any points here, I am just stating a fact.


      • Exkiwiforces 20.3.1

        You are not wrong there my old mate Millsy, I'm reading a book called Blair and his Generals. What an utter muppet Blair and his fellow travellers are IRT to the Iraq and the Gan were. As one General said about the "Blairites on Iraq and Gan War, they were trying to go to a rich mans war with rich mans ideal's, but fighting a rich mans war and ideals on a poor mans wages. "

        It really sums up the C**T and his fellow travellers IRT to the conduct of the both Wars and the aftermath on both regions and on home front aka us vets.

        Has the morals of sewage rat banker.

        Today's Labour Party MP's (UK, Oz and NZ) wouldn't know how dig hole to save themselves, let a lone be put in charge of putting up a tent and boiling the billy/ chuffer for a cup of tea.


        “Atlee, and maybe even Harold Wilson and Callaghan. Even Gaitskell and Crosland”

        Some good honest men back in their day, but got knock over with events that left them in a prickle.

    • Billy 20.4

      Excellent comment.

      Uncouth working class white men are treated as the enemy by social liberals and they hate you for it. Many of them won't vote for Labour as a result of that cultural and political ear bashing.

      Telling everyone to identify with their race and gender not their class was the dumbest idea the left ever had. Apart from demonizing the base it allows a lot of people off scott free for having a drop of exotic blood or for being a bit kinky and liking a crowded bed, leaving the rest of us in the absurd position of being moralized to by a bunch of bisexual horndog celebrity millionaires who think activism is going to events and telling each other how their lived personal experiences have made the world a better place.

  21. SPC 21

    It's actually a case of the left wing of the UK Labour Party having to hear and obey their real class and political enemies – who want to take back control of the Labour Party.  

    1. The caucus rejects the party members foisting on them left wing leadership

    2. They openly reject a left winger as their leader and invite electoral punishment for their disunity, so they can take back control of the party from the left wing membership. 

    The Blairites (basically the educated middle class outside of the elite establishment – Eton-Balliol Oxford etc) have only the Labour Party as their route to power, which is why they took over the Labour Party post Thatcher to bed in the neo-liberal regime (the SD merger with the LD having failed). 

    Here we had at least the New Labour/Alliance Party resistance and or the Green Party, this was the UK left's last stand. Soon, if they are to survive at all as a political force (Tom Watson is now trying to blame the left wing manifesto for the loss) they may well have to form their own party (some irony given they have strong support from the party members and the young – the latter is cause for optimism once they strike out on their own and offer a united left wing caucus to voters).

    • Sanctuary 21.1

      The problem for the Labour neoliberal right and it's cheerleaders in the Guardian is that they were ferociously pro-Remain, a stance that is now understood to have been a big contributor to the catastrophic losses in northern England. In other words, they were demonstrably wrong on the premise of their main platform and they have long stood proudly convicted of gross disloyalty to Corbyn to boot. 

      But like I have said, the fact the Rebecca Long-Bailey and Angela Rayner are the most like next leadership duo for Labour indicates the left has now won the battle against the PLP Blairites, who have now mostly either lost their seats, defected and lost their seats, or resigned and left politics before they lost their seats.

  22. David Mac 22

    The left are feeling rudderless because the power comes from the collective us. The rise of platforms for me to express what is important to me has diluted the power of the collective and provided attractive avenues for me to focus on me rather than us. These me times do nothing to fertilise an all encompassing give a damn about people and Earth.

    We see it here. Those dumping on Pharmac the hardest are in need of specific drugs – me thinking. Those that call the loudest for a rise in benefits are dependent on one.

    I'm not judging them, they're swept up in the unavoidable times, me too. The left is becoming a vehicle for me to promote me and my personal concerns, to be strong it needs to be about us.

    • Billy 23.1

      We need total transparency around National Party and NZ First donations but we also need total transparency around the assholes funding ID politics and perverting the left like this villain-haired chap above.

  23. Bill 24

    Here's tuppensworth.

    Putting aside the endless vilification from pop media….

    Said at the time – Corbyn should have sought a working relationship with the SNP when he was first elected leader. (Labour had one MP in Scotland at the time, but Corbyn kept right on with the "Tartan Tory" attack lines against all available evidence and common sense)

    Jon Lansman should never have been allowed to head up Momentum and fold the movement into the Labour Party. (Movements are not movements if they are defined by political parties)

    Corbyn should have front footed on the b/s claims of anti-Semitisism 

    Labour should have maintained their 2017 Brexit position

    On the bright side – Johnson's possibly strapped himself and the Tory Party into a suicide vest.

    • Cantabrian 24.1

      Bill, I have to agree with you on most points. However, Corbyn had too much baggage to take into the election as leader. his previous stances over the IRA, Palestine and the like made him unelectable by the British centrists (particularly the working class brexiteers in the northeast). Admit it Corbynites he was toxic to the electorate and there is no escaping the fact. Failure to engage with the SNP displays the arrogance of the Labour leadership as well.

      Add to that the disgraceful treatment of TomWatson and you have the reasons for a calamitous defeat.

  24. Craig H 25

    Looking at the vote talleys, it looks like some Labour brexiteers voted Tory and Brexit Party, and some of the Labour and Tory remainers voted Liberal Democrats. 

  25. Sanctuary 26

    It is very depressing reading the reaction of the ultras in Labour.

    They are playing perfectly the role of being the ancien regime of political Bourbons in the Labour party – "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything."

    Funnily enough though, the attacks from the extreme centrists is now almost all coming from outside Labour, ex-Blairites, the neoliberal press and bitter ex-members.

    But the fact that the immediate front runner to replace Corbyn is Rebecca Long-Bailey indicates that the left has now won the argument.

  26. Adrian Thornton 27

    Weka I am glad you put the.. btw, those that want to run a 'I know the single cause' line…etc, that polls says it all.

    The main reasons people did not vote Labour
    — The leadership (43%)

    Let's stop all this bullshit navel gazing and look at the facts, Corbyn/Labour were absolutely fucked over by a UK media war on a progressive Left project that scared the shit out of them, it was incessant and unrelenting for three years, day in day out, week after week, month after month, wholly negative corrosive and ultimately…it worked, and as I have said before, most damaging from the so called 'left media', which has exposed itself as our #1 enemy in this war.

    Seriously, can anyone here tell me any politician that could have won an election after three years of negative press from all sides on this industrial scale?

    The main reasons people did not vote Labour, Brexit 17%, so sure Labour/Corbyn should have been clearer earlier on this, but that being said, their plan in the end was actually a very good one…but as those polls show, that wasn't the primary reason.

    The take away here for anyone on the progressive, transformative Left is that we are in a war of ideologies with the centre (left) and the Right, ie; the establishment, and they have shown us quite clearly in the UK that they will work together to stop the real Left from gaining any foot hold…at any cost.

    Jeremy Corbyn is the most smeared politician in history

    In the UK, one politician has been subject to the longest continuous smear campaign in UK history, and we are all influenced by it. Over 75 per cent of Jeremy Corbyn media coverage factually misrepresents him


    I didn't get into this because I thought about winning, I got into this because I know we are on the right side, the only side, so my advice (which is probably not wanted) is to stop belly aching and second guessing yourselves, and get out there and fight harder.

    Turn Labour left!

    • The Al1en 27.1

      Corbyn/Labour were absolutely fucked over by a UK media war 

      So you're saying people like you and me can read, listen and watch the tory media and not get brainwashed by it, but voters in the midlands and the north of England can't.

  27. Colin 28

    Your right Cantabrian, some on this site hold Corbyn as some sort of Messiah for the extreme Left, apart from his known Anti Semitism which many here blame on a conspiracy by the Media, he is also a lover of Hamas & other similar groups worldwide. I have a friend who was undercover in Ireland 1974 who witnessed Corbyn among a big group in a hall, & when the IRA detonated Bombs in Birmingham Pubs ,Cheers & Celebrations were given by all. The end result was 21 KILLED. 182.  INJURED, not a bad result Comrades.

    • greywarshark 28.1

      Colin   Your comment is unpleasant to read.

      But I saw a letter in the paper with a quote that adds something positive for Corbyn.   But it was in The Guardian only on December 11, so a bit late for informing and shining truth on any dark thoughts about Corbyn and anti-Semitism.   This from The Press Tuesday, 17 Dec 29019 page 13.

      "we, Jewish members of his constituency, have known him for 30 years.  We know him well enough to know there is no foundation to the accusation that Corbtyn is anti-Semitic.   In a party of 500,000 members there will be anti-Semites and they must be dealt with.  But we can assure Jewish voters that they are safe voting Labour"…(Guardian letter, Dec 11).

      signed by Donna Miles-Mojab, Merivale


      • Nic the NZer 28.1.1

        I get the feeling Colin doesn't actually have any experiences involving Corbyn to share. Other than the hearsay which implies that UK state spies have been monitoring him since the 70s.

  28. pat 29

    If Daron Acemoglu is correct then 'the Left" can reorganise till the cows come to no effect….until faith in institutions is restored  and mutual respect returns (the social contract) then our democracies will fail….and the road there is engagement.

    Worth a listen


Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    24 mins ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    16 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 day ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 day ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 day ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago