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Little’s speech – reaction

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, November 9th, 2015 - 61 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

I’m sorry I missed Labour’s conference this weekend, it sounds like it was great. Reaction to major speeches by Annette King, Grant Robertson and Andrew Little has all been good.

In particular, Andrew Little seems to have given a stellar performance. Here’s Audrey Young:

Little smashed it – literally

Andrew Little smashed it.

He has two years to win over the public before the next election. His speech to the Labour conference this year needed to win over the members, who afterall, did not support him in the leadership contest a year ago. Job done, as they say.

It was one of the best speeches by a Labour leader in recent years, in both content, delivery and production.

The speech was high on rhetoric and low on detail but that is no surprise. It will not be the speech he delivers in the 2017 election campaign. The messages about intolerance to poverty which dominated the 2014 campaign will almost certainly take a back-seat to more aspirational messages in 2017.

But the party faithful needed to know it was still of the utmost importance.

Here’s some of the reaction from Twitter:

Here’s some of the speech highlights:

(Graphic credit)

61 comments on “Little’s speech – reaction ”

  1. Jenny Kirk 1

    Yup ! I’m sorry I missed this Conference as well. Sounds as if it was a real boomer !

    • Unicus 1.1

      Certainly a good conference but can anyone tell me why neither Annette or Andrews speech has been visually posted on Labours web-site –

      This is very low grade communication to put it mildly

  2. JanM 2

    Blimey – even Chris Trotter’s stopped grizzling! Hope it lasts!

    • D'Esterre 2.2

      JanM: Ha! I noticed this as well. And boy, has he been grizzling.

      I like Andrew Little. I like his slightly dour, no-nonsense approach. I like the fact that he sounds like a bloke. I like his dry humour. I liked his speech. I don’t expect him to be down with the boys in the rugby changing-room. I don’t expect him to be perfect. I don’t expect him to come across as everyman. I hope he’ll be PM sooner rather than later.

  3. Smilin 3

    Pointing to recent activity by the pseudo toffs who run this country I reckon Little has got it right. Roll on 2017

  4. Another anonymous person 4

    I attended Andrew Little’s speech at the Regent Theatre yesterday. I listed as the sceptical non-voter that I am. I think too much is made of the broken glass. I saw it, and I felt he rode over the incident so well, that it was no incident at all.
    To my ear, there were two occasions in the speech where Mr Little got no applause for expressing the old Labour foundation principle [albeit slightly differently worded] “A fair days pay for a fair day’s work” – and so I became suspect of those others around me.

    I did not hear anything about the abolition of “Zero-hour contracts”.

    Maybe its just me, but I really don’t see how even National is true to the free-market principles it claims guide it when it comes to labour negotiations. In other issues which undermine citizens and their rights, National refers to Free-market policies as justification. But in the transaction where two individuals negotiate to exchange money for time and effort, National forgets free-market entirely. It even legislates against the worker.
    So why would the audience be at very best mute to the expression of “fair pay for a fair day’s work?”.
    One beef I have with labour, is what Nigel Haworth has alluded to, and which is one reason I cannot vote labour – the factional divisions.
    I believe that Labour could win the next election applying by what I heard in Little’s speech. But this optimism is subverted by the years past where a host of competing agendas have parasitically exploited the party, and to the detriment of the Party. So this might be another reason why Little received no applause for his expressions like “a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay!”.
    Was the hall full of competing agendas hoping Little’s horse would win at the polls, so as to let them free again to mount their respective personal high-horses? Andrew Little also called for unity behind the policies – will he get that? I’m not holding my breath.
    A healthy diet is desirable yes, but its more important to afford and have any food at all than none -even sugar.
    But other critical issues which are Labour’s founding issues, shelter, healthcare, education, and participation so that people feel a part of the community and the nation.
    I say that the community is better off with stable jobs which properly reward loyalty effort and time sacrificed from family. Such incomes enable better housing, more warmth, better clothes and food, and better education and better health, and more life experiences. I used to have holidays, my last was in 1995. People who can’t afford to participate, well what are they expected to do.
    Regarding NZ being a beacon example for the world to follow – forget it. We are too small. The price is too high. And really we make no difference at all. Its time to be rid of our tea-cup storms, and focus entirely on the tempest the exploited citizens of this country are subject to.
    I can’t say how many more voters Labour might get at the next poll if they truly listened to Nigel Haworth’s opinions and applied them as a united devout force; but I imagine its would be enough to make winning likely.
    Truthfully, even when I got into the Regent’s foyer, I was note sure it was worth going in and sitting down. So much has been written undermining Andrew Little. But I did go in, I listened intently, even shook his hand out of genuine respect, I cannot connect the criticisms with this man.
    But somehow I suspect the body of Labour faithful is not all loyal.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      There are several areas in which New Zealand is already at the cutting edge, to our great benefit. So much for the price is too high.

      One person’s “factional divisions” are another’s ‘spectrum of opinion’. What exactly do you understand by the phrase “broad church”? The truth is that diversity is strength. It fosters better policy, for one thing.

    • ianmac 4.2

      You said “One beef I have with labour, is what Nigel Haworth has alluded to, and which is one reason I cannot vote labour – the factional divisions..”
      Are you Naive or being a bit tricky?
      Are you saying that “Maori are united with one voice?”
      Are you saying that “National are united with one voice?”
      Are you saying that ” The committee for the local Garden Club are united with one voice?”
      A healthy democracy has factions. Of course it would help Labour get elected if on the basic bottom lines/policies they appeared to the electorate to be united.

      But of course with Gower/Sabin poised with poisoned pen conflict will be manufactured.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Is Labour going to increase base benefits above the poverty level.

    • Nessalt 5.1

      you do realise that it will only shift the level at which poverty is considered to become such higher? you do understand how price floors work and the dead weight loss they create?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        You do realise that you’ve just shown you’re completely ignorant of how poverty is measured? To put it another way, have you figured out that the set of series where no n is <0.6n, is non-zero, or are you still wallowing in innumeracy?

        • Colonial Viper

          Nessalt is being both stupid and anti-human. Not much of a feat for a right wing moron.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          😆 my notation leaves something to be desired. The correct form is the set of series where no n is <0.6m, where m is the median, is non-zero. D’oh!

      • Lloyd 5.1.2

        Do you realise that shifting money from the rich to the poor is the only way to ensure our market economy will not eventually end up with a handful of people (probably non-residents, probably non-New Zealanders) owning everything in this country, and as they will not be able to sell anything to the serfs, that the market will have disappeared?

        In other words the only way to preserve a market economy is to tax the rich and give a considerable portion of their wealth to the poorer members of society. The rich will be the ultimate beneficiaries as the market will be conserved. The poor can therefore support the beneficiaries (the rich) by buying stuff.

        Giving money to the poorest in society is not a negative thing. Greed is the ultimate sin.

  6. infused 6

    Strong performance because it was on paper.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      To get beyond paper we’d have to look at Labour’s track record, eh. Better than National’s in every area.

      Keep the criticism vague is my advice. You won’t win on facts.

      • Amanda Atkinson 6.1.1

        i watched the speech a second time without sound (as I always do with politicians, because a lot can be learned from that) … he looks like Hitler, needs to work on that, terrible demeanor and body language, the words were perfect for the disciples in the crowd who already had the warm fuzzies before he started … but that demeanor won’t be winning voters back from the middle

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It didn’t take long for Amanda’s introductory lies about being apolitical to be replaced by this vituperative harpy, eh.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            I recommend you stop copy/pasting the same words about me, or buy a new line from someone, or rent a brain. I actually believe the Little’s speech was really good. The words were great, but the demeanor was poor, very very poor. Once the substance (policies) are released, then we’ll really know. But, I thought his performance on Q and A was better than the speech, where he clearly explained why there is no policy, yet. Get the party in shape first because there is no point having great policy, if the party is a mess, which it was, but on the surface at least, appears not to be now.

            • Anne

              But, I thought his performance on Q and A was better than the speech, where he clearly explained why there is no policy, yet.

              He was talking to two separate audiences. He doesn’t have to explain the reason why there’s no policy [yet] to the delegates because they already know and understand.

              …if the party is a mess, which it was, but on the surface at least, appears not to be now.

              What do you think he’s been doing in the past 12 months? He’s been bringing everybody together and has made a superb job of it. That’s why it doesn’t appear to be “in a mess” because it isn’t.

              • Amanda Atkinson

                fuxake, that’s what I said, thank you but I don’t require a parrot

                • the pigman

                  fuxake [deleted]— Amanda — I think you’ll find watching a politician at a podium in front of a huge audience has many similarities to watching Hitler, on mute, at a podium addressing a huge audience. I wonder why that is?

                  Full marks for concern tr0lling and Godwinning the discussion though – might wanna work on subtlety?

                  Or you could just go back to rewatching videos of politicians, on mute, addressing huge audiences… (Weird!)

                  [lprent: banned for a week unless you can provide a link where “Amanda” outed herself. You know the rules ]

                  • Amanda Atkinson

                    I said “again”, as in I often watch speeches ‘again’ on mute, not ‘only’ on mute. I think you’ll find you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. You have no clearly have no knowledge or interest in how body language helps or hinders a message if you do not watch replays on silent. And that is fine. Just kindly fuck off and do it, and come back when you are qualified to comment.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Vituperative harpy trips over seven veils, lashes out. Hilarity ensues.

                    • Amanda Atkinson

                      oh look who’s here, another copy paste from the copy/paster with no nuts who hides behind a pen name. Mind you the big words you use are quite impressive, so I see you’ve ignored my advice to rent a brain, and instead you’ve rented a thesaurus.

                      [lprent: As far as I am concerned all names on here are “pen names”. The only ones I am sure of are where I’ve made an effort to determine if it is a real person, and I only do that if I am concerned about identity theft. Use of pseudonyms are a preference on this site, I only tolerate “real names” because people require them if they are trying to argue based on experience – which requires a history to validate them or they require transparency. You have’t done either. Even then I will hammer them if they abuse the privilege granted by the site. Banned for a week under the Gosman rule. Read the policy. ]

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Is withering contempt the inevitable fate of those who make fatuous Nazi comparisons? Don’t be so ungrateful: you earned it.

                    • weka

                      could do without the gendered insults OAB (despite agreeing with the general sentiment).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sorry Weka point taken.

                    • the pigman

                      Hi “Amanda”,

                      Given your little diatribe about OAB using a pseudoynm, I find it quite funny that your have deleted your wordpress account so that “centrist” views as expressed (and heavily moderated) on WhaleOil and reproduced on Pete George’s blog are no longer attributable to your “moniker”.

                      Still, your bitching about the “Whinging Maori” might be worth considering in light of your obsession with Hitler, eh?


                      I think it’s time for a little honesty – you don’t have any hope in hell of ever voting for Andrew Little or any left-wing party, so it’s time to drop the sweary, concern-tr0lling act, k?


                • Colonial Viper

                  “He looks like Hitler”

                  You really need to stop watching those old German films.

            • Unicus

              Thanks Iprent for confirming OAB is legitimate . This correspondent at times has looked more like a group of A Blokes (or Blokess’s ) passing themselves off as progressive . OAB ‘s rhetoric has consistently displayed a penchant for the cut and paste badgering vitriol so common among right wing pricks of the National Party – Im sure you appreciate that this has created a rather confusing profile for OHB . Good to know that they are indeed a lonely genius at war with reason .


      • alwyn 6.1.2

        “To get beyond paper we’d have to look at Labour’s track record, eh. Better than National’s in every area.

        Keep the criticism vague is my advice”.

        Well you certainly take your own advice. That is just about the “vaguest” thing I’ve seen about the speech.

  7. Mike the Savage One 7

    I note the TV news on TV One gave his speech some good credit and reporting, but these days apparently more pro Nats reporting TV3 only reported it further down in their bulletin (last night after 6 pm). It got moderately positive to neutral mention on RNZ and comparatively little mention elsewhere on radio. It seems some in the print media show more credit for the speech.

    It will be moved on from by most MSM, and now they are out for beating up Phil Goff for suspected planned “double dipping” if he stays on as MP while intending to stand for Mayor of Auckland (Mediaworks at “works” again).

    My hope is that Little keeps it up in Parliament, and gives Key a frontal attack on various matters (through question time and debates), so that we may Key start sweating or struggling to maintain composure for a change.

  8. ankerawshark 8

    As I have said elsewhere, it was a brilliant, truly insiparational speech. I was there. I agree with Chris Trotter. I went with a friend who was less than impressed by Little, but came out buzzing. Even took a photo of him.

    I note some dimwit opinion piece on ZB that was completely negative. Its bullshit.

    I think the bit I was most impressed with was the bit I didn’t go into politics to play parlour games. I did to help people

  9. Another anonymous person 9

    ianmac – I agree that its good to have a range of opinions and inputs, but if all are pulling different directions – Labour is never going anywhere. I believe it has been said of Helen Clark, that she was good at keeping her troops in line and on the same page – well in public at least. that’s not what I see in Labour.
    I made no mention about Maori.
    I can’t comment about the Nats because frankly I’m amazed any person who has the over-all best interests of the New Zealand community could take them seriously. I find Mr Little’s description accurate.
    I see in another comment that Little’s delivery reminded the contributor of Adolph Hitler… excessively over the top in my opinion. I never saw that – even though I’m not politically affiliated.
    Very often I thought the crowd reaction resembled some passionate evangelistic church congregation.
    But I see nothing wrong with passion – Andrew had appropriate passion for his convention closing speech.

    • Mike Bond 9.1

      “Very often I thought the crowd reaction resembled some passionate evangelistic church congregation.” I think that says it all about the speech. The crowd got wound up and excited. Nothing more, nothing less. We have had this type of stand up from Little before, but unfortunately when it comes down to the day to day business, they will revert to the negativity that we have become so accustomed to. It is very easy to say what you know the crowd wants to hear, but get into details and Little is going to be chewed up into little pieces by National again. I mean in all honesty, take away the “fire” and the glass smashing and what did Little actually say?

  10. Whateva Next 10

    gawd, who would put their hand up for the job of leading the Labour Party??? you would need a lot of stamina and resilience, and that’s just for the supporters, let alone the opposition!

    • Gangnam Style 10.1

      +Yes!!! I used to think that about Cunliffe, how did that guy get up in the morning. And now Little, but Little comes across has very tough & resilient, definitely someone you would want on your side or backing you up.

  11. Whateva Next 11

    BTW, I learned that not only is he a decent, intelligent man with a driving passion for fairness, but that even as a young man he was too. Really what more could we ask for?

  12. greywarshark 12

    Keeping an eye on the media and particularly Scoop, keep up the push – good news they are halfway to their target – bad news there is only a short period 8 DAYS TO GO.


  13. alwyn 13

    Why is it that Andrew can give a good prepared speech, as this one was, but he comes across as an idiot on programs like “The Nation” on Saturday and as he normally does in Question Time in the House?
    It would seem that his speechwriter is vastly better than he is. The speechwriter can express himself/herself in a vastly better way than Little does when he is stuck with telling us things in his own words.
    Can’t we just cut out the middleman? Make the speechwriter the Party Leader and retire Andrew. We might then have intelligent contributions every time.

    • DoublePlusGood 13.1

      Well, for instance, if you got me to prepare a speech, I would deliver a very good speech, but I would come over less well if put on the spot by a blindsiding random nonsense question from media, or trying to dissect some weaselly bullshit from a minister in the house.
      I think that Andrew Little is perhaps just much better at preparation and worse at making shit up on the spot.

    • whateva next? 13.2

      the agenda of the interviewer perhaps? i.e to “catch him out” grab a “soundbite” not listening to Andrew’s perfectly honest and logical answers? many, many reasons…..

    • tracey 13.3

      When john key speaks off the cuff he usually ends up with his foot in his mouth. He was not all that accomplished til he became PM and that has been with a most sympathetic media… espesh on brekkie tv to give him confidence.

  14. Nick 14

    So many commentors on here about how they could be a better Labour Leader, obviously because your skill in dissecting Andrew Littles ‘fails’ points to your own innate ability to lead a major political party. Awesome….get started….cant wait

  15. Karen 15

    Here’s the Manawatu Standard’s take. Good they focussed on the poverty angle.


  16. Another anonymous person 16

    I make no criticism of Mr Little – yet I believed myself to probably be the most sceptical and begrudging person present. I did not stand except to arrive and leave. I only applauded when I had heard some meaty policy which even I could not let go unacknowledged. So I’m curious about many of the comments which are deeply dissecting Mr Little.
    My doubts so far mentioned in this thread are about the rank and file who were present. That Little’s “fair days pay for a fair days work” points went without applause surely illustrates that the masses in Labour are not rooted in foundation Labour principles.
    I think its likely that its not a problem with leaders which holds Labour down. Little reminded everyone about Labour’s roots and those who championed those principles bravely and effectively – then Andrew told the audience – [paraphrasing] “that was the past – now its our turn!”.
    Is it possible that the Labour masses can work together honouring its founding principles? – I’m not convinced… not at all.
    If you are loyal to Labour, then Andrew Little is your leader – get used to it – be loyal and strive for the founding principles.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      Faint praise indeed, coupled with a healthy dose of projection, and the apparent belief that 100% of the comments here are made by “Labour masses”.

      Obviously the point about diversity sailed over your head too.

    • whateva next? 16.2

      “If you are loyal to Labour, then Andrew Little is your leader – get used to it – be loyal and strive for the founding principles.”
      or just vote National and be done with it!

  17. Felt privileged to have the opportunity to read the speech in its entireity and reflect on its impact. First time I’ve heard of Government ministers feeling they need to comment – on costings! Laughable.
    Now for two years of concerted drive to enable those most at risk in our country to be convinced they can make a difference.

  18. whateva next? 18

    “….enable those most at risk in our country to be convinced they can make a difference.”
    This is the key, and supporting people in realising their vote is as important as John Key’s (and all his mates) is the job for all of us to take on now.

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