Looking Ahead

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, September 21st, 2014 - 145 comments
Categories: john key, labour, Left, national, Politics - Tags:

Win or lose, there are never any final battles in politics. A defeat simply means the firing of the starting gun for the next round in a never-ending struggle.

And, especially for the left, it is the struggle that matters. Without that struggle and the effort that has gone into it, the values of fairness, compassion and tolerance would be even more submerged than they are now. Keeping them alive and relevant in hearts and minds today will ensure that they will once again be re-asserted as the political tide turns tomorrow.

In fifty years of political experience, I have lost count of the number of times that a general election result – in either New Zealand or the UK – has been hailed by one side or another as signalling a watershed in politics; the winners’ confidence in the permanence of their victory is always revealed – in short order – to be the illusion it is.

It was as recently as 2002 that the National vote slumped to 21%, while John Key’s current victory does no more than replicate Helen Clark’s similar trio of successive wins. And, as a further antidote to the immediate triumphalism of the right, let us remind ourselves that fewer than two out of five of New Zealanders entitled to vote actually cast a vote in favour of National in 2014.

But let us also be honest enough to recognise the impressive political skills that have produced the National victory. John Key is an unusually personable, skilled and effective political operator; he is entitled to the plaudits for what has been a very personal achievement. We may not like him, and dislike even more what he stands for, but the fact that this has been a victory for him rather than his party should give us ground for hope.

In any event, winning the election is “just the beginning”. John Key, with all his presentational skills, now has to face a country in which half the citizens believe that he has lied to them on matters that are central to his integrity and that of his government. As a result, it can hardly be argued that the body politic he heads is in good health.

In the meantime, it is the opposition – and particularly the Labour Party – that is faced with the uphill struggle. The National vote may not be quite as monumental as it is portrayed, but it comfortably dwarfs a Labour vote that represents less than one in five of eligible voters.

A vote as low as this is fraught with danger for an opposition party with pretensions to forming a government. Even those who want to see a change of government will begin, in a fragmented political environment, to look elsewhere for salvation.

I faced this danger as director of Labour’s UK general election campaign in 1987, when the Liberal alliance with the newly-formed Social Democrats threatened to supplant Labour as the best hope of removing the Tories. Labour didn’t win that election, but the effective campaign we ran then saved the party and boosted our vote, re-establishing Labour as undoubtedly the principal opposition and paving the way to 13 years of Labour government.

If Labour is to avoid that danger in New Zealand in 2014, the task now is twofold. First, Labour must show themselves to be an effective opposition. That means they must, in particular, resist the efforts that will undoubtedly be made by a gung-ho right-wing government to “roll back the state” – code for cutting back on public services, further eroding benefits, wages and rights at work and for running the economy even more in the interests of the big battalions. They must demonstrate to public opinion that a policy that undervalues our people and wastes our resources produces not only a society that is less fair, but also an economy that is less productive and sustainable.

Second, they must prepare now for fighting and winning the next election. They must promote a strong team of leading spokespeople (including new faces) to support the leadership – and that support must be united and whole-hearted. They must work constructively with other opposition parties and provide the intellectual and policy leadership that others will follow.

But it also means, as a preliminary step, some real soul-searching. Why is the Labour brand so unappealing? Why does it not enthuse young people in particular? Why does so much Labour policy seem to constrain rather than liberate – and therefore provide reasons for not voting Labour? Why does the new thinking that is supported by informed opinion – on a capital gains tax, on the pension age, on making Kiwisaver contributions compulsory and using them as an alternative or supplement to interest rates as a counter-inflationary tool – gain so little traction with the public?

Why have the past six years meant that the successful nine years in government prior to that count for so little in the public perception?  How, in other words, does Labour remain true to the traditional values it shares with so many New Zealanders while applying those values in forward-looking , innovative and appealing ways to resolve the problems familiar to all our fellow-citizens?

Bryan Gould

21 September 2014

145 comments on “Looking Ahead”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “while John Key’s current victory does no more than replicate Helen Clark’s similar trio of successive wins”

    Labour lost votes at each election, and never had an outright majority. What’s more, National pulled this result off in an environment that pulled the curtain back on their dubious political dealings. So this statement is really downplaying the significance of last night’s result.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Indeed. The reason Labour lost votes is because they haven’t found the leader yet.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.1

        Actually I mean when they won from 1999 to 2005 they lost votes at each election, National has increased their votes. So to say this is merely a “replica” of 1999-2005 with Labour misses the mark.

        • Annie 1.2.1.1

          But National actually decreased its vote from 2011 – 1.058m in 2011 and 1.01m in 2014.

          National’s percentage of the vote just increased because of the wasted votes of parties not making the 5% threshold.

          • lprent 1.2.1.1.1

            Special votes of something like 250k haven’t been counted yet

          • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1.2

            No, National’s percentage of the seats in Parliament increased because of the wasted vote.

            Their percentage of the vote remains unchanged by whether other parties reach 5% or not.

            • Hanswurst 1.2.1.1.2.1

              The National vote is not, however, much different from Labour + Progressive + Greens in 2005. It’s just more monolithic (as, indeed, was the right-wing vote even in that election than the Left vote this week-end).

              It is a real issue for the Left to decide whether it wants to promote itself as a suite of strong left-wing parties promoting a range of approaches and ideas, or whether it wants Labour to be a dominant party to a comparable (if nwhere near as all-engulfing) degree to what National is.

              • karol

                I think the future might be a Labour-Green alliance. But each party and its membership will need to be flexible enough to accommodate it.

        • Zorr 1.2.1.2

          National haven’t actually increased their votes. They have the same number voting for them as at the last election. Due to circumstances though, it has resulted in a higher percentage representation in Parliament.

          • Sam 1.2.1.2.1

            The only way less people will have voted for National is if less than 20% of the special votes go to them. Not gonna happen

          • aerobubble 1.2.1.2.2

            No. Not sure that’s true. sure if you minus the Conservative vote .48/.95=.505. But that’s not how the electorate calculation is done. National still get 48% of the representatives, its just that when the Conservatives come round they don’t get a MP, so that MP is put back in the pool. Now 44% voted left. That means a .04 difference, that means if the Greens, Labour or NZF got .04% more of a candidate than National they get the last MP. That’s why Greens knocked off a National MP at the overseas vote last time. National can’t get over 50.5% of the MPs, it was totally dumb of the TV3 election day to say Key would get 66 seats, never was possible. But hey when the media don’t do balanced coverage, they stop listening to critics who tell them they aren’t balanced, and so stop improving and stay lean and professional. On one specualtive projection Key got 66 seats!!!!

    • Chris 1.3

      I think what Bryan is saying (and if he isn’t then I’m saying it) is that Labour had nine years of government under Helen Clark because of Clark’s mainstream appeal and not because of what Labour stood for. The same has happened with Key. Clark’s Labour did everything Labour has done for a long time now which is to compete with National for the middle ground. Labour hasn’t been a true left-wing party for a very long time. It’s just that when Clark was the leader Labour won that competition for precisely the same reasons National has the last three elections.

      • Kat 1.3.1

        And there is the “Left Turn” dilemma for Labour. When Helen Clark was defeated in 2008 the excuse was the electorate just wanted a “change of underwear”. labour will find that still a hard act to follow in 2017 unless it appeals to the middle ground and gets significant party vote back from National.

        As Bryan writes, Labour needs to make its brand more appealing and look carefully at the framing and promotion of certain core Labour policies that have up to now gained no real traction in the middle ground. Getting the current media onside will be a huge challenge. David Cunliffe assisted by a focused, disciplined and loyal team has the ability to do all that, and he has to do that, if making the desire for a “change of underwear” is to happen in 2017.

        • Chris 1.3.1.1

          I agree Labour needs to appeal to the middle ground. It won’t get votes if it doesn’t. But what do you propose Labour should do to appeal to the middle ground?

          • Melanie Scott 1.3.1.1.1

            Much as I regret having to say it, because I support the Greens’ policies on many things, especially the environmental issues, it is hard for Labour to gain the confidence of conservative, regional middle NZ at the moment, no matter how ‘centred’ they try to be. Lots of people, especially in the regions, especially older traditional Labour voters, are deeply suspicious of the Greens, and some narrow issues perceived to be ‘fashionable’ current Labour issues. I have spent 3 weeks phoning people in the Northland region trying to get out the vote for Labour and I felt quite uneasy by yesterday afternoon. People who I am sure would have once been Labour supporters generationally, switched their vote to National. Perhaps the same happened in other parts of the country. And then there was Internet Mana and Kim Dot Com…

            Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Cunliffe nees to stay on, for now anyway.

            • Chris 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Hence the need for change in cultural values rather than in approach to pander to current neo-liberal climate of opinion.

          • Kat 1.3.1.1.2

            Labour could start by considering the political ramifications of how it presents policy. For instance; CGT, compulsory savings and raising the retirement age all have merit and are perhaps necessary tweaks to the system, however the stark presentation sees the middle ground rejecting them as just more unpalatable new taxes and personal intrusion.

            National has been very clever in this regard. It may be just a catch-phrase but Keys “Labours offering 5 new taxes, Nationals offering lower taxes” is what the middle ground hears.

            • Anne 1.3.1.1.2.1

              100% agree. Some of us have been saying it for a long time.

              • Chris

                Anne – it’s way more than how policy is presented. It’s about what the policies are and importantly how those policies are seen by most people as the correct policies. This means the left has to start work now on creating a climate based on caring for one another. Spitting out policies alone won’t do that.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The intellectual policy wonk lefties are already working on the next iteration of policy as we speak. Probably also a policy on when to release policy.

          • JRyan 1.3.1.1.3

            Simply don’t go to far left. Dont flirt with the extreme left. Don’t raise taxes, don’t bring in capital gains taxes. Creating growth creates jobs.
            Tax incentives would create jobs where they are needed. Lots of small incentives can bring dividents in later years for the government, i.e. Forest development etc. Never create policy because of envy, create to let business blossom, hence more real jobs. It’s simple.

          • Saarbo 1.3.1.1.4

            @chris
            How is Labour going to appeal to the middle ground given they are pretty satisfied with Key/Nats? That is the main problem…I remember Dunne saying in one of the debates, “NZ is not ready for change” and I reckon this is the biggest issue.

            • Chris 1.3.1.1.4.1

              Precisely, you’ve nailed the problem perfectly. The answer is Labour needs to be upfront and open about rejecting what Key and National say and do and present policies based on full community participation and caring for others. It’s with policies based on these things that Labour needs to appeal to the “middle ground” with. Doing this requires making these ideas the basis for our set of values as a nation. It’s a difficult task but it’s an essential one. We can’t just say it’s too hard. Labour’s problem is that it doesn’t think there’s any work to do in this area. It just talks about being a compassionate party with compassionate values and then goes and does the opposite.

        • Hanswurst 1.3.1.2

          I don’t think this “middle ground” description is that useful. Labour needs to appeal to a larger constituency. I would like to think that that doesn’t invole simply tempering its policies to be more like National’s.

          • Chris 1.3.1.2.1

            Yes, I agree. I don’t like the way I’ve used that term, either. The idea, I think, is about how Labour shouldn’t be holding itself out as trying to appeal to the centre-right in order to take the middle ground. It needs to take the middle ground by returning to traditional Labour values. That’s what I’ve been trying to say, very badly though. Thanks for that.

    • mikesh 1.4

      National only received forty-eight point something percent of the party vote. So, while they have sufficient partners to form a government anyway, the fact that they can govern alone is due to the idiosyncrasies of our electoral system.

  2. Tracey 2

    Bryan

    Part of the answer to why no traction is the machine that is worki g hard to make them slip. Without a media genuinely interested in what the alternatives are, in analysing the possible outcomes of certain policies, hiw do you get your message across.

    Still, hooton is spreading his BS that Shearer was headed for a Labour win. No one asks him for his proof.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Williams manufactures consent for Hooten every Monday morning.

      The Labour party media relations must suck badly.

      The Greens held up.

    • Chris 2.2

      Hooton’s support for Labour has ever only been about weakening Labour and weakening the left and making it easier for his nasty filthy money grubbing mates.

      • rightofleftcentre 2.2.1

        And STILL you resort to insulting name-calling. You guys just don’t learn do you!

        [lprent: Name-calling isn’t a issue around here provided there is a point to go with it. Read the policy about robust debate. Whining about it and trying to tell other people how they should behave here is an issue. It is called trying to tell us how we should run our site. I ban heavily for it. See the policy. ]

        • RedBaronCV 2.2.1.1

          Out in the open rather than behind someones back?

        • Chris 2.2.1.2

          Sorry, meant to say “Hooton’s support for Shearer…”, not “..support for Labour…” Big typo there. Sorry about that.

          So would that make any difference to your response?

        • Yoyo 2.2.1.3

          Could you perhaps just make the point without the name calling though?

          • Chris 2.2.1.3.1

            I think Nicky Hager’s book has exposed these people in a way that justifies the description. I’m incensed that Hooton and Farrar are still welcome on MSM to provide commentary on the very same filth they’re both up to their ears in and that they think they’re above it all.

    • Chris 2.3

      Labour has to genuinely change its position on the political spectrum to one which is about a caring society in which every citizen can participate. Call it re-adopting traditional Labour core values, going back to political roots, whatever. Labour needs to do that right now to ensure that the hard slog required to alter a climate of opinion driven by the neo-liberal commences as soon as possible. National, buoyed by Rogernomics, wrecked NZ’s caring culture developed since the 1930s in the 1990s – nine short years. It’s going to take longer than that to fix things but the work must start now. Competing with National for the middle ground is a battle the left will never genuinely win. It might get lucky every now and again when a leader with a modicum of charisma turns up, but that’s no way to live because it just takes one leader with an ounce of charisma to turn up on the side for everything to turn to custard again. We’ve had more National governments since the 1930s than Labour governments, but our social conscience remained in a fairly healthy state until the mid-1980s, ironically but probably coincidentally, under a Labour government. Politics is important but basic values we hold as a society are more important.

  3. pollywog 3

    It’s the colour red. Change to purple or burnt orange or ochre, I reckon.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      I really liked the branding Labour used at the last election for Not Our Future, the rust-coloured, tempered red colour. This time it’s just been boring flat red and (IMO) dull “Vote Positive”.

      • pollywog 3.1.1

        I was slightly embarrassed by the vote positive slogan too. The fact that you voted is positive enough and I’m sure everyone who voted blue thought they were doing exactly that…voting positive.

        Vote Labour would have been more positive.

        And yeah, maybe not purple but burgundy or magenta maybe?

        • mikesh 3.1.1.1

          I thought that National’s “we are heading in the right direction” was a pretty powerful slogan.

    • Richard 3.2

      LMAO Colour of sign, Your probably more correct than you can imagine but it’s so funny and ironic to say it. Debating a bad result based on the colour of a banner and flag. Oh stop it.

      However I do think, it’s a little to close to the Chinese red flag and the communist party colour to be neutral in voting option for that demographic of our now largely multicultural society. IMHO.

      • pollywog 3.2.1

        Was kind of taking the piss a little. I just can’t wear red clothing is all. Makes me look ill.

      • Anne 3.2.2

        Debating a bad result based on the colour of a banner and flag. Oh stop it.

        I did it back in the 70s as a very naive young woman. I collared my local Labour MP and earnestly told him after the 1975 election that Labour simply had to change it’s colour from red to purple. I explained it was the colour of royalty and everyone looks up to royalty. He maintained a serious profile (God knows how) and promised to take the suggestion back to Wellington. With the benefit of hindsight – and because the MP in question had a reputation for relating stories in an hilarious manner – I hate to think what happened at the next caucus meeting.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour is socially and culturally disconnected from a massive number of working class and underclass households. An extra 100,000 people turning out to vote for Labour, and this would be a very very different morning.

    • Poission 4.1

      Labour disenfranchised themselves from their central core , which was noted by cosgrove.

      “I visited a meat works recently and asked members on the line, actually what the boys and girls on the chain thought of us, and the key message reflected in the verdict of the people was that they don’t have a lot in common with us,” Cosgrove said.

      “The message was: ‘You guys just deal with minutiae and fringe issues, you should be articulating the needs and concerns that we have’. Those people who say the silly left, right thing, the truth is that thousands of Labour voters elected Mr Key and we need to reflect on that.

      “The plumber, the freezing worker, the little guy who’s now [got his] own carpenter shop, the SME (small business), these were all once Labour voters and if you don’t progress with people as they evolve and change, people feel completely disengaged.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10525538/David-Cunliffes-leadership-on-the-line

      Take it as a sputnik moment, ie the medium (the election result) is the message.

      • Richard 4.1.1

        Nice point, however opposite can be said from the opposite perspective.

        Issue being one cannot be all to all things, research the demographic and find out what the people want labour to mean and what policies they want to help them.

        Less of people willing to pay to join having policy influence, more what the people you want to vote for you, as they are the customer and labours selling the policy the policy should match the customers requirements. It might be a start.

        • aerobubble 4.1.1.1

          Nash.

          Labour stop talking to National voters, listening to their concerns.

          Nash retook Napier.

          How?

          Cunliffe said he needed to get funding.

          Why did he not have it?

          Same reasons he did not get votes.

          He did not sell his platform.

          if they won’t fund you, you aren’t going to get people to vote for you.

          Every major western democracy has a Capital Gains Tax, on the home.

          Did Labour sell this to people. No.

          • aerobubble 4.1.1.1.1

            Key is a salesman. A currency broker.

            • Jones 4.1.1.1.1.1

              As much as I dislike the man, his style of politics and his mangling of the English language, I respect John Key’s skills as a dealer… he has a nose for it and instinctively knows which way the wind is blowing. In business parlance, he knows his customer… this is what Labour need to relearn. “Labour is a broad church” is clearly no longer true. Who are their constituents?

              • aerobubble

                Which means what when he wants to talk with Peters?

                is he thinking 2017? Is he thinking the right of his own party, Collins return with a knife for him? Does he know that change is inevitable and holding it back would harm his legacy?

          • Yoyo 4.1.1.1.2

            Ironically in the same speech Cunliffe also said money can’t buy elections. Which is it. Just like he said the economy was great yet all election implied it wasn’t.

            • Richard 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Excellent point, Attack national economic policy as there isn’t one to attack?

              No attack their lack of policy, Massive debt accrued. I think it may have been a better strategy. But honestly nothing could be heard over the presses focus on Dirty politics and Hagars book, dotcoms revelations.

              This election will be noted for it’s lack of focus on the issues that matter, and kiwi’s by the look of it thought the same and quickly got irritated by it.

              I must be weird as I thought it was more than enough to oust National.

              Still can’t get over the revelations this morning more people party voted national in CHCH yet electoral voted the left.

              No one in this country votes electoral left and party right.

              From the party of dirty politics. Stinky very stinky.

              • aerobubble

                Its called Hedging, like CGT, you better get Key to give you a lecture on both. As he lived and worked aboard where both were major concerns in his work life.

      • weka 4.1.2

        “Labour disenfranchised themselves from their central core , which was noted by cosgrove.”

        All very well but (a) Cosgrove doesn’t say what it is that those people he talks to actually want, and (b) why call those people the core of Labour?

      • RedBaronCV 4.1.3

        Having faced Cosgrove on an issue where NZ jobs were going needlessly down the drain particularly for younger people and been treated as if it wasn’t something he need care about I’m not sure that he actually quite gets his own message.

      • Skinny 4.1.4

        Cosgrove needs to get real people got sick of his smart arse one liners. He should be honest, he failed to do the heavy lifting required in Christchurch as did Robertson in Wellington.

        Labour & Greens should have campaigned together and carved up cabinet posts and announce them prior, leaving room for Peters. Russell should not have pondered out loud. Watch Winston he doesn’t allow the media to run a muck he shuts them down straight away.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      Culturally disconnected so true and I have said this over and over people dont listen. To many in Labour are anti hunting, anti motor racing, anti physical sports like boxing the list goes on. Helen understood the need for this connection thats why she went to the League and Netball. Sports just one part of the picture there are lots of others like not living in you electorate. If you want to represent the people they have to feel like you are one of them and that is the reason so many like Key they actually think he is like them.

      • Ruth 4.2.1

        Craig, you are absolutely right. It is about connecting with people and Helen did it. So does John Key. My sister loves John Key because his success makes her feel good – she is 58, does not own a home or have a full time job, but votes Team Key. If Labour candidates were better known then their worth would be better appreciated. On Friday I read the online profiles of all candidates, and I was so impressed by the values, professional and public lives of them that I could not possibly give my Party vote to any other party than Labour, as all 84 represented the New Zealand I wish to live in. So, campaign 2017 starts now and it can start by telling NZ about the quality of candidates in the electorates and on the List.

    • Chooky 4.3

      +100…they are also tribal and short sighted and disconnected from the rest of the Left…namely Int /Mana

    • weka 4.4

      “Labour is socially and culturally disconnected from a massive number of working class and underclass households.”

      Agreed.

      My suggestion is that if we are to have a solutions focussed conversation here that we try to make it an inclusive conversation too. How can those disinfranchised people be listened to and heard and taken notice of alongside others? As soon as the conversation becomes Labour focussed too much on groups x, y, z and should stop, then groups x, y, z are going to resist. They’re not going to go away. I reckon it’s better to say how can the needs of groups 1, 2, 3 be addressed as well as x, y, z?

      I also think that the cultural issues within Labour caucus and upper echelons need to be dealt with separately from the cultural voter issue. If that part of Labour is top heavy with the middle class, trying to get Labour focussing on the needs of working class and underclass voters seems doomed to fail (the middle classes in general simply don’t get it). I don’t know what the solution is there. Start a new party/split Labour in two? I’ve not seen anything that convinces me that it can be dealt with at the membership/LEC level, other than using natural attrition and encouraging different people to come up through the ranks (which is a very long term approach). But Labour’s internal organisation still seems very opaque to me, so I hope I am wrong.

      • Jones 4.4.1

        I believe that Labour should be looking as one of many parties on the left and be asking, before your questions… are the needs of groups 1, 2 and 3 being adequately addressed by any other party?

        If another party is resonating strongly on a particular policy, don’t compete with it. Work to compliment it and find the problems and issues that Labour can make their own. But you have to know your “customer” first.

        • Colonial Viper 4.4.1.1

          I know yours is a well meaning suggestion, but the fact that we have a Labour which is not intrinsically in touch with who its “customers” are and what they think, is actually the entire problem.

          • Jones 4.4.1.1.1

            Absolutely… it’s fundamental to everything!

            • locus 4.4.1.1.1.1

              we could be over-thinking this… a common left wing trait

              the nats had 48% of people voting for them – were these people all the same? i don’t think so

              maybe we should get away from the notion of ‘customers’ and think more broadly about ‘people’ and ‘society’

              we’ve got good policies around health, education, housing, employment, ease of doing business …..

              perhaps what we’re missing are the things that people like and probably would like – not shallow ‘bread and circuses’ – but more long-term proposals for improving NZ cultural identity, arts, sports, environment, civil liberties, freedom of information….

              initiatives that make it more enjoyable or fun for ‘everyone’ to visit, grow up in, and work in NZ

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.2

        I reckon it’s better to say how can the needs of groups 1, 2, 3 be addressed as well as x, y, z?

        This communication style makes missives from Labour totally couched and unintelligible to many ordinary voters. Often the overall result is that the message sounds heavily qualified and insincere.

        One way to resolve this is for Labour to gain the capability to target and deliver communities and messages with much more granularity.

        I also think that the cultural issues within Labour caucus and upper echelons need to be dealt with separately from the cultural voter issue.

        Labour has plenty of organisational culture issues however what I was referring to was the disconnect with very many working class and underclass households.

        • weka 4.4.2.1

          “This communication style makes missives from Labour totally couched and unintelligible to many ordinary voters. Often the overall result is that the message sounds heavily qualified and insincere.”

          Just as well my suggestion wasn’t for Labour then 😉 I was talking about us here, and was intentionally avoiding using a term that in the past sparks conflict that goes round and round in circles here on ts and in the blogosphere in general, because it creates an unecessary division.

          “One way to resolve this is for Labour to gain the capability to target and deliver communities and messages with much more granularity.”

          I kind of understand what you mean there, but suggest you practice what you preach in this conversation 🙂

          “Labour has plenty of organisational culture issues however what I was referring to was the disconnect with very many working class and underclass households.”

          Yes, and I agreed with that. I then went on to suggest that the other problem Labour has should be dealt with separately. I said this because in the conversations on ts, the two problems have often been conflated.

    • AmaKiwi 4.5

      @ Colonial Viper (4.0)

      “Labour is socially and culturally disconnected from a massive number of working class and underclass households.”

      Why? In what ways? What’s your solution?

      • Colonial Viper 4.5.1

        Very difficult questions. Many important parts of the party are stuck in the Thorndon Bubble, and look down on working class and underclass NZ. Kiwis can feel the social/cultural disconnect. The solution is organisational culture change and making the party fit for its historical purpose once again. It will involve moving some people on. A very difficult, slow and long process. It may not be possible to succeed in this.

      • Colonial Viper 4.5.2

        Also please check out Craig Glen Eden at 4.2

  5. Richard 5

    Perhaps the loss will make victory, when the government is exposed to have been completely corrupt and selling off, official secrets to a media blogger for reward all that much sweeter.

    🙂 😛

    • Chris 5.2

      Maybe, maybe not. But that’s a different issue than the question of what Labour and the left are going to do. Key walking after getting wind that his involvement in the filth is going to be exposed will deal with Key, and National’s lack of depth will mean the party will lose its appeal, but that doesn’t mean much when you’ve got a dysfunctional left trying to pander to a population that lives and breathes a values system that maintains the wealthy few.

  6. Saarbo 6

    Thank you Bryan. Your experience and wisdom is appreciated.

  7. philj 7

    The MSM is the big winner this election.You own the media you control the message. A major factor in the election outcome. I don’t know how Labour etc can overcome this hurdle.

    • Richard 7.1

      True it was massively one sided. An Apologetic excuse maker almost.

    • Chooky 7.2

      +100…they have to be brought to account

      • anker 7.2.1

        100+

        One thing I am going to do is send all my friends and loved one a “free” subscription to the Standard.

      • Jones 7.2.2

        Through a truly independent publicly funded broadcasting service, perhaps? Can it be legislated so that it requires an overwhelming majority of MPs to change the legislation related to its existence?

    • Saarbo 7.3

      +1

      Listen to Mediawatch today on RNZ, a very good article on Hosking and others…Nat Party marketing machines.

  8. Mike 8

    What a strange country we live in where one party’s efforts to stay in power use the supposedly independent agencies for their own purposes and when caught out deny all, invest in spin and achieve an even higher vote. Collins obtains a majority of thousands and the blow waved bow tie scourge is still among us and Epsom result defies all description.
    Again labour and the greens these days are so naive as to think a joining with capital gains tax as a major sugar pill to the electorate was going to do anything and they together were easily dispatched. One good sign for the long term was NZ First’s showing and they need to get stuck into this flakey show and show the public professionally the way ahead. The various enquiries into the Nats behaviour will be a start

    • Richard 8.1

      Agree, and I think the masses who support Key would change but they probably need the conclusive proof, not an attack on their poster boy.

      and only then if their was something to vote for by way of defining policy that mattered. Though I thought the minimum wage offer was a good one, people preferred a tax break? Someday, maybe. call me.

      I am an Albanian refugee’s descendant with an English mother, I was born here and been there twice, too meet the …family, it could possibly be arranged for some bodies planted in an office 😉 or boot, 😉 give me a call, kiss my ring.. there’s always a way and a price get rid of a problem. signed the Albanians /JK
      If you have a problem no one can help call the

      A Team.

      • cogito 8.1.1

        LOL 🙂 You think your Albanian A-Team would achieve where the US/Canadian/German “henchmen” failed…?

        I see that Key is warning his MPs against getting arrogant…. LOL LOL LOL. Why change the habits of the last six years (or lifetime), Mr Key?

        Incidentally, re Dotcom…. my feeling is that his biggest problem was that he does not understand the kiwi psyche. He has, after all, only been in NZ since 2010. His fight against Key and “the raid” is more than valid, and so were the revelations last Monday, but he needed to handle the issues in a more Kiwi way in order to get mileage and acceptance.

    • Chris 8.2

      And Labour in actively works to help kill off a potential support partner in one electorate; and splits the left vote to ensure the survival of one of Key’s support partners in another.

  9. gnomic 9

    It’s all over for Labour. The only way they can possibly get back from here is if the Nats make a mess of things in a big way, or perhaps there is a Global Financial Cockup II. Very hard to see how the current Labour caucus could make themselves seem credible as an alternative government. At the very least Labour needs more MPs and lots of new people to replace some of the current tired old hacks. They can’t do that in less than two electoral cycles in my humble opinion.

    Meanwhile the Nats have a large team, and have moved to refresh their ranks with new talent. And they are able to motivate half the voters to support them. It’s hard to see how that momentum can be checked.

    • Jones 9.1

      The momentum can easily be checked. National’s economic management is smoke and mirrors but the illusion is successful to date. It is only a matter of time before the smoke dissipates and the mirrors reveal the awful truth. That will become evident to the majority when the middle and upper-middle classes start to feel it in the wallets. It’s already happening, but I believe there is still enough purchasing power in most households to pretend it’s not so bad… and humanity tends to optimism. Therefore steady as she goes…

    • AmaKiwi 9.2

      gnomic (9)

      “The only way they can possibly get back from here is if the Nats make a mess of things in a big way, or perhaps there is a Global Financial Cockup II.”

      Whether you own shares or not (I don’t), stock markets are an instant opinion poll of confidence versus fear. November 2008 was a vertical drop in share markets worldwide. The last 6 years have been a steady recovery. That’s why Key has been so successful.

      In a disastrous economy even Jesus and Mohammed will get thrown out of office by Satan. GFC II is very close at hand. If it happens, National becomes dog tucker and Labour/Greens are the angels.

      “It’s the economy, stupid.” (The Herald repeating Clinton.)

    • Richard 9.3

      I think it has little to do with the Labour line up. look at Nationals front bench. Bunch of arrogant pillocks.

      No lack of picking the fights, letting National pick the talking points.

      The economy is all smoke and mirrors with massive rising debt, scaring the public frankly and painting the bad picture is what should have been done. Bill English and the economy is Nationals weakness. Hindsights always 20/20 and I’m not blaming David blame is not useful in moving forward, however congradulating key on getting us through the financial crisis could be seen as an endorsement not exposing the smoke and mirrors that was the surplus and massive mounting debt.

      Seriously I don’t think the public understand the surplus, and national debt at all properly. I can barely get my head around the two at times.

  10. weka 10

    “let us remind ourselves that fewer than two out of five of New Zealanders entitled to vote actually cast a vote in favour of National in 2014.”

    This is a handy graphic to use any time Key says they have a mandate from New Zealand to do whatever they want,

    https://twitter.com/di_f_w/status/513464445322788867/photo/1

  11. weka 11

    I faced this danger as director of Labour’s UK general election campaign in 1987, when the Liberal alliance with the newly-formed Social Democrats threatened to supplant Labour as the best hope of removing the Tories. Labour didn’t win that election, but the effective campaign we ran then saved the party and boosted our vote, re-establishing Labour as undoubtedly the principal opposition and paving the way to 13 years of Labour government.

    If Labour is to avoid that danger in New Zealand in 2014, the task now is twofold.

    hmm, not sure what is being said there. I don’t think that we will ever go back to a situation where Labour is the dominant left political force and all other left wing parties are tiny. I want to see a pan-left that works co-operatively and increases representation across the board. Apparently we are still too close to FPP for that. There is this idea that fringe parties should be excluded, and thus their voters’ voices also excluded.

    • karol 11.1

      I want to see a pan-left that works co-operatively and increases representation across the board.

      Yes, i agree with that.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Yeah sure. But don’t expect candidates for electorate seats to follow it. It is a hard enough sacrifice for them to take time off their jobs and family. Expecting them to twist the knife in their guts goes far beyond the pale in a way that takes special kind of craven fool (stand up Goldsmith…)

        It is also a damn bad idea in terms of getting candidates and activists in that electorate in the future. I’d be like many of the activists and candidates. I’d tell you to stick your ideas…

        Cooperate at the party and activist levels. Not at the electorate level. That usually doesn’t work except in some peoples fevered imaginations.

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          Ah. Yes. i was thinking to work cooperatively at a party level, but not at a policy or electorate level.

        • weka 11.1.1.2

          Lynn, what did you think of the GP idea for Labour and the GP to work together during the election?

          And separate to that, what do you think about concessions?

          “But don’t expect candidates for electorate seats to follow it.”

          Well that’s the difference between the GP and L. I still don’t get it about Labour. The GP stands candidates who know full well they won’t get a seat but are running for the party. What you described sounds to me like the Labour candidates are standing primarily for themselves (although surely this isn’t true for people in blue seats, esp those far down the list). From the outside this is reflected in Labour MPs being free to do what they want (think Shane Jones), as opposed to the GP which runs a much tighter ship and rarely has MPs going rogue or speaking against other GP MPs or policy.

          • lprent 11.1.1.2.1

            Working together is something that I think should be done. The more conservative part of the Labour caucus will have a hernia about it. Personally I think that it is something that they will have to suck up.

            The question about candidates is pretty obvious. Partly history, and partly practicality, and partly sacrifice.

            1. When was the last time you saw a “left” electorate seat held by anyone apart from Labour? Well there was the Labour seat that Anderton took (stole) from Labour. The National seat of Coromandel taken by the Greens. There were the seats that the Maori party took away (stole) from Labour and which they have now largely regained. It isn’t like anyone ever wants to provide any electorate seats to Labour. They just want to pinch them… And if you’d listened to the TTT people at New Lynn last night then that is exactly what they felt like.

            2. Electorate seats are incredibly valuable for a political party and the Labour party in particular. They are how they have been organising for nearly 100 years. It is embedded all the way through the social and constitutional structures of the party. They provide the kernel for organising and the basic funding for offices and the reason for constituents to form bonds with MPs. The greens have nothing like it.

            3. Labour has throwaway seats as well. Just like the Greens. King Country style seats. You campaign there when you have time. You do it to show the flag and to pick up party vote.

            Then there are winnable seats which have a gruelling selection and require that you give up family and work for many months with no real certainty of outcome. You also get similar commitments from your supporters. It is a hell of a sacrifice. They are running for themselves.

            Comparing that level of commitment with Green electorate “candidates”? Most of them would have problems finding their arse with their hands when it comes to a real electorate campaign. It shows in the results.

            Shane Jones was a list MP for a reason. The guy was more interested in talking about himself than in working. Really didn’t have the backbone to be an electorate MP, so never really tried to be one. You picked a bad example.

            The problem inside Labour is a long standing argument about direction and who was right in the 80s. Personally I wish they’d get over it as it keeps jamming up the process.

    • alwyn 11.2

      Labour did, finally become the Government in Britain. What Bryan doesn’t say after telling us about what he did in !987 was that it took another 10 years before Labour replaced the Conservative Party as the Government.
      Next Labour Government in New Zealand in about 2024 is it?

  12. Andrea 12

    The left lost because the right is still playing politics like a game of footy. Winners! Strong! A hiding to nothing! Etc.

    And their core voters still think that way. First past the post. Losers! Crack another stubby, mate!

    It was said frequently: an MMP system and a First Past the Post press gallery. And they spoke to those of like mind.

    Until there has been enough ‘education’ to show the passive people of NZ, who long for a charismatic, strong, outgoing, bubbly leader to relieve them of the hassle of thinking, that the political system of this country is run differently from ‘footy’ then this kind of miserable, reactionary, deadhole result will be common. Unfortunately.

    • chris73 12.1

      Ah yes the old “people is stoopid” argument, no really talking down to voters is certainly not part of the reason the left is in the toilet no sireee

    • Wendigo Jane 12.2

      Agreed and the passive, unthinking national character is why the Dirty Politics revelations backfired. I have often heard it said how much NZers hate to complain, they won’t send a bad meal back to the kitchen in a cafe etc. Making a fuss is too much effort, zealous complainers are embarrassing. People know the DP claims are essentially true but they’d rather it was swept under the carpet and everything goes back to normal and the popular Head Boy is forgiven and we pretend “I’m comfortable with that” “I’m not too concerned about that”…

  13. “I faced this danger as director of Labour’s UK general election campaign in 1987, when the Liberal alliance with the newly-formed Social Democrats threatened to supplant Labour as the best hope of removing the Tories. Labour didn’t win that election, but the effective campaign we ran then saved the party and boosted our vote, re-establishing Labour as undoubtedly the principal opposition and paving the way to 13 years of Labour government.”

    No, it didn’t.

    A deeply flawed electoral system was always going to keep Labour ahead of the Liberal-SDP Alliance.

    And a damn shame as well. One counterfactuals for you, if, the Alliance had surpassed Labour and became the Lib Dems as Her Majesty’s Opposition, we might have lived in a world where the Liberal Democrats would have defeated Major in 1992, Paddy Ashdown would have became PM, the Liberal Democrats would have stayed further left of centre without the Orange Bookers grabbing influence and they’d be no damn British involvement in Iraq.

    • Richard 13.1

      What with ginger at the helm what was his name again Kinnock wasn’t it. came across as a chuckling buffoon, major looked like a chipmunk, pretty much the election as I remember it.

      Tough job making either of them look good. No wonder libs did well.

  14. Brendon Harre 14

    What I noticed about the election night is how smoothly John Key framed the agenda as being about stable economic management underpinned by future tax cuts in his victory speech. The point being he is alreading campaigning for the next election. Framing the debate. Embeding his vision in with the public.

    Of course it is just ideology and can be challenged. Stable economic management could come from constitutional safegaurds giving trust in the rule of law and public services. Or stable economic management could come from investing in public infrastructure that the market fails to deliver instead of tax cuts. Or stable economic management could come changing the rules, institutions and culture of NZ society from investing in unproductive capital to long term productive investments.

    It is clear to me that in the next three years John Keys eyes will firmly on achieving his version of stable economic management. He will have all the resources of the government. A battle tested political machine and a personality suited to calmly presenting long term goals.

    If Labour wants to challenge this status quo it has a lot of work to do to convince the public of an alternative vision.

    There is interesting discussions here
    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/72060/bernard-hickey-asks-if-voters-and-investors-use-long-enough-time-horizons-make-decisio
    and here
    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/72077/polls-close-national-needs-over-47-win-third-term-same-partners-or-will-need-support-eith

    Interesting because they are not some small factions echo chamber.

  15. coolas 15

    Sound advice from Bryan Gould as always. I was in the UK in 1992 when he was a shadow minister in the UK Labour party that lost a fourth election to the Conservatives. He left politics after loosing a bid for the leadership to John Smith, who died, and Tony Blair found himself in the right place at the right time .. and the rest is history .. four terms of Labour. And now ….Maybe this is the pattern here too. Already had 3x National, 3x Labour, now 3x Nats again. The worm will turn, and with the up coming revelations from Snowden and ‘Dirty Politics’ it might be sooner than later.

  16. xanthe 16

    Labour and Greens You knew what was happening to Kim was wrong and you joined in. There is never a stratigic reason for doing wrong. I really hope you can learn from this. maby you both need a purge!

  17. Reddelusion 17

    if the above comments are the lefts representation of what went wrong last night John keys reelection in 2017 looks assured

  18. Sable 18

    Look at it this way Nero ruled Rome for 13 years.

  19. reason 19

    When fear and smear postponed the day . Thats my initial impression of this election when I saw the results late last night.

    The six years of dirty politics and media smears were to much to overcome in the short time since their revelation. Their attack marketing against Labour and others held for them.

    And people were scared for their jobs, scared of a uncertain future and things like paying their mortgages, keeping up the car payments etc
    If you read the mainstream media you were lead to believe National were the sensible steady hand instead of the cynical reckless gamblers they really are. The big lie faithfully spread by the news media over many years helped scare some people into voting for something they know is bad but they are scared ….

    When the initial Dohang Liu lies and smears started running against Cunliffe and Labor early in the campaign I stated here and at other sites NZ first would be the main winner out of this. And so it proved to be.
    Although national did not appear to suffer a wound on election night for standing neck deep in the shit they are indeed seriously wounded and the infection from their dirty politics will not heal without some serious surgery which in itself may be fatal….. at least for a few of them.

    There was a small dollop of karma in the conservatives missing the 5% barrier …. more so as the nats left the 5% level in place to try and get rid of Winston.

    I feel sorry for Hone and ashamed for our country that hungry children and hardship for them seems not to matter for our well off nation. Hone will be back though and this shameful problem will exist until we collectively say we are better than this.

    But on the bright side this election was like a hospital pass with nationals reliance on the price of milk and a property bubble looking like the wobbly piece of shit it truly is.

    If ever there were a good election to lose this was it and Labour may have dodged a bullet as whoever is in power when the shit hits the fan over the next couple of years will get the blame for it.
    So I predict an economic slump for our rock star economy for reason related to milk prices or china trade , more sackings from dirty politics revelations and the resignation of Key at some point.

    I hate to imagine who winstons dragged into parliament with him but no doubt we’ll find out. And I doubt in a good way.

    In other words I see a shambles followed by a rout . This is how both previous national governments have ended.

    In the meantime I think the Herald and Dompost and a few reporters still have a price to pay for their involvement as part of the national party marketing machine …..

    Never buy or pay for either.

    • Richard 19.1

      Standing right behind you on that post. Well said indeed.

    • pollywog 19.2

      Cant see a rout happening with the same tired old has beens running the show from the shadows in 2017.

      A purge is whats needed, something along the lines of Game of thrones Red Wedding.

  20. RedBaronCV 20

    At what point did politcal parties become sellers and voters consumers. We are a participatory democracy which means that we form the parties and the policies and take them out into the air.
    Any body who tells me they are gutted by the result is going to get hit over the head hard and fast :
    firstly to give some money to one or more of the parties that lost out – if we don’t fund them then someone offshare will &
    secondly to get out there and make connections, knock on doors and discuss anything and everything.

    In the long run it will be better and cheaper.
    By way of an example we have just had a very costly hearing in Wellington for a very costly flyover that was useless. Voting the proponents out in the early days would have been a lot cheaper.

    • Richard 20.1

      Just saying, excuse the analogies, but labour are trying to sell a set of policies to the people, I don’t know who makes up the direction/policy but should their not be some research done even phoning randoms to find out what issues matter to them?

      If this happens already sorry, it was just a thought.

      You have an idea of how gutted I am, take your own and triple it.

      And I’m about to sign up and be a labour party member. Perhaps I need to do more than just blog my views if I want a better country and working conditions restored.

      • RedBaronCV 20.1.1

        Sorry Richard I wasn’t coming down on your views about policy at all. I was more questioning the framing that comes through sometimes (not from your posts) that politics is something done to us by somebody else (other planetary visitors???) and we just go along to the shops so to speak. We have a whole society that is encouraged to consume until it drops with politcs being added to the menu. And great to hear you have joined a party. I’ve hit 4 people up suggesting they donate this morning to their favoured “left” party – even just a tiny bit of change all helps.

  21. coaster 21

    Im gutted by the result as it makes it more likely that my family will have an uncertain future due to the likelyhood of redundancy. Its not about the economy, or the best leader, or the best campaign its about the people.
    The people you have and the people you are trying to help.

    Speak to us simply with what we are interested in and how you will make our life better. K
    kiss keep it simple stupidity.

  22. weka 22

    Alex Coleman ‏@ShakingStick 39 mins
    Here’s a crank idea

    Lab should accept public polling is good on the horse race, & spend their polling $ on issues, and PUBLISH the polls

  23. Gosman 23

    While I hate to blow my own trumpet (okay not really) I did warn you lefties of the potential for this to occur back in 2012.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/it-really-is-the-economy-stupid/#comment-539737

    Labour’s strategy and the left wing activist base needs to become a little more savvy if you are serious about getting back in to a position to become the government in three years time.

  24. coaster 24

    The right have reduced spend on maintenance for infrastructure in rural nz. This has been to fund other projects, the left have always turned this type of madness around, without maintained state highways how will the farmers get milk to the factories.

  25. Descendant Of Sssmith 25

    Funnily enough I was less surprised this election than last election at Labour’s poor showing.

    After watching the slow and painful year of the manifesto three years ago, which was to be followed by the year of the policy which actually turned into the following year of the policy just before the election is due (I think someone called it keeping your powder dry) I don’t know how anyone could understand what Labour stood for or have time to understand their policies.

    If it wasn’t for those who have voted Labour all their lives and won’t change and the PI communities Labour would be dead.

    But keep competing for the middle while there is a much larger group who didn’t vote – funnily enough that group is most likely to be poor and working class and unwell – those you used to look after.

    At least I had a good excuse to put some records on today.

    Bad Religion – Stranger Than Fiction

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      +100

      Labour sent all kinds of stupid, complex and confusing signals to the electorate, and had to rely on the MSM to present its communications fairly and equitably. Well that’s a fail from the start.

      National kept it simple for simple sound bites and the politically simple.

  26. Jrobin 26

    Capital gains along with raised age of super was electoral suicide. I heard that from many middle income now ex labour voters. Forget the idealism it alienated half the vote. Everyone in Media ignores this and pretends it was Cunliffe. These policies were a disaster with voters so now three years of Smugness United. Groan. Cunliffe was ok, great debater. Did average kiwi warm to him? Hard to say with the Liu smear campaign affecting him. Dirty tactics from National must be better handled and consciously countered as such next time. Once National begin their radical revision of the Public Service, there will be fertile ground for the electorate MPs to build up an alternative narrative that the public can begin to trust. The left need to look solid and caring, not scary and allied to extreme figures. Moment of Truth would have worked 6 months out from election. It scared the voters back into the arms of the familiar. Disastrous timing. But they may soon be regretting this. Get ready Labour. Get rid of policies the voters hate. Listen don’t talk.

  27. the voter 27

    Winston has always had the right idea in an election stand for your party both votes and dont play the media game
    Declare nothing about the election till its over
    Tactical voting is bullshit
    IMP lost a seat but they educated us about what we need to really look at, TTPA and every bit of seriously damaging shit that is going to come down on his country if we dont do something about it
    Key has sold this country a death nail and it seems theres a heap of people who dont give a dam cause their parked in the cities and they have the bulk off their dough overseas and sadly our farmers think that they can still be alright with their off shore income think again we are behind the 8 ball big time we actually have fuckall to invest in growth
    And most of the off shore investment ownership is still Australia Britain and America

  28. logie97 28

    As an aside, and agreed that there has to be some considered naval gazing,
    the many “Left” voters still do not appear to understand MMP.
    While we have a government that openly supports an abuse of the system, then the Left has got to play that game.
    ACT and United Future are back in parliament because of the “two ticks” Green / or Labour policy.
    The National candidates in those electorates were already guaranteed list positions. And if the Left in those two electorates had voted for the National candidate, ACT and UF would have been history.
    When will they ever learn to vote tactically?

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      While we have a government that openly supports an abuse of the system, then the Left has got to play that game.

      Understanding and using the fairly set and transparent rules of the system is not abuse. The more the Left plays a dumb game the less respect it will get from NZers. I mean, splitting the vote and letting Peter Dunne get back in, FFS.

    • logie97 28.2

      ‘:oops:’ navel gazing

  29. Ken Martin 30

    I only voted for my electorate Labour party MP this time. I was appalled at seeing Mr Key flummox a Labour leader again. This time, Labour’s floundering over their FBT proposal did it for me. While FBT may be fair, it was poorly explained and confused many. No hope for Labour until they have a leader who can match or outdo a wily opponent like Key, a neo-Muldoonist with his personal attacks on people saying things he does not like. He knows how to appeal to xenophobic Kiwis, too. Still, he is ageing quickly, and will go before too long, having secured a future knighthood for himself. The future impact of the Key administration’s core sleaziness and economy with the truth over GCSB matters is uncertain: the average Kiwi elector could not care less. For the moment, the new administration will hammer further those on benefits, change employment law to further suit employers, and stuff the environment. Again, apathetic to the core, we have got the government we deserve.

  30. greywarbler 31

    Without that struggle and the effort that has gone into it, the values of fairness, compassion and tolerance would be even more submerged than they are now. Keeping them alive and relevant in hearts and minds today will ensure that they will once again be re-asserted

    A very appropriate person, Paul Robeseon, sings There is a Balm in Gilead, which is about trying to keep on facing up to difficulties and to know there will be positive outcomes. He had a difficult life with racism and the hate of bigoted selfish people surrounding him in white society, trying to minimise him and denying him the respect for a good man and a great singer that he deserved.

    ‘There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.’
    I surely feel wounded. I saw this election as a crucial test for New Zealand, and the majority failed.

  31. greywarbler 32

    I can’t return to my comment and edit it though there are 5 minutes to go.
    But let us also be honest enough to recognise the impressive political skills that have produced the National victory. John Key is an unusually personable, skilled and effective political operator;

    If we can be side-tracked by ephemera presented by a celebrity (see USA Ronald Reagan) then we can never keep, regain, a healthy democracy. Italy altered laws to allow media owner Berluscone to have more power and spread and he got in as Prime Minister, with that sort of unfair media power, and they can’t get rid of him.

    Even old leaders keep massaging their celebrity status, and real issues are being forgotten while considerations of their excesses and rorts are the talk of the day. There must be a saying – Old politicians never die, they just……………. Some witty person would have a clever bon mot there.

  32. Dobby Bloggs 33

    As a National voter – I think a lot of people thought a Lab/Green/NZF/ + MIP coalition would be an unworkable mess. Part of the problem with the left is Green/labour compete for the left wing vote. If the Greens focussed on environmental policies they could grab some of the green nat vote and shed the left wing vote to labour expanding the block and give them a chance next election, without having to rely on other parties that are toxic to the mainstream voters.

    • Ken Martin 33.1

      Hi, Dobby

      Yes, the left is more than a bit fractured. Labour was firmly still thinking FPP when it declined to pair with the Greens. Labour was disconnected from reality and led by a professional politician intent on keeping his job. Still is. Key on the other hand is independently wealthy. Even if the two parties paired, I doubt if the Greens would have been offered by Labour anything worthwhile, like around the Cabinet table. The Greens were to be voting fodder. Not good enough!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 33.2

      Oh look everyone: two ratfuckers sharing their bad faith.

    • Richard 33.3

      Simplistic though correct Dobby. As a social wellbeing voter who couldn’t give a toss about businesses as a high priority, I think your right. As in Correct, your obviously right you say so. 🙂

      For some people that is so true but those people probably would never vote for carbon tax, don’t believe in climate change, and are more worried about the All Blacks.

      Most of the reason the message didn’t get through to the people was because the media have,

      Painted a picture of a five headed monster by repeating Keys quip one liners as sensational news stories from our superstar PM.

      Frankly the fair go on democracy and any other party getting their message over was for me the glaringly obvious issue.

      Whatever Keys says they went on and on about, Cunliffe hardly got a sound byte and had to desperately interrupt Keys painting pretty pictures just to dispel his dirty tricks.

      Quite frankly if all parties had better press coverage the voters could make
      better informed choices.

      Also labour have been painted as supporting the dole bludgers, Taxing the nation every time they get in, Loading up on government employee’s, expanding government with new departments anytime there a news story. A party for queers(sorry just saying what I hear) Cunliffe labelled a radical, and The ABC rumours.

      Now, none of these things I’d say are true at all, but clever media manipulation by wealthy interests have painted labour that way and it sticks. We can all stand around with our hands in our pockets looking the other way but sooner or later these issues need redressing back to the truth.

      I mean labours been labelled frivolous with tax payers money, yet the truth is since Lange they have done a fairly good job or repairing Nationals cock-ups. In fact Cullen is well known now in NZ for running a good ministry and frankly his abilities should be talked up more to try to negate the false perceptions.

      I also like David C but one of the older guys at work he’s 70 and can’t stand him. Is it really an issue and this shows how much damage hearsay and infighting can do if true.

      So what I’m saying is , dispel the myths, Fight key at his own game, remember he attacked labour every oportunity and hardly mentioned nationals policies.

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  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    4 days ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    4 days ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    5 days ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    6 days ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    6 days ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    1 week ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    1 week ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must rule out retrospective override for Ruataniwha
    National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker. “Having not got their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s failure a win for Māori landowners
    The Māori Development Minister’s admission that his unpopular Ture Whenua Māori Bill won’t pass into law prior to the election is a victory for Māori landowners, but only a change of government will keep the Bill gone for good, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats confirm growing housing shortfall
    National’s failure to fix the housing shortage has been starkly illustrated by new statistics, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Systemic abuse of kids in state care
    After admitting there was systemic abuse of children in State care the Government must do the right thing and launch an independent inquiry, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Migrant worker exploitation needs sharper focus
    The astonishing number of employers found guilty of exploiting migrants shows that migrant exploitation is a serious problem in New Zealand, says Labour Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “A total of 53 companies have been banned from recruiting ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister faces questions over dam debacle
    Today’s Supreme Court ruling dismissing an appeal to allow a land swap for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam is a victory for our conservation estate and Hawke’s Bay ratepayers, but leaves the Conservation Minister with serious questions to answer, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Too little too late on Wellington housing
    The announcement today on social housing in Wellington by the National Government is a pitiful and cynical election ploy, says Labour’s Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson. “In 2012 Housing New Zealand emptied out the Gordon Wilson Flats, taking 130 places ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Foreign trusts wilt in the sunlight, but more transparency needed
    The fact that the numbers of foreign trusts registered in New Zealand has plummeted after the Government’s belated and reluctant imposition of a new reporting regime, in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, shows the need for a transparent, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speech by Grant Robertson: The Future of Work and Labour’s Economic Vision
    At the election in September voters will face a choice between a government led by Andrew Little with a fresh approach to give every New Zealander a fair share in prosperity or the continuation of a tired government, out of ...
    3 weeks ago