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Matt McCarten standing in Mana

Written By: - Date published: 2:07 pm, October 27th, 2010 - 95 comments
Categories: activism, by-election, labour, leadership, Left - Tags: , ,

As foreshadowed by a comment here yesterday, Matt McCarten is chucking his hat into the ring for the Mana by-election.

This is a typically gutsy move by McCarten, who announced only recently that he has “the killing kind of cancer”. Facing such a struggle, some people might be looking to withdraw from the stresses of a public life. Clearly not Matt!

While I salute Matt’s endless courage and commitment, and would never question anyone’s right to stand, I do wonder at the political wisdom of this latest move. Matt isn’t going to win in Mana. Labour’s Kris Faa’foi is a strong candidate in a Labour seat. The Greens claim that their candidate Jan Logie is doing very well. A third candidate on the left simply isn’t going to find the space for a win.

What McCarten will do off course is further split the left vote. I don’t think it’s a serious problem, I don’t think he’s going to hand a win to the Nats Hekia Parata. My guess is that McCarten will split the Green vote, rather than seriously damaging Faa’foi. But this is certainly another wake up call and a reason for Labour to stay on top of their game in Mana. With John Key having learned the lessons of the Mt Albert fiasco, and now quietly campaigning hard in the electorate, nothing should be taken for granted.

The left needs another result like Mt Albert and the victory of the “Labour Mayor from South Auckland” Len Brown. Labour needs to keep it’s head in the game. Activists in Mana — with greetings and thanks to you all — get out there and give it all you have!…

95 comments on “Matt McCarten standing in Mana”

  1. bobo 1

    I would have thought Matt is much more effective out of parliament fighting for workers rights, but it does seem a strange decision to run and possibly split the vote.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Interested in speculations around his motivations. This is not about him as he knows he is unlikely to win – and the 2011 General Election campaign is on in only a number of months anyways. You’d win and then have to defend again in a very short space of time.

    So what is this really about.

    • Fisiani 2.1

      It’s about the total lack of confidence in Kris Fafoi, Phil’s poodle.

      • Bright Red 2.1.1

        lack of confidence from Matt, maybe. I don’t see many people saying they’ll vote for him instead of Fa’afoi though.

        • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1.1

          Then not many people are troubling themselves to look beyond the colour of the banner to the calibre of the candidate.

          A deep thinker with a long history of left activism and hard work vs a dilettante “celebrity” shoehorned in by his equally incompetent former workmates? Not a hard choice to make… provided you take the time to think about what your vote could conceivably achieve.

          Not only Matt McCarten, but Matt McCarten not beholden to any party hierarchy? Yes, please!

          P.S. To the other left candidates: You’re all fine people and I’m sure would make good MPs. You may still have the opportunity to do so at some point. But standing aside to make this a two horse race (on the left) between a candidate of the party elites and a genuine representative of the people would be a noble act, giving the people of Mana the option of saying “enough” to politics as usual.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            You are clearly a dangerous man Rex. So is Matt McCarten. Matt is a veteran fighter who knows why he is there and what he can do. Damn I hope he does well, really well.

            • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks CV, as long as I remain dangerous I know I can still be effective 😀

              If I didn’t have to keep scraping together what passes for a living, I’d be over there now volunteering for Matt’s campaign.

              I don’t care whether you’re opposed to every policy he’s espoused (and I’m by no means a fan of all of them) he epitomises the intellect, commitment, drive and hard work we need in Parliament. And Fa’afoi epitomises the diametric opposite (and again, there’s examples like him on both sides of politics).

              I’d kill to have the chance to point that out to the people of Mana.

          • felix 2.1.1.1.2

            What Rex said. Not holding my breath though.

      • Inventory2 2.1.2

        Agree Fisiani; the Goffice chose Fa’afoi against the wishes of the local LEC by stacking the selection meeting. I may be poles apart from McCarten on the political spectrum, but I admire his commitment to right what he perceives as wrongs.

        • Bright Red 2.1.2.1

          Just like when all those business leaders stood againt Key when he was parachuted into Helensville over the seating MP, eh?

          the fact is that people do get parachuted in sometimes, that’s politics. The LEC in Mana didn’t oppose fa’afoi and McCarten certainly isn’t going to use his last days in a campaign over something as banal as that.

  3. Oh Matt why?

    This is a FPP election.

  4. Jeremy Harris 4

    @CV, I think it is about Matt getting his message out as much as possible why he still has good time left and more power to him…

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Yeah I think you have a good point Jeremy.

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        What message? And is this really an effective platform? I’ve got a message too, maybe I should run in Mana.

        • Jeremy Harris 4.1.1.1

          While I don’t know who you are in actuality, McCarten does have a profile with the public… I disagree with him on almost everything but certainly respect his sincerity, passion and hard work ethic…

          His message is essentially – employers almost always bad, socialism good… He should be popular with the readers on this site… At the moment he is pushing for a $15 minimum wage (because apparently not enough people are unemployed)…

  5. Sweetd 5

    “Labour Mayor from South Auckland” Len Brown.

    Thats why he stood as an independent.

    • r0b 5.1

      Yeah he stood as an independent. “Labour Mayor from South Auckland” was what Banks called Len Brown. Banks clearly meant it as some kind of insult, but looks like the voters didn’t think so!

  6. Nick C 6

    Dont be silly Rob, this wont make ‘a third candidate on the left’. The greens arent a left wing party!

    A welcome shift to the centre

    • Box 6.1

      ^THIS

      Labour and The Greens are two very sorry excuses for left, they are about as central as it gets

      If we are really talking about candidates on the left I\’d say that we should be celebrating that ANY horse has entered the race from the Left

  7. Lindsey 7

    By-elections have always attracted political adventurism.

  8. wasi 8

    go Matt…new Alliance party anyone?…with no Jim Anderton to fuck things up…sounds good to me…and a whole lot of left voters that i`ve been talking to today…

    • mcflock 8.1

      Heh – actually, Matt playing secret-squirrel independent means that an Alliance candidate for Mana was registered as well (Kelly Buchanan).

      Ah well – it’s nice to see a chunk of lefties to choose between for once, even if it IS in another electorate!

  9. Roflcopter 9

    Woohoo! Go Matt!

    Just go to all of Faafoi’s gazillion banners all around Mana, and write “or Matt McCarten” under Kris’s name…. cheap campaign!

  10. Jum 10

    I’ve watched the Nat candidate in Parliament. Nasty piece of work.

  11. swordfish 11

    I’ve always been a big, big fan of Matt and happily cast my Party-Vote for the Alliance between 1996-2002.

    But as a Mana voter, I’m concerned that this will split the Centre-Left vote. For the reasons I outlined in comments on ‘Mana Campaign Heating Up’ (October 26) on this site, I believe the chances of a Parata win are not quite as remote as most commentators (including Rob) have suggested.

    Jeremy’s probably right, I don’t know what Matt’s health-prognosis is at the moment, but perhaps he’s thinking that if worst comes to worst this may be his last big chance to promote the causes he (and I) hold dear. But, given that last Sunday he was telling Herald readers that Labour has moved decisively to the Left, I can’t help thinking his candidacy is a strategic mistake.

    And yet I already know it’s gonna be very hard for me NOT to cast my vote for Matt in a few weeks time. I hold the guy in very high regard.

    I’ll vote Fa’afoi, but now I’ve suddenly got a reason for feeling a little bad about doing so. I’m sure there will be others in Mana with similar ‘conflicted’ feelings on the matter.

    • wasi 11.1

      “I can’t help thinking his candidacy is a strategic mistake.”

      i don`t think so…what better way to find out just how “decisive” labours “move to the left” really is…than to run a “real” left campaign alongside that of labour and their candidate…it`s all about pressure…and Matt is just the man to apply that pressure…shades of the Taranaki-King Country by-election in 1998…

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Bryce Edwards thinks it’s a possible gambit for starting a new party of the left. He could be right. I’m not sure if this is a great idea though as it could lead to a NACTite being voted in.

  13. It’s a great pity Matt didn’t approach Fraser House in the months leading up to the by-election, as he would have had a fair shot at clinching the Labour nomination, eschewing history. His battling of Prebble within the Auckland LEC in the late 80s is something that the “refreshed” Labour could have used as a indication of its renewed commitment to traditional Labour values.

    With regards to the by-election per se, Matt’s candidacy might prove unnerving to Fa’foi but less so to Labour. It is only a year until the general election, and even if Hekia wins, she’d only hold it for one year.

  14. wasi 14

    “Contesting the Mana by-election will provide a clear alternative for voters and put PRESSURE on the major party candidates to respond, says Unite Union leader Matt McCarten….today at his new Porirua office.”

    …it`s all coming together nicely…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10683456

  15. Bill 15

    So he runs to the left of Labour forcing Labour’s parachuted candidate to make ‘leftist’ as opposed to ‘centrist’ noises. And Matt drops out just prior to the vote ( citing health?) and endorses a Labour that has been shunted to the left again. Maybe.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Not a bad theory, except Matt McCarten is very unlikely to use his honest hard working supporters and campaigners backing him in that way,

      • Bill 15.1.1

        So in what way do you reckon he is willing to use honest hard working supporters and campaigners?

        • mcflock 15.1.1.1

          Another possibility is that he wants to get enough of a vote running a leftist platform that Labour solidify their newfound left-leanings for fear that if they chased the fickle “swing voter” too much they’ll lose a significant chunk of their core voters.

          And if he does split the vote and the nats win, don’t labour and the nats just swap list and electorate mps?

  16. Lindsey 16

    When did Matt stand for Mayor in Auckland City? 2001? The year Banks first got in?

  17. Thomas Forrow 17

    Well as a Green supporter and campaigner in Mana I welcome Matt’s entry into the by election.
    I don’t think there is much chance of him eating too much into the Greens vote, much more likely to be Kris Faa’foi . in that traditional labour voter demographic

  18. millsy 18

    Hmmm..

    grassroots union man and community activist v journalist and PR man hoping to add “MP” to his CV.

    I’m pretty sure that the likes of Nash, Semple, Savage and Nordmeyer never went to journalism school and then became press advisers.

    No contest really, as far as I’m concrned.

    Go Matt.

    I think we also need to be openly questioning why sitting list MP’s are contesting by-elections when there is nothing stopping them from setting up an office in that seat, or, shock horror, putting their money on the line and resigning their electorate seat.

    (I think my ban is over now, but if it is still on, then feel free to enforce)

  19. burt 19

    Good luck Matt, I fully mean that. I’m not a union man but I think you are true to your many cause’s and I fully respect that. Like millsy said – No contest really, as far as I’m concerned.

  20. Darien Fenton 20

    Any of you thought about who might be funding Matt’s campaign for Mana? And how this will benefit Unite’s low paid members in Auckland, because Unite is after all an Auckland union. And any of you noticed the epic battle being waged in the Court of Appeal today by the Service & Food Workers Union, who don’t have Matt McCarten to front for them, but who do most of the heavy lifting for low paid workers without the publicity and the glory?

    • felix 20.1

      “Any of you thought about who might be funding Matt’s campaign for Mana? “

      Are you saying that IHC are funding Matt’s campaign? That doesn’t make much sense.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.2

      That’s appalling Darien.

      If you want to say that Matt is using Unite funds without the union membership’s approval, then say it straight.

      If you are not prepared to say it straight, then:

      i) think about who usually makes those sort of bullshit mealy mouthed arguments, and

      ii) have a good hard think about the value of such rhetoric coming from the Labour Party’s Associate Labour spokesperson on a blog with this particular masthead.

      It shouldn’t need to be too hard a think.

      Fergawdsake.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      That comment’s almost burtish

      • burt 20.3.1

        Draco

        Don’t be a twat, I would have just come out and said it. But we are talking about unions here so it goes without saying that members hard earned fees are used to fund political campaigns.

    • Colonial Viper 20.4

      I know that Unite managed to unionise the McDonalds in Dunedin. So I suspect their reach escaped AKL some time ago.

      I don’t think D.F.’s comment is appropriate given that Matt McCarten has huge support from many on the left, unless there are firmer indications of wrong doing.

      Taking potshots at NZ’s own ‘heroes’ (gah at the terminology, you know what I mean) is not always a productive way to go.

    • Jeremy Harris 20.5

      Here’s a foreign concept to you Darien but have you ever considered that he may be funding his campaign himself..?

      Not using other people’s money, hmmm, you may need a lie down first…

    • Desperate, much?

      If a union were funding his campaign… and you have no basis in fact for that assertion or the smear machine (popped in the cupboard when Helen left, but still fully functional) would be putting that about… then so what? Matt is far more likely to espouse policies of which ordinary working people would approve than… ummm… well, your lot, for instance.

      If he was some unknown, pretending to be what he’s not and secretly funded by a union, that would be different. But no one’s going to vote for Matt McCarten and then be surprised at what they get as an MP.

      You think once elected he can’t do anything that’s not related solely to his own electorate? Perhaps you’re uncertain, given you’re merely a List MP and have never gained the backing of an electorate, but if elected Matt can – and will – do and say as he pleases.

      And that, of course, is what has all the machine MPs such as yourself worried. Because it is still possible for one person to make a difference. It’s that most of you choose not to, placing personal preferment ahead of what’s best for the country.

  21. deemac 21

    since everyone (including Matt who is not stupid) knows he can’t win, his decision to stand is looking more like an ego trip than anything else. There is only one workers’ party – I think Lenin had something to say on the subject…

    • wasi 21.1

      “since everyone (including Matt who is not stupid) knows he can’t win”

      really?…..”there are a number of factors that make the assumption of a Labour/Faafoi victory less certain”

      http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2010/10/matt-mccarten-for-mana-the-return-of-the-left.html

      • swordfish 21.1.1

        For potential problems for Labour in Mana, See also my comments on ‘Mana Campaign Heating Up’ (October 26) on this site – especially the first one under “(A) Problem”.

        To that list I’d now have to also add “Matt McCarten’s candidacy”.

        And, indeed, I also missed out the fact that a new, somewhat upmarket (albeit relatively small) suburb has been created in Mana since 2008 (Aotea). If most of its new residents are from inside the seat (voted in Mana 2008) then it won’t make any difference to the vote, but if they’re from outside, well…

    • Yeah he also said “democracy is indispensable to socialism”… but not when it challenges the monopoly of the Beloved Labour Party, eh?

      Or perhaps you were thinking of when he said “it is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed”. That one accords perfectly with the attitude of the last Labour government.

      • mcflock 21.2.1

        [regarding pithy Lenin quotations]

        Or perhaps you were thinking of when he said “it is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed”. That one accords perfectly with the attitude of the last Labour government.

        isn’t that a bit like an anti-Godwin?
        Or is it that the left aren’t allowed to make incredibly thin comparisons between Hitler and the tory du jour, but the right are allowed to equate the most mild nod towards the bourgoise with creating the gulag archipelgo?

        • Rex Widerstrom 21.2.1.1

          Triple Godwin with a double backward somersault, perhaps?

          My point was that it’s ludicrous to take quotations that are nearly 100 years old and applied to a very different situation on the other side of the world and imply they have anything relevant to say about a by-election in Mana.

          Mind you, though, the parallels between the Bolsheviks’ means of dealing with dissenters and that practiced by H1 and H2… that I might be tempted to stand by 😛

  22. deemac 22

    PS: to millsy, burt etc: politics – real politics, not student stuff – is about what works, not what makes you personally feel good

    • wasi 22.1

      what matt is doing is real politics….and it`s working already…and darien fenton`s post on this thread tells me that this is so…

  23. prism 23

    Good on you Matt. It is hard to decide the right thing to do when there is a problem of fragmenting the votes and letting ‘the others’ slip in on a thin majority.

    It happened in France to the left when they were trying to keep right-bent Le Pen out. But he had stood for the French presidency five times, including in 2002, when in a surprise upset he came second, polling more votes in the first round than the main left candidate, Lionel Jospin. Le Pen lost in the second round to Jacques Chirac.
    Le Pen again ran in the 2007 French presidential election and finished fourth.
    (Wikipedia) One of the times he nearly triumphed there were something like 16 left parties of various sizes to 3-5 rightist. There was a great difference between left and right anyway.
    Then in the USA Ralph Nader felt more people-oriented than the two top teams and was castigated for standing for office when he was likely to receive a small minority of votes.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Now, in an MMP environment, it matters less if there are a few Left parties splitting the vote surely, as long as they each get above the 5% threshold. (Which probably should be a 2.5% threshold).

      • mcflock 23.1.1

        Hmm.

        If I understand the house makeup correctly:
        if Labour win, no change to the house;
        if the nats win, they lose a list mp, no overall change to the house;
        if the greens win they lose a list mp, no overall change to the house,
        if matt wins the overhang is extended and labour get a leftie in the house.
        If ACT win, the Mayans were about 18 months out.

        so of the possible outcomes for the last year of this election cycle, two are left neutral and one is a left-positive?

        But then I did hit the pub last night and my mental acuity is probably in the area of a moderate national voter at the moment.

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          Someone on the Left who can do math. Even after the loss of brain neurotransmitters associated with a big night out. Impressive.

        • Bright Red 23.1.1.2

          Nope. The number of list MPs a party has is set at the election, unless a list MP becomes a electorate MP, in which case there’s no replacement list MP – the party’s number of MPs stays the same. If a party loses a by-election they don’t get an extra list MP.

          So:

          If Labour wins, no change in numbers.

          If National wins, one of their list MPs (Parata) becomes an electorate MP, and Labour is down one seat. the overall number of seats in Parliament reduces by one.

          The Greens (or anyone else) don’t lose a list MP if they win because their candidate is not currently an MP. The Greens would get an extra MP at Labour’s cost if they win.

          If McCarten wins, he goes in and Labour loses a seat.

        • Policy Parrot 23.1.1.3

          mcflock – one mistake

          Greens would not lose list MP if Greens candidate wins. Why different from Nats? She is not already an MP, whereas Hekia Parata is.

          Agree with BR. ^^

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.4

          Seems *I* am the one who can’t do the math, then.

          • mcflock 23.1.1.4.1

            It seems I can do math, but that I’m not familiar with the electoral rules or who his currently in parliament 🙂

  24. wasi 24

    Alliance backs McCarten over own candidate…

    The Alliance Party will effectively overlook its own candidate for the Mana by-election and instead throw its weight behind its former president Matt McCarten following his surprise move to contest the electorate.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Alliance-backs-McCarten-over-own-candidate/tabid/419/articleID/183477/Default.aspx

    • Jeremy Harris 24.1

      That’s ridiculous, why would people in future stand for a party that would saw them off like that..?

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        Hmm, my feeling is that Alliance supporters in general – not all of them, but most of them – see a lot of sense in backing Matt. Those ties run deep and for the true lefties its not about individual self interest anyhows.

        • swordfish 24.1.1.1

          “Hmm, my feeling is that Alliance supporters in general – not all of them, but most of them – see a lot of sense in backing Matt.”

          What ?, all 17 of them ?!!! That’s how many people cast their Party-Vote for the Alliance in 2008 in Mana. Oops, sorry, you said “most”, so presumably, what ?, 10 or 11 ?

          But no, CV, that’s just me showing-off, bastard that I am. You’re probably quite right. The Alliance took 3031 Party-Votes in Mana in 1996 and 2351 in 1999. I voted Alliance 1996-2002 and, as I’ve said, I suspect there are many former Alliance voters in Mana like me who are feeling more than a little ‘conflicted’ at the moment. Despite my earlier comment, I haven’t entirely ruled out voting for Matt. He is – not to put too fine a point on it – a bloody good bloke.

          • mcflock 24.1.1.1.1

            be kind, swordfish – what other party can set a reasonably achievable objective to double its party vote? 🙂 And the Alliance voters that remain are generally a lot more active than most.

            Anyway, we might have been hit badly last election, but it is funny seeing where Alliance policy is popping up – a little bit in Labour, a little bit in Greens, quite a lot in the CTU economic paper…

        • Jeremy Harris 24.1.1.2

          Those ties run deep and for the true lefties its not about individual self interest anyhows.

          Ha ha ha, thanks I needed a good laugh…

      • wasi 24.1.2

        “Those ties run deep”

        …the alliance party activists in Mana who have backed Matt are all ex-New Labour Party members…i know…i was an NLP member myself…

      • mcflock 24.1.3

        McCarten’s candidacy was a bit of a surprise and the Alliance nomination couldn’t be withdrawn in time.

        This is NOT a case of “we need ACT in wellington central so we’ll shaft our own candidate”.

        Matt is a good activist with a high profile and with beliefs consistent with Alliance policy – a lot of lefties have a great deal of time for him.

  25. Thomas Forrow 25

    The Green candidate and former Unite delegate Jan Logie welcomed McCarten to the race today
    The Greens are the only party in the contest with matching policies and fully support the unite union
    It will be good working with Matt

    • mcflock 25.1

      “The Greens are the only party in the contest with matching policies and fully support the unite union”

      I guess so, now that the Alliance has de facto withdrawn from the race to make room for the better candidate. Will the Greens be as noble? 😉

      • Thomas Forrow 25.1.1

        Well that a fair call, Not so sure about the ‘better’ candidate Jan is pretty awesome but for us this by-election all about building profile for the Greens in Mana in 2011GE And we have done sooo much door knocking , and we have all those leaflets just waiting to go and all those activists just waiting to deliver them ;~] (and we do have the best billboards ,again)

        I see all the candidates will be on Q & A on Sunday that will be fun

      • Rumpelstiltskin 25.1.2

        Improbable that the Greens would withdraw – they will be running again next year whereas Matt McCarten may well not still be alive. Even if he is, it\’s highly improbable he will fight the seat again. So this is a one-off.

        Neither Jan Logie or Matt is going to win this – Hekia Parata or Kris Fa\’afoi will – but Jan will be around to fight it again next year. And her profile will be much enhanced by this by-election.

        Plus, they already have nine MPs and their policies are almost identical to those Matt is promoting. After all, the people who wrote those policies are the Greens\’ unionist wing who joined because it was the only remaining viable party on the left when the Alliance imploded. Matt and the Unite Party would have only one, and only for as long as Matt was well enough to remain an MP. My guess is that the Greens would feel that they\’re better placed to implement the policies they share with Matt than Matt himself.

  26. lefty 26

    Labour is capitalisms B team. The Greens are capitalisms last line of defence. Matt will give people in Mana the choice of casting a left vote.

    • mcflock 26.1

      damn I’m glad I wasn’t at work when I read that one – a literal lol!

      Possibly a wee bit harsh on the Greens, but near enough for general agreement 🙂

  27. Darien Fenton 27

    Oh well, the Matt McCarten magic is working well on some of you. I’ve known and worked with him for years – years longer than most of you. I know he is brilliant. I know he is good at promotion and I know he’s a great campaigner. I also know about the divisions and problems of working him, but I’m not going there. The point of my post was that if we are in a battle for low paid workers, is Mana the best place for it; or is it still in McDonalds which yes, Matt has unionised in part, but who still want to see the ERA and Holidays Act changed, particularly in regard to the legal tools unions can use today, but couldn’t use in the 1990’s, such as union access and rights to collective bargaining. And as for the $15 minimum wage campaign – Labour signed up to that more than a year ago. In the meantime, I just wish someone would give a shit about the work that goes on in other unions – eg the SFWU. Because, out in Mana, that’s where the rubber hits the road.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Any public relations/marketing specialist will tell you that if you do not consciously create an image and brand awareness for your organisation in the ‘marketplace’ (yes an awful term) you run the risk of other people defining you in your absence. Or even overlooking your existence.

      The SFWU does great work. But what proportion of people out there actually even know what the SWFU stands for? What proportion of young workers out there who probably should belong to the SWFU have never even heard of it? (Or understand what the purpose of a union is?)

      This is a big problem for both unions and for Labour.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 27.1.1

        Its a bit hard when the mainstream media is controlled by people who are openlyy hostile to unionism. If we had more Jon Stewart’s out there taking a skewer to media hypocracy you might have a chance- but in NZ we don’t. You have to accept that publicity for these causes is tricky given the power of the opposition.

        • Colonial Viper 27.1.1.1

          Small start ups always find ways to take on the big conglomerates, even if they cannot match the PR budget dollar for dollar. Yes we are at a serious disadvantage with the MSM feeding the sheeple, but its not the end of the story b any means.

    • Pascal's bookie 27.2

      The point of my post was that if we are in a battle for low paid workers, is Mana the best place for it; or is it still in McDonalds which yes, Matt has unionised in part, but who still want to see the ERA and Holidays Act changed, …

      Really? Because the way you worded it came across more like the typical shite that gets thrown around about how union organisers are just big noting sharks exploiting their membership as a means of personal aggrandisement. To refresh, here’s what you said:

      Any of you thought about who might be funding Matt’s campaign for Mana? And how this will benefit Unite’s low paid members in Auckland, because Unite is after all an Auckland union. And any of you noticed the epic battle being waged in the Court of Appeal today by the Service & Food Workers Union, who don’t have Matt McCarten to front for them, but who do most of the heavy lifting for low paid workers without the publicity and the glory?

      The subtext of that isn’t particularly subtle, and it looks like others read it the same way I did. It’s nothing to do with “the Matt McCarten magic is working well on some of you” It’s to do with the rhetoric you chose to use and the, presumably intended, implications of that rhetoric.

      I’m still not really sure what your point is, if it isn’t the smear it looks to be. Is it Matt’s job to promote the SFWU’s work? If that work isn’t getting the support it deserves, isn’t that more the LP and the broader union movement’s problem? It seems to me that Matt does more than anyone highlighting the lack of support for low paid workers from the broader movement. It was more than year ago that Unite members were doing the rounds collecting signatures for 15/hour.

      So I’m not really sure how this translates into Matt somehow doing the wrong thing here. From the point of view highlighting his issues that is.

  28. Darien Fenton 28

    As you’d expect, I’ve spent a bit of time in Mana, and you’d be surprised how many SFWU members I’ve come across. As for a public profile – yeah, you’re probably right, but I never think that young workers aren’t interested in unions – that’s not my experience. They will join the union in the workplace if their peers and other workmates do – and of course if they are asked. Don’t forget, unions happen in the workplace, not in the media. That’s how I got involved; not because I was impressed by the union leaders of the time (I wasn’t) but because my workmates were the ones I listened to. And it’s the same with political parties, I reckon. Face to face, person by person – not slick marketing – it takes more time and effort, but it still works.

    • KJT 28.1

      Exactly right.
      However the reason why many young people do not join unions is lack of knowledge of history and subtle and not so subtle hints from employers that if they join a union they should expect to be punished.

    • Roflcopter 28.2

      Which is why McCarten will make some serious inroads.

      Fa’afoi’s only presence in Mana has been via a blanketing of the entire region with billboards, yet he’s hardly ever seen in person. Why? Because Labour were silly enough to think they had it in the bag and are just going through the motions.

      Now Labour are in catchup mode, and if the electorate see Labour looking like they’re starting to get desparate, they’ll know something isn’t right with their “democratically elected” representative.

      You were warned, and you ignored the wishes of the Mana people. You may end up wishing you hadn’t.

      (hmmm edit: i didn’t quite stick this in the right place in the thread, but it is for Darien)

      • Colonial Viper 28.2.1

        You gotta be kidding Rofl, not only is Fa’afoi on the ground daily in Mana, he is being accompanied by a lot of top Labour people supporting him in the streets. The Battle for 2011 is starting early.

      • The Voice of Reason 28.2.2

        ‘Fa’afoi’s only presence in Mana has been via a blanketing of the entire region with billboards, …’

        Obviously you’re not from Mana. Labour have an excellent team, with Kris prominently at the helm, knocking on every door in Mana. One of the people doing the door knocking with him is the candidate who came closest to him in the selection. If she’s not miffed about him getting the nod, why should you, a non Labour voter, give a flying one?

        Or are you just making stuff up again?

      • swordfish 28.2.3

        Provisionally, I’m picking Fa’afoi to win by 1800-2200 votes (a significantly reduced majority). Only “provisionally”, mind. Stand-by for a far more authoritative prediction in coming days. I have absolutely no doubt you’ll all be waiting with baited breath for the announcement. Only a few more sleeps to go !

  29. I’ve seen Fa’afoi say some stupid shit of Palinesque proportions in the press.

    For me it’s all about paying dues not lipservice, and Fa’afoi just ain’t worthy cos he hasn’t been seen to do any hard yards or get down and dirty in the streets.

    McCarten on the other hand, is gully as and maybe just what’s needed to shake up things in the big house going into election year.

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