Metiria for PM

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, August 8th, 2017 - 45 comments
Categories: class war, election 2017, elections, greens, jacinda ardern, james shaw, labour, Left, liberalism, Media, Metiria Turei, Propaganda, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , ,

The desire to see Metiria Turei assume the role as NZ’s next Prime Minister is a serious one. That doesn’t mean it’s  expectated come September. I call it pragmatic idealism….here is the ideal, while over here are the limitations of reality. Part of the limitation is that the Green Party didn’t hit the ground running off the back of Metiria’s Welfare policy announcement and NZ Labour certainly have hit the ground running off the back of Jacinda becoming party leader.

But think of this for moment. Imagine an indigenous woman becoming the leader of a country such as New Zealand (maybe think ‘Canada’ by way of comparison) and the impact that would have throughout the English speaking world and beyond. Better still, imagine that person possessing the depth and breadth of integrity that Metiria has, and that being allied with formative life experiences from down here at the foot of the ladder, that both protect and nurture that innate ability to discern meaningful, or institutional and systemic levels of right and wrong.

Okay. Now park that off to the side for moment.

There is a rule of thumb (some might call it a golden rule) regarding ‘peoples’ champions’. If media and other aspects of the establishment view them favourably, then they aren’t our champions. They certainly aren’t any threat to the status quo.

The concentrations of power that influence our society most heavily, that I’ll simply label ‘the establishment’, can express desire for change. And does so often enough. But the type of change the establishment seeks is safe. It’s contained change that either furthers establishment goals, or that protects gains already made. So for example, after some years of “peddle to the metal” reform, there might arise a certain ‘wisdom’ within circles of power that advocates for a period of slower and gentler change – a period during which thumb screws applied to ordinary people are loosened back a notch while substantive gains get bedded in – an easing off as it were, to ensure continued traction.

Arguably, that is what the Clark years were all about- a period of short term compromise by elites that was accompanied by some long term bedding in. Then, when Clark’s time was deemed to be up, there was John Key, touted by media as the peoples champion who would lay low the increasingly autocratic and meddlesome Clark. And John Key would still be the darling of media and waltzing into a fourth term by the way except, well…he’s gone. So now the establishment can get in behind a dowdy Bill English who’d probably struggle to sell an ice cream to a child even if he promised to give the child the ice cream money in the first place, or it can back Jacinda Ardern – NZ’s very own Marcon or Trudeau (certainly not NZ’s Corbyn or Sanders).

Who would you back in their position?

The next question is, given what your position actually is, and given we have more than a simple binary choice in NZ, why would you back her (if you back her)?

There’s a lot of hype and almost astro-turfing about at the moment that would push Jacinda as caring, as selfless and even as feminist besides all manner of other ‘moma’s home made apple pie goodness’. Maybe you’re buying it. I don’t really care if you are.

But taking the spin at face value, I just can’t imagine how such an innocent survived the bear pit of NZ Labour’s caucus.

On the other hand, there’s the evidence that points to her being the front for something that’s really quite ruthless and calculating.

Take Andrew Little as an example. Jacinda and her team are really quite effusive in their admiration for the man who was noble enough to sacrifice himself for the perceived greater good of the NZ Labour Party as well as for the perceived greater good of New Zealand in general. Except that….well, just 24 hours before supposedly voluntarily stepping aside, Andrew Little was speaking on Radio New Zealand and insisting he wanted to lead NZ Labour into the election. I commented on it at the time – drawing attention to the difference between that desire and an ambition to be the next PM of New Zealand.

For me, that’s the first scratch on the surface of this shiny bauble of goodness were being presented with. It’s being somewhat wiped over for now. And of course Andrew Little isn’t going to say he was done over by NZ Labour’s caucus. Not at the moment anyway. And so Ardern and the team get to present themselves as saviours of goodness who merely stood up to fill a vacuum that was not of their making. Our heroes then, have arrived just in the nick of time to save the day – Phew!

And not only that, but Jacinda is nobody’s fool. She’s an everyday person who will go in and bat for women by way of giving a radio host a right good piece of her mind over the issue of employers asking women about their plans for having children. I watched the clip. And I was both surprised and not surprised that she didn’t simply mention that it’s illegal for an employer to ask such a question. The law, after-all, seems to be her ‘go to’ place when confronted with matters of right and wrong. It was absolutely her refuge when asked for her thoughts on Metiria’s DPB claim (ministers cannot condone breaking the law). And it was also the ground she seemed to have occupied when ‘sadly’ informing one and all that Metiria could have no place in a post September cabinet.

Now there’s a peoples’ champion – that erstwhile solo parent and dangerous breaker of laws! Reviled by media, unassuming, calling a spade a spade and gaining a fair bit of genuine grassroots support for her troubles. Obviously, that’s a problem for any astro-turfing pretender to the role of peoples champion. But Metiria, or so the hope must be, has been effectively side-lined now. And what’s more, Jacinda’s hands are clean. Just like Jacinda’s hands are clean over Andrew Little being ousted voluntarily stepped aside.

As an aside, I feel I have to hand it to Shaw. He’s a lousy liar. I’ve no idea who he thought he was convincing with his hesitant response to the question on Q+A of whether a phone call from who-ever in NZ Labour had forced Metiria’s hand, or whether she’d unilaterally arrived at a decision to not seek a cabinet position.

These people with such high ideals and levels of personal integrity, willingly, and with no back room pressure at all, falling on their swords! Who’d have thought NZ was so blessed!? Not for New Zealand politics any inclination to kick people when they’re down, to take full advantage of a persons short term political weakness or passing psychological vulnerability to force them out of the way. At least, not when we’re talking about NZ Labour’s caucus – that venerable institution of straight shooting, straight talking and exemplary conduct and behaviour.

So okay. The Jacinda bandwagon is rolling and the wheels probably won’t come off any time in the next six weeks. Too many facets of institutional power are there to clear away any bumps or rocks, thus ensuring a smooth ride up ’til election day. I mean Christ – even Patrick Gower is on-side. If that doesn’t tell you something, then you’re probably incapable of acquiring knowledge or assembling informed opinions.

Come September the 23rd, the choice is going to be between voting for winners over losers, or voting for right over wrong. The idealist in me imagines people in their droves voting for what’s right, while the pragmatist concedes that most people will merely vote for a shiny win.

But as I wrote in this post before the demise of Andrew Little as NZ Labour leader, the next three years should probably be regarded as NZ Labour’s swan-song. That being the case and assuming Metiria Turei remains in parliament, I can foresee happy circumstances where idealism and pragmatism merge in 2020.

So I really do hope she sticks around . Because I’m quite looking forward to swapping my #iammetiria t-shirt for a #meti4pm one.

edit – this post was written just prior to knowing that Kennedy Graham and David Clendon had done a bunk. I guess they’d disagree with the sentiments expressed in the headline…

45 comments on “Metiria for PM”

  1. Nope 1

    This is jump the shark stuff. I feel for Metiria, but when she has her own MPs resigning in protest at her leadership just seven weeks out from a general election she is in no place to be PM. It’s a sad, sorry debacle but it’s no way forward for a left that’s interested in persuading voters and winning power so we can actually implement progressive change.

    • Korero Pono 1.1

      Disagree, good riddance to those unsurprisingly white middle class males who failed to see the message delivered and instead buying in the narrative being spoon fed by the media. Two men who were already disgruntled and no doubt more interested in their own agenda than the interest of the party. No real loss, their absence will serve the Greens well.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        Who will take their place? Does it mean Hayley Holt and Teall Crossen move up the list?

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    James Shaw did an excellent press conference last night. The Green Party are clearly with Metiria. Such courage from her.

    When have the mainstream media, or many status quo MOR people been much for the Green Party.

    Many non-GP people are pontificating on what they don’t understand, and the necessary changes they fear: the changes our country, our system and many of our people need.

    Go Metiria! We need more like her in government, representing those struggling most – rather than so many comfortable supporters of the status quo who are more worried about keeping their parliamentary salaries, and distancing themselves from the struggles of the under-represented.

    Real change doesn’t come that easy with the MSM cheering it on!

    • Keepcalmcarryon 2.1

      FYI “non GP” people are the voting public.
      They are who you need to listen to and convince -Unless the GP is gunning for just the votes of Green Party members. It could explain a lot.

      • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1

        And there are plenty of non-GP people who don’t agree with the lines being pushed by right wingers and the mainstream media. Many have given up voting. Many are swinging behind Turei and the GP.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 2.1.1.1

          Let’s see the next poll. This is not going to be pretty for the greens. We can only hope the left parties don’t suffer as a whole. labour needs to be getting the headlines with their new leadership, not batting away questions on the greens own goal.

          • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1.1.1

            I don’t waste much of my time on polls. They can be as much an influence of what happens next, as a reflection of where things are going. And a lot of them are used by media organisations to capture eyes and ears, and push their own angles in headlines and sound bites.

            I care what people on the ground are actually saying and doing, and on the values, policies and discussions people are having. That’s where democracy resides.

            • Keepcalmcarryon 2.1.1.1.1.1

              That is well said.
              There is value in trying to understand media and political spin though, in my opinion , as that is how the majority of the public receive their messaging. (unfortunately) Most people are not interested In Politics enough to seek the real story.

          • David Stone 2.1.1.1.2

            I think a lot of people are going to be very surprised by the next poll.
            D J S

  3. Korero Pono 3

    Well there we have eh Bill? We’re kind of settling for second best to try to secure that ‘shiny’ win, right? Jacinda Ardern impressed me at first but that was ruined when Labour preseumes themselves so important that they think they have the right to tell the Greens what to do. It has simply strengthened my support of Metiria and the Greens and diminished my faith in NZ Labour. I would prefer Greens to stand their ground on this one, why must they bend and why must they behave like Metiria is an untouchable. Her supposed crime is only made so by a fanatical Green hating media, a media that only has power because we give it to them.

    It seems the NZ public are being served a false dichotomy, an either or choice between National or Labour. The Mindset of most voters is that we have to have one or the other, or at least that these two parties will always be dominant in any Government. That false dichotomy ensures their survival (even when sitting on 23 percent), it keeps people voting accordingly and fearful of voting elsewhere lest we get stuck with the one we hate most. The one million gave up on this false dichotomy and stepped out of the democratic process altogether because no one was speaking their language, well now someone is and someone has the courage to stand up and put themselves on the line to get the issues to the table. Metiria has every chance of bringing those people to the Greens, it may be too soon to galvanise these folk this election but come next election, I know what I will be doing, I only hope that Metiria sticks around long enough to see it through! In the mean time I suggest that we do what we can to get that message to the missing million.

    • Carolyn_nth 3.1

      I think we all need to stick around and campaign strongly for the changes Metiria and other strong left wingers have stood up for.

      I am totally dismayed at how timid so much of the NZ left has become. Once they took to the streets to fight Muldoon and his para-military goons. Now so many cave at the first MSM attacks and criticism.

      The Green party caucus, sans the 2 misguided traitors, are standing strong behind Turei, and are out their campaigning for true change daily.

      When did those on the left, knowing those with power and wealth would always use all their resources to attack those campaigning for change, give up so easily!

      The MSM and the likes of Gower, Hosking and Garner should not be choosing our leaders for us.

      Stand up, fight back!

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I’ll be sticking around. (Might row back from some of the assertions I’ve made in this post mind – eg, Ardern may well have been being a bit pathetic and just looking to “rub it in”) 🙂

        Anyway, I clicked into some RNZ interviews this morning and was really quite heartened at the sense of fear emanating from the Hooton’s and William’s of this world.

        Last night I read through the comments on the Clendon Graham post and couldn’t help but notice the utter lack of “doom and gloom”.

        On the blog sidebar today, I notice from a quick look, a majority of positively headed post about the supposed crisis besetting The Greens.

        My facebook feed is constantly throwing pro Green/fuck poverty posts at me.

        And I’d have to do a bit of delving, but I get a clear sense that across commentators on this blog The Greens are very much more supported by that weighted straw poll than they were last election.

        Anyway. Regardless of the election result, I’m fairly confident that the next three years will the last three years of liberal dominance in NZ.

        As for msm. If they ain’t going all naked in tooth and claw, then you ain’t doing it right. And by that measure, The Greens are certainly getting there.

        I don’t think people are giving up Carolyn. I think many are discovering resolve.

        Meanwhile, NZ Labour have lost the headlines again and I think a growing number of people are scornful towards this notion of msm that presumes to choose our leaders for us.

        We’ll see…

        • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1.1

          Bill, I am more heartened tonight than I was first thing this morning.

          When I went online early I was shocked at how the MSM spun Shaw’s press conference of last night – it was all GP in disarray.

          And the most recent comments I read on TS were very much – oh woe is us, Turei and the GP are spoiling the left and Labour’s chances of changing the government. Turei should resign now, etc.

          But now I see Jeannette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford have stood up and supported Turei and Shaw.

          So the struggle is alive and there’s more discussion of the benefity issue – eg on Checkpoint tonight.

          • adam 3.1.1.1.1

            Just the trolls and liberalism’s sycophants Carolyn_nth, who I personally just disregard.

            It was the beige army in full force, and it’s a rather nasty beasty. If I had to guess, it’s all that pent up passive aggressive rage that so many kiwis hold on to.

            hooten, and co being classic examples. But you will find enough of it here, and on other web pages.

            I enjoyed hearing Jeannette and Sue pulling the rug out from under the attacks on the greens.

            But the reality is it was always going to come. The Labour party will join in, it’s what they do. I wish they didn’t, but history says otherwise.

  4. Cinny 4

    Last election was rung for a poll, they asked, who would you like as PM? Meti I replied.

  5. spikeyboy 5

    Graham and Clendens stand pretty much says if you have been on a benefit for any length of time you cant ne a green mp. I spent some time on the benefit as a single male ie not even a mitigating child and lied to winz many times.
    1. Idont know anyone who didn’t
    2. This would include omiting to volunteer relevant information
    3. I would take with a grain of salt any long term beneficiary claiming squeaky cleanness.
    The division opening up is clearly being driven by those who have never claimed a benefit as there inly source of income for any length of time

    • Nic the NZer 5.1

      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=36587

      A present day reminder of how horendous these benefit regimes can be. NZ still routinely applies work tests to beneficiaries though not to my knowledge work for the dole.

    • KJT 5.2

      If the requirement is that MP’s be sqeaky clean then we would have an MT parliament. And very little with any life experience.

      Bill English would be gone. For one.

      We would never have had JA Lee and many others.

  6. wayne 6

    spikeyboy

    At least try and be accurate on what Graham and Clendon said. It was about the current defence of the events of 25 years, basically saying it was ok and justifiable, and therefore the lack of contriteness.

    If Meteria had used her situation as illustration, but made a payment (self assessed) to WINZ at the time of the statement, none of the current fallout, which was highly predictable, would have occurred.

    It was a point I made at the time, that she should have made a unilateral payment at the time of the announcement.

    Anyway I am now predicting a Green vote of 8% at the election, the rest having defected to Labour. Jacinda Ardern, both in style and in policy announcements (light rail to the airport) has done everything needed to attract that vote.

    Who would have guessed 3 weeks ago that the result of the initial cause of the Green upsurge would lead directly to the elevation of Jacinda, and (at least in my view) a reason why many Green voters will flock to Labour.

    • spikeyboy 6.1

      You may get a lot of smug satisfaction from your predictions as fact but I think you may get a wee surprise by the number of people that have been impacted by these policies and will now come out and vote. I myself joined the green party this morning as a small way to show my support and gratitude for what Turei has done

      • red-blooded 6.1.1

        spikeyboy, Wayne’s giving his predictions. Maybe they’re different from yours, but he managed to make his comment without any personal attacks.

        And, btw, I lived on a benefit for about a year. I didn’t tell any lies or omit any info. Note, I’m not criticising, MT, who was in different circumstances to me, I’m just replying to your “everyone does it” assertion.

        • spikeyboy 6.1.1.1

          See below for reasons to be slightly annoyed at Waynes smugness. I wouldn’t count 1 year as long term beneficiary but however I do congratulate you (sincerely too) on your honesty

    • weka 6.2

      “If Meteria had used her situation as illustration, but made a payment (self assessed) to WINZ …”

      How would one do that exactly?

      • dukeofurl 6.2.1

        Isnt that easier to do than living one place and enrolling in another and then running for election in a 3rd?

        • Cinny 6.2.1.1

          Isnt that easier to do than living one place and enrolling in another

          Not sure Duke, but John Key would know, he lived in Parnell and was enrolled and stood in Helensville.

        • weka 6.2.1.2

          Not sure, I’m still waiting for someone to explain how one would self-assess an overpayment and then pay it back without WINZ’s involvement.

    • Rubbish gnat spin – as pure as driven snow is wynae yet he bent the knee pretty quickly. Im still voting Greens – 2 ticks in Te Tai Tonga for me yay.

    • KJT 6.4

      You will predict wrong.

      The comfortable establishment is going shock/horror at being challenged.

      And don’t try and kid us it is anything other the Metiria holding up a mirror to the self obsessed comfortable establishment, in all other parties, that has caused the storm of sanctimonious criticism.

      You had your chance to make life better for New Zealanders, Wayne. And you made it worse. That is your real problem with Metiria, Wayne. She is showing up most politicians for the useless empty suits they are. I include both National and Labour in this.

      Time we got rid of the tweedledum/ tweedledee turns. Labour has now shown they are going to continue BAU as safe pair of hands for the establishment, so they are now to be allowed their turn with a shiny new figurehead.

      Metiria and James for PM.

      • reason 6.4.1

        Dead right on all your points KJT …. and in your post you describe why I find Wayne the Worst of the trolls …..

        …“You had your chance to make life better for New Zealanders, Wayne. And you made it worse.”…

        Wayne while a overpaid, racist, warmongering mp and then Govt minister ….. chose to make it worse ….
        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/wayne-mapp/

        Waynes get some guts war mongering lead to him being involved in the murder …..and prolonged cover-up, of a three year old child in Afghanistan ….

        But he’s hurt many children and others … by choice …. here in New Zealand.

        Mapp is the man whose fingerprints are all over our world cup for domestic violence,….. our murderous suicide rates ….. and exploitation of workers http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=mapp%2Bemployment

        Wayne Mapp has the moral authority of a piece of shrapnel entering a child s body ….. he thinks its justified though …..

        Currently hes a serial crony overpaid Govt appointee…… to the most unsuitable positions …. unless you actually wanted a partisan hack.
        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/wayne-mapp/

        And no doubt Wayne has the gold plated parliamentary pension …. the gold plated bits funded by tax payers ……. and unlike solo mothers we dont have to know about his sex life for him to get paid.

        He probably does not get taxed 80cents in the dollar once he earns over $65 in the hand either …. like solo parents punitively do.

        Wayne has no knowledge or right to talk about contrition for a solo parent trying to survive the punitive poverty ….inflicted upon solo parents and their children ….. by a horrible uncaring Tory like himself.

        And if Wayne was not scamming his ‘accommodation allowance ‘, while he was in parliament ,… as many mp’s were. ….. I would bet he knew of fiddles and falsification …….such as Bill English and his $32,000 double dipping.

        Wayne may not know morals, ethics, war crimes, torture under his nose etc etc….

        But politically…. I think he’d agree that every time Metiria is ‘discussed’ …..the comparison to Bill Englishs worse crime Must be made ..

        Bills falsification ( not double dipping euphemism ) was Greed driven , involved more money, was more recent …… he got found out,…. he did not own up …… and he’s prime minister.

        Compare it every time and the trolls will not want to talk about it ……………….

        Finally ……Greens for 15 % …… Labour to peel of soft national votes 🙂

        • garibaldi 6.4.1.1

          KJT and reason…. good on you. Well said. Wayne makes out he is “nice” but ….

    • adam 6.5

      Love how you do the establishments work wayne.

      And in what 5 short paragraphs, back up what bill said about the Tory elects.

      It would appear if your not into revenge politics, or the politics of hate, the only option is the greens.

    • Stuart Munro 6.6

      When you have been equally rigorous with the fraudsters in your own party Wayne, your position will be stronger than idle, biased, prattle.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    An excellent proposition Bill, however as Jacinda is now the darling of The Herald, and most other MSM, not to mention very popular with NZ CEO’s, it is starting to look like the progressive left are in deep trouble.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899403
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11716868

  8. Kevin 8

    How strange it is that the public do not trust politicians and think they are just a bunch of self-serving troughers, yet the moment one brings some honesty to the table, they cannot handle it.

    Can’t have it both ways.

  9. Shona 9

    So fucking angry at the Turei hate fest witch hunt. Having to constantly point out to aging middle class boomer white males ( who are my friends) how they are being dog whistled. Fun at one level despair and anger over all. I have decided to change my vote back …..again from NZ First to the Greens. NZ First and the Greens have to out poll Labour by 10 points combined. So come on people get those young people into those polling booths.

  10. “We live in a society where women often need to lie to get by. Honesty is often the preserve of those who have a high level of safety and comfort. May we live in a world where we don’t need to lie to get by. We don’t live there yet.”

    http://thehandmirror.blogspot.co.nz/2017/08/the-lies-we-tell-to-get-by.html

  11. McFlock 11

    I suspect that it is possible for someone to be caring and feminist (although who amongst us is “selfless”?), part of a Labour caucus, and yet still be in the room when a tired leader is getting nowhere and is out of ideas.

    Clark was a great PM, but Labour ran out of steam in ’08. They had no new ideas and were floundering, like nats are now.

    Little was doing a solid job, and I felt probably should have stayed in the role. It seems the fresh leadership has proved me wrong (we’ll see with the next polls, I guess).

    No leader during a campaign is going to say “I might quit” in an interview. But it is possible that Little walked into the caucus room that morning and said “I’m getting nowhere, I really don’t know what to do next, anyone who wants to try has my full support and I’ll keep out of their way”. It is equally possible that he walked in with a fresh, bold recovery plan only to find the no confidence vote had already been taken by scoundrels.

    Similarly, while it would be nice to have a PM who has lived the life of the other half of the country, I don’t believe she’s any more of a “shiny bauble of goodness” than Ardern is.

    Oh, and as for Gower’s flush of Labour love: the media do nominate leaders, but they also know which way the wind is blowing and they need advertising revenue.

    • Bill 11.1

      I don’t think Metiria’s ever tried to pass herself off as a ‘shiny bauble of goodness’ and has certainly never been presented as such by media. She’s flawed. Like all of us. That’s her appeal (for me).

      How can Gower’s “flush of Labour love” be about knowing which way the wind is blowing when the wind was decidedly driving NZ Labour down in the polls? If there was a party that any wind at its back, it was the Green Party (by the polls). But he’s been relentless in his bagging of the Greens (and Metiria in particular)… except when he rushed to offer his glowing approval of her negative move in ruling herself out of cabinet.

      If you do some google searching for the day that Andrew Little “stood down”, you’ll find reports from just just hours prior to the caucus meeting where he reiterates his intention to stay on as leader btw.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        I don’t think Metiria’s ever tried to pass herself off as a ‘shiny bauble of goodness

        I’m not sure Ardern has, either. How the media chooses to represent either of them is not up to either of them.

        The wind was blowing Labour down in the polls. Maybe Gower picked up on the enthusiasm that lots of people seem to have for Ardern but lacked for little?

        Again, I think you’re confusing a responsible departure compared to the greens’ two MPs who decided to take a piss on the tent flap while stomping out in a huff. Little was not going to inform the media before he informed caucus if he had made a decision to leave. Similarly, he was not going to concede that he expected a leadership challenge or even a particularly tough caucus meeting to the media. These are not things people who care about their party do. Even if the speculation is right, coughing it up to the media just drags everything out and sows despondency.

    • mikes 11.2

      “Clark was a great PM”

      Great for the status quo maybe.

  12. Candy1 12

    May be a problem getting some to vote for Metiria?

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