My morning thoughts on the night before

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, September 21st, 2014 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, class war, democratic participation, equality, Left, Spying, sustainability, workers' rights - Tags:

It will take a flax roots, bottom-up, community-based movement to rebuild democracy and a fair, caring and sustainable society.


The NACT, Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, Lusk, MSM-linked, two track strategy worked for the right.  It has been seeded in over a few years, and won’t be dismantled in a couple of months.

The attempts to mass mobilise disengaged voters doesn’t seem to have worked.

KDC’s top down, backed-with-money, short-term approach didn’t work.

I hope we will see the Mana movement get back to basics and continue to work in and with communities.

I was pleased to see the Greens pretty much held their vote. Last night Russel Norman tweeted.

We DO need, now more than ever, a new kind of, 21st century, strong, public service media: one that inter-links on and offline capabilities.

Last night’s TV coverage showed a lot that was wrong with our MSM coverage of politics. Helen kelly tweeted:

Maori TV had the best coverage, and didn’t follow the traditional masculine approach to politics.  They had a diversity of voices, and an in depth perspective on important issues.  They had women leading the coverage, where the other channels were very male dominated, apart from a token woman or two – and a token leftie or two?  In short, a very narrow range of perspectives.

Lisa Owen stands out as having real potential on TV3.

A movement and momentum for change does not happen overnight.  The inequality gap is out there as an important and urgent issue; ditto for poverty, the TPP, the over-reach of state surveillance agencies in the service of transnational corporates, the need for fairness at work, dirty politics, …. etc, etc.

I will be continuing to focus on the important of community-based values, initiatives and bottom-up processes.

Keep calm and stay on the left path.  Together we have strength.



What Stephanie says about the people who need us to keep working for a better society: one that is governed of, by and for all the people..

people b4 profit

34 comments on “My morning thoughts on the night before”

  1. Jenny 1

    “Keep calm and stay on the left path. Together we have strength.”

    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray.

    Lots of work for us to do, no more time for the factional fighting that has proven so destructive for the Left.

    In the spirit of new badly needed Left Unity…..

    The Left opposition needs to start setting the agenda

    First up: Hone Harawira’s ‘Feed The Kids’ bill. This bill to address childhood poverty is still live on the floor of parliament and is likely to be one of the first things on the order paper.

    With the departure of Harawira from parliament, this bill will have to be lobbied and fought for by the other parties of the Left and Centre, NZ First, Labour, The Green and Maori Party, and if possible United Future.

    The government will counter that there is no money for such a program, however within a short time will announce New Zealand’s support for the endless war in the Middle East. The link needs to be made between the fact that there is never any shortage of money and treasure for war, but never any money to feed hungry children, or lift them out of poverty. On behalf of the 100,000 children that struggle to learn on an empty stomach, it is incumbent on Te Ururoa Flavell to pick up this dropped Taiaha, and spearhead this campaign in parliament.

    Second up:

    For the second time the government is again bailing out the technically insolvent Solid Energy, this week the government announced another $103million bail out on top of the $150million the government gave them last year.

    It is not often I agree with the Taxpayer’s Union, but I find myself agreeing with them this time, when the Executive Director of the TU, Jordan Williams says that all parties need to commit to abolishing New Zealand’s culture of corporate “Corporate Welfare”.

    But more than just being an act of corporate welfare this is also a chilling climate crime.

    Despite the huge continual endless bailing out of Solid Energy, the continuing stream of heartless redundancies of mine workers with little compensation, show that the time has well past for the government hear the call made by Gareth Hughes last year, that this money would be better spent paying for a just transition to jobs that don’t fry the planet.

    “Coal is not going to be the fuel of our future if we are to stabilise our climate.

    “New Zealanders and Solid Energy workers need a just transition into more sustainable jobs – jobs that don’t fry the planet.”
    Gareth Hughes October 1, 2013

    And on Thursday the government announced another $8million of the public’s money will be given to help make it easier for people to invest in oil and gas exploration. No doubt this other piece of corporate welfare will have been written at the behest of the fossil fuel industry, worried at the growing international fossil fuel divestment movement.

    This subsidy of the oil company investors using tax payers money is an open slap in the face to the international divestment campaign.

    Business As Usual needs to be opposed

    As John Key declares, “Business As Usual”.
    In response, the combined Left need to make a big showing at the march for the climate in Auckland today. The New Zealand March For Climate is held being in conjunction with similar marches being held in 88 other countries.

    Details Here

    On Monday, the world leaders conference on climate change is being held in New York, unfortunately for us, New Zealand will be embarrassed before the world by being represented at this conference by the National Government.

    The point needs to be made, (here and in New York), that by massively subsidising the coal industry and actively opposing the international divestment movement, New Zealand, from being a world leader on environmental and peace issues, has on climate change, become a world scab for the fossil fuel industry.

  2. ianmac 2

    +1 Karol. Appreciate your tireless work.

  3. Disturbed 3

    Hi Karol,
    Eveready bunny keeps on going.

    They can take my possessions but not my soul.

  4. Reddelusion 4

    Karol you just don’t get it

    It’s not the MSM, it’s not the kiwi voter

    It’s kiwi don’t do old style socialism, it simply does not have a track record and has been totally discredited

    That’s not saying the problems the left and the greens espouse are not real but the way you approach it, your solutions, how you sell them, the lefts holier than though attitude” that only they care”, the hyper bole, the identity politics, the paternal approach to pacific voters, the hate, etc I could go on and on. The lefts problem are within, thats where you need to explore not looking for external reasons for this crushing message kiwi voters communicated to the left last night. Community based politics is all good and well but the silent majority and solutions are not based in these organisation, it simply more of the same

    • karol 4.1

      So many words. So little substance.

      The community based actions do get results. It takes time to build from such flax roots.

      Think Mana movement and the Glen Innes housing protests; Auckland Action Against Poverty and its work with beneficiaries; environmental activism around clean beaches, and anti-mining, etc; anti-TPP protests, Unite, Union activism (eg safety at work in industries like forestry) etc, etc.

      My post is as much about what the left is/can do, as it is about criticising the powerful forces of the right.

      Paternalistic? Flax roots campaigns are about the opposite. And the only demographic where Labour made gains last night was with the Maori-Pasifika vote.

    • Vaughan Little 4.2

      Actually it was socialistic (inasmuch as heavily unionised, heavily redistributive) economies that faced down communist dictatorships in the 20th century.

      Now the track record of the wall street enablers on the other hand…

  5. Potato 5

    I couldn’t agree more and might I add… the successes that we have doing good in our communities must be seen to be in spite of national policy rather than because of it.

  6. JRT 6

    I totally agree, change is going to have to come from grass roots. There is no other option really, the MSM are owned by the corporations and corruption appears to be endemic in government so the voting system may well be corrupted too. Pinning all our hopes on a vote once every three years isn’t going to create the decent society we want.

  7. johnm 7

    IMHO. Privilege, 20% own 70% of all NZ’s wealth,plus the next 20% too , is so entrenched and associated with National this may be the end of NZ’s ability to change tack for an inclusive decent society including the damage the right wing has done and continues to do dating back to the coup detat of Rogernomics. The disenfranchised economically also don’t vote which plays in nicely with the right’s attitude. Types like Paul Henry who complain why is his vote no more significant than a no hoper on the benefit? Greed and self interest have changed us into a miserable money grubbing bunch, the successful one’s worshiping their money trader idol Goldman Sach’s apprentice Key. So much could be done for poorer NZ, a financial transactions tax, a capital gains tax, building more public housing, but no we’ll continue sucking the poison of elitism and its idol, as he runs up astronomical debt plus interest owed to foreign banks and degrades the tax wealth of NZ with tax cuts to those already well orf. He will not intervene to end child poverty something easily done but has no will but rather rubs shoulders with the likes of Slater. Key is basically just a financial playboy.

  8. Yoyo 8

    It will take a flax roots, bottom-up, community-based movement to rebuild democracy and a fair, caring and sustainable society.

    Yes. That’s why people voted National. They care, and they won’t make us bankrupt. Yay.

    • shona 8.1

      Less people votednational than in the last election.( over 48000 less) we are over a$80 billion in debt thanks to Key’s borrowing to fund tax cuts for the rich. Key inherited $ 10 billion in government debt. He has turned that into over $80 billion and robbed the Christchurch rebuild fund to show a surplus on the books which will never eventuate. Can you read statistics? Can you read at all? Can you understand a statement of performance. Key is liar and thoroughly corrupt. Bill English is a thief and a lousy incompetent accountant. National voters are morons.

      • johnm 8.1.1


      • Yoyo 8.1.2

        Yes. Have been an accountant at one point, so not completely unable to read a balance sheet :-). I think we’ll agree to disagree.

        Specifically, what has Bill English stolen (you call him a thief) and what has Key done that is corrupt?

        • shona

          Bill English claimed over $400,00 in accommodation costs over a period of years in parliament for by insisting he was a resident of Dipton. a place he hadn’t lived in for more than 20 years. Then introduced retrospective legislation ably assisted by Key and the Speaker at the time( Lockwood I think) to cover his arse and make his claims legal. Read Dirty Politics and ponder the relationship between Key’s myriad of spin doctors on the top floor of the Beehive and his responsibility for their brief. Where is Jason Ede????
          Key allowed a head of staff to sign off on an OIA request regarding the SIS. Only the head of the SIS can ok such a request. Key has broken the law as head of the SIS.
          Read Blip’s list of Key’s lies on this site. Inform yourself you paid troll and fuck off.
          Read the Werewolf site and Campbell’s 10 valid reasons for not electing a National government this time. What it will do to our country ( even if you can’t give a fuck about the people) natural resources when squandered never come back. And we are all poorer. Money doesn’t solve everything.

        • johnm

          Hi YOYO

          Key is rotten with the worship of mammon! Following is an expose of the man narrated by Vinny Eastwood.

      • JRT 8.1.3

        Cunliffe made some bad mistakes in the debates by not hammering home the fact that National are not good financial managers, and have left the country in a worse state than when they took over. I like DC as a person, and I think he is the best that Labour have, but I think his political instincts are not as good as they need to be. Hopefully he can get together a team that will help him get the right messages across in the right way. I thought he lost the last debate, he came across as a little too heavy handed, needs to find a way of appearing strong without crossing the line to what some people perceive as arrogance.

        • Chris

          The left is also unbelievably stupid when it comes to strategy. They actively go out to destroy a party that will provide extra support to form a government, and in so doing throw away the opportunity to oust a party that gives support to key and his henchman. We deserve what happened last night. We’re too stupid to manage anything better.

      • aerobubble 8.1.4

        Yes. And why, where was, Labour. Day one after the tax cut for the wealthiest.
        If took Parker five years to say that 40% of the value of the tax cut went to the top 10%. But worse, nobody in Labour has dared say the obvious, that Key’s tax cut moved the burden of taxation on to the lower and middle income earners of NZ, and couple with a tax rise, rise in govt debt, and spending drop, all handed a huge 40% to the top 10%. During a NZ recession and a global GFC, Key raided middle and lower NZ. And not one Labour MP dared say it.

    • ploompi 8.2

      They’re already bankrupting us

    • weka 8.3

      “Yes. That’s why people voted National. They care, and they won’t make us bankrupt. Yay.”

      ‘Us’ being the 20% who don’t give a shit about the rest.

  9. Treetop 9

    MMP was the loser.

    Graig played “Million Dollar Minute” and Hone was tarnished by “Million Dollar Minute”.

    Labour did well in the Maori seats because the Maori vote was split between Mana Internet party and the Maori party.

    Peter’s lost due to Graig taking some of New Zealand First party vote.

    Act is sterile without coat tailing.

    United Future is a one man independent which could go either way.

    A year as leader was not long enough for Cunliffe, more focus had to be on the centre voter. Raising NZ Super to 67 also contributed.

  10. Macro 10

    Fiji voted in a dictator, Scotland voted “No” after centuries of struggle to be freed from England, and NZ voted in a known liar and despot who will punish the poor and middle class, impoverish even further the 20% of NZ kids who through no fault of theirs go to school hungry, render our rivers and lakes unusable, and take no action on climate change ensuring that future generations will be have to deal with catastrophe after catastrophe.

    We surely live in the Age of STUPID.


    • Yep. It’s amazing the knots that commentators will tie themselves into to avoid the obvious truth that the demos is full of boofheads.

      As for Christchurch, here’s hoping another earthquake flattens the place. They need to be taught a lesson.

      • karol 10.1.1

        Seriously? That’s an awful thing to write.

        A lot of the people most damaged by the quakes have probably already left.

      • The Lone Haranguer 10.1.2

        Tom Jackson,

        I laugh in your face. I would like to think this was your humourless attempt at satire, but I suspect you woke up this morning all bitter and twisted, and that the voters of Christchurch choices actually offend you.

        Well suck it up buttercup.

        There are a whole bunch to the left who woke up this morning, wiped the dust off their clothing from the beating they took last night, and said, “okay we have 1000 days to win the hearts and minds of the voters for next time.”

        Those are the folk who will make the difference.

  11. It will take a flax roots, bottom-up, community-based movement to rebuild democracy and a fair, caring and sustainable society.

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Stop deluding yourself. The left weren’t particularly strong this time, but were largely done in by a media campaign against them that lasted over a year, and which we now know involved journalists colluding with political parties and bloggers. It’s all very well to talk about new media institutions being needed, but in the real world, there is effectively zero prospect of that.

    Until Labour reverts to being some Blairist party acceptable to big business, those with the ability to do so will continue to make sure that Labour doesn’t get elected.

    You just need to get real. Colin Crouch was right. If anything is going to help regular people, it’s not going to be democracy, which is hopelessly compromised. By all means continue to waste your time trying.

    • karol 11.1

      A Blairite style victory is no help to the least well off, and the ultimate good of society. It just creates a nominally “left wing” government, that is a place holder until the next right wing government gets in and shifts the culture and politics further to the right again.

      • Karen 11.1.1

        Absolutely correct, Karol.

        Blairites (e.g. Pagani, Cosgrove and Shearer) are already at work claiming Labour’s poor election results were because it had moved leftward. If they get their way, NZ will be shifted further to the right at every subsequent election.

      • Chris 11.1.2


      • The Lone Haranguer 11.1.3

        I can see what you are saying Karol, but wheres the circuit breaker that will change this. Even Key is talking about no right turn and claiming more of the centre.

        Even the Greens are trying to look a bit centre-ist, and Winston isnt planning to give up that area either, so wheres the room there for Labour?

        • Chris

          Key’s always talked about things moderate centrist but the reality is he’s lying hard right right filth. ACT’s job is to make him look moderate therefore acceptable.

      • Craig H 11.1.4

        Sure, but to do anything, you have to get elected. Not being in power means doing very little. That might be a seriously unpleasant dead rat of a message to have to swallow, but far more good can actually be done by getting into power as a CENTRE-left coalition and then incrementally moving left, than by arguing on the outside as a centre-LEFT coalition and never getting elected (and I say that as a Leftie who would love to see a Greens-Labour coalition).

  12. fambo 12

    On the bright side, a lot of National voters are going to be rewarded by losing their right to tea breaks at work. I will as well but at least I will know I wasn’t fool enough to vote for that. So a big hardy ha ha.

    • karol 12.1

      I have a sneaking suspicion that my managers will allow us to keep our teabreaks. They never cut them back from 15-10 minutes. They reckon we need the breaks.

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