On engagement with the Labour caucus

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 pm, February 5th, 2013 - 282 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Yesterday Annette King started talking with Standard commenters on a couple of threads. As I understand it this is part of a move to engage with the Standard.

While I can’t speak for other authors I welcome this as a good sign there’s a real desire to grow some trust and unity and I think MPs who post here should be made to feel welcome.

Unfortunately there have also been less heartening signs in the last day. The first was the call from Josie Pagani for the Labour party to shift to the right on crime and punishment. The second was the claim by the Dominion Post that Labour is thinking about “a tougher welfare policy”.

Now I know that Josie has her own opinions but my concern is that she has been close to the leadership team and may well be softening the ground for Labour. And I know that the Dom Post editorial is notoriously right wing but it is considered the political paper of record and I would hope they wouldn’t make a claim that specific without good reason.

So I guess what I’m asking, in the name of developing engagement, is whether anyone for Labour wants to come on and assure readers there will be no “tough on welfare” or “tough on crims” stuff under a Shearer-led Labour party. At the very least it would be good to debate the issues with you and I’m sure it would be appreciated by the thousands of people who read the Standard.

Update: As I feared I’ve already had to give two commenters a wee break so let me make the ground rules to this post explicit: I expect this thread to be a model of polite engagement and I will be heavily moderating for language and tone.

282 comments on “On engagement with the Labour caucus ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Why shouldn’t Labour be tough on criminals ?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Because the US example of crime and punishment will lead us to doom, fiscally and morally.

    • Because it is a slogan that does not mean anything and because crime is caused by social factors and not because penalties are too “light”?

    • McFlock 1.3

      1: being tough on criminals doesn’t stop recidivism
      2: being tough on criminals trains better and harder criminals
      3: being tough on criminals is frequently a cloak for work prisons that can harm local industry
      4: being tough on criminals costs more than rehabilitation
      5: being tough on criminals harms more people than rehabilitation
      6: being tough on criminals is frequently a cloak for private prisons that simply siphon money overseas
      7: for those reasons and more, being tough on criminals is stupid.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Exactly. If Labour wants to be tough on crime the first thing it can do is eliminate child poverty, and the second thing is to eliminate youth unemployment.

        • McFlock

          I likes it when we’re fwends 😉

        • Lefty

          Then they would ban limited liability companies and private banking because they are mechanisms designed to facilitate crime.

          • Colonial Viper

            Forget the guy who robs the corner dairy of $90.

            Get the banks who sold dodgy complex derivatives and hedges to our farmers and city councils, effectively stealing tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars in the process.

            • AmaKiwi

              In Brecht’s Three Penny Opera, a petty criminal is arrested by the police.

              Crim: “What have I done?”

              Police: “Robbed a bank.”

              Crim (laughing): “How can you compare robbing a bank with owning bank!”

            • indiana

              What if the owner of the corner store got stabbed for $90? Go after crime equally, don’t pick and choose. Its the application of punishment that more debatable.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Quite right indiana, it would have been better for me to suggest “it’s important to remember the robbery by the big bank” rather than “let’s forget the corner store theft”.

        • TheContrarian

          While I agree with McFlock and CV for the most part there are always those who cannot be rehabilitated (or don’t want to be).

          While changing the environment (nurture) might help many people nature still has a role to play.

          • mickysavage

            Aye, Enron, Morgan Stanley, Merryl Lynch, those corporations are full of psychopaths who have showed no sign of wanting to change …

            • The Al1en

              Slags to our good grace.

            • TheContrarian

              Don’t be daft Micky. You’re a lawyer – not a gibbering idiot. It would seem fairly clear that most of those you are claim are pyschopaths are the product of the environment they have grown into. Product of a system that rewards greed.

              • It would seem fairly clear that most of those you are claim are pyschopaths are the product of the environment they have grown into. Product of a system that rewards greed.

                Agreed TC.

                But don’t you agree that the psychopaths have infested these institutions and risen to the top? How else can you explain the desire to acquire more and more wealth beyond any possible need?

                After any human hits say $10 million what possible reason is there for them to acquire more?

                • TheContrarian

                  I think psychopathy is something that affects all strata of population and socio-economic level.

                  I am very much not a psychopath (trust me 🙂 ) yet I still yet I still have more then I need. We all do (most of us) to some extent. The act of hoarding vast sums does not a psychopath make.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s what you’re prepared to do to get it that suggests the pathology.
                    Merchant banking or exchange rate speculation is the art of bankrupting the poor by rigging the game in favour of the rich.

                    • TheContrarian

                      True but the pathology of sociopaths and psychopaths is much, much more than greed and dishonesty.

                    • emergency mike

                      McFlock didn’t imply that the pathology of psychopaths was only about greed and dishonesty.

                    • McFlock

                      TC seems to be reading their own thoughts rather than the words on the screen tonight.

              • emergency mike

                Aside from the fact that it’s not at all clear that the vaguely defined group of people that mickey refers to is the same group that you are refering to in your reply, it is in fact clear if you read books such as Without Conscience and Snakes in Suits by Dr Robert Hare, Corporate Psychopaths by Clive Brody, that the research strongly suggests that psychopaths are over-represented in senior positions in politics and the corporate boardroom.

                They are attracted to such um, ‘professions’ (ew) because they seek power over others, money is a means to that end. Also, their particular set of ‘skills’ (being unfeeling, ruthless, manipulating liars who know how to manage perceptions) means they have a real advantage when it comes to climbing the ladder. Which they love doing.

            • David H

              To say nothing of Key Joyce Brownlee Bennett.

          • Colonial Viper

            Agree. There will always be a few people that you will want incarcerated permanently (either in a prison or other location).

          • McFlock


            How would we know? It’s not like we’ve really tried rehabilitation for decades. Poignant and appropriate story in stuff today about a guy who brutally assaulted another person. No crime before then. Judge says pleas of “won’t happen again” unlikely given that the guy became a gang prospect while on remand in gaol, just to get along in gaol. So the guy gets a couple of years in the same environment. Bye bye.

            But of course your “for the most part” agreement is simply to paint yourself as reasonable, setting you up to bring forward the irredeemable criminal as a categorical disagreement. While avoiding the fact that “getting tough on crime” simply serves to give those people company, create more pain, and so on. It doesn’t change them (they’re irredeemable, remember). All it does is give you an excuse to use that trace-element group of unregenerates (most of whom we’ve diligently produced in our prison, social welfare and mental health system over the last few decades) to justify being a prick to teens that didn’t think ahead.

            • TheContrarian

              Come on then McFlock – explain to me how you would go about rehabilitating Ted Bundy? Or John Wayne Gacy?

              I am all ears.

              • just saying

                McFlock has answered your question.

              • I would make sure they never gained their freedom again. But to 15 year old Billy I would who stole a couple of cars I would want to do everything possible to make sure that he had a shot at a normal life.

                • TheContrarian

                  Agree with Mickey.

                  Sociopaths, by current definition, cannot be rehabilitated.
                  As well as those with severe sexual dysfunction like pedophiles. If we accept homosexuality or heterosexuality as out of one’s control (which I do) then we must accept that pedophilia is also (in some – not all) a trait born into some people. But we cannot allow that into our society as it is not between consenting adults and it severly harms innocent children who have no say. But it isn’t something that cannot be “cured” anymore than you can rehabilitate someone into being straight.

                  I agree with Mickey as stated

              • McFlock

                Of course, they had abusive childhoods, so the first thing to do would be to beef up social services. And there’s probably a number of intervention points betwixt that and their first murders.

                But after the fact? Prison’s probably the only option for those two. That’s still no reason to treat a car thief like they’re as bad as Ted Bundy. In fact it’s more likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy than a prudent measure. Stupid policy.

                • TheContrarian

                  “That’s still no reason to treat a car thief like they’re as bad as Ted Bundy.”

                  Which is where we meet in agreement

                • TheContrarian

                  And, no, they did not all have abusive childhoods – that is large a misconception.

                  Many had very good upbringings.

                  • Um only some. Through years of experience I can confidently say that poverty and cultural disengagement are the most significant causes of crime.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “I can confidently say that poverty and cultural disengagement are the most significant causes of crime.”

                      I agree – but not with Psychopathy. It effects all socio-economic levels and is untreatable at this time as well as poorly understood.

                    • xtasy

                      TC is the end of the loose shoelace, I presume. Psychopaths may be there, but they are a few, so another lost argument from my point of view TC. Get back to read more material of substance.

                    • North

                      Of the hundreds, nay thousands of “criminals” this person has engaged with over nearly four decades, I confidently conclude that only a very small percentage is irretrievably mired in a criminality which presents clear and ongoing danger to the community. Oftentimes the “right- thinking” community has succeeded in being the danger to them.

                      The remainder are so unremarkable frankly that often I wonder, were I to have suffered their life experience or have lived the dynamic of their lives, whether I might have ended up in that dock also. Can’t say that with great certainty I can always answer myself “No”.

                      Self satisfied, sneering judgment from those who’ve never walked in the mocassins is a foul and ultimately pointless display. Except I suppose for the moral bullies who for their insecurities (or their lust for cheaply earned votes) simply must have people down the ladder of life to pariah, hate and kick. People of whose lives they know SFA.

                  • emergency mike

                    I think McFlock was refering to Bundy and Gacy who did have at least somewhat abusive childhoods. Along with a disproportionately high percentage of other psychopathic serial killers.

                    Sure not all psychopaths have tough childhoods, but their childhood has an influence on how serious a psychopath they be be as adults. Having said that I think there are some who are just beyond any moderating influence in their upbringing.

          • Dr Terry

            TheContrarion – Having worked extensively in prisons and with prisoners I can assure you that many inmates are indeed open to rehabilitation. Much depends upon the precise interpretation of “rehabilitation” by the “authorities” concerned.

            Now of course there are some who cannot be rehabilitated or do not wish to accept that which is offered them. You say “nature has a role to play”. Presumably you mean “human nature”. Are we not all in possession of human nature, and does this not affect every human being, in or out of prison, one way or the other? Not one of us is the “perfect” image of humanity, but in the general populace the trend is a mix of better and poorer components.

            The temptation always is the find “scapegoats” (hence beneficiaries) for the social problems of the world, and prisoners have ever been “convenient” for this purpose, consequently the desire to “punish” wins out over the determination to rehabilitate pretty well every time.

            I have frequently met much more decent people among prisoners than among the complacent folk who exist outside of prisons. If you do not believe me, let me suggest that you get yourself involved in some way within a context of prison service (not “officialdom”). I wonder how many people have ever so much as visited a prison or the men and women residing therein?

            • cricklewood

              I can say I have, over several years I had contact with prisoners in Rimutaka who were towards the end of their sentences, it was interesting and very evident that a large number of them had been failed by their parents and the system at a very young age. It was also quite apparent there hadn’t been much ‘rehabilitation’ done either.
              But you are quite right in saying a lot are quite decent once you get to know them. I hired and worked with a chap who had done a 15 year stretch. One of the most straight up and honorable guys I have ever meet. Unfortunately there are very few opportunities for most ex prisoners so despite best intentions they fall back into crime etc…

              We absolutely must put as much effort and money in at the very start to try and prevent people ending up on this track, as once someone ends up in the system it is nearly impossible to get out.
              If that means alternate schooling for some so be it, (although i’d much prefer it was state run rather than ppp.)

              • Colonial Viper


                And every prisoner who has served a custodial sentence of a year or more needs to come out with greatly improved literacy and numeracy skills. But you are right best not have young people put in there in the first place.

      • Good one McFlock . However do not forget that the majority of judges are white and rich amd a big percentage of them seem to hate working class people. Most working class offenders get jail yet the “nice white well offender will get off ” charged with a simular offence they recieve light sentences or home detention, Worse they get a fine they can well afford and walk free.
        To paraphase the old time musical. Its the rich who do the damage but the poor who get the blame .

    • xtasy 1.5

      higherstandard: Your standard is not as high as I expect it, for a start.

      This is cheap slogan talk to use “tough on crims”.

      We get this every day, directly and indirectly from biased media reports, that never tell the whole stories, from the “(Un)Sensible Sentencing Trust” and hard-line talk back nutters like Michael Laws.

      What the hell does that actually mean. It means a thousand things to a thousand persons.

      It is idiot language.

      Naturally any justice system, or rather penal system, that imposes and enforces penalties, will have degrees of “firmness” in applying sanctions and penalties.

      So does NZ. There is though this bizarre illusion amongst many out there, that prisons here in NZ are mere “holiday camps”, same as benficiaries are living “lifestyles of choice” and in some undeserved “luxury”.

      This is the result of a damned crap, useless, mindless, biased, hardline focused, mean spirited, largely privately or corporate owned and operated media, that uses journalists to write exactly the kind of product a “mob like” adrenalin stimulated, low brain activity, hard-working and little thinking general populace kept in slave like dependence wants to hear.

      It is a population full of anger, dissatisfaction, envy and mean-spiritness, where many only find “peace” in recreational time by hammering themselves with much alcohol and else.

      Education is low and non-existent to those not sitting in class rooms of schools or tertiary institutes. Even some of them are over adrenalin stimulated, out for competition, self aggrandisement, a life of “me first” and “fuck the rest”, that is what dictates such a society and stupid slogan language.

      Listening to Duncan Garner on Radio Live this afternoon just showed me, how low life media have become. He tells people what he things, implying they should share his view, and he rewards ones sharing his view, and he rubbishes others that do not. That is supposed to be a “live information” and news program.

      So with such shit going on, you are in good company with the angle you try to take.

      I tell you and others. Get f***ed with it. Even criminals deserve a minimum set of rights and treatment. So “toughness” is the catch phrase to appeal to low life public.

    • xtasy 1.6

      Firmness on criminals is happening, has happened for years, and I do not get your point, as already implied.

      So asking about Labour, and why they should not be “tough” or firm on criminals, is a silly questions. Just look back at what Phil Goff used to go on about years ago, and if that is not “tough” enough, do you want a labour camp, where they are sent to break rocks into tiny gravel and then grind it into sand with their own teeth?

      Oh, so silly, higher standards are needed to make sense, I fear.

    • Murray Olsen 1.7

      Because the only achievement of being “tough on criminals” is to cut WhaleSpew’s and McVicar’s viagra bills. It doesn’t work.

  2. TheContrarian 2

    I am looking forward to Draco telling her she is too stupid to understand his wild ideas before lprent blocks her for referring to The Standard as a single entity (with some abuse from Felix thrown in for good measure). Roll on good times and cooperation!

    • felixviper 2.1

      Nonsense, I enjoy visits from MPs of any persuasion and I’ve always tried to be respectful of their efforts to engage.

      That even goes for David Garrett and he was a total cock.

      • TheContrarian 2.1.1

        I was being a little tongue in cheek with ya there, Felix. But I can’t understand why any MP would engage here or at Kiwiblog. Reading is one thing (and taking on board the sentiment) but when you wrestle with pigs you both get dirty.

        My personal feeling would be that, as an MP, I would avoid actively engaging with people as nasty, bitter and down-right dishonest as some (not all) of regular posters here and at Kiwiblog.

        But I ain’t an MP and don’t imagine I would want to be one.

        • The Al1en

          “I would avoid actively engaging with people as nasty, bitter and down-right dishonest as some (not all) of regular posters here and at Kiwiblog.”

          The answer is in the first five words.

        • emergency mike

          “But I can’t understand why any MP would engage here or at Kiwiblog. Reading is one thing (and taking on board the sentiment) but when you wrestle with pigs you both get dirty.”

          Yeah, coz there’s no way that a politician with 25 years of experience in the debating chamber is going to be able to keep her cool in this intoxicating maelstrom of opinions.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.2

      Seen this, TC?


      The first comment is on similar lines to yours, though pithier. The rest of the comments? Well .. dunno who this Pete George fella is, but nobody seems to like him.

  3. Good post Irish.

    This quite exquisitely presents a major conundrum for the party. Some of the MPs think that with a good advertising campaign they will be able to carry the party to victory no matter what the members think.

    Most of us members think that the party will only succeed if it builds on activists. This means more members, and a greater say in such things as selections. This is the only way that Labour will succeed, if it is a matter of who has the most money to spend on advertising then National will win every time.

    So do the MPs triangulate issues in search of the swinging middle vote, or does the party stick to its principles so that activists are energised to actually do something?

    Of course there is a third aspect to consider and that is performance which is linked to passion but that is probably a post in itself.

  4. Huginn 4

    +1 Pleased to read Annette’s comments yesterday. Very encouraging.

  5. One Tāne Huna 5

    If true, this would be a manifestation of weakness and betrayal. The arguments against policies such as these are compelling and easily backed by evidence: to wit: both would make matters worse.

    Unfortunately, in the context of ineffectual inarticulate “leadership” this rings all too true. Can’t destroy wingnut bullshit in open debate, because you can’t string two sentences together to save your life? Simple: pretend the wingnut bullshit has merit, rather than admit you’ve lost the plot.

    Dame Sian Elias’ speech “blameless babes” destroys the “get tough” nonsense.

    As for the bene bashing, a Labour party that betrays the victims of National party incompetence deserves little but open warfare. I’d rather see the party disappear than go down this path.

    • McFlock 5.1

      that speech should be compulsory reading in school civics classes (which should be equally compulsory).

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Now that McVicar the asshole has been fully discredited, may be Josie Pagani thinks she can fill the niche? These are ideas which directly threaten Maori and Pasifika communities, two groups way over-represented in our prisons as it is, in a incompetent bid to make the white middle class voters feel (falsely) secure. What does this say about future Labour election strategy?

    NZ already has extraordinarily backwards ideas on crime and punishment, as exhibited by our sky-high imprisonment rates and recidivism. The last thing we need is for political advisors to NZ’s “progressive” party to dish out more of the same.

    In my view, Josie Pagani’s answer to medication which is causing you dangerous and unwanted side-effects: double down on the dosage.

    Smart Pagani, real smart. And according to IB you’ve got a few thoughts about our social welfare system too?

    I’ve already figured out the launch line you can use:

    “Labour: Tough on Criminals and Beneficiaries”

    • IrishBill 6.1

      Settle down CV.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Will do, Irish. It’s very frustrating when even Bill English has a more enlightened perspective on Corrections.

        • xtasy

          CV – yeah, Blinglish, only because he has the costs pile up in his department, and it horrifies him. There is no other reason.

      • blue leopard 6.1.2

        @ Irish Bill

        Having been seriously contemplating and concerned about the mental health effects of the “tough” (read: lacking intelligence and heart) approach this Government is taking on welfare (putting pressure on people to find work in a GFC),… hmm, let me be frank, I’ve been wondering how much the suicide rate will be going up in response to this, concerned for my friends whom are having pressure put on them & concluding that killing people off really isn’t a sound approach,

        …yes, so having been seriously thinking about this issue, in this way, CV’s comments really resonates and I consider them really seriously rather mild, so perhaps Irish Bill, you could explain to one as slow as me why the need for C.V to “settle down”?

        • Colonial Viper

          Its likely IB saw my slightly rougher v1.0 of the comment 😉

          Nevertheless, the failure of our society is reflected in the current failures of our Justice and Corrections systems.

          That Pagani, a “progressive” “left wing” commentator, doesn’t understand that, is very telling.

        • IrishBill

          Content was fine. Tone was a bit aggressive. Normally I wouldn’t be troubled by that but I actually want a tight and polite thread because I want MPs to feel comfortable engaging.

          • blue leopard

            Thanks Irish Bill,

            Be good to make it clear for commenters what your intentions are.

            There were some constructive suggestions by Colonial Weka on the “Shearer Confirmed” thread yesterday, re suggesting some threads could have specific moderation policy in order to create an environment where MPs could comment and know they were …hmm…let us say “protected” (!).


            • Anne

              Thanks for highlighting Colonial Weka’s suggestions. I missed it and they have merit.

              I don’t know how many other regular commentators and readers are finding the level of persistent abuse (at Labour MPs in particular) is now getting unacceptable. By all means we should be robust with our criticism when we believe it justified, but the level of personal venom that is creeping in is starting to bother me.

              I want to see engagement here with MPs (from Labour in particular) but it also has to be a safe environment for them. That is not to say we wrap them in cotton wool, but there are some commentators who need to learn a little diplomacy at such times. Ironically the current worst offender in the offensive stakes is actually on the other side of the Labour fence – presently on a week’s holiday. Given the level of personal vitriol directed at some of our best contributors, I’d like to see that ‘holiday’ made permanent.

            • just saying

              Thank you BL for linking to CWs excellent comment.
              I went to the “Ask me anything” thread at Reddit by Gareth Hughes, and it occurred to me that the Labour Party information blackout isn’t inevitable, as I had come to resign myself to it being.

              For all the advantages that the Green party enjoys as far as being able to be open is concerned, this brought home to me the way that the Labour Party’s strategy for saying sweet bugger all outside of a few set-pieces has come to be seen as normal for the party, even amongst those who abhor the tactic.

              Keeping our powder dry – we can’t possibly tell you anything much until just before the election because it would be fatal to our election prospects – keep the leader out of the way where he can’t answer questions – don’t respond to any issue until at least two days afterwards and then parrot a watered down version of watever seems to have been the most popular response – communicate controversial stances to the public through well-known (but deniable if the response is catastrophic) insiders mode of such as Mike Williams and Josie Pagani, or through leaks to media lapdogs – don’t explicitly mention most of the most pressing matters we all face at all, unless we absolutley can’t avoid it, and then find a suitable meaningless platitude – keep repeating ad nauseum pre-chosen mantras that either say nothing of substance, or whsitle the dog…………

              When exactly did all this and more become normalised? Secrecy that outstrips the Ntional Party FFS!

              • Anne

                Keeping our powder dry – we can’t possibly tell you anything much until just before the election because it would be fatal to our election prospects.

                Oh dear, you have opened a sore that still festers with me. I’m close to breaking my own plea for “moderation in language”.

                That had to be the most mind-bogglingly, idiotic decision they have ever made. It bordered on insanity.

                The voters didn’t even discover the policies existed until months after the election was over. Jesus forgive them. 😀

    • The Al1en 6.2

      “Now that McVicar the asshole”

      Now that’s what I call sensible sentencing.

  7. just saying 7

    I thought it had been settled at conference that the membership were to decide policy.
    I’d like to hear from the caucus whether they intend to abide by the decision.

    • Skinny 7.1

      As long as younger socially conscious MP’s like Adern are in there, keeping the suspect Nash ( former onway back) types at bay things should be OK. 

  8. Mr Shearer doesn’t read blogs,they are just key strokes,they don’t have opinions,they hide
    behind curtains in darkened rooms,they are a nonsense,he takes no notice of and yes we
    have memory.
    Well Mr Shearer, the insignificant are about to become significant.
    Open invitation for you to engage.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Wait a second now.

    Politicians want votes, in order to get power, to do things.

    Citizens have votes, which they give to politicians in the hope that they will do things they like.

    If a politician is saying things that reduce my belief that they are going to do the things I would like, then I’m going to tell them so in the hope that they might reassure me otherwise.

    At no point in this dynamic is there any reason for me to hold back on my criticisms when given the chance to interact. If I think they are doing stuff I don’t like, and I hold back on saying that when given the chance, then all I’m doing is reassuring them that everything is ok. That would be all arse about tit.

    Pollies engage in order to get votes, or to rally the troops so that said troops will get votes. And that is all to the good.

    But citizens should engage with pollies with that in mind.

    Use the interaction to help yo work out of this pollie deserves your vote, if the pollie understands what your vote is about. It’s not their vote, it’s your vote, and they want it.

    Which is certainly not to say that they deserve the sort of mindless abuse that Julie Anne Genter got when she showed up on kiwiblog, but there’s no call for pretending that they are doing anyone here a favour by showing up here.

    They ought to be here because they want something, and if that’s not the case, then they are even more bloody useless than I give them credit for.

    So let them know what it is you want, in return for the things they want.

    • handle 9.1

      Better still, ask genuine questions. Then see how they are answered.

    • karol 9.2

      I agree we need to engage with pollies to see if we consider them worth voting for. However, I think pollies shouldn’t just be engaging to get votes. They should be articulating what they stand for and what they plan to do in government. Their role isalso to attend to and listen to the views, desires and wants of citizens.

  10. pollywog 10

    Given the stats, I’d like to get Kris Fa’afoi’s enlightened Pasifikan perspective on this.

    Especially what with him having also been a former press secretary.

  11. I believe Labour is on the way to be overtaken by the Greens to many are passed there best yes I write to Parliament a lot and to Labour Party M.Ps are some of nicest People you will met and correspondent with nice than a majority of Nationals M.Ps. However Labour is a mess I have consider joining but I am close to voting National for the very first time . I have never voted National in my Life not even for my Local M.P Nick Smith who know well in 5 elections I have been Labour through bar 1999 when voted for United Future maybe even them in 2014.

    • xtasy 11.1

      I really hope and wish you can “Cotton” on with another party than the Nats.

      Have you looked at the Greens or Mana, or perhaps at least NZ First?

  12. xtasy 12

    IB: This is a smart and good approach that you suggest.

    Yes, invite the MPs from Labour and also other parties to come and participate here. That would substantially improve communication, I would hope. It would allow a forum to ask questions and seek answers. Answers could be given by those asked. Topics could for once really and sincerely be discussed in the open.

    But honestly, like I was a bit stunned and over-expecting upon a comment or two by Annette King, do we really believe that what she suggested will happen and be followed up?

    I have my doubts. It is too much a risk for them to open up like that.

    And they have not even tried to ANSWER many questions asked for months or even years now. There is ZILCH coming from Shearer, King or Ardern, let others, to answer on the Labour policies on welfare, that may be current now. There is only very ambiguous, not very vocal and convincing opposition to the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill before the House – or rather the Social Services Committee – right now. We hear NOTHING, NO COMMENTS, NO ideas for alternative and better approaches, there is just willy nilly talk and bits of press releases, picking one or the other little part item of what is at issue.

    To get somewhere, yes, I would really expect the caucus members to front up here, not just Annette King. But then, what has she shared so far? What is that telling us? Very little it tells me. I am sorry. IB put the challenge to them now, deliver, Shearer and Labour and other “troopers”, thank you. We are waiting, we have been waiting, we want to listen, but alse be heard and talked with!

    • AmaKiwi 12.1

      Judge the caucus by what they DO, not by what they say.

      In Dec. 2011, they set up debates between Cunliffe and Shearer with the implication the members would determine the leader. What they DID was override the membership.

      What they DID next was character assassinate an MP who was loyal to the party and its values, David Cunliffe.

      The 2012 conference made clear their demand to have an open selection process in Feb. 2013. What did they DO? Two-thirds made sure it didn’t happen.

      They can SAY all the right policy words, but their DEEDS are bullying, lies, character assassination, and despotism. I do NOT want them in government. They are dangerous.

      • The Fan Club 12.1.1

        No the conference didn’t, the motion to force an election in Feb lost in a landslide. Stop lying.

        • xtasy

          TFC Bring the numbers, smart alec

        • Colonial Viper

          No the conference didn’t, the motion to force an election in Feb lost in a landslide. Stop lying.

          We trusted caucus at Conference. Shortly afterwards they knifed their own colleagues. Things changed.

        • AmaKiwi

          We voted for a 40% trigger. Shearer and his bully boys made sure that didn’t happen.

          If 62% of the caucus think Shearer is the campaigning genius who can lead a cash strapped LP to a resounding victory they ain’t too bright.

          • xtasy

            NUFF SAID!

          • xtasy

            I have always had a lot of sympathy for the underdog, but there are the limits. This is the bloody limit. Shearer expects to be top man for being given sympathy for being the underdog. It is a newish interpretation of the sick Kiwi “tall poppy syndrome”. Hey Shearer, get a life, get real, accept you are not up to it, step bloody down and make space for competent leader material.

            YOU are NOT IT!

            IrishBill: this is a thread for engagement. Quit the hostility or you’ll be taking a break.

            • Mary

              Yes, I’m sure Shearer’s a good electorate MP but he should really act in the best interests of the party and of New Zealand and face facts. The trouble is the lack of depth in the present Labour line up, not to mention the political persuasion of many of their main players, of course. The best we can hope for in the current environment is a coalition with Labour holding the minimum amount of power that allows the coalition to form, and enough clout from within from the Greens and Mana to slap Labour around when they step out of line.

      • Dr Terry 12.1.2

        AmaKiwi – a timely statement and reminder.

    • Mary 12.2

      Their silence on social security issues, including countless lost opportunities to attack Nact “reforms”, the nasty things they did from 1999 to 2008, their ongoing failure to even acknowledge what they did and all the tell-tale signs such as Shearer’s sickness beneficiary on the roof and his comments about Labour being the party for “workers” means we must proceed on the basis that their stance has not changed. This means we must continue to attack Labour on this point, as relentlessly as we would if it were Nact doing the damage. That’s where we failed last time. Everyone let up on all the bad things the government was doing to welfare benefits because it was Labour, our so-called friends, who were doing that damage. We all thought “we can’t be publicly scathing of Labour! It’s Labour, for heaven’s sake!” What happened then? They just carried on and on and on doing all those nasty things then handed the baton back to Nact to carry on with all the good work. Until our softly softly attitude towards Labour and its welfare policies change then regardless who the government is the poor will continue to be crapped all over.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    For example.

    Let’s say that the this ‘tough on crime and welfare’ business is what’s going on in the brainstrust.

    Now I can say that I don’t like that, and give you as many thousand words as you’d like with regard to defending my position. But why bother?

    If that is the message they are pushing, and they want my vote, all I need to tell them is they won’t be getting it if that’s the sort of society they want to build.

    It’s up to them, to convince me.

    Pagani and others have their arguments in this regard.

    The main ones are that 1) It’s the real actual historic left position so bad bookie not a true leftist line up and salute or go and stand with the hippies, and 2) We need to take this position in order to win the centre so stupid bookie line up and salute.

    I refute the first argument thusly: ‘Hahahaha. Get fucked. If that’s your left, it aint mine, and I’ll be over here with the hippies and encouraging all the liberals to join me.

    I refute the second like this 2) Fair enough, but you are either lying to the centrists, or you are not If you are lying to the centrists, then your real agenda will fail anyway. If you are not lying to them then, see my response to ‘argument the first’.

    Political parties are policy delivery devices.

    If they are signalling policy that you don’t like, or think is harmful, and is important to you, let them know that you will not support that, and either make them change the policy in order to get your support, or find someone who you can give your support to.

  14. Anne 14

    Let me get in before TFC arrives and tries to emasculate this post.

    At the risk of upsetting the wary (yes, I understand why you might be suspicious and you may yet prove to be right) but I was delighted Annette King came here yesterday. For too long, the beltway types have had the ear of the caucus and leader and they seem to have skewed their political thinking to such an extent, I wonder sometimes if they truly comprehend the reality of what is going on in voter-land. A reliance on focus groups etc. is ludicrous. Human nature being what it is, I’m sure most of those who take part are merely playing a role and saying what they think they’re meant to say.

    Far better to be engaging with the intelligent and clued-up commentators who post here. They might be surprised at what they learn from those who are truly at the coal face, and it may just change their views on some of the very distressing problems (unemployment and WINZ to name just one) many are being forced to face every day of their lives.

    These are the non-voters you have lost Labour Caucus. These are the people you need to win back. These are the people who will give you the Treasury Benches – not the wiffly-waffly centrist voters whose deep pockets represent their political philosophy.

    • xtasy 14.1

      +1 Anne

    • Olwyn 14.2

      Well said Anne.

    • Agreed entirely Anne. Well said.

      • Anne 14.3.1

        Thanks xtasy, Olwyn and mickysavage:

        These are the people who will give you the Treasury Benches

        I should have added… and help keep you there

    • AmaKiwi 14.4

      Annette came on after she really pissed us off. But she has NO intention of letting us select the leader.

      This was a “let’s smooth the water” operation on behalf of the caucus.

      As for whom she pissed off, I am not a non-voter. I am (was) a hard working party worker, financial contributor, and conference delegate. I think King and the two-thirds of caucus who voted against letting us select the leader are dangerous bullies who, given the reigns of power, could become a pack of dictators.

      After yesterday I would NEVER trust them to be in government.

    • Saarbo 14.5

      I agree with you Anne.

      Caucus members will enjoy their jobs much more if they have the support of their Members…surely it is at a low point currently, only matched by the late 80’s perhaps.

      Whether I agree with caucus members or not, my respect increases immensely when they openly discuss things on TS.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 14.6


  15. ‘Tough on crims and tough on bene’s’.
    Are we sure it’s a Labour party policy document,or just picked up the Nact’s,
    by mistake ?
    Surely it’s the latter.

  16. Tiresias 16

    I would be surprised if any Labour MP or staffer engaged with the Standard under their own name. It would be a thankless minefield for them.

    What, after all, can they do but parrot the party line? Any response deviating from it would be leapt on instantly by those here and maybe find its way into the press earning them a big fat slap and black mark from the Party big-wigs, and the Labour Party line on so many issues is currently a line drawn in water so deviation – or worse still innovation – is almost inevitable.

    On the other hand I’d frankly be disappointed if there wasn’t at least on MP or staffer regularly engaging with the Standard under a moniker, to take the temperature of this particular rabble and perhaps offer around a plate of home-baked oddities every now and then to see if anyone takes a nibble.

    It’s called ‘Market Research’ and Labour – and the other Parties, too – can do it here for free.

    • IrishBill 16.1

      Annette just did. And over the years many MPs have shown up here for a yarn. It would be nice to get back to that.

      • xtasy 16.1.1

        She even said in a post she would recommend it to colleagues!

        That is what we want, but also honesty, openness, and fair, reasonable debate in an open forum.

      • The Fan Club 16.1.2

        Hahaha honestly Irish, you’re mad if you think any MP would willingly spend their time with the rubes y’all have worked up into a frenzy of hatred and distrust. Realistically, you’ve made your bed, and this is the bit where you realise you have burnt your bridges with the rest of the party, and we’re not fucking happy with the Cunliffe wankery you’ve spent the past six months indulging in. I’m not the only one that thinks this: I would say that everyone I know in the Party would agree with me on this.

        Go nuts asking MPs to show up here; if I was an MP I’d run a fucking mile before dealing with the self-important, self-obsessed, and self-centric tossers around here.

        IrishBill: it seems you’re intent on poisoning the well. Take a week off.

        • geoff

          Hahahaha whoa! Easy fullah.

          Hey everybody, TFC says we’re all self-important, self-obsessed, and self-centric tossers and he wants us to stop.


          Gonna keep going.

          This is great.

        • mickysavage

          Um Fan Club would you prefer we all join the Greens or Mana?

        • Pascal's bookie

          So you speak for the rest of the party do you?

          Honestly think.

          If the party can’t take this sort of criticism, or it reacts to it by saying “Fuck those guys”, what does that tell you about the culture and maturity of the party?

          Now before you respond with further ‘blah blah you guys all suck’ think about what a party has to do. If you can’t convince people here, who the fuck do you think you are going to convince? Do you think you can build a party out of the middle? Ask Peter Dunne how that’s worked out.

          You’re acting like a bell end mate, if you want people to vote somewhere else, or not at all, you’re going the right way about it.

          This is retail politics, right here. And if your attitude towards it, and aptitude for it, are representative of the party, as you claim, then all that does is confirm the criticisms that are being made.

          Though I’ll just say that I’ve not seen any of the other toe the line Shearer supporters backing you up in the last 48 hours. Not McFlock, not Ianmac, not even TRP is prepared to stick his neck out and say ‘listen to this guy’.

          Go home, you’re drunk.

          • geoff

            +1, PB

            • bad12

              He does tho have a point, why would anyone from the Labour Caucus visit the Standard when the likely-hood of copping a face-full of out-right hostility and abuse is a real one,

              One of the lesser known South Island MP’s did that a week or so ago and immediately copped a ”was it hard to drag yourself away from the trough comment”,

              If that is to be the level of engagement why would they bother…

              • geoff

                Why bother? Because we bother to. If they’re that sensitive then they shouldn’t call themselves politicians. That is the reality of this blog and many others. Anybody can see what the score is just by reading a few posts.

                I’ve seen Winston Peters stand in front of a crowd, most of whom were against him and he just gave it back as good (or better) as he got it. Taking a few insults from angry punters on The Standard is nothing compared to that.

                I personally couldn’t care less if they don’t engage. I think they’re engaging here (eg Annette King) because they feel they need to get us on board.

                • bad12

                  So the first comment a visiting MP cops is ”was it hard for you to drag yourself away from the trough” and you appear to agree with this???

                  Face it your still crying over the fact that the Conference got it wrong and the Caucus decided for whatever perverse reason to Keep Shearer as the Leader,

                  Howling abuse at them through the pages of the Standard whilst a vent for your anger achieves not an iota of difference…

                  • geoff

                    So the first comment a visiting MP cops is ”was it hard for you to drag yourself away from the trough” and you appear to agree with this???

                    Did I say that I agreed with the sentiment? No I did not. I said if you’re too sensitive to rise above that then you’re a poor excuse for a politician.
                    I also realise that there isn’t anything I can do to stop people writing that stuff, if there is going to be any censoring then I’m sure the moderators can come up with a policy.

                    Face it your still crying over the fact that the Conference got it wrong and the Caucus decided for whatever perverse reason to Keep Shearer as the Leader,

                    Shame on you, trying to humiliate a grown man for being comfortable showing emotion. *sob sob*

                    Howling abuse at them through the pages of the Standard whilst a vent for your anger achieves not an iota of difference…

                    Well, essentially it is the abuse, perhaps not the insults so much but the higher level stuff, that has made the difference. People are fucked off with the Leadership and for good reason. The volume of the chorus has risen to the point that they can’t ignore it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  At best, we might get a couple of authorised MPs relaying approved drop-in messages here on The Standard. I’d be surprised for instance if there was a robust debate over a specific issue like ACC health advisors.

                  One of the problems that Labour MPs have in a forum like this, once we get over the niceties, is that they are permanently facing a “3 questions to checkmate” scenario.

                  Was Shane Jones asked to attack the Green Party and will he be permitted to do it again? What actual evidence of an imminent leadership coup was considered in the decision to demote David Cunliffe? Does Labour regret not substantially increasing the unemployment to a livable level while it was in office? Why did the Greens housing policy target low income earners while the Labour policy focussed on housing for middle income in Auckland?

                  None of these questions can be answered by a sitting Labour MP without their response going straight to the MSM. Even if there were satisfactory answers to them.

                  Further, I reckon the only reason the Standard is of interest once again to caucus is that the MSM have started regularly quoting material from here. As geoff has implied – caucus participation on The Standard may be about lots of things, but its probably not primarily about engagement with us.

                  • emergency mike


                    I’m thinking it won’t impress the hounds here if we get too many “Labour yay! National boo! Discuss.” engagements.

                  • karol

                    Very good points, CV. And the issues you raise are still significant ones for me.

                  • just saying

                    Quite true CV.
                    The problem is how do we get questions such as you have raised, and the many, many, others answered?

                    There was time time in the distant past when ministers could not expect to get away with never publicly answering such questions. Public meetings were well attended (sadly, mostly by Pakeha men) and answers to attendees concerns were demanded, with the local reporter in attendance. Waffle doesn’t go down so well when the questioner is directly affected by, and knowledgeable about, the matter at hand.

                    Of course it was no utopia, and before my time anyway. The point is right now there doesn’t seem any means of forcing our representatives to answer our concerns, or explain their actions or beliefs in public, and they are able to hide behind their PR machines, and a compliant media whose own concerns and interests in politics bear no relation to my own, or I imagine, those of most people.

                    And it’s a vicious circle because the less we are able to participate, the less interest we have, which gifts ever more power to the plutocrats and their enablers.

                    • Scintilla

                      Frankly, I think the greatest value of The Standard is the down to earth, ongoing conversation – free for anybody at all to follow or comment on if they wish. The more the MSM refers to the Standard, the more an audience/community builds.

                      A lot of posters here are thoughtful, articulate and make me think about issues in fresh ways. I like the robust discussion and would be disappointed if it became too precious. I like lPrent’s moderation style – seems fair. I’ll call out someone, too, if I think they’ve gone too far and been personally offensive.

                      I don’t think any poster here needs to fall over themselves to be nice to politicians who drop in. I’d rather we nailed them with facts, asked searching questions and used the chance to suggest great ideas, though.

          • McFlock

            Well, I did support bad12 when they made a similar point with slightly more eloquence and precision.

        • felixviper

          Anyone noticing how TFC with their constant refrain of ‘this place is a toilet full of nutters and who’d want to come here‘ is consistently among the most obnoxious, most aggressive, most unwelcoming participants in the threads?

          Pretty sure this isn’t the first time these pages have been graced by this type of self-fulfilling kamikaze behaviour.

    • geoff 16.2

      Does Tiresias have a point? If MPs engaged en masse with the political blogs it probably wouldn’t take long before one of them said something stupid and then you’ve got a media scandal to clean up. Isn’t this part of the reason that National MPs are on such a short leash?
      How can you have MPs freely engaging with social media while maintaining control of the party message?

      Just another argument for direct democracy.

      • AmaKiwi 16.2.1

        @ geoff

        Yes, “Just another argument for direct democracy.”

        The Greens have only list MPs so every Green MP has to continually listen to the membership and keep their party in the public eye. That is why the Greens are now the real opposition party. They are constantly attacking the government. If a Green MP doesn’t pull their weight fewer members will vote for them for the list and they will lose their seat. Imagine where Mallard and the other Labour dinosaurs would be on the if Labour had that system!

        • geoff

          Yeah, AmaKiwi, my Green party vote is all but locked in at this stage. But I am a hopeless romantic who will continue to cling to the hope that Labour can be saved.

    • bad12 16.3

      SURPRISE!!! in the past month 2 Labour MP’s have visited the Standard, both using their own names,

      Annette King (twice), and one of the more obscure MP’s from down South once, (sorry forgot your name)

      So there you go T, surprise surprise,

      From what Annette King said yesterday,(she was enjoying the exchanges), i would say that there might be any number of MP’s that like to lurk and look,

      Obviously any MP engaging with us here on the Standard will be guarded in what they say sticking mostly to repeating Party policy, after all the Standard is a mostly public place,(lolz read from a certain point of view it ‘sounds like Porirua’s infamous Bottom Tavern on a good night)…

  17. just saying 17

    It comes as no surprise to me that no response has been forthcoming. However, I would love to be proven wrong.

    If the two policies Irish mentions in his post are being propagated by caucus, and I suspect they are, ministers will know they are not supported by evidence, that they are pointlessly cruel and ruinous of the lives of many citizens, and that they will not withstand the most superficial scrutiny.

    The very idea of caucus going ahead with such policies, without the approval of the membership, would prove that caucus members have no intention of abiding by the majority rule of the membership at conference.

    It is sad to think that a future Labour government has nothing to offer the working poor beyond the opportunity to kick those who are even more unfortunate. It conjures up images of agitators thrown to the lions and gladiators fighting to the death for the entertainment of the plebs. With a handy sideline as a stern warning about dissent.

    But please Labour representatives, prove me wrong. Either reassure us of your intentions or present your arguments.

    • xtasy 17.1

      Empty words are what the norm is, is it not? Talk is cheap comes to mind. Nothing new at all. I fear some here have been taken for a ride, the last ride of foolishly perceived “trust”, which was never offered.

      It is a painful realisation, and I went through it a few times in my life, to feel totally abandoned, to feel neglected, to feel betrayed and taken for a ride.

      I HONESTLY ASK MANY OF YOU, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES, as what is going on is NOT nice and good stuff, you are being OFF LOADED, as they (the Caucus and Labour leadership) have a totally different agenda to yours.

      My calls to consider a NEW LEFT PARTY have not been for frivolous and foolish reasons. I have seen the bloody writing on the wall for the last few years. Start waking up, please, Standardistas that are still somehow having trust in Shearer, King, Goff, Mallard and that gang. NO, it is OVER, gone, dead, it is not a place YOU would now want to be in anymore!

      • AmaKiwi 17.1.1


        By blocking an open leadership selection process yesterday, they have proven to me they are a dangerous gang of bullies whom I could not trust in government.

        Imagine the thuggery if they could pass any law they deemed in their best interest!

  18. Blue 18

    Not quite sure how this ‘engagement’ strategy fits in with the meme that blog-people are non-voters, not real New Zealanders, and not real Labour.

    But I’m sure if one of Labour’s MPs wants to come over we can pull the curtains and maybe even open a window.

    • The Fan Club 18.1

      Also, Irish, you wanna know what Labour’s thinking about Justice policy is? Why not talk to Charles Chauvel? It’s not exactly a tough one there. And this White Paper on child poverty, why not work out who the fuck is writing it, what Ardern’s thoughts are, if it’s going to have to go through the policy process (i.e. which policy committees does it have to pass), what the binding platform will say about it, if you can get a majority in Conference to make sure the platform is good on it?

      Why not focus on that shit, things that are inherently knowable, instead of this weird Leaderology noise?

      • Olwyn 18.1.1

        You are the one and only source of leaderology talk round here, Fan Club. Go and have a look at the two articles to which Irish Bill is referring. Both are published, one on a website, one in a daily paper. The question about Josie’s piece is not about what she thinks – we already know that, but whether or not the caucus accepts her views. And it is possible that someone with a barrow to push has given the Dom editorial writer the false impression that Labour is about to get tough on beneficiaries. These are questions a member of caucus could answer, which is why the invitation. Since you claim not to be an insider, your answers will no more suffice than mine will.

      • geoff 18.1.2

        Had a few wines tonight, TFC?

      • xtasy 18.1.3

        We do not want to work out what the F some are writing, we want to hear and see it here NOW, The F*** Club.

      • Pascal's bookie 18.1.4

        That editorial was published this morning. 1000’s read it.

        If it’s wrong a competent party would have slammed it by lunchtime.


  19. Pete 19

    My guess is most of the caucus still view Red Alert as their point of online engagement, but I haven’t been there since the CV debacle. I would imagine their stats would have headed south quite firmly with that. I’m also weary of how moderation is used under a party controlled site and how genuine criticism might be confused with trolling.

    • alwyn 19.1

      I don’t think that they do view Red Alert as being of any importance at all anymore.
      As you say yourself “I haven’t been there since…”. I suspect that the caucus have seen the readership stats for Red Alert and see that nobody goes there any more. With the editing and banning policies there is nothing worth reading in any of the comments on the site and there are unlikely to be any in the future.
      The MPs are probably going to start commenting here as at least there is a chance that someone might read them. They, like all politicians, will do anything to try and appear relevant. They would much rather put up with being slagged here than be ignored.

  20. Jenny 20

    Maybe we just need leaders prepared to make a stand.

    The best way to halt climate change is by setting an example.

    “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global greenhouse gases. So anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral and political.”

    Professor Sir Peter Gluckman http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

    If you accept that New Zealand could be the country that gives a lead to the rest of the world in combating climate change.

    if you accept that a New Zealand example may have the power to change the whole global debate on climate change.

    If you think that leaders can make a difference.

    If you think that a nation with brave and inspired, and principled leadership would be a nation that would take actions that would in turn inspire the rest of the world to take similar actions.

    Then you must accept the possibility that these same politicians, when the time comes to write our history will be recorded as among our greatest leaders.

    Could this be them?

    • xtasy 20.1

      Looks like one idiot and another one a bit smarter to me, not a good combination, unless the left one hands over brain control to the other side.

      No, stop bloody dreaming Jenny, this is not going to work, one face there, at least, does NOT fit!

    • AmaKiwi 20.2

      @ Jenny

      “Maybe we just need leaders prepared to make a stand.”

      They are prepared to make a stand. The last stand they took was, “Shearer will not be challenged and we will destroy anyone who tries.”

      • Jenny 20.2.1

        Some commenters on this site have decried David Shearer for making speeches as if to a template.

        But it is not always bad to use a template to make a speech. I have found one from our history. A real Labour leader, who on a very historic occasion made a similar speech.

        That speech would be a great template for launching this nation’s mortal fight against climate change.

        The template that I have chosen, It is from one of this country’s greatest Prime Ministers. (And Labour Party leader). My apologies to him for putting his words to a new fight against a new tyranny.

        We are to begin on a mission, a mission of purpose.

        That mission and that purpose is to take serious steps against dangerous changes to the global climate caused by uncontrolled CO2 emissions released in the burning of fossil fuels.

        This is not a mission conceived in anger or even despair. But a mission born out of deep conviction.

        We are a small nation. But we will not abjectly surrender to climate change.

        Though ultimately we believe that CO2 emissions must be scaled back globally.

        We have decided to begin the work, not yet started, to seriously cut the use of fossil fuels, beginning in this country.

        We believe that the pollution of the climate that sustains us must cease. Therefore there must be an end to the deadly habits of thought that lead to continued burning of greater and greater amounts of fossil fuel by more and more countries.

        We intend to become a state that stands before the world, that in its actions, makes a statement in opposition to increases in CO2 emissions that show that another path is possible.

        Through action, this country shall condemn and oppose the mining and burning of coal, the single greatest cause of climate change whether by China, France Australia or any other nation by every means properly open to us to use.
        We will seek to express our opposition to the burning of this fuel in every peaceful way, and we will continue to do so until all our trading partners follow our example.
        We will seek to arouse the United Nations.
        We will seek the support of international forums,
        We will seek the support of our South Pacific neighbors, directly threatened by climate change to stand with us in our endeavours.

        If any country tries to oppose our course of action, through trade restrictions, or boycotts, we will take our case to the international court. And the justice of our case will be upheld by that international court.
        Any trade or other retaliatory actions taken against us by other powers, or states opposed to our course, shall arouse such sympathy and opposition within those states, that even superpowers the size of France or US will back down, as they have done when we have made such a stand once before.

        We shall tell them that no self respecting nation with right on its side can meekly acquiesce to the intransigence of others.

        We must do even more than this, and with the support of the nation, together we will do more.

        We must do more because we have responsibility to others besides ourselves.
        We have friends and neighbors who are much smaller and more isolated than are we and in much greater peril than us. And it is for us to give a lead.

        Like them we are a small nation, but in the interests of justice we will make claim for the attention of the world.

        We shall do our utmost to ensure that the eyes of the world are rivetted on this our nation’s attempt to break from the grip of fossil fuels.

        This mission is a mission of peaceful but serious purpose. Today with this speech this country announces the start of this honourable mission.

        From this day all coal exports and imports will cease, and the order for the decommissioning of the coal fired power station at Huntly will be given.

        Just as the city of Paris has begun, we also will begin a comprehensive nationwide, war time like, blackout of unnecessary public lighting.

        With these emergency measures and more our example we hope to be an example, with the power to bring alive the conscience of the world. And we believe that by this endeavour we shall contribute not only to our own concerns. But make a contribution to the continuing global quest to find a lasting answer to climate change.

        Our Future Parliamentary Leaders circa 2014

        • LynWiper

          I admire your passion Jenny. NZ did lead the way with its anti nuclear stand…

          • Jenny

            NZ did lead the way with its anti nuclear stand…


            Thank you Lyn.

            And we could lead the way again.

            All that is missing is the political will.

            Broadly known as the World War II solution:

            The strategy needed is modeled on the strategy that leaders here, and around the world turned to, when they bravely faced up to, an existential threat to human civilisation.

            In climate change, the world is facing an even greater existential threat than fascism. Not only are millions of human lives at stake, whole eco-systems will be wiped out. From Arctic tundra, to coral reefs, acidic oceans, unendurable heat waves, drought, erratic weather patterns, rising sea level, flooding. Not to mention devastating Super Storms, hurricanes tornadoes, all pointing to eventual agriculture failure, mass famine, dislocation, civilisation collapse.

            Such a course, that I have laid out above. Is the only way that world wide experts have conceived that humanity could possibly get out of the climate trap, with something roughly resembling the current bio-sphere.

            And New Zealand is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in implementing this strategy.

            And the sooner the better.

            All that is missing to enact that strategy is the political will from those we look to for leadership.

            The Green Party included.

            After the demonstrated commitment of the two other major parties to Business as Usual.

            The Green Party were our sole remaining hope.

            But it is on the public record, that climate change is not one of the Three “Priorities” of the Green Party. Climate change is not one of the Green Party’s “Other Priorities”.

            Climate change is listed alphabetically in a column on the Green Party website with no added emphasis with 59 of the Green Party’s “Other issues”.

            The Green Party are, down playing climate change. The Green Party are, prioritising child poverty, employment and economic issues. There is no debate about this. It is a matter of public record.

            The Green Party flat out refused to make climate change an election issue in the last election, and the Green Party are flat out refusing to make climate change an election issue this time around as well.

            We are a democracy. In a democracy you have to campaign on the issues you believe in, if you want to implement them when in government. If climate change is not an election issue, it cannot be raised in coalition talks, or in government in any meaningful way.

            And we will have another three years of massive expansion in CO2 emissions from this country and be an example to nobody.

  21. xtasy 21

    Now, just one admitted more question, after such long night of active debate: WHERE IS THE FUCKING LABOUR CAUCUS???

    IrishBill: Get real – it’s the night before a public holiday and this post has only been up a couple of hours. If I see one more post from you like this you’re off for a week.

    • bad12 21.1

      X, why would anyone from the Labour Caucus come onto the Standard??? to view your abuse perhaps…

      • xtasy 21.1.1

        It is not ABUSE, it is REALSPEAK, dear matey, as that is what they often claim to be doing in Parliament. No abuse, just REALSPEAK, and common Kiwi lingo, nothing wrong, or are you trying to take me for a ride perhaps?

        IrishBill: And that’s a week off.

      • xtasy 21.1.2

        Hey also, they had months, a year or more, and just since last night, to come here and do it. They do NOT, and we know why, because it is not really all that genuine, or do they want to be received by a video presenting a choir song from the local Maori whanau, a floral invitation and the likes?

        I am wondering about you, dear bad12.

        • bad12

          That is all pretty non-sensical, Annette King was here a few weeks back in a discussion about housing policy,

          One of the other Labour MP’s was here a week ago(forgot her name), and got hit with the comment, “was it hard to drag yourself away from the trough long enough to comment here”,

          Expecting MP’s to expose their ego’s to such abuse is pathetically futile,

          Your wondering about me??? pffft!!! what your wondering’s contain is of scant concern to me…

          • xtasy

            About Housing she said stuff all, by the way! So why do you defend a caucus member deliver nada? I also wrote to her last year, presenting question re a few housing matters, she never really answered anything in her double speak letter.

            So you may be trusting and a fan of that Shearer led brigade now, I am not, I had the guts full of all this nonsense. I want politicians that are at least generally accountable and honest. I do not get what you try to prove.

            • bad12

              What Annette King said was simply Labour Party policy, She also said She could give me no numbers on a re-newed State house build as that policy was still being worked on,

              As i said at the time that is all i would expect from a politician commenting in what is essentially a public place/space,

              The point is tho, that the Housing post was one of a series of comprehensive discussions in a number of posts and from the Annette King comment yesterday that She ”enjoys the exchanges” in the Standard i take it that She is a ‘lurker’ and ‘looker’ quite often,

              LOLZ at you X, i am a paid up member of the Green Party, a modern political organization where the members elect the Leaders and rank each MP so i couldn’t really give abig fat one who leads the Labour Party and am far more interested in Party policy of both Labour and the Green Party than who is the ‘Leader’,

              Wailing because the Conference got the ‘trigger mechanism wrong’ on the means of triggering a leadership vote seems to me to be a futile waste of effort…

              • xtasy

                bad12: I got one comig for your Green Party too, as you are largely lifestylers and only half committed to what you stand for. You have Eugenie Sage, and others, full of environmental and other fervour, but they have little economic clout. Then you have Russel Norman, admittedly economically educated, but he is struggling with fiscal policies and understanding, having his positive points somewhere else, I totally agree with the Greens on much, but hey, you are LIGHT WEIGHTS, still NOW. That is the problems.

                I know someone who can get a “left” party combined with “green” ideas and realistic plans hammered together very short term. They may even integrate the NZ First component of looking after NZ before anyone else.

                I fear you are still in lala land, and you do not get it.

                This divisive forum on “da left” is a liability, it needs union, a solid uniited force, and it will win NZ over in a year or two, but that is twatly doodly dumby dooday doody dubdubol as too many limite people here are mentally limited.

                Let us talk again when you are awake, alert and ready to speak.


                • bad12

                  The only thing i am getting from you in particular is a series of comments each containing more and more paranoia,

                  Down lower in the comments you directly accuse me of being a Labour plant here in this comment you exhibit an opposite trait,

                  Your comments while being gut-bustingly funny are pretty much at an intellectual level where the only thing keeping me awake is taking the piss out of you…

    • Jenny 21.2

      This thread is about engaging with the Labour caucus. The Green Party need to start engaging with the Labour Party, Labour Party members, and caucus. That is, if they are to ever want to shift the Labour Party, and caucus into supporting taking comprehensive action against Green House gas emissions.

      If the Green Party start publicly prioritising climate change, If the Green Party dare to have this public debate out. Then the Green Party may be able to win or at least shift, the Labour Party and the Labour caucus on this issue.

      By ignoring and down playing climate change the Green Party will achieve nothing.

      ….Climate change has the ability to undo your historic victories and crush your present struggles. So it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

      Naomi Kleine “I’d Rather Fight Like Hell”

    • Jenny 21.3

      This thread is about engaging with the Labour caucus. The Green Party need to start engaging with the Labour Party, Labour Party members, and caucus. That is if they are ever to shift the Labour Party and caucus into supporting taking comprehensive action against Green House gas emissions.

      If the Green Party start publicly prioritising climate change, if they dare to have this public debate. Then the Green Party may be able to win, or at least shift, the Labour Party and the Labour caucus into agreeing to take some real measures against Green House gas emissions, in government, that would be a shining example to the world.

      If they don’t. The Green Party will achieve nothing.

      ….Climate change has the ability to undo your historic victories and crush your present struggles. So it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

      Naomi Klein “I’d Rather Fight Like Hell”

  22. bad12 22

    Call it what you will, but, if you addressed say Annette King with such language would you in reality expect Her to bother dignifying such language with a reply,

    Take you for a ride???, nah matey you appear to be taking yourself for one of those…

    • xtasy 22.1

      If a pollie cannot handle the language of the common people, they are in the bloody wrong place, mate! That is more than half the problem in NZ and other places, as there are too many airy fairy, over studied, arrogant, wannabe and “do not touch me” kind of arrogant jerks sitting in Parliament.

      That is NOT democracy, it is meritocracy and nepotism that rules this fucked up country, but some high nosed Kiwis are so uppety themselves, they cannot handle the bloody truth, even if they suffer under it. Sad state of affairs that is, stuff this shit in a country that deserves more intelligent voters.

      This is where Labour and the fucking Nats are all the same, arrogant bastards that deserve NO votes.

      • McFlock 22.1.1

        The question is not whether politicians should harden the fuck up, the question is whether one catches more flies with honey, or with vinegar.

        • Colonial Viper

          Are they offering us honey or are they offering us vinegar, I wonder.

          • xtasy

            Sadly it is honey spiced with ACID!

          • McFlock

            Maybe they’re returning previous gifts?
            Or should we never start to build bridges until the other side has turned the other cheek and shut the cart before the Samaritan has broken eggs into the black kettle?

            I think there’s something in that for all of us, don’t you?

            • xtasy

              Bridges can and will be built to points where structures can connect and establish basic stability. So guess and work from there, thanks.

      • handle 22.1.2

        “This is where Labour and the fucking Nats are all the same, arrogant bastards that deserve NO votes”

        So go and vote for someone else. You have other choices.

    • xtasy 22.2

      bad12 Trouble is I DID NOT ADDRESS HER IN THE SAME LANGUAGE I USED JUST SHORTLY AGO!!! Still NO reply of substance, so what are you proving? You are a staffer on the Titanic, I am sorry.

      • bad12 22.2.1

        My point being that Annette King by her own admission likes to read the exchanges in the Standard,

        Having said that tho She is unlikely to enter the debate on the nights/days that some commenters are exhibiting with an overt feral trait in their comments,

        Feel free to keep commenting in whatever vein you choose, i am simply pointing out that it is probably counter-productive to do so,

        And as a PS, you may have never directly addressed Annette King or any other MP in terms that were/are abusive but such is there on the page for all to read and an MP would have to be pretty thick skinned to jump in and engage with you when you are exhibiting in such a vein…

    • xtasy 22.3

      bad12: In hindsight I think you are probably a caucus member in disguise here, to sense the mood, and when it comes across negatively, you lash out and cannot handly it. It is incomprehensible for any fair minded present or past Labour member to accept your bizarre comments, after MPs have totally failed to answer and address to questions asked to them, even by Labour members, for YEARS!

      You are BARE NAKED NOW, you are exposed and afraid, that is the bloody truth. I am in contact with others, some of them are highly committed to start a totally new left of centre party, you will crap yourselves once that gets started. I am sorry, you have cancelled the solidarity amongst the left in NZ now, that is you as an individual. I am sorry, but tha t is how I see your words and action. That is very CLEAR now. Thank you.

      • bad12 22.3.1

        LOLZ, damn that’s hilarious, paranoid but definitely hilarious, as i stated above i am a paid up member of the Green Party so the Labour Party interests me more in areas of policy and the ‘Leadership’ of both Party’s is of little interest to me,

        Having said that, the Green party has two great Leaders,each with strengths in different areas which complement each other,

        The Green MP’s which we members give a ‘ranking’ to are all intelligent, hard working MP’s and represent the Green Party at a very high level of ability in the areas of policy that they are allocated,

        The only time i have been at odds with my chosen political party was over the issue of the Emmissions Trading Scheme, something i felt should have been a simple ‘carbon tax’ used in this country to plant trees and research both reducing carbon emissions and exploring the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere on an industrial scale,

        i once had a public ‘falling out’ with then Leader Jeanette F over that very issue which resulted in Her losing the plot a little and using the media to publicly chastise me,

        That in no way lowered my support for the Green Party,some you wins and some you loses but in the end if your there for the right reasons and prepared to stay for the long haul you might just get to make the necessary changes,

        Incidently not long after her little public venting of rage,(at me) she announced her retirement…

        • xtasy

          Green Party leaves to be desired, maybe not as much as “Labour”, but there are deficiencies, and that is proof that neither on their own can manage, they will not even together

        • xtasy

          You will NEVER win an election on the emissions trading scheme, you must be NUTS!

          • bad12

            Your series of comments which are best described as a series of paranoid knee-jerks would tend to suggest that you are far far ahead of me in the NUTS field,

            Have i ever said that i believe that ‘an emissions trading scheme’ would win an election, here let me answer that for you,

            The fact is my comment contains my opposition to the emissions trading scheme so perhaps you should tuck yourself into bed with a glass of milk and anything else you should be swallowing tonight and have a wee sleep…

        • xtasy

          bad12: Russel is good on “economic talk” and Metiria is good on “welfare speak”, that is what I support. That is not enough to win elections. CO2 is just one climate and environmental issue. The Greens are in NZ only a startup party of environmental concern, no match to the German Greens or elsewhere. All I see and hear here is hyped up fad stuff. Otherwise NO NZ party gives much of a damn on environmental protection, NZ is PRIMITIVE.

          So try to compare and sell with overseas, you are on loser territory.

          I am wanting more for this country, but if people cannot be bothered, it will remain a post colonial backs stop. Best of luck.


          • bad12

            Lets see now, the Green Party constantly rising in the polls,each election gaining more MP’s than the last,

            11% last election 13% in the latest political poll, i am more than happy with where the Green Party is at,

            Luck with your new party of the left, my prediction 1% support in 12 months, practically zero support at an actual election…

  23. xtasy 23

    I am sorry bad12 and whosoever, I HAD contact with a NUMBER of LABOUR MPs over the years, in correspondence and so forth, but NONE was convincing, NONE explained anything in detail, NONE was assuring, and all I got was lots of general “nice speak” and nothing else. That does not buy or finance your home, it does not help you get a better chance for a job, it does not favour your education , or do anything else positive.

    I rather am DESPERATE to find a new connection to LABOUR, but I bloody well CANNOT FIND IT.

    That is the problem. I have voted Labour before, but in future I will vote Greens or Mana for the party vote, for sure. I had ENOUGH. Shearer does NOT convince me and is a loser.

    So get to me and criticise me, I would be a prime candidate traditional Labour voter, but I WILL NOT VOTE LABOUR ever again under this leadership. Get stuffed Labour, wrong leader and no hoper “team”.

    • handle 23.1

      Quit yelling.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        Vicious cycle, really.
        Some people think it adds emphasis, but really all it does it heighten the probability it gets filed and forgotten. Then the caps get more frequent, sentences get longer, underlining occurs, multiple exclamation marks and other needless punctuation creeps in, and before you know it the correspondence starts being rated as a risk indicator.

        • bad12

          LOLZ, SIS file started perhaps, snigger, i thought anyone who wrote to an MP in this day and age got ‘the file’ started…

          • xtasy

            MPs are asking for it, and it is not so much them, no it is the MINISTERS that are worth chasing.

          • xtasy

            MPs are asking for it, and it is not so much them, nor it is the MINISTERS that are worth chasing. But I have over recent times got some REAL PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL NFORMATION that will hopefully be made available publicly in the coming weeks. There are some things going on in NZ goverment that few if any know about, but which you should all know about.

            It has all been concealed, hidden and kept secret, and the Official Information Act and Privacy ACT have in part been abused. Still now not even the key decisionmakers dare to speak out, it is time to call an end of the NZ government run this society like a DICTATORSHIP!

            I am afraid too few dare to ask and stand up for their rights in NZ, it is too “convenient” a country, as most overseas visitors tell me. Dotcom may be one of the more aware people.

          • xtasy

            bad12: Really “primitive”, you have NO clue

            • bad12

              Indeed , i am a happy primitive, in my younger days i could be found in the Winter camped 200 meters below the snow-line in the Tararua mountains, i still have 2 permanent camps set up there although my bones wont tolerate Winter that high up any more,

              In my primitive persona i learned which fern to eat the roots of and which fern to eat the kernal from, and even learned that if one urinates upon oneself it is such a powerful attractive for a goat that such animals will in fact walk right up to you but as soon as you move or speak they scarper,

              However, your comment as intended is simply a pathetic insult from an inferior mind that has exhibited tonight in this post what i would consider to be signs of a serious disease of the mind,

              Perhaps rather than hurl pathetic childish insults which only result in laughter,(at you), you should get the above checked out of your own volition as i fear that at some point you will say or do something which will have that checking out become compulsory…

      • xtasy 23.1.2

        deaf people need a clear message

  24. xtasy 24

    When do the staunch Labour supporters here get it:

    WE (That is ALL us former and non Labour supporters), THAT NO LONGER VOTE AND SUPPORT YOUR PARTY, WE DO NOT DO THIS FULL OF HATRED or CONTEMPT, we would LOVE to VOTE LABOUR, if there was A WINNING TEAM, a REAL Labour Party we could trust and believe in. It would all be forgiven, it would be NO problem it would win and get there, where the “left” should be. But what we get is political “LEFT OVERS” not “left” policies and solutions to improve the life of all. We even get HATRED for daring to criticise, and that reminds us of STALINISM. That is not what the left ever wanted. We have differing back-grounds, and some may be even pro Cuba or whatever, all we want is a fair go and democratic handling within the left AND LABOUR PARTY. Sadly this is NOT happening. Wake up, dears.

    • bad12 24.1

      Perhaps you wouldn’t mind if i added a violin solo to that…

      • xtasy 24.1.1

        That would just be PERFECT! Add yourself as a soprano, please.

        • bad12

          Yes i enjoyed the TV series as a bit of escapism, such organizational criminal activity is beyond the scale of anything i have ever been involved in,

          Have you finished venting your anger at the Labour party Conference getting the ‘trigger’ mechanism wrong on questions of Leadership yet…

          • xtasy

            NEVER vented my anger at the Labour conference by the way, so you lost all this somewhere else, I am sorry, but I suspected that all along. I had some very different points to make, which may have been registered, well, I believe some have, otherwise they will register due to historic consequences.

            So let us let that go, and look towards the future, that is apart from any possible back biting I have not detected yet. Otherwise I am happy to retire tomorrow, just let me know.

            Long live the Empire, the Queen, the King, the Fuehrer and all deserved leaders, I suppose.

            • bad12

              That tho is in essence exactly what you are doing, that you are so obviously so self- unaware that you cannot see this is simply another of your personality ‘traits’ which give rise to my mirth,

              Why did the Labour Caucus vote to retain David Shearer as Leader, because the rules the Labour Party Conference put in place ALLOWED them to do just that,

              So while you shriek like a demented chimpanzee about the Labour Caucus having voted for Shearer as the Leader which they were entitled to do given the rules as set out by the Labour Party Conference in all reality you are shrieking as much at the Labour party conference because the MP’s had the decision of who would be leader,

              I have yet to see fish lining up at the take-away shop asking to become the next fillet, so given that all your increasingly bizaare comments are an attack on the Labour Party itself it is pretty much apparent that you are not a member of and didn’t attend the conference which made the recent rule change,

              Given that why would any of them give a big fat one what you have to say about anything, because of your insipid threat to run off and start a new political Party perhaps,god that is scary, in a hilariously funny sort of way that is…

              • Colonial Viper

                Why did the Labour Caucus vote to retain David Shearer as Leader, because the rules the Labour Party Conference put in place ALLOWED them to do just that,

                As you are well aware, just because one CAN do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that one SHOULD do that thing.

  25. vto 25

    MPs and other very famous people like Hooton commenting here from time to time changes the tone.

    I enjoy swapping various held and exaggerated views to try and see the different sides to issues. I wonder if this development will change the nature of the place, though suppose that is to be expected. The higher profile being received also brings on a wariness of motive and privacy and openness of comment.

    It would also be a shame if it became dominated by bibble babble about the labour party, which is pretty damn boring to those not in the loopy loop..

    I imagine this place will be different again in another few years…

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      This is a good point vto. It would change the nature of exchanges on The Standard and that in itself is worth a discussion. Being asked to mind your p’s and q’s, and having to remember to curtsey at the right time because of the chance celebrity MSM royalty might pop by. (Ah, not being facetious in case you were wondering, you know what I mean).

      • Colonial Weka 25.1.1

        I don’t know what you mean. Hard to read that comment as anything other than facetious. Care to clarify?

        • Colonial Viper

          As you know, there is a serious problem with the quality of the MSM in this country. Too many journalists and commentators who see themselves as being “players” in their own right, as well as suspicions of editorial positions being taken not just in editorials and op-eds but in the very writing of news articles.

          Shifting the style of some Standard posts and comment threads so that the analyses and questions found within are more easily and readily picked up by a (sometimes quite lazy) MSM constantly looking for new material, and also by casual readers interested in politics but not interested in political venom and hyperbole, would go some way to rectifying those issues.

          Put as a one liner: modifications in the writing and commentary style (but not substantive content) of some Standard posts would be enough to take The Standard into the mainstream, allowing this site to pick up both increased readership and coverage.

          Just an idea.

  26. karol 26

    I’m late to the party on this – been very busy the last week or two. Will probably have more time in a week or so.

    I didn’t read all the relevant comments under the posts for the last couple of days, but from what I did read….

    I was pleased to see a Labour MP here, and Annette King is one who has done some very good work on social issues. She still can be an excellent speaker in the House.

    However, I am still critical of Labour’s housing policy. Also, there was a comment from King on one of the threads here in the last couple of days, in which she was rightly critical of the NAct misogyny.

    I agree that the current Labour caucus and leadership is better than NAct ion not being actively misogynistic. However, as I have expressed before, I have concerns about the male/masculine dominance of the leadership of Labour’s parliamentary wing. It was evident in Mallard’s reported comment about Shearer being the kind of guy you’s meet at the footy club.

    Seriously!? Is Mallard still living in the 50s? Thank goodness social life and many pollies have moved on from that.

    I also think there is a retro gender dynamic in the way it has been largely the female Labour MPs of late, who have fronted up to engage with TS. I haven’t looked at recent stats on this. However, late last century there was a tendency for women in business and politics to undertake the communication roles, in doing PR etc, while the guys had overall control and make the major decisions. This seems to be the MO of Team Shearer.

    I would like to see the likes of King and Ardern given the opportunity to really return parliamentary Labour to core values of supporting beneficiaries, rather than follow the punitive neo-Con approach on welfare and crime. At times Ardern has seemed quite passionate about attacking the government’s punitive approach. I’d like to see if she’s able to be a consistently strong performer with such an approach. However, the comments in the Dom Post editorial are a bit worrying, suggesting Ardern will not be allowed to stray too far from the Neo-Con type of line on welfare.

    I hope the Dom editorial has got it wrong.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      The Dom editorial is actually chilling. It also provides an additional rationale for why Cunliffe was targetted, beyond ‘not being liked’ by his colleagues.

    • Olwyn 26.2

      This link to me suggests that a “tough on beneficiaries” stance from the Labour Party would not only be cynical and callous, but also at odds with the public opinion that such policy would intend to court. It seems a shift in perception is taking place, as tends to happen when things look be going too far. Thanks to Sue Bradford, for putting it up on facebook.


      • Olwyn 26.2.1

        I should have added that the reasoning behind my comment goes like this: once you are able to identify a group as being discriminated against, you also tend to distance yourself from that discrimination. People don’t notice or even call it discrimination when they think that their contempt for some group or other is justified.

    • bad12 26.3

      I would take the Dom editorial with a grain of salt, it seems the ‘editor’ of that particular rag of declining readership is engaged in a little stirring,

      The Dom was so desperate to ‘up’ it’s readership last year that for a week they gave the suburb in which i live a delivered free copy for a whole week, who-ever thought up that particular lead ballon must have cost the Dom a fortune and in this street the nett result was a big yawn, thanks for the freebies, no thanks to the subscription offer,

      It would have been nice tho for a relevant Labour spokesperson to have said publicly somewhere, anywhere, that the Dom editorial was a flight of imagination,

      While we probably cannot expect,(and this is debatable), the Labour Caucus to stomp on every small fire lit by the press based upon rumor the Labour Caucus by not commenting upon such issues simply leaves us to speculate upon the veracity of such rumors…

    • Mary 26.4

      “I hope the Dom editorial has got it wrong.”

      They haven’t. Labour will continue to attack beneficiaries. It’s their policy to, plain and simple.

  27. handle 27

    I have been reading through this appalling display. Why would politicians waste their time wading through the baiting, diversion, reactive rudeness and lack of intelligent discussion here?

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Why would politicians waste their time wading through the baiting, diversion, reactive rudeness and lack of intelligent discussion

      Surely this is like any other Parliamentary sitting day.

    • Mary 27.2

      Most Labour politicians will steer well clear of TS because they won’t want to be questioned on their right-wing beliefs, and the few that do post here ignore anything close. Just look at Annette King, saying all the right things to make herself out to be a good keen leftie, then shutting right up when asked about Labour’s welfare policies just like she’s done for the last six years since her righter than right Social Security Amendment Act 2007. When it comes to questions about beneficiaries and social security Labour are gutless and cowardly. They do not want to tell the truth about the right-wing agenda they’ve got in store for what remains of our social welfare benefit system.

    • Saarbo 27.3

      There may be some of that Handle, but most of the Posts are clever and ask the questions of our MP’s to ensure that they remain accountable to the traditional values of The Labour party.

      What you have described Handle is what the MP’s face at parliament when facing the National party.

  28. Darien Fenton 28

    Thank you Irish for initiating the discussion. Most Labour MPs were at Waitangi yesterday and didn’t get back until very late and will have been out and about at events all day today in our electorates and local areas, so many will not have read your post. There’s no “move” I am aware of to engage with the Standard – Annette has taken that on for herself, and good on her. When I have time, I do read the Standard, but I know many other MPs don’t because it’s become so personal and nasty. I’ve ventured on once or twice (with some trepidation) but it’s not a highlight of the day to be compared to a whore or called right wing, or to read insults about my party and my colleagues. I’d much rather engage face to face with people – anyone, anytime – email me, phone me, come to see me, or I will come to meet you, your group, your committee and debate or argue anything you want. We may agree or disagree, but at least we are talking.

    BTW there is no plan to “reform” welfare. The DomPost is making it up. As you have pointed out, there is a policy process within Labour and it’s not up to the caucus to decide these things.

    • IrishBill 28.1

      Hi Darien – yeah, I realised about ten minutes after I put this post up how badly timed it was. Glad to see you here again though and kinda wishing there was a bit more engagement. I’ve been talking with Anthony about how we moderate around MPs and other public figures who comment here but we’ve not sused it yet.

      Like every bloody aspect of moderation it’s a balancing act between keeping the place clean enough that people feel comfortable commenting but not extinguishing the ability to have a heated political argument. There’s also the fact that there are times there are no moderators reading while comments never seem to stop!

      If you’ve any thoughts about what kind of space would encourage more MPs to comment please feel free to let us know.

      • bad12 28.1.1

        Just a thought, perhaps ‘guest posts’ by any MP’s that want to put forward a particular policy or float a particular idea would be workable,(if the particular MP had a bit of time to spare to debate an issue),

        These could come with a warning that a severe spanking will be dished out to those who cannot control themselves in the use of language or try and drag the discussion away from the policy or idea being floated…

        • Rhinocrates

          Good idea. It would – I hope – foster the development of ideas if done in good faith by an MP willing to accept feedback. It could also help the party lay down a narrative and rapport in the public consciousness in the way that policy announcements don’t.

          It would certainly be an improvement on those bloody Shearer Sayszzzzzzzzzzzz “e-newsletters”.

          • just saying

            The moderation needs to be a two way street.

            I’m happy to be polite, but as in the brief interchange with Darien, I didn’t ask any of the many follow-up questions I would have liked, because I believe she would have left the discsussion. Others who did ask such questions were ignored, and she only remained to answer personal criticism from a right-wing troll, with a good deal of support from TS commenters.

            Maybe we could have threads which are heavily moderated to a guarantee a reasonable level of courtesy and respectful language, and the pollys are obliged to answer any reasonable question put to them that they are able to answer on an agreed subject within an agreed timeframe.

            I’m picking no Labour MP would agree to that though.

            • Bill

              Hmm. Fuck the ‘respectful’ language js. It’s just a piece of culturally exclusive bullshit. There’s nothing wrong at all in saying, for example, ‘Fuck that’. ‘Fuck you’? yeah that’s different and got nothing to do with ‘respectful’ language per se. That’s just straight up disrespectful aggression.

              • just saying

                It’s abuse and aggression I meant Bill. Ie “reasonable” level not a vicar’s tea party.

                I don’t see anything culturally exclusive in that.

                • Bill

                  Aye, no. It wasn’t a go at you. It’s just ‘respectful language’ often spills over into ‘acceptable ways of self expression’ where so-called swearing is verboten on the grounds that ‘it’s just not civilised’…ie, doesn’t stack up against certain social mores.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Funny the Labour voters I tend to hang out with would be relieved to hear a bit of direct red blooded language from a Labour MP instead of the cautious academic complicatednese which is more common.

                    PS this isn’t about J.T. blindly taking a baseball bat to things, but just calling unreasonable bullshit, unreasonable bullshit.

            • Rhinocrates

              Maybe, maybe not. Being allowed to post an article is a privilege and an opportunity that must surely be tempting… but yes, if that privilege and opportunity is granted, then it has to have obligations too and they have to be clear. I’m not sure how the rules would be written – definitions of reasonable questions and appropriate timetables could be tricky at the very least.

              Vague rules about engaging in good faith and the stated obligation to engage through a thread rather than use the post as an opportunity to stick up another “e-newsletter” could be, well, vague, but probably better.

              There is something of a cultural divide or generational divide between MPs who understand social media and those who don’t (though I’m older than a lot of MPs and I know how blogs work). There are plenty of “rules” to the Internet that most regular users understand instinctively and don’t need to be told (number 34 is my favourite). Can we foster an understanding, “groom” as it were, some contacts? Maybe not every MP, but some who are willing to engage and cut them some privileges while educating them at once.

              Clearly the caucus hierarchy think that the Internet should be a one-way broadcast and are scared of it because it isn’t – I don’t know if Shearer brushes off the Internet to avoid getting dragged into answering awkward questions or he genuinely is a dinosaur who distrusts wax cylinders as new-fangled jiggery-pokery (I tend to the latter, he does genuinely seem to be someone still trying to come to grips with his Betamax VCR) – and I can imagine a discussion in which someone asks, “It gets our message to the plebs, but unlike television, it seems to have this strange fault that allows them to talk back – and to each other – and they’re so disrespectful too. How do we fix it, Clare?”

              Mallard thinks Facebook is just a way of passing on boob jokes and even so-called media experts such as Brian Edwards are fundamentally ignorant of how the Internet really works (although they have plenty of ideas about how it should work for privileged people like themselves).

              On the other hand, the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 made brilliant use of the media, so some politicians and their staffers obviously do get it. Labour sent Grant Robertson to the US last year to observe the campaign and they could maybe learn something… it’s just a pity that he’s so irredeemably second-rate as an intellect.

              Anyway, that went a bit off track as I intended a brief reply… but maybe observations of what the last Obama campaign did, what they realised about their opportunities, limitations and obligations online could be instructive? Could that provide a precedent? I’m not a political scientist and my time is limited, but has someone paid close attention to the mechanics of what they did ?

              • just saying

                I was thinking of a question and answer format, not the opportuntity to post something (I think they already can, if they want to do that – subject to team approval).

                Did you see Gareth Hughes’ “ask me anything” Q and A session on Redditt?

                • Rhinocrates

                  Yes… I note that with every Shearer Sayszzzzz there has been a note to the effect that other polys are invited to contribute and none has yet, and referring back to your earlier scepticism about whether an Labour MP would agree to participate on any terms other than their own, you might be right.

                  However, putting on my optimist’s hat (my, it’s dusty), if Fenton and King have dipped their toes in these so obviously shark-infested waters, then there may have been a policy change of some kind or a loosening of the handlers’ leashes, so maybe one or two might become regulars.

                  One of the most disappointing things about Labour in the last few years has been their stubborn ignorance of the media, so the fact that they have commented here is interesting in itself.

                  A Q&A format maybe… Gareth Morgan (no, I haven’t seen that, so I’m guessing), in his mind, has nothing to lose. There would be a temptation to use “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” questions, but that can be avoided. I have known many blogs in which a celebrity has made an arrangement to appear and correspondents are invited to submit questions, a selection of which are then given to the celeb by the moderator.

                  Problem: Darien Fenton’s own comment about policy (countered by CVs apt analogy with British army tactics in the 18th century) confirms what Duncan Garner said a while back about his frustration with Labour. If he texted Russel Norman, then he’d get a reply within an hour. If he contacted David Cunliffe, he’d be keen, but end up gagged and if he contacted anyone else in Labour, they might get back to him eventually, but by then it would be too late.

                  Imagine this (it won’t require much effort) – Q: Where does the sun rise in the morning?

                  Shearer: Errr, ummm… ahhh. Kittens are um… can I say that… it says here… nice. Especially on toast… oh, and kittens pay their way. Did I get that right Ian? Should I have been more, ah, emphatic in my gestures?

                  Fenton: Do not be impatient. As you should know, it’s in committee. A sub-para-quasi-focus-committee are initiating the instigation of laying the groundwork for preparing a mauve-tinted shade of magenta paper on the subject of general stellar body appearance during diurnal cycles over the horizons of non-tidally-locked planetary bodies as seen from fixed points on their surface as part of our ongoing policy-facilitation-development process with a release date planned for the very last microsecond before the 2017 election.

                  Someone who has a clue texts right away: EAST.

                  Whoops, I’m drifting off track again. Anyway, Labour has a pathetic media policy and practice, has no understanding of how media work today etcetera… but if we can hold their hands and help them into the late twentieth century and maybe, eventually, the twenty-first, then I’m all for it.

                  • geoff

                    How about doing it like Slashdot does it? Have a post where people put their questions up, the best ones get chosen and then get answered by a willing victim.
                    Too stale?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Sounds cool.

                      Q&A, however it gets done, is a good first step, but I’d also like to see it turn into ongoing dialogue… but first steps first.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Yeah, maybe a first step, but I’m not sure how ts commenters would handle that. If they’re presented with a list of questions and answers but can’t actually engage, they’re likely to turn the comments section into a big moan fest.

                    • Olwyn

                      Rhino: If I remember rightly, before the leadership contest in 2011, some of the contenders put up posts, and all comments on them went through the moderation process before going up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s a lot of work for the moderators; I suspect that without having paid moderators its not something that The Standard would do all that often.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Could use volunteer moderators too.

                  • geoff

                    Oh I see that’s what you’ve essentially suggested. Sorry rhino, you’re partly to blame though, you don’t half blether on (TLDR) 😛

                    • Rhinocrates

                      I don’t do anything by halves! Especially blethering.

                      Can you tell that I have much more pressing work that I should be doing? 🙂

                  • Colonial Weka

                    Right Rhinocrates, so Labour have a learning curve, both in terms of online communication in general, and the culture of ts specifically. How can we help with that?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Set up a glasshouse, no brick-throwing allowed and whatever other format restrictions are deemed appropriate (such as filtered Q&A)? Ie., tighter moderation rules for nominated threads, perhaps every comment subject to moderation. Keep the thread at the top for longer, to ensure continual debate. It may seem as privileging (and I’ve grown to like the looseness and robustness of debate across TS), but I think it’s worth some inconsistency to act as positive reinforcement.

                      MPs can venture into general debate if they like, but a rule is instituted that you do not question an MP for staying in the glasshouse, as you don’t get to speculate about identities behind handles and so on.

                      In time, loosen the rules, take the training wheels off, to mix a metaphor.

                      While I’ve been harshly critical of Labour and many of the MPs currently atop the greasy pole, I do still strongly believe that there is and should be a special relationship between TS, the “left” as a broader entity and the party that is still supposed to be its main representation in parliament. If it works getting them to engage, it’s good.

                      I can appreciate that engineering this in terms of site management and maintenance might be tricky.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Sounds good to me.

                    • Jenny

                      Great suggestions Rhino, I just love your non-sectarian approach. (Though I foresee that this might be a lot of extra work for them, I hope those behind TS are able to take your suggestions on board.)

                      Speaking personally, I would certainly like to be able to have the privilege of communicating with our elected Labour Party MPs.

                      I would think such an open channel to our elected MPs would strengthen our democracy.

                      I agree with Colonial Weka that they should be treated as “guests” with all the respect you would give guests in your own home.

                      And maybe we could even have another separate “glasshouse” for the Green Party MPs or even Mana. This initiative if taken up might even take off increasing the traffic and mana of this site. Those who can’t behave in the glass house, or obey the rules, will be locked out of the glass house, (and possibly the rest of the site as well)

                    • Jenny

                      Another idea might be that the Labour MPs that do wish to comment here do so anonymously. (I am sure that some do so already).

                      But with the agreement of TS their identity is not revealed. Only the fact that they are Labour Party MPs. Which will be signaled by some sort of marker in their gliff (Maybe an L). For instance Darian Fenton would appear as “Tigress” or some such other pseudonym with a gliff that lets you know that you are talking to a Labour MP.

                      This would hopefully avoid personal abuse, because by nature of the exchange it would be impersonal.

                • Colonial Weka

                  yes, that’s a good example. However Hughes chose which questions he answered and certainly didn’t answer all of them.

                  My reading of Darien the other day was that she popped in to say hi and let Irish know that the MPs had all been busy because of Waitangi Day. She also expressed her opinion that there was no official decision to engage with ts. Positive and useful IMO.

                  I don’t think it’s realistic or even respectful for people here to expect MPs to behave the way we say they should. Maybe Darien had just got home and was wanting to spend some time with her family, and wanted to drop a few comments here rather than spend alot of time. Why should she answer every question put to her? I’ve been pretty surprised by the kinds of demands and annoyance expressed when her or Annette King didn’t jump to somebody’s tune.

                  IMO the most useful thing that can happen over the next while is that good relationships are built between ts and the caucus. As well as tight moderation, this means that the MPs have to have some degree of autonomy as to how they post here. Once that relationship is established, then it may be more appropriate for ts commenters to start asking for specific kinds of engagements and having expectations.

                  If we want the MPs to come here and engage, I’d see them as guests. How should we be treating guests?

                  And think about it, what generally happens when people on ts start making demands of the authors?

      • Bill 28.1.2

        Thought it’d be pretty simple Irish.

        If it focuses on the person and not the idea or thoughts being presented – ban.

        So, obviously, any calling people for being a cunt, bastard, whore or whatever = ban. One thing to call a pseudonym – an ‘unreality’ – all pile of bad crap. Quite another when it’s a real and recognisable person. (I’d apply that across the board btw unless it’s between two people who don’t give a shit – but that’s just me)

        Lesser indirect insults such as ‘right winger’ stuff? eg that sounds like right wing twaddle as opposed to you’re a right wing twaddle merchant? – pfft – Defend the position (the latter comment would = ban, of course)

        Broader negative take on a party? – pfft – Get over it.

        Generally robust or colourful language that is not directed at the person? Fine.

        Oh yeah. Big one this. Any sickly, simpering brown nosing? Banned before the return button has engaged. But I guess I’ll be in a small minority on that one 😉

        • just saying

          Was that “simpering brown-nosing” crack directed at me Bill?

          I didn’t enjoy having to be so placatory over an issue I’m furious about. I just wanted her to give some bloody response. I’d rather have a forum in which we can all be direct, but not belligerent or abusive, and actually get answers and ongoing discussion.

          I don’t think they want to discuss anything with us in any kind of meaningful way, but I’d like it if we could offer them a non-abusive forum, should they agree to do so.

    • just saying 28.2

      Hi Darien,

      Thanks for dropping in.

      What can you tell us about Labour’s intentions to help beneficiaries, the group that just today were identified as the recipients of more discrimination than any other? A huge number of people living in poverty, struggling to get by, and yet besieged by the most concerted, overt, political hate campaign, that I’ve seen in my lifetime?

      • just saying 28.2.1

        Hi Darien,

        Thanks for dropping in.

        What can you tell us about Labour’s intentions to help beneficiaries, the group that just today were identified as the recipients of more discrimination than any other? A huge number of people living in poverty, struggling to get by, and yet besieged by the most concerted, overt, political hate campaign, that I’ve seen in my lifetime?

        edit: and I do appreciate you clarifying that it is not the caucus that decides policy. That was of some concern to me.

      • Darien Fenton 28.2.2

        Hi Just Saying : No sorry, I can’t yet. As Irish has pointed out, we have a policy process that involves Labour Party members and this is the year where all of the grunt work will be done. Jacinda Ardern is working on an alternative white paper around poverty and kids that will be released in the first half of this year. Totally agree about the political hate campaign ; not new though I think when right wing governments are in power.

        • Colonial Viper

          Hi Darien,

          Firstly you’ve outlined the standard policy process which is fine but as we know it can be circumvented and there’s nothing the party can do about it. The most recent example is the Housing Policy which went straight out to the media without going through Conference, Policy Council etc. There are other examples of policy signed off by Sectors and by Policy Council which have been submitted to caucus and then vanished in a black hole. Effectively vetoed by caucus. And there are examples where policy was written up completely off the cuff with zero review, because someone had suddenly noticed a policy gap at the 11th hour.

          Secondly the policy process you’ve outlined doesn’t sound fit for purpose. In fact it reminds me of how the British Redcoats used to form up in 3 ranks to face the enemy. They would aim, fire and reload in turn, one rank at a time. Very ordered, very procedured, very predictable, and very slow. Fantastic against large formations, but hopeless (in fact, obsolete and counter-productive) against fast moving evasive opponents like Slippery and co. I trust this is what the new policy platform approach is supposed to change, when it comes in.

          Thirdly. This policy process appears to be the same as the lead up to Nov 2011. A whole lot of policy development work in private where Labour appears quiet or unable to respond in public with alternative policy so everyone else gets the limelight, followed by a brain dump on to the electorate of everything which has been worked on for 2 years, in the last 4-6 months before the election.

          Key has been leading with his chin for at least 12-18 months now and yet we have not seen Labour successfully positioning for any big hits on National’s glass jaw. So yes, there’s a degree of frustration being voiced at The Standard. And that’s just with the process; this isn’t even anything substantive yet regarding right wing/left wing influences on Labour Party policy.

        • David H

          Hi Darien

          You say Jacinda is working on a white paper. How many more coloured papers are there going to be? The Nats have already used White and Green, hell they must have used up most of the rainbow, now I see that Labour are starting that same process. Please can it be kept to to the one paper White. And not as an excuse to kill off another forest on pointless papers? Or why don’t you cherry pick the multitude of papers that Bennett uses to hide behind, instead of making policy?

          • Rhinocrates

            Perhaps it will be soft, absorbent and scented. Maybe it will have a nice printed seashell or floral pattern.

            Sorry, couldn’t resist.

            Still, it is good to have MPs in the Labour caucus realising that they have to engage and (even) I welcome the input.

    • One Tāne Huna 28.3

      “BTW there is no plan to “reform” welfare.” Darien Fenton.

      What about “get tough” nonsense?

      Side note: thanks for your input; I take your point about people getting angry, but this vicious government is attacking New Zealanders and Labour’s opposition seems muted, so tempers run high, especially when the “official” word is that bloggers aren’t people.

      • One Tāne Huna 28.3.1

        PS: when you say “there’s no plan” – do you mean you are going to keep the disgusting Tory policy settings?

    • bad12 28.4

      Nice to see another Labour MP commenting here at the Standard, the debate you will have to forgive us for is of a very robust nature,(i am sure those long ago who unionized and began the Labour Party in the West Coast coal mines all those years ago would have had many a ‘debate’ of such robustness),

      Thanks for the clarification of what i already perceived the Dom editorial to be, a bit of stirring by the editorial staff, and also the statement that beneficiaries are not to be the subject of further reforms by the next Labour Government, the best reform to the system of welfare that i know of being the provision of a job,

      We eagerly await the release of Jacinda’s ‘white paper’ on alleviating poverty, it would be nice to see the focus put firmly on the kids that have for too long ‘missed out’, and the Posts here at the Standard might make a good read after that paper’s release…

      • The Al1en 28.4.1

        “Nice to see another Labour MP commenting here at the Standard, the debate you will have to forgive us for is of a very robust nature,(i am sure those long ago who unionized and began the Labour Party in the West Coast coal mines all those years ago would have had many a ‘debate’ of such robustness),”

        And Al1en’s are always up for probing conversations.


    • Mary 28.5

      “BTW there is no plan to “reform” welfare. The DomPost is making it up. As you have pointed out, there is a policy process within Labour and it’s not up to the caucus to decide these things.”

      Does that mean Labour has changed its position since axing the special benefit in 2004 and its 2007 amendment Act that certainly “reformed” our social security system as we knew it? If so, will it be reversing these nasty “reforms”?

  29. felixviper 29

    Hi Darien, thanks for stopping by.

    I understand it must be a challenging and sometimes unpleasant environment to enter, but please be assured that many of us in this forum do value the efforts MPs make to come here and will always do our best to keep things at least civil when you do.

    Tr0lls and other nasty creatures are to some degree unavoidable, but surely that’s also the case in public meetings of any sort.

  30. Anne 30

    Thanks for coming here Darien and clearing a few things up. Apologies to you for the personal comments some have recently made. I’m sure I speak for 95% of the regular commentators when I say that. I wonder sometimes how those who see fit to personally denigrate (especially when there has been no provocation whatsoever) would feel if such treatment was meted out to them.

    How any Labour member could have fallen for that DomPost article is beyond me. Yet another mischievous attempt to try and drive wedges between Labour and their voters?

    • higherstandard 30.1

      “I wonder sometimes how those who see fit to personally denigrate (especially without any provocation whatsoever) would feel if such treatment was meted out to them.”

      Well as Darien attacked Peter Leitch in a particularly cowardly way some time ago and is now having a big sook I’d suggest you need wonder no longer.

  31. Anne 31

    Oh yes hs?

    What happened? Did she attack Leitch in a personal way? Or did she simply disagree with something he said? If it was the latter, are you saying that some people can say what they like and no-one is allowed to disagree with them even if what they are saying is wrong or incorrect?

  32. Darien Fenton 32

    Anne : It was 2011. I made a comment on Facebook about the Mad Butcher openly supporting John Key after hearing him on radio saying so during the election campaign period. I apologised and learned that everything an MP says anywhere is public and will be used by people like Higher Standard who has nothing better to do with his/her time.

    • IrishBill 32.1

      who has nothing better to do with his/her time.

      Quite. As I recall: http://thestandard.org.nz/the-rights-weird-obsession-with-darien-fenton/

      They’re a funny bunch, the right, so quick to remember meaningless shit like that and yet so slow to remember how many tranzrail shares they have, who it was that offered them $50k, or what they said to a whole cafeteria full of spies…

      • higherstandard 32.1.1

        Yes there are some pearlers in that thread I especially like the dripping arrogance exposed in this one.

        Sir Peter Leitch needs to be more careful with his political opinions.

        He is a great philanthropist and a kind and decent New Zealander, I fully and unreservedly support his right to reasonably express his political views.

        But he must temper this with the responsibility he carries as a public figure and popular man of the people because his words can have a profound effect upon the public’s opinions and views, including voting patterns.

        This is why I agree, in principle at least, with Labour MP Darien Fenton, although perhaps not in her chosen method of expression, which could have been a little more diplomatic.

        Ms Fenton’s point that an endorsement by Sir Peter can influence a rather gullible voting public into believing John Key is a Prime Minister of the underclass is salient. He is not that.
        (final emphasis mine)

        That letter encapsulates what so many of us are trying to say.

        I say it once more: Darien Fenton fronted up and apologised for her mistake. Does Peter Leitch have the guts to do the same?”


  33. Anne 33

    Guessed it was something innocuous like that. Btw, you were right. He was wrong to make such a comment at that time given his public profile. If I recall correctly he copped it from a large number of people. He should have known better.

  34. felixviper 34

    I can explain, Anne.

    Darien said she wouldn’t give her custom to someone who openly supports the Nats and higherstandard doesn’t like free markets.

    • Anne 34.1

      Oh well, that should shut hs up for a while.

    • higherstandard 34.2

      Gosh so quick to defend a list MP who isn’t even from your preferred party.

      If you’d like to recap on Darien’s social media brain fart it’s covered very nicely here.


      • felixviper 34.2.1

        I’m quite happy with my brief summary above, thanks.

        • McFlock

          seems pretty accurate given HS’ link.

          Frankly, I try not to support businesses that support tories or abuse workers’ rights, too. Just like I chose not to buy Charlies when Marc Ellis was involved, or go into a particular pub because the owner was a dick. Doesn’t seem to be a “brain fart” to say so, either.

          Any endorsement involves a transfer of credibility or respectability, and a certain amount “decays” in the transfer. Key might have gained a vote from the MB’s positive comments, but MB’s sales credibility went down in some sectors. What do the right wing generally feel about people facing consequences for their actions, again?

          • higherstandard

            Leaving aside the fact that Peter Leitch doesn’t have anything to do with the owner/operator chain of Mad Butcher stores apart from some advertising commitments, persons who make purchasing decisions based on which way someone votes or on which politician/s the perceived vendor chooses to invite to a sporting event rather than product/service quality, price, support of local business etc are IMO rather juvenile in their outlook.

            • felixviper

              “doesn’t have anything to do with the owner/operator chain of Mad Butcher stores apart from some advertising commitments”

              That’s right, nothing to do with them apart from being the public face of the company until forever. Kinda like how Col. Sanders has nothing to do with KFC.

              “which way someone votes”

              Aww, that’s cute. But not relevant. You know, if this was about how someone votes I’d probably be bitching with you.

              “which politician/s the perceived vendor chooses to invite to a sporting event”

              Again, adorable but not relevant to this matter.

              “rather than product/service quality, price, support of local business etc”

              Exactly as I said above, you don’t like free markets.

              • higherstandard

                Are you the nominated non sequitur tr0ll for today ?

                • felixviper

                  Yes. If you believe any of your non-sequiturs haven’t been addressed adequately, please indicate which and I’ll be happy to explore it further.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    FV damn fine job as usual. Good hunting.

                  • higherstandard

                    …… apart from the fact you just made up a whole lot of shite… you use nice italics but it’s shite nonetheless, hope your music is better than your tr0lling dearest.

                    • felixviper

                      Correct, the stuff in italics is all shite.

                      If you’d like to discuss the bits I wrote, go ahead.

            • McFlock

              Well, consumerism is a juvenile culture. That’s why Leitch is still the frontman for the meat shops. You might long for the days when all advertisements are a sterile list of specifications, but if his persona is good enough to encourage sales then it’s also good enough to discourage them.

  35. “persons who make purchasing decisions based on which way someone votes or on which politician/s the perceived vendor chooses to invite to a sporting event rather than product/service quality, price, support of local business etc are IMO rather juvenile in their outlook.”

    I’ve lost old friends because they’ve told racist/homophobic jokes in front of me.
    I’ve never bought French wine since Rainbow warrior.
    I’ve never watched Borat.
    If a business person or sporting a lister suck up to tory knobbers, I boycott and lose respect for them.

    Juvenile or principled – Your call.

  36. geoff 36

    I’ve never watched Borat.


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  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
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  • State of the Nation
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  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
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