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Open mike 24/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 24th, 2013 - 155 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

155 comments on “Open mike 24/08/2013 ”

  1. i know that they are only online polls..(..with all those inherent qualifications to that result..)

    ..but both stuff and nz herald polls are showing cunnliffe ..closely followed by ardern ..having a clear lead..

    (and robertson nowhere in sight..)

    ..which i would submit/repeat..that as far as electorate-appeal (i.e..winning!) is concerned..

    ..a cunnliffe/ardern ticket will be the one to get labour its’ best result..

    phillip ure..

    • karol 1.1

      I favour Wall as Cunliffe’s deputy – looking towards the politically disengaged and low income people. However, Ardern would be a preferable compromise as Deputy over Robertson. Robertson as deputy is a move to unite the caucus. Ardern has personal appeal (largely to the middleclasses, I suspect), plus could help to unite caucus factions.

    • QoT 1.2

      I feel less secure on the Herald poll because Cunliffe and Ardern are both Auckland-based MPs, so they’re going to have much better name recognition from Herald readers.

      (On the other hand, there’s probably a lot more Labour members in Auckland than in Wellington).

      I also wonder how much there’s a youth/social media skew in Ardern’s favour. But she wouldn’t be the worst candidate!

    • Treetop 1.3

      Cunliffe and Ardern would rejuvenate the party. A major reshuffle would appeal to the younger voter. From a younger person in the last few days I have heard how grand dad and grandma the Labour party have been for about a decade.

  2. vto 2

    I agree. Robertson is a beltway pollie as has been amply pointed out. For this reason he will struggle to gain full traction – just like Shearer failed to gain full traction. The fact he is gay I don’t think will be a problem, except for those people would never vote to the left anyway (the right wing harbours all such bigots as is well known). For most ordinary people the fact he is gay will be non problema.

    Cunliffe and Adern would make a great combo. Adern is certainly an attractive woman and this will have a positive impact. I wonder if Little would also make a great no. 2 too.

    Labour needs to think hard, accurately, discard the flotsam, don’t complicate things (difficult I know for lefties), and make solid sensible obvious decisions. If Cunliffe has the running already then listen to it.

    Robertson, Little, Adern and others are all still relatively young and have plenty of time left to have a crack later. Give it to Cunliffe – I don’t think he wants to stand for the VTO Party anymore anyway…

    • Rosie 2.1

      Please don’t laugh at my ignorance – I have to ask, I hear this term beltway all the time but don’t know what it means.

      What I fathom from the conversations is that a beltway politician is one that is ensconced cosily inside the machinery of their party. Are they are more connected to, or committed to the internal politics of the party than the people they seek to represent? I have no idea.

      The term beltway also puts me in mind of a luggage carousel at an airport.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Silly US Washington DC term, where the governmental/capitol area is surrounded by a ring road of US highways.

        Less literally, it is the political centre of a nation sometimes too inward looking and insular/isolated from the people and country the inhabitants are supposed to actually represent and govern.

      • phillip ure 2.1.2


        ..cocktail parties @ farrars’..

        phillip ure..

      • veutoviper 2.1.3

        As CV says, “Beltway” is a US term taken from the ring road/motorway that runs around (or as part) of Washington DC, which is called the “Beltway”.

        As a side issue in his excellent blog post on Public Address on the aftermath of the passing of the GCSB Bill, Jon Stephenson raises the (in)appropriateness of its use in relation to Wellington and there is quite a bit of discussion in the comments on this. But Jon’s post is well worth reading for its main topic.


        PS – hope you are enjoying the beautiful morning here in Wellington – signs of spring indeed.

        • Rosie

          Ah! Thank you CV, phillip ure and veutoviper. That does make sense, I could have looked it up but it’s more interesting and the meaning has more depth when it comes from the knowledgeable ones who comment here.

          I wonder if it is this ‘beltway’ style of politics that contributes to the disengagement of people from taking an interest in politics and ultimately from voting. They naturally feel disconnected from and resentful towards a system of governance that they perceive as disinterested in them as people. Not the only factor though. Apologies again for not keeping up…….

          Thanks for the link vv. I had seen that in my browsings in recent days but will now pay attention.

          Yes, lovely spring morning here in Wgtn, made even more spring like by the sound of bleating lambs over the back fence, and more enjoyable by the absence of quakes.

    • QoT 2.2

      the right wing harbours all such bigots as is well known

      … 🙄

  3. i would add to the above..that the meme pushed by beltway/media etc of robertson having ‘the mongrel’ to take it to key..

    ..seems based in little fact/evidence..

    ..all i can say..from doing commentaries on q-time for some years now..

    ..is that i have seen little signs of this ‘mongrel’ from robertson..

    ..and in fact what i have seen..in those q-times – is robertson easily swatted away by the likes of ryall..(!)

    ..robertson..in his health-spokesperson role up againt ryall..had/showed not so much ‘mongrel’..

    ..as all the traction of a puppy trying to climb an oil-smeared window..

    ..whereas cunnliffe..(from those same q-time observations)..kinda operates like a surgeon..

    ..and deftly chops to pieces the arguments/fallacies of/from national..

    ..when cunliffe steps up to the mike..i kinda put the feet up/sit back/and enjoy the performance..he rarely fails/ed to deliver..

    ..and a final point i would make..is to urge those in labour who will decide this outcome..

    ..not to forget how important winning/taking back from national – auckland will be..

    ..and then ask yrslves..

    ..who is best positioned to do that for labour..?

    ..’beltway’-robertson..?.and whoever..?

    …or ‘downtown’-cunnliffe..?..matched with ‘grey lynn’ ardern as his deputy-leader..?

    (and in that deputy-leader role..ardern will likely claw back auckland central from national..the symbolism of which will be obvious..)

    ..it’s a bit of a no-brainer really..eh..?

    ..phillip ure..

  4. karol 4

    John Armstrong: NZ Herald’s senior political journalist? – on David Cunliffe:

    For some unfathomable reason, Cunliffe is currently the darling of the party’s left faction.

    Great analysis that!

    • i looked at that one from armstrong in my early-morning sweep thru the herald..

      ..issued a derisory-laugh..

      ..and passed/moved on…

      ..phillip ure..

      • Lefty 4.1.1

        I am disappointed Shearer stood down.

        He was leading Labour into well deserved oblivion.

        This opened up the possibility of a genuine fighting left movement emerging. In fact we are starting to see the beginnings of it now, as we always do after a few years of National.

        I have no problems with Robertson. He would continue Shearer’s good work of removing the Labour Party barrier to building a left movement.

        Cunliffe is a worry.

        There is every chance he will rebuild confidence in Labour and we will end up in yet another cycle of hope and despair that will first see the destruction of left fightback momentum as people put their trust in social democrat politicians once again, then the ineveitable betrayal as a Labour led government sides with the ruling class as usual.

        • phillip ure

          (re leftys’ concerns..this was trotters’ take from the daily blog yesterday..)

          “..There can be no doubt as to which of these two most strongly represents the party’s and the unions’ desire for Labour to execute a decisive shift to the left. Since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-09, David Cunliffe has steadily come to the view that the social democratic and labour parties of the West can no longer realistically subscribe to a business-as-usual approach to economic and social policy. Neoliberalism-lite, or free-market capitalism minus its jagged edges, is no longer a credible working model for parties of the centre-left.

          The personal confidence (some would say arrogance) required to carry off such a departure from political and economic orthodoxy has, until now, weighed heavily against Cunliffe’s leadership prospects in the minds of his caucus colleagues.

          The right-wing faction of the caucus certainly exploited this diffidence to slow the advance of their most dangerous ideological opponent. In the process they were greatly assisted by Grant Robertson’s personal leadership ambitions.

          Indeed, without the roadblock erected by Robertson’s supporters – the right-wingers would not have been able to prevent Cunliffe taking the leadership in December 2011..”

          – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/08/23/crossing-the-fault-line-making-the-case-for-a-cunliffe-robertson-unity-ticket/#sthash.VJnYGpiY.dpuf

          phillip ure..

          • Lefty


            I would like to buy into the narrative of Cunliffe as the great redeemer but to do so would be a triumph of hope over experience.

            The problem is every Labour Prime Minister since Norman Kirk has held out such hope and promise prior to their election.

            Each one of them has played an important part in starting and cementing in the neo liberal agenda, despite promising the opposite.

            Why would we believe Cunliffe is any different?

            He might be genuine but history informs us this is unlikely to be the case.

            We are better off putting faith in ourselves and building strong left moverments than waiting for a great redeemer.

            It would be ok to do both at the same time but once in power Labour does everything it can to neutralise or absorb left social and political movements.

            Do we really want to go through that again?

            • phillip ure

              lefty..i hear/understand what you are saying about past dashed-hopes..

              ..a personal-nadir of this ilk..was watching the clark-govt do s.f.a. for the poorest/victims of ruthenasia..

              ..for budget after budget..for nine long years..

              (and all the while crying crocodile-tears justifying the expansion of middle-class-welfare/employer-subsidies..by crying ‘how hard’ middle-class couples were finding it tough’..(struggling on incomes those poorest would view as rivers of gold..)

              ..but the difference from then to now..is that the neo-lib-consensus that made labour/national tweeddle-dum and tweedle-dee..has been largely smashed..

              ..the green party is now a different animal from the one that was not so long ago eyelid-batting/skirt-lifting at key/national..

              ..and the mana party growing apace..(and of course labour should stand aside in those maori seats mana stand in..do a banks/epsom on national/key..)

              ..i see labour now also realising the old ways are gone/discredited..

              ..and that a return to the original reasons for the foundation of that party prevail again..

              ..and perhaps more importantly..a public that is so opposed to asst-sales/spooking-laws is also open to a new way of doing things..

              ..and as they say..timing is all..

              ..so all these circumstances/current-realities come together to make me (mildly)-optimistic that this time will be different from others…

              ..and if as trotter claims..cunnliffe has already rejected that neo-lib paradigm..

              ..he would seem best placed to take that role..

              ..whereas what must not be forgotten about robertson..

              ..was his all-too-recent dog-whistle to the right/current-elite-paradigm..

              ..that power-reform was all the reform any incoming labour govt would undertake..(!)

              ..just that craven/kowtowing-outburst should discount robertson..

              ..(he really is tweedle-dum in waiting..)

              ..and would perhaps further define that definition of robertson as ‘beltway’ –

              – that was requested further up the thread..

              ..phillip ure..

              • bad12

                Phillip Ure, while i admire your ‘faith’ i think it is somewhat misplaced, time of course will tell whether or not David Cunliffe can form a Labour Party into one that takes up where Norm Kirk’s Labour Government ended,

                Through ‘rogernomics’,(to my shame i stuffed letterboxes to help that abysmal Government get elected), and through that long 9 years of the Clark Governments i clung to ‘faith’ that sooner or later Labour would see that the neo-liberal paradigm was the path not to salvation of the majority, but the road to poverty for 10% while those above them cowered in fear that they too might end up ‘down there’,

                Until that is Helen Clarke uttered these words, ”If beneficiaries want to receive Working for Families payments they can get a job”,

                That was my and Labour’s parting of the ways, i have no ‘faith’ whatsoever that Labour have actually changed one iota from that attitude, i have not seen nor heard one iota in a Cunliffe speech which would lead me to the belief that Cunliffe himself has resiled from the Clarke position,

                My view is that even a Cunliffe lead Labour Party will show little compassion to the homeless and the poor and that any gains for the bottom 10-20-30% of New Zealand will have to be chiseled from Labour from the smaller coalition partners,

                As far as the neo-liberal social and economic paradigm being smashed, i wish it were so, BUT, the number of people losing their employment in the past 12 months alone while company profits grow would tend to suggest that business as usual is the order of the day,

                Faith you may have in a rejuvenated Labour Party, us that have lost that faith have now seen that only force, the force of coalition politics that will give Labour no choice but to take up a real Labour Government program at the point where the Government of Norm Kirk came to a sad and untimely end…

                [lprent: If you want to quote people, then it pays you to link to it. Apart from anything else it makes this site liable for being sued if it is untrue (as I think it is in this case).

                Normally I’d just zap the suspect quote and it is likely that whoever did it would face a long and arduous ban. I’m going to leave this one up on the basis that Helen is likely to talk to me first.

                However I strongly suggest that you either find a link/source or state that you cannot. ]

                • Te Reo Putake

                  “Until that is Helen Clarke uttered these words, ”If beneficiaries want to receive Working for Families payments they can get a job”,”


                  • re ‘cite’..does it need to be cited te reo..?

                    ..the (non)-actions of the clark govt spoke much louder/provide a better record of those words..


                    phillip ure..

                  • Lefty

                    That quote is deeply ingrained in the memory of a lot of those who gives a shit about the poor.

                    Beneficiaries don’t need to produce academic proof of the real life insults and denigration they have experienced at the hands of neo liberals like Clark to make them true.

                • Jackal

                  I really don’t understand this stuck in the past mentality?

                  You don’t need to have faith. You just need to look at some of their proposed policies. Although there is now some doubt by certain critics, Labour is likely to implement a working for families type policy for beneficiaries. They have even said that Helen Clark was wrong not to include beneficiaries from the get go.

                  There is no doubt however that Labour will undo some of the damage National has caused to employment laws. Workers rights will be a hot topic when it comes to Labour’s policy development. Under a Labour government, wages are likely to increase and perhaps even match or overtake inflation for once.

                  Labour has a number of housing policies that could easily be enhanced to mean homelessness isn’t a reality for many New Zealanders (are there any stats on this?). Building an additional 10,000 houses per year, limiting the amount of property speculation and making it easier for average Kiwi families to purchase a house are all beneficial policies for the people of Aotearoa.

                  Although it was David Shearer saying it, either David Cunliffe or Grant Robertson as leader will implement a review and then replace the GCSB legislation. That change will assuredly mean an end to mass wholesale surveillance on Kiwis by the GCSB and their affiliate agencies.

                  Labour will also adopt some of the Greens environmental policies to ensure their coalition support. All of these things will move New Zealand away from the destructive neo-liberal paradigm and towards a more equal society. But hey, if you want to wallow in the past and blame Labour for the present situation bad12, go right ahead.

                  • Lefty

                    I really don’t understand this stuck in the past mentality?

                    It is not wallowing in the past to remember the same promises being made by Labour in the past.

                    Or to have enough political nous to see what social democrat parties are doing/have recently done in other parts of the world.

                    We are not talking ancient history here, many New Zealanders have experienced the real live betrayals of Lange and Clark, both of whom looked like bright shiny beacons of hope compared with National at the time.

                    How many times does the same thing have to happen before people understand it probably going to happen again.

                  • bad12

                    Ok then Jackel seeing as you have given me the invite to wallow in Labour’s past i will,

                    The Lange Government improves beneficiaries living standards by adding PAYE to benefit payments, you might like to think that that only effected beneficiaries way back then, but added to Nationals later attack of direct benefit cuts this simply leaves today’s beneficiaries around $40 a week worse off in today’s terms, wallow wallow,

                    The Clark Government refused to make WFF a universal benefit where all children could access such payments on an equal basis, as the recipients of benefits are a huge ‘churn’ today’s beneficiaries are not likely to have been in receipt of a benefit back in 2004 that could have been bolstered by WFF but in terms of income as a comparison with the rest of society today’s beneficiaries are negative up to another $60 a week, wallow wallow,

                    Yes even at the 2011 election Labour’s Annette King,(i took as an act of desperation at the time), even went so far as to say that beneficiaries would be included in WFW, She, (i assume having been counselled), a couple of days later qualified that inclusion with the words ”in time”,

                    So, as you say Labour and i know it was a mistake to not make WFF a universal benefit for children, i hope to hear David Cunliffe after He becomes leader of the Labour Party say just that in a future speech, and i don’t know if i will be more surprised if He doesn’t than if He does…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Jackal would prefer all of us to embrace the deliberate political amnesia that NZ is so famous for.

                    • Jackal

                      You’re being a prat again CV.

                    • bad said:..

                      “..Yes even at the 2011 election Labour’s Annette King,(i took as an act of desperation at the time), even went so far as to say that beneficiaries would be included in WFW, She, (i assume having been counselled), a couple of days later qualified that inclusion with the words ”in time”..

                      as i recall..the ‘promise was to include them at an incremental rate that would have seen parity reached/full payment..

                      ..by 2018..?..

                      ..yet i guess some in labour were puzzled at the apparant indifference from those labour had ignored for so long..at this largesse..

                      (puzzled we/they weren’t filling the streets..sobbing in gratitude..)

                      ..and puzzled why how those they had ignored for so long..continued to ignore them in return..

                      ..a large part of me fears that many in labour still have not learnt that lesson..

                      ..and will advocate/argue for minimal/incremental-increases for the poorest/most suffering..at best..

                      ..phillip ure..

                • bad..i totally agree with you it is the minor coalition parties that will be dragging labour to many of those needed policies/actions..(not necessarily any 30’s labour-rebirth/eruption from within..)

                  ..so what is needed is a labour party not averse to being taken to that well..

                  ..and going on their records/pronouncments to date..

                  ..i see cunnliffe as being more willing to sup..than robertson..

                  ..(but i wd hasten to add..that i don’t think i am looking at labour/anycoalition thru rose-tinted glasses..

                  ..and i retain enough cynicism to brace myself to go and stand in the bitter/disappointment-corner..by early 2016..)

                  ..(btw..my voting-arc to date is labour/greens/mana..)

                  phillip ure..

                • lprent

                  Until that is Helen Clarke uttered these words, ”If beneficiaries want to receive Working for Families payments they can get a job”..

                  I don’t know who this Helen Clarke was. However I can’t remember Helen Clark saying that, nor do I think that it is likely that she would have said it.

                  The reason for not including beneficiaries in the WFF was pretty simple. WFF was structured as a tax credit – so think about that.

                  Beneficiaries pay very little tax so consequently the effect of a tax credit is 5/8th of piss all. Moreover it would be a lot easier to simply directly increase the payments to beneficiaries with kids and to make the housing supplements related to number of kids. Which is what I seem to remember happened.

                  • Jackal

                    Actually most beneficiaries pay the same tax rate as people who work. The subsequent rulings on this matter certainly didn’t view the amount of tax beneficiaries pay as being a valid reason for them to not be included in the scheme.

                    • aj

                      Beneficiaries who spend their last dollar (ie all of them) pay 15% tax.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s a surprise that Douglas, Prebble, Caygill et al would bring in such a regressive tax. In 1986.

                    • David H

                      And Beneficiaries have the distinction of paying the most tax if they are working part time as well. For starters we are taxed at the secondary rate amd when we hit that much vaunted target of 80 bucks a week we get hammered even harder.

                    • srylands

                      Colonial Viper …
                      24 August 2013 at 12:22 pm

                      “It’s a surprise that Douglas, Prebble, Caygill et al would bring in such a regressive tax. In 1986.”

                      Because it is an efficient tax.

                      The solution to the hight EMTRs that welfare recipients face is a guaranteed minimum income of $15,000 for everyone over 18. No means test. No abatement. No WINZ nightmare work tests.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ aj:
                      likely rent makes up a large proportion of their spending, which is GST free.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its ridiculous, I agree.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because it is an efficient tax.


                      yes, but of course a tax can be highly regressive AND efficient at the same time. Where again, this is another instance of the term “efficient” to do with caning the poorest.

                      As for your minimum guaranteed income idea, great idea, but its still a pipe dream, whereas the regressiveness of GST is very here and now.

                    • srylands

                      “yes, but of course a tax can be highly regressive AND efficient at the same time. Where again, this is another instance of the term “efficient” to do with caning the poorest.”

                      Oh fuck off Viper you moron. How is that basement flat?

                      If a tax is not efficient it won’t raise revenue without crimping growth.

                      We have one of the lowest GST rates in the world. Oh Brunei doesn’t have a GST. Doesn’t have a welfare system either.

                      Crawl back to your hole.

                    • srylands

                      “As for your minimum guaranteed income idea, great idea, but its still a pipe dream, ”

                      Viper you fucking moron. It is less of a pipe dream than any of the ideas I have seen snaking like shit from you.

                  • bad12

                    Gosh LPrent i fall about in absolute horror at having mis-spelt a name, can i please be forgiven,(it’s not like you have 100% perfection or do you),

                    i well remember Clark saying exactly that or words to that effect, and have just spent the last hour trying to find a link to this which so far has not been successful, and will happily withdraw the comment i made above should i not be able to find a link,

                    Yes exactly if you want to specifically exclude the children of beneficiaries from gaining access to more money then you structure a benefit in such a way that those children cannot access it,(if children with parents earning $60,000 a year ‘needed’ this tax credit then the children of beneficiaries needed it a hell of a lot more, obviously that’s ‘only’ my opinion and please feel free to tell us all your opinion on that question),

                    ”Beneficiaries pay very little tax” now that i would suggest is a ‘Tui Statement’, on one level you are correct, beneficiaries pay little tax because beneficiaries get paid sod all,

                    i don’t know what your income is Lprent, but consider your fixed costs and if you have ANY disposable income after that where it is your choice how you spend such disposable income or if you spend it at all,

                    As a % of income beneficiaries pay at least 27% of their total income on tax, both income and GST, if using tobacco products and/or petrol products that taxation rises dramatically to 27-35% of income, not much tax in dollar terms that may be, but as a % of income they are highly taxed,

                    ”Housing supplements related to the number of kids” you remember that happening seems to me to be in the realm of me remembering Helen Clark telling beneficiaries that if they wanted Working for Families payments they should get a job,

                    Bet you will have as much trouble finding a link to that as i am to the Clark quote…

                  • iprent said:..

                    “..I don’t know who this Helen Clarke was. However I can’t remember Helen Clark saying that, nor do I think that it is likely that she would have said it. ..”

                    (if she didn’t utter those specific words..this is what she did..)

                    “..The reason for not including beneficiaries in the WFF was pretty simple. WFF was structured as a tax credit – so think about that…”

                    (um..!..sorry..!..what exactly should one think about that..?..

                    ..and how does that defend/excuse in any way the thesis of the clark labour govts’ nine year record of studious ignoring of the needs of the poorest..?..)

                    “..Beneficiaries pay very little tax..”

                    (as others have noted..benificiaries pay an extra 15% tax on 100% of their incomes..(g.s.t..)..

                    ..this n top of the p.a.y.e. tax already extracted/deducted from that pittance..

                    ..not to mention benificiaries having the highest claw-back taxes of any group..85% on any income over $80..(that one shut up a rightwing friend of mine..)

                    “.. Moreover it would be a lot easier to simply directly increase the payments to beneficiaries with kids – and to make the housing supplements related to number of kids. Which is what I seem to remember happened..”

                    ..as one who lived through it..what you mention as moves undertaken by labour..was directing a garden hose at a holocaust..

                    ..and did diddly-squat to undo in any way what had been wrought by richardson/shipley et al..

                    ..and anyway..whither the childless unemployed/sick..?

                    ..during those nine years..

                    ..it is the hallmark of that clark government..and the biggest stain on their record..

                    ..that they not only ignored/stigmatised the poor themselves..for those nine long years..

                    ..but in doing so they also prepared the ground so well for the likes of bennett..eh..?..to launch the current/ongoing pogrom/war on the poor..

                    ..but coming back to the here and now..surely any hope for a real ‘new’ labour party to be accepted (and perhaps more importantly) believed – by the electorate/those they ignored for so long/the current non-voters..?

                    ..there has to be a coherent renunciation of the neo-lib that came before…surely..?..and promises to repair..?

                    ..much as david milliband has done in britain in the last 24 hrs..where he..in his arguments/promises of a living-wage from any incoming labour govt in britain..for all..

                    (are you listening..?..nz labour..?..a ‘living-wage..?..’for all’..(the formula to end/do away with the blight of poverty in nz one fell swoop..).

                    …milliband has apologised for the labour that came before..and has promised to to make amends..

                    “..Answering critics who said he needed to admit that the Labour government made mistakes – Miliband said its economic policies had been lop-sided – and it had got it wrong.

                    “We have to change our economy” he said.

                    “We were going down the up escalator –

                    – putting money into tax credits – but building a low-wage economy.”

                    Labour should back demands for a national living wage that paid more than the minimum wage – he said.

                    “It’s a priority for us.

                    It’s important because frankly it’s terrible that one of the richest countries in the world hasn’t just a huge child poverty problem –

                    – but a growing child poverty problem –

                    – including for people who are in work.”

                    (once again..are you listening..?..nz labour..?..)

                    ..phillip ure…

                    • Jackal

                      phillip ure

                      ..it is the hallmark of that clark government..and the biggest stain on their record..

                      I have to disagree there. This issue barely rated a mention in the mainstream media when it was occurring. There was certainly no real analysis even though there was a protracted battle to try and change the decision to not include beneficiaries. Now I would struggle to find any mention of it at all even though the effects of such legislation are only just now really coming home to roost.

                      In many ways it is the same as National’s latest round of beneficiary bashing. There is simply no information available about all those thousands of predominantly young people who are being kicked off welfare and have no other income. Paula Bennett cannot even answer questions relating to the exact numbers involved…she just giggles instead FFS! We can only guess at how detrimental these policies will be on society.

                      Therefore the issue of Labour not implementing a WFF type policy for beneficiaries barely rates as a stain on the last Labour government…except for those who understand politics and go looking for information that is. However there is no doubt that if Labour could afford to subsidize businesses by paying middle class families a tax incentive for their low wages, they assuredly could have done more to alleviate the terrible rate of severe poverty in New Zealand. Let’s hope they have learnt from their mistakes.

                  • QoT

                    WFF was structured as a tax credit – so think about that.

                    That’s a wee bit disingenuous, lprent. Working for Families wasn’t some bright-eyed all-loving scheme to help poor families which “just happened” to be limited by being structured as a tax cut. It was deliberately denied to beneficiary families in order to “incentivise” them into work.

                    It’s basically the single most abhorrent example of how the Labour Party’s thinking over the past decade has been about securing middle-class votes by promoting the idea of some poor people as “deserving” and others as scapegoats. Are children going to go hungry because their parents can’t find work following a global financial crisis? Who cares as long as we get re-elected!

                    • weka

                      “It was deliberately denied to beneficiary families in order to “incentivise” them into work.”

                      Yep, and to demonstrate that Labour considered the beneficiary class needed incentivising.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  i have not seen nor heard one iota in a Cunliffe speech which would lead me to the belief that Cunliffe himself has resiled from the Clarke position,

                  If you search Red Alert you will find David Cunliffe, in response to me actually, saying that he believes in comparative advantage.

                  • bad12

                    Lolz Draco, i find comparative advantage a little too chinese for my limited intellect, funnily enough i am not trying to undermine David Cunliffe in my previous comments no matter what they appear to transmit,

                    David Cunliffe would seem to be the best candidate to assume the Labour leadership and become the next Prime Minister having defeated the Slippery little shyster currently masquerading in that position,

                    i do tho have the opinion that large sections of the Labour Party and by extension the Labour Caucus believe that the Green Party will simply enable any old government as a lapdog coalition partner much as the smaller partners in previous coalitions have, and the Green Party will have to work hard to bring about the social changes much needed in our society in effect having to chisel any gains for the lowest 30% of people in our society out of a possibly reluctant Labour,

                    i sat silently non-critical of the Clark government for most of it’s reign Hoping, i do not really see myself extending the benefit of that silence and Hope if a David Cunliffe Labour Government suddenly finds ‘reform’ to be too hard…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Lolz Draco, i find comparative advantage a little too chinese for my limited intellect, funnily enough i am not trying to undermine David Cunliffe in my previous comments no matter what they appear to transmit,

                      Neither was I, I was pointing out that David Cunliffe still believes in neo-liberalism – the same as Helen Clark obviously did.

                  • srylands

                    “If you search Red Alert you will find David Cunliffe, in response to me actually, saying that he believes in comparative advantage.”

                    I am sure that applies to all New Zealand political parties except the Greens, Mana, and NZ First.

                    How is that news?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s not – which is the problem. Almost all of our political parties won’t change the underlying system which is causing poverty in our country and destroying our environment.

                  • weka

                    What does ‘comparative advantage’ mean?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its a very old economics idea.

                      It was first espoused along the lines of England has a comparative advantage in producing wool and cloth, while Portugal has a comparative advantage in producing grapes and wine.

                      England and Portugal should stick to what they are good at doing, and then trade with each other so that each can have cloth and wine.

                      (The start of a philosophy of globalised trade)

                      Comparative advantage is meaningless today because most goods traded do not rely on natural environmental and climactic conditions. You can build an iPad or a Ford Territory just as well in China as you can in the USA, for instance.

                    • srylands

                      “Comparative advantage is meaningless today because most goods traded do not rely on natural environmental and climactic conditions. You can build an iPad or a Ford Territory just as well in China as you can in the USA, for instance.”


                    • Colonial Viper

                      You can also make excellent wine and excellent cloth in at least three dozen different countries around the world.

                      The original theory of comparative advantage is mostly bunk now.

                    • srylands

                      “The original theory of comparative advantage is mostly bunk now.”


                    • Colonial Viper

                      In addition, the massive growth of the financial economy means that the old theories of comparative advantage are largely bunk now. You can situate servers, trading desks and fibre optic cables most places in the world very easily, for instance. Financial centres and corporate ownership don’t have to be anywhere near where the raw materials, workers, or factories actually are.

                      Bottom line – “comparative advantage” theories are largely irrelevant.

                    • srylands

                      “Bottom line – “comparative advantage” theories are largely irrelevant.”

                      Bullshit. You really are a moron aren’t you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And since the internet revolution, theories of comparative advantage have decreased in relevance even further.

                      The next multi-billion dollar Yahoo! or Google! could just as easily come out of Mumbai, Beijing, Perth, Auckland or Moscow.

                      Its well over time that economics updates many of its basic tenets, but given the fundamentalist nature of the discipline and its acolytes, it seems sadly unlikely.

                    • srylands

                      “And since the internet revolution, theories of comparative advantage have decreased in relevance even further.”

                      Bullshit. New Zealand has comparative advantage in fuck all. Dairy will be our lot for the forseeable future. I wonder why?

                      Maybe Qatar will start a dairying industry now that comparative advantage is finished. They will be printing cows using 3D printers.

                      You really are a fucking moron aren’t you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK I will admit that NZ has a comparative advantage in dairy when compared to desert lands and to say the stony peaks of the Himalayas.

                      Is this an example of the brilliant insights of your outdated theory? Seems to be a bit mundane and prosaic.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Comparative Advantage

                      It’s all a load of bollocks though as the benefits of comparative advantage are so tiny that interest rates above 0% turn the benefits of trade negative. Also, Absolute advantage, which is what C.V. first identifies and has a spat with srylands over, will always trump comparative advantage as well.

                      The problem then becomes that no country has any advantage over any other country in manufactured goods as all factories produced today are as efficient as all other factories – they’re designed that way. The fact that all factories are as efficient as all others also removes economies of scale from the equation – bigger factories no longer have the productivity advantage that they did in the 19th century.

                      The difference we see in prices are artificial and not a result of improved efficiencies. What all this means is that all countries could produce everything they require in their own borders cheaper than they could get anything through trade.

                      That leaves food but even there we don’t have any advantages. Kiwifruit can, and are, grown elsewhere. So are cows and, in fact, pretty much everything else we produce here. That’s why we, every now and then, get a few people who understand this complaining that China is importing our cows and know-how and they’re right. As soon as China does get those things our dairy industry is history as China happen to be a lot closer to our main market for such things – China.

                    • weka

                      Oh good, we can go back to growing our own food then.

                      Thanks CV and DtB for explaining.

                      The original comment about Cunliffe not resiling from Clark’s position, hence his belief in comparative advantage, was that re neoliberalism? (I originally read it as not resiling from the WFF position).

                • bad12

                  LPrent, feel free to zap the quote as i am having trouble finding a link to Clark having said such,

                  i will keep looking and put the quote in another comment if i find a link to it…

                  • bad12

                    Right wasn’t that a f**king arduous little task, having asked the question of Google in a zillion different ways and read far too many links that my tired old eyes deserve to be punished with in any one session i can say that i hardly managed at all to find anything that Helen Clark was quoted as saying about Working for Families vis a vis Jobs and Beneficiaries,

                    This appears to be the clearest link and it is obscure, the publication is actually a news site for would be immigrants and appears to be aimed at Australians a Britons, but, a link it is,

                    http://www.chineselessons.docutoasters.com>…>New Zealand outlook>2004

                    The message according to Prime Minister Helen Clark is: ”You will be better off when you go to work”

                    Micheal Cullen is quoted in the same article ”Working for Families has 3 aims”, one of the quoted aims, ”To reduce barriers to work”, unquote,

                    As many of my links have the stinks, Google= Consyl publishing & Publicity, the atrticle should be on the page…

                    • Jackal

                      Your link doesn’t work bad12. I think you’re probably looking for something like this Ministry of Social Development (RTF) document, which quotes Helen Clark saying:

                      The best form of social security is a job.

                      She made that statement in June 2008 specifically concerning WFF and at a time when the Child Poverty Action Group was taking the matter through the courts. Here’s CPAG’s comment on the judgment (PDF).

                    • bad12

                      Lolz thanks Jackal, Aaaaah it’s a PLOT, even the Google i gave now doesn’t take you there,

                      One more try and then i am giving up, apologizing and withdrawing the comment and off to spend the night sobbing into my little lace hanky,


                      If that gets you there, click on 2004(in blue) and scroll down page to July,

                      ”Big winners in budget are working families”,

                      Lolz the longer i look the ‘crankier’ my PC gets but it is there and it does quote Helen Clark on working for Families, ”You will be better of when you go to work”,

                      Also Micheal Cullen,” Working for families had three aims said Finance Minister Micheal Cullen, to reduce barriers to work, ensure people are better off working, and, ensure families are able to give their children the best start to life”,

                      i certainly didn’t here or see that particular quote from Helen Clark originally from this particular site but it’s the only one i can find that directly echos what i know she said…

                    • bad12's pa

                      Hey Bad. This is the best I could come up with on a quick trawl. However my memory is that at some time, probably in an interview situation, Clark said something more pithy and very similar to the words you paraphrased above at 9.56am:


                      “Speaking ahead of the hearing this morning, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today the in-work payment was there to ensure people were better off when they went to work.

                      “The best form of social security is a job,” she said on TV One’s Breakfast programme.

                      “We don’t want to do anything that would stop the movement of beneficiaries back to work.”

                    • bad12

                      Lolz whoever you is your funny, but, probably about to make me a rather large TARGET,

                      Don’t let that stop you tho,and thanks for the link, Lolz i am pretty sure i heard it the way i have said it, probably on RadioNZ National but mods kindly asked for a link and the one i have provided is the closest to the quote i can come,

                      As my ‘new pa’ i won’t give you the task of trawling through RadioNZ’s archives trying to find where Helen Clark is quoted saying it, instead can you compile me a loud tape full of open laughter so i can play it continuously when David Cunliffe rids us of the current Slippery little shyster…

            • karol

              I would like to buy into the narrative of Cunliffe as the great redeemer

              I haven’t seen that much of a “great redeemer” narrative – if you look at my post on Cunliffe yesterday & why I electorate vote him, you will see I have criticisms (of his centrism, and focus on economic growth, plus having said little on the need to restructure social security).

              Cunliffe does seem to me to be the best the Labour caucus has to oppose, and hopefully dismiss, Key at the next election. He does express a strong critique of neoliberalism, but will have to see how that would carry into practice if he was PM.

              I have real reservations about the current political positioning of parliamentary Labour, and will continue to party vote Green or Mana.

              I’ve seen many other similar sentiments from others on TS.

        • Draco T Bastard


    • bad12 4.2

      Yes pathetic Jonolism from a tired press hack more interested in conducting interviews with Himself and drawing wrong conclusions, if Armstrong but brains weak had an iota of journalistic integrity He would have investigated the ‘unfathomable’ so as to at least enlighten Himself instead of attempting to soil Cunliffe with His piss weak denigration,

      Topping Armstong but brains weak’s effort at Jonolism in today’s Herald tho was the winner of this weeks ‘Golden Turd’ for exceptional efforts in the promotion of Jonolism Fran O’Sullivan, awarded to those in the main stream of New Zealand media who having not a grain of truth simply make s**t up and smear these lies across the pages of their shoddy rags,

      In today’s Herald O’Sullivan not only lies about the head of the Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly, She, O’Sullivan openly slanders Her,

      O’Sullivan’s claim that Helen Kelly has said that the Union Affiliates to the Labour Party will block vote in the upcoming leadership contest is simply wrong in fact, Helen Kelly has said that the union Affiliates will vote for the person they see as the best Labour leader in terms of ousting the current National Government,

      Wrong in fact twice in one paragraph, O’Sullivan either has little knowledge of the Union Affiliates She has chosen to write of, or has simply chosen to print LIES,

      It is virtually impossible for the Union Affiliates to Block Vote for the next leader of the Labour Party as some of the Affiliated Unions will have ALL their members having a vote each and some of the Affiliated Unions will have only delegates casting a vote after consulting the shop floor,

      A well deserved ‘Golden Turd’ award goes to the Heralds Fran O’Sullivan who, the more she writes on any particular subject, the more inclined to stray into the realms of out-right bulls**t She becomes….

    • Tigger 4.3

      From Armstrong on Robertson: ” Gay, but not overtly so. Comes across instead as a Good Kiwi Bloke who likes a beer or two while chewing the political fat.”

      • karol 4.3.1

        Yes, Armstrong’s attempt to not critique Robertson and support him, exposes Armstrong’s biases – showing exactly where he gets his views on the Labour leadership – down the pub. It’s all about the relationship between such journos and the Labour Caucus right wing.

  5. cricklewood 5

    On mobile so no reply button, but at Vto I disagree entirely with the sentiment that only the right holds bigots. There aare large tracts of the religious Pacifica community which are deeply bigoted. From memory labours mp for mangere was stating as much last year. Plenty of bigots on both sides of the political devide im afraid….

    • Jackal 5.1

      There’s no question more bigots support political parties like National, Act and NZ First. Although some homophobes who support Labour might no longer with Grant Robertson leading, the LGBT community would likely identify and therefore support him. There are likely just as many swing voters in both camps (excuse the pun). Therefore I think there will be no more or less support for Robertson. His sexuality is quite simply not an issue and I’m somewhat disappointed the MSM is trying to make it one.

  6. JK 6

    The other huge counter against Robertson is that he’s not had any actual experience in Government – around the Cabinet table. He’s only been in Parliament a few years – in Oppposition.

    Labour cannot afford to experiment – as Jenny Michie has said – we need someone who knows the machinations around Govt departments, who’s had experience of how the top civil servants operate with Ministers trying to put through different policies., and who can really “foot” it with Key.
    Cunliffe has all of that., Robertson is only halfway there.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      For a caucus which chose to put in a leader with even less Parliamentary experience, your logic is probably a bridge too far.

  7. veutoviper 7

    Something to give you a buzz on a beautiful Saturday morning!

    Well, if you have a warped sense of humour like mine.

    Shearer’s resignation sung in opera style – found the link on Public Address.


    • Pasupial 7.1

      Thanks for the link!

      I look forward to the completed Opera; “Mango skin man on the road to obscurity” might be a good title.

  8. Whoever takes the helm at labour I wish them the best – this is a chance to pull the team together to fight the horrible gnats and their destructive agenda – it can be done, it must be done.

  9. Pete 9

    History in the making: a summary of the legislative and administrative actions of New Zealand’s first Labour government during its first year of office

    I got my hands on this interesting booklet recently and I thought I’d scan and upload it. It’s impressive how much they accomplished in just one year.

  10. David H 10

    WTF is this Coatsworth woman (who ever she is) saying that there can be no deals ie Cunliffe/Robertson, saying there HAS to be a US (What is the fascination with the fucking yanks?) style primary. (this has now put me off Labour politics for good) I thought we were going to have a clean out and new leaders put in.

    But no it’s still the same ol’ same ol’ from those behind the scenes.


    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Holy frak, that’s not the intended important bit, its the “50,000 voting papers” which is the stunner!

      By the way David H, why are you complaining about behind the scenes Labour stage direction when you are a supporter of getting a backroom deal cut and leaving members’ voices out of it completely?

    • Te Reo Putake 10.2

      David, Moira is the party President. She didn’t say the things you attribute to her and you clearly misunderstand what she actually did say; which is that the members want a say. It’s your proposition that is ‘same ol same ol’ and that is not the membership preference, by a long shot.

      A series of well attended debates around the country will also have the positive effect of lifting Labour’s profile, energising the activist base and re-aquainting caucus with the people who put them in their jobs.

      CV: the 50k includes union members. However, it’s up to each individual affililiate whether they ballot all members. Some will make the decision at delegate or executive level.

      • Pete 10.2.1

        It also puts media attention on Labour for the next four weeks, where they can articulate their vision and lead the national conversation, rather than be reactive to the government’s policies.

        It really is the start of the campaign for 2014.

    • bad12 10.3

      My first impression was for a Cunliffe/Robertson ‘ticket’ to be put together as this to me would ‘seem’ the best leadership team for Labour both in terms of having the left/right factions ‘at the top table’, Cunliffe/Robertson are the Labour Party’s top 2 performers in the House, and, in terms of electorate appeal Cunliffe/Robertson are right up there,

      *if the Stuff poll is to be taken notice of, dubious at best, Jacinda Adhern seems also have a high public profile*

      Having said all that, it is right for the Party membership to expect, and be highly disappointed if the question of leadership is not put to the vote, it is after-all ‘their’ Party,

      This in no way would preclude Cunliffe and Robertson putting together a ‘ticket’ to contest for the leadership and nor would it preclude the winner of a contest between Cunliffe and Robertson offering the Deputy position to the loser in such a contest,

      It is tho obvious that the membership and affiliates will accept nothing less that a democratic election process to decide who the next leader of Labour and next Prime Minister will be…

      • Lanthanide 10.3.1

        “in terms of electorate appeal Cunliffe/Robertson are right up there,”

        How does Robertson have electorate appeal? Various polls show most NZers have never heard of him. He came third in his own electorate.

        • bad12

          Pray tell how did the Member for Wellington Central become the Member if He only came ‘third’ in his electorate,

          If ‘various poll’s were to be the measure by which we are to judge this question of electoral appeal the Stuff Poll yesterday had Jacinda Adhern polling ahead of David Cunliffe as most favored Labour Party leader…

          • Lanthanide

            Sorry, my mistake, repeating what others have said.

            He won the electorate, but the party vote for labour in that electorate was behind National by ~5000 votes, and behind Greens by ~450.

            • bad12

              L, all good, i have also seen that elsewhere on the Standard used as a Robertson putdown, it’s hard to slap Grant round for that Party vote in Wellington,

              Wellington is a hot bed of Green activism and IF there is to be a Green electorate MP in the upcoming or 2017 elections i would suggest it will be one of the Wellington Labour seats that falls,

              Annette King’s numbers both in the electorate and party votes took a hammering last time round as well and much of that is found in the Green numbers out here in the electorate,

              That’s MMP i guess, Labour as i have seen some on here comment cannot retreat to the belief that the Green’s are cannibalizing ‘their votes’ as it’s now a free-for-all where we are free to attempt to build the best coalition of the left possible…

              • Colonial Viper

                Annette’s electorate vote remained very strong, with a 9000 majority. The party vote did horribly in Rongotai however, well under the NZ average for Labour.

                Most of the party vote bleed went straight to the Greens (+7.2% on 2008)

  11. UreKismet 11

    While there is something to be said for having Ardern as a deputy during the electioneering phase, I just can’t see her being the low profile grafter doing the hard yards as a deputy leader. The extra votes may win the election for Labour sure, but in that case where margins are so thin, the Greens are going to be edgy cause if they go into coalition they will be really worried about the inevitable blowback coalition means for the lesser party and if they don’t Labour’s deputy leader will also be deputy PM.
    In both cases the deputy leader must be a heads down bum sort of person who is happy to let the PM take the limelight while they look after the nuts & bolts.
    If that sounds like a job that Ardern could happily fill, then fine, she should be deputy, but if you believe as I do that she would struggle to suppress her natural character fulfilling that role, then think again, because Labour winning and cocking it up completely, making mis-steps & unable to to get anything done competently would be much worse than not winning at all since it would likely presage another long term Tory domination of Aotearoa.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      It’s got to be Wall.

    • re ardern:..you don’t think you are inflating the power/importance/role of a deputy-leader post-election..?..(esp. in a coalition govt..?..)

      ..and re greens:..i’m not speaking from any insider knowledge or anything..

      ..but i would think the number/signifigance of ministerial-roles would mean more to the greens post-election..

      ..than a title for one of them…

      ..phillip ure..

      • UreKismet 11.2.1

        yeah right Michael Cullen never got up to anything in the Clark govt, except of course making sure Treasury stayed away from decisions they woulda cocked up plus he left the country in the healthiest financial state for about half a century.
        Having an offsider like that is essential for an effective PM because it gives the boss distance, so when things turn to custard they can make political decisions free from the attempts of public servants to capture em. Having the deputy leader double as finance/treasury person is a proven model that works with MMP coalition governments.

        • phillip ure

          are you sure you aren’t first-past-the-post thinking on that..?

          ..this upcoming govt will be the first real m.m.p-govt in our history..(in more a govt of equals..)

          ..and surely much of that (acknowledged) load shouldered by the deputy under f.p.p..

          ..will be taken up by/shared the coalition parties’ luminaries..?

          ..and anyway..while she is undoubtedly skilled..(and getting better at the job..going on q-time appearances..)..i argued ardern as deputy purely on the grounds of wider-electoral-appeal than anyone else mooted for the role….

          ..and help in re-taking ak for labour..

          ..and for helping win ak central back for labour..

          ..aside from those considerations..i am kinda agnostic on deputies..

          ..just as long as cunnliffe gets the leaders’-nod..

          ..’cos he is the only one..at this particular point..who is up to the job at hand..

          ..namely to stop key..and what he and his dead-eyed/zealot compatriots are doing to nz..


          phillip ure..

  12. Sam Hill 12

    Why are people even considering Ardern as Deputy?

    At 33 and having never won an electorate seat she is far less experienced or skilled than other potential Deputies.

    And if something terrible happens to a Labour Prime Minister, Ardern takes over as PM?

    That’s what a Deputy Leader is. Your number two in case the number one isn’t around.

    • lprent 12.1

      That’s what a Deputy Leader is. Your number two in case the number one isn’t around.

      Not really, except in the very short term. They’d take the placeholder reins between the death and a caucus meeting that will be called for after the death to select the new leader. They have to be selected as leader of the parliamentary caucus (because that has been their role).

      With variations this is what happened in 1940 when Savage died, and in 1974 when Kirk died. That their deputies took on the role was more coincidence than anything else.

      This isn’t the US, and the leaders of the party had not been selected in a vote by the public or even the members.

      Now that there is a membership/affiliates vote as well, then I’d expect that much the same system continues. However rather than the shorter period to a caucus vote, it will be a longer period until all of the votes are counted. The case where it was shorter would be if there were only one candidate.

      BTW: Even in the case of current prime minister, we have had the Gerry Brownlee running the country while both Key and English were out of the country. Bearing in mind the hash he is making of Christchurch, it is a damn good thing that they didn’t crash.

      • Sam Hill 12.1.1

        But what about being “Acting PM” when the Prime Minister is out of the country? I don’t see Ardern being given that responsibility with so much more experience and skill around her.

        The Deputy Leader should be the person you think could do the job as Leader if the Leader isn’t there. That’s why Robertson is Deputy now, and why he will be Deputy behind Cunliffe in a few weeks.

        • Lanthanide

          Yes, but does an “acting PM” actually do anything that the PM wouldn’t have? Do they go and give important speeches or initiate new important policy? No. They’re simply there to hold the fort until the PM gets back. In the event of a natural disaster or other crisis, the PM would hot-foot it back from wherever they are anyway.

          Probably the only thing that comes to mind an “acting PM” has ever done would be Bill English signing off to suppress that the GCSB had any involvement in Kim Dotcom while Key was off watching a baseball game, and clearly that had nothing to do with running the country.

          • lprent

            Probably the only thing that comes to mind an “acting PM” has ever done would be Bill English signing off to suppress that the GCSB had any involvement in Kim Dotcom while Key was off watching a baseball game, and clearly that had nothing to do with running the country.

            Which is why I think that was done of the direct authorisation of Key. English has no actual role with the GCSB except what he does on Key’s behalf. The GCSB, like the military, police, and SIS if directly controlled by the “crown” and is not technically part of the government – except as far as the GG cedes authority and those organisations choose to accept it at an operational level.

            Read the last Police Act for the clearest examples of that.

        • lprent

          My fault for confusing the two roles. Leader of a parliamentary caucus =/= PM.

          However it is a very limited role because the Acting PM (in all cases) is acting as a muppet for the PM. They do not get appointed to the role by the governor general and therefore do not gte given access to the powers of the crown that are given to the PM. Incidentally the English has much the same restraints.

          And I have one word to say… Brownlee
          (count your blessings)

        • QoT

          But what about being “Acting PM” when the Prime Minister is out of the country? I don’t see Ardern being given that responsibility with so much more experience and skill around her.

          You’re assuming that Labour in government would get both the PM and Deputy PM roles. Depending on how the party vote turns out, it could very possibly be a Green co-leader (or two) in the Deputy seat.

  13. ecoT 13

    Cunliffe/Jones. Robertson and others just don’t cut the mustard.

  14. BM 14

    Andrew Little, the other two are far too divisive and factional.

    • Jackal 14.1

      If Labour wants an effective relationship with the Greens in the form of a coalition, they shouldn’t choose Andrew Little. His views on fossil fuels are completely opposite theirs, which could prove fatal in any future negotiations. Perhaps why you’re advocating for him in the first place BM?

      • BM 14.1.1

        Personally the way I see Labour going forwards is that it returns to it’s roots. that being the political voice for the trade union.

        The left do not work well together it seems every one need to have their own little fiefdom, luckily with MMP you can do this and still make a mark politically on the NZ landscape.

        The idea of Labour having to be a broad church is unnecessary these days, the left should consist of 3 political groups.
        1 Labour – the trade unions
        2. The Greens- environmentalists
        3. The progressives – gay, liberal, chardonnay socialist, Cunliffe types,etc.

        This whole under one umbrella approach does not work with the left and there’s no need for it in a MMP environment.

  15. MrSmith 15

    Question: Who decides who the deputy Leader will be?

  16. Rosie 16

    Attention residents of the Ohariu Electorate, Be here tomorrow:

    “No more Dunne deals” public meeting 2pm Sunday 25th August, Johnsonville Community Centre. Hosted by People’s Power Ohariu.

    That’s all I know about it, just spotted a sign while out in the neighbourhood this morning.

  17. ultra 17

    Revisiting Robert Redford and Alan Pakula’s classic movie All The President’s Men forces us to ask the question: is Obama the new Nixon?

  18. ak 18

    Totally copacetic Phil Ure.

    Cunliffe/Ardern. Brains, heart, safety, record, youth, geography, gender, sex appeal. The sewer rats will be sweating with terror.

    Robertson who?

    no brainer….eh….Indeed.

    As for the Hels quote, who cares. Look no further than the sickening abolition of the Special Benefit: no need, no explanation, massive hammer to the most vulnerable.

    Like the roof diddler cruelty, last last straw, no excuse, clean slate now or die.

    • North 18.1

      ak@18 – apropos your penultimate paragraph. This is the predictable result when peoples’ humanity is attacked so callously.

      The facile disgustingly blind response is to say – “Ooh look they’re violent. They’re breaking the law…….”.

      As exemplified by the words “national/crime” in the link, and these words at the foot of this Stuff article – “Next Crime Story”.


      It is not the poor who are the criminals here. They are people at the bottom being jackbooted even further down by the loathsome Marie Anoinette Paula Bennett. She and her soldiers both within and without WINZ (which is to say a minority of WINZ people) deserve a wrathful karma.

      Xstasy – I note a particular comment you made either today or yesterday – please know that I am with the first person who responded. Unreserved aroha to you.

  19. tracey 19

    bigots know no political ideology. did not oconnor bemoan the gaggle of gays in labour?

    hardly showing a tolerance of different sexual orientations.

    ” Gay, but not overtly so. ” armstrong wtf

  20. tracey 20

    ” A proposed law change to bring lobbying of MPs out of the shadows has been rejected by a parliamentary committee out of concern that it was too broad and would have discouraged constituents from engaging with politicians. Her bill would have created a public register for lobbyists and required them to follow a code of ethics drawn up by the Auditor-General and file quarterly returns.

    It would be a criminal offence for unregistered corporate lobbyists, union members, or workers with non-government organisations to lobby MPs.”

    ” Committee chairwoman and Labour MP Ruth Dyson said: “If you’ve got a bunch of family members who aren’t being paid to provide care to their family, they should be able to lobby you. You wouldn’t want them to go through a registration process for having their views known.”

    yes ruth, families are where the problems lie…. you all just want to protect the right of access by the little people.

    yea right

  21. Bruce 21

    Good to know after the GCSB bill has passed – It was implied on “The Nation” that spying on us will lead to higher Telco costs being passed on to consumers.

  22. Lanthanide 22

    I just realised I haven’t seen any of Morrissey’s strident ravings recently. Has he been banned?

    • MrSmith 22.1

      Has it been keeping you awake at night La! or did you suddenly just decide to have a crack at someone you didn’t like and hadn’t heard from for a while.

  23. Linz 23

    Can someone tell me, please, which unions are affiliated to the Labour Party and will therefore be able to vote for its leader?
    Also, is it correct that the CTU is not affiliated to the Labour Party and has no formal connection? I want to put the facts right on Fran O’Sullivan’s comments section, not that it will make much difference to the trogs. But one must try – sigh.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      EPMU…RMTU…SWFU…MWU…DWU…I think…there are probably others.

    • karol 23.2

      According to Wikipedia:

      The Labour Party was founded as the political arm of the trade union movement. While the formal ties between unions and the party have dwindled, there are still five unions that are directly affiliated to the party and pay affiliation fees. These unions are:

      Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU)
      Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU)
      Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ)
      New Zealand Dairy Workers Union (NZDWU)
      New Zealand Meat & Related Trades Workers Union (NZMWU)

      In addition, the president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions continues to speak at the Labour Party Annual Conference.[15]

      The Labour Party Election Guide lists these:


      With instructions on how they will each vote – in the Appendix A.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.3

      CTU = Council of Trade Unions so they probably don’t have a direct connection to Labour but some, if not all, of their member unions will.

  24. pollywog 24

    Labor unions were born in violence a century ago and are once again the subject of acrimonious debate. At stake is a worker’s right to bargain collectively and the very existence of an American middle class.

    This trailer is a first step in the exploration of why unions, seemingly needed as much as ever, have little relevance for today’s workers…

  25. Linz 25

    Thank you. I’ve been back to Fran O’Sullivan’s article and saw this:
    Fran O’Sullivan: An earlier version of this column misinterpreted comments by CTU president Helen Kelly as indicating unions would block-vote their 20 per cent for one candidate only.” The error is regretted.

    I don’t think they’re taking anymore comments at the moment.

  26. Draco T Bastard 26

    While we’re spending time discussing leaders:

    The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people.

    Unsurprisingly, the mythical image of a “leader” embodies many of the characteristics commonly found in personality disorders, such as narcissism (Steve Jobs or Vladimir Putin), psychopathy (fill in the name of your favorite despot here), histrionic (Richard Branson or Steve Ballmer) or Machiavellian (nearly any federal-level politician) personalities. The sad thing is not that these mythical figures are unrepresentative of the average manager, but that the average manager will fail precisely for having these characteristics.

    And NZ managers are some of the worst in the world.

    BTW, that link has a horrible ad popup, probably put there by one of those incompetent managers, that you have to close before you can read the page. You don’t have to read the advert though.

    • bad12 26.1

      Lolz, thanks for that DTB, i can now save my sensitive sensibilities from the ordeal…

  27. Murray Olsen 27

    Jacinda Ardern comes across as very lightweight and eager to participate in photo ops, but showing little evidence that she has done the hard work her spokesperson role needs and deserves. I have no idea what he successes are, apart from restoring a small caravan. Given the obscenity of NAct policies and the vileness and thick headedness of Paula Bennett, she should have made far more impact. My conclusion is that she probably believes in the Tory bullshit about deserving and undeserving poor and is exactly the sort of person who should not be promoted. If Cunliffe wants to step back from Friedman, as he should, he’ll need a deputy who has shown a willingness to go against the consensus. For me, that is Louisa Wall.

    One other thing – shittyhands can go and fuck himself. I’ll even arrange for a sympathetic doctor to provide a viagra script for him (Could be a she, but I’m doubtful. Libertarians are more gender challenged than any group except maybe NRL props). How does a Rand/Hayek acolyte get to come here and tell people they’re morons? Anyone that believes that shit has the intellect of a three year old that’s just learned that eating dogshit upsets people and therefore does it as often as possible.

    • srylands 27.1

      “one other thing – shittyhands can go and fuck himself. I’ll even arrange for a sympathetic doctor to provide a viagra script for him ”

      I assume this is a reference to me?

      Olsen – +1 to list – you can get fucked too. What a fool.

      [RL: I could moderate you here and now; but in this instance I’m happy to leave you up as an object lesson.]

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        can you please give us another lecture on why exporting NZ jobs and deciminating Kiwi industries is such a wonderful and proper thing? We haven’t seen enough of that over the last 30 years to understand what it all means.

        • srylands

          “can you please give us another lecture on why exporting NZ jobs and deciminating Kiwi industries is such a wonderful and proper thing? We haven’t seen enough of that over the last 30 years to understand what it all means.”

          It comes with WTO membership.

      • Saarbo 27.1.2

        @srylands. Did you watch TV3 news tonight? A good article about a kiwi running a dairy farm in China….their production was 3 times higher than in NZ. You may want to do a bit more work on whether your understanding of “comparative advantage” still exists.

  28. Colonial Viper 28

    Why is US Homeland Security buying 1.6B rounds of ammo?

    That’s 5 bullets for every man, woman and child in the USA. At the peak of the Iraq War, US forces were using roughly 6M bullets per month. This purchase order could keep a maximum Iraq War running for 25 years. At home, on US soil.

    What is going on?


    The most laughable suggestion I have read…they’re buying this many bullets because it’s ‘cheaper in bulk’.

    • QoT 28.1

      Well obviously if it’s cheaper to buy 10,000 than 1,000 then by the time you’re buying 1.6 billion they’re all totally free. That’s logic.

    • chris73 28.2

      Its funny but some of the other websites i go based in the states would totally agree with you of course you probably wouldn’t agree with some other their other political viewpoints…

      • Colonial Viper 28.2.1

        Well, I’d agree with the viewpoint that the power of government over its citizens needs to be very carefully constrained. A true democracy needs due process and the rule of law applied fairly to everyone.

    • joe90 28.3

      The lobbying arm of the NRA, The Institute for Legislative Action and certainly no cheerleader for Obama, looks at the actual numbers and calls bullshit on the conspiracy theories.


      • Colonial Viper 28.3.1

        Forbes Magazine, which is not exactly a light weight publication, says that it is a 1.6B round order. The NRA accounts for just 450M rounds.

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