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Parker on cults and colours

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, October 22nd, 2014 - 152 comments
Categories: david parker, labour, leadership - Tags:

David Parker is reported in The Herald this morning with some comments which seem likely to provoke a strong response!

Like a cult and too red – Parker on Labour

As usual the headline is the most dramatic interpretation possible of what Parker actually said:

“At the moment I think we present ourselves in the Labour Party as so … well, some of our imagery is so clearly ‘Labour red’.

“The image we have of ourselves is sometimes really nice, like at the campaign launch. “But on other occasions it almost feels like a cult. And it becomes a barrier to entry.”

and..

He stopped short of saying Labour should ditch the colour red. “I don’t want to over-emphasise that, it’s not the main point. But we have to be more accessible and make people comfortable with us.”

I think Parker’s point about accessibility is perfectly valid, but the use of the word cult in any context was unfortunate. Not that cults seem to be a problem for the NZ voter, which just endorsed a real cult – “Team Key”, and all its dismal blue.

By coincidence, Parker’s pitch to party members arrived in my inbox this morning:

It’s Time for Unifying Change and I Have a Plan – David Parker

Dear Anthony,

I am writing to you to ask you to vote for me as your Leader of the Labour Party.

My experience as a senior Minister and in law, accounting and business gives me the conviction, real life experience and steel in my backbone to do the job.

I am standing because I want to lead Labour forward to once again share the hopes and aspirations of working New Zealanders – to lead a party we can all be proud of and one New Zealanders will be proud to vote for. We must look outwards not inwards.

Right now big structural problems face NZ. Our economy isn’t fair. The problems we face nationally are not going to go away. That why it’s vital we have a strong opposition over the next three years and a united Labour Party. I can stand up to John Key and I have a plan to lead Labour to win in 2017.

  • We must unite caucus and the party around our common goal of fair economic outcomes for everyone.
  • We must start fresh conversations that focus on the priorities of working New Zealanders.
  • We must focus on answering the tough questions in a way that unites the country toward a better future.
  • We must live up to our responsibilities so New Zealanders feel proud to vote Labour.

Put simply, I believe in a fair go and a fair share. I have the experience, the smarts and the passion to lead that change. I know how to build a better New Zealand – have no doubt about it.

Help me to deliver fair economic outcomes for all New Zealanders by entrusting me with your vote. Labour people are ambitious and optimistic. We know what we need to do. It’s time to get started.

I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail.

img_davidparker_sig.jpg Regards,
David Parker

 

I’m reserving my final decision until after I’ve heard the candidates speak, but I think David Parker is a very strong candidate. I’ve known him since before he was an MP, and rate him highly for exactly the same reasons as Mike Smith – experience, values, intelligence, honesty, determination, and yes a quiet wit that I hope NZ gets to see more of.

152 comments on “Parker on cults and colours”

  1. vto 1

    And a name change.

    For the unions too.

    Too much baggage from the past is clinging on

    • karol 1.1

      So, it no longer would be a “Labour Party”? What would it be then?

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1

        Its basically the NZ Liberal Party now, but with less guts around land ownership reform and building railways.

        • Tom Gould 1.1.1.1

          Wasn’t it Dick Seddon who gave us Labour day holiday? And the best and fairest industrial law in the world?

        • Chooky 1.1.1.2

          Interesting that Hooton and Shearer were also both running the line that the Labour Party needs a branding change!…..maybe they are all mates?…barbeques?

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        The Party you vote for when you get sick of National

        Will make billboards enormous…

      • Sabine 1.1.3

        the New Zealand what ever you want it to be Party but not the Labour Party.

        I am sure that lavender would be a decent enough color for the what ever you want it to be colour….surely not red (does that not remind you of socialists and commies), but not purple enough to remind you of dirty effn hippies and femminists, and surely not blue cause we already have the blue shirts.

        So essentially a lavender colored waffle party?

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 1.1.3.1

          Here’s a constructive suggestion.

          How about an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot Labour logo?

          • Tom Gould 1.1.3.1.1

            You will find the UK Labour party has used red and yellow together for quite a while now. So introducing another complimentary colour to freshen up the look might be worth a look?

    • Clemgeopin 1.2

      Changing names, colour and identity for changing times, changing perceptions or changing fancies would be very stupid.

      One may as well start a new party. Let those that are uncomfortable or stupid, go and do that, who cares.

      Sure, change policies to suit the circumstances, but don’t throw the baby, its name, its identity, its colour out! No need to do that. Talk policy, talk values. Stop stupid talk of colour and name. Labour party ex veteran scoundrels have already tried that. They are called the UF and ACT.

  2. just saying 2

    He dresses well.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    It’s an odd kind of cult that elects its leader, in which people are free to come and go as they please, and dissension is not only tolerated, at times it looks like the fundamental purpose of the Party.

    In fact not like a cult at all.

  4. Dorothy 4

    Maybe David Parker could be the next leader of the National party? they have a different colour.

    • Chooky 4.1

      what about the colour purple?…more a bluey violet purple?

      • GregJ 4.1.1

        Isn’t that United Future’s Party colour? Perhaps David could take over from the Hairdo as leader when he finally retires. Dave’s got a nice haircut as well. 😈

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.2

        Purple won’t work…Parker said no no no to Internet Party remember 😈

  5. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 5

    Grey would be his colour. Cultivated grey. And under that, when it is time to show the world, multi-coloured passion.

  6. Good positioning and media soundbites from Parker. After Labour’s worst election result in 80 years some tough questions need to be asked. Labour won’t ditch the red colour or its egalitarian ethos. It’s an unfortunate fact that the party does need to distance itself from PC fringe causes that freak out middle NZ.

    Here’s an example of how the electorate sees Labour at present
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news-cartoons/news/article.cfm?c_id=500814&objectid=11341778

    • DoublePlus Good 6.1

      “PC Fringe” – you mean, “section of the party that opposes bigotry”

      • Labour has a serious problem being perceived as the PC thought police. They need to avoid stunts like apologising for being a man. I know it’s not fair but that’s the perception.

        • Naturesong 6.1.1.1

          Either that – or just call it what it is:

          Human Rights – and stop being scared to stand up for them.

          • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.1.1

            Absolutely, including standing up for the human rights of the bottom 80% of NZ society to have a decent dignified independent life. Instead of going on about caring for all the needs and the prejudices of the top 20% “middle class”.

        • KJT 6.1.1.2

          They should have front footed it, instead of backing down.

          Said “we do believe in inclusion, equality and fairness, as David Cunliffe made clear in that speech”.
          (Maybe some in the caucus do not).

          The constant apologia, (Not David’s speech. That was appropriate in context) and bowing to National’s, and the right wing media’s framing, makes them seem weak and indecisive.

          • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.2.1

            They should have front footed it, instead of backing down.

            Abso-fraking-lutely.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    It’s all about presentation with Parker ! Nothing at all to do with unpopular policies for which he was responsible …… nothing like that. Oh No – Labour just needs to be packaged so people really understand us !

    • parker..putting the ‘simple’ in simplistic-thinking..

      ..and maybe he shd work on his own image/packaging..?

      ..i dunno..maybe slap on some lippy…?

      ..a bit of discreet-padding here and there..?

      ..(just trying to help here.!..)

      • dave brown 7.1.1

        Parker’s line is selling (out) the labour party to the middle morass.
        Parker is a neo-liberal.
        Workers get nothing if the books are not balanced.
        Global capital is about to crash in a debt spiral.
        His is the cult of capital.
        His cult is doomed.

    • les 7.2

      thats the reality!Refresh the ‘brand’ and relaunch it…Telecom/Spark!

    • Which unpopular policies do you see Parker as “responsible for”?

      All policies are agreed by the leader, caucus and wider party. And let’s remember (boy, I’m getting sick of saying this) that the CGT and superannuation policy were both developed during Cunliffe’s time in the Finance portfolio and were strong policy planks in 2011 as well as this time.

      These may not have been popular policies, but it doesn’t make them essentially bad, and it doesn’t make Parker responsible for them.

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.3.1

        Parker was responsible for CGT and raising the super age to the extent that he could have single handidly torpedoed both those policies at any moment.

      • wekarawshark 7.3.2

        “These may not have been popular policies, but it doesn’t make them essentially bad,”

        What makes the super one essentially bad is that it’s discriminatory, and is designed to force people into a bludger class by a party that believes that working people are more entitled than non-working ones. When Labour recants from the painter on the roof story I’ll take it seriously when it ways that people who can’t work at 66 or 67 will be treated fairly.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.3.2.1

          Aye that magical transformation when you turn 65 and move from being a bludger to someone who has paid taxes all their lives. You even get a great big pay increase and can also work and get your benefit as well without penalty.

          If we really wanted to reduce bludgers we’d lower the age to 60, or even better 55 or if we to get of bludgers altogether lets just pay super at 18.

          My bosses are letting young staff go on to the dole while at least five of them work and get super.

          I know who the bludgers are.

  8. Heather 8

    Sorry grey’s not my colour, I like red and feel good wearing red.
    I know who has just taken themselves off my list

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1

      This is an interesting pitch from Parker to encourage cult members and cult affiliates to vote with a particular outcome in mind?

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        I so di not get it, from that perspective. To me it speaks volumes about the deep disconnect between caucus and general membership.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1.1.1

          It is a perspective that seems to be embarrassed, ashamed or reluctant to truly own the colour the red. A perspective that, at best, seems to be apologetic and, at worst, seems to suggest that the colour red, and what it stands for, as being an inconvenience.

          I can’t help getting the sense that with this media piece, Parker risks coming across as wanting to be the leader of a party that is inconvenient for his own leadership aspirations.

          • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes, he is embarassed by us. And he was deputy leader of that red Party!

            Who is coaching him? Pagani? Shearer? I’ve seen him hanging around with Auckland Central Labour people but they are real red Labour. Maybe it was a brain fart?

    • Rodel 8.2

      Heather- ‘Sorry grey’s not my colour, I like red and feel good wearing red.’
      My thoughts also.

      I’ll still wait and see though who to vote for-if I vote at all.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Just a quick glance at David Parker’s thoughts as reported in the post and his message to us and I’ve started wondering. What would Roger Douglas have said in a confiding interview to the media about the Labour Party and the country before he made his moves, all those years ago?

    While looking at the cartoon from ropata’s link I saw a heading in the sidebar about Labour and its turbulent leadership. That’s not unfair as a summary of the situation, but I think it needs to be pointed out that after the complete overturn of Labour in the 1980’s, it was inevitable that reaction to that which has been building to a critical mass is going to require a large response and change over an extended period.
    edited

  10. i mean..seriously..!..could that pitch from parker be more a pile of nothing..?

    ..just hot-air/aspirational-bullshit..

    ..applied with a trowel..

    ..saying absolutely fucken nothing..

    ..it’s almost a template for the format..

  11. Skinny 11

    Another case of the emperor wearing no clothes. Parker is in a battle from third place with Mahuta. Of all the contenders he is most likely to be the unifier within caucus and probably make a very good leader, but it’s over for him before it starts.

    Even if the caucus chose him as deputy I doubt very much he would be satisfied with that and I predict he is going to go ballistic and quit the Labour Party slamming the door in a big way.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 11.1

      Apparently it is cult-like and if that is the case, it would be very difficult for him to quit the Party?

      While we are on the topic, may I ask who is next on the cult list to get into Parliament?

      • Skinny 11.1.1

        If Parker held a seat I’m sure he would go for a by election and jump to NZF. There were some decent Left candidates that should have come in on the party list if MMP was used for it’s original pupose. Tragically the self serving brigade hijacked the list and won’t give it back. Anyway answering your question I would say Christchurch had a good candidate that could have replaced Cosgrove. I heard Hamilton East had a strong prospect, as did Tauranga as few examples.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 11.1.1.1

          Ok. But with respect to a point you raised – why would NZF have someone who advocates for increasing the superannuation age?

          • Skinny 11.1.1.1.1

            Parker would drop that in a flash, he would be eyeing up the leadership. NZF is a bit of a cult worship to Peters so perhaps that incentive enough for him. I would say Winston would gladly except Parker. Peters see’s Labour’s woes as his chance to be the second big player in NZ politics.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      Does caucus most need unifying or cleansing? I think cleansing. If someone doesn’t want to do or have the cleansing let them bolt out of the stable door. Too many tired old nags, and they nag, and they nag, and they…. Very destructive behaviour that is embedded in some there and needed is thought, agreement, commitment, vitality, keenness, and loyal co-operation to a new leader. The rest can buzz off.

      • Skinny 11.2.1

        Warbler it’s that same group of caucus that absolutely resent the membership having a say. They prefer a token gesture input at LEC meetings where they can mange anyone speaking out. Of course this lot detest blogs like this where open debate is encouraged.

        • Colonial Rawshark 11.2.1.1

          Having said that – I still Parker plus points for spending over an hour responding directly to our questions.

          Not impressed with his comments today, however.

  12. ankerawshark 12

    I posted on open mike a piece from Trevitt interviewing NM.

    NM. I think that was a canny move, inviting a (hostile to Labour) member of the Press Gallery in for a chat and a selfie……………

    Interesting the little bit NM says about the caucus and DC.

    “I will unify the Caucus” is of interest to me. These men need to answer what they did to unify the caucus when they weren’t leading the party……………………

  13. shorts 13

    to say those things in public about the colour and “cult” suggests to me strongly Parker isn’t the one- you don’t denigrate the brand/colour in public, thats for closed doors and planning sessions….

    the “barrier to entry” to folk like myself (vote for the party/candidate but not a member) is the embarrassing shambles the party displays so often – by party I mean leaders and senior MPs

    seriously does anyone in this party have a frigging clue?

    • wekarawshark 13.1

      “you don’t denigrate the brand/colour in public, thats for closed doors and planning sessions….”

      I agree. Which means he is either not very competent/getting bad advice, or this is a dog whistle.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        Can’t Parker think for himself. I keep hearing this business of getting bad advice. Perhaps it is time to have a self-propelling actor, rather than one on strings from behind.

        It used to be said that a successful man had a canny wife behind him, now it’s some paid mercenary like that Phil who pipes up in a smug way about what he did to roll a Labour leader in the past. If you can’t pay honest knaves enough to rely on them to keep their mouths shut, better not have them in the wings at all.

    • ankerawshark 13.2

      Shorts 100+

  14. wekarawshark 14

    Ok this is good. Parker has shown his true colours, which aren’t red. Pretty clear message to the membership that he won’t be taking the party left and is pitching to the voters who have enough discretionary income to go out for dinner.

  15. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 15

    This is what was quoted in the piece:

    “But we have to be more accessible and make people comfortable with us.”

    The use of the collective pronoun stands in sharp contrast with the fact that it is he who is putting himself forward and asking voters to consider voting for him.

    I wish he speaks for just himself and does not presume to speak for me or others.

    • wekarawshark 15.1

      I was intrigued as to how he plans to ‘make’ people more comfortable with Labour.

      It’s still the same old. There is a fundamental ideological split within Labour, and until that gets resolved there will always be this chase to figure out how to get people to like them instead of focussing on core principles and policy and working with that.

  16. Blue 16

    WTF? On a list of Labour’s biggest problems, the colour red wouldn’t feature on it anywhere.

    This contest is just painful. I can’t believe we have to wait until November to have it over with.

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      Cosgrove would agree with Parker that you shouldn’t use the word Labour or the colour red, too overtly.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 16.1.1

        I have a better suggestion for those who come up with such kinds of statements or approaches.

        How about they leave those of us who are truly proud of what we are, and how about they go find another colour, another set of ideologies and another lot of members?

      • The Lone Haranguer 16.1.2

        What colour are Moas?

        Trevor for deputy leader
        Trevor for deputy speaker
        Trevor for deputy dog!!

        Surely the NZLP have far greater things to debate than the colour of their logo??

  17. mac1 17

    Interesting to be old enough to see it all coming around again. Bill Rowling in the 70s canvassed the idea of changing the name of Labour to Social Democrat and Leon Rosselson a decade earlier parodied the great Labour hymn with his version.

    “The people’s flag is faintest pink.
    It’s rather nicer, don’t you think?”

    The question of Labour’s name was raised with me on the weekend by an old friend, a Green, who asked whether the name was no longer fully descriptive considering the way that workers have become contractors etc. Whatever the argument, it does show that David Parker is correct in flagging that colour and name are important and symbolic. It also shows that people outside the beltway are considering such things.

    The debate is part of the basic questions about relevance and direction that the NZLP is asking and answering now.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 17.1

      There is nothing stopping Parker from setting up a party with a name, colour and philosophy of his choice.

      • DoublePlus Good 17.1.1

        Could call it the Beige Brigade. For faceless, generic, boring politics that never achieves anything. Will be a hit with cricket supporters.

    • Skinny 17.2

      Social Democrat’s is a great title, interesting enough Bill Rowling was the last ‘Left’ leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

  18. Matthew Hooton 18

    This goes straight to the top of the “how not to win an election”. Perhaps he is worried that NZ Labour has the same colour as the U.S. Republican Party.

    • Chooky 18.1

      …more ‘Hooton Right Wing Spin’?..

      …confuse the issues ( associate Labour image with the Republicans)
      …undermine the Red socialist brand image of the original Labour Party

      …and all the time work to attack and defeat the Labour memberships’ elected leader David Cunliffe…. and undermine him from standing for leader again!

      … given your on- going attacks on Labour and the unions and David Cunliffe on National Radio and your disparaging of the Standard with Kathryn Ryan ….why do you think we should take your advice or even listen to you?..

      • Skinny 18.1.1

        Matthew is sour on National for getting snubbed, by Key I presume who would have seen straight through his hard right ideology as unpalatable.

        Such a shame as at least the Left stood a chance if Hooton was making a hash of things in the back room snake oil department.

    • Tracey 18.2

      he should have said we need a new flag!

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 18.3

      🙄

  19. Scottie 19

    Accessibility is a good point. We’re not all diehard Labour/Green or National supporters. Many voters don’t decide who to vote for until the last week prior to the election. I know many people who like myself were gutted not to be able to vote labour because The Labour Party did not present as a unified party with clear policies on how they were going to tackle the major issues. For me I want to vote for a Labour Party next time that makes me believe it will be able to raise the wages of working people. A good living wage for all people. That is why I have voted Labour in the past and hopefully in the future.

  20. Clemgeopin 20

    Unnecessary distraction and a red herring.

    Perhaps Parker and all those in the caucus who are uncomfortable with Labour and its red colour should choose their own colour, yellow, grey or pale blue, just leave and form their own party or just retire.

    I am proud of Labour and its values.
    I like red. It is the colour of blood, sweat and tears……love, life and roses.

    Let us discuss really important things rather than stupid stuff.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 20.1

      Them herrings must be associated with the red cult too.

    • les 20.2

      what about the NZ flag?Is that important stuff?

      • leftie 20.2.1

        @les.

        There are far more important issues facing this country than wasting time and money on changing the flag for John Key’s ego.

      • Clemgeopin 20.2.2

        No, not at all.
        If at all, the time to think of changing the flag (or the constitution) would be if and when we decide to be fully independent, separate from UK and become a Republic. (Can still remain in the Common wealth like SA, India, Singapore etc) Until then, forget these unnecessary flag distractions. Just waste of time and money, creating stupid arguments, aggro and division, all for the ego/legacy of Key.

    • leftie 20.3

      @Clemgeopin
      +1000

    • The Al1en 20.4

      “I am proud of Labour and its values.”

      But not enough to vote for them

      • Clemgeopin 20.4.1

        I did vote for Labour candidate but very agonisingly shifted my party vote a couple of days prior to the election from Labour to IMP due to the ganging up from Labour, National, Maori Party and NZF against IMP and Hone. I don’t regret that at all as I felt in my conscience that that was the right thing to do under the circumstances. Above all, I was being true to myself.

  21. AmaKiwi 21

    A cult? Yes, as a Labour insider it feels like a small, closed club.

    I attended a Green party Earth Day picnic in a public park. Completely open. Families and friends picnicing. Kids playing games. Since they are all list MPs, many MPs were there. I met and chatted with many who previously had only been names in the newspaper for me. Excellent. Open and available to strangers like me.

    Labour NEVER has such events. Most gatherings are business meetings. The public are NEVER encouraged to attend Labour’s extremely few social events.

    Yes, Labour gatherings feel like a small, dying church where any newcomer stands out like a sore thumb and all the conversation is “in group” chatter.

    Do Labour people ever get together to have fun?

    • greywarshark 21.1

      @ Amakiwi
      I belonged to a church like that. Fixed in their ways. Losing members. When I was unhappy about something and stopped going, they weren’t interested in coming to me and finding out why. They found it difficult to take on new ideas that would have resulted in more time spent by all the church members but opening up to different members of the community, and more church activity with the community. It was staid, it was comfortable, it wasn’t too taxing, it was declining, it was dying.

      • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.1

        In Labour this negative culture has been taken on by some younger members as well. If you’re a young member and not going to university, you are put on the outer.* If you’re a young member and you say that you might decide to support the Greens, you are put on the outer*.

        *Actual cases I know of.

      • AmaKiwi 21.1.2

        @ greywarshark (21.1)

        Surveys show the primary reason we join a voluntary association is social.

        The French communist party and the German Nazi party had times when their memberships tripled annually because of their social dimensions (sports, crafts, mothers’ groups, music, tramping, etc.) Many of the new members had virtually no interest in the politics.

        I knew a woman who was in her teens when her family fled Nazi Germany. She hated the Nazis. But her times in the Hitler Youth were brilliant because they had sports, tramping, dancing, etc. For her, the political indoctrination was minor compared to the fun they had.

        Yes, the Labour party tends to be a boring “in group” club. We need to think outside the square. There needs to be social fun, not just politics.

        • wekarawshark 21.1.2.1

          Parker wants to invite you to dinner. Or you to invite him to dinner.

          • AmaKiwi 21.1.2.1.1

            I’d prefer he invited EVERYONE to a social event like The Greens Earth Day picnic. It would be great if he brought along some Labour list MPs so I could get to know them better.

  22. Jules 22

    National successfully distilled their message (lies) down to one single word during the election: “stability”.

    Labour countered with a hodgepodge message and no singleminded core proposition. I believe we could have, and should distill everything we stand for down to one single word: “fairness”.

    I was very pleased to see the word “fair” mentioned 5 times in David Parker’s letter.

    I think all four candidates have excellent qualities, and I would like to see both Nania Mahuta and Andrew Little taking senior roles in the reconstruction of Labour. But for me, David Parker and Grant Robertson are the two that communicate and present best.

  23. Enough is Enough 23

    All this does is confirm what I have suspected for a long time now. David Parker is in the wrong party.

    If the party offends you so much, it is time for you to fuck off. Not for the party to change colour and follow you.

    • vto 23.1

      I don’t think he said that the party offends him at all silly, but the vehemence and antagonism shown towards this issue by yourself and others indicates something about the party and its followers. Something scary. Something off-putting.

      • greywarshark 23.1.1

        @ vto
        I don’t understand what you’re on about. You are very vehement in your opinions.
        Can you fill out your thoughts that prompted your criticism off Enough is Enough.
        Is it that you like Parker so much. Or that the emotional response to his comments is not helpful to thoughtful decision making?

        • vto 23.1.1.1

          Some people seem to react very badly to the thought of even discussing changes to the Labour Party – changes to names, colours, etc. It is like such suggestions are seen as an attack on the party itself rather than a suggestion made to perhaps improve the party. Dave Brown (not the tractor) reacted similarly a few days ago.

          This comes across as a closed mind – not even willing to listen to change suggestions, let alone consider them. A closed mind is not a good look for a political party imo. It is this which is scary and off-putting.

          • greywarshark 23.1.1.1.1

            @ vto
            Right well you didn’t make your point that well. And you usually have a good point to make!

            @ Tom Gould
            I look for a RW approach from you. Let’s see – are you being consistent. You seem to be critical and basically uninterested in letting Labour work out their problems. About as helpful as walking under a window when someone’s emptying their chamberpot. Why should Labour be tolerant of everything, that is the mind of someone who doesn’t believe in anything and has no gumption.

            Hear ye, Labour is looking for more gumption. Look under your beds, you may find some there by the chamberpot. Pull it out, dust off the bedfluff, and hand it in at the door on the left of the one marked Left.

            • ropata mako shark 23.1.1.1.1.1

              +1 greywarshark & vto

              If Labour’s going to turn around its decline, everything should be on the table. If there’s a problem in the culture, it needs to be addressed not swept under the carpet.

    • Tom Gould 23.2

      Your comment is precisely what I would expect from the leader of an exclusive cult. There are people in Labour who talk inclusion and tolerance yet act the opposite, where anyone with a different viewpoint or opinion is an enemy to be destroyed and removed. Such people and activities are the problem that no-one is willing to confront, by the looks.

  24. Scottie 24

    @clemgeopin
    Not stupid stuff, it’s about winning votes, getting back into power and making a difference for working people.

  25. leftie 25

    So far I consider Nanaia Mahuta’s “stronger together” to be the best pitch, (haven’t received Little’s yet).

    Our Future Together

    As a member of the Labour Party you will soon be asked to make an important decision about which person you believe has the leadership qualities that will best take our Party and country forward.

    We are at a challenging point in the political history of our Party. We find ourselves in the situation of having to earn back the confidence of New Zealanders, retake our position as a Party that stands for growth, aspiration, opportunity, equality, and be the voice of clarity that New Zealanders can count on to fight for a fair and decent society.

    I am seeking your support to lead the type of change that we as Labour members and New Zealanders can be proud of. As your Leader I will:

    Institute change where it is required;

    Build a cohesive, unified Labour Party grounded in and led by our vision for all New Zealanders to achieve their potential;

    Review our policy platform so that we are all of one mind, one voice on the key issues that matter;

    Articulate who we are and what we stand for in the MMP environment;

    Lead with integrity, commitment, authenticity and fairness; and

    Require a disciplined caucus with its sights firmly set on becoming Government.
    My goal is for Labour to be Government. To achieve this we must be an aligned team that is clear about its purpose to be a strong Opposition. We have to demonstrate that we are a credible stable alternative Government. We must earn the confidence of voters. We have work to do and it starts with us.

    The Way Forward

    Since 2005 our Party vote has steadily declined. We are not inspiring the confidence of voters and the serious perception is that we must do more to connect with New Zealanders and the issues that are important to them. To do this we must:

    – Redefine the Party in order to return to core values that our public relates to and is proud to champion; and

    – Unify our Party; our success depends upon our ability to work as a united team.

    I would expect that every caucus member would see themselves as accountable to the Party to achieve our objective to become Government. That means a disciplined approach to connecting with people in their communities, getting alongside and leading campaigns for change, building organizational capacity to strengthen our ability to campaign, and be absolutely congruent to the values of the Labour Party. As your Leader I would require greater transparency to the Party for that activity and expect to deliver the same in return. We will be returning to a back to basics approach building from the grass roots up.

    I am ready to lead a Labour Party that cares about the state of our environment, wants economic opportunity to benefit more people, supports opportunity and innovation, and helps hardworking people to get ahead.

    About the Values I represent

    I have long believed that Labour is a Party of aspiration and opportunity. We all have a Labour story that connects us to our working class roots and the opportunities that have emerged from applying our values of a fair and decent society where all people can climb the ladder of opportunity, and where we support growth for more people in an equal society.

    I entered Parliament as a List MP in 1996 and have spent most of my adult life in politics. I have held ministerial portfolios and served on a raft of Select committees. As an MP I have successfully won my electorate five times, including in the aftermath of the foreshore and seabed issue which caused huge electoral damage to Labour. This period required transparent and accountable leadership to my electorate and the Party in a way that preserved the integrity of the changes I affected using the process available to me.

    I maintain relationships with key decision-makers and influencers of change in my electorate which has weathered the ups and the downs of the political cycle. My leadership style is to build a team based on a common objective and maintaining focus on the important issues. My experiences have taught me that being able to listen, connect, problem solve, be decisive and draw on strengths of people are some of the essential elements to take people forward but, more importantly, authenticity of relationships are crucial to building trust and confidence.

    Vote for Change

    The election outcome was not the one we had hoped for, many people campaigned for the vision of a better life where more people could thrive, achieve, work and have security. I, like you, believe that when our country thrives we can all do well and no-one is left behind. We are all stronger when we work together.
    Ngaa mihi.

  26. Sabine 26

    I have come to the conclusion that all those wanna be Leaders (that were under no circumstances in what ever way involved in the hideous beating we received at the polls – no siree) are taking the piss.

    And yes i have voted, for what I hope is the last evil of them all. And no, i don;t think that whom ever wins this selection of Wanna be’s will still be there come 2016. Never mind 2017.

    The issue with the Labour Party Man and Women is that clearly they wish they much rather be leading Members of other Parties.

    What a farce.

  27. leftie 27

    I dont see how David Parker can be considered a very strong candidate anymore after his views of calling Labour too red and a cult in the heavily pro biased NZ Herald.
    Does Parker not understand that mainstream media will from now on use that narrative against Labour, as if Labour doesnt have enough troubles to contend with, disregarding the very fact that is exactly what TeamKey is, a cult.

    • greywarshark 27.1

      @ leftie
      +1 You would think that a smart person with strategic sensibilities would know not to give the media those ugly hooks to hang their halloween masks on. Parker is obviously not one of these, and after Shearer going to the press with his story, we know he isn’t either. Is he one of the four. It all seems so uninspiring looking at the lacklustre lot – oh just remembered Robertson Parker Mahuta Little in alphabetical ascending order.

      • leftie 27.1.1

        That’s exactly how I see it Greywarshark.

        • greywarshark 27.1.1.1

          @leftie
          I place a lot of importance on certain remarks or behaviours. If a candidate’s behaviour or even occasional comments, indicates an attitude that is at odds with what I think of as the mission statement of Labour, then his or her other attributes have to be balanced with that Shane Jones could have been considered as leader but the vision of him with 19? porno dvds would not have enhanced his position as PM. One might have been just brushed off, but he also had charged them to his gummint work a/c and the total look was a downer. And would have kept popping up in the shock jocks programs.

  28. Not a PS Shark Sashimi 28

    Come back Cunliffe. You must be a saint to have put up with Parker as a deputy.

    What did we Labour members do in some past life to sererve weirdos and nutters and like Shearer and Parker?

    This is a nightmare.

    • leftie 28.1

      @Not a PS Shark Sashimi
      +1000

      Add Robertson to that list as well.

    • That’ll teach you to stop strangling kittens!

    • blue leopard 28.3

      Could indicate the result of too many staying silent for too long when clear issues of unprofessionalism have been cropping with increasing frequency for all to see.

    • greywarshark 28.4

      @ PS Shark Sashimi
      We didn’t make arses of ourselves jumping up and down and getting arrested over the small r revolution by Douglas and hit hatchet men. And recognise that another Douglas was allowing it to happen for the same reason. It was time for union men to be prepared to go to jail again. They were serious once, and it was time to rise from behind the desk and away from the bar at the pub, and be counted.

    • Colonial Rawshark 28.5

      What did we Labour members do in some past life to sererve weirdos and nutters and like Shearer and Parker?

      It shows how insular and disconnected the culture of the party has become from the bottom 80% of NZers.

  29. I never thought that I’d see a medley of violently clashing shades of grey, but there you have it…

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 29.1

      Heh. Parker declared it is time to show his passions. When he said that, 50 shades of grey may have been far from people’s minds but perhaps there could be something coming up in what he was signalling?

  30. Jules 30

    I wonder… do we have a cohort of members who are: A. Prepared to vote for the candidate they think will do the best job of winning back voters, while; B. Not venomously slagging off the other candidates? It would be nice to think so. Less fuel for the media to burn us with.

    • wekarawshark 30.1

      That would make sense if the contest was just about who gets to be leader. But it’s more than that.

  31. Murray Rawshark 31

    “Our economy isn’t fair.” To me, this just sounds weak. It’s like “boo hoo, she hit me” or something. We know capitalism isn’t fair, but there has to be a better way of saying it. Instead of this useless whinge, how about a bit of militancy about what can and must be done? Where’s the passion, or is he still in the bookish phase?

    Totally uninspiring. Mana up!

  32. ankerawshark 32

    Just got back from the candidates meeting.

    We wore lots of red!

  33. Red delusion 33

    Cults are highly organised with a high degree of unity, normally led by a charasmatic leader. Therefore labour is nothing like a cult, a lunatic asylum yes, a cult no

  34. Rawmadness Natshark 34

    Having now read his actual comment. We might as well close the labour party and put it to bed. Seriously.

    If the press of NZ are going to behave like this, it’s past time Labour had a standing the public of NZ were interested in, because the media has just frankly done the job of making labour a fucking joke.

    Thanks NZ press. Thanks a fucking lot.

    Candian parliament today is about the only action left to us.

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