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Phil Goff: The Leader Emerges

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, October 18th, 2010 - 43 comments
Categories: Economy, labour, Media, monetary policy, overseas investment, phil goff, Social issues - Tags:

Phil Goff made an excellent speech yesterday.  One that showed far more direction, and a lot of promise for going forward.  Hopefully Labour can capitalise on this much better than they did on the excellent “The Many, Not The Few” speech.  They should be able to – yesterday’s “Kiwi Dream” speech contained much more meat to chew on that can continue to be processed; and Labour also seem to finally be getting to grips with opposition and improving their organisation.

Goff did well to contrast 2 worlds – both the two worlds that are life under a National Government and the two worlds that are the difference between a Key Government and a Goff Government.  A Key Government where ordinary kiwis are struggling as their reduced pay-packet doesn’t meet rising costs, where even those on 60, 70 or 80k aren’t benefiting, just a tiny elite, who are enjoying more foreign holidays (like Key to Hawaii…), and expanding wealth at the expense of the rest of us.  Or a Goff Government where they wouldn’t be scared to intervene to help kiwis out, that works pro-actively for ordinary New Zealanders – small businesses, farmers and workers alike.

And he got angry at where National, with their laissez-faire lack of a plan are letting us drift.  To a New Zealand where rapidly growing inequality leads to increased prisons, teen pregnancy, drug problems, obesity and physical and mental health problems.  Goff’s at his best when he’s angry – he needs to get angry more often.

Of course such strong leadership brought a reaction from the right – DPF got his National orders and he and Audrey Young immediately focussed on how good Andrew Little was – with implication he was Goff’s leadership rival, to undercut him.  Andrew Little was excellent, but there is no rivalry.  The Sunday Star Times had a bizarre front page about how John Key was too personally popular, and somehow that was bad for National.  All trying to take the air out of the revitalised Labour conference.

In Britain, party conference season is a large media event that gets a lot of news coverage.  They have a week focusing on each of the main parties, and their policies can be properly presented.  Instead of just the foreign ownership issue being excellently discussed, there would be time to focus on other major planks.  Like the rejection of neo-lib laissez-faire economics for a managed exchange rate and more balanced monetary policy; the new evidenced-based child-centred social policy that proposes a massive overhaul in the way our society and government plan for our future; the rejection of the 90 day fire-at-will law and Helen Kelly and the CTU’s proposal for much fairer collective bargaining on an industry-wide basis.  The other parties have an unwritten agreement to keep a low profile (unlike John Key’s visit to Mana), so that for the good of democracy the media can focus on each party and assess them on their policies.  It would be great for us to have that here.

43 comments on “Phil Goff: The Leader Emerges ”

  1. Jum 1

    I heard Goff on RadioNZ this morning. Excellent message, excellent delivery which brooked no dog-whistling distraction by media, Phil O’Reilly, etc.

  2. Jum 2

    Audrey Young has done Phil Goff and Labour/Progressives/Greens a huge favour; not only has Phil Goff been generally well-received by intelligent media, Young has told all and sundry that there is other talent available in Labour. We already knew there were several excellent choices of Leader in Labour and Greens for that matter (Jim Anderton, Progressives, knows how to make a stirring speech as well and insured us with a protector in banking). The Herald was deliberately not telling that story though. Now Young has – wonderful. Things are looking better and better for Labour. Leaders always need to know that they have competition; it makes them fight for both their country and their own future.

    Helen Clark was blamed for leaving the party bereft of a strong legacy of leader to govern. I have news for those detractors. Not only did she leave the party in a strong, cohesive and functioning shape, but there are now about 6 strong leadership-contenders all working hard to take the party and the country forward – all forward, not like NAct, all ‘back to the 90s sell off’, ‘enslave the workers’ boring fart philosophy. Not only did Labour know that they must listen once again to Kiwis and renew their watch on current international politics and global theft by roaming free-marketeers, they have accepted some policies were wrong; I say the majority of their policies were good. Greens has grown up and its policies are being mainstreamed.

    Captcha: circulation – thanks Audrey!

    • RobertM 2.1

      The political journalists are people of the left, in most cases. I won’t comment on Garner because I don’t know. Labour has a good choice of leaders from the political angle- Cunliffe, Little, Goff and possibly Shane Jones. However with the possible exception of Shane Jones they are all far too much keynsian big spenders for NZs stretched economy.
      Goff has simply reverted to the type of left he always was as a matter of class, friends and education. During the Rognernomics era Goff as cabin boy to the stars had no choice but to ape them as Clark did in l988 when she was briefly handmaiden to Roger.
      The anti foreign investment is a type of social credit policy aimed at rural hickdom and the hard left. Corkery and Coddington are intensely critical of the Chinese buyup and crime because of the dissapointment that the Chinese have turned out to be attractive solid citizens and reliable John Key voters. The sour grapes towards Melissa may well be that the Chinese vote has driven the left out at Auckland University. The uni bookshop is now full of good histroy Keegan, Fergusson, Hitchen < Civil War etc, War History- and generally far to the right of Unity.

  3. Sean 3

    Goff turned up on RadioNZ Jum and explained his position! Wow, that’s something John Key doesn’t do for a start.

    Looking at Goff’s performance to date, just his performance, not what the MSM pundits fill their columns with or what David Farrar says in his unindependent way. Goff is clearly a man who can be prime minister, and compared to the current incumbent, an excellent prime minister.

  4. Jum 4

    I am seriously concerned, Sean, that John Key does not answer for his policies. He is ultimately responsible. He signs off everything and will be held accountable.

    In Christchurch Parker was deliberately kept away from debates with Anderton; the National spin doctor service was advising him, that was obvious. Key only relates to Breakfast which does not demand he answer to his policies. Clark certainly was grilled.

    Goff has an experienced background in many portfolios. There is a dignity to the man. Key is Mr popularity. So What. Clowns tend to fall over their size 100 shoes. Key’s already done it once. Luckily the only injury was to himself and while of course I have the standard sympathy for another person’s pain I have no sympathy for his destructives policies.

    BTW Are there two Seans posting on the Standard? The ‘wow’?? If I was word-sensitive I would think you were takin’ the mickey, lad.

    • Bored 4.1

      Jum and Sean, read what I said about the Goff interview on Open Mike this morning, it was bloody useless from both parties. Goff as leader, hmmmmmmmm! He is supposed to be the leader of the left (where most of us Standardistas reside), I cannot take him seriously.

      • gobsmacked 4.1.1

        If you want Goff to be more “left”, give him a strong coalition partner i.e. the Greens.

        After 15 years, it’s time we all grasped the idea that MMP is not Presidential politics.

        In the abstract, Clark was to the left of Goff.

        In reality, Clark did deals with Dunne and Peters, that stopped Labour moving left. But Goff won’t have the Dunne option, and (hopefully) not Peters either. So Goff will lead a Labour Party, and a potential government, to the left of Clark 2002-08.

        Personally, I’m not interested in some idealised litmus test for leaders, while the country is being screwed by NACT. “Holding out for a hero” … who? when? at what cost?

        • Bored 4.1.1.1

          Personally, I’m not interested in some idealised litmus test for leaders, while the country is being screwed by NACT we agree fully on the symptom, not the cure. I cannot see Goff ever holding the publics imagination and “aspirations” like they do with Key. As you note, being “more” left is a collective thing, but who is there in Labour the public will back with their vote?

    • Sean 4.2

      I find myself largely in agreement with you Jum. My ‘Wow’ was taking the mickey, but it was taking the mickey out of a Prime Minister who won’t turn up on National Radio to explain his own budget. Like you wrote, John Key avoids interviews which could be challenging, and it isn’t good enough.

      I’m not sure if there are two Seans commenting on Standard. I don’t read every post. I know I had to distance myself from a different Sean over at Brian Edward’s site.

  5. tc 5

    “Goff’s at his best when he’s angry – he needs to get angry more often….” captures it IMHO and with a carefully managed campaign 2011 is easily winnable for labour as unlike the Nat’s they have talent across the board, a vision most kiwi’s can relate to and a track record of delivery.

    There’s plenty for Phildo to be angry about so let’s hope he stays mad as the NACT have 4 clubs in their bag being privatisation, slash n burn, let the market sort it out and smile and wave…..which’s seeing us catching Oz isn’t it ?

  6. SHG 6

    All the Government has to do is point to the numbers:

    “Lowest inflation in six years good for families”

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/lowest+inflation+six+years+good+families

    • Bright Red 6.1

      Why? The government did nothing to cause that. It’s just a result of the previous three quarters of low inflation thanks mainly to oil prices not rising much in the last few months.

      This quarter’s inflation was actually 1.1% – very high, and the next quarter’s will be even higher because of the GST hike.

      Inflation in and of itself isn’t as important as the unemployment rate and real wages, which are getting worse, not better like Key promised.

      captcha – reality

    • Bright Red 6.2

      The ASB’s new economic report is titled ‘Inflation: the only way is up’ and says:

      “Q3 CPI was a touch below our expectations, but stronger than both market and RBNZ forecasts. While the 1.5% annual increase in headline CPI is the smallest annual increase since March 2004, there are signs of a lift in underlying inflation in NZ.
      Government charges helped boost non-tradable inflation in Q3. However, even leaving these Government charges aside, non-tradable inflation show signs of picking up from some weak results over the first half of this year. In addition, the increase in prices is becoming more broad-based.
      Q4 CPI data will be the crucial test of how much businesses have managed to pass on the GST increase on 1st October. We expect this and further Government charges will boost annual headline CPI to over 5% by the middle of 2011.”

      hmm. so National didn’t cause the lwoer inflation and it will bost infaltion next year to over 5%

      • Anthony C 6.2.1

        From what I understood in the NZ Herald article (yeah I know..) the costs of most necessities like food, power etc were well up over 1.1% but were dragged down by something like a 24% drop in electronics.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Hey thats handy for all those on >$150K p.a. who want to spend their tax cuts on a new 50″ LED LCD TV.

          • Herodotus 6.2.1.1.1

            The inflation has been low over the last 5 or so years due to tradeables, (non tradables those costs that are incurred as the product/service is only available fro NZ e.g. housing, rates etc ) have been stable and the non tradeables have been above the inflation average. This has saved lab embarrassment in their time in power and has resulted in this 1.5% inflation reported today. If it was not for overseas costs being stable, inflation would have been 4-5% over Labs and Nats reigns, interest rates would have been double digit. So we have been saved by the rest of the world for our low inflation.
            It is not the numbers but what “lies” behind them that is important, and the media are uneductated to see behind these numbers, but that fits in well for Key and Goff as both white men speak with forked tougue.
            http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/CPI_inflation/ConsumersPriceIndex_HOTPJun10qtr/Commentary.aspx

            • Anthony C 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I just wish they had the price of timber in the CPI… went in to by 50×50 clears today for some framing and the price has almost doubled from a few month ago. ETS? GST?

              • Herodotus

                It is funny what is and is not included in the cpi/inflation- Land prices are excluded as is “profit” for builders. Only the inputed costs for the construction of housing. So like today builder makes chippies wages out of spec house yet house price for end user is the same as say 3 years ago, inputs have increased = increased inflation yet house price is the same for 2007 as for Oct 2010.
                Also steel prices have gone down since their peak yet why have steel mesh & reinforcing steel rods not followed? There was a time that every month builders/construction coys etc were receiving price increase notifications due to international pricing. The mail was empty when the prices started to slide !!!
                The synic would believe that the reduced costs compensated for a slide in demand maintaining $$$ profits, the same with banks, try and work out all there add on costs !!!! 🙁

                • KJT

                  The CPI has been played with many times. Mostly to reduce headline inflation to avoid wage demands. Housing mortgage interest rates are not directly included as that would have shown up the embarrassing spectacle of the Reserve bank chasing its own tail.
                  Building materials are an obvious ripoff.
                  The materials price for a house in Australia have been (and probably still are) much lower despite them being supplied by the same companies.

  7. big bruv 7

    Good old Goff…

    He has strongly held belief’s, and if you don’t like them…..well he has others.

    Winston Peters aside, has there ever been a bigger political slut that Goff?

    Was for asset sales…now claims he is against them.

    Was for selling off land….now claims that he is against it.

    Was for lower taxes….now claims that he is against it.

    Goff is unelectable, the people of NZ know that and the people at the standard know that as well.

    [lprent: Wrong yet again. After looking at him during the weekend I think that Key is going to have some problems competing.
    But I see that you’ve been given your spin lines to regurgitate. I guess DPF has been writing posts? ]

    • Vicky32 7.1

      (Wee note – plurals don’t take apostrophes… Sorry, my patience with spelling and grammatical errors has run out – when they come from the Right! :D)

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      Winston Peters aside, has there ever been a bigger political slut that Goff?

      I recall some guy going on about how something was “commun1sm by stealth” right up until he decided that that something was actually quite good. Same guy was going to be Don Brash’s finance minister, up until Brash flamed out, then all of a sudden and out of the blue, Brash’s policies became radical nonsense that he wouldn’t touch with a barge poll.

      Although to be fair, that doesn’t just describe the PM, it’s his whole caucus. shall we talk about the parliamentary right wing evolution on the F&S, or civil unions, or the cullen fund, or WFF, or Iraq, or Nuclear weapons, or apartheid, or homosexual law reform, or marital rape, or shall we just quit while your drowning in it?

      • Tigger 7.2.1

        PB – I wish we would talk about that stuff, especially the deep homophobia that still runs through National. Remember, most of this lot voted against civil unions. Including Key. Having him attend The Big Gay Out is like Hitler attending a bar mavitzah.

        • grumpy 7.2.1.1

          Goff is making quite a good impression with middle NZ, the one thing that can derail that is the emergence of Labour’s Rainbow Wing along with the ghost of Chris Carter.

    • gobsmacked 7.3

      Big Bruv, if you’re going to quote the great Groucho, please get it right.

      And I’m afraid Phil Goff got there before you:

      “Steven Joyce stated in the clearest possible terms that he was proposing to cut the SuperGold Card. Yet 24 hours and a phone call from behind a bush later, what do we find from the Minister? He said: “We have made it clear all along that the Government is totally committed to the SuperGold Card, including the transport concession as it stands”. That quote was the absolute contradiction of what Steven Joyce told the country 24 hours earlier. It reminds me of a saying by Groucho Marx, who said: “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

      (Hansard, Budget Debate 2010)

  8. Daveski 8

    Which of the Standards many posters will dig into the Olympic standard flip flops we have seen over the weekend. This of course is the reality of politics; however, it didn’t stop post after post trying to undermine National prior to the last election.

    Now, Goff does a flip flop worthy of gold at any Olypmics and there is not even a murmur? Where are you, Standardistas??

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      Daveski, let me help:

      1) Moving to the left in a left-leaning party. Makes supporters happy.

      2) Moving to the left in a right-leaning party. Makes supporters grumpy .. but they need the votes.

      OK?

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      Geeeeez did someone try to bring back the ‘flip flop’ meme from John Kerry’s campaign?

      Fawgawdsakes Righties its 2010 now. Stop living in the past.

      • Daveski 8.2.1

        Surely you can do better than that?? While this policy may sit well with the party faithful, having Goff lead it with these policies is as credible as Winston calling for more honesty from politicians.

        I can understand who such populist policies will help redefine Labour and can even agree that for some, a lurch to the left will resonate with the grassroots. But for Goff to try and sell this is asking for trouble and highlights the problems Labour has with its current leadership.

        It also highlights the hypocrisy of the “flip flop” campaign that was so popular here last time out.

        • Zorr 8.2.1.1

          Let me see if I can break this down for you Daveski because, as far as I can tell, you are ragging along on the meme of “Phil Goff was an MP during the neo-lib revolution and has been a supporter of the philosophy since”

          Well:
          1) The experiment is over. Neo-liberalism has failed us. Please hold while we come up with a new one.

          2) Goff has now, FUCKING FINALLY, decided to announce himself as the leader of the NZ Labour party with policies that are a response to the global situation rather than keeping with the status quo and hoping (just look at the NACT economic plan… x_x)

          Who gives a shit if it is a change in direction for Goff. As far as I am concerned (and from expressed opinions here on the site it is the commonly shared one here) that it is a change in the right direction.

          If you disagree with the declared policys, here is a novel idea for you. Play the ball, not the man.

    • Bored 8.3

      Daveski, have you not read what I have said re Goff? Could not have been more blunt! And Gobsmacked is correct, moving left = happy lefties, we dont give a toss for grumpy righties.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      I’m really not sure you can call it a flip-fop as he’s taken 20 odd years to change his mind. Not the five minutes it takes the right to make the same manoeuvre.

    • Jum 8.5

      Daveski
      The magic word is ‘prior’. We’re not even in the same year as the next election and you’re already attacking – nervous laddie?

  9. Vicky32 9

    Right now, hearing TV3 News giving their version of Goff’s speech – the policy on foreign land ownership is a ‘flip-flop’, and that’s followed by a long speech from JonKey and the 3 News reporter helpfully taking a few shots at Helen Clark…
    Typical!
    (Hamish Clarke, take note of that name…)

  10. Daveski 10

    The point I was making was that this policy shift is most likely consistent with what most here want to see. However, it is not consistent with Goff over the past 30 years. If you don’t like me stating the obvious, then wait until next election.

    @ Bored Sorry, did miss that. I actually kinda like Goff but surely that’s the problem?? To me, this is more about Goff protecting his position than seriously positioning Labour to challenge the Nats next year. Feel free to shoot the messenger but thems the breaks.

    BTW I don’t normally troll and if I was, I’d certainly try harder to inflame. However, I think this has political traincrash written all over it – or at least, that’s how it could well be seen from the left.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Sheeesh geddit already, Goff has realised that change is needed and that the same old formulae will not work in the era of the GFC!

      With his long experience and perspective Goff knows better than most what a disaster the Chicago School neocon economic agenda has been for the people of NZ and he is the man who is leading the Labour party to Government on a platform of fresh new thinking in 2011.

      Hope John and Bill have a few more ideas to offer than tax cuts for the wealthy next year because they are toast otherwise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what their marketing focus groups tells them about what the country needs 🙄

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      It’s consistent with learning from what went wrong (neo-liberalism) over the last 20 years.

  11. Armchair Critic 11

    The problem is he seems to emerge, and then disappears off again.
    Chances are I’ll vote Green. Or spoil my ballot out of disgust for the CERRA. Goff has a year to convince me otherwise.
    anti-spam – ball. Please stop dropping it, Phil.

  12. prism 12

    Goff sounded good. He had something to say about new planned policies that sounded good. That was good. Labour had worked out a cogent answer to the likely remark about why didn’t you do that when you were in government yourselves? They said they had dropped the ball and were determined to do better. That made me feel good. Hope all this goodness lasts.

  13. randal 13

    must be phils turn now.
    thats how national ran their last campaign.
    well the boagey flick and stick has had his turn now move over.

  14. Herodotus 14


    So the metromone speaks, I see he swaps from speaking at the start on the left of the screen then switches over to the right then flitters from left:right of the screen then finished up on in the centre, is there a hidden message there on Labs positioning, both past and current ???

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