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Politics bruises even Shane Jones

Written By: - Date published: 4:06 pm, April 24th, 2014 - 107 comments
Categories: labour, politicans, Shane Jones - Tags:

While I know many on here aren’t sad to see Shane go, I think he’s a lost voice for Labour – and we’ll need others to step up into his place.

I also think we might be a little less visceral and personal in our attacks on politicians if we were a little quicker to realise they are human. And if people were more aware of the bad statistics around things like the suicide rate of politicians’ children. (It might also help if politicians were a bit quicker to see the other side as human too, and the media saw politics less as a ‘game’, but something that affects peoples lives)

I can understand Shane’s wanting to go – he’s really taken some blows; his marriage has broken up since he became an MP, he’s apparently got some health concerns, and – hard for him to take – he’s regularly told off by his leader (all of them). Also, it was his supposed destiny that he was meant to be the first Maori PM of New Zealand, and that’s not going to happen; Labour’s members have made that abundantly clear (like most, he was my third choice out of 3…).

All that adds up to losing a bit of the fire in his belly to go through another election cycle, putting himself up warts and all to be judged by us voters. A cushy, well-paid public service job with less daily public judgement has got to be appealing, even if he won’t get to shape how the country is run.

Many of his blows have been self-inflicted, but when he’s at his best – like on Countdown recently – he gets cut-through like few others. He expresses Labour values to a different group of people, in a different way, from most of our activists, and our MPs. In a broad church like Labour we need those different voices. We’re meant to have strength in diversity.

His attacks on the Greens weren’t helpful, but a voice that didn’t embrace the Greens was a fair representation. Yes 70% of Labour supporters (including me) see them as the preferred partner, but that leaves 30% who don’t.

He may not have had good korero with women, but he had good links with the provinces, with Maori, and with business-types. We need to make sure other MPs stand up and continue those conversations with those groups – in their own style.


Shane Jones Media Watch

  • In 3 News’ breaking of the story the first headline was “switching sides” – incredibly misleading. He’s not about to be working for the National Party, or even switching sympathies. It’s a government role, even if it was created for him by McCully.
  • Paddy Gower’s actual piece following the headlines was reasonably balanced, with the exception of saying that Jones was leaving Labour.  Last I checked public servants could still be private members of political parties.
  • Checkpoint quickly got Matthew Hooton on as ‘political commentator’ (‘not right winger with an agenda’), and he, in his typical style, set about putting words in Shane Jones’ mouth, uncontested – eg/ leaving because Labour’s gonna lose – in contrast with last night the 3News message being he was leaving because Labour’s going to win, and he’d have to serve with a Green Deputy PM…  Hooton also apparently knew all about Jones’ thoughts on how Labour wasn’t a party of the working man any more etc (essentially thoughts of hating the Labour Party he’s been representing) – thoughts that are unlikely given he hadn’t quit years ago.
  • Morning Report yesterday morning had parliamentary reporter Jane Patterson also thinking that Jones was leaving because of Labour’s lack of focus on blue-collar workers, too much on Rainbow.. and UNIONS?  Erm, who do media types think that Unions represent if not… workers?
  • And the less said about (or by) Michael Bassett as a ‘Labour’ representative as he was on Morning Report this morning the better… Radio NZ seriously does itself a disservice when it puts up Act sympathisers who haven’t had anything to with the party for over 20 years as ‘Labour’

Incidentally for those worried about Labour focussing on ‘identity politics’ (as some media pundits have said drove Jones out) I’d like them to come up with examples. Marriage Equality was a quick member’s bill (on the same night Labour also got Waitangi and Anzac days Mondayised) and the one other issue this parliamentary term was internal – trying to get Labour’s MPs to represent the gender balance of the population. I notice that there are a large number of very high quality women candidates putting their names forward this year – and I can’t see that as a coincidence.

Meanwhile it was refreshing to hear David Parker this morning talking about issues that actually matter – and hopefully Labour will keep banging on about solutions to NZ’s housing crisis; how we’re going to get Kiwis into jobs, better paid and with better protections; and fixing child poverty and the inequality that feeds it.

107 comments on “Politics bruises even Shane Jones”

  1. Sacha 1

    “hard for him to take – he’s regularly told off by his leader (all of them)”

    Jones seems to have trouble accepting that anyone but him has a say. That’s not viable in an MMP-era politician, and I’m not sad to see the back of him. And Labour still has Damian O’Connor, Clayton Cosgrove and others if conservative white men feel like they’re lacking a voice.

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    “He may not have had good korero with women”

    I don’t know, he gets on pretty well with Judith Collins. I suppose that says it all really.

  3. Phaedrus 3

    On TV3 news last night, John Key used the words “he’s a welcome addition to the National government.” What else needs to be said?

    • mac1 3.1

      “What the fuck are you on about, you dozy, lazy, lying, word-mangling, confused prime minister?”

      That could be said.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    “Murray, I’d like a job”.

    “Ah, OK. Look, stay where you are for the moment and I’ll let you know when something comes up. Oh, and let me know how things are going from time to time. Oh, and best keep this between us. OK?”

    “Yeah sure Murray. You can judge me by my actions”.

    Three years later

    “Murray, people are saying mean things about me!”

    “How did you get this number?…beep, beep, beep, beep, beep…”

  5. Visubversaviper 5

    Marriage broken up – he left his wife and 9 kids and took up with what he calls his “beauty queen”. How sad for him – not!

    • greywarbler 5.1

      I thought it was 6 kids. According to a former comment. Expanding exponentially!

  6. weka 6

    “His attacks on the Greens weren’t helpful, but a voice that didn’t embrace the Greens was a fair representation. Yes 70% of Labour supporters (including me) see them as the preferred partner, but that leaves 30% who don’t.”

    Jones’ antipathy towards the GP goes way beyond preferring a different coalition partner. He actively sabotages the relationship that the left is dependent on. The only way I can understand that is that he would prefer a National third term to a Labour/GP govt in Sept. That’s fucked up not representation.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    The thesis of the article is sound: politics is brutal, but in the end it’s only a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. For some it’s sucking up to border officials, for others it’s using your time as an MP to establish a lucrative business career. For some it’s trying to be the biggest hero in the room.

    The flipside is the wisdom of Nandor’s valedictory speech.

    Shane Jones’ departure from Parliament could be an affirming and dignified affair. Or not.

  8. just saying 8

    It’s pretty low to insuinuate that the tragedy of the suicide rate amongst the children of politicians has anything to do with political discussions on blogs like this.

    It’s particularly ironic that we should be asked to be kinder to one such as Jones who attacks those he disagrees with like a rabid rottweiler. In public. He had power and he repeatedly used it against those with less or very little, and all for his own personal political advantage.

    “Incidentally for those worried about Labour focussing on ‘identity politics’…
    …Meanwhile it was refreshing to hear David Parker this morning talking about issues that actually matter

    Lovely.

    Jones left because he didn’t get what he wanted. For himself. He betrayed what he purported to stand for. If his family has been hurt maybe it has something to do with this kind of attitude.

    And who over 40 doesn’t have health problems?…..not many.

    • Bill 8.1

      Yeah, the suicide thing got me. What’s I being told here? Don’t be honest about how venal and fucked up politicians are because….your opinion may be a causative factor in the suicide of one of their children!? Fuck that.

      Privileged fuck took his privileged position to secure ongoing privilege for himself. Fuck him and everything he represents.

      • Ben Clark 8.1.1

        The suicide thing – I’m not saying don’t be honest, just don’t be nasty. For most people – just think would you say that to them in person. Politicians aren’t untouchable people without emotions, and attacks on them can have real world consequences. Their kids don’t choose to enter politics with them, but they may well read blogs.
        During the 2011 campaign I got a letter from a (left-wing) person who commented on The Standard, wishing I get to see my kids die in the impending downsides of climate change. That’s not nice, and I was a candidate who they a) largely agreed with and b) was not going to get in, but was doing my best for my party and country.
        Heaven knows what high profile politicians get from people on the other side of the spectrum.

        As for js, splicing my paragraphs together – that ‘Meanwhile’ was meant to be Labour’s talking about real issues to the country, not getting distracted by side issues like Shane Jones. When things are phrased as ‘Identity politics’ I see it often as trying to put negative framing on positive things. Like Don Brash talking about removing ‘privilege’ from Maori; versus Labour talking about getting rid of child poverty and reducing income inequality, which will improve the chances of a large number of Maori (and Pasifika and women…). I find myself very much in agreement with karol at 11.

        weka – I think a voice that’s not enchanted with the Greens is an authentic Labour voice (even if it’s not mine), I don’t think Jones’ was in the slightest bit helpful. And I hope those Labour voices that step up to fill the gap left by Jones, do so somewhat less self-destructively…

  9. Jim 9

    When you are leading a team, and one of the senior team members jumps ship at an inopportune time, having been enticed by a offer by the opposition, you need to look at three things, the person leaving, the opposition and most importantly your leadership of the Labour Party. I know Shane Jones is not liked on this site, has left to further himself at the expense of the Labour Party, but one must wonder what his relationship with the other members of the Labour Party leadership group was to have done such a disservice to his party. This does reflect badly on the Labour Party.

    • mac1 9.1

      “When you are leading a team, and one of the senior team members jumps ship……..

      The Nats are losing fifteen members of parliament, IIRC. Enticed by jobs for the boys, directorships, ambassadorships, private sector enjoyment (oops, employment!), and by the sense of impending loss of electorate, list place and power. What does this say about National’s leader, electoral chances and disservice to the party?

    • greywarbler 9.2

      I think that this does not reflect badly on the Labour Party at all. They made room for Shane Jones despite his peccadilloes, make of that what you will, and have been greatly accommodating. It’s the Jones boy that can’t cope with not being able to crash through with his head down like a charging bull. Even rugby demands finesse sometimes, and quite a lot in politics too. So he can pull his head in and follow his natural direction.

      The Mills Brothers had a song about The Jones Boy that’s just right for Shane.

      • Jim 9.2.1

        Agreed that the Mills Brothers song about The Jones Boy is just right for Shane (I thought it was great), but in a few months no one will be talking about Shane again.

    • Foreign Waka 9.3

      Not really, for the ordinary Joe Blogs it looks like betrayal and a story of an enemy within.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.4

      Nope, it reflects badly upon Jones – the selfish arsehole who left for a better paying job supplied by the people he was supposed to be opposing.

  10. greywarbler 10

    “I also think we might be a little less visceral and personal in our attacks on politicians if we were a little quicker to realise they are human. And if people were more aware of the bad statistics around things like the suicide rate of politicians’ children.”

    I think we should see how that sounds turned round. A politician saying to another pollie, that they might be less visceral on the mass of people, allowing for the fact that they are human and noting their growing suicide rates.

    Then may be we could get some pollies who actually care about people in general, want to do the best for them as we as advancing themselves to a reasonable extent, and not just striding the stage saying whatever is his/her latest personal opinion, which is of supreme importance in the pollie’s own opinion, and which seems opportune . No worry about team goals or strategies. I haven’t any sympathy with Jones. I am as concerned about his porno and credit card purchase of that as I was about Hone’s moth….cker use. I was negative about both. But Hone is so far very directed and stays true to his aim, which is admirable, while Shane seems to spread his shot around carelessly.

    • Lloyd 10.1

      A pity then that Shane Jones doesn’t seem to realise a sustainable economy and progressive taxation are necessary as part of a successful economy. He doesn’t seem to realise putting money into the pocket of the poorest in the country is the best way of expanding the economy. Taxing the rich will eventually benefit the rich,but everyone will be better off in the mean-time.

      Generally Shane Jones’s economic outlook appears to be lets keep the top 1 or 2% best off in the money. Isn’t that basic gnats policy?

      Shouldn’t all true red Labour supporters be singing “ding dong the witch is dead’?

      • JK 10.1.1

        Agree 100%

      • Foreign Waka 10.1.2

        It is tribal law and as such befitting.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.3

        A pity then that Shane Jones doesn’t seem to realise a sustainable economy and progressive taxation are necessary as part of a successful economy. He doesn’t seem to realise putting money into the pocket of the poorest in the country is the best way of expanding the economy.

        /facepalm

  11. karol 11

    The “identity politics” accusation is an interesting one. It seems the rights, struggles and oppressions of everyone but white (possibly working class) males are included. An yet, Jones didn’t noticeably work for the betterment of the working classes. And claims around his bloke-iness usually focus on language, the “smoko room” and other cultural markers of identity.

    So, from where I’m sitting, those that proclaim Jones as the last of the true kiwi blokes are very much into identity politics.

    • swordfish 11.1

      “Jones didn’t noticeably work for the betterment of the working classes”

      Jesus, that has to be the understatement of the year, karol. Neo-Liberal Corporate Iwi intent on making Labour Tweedledum to National’s Tweedledee. Much like Poor old Geoff Palmer back in the 70s, he apparently had a hard job choosing between the Nats and Labour (and told TVNZ’s Marae at the time of his List selection that he was completely “agnostic” over the broad economic policies of the two main parties). Decided in the end that he’d have a speedier rise to the top in Labour. The idea that he’d give a flying fuck about workers on or near the minimum wage is laughable.

  12. rhinocrates 12

    Bah, humbug. Good riddance to him. He’s a repulsive sexist reactionary slimeball. If Labour wants to be a “broad church” then it has to be one that encompasses real people, not bigots and corporate shills.

    So, from where I’m sitting, those that proclaim Jones as the last of the true kiwi blokes are very much into identity politics.

    Exactly, karol. The oldest trick in in the book is “we’re not political, you are” As a white het, cisgender son of a rugby hero, this “blokeism” is political too and I’m glad to see its obsolescence. It bores the shit out of me.

    So Jones is whining. Shane, cry me a river with all your self-pity and then fuck off.

    • Lloyd 12.1

      +1

    • Skinny 12.2

      Bang on Crates!

      So Jonesy as you say your “dance card is full”. Well our political history will says this was the ‘dance of the desperate’. Your first dance partner is that good Kiwi bloke John Key. And of course he is paying for the privilege, now don’t hunch your shoulders because it’s courtesy of the taxpayer, it’s business as usual in that regard, just think of that retiring MP’s golden handshake pension. So what if Key is publicly humiliatingly calling you his bitch and he owns you. Remember you are your own mans man and it’s only while John calls the tune. Look just stay in step and choose to turn ya cheek and ignore Garth Hughes and the Greens calling you a Mockingbird by mimicking your masters every tune.

    • Once was Pete 12.3

      Do you actually have something to contribute apart from your vile and putrid character assassination?

      • tc 12.3.1

        I know of those who have dealt with Jones prior to parliament, Rhino is simply stating the facts. They will be happy he’s not returning to those roles as the bridges he torched are still being rebuilt.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.2

        I thought it was a fairly accurate summation.

    • tc 12.4

      +1, what a load of CT nat provided spin the MSM are serving up, what emotive dribble.

      A better and more interesting story is the betrayal and self serving angle that Jones should be made to answer for as a paid Labour MP his actions were political treason.

      He is a corporate animal and senior iwi bruiser found to be working for the other side, white anting as they say in OZ, that’s the story.

      But you will not hear that as it further airs the dirty corrupt practices of this gov’t.

  13. geoff 13

    Looks like a few in the Labour caucus had pinned their hopes on Labour failing badly at the election so they could get rid of Dave and install Shane in his place.

    • tc 13.1

      yes and they are not looking forward to being shunted off if DC wins the top job, it’s troughing 101 from goff, mallard, king, cosgrove etc.

  14. Anne 14

    Sad to say I think Gordon Campbell over on Scoop has hit the nail on the head:

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/04/23/gordon-campbell-on-the-shane-jones-departure/

    Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. The timing of his departure – five months before an election, with Labour’s new team still struggling to get traction – could hardly be more damaging. But then, the MFAT job that has been hastily created for Jones by Foreign Minister Murray McCully was probably dependent on this timing, and this impact.

    Read the rest. It’s illuminating.

    • North 14.1

      Yeah the Campbell article says it all about Jones really.

      Emblematic of the cynically managed and grossly fraudulent political phenomenon of ‘Maori for Pakeha’. Crow Maori mana and dance tikanga Maori when it suits. Vainly, pretensiously don the korowai when it suits. But when it comes to it perform as the jesters/earnest supplicants they are. Right up the bottoms of powerful Pakeha. Who dispense to them. Weep the statistics but “yeah nah bro’ get over it not interested say I am but nah not interested”.

      Look at others of the same yellow stripe – Tau Henare, Tamihere, Toryana Torya, Peter Sharples, Flavell…….’safe hands’ Maori parading around in the wake of their powerful Pakeha. Let out of the kete from time to time to mouth off trenchantly about this or that. To bolster the fiction of their mana and their independence. But then it’s right back in the kete until the next time. Meantime Maori rot.

      At least for the most part Winston never engaged the fraud of it. And as to Parekura…….there was something about Parekura which set him apart. And Hone…….when he smells ‘mofo’…….ever seen him keep his mouth shut ? No way ! These are the real ones. Who’s ever going to remember the ones above as other than ego-afflicted ‘plastic tiki’, ‘potatoes’, and bullshitters ?

      • Anne 14.1.1

        Love your colourful language North. Beautiful and eloquent.

        I have given Jones the benefit of the doubt in recent years – even defended him – because of his undoubted talents, but now he can go and get stuffed. All the oratory and humour in the world can’t make up for the ‘fingers’ he’s just extended to the Labour Party with, seemingly, not a care for the damage he has caused. My hope is that it will be short lived. Too much is dependent on a change of government for too many people.

        • North 14.1.1.1

          Self deprecatingly, thanks Anne. A reliable meter of the truth of the caricature is to watch how frequently such types top up their own caraciture. Jones on auto-counter.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.2

          All the oratory and humour in the world can’t make up for the ‘fingers’ he’s just extended to the Labour Party with, seemingly, not a care for the damage he has caused.

          He didn’t cause any in his leaving. If anything, he helped right the ship that is Labour.

          My hope is that it will be short lived.

          My hope is that he continues his ambassadorship into the next government and beyond. I think it will be beneficial to all.

      • Chooky 14.1.2

        +100 North

    • Aspasia 14.2

      These factors, which Anne refers to in Campbell’s excellent piece, affected McCully’s timing but Jones’ timing is all down to becoming eligible for parliamentary super. Ambassadorships, directorships and the other opportunities which will be available to him are lucrative but insecure. As the topping on a generous parliamentary pension they provide the status, contacts and phone calls which an ego and his “beauty queen” require. But the pension provides the basic financial independence.

      Why is he jumping now? Because now he can.

  15. ‘He may not have had good korero with women’

    That’s a wonderfully vague way to dance around the fact that Shane Jones has made multiple, public statements which are insulting to his women colleagues and to the inequality of the genders in society.

    As Brian Edwards summed up, this is a man who liked to make constant references to cocks (which I guess is what people mean when they say he could ‘speak to the smoko room’), his own and others’, and declared that we shouldn’t try to get more women into Parliament because ‘people don’t want to be represented by geldings’.
    http://brianedwardsmedia.co.nz/2013/09/on-shane-jones-cock-of-the-walk/

    I don’t like the way this post is framed with words like ‘may not’ and making it sound like he’s some affable fool who, whoops, just says the wrong thing in front of the laydeez.

    And I really don’t think we need to look any further than the obvious reason Jones ‘wanted to go’ – he got a cushy job lined up (possibly in breach of the basic independence of the public service) courtesy of the National government.

    • lurgee 15.1

      The ‘geldings’ comment was valid as it referred to all female lists which might result in less – hem – powerful performers getting into parliament. A gelding is a debollocked stallion, not a female horse. So the interpretation you put on it makes no sense.

      • Yes, I know what a gelding is. The only way Jones’ comment makes sense is to assume women => geldings, i.e. women are ‘lesser’/emasculated versions of men. It’s a very common sexist trope, which you’ve displayed yourself by describing them as ‘less powerful’.

        • lurgee 15.1.1.1

          I think you’re trying to read too much into Jones’s comment, distorting it to fit your own prejudices.

          People who get into a position of power by special dispensation rather than ability might be considered to be less capable. Whether the be all women lists, all Maori, all male or all whatever. So the comment makes perfect sense in my interpretation, but absolutely none in yours.

          If he’d meant to indicate he was only talking about women, he’d have said ‘mares,’ or ‘twittering birds’ or something. This is Shane Jones we’re talking about, after all, not exactly a renowned exponent of the subtle.

          As for my ‘displaying’ a ‘sexist trope,’ try to have a sense of humour sometimes. My prefatory ‘hem’ was meant to alert you to the fact I was channelling Shane Jones.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 15.1.1.1.1

            Of course, this is clearly an instance of a woman not having a sense of humour. 🙄

            It can’t at all be the case that we’re discussing someone who liked to frequently make reference to his own – hem – hard masculinity as though that qualified him to be a leader.

            • lurgee 15.1.1.1.1.1

              See, you’re getting the hang of it …

              Jones said/did enough unequivocally stupid things to condemn him to backbench obscurity in any sane world, without having to read misogyny into every comment. I remember during the leadership campaign he made a comment about the ‘phase of the moon’ which was immediately interpreted as a reference to menstrual cycles … which tends to reveal more about the fixations of his critics than about Jones.

              • BEATINGTHEBOKS

                Bingo. That’s the thing about geldings, always thinking with their vaginas. Go ask a tumescent penis if you don’t believe me. You’re right though, default position of many is you’re sexist, you’re racist, you’re right wing ( worst of all). Its not like he was a serial killing pedophile member of the Act party.

              • Of course, this is clearly about ‘reading misogyny into every comment’, not about a very specific, cited comment at all. Probably just hysteria. Or PMS. Or hysterical PMS. Bloody women and their emotions. 🙄

                • lurgee

                  You’re reading too much into this very specific, cited comment. Perhaps as a result of all the other stupid things Jones has said over the years. But you’re only making yourself look foolish by weirdly equating geldings with women.

                  • The person who equated geldings with women was Jones. Even by your own alternative interpretation, several comments up, the best argument you can come up with is that ‘geldings’ refers to power and not gender.

                    • lurgee

                      Nope, Jones was talking about candidate lists chosen on anything other than ability, letting mediocre candidates through at the expense of more capable performers. He was not specifically commenting on women only short lists (notwithstanding that was the issue that had provoked the debate) as the comment he made immediately after the ‘geldings’ remark makes clear:

                      Of course it’s important that we have a diverse set of personalities in our caucus but merit cannot be disowned for mediocrity, whether it’s Maoris, women or anyone else.

                      I don’t agree with him, FWIW, as I don’t think the Labour party would be stupid enough to pick a useless candidate over a capable one; and there are plenty of capable women out there, even if many are disinclined to enter politics. I can’t think why that would be with charming, red blooded stallions like Jones in the house.

                      But I don’t like seeing people traduced, even if they kinda deserve it.

                    • Well sure, if we pretend he wasn’t commenting on the thing he was actually commenting on, he can’t have meant anything about anything.

                    • lurgee

                      You’re the one insisting on interpreting what he said in gender terms, even though it means completely ignoring what he said (geldings, not mares) and ignoring what he said immediately afterwards.

                      It’s a profoundly odd way of interpreting things.

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.2

            I think you’re trying to read too much into Jones’s comment, distorting it to fit your own prejudices.

            No, That’s just you defending a sexist ignoramus.

            • lurgee 15.1.1.1.2.1

              He might well be a sexist ignoramus, but never-the-less the interpretation of this remark seems to be distorted.

              If he was referring, specifically and only to women, he would have said mares, not geldings. And he wouldn’t have gone on to say that his concern was merit being trumped by mediocrity, “whether it’s Maoris, women or anyone else.” He was attacking the concept of affirmative action type lists based on something other than being a good candidate.

              Which, as I’ve said, I don’t think is the right way of looking at things at all, but isn’t a misogynist viewpoint. If he’s said other misogynist things in the past, attack him for that, but don’t make stuff up or distort his words to fit preconceptions. That just makes you look silly and wastes everyone’s time.

  16. karol 16

    Everything you need to know about Jones priorities, by Jones’ partner, as reported here.

    I don’t think he did anything for the working classes. And, for him, the working classes are predominantly male. He certainly did nothing to support the status of working class women.

    He does see himself as working for Maori and has spoken and acted for improving opportunities for Maori. And he does get a fair bit of support for Maori. But, for me, it looks like his focus on working for Maori is still through a neoliberal and masculinist approach.

  17. While I know many on here aren’t sad to see Shane go, I think he’s a lost voice for Labour…

    Is he a lost voice for Labour? He’s done his level best to trash its relationship with a party that will be essential to it forming a government, he’s left to join National (in effect – McCully will be wanting useful information at the very least in return for the expensive sinecure he’s created for Jones), and he’s timed his move to be very damaging for Labour only months out from an election. He sounds more like a lost mole for National – more like him is the absolute last thing Labour needs.

  18. Olwyn 18

    I do try not to say things about people that I would not say to their faces, and appreciate that politicians are flesh-and-blood human beings, not fictional characters. I would like to think that this runs both ways, and that Labour politicians understand that the people they purport to represent are not fictional either. Did Labour politicians consider the possibility of people being driven to suicide by the two social welfare bills they recently voted for? I am talking about the one in which the partners of cheating beneficiaries will be charged with accepting the proceeds of crime, and the one in which WINZ staff lose their discretion with regard to the recovery of debt, whereby debt simply must be recovered, full stop. Can you guys not see that the jobless, the low paid and precariously employed are now being treated like the defeated enemy in a colonised country rather than citizens? The attitude seems to be that we cannot take more taxes from the “real” people, but we can always squeeze the designated “non-real” people just that little bit harder.

    I mention these things because the leadership contest promised a paradigm shift that has not yet materialised. It looks as if either (a) Cunliffe is trying to do an Obama, promising change with no substantial change intended or (b) The right wing of the party, despite its rejection by the membership and affiliates, still persists in dominating the party’s direction. I suspect that (b) is the case, and if Shane’s departure leaves them with one less vote, so much the better.

    • Anne 18.1

      I suspect that (b) is the case, and if Shane’s departure leaves them with one less vote, so much the better.

      Yes.

    • veutoviper 18.2

      Well said, Olwyn. As does Anne, I suspect (b) is the case. My impressions of Cunliffe so far is that he is working under considerable constraints and having to walk a line not necessarily of his liking. Hopefully, his new ‘office’ team will get their act together and with Jones gone, things will ease a little to allow Cunliffe to get on with the job he is there to do.

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.1

        Yep. Therefore it is the Left’s job to change the constraints he is facing and place some real pressure on the Labour caucus to swerve Left, instead of walking this mediocre centrist line of raising the Super age on NZ workers and unemployed “because it is the responsible thing to do.”

    • Chooky 18.3

      +100 Olwyn

    • just saying 18.5

      Great comment Olwyn.
      Sadly, I also vote (a).

    • North 18.6

      Lovely analysis there Olwyn. It moved me. For sure there’s another BM out there just ready to burst everywhere after reading that. We’ll hear soon after the clean up.

      Shaney Boy’s newest bestie……..BM.

    • North 18.7

      Lovely analysis there Olwyn. It moved me. For sure there’s another BM out there just ready to burst everywhere after reading that. We’ll hear soon after the clean up.

      Shaney Boy’s newest bestie……..BM.

  19. Mr Interest 19

    The movie The Turning & Shane Jones

    At one of the most important times for labour, to hold the line, keep on message, Shane you turned. Understandably you see things differently (on certain issues I completely agree with you.. Countdown… yeah), however, I’m gutted for you. Such defining moments (tipping/turning points), when things didn’t go the way you wanted, you turned………

    Just by chance I was watching the movie “The Turning” just after the Shane Jones announcement.
    The movie starts with a shark twisting and turning in the water, and a quote from T.S. Eliot’s ‘Ash Wednesday’:

    “Because I do not hope to turn again, because I do not hope
    Because I do not hope to turn
    I left them twisting and turning below…….”

    Academics see the poem in this way:
    http://augustinecollective.org/augustine/grasping-for-grace-the-strangeness-and-difficulty-of-faith-in-t-s-eliots-ash-wednesday

    “We can sense what Eliot’s speaker means when he famously and repeatedly insists this is “because I do not hope to turn again.” A turn would mark a change in perspective and a progressive orientation toward hope. Instead, the speaker opts for a materialist orientation here on earth: Of course, the speaker is not actually rejoicing but despairing” End quote

    One of the stories is called Sand. It’s about brothers on a fishing trip at the beach. They called Frank and Max and are playing in the sand dunes. Sibling rivalry turns bad and Max plays a dangerous trick on his brother.

    Shane, you remind me of Max.

    Also there was an interesting article by Bryce Edwards: National’s poaching of Shane Jones – brilliant or dirty?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11242921

    I would see Murray McCully the scullery maids move as neither dirty nor brilliant, it’s just sad. Birds of a feather flock together?

    So Shane, I do hope, I hope you turn again… I hope your next role in Pacific aid will be firm and sincere and authentic, don’t let it be some economic fakery aid package thats really about maintaing military security over the pacific. You may be in danger of doing this to your Pacific friends:

    “simmering in the stink of rotting kelp or shrouded in drizzle driven across beaches “the colour of dirty tin”. Here, in the shadow of the meatworks, the cannery and a depleted fishing industry, lives dribble away or are brought to premature conclusions”
    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/apr/02/featuresreviews.guardianreview23

    I’ve been through the mill to, turned and then turned again.

    All the best Shane

  20. Chooky 20

    @ Mr Interest…+100 brilliant!

    I think Shane had/has a lot of ability….but in the end he was not Prime Minister material or Leader of the Labour Party….He had too many liabilities….It may have been Harvard finishing school that was his undoing.

    A good question is what effect Harvard has on scholarship recipients…is there such a thing as the Harvard effect?

  21. LP Mason 21

    This is a good article, for most of this “Broad Church”, Shane was a ridicule of fun because most of you didn’t understand him. That is sad, because most of New Zealand don’t understand you! I am sick and tired of the political factions in the party I love seething and spitting at each other, all the while the man ban policy, the unhelpful focus on stupid and couldn’t careless policies like the truck and trailers, the stupid focus on Nigella Lawson and the focus social engineering policies that most kiwis couldn’t care less about. We have children going without food everyday, we have child poverty increasing. We have the National government ensuring that no less than 5% of kiwis are unemployed. If anyone who has done economics at high school knows that this is the quintessential tool to keeping inflation and wages down. We need to be progressive and appeal the real kiwis battlers struggling everyday to put food on the table, not worrying about the women MP quota, which (having witnessed the most recent nomination at my local electorate) is a total stitch up. It is sickening. You have all dropped the ball, and it is sad and regretful. This is why you will all stay out of government for the next 6 years. You might be resigned to the fact, but what is says to normal voters is that you’re not ready and you really couldn’t care less!

    [lprent: I have to ask. Who in the hell is Nigella Lawson? When I searched this site it didn’t stand out as a topic.

    Most of your other statements appear to show the same complete lack of understanding of what people on this site talk about. Perhaps you should spend some time reading it rather than copy/pasting the propaganda about what our ‘friends’ on the right prefer that we were talking about.

    Most people on this site have quite differing viewpoints. They come here to discuss and argue about them. This takes somewhat more effort in thinking about what other people are saying than you appear to have expended in making your comment. ]

    • Labour has already announced several big policies which address wages (raising the minimum wage and implementing the living wage throughout government), children (BestStart), and the economy (forestry policy, implementing the recommendations of the Manufacturing Inquiry).

      There have been some far less significant policies (and things which weren’t even policies) which have received disproportionate media coverage, but those big, meaty, progressive policies are still there. It’s understandable you might have missed them if you rely on our Dotcom/Shane Jones/Royal Tour-focused media for in-depth political coverage. I would only suggest doing some research into what Labour are actually doing before yelling at the authors of The Standard about it.

      • Jim Nald 21.1.1

        And there is the Big Policy that is the Electoral Elephant In The Room*: pushing up the pension age.

        Or some might refer to that as the Alluring Albatross In The Room that is being fastened around Cunliffe’s neck that could throttle him during the Leaders Debate.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.2

        Labour has already announced several big policies which address wages (raising the minimum wage and implementing the living wage throughout government)

        Raising the minimum age to $15/hr was a good start as a policy for the 2011 election campaign. After 3 more years of 4% pa real inflation increases that number needs to go to $16.90/hr to have any real parity with the election promise of 3 years ago.

        Also the minimum wage only has relevance if you are employed. And we know that 30% of NZs young people are unemployed.

        but those big, meaty, progressive policies are still there.

        Sorry, but meaty progressive policies would be things like a Full Employment policy for 25s and under, a return to penal rates for overtime and right to strike, plus pushing Kiwibank to become a top 3 NZ bank with every NZer an equal shareholder.

        The things you have mentioned are OK but actually on the whole rather ho-hum centrist policies designed to return a modicum of economic commonsense and curb the worst excesses and unfairness of a free market economy. Nothing more.

        • Chooky 21.1.2.1

          CV +100

          …add to this getting rid of NACTs Charter Schools and the rigid standards pivoted education assessment…which undermines teachers and education of children , especially from poorer areas

          …pouring more money into State Schools and free high quality education including Tertiary Education and Special Needs Education…upgrading the professionalism of teachers and bringing back a School Inspectorate

          ….bringing back adult Continuing Education and community education/skills funding

        • Labour haven’t announced an employment or labour relations policy yet, CV (or to respond to Chooky, an education policy). Andrew Little has however made some very strong statements about strengthening collective bargaining and introducing proper industry-wide agreements/minimum standards.
          https://www.labour.org.nz/media/employment-relations-and-labour-party-policy-directions

          I referred to those policies as ‘meaty’ chiefly because LP Mason’s comment assumed that the only things Labour had announced were a ‘man ban’ (not even a policy) and adjustments to caravan regulations. In comparison to those, a massive upgrade for our manufacturing sector and universal support for Kiwi babies are quite significant.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.2.2.1

            a massive upgrade for our manufacturing sector

            I’m a former manufacturing specialist. So let’s not overuse Thorndon bubble speak hyperbole here. Especially when my area South Otago has just lost another 79 manufacturing jobs this week.

            A “massive upgrade” for the manufacturing sector would be $25B-$50B additional government spend over 10 years picking winners, developing new industries, sourcing NZ made products, pushing back against free market mechanisms and investing in major initiatives in engineering and new technologies.

            What Labour is talking about is worth roughly 1/10 that, optimistically. In other words, it would be more accurately described as a “mildly increased emphasis” in NZ manufacturing. It’s an OK move, needed, but nowhere edging into ‘gutsy’ territory.

            If you want to see what a “massive upgrade for manufacturing” looks like, check out what Singapore has been doing in the biotech/pharma field.

            http://www.oxbridgebiotech.com/review/featured/biotech-singapore-perspective/

            At the turn of the century in 2000, the Singapore government pledged to spend S$6 billion over 5 years to kickstart a BMS initiative that included building of key infrastructure such as the Biopolis science park, establishment of new research centres, and attracting large pharmaceutical multi-national corporations (MNCs) to set up their Asian headquarters here.

            Having identified the BMS sector as an integral part of a knowledge-based economy crucial to Singapore’s competitiveness in the 21st century, government spending on R&D has now increased to S$16.1 billion for phase 3 of the BMS initiative from 2011 to 2015, with the aim of “capturing opportunities for greater economic and health impact”.

            NZ, which used to provide vital foreign aid and security assistance to Singapore, is way behind the curve set by Asia Pacific leaders.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 21.1.2.2.1.1

              Thanks for cutting through my Thorndon bubble speak hyperbole. Your expertise as a former manufacturing specialist really puts me in my place.

              • Colonial Viper

                Joe Public might buy the PR languaging “massive upgrade” etc, but it’s not quite as plain sailing with subject area specialists like myself who will point out all the inconvenient facts. It’s also noticeable when you can’t address any of the specific points raised. That’s just the way it is, sorry.

                Your expertise as a former manufacturing specialist really puts me in my place.

                “Your place” is irrelevant when we are talking about the well being of the nation. Your attempt to sell policy as major and ground breaking when it is definitely just sorta OK, is very relevant, however.

                • You didn’t raise any specific points. You just said, ‘Labour’s policy doesn’t do enough, they should do my wishlist of stuff instead.’ All while snidely referring to my comment as ‘Thorndon bubble speak hyperbole’ and citing your own ‘expertise’ on this topic as though I couldn’t possibly have any.

            • Draco T Bastard 21.1.2.2.1.2

              A “massive upgrade” for the manufacturing sector would be $25B-$50B additional government spend over 10 years picking winners, developing new industries, sourcing NZ made products, pushing back against free market mechanisms and investing in major initiatives in engineering and new technologies.

              QFT

              NZ, which used to provide vital foreign aid and security assistance to Singapore, is way behind the curve set by Asia Pacific leaders.

              NZ drunk the kool-aid with the 4th Labour government and believe, erroneously, that it’s all up to the private sector. Meanwhile, all the countries that have government active in their economies (including the US) are leaving us behind.

              • Colonial Viper

                We must be slow learners or something. Or maybe our leaders are just that much more highly indoctrinated/influenced by neolib pressures.

        • Macro 21.1.2.3

          “The things you have mentioned are OK but actually on the whole rather ho-hum centrist policies designed to return a modicum of economic commonsense and curb the worst excesses and unfairness of a free market economy. Nothing more.”

          Exactly CV

          And why does Labour wonder why people are not enthused? Simply removing the excesses of the previous administration is just common sense – but hardly awe inspiring.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.2.3.1

            What fascinates me is how Labour-loyalists feel the need to sell these mildly decent mostly centrist policies like they are stand out ground breaking game changers.

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.2.3.1.1

              And would somebody please ditch the totally vote losing, completely unnecessary, Labour proposed increase in the Super eligibility age.

              The one which seriously penalises Maori and Pasifika males who are already damn lucky to collect even 5 years of NZ super as it stands.

              • Chooky

                +100 CV

              • This thing about Polynesian men only getting a few years’ superannuation payments is a fallacy of people who don’t understand statistics. There’s only a few years’ difference in life expectancy between Maori and Pakeha at 65, which is the figure that counts – total life expectancy is irrelevant. The race-based argument against raising the super entitlement age is a very weak one.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 21.1.2.3.1.2

              It is actually groundbreaking for politicians to acknowledge that manufacturing is the bedrock of a strong economy and that the decline of manufacturing isn’t inevitable. It’s a major challenge to accepted ways of thinking to say ‘we’re going to look at the whole effect of government procurement on our economy, not just the bottom line for individual projects and departments’.

              Those things shouldn’t be mindblowing, I agree. They should be ‘centrist’ common sense. But they’re not.

              • Colonial Viper

                It is actually groundbreaking for politicians to acknowledge that manufacturing is the bedrock of a strong economy and that the decline of manufacturing isn’t inevitable.

                Your point here I can agree with.

                However, NZ is well fucked if it’s modern political leadership is only figuring out now what William Sutch already knew and was putting in place when working in the NZ Dept of Industries and Commerce in the 1950’s.

                Additionally, ‘saving manufacturing’ was the battle of the 1980’s (which was lost) and is really now only a secondary issue for the country.

                So what is primary? Preparing the nation, its peoples, systems and economy for the accelerating depletion and unaffordibility of fossil fuels – where developing and maintaining some key manufacturing capabilities will certainly play a part – is the only real challenge of the next 20 years.

                The global energy and physical resources crunch is coming and it will be very nasty.

                • Chooky

                  CV +100 alas

                • You keep shifting the goalposts, CV. First it’s ‘this policy isn’t radical enough and will never work’, now it’s ‘oh okay I do agree bits of it are groundbreaking but this fight is lost anyway.’

                  Your solutions to date have been ‘do basically what Labour’s manufacturing policy is aimed at doing, only spend $25 billion on it’ – and there probably aren’t many domestic NZ issues which couldn’t be solved by throwing $25bn at them – and now, ‘ignore everything except the coming energy crisis.’

                  You acknowledge that manufacturing capabilities will ‘play a part’ – I would submit that growing domestic industries, encouraging them to innovate, and decreasing our reliance on imports are a major part of fossil fuel independence for a geographically distant nation like New Zealand.

        • Draco T Bastard 21.1.2.4

          plus pushing Kiwibank to become a top 3 the only NZ bank with every NZer an equal shareholder.

          FTFY

          There really is no point in having multiple banks or, in fact, multiple of anything that is a ubiquitous service. Competition just adds to the costs.

          The things you have mentioned are OK but actually on the whole rather ho-hum centrist policies designed to return a modicum of economic commonsense and curb the worst excesses and unfairness of a free market economy. Nothing more.

          QFT

    • I am sick and tired of the political factions in the party I love seething and spitting at each other, all the while the man ban policy, the unhelpful focus on stupid and couldn’t careless policies like the truck and trailers, the stupid focus on Nigella Lawson and the focus social engineering policies that most kiwis couldn’t care less about.

      If it was a party you loved, you’d be getting your information about it from somewhere other than Whaleoil and Kiwiblog.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.3

      the stupid focus on Nigella Lawson and the focus social engineering policies that most kiwis couldn’t care less about.

      NZ law specifies that anyone will be stopped from entering NZ if they have a criminal conviction or if they have been refused entry into another country. Nigella had been refused entry into the US which is what triggered immigration but that do have discretion which is why Nigella was allowed through. It’s not of any interest to most people but our politicians really should be asking questions about it so as to make sure that everything is hunky dory.

      And it’s the governments job to engage in social engineering. This government is making life difficult for the poor while rewarding the rich for being rich. That is social engineering that is bad for NZ.

      We have the National government ensuring that no less than 5% of kiwis are unemployed. If anyone who has done economics at high school knows that this is the quintessential tool to keeping inflation and wages down.

      And the opposition really should be focusing on that but Labour can’t without fully renouncing those policies as they were the idiots that brought in the neo-liberal paradigm.

      This is why you will all stay out of government for the next 6 years.

      This is rather telling as it indicates that you’re not actually a supporter of the left.

  22. George 22

    You know what? I don’t care.

    Ian Lees-Galloway. Phil Twyford. Louisa Wall. Carol Beaumont. Megan Woods. David Clark. Moana Mackey. Labour has plenty of good people who just stick their heads down, and work for the common good. They are men, they are women, they are Maori, they are Pakeha, and it is they who deserve to be on the frontbench.

  23. vto 23

    Don’t say what you wouldn’t say to their face? Are you serious? Some people do not have the skills to confront people they have issues with and the fact they cannot express themselves face to face has zero effect on the credibility of what they would like to say to their face. Sheesh, talk about a shallow point…

    Also, does it not occur to you that this particular point has the same drivers as one of the cornerstones of our very system, the secret ballot?

    As for not making it personal – again, you miss the very fact that everything these politicians do has a very direct personal effect on the citizens. It is entirely personal. What a shallow comment again.

    If politicians are finding it tough then perhaps they can reverse the eternal accretion of power to themselves that they push.

    … starting with ecan and central pl;ains water …. thieving bastards and arseholes …. it is entirely personal.

  24. Shane will be a loss to Labour and Parliament and there’s no need to cast aspersions on what after all were human foibles which most politicians have in spades. Shane’s allegedly political leanings, left right or centre were also rather tardy. His criticisms of the Greens had nothing to do with the Greens apparently leftward stance on the economy. He just doubted their ability to run a modern economy that was viable. I tend to be left of Shane where-ever that is these days and I was hoping in fact that Cunnliffe would lead Labour out of Shearer’s wishy washy centre. So far, no. I suspect that is why Shane resigned. Ki ahau nei, moumou te Rangatira. To me, what a waste of a Chief.

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  • Funding boost for four cultural events
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  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
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  • New support package for wildlife institutions
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  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
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  • More support for women and girls
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  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
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  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
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  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
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  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
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  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
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  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
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    6 days ago
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  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
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  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
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  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
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  • Major investment in safe drinking water
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  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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    6 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
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    1 week ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
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    1 week ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
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    1 week ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
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    1 week ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
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  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
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  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
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  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
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