Race-baiting works, a little

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, August 6th, 2012 - 163 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, national, polls - Tags:

Meh. National has race-baited over water rights to win back some of its wavering lower-middle class Pakeha support. It’s won some of that support back. For now. The thing about turning tides is that not every wave, or even every set of waves for some time, reaches less far up the beach than the one lowest before. Within each cycle there are dips and spikes due to events. Doesn’t change the cycle.

That said, while there’s a voter cycle, it’s not driven by anything as dependable and independent as gravity. Labour’s got to go out there and deserve those swing votes every single day. It’s been too easy to look at the last six months, see Labour rising with no apparent effort and say ‘if these trends continue’.

Key’s race-baiting proves he won’t go down easy. He’ll fight for that crucial 5% with every dirty trick in the book. These polls will be a wake up call to Labour.

They’ll win with the Greens in 2014 but the lesson is nothing good comes free.

163 comments on “Race-baiting works, a little”

  1. just saying 1

    Or they could promise to create jobs, to build decent, affordable housing for everyone, and to significantly raise the minimum wage and benefits to livable levels, and give the poor a reason to vote.

    • marsman 1.1

      just saying. Right on. And have costings ready to answer John Key’s squawks of ‘where’s the money gonna come from’ not to please Key but to shut the wee prick up.

      • UpandComer 1.1.1

        So why didn’t your party do all of that when it was basking in surpluses that accrued as a result of policy from the 90’s?

        Why didn’t Labour increase the minimum wage to 20 dollars per hour and increase benefits to 85% of that in say, 2003, after 3 years of 5% growth?

        If you say, well Labour caused the growth, you would be wrong, because 5% growth began in 2000, straight after the election. It ended in 2005 when Helen Clark brought in WFF and other policies over the head of Michael Cullen. I only wish that Cullen had wanted to be leader. He would have been a much much better Labour leader then Helen Clark, and much better for the country, and actually for Labour.

        After 2005 growth trended down, rising very occasionally due to some spikes in areas that Labour is really attuned to, like agriculture. By 06 we were at 3%. In 2008 growth was sharply free-falling before bottoming out at -3% in 2009 when all the unsustainable spending and silly policies finally faced the inevitable. Now we have turned it around in 1 year to be at over 1%. That’s a 4% turn around in a single year, without any austerity measures.

        I think people are tired of Labour betraying their constituencies. If you are going to retard growth with major redistributions, then at least do it competently, do it properly, and do it like you mean it.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna


        • Colonial Viper

          I think people are tired of Labour betraying their constituencies. If you are going to retard growth with major redistributions, then at least do it competently, do it properly, and do it like you mean it.

          1) Growth mantra is history. Didn’t you listen to Bill English say that we are in a very protracted long term slow down.

          2) Other than that I agree with you 100% that Labour needs to move like it really means what it stands for.

        • Draco T Bastard

          In 2008 growth was sharply free-falling before bottoming out at -3% in 2009 when all the unsustainable spending and silly policies finally faced the inevitable.

          You mean the unsustainable and silly spending by the populace that was brought about by the neo-liberal free-market policies enacted since the 1980s – the same policies that this government is pursuing.

          All that growth was based upon easy to get private debt and debt based growth is, as you pointed out, unsustainable.

          • UpandComer

            I agree, private debt spending was problematic as well, and is still a problem – that’s why I supported Michael Cullen’s Kiwisaver when he came up with that policy – it’s a great policy. It looks like people have finally learned the lesson because people are spending less and saving more and it looks like it’s a long-term development.

            I often wonder if he had been leader, whether or not we could have kept that 5% growth and also kept University debt down because as I understand it he didn’t want interest free student loans, but did want student allowances to be expanded heavily.

        • Tracey

          I think you know that National found it hard to attack Cullen because he was so, so… National-like.

    • Tom 1.2

      .. and find someone with credibility on both sides of the street and a record of creating new opportunities to lead them.

    • ad 1.3

      I agree with you and the post wholeheartedly. The definition of “Labour” should mean “work hard and earn what you get”.

      • BillODrees 1.3.1

        +1 Ad. 
        The hollowness of the current Labour strategies reflects on its Leadership.  They have forgotten who their core constituencies are. And they assume everone is lead by self interest.
        They have forgotten that once upon a time manual workers, clerical workers, retail workers, farm workers, unemployed workers, sick and injured workers, Maori workers, PI workers, teaching workers, health workers, gay workers, alienated workers, fired workers, training workers and retired workers and their families looked to the  Labour  Party for inspiration and legislation. 

        At times the current leadership sounds embarrassed by who it’s core constituencies are. 

        • Colonial Viper

          looked to the Labour Party for inspiration and legislation.

          And much more. under a real Labour Government, the public sector didn’t just enact legislative paperwork. It designed, built and operated cool world class shit. Forests, workshops, manufacturing plants, construction operations, financial giants. It got out there and got stuff done for the country, directly and quickly.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And that is what we need to do now – just not do it based around infinite growth.

    • rosy 1.4

      +1 that’d be a good start, I reckon.

    • Tom Gould 1.5

      The ‘poor’ should not need a bunch of promises to motivate them to get down to the polls and vote out these Tory oligarchs, unless Key is right and they really are born stupid.

  2. fabregas4 2

    Actively and vocally supporting Public Education might be good too. So far Shearer has vacillated and sometimes repeated the lies around underachievement and failing schools. He also seems unconcerned around Charter School privatization of education with tax payer money. Surely the simple line is “groups can set up their own schools – but they should do so with their own money and resources”.

  3. Bill 3

    It’s been too easy to look at the last six months, see Labour rising with no apparent effort and say ‘if these trends continue’. (…)
    They’ll win with the Greens in 2014 but the lesson is nothing good comes free.”

    I cant quite follow the logic here. On the one hand it appears the opinion being offered is that everything is tickety boo. (No effort required according to a reading of the polls) And then that the lesson that is going to be learned is that nothing comes for free.

    Well, if the optimism is justified; that Labour/Greens are going win the election by doing what they’re doing then they’re going to get something (an election victory) for nothing.

    Which appears to be somewhat an echo of Goff’s defeatist line that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. But then that’s followed by a sort of call that they ought to learn a lesson and go out and try to win something or other…( Some proportion of a piddly 5% of small ‘c’ conservative voter?)

    Sorry. Can’t square that particular circle.

    Bottom line (if comments on thestandard are any barometer) is that Labour are driving people away in droves and the Greens are catching some of those disillusioned with Labour – but that they themselves are somewhat of a sieve.

    And on that scenario, I’d say (with no pleasure whatsoever) that a very low turnout and a third term for the Nats is on the cards.

    • They’ll win with the Greens in 2014 but the lesson is nothing good comes free.

      It sounds like Labour has given up trying to be a major party again, and that they’ll settle for using Greens to get a partial hold on power.

      So they seem to be:
      – waiting for National to lose
      – waiting for Greens to make up for the support they’ve lost
      – waiting for the non-voters to give them the votes they think they deserve
      – waiting for David Sheare to learn to lead

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        It sounds like United Future has given up trying to be a major party again, and that they’ll settle for using National to get a partial hold on power.

        So they seem to be:
        – waiting for Labour to lose
        – waiting for National to make up for the support they’ve lost
        – waiting for the non-voters to give them the votes they think they deserve
        – waiting for Peter Dunne to learn to lead

        • DJ

          Wow, you’re actually directly comparing Labour with United Future. Never thought I’d see the day.

          How far can and has this party dropped?

          • Lanthanide

            Actually just making the point that almost any criticism Pete George has about another political party can be easily fired straight back at UF.

            • Te Reo Putake

              And a good point it is too, Lanth, given what a tame Tory lapdog peter Dunne is. But to avoid confusion, it’s best to ignore PG, because his contributions here are designed to sow misinformation and distrust and divert commenters from the real topic of posts or threads.

            • Pete George

              Avoiding the point, off topic – and misguided.

              – waiting for Labour to lose
              Wrong. Worked postively with National. When they lost worked positively with Labour. When Labour lost worked positively with National.

              – waiting for National to make up for the support they’ve lost
              Wrong. National had more support than ever last election.

              – waiting for the non-voters to give them the votes they think they deserve
              UF are more likely to pick up swing voters, competing with NZF and a bit of National and Labour. Non-voters tend to be non-voters.

              – waiting for Peter Dunne to learn to lead
              He’s done more leading than most politicians of the modern era, albeit at a modest level. His biggest challenge for his party is enabling it to survive his leadership when he retires.

              • Colonial Viper

                His biggest challenge for his party is enabling it to survive his leadership when he retires.

                I’m surprised that it survived his leadership full stop.

              • Working positively with National is generally what the rest of us call being stabbed in the back.

    • Blue 3.2

      Yeah, 2014 is lost already. Election victories don’t come overnight, it takes the entire three years to win one. Labour has made no impact so far, and seem content to continue down the road to oblivion.

      Barring a major suicidal stuff up from National, the Nats will be a three term Government.

      I hate to even imagine the damage they will do in that time.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Barring a major suicidal stuff up from National, the Nats will be a three term Government.

        It would have to be a major one too.

        The NATs asset sales policy is hugely unpopular, but it’s not affecting their support. Their education changes (messing with class sizes, league tables, ECE etc) are hugely unpopular, but it’s not affecting their support. The ACC stuff ups and politicization roll on, but it’s not affecting their support. Kiwis keep leaving in droves and the economy keeps underperforming all of English’s and Treasuries forecasts, but it’s not affecting their support. The NATs have lost Cabinet members to scandals, but its not affecting their support.

        And to be clear: National losing support does not mean that Labour is going to gain that support either.

    • Dr Terry 3.3

      Sometimes I am not certain whether the words are from Key or from Shearer, so similar do they sound. Will there be an election in which choice must be between two parties of the Right plus Greens?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour’s got to go out there and deserve those swing votes every single day.

    Yes, valuing those centrist middle class swing votes is really important. Forget about the half million under class and lower class voters who couldn’t be bothered to turn out last time.

    And why not safely assume that your core party vote will keep being loyal even as you largely ignore them in your ‘chase to the centre’.

    And on that scenario, I’d say (with no pleasure whatsoever) that a very low turnout and a third term for the Nats is on the cards.

    Yep. That’s a suggestion I made yesterday. And almost worse – a low impact, one term Labour led govt with a razor thin majority of just 1 or 2 MPs unable to get anything serious done inside of 3 years.

    • Olwyn 4.1

      +1. They seem to have forgotten, when they formed their strategy, that if you lose core supporters in droves, you lose a base upon which to build, and hence your traction with the public. What is more, if they could mount an effective opposition, they would already be limiting the damage National is doing. Think of Michael Cullen shaming Richardson into making a u-turn on widow’s benefits, at a time when the National party was much more secure in its majority than at present.

  5. Jimmie 5

    The thing I don’t get is that Labour lost the last two elections.

    They have essentially kept the same policies and the same personnel that were in their Caucus for both of those elections.

    Their current leader Mr Shearer seems a good bloke but honestly isn’t making the biggest splash in the swimming pool.

    Now they want to entrench their ability to change the parliamentary leader.

    I just don’t get it – the old saying about expecting different outcomes by doing the same things as a definition of insanity seems to have a ring of truth here.

    I’m no Labour supporter by a long shot but hello? Labour got trounced in two elections, they have competition on their left from the greens and on their right from NZ first and they just sit back and have a lovely review that says make it harder to change leader.

    If I was a grass roots activist I’d be hopping mad. I’d be wanting to get rid of the old has beens (Goff, King,Mallard,etc.) and bring in some new talent who have no baggage from the past.

    By doing this they would start to make the Nats look old & tired in office and help the electorate to look again to Labour for new ideas.

    It just seems that parliamentary Labour collectively think that they can do no wrong and that it wasn’t their fault they lost two elections in a row and appear to be on their way to lose a 3rd one.

    • tc 5.1

      The old guard, including some has beens in the Party machine (Pagani), can take credit for taking a major party into the realms of becoming a minor party.

      Mallard/King were despised as Ministers by many a labour voter I know, so persisting with them is a shure fire recipe for political obscurity.

      The smirk on Shipley’s face say’s it all…..they should take heed from Kenny Rogers ‘Gambler’, know when to fold ’em as the dealing’s done.

      • SHG 5.1.1

        Reality check: if Labour puts forward any criticism of the government, the first question should be “is there anyone on the current Shadow front bench who was part of a Government that did exactly the thing that we’re complaining about now?”

        If the answer is YES then for glub’s sake ditch the strategy or ditch the lineup of the front bench. It’s not frickin’ rocket science.

  6. Race baiting gave the gnats a lift, I hope labour steer well clear of that divisive approach. As things get more desperate for labour they may be tempted to go that way and if they do they will be destined for oblivion.

  7. weka 7

    Maybe I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning, but really, is TS going to spend the next two years whining about how terrible Labour is? And I’m meaning mostly the commenters.
    I know there are Labour people here, who presumably do take action, but instead of this endless analysis and gazing at Labour’s navel is there anyone with any ideas and strategies about what to do?
    I don’t mean what Labour should do (that much has been well looked at), I mean what should be done in the face of Labour failing to step up. By everyone else.

    • Olwyn 7.1

      A good question weka, and one that I keep asking myself. It seems as if those of us on the left need to find a way of gathering our numbers together and forming our own pressure group.

      • deuto 7.1.1

        Agree with both your and Weka’s comments. I am not a Labour party member but have voted for them for many years, but currently would find it very difficult to bring myself to vote for them as things stand if there was an election tomorrow.

        As I commented in Open Mike earlier, Stuff are this morning running an online poll asking Which party is doing the best right now? and have not even included Labour in the list of parties! An oversight possibly, but may be not. (I emailed the editor asking whether this was intentional or a Stuff Up.)

      • weka 7.1.2

        That’s what I was wondering too Olwyn. If Labour’s internal processes prevent members and voters from changing it, then pressure needs to come from outside. And not just Labour, but something that promotes a true agenda from the left in general.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      but instead of this endless analysis and gazing at Labour’s navel is there anyone with any ideas and strategies about what to do?

      In brief, Yes.

      • weka 7.2.1

        Care to share them with us?

        • Colonial Viper

          Over the last year various commentators and posters on The Standard have actually defined the problems and solutions quite clearly.

          Avoiding anything too Labour-centric, one major tranche of activity would be the launch of a news media channel with significant local content and input. Set up costs plus operating funding of $500K-600K pa would need to be found, probably half of that from crowd funding and advertising revenue. Internet channels would be where it starts at lowest cost, but physical radio stations and printed newspapers would be where it eventually moves into. There would be few full time staff employed to start with, but a network of volunteers who get all their costs covered would be essential.

          Utilising the reserve army of highly qualified experienced writers, journalists, editors, subject matter experts, opinion writers etc. is key. Those who live in our local communities and who love their profession (or too often, their former profession) but who are completely ignored or sidelined by the MSM.

          • Pete George

            Lack of favourable media coverage is yet another excuse.

            • Colonial Viper

              A democracy ignores the quality of the Fourth Estate at its peril.

              • I agree, and the quality of New Zealand media is worse than everything except all the alternatives – but wishing that the media will understand you and promote your point of view is wishful thinking.

                MJ Savage was able to harness radio to combat newspaper bias but we live in a very different media age. Time obsessing over attracting attention and hitting the media jackpot (favourable coverage of the issue of the day) is wasted and could be put to much better use.

                • Colonial Viper

                  but wishing that the media will understand you and promote your point of view is wishful thinking.

                  Which would be relevant except that’s your idea; I never suggested it. And in your typical style, I never posited “lack of favourable media coverage” as any kind of “excuse”. You did, out of nowhere, and tried to stick it on me.

                • Tracey

                  where can I find United Future’s blog with visits from its MP?

            • Murray Olsen

              A little lacking in comprehension, or did you reply to the wrong post?

          • weka

            one major tranche of activity would be the launch of a news media channel with significant local content and input.

            Good plan CV. Want to write a post for TS so we can discuss it more fully?

            • Colonial Viper

              Thanks weka. We could certainly kick around some ideas, but when it comes down to it the early details will have to be commercial in confidence so probably only major investors and key technical/content contributors will be involved.

              One thing which would be really helpful in terms of discussion is understanding what people hate about the news these days, and what will drive people back to the news.

    • Dr Terry 7.3

      Yes, weka, there is. Try people like Cunliffe for starters (if they are not effectively gagged).

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      The only real option is another left party. One that advocates for the majority of people, you know, the ones on the average wage or less. One that advocates for a more equal society where everyone can be their best and supported in being so rather than marginalised as the poor are now.

      • weka 7.4.1

        You think that’s viable while Labour still exist? How would that happen?

        • Draco T Bastard

          I think it’s essential as Labour stopped being of the left some time ago and the Greens seem to be heading off to the right as well. It doesn’t have to be a new party, just one that will loudly advocate for a better society rather than advocating for a few to become richer while everyone else works harder but becomes poorer as we’ve had for the last three decades.

          • weka

            Yes, we know that Draco, but I’m asking how, in practical terms, that could happen. 

            • Colonial Viper

              Hint – You wouldn’t start a new political party. You’d use an existing one.

              • Draco T Bastard

                If you had the finances you could. Can’t say that’s available so best bet would be to choose an existing party and support that. Obviously, that support would need to include changing how that party operated so that it becomes more visible, up to date and relevant.

    • lprent 7.5

      …I mean what should be done in the face of Labour failing to step up. By everyone else.

      I’m afraid that it is almost a permanent part-time on the left avoiding coming up with useful ideas. Over the decades I have spent exerting effort for Labour, I simply got into the habit of tuning that out because of how seldom I ever saw viable ideas (ie ones that were feasible to put into practice electorally) coming from the morass.

      I’ve also been more interested in prodding the party to not act it’s venerable age and actually learn to do things differently from when they were young. It is pretty boring and I’m starting to get more interested in other projects.

      But trying to run as a pre-TV/internet mass party (as the constitution pretends) clearly doesn’t work. Trying to be a incestuous clique of the beltway (aka professional politicians plus hangers on (the Douglas/Act model)) doesn’t either.

      At this point, the next election is pretty much Labour’s to lose because I suspect that the internal flaws (especially their apparent level of incompetence) in National and their partners will continue to cause them to stumble.

      Assuming that Labour can lead a coalition to victory, the following three years will be the most interesting. If the beltway bunch carry on what they’ve been doing for a few decades, then the party will simply descend into another meaningless brand. If they embrace what Moira has been trying to get working and then follow on to move more into the wired generations then we may actually get some bodies around who didn’t start in politics in the 70’s and who aren’t interested in being politicians. The health of a political party depends more on the latter than political wanabees.

      • weka 7.5.1

        That’s a pretty damning indictment. Why do you stay?
        Perhaps the more progressive thinking people in Labour should migrate to the Greens and exert their influence there. For all its faults at least the Greens have an internal structure that is more responsive to its membership.

        • lprent

          Why do you stay?

          It is no different to any other type of organisation. It is a hell of a lot easier to refurbish an existing broadbased organisation and make it relevant for the times than it is try and start a new broadbased organisation. This is pretty obvious in everything from companies to political movements.

          During my lifetime there has been exactly one broadbased party created – the Greens. But even after nearly 40 years (counting Values as the Greens precursor), they still haven’t managed to field ministers or participate directly in a government because other parties being unwilling to work with their parliamentary flakes (I’m hopeful they will after next election). Act got close, but never managed to overcome the structural personality cult problems.

          If you’re after a simple personality cult, then creating a new organisation is a lot simpler, but quite evidently they tend to be quite unstable in terms of succession.

          That’s a pretty damning indictment.

          As you can see being damning (or realistic as I prefer to view it) is not something that I restrict to Labour. Anyone who has read a lot about organisational behaviour, which is requirement for people doing MBAs, hold few illusions about how easy it is to get organisations stable and effective.

          • King Kong

            Ding ding ding.
            Congratulations…for the 5000th time you have managed to mention in one of your comments that you have an MBA.

            Very impressive, and obviously quite deliberate because, of course, you have an MBA.

            • Colonial Viper


              Obvious MBA Envy is obvious

            • lprent

              I have an MBA, BSc, have been in the army, have run factories, work as a hardcore programmer, read science fiction and history, etc etc.. And I blog under my own name as idiots like yourself seem to continually want others to do (but curiously don’t do yourself).

              But I thought that the excuse that permanent critics like yourself (because I’ve never seen you actually manage to contribute to a debate) give for wanting people to blog under their own name was so that we could use our experience with authority whilst blogging. Well I do. So you don’t like it? Perhaps you’d explain why?

              But I suspect you won’t do it it coherently because it’d require you to actually construct a argument rather than doing your ritualistic sniping. However if we just view you as being a hypocrite as well a useless critic who has no experience to draw upon – then perhaps that will suffice as your explanation.

              • King Kong

                I am simply swimming against the tide of sycophants, which I do so well due to having sucessfully gained my 50m freestyle badge at cubs (see how ugly boastfulness is)

                My argument is that endlessly referring to a qualification you may have does not nescessarily lend any weight to the opinions you make and to the counter can actually display a distinct lack of confidence.

                In terms of some sort of crusade to rid the internet of anonymity, I think you may be confusing me with someone else

                • Colonial Viper

                  My argument is that endlessly referring to a qualification you may have does not nescessarily lend any weight to the opinions you make

                  That’s why National thinks poor kids should be taught by unqualified teachers, right?

                  due to having sucessfully gained my 50m freestyle badge at cubs (see how ugly boastfulness is)

                  Its sorta sad if that’s your main qualification.

                • Tracey

                  I agree, it’s like basing Leadership of a Nation on someone’s career in, currency trading… it doesn’t actually mean anything about an ability to runa country… Sadly, we have to elect leaders and then find out if they are up to it, this is true no matter what party they came from.

                  We had a primary school teacher for a while, a university lecturer and a currency trader….

                • lprent

                  My argument is that endlessly referring to a qualification…

                  Not exactly. There are something like 10k comments by me on this site and hundreds of posts. Amongst that pile there will be less than 100 comments by me that refer to having an MBA. They are all where I’m claiming experience or skills related to that particular skill set – like in this case some academic background in organisational behaviour.

                  There are way more comments and even posts referring to my BSc in earth sciences simply because topics related to that arise more often and I’ve referred to that background in posts.

                  I refer to experience when I rely upon it because in the blogging sphere people come and go frequently. The new readership on this site is something like 20% per month according to google analytics, and a similar and a usually smaller number dropping off. Most people reading a comment will have ever encountered my referring to it because you’d have to read closely and long to find out.

                  What I find strange is your obsessional hyper-sensitivity to referencing where I gained experience from when claiming that I have that experience. Personally I think that you just find it challenging because it simply challenges your dumbarse preconceptions about who people are. Basically in my view you’re merely a simple bigot who seems to think that all business people are as incompetent as you are.

                  • King Kong

                    Apologies lprent. Perhaps it is your writing style but I didn’t realise that it wasn’t your intention to constantly come across as a pompous twat.

                    • lprent

                      I often feel the same about your apparent personal policy of being a carping critic incapable of joining debate because of your inherent incompetence…

                • mike e

                  KKYou forgot that you have climbed the empire state probablly still got the spire stuck up your ass

              • higherstandard

                There’s copious wads of MBAs amongst the DHBs and MOH upper echelons these days, unfortunately it has done little to improve the quality of managerial staff as they tend to have the same proportion of vacuous buzzword spouting twits as always.

                • Tracey

                  MBA’s are for sale, more so than just about any other University qualification. It makes the genuine ones of less value than they deserve. It’s marketplace, this education thing.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I believe the phrase is “diploma mill”.

                  • grumpy

                    A tosser is a tosser – with or without an MBA.

                    I have tutored MBA Candidates, some were brilliant bastards and some self centred poseurs. Just like people with any qualification.

                    • KJT

                      Unfortunately, from observation, MBA courses attract a much larger ration of “tossers” than any other.

                      Surprising how many have not read anything apart from “get rich” books.

                • lprent

                  …unfortunately it has done little to improve the quality of managerial staff.

                  Oh I’d agree. And I wouldn’t rely on having a MBA to make anyone competent at management. After all the main thing that doing the MBA convinced me was that I should drop out of being a manager as it was simply too frigging mind-numbingly boring and I have no idea how people stand doing the task.

                  Mostly what I have used the skills for since then is to eliminate the need to manage anything or to be managed – something that turns out to ridiculously easy provided you keep the numbers of people in a enterprise reasonably low and automate everything as much as possible.

                  But in this case I was referring to the reading on the life cycles of organisations which is something that is well documented and which most people don’t have the lifespan to observe directly in more than a few organisations.

                  • Mark

                    “Mostly what I have used the skills for since then is to eliminate the need to manage anything or to be managed – something that turns out to ridiculously easy provided you keep the numbers of people in a enterprise reasonably low and automate everything as much as possible”

                    Exactly, which is why the future of NZ does not lie in making trains in Dunedin with workers holding the State to ransom.
                    It lies in educating families on how to budget, to feed, clothe and care for themselves, in order to gain the relevant and marketable skills needed to succeed.
                    More than 50% of NZ sees this.
                    So get with the picture.

                    • KJT

                      Wasn’t workers who take 14 billion plus a year offshore, had to be bailed out for 2.7 billion and incur millions of dollars a week in debt to pay for unaffordable tax cuts.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, the future of NZ lies in the managers that we do need having the competence to purchase better quality  locally made products rather than buying cheap offshore, then paying more in repairs and downtime when the things break as soon as you open the box.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It lies in educating families on how to budget, to feed, clothe and care for themselves, in order to gain the relevant and marketable skills needed to succeed.

                      Your bullshit on the day another 200 KiwiRail engineering jobs are being slashed.

                      Exactly, which is why the future of NZ does not lie in making trains in Dunedin with workers holding the State to ransom.

                      Its the National Government holding workers to random and firing them, dorkless.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s Mark’s plan to keep the majority of us in poverty while a few get very rich. Unfortunately, it’s working so far.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      The future certainly doesn’t lie with vacuous idiots repeating right wing buzz phrases about a few workers holding the country to ransom, any more than it lies with destroying any industrial base we have left. A few more state owned workshops around the place would have meant for example, that we had the means to react in a meaningful way to the disaster that is Christchurch. But no, they just need to budget to keep their caravans and tents warm in your blinkered vision.

      • mickysavage 7.5.2

        Good comment lprent.
        I am aware that parts of the Labour caucus do not like the Standard.  I always wondered why?  They should drop in and visit from time to time and be prepared to argue their policies.  They should be prepared for a robust debate but there is norhing wrong with this.

        The proposed constitutional changes will allow for flexibility in membership.  Maybe there should be a Standard Supporters Group seeking to affiliate with the party?

        • pukeko

          Ka hangā hoki e ia te heketua hei whakareinga mō ngā tāhae.

          • ad

            Is this roughly right:

            “He also built the lavatory to dispose of the excrement”?

            Are you referring to the constitutional changes, or to the formation of The Standard as an affiliate to the Party, as that particular structure?

        • lprent

          I am aware that parts of the Labour caucus do not like the Standard. I always wondered why?

          I have never bothered to find out. In the end it doesn’t matter for the running of this site. But I suspect that it part of the longer term inherent conflict between the party activist members including unionists and parliamentarians. The views of the staffers are often even more acerbic than caucus members from what I hear.

          But that isn’t uncomment. I hear acerbic comments from just about the whole of the left on one issue or another as well as the even more caustic ones from the right. But there are a wide range of views expressed here…

          We’ve deliberately tried to make this a place for the broad left and therefore we reflect views that are as disturbing for many on the left as they always are for the right. It makes it bloody hard to not have ideas reviewed for their flaws – which is what the objective is.

          I tend to view widespread dislike but limited active attacks from the left as just displaying that we’re doing our task. We force the left out of their blinkered wee silos and to lay their ideas out for display and criticism. Over the longer term I suspect that such debate will cause more effective change on the left than any organisational shifts.

          Maybe there should be a Standard Supporters Group seeking to affiliate with the party?

          Problem with that is that I’d imagine there’d be irritation from both commentators and authors who have no interest in being connected to Labour.

          Maybe affiliating to several parties on the left? Greens, Mana as well as Labour. God knows that most of them could do with a kick up the arse with a spiked boot.

          • Peter

            As I discovered, to considerable personal discomfort, what is written here is nicely picked up by National Party staffers and then used as ammo in parliament. It has some value then 🙂

            • lprent

              Yeah, we do seem to have a rather broad readership. And it is a public forum.

              It has some value then

              Well there is always that spike.

        • Tracey

          You’ve forgotten, one thing the Nats have taught everyone is disengagement, is great for poll ratings. Don’t waste time communicating honestly with the public, the public is a means to an end.

        • Anne

          I am aware that parts of the Labour caucus do not like the Standard. I always wondered why?

          Do you think this piece from wikipedia might be part of the problem mickysavage?

          Tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term primarily used in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other Anglosphere nations to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.5.3

        “The health of a political party depends more on the latter than political wanabees.”

        So true thats what this Labour caucus does not understand, they think they are all so important and know so much more than the members. They are to busy playing the Wellington game instead of getting rid of the Tories.This whole just wait for the political tide to turn line is bullshit.

  8. oscar 8

    Unfortunately due to the passage of time the differences of both major parties have long evaporated.

    • weka 8.1

      I think the people who can’t see the differences between Labour and National are blind.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        There’s some differences but they’re minor.

        • weka

          Depends on where you stand I guess. Life on a benefit is way easier under Labour than National. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the criticism that Labour has moved to the right. I just don’t think it serves us to say National and Labour are the same. We should make a list of the differences some time.

          • Colonial Viper

            Bankster led crony capitalism is softened a tad under Labour and the harsh edges rounded off. Labour does education much better than National, but its pretty even after that.

            National’s main advantage is that it understands the NZ psyche far better than Labour does.

            • KJT

              National’s main advantage is that the media never call them on outright lies.

              Labour’s main disadvantage is that they are still, National light.

              David Cunliff put it best. “If one party is going to cut your leg off, why should you vote for another which is still going to cut your leg off, but offers anesthetic”.

              In fact, why vote for either. Which is why voters are staying at home.

              • Colonial Viper

                National’s main advantage is that the media never call them on outright lies.

                Of course I see the sense in this. Now for a strategic plan to undermine that advantage.

                Infuriatingly, Labour could have sorted this out with a full throated support of public broadcasting and enforcement of high journalism standards. But someone still wanted fat dividends from TVNZ…

          • bad12

            What I think the intent of your comment is meant to portray is that Labour when in Government do not as a rule directly attack the living standards of beneficiaries,

            National on the other hand since Mouldoon have launched a continuous series of fiscal attacks upon beneficiaries,

            The Clark government could have however been rightly accused of an attack upon beneficiaries when the Working For Families tax rebates were denied to the children of beneficiaries,

            However, to boldly state that life for a beneficiary is any easier under a Labour Government as opposed to a National one is to in effect deny the Facts,

            National imposed income tax upon benefits and later cut all benefits by $20 a week, none of which Labour reversed,

            The only gain for a beneficiary in having a Labour Government has been the knowledge that while in Government they will not likely come under direct fiscal attack from that Labour Government,

            Oh the 1 gain for beneficiaries from Labour was the re-introduction of State house rentals at the uniform rate of 25% of income, just to keep the record straight…

            • weka

              Bad12, I was thinking more of the internal workings of WINZ. There’s always a time lag when the govt changes, but despite WINZ being one of the most dysfunctional departments we have, it still operates better at the frontline office level when Labour are in power.
              And yeah, definitely way less govt sponsored public bene bashing under Labour.
              The working for families decision was appalling. Dumb fucks, who really could be said to have lost the plot at that point.

              The only gain for a beneficiary in having a Labour Government has been the knowledge that while in Government they will not likely come under direct fiscal attack from that Labour Government,

              Not an insignificant advantage though.

  9. HG 9

    Race-baiting?! You have got to be kidding?!

  10. Tom 10

    Labour needs a terrier who just won’t stop trying to put Key on the back foot.

    Mallard had a bit of mongrel in him, but he has probably been there too long at this stage.

    His fire seems spent. Labour needs new faces, youth, generational change.

    Key is past his use-by date, representing the forces which gave us the GFC.

    Shearer seems to be a burnt-out international apparatchik, a servant of the International Crisis Group and the Old Guard of the party.

    [ Does he have a solution for Syria ? Would anyone care ? ]

    My vote goes to Jacinta .. and the ghosts of Utoya.

    Otherwise, the talent is there. It just needs a break.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      My vote goes to Jacinta ..

      let’s not talk about Jacinta stepping up and beating Key until she steps up and beats Nikki Kaye, yeah.

      • Craig Glen Eden 10.1.1

        Jacinda pffft, she cant even do a decent interview on Breakfast to busy giggling.

        • Jimmie

          LOL. Yes I couldn’t imagine Helen Clark giggling on the breakfast show…….maybe on a billboard??

    • Peter 10.2

      Or is Labour just missing Pete Hodgson, who got the most hits on Key of anyone.

    • Tracey 10.3

      Mallard has done too much wrong, they can target him and discredit him too easily. Cunnliffe needs to step up or be allowed to step up and challenge

  11. Te Reo Putake 11

    Sorry I cam into this discussion late, had a few interweb prob’s this morning. 
    Can I just say that I don’t hink I’ve ever seen so many comments on a post that fundamentally fail to understand the post? Labour are doing fine in all the polls, given the low base they started from. Labour, under Shearer, are well on the way to leading the next Government. The two TV polls are both improvements on Labour’s actual result on election day and most RM’s since then have shown staeady improvements as well. Shearer remains more popular than Goff ever acheived.
    And all this against a background of National trying to play the ‘greedy maari’s’ card as a defence against their own shambles of an asset sales program. It really saddens me to see so many posters here doing National’s job for them, but as most of the negativity comes from non-Labour supporters, I suppose it’s easily ignored. For those of you outside of Labour criticising and suggesting ‘what Labour should do’, I have a suggestion. Harden up. 
    Even better, join the party. Instead of moaning, get involved.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      For those of you outside of Labour criticising and suggesting ‘what Labour should do’, I have a suggestion. Harden up.

      Even better, join the party. Instead of moaning, get involved.

      You heard the man. Plenty of flyers for new people to deliver, and Labour in Wellington wants a monthly stream of donations too. Snap to it people, stop your bitching and just do your duty.

      • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1

        You miss my point, CV. If the people here with the good advice for Labour aren’t in the party, their thoughts count for nothing. It’s as meaningless as me complaining about the Pope’s sex life or Arsene Wenger’s ten year rebuilding phase at Arsenal.
        Labour will not change unless people get involved. There is not going to be a regeneration unless there is new membership driving it. Like it or not, refreshing the parliamentary leadership takes years, because of the electoral cycles. If folk genuinely think Mallard or other MP’s need to go, then now is the time to be attending branch, LEC and LAC meetings. Positive change is membership driven in democratic parties, so that’s where the emphasis needs to be. The major thrust of the proposed reforms is to broaden the internal democracy. When the process is complete, Labour will be the most democratic party NZ has ever seen. But that will mean little, if there is not a continuing refreshing of the grassroots.
        So, I’m genuinely asking the people who have posted or read this thread and who actually care about Labour’s direction to stump up the twenty bucks and put their money where their mouth is.

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Labours had the last $200 its going to get from me for a very long time, as for your reading of the polls 30 -33 percent wont win an election. What you miss TRP is Nationals policies are very unpopular yet they lead by a country mile in the polls. As for what a lot of people do comparing Shearer to Goffs results, it is irrelevant Goff lost. Labours caucus are worse than useless, time for some big changes in Labour or it will be nothing, smaller than the Greens.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Your maths is stuck in the eighties, CGE. We don’t have FPP anymore and Labour can easily win the leadership with 30-33%, depending on its coalition partner’s results. The Greens seem to have cemented a solid showing in the teens, which is about their logical maximum vote, given their relatively narrow policy base. On most polling this year, Labour plus the Greens has been approximately equal to or just shy of National’s vote. The difference remains mana and the right leaning poodle parties.
            However, if Labour and the Greens combined gets above National, even by a solitary percentage point, then it becomes likely that the left get to form the next Government. That’s only 2-4% away, based on the TV polls, and here now, according to Roy Morgan. Never forget, Phil Goff would be Prime Minister today if Labour or the Greens picked up a further 2% between them last election.
            And that is leaving Winston out of the equation. If NZF get back in, then National will be needing him on board to form the next Government. And his support doesn’t seem likely, at this point.

            • Pete George

              So Labour’s ambition is to get enough of the vote to add to the Green vote? If your ambition is mid thirties, guess what.

              And what if the Green vote retreats?

              There’s quite a few voters who like some Green in the mix but don’t want a Green government.

              And there might not be a great rush to vote for one of a bunch of parties that may or may not be able to cobble together enough seats.

              • Te Reo Putake


              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Any chance of adding the worm emoticon to the set?

              • King Kong

                Good point Pete.

                It has me thinking if only there was a party I could vote for that would be in Government no matter what. Someone who would go into coalition with Satan if it meant retaining the leaders Ministerial warrant.

          • jack

            I have doubts about those polls. TV3 owes us, the taxpayers, 43 million and tv1 is the government. Most polls had National over 50 percent but they got 35 percent of the votes in 2011. Those million didn’t vote because they thought their vote wouldn’t count. Sort of a selffull filled prophecy instigated by the polls. The Horizon Polls got it right. Make polling illegal 3 months out from the elections and you will see a different outcome.
            Also, the news media are protecting National, they never ask the hard questions.

            I am still wavering. I voted Winston Peters last time and loath National. I will still vote Winston but looking for an electorate to vote for. Labour still hasn’t come out with anything.. Most voters have the economy on their mind and Labour comes out with gay marriage bill.. completely misses the target. Wrong Wrong Wrong. They need something viable for the average worker but not make it hard for the employers. The economy needs to stimulated but not by taxpayers money. Key hasn’t done any of that..

            • Pete George

              Most voters have the economy on their mind and Labour comes out with gay marriage bill.. completely misses the target.

              No it doesn’t, it’s the sort of oppositioin initiated bill that’s got a very good chance of succeeding.

              Opposition parties have virtually no chance of getting bills on the economy past the first vote, and if they did it would be vetoed, so it’s futile.

              At the same time as the marriage bill was dreawn there were two other Labour bills drawn, minimum wage and the socalled SOE protection bill. Both have been ignored because they are a waste of time.

              • Te Reo Putake


              • jack

                Labour needs to be more ecnomically sound. Voters didn’t vote for them because they were afraid Labour would put us into more debt.. I think National is purposely driving our debt up to leverage themselves to sell assets. National is an easy target. 52 thousand leaving under their watch, a lot worse than Labour’s. Labour doesn’t seem to want to punch back.. And the way Key is carrying on in Parliament, wow, he acts like a child most of the time, attacking the opposition while avoiding to answer questions.
                Shit, I could come up with better answers than Key. There is one ideaology that ties National’s blunders together.. find that and Labour could have a fighting chance. Key was voted in because voters were tired of Helen Clark. No one knew who he was.. I’ll never vote national again after 2008.

        • Peter

          Te Reo – That’s the intent of the reforms for sure, but the reality is that without the money/resoruces to implement them properly, or the drive from a new crew of younger activists who aren’t co-opted by the centre, you’ll see a further entrenchment of the ruling class within the party. I’m sure Moira Coatsworth, Jordan Carter, and others have the best interests of the party at heart when proposing the reforms, the trouble will be that without people to champion them at all levels (with resources), quarterly LEC meetings will lead to the party’s business being run out of MP’s offices. Bills need to be paid and decisions need to happen more than four times a year…

          And as for regional organising hubs – hell! Regional Councils had their flaws, one of them being how organisers involved with them invariably got drawn into being mediators in byzantine disputes between warring LECs, but at least a few people were attracted to serving their region and having a broader outlook than just an electorate. Who does a Regional Organising Hub serve, if it’s not Wellington?

          I put ten years of effort into the party at all levels from minor grassroots irrelevancies through to policy development stuff nationwide. And at each step of the way, there’s a Caucus veto in some form or the other. The reality is that the higher you get within the NZLP, the more you discover how little regard some of its MPs have for the organisation. I could have no confidence that any money given to the party would be well spent, so no, there are better places for my money and time.

          • bad12

            10 years,that’s some commitment to ones political beliefs, my political activism was born in Molesworth Street Wellington in 1981 courtesy of the police batoning of a 60 year old grandmother and a 16 schoolgirl, left with blood streaming from broken heads in the exercise of their democratic right to protest as members of the Mouldoon Government’s Cabinet watched from the upper floors of the Parliament,

            Having foot-slogged the pavements of my home town letterbox stuffing leaflets on behalf of the Labour Party to rid us of such divisive scum my reward for my efforts was in fact the Lange Government along with the economics of Sir(spit)Roger Douglas,

            At which point i came to the realization that such grandiose Legislation,no matter how right it was,as Nuclear free New Zealand would put food on neither my nor anyone else’s tables, and the New Zealand i thought i occupied was in fact a tattered dream, a remnant of a long forgotten era, the ideals of a better New Zealand seen through the eyes of John a Lee,

            Since then given the choice,Labour or National, i would have neither and it is only through the grace of MMP that i can bring myself to cast a vote with the slightest belief in the democratic process,

            That slight belief has never had cause to be anything but and in all probability never will…

    • Even better, join the party. Instead of moaning, get involved.

      Hint – trash and harass isn’t conducive to encouraging people to join you.

      I tried to connect with Labour three years ago and two MPs weren’t interested when they found out I wanted to contribute fresh ideas rather than be their servants.

      I’ve tried a number of times over the years to connect with Labour here and still get abused and rejected.

      And you want people to stop moaning and get involved?

      This blog is dominated by negative attack posts and negative attack commenters who harass away many new names. Yes, it’s one of the most ‘popular’ political blogs in the country, but it’s hard to tell how many hits are from train wreck voyeurs.

      Some of you need to have a serious look at how you operate if you want to attract support and rescue a flailing failing party. (And before you jump in with the usual UF diversions that’s a minor side issue – it’s far more important for New Zealand that we have a strong Labour Party).

      I can guess the sort of response this comment will get, but that will be just a continuation of one of your bigger problems (another being that you seem blind to the damage it can do).

      Get really radical and try attracting support.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 11.2.1

        “Pete George’s Fresh Ideas.”


        • Colonial Viper

          I know, its been a huge loss to Labour, just see how much UF has gained from him. 167 votes wasn’t it?

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna

            I thought it was generally accepted that he drove the Dunedin vote down.

            • McFlock

              Not at all – he has a huge amount of support in Dunedin, thanks to his consistently positive and clear messages about what his and UF’s position is on absolutely everything. 
              It’s just that election campaigns are so negative that most of his supporters weren’t comfortable expressing their views. Such a shame… 

    • fatty 11.3

      I agree with your first paragraph where you downplay this latest poll…I see it as Donkey being on the news and framing the assets issue as a difficult choice that requires leadership…being on the news equals more votes thanks to an ill-informed public. But this can be reversed if we can get a referendum and have more in-depth debate.

      “It really saddens me to see so many posters here doing National’s job for them, but as most of the negativity comes from non-Labour supporters, I suppose it’s easily ignored.”
      I don’t agree with this…I see Labour as the biggest threat to the left, not the answer, they should be critiqued. ‘Hardening up’ is not what is needed. Voicing our dissatisfaction is what is needed and it only assists National if Labour ignore logic and continue down this dead-end road

    • BillODrees 11.4

      TRP, I empathise with your discomfort at seeing the Party’s dirty linen washed in public. There should be a secure members only site, with non partisan moderation. Until then, thank you for your site Lyn.

      Your use on the 2011 election to benchmark performance is too generous!  The current team and strategies have been in place since 2008.  Largely all that has changed is the substitution of Shearer and Robertson for Goff and King, and Parker for Cunliffe.  And using the 2008 benchmark we are going nowhere….

      Time has run out. We can not let the current team continue as they are: they are leading us to third loss.

      • Te Reo Putake 11.4.1

        Cheers, Bill. There was an attempt to get something going along the lines you suggest a couple of years ago, but I believe it never really took off. Possibly people felt it wasn’t tied to concrete activity or maybe it was superceded by Red Alert?
        I’m not too concerned about the ‘dirty laundry’ aspect of this discussion, because most of the comments have come from folk outside of Labour, just grinding their own axes. Few posters in this thread seem willing to acknowlege is that there will not be a good government again in NZ without Labour.
        There is a childish willingness to fling mud and point fingers, but Labour at its worst showing in living memory still managed to get twice the votes of the rest of the left put together. Labour is not going away folks, and there is only them and the Greens who can make a difference nationally, helped by mana’s limited appeal in the north. That’s our lot, there are no other left parties on the horizon and the sooner we start getting our heads around the need to make positive change within Labour and not do C/T’s work for them, the sooner we see the back of John Key.

        • KJT

          There will not be good Government again unless Labour returns to what they used to stand for.

          We did not leave Labour, THEY LEFT US, in the 80’s. I still remember having to suck it, and vote National to get rid of the bastards in 1987.

          Labour has never gone back to being a party for ordinary New Zealanders.

          Labour needs to change the dialogue back to how extreme right the so called centre has become, to give voters an alternative to vote for instead of trying to take tribal voters from National..

          • Te Reo Putake

            Jeez, KJT, you would have been swimming against the tide voting National in ’87! We almost won Remuera that year. I think you mean the following election, where i know a lot of people did swallow the dead rat of voting National, based on their lie that they  wouldn’t be worse than the Rogergnomes.
            But you are utterly wrong to think Labour is the same party. It’s not, as Helen Clark, PM, proved for nine years. The change proposal is a once in a generation chance to rebuild the party in a positive way. Now’s the time to make Labour bigger, better and focussed on battlers and it’s people like you that can make the difference.

            • Colonial Viper

              Can we make sure we are talking about the same Labour Party here.

            • KJT

              Yes. Did mean 1990.

              Agree it was not the same party under Helen Clark.

              Didn’t change enough though. I suspect not even enough for Helen Clark.
              (After having talked to her at length several times when she first entered parliament).

              The Right wing of Labour appears to be having a resurrection, like the return of a horror flick.

              A “Labour” party would be opening dialogue about why we need workers rights, state infrastructure, public education, progressive taxation and social insurance. Not justifying themselves in terms of right wing memes. Buying into “we cannot afford super” is typical.
              “Labour”, leaders! would be explaining why we cannot afford poverty and meanness, not following the right into failures, such as austerity.

              • Draco T Bastard


                Labour swallowed the bait back in the 1980s, they’ve been hooked ever since and show no signs of even attempting to get off.

        • weka

          Few posters in this thread seem willing to acknowlege is that there will not be a good government again in NZ without Labour.

          I think the opposite is true. People are complaining so much about Labour because Labour is crucial to the next left govt.
          I can’t join Labour because I am a member of the Greens. I’m not the only one commenting here who is. But even if I weren’t I doubt that I would join Labour. Having been involved at a local level with the Greens in the past I find their structure to be inclusive and democratic in ways that Labour simply isn’t. Unless that changed I would see my energies better used elsewhere.
          As for encouraging Labour voters to get involved, the impression I have had is that it is incredibly difficult to get Labour to change. While I agree with your point in general (and it’s similar to what I was saying upthread about taking some action instead of simply complaing) it’s hard to see the incentive to join and get involved.
          I’m curious why you think the Greens at are the natural upper limit of votes. What’s the rationale for that?

          • Te Reo Putake

            Cheers, weka. I know people have different motivations for their comments on Labour and I have no difficulty with people who identify a position (such as you’ve done). I get a bit tired of the ‘but, in 1987 …’ wingnuts. That was a quarter century ago and is not a reflection of the party I’m in. Secondly, there are Green and Mana supporters who appear to who think that those parties cannibilising LP votes is in some way useful. Ultimately, it’s not. Under MMP, the important thing is the total vote for the bloc, not the individual numbers.
            I take more notice of LP members who comment here, because they speak with the authority that comes from putting your money where your mouth is. And they are in a position to do something about it.
            As for the Greens maxing out, my theory is two fold. Firstly, in most parliamentary democracies, third parties usually languish, even under proportional sytems such as MMP. 
            Secondly, our Greens have hit double digits for what I think is the first time ever in the world green movement’s history. That seems to me to be a high water mark, as the branding as an environmental party (or just the perception of that branding) means that they will be first choice for a small percentage of people, a second choice for a smaller group and a third choice for a smaller still group. The second and third tranches of voters only come on board when their usual choice lets them down (NZ, LP, last election) or a ‘green’ issue dominates an election (Tasmania, state and federal) and those voters are alway liable to return to their previous preferred option.
            I think, in essence, that the Greens have a relatively narrow appeal and the vote accurately reflects that. I suspect the current Green leadership might agree with me, btw! Norman, in particular, seems to be going out of his way to speak on issues not normally seen as ‘green’ to try and establish credibility in other areas.

            • weka

              Secondly, there are Green and Mana supporters who appear to who think that those parties cannibilising LP votes is in some way useful. Ultimately, it’s not. Under MMP, the important thing is the total vote for the bloc, not the individual numbers.

              True, and the day Labour starts taking the Greens seriously as a coalition partner, in meaningful terms, I will rethink the issue 😉 Until then, the Greens should go after every vote they can get. I’m still in favour of parties giving each other concessions at election time though, so long as they are upfront about what they are doing. It would be a good indicator of cooperation and that the two parties can work together.

              • weka

I think, in essence, that the Greens have a relatively narrow appeal and the vote accurately reflects that. I suspect the current Green leadership might agree with me, btw! Norman, in particular, seems to be going out of his way to speak on issues not normally seen as ‘green’ to try and establish credibility in other areas.

                That’s a bit of a tired old chestnut isn’t it? The Greens have well developed policies in areas beyond environmental issues. That’s been obvious for a number of years now. Might be interesting to do a comparison of policies some time.

                btw I have a lot of respect for the people here who are solidly active in the LP, not least because of the difficulties it faces and the amount of shit Labour gets here.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Perhaps it is an old idea; I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the green movement, though I’ve been watching since the days of Petra Kelly and die Grunen. I certainly don’t think I’m likely to be saying anything that others won’t have mused on already. But I do think the limiting factor is the perception that the greens are themselves limited. 

                  The name alone probably re-inforces that perception.
                  And thanks for the nice words about LP activists here. It always amuses me when righties assume that this is an LP blog. They obviously don’t read the comments too carefully!

            • KJT

              I will stick with the Greens thanks. Labour has not represented me since Bill Rowling.

              Unfortunately, another nice, competent guy, but without the fire in the belly to counter Muldoon.

              We needed a J A Lee or M J Savage. They are giving us a bureaucrat.

              Greens have excellent realistic policies in many areas apart from the environment.
              The ones Labour should have.

              Greens “cannabilising” Labour votes is useful because it may force Labour to adopt policies which may actually get us out of the mess.

              Maybe the secret is Labour does not want to be in power. Caucus are happy just to keep their jobs. As the poisoned chalice NACT are going to hand over may limit any future Governments ability to do much. . NACT’s scorched earth policies to destroy as much as possible so no future Government has any room to move. Similar to South Africa. (Democracy is impossible without control over the finances).

              TRP. You are being precious expecting us to live with the incompetence of Labour.
              They, are expecting to be voted in to represent all New Zealanders, and particularly the left, Not tired hacks in caucus.
              The left still needs them to be relevant.

              Realistically to pick up the votes the left needs, Labour has to show they are a party for those who are abstaining, because all they see is two right wing parties.

              Labour’s support of Globalisation, weakening Union rights, “balanced budgets” (and the stupid dog whistle to Tories, cut retirement benefits for everyone) and their failure to repeal or change much of the legislation from the 80’s shows they are still stuck in the Neo-Liberal religion from the 80’s.

              They, have failed to move on, not us.

  12. ak 12

    Good post Zet, the latest polls are actually very encouraging.

    Because it’s not just race-baiting the Natz have stooped to: they’ve been forced to concurrently bash Maori, teachers, beneficiaries and councils.

    All the while ramping up the standard dawn-to-dusk media keyfellation and Labignore strategy, and instructing electorate MPs to fire up the nastiness locally.

    A pretty tepid result for the Slippery crew (particularly when allowing for the Brolmar bias) from all that desperate stuff.

    The best news is, with every attack the targets gain strength. This result tells us that Maori are nearly up there with women and gays. Soon it’ll be just the poor old bennies (and with the vast majority of them signed off by doctors, the Natz will have to go after the strongest union in the land. Can’t wait)

    Divide and conquer Maori is the current frenzied effort. Won’t work. The gaps have widened under the smiles and will swallow even kupapa mokopuna.

    And the teacher/council-bashing will bite back big time. Eating their own to sell our birthright. CV’s onto it for the long haul.

  13. Tom 13

    Why so down on Jacinta ? And what’s wrong with giggles ?

  14. Tom 14

    .. a few

  15. captain hook 15

    the nats are in a sorry state.
    they have few policies and what they do have aint worth much.
    every second word from john key is a poormouth on someone else.
    they have lost touch with anything that is any good and everything from them is just garbage now.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The perfect ground for the Opposition to leap ahead from in other words. Waiting…waiting…waiting…

      • Craig Glen Eden 15.1.1

        Yup CV waiting waiting still bloody waiting.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Rather than waiting, why aren’t you doing?

          • Colonial Viper

            Interestingly, I’m taking both tacks.

            • Te Reo Putake

              “Tacks is theft”  –  Ayn Rand’s carpenter.

            • Craig Glen Eden

              Because Im not the one who is on breakfast giggling instead of knocking over bullshit one in five lines. Im not the leader who could actively support the teaching profession and win back badly needed woman votes. If Labour keeps doing what its doing we will loose another bloody election because dumb people put newbies like Shearer in charge, nice guy but does not have a clue.This is the guy who 3 years ago was shit scared that the media was going to” twist his words against him like what they had done to Mellissa Lee ” He is not a leaders arse.If you think being a blind cheerleader is going to help Labour and that National are just going to go away once Key has had enough think again. They will continue to gut this country fall all its worth mean while Shearer supposedly reconnects.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Cite for that Shearer quote, Craig?

                • Craig Glen Eden

                  Said it to my face TRP it was our conversation.Its called the real world.

              • Grumpy

                Bullshit. Labour is in the poo because it’s traditional voters are worried about their families and labour is obsessed with gay marriage.
                They are worried about their kids education and labour is only seen to be obsessed with protecting teachers.
                They are worried about payingtheir bills and labour is obsessed with asset sales.
                They like john key but labour can’t stop attacking him.

                And labour wonder why they are losing support.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Now, that’s a load of BS.

                  Gay marriage is important as it’s part of human rights. Maintaining the discrimination also helps to maintain other legalised discriminations.

                  Protecting teachers from NACTs attacks against them helps the children’s education.

                  Selling state assets makes paying the bills harder.

                  If people still like John Key after all his lies, misdirections and attacks against them then they really need to open their eyes.

  16. hush minx 16

    Seems to me that in terms of Labour delivering a vision and an energy that will calvanise not only the membership base, but the voters (and previous non-voters) it takes more than one man (in this case Shearer). Isn’t that why he has a strategy team of Grant (voice of political experience) and Trevor (attack dog), and I presume chief of staff Alastair (ex Grant campaigner and ex Beehiver) – perhaps whips as well? Politics is a team game – it relies on Jacinda, David Parker and the rest of the front bench getting out, being visible, being real and relevant. The answers are in Labour’s grasp if they can move from passive to active. The string of comments here tells me that’s what people are looking for.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    In order to deliver a vision for others to follow you have to have one first.

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