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Reconnecting with voters

Written By: - Date published: 7:51 am, July 30th, 2011 - 167 comments
Categories: election 2011, labour - Tags: ,

There’s a certain kind of commentator that like to accuse Labour of arrogance. My colleague Bryce Edwards (g’day Bryce) is a prime example:

Labour and its cheerleaders … are paying the electoral price for their assumptions that ‘we are right’ and that ‘voters must come around to seeing that we are right’. It reflects the arrogance that the public still perceives in a party that was thrown out of office three years ago and refuses to show any humbleness or signs of self-reflection. Labour partisans and hacks would do well to be reading all the newspaper editorials (without their rose-tinted glasses on) and face some reality. In particular, they could read the Dom Post’s Labour needs to find a way to reconnect

There’s one fairly obvious and major problem with this view.  It’s pretty hard to be “arrogant” when you’re the clear underdog, well down in the polls for a long time, and with any number of armchair generals eager to explain to you what you’re doing wrong. Arrogance comes with easy success, not with being hammered by bad news for years. Signs of self-reflection and humbleness there have been aplenty, starting on election night 2008 when Helen Clark stood down. However, let’s take Bryce’s advice and check out the Dom Post:

Editorial: Labour needs to find a way to reconnect

With just 17 weeks till the election, Labour is fast running out of time to persuade voters it should lead the next government. This week’s Fairfax Research International Poll shows Labour heading for its worst result since 1996 and National poised to have the option of governing alone. Barring a remarkable breakthrough or a complete meltdown in National, it seems the best Labour can hope for is to escape with enough survivors for a credible challenge in 2014.

Labour leader Phil Goff must be wondering what more he can do. The poll shows that the issues Labour has hammered away on for the past three years – the economy, health, education and the cost of living – are at the top of voters’ minds, yet they remain committed to National and Prime Minister John Key.

Worse for Mr Goff, the poll is the first since Labour unveiled its flagship tax policy. Labour was pinning its hopes for a turnaround on a capital gains tax, the removal of GST on fresh fruit and vegetables, a tax-free zone on the first $5000 in earnings, and a new top rate for the richest workers. But they have failed to resonate.

At the same time, voters have not gone off National despite it increasing GST and giving big tax breaks to the highest earners at the expense of those on middle and low incomes. National is also counting on the public accepting plans to halve government contributions to KiwiSaver, sell stakes in state-owned energy companies and Air New Zealand, and cut another $1 billion from the public sector. …

Labour can take some comfort in the hope that the gap with National is likely to close between now and election day. Certainly, this week’s poll shows that Labour does at least appear to have its finger on the pulse of voter concerns. The problem seems to be that voters are either not swayed by Labour’s message, or they are just not listening. As former Labour prime minister Mike Moore once famously said, the phone is off the hook. Labour needs to find a way to reconnect, and fast.

A scathing indictment of Labour’s arrogance? Hardly. In fact that editorial reads a lot like one of my own recent posts: Labour are addressing the issues that people care about, they have bold policies, National are doing unpopular things, but voters still seem to be set on a Nat honeymoon. Take off the green-tinted glasses, this isn’t arrogance, it’s knowing what you stand for, and sticking to your principles. Neither is putting your trust in the voters arrogant, it’s an act of hope.

That said, I seem to recall an old saying about the Lord helping those who help themselves. Labour certainly does need to get voters’ attention again, and then their trust. So how to “reconnect with the public”? What should Labour be doing differently? How best to use the four months between now and the election?

167 comments on “Reconnecting with voters ”

  1. arrogance: offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

    arrogant: having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one’s own importance, merit, ability, etc; conceited; overbearingly proud: an arrogant teacher ; an arrogant assumption

    I partially agree, but more defensive than offensive, more overoptimistic than overbearing.

    Maybe it’s an underdog’s version of arrogance, but probably more of a blind belief in one’s own rightness (leftness) and a refusal to accept they may be wrong or doing things poorly.

    Labour are addressing the issues that people care about.

    Polls (another today) suggest otherwise.

    Or maybe people care about the issues and just don’t care for Labour. That’s hard to address without a significant change of personnel or change of approach – and possibly one won’t happen without the other.

    • PeteG you are describing a lefty’s belief that a collaborative collective approach to society as arrogance.  You are quite wrong.  You expect us to give up our beliefs because we lost the last election.
      It is not a matter of refusing to accept that we are wrong.  It is a fact of political life that the pendulum swings left and then it swings right.
      According to your view you seem to think we should all go and join the National Party …

    • Ari 1.2

      Pete, when asked what issues or whether they are interested in the issues that Labour is taking on, voters are responding positively. If that’s not translating into support for the Party, that suggests that perhaps the problem isn’t that labour needs to reconnect with voters just on issues, but that maybe there’s a values disconnect going on right now, in that there’s something the public are looking to support that Labour isn’t offering in the abstract.

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Agreed Ari. There could be a number of reasons for the delay. For instance the good old Kiwi practice of giving everyone a fair go means that they may disagree with a Government but this does not convert to a change of votes immediately. The signs of dissent mean that somewhere along the way support will surge back to the left. The job of MPs and activists is to make this happen as soon as possible while the job of the Nats and their supporters is to delay it for as long as they can.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.2

        there’s something the public are looking to support that Labour isn’t offering in the abstract.

        The young people of NZ (< 30 years old) know better than anyone else that they have been handed a raw deal.

        The gutsier Labour is with its policies to address the sustiainable long term future of NZ, the more support they will lend the Left.

    • mik e 1.3

      Nationals arrogance has got them where they are maybe we could take the lead and be more arrogant than they are. ie gerry brownlee nick smith

  2. Phil 2

    Apparently women voters just “luv” that nice Mr Key…Wotcha Gunna Do eh?
    He’s obviously not arrogant or offensive, just cuddly and “luvable”.
    Where can Labour get one?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      cuddly, loveable, high living multi-millionaire, seems to be all the charm that some men need to win over the electorate.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      that’s easy to fix… labour supporters just need to compile a compilation of video clips displaying keys obnoxious, arrogant behavior when pressured to even the slightest extent..

      it could start with his so called “budget speech” to parliament, and begin the long descent into what is keys real personality. a truly shallow and ugly thing to contemplate..

      people like to think of key as the nats only real strength… i actually believe he could easily be turned into an impediment to his own party if the behavior that the poodles in our fourth column refuses to show us was publicised relentlessly..

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        You’d need $500K worth of air time and newspaper space to promote the fact it was on YouTube

        But it could work…

        However you would have to expect National (whaleoil) to come back with a splice and dice of clips of Goff and the Labour front bench, and be ready to respond.

    • Gina 2.3

      I think a problem with reaching women voters is that most of them are terminally busy. They don’t have time to read the papers from front to back much so don’t see the nasty things the nats are doing to them that might be on the back page of section 4 of the herald. Thats a problem for voters in general. many of them get home after the 6 pm news especially in Auckland. When I ask people what they think about different issues their reply is more often than not that they don’t know anything about it or that they don’t know very much.
      Labour must become very direct and breif in what they are saying. Make it very explanatory but not too long. And put the punch line at the beginning to keep people listening a bit longer.

      Many women voters are stretched to the max trying to be workers and mothers. Free childcare so they can go out to work does not relieve them of the weekley 40 – 50 hours housework which most mothers at home need to do to keep a house functioning. If your husband does 10 hours that still leaves you with 30 – 40 hours to try and cram into the spaces like after work and the weekends. The result is that many women actually want their spouse to earn more so they can stay home and reduce the incredible stress of trying to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
      There are also women long past having kids who are aslo stretched working and doing houswork. They don’t really care about the younger women so anyting for mothers doesnt buy their vote. Putting up the minimum wage is a very good idea if women know about it. This may sink in nearer the election once advertising starts.

      And ofcourse if women fully understood what national progressive are trying to do to them with the removal of the gift duty, labour would win the election by a landslide. The problem here is that the issue is a little bit complex and without good media coverage a lot of women may not realize how it will affect their lives and finances.

      • Jum 2.3.1


        Sorry Gina, but the excuses for women voting for Key because they have no time to read between the lines about what he and his backers are perpetrating on their families’ futures have long since run out.

        When women vote this year they better think carefully because they are the very people Key is targeting, especially, to ensure they no longer have a choice.

        Yep, just the one chance, this year to have a say. After 26 November, if John Key gets back into government, the Key machinery will swing into action and there will no longer be any hope I have for the women of New Zealand to empower themselves.

        Women are once again becoming the scapegoat for anything Key and co and past rightwingers, including the Douglas fish and chips brigade in the 1980s, have done to this country. If women voters are stupid enough to take the blame when they have never really had any real power in this country to influence it, then maybe they really do deserve to take second place. There was an exception of course – Ruth Richardson. But, who did she target with her greed? You guessed it – women and children.

        Greed is the real offender to blame for any problems in this country; and New Zealanders voted in a moneytrader to prove it. Maybe my faith in Kiwi women really has been misplaced.

        P.S. I thought women were good networkers. Have they fallen for Key(s) mantra about the rights of the individual as opposed to the individual having rights but keeping a group umbrella support system when needed? Silly them.

        • Gina

          OK Jum I have to concede a little to you. I think I’m partly right though. Problem is women have no idea they need to be on high alert. They don’t realise just how bad things are getting.

          Lets face it the media don’t do much to inform them. Re networking. I can tell ya that a lot of women do not speak to ine another about issues like this. It can make you pretty unpopular with the men in your group and with some of the more traditional type women. I have had the full force of local men making sure I am frozen out in a community for daring to tell women why they shouldnt vote National. These sort of men threaten your employmet and I’ve had my life threatened just for having feminist ideas. So a lot of women don’t network about the really important stuff. They are too scared for their jobs especially right now.

          • Jum


            Your comments certainly reinforce the fact that New Zealand women have gained little over the decades to achieve equality beside men. The sad thing is that so many New Zealand women actually believe they have, especially the younger ones.

            The current government policies have reversed many gains and shown the misogynistic men and women just how easy it is to push time and women back. Women, when they attack their own support systems, i.e. other women and many men, they are essentially weakening their own strength.

            How many women even know their own history? It is an honourable one. Yet they allow it to be dragged in the dust. They run households, raise children, have full-time/part-time jobs all of which assume intelligence and organisation. They need to wear that knowledge proudly.

            But, they do not have the excuse of not knowing that this government is led by a man who intends to use his position not to make their lives better but only his own and his selected supporters, both here and abroad. They can like him but still question his policies, but the low turnouts at election campaigns or various community debates suggest a willing non-compliance to take responsibility for what they as voters don’t do, never mind what they do.

            Meanwhile, there is always a good blog like The Standard to voice their feelings and information on, outside their daily activities. They can write to Labour with their stories on daily living and what this government’s activities and cutbacks are doing to them.

    • Jum 2.4

      Phil, you must be a phukwit.

      No woman in my household thinks Key(s) is anything other than, well, what you r.

  3. RobM 3

    Engage the 25% who don’t vote:


    “The rolls listed almost 3 million people registered to vote in the election, a record number representing 95.3% of the estimated eligible voting population.[8] In contrast, voter turnout of 79.5% of enrolled voters came in lower than in most previous elections, the second-lowest since 1978 (when a large number of outdated and duplicate enrolments deflated the figure) and third-lowest since 1902.[9][10] Political scientist Stephen Levine from Victoria University speculated that the low turnout may have resulted from the National Party’s large lead over Labour in opinion polls running up to the election.[11] Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples expressed concern that only 55% of those on the Maori roll had voted.”

    • Afewknowthetruth 3.1

      Maybe people are waking up to the fact that voting makes no difference. The general direction in which the country is misled is the same whichever major party is in power.

      And I suspect a large portion of voters have not forgotten the betrayals of the last two Labour governments.

      • Tangled up in blue 3.1.1

        So much for the adage “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”.

      • Gina 3.1.2

        Helen Clarke gave out pledge cards and kept most of her promises. We had 9 years of promises kept. This does not explain the situation.

        She removed the means testing of Super etc etc. Voters should be commending her for what she did to reverse the dishonesty of the previous National Party.

      • RobM 3.1.3

        With apologies to Kim Philby, but to be betrayed you must first belong, and I’d suggest a good chunk of the disenfranchised feel they don’t belong. The mainstream is a media torrent but a dwindling trickle of the population.

        I couldn’t give a flying fuck about prior betrayals. I want to know what either major party is going to do to help my kids survive in the grave new world AFKTT is always yammering on about.

        Letting a few more know the truth would be a start, and that’s a start I believe Labour have made. Cunliffe, King, Parker and Goff know all about the environmental and financial clusterfuck that’s about to rain down on us. So do Key, English and Joyce. The difference is Key and co don’t give a fuck. Someone needs to tell Hohepine Public this.

        The time for Presbyterian pragmatism is over: engage the margins, get some mongrel and turf these Tory cunts out on their ear.

    • r0b 3.2

      Engage the 25% who don’t vote:

      Believe it or not there was a systematic attempt to do that in the 2008 election.  Alas that it didn’t work!

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        Yep. If you look at the seat results about 15,000 fewer people voted in South Auckland last time. You can bet most of them were Labour voters. They did not vote for a number of reasons but a lot of it had to do with the social stuff Labour was doing and also the perception that crime was out of control.

        Rather than support someone else they stayed at home. Labour’s big job this time is to get them out to vote.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Interesting..how to make that essential emotional connection with women voters is the core of the left’s problem. I’ll re-quote my own response from a few days ago:

    Yes I did IB. I realise it wasn’t an obviously welcome thing to say.

    I did not say ALL women, or not even a majority of women… but when I look about the people I know and work with… it’s what I hear lots of them saying.

    My point is simply this. We argue the left’s case, necessarily and rightly so, on it’s rational merits. But as various people have said repeatedly, the voters are not listening. And they will not listen until they are ready to emotionally connect with what we are saying.

    And as all grown ups should know, male and females respond to different things emotionally.

    Emotional responses are almost never PC. The fact is Key is cute and cuddly. Women like him. And the hard fact for the left is that most women do not like politics, or at least the confrontational aspect of it. For the most part they simply abhor loud, fervid conversations like the ones we have here on The Standard.

    For most women family, and all it’s relational aspects, occupies the largest part of their emotional wiring. Key’s handlers have done a brilliant job of energising that, while Labour keeps on pressing the wrong buttons.

    Goff is not a dissimilar person to Key in many of these respects, but he’s still too wooden and ‘aggressive’ when fronting the media. People keep on judging him as a ‘try hard’. Which is odd because everyone who meets him in person reports the exact opposite. And there’s the matter of timing too… Key captured the emotional response first… and he’s got the advantage of incumbency.

    The left keeps on making the mistake of thinking this is some sort of rational ‘fair fight’. It isn’t.

    • the sprout 4.1

      The left keeps on making the mistake of thinking this is some sort of rational ‘fair fight’. It isn’t.

      yep, been saying that for years.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        OK, perhaps we could convene some panellists to delve into the issue and perhaps assess the relevant academic literature on the topic?


        • Puddleglum

          I agree with your sarcasm.

          The irony (and it is irony) is that the “relevant academic literature” actually supports your sarcasm. Attitude change/persuasion literature pretty much confirms what we all know: We decide on the basis of a bunch of naturally selected, emotional and social cue recognition systems. If someone’s tall, we immediately tend towards the deferential; if they’re attractive we tend towards trusting them, etc.. (BTW, advertisers have been making use of this and other literature with some success.)

          We only weigh the pros and cons over things that really matter (personally) to us. For most New Zealanders, politics doesn’t rank high enough to promote much more than a gut reaction from most people. Analysing policy announcements is too much effort for too little (perceived) gain.

          Anyway, enough of the literature (because I agree with you that talking like that to the public is part of the problem), as RL and others have said – Labour’s task (and the task for any political party) is less about what can be said and more about what can only be shown. Most of the time we respond far more to what is shown (or what we think is shown) in each other’s behaviour, than to what each other say.

          At present this seems to translate as – I’m less concerned about what National’s policies are than that they will be implemented by someone who looks trustworthy, who seems like me, seems reasonable, ‘commonsensical’, etc..

          As political scientist Johansson put it:

          Mr Johansson said Mr Goff needed to give up on a head-to-head popularity contest with Mr Key and let other caucus members take a greater role. 
          “They really need to run a campaign that de-emphasises leadership because so long as the overriding comparison in voters’ minds is Key versus Goff, that is not good for Labour.”

          What this would show (without directly saying it!) is here is a group of people working together, with a range of skills, trying their best to come up with solutions to problems, etc.. It also invites the question ‘What’s National’s team like?’ Of course, the ‘team’ has to project well in all those ‘gut reaction’ dimensions.

          I think the right, in general, are far better at the implicit aspects of persuasion than are the (modern) left. 

    • Ari 4.2

      Again, you seem to be mixing up your genders. Key appeals mostly to men, not to women.

      • Deadly_NZ 4.2.1

        Not any more Yesterday there was an article on stuff saying that 49% of the women voters like Key And then they have a dumb poll Who do you think is New Zealand’s hottest politician? And the NATS have been hard at it as KY is on 40 % compared to a very lovely Jacinda Ardern who is on only 23.3%. Hmmm sommat screwy here. I know where my vote went.

      • RedLogix 4.2.2

        Key appeals to men and women, at an emotional level for different reasons.

        Men like because he’s a ‘good sort’. He acts like one of them, says dumb things under pressure, and generally doesn’t act like a politician.

        Women like him because he’s, good looking, got a nice smile, he’s a solid family man with ordinary kids, and… hell someone has to say it… he’s rich. Yup money is still one of only two really effective approdisiacs.

        Goff cannot win either of those contests.

        The only constructive option I can think of is for the left to grow a pair and change the game. We cannot out-folksy or out sex appeal Key. He’s got that market cornered.

        But we can out-mongrel him. The one thing ordinary working people know about their lives is that no-one, but no-one, ever gives them an even break unless they stand up and fight for it.

        Men understand this in their own lives, that nice guys always finish last (and end up bitter).

        And women (Jenny touched on it) will also admire a person, of either gender, who can plainly assert what they believe in, has the balls to achieve it.

        That’s why figures like Seddon, Savage, Kirk, Lange and Clark were so hugely liked in this country. And why .. as much as I admire his deep competence as a Minister, his moral compass and sheer lifetime commitment… I don’t think Goff is the right man at the right time for a one on one fight with Key.

        On the other hand I can get the reasons for keeping Goff as well. In that case I’d frame it as a tag-team. Most kiwis get the sports team metaphor. That’s National’s huge weakness. In behind Key there’s nothing but hollow men. Labour AND the Greens have talent in spades. They need to show they can use it, and use it out on the front foot. Team-work, backing each other up and making each other look good. These are all sports-team metaphors that make sense, in this year of the RWC of all years.

        Play that game and the Cup is ours.

    • Jum 4.3

      Red Logix

      Saying women are too involved with their families actually makes me even angrier about them thinking Key is mr wonderful.

      Women are the front line of defence for their children and the glue within the family. When women ‘fall over’ in a family set up, the whole family suffers. So, if they are ignoring the dangers inherent in voting this government back in, then I can only imagine they want to go back to the days of old when they handed control back to the men.

      The young women of today have no real idea just what that was like. They may think they have the power now to prevent a extremist rightwing government from removing what few rights they have gained but they need to think again. Rightwing governments and the steadily increasing takeover by fundamentalist religion like destiny church and think tanks with a religious agenda are following the extreme right of National which hates women having any sort of control.

      Governments have huge powers to reverse all sorts of rights for men and women and children and there is nothing the people can do about it except rebel. This government knows that New Zealanders are too polite. Even in their protests they are pussycats. Maori (generally speaking) will get venal but that has always been for their own benefit. Evidenced by their rush to get in first with buying up our State Owned Assets. This means they have rejected a future with Labour, that has a better solution for paying down debt and saving our future dividends from our assets, and Maori have shown their essentially conservative and capitalist ways. Gains for all New Zealanders by Maori action have been on the side such as forcing us to wake up to the fact our country is being taken over and for that they have my gratitude.

      By looking at the personality mask of Key instead of the man behind it and his past track record which has never been fully reported, and his general need to win individually instead of win for all New Zealanders we cannot see the entirely different future he has mapped out for Kiwis.

      Totally agree with your comment “Labour AND the Greens have talent in spades. They need to show they can use it, and use it out on the front foot. Team-work, backing each other up and making each other look good.”

  5. the sprout 5

    i don’t think arrogance is the problem, i think it’s an imbalance of factional power within the NZLP.
    right now many party activists, particularly women, feel alienated by the leadership and the direction its taken. too much faux blokey populism a la Pagani/Trotter, not enough demonstration of a commitment to bedrock social democratic ideals, and an unconvincing denouncing of neo-liberalism.

    if the NZLP can reconnect with its more of its activist core – much of which is sitting dormant waiting for a change of leadership, then a broader public reconnection will follow.

    • Tom Gould 5.1

      “not enough demonstration of a commitment to bedrock social democratic ideals, and an unconvincing denouncing of neo-liberalism”.

      There is undoubtedly a constituency for this viewpoint. However, it is only about 30 percent of the electorate, and declining. Labour is the political dinosaur in the room. Clark’s personal strengths covered over the cracks, but Goff’s weakness has exposed the inherent truth of the disconnect of the Labour ‘pitch’ to the electorate. Until they drag themselves into the 21st century and realign with the mainstream of ordinary people, they will increasing become a quaint and quirky political curiosity. And the uber-pragmatists Key and Joyce will rule the roost, for decades.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        And the uber-pragmatists Key and Joyce will rule the roost, for decades.

        On what basis do you label Key and Joyce super-pragmatists? In the way they use focus groups and polling for PR and popularity purposes? In the way that they are willing to sacrifice principles in order to stay high in the polls? In the way that they are willing to do what is populist and expedient, and hide the after effects of badly thought out policy afterwards?

        Certainly, if NZ really wants this style of ‘Government’ and they vote for it, there’s not much you can do to change it.

        but Goff’s weakness has exposed the inherent truth of the disconnect of the Labour ‘pitch’ to the electorate. Until they drag themselves into the 21st century and realign with the mainstream of ordinary people

        So, wtf is the “mainstream of of ordinary people” precisely? (Apart from some marketing jargon). Are you talking about ‘middle NZ’ (whoever they also are?). The median income is under $30K pa and every parent who has a child finish university today knows that the NZ job market is unremittingly tough. New grads are having to work stacking shelves and flipping burgers or go to Australia. Is that who the ‘mainstream’ you are talking about are?

        And tell me, what exactly is so “21st century” about the “mainstream of ordinary people” that Labour needs to “drag” themselves there to catch up?

        Meaningless jargon Tom, totally meaningless. Your comment was good for soundbites though.

        • Dan

          “In the way that they are willing to sacrifice principles in order to stay high in the polls?” = how dare they listen to the public when the public doesn’t like where the government wants to take them.

          No doubt you’re absolutely gutted Key didn’t stick to his principles and open up some dirty great big mines on Schedule 4 land: then you could respect him for holding true to his principles safe in the knowledge he’d never be re-elected for a hundred years.

          “In the way they use focus groups and polling for PR and popularity purposes?” = how dare they respect the public enough to let them decide how they want to be governed.

          And there’s your, and Labour’s, problem. The ‘sheep’ are too stupid to know whats good for them so clearly there’s no reason to ask their opinion. Labour governed for 9 years because for at least 6 of them their principles aligned with the peoples. If they’d listened to the people and been willing to compromise, but not completely abandon, their principles no doubt they’d still have been in power.

          • Colonial Viper

            You’ve mistaken National’s focus group driven cowardice for principles. Easy mistake for someone like yourself to make.

        • Vicky32

          . New grads are having to work stacking shelves and flipping burgers or go to Australia. Is that who the ‘mainstream’ you are talking about are?

          Wow, my heart bleeds for them! Truly, I would happily do that work, if I could get it, but if it’s reserved for 20-somethings, well that explains a lot. I am particularly angry because I got sent a ‘job email’ about an ESOL vacancy – and discovered that as it’s through Student Job Search, I can’t even apply. (Literally.) But it does explain why I haven’t even had any relieving for 4 months and when I rang one of the schools I have worked for this year, I was told they’re on the bones of their arses, and can’t afford me. Chances are, they’re the private school that placed that advert, offering $13.00 an hour for willing students, who are ‘good communicators’. The rate for the job for a qualified experienced adult such as I am is $30.00-45.00 an hour. I am therefore more than slightly off-piste at being under-cut by middle class kiddies who no doubt consider that it’s their right, because the left cares so much about ‘yoof unemployment, but seems to consider that someone like me, caught in the ruins of a company crash 3 months after Shonkey got in, and facing not being able to pay this month’s power bill, should just ‘retire’ and let the poor kiddies get the job I qualified for. 
          Chance would be a bleeding fine thing, if I was old enough! I am not worried about my graduate children, they’re both making far more money than I ever have or will, having had the sheer luck to graduate before Key came in and turned this country to shite.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      National doesn’t even pretend to ensure equal opportunities within its own party (Labour has a deputy leader who is a woman, and a Party President who is a woman; National’s top ranked MPs are all men and they regularly give their female MPs the shaft if they are too nice).

      But for a lot of people this icing makes no difference.

      You’re dealing with a group of voters who don’t care (or don’t believe) that 20% of NZ kids are living in poverty.

      20 years of atomised individualised, neoliberal political economics has done lasting damage.

      IMO the Left needs to move left and open up clear day light between it and National. The values of democratic socialism, not simply social democracy.

  6. Jenny 6

    Personally I prefer a bad boy, of an effete new age man everytime.

    A Churchill over Chamberlain.

    A Mallard over a Goff.

    Playing the underdog, may win the underdog loser cutesy vote.

    But what Labour lacks is more of the bulldog fighting spirit.

    The CGT was a good start.

    We want more!

    More action to save the environment!

    More action against the cost of living!

    Come on Labour, you can do it. I know you can.

    • Jenny,

      Bulldogs and underdogs are not mutually exclusive. Churchill’s ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ speech was the acknowledgment of the underdog status. Notice how he ended not with ‘We will win’ but ‘We will never surrender’ – pure rhetorical appeal to the nobility and strength of the underdog. 

      • Jenny 6.1.1

        Puddleglum, All I have to say to that is ‘Ballderdash’.

        The eternal underdogs of British politics were the Liberals. Remembered now as the milksops of history. Always tailoring their policies to the Torries in search of the mythical middle ground.

        Labour needs to come out swinging and swinging hard, on behalf of their constituency of low paid and working people, if they are to make any headway.

        Labour need to explain to voters in no uncertain terms why National’s planned austerity and cuts are nonsense and unnecessary. And are only needed while the extremely well off can enjoy their tax cuts and numerous bailouts.

        Just because the strugglers are suffering under National doesn’t mean that they will vote labour. Labour’s message needs to get through that this suffering is wilful and unnecessary and that the burden of the economic crisis and the Christchurch Earthquake is not being shared equally.

        This from today’s ‘stuff.co.nz’:

        “Strugglers still backing National”

        The poll data matches the findings of a Sunday Star-Times investigation that reported even those on the dole did not blame the National Government.
        Labour strategists have found a similar trend in their polling and focus group work, where voters who are hurting seem to accept the argument that the economic crisis – as well as the cost of rebuilding Canterbury after the earthquakes – has made some pain necessary.

        Even unpopular policies such as cuts to KiwiSaver, a GST lift to 15 per cent, and plans to sell state assets are accepted as necessary in these difficult times.

  7. vto 7

    Roll out Jacinda Adern. Lots.

    Play them at their own game.

    (are Labour able to play the ‘sex sells’ theme like the Nats? Or is it naughty?)

    • r0b 7.1

      The Nats are playing sex sells?  Boy am I out of touch.

      Agree about front footing some personable young MPs though (of any gender). 

      • Carol 7.1.1

        In Question Time the Nats always have that irritating (to me) blond woman situated behind Key, English etc, and she responds like a Greek Chorus/cheerleader.

        • felix

          Chris Tremain?

          • Carol

            Woman! Jo Goodhew I think. But Chris Tremain is often on camera too behind/beside the main Nat players. He always looks quite arrogant to me.

        • Anne

          It’s Jo Goodhew Carol. What amuses me she knows she’s on the telly and continually purses and licks her lips in the haughty fashion of one who’s thinking ” Look at me, I’m ever so important and clever” She doesn’t like it when Labour scores one over Key or English either and pouts like a spoilt 5 year old.

          Yes, alright I’m being a cat but it’s true.

        • Blue

          Like the former disgraced Ginger member of Labour always shown inanely grinning over Clarkes shoulder. Pot kettle black, Carol.

    • T 7.2

      I read of a study about tendencies when evaluating candidates for a job. All else being equal women (except those with high self-esteem) preferred the less attractive female or the more attractive male, and men (except those with high self-esteem) preferred the more attractive female or the less attractive male. Not sure if that has any relevance when targeting male and female voters, but perhaps it might..

  8. oligarkey 8

    It’s pretty simple. Labour needs to rid itself of the Clark-association in terms of both policy and personality. At the very least, this means a non-Clarkite leader, and ditching “third-way” economics. There is no “equality of opportunity” for children who grow up without proper diet, home heating and access to information technology.

    Also – there is a pervading feeling in NZ’s lower income groupings, that the rest of the country just doesn’t give a damn about them. That is very damaging both in terms of criminal activity and self-destructive behavior. This effects everyone, making NZ a colder, meaner society. Labour needs to propose bold ways of healing these wounds that have opened up in NZ society since the late 1980s. Up to now, it has not.

    • r0b 8.1

      Also – there is a pervading feeling in NZ’s lower income groupings, that the rest of the country just doesn’t give a damn about them. 

      Labour’s policies are much better for low income.  But how to motivate them to get out and vote?

    • mik e 8.2

      We need to do this on the street corner pro active politics get out into the community rebuild the party base.Help local communities across the country by helping them access cheap medical care , help with housing , dental care transport for these services,the people on the bottom of the heap are depressed disenfranchised hungry and sick the last thing on their minds is politics or voting.

  9. Bill 9

    Well, they could shut up shop and become part of Mana. Or in some other way lay claim to representing the needs, views and wants of people in society rather than seeking to be the next managerial interface between the market and society.

    The problem with their inevitable and almost sole focus on imposing market driven policy prescriptions on society (notice how there is not so much as a murmer that society should impose itself on the market?) is that while the current managers may well be incompetent, people have at the back of their minds the fact that NZ isn’t Ireland or Greece or Portugal etc. Some might even have half an eye on the turmoil in N. Africa and the Middle East. So they will ‘hang on tight’ , ’cause it’s not too bad.

    And all Labour are saying is that if they were managing the interface then it also wouldn’t be too bad.

    Aside from that, they’ve played all the cards with a nominal social focus that they had, ie the safe identity politics they embraced in the stead of substantive class politics.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Or in some other way lay claim to representing the needs, views and wants of people in society rather than seeking to be the next managerial interface between the market and society.


      A softer gentler kind of free market neoliberalism…no thanks.

  10. freedom 10

    here is one idea:

    Labour should arrange for a private company to produce a free newspaper. If the NACT can have Fairfax and Mediaworks, surely there is a ground roots option. They then spend the next two months preparing a series of weekly publications that are distributed during the RWC and on into Election month. A series of free papers that outlay the facts of the past thirty years.

    It should be approached as a coalition of the left. An honest declaration that expresses the diversity of the left vote and shows a willingness to openly work together to destroy the NACT machine. An open dialogue with the voters that states how big business has corrupted the media to such an extent that playing them at their own game is the only option left. In co-ordination with online activity, the free paper deals each week with the main policy issues. The good the bad and the ugly. A no-holds barred commentary on the state of NZ and in detail explains just how screwed NZ is if we continue down the path ascribed by the present situatuion.

    It is not a coalition agreement that dictates what Government might look like. It is not about fixing seats. It is telling the country that the left have more to offer and will do more for NZ.
    If that means that another left party gets more votes than Labour would really like, so be it. NZ has grown away from a 2 party race and if Labour does accept real co-operation to beat NACT then the results might suprise them.

    There is no realistic means for Labour, Greens etc to achieve a tenth of the exposure they need without a steadfast effort to manipulate the media tools at their disposal.

    Simply having good policy, talking to a few people in a room and waiting for a few moments of scripted TV is not going to be enough. The game must be changed. The left needs new boots.

    • Bill 10.1

      Free newspapers cost a lot of money. There is no distribution infrastructure. The left is full of ‘gatekeepers’ (Can you imagine the editorial meetings?!)

      And insofar as the post is focussed on Labour, Labour have nothing to say.

      • freedom 10.1.1

        firstly let me say it is an idea that is frought with problems, passions, egoes and agendas

        but that is what humans are

        1. yes free newspapers cost a lot of money, ( thankyou for that illuminating point )

        2. There is as much of a distribution structure as the party machines want there to be.
        Railway/bus stations/libraries are already the principle outlet points for free newspapers and if the content is not crap then they tend not to end up in the bin and pass between more hands than regular papers. If it is too much trouble for volunteers to go to a central point and collect ten papers to hand out to their whanau then we are already lost.

        3.Editorial meetings just need those involved to follow a simple protocol,

        ” leave the ego at the door we are doing this for our grandchildren”

        It is getting very serious out in the world, why do people not see that. All melodrama aside,I mean that. Fuck hysterical scaremongering, the truth is the big guns are coming out and they are not pointing at the bad guys. They are being pointed at you.

        This is perhaps the last generation for a hundred years where we get a chance to say no without the need for bloodshed. If NZ falls to the right at this election there is no going back. The precipice the world dances along is crumbling. The ramping up of law and order, the secrecy and illegality of military activity all over the globe, the deference to the dollar has become a necrotic form that is swallowing our future. Amputation is essential.

        Corporate Fascism is a wildfire infection that the right is happily stoking. The insidious disease of plutocracy has reached levels that the bubonic plaque is envious of. The coming depression is an event that history will not have any precedence over. There is some very nasty stuff planned for you and me and your sister and your cousin and your children, well they will not get a chance to use democracy. You have a last chance, How will you use yours?

        • Colonial Viper

          As for the content – LAB would simply have to demonstrate its principles of being a ‘broad church’ and print good articles from various perspectives.

          There would need to be a web version.

          Yes there is a distribution system already in place, and it can be easily expanded. $1 a copy, with half going to the seller and half offsetting the cost of the paper.

          The paper would be printed weekly (I was listening to how the Christchurch Press started out like this) and would be short. 8 pages, small format. It would have a NZ history column, and an exclusive column wach week from one of the Left wing bloggers/commentators. There would be a regular feature by the unions on workers rights and working conditions. Interviews with prominent NZers of Lefty note would feature from time to time.

          The economics and business analysis page would be to die for. Neoliberalism would be deconstructed and economics/financial issues which actually affect NZers properly described.

          The editorial would focus alternately on a NZ issue or on an international issue with a NZ context. Green Party MPs will have an op-ed in each paper.

          There should be a half page each week with rib tickling satirical political cartoons.

          Perhaps such a Labour Party paper could be called The Standard 3.0? 😀

          The insidious disease of plutocracy has reached levels that the bubonic plaque is envious of.

          Agree, except its more like a kleptocracy.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Neoliberalism would be deconstructed and economics/financial issues which actually affect NZers properly described.

            Labour won’t have a bar of it then – they still believe whole heartedly in neo-liberalism.

        • Bill

          …well they will not get a chance to use democracy.

          (sigh) It isn’t they, but we who will not get a chance to use democracy. A parliament inhabited by managers, who claim as a bye line to be representing peoples’ views, just ain’t democracy.

          The point at which society became subjugated to the demands of the market has been and gone. And that means that demands emanating from society and that might impact on market demands are ‘off the cards’. Surely it was a recognition of this fact that gave us the pernicious pragmatism of the Labour Party’s identity politics?

          Y’know, if the Mana Party was an unabashedly ‘white’ party, it’d still get slaughtered in the media and condemned by parliamentarians. The gap that allowed a light to seep beneath that door the parliamentarians walk through to assume their pews; that represented at least the possibilty of genuine social progress via parliament, has been well and truly plugged.

        • Dan

          “This is perhaps the last generation for a hundred years where we get a chance to say no without the need for bloodshed.”

          Wow, they’re still letting you comment on forums from your cell Anders?

          [lprent: I find that comment and your subsequent remarks trying to justify it highly offensive.

          I can’t see anything in your previous comment history under any handle to justify retaining your presence. There are just several warnings from moderators. It seems pointless wasting further time by the moderators. So we won’t bother.

          You are banned until after the election. ]

          • Colonial Viper

            Blood from the massacre is not dry yet, don’t joke about it thanks.

            • Dan

              That wasn’t an attempt at humor. I’m just slightly stunned that someone here would be so keen to bring up the idea of spilling of blood for political means in the context of current events.

              • Colonial Viper

                Don’t try and take the moral high ground now after your not funny joke, loser.

                • Dan

                  Fuck your moral high ground, you and your holier than thou bretheren here have been pontificating about right-wing violence and how the left are such dear innocents and yet you’re quite happy to imply its okay to spill blood if the future doesn’t pan out how you want it to.

                  The difference with Afghanistan is that we all, even you, put in place governments from across the spectrum to act on all of our behalf. Even though you might not like it you’re just as culpable for NZ troops being in Afghanistan and the bloodshed involved.

                  • freedom

                    Dan, the difference you choose not to see is that most ‘lefties’ use violence only as an ultimate last resort, not as our general modus operandi.

                    • Dan

                      Yes, and I’d say that it is an act of last resort for the right too, and always from an extreme minority – as it is at both ends of the political spectrum.

                      But even qualifying the call to violence as a last resort removes any claim to moral superiority. If it’s abhorent as a weapon of first choice then it’s also abhorent as a weapon of last resort. That doesn’t alway mean it’s not justified, it does mean that no matter when it is used it is morally repugnant.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Dan you made the Anders joke, before the blood was dry.

                    Just scroll up in case you’ve already forgotten what you did. Clue: it was at 5:03pm.

                    • Dan

                      Yes CV, the blood isn’t dry and yet your silence indicates an apparent willingness to condone individuals taking it upon themselves to spill blood for the sake of a cause – as long as it’s one that you support.

                      I’ll paste it again, just in case you missed it the first time. Clue: it was at 5:03pm.

                      “This is perhaps the last generation for a hundred years where we get a chance to say no without the need for bloodshed.”

                      What’s probably scaring you the most about the events of the last week is how much of your world view, moral reasoning, and zelotry that you and others of your ilk on the left have in common with people like Anders.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You are as ignorant of history as you are of current events mate.

                      And remember, you made the joke about Anders.

          • freedom

            Dan, My comment in no way referenced or intended to reference a specific event. But on bloodshed for political means? what do you think our Soldiers are doing in Afghanistan Dan? knitting teacosies ?

            Your heartless ignorance only expresses how you do not understand the value of a life.
            This is a weight you do not have to carry. Think a little more about the people who built the ideas your masters are so quicklly tearing down,
            then maybe offer an apology to the survivors.

    • Afewknowthetruth 10.2

      ‘free papers that outlay the facts of the past thirty years.’

      Labour could not possibly do that. They would have to admit that while in government they had implemented policies of building more roads after it was obvious we were at Peak Oil, increasing the population when it was obvious population was a major problem, policies of free trade and increased consumption when it was obvious that free trade and consumption were major problems, policies of opening up NZ to global corporations when it was obvious that global corporations were at the heart of so many of our problems.

      Labour needs throw out all the dead wood (Goff, Mallard, Parker, King, etc.), start afresh with people who are intelligent and connected with reality, and then apologise to the nation for all that occured from 1984 on.

      Labour might then have some credibility.

      • freedom 10.2.1

        The freedom that comes from admitting one’s mistakes is a most liberating form of growth

        We all know that, yet we somehow think that a Political Party is immune to fault if they just ignore their contribution? That is part of the problem.

        As i said we need new boots, why not start with a pair that have a sole formed by truth

      • Campbell Larsen 10.2.2

        Come on aftktt, what sort of environmental/ political activist are you?
        Throw out the dead wood? In case you hadnt noticed we have a bunch of ugly uncharismatic robber barons in the Nact govt which according to bullshit polls the people still rate – so it obviously doesnt matter who the bulk of the the people in your party are at all. Then you suggest getting your new labour to apologise for all the faults of the world? Great strategy mate, that’s really going to work. Apologies aren’t going to fix anything. I would have though that someone like you – who going by the content of your posts believes that the end of the world is imminent would be more focussed on actions and solutions that extracting apologies from politicians – regardless of their hue.

    • Geoffrey 10.3

      This idea reminds me of the newspaper inserts National produced in 2002, which went into the Sunday Star-Times. Yes, reminds me of 2002…

      • freedom 10.3.1

        then you obviously need to raead it all again.
        I suggested publishing information that told the truth.

  11. Leopold 11

    Maybe Clark shouldnot have resigned on election, while appointing Goff Heir-Apparent? She could have held on for another 6 months to a year, making it clear that she would not be leading Labour into the next election. That would have given opportunity for genuine non-Goff talent to have fought for the position.

    That, and the selfishness of types like Winnie Laban who found a cosy little job at Vic and deserted Mana electorate in mid canter – too many of the Labour types seem to be head office hacks, who see being an MP someting to put on their CV’s.

    • bbfloyd 11.1

      well done leo… you’ve taken what has been one of the issues that charactorises john keys major weaknesses as a true leader and reprinted them with name changes…

      thereby making yourself irrelevant.. keep this up,,i need a good laugh to take my mind of not being able to buy any groceries this week because i have to pay my power bill.

      • freedom 11.1.1

        “i need a good laugh to take my mind of not being able to buy any groceries this week because i have to pay my power bill.”


  12. Nick C 12

    If the problem isn’t the product then it’s probably the salesman. The answer is simple: Roll Goff. People see him as yesterdays man, he can’t escape his rogernomics loving past, he doesn’t connect with the public, he doesn’t inspire confidence in either his caucus, and he has repeatedly failed when faced with a crisis or an oppourtunity to attack the government (Hughes scandel, Worth scandel to name).

  13. Adrian 13

    I had the opportunity watch Phil Goff at a couple of meetings this week. He is probably the best “listener” that I have ever seen in action, and I’ve been watching pollies for 40 years. He also got a very good reception at a chamber of commerce luncheon, altough any expectation of it garnering votes is unlikely, we are after all, tribal voters. Brendon Burns was there as well and said an interesting thing coming from his newspaper background, that the parties move together in the campaign as the media is obliged to give equitable coverage to the main contenders, he intimated that this was a semi-legal requirement. The All Blacks winning the World Cup could also play into Labour’s hands as when Keys runs around Eden Park with Old Bill at the head of the AB’s his “little boy” image will fall away to that of a sad wannabee.

  14. Aero 14

    Goff is not the problem. Key is not the problem. The Labour party will win the next election when it stops talking and starts programming success into every facet of the electorate. i.e. people on the street arranging buses to the polls, because those in stress want a tax free theashold, those who want profit want something different than the insipid property and farm property markets. Its a done deal, the only people voting economically for National are those sitting on homes worth less than their mortages, and I mean homes (rentals as well). Most people are going to be better off under Labour, nuff said.

    • burt 14.1

      Most people are going to be better off under Labour

      Our last experience with Labour didn’t show that. Low and middle earners carried the burden of fiscal drag while their personal debt levels went through the roof. High earners dodged the insanely low rich threshold of $60K and all the while Labour said they were prudent managers. People like you sang from their song sheet and ignored the reality. Arrogant self serving Labour ignored the electoral laws they passed themselves and mocked us spending our money illegally so they could stay in power.

      The message is loud and clear in this thread – get rid of the tainted with corruption dead wood that supported the self serving Clark on her one woman crusade of arrogance.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Still singing for your monetary masters?

        • burt


          Still singing for your monetary masters?

          You completely miss the point. The real top earners weren’t paying the tax at 39%. The high school teachers, the senior nurses, a lot of public servants – all paid the 39% though. Meanwhile creeping your income over $38,000 earned you a tax hike as well.

          I’m sorry CV, you can support Labour’s current plans to index tax thresholds and defend keeping them static for 9 years at the same time.

          • mik e

            Brethren Burt they gave tax cuts to families not rich millionaires . it was the social change policies that pissed of the electorate. you keep spieling up the same diatribe.Wages grew fast enough to make up for the fiscal Drag . national have borrowed to stop the fiscal drag for the top 5%.the rest of us will tire of the spin sooner or later and the tide will go out if your so worried about labour why don,t you join the party, wages continue to fall under National people will wake up to having no spending power. You and the other trolls are just here to enjoy free speech and demoralize at every opportunity!

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Our last experience with Labour didn’t show that.

        Rewriting history again I see burt. Wages went up and unemployment was at a record low.

        …personal debt levels went through the roof.

        And that was their personal choice burt. Are you now saying that you don’t believe in personal choice?

        …ignored the reality.

        People have been ignoring reality for some time now. It’s what’s caused Anthropogenic Climate Change, crashed the (delusional) economy and generally set this century up to be full of pain due to enforced correction of population levels. The RWNJs continue to ignore reality.

      • Campbell Larsen 14.1.3

        Arrogant this, self serving that…. not just once but twice in a rabid word jumble spin frenzy. You let yourself down Burt, you are normally more lucid than that.
        The message is loud and clear in this thread – most of the people here on this thread that are calling for change in the Labour party leadership and front bench do not like labour at all, almost definatly do not vote for them, and are probably insincere in their offers of kind advice.

      • Tangled up in blue 14.1.4

        High earners dodged the insanely low rich threshold of $60K and all the while Labour said they were prudent managers.

        The top rate now is only $70000 and also what have National done to ensure that high earners don’t dodge their tax?

        • burt

          I don’t think the thread is asking about how National could reconnect, but sure lets discuss how National could be more credible going into the election and what they have done to reduce tax evasion……

          For starters the top rate in now 33% so there is less incentive to avoid it but I agree the top rate kicking in at $70K is silly. It’s also not indexed. Perhaps National could take Labour’s $150K proposal and out lefty them by implementing it at $148K !

          Lowering the thresholds for WFF would also seem like a good idea. Based on how settings Labour called sensible where the top tax rate was $60K but people earning up to $120K could still be getting benefits – perhaps National could lift the WFF threshold to $300,000.

          Shall I go on ?

          • Colonial Viper

            For starters the top rate in now 33% so there is less incentive to avoid it

            Yeah National helped reduce evasion of the top tax rate by gifting it to everyone so they could get the benefits without having to try and evade it. How frakin smart is that.

            • burt


              Having previously taken the time to explain fiscal drags effects on middle income brackets here it seems I should follow my previous approach.

              Firstly, the people earning over $70K were not given a 6% increase in their take home pay. That had 6% less taken off them. Now if I was earning say $200K I might do a little maths and say that’s $130K taxed at 6% more than the previous $70K was taxed at.

              Having already paid $14,020.00 on the first $70K you are now telling me that rather than extract a further $42,900 at 33% you think it’s right to take another $50,700. So $56,920 in tax isn’t enough – you want $64,720 !

              Umm, let me think about that $8K… I could spend $2K-$3K a year on accountants and claw it back and get $5K-$6K in my back pocket. But the kicker CV is the next step – now what about that other $56,920 – the structure is already in place… what else can we do with it….

              If Labour set the top threshold at $150K there would only be $3K difference for a $200K earner. So can you see their policy would take away the key incentive for avoidance all the way up to possibly $250K. (the point where you get a few K reward for running the gauntlet and paying the beanies)

              People earning $300K+ would still be well incentivised to arrange their affairs to avoid the top rate.

              • Colonial Viper

                People earning $300K+ would still be well incentivised to arrange their affairs to avoid the top rate.

                Its not hard to take down the loopholes – if the will is there.

  15. freedom 15

    on a side note it appears the FairFix Poll banner has become a permanent fixture on the Stuff site.

    this does not bode well for the onslaught of propaganda around the corner

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Labour needs to own the selling of Telecom and how much doing so has actually cost us. Losing ~$20b through the sale of a single state asset is a great example of why we don’t want to sell any more. Other examples show the same thing – selling state assets is bad for the community.

    Drop the neo-liberal BS and point out how that has hurt us over the last three decades. Reduced R&D, reduction in manufacturing and massively polluted waterways and farming got ramped up with no regulations to control the run off. Productivity has gone up – wages haven’t.

    Basically, we need the government to start supporting our people again rather than the US, Europe and China.

  17. Axle 17

    Yep vto, been waiting for somebody to say that. It’s daft, Labour have used the gravitas of Kirk, and the Shakespearean tics of Lange before, but Ardern is gonna win a seat back for Labour on the basis of keen intelligence and? Yep. God she’s beautiful.
    So. We missed a trick with the women-magnet Maharey jumping ship, Roll out the persuasive and the attractive and the performers, because a message needs the kind of face you’d want fronting your 40th or the eulogy at your funeral – not some fucking boring auntie or uncle who happens to have achieved a position in a lineage – National didn’t do that. John Key is a late jonny and a performer. He’s also a cunt. Use your performers. They have a message and a warrant.

  18. Afewknowthetruth 18


    Environmental responsibility is a cross-party issue: without an intact environment nobody survives. Not being environmentally responsible is a form of slow suicide. And it is also omnicidal, of couse; humanity is progressively killiing everything, as humanity slowly destroys the habitability of the planet we live on. Most people in NZ seem not to have noticed it’s happening yet, probably because most of the destruction occurs overseeas and is not reported by the mainstream media. By the time people do wake up, it will be far too late. It’s the same with the economy.

    With respect to politics, you deliberately misinterpret my contribution to this discussion, which is about the failings of Labour to connect. I did not suggest that Labour need apologise for the faults of the world, just that it needs apologise for its long history of failure whilst in government.

    If you want my opinion about National, I’ll give it. National is a corrupt and manipulate party, funded by big business, which promotes neo-fascism; the bulk of it’s policies are utterly appalling and have been for decades.

    • Campbell Larsen 18.1

      “Environmental responsibility is a cross-party issue”
      Agreed. However different parties have vastly different views on the subject. If you are suggesting that environmental doom-speak alone will motivate voters then I think we need to examine what it is that you are offering them.
      Your say our habitat is doomed and that the future is bleak. Well, there is enough of the scientist and the cynic in me to concede that there is a chance that you are right – but this message is not an election winner. Don’t get me wrong – your opinion is certainly valid and i think that your comments help keep these issues in play. The thing is those with young children or thinking of having a family have a massive incentive to not believe you – fear and uncertainty. Just as when a theory describing the heliocentric nature of the solar system was denied when it challenged the religious conceptions of the time so too will people resist accepting dire predictions re the environment for as long as they can.
      The timeframes are also long, and peoples decisions are made on the basis of events and effects that are measured in weeks or months, less so years, and decades and centuries hardly at all. Doom is a hard sell – not only do people no want to believe, even if people do believe the message can end up disempowering people if they feel there is nothing they can do. There is always something that we can do. It may not always work, but we can always try. After all – If your house is on fire you don’t just stand there yelling ‘fire! fire!’ – you yell and at the same time go and get a hose to put it out – even when there is a chance you may not succeed.
      As for the apologies – as freedom said: admitting ones mistakes is a liberating form of growth – however politicians apologies don’t carry much weight with me anyway. Policy looks to the future, and apology looks to the past. What we need is policies, policies based on doing something and not just leaving it up to the market or the fates to decide.

  19. Blue 19

    The problem of why Labour isn’t connecting with voters is quite simple.

    1. Voters like our celebrity PM.
    2. Voters are buying the notion that NZ’s economic woes are solely the result of global forces.

    There are no easy solutions to this problem. As the old saying goes, Oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them.

    The fact is that today’s voters don’t seem to give a hoot about policy, substance or good governance. All they appear to require is a PM who can crack a joke, shake hands with Obama and barbecue a sausage while drinking a beer.

    You can bet that if by some miracle Key lost this election, there would be living rooms full of disappointed old ladies saying ‘oh, what a shame. Poor Mr Key, I thought he was really good.’

    Thinking about the long-term future of the country, and about whose policies would best shape that future, well, who can be bothered with that? Too much effort.

    The only thing capable of sinking Key is the economy, and he already has the perfect excuse – it was the world wot did it. His luck will run out when that excuse wears thin.

    When voters finally decide that the hard times they are facing are due to National’s economic mismanagement they will turn on them. But that will take a few more years at least.

    • burt 19.1

      2. Voters are buying the notion that NZ’s economic woes are solely the result of global forces.

      I agree they largely do buy that, because that’s what self serving arrogant parties tell them. In 2008 it was classic. Labour limps into the election with a campaign based on ‘look how much debt we paid off because of our prudent fiscal management – oh and tighten your belts there’s a big ugly recession and it’s not our fault’.

      Gee – I wonder why we don’t trust Labour!

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Bill English said we needed to sell off our most valuable strategic state assets because of our high debt levels.

        Yet in the last week he said we are in good shape re: the debt levels NZ is dealing with and the upset the markets are experiencing around the US debt ceiling.

        Quite clearly, NAT = FoS

        • mik e

          Of course Bill English is Quiet happy to sell them of for half price to their mates while we will still be paying the $72 billion debt in 2025 while labours CGT will pay it off much sooner

    • Anne 19.2

      Puddleglum has already linked to it but I will repeat because it’s exactly what Labour needs to do:
      As political scientist Johansson put it:

      Mr Johansson said Mr Goff needed to give up on a head-to-head popularity contest with Mr Key and let other caucus members take a greater role.
      “They really need to run a campaign that de-emphasises leadership because so long as the overriding comparison in voters’ minds is Key versus Goff, that is not good for Labour.”

      I thought this was so obvious, I’ve been waiting for it to start happening…
      There are some very talented members of the Labour caucus – including in the 2008 intake – who have a better media/TV presence than Goff. By giving them greater exposure it could instil in voters’ minds that the contest is between John Key (with Bill English tagging along behind him) and a diverse Labour team who look and sound good. It is probably too late to get them over the line but at least it may reduce the size of the defeat.

      Later in the same NZ Herald article Phil Goff is quoted as saying:

      He believed people would vote based on policies rather than personalities

      Sorry, but he’s living in dream land if he really does believe that. Why does Labour consistently over-estimate the public’s ability to understand policy?

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Goff and LAB in general let themselves get boxed in earlier this year with the MSM leadership challenge meme. As a result, LAB felt they had to showcase Goff at every opportunity.

        So you are right, what is needed now is for the entire LAB frontbench team to lay the hammer down on Key. None of his other Ministers matter in the slightest and should be largely ignored.

        Make it clear that LAB is about a strong team, National is about one celebrity showboat.

  20. Rodel 20

    Seen Goff working up close. He’s far more intelligent, experienced and competent than Key…. In fact I can’t think of any member of Nactional who comes close to Goff.
    But the uncommitted voters don’t care that much about intelligence, experience or competence.

    Goff excelled when harshly attacking Key who wanted us to join Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
    On youtube we saw the real Key squirming and humiliated by Goff.

    Goff needs to get a bit of harsh mongrel and stop being so nice.

    • Tiger Mountain 20.1

      Agree, direct speech, put the boot in, Lab needs to break more stories a la CGT rather then respond.
      It still seems counter intuitive that tough times for so many kiwis and a love fest for Shonkey exist simultaneously.
      • The polls are ‘bent’ to the extent of being highly manipulative with a desired outcome, but that is not necessarily to say inaccurate re the people sampled and questions asked.
      • There are committed Labour, Tory and small party voters out there, but a whole lot of disconnected, unempowered, not enrolled properly, occasional and (fuckwits) swing voters too.

      And as for ‘cuddly’! Shonkey to me looks floppy, palid, balding, whimpy posture, shifty, sounds half pissed all the time the way he mangles common words, with a mean streak to boot. (Bennies just need a kick in the pants, bennies just need to budget). But I guess such sadism is a win/win for the tory spinners.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      And that also goes for most of the font bench too. However it’s important to have one or two charmers around, for PR purposes 🙂

    • Bill 20.3

      Goff needs to….ach, never mind.

      Of the policies that Labour have announced thus far, I can’t see how they impact positively on what they might have considered their ‘natural’ voting base.

      A CGT and its applicability is a world away from most peoples’ reality. Poorer people and people going backwards don’t fucking well own second homes. So a CGT has no impact on them.

      Removing GST from fresh fruit and veg is of minimal, if any use to the many poorer people who buy frozen veg ’cause fresh veg is beyond the reach of their budget.

      How about universal dental care?

      How about paying a cash dividend to tax payers from the post tax profits of SOEs?

      How about dumping anti-strike legislation?

      How about price controls, or if they are so afraid of the WTO, some mechanism attached to Community Service Cards (for example) that acts as a discount on given goods and services?

      • Colonial Viper 20.3.1

        A CGT and its applicability is a world away from most peoples’ reality. Poorer people and people going backwards don’t fucking well own second homes. So a CGT has no impact on them.

        That’s the point, just don’t forget the flipside which does affect everyone: $5K income tax free threshold.

        Which needs to go up $10K p.a. before too long.

        • Bill

          See, I’m not even sure about the 5k tax free. Every time there are tax cuts, the one exempt group is those on a benefit.

          The last round of tax cuts I, along with others on a benefit got precisely $0.

          It’s something to do with benefits being tied to inflation or some such. Can’t remember the exact machinations at the moment.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hmmm…I’ve had a fairly close look at that policy and it appears to me that those on the unemployment benefit, NZ super, student allowance, etc would all benefit.

            I’d be very interested in raising hell if that was not actually the case. A tax cut which was only effective for ‘workers’ would be a policy failure.

            • Vicky32

              Hmmm…I’ve had a fairly close look at that policy and it appears to me that those on the unemployment benefit, NZ super, student allowance, etc would all benefit.

              I seriously hope you’re right! My experience with tax cuts has been exactly the same – I’ve had exactly one tax cut in my adult life (the one at the end of Labour’s term in 2008?) and by the time Shonkey’s came in, I was back on a benefit. Benefits are inflation indexed? I’ve really never noticed…

  21. Daniel 21

    It would have to be done independently of the Labour party, the last thing they need right now is to have their fingerprints on something like this, but maybe someone could take inspiration from the Shit Harper Did website from this years Canadian election, a simple website with a button that displays a random quote/video/fact about key and his govt.

    And then just throw it on Facebook, we all know how much the NZ media loves a lazy story about a Facebook group

  22. randal 22

    tiem they dumnped all the consultants and the rest and got some people who work with their hands and have some down to earth attitudes instead of arrivistes who want to jet off to new york at the earliest opportunity. Oh and fire brian edwards.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      The guys who handled the CGT launch did very well. They can stay for a bit.

      • gobsmacked 22.1.1

        The CGT launch was very good indeed. Labour looked like a professional campaigning machine. Best I’ve felt about them in months. People were talking about a Labour government.

        But then … a few days later, the message seemed to stop. Bad poll comes out, Labour were back to “deer in headlights”.

        Focus, focus, focus. Labour have decided on their message, and so they just have to push it endlessly, relentlessly, a hundred times a day.

        Interviewer: “Mr Goff, how do you respond to the latest opinion poll?”

        Phil: “John, polls consistently show strong support for a CGT, and that’s because …”

        etc. etc, ad infinitum.

  23. gobsmacked 23

    It’s Groundhog Day, isn’t it? It’s deja vu all over again.

    The polls consistently show the same thing. In fact (contra some wishful thinkers), they’re remarkably consistent. See the Herald today for the latest. In a nutshell, the message from the voters to Labour is …

    Your policies – Yes.

    Your people – No.

    And we can go on and on, post after post, day after day, round and round in circles, but in the end it’s either facing up to that fact, or head in sand.

    So, to answer Anthony Robins’ question (“What should Labour do?”) …

    There’s what Labour should have done (clean out the old guard), but obviously won’t do now. There’s what Labour should do after the election – again, clean out the old guard.

    But now? They’ve decided to present themselves to the voters, “as is, where is”. And there’s not a damn thing any of us can do about that. I’m certain we could all come up with dozens of innovative ideas that would capture the public’s imagination if it was being done by somebody else. But not by Goff, King, Mallard, etc. Very old dog, no new tricks.

    So … the answer is – let them plod to the election. Hope that Goff performs well in the post-rugby campaign. Hope for free gifts and gaffes from National hubris. And – for myself –

    vote for the Greens. And (crucially) MMP.

    PS Seriously, check out that Herald poll. Look at the result for the SAS in Afghanistan. This is NOT a crazy “right-wing” country. It’s a country without a smart “left-wing” opposition.

    • burt 23.1


      PS Seriously, check out that Herald poll. Look at the result for the SAS in Afghanistan. This is NOT a crazy “right-wing” country. It’s a country without a smart “left-wing” opposition.

      Nailed it!

    • r0b 23.2

      So by the same logic gobsmacked, the Greens need to clear out the old guard if they’re ever going to break 10%?

      • gobsmacked 23.2.1

        Rob, I can’t see any logic in that question at all. It doesn’t make any sense.

        It would make sense if there was constant polling evidence that Green policies were popular but the leaders were not. Or if the Greens hadn’t been replacing their “old guard” anyway. Or if Green voters and potential Green voters were obviously and publicly frustrated by their preferred (or previous) party. And so on.

        Let me ask you a related question. If Goff must stay as leader – Why is Annette King deputy leader of the Labour party?

        Is it for internal or external reasons? I can’t think of a single external reason (strikes a chord with voters, strong media presence, etc – none of these apply). So I have to assume it’s internal – acceptable to the caucus, seniority, etc. Which may be nice for Annette, but … is entirely irrelevant to the voters.

        That’s Labour 2011 in a nutshell, right there.

        • Colonial Viper

          Internal reasons I believe. Labour party constitution or some such specifies that the Leader-Dep Leader combo needs a man and a woman.

          Suspect it’d be better if the rules said – what ever combo best gets National toasted and the job done the best.

        • r0b

          Rob, I can’t see any logic in that question at all. It doesn’t make any sense.

          Makes plenty of sense. The Greens have always had the clearest vision on the biggest issues – the environmental issues – the issues that shape our planet. They’ve always had excellent social policy. Logically they should be the dominant party of the Left, correct? So why aren’t they? Must be a failure of leadership! Change the old guard!

          All nonsense of course, but it’s the logic that you’re applying to Labour. (And the preferred PM ratings mean bugger all for an oppostion leader, as I’m sure you well know).

          Let me ask you a related question. If Goff must stay as leader – Why is Annette King deputy leader of the Labour party?

          Because she was seen as the right person for the job? Whatever you think of her performance, changing deputy leaders is never going to turn the polls around. Equally of course there’s much less harm in it than there would be in trying to change leaders now.

          • burt


            Logically they should be the dominant party of the Left, correct? So why aren’t they? Must be a failure of leadership! Change the old guard!

            That’s probably true at this time but I don’t agree with the assertion that conclusion can be arrived at logically.

            My opinion is the Green’s economic policies scare the hell out of people and historically Labour have been unwilling to concede and economic agenda to the Green’s. I think it’s a lack of their integration into mainstream economic management under the Clark years that have keep them (relatively speaking) marginalised. Arguably they are more involved in the govt under National than they ever were under Labour.

            I would not be at all surprised if, come the election, their support crept up considerably on the back of weaker Labour party leadership. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Labour need to stop trying to out Green the Greens and form a real coalition with them.

          • gobsmacked

            Rob, the logic that I’m applying to Labour is this:

            Herald poll results today –

            Supporting National’s flagship policy on asset sales: 27%.

            Opposing National’s policy: 57%.

            And yet, that is almost a direct reversal of the party vote (across a whole range of polls). And previous polls on National/Labour policies have produced similar results.

            So, Labour cannot persuade hundreds of thousands of people to vote against policies they already oppose. That is a massive failure. The greatest disconnect between policy and party over the past 15 years or so.

            Faith is fine. But evidence is better. And the problem is staring Labour in the face. It’s not the message. It’s the messengers.

            • r0b

              People don’t vote on the basis of a single policy.  They don’t even necessarily vote on a collection of policies – more’s the pity…

  24. freedom 24

    With respect due the efforts of so many in our pasts, I would like to contribute the following few words then leave this dialogue for awhile as there are other things on today like the —- meeting.

    500K is an easy way to achieve the contact, but it only buys what is already there, Media manipulation and predicted polling. So we can buy media time or people could simply utilize the free networks and just share information between the millions of interconnected devices and gadgets and people and situations we sleepwalk amongst every day.

    Its free because the structure is already there. It’s paid for. We all pay for it every day. Let’s just change how we use it. It is no secret that the current level of open discourse will not last.

    The free newspaper earlier is an example.. people assume I mean large scale professional production.. no.. it is as simple as you printing off a file from a common source and distributing it. The conent is what matters, not its presentation. People will look wierdly at you, suck it up. But its not coloured, suck it up. Soon they will notice that you are not doing it alone, soon after that they collect one and may even read it. You spending an hour of your time and thirty pages of your ink may be the difference between a hip replacement and a rifle butt.

    There needs more communication of the basic facts of the world today. Repeated adnauseum, and ignoring the other guys. The ones on the right have their agenda sown up. No dialogue is going to change a damn thing there.. The focus must be on the public and the relaity that awaits them. Basically i am saying we need to ignore what the Government says. Just stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and stick out that tongue.

    Every person who wants to remove the National Government has an individual responsibility to do so. This is not a question of who to vote for. It is not about how many meetings you can attend and what happened to the minutes from last week. This is about what type of country are we willing to accept? The left is not a party it is effectively an unrelated group of ideas that inhabit the same house. Like all flatmates we must work out our differences and in so doing, find that common ground and we all eventually find a spot in the lounge that suits us.

    Labour is by no means perfect. The Greens are growing up strong but are still a young party. Mana will not let itself be ignored and neither should you. In your daily life you face numerous opportunites to ask difficult and potentially awkward questions. Do it! Get a response, make a person confront an issue. Politics is not an academic pastime spent drawing plans and sharpening pencils. It is a towering mechanism built of a peoples’ will that can lift a Nation from defeat.

    We are here in 2011 with the single most powerful communication device yet put into the hands of the public and we cower behind the couple of dozen pages that are reprinted around the globe every day. There are figures in history who fell to torture and war and famine and flase flags, who are looking at our squandering of opportunity, as we somnambulate into the yards, knowing if only they had our tools at their disposal things would be very different.

    To change minds today you have to throw out the rule book
    you must become the message you want to be heard

    Only when a common groundswell of direction is activated will any nuances of difference be detected by the masses that consume the abundant availability of information as if it were air yet live their lives unconscious of the fact that their air is slowly being put onto userpays.

    • gobsmacked 24.1

      We are here in 2011 with the single most powerful communication device yet put into the hands of the public

      Agree 1000%.

      So what do Labour use it for? Red Alert … a total waste. A site full of irrelevant links (i-Predict? Backbenchers? Who cares?), stories several days old, ill thought-out posts, which are immediately trolled, and basically – serving no purpose to the wider public.

      Slater and Farrar are ruthless and dedicated and kill Labour three times before breakfast.

      And worst of all, Labour don’t seem to have any DESIRE to change this. I would be pulling my hair out if I was a Labour MP. Whereas they seem quite happy with incompetence.

      • ak 24.1.1

        Dead right gob: Red Alert? – more like Beige Coma….and as for promoting the bought wishful-thinking propaganda of that predicty thing, god save us….

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      Agree with 99% of your comments and approach.

      It certainly does not cost much to print an 8 or 12 page newspaper. But in this day and age I don’t feel that we can skimp on professional writing, layout and graphics. Humour, intelligence and practical smarts must be reflected in the final product.

      The other thing to consider is that most people still find TV the most credible, most influential medium. “I saw it on TV so it must be true”, as it were.

      • freedom 24.2.1

        TV is a commercially complicated issue but we have youtube etc if used properly. There is also no need to skimp on professional wrtiting, it just means you may not get paid for it. Same with graphics, layout et al. This is New Zealand. We have talent coming out the wazzoo and only lack a focal point for contributions to flow through. I know of a couple of independant groups that have the post RWC as a focus period and will be using their limited resources to their fullest extent by picking a message and hammering it home using the very methods outlined above.

        you may not see it on the TV or read it in the Paper but that will not stop it from happening

  25. randal 25

    and dont forget that that the boy racers all want helen clarke back because she pandered to them!

  26. Tangled up in blue 26

    What should Labour be doing differently? How best to use the four months between now and the election?

    Keep pushing the anti-asset sales as much as possible
    Come up with some real ideas to create jobs
    Make their campaign Labour vs National rather than Goff vs Key

  27. Blue 27

    Another big thing Labour is facing is the fact that everyone thinks that everyone else is voting for Key and National. With the polls all saying that most people support the Nats, it is hard for people to decide to support Labour.

    I think we need to fight that ‘everyone’s voting National’ perception by having some influential people come out and say ‘I’m voting Labour’. And at the grassroots level, having supporters who are willing to put it on Facebook, or bumper stickers, and be proud of it.

    That’s the kind of campaign I think could get traction.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      It’s a “Speak Up and Stand Up” campaign

      LAB needs to give the electorate important powerful policy to speak up and stand up for.

    • Anne 27.2

      The last time they did that Blue (Citizens for Rowling in 1978 or 1981) they were slaughtered by the media – or Press as it was called in those days.

      • freedom 27.2.1

        i was only ten , guess i missed that one.
        (although when i was six i did refuse my holy communion, twice, but that’s a different story )

        so it’s time we took the dust cover off the mimeograph then !

      • Blue 27.2.2

        I don’t think we really have to worry about the ‘Press’ anymore, Anne. Times have changed. Politics is too boring for the front page – ‘Babes and Sharks’ is where it’s at now.

        The media have already admitted that they’re pretty much going to sit this election out because they’ll be too busy with the Rugby World Cup.

        Labour aren’t going to get any help from the fourth estate, and also, they need not have any fear of them. They’re just not going to pay Labour any attention at all.

        • Anne

          You could be right Blue. The problem is, these days people seem afraid to expess their political views in public. Long gone are the days when we drove around with bumper and rear window stickers on our cars and felt quite safe doing so. Public servants are particularly vulnerable. I know that from some very nasty personal experiences -albeit a couple of decades ago now.

          • Vicky32

            Long gone are the days when we drove around with bumper and rear window stickers on our cars and felt quite safe doing so

            Although as recently as ’92, I knew some rather odd people in the church I went to, who had a bumper sticker on their people-mover that said “Business IS good” (it turned out to be the slogan of a weird cult they were in) and who wore National Party rosettes to the morning service the day after the election. (Every family member of their large blended family, including the baby!) So my son who was 4 and I, retaliated with Labout Party rosettes for the following two weeks – 92 was the year of breath-holding suspense, even though it was FPP…

  28. It might be time to really go for cut-through.

    I do have some negativity towards goff and some of the things he has said but he is there and the situation is the situation. It is time for him to go down fighting and that means doing something like george did here

    “George returns from the beach and decides that every decision that he has ever made has been wrong, and that his life is the exact opposite of what it should be. George tells this to Jerry in Monk’s Cafe, who convinces him that “if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right”. George then resolves to start doing the complete opposite of what he would do normally.”


    Obviously not every decision has been wrong for goff but he can get in keys face and goad him into mistakes because keys weakness is his desire to be liked – he will react to goff in an unlikable way, like the shallow bully he is. Kiwis don’t like bullies and they won’t like key. What sorts of things? A nickname or statement that is repeated at every opportunity could be a good start. Something irritating that key will hate. Humour would be good even cryptic could work especially if it sort of sounds bad. “the slug creates it’s own mucus” – imagine goff saying that to key – he wouldn’t even have to explain it, just say nothing – be mysterious. Key would be lost for words and his mask would fall or he would verbally take a swing. The next time goff says it to him, he would flip out and loss it – or maybe after the fifth time. If not then something else – the kath and kim “look at me” would be good – “john – look at me, look at me” with a slightly strange voice and the finger thingy – hell the whole caucus could do it every time key gets up – it doesn’t have to really make sense to work.

    maybe I’m only half serious but whatever is not working now needs to be changed.

  29. Anne 29

    Labour and its cheerleaders … are paying the electoral price for their assumptions that ‘we are right’ and that ‘voters must come around to seeing that we are right’. It reflects the arrogance that the public still perceives in a party that was thrown out of office three years ago and refuses to show any humbleness or signs of self-reflection.

    So says Bryce Edwards.

    He’s a reactionary twerp. I can’t recall the subject matter now, but some time ago I remember him quoting his ‘take’ on an historical political event that I happened to have been a witness to…at the time it occurred. He was talking a load of breathtaking codswallop! Ever since, I have taken scant notice of his opinions because they so often spurious and partisan in nature.

  30. chris73 30

    Ok so first things first: He Who Must Not Be Named

    John Key is popular, it doesn’t matter what people on here think of him (though if it makes you feel better keep on running him down) the general public like him

    So stop trying to smear him, it hasn’t worked for how many YEARS now so its not going to work in the next couple of months, time will bring his popularity down

    Every time you try to smear him it just makes the public like him more

    The best you can do is ignore him and as someone said previously Labour can focus on the rest of the team

    Next thing:

    Labour (or really Clark and Cullen) were voted out because of perceptions of being corrupt, power hungry and out of touch (again it doesn’t matter if its true or not but thats what people think)

    So instead of biting the bullet and rejuvanating Labour stagnated…Goff, King, Dyson, Mallard, Hodges, Chadwick etc etc could have and should have been quietly removed/retired

    By failing to remove these people and more Labour was basically saying to the public that “we didn’t get the message” or “we understand you don’t want us but we don’t care”

    Basically Labour didn’t perform the required act of contrition so the public can’t trust Labour because to intent and purposes its still the Clark regime which the public didn’t want)

    But wait theres more:

    Labour and its supporters are arrogant, for proof just read some of the comments on here. If a net-savvy voter came on here they’d be unimpressed by whats written.
    Also the comments on Red Alert by MPs (mostly Trev Mallard) are at times shocking.

    Labour and its supporters need to realise they’re selling and no body buys from someone they don’t like/respect

    Also Labour need to stop thinking of themselves as “the left” (which is arrogant) as there are a number of other parties on the left

    The way Labour has treated the Greens in the past SHOULD make Labour hang their heads (thats how you treat your friends and allies?)

    In summary

    1. Stop attacking Key
    2. Remove the elder MPs and the remnents of the Clark regime
    3. Stop being arrogant

    • felix 30.1

      Thanks for the concern.

      • chris73 30.1.1

        You are such a dip shit

        Do you think that if Labour followed my advice they’d do better or worse then they are now?

        The stronger Labour is the harder National have to work, at the moment National is lazy because Labour are useless

        There are two questions that people are thinking about in the next election
        1. Will National govern alone
        2 Will Labour do as bad as National under English

        Not can Labour win

        That sneering attitude is exactly why the majority of the NZ population think the left are arrogant

        • Colonial Viper

          Do you think that if Labour followed my advice they’d do better or worse then they are now?

          If they followed your ‘advice’, Labour would have to rebrand itself in a light blue, and enter a permanent grand coalition with National and ACT.

          That sneering attitude is exactly why the majority of the NZ population think the left are arrogant

          John Key eating $7000 dinners and giving the left overs to his dog is not “arrogant”?

          • chris73

            Light blue? No they wouldn’t because I’d never sell 100% ownership in NZ SOEs

            John Key arrogant? No

            If he’d offered it to a poor person the left would’ve had a field day
            If he’d thrown it out the left would’ve had a field day

            Why not stop focussing on Key and focus on why Labours doing badly

            (and theres enough left-wing blogs out there that aresaying why)

        • felix

          “The stronger Labour is the harder National have to work, at the moment National is lazy because Labour are useless”

          You’re giving advice to Labour to advance the interests of the right. Hence “concern”.

          Dipshit indeed.

        • Jum

          No, chris 73, that ‘sneering attitude’ is what I saw on Sean Plunket’s face this morning.

          I look to the media to be objective when they are supposed to be framing the policies and personalities of each of the competing political parties because that is what all New Zealanders deserve from the information system, in order to make an informed choice for their new government. That objectivity does not occur on TV1 or TV3 in the Q and A and The Nation which are supposed to be serious political comment programmes (entertainment shows more like – it’s very disappointing).

          Obviously, private media can be bought and sold or turned into PR assistants (how many in Key’s office now, apart from Crosby and Textor?). But the New Zealand public broadcasting channels should be objective. They are not.

          When Jon Johanssen made a point which Paul Holmes disagreed with, he called Jon a Communist. Remember the smears from Muldoon. Just how low is this country going to become under this government? I have been watching the media for a very long time comparing the treatment meted out to the left and the right politicians.and witnessed the ongoing attacks on Helen Clark and now on Phil Goff, whereas no attempts are made to call John Key to account on his many decisions which affect New Zealanders. There is no objectivity in the media.

          The media is failing New Zealanders. John Key is not the best prime minister we have had; in fact he is a disappointment to anyone with some hopes for our country to succeed in having a fair lifestyle for everyone. Yet the media leaves out information which may hurt his mask. The media misinforms the public about what rightwing politicians have or have not said.

          This morning for example, Plunket and Power both played the lying ‘no, I haven’t got any plans for after the election’ game when Power himself said months earlier to the Herald that he was relinquishing the role of SOE minister because it would be a conflict of interest. Key intends to sell not only the power assets and the airport but the ports, Kiwibank and anything else he can before he leaves for America. Power will be stripping and selling them and no one in the media said a word about the deliberate lie by Power and aided by Plunket.

    • Blue 30.2

      1. It is the job of a political party to attack their opponents.
      2. Labour will remove their old MPs when National gets rid of Gerry Brownlee, Murray McCully, Tony Ryall, Nick Smith, Bill English, Maurice Williamson…
      3. The right are humble?

      • chris73 30.2.1

        1. By all means attack but just realise its not working, ok its just not working, the more you attack him the more Labour look befreft of ideas (and petty)

        2. What does that have to do with anything? This is about Labour reconnecting with voters not what National should or need to do (National did their rejuvanation 2008)

        3. See above

        This is the problem with Labour supporters, a question was asked and was answered and because they don’t like the answer (or the person answering it) they completely ignore it

        By all means make your pithy, clever retorts and keep wondering exactly why Labour is doing so badly (sorry I forgot the polls are all wrong and can’t be trusted) and Nationals doing so well

        • Colonial Viper

          Its the job of the Opposition to Oppose, not cuddle up to the bastards.

          National is doing well because of one man John Key. No mystery. But more to the point, he is a lone celebrity not a Government.

          • chris73

            Oh well

            In that case just keep shouting out Nationals a one man band, eventually the people will listen (its the way of NZ politics that eventually Labour will get their turn)

            • felix

              Electorally, National is definitely a one-man band.

              That’s why every two-bit useless seat-warming National MP will be campaigning for a “John Key govt” and not a “National govt.”

              • chris73

                Again you miss the point. So what if Nationals a one man band, so what if its all about John Key. Do you want Labour to win? Stop complaining about John Key and start looking at what your party can do.

                National is going to win the next election and it doesn’t matter why they’ll win or whos leading them to the win, the most important thing is that they’ll win.

                Is this a “can’t see the woods for the trees kind of thing” because I’m sitting here just not understanding why you lefties seem incapable of realising that National is leading by a canter and all I read on here is “if”

                If the public tire of John Key
                If John Key slips up
                If the public realise what Nationals doing
                If, If, If

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey mate the Left is not going to thrash around on your say so thanks.

                  National is going to win the next election and it doesn’t matter why they’ll win or whos leading them to the win, the most important thing is that they’ll win.

                  And that’s what all the polls predict. So go put a few dollars on iPredict and watch the show ok?

                  If the public tire of John Key
                  If John Key slips up
                  If the public realise what Nationals doing
                  If, If, If

                  I take it you are familiar with the idea that an election is for a first term government to lose, right? The Opposition’s job is to be ready with alternatives and a different vision IF the Government fraks up and IF people decide they care.

                  And those aren’t variables that Labour controls.

      • mik e 30.2.2

        don,t forget the recycled recycled Don brash and the recycled recycled recycled John banks they could be a very big liability for national

  31. Salsy 31

    And its also this kind of crap that knocks out Labour Policy.. You cant really be a fresh alternative with so much history hanging out on the front.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      LAB just say frak it, its a new decade with new policies. And that there is much more and much braver in terms of policies for ordinary NZers to come yet.

  32. just saying 32

    Passionate, uncompromising, unapologetic rhetoric.

    Draw the heat (attention) from the media, and other minions of the rich and powerful, and hold the line.


  33. randal 33

    Does this election really count or is the 6 year term the de facto standard?

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      Overturning a Government in the first term is always a damn hard challenge. LAB needs to move from 32% to 40% to win.

      Definitely doable. But easy? Not at all. Despite endless craven policies and messups from the NATs, NZers are not paying much attention yet.

  34. Jum 34

    Jenny said “Even unpopular policies such as cuts to KiwiSaver, a GST lift to 15 per cent, and plans to sell state assets are accepted as necessary in these difficult times.”

    We know none of these policies is an absolute necessity.

    We need Goff, Turei and Norman to fight this apathy together and present the alternative we know will give us a better future.

    We need this fight on physical newsprint as well as the computer and radio airwaves.

    This time next year will be too late. Local Government assets like Ports of Auckland, etc can be sold off from July 2012 and the sums have already been done.

    People need to understand that this government like all rightwing governments believes in very core activities, protecting itself from the people by pretending to have a military to protect them which is also used to break lockouts and strikes, protecting itself from the people with a police force which is revenue gathering in a mega way since 2008 Dec., (while promising not to raise taxes – very cunning).

    What is the core activities of a rightwing government? Then prepare to lose all the others – health, education, welfare, government intervention and ownership of any state owned assets, by various underhand methods – mixed ownership model, ppp, 35 year contracts… .

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