Sex & the Supercity

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, March 21st, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack - Tags: , , , , ,

For several months, my fellow author on The Standard, Sam Cash, has been covering the opening moves in the Supercity mayoralty race, particularly the problems faced by John Banks. Sam has gone so far as to say that the Right (the Citizens and Ratepayers group, effectively National) would soon look to switch their support from Banks to someone else.

As far back as November, Sam gave us the tip that Jenny Shipley would be chosen as an alternative Right candidate to challenge Banks.

Fran O’Sullivan has now confirmed that Shipley was approached but turned down the offer (she’s looking at being unelected dictator of Canterbury’s water supply for the  next four years instead) and that a sizable faction of the Right is still looking for an alternative to Banks, preferably a woman.

So why has the Right gone dark on Banks? Quite simply, as O’Sullivan admits, because he won’t win. None of the polls have put him ahead of Len Brown. Most have put him a long way behind. Banks simply does not represent most Aucklanders. And Brown has the advantage (or should have the advantage) of support from Left-leaning mayors in Waitakere and the North Shore.

Moreover, Banks has the burden of being associated with the undemcoratic and rushed process of forcing the unwanted Supercity on the people of Auckland. He is the chosen candidate of the very people who are creating the Supercity. Rodney Hide has gone so far as to label him a “super mayor” – an outrage in itself, the Minister responsible for creating the supercity also endorsing a candidate.

From the beginning it was clear that the Supercity was being created for the Right, by the Right. The system has been gerrymandered from the start to give more voting power to right-wing constituencies. When they thought their candidate would be super-mayor, the Right were planning to make that office all-powerful.

But things have changed now. Brown is out in front. Any late-comer Right candidate is more likely to split support from Banks than Brown. If Brown keeps it together, he is odds-on favourite.

So, we’re seeing these late changes in tactic from the Right. Trying to get in a woman in the cynical belief that a woman will draw left-leaning votes. Making the ‘council-controlled organisation’ that will run Auckland’s water and roading anything but council-controlled. Refusing to let right-leaving areas of Rodney, Papakura, and Franklin stay out of the Supercity despite overwhelming public opposition.

Gone are their hubristic dreams of John Banks ruling Auckland for business with a free hand. Now their attention is on last-ditch bids to stop Brown or constrain him once he wins.

All in all, this just confirms what a cynical and politically-driven process this whole Supercity process has been. It is undemocratic to its core. It is not about ‘growth’ or creating a better city. It is about securing power (and, thereby, wealth) for the city’s right-wing elite.

Now their plans are falling apart around them. It’s fun to watch.

52 comments on “Sex & the Supercity”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    Whilst it has been fun to watch, Eddie, there is far too much at stake for the right to let Len Brown waltz on in as the mayor by default because they can’t get their shit together.

    What is still under wraps to be played at the last minute?

  2. Anne 2

    Rumour abounds that another attempt to topple Rodney Hide as Act leader is imminent. If it’s true would that affect the Supercity machinations? Will JK step in again? If he deosn’t, will Hide retain his local government porfolio? It looks like things are hotting up!

  3. Ianmac 3

    How about getting Michele Boag for Super Mayor? She has the strings to pull and connections to top movers and shakers like Steve Rejoyce. And able to be ruthless, single minded and impervious to whining lefties. 🙂

  4. Anne 4

    damm – bad typos again.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Surely if those malevolent right wing forces are secretly plotting to win the Auckland mayoralty, then selecting another candidate to compete against Banks would simply split the vote, thus reducing the likelihood of a right-wing candidate winning.

    Surely, a good test for whether those dastardly right wing forces really are plotting behind the scenes would be for another candidate to be selected, and at the same time have Banks mysteriously eliminated from the race, thus removing the problem of vote splitting.

    If theses forces are prepared to go that far, surely a simpler solution for them would be to find a way to eliminate Len Brown. Arsenic in his coffee perhaps?

    • Ari 5.1

      Assassination really isn’t funny.

      Nothing short of intimidation is going to make John Banks back down, and I think the government is wisely giving up on that idea for now. 😉 None of that, however, does anything to mitigate the blatant attempt at stacking local democracy to make it easier for the Right to win control.

      Democratic structure should be about what’s fair, not who wins.

  6. wyndham 7

    One imagines that the right-wing spin meisters will be hard at work trying to rake up muck on Len Brown. In fact, I’ll bet on it.

    • Daveski 7.1

      Why would the right bother to use failed left tactics?

      • r0b 7.1.1

        You can say that with a straight face Daveski? The right have gone further than the left ever have, with private detectives stalking Clark and family.

        • Daveski 7.1.1.1

          My usual beef tho r0b that there’s the white hat/black hat mantra with the respective roles reversed at KB. It’s kind of ironic that no one bothered to dig up dirt on Georgina Beyer and her life experiences hardly detracted from her ability to perform as an MP ironically, in somewhat of a conservative electorate.

          • r0b 7.1.1.1.1

            My usual beef tho r0b that there’s the white hat/black hat mantra with the respective roles reversed at KB

            Pick a war. Any war. Any big debate (abortion, creationism, global warming). Each side is going to claim the white hat and paint the others as black.

            The claims themselves don’t make a side right or wrong.

            The claims themselves don’t make each side as good or bad as each other.

            One side has the truth on their side. So you have to put the rhetoric aside and look at the facts, and work it out. One side is right. Question is, which one?

  7. gingercrush 8

    What evidence do you have to support this: The system has been gerrymandered from the start to give more voting power to right-wing constituencies.

  8. Parnell Boy 9

    Looks like the baseless attacks have started on Len Brown “Mayor expects attacks” – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10633312&ref=rss

    Brown seems like a genuinely nice guy, I don’t think gutter politics will work against him.

  9. prism 10

    ” Making the ‘council-controlled organisation’ that will run Auckland’s water and roading anything but council-controlled. Refusing to let right-leaving areas of Rodney, Papakura, and Franklin stay out of the Supercity despite overwhelming public opposition.”

    Should that be ‘right-leaning areas’?

    The Right could be so anxious to prevent someone not their choice taking the lead that they will present a spoiler to John Banks with a giant campaign to influence the dazed voter at the end to boost the one who turns out top of the focus group pops.

  10. tsmithfield 11

    A very deep and nefarious trick those shadowy right-winged conspirators could use would be to set up an apparent left-leaning front to appoint another popular left leaning candidate to run against Len Brown. This could have the affect of splitting the left-vote and allowing a right-wing candidate to come up through the middle.

    So, be wary if another popular left-leaning candidate comes on the scene. It could be part of the grand right-winged conspiratorial plot.

    • felix 11.1

      Don’t be a silly goose txxxxxxxxxx, everybody knows there’s no scheming, plotting, backroom deals or treachery in politics and you’d be a complete fucking moron to suggest otherwise.

  11. tsmithfield 12

    Felix “Don’t be a silly goose txxxxxxxxxx, everybody knows there’s no scheming, plotting, backroom deals or treachery in politics and you’d be a complete fucking moron to suggest otherwise.”

    There’s more conspiracy theory oozing from other contributors than you’d get from a busload of Ian Wisharts, so there must be something to it.

    If the right-wingers were to cunningly put up a well-funded left-leaning campaign to oppose Len Brown, so that left is attacking the left, which would have a much greater effect in damaging the overall vote for the left than it would be if the right was attacking the left.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      But you’d have to find someone as stupid as Ralph Nader to git ‘er done. That kind of stupid doesn’t came around that often on the left.

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        PB: “But you’d have to find someone as stupid as Ralph Nader to git ‘er done. That kind of stupid doesn’t came around that often on the left.”

        Who said anything about stupid? From what I read here, those on the right have limitless wealth, while those on the left are as poor as church mice. All the right has to do is bribe someone on the left to do their bidding.

        • felix 12.1.1.1

          Ah, now I get it. You really are a complete fucking moron.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.2

          I know you’re a moron TS and that this may go over your head but there’s these things called principles – the political left have them and the political right don’t. What it means, in general, is that the political left, unlike the political right, can’t be bought.

  12. tsmithfield 13

    PB “But you’d have to find someone as stupid as Ralph Nader to git ‘er done. That kind of stupid doesn’t came around that often on the left.”

    Who said anything about finding someone stupid enough? As we all know, the right have cornered 99.999% of the wealth in the world while those on the left are as poor as church mice. So all that the right need to do is to bribe someone to do their bidding.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      Where it falls down is that the person would need to take the bribe, which would make them unelectable when it comes out. And with any leftie prominent enough to be worth bribing, it would come out, because the money would need to be explained somehow to the lefties they want votes from.

      Like I said, you’d need a Nader.

      That’s why it’s stupid. And sure there has probably been other things said that are just as stupid, but what sort of defence is that? And it’s not like you don’t have form in the stupid stakes. Remember all that stupid you were bleating about Worth?

      Folks here do

  13. tsmithfield 14

    Sorry about the repeat comment above. The first one didn’t seem to go through so I re-did it, now there are two replies.

    Felix: “Ah, now I get it. You really are a complete fucking moron.”

    Have you ever heard of “taking the piss”. Is anything I’ve written above that dramatically different from a lot of the conspiratorial sort of stuff others have written here? If I’m a “complete fucking moron” what does that say about everyone else?

    • felix 14.1

      Yes, what you’ve written is vastly different from what others are saying. The fact that you are too thick to see how is what identifies you as a moron.

  14. tsmithfield 15

    Felix: “Yes, what you’ve written is vastly different from what others are saying. The fact that you are too thick to see how is what identifies you as a moron.”

    Is it really that different, Felix? In the opening article Eddie suggested a conspiracy by the right in supposedly putting forward a female candidate to compete an electoral race that already included another strong right-wing candidate, John Banks. As I pointed out earlier, this move would only split the right vote and make it easier for the left to win. So that seems like just as stupid reason to suggest a conspiracy as anything I have written. Just as the song says: I “didn’t start the fire”.

    • felix 15.1

      You’re a moron because you don’t know what “conspire” means yet you try to make fun of those who do.

      Your entire attempt at humour on this lovely day is premised on the idea that politics doesn’t involve people conspiring which is patently absurd.

      That you can’t figure this out yourself renders you a moron.

      Just let me know if you need it explained again, dummy.

  15. tsmithfield 16

    Felix “Your entire attempt at humour on this lovely day is premised on the idea that politics doesn’t involve people conspiring which is patently absurd.”

    You are the one who seems to have problems with comprehension, Felix.

    My “attempt at humour” has been based on the premise that when people do conspire they will at least have the intelligence to do it for logical reasons that have some prospect of working.

    See, my opening post on this topic stated: “Surely if those malevolent right wing forces are secretly plotting to win the Auckland mayoralty, then selecting another candidate to compete against Banks would simply split the vote, thus reducing the likelihood of a right-wing candidate winning.”

    As far-fetched and absurd my alternative conspiracy theories have been, at least it is more logical than what Eddie was suggesting at the outset.

    My point to all this is that if you’re going to believe a conspiracy, then at least put forward some rational reasons for doing so.

    • prism 16.1

      ts No-one here except you seems to find anything humorous about the Auckland takeover. It is a serious power grab and it wasn’t thought up overnight one balmy evening by a few mates over a barbecue. There is plotting and planning here. And what makes me sick to my stomach and further, is the way that the democratic process is again being circumvented as it was in Roger’s Labour term.

      My conspiracy theory – perhaps this was thought up by people in Treasury. They have gazillions of dollars, time to set up elaborate convoluted models on their computers, and a mindset set on the distant blue horizon, like an Auckland yachtie. Perhaps you’re one of the in-group so you can feel a little smug and amused about it all.

      • tsmithfield 16.1.1

        Prism: “ts No-one here except you seems to find anything humorous about the Auckland takeover. It is a serious power grab and it wasn’t thought up overnight one balmy evening by a few mates over a barbecue. There is plotting and planning here. And what makes me sick to my stomach and further, is the way that the democratic process is again being circumvented as it was in Roger’s Labour term.”

        I live in Christchurch, so I can find a bit more humour in the going ons in Auckland. I don’t dispute the possibility of a conspiracy of some type. However, if it is as well thought out as you say, they won’t be putting up alternative candidates to split the vote for the right as was suggested in the opening article.

        Conspiracy theories are fine if they are based on some logical rationale and evidence. What was proposed in the opening article qualified in neither respect.

        • lprent 16.1.1.1

          The problem for the rather stupid conservative right that initiated this cockup consists of two parts

          1. They didn’t realize exactly how much this stupid set of decisions in wellington would get up aucklanders craw. This cuts across the political divide. In fact I’d say that the auckland right outside of the Panell and Remuera set detest it even more than the left. If that means we have to change the government to fix it, then that is what will happen.

          2. They didn’t realize that John Banks was detested by almost everyone outside of central Auckland, and detested by a considerable number inside central Auckland. No Amount of gerrymandering gets around this fact.

        • prism 16.1.1.2

          ts I don’t think you, or I, are ever going to be able to match the slicing and dicing that goes on into planning political moves. You think that past observed splitting of votes by multiple candidates rules out that possibility if the right is thinking logically in Auckland. Therefore it is not worth considering. But like worms on a hook we have to keep squirming, trying to work out what is likely to happen. Political chess players like Rove in the USA and some outfit called Textor can be bought to advise on strategy. I am interested in trying to work out how ingenious they are.

          And don’t be too relaxed about Auckland’s fate, we are all in this small boat together. The population has been shifting to the top of the country with no growth in some SI cities for some time. We don’t want the two main islands to become unbalanced, the bottom half underpopulated, and ignored with Aucklanders looking towards Australia.

        • Akldnut 16.1.1.3

          ts why the fuck are you copying and pasting everyones comments – can’t you just click on reply and then type your answer?

          Its a shame that our principles will force us to stick up for you and your ilk, if & when these clowns decide its time for the South Island to become a super city and you’ll get places like Westport, Nelson & Blenheim controlled by a Christchurch based Council. (My conspiracy theory)

          Capcha – afraid – be very, very afraid

  16. tsmithfield 17

    Come on, Felix.

    Come back and admit you are the one who is intellectually challenged. You are very happy to throw around the adhoms and personal abuse. However, when I have clearly shown that you couldn’t grasp the clear and simple point I was making, you clam up. Come on, Felix. You can admit you were wr..wr..wr..wr. I know you can.

    Don’t show yourself up as a coward as well as thick.

    • felix 17.1

      Sorry txxxxxx, been off living my life.

      I was clearly wrong. You’re no moron. You’re an absolute fucktard. You haven’t understood a word of what anyone has said in this thread so far, not that that’s out of character for you.

      I’m going to type this really slowly for you: You’re talking about “conspiracy theories” in a mythological sense while referring to a situation which is, of necessity and by it’s very nature, the result of many people conspiring.

      Furthermore this has been explained to you several times and you still don’t realise how utterly stupid this makes you appear.

      Now fuck off and stop trying to derail the thread so transparently and sadly.

  17. coolas 18

    When Hide imposed the Super City his confidence included Banks as Super Mayor, and in his ego intoxication he no doubt saw himself being praised by the wealthy elite. This shallow little man with dramatically plucked eyebrows is an imposter. He has attempted to deceive the people of Auckland for fraudulent gain. Banks must be pissed with the clumsiness. He’s shrewd. Hide’s a clown. But they’re joined at the hip. Yeah Banksie will be fumin’

    Len Brown seems to be the antithesis of Hide and Banks. Humble, down to earth, man of the people. And most of all people know he’ll challenge the structure and make changes.

    Banks is gone.
    Boag’s a joke – come on!
    Len’s the Man

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 18.1

      The Banks camp has been desperately trying to label Len as weak, indecisive and not upfront enough to lead Auckland. Unfortunately for them Brown has a pretty impressive set of mayoral achievements. Banksie seems good at getting his photo in the social pages of the Sunday Herald but doesn’t seem that involved in day to day issues until they become newsworthy.
      Banks is sort of like reverse iceberg. All tip and no body.

  18. tsmithfield 19

    Iprent, Prism, what solid evidence is there of a conspiracy from the right with respect to the Auckland Mayoralty. Are we talking solid facts or are we talking faked moon landing sort of stuff?

    • felix 19.1

      Baby steps for the big blubbering baby.

      Is the supercity being designed by lefties or righties?

      One word answer if you please. Take your time.

  19. Rich 20

    Surely they’ll just offer Banks an ambassador’s job or a high list place in a year or so, just to get him out of the way.

  20. BLiP 21

    “Council Controlled” – my fat arse!

  21. Shipley approached for Mayor? Ergh..who by? Given her inability to ever actually win an election as leader I would doubt that and is rumour-mongering by those with nothing better to do.

    I’ve heard 6 businesspeople who have been approached to stand for Mayor in Wellington and another 4 in Auckland. None of these people will stand because they are all far too sensible.

  22. tsmithfield 23

    Felix “Baby steps for the big blubbering baby.

    Is the supercity being designed by lefties or righties?

    One word answer if you please. Take your time.”

    So, this is the sum total that you have of evidence of a conspiracy, Felix? The fact it was designed by righties? So, on that basis, if it was designed by lefties, it would be a left-wing conspiracy, correct? So, your definition of a conspiracy is any time two or more people agreeing to do something?

    As I’ve already said, I have no problem with the concept of political conspiracies. However, I do expect some evidence that such things are taking place. Reading back through the threads here, there is not the slightest shred of actual evidence to support the contention of a political conspiracy with respect to Auckland.

    In my most recent post, I actually asked with genuine interest for evidence to support this conspiracy theory. However, none has been forthcoming.

    If expecting evidence and rationality is derailing a thread then I sincerely apologise.

    • felix 23.1

      No, I’m establishing that you understand who is putting this supercity thing together.

      Like I said, baby steps. Once You answer the question we can move on to establishing a few other facts, and you’ll be able to point to some of these conspiracy theories which you seem to see everywhere and we can have a discussion about them.

      But first you need to be here in good faith so we need to establish some background truths. It’s sad and pathetic to have to walk you through such boring and obvious stuff this way but that’s your choice.

      So once again, who is designing the supercity, lefties or righties?

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