Shearer’s Address in Reply

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, December 18th, 2011 - 96 comments
Categories: david shearer - Tags:

David Shearer’s brand is of a new kind of politician. Not burdened by the old rivalries, he is touted as the man that can move New Zealand forwards – a consensus-builder rather than a scarred old warrior. The weekend media coverage has been excellent. His Address in Reply this week will consolidate his brand. Here is what I would say if I were him.

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During the election campaign, Mr Key told us several times that President Obama had told him that, while the official unemployment rate in America is about 9%, the unofficial rate is 14-15%. I think the point of this anecdote was to tell New Zealanders that we don’t know how lucky we have it in this country, under Mr Key’s administration.

Well, I looked up the ‘unofficial unemployment rate’ for New Zealand, what is called the ‘jobless rate’. It’s 10.3%. Over quarter of a million New Zealanders are out of work and want a job. Many of them don’t count as officially unemployed because they have given up actively looking for jobs that just aren’t there to be found.

Four years ago, in 2007, there were 110,000 fewer jobless Kiwis.

You’ll notice I’m comparing to when the economy started going backwards due to the global recession, not when Mr Key’s administration came to power. I’m not going to pretend that everything that is wrong with this country is Mr Key’s fault. I am here to talk about solutions, not to try to apportion blame.

But it is clear that something very serious is wrong with this country when quarter of a million people are out of work. We have 78,000 young people sitting around doing nothing – they’re not in employment, education, or training. That is the flower of our youth being allowed to wilt away.

Our economy still produces less per person than it did in 2007. And the so-called recovery is so weak that it will take until 2018 to get back to where we were in 2007 at this rate.

We are doing poorly by international standards. According the the International Monetary Fund, we had the 141st slowest rate of economic growth in the world last year.

It is clear that we face big challenges both external and internal.

Internationally, the global finance system is still teetering on the edge of collapse. Cowboy capitalists reaped millions and billions of profits by trading currencies and derivatives, and by advising countries to sell their strategic assets into private hands. They built an economy on debt and fictional wealth, then reached into taxpayer pockets for bailouts when it all came tumbling down.

We are also in an international energy crisis. Petrol prices hit record levels this year and only reduced when the outlook for growth worsened. Every time their is an inkling that a real recovery might be on its way, the price of oil shoots up and smothers it.

Here in New Zealand, we are wasting the potential of 20% of our children by condemning them to live in poverty. We have one of the best school systems in the world but what good is it to kids who are too hungry, too sick, too abused, and too neglected to learn properly? The long-term effect of 20% of our people growing up in poverty is a less productive workforce, higher health costs, more crime, and a poorer New Zealand.

We are running into the limits of this country’s resources. Ever since colonisation, first by Maori and then by Pakeha, greater wealth has come through greater exploitation of the bounty of our beautiful islands and the sea. But we cannot get richer any longer by this path: there is only so much water in our rivers, only so much arable land, only so many fish in the sea. We have to use what we have more smartly, not just hope to find more natural resources to sell.

I was privileged to be elected leader of the Labour Party just over a week ago. I do not have all the answers to these problems yet. Indeed, no one person and no one party can ever have all the answers. But I can tell you today the changes in direction that I will be advocating for my party, for Parliament, and for New Zealand.

I am determined that Labour must become a more humble and respectful party. The public has given us a clear message that we cannot take anyone’s support for granted. We have to earn it. Not just by having good policy but by acting ethically, by keeping to both the letter and the spirit of the rules, and by working pro-actively for the good of the country with the government we can.

When I talk to the public about what they don’t like about the way politics works, they usually say that it is the way we always seem to be fighting, rather than working for the common good. In fact, Labour voted with National on 42% of legislation last term, but I take the point that we need to be more mature in our relationships in this House, and MMP makes that easier.

It is not in my nature to oppose for opposition’s sake. I am a consensus builder. That was why I offered to join the government’s new committee on poverty. Unfortunately, Mr Key turned me down.

You will not see the Labour Party I lead needlessly wasting Parliament’s time. When we disagree with government legislation, we will make that known to the fullest extent but we will not filibuster or use delaying tactics except in the case of truly abhorrent policies. This Parliament was democratically elected and if the government of the day has the numbers to pass legislation, it is not for us to try to frustrate that.

The quid pro quo, however, is that we expect the government to pay greater respect to Parliament too. I do not want to see ministers fleeing the chamber ahead of their questions during Question Time, or using petty procedural points to avoid giving proper answers. The public expects and deserves better. I want to see an end to legislation being dropped in front of the House at the last minute and rammed through under Urgency before the public and its elected representatives have proper time to consider it.

In short, I am committed to leading a Labour Party that pays greater respect to this institution and the voters who put us here, and I call on my fellow MPs to do the same.

I have often told the story of my political epiphany. When I was travelling on the back of a truck in Africa, eating melons and throwing the skins over the side, and then I realised that starving children were fighting in the dust for those skins. I worry that New Zealand is becoming like that. A few people have most of the wealth, and the rest are expected to fight each other for the scraps.

I believe we will not become wealthier – both economically and spiritually – by trying to give more to those who already have plenty. The Labour Party I lead will not borrow, as Mr Key has, to give tax cuts to the rich, or to bailout private investors, or to subsidise profit-making businesses.

Labour will not tax working people on every dollar they earn while a few make large tax-free incomes from speculation. Taxes are a necessary part of life to pay for the public services we need but I believe in a fair deal for everyone, not a system that is set up to benefit the elite.

And I also believe that we have to make better use of the money that the government spends. The current government has increased spending by $14 billion a year, even while cutting government revenue. This has lead to record deficits made worse by international economic crises and natural disasters at home. I am committed to getting the best out of every dollar the government spends.

That means ending spending that doesn’t make sense – like highways whose costs exceed their benefits and building for-profit prisons when the prison population is falling. It means not subsidising water for profitable farming businesses. It means cutting down the number of ministers and the number of ministries and government agencies that exist primarily to make it appear as if the government is acting, rather than producing any meaningful work. It also means ending the effective taxpayer cost that occurs every time someone exploits a tax loophole and leaves the rest of us to carry more of the burden.

To this end, I am today proposing a cross-party commission to examine government spending line by line and eliminate wasteful spending, and another cross-party commission to examine tax loopholes and eliminate them.

Having cut useless spending and tax loopholes, Labour will advocate for increased spending where it is worthwhile. We call for getting young people off the dole and using the money saved to subsidise apprenticeships. We will boost investment in housing to reduce health costs and ultimately create a more productive society. We will push investment in a less oil-dependent transport system to insulate us against future shocks. And, I will personally argue that every spare dollar should be plowed into science because this country will only become both richer and sustainable if we become more clever first.

Finally, Labour will continue to stay true to its founding ideal: that every person who wants to work should be able to get a fair day’s work with decent conditions and for a fair day’s pay. Work should enhance our dignity, not be an act of exploitation of the have nots by the haves. Labour does not view wages as merely a cost to business to be reduced whenever possible, as National does. We know that the wage you earn is the livelihood with which you support your family and give your children the start in life they deserve.

We will oppose any moves by National to drive down wages further than they have already fallen under Mr Key’s watch. We will protect the right of workers to negotiate for fair pay rises. We will continue to argue that workers are an asset, not a cost, to business, and they deserve fair pay. We do not agree that workers have to lift their productivity before wages can rise – productivity increases have been outstripping wages for decades and the share of GDP that goes to workers here is much lower than in Australia and other comparable countries.

We know that, in truth, higher wages is the route to higher productivity, not the other way around, because higher wages will keep more of our best people in New Zealand and encourage businesses to investment in productivity enhancing capital. I call on Mr Key to acknowledge that fact too, and join with Labour in working to raise wages, rather than working to cut them.

I will end by congratulating the Prime Minister on winning a second term. A great trust has been placed in him by the people of New Zealand. I call on him not to waste it. Not to implement short-sighted firesales of our strategic assets or introduce laws that will reduce the job security and wages of New Zealanders. If he is content to let this country drift for three more years, to leave a quarter of a million New Zealanders out of work, and act only to protect the wealthy, then Labour will oppose his government.

But, if he is willing to think of the long-term. To face the big problems head-on. To invest in our future, rather than selling it. To make New Zealand, once again, a country that people come to, rather than flee in record numbers. And to make the smart choices now that will build a better New Zealand in the decades to come. Then, the Labour Party I lead stands ready to help.

96 comments on “Shearer’s Address in Reply”

  1. Jono 1

    “…And PS, let’s put the fern on the flag!”

    FFS

    • Blighty 1.1

      grow up. those were questions put to him by the media and he gave his answers. It’s not like he is going around saying the flag is the big issue of the day.

      • Jono 1.1.1

        Sensitive much? Regardless of how it came up it allowed a subeditor to run a headline painting him as a light weight.

        • Ari 1.1.1.1

          Are you telling me he should lie or refuse to answer perfectly legitimate questions about the flag or whether he’s a republican to manage his media image? That’s stupid. The newspapers are the ones with the responsibility to cover Shearer accurately, and if they don’t Shearer should campaign more directly to the public.

          • Blue 1.1.1.1.1

            The reason they brought it up was because Shearer mentioned changing the flag in his maiden speech to Parliament.

            He’s the one who has made it sound like it is a major priority of his.

          • Jono 1.1.1.1.2

            “The flag is up to the people of New Zealand to decide, as is the question of becoming a Republic. At the moment our country and the world face much bigger concerns yadda yadda yadda…” At a time when it seems like the developing world is battening down the hatches and making conservative choices in all sorts of areas, does anyone really give a crap about whats on the flag or is it just a distraction?

  2. millsy 2

    Nice speech.

    Cant imagine Shearer making it though.

    Having said that, Im not sure what sort of speech he will be making. Anyone can be a socially liberal republican, but economics, taxation and government services are a totally different matter.

  3. Ad 3

    Presuming to channel Shearer is an excellent conceit for stimulating debate on this kind of site, and it’s a thoughtful, coherent and well written piece.

    Focussing on real unemployment levels is an excellent start. The force of this line would be stronger however if it restated in kitchen-table terms the effect of losing a job, or being downsized to a lower job, and spelling out the rippling impact that has on a family. Statistics are not always helpful except as a sprinkling of salt into the main course.

    Another way to make economic stress more real is to illustrate it through an economic sector. Wine, for example, is sustained in the New Zealand print media as one the the most glamorous blue-green industries since the 1987 crash. But is is under massive stress, hires cheap and barely regulated labour, continues to have its higher-end manufacturers hollowed out by international buy-outs, and yet remains supported by ridiculous media fawning. Showing what damage policy neglect has done, emphasizing how industries with strong guiding institutions do much better, and showing what the Labour difference would make to forming a common good, would be a way of forging the path out of gloom and anomie.

    The proposed speech is also prepared to engage in raising the level of parliamentary engagement and discourse. I think the Green Party have really showed the way on this however already over the past two terms, and that this should be acknowledged. Humility would allow for that.

    The use of the word “spiritual” is a big reach. I would suggest you can’t go into that realm without a pretty clear investigation of your own values, and how they resonate with common values held within New Zealand. Spiritual values, even though they ought to be, are not stable or immutable. You might want to avoid that kind of rhetorical reach until it has been earned or unless you are prepared to set out its lineage.

    The call for cross-party cooperation on spending efficiency is excellent, but would be made concrete if there was a specific call-out to the Act, United Future and New Zealand First parties to hold every tax dollar taken to scrutiny. Find reasons to flank around National, within such a fine majority coalition, would make the Beehive think very hard.

    I appreciate that this version of Shearer was seeking to appear conciliatory and gracious, but the ending went too far. Shearer in short order needs to appear to be able to marshall a government-in-waiting rather than ready to appease too much.

    To sound like the government-in-waiting, the direct appeal should be made not entirely to the Prime Minister, but to the people of New Zealand. I agree that the first job of an Opposition is to oppose. But one has to presume that the metaphor that will get carried and amplified by the media is the one about the starving running after his melon-skins. What is yet absent is the answer to what kind of New Zealand does Mr Shearer’s voice really want? Opposing specific policies is a necessary, but this kind of immensely powerful Prime Minister will not be defeated policy-by-policy, as has been seen in the last election.

    The critical absence remains: we know now what kind of things you are against, but what kind of country are you for, what would success look like under a parallel administration, and have you begun to invent a public discourse sufficiently powerful to take the people away from the ruling administration?

    This is a strong contribution and I urge The Standard to raise the standard, so to speak, like this.

  4. Blue 4

    Nice speech, Eddie, but Shearer’s will probably go more like this:

    Waffle waffle waffle….let’s work together Mr Key to make NZ a better place!….waffle waffle waffle…we need more science! Waffle waffle waffle….clean, green and clever! Waffle waffle waffle…when I was in Somalia…waffle waffle waffle….and then when I was in Baghdad…waffle waffle waffle…and then when I was running in Mt Albert….waffle waffle waffle…NZ has a lot of challenges to face…waffle waffle waffle…but I don’t really know what to do about any of them…waffle waffle waffle…but I’m sure going to have fun listening to everyone and trying to figure it out over the next three years! Waffle waffle waffle…I’m really good at accurately describing the problem and offering no solutions!…waffle waffle waffle…and we need to get that flag changed…waffle waffle waffle…oh, my time’s up? Okay, thanks for listening everyone! Your turn now, John!

    • millsy 4.1

      I doubt that Cunliffe would have said anything different, though “Harvard” would be substituted for Baghdad.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Ummm, yeah Cunliffe would have espoused a brand new evolution of traditional Labour values, ones which speak to the working class and the underclass. Not the aspirational centrist swing voter who is looking for new tax advantages for their two income $100K pa earning household.

      • Anne 4.1.2

        I doubt that Cunliffe would have said anything different…

        Wrong.

  5. Sookie 5

    I like David Shearer a lot and I have been deeply unimpressed by the bitching and whining and wailing going on in here since he won the selection. Regardless of his lack of political experience, he has a lot of experience of dealing with tricky, corrupt, potentially murderous bastards in his career, which should set him up for dealing with NZ politics quite well. He’s also a nice bloke who people warm to, unlike that sly boots Cunliffe who may be clever, but is never likely to be popular. Speaking as a Green, we need you Labourites to get your act together. Stop the infighting and unite behind your new leader, or you won’t get anywhere in 2014.

    • Eddie 5.1

      I agree. Sometimes your horse doesn’t win but the real fight is to win the next election.

      Of course, that’s not to say he or Labour are above criticism but there’s no point going out trying to undermine Shearer just because you don’t like that he’s the leader. He’s the leader now and the more important thing is that we get a centre-left government in 2014.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        I got no issues with a Labour driving firmly towards strengthening social democracy and being a centre left party of the working class and underclass.

        I don’t particularly care for a Labour which sits in the centre, doesn’t challenge the principles of neoliberal economics but might transfer a little bit more wealth to the poor now and then as compensation.

        • fmacskasy 5.1.1.1

          Indeed, Viper. I concur.

          Carrying on with failed neo-liberal policies which have driven down wages; increased unemployment; forced preople to emigrate; and widened the wealth gap is not a practical solution. More-of-the-same-policies will simply reult in more-of-the-same problems.

          Eddie – that was a good “speech”. I might have a minor ‘quibble’ over a couple of lines – but overall I think it excellent.

          The bottom line is that if Shearer and his colleagues don’t differentiate between Brand National and Brand Labour – then there is no reason for the punters to change the guvmint in 2014.

          There has to be a reason to make voters look at Labour as different option.

          One point to consider is the milk-in-schools project announced by Fonterra.

          On the one hand, good on Fonterra for taking this step. For whatever reason, if it helps our children, that’s got to be a positive step.

          On the other hand, New Zealand has gone Full Circle from low-waged, depressed, 1937 to prosperity and back to low-waged, depressed 2011. (On the milk-in-schools issue; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/once-were-warm-hearted/ )

          The big question we should be asking is “WTF Just Happened?!?!”

      • Hulun Shearer 5.1.2

        We have a centre-Left government now.

        I know it doesn’t seem like that from the extremities of the far-far-FAR-Left but it’s actually the case.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          A centre left government would promote social democratic principles including the advantaging of labour/wages and ensuring that wealth/ownership is sufficiently taxed to pay for the needs of society and of struggling individuals.

          Doesn’t sound like NAct to me.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.2

          Nope, this government is radical right-wing. If you think that this government is centre left then you’re even more delusional than most RWNJs.

      • Craig Glen Eden 5.1.3

        “I agree. Sometimes your horse doesn’t win but the real fight is to win the next election.”

        Shearer and Robertson have got no show of winning the next election with Mallard( Mr 27%) running the show. Have a good look who Mallard has put on the front bench most of them will struggle to win in safe Labour seats We need candidates that can win Marginal seats and seats that are currently National held. Just look at Auckland Central we should have won that seat, fancy getting beaten by Nicky Kay shit o dear!

        • tc 5.1.3.1

          Kay lost to ….Ardern, how did Robertson do (not that well) and you’re right Craig with Mallard running the show it’s going to go as well as his parliamentary record.

          Domoted by Clark, caught brawling in parliament with another A grade plonker in Henare…and that’s your calm master strategist….good luck.

          Shearer represents the old guard and with that a likely turnout as a minor party Labour….you’ve lost the high ground and the initiative with this move and alot of the innovative fresh thinking needed to climb back on top.

          Shearer will do as Brash did….plays out well with no result then they just might do what’s neede to win not what keeps some old hands way past their used by dates at the front benches which’s what’s going to happen here.

          • Ari 5.1.3.1.1

            Robertson was squeezed between two stronger parties in Wellington Central, so it’s not exactly his fault if the Labour party vote went down.

    • prism 5.2

      Sookie That sounds all a bit starry-eyed and idealistic about Shearer and partisan with Cunliffe getting no credit for his good skills “sly boots Cunliffe who may be clever but is never likely to be popular”. We should be wary of pedestals such as the Brits put Tony Blair on.

      We actually do need clever, practical, socially democratic people, in politics, business and unions. That dissing remark about cleverness seems to echo that old attitude of NZs that led to dissing ‘ivory-tower academics’ and to encourage dumbing down natural talents so as not to seem too bright, to stand out from the mass.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        We should also remember that if it weren’t for a massive and focused MSM campaign, David Shearer is not a name that many New Zealanders outside of his Mt Albert electorate would have recognised (let alone associated positive attributes to) 3 weeks ago.

        That’s the power of the media environment we are living in.

        • Hanswurst 5.2.1.1

          Too true. It didn’t even begin with any mention of his talents, policy or aptitude for the job. It was just a case of statements in newspapers etc., right out of the blue, that he was a “front-runner” and a bit of mention of his “backstory”. What little substance the media provided to back his leadership bid was added somewhat later, when his victory was already being claimed as a done deal. It reminds me rather strongly of how Key was slowly and carefully massaged into the public consciousness a few years ago – and not in a good way.

          All of this says little about the man himself, of course – I know little about him, just like most of NZ, and  have means of passing judgment on his leadership at this stage. I have not been impressed, however, with the way the public aspect of the leadership contest and its aftermath has been presented. 

    • dancerwaitakere 5.3

      If you knew what the fuck had been going on in the Labour Party for the last 3-4 years you would understand why we are so angry.

      When the staff employed by the leaders office were briefed to ‘ensure that David Cunliffe was never leader of the Labour Party’, when they try to force David Cunliffe to take the environment portfolio knowing that it would ruin his wife’s environmental law firm, and when there have been people within the party *cough*mallard*cough* who have actively been trying to undermine Cunliffe in the media for years to ensure that the Labour Right stays in control of the party, WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO NOT HAVE FAITH IN DAVID SHEARER.

      He is not an honest man. He is not a good man.

      The only way that we will get our act together and unite is by having a caucus that actually gives a flying fuck about the workers, instead of the extra $25,000 a year they get for holding the position of Junior Whip.

      Labour needs to be LABOUR once more. Not a National-lite Party that is filled with an establishment trying to climb the greasy poll.

  6. nadis 6

    You will not see the Labour Party I lead needlessly wasting Parliament’s time.

    Is Grant Robertson on board with that?

  7. nadis 7

    and i’d probably ease up on the epiphany stuff. Won’t be long before Shearer starts getting called “melonchucker”……..

  8. chris73 8

    Shearer is supported by the RWNJs which means he’ll be good for NZ so no matter what happens next election NZ will stay on course 🙂

  9. fender 9

    Fantastic!
    Oh how I’d love to hear a speech like that from a leader in this country, and then act in a way that made me think it wasn’t just lip-service. We are overdue for a real leader to stand up in NZ, one who really does speak on behalf of the people and can understand their angst.

    Bring it on Mr Shearer!

  10. Oh Sookie – you just don’t get it apart from the bit that Labour will lose in 2014. Politics is real, not fairytale land. Shearer is showing us tomorrow how “good” he is at stitching up teams. Look for him to put Parker in at no.3 – Parker actually did win one election back in 2002, but has lost ever since. And Ardern at no.4 – she’s never won a thing. That is Shearer’s “brilliance” in understanding what is needed to support his leadership team that has a stunning total of 5.5 years experience. Ardern should be focussed on finding another LEC as hopefully Auckland Central will deselect her fairly promptly as she well deserves. As for Parker – can anyone name a policy he created within his economic development portfolio over the past three years? Top drawer stuff there Shearer!

    And instead of furthering the name calling of Cunliffe with your ‘sly boots’ comments unsupported with any evidence, why don’t you go talk to the Greens co-leaders and ask if it is Cunliffe they have worked with cooperatively in the past – you might just be in for a surprise. For the real ‘sly boots’ look no further than Stuart Nash and his media feed into yesterday’s Dominion. Nash didn’t deserve the help he got from Cunliffe campaigning in Hawkes Bay.

    • insider 10.1

      PArker gave us the 90% renewable energy target which has endured.

      But then he also gave us compulsory fluorescent light bulbs, which went down like a cup of cold sick.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        But then he also gave us compulsory fluorescent light bulbs, which went down like a cup of cold sick.

        Yes, we’ve got to consider why making it so that people would have more money in their pockets would upset people and why the market didn’t step in and produce incandescent light bulbs that fit the new efficiency standards as there was obviously a demand for them.

  11. Redbaron77 11

    If only David Shearer gave an address such as this one. It would be the first light of a dawning new vision for New Zealand and the breaking up neo-liberalism’s glacial grip over the thinking that continues to drives this country. However in the “real world” – for myself the jury is still out as far as David Shearer is concerned. After momentarily flirting with Team Shearer following Sunday’s candidates meeting in Auckland my “vote” went back to Team Cunliffe the next day. However my mind is not closed; just waiting to be convinced.

    • David H 11.1

      Now that Shearer has lined up his front bench, the idiocy of leaving Cunliffe out for Parker in Finance leaves me stunned. And I’ll bet Key and Co are thanking their lucky stars that the Labour party listened to them. And they do not have to deal with that nasty Cunliffe fellow, with all his awkward questions. Oh well parliament opens tomorrow, and if Shearer is the stammering, cringe making, speaker that I saw on other speeches he has made, well the Greens will be happy at their ranks swelling with disappointed Labour voters.

  12. just saying 12

    Hmmm. Open source speech writing.
    The Standard has provided many great nuggets for the party since I’ve been reading it. Unfortunately, the bits our parliamentarians have chosen to mine have not been this collective’s best work, and they continue to show poor judgment.
    Maybe you could pitch open source PR as a fundraiser for Labour. The money saved could go into a campaign kitty. If it helps keep Pagani and his ilk away, this kind of thing could hold the party together for another year or two.
    If only they’d listen ay? Unfortuantely, Blue’s contribution will be much closer to what comes out of Shearer’s mouth imo.

    • Woni 12.1

      That’s not a bad idea – a fundraiser to pay Pagani to leave Labour alone.

      The amount they’ve been paying him as a ‘contractor’ in the last year is hair-raising – and for what? A blog no-one reads, some c-grade political comment on Stuff, and the worst strategic advice since ‘sure we can be in Moscow by winter’

      • Craig Glen Eden 12.1.1

        Add Mallard and I will give $ 1,000 to start the fundraiser.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1.2

        And you have seen the invoices ? Or is this a bit like something you ate too quickly and it ‘just came up’

        Self employed people do many things and the blog would be his own work, just like Brian Edwards.

        As for ‘strategic advice ‘ its good to know your advice …make that your ‘hindsight’ is for free.

        It might help to look at the big picture National and its coalition poodles have a razor thin majority- While labour hasn’t killed the king , the courtiers all have crosses on their office doors.

    • fmacskasy 12.2

      Username “Just Saying” – I recall when Brash seized power in ACT. There were a couple of discussion threads about it here, with folk kindly volunteering suggestions how Brash could improve on ACT’s performance.

      Until one of the admin (Eddie? Lprent?) reminded us that we’re not here to give freebie-advice for the RWNJs to improve their performance and public reputation.

      It was a funny comment, and I had a good chuckle over it.

      But the comment contained an element of truth to it as well.

      (As it is, ACT’s website is so out-of-date that they don’t even know how many MPs they have; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/act-woefully-behind-the-times/ )

  13. Cactus Kate 13

    Pagani gets paid by Labour?
    Oh dear…may want to start there at your organizational review Lynn

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    We know that the wage you earn is the livelihood with which you support your family and give your children the start in life they deserve.

    Still seeing things the capitalist way. People should never be in fear of losing their livelihood which is what we have now and which is at the heart of this sentence of yours. People are out of work not because they don’t want to work but because the capitalists are trying hard to protect the wealth that they’ve already accumulated and the profits that allow them to accumulate that wealth. With them out of work and those in work struggling to make ends meet it opens up the capitalists attack lines. The lines used to cut benefits and to throw the blame for the collapse of the “economy” and lowering wages onto those who were not responsible and away from those who were.

    Society has a responsibility to ensure that no one lives in poverty. The reciprocal responsibility is that each individual needs to help ensure that society can fulfil that responsibility.

    • millsy 14.1

      “People should never be in fear of losing their livelihood which is what we have now and which is at the heart of this sentence of yours”

      Exactly.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2

      Fucktabulous, I find myself both agreeing with this statement and recognising the elephant in the room.

      Society indeed has a responsibility to ensure that no-one lives in poverty, and as people in Nelson and Christchurch are witnessing, that includes refugees. As the infrastructure gets smashed by the weather, how will this social glue be maintained?

      The answer of course is by adaptation and natural resilience, but it is a lesson that comes hard to a Tory 😉

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        As the infrastructure gets smashed by the weather, how will this social glue be maintained?

        The answer of course is by adaptation and natural resilience, but it is a lesson that comes hard to a Tory 😉

        I don’t really agree with this. IMO for the more old fashioned ‘wet’ Tory of provincial or rural extraction, this understanding comes from the land, and it comes very naturally.

        Townies who are used to things turning on with no problems when a switch is flicked, who always expect a dial tone when they pick up a phone, who wouldn’t know what to do without a flush toilet, or who can’t imagine anything but clean water flowing out endlessly when a tap is turned on – they’re usually the ones with adaptation issues when things turn rough.

        • RedLogix 14.2.1.1

          I don’t really agree with this. IMO for the more old fashioned ‘wet’ Tory of provincial or rural extraction, this understanding comes from the land, and it comes very naturally.

          These are exactly the type of people I associate with on an almost daily basis, and interestingly enough even though they all know I’m a screaming leftie liberal, we actually have little trouble getting on and talking politics even.

          Real conservatives and liberals more or less want the same thing; a decent country where everyone gets a fair crack and where hard work and responsibility get a fair reward. Where the weak and vulnerable are protected, while at the same time cheats and bludgers (of all classes) get weeded out and ostracised. Mostly we just disagreed somewhat about the best way of achieving this.

          But the last 30 years has broken that understanding. The neo-liberals had another agenda… they really still missed feudalism.

  15. RedLogix 15

    Eddie… that’s a fabulous post. I’m flat out jealous.

    And yes it’s an excellent and very concrete yardstick with which to measure Shearer’s actual speech. I guess a large portion of the problem is that the man has had such a modest political profile so far that none of us have a strong sense of what he will stand for; or indeed if he will even be his own man and not just a front for an inner cabal of MP’s.

    This speech and how he organises his front bench will be crucial marker points; most people pretty much start the way they intend to carry on.

    • Anne 15.1

      …none of us have a strong sense of what he will stand for; or indeed if he will even be his own man and not just a front for an inner cabal of MP’s.

      I have an awful suspicion he will simply become known as… Key2

  16. reality bite 16

    You know Eddie, I might have bought your lines – I probably would have even tried to help you sell them – had I and some of my friends not been subjected to intimidation and threats for daring to criticize Shearer’s candidacy and question his suitability for the role.

    I am writing this anonymously from an anonymized IP because I don’t want the people running Shearer to continue to attack me or my friends and knowing something about your login, I don’t know if you are part of that group of people or not. But if you really believe what you are saying and don’t want to believe me, then ask lprent about some of the dirty tricks Team Shearer were using against members.

    And if you really believe that Shearer is a uniter, I suggest you start talking to a broader sample of caucus.

    I also wonder, Eddie, if you have anything to say about the issues this article raises about Team Shearer’s tactics?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10773689

    [No, I wasn’t supporting Shearer for leader. And, yes, I know about the dirty tricks that Mallard got up to with IPs on Red Alertp. I’m just saying that the interests of the Left don’t now lie in re-litigating that battle but with moving forward against the real enemy. Eddie]

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      I’m just saying that the interests of the Left don’t now lie in re-litigating that battle but with moving forward against the real enemy. Eddie

      You must be a man of great faith, Eddie. After all, no activist likes the feeling of being disrespected from the top down as some kind of useful idiot.

      Responding to your point – why call for activists and supporters to focus on “the interests of the Left” when it is arguable that many at the top are not leading by example.

    • fmacskasy 16.2

      Excuse me if this sounds hopelessly naive – but at this stage the Centre and Left of politics have to work together. Like many others, I suspect that this National government will not be a mild centre-right administration as it was 2008-11 – and instead will be a hard-out Right wing regime.

      This will be Rogernomics/Ruthanasia v.2.

      This will be a battle for our collective souls as to whether our country will be a “Neoliberal Nirvana” which will result in the growing income-gap; social dislocation; and emigration – or the final battle ends in National’s defeat.

      Melodramatic? Maybe. But I think most of us already have the feeling that this government is about to “let rip” in a way that voters never considered.

      If certain Labour factions want to carry on with in-fighting – so be it. The Greens will simply pick up more votes in 2014, as Labour cannibalises itself.

      We need a broad front against the neo-liberals, and every sector group; every opposition Party; every Union; and every person has to work together on this. The Right Wing are pretty well united in their agenda.

      We have to be as well to resist that agenda and promote alternatives that New Zealanders will see as more desirable, and more in line with our sense of fairness.

      • drongo 16.2.1

        That’s right Frank. Unfortunately what you’re saying seems a tired old mantra, but it’s a true mantra. Historically the Left has done well against the mighty force of the well-resourced Right, but every now and then we let our guard down, for any number of reasons including too often in-fighting, and the Right appear to get a foot-hold. The fact, though, that the Left can still foot it, despite all the handicaps and disadvantage it faces in the battle, suggests it’s got truth on its side. It’s easy to critique the what the Right say because all we need to ask is “in whose interests?”. The Left don’t have that fundamental flaw in what they say because its basis is in valuing all human life and caring for others. Look at how the Right have to attack even that proposition in its attempts to justify doing things we know only benefit the rich or “powerful”. You know that the Right are hopelessly wrong if they have to reject even that most basic of human values. One only needs to take a glimpse at some of bile that spews from Cathy Odgers’ keyboard to see proof of that, although she’s not the only one.

        Anyway Frank, with the numbers they way they it’ll at least be interesting to see Key and his greedy mates will succeed in the mighty sell-off. Of course we should do everything we possibly can to stop it, but only time will tell. If they do succeed, Peter Dunne will go down in history as the man who sold New Zealand.

        • felix 16.2.1.1

          “Peter Dunne will go down in history as the man who sold New Zealand”

          Ah well, at least it’s a legacy. If he died today his claim to fame would be that he once caused a worm to become briefly erect.

      • Ari 16.2.2

        It wasn’t even a mild centre-right administration last term, either. It was simply a mainstream right-wing administration running in as much stealth as they could manage. What’s changed is that we have an openly radical right-wing government, that’s still trying to focus on its media image, but isn’t really hiding its policy thrust any longer.

        While I agree with you on presenting a united front, that’s easier said than done- we can’t have centrist old-guard labourites bashing lefties into line if we want to present an enthusiastic united front. Labour needs to present attractive policy and vision to the Left, and the Greens need to continue their cross-political appeal which has been criticised as a move to the centre-left, and Labour may even need to eat humble pie and concede that they may have to work with either Mana or the Maori Party.

      • Gosman 16.2.3

        Every sector group? Hmmm…. I think you might have difficulties getting more than a handful of employers and small business owners (including Farmers) supporting this broad left anti-National coalition. However theorising reality is not a strong point for you Frank.

        • fmacskasy 16.2.3.1

          Gosman, grow up. You’re not half as witty as you think you are.

          • Gosman 16.2.3.1.1

            States the man who allows people on his site to abuse other posters, (such as calling them racists), yet bans people because he disagrees with their political beliefs. And you have the nerve to complain about Martyn Bradbury being denied a platform to spread his anti-right vitriol on Afternoons with Jim Mora.

            • fmacskasy 16.2.3.1.1.1

              Gosman,

              Two things – and pay attention.

              1. If you think that the guy who referred to you as a racist on my Blog was bad – you should read some of the comments I deleted that referred to you in very unflattering terms.

              2. No one is banned from my Blog. Yet.

              Your ability to twist things and create entirely new perceptions is a skill that is wasted on your current job. You should be a lawyer. Or working for the government.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 16.3

      Why is it a problem with reminding posters on his own blog that they arent sometimes the people they claim to be.

      The oily orca revealed my login details and IP address and thought he was being clever but all that showed was a vodafone server in Boston Rd.
      Using anonomised IP addresses are mostly high risk situations these days as they are controlled by those that use them to launch spyware.

      • fmacskasy 16.3.1

        Ghost’…

        Hence why I don’t post on his site. There’s not much he could do with my IP number, and I’d probably use a secondary, disposable, email account – but why bother? There’s very little intelligent discourse that goes on on his site. So anything I posted to discuss an issue would devolve rapidly into insults on my [insert personal matter here].

        At least Farrar’s Kiwiblog makes a half-way attempt to stick with issues. (Even though Farrar’s ‘outing’ and naming of certain members on aTV audience as “Labour activists” was the nadir of his blogging. )

    • Trevor Mallard 16.4

      For the record I ran a search for an IP address from comments on Red Alert against emails and identified the commentator. I thought the comments were more offensive than any that had been made about me previously. The Standard was not involved.

  17. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 17

    It is appropriate that the ANRC (Auckland Northland Regional Council) now review the performance of
    a) each of the Electorates in its area,
    b) the Election Strategy that was provided,
    c) the performance of the leadership and the various spokespersons in the campaign. Recommendations should be made in regard to
    d) selection process
    e) governance of weak electorates,
    f) Auckland input to the management of the National Strategy.

  18. Go the ATM Club! Happy to make a large subscription……

  19. Kairos 19

    South Auckland has shown how to do it. Few middle class swing votes to win there. But even with the better-than-average turnout and the biggest swings to Labour in the whole country there are tens of thousands of more voters to be mobilised in these and the other heartland Labour-Labour seats.
    Labour’s best source of a geater Party vote total is its heartland Labour seats. That is where our organisational work must be centred.
    The loser, marginal-seats strategy that Labour ran in the lost election has to be ditched forever. National put the Party Vote message right at the centre of their campaign and in the centre of every billboard.
    When will Labour candidates and the Party’s campaign leaders unequivocally progress into the MMP era?
    The other question to be addressed is the cementing of a political alliance between the Labour and Green Parties. Cannibalising each other’s votes is not the way to beat the common enemy. This is a question both parties must find a mutually satisfactory answer to if we are to ever build the fair, just and sustainable society we all support and require for a non-barbaric, and flourishing future.

    • Ari 19.1

      Voters aren’t body parts that can be cannibalised. They are supporters who need to be convinced, and if Labour fails and the Greens succeed, that isn’t the left “infighting”. It’s voters actually having legitimate choices. Part of Labour winning will be it needing to accept that sometimes it will lose votes to the left, and that if they want them back they need to move offer policies or leadership that attracts voters from the left.

  20. Skeptic to the max 20

    And let’s talk about a very critical malaise of NZ society instead of only mentioning the “unemployment” stats.

    Last quarter measurement, September, with new stats due out December, over 138 500 working age New Zealanders are now on Sickness and Invalid benefits. On  breakdown in just 3 months up to September 2011, hundreds region by region joined the sick and invalid lists. These people too are unemployed New Zealanders, with the acccompanying explanations that nearly half of these working age people are there on these benefits now for “psychological” reasons creating incapacity to work above all other catergories of sickness or invalid status.

    Is this NZ getting sicker or the result of the Paula Bennet reshuffle with her ‘regime’ implemented this year? Or are there more serious issues that Government and communities need to address as these are the families under stress that our children are living in too?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 20.1

      There are 5000 births a month in NZ . All pregnant mothers are eligible for the sickness benefit. So there is 5000 to start with. This also is what is true of most others on the sickness benefit, its only for s short time. The other factor is the very much larger numbers in the 55-65 age group compared to even 5-10 years ago.

      So whats your solution, let them starve ?

      • Skeptic to the max 20.1.1

        All pregnant mothers are NOT eligible for the sickness benefit only ‘solo’. Mothering in my view is real work be it wage or benefit enabled as it is for the child’s wellbeing.
        You have the wrong end of the stick. I am not anti-beneficiaries.We won’t forget either to add the long term ACC recipients and prison numbers of working age NZers too. Let’s use refute to bury our heads in the sand and all is glorious in NZ society. Meanwhile English’s Poverty trials (6; and not in the most poverty stricken areas) are a con; whilst the agencies and individuals that slog everyday, voluntary or ‘charity’, to address the critical issues Shearer raises, are NOT to be supported by Government in English’s plans. In some ways the benefit system sits between being indecent and inhumane but sure as shyte keeps the conscience of those “who have plenty” appeased. But dare we question why GWhotalks; you’d have to be a secret proNat.. it will all just disappear lalalalalalalalalaalalllaaaa….

        Instead of slamming me GWhotalks professional forum expert, get off your  arrss, head out and put your hand in to do what tens of thousands of us do contributing work, time, love, energy to others in what saves this Government billions of dollars. It’s free to give !

  21. james 111 21

    Your speech shows every thing that is wrong within Labour at the moment. The hard left ,and the centre left trying to have control. Ideaology versus a more realistic approach for the centre vote that Labour needs so badly to be a long term government.
    I notice that in your speech there is nothing about building the economy ,and how you are going to do it.What is going to get more people employed, a minimum $15.00 no dont think so that will add more to the Dole line. Getting rid of the 90 day period for employer no I dont think so again employers will leave them unemployed rather than face the risk ,and cost of all the legal battles of trying to get rid of poor performing staff.
    Labour doesnt understand business, doesnt know how to make Business grow and encourage companys to invest ,and take on more people. All it understands is how to tax the shite out of a few to pay for its over generous welfare schemes.

    Tell me what economic model can last where 10% of the population pay 90% of the salary tax. It isnt sustainable. As those people leave for money over seas where they pay less tax. Your tax take gets less ,and less.We are trying to run a champagne welfare system on beer money.

    Sooner or later something has to give the money will dry up.Labours answer to getting dole cheques downs is to increase public servants by more than 40% whilst in office. Thus shifting the cost from one area to another, and creating greater cost to the tax payer in the long run.

    The increase in Government spending under Labour was huge, and alot of it was wasteful spending. Until labour really understands what make businesses work they wont gain any traction in the economy.
    Remember to have employees you have to have employers ,and this is one part of the equation that Labour fails to understand.

    I think Russell Norman has more understanding ,and his idea to cut the compliance cost to small business is a good one.Its a total paperwork nightmare out there created by excess numbers of Government workers all trying to justify their positions by creating a paper ,and a compliance cost war.

    • fmacskasy 21.1

      James111…

      “What is going to get more people employed, a minimum $15.00 no dont think so that will add more to the Dole line.”

      Treasury doesn’t agree with you.In fact, most economists state quite clearly that minimum wages are far more complex that the simplistic ruubbish spouted by right wingers.

      And if it were true, then, ipso facto, having a minimum wage at $6 an hour would halve unemployment overnight?

      In which case there should be zero unemployment in places like India and China which, in reality, have no minimum wage.

      And if raising wages would put our economy into dire straights, I have some questions;

      1. Why do countries with higher minimum wages have higher incomes than us?
      2. Why is John Key advocating higher wages, to xcatch up with Australia?
      3. Higher wages promised (but never realised) by right wing governments are ok – but higher wages advocated, and carried out, by left wing governments is bad?

      Which leads on to your next supposition,

      “Getting rid of the 90 day period for employer no I dont think so again employers will leave them unemployed rather than face the risk ,and cost of all the legal battles of trying to get rid of poor performing staff.”

      Gosh, how did employers ever cope before the 90 Day Trial Period? The reality is that they could and did. The 90 Day Trial law hasn’t really impacted mucjh on unemployment, in case you hadn’t noticed. It’s barely budged from the 6.6% we currently have.

      By contrast, unemployment was at a low 3.4% in 2007. Wow! How did THAT happen withouyt the 90 Day Trial Period law?!?!

      But it’s a nice ‘sop’, I guess. Instead of creating new jobs – just ratchet back conditions, and reduce wages.

      “Tell me what economic model can last where 10% of the population pay 90% of the salary tax.”

      You really are in full repeat-the-lie-often mode, aren’t you? That claim was made by a couple of right wing bloggers and has since been discredited as nonsense.

      Labour doesnt understand business, doesnt know how to make Business grow and encourage companys to invest ,and take on more people. All it understands is how to tax the shite out of a few to pay for its over generous welfare schemes.

      Really?

      In which case, how on Earth did Labour pay down the massive debt it inherited from National in 1999? Soverieign debt went from 20% to about 7% of GDP (net). Treasury info: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/yearend/jun10/09.htm/fs10-14.gif

      Why did wages grow highest during Labour’s administration?

      Primary production went up; Kiwisaver was implemented; apprenticeships were increased; and Cullen posted surplus after surplus.

      If that’s fiscal incompetance – Please Sir, may we have some more?

      … cut the compliance cost to small business is a good one.Its a total paperwork nightmare out there created by excess numbers of Government workers all trying to justify their positions by creating a paper ,and a compliance cost war.

      Cutting “red tape” in the early 1990s also resulted in Building Codes being weakened and the Mining Inspectorate being reduced from 7 mines inspectors to 1. The rest is history.

      Just remembrer that modern society is far more complex than simplistic notions cherished by uninformed right wingers – many of whom have little idea how systems work – and standards are enforced by regulation. That’s so the bridge you drive over doesn’t collapse because the builder decided to use weetbix instead of cement. Or untreated timber instead of treated.

      To be honest, I love it when right wingers rabbit on about the previous Labour government. It gives me the chance to state the actual case and present the real historical facts. Even Key has had to admit on occassion that Cullen lefyt the economy in a good state, to weather the oncoming ‘storm’ of the 2008 Recession.

      After all, ratings agencies tend to down National Government and upgrade Labour. If you don’t believe me, check it out yourself; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/its-official-national-is-a-poor-manager-of-the-economy/

      • james 111 21.1.1

        fm
        No problem labour resided over the greates economic boom time in the history of this country,and left with the cupboards bare. They created a false economy through housing speculation, which pushed up interest rates.They created a number of jobs about 44,000 if not more for their mates in the public service which hugely increased government spending. The trouble with Labour they are all technoncrats they dont know how to stimulate and increase business. They know how to tax and wastefully spend our hard earned money all in the name of wealth redistribution they would say. Welfare was meant to be a safety net at the bottom of the cliff Labour have caused it to be an all encmopassing blanket. That is now intergenerational where we have grandmother, parents ,and kids who have never worked ,and never will. This is soul destroying foe a person. But the Fabian ideaology is to have as many people on welfare as they can becasue then they can control them they become dependent. This failed economic model is still pushed by Labour here yet it failed in every Eastern Block country. As they became uncompetitive with the rest of the world. No reason to work hard and be a star as the envy tax boys will cut you down better to just live off the dole ,and just exist. As some Maori leaders have already said Labour ,and its welfare schemes have been some of the worst things to ever happen to Maori. Isnt it funny how the Maoris that leave the Welfare trap here, and go and work in Australia do so well when they aren entrapped in the Welfare system that takes them no where mainly created by Labour, and its ideaology

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      It’s the right (National, Act, UF) that is pure ideology. It is the left that is based upon reality. Unfortunately, Labour is presently centre-right and thus disconnected from reality.

  22. Quasimodo 22

    I have not had the time to read all the pieces above, or the energy to get involved in partisan polemic.

    Having taken over from Xavier De Miello in Baghdad, David Shearer may wish to consider the piece below. He may not need to ..

    INVASI, ERADICAVI, TURBAVI: America’s Iraq Experience

    http://www.tanosborn.com/columns/2011/america-s-iraq-experience-invasi-eradicavi-turbavi

  23. Akldnut 23

    It means cutting down the number of ministers and the number of ministries and government agencies that exist primarily to make it appear as if the government is acting, rather than producing any meaningful work.

    This could easily be picked up by Key & Co and fit nicely into the Nat Soundbite/Policy folio.

  24. Tigger 24

    No more crappy lines like this please DS. “He says he would have to see the detail of any bill to legalise gay marriage or same-sex adoption before voting for them but supported them in principle.”

    What do you think the detail will include apart from equality, David? You have a fucking gay deputy. ‘See the detail’ is code for ‘I’m looking for a loophole’. It’s Key language and it doesn’t belong in Labour. Surely you have to see the detail of everything, but you wouldn’t say that if it was a bill about stopping asset sales. ‘Oh yes, I’m against asset sales and I’ll stop them, but I have to see the detail of the bill first’.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 24.1

      Tigger , wake up, read the first few lines this’ speech’ is a suggestion not actual words from Shearer

      • just saying 24.1.1

        Tigger is talking about Shearer’s actual words, from a recent interview. And they pissed me off too.
        In the same interview, he repeated one of Goff’s bullshit evasion lines in response to a question about whether he supports liberalising cannabis laws. Instead of giving an open honest answer he waffled that he didn’t think anyone should go to jail for smoking a joint. Which of course no-one does. An upfront, fresh, open, non-slippery leader would have said “no I don’t”.

        It’s not looking promising.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 24.1.1.1

          Just saying … Shearers said “I don’t support legalising cannabis”.

          It couldnt be any clearer.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10773745

          • just saying 24.1.1.1.1

            It’s not as simple as that. He wouldn’t clearly state whether he supported liberalising the cannabis law as per the law commission recommendation.
            Clear now?

        • gnomic 24.1.1.2

          While no-one may be imprisoned for smoking a joint (got a web link sustaining that claim?), a conviction for this particular ‘crime’ means as far as I know a criminal record that may well mean never working in this country again. If our evil overlords have their way it may mean not being able to get the dole either.

          It would of course be utterly wrong and tasteless to wonder how the safely drug-free workers managed to blow up the Pike River mine. Or indeed, how the safely drug-free truck drivers continue to crash their trucks.

    • “Seeing the detail” could mean trying to avoid a soft bill or trying to avoid any loopholes.
      I support this in principle too but would want to see the final form before backing it.

      Assets are a good example. “Selling our assets” is very different to part selling a few of our assets (about 3%). The details matter a lot.

      • fmacskasy 24.2.1

        Isn’t that kinda like being “half dead” or “3% of your body being dead”? Still doresn’t sound healthy to me…

        • Pete George 24.2.1.1

          It’s kinda different.

          Continuously some of our body is dead – hair, and our skin surface is all dead cells. No big deal.

          • mickysavage 24.2.1.1.1

            But what if you were selling the heart petey would that make a difference?  Because this is what the power companies essentially are, they pump power throughout the country.

            • Pete George 24.2.1.1.1.1

              Not as much difference as the brain, we’d better not sell you off overseas.

              • Geez Petey you are really weird today and this takes a great deal of doing because you are always out there.

              • fender

                Getting desperate now Pete trying to defend your right-wing coalition policies.

                It’s time you threw out the portrait of OverDunne you have on your bedside table.

                The “malleable plasticine man” you defend is a disgrace and far from the centre he claims to occupy.

          • fmacskasy 24.2.1.1.2

            Somehow, I can’t see billions of dollars of assets being some “dead cells”.

            And while we’re on the subject of asset sales, Pete, can you explain why your Leader (no, not Dear Leader) stated that he had made a “victory” in his coalition talks with National and prevented the sale of Radio NZ and Kiwibank?

            The reason I ask is that Radio NZ and Kiwibank were never on the listed of SOEs to (part) sell.

            So how can that be a “victory”?

  25. giovani 25

    the drug laws are{ evil persecution} and must be over turned especially when gay people have rights,
    and others who have been persecuted in the past eg Prostitutes.

    but if you grow or use marijuana a plant that grows on the earth and doesn’t obey mans laws, you are persecuted and oppressed and punished.

    this is bullshit and hypocrisy.

    Legalize it, the war on drugs is an evil failure.

    the status que is not working.

    IF labour want the youth vote in the future they must address this issue because it wont go away and will be a big issue in the future.

    same as drug testing, having it in your system does not mean you are under the influence but many workers get fired anyway {this is also wrong and needs to stop}.

    these are important issues that labour must deal with as a party no matter what the leader thinks ,look to the future not failed policies from the past Mr Shearer”.

    Stand up and say Stop the persecution now.

    • gnomic 25.1

      Good luck with that. Unfortunately no votes to be had worth mentioning, so far easier to go on beating on the potheads. And just think what constituencies might be offended by a politician who was soft on pot. The wowsers. The only losers take steenking drugs types. The fuzz. The testing for illegal drugs industry. No, far better to stay away from that. Much too dangerous. After all, legal marijuana would lead to the collapse of society as we know it and all that we hold dear. Just ask Winnie and Peter Dunne, not to mention the smirking weasel. Don’t hold your breath. Except perhaps after inhaling.

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