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Silly stories

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, December 8th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: labour, Media, phil goff - Tags:

Helmetless Hone: Keen to continue the Hone Harawira saga, One News reported that complaints had been laid over Harawira not wearing a helmet when he rode the motorcycle of a visiting anti-violence campaigner on Parliament’s forecourt. I hope the Police have better things to do than investigate an MP for taking a 50m spin on a motorcycle on Parliament’s forecourt. It’s not as if he rode a tractor up the steps.

Goff in charge: Despite not being able to find a single figure in Labour willing to say, even anonymously, that Phil Goff’s leadership was in question over his recent speech, TV3 still ran a sh*t-stirring story about it. To think that there could be real leadership rumblings because of Goff’s speech is silly. A number of people, including me, genuinely disagreed with the speech, not because of the issues it focused on but because it looked a hell of a lot like a dogwhistle. But that doesn’t mean Goff’s leadership is in danger. He has his chance in 2011.

I don’t think Goff as PM is going to be the second coming of Michael Joseph Savage but he will do a hell of a better job than John Key is doing, and on that basis I’ll be fighting for a sixth Labour-led government led by him. That’s the great thing about not being a Nat, I guess. On the Left, you don’t have to blindly idolise party leaders; you can disagree and debate the details while still broadly supporting them.

44 comments on “Silly stories ”

  1. fizzleplug 1

    Goff has to be the leader in 2011. Who else is there?

    I probably would have voted for Labour at the last election were Phil Goff in charge, but I don’t think I will at the next. He comes across as just a little bit to holier-than-thou.

    • gingercrush 1.1

      Well if we take the media spin. The two other options at this time are David Cunliffe and Shane Jones. Those two are really holier-than-thou. Goff doesn’t come across as holier-than-thou he just comes off as confused.

      I cringed at the One News item on Harawira. It was embarrassing. Of course Phil Goff has over-egged on the whole Hone thing. So you can’t expect the media to let off on Hone if Phil Goff and elements on the left keep attacking him.

      As to your second point. Well you do have to idolise your leader if you’re Chris Trotter. Now there is someone going off the deep end.

  2. Swimmer 2

    I can’t believe the media beat up over this. Hone wasn’t hurting anyone, where were the pedestrians and motorists? Phil is fine and doing fine as leader. Again beatup!
    I’d vote for Labour with Phil in charge.

  3. lukas 3

    Jones can not seriously be taken as an option for the leadership after the 2011 defeat.

    Anyone who listened to him when he was the Labour representative on Paul Holmes breakfast show would know why!

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      How about you elucidate the problem, for those of us who didn’t listen to him on the Paul Holmes breakfast programme? Which I’m sure will be the large majority of people here.

    • Loco 3.2

      What about David Parker or Maryan Street as wildcards?

  4. So eddie, speculating about Goff’s leadership is bad but it’s good to do it about Key being rolled as many have predicted here.

    Likewise, idolatry of Key is bad but the sanctification of St Helen is good.

    Silly stories indeed.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      We haven’t had any senior MPs calling Goff a ‘do-nothing’. Can’t say the same for Key.

    • felix 4.2

      So eddie, speculating about Goff’s leadership is bad…

      Eh? Please explain, I can’t see where Eddie says anything of the sort.

    • lprent 4.3

      I think that the criteria is what people do. John Key seems to be good at photo ops and being relaxed. Those are definitely things that Helen wasn’t good at. I suppose that it reflects the differences between the parties.

      • Daveski 4.3.1

        Not at all. It simply reflects our different perspectives. Key is certainly less dogmatic which depending on your view point is either a strength or a weakness.

        What’s particularly interesting is that Key’s no longer being attacked here for his “flip flops” as Goff has started to rewrite Labour’s position. All of a sudden, Goff being less dogmatic is a strength.

        As far as the Nats are concerned, regardless of what is gospel here, the problem is not Key but some of the poor performers under him. However, still happy to bet that if Goff is still Labour leader, they won’t win next election, just as the Nats had no chance with English.

        • lprent

          Keys flip-flops haven’t gone away – basically he is a pretty good ditherer. However since he hasn’t been doing much (as Rodney pointed out) they are much less apparent.

          It looks as though John is relaxing into being PM with the major signs of activity being keeping an eye out for his photo-ops.

  5. Santi 6

    I despise Labour and its socialist ideology, but I have to admit Goff is the worst leader the party needs at the moment.

    Opposition to the lazy John Key should concentrate on his inaction, his total lack of energy, his countless flip-flops, his lack of policies, instead of going back to Foreshore and Seabed legislation.

    The Tories must be very thankful Goff and not a true leader heads your party.

    • It’s not ‘my’ party – I voted for it once in the last four elections – but I agree with your drift. Labour is currently the best of some very poor options and Goff the Grey is merely the least worst of a third-rate line-up of leaders, potential or actual.

      The problem is that anyone coming to the fore because of their passion, fire, eloquence and commitment is as likely to be a Hitler as a Churchill – the only MP currently displaying passion, fire, eloquence and commitment is Hone Harawera. ‘Nuff said.

    • Roger 6.2

      “Opposition to the lazy John Key should concentrate on his inaction, his total lack of energy, his countless flip-flops, his lack of policies, instead of going back to Foreshore and Seabed legislation.”

      It would be nice if the mainstream media made more than passing referrence to this also.

  6. ak 7

    I don’t think Goff as PM is going to be the second coming of Michael Joseph Savage…

    No, but the “born again” KISS Phil of late is quite impressive and a welcome development. Floppy Dolittle is becoming increasingly tangled in the inherent tory contradictions – Phil now needs to emerge the clear, caring “anti-Grinny”, and has made a good start. Chanelling Jim Knox or a concise Jim A with a pinch of Mother Theresa sprinkled throughout should do the trick.

  7. gobsmacked 8

    So now Key has delivered his judgement from the throne, telling the police how to do their job:


    Of course it’s a non-story. So the Prime Minister should just ignore it. Instead, Key now seems to believe he can and must comment on anything he pleases, because he is King. Judges, Reserve Bank, police, broadcasters – you name it.

    Who needs independent authorities and separation of powers? John knows best … about everything.

    • fizzleplug 8.1

      Police being told how to do their job by the Beehive is nothing new.

      • gobsmacked 8.1.1

        But I thought Key was something new?

        If Clark did it, she got criticised for it – by right-wing blogs, the National party and the media. Not given a free pass.

  8. Tim Ellis 9

    Those are fair points on both counts Eddie.

    I suppose on Mr Goff’s leadership, though, that instability in leadership almost always begins with a silly story that gains momentum, as long as it has a basis in reality. The reality is Mr Goff’s polling at five percent in the polls, and his party is more than twenty points behind National. Silly story or not from Mr Garner, Mr Goff’s leadership just isn’t sustainable with that polling position.

    • lprent 9.1

      On that basis (5%) Helen should have never been leader of Labour? She was polling below almost every other contender on the left including Jim Anderton after she took leadership.

      Fact is that parties elect their leaders. The party is doing ok for this stage of the electoral cycle. So is Phil.

      That is a rather silly position to take… But if you’re really concerned perhaps you should become a Labour member? Then you might be taken seriously after you show what you can do…

    • felix 9.2

      …instability in leadership almost always begins with a silly story that gains momentum, as long as it has a basis in reality.

      Whatevs. Just as likely to begin with leader who is an utterly useless cunt having his own ministers slag him off for being such.

      • Tim Ellis 9.2.1

        So that’s how you sleep at night, Felix, safe in the knowledge that even though 60% of New Zealand voters are stupid for liking John Key and supporting his government, you are smarter than they are because you know better.

        In a democracy however just being smarter than everybody else, whose political preferences you despise, doesn’t help you to win.

      • fizzleplug 9.2.2

        Wow, that’s pretty strong language. Can’t we all just get along?

      • felix 9.2.3

        What a strange perspective you have, Tim. Getting to sleep at night for me isn’t dependent on the success or otherwise of politicians.

        But I suppose if I worked in the field might attach more significance to it.

        Like you do.

  9. Another TV1 News beat-up was the nonsense shock-and-horror story about the sex and swearing in the play Wellington kiddies were ‘exposed’ to – none of the adults desperately interviewed about it confessed to any shock or horror and the kids, if they even noticed, were amused.

    And the best thing TV1’s very expensive presence in the USA has been able to serve up every night for the last week is recycled salacious gossip about a golfer.

    Were I a TV news teleprompt reader I would be ashamed and embarrassed by the crap I was required to serve up to the Nation every night – but I guess an obscenely high pay-packet for a job just about anyone could do is a good anti-nausea medicine.

  10. The Voice of Reason 11

    Tim, there is no poll that says 60% of Kiwis like John Key and his government. A significant percentage like John Key, but it’s hard to find anyone who likes his government. Their incompetence, mismanagement, troughing and mendacity will eventually destroy Key, too. And sooner rather than later, methinks.

    • Tim Ellis 11.1

      I suggest you look at the government confidence rating polled by Roy Morgan every fortnight TVOR. It shows that over 63% of the public believe that the government is heading in the right direction, and have believed so since Mr Key’s government was elected. You will note that on a preferred party basis Mr Key’s governing parties have been hovering consistently at around 60%.

      • felix 11.1.1

        Do you believe that everything popular is good, Tim?

        Do you think Robbie Williams is the worlds greatest vocalist and Tom Cruise the greatest actor?

        Is McDonalds the best food? If not, why do they have so many restaurants?

        Are the smartest people drawn to the most popular ideas?

        If not, why not?

        • Tim Ellis

          No I don’t think what is popular is necessarily good Felix.

          But if you asked the population, “do you think Robbie Williams is the greatest vocalist”, or “do you think McDonald’s is the best food” I doubt you would get overwhelming votes for either, despite their popularity.

          We live in what is really a two party system. You either support one side or the other. If one side is doing well in popularity stakes, they are doing either a competent job as far as the public are concerned, or the other side are performing very badly.

          The public overwhelmingly support Mr Key’s government. They overwhelmingly do not support Mr Goff’s opposition. Mr Key is consistently polling at over 50% in the preferred prime minister stakes. Mr Goff is consistently polling in single figures. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Mr Goff has reached double figures once yet.

          Given we are in a democracy where either a side is winning or losing, how much support it has from the electorate is the only thing that matters.

          • felix

            No I don’t think what is popular is necessarily good Felix.

            Then why did you imply that I can’t possibly be smarter than the supporters of John Key purely on the basis that they outnumber me?

            Serious question and I look forward to a serious answer.

            • Tim Ellis

              No I didn’t imply you can’t be smarter, Felix, as I don’t doubt you’re smarter than the majority of people who support any party. Just because you’re smarter than the average person doesn’t entitle you to dismiss their views though. We live in a democracy, where even people you think lesser of are entitled to vote.

              • felix

                Don’t put words in my mouth, Tim. Expressing my own views isn’t dismissing anyone else’s and I never suggested that I “think lesser of” anyone for having differing views.

                In fact it sounds like you’re saying views opposed to the majority should be kept to oneself.

                I actually quite like the fact that so many kiwis backed such a dud PM for such stupid and shallow reasons – it’s already making the bbq circuit very entertaining for me.

              • Tim Ellis

                I think the Left will continue to have real problems engaging with the electorate while you continue to believe that people who supported your opponent are stupid and shallow. Not a very flattering way of winning them back, wallowing in such anger like that. Until you respect voters’ decisions your party will be a long way from being in government.

              • felix

                I’m not trying to engage with the electorate Tim you utter moron.

                I’m not a politician. I don’t represent a political party.

                I wonder why that’s so difficult for you to grasp?

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.2

        “Electors were asked: “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?’

        Does not equal what you claim it equals.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.3

        Actually the question is “Is the *country* headed in the right direction”, which is a very different question to “Is the government headed in the right direction”.

        At the moment almost everyone will give a ‘yes’ to the first question, because we appear to be coming out of recession etc. Just as if we were heading into a recession, the answer would be an overwhelming ‘no’.

        Nice try Tim, but again your nicely-spun lies don’t hold up well to scrutiny.

        • Pascal's bookie

          The question is biased towards a positive answer too.

          Generally speaking right direction vs seriously heading wrong direction.

      • felix 11.1.4

        Care to explain where this mythical poll result came from, Tim?

        No-one else has ever heard of a question asking “is the government is heading in the right direction?”

        Is it your own poll? Did you just ask yourself?

        If so, why such a low result for the govt?

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Ruth Dyson and Maryn Street have always impressed me whenever I heard them speak. I’m not sure how the numbers would stack up for them though.

    In any case, I feel that Phil would be a fantastic PM- when the press can’t do any research they always make lazy assumptions so I never put any credence on anything they say.

    BTW I don’t feel Key is that bad either- its his ministers with the exception of Simon Power that are all hopeless.

    • grumpy 12.1

      Phil would be OK as PM, the other two, Dyson and Street are totally unelectable.

      Looks like Phil is safe.

  12. TightyRighty 13

    I see that the stuf website has an article about labour closing ranks around goff. we are supposed to believe that article right?

  13. Dancr 14

    In terms of the TV3 story Duncan adds some more context in his blog he says:
    So given that, Labour MPs started asking Goff questions about this ‘change in position’.

    So that’s where the concerns lie, apparently. And Goff and some of his MPs will discuss that ‘change of position’ tomorrow.

    One of those concerned is Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson. There are others. But I want to put this on record; I think the area of concern is narrow. Goff’s leadership is not on the line.

    In my opinion he is safe as leader and he will be the leader going into the 2011 election. I’ve spoken to a number of frontbench and middle-ranked MPs today – not one said this is a leadership spill.
    Linda Clark provides a good analysis here (also on TV3)

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