Solidarity forever

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, August 2nd, 2017 - 65 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, Deep stuff, election 2017, jacinda ardern, labour, national, Politics, uk politics - Tags:

The 2017 election is approaching fast and I sense much nervousness amongst the left.

Recent poll results do not help.  It is clear that that Labour took a hit following Metiria Turei’s true confessions a couple of weeks ago.  Personally I agree with the reasons she advanced and the policy but tactically …

The next time a MOU is considered working out how not to cannibalise each other’s vote should be part of the deal.  Swapping votes between Labour and the Greens is not the way to left wing nirvana.

And Andrew Little has stood down as leader.

Andrew has performed the job outstandingly well.  He has imposed discipline and focus on the caucus.  When he announced his candidacy for the leadership the party was weeks away from a meltdown.  I have been a keen student of Labour history for many years.  Andrew, David Lange in 1988 and Helen Clark in the 1990s are the three leaders responsible for holding the party together at times of intense stress.

When he hit his stride he was and is as compelling a speaker as I have seen.  He would provide a welcome alternative leadership to the managerial incompetence and humanitarian indifference we have suffered for the past nine years.

But clearly he has come to the decision that the interests of the collective were better met if he stood down as leader and this is what he did.

We live in interesting times.  Despite nine years of the country going backward National is still frustratingly popular.  It is not as popular as it used to be, and Bill English is clearly not John Key, but it is holding up in the opinion polls pretty well although some have it at 42% and the trend is downwards.

Why?

Well the economy is still going pretty well.  Compared to overseas countries where economic decline has resulted in significant change in political opinion in good old Aotearoa it still feels pretty good.

A couple of earthquakes trashing and requiring the rebuild of the country’s second biggest city has helped.  The capitalist system loves disasters.

And getting out the country’s credit card and driving up Crown debt from $10 billion to $86 billion makes us feel like we are all onto a good thing.  As long as we do not have to pay the debt back …

And pumping Auckland full of people from overseas makes every landowner feel like a millionaire.  Literally and figuratively.  It feels great although we are noticing that our kids have no chance of owning their own home and there are all these people living on the streets and there are so many families living in cars …

So many people feel ok about things.  As long as they do not have to think too deeply or care too much about their fellow human beings.

The reality of what has been happening politically struck me last Sunday when I was handing out fliers at the Avondale market.  Some people were turning from Labour to the Greens because they were really impressed by what Metiria Turei had said.  Others were turning away from Labour to New Zealand First or even National because they were really unimpressed by what Metiria Turei had said.  Labour was well and truly wedged by the issue.

I have known Jacinda for a while.  I always thought she had an great future in front of her and that she had talent to burn.  And her performances yesterday were outstanding.  I have not seen such positiveness and uplifting of spirit since David Lange in 1984.

And Kelvin Davis is another utterly decent dedicated determined MP in many respects like Andrew.  He is a really good choice for deputy.

There is plenty of time left in this election.  If Labour can get up to 33% and the Greens remain on 15% then we may not even need Winston.

In the UK Labour’s popularity started to soar seven weeks out from the election when its policy platform was leaked early.  Be brave and proud of your progressive beliefs clearly works.  Jacinda’s promised policy rethink should bear this in mind.

Clearly Andrew stood aside because he thought it was the best thing to do for the Labour movement.  He is an exceptional person who gave the leadership his all and decided yesterday to be substituted because he thought the team needed fresh legs.  He will be an outstanding Minister of Labour in a future Labour Government and we need him to strengthen the Labour movement.

And now we need to stand behind Jacinda Ardern and make sure she is the next Prime Minister of New Zealand.  She has the potential of being an exceptional one.

Solidarity forever.

65 comments on “Solidarity forever”

  1. Vaughn 1

    Andrew Little – an honourable and honest man who did the right thing for all the right reasons. My respect for him has only grown.

  2. Ad 2

    First one to say “Corbyn Moment” wins.

    • Bill 2.1

      Trudeau, Macron, Clinton (Bill), Blair… these are the names that come to my mind.

      The NZ Labour Party was stolen once in ’84, and now it’s looking to me like a coup of the technocrats has swiped it for a second time.

      I suspect NZ has enough cock clutchers who’ll be hitting the voting booths come September for NZ Labour to be happy enough. But then what?

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        wtf – really? cock clutchers???

        You seem pretty negative bill.

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          Deeply cynical, not negative.

          Maybe I should be clearer? I’m not saying that anyone or everyone who votes for NZ Labour will be doing so merely on the basis that the party is fronted by a youthful and somewhat sexy leader (a la Bill Clinton, Blair, Macron, Trudeau). But I think those numbers aren’t insubstantial.

          It’s a variation on people voting for John Key because they saw him as ‘poor boy made rich’ – something they wanted for themselves. Now it’ll be a slightly different shallow and really fucking ugly wish fulfillment thing going on.

          • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1.1.1

            And already, Clare Curran is asking for Labour leader selection rules to be changed, as quoted in ODT:

            The powerful new role played by unions and party members in selecting Labour leaders needs to be reviewed, one of the party’s Dunedin MPs says.

            The system has delivered two leaders, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little, who failed to connect with the general public.

            Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said a discussion was needed about whether unions and party members should continue having a say in who leads.

            ”I think we do need to re-look at the way we select our leaders, but that’s a question for after the election,” Ms Curran said.

            RIP true Labour

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.1

              heh – you’d have thought any sensible person would be questioning the unaccountable power exercised by a caucus in changing a leader. But no.

              Also worth mentioning that David Cunliffe didn’t ‘fail to connect’. He had a huge mandate from the membership. And my understanding is that thousands of people joined the party at the time of that leadership contest.

            • Anne 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Clare Curran is talking through a very large hole in her head and not for the first time. It shows the limitation of her cognitive abilities, and is an insult to both David Cunliffe and Andrew Little. 24 hours after Andrew voluntarily fell on his sword she’s putting the knife in.

              Both of them were the right candidates at the time and she knows only too well their demise was the work of Dirty Politics aided by a media version of a Punch and Judy show. Now, she’s trying to resurrect the factionalism that has dogged Labour for years and which Andrew worked so hard to successfully dispel.

              I would not be surprised if her motivation is spite because both ex-leaders left her languishing on the back bench. She has herself to blame for that.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Seriously stupid move by Curran, and despite the good work she’s been doing in Dunedin lately her political credibility has just been hugely undermined.

              I’d like to know where she said this though, would prefer to see it at source than the MSM interpretation.

              • mickysavage

                Utterly lacking in judgment. I will refrain from saying anything more …

                • weka

                  Yep.

                  I guess it’s useful to be reminded of where she truly stands.

                • Cheer up guys, you’re on the eve of victory ! … we can get to these neo liberals after the election and deal to them then.

                  Because they are the ones we should be pissed off and mad about !

                  Texas Hippie Coalition – “Pissed Off and Mad About It” Carved …

              • Ad

                If Clare Curran really wants to stop unions working with Labour, I’m sure those Dunedin unions will happily oblige her.

                • weka

                  with any luck someone in 2020 will give her a run for her money over the selection for Dunedin South.

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.2

            Youthful and somewhat sexy is not a liability.

            It’s not enough, but it’s a competitive advantage.

          • marty mars 2.1.1.1.3

            Mate some people think Bill English is a youthful and sexy leader. You do realise it is relative and subjective and that many are attracted to many different types of people. But sure if that is societies standard – we can just have our own view too. Be cynical – I find its a debilitating emotion with few positive qualities but that’s just me.

          • Anne 2.1.1.1.4

            To some degree I share your cynicism Bill. Its a pathetic world where people pass political judgement on their leaders based on their sensuality and how white is their smile. We can thank the dog eat dog, devil take all neoliberal mentality for this rapid decline in standards. It shows up many punters as dumbed down, self absorbed wankers who really are not emotionally fit to be allowed to cast a vote at all.

            However, I think Jacinda can rise above all of that.

            • garibaldi 2.1.1.1.4.1

              Quite right Anne. I too am cynical about all the “shallow” voters ,and can’t help feeling a little guilt that for once our side will benefit. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it!!

              • Bill

                Not so sure that you should allow yourself to “get over it” garibaldi.

                When politics is reduced to facile nonsense, the doors to manipulation are flung back on busted hinges.

                In politics, “sides” are made up of definite positions, directions and visions. But when those things can be casually cast aside or ignored because “personality” has been elevated above “substance”, then we’re gong down a very bad path that leads straight into the arms of powerful, unaccountable concentrations of power holding sway over whatever measure of democracy we might have.

                We’re already somewhat down that path. And while I’ve written of ‘cock clutchers’, I’m well aware they exist because media outlets and the general level of political debate has atrophied to the point that, really, there’s little awareness of anything existing beyond the ‘smooth skin/talk’ and ‘friendly smile’ of the salesperson party leader.

                And of course, the media love it. Not surprising seeing as how they’re an integral part of those “unaccountable concentrations of power” I mention. Just look how they delight in personality politics and how they seek to savage anything that might threaten that drip feed of ‘soma’ – eg, Corbyn, Sanders….or by turn assiduously ignore or decry any politically motivated blip on the landscape that might interrupt the smooth vista of financial/corporate banality – eg, occupy, indignados etc.

                So yeah, don’t “get over it” and so disappear into some blancmange. Pick a side.

                • red-blooded

                  The media discussion I’ve seen has focused a lot more on Ardern’s confidence, quick-thinking and articulate handling of her first press conference, her willingness to talk about her values and to say she wants to reflect a little about Labour’s policy programme… I’ve seen people thinking about her relative youth, but no-one’s been overly shallow. I agree that often our media goes for the easy line and endorses presentation over substance – and I’m sad that a good man has been burnt by that – but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss Ardern just because the media like her. Try to ditch some of the negativity, Bill.

                  • Bill

                    You really mean something about ditching supposed negativity? Or do you actually mean you’d rather I say the things you want to hear in the way you want to hear them?

                • *Sigh*. There’s an old saying that ‘the right looks for converts, the left for traitors’. Jacinda has only been leader for a couple of days, and already some on the left are dashing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, casting Jacinda as an agent of a sinister neo-liberal cabal inside Labour, without a shred of substantial evidence. Up until fairly recently, there were some still claiming that Little is a “neo-liberal”. Have the “neo-liberals” now rolled their own preferred leader in favour of their preferred leader?

                  These conspiracy theories are the office gossip version of politics, practiced by people who can’t be bothered to learn about and discuss policy. Keeping the election focused on this Next magazine style of politics is what has kept the NatACTs in power, as they never have to talk about or defend their policy (or lack thereof). If the left want to win this election, and I’m still hopeful that it’s possible, we need to focus every political discussion from now on on policy, policy, policy!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    More mangerialism. I’m afraid.

                    I agree with your initial sentiments: those who decry neoliberalism can rarely define it.

                    “Policy policy policy” is only any good when combined with “authenticity”, or one of those other ephemeral terms.

                    The map is not the territory.

                • garibaldi

                  Bill, you should realise I was joking. I have definitely chosen a side, many years ago too.

  3. Tamati Tautuhi 3

    Andrew Little has read the tea leaves correctly and has done the right thing by the Labour Party, he had nothing to lose by offering his resignation.

  4. Heather Tanguay 4

    Yes, Andrew is an honorable man, he put the party before himself, in a hope we can defeat this toxic National Party.
    I agree with Greg, some of the speeches he has made have been wonderful in getting his message across.
    Special thanks to our own Kelston MP for her dedicated support to Andrew.
    Jacinda has done very well over the last 2 days, media has been surprised and are sitting up taking note.
    Hotten and Hoskings were in the minority, these are toxic miserable individuals and I am sure will be made to eat their words.
    We will get behind Jacinda and we will do this thing.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    We in Labour are lucky in Andrew and Jacinda, and that they set the path.
    Well done Andrew and Jacinda. Thank you.

  6. billmurray 6

    Yes, agree with Micky’s article.

  7. RedLogix 7

    I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one giving a high five

    Alanis Morrisette

    • swordfish 7.1

      Hardly think there’s any cause to bring poor old Alanis Morissette into the conversation

      Irish comedian Ed Byrne

      Does anyone here like Alanis Morissette? Oh oooo, there’s a definite I’m trying to get laid oh ooooooo. Don’t slag off Alanis – she speaks for the voice of dis-affected women! … Ummm, she’s a moaning cow! Even people who like Alanis have to admit she is a Wingin binde. Honestly! No wonder he left you, god sake !

      “Ironic”, remember that one, “isn’t it Ironic ?”… er … No! It’s not !

      She naming all these things in the song that are supposed to be Ironic and none of them were. They were all just … unfortunate. The song should of been called “Unfortunate”. The only Ironic thing about that song is its called Ironic and it’s written by a woman who doesn’t know what Irony is! That’s Ironic, if you think about it.

      Just look at some of the lyrics, … “like, a traffic jam when you’re already late”. That’s not Ironic, that’s just a pain in the hole, isn’t it? When was the last time you were late for something and got stuck in a traffic jam and thought, look at the irony on this eh, there’s irony for you. … No! it Isn’t ironic … Oh, unless you’re a town planner. If you were a town planner and you were late for a seminar of town planners at which you’re giving a talk on how you solve the problem of traffic congestion in your area, couldn’t get to it, cause you got stuck in a traffic jam – that would be well ironic,

      “It’s like rain on your wedding day”. Oh, only if you’re getting married to a weather man and he set the date.

      “No smoking sign on your cigarette break”. That’s just inconsiderate office management. A no smoking sign in a cigarette factory is irony, that’s not a difficult concept, Alanis. It’s very rare that you see an ironic no smoking sign. Although have you ever seen one of those that says: “Thank you for not smoking”. And you are. Very ironic when that happens, I suppose.

      But the very best line in that song, the best line ever written, has got to be the line: “It’s like ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife.” … That’s not ironic, is it folks – that’s just fucking stupid. How big is your sink, Alanis? Really? We haven’t got 10,000 spoons between us, have we folks? What do you need this knife for? To stab the bastard that keeps leaving spoons all over your house.

      But we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. We’ll give her the benefit cause you like her. We will. … Imagine if you needed a knife for something, and couldn’t find one coz all you found was 10,000 spoons. Could happen! And therefore, you couldn’t do whatever it was you needed the knife for. And the very next day it turned out that a spoon would have done the trick. You’re only taking the lid off a tin of paint, could of used a spoon for that, … oh Jesus !!! – I had 10,000 of the bastards yesterday !!!

      That’s ironic, A little too ironic, don’t you think!

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        Very, very droll swordie.

        And what it all boils down to Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          The spoons could have been called hyperbole.
          The rest is Murphy’s Law. Now an Irish comedian commenting on that is perhaps ironic.

          • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1

            lol … my father always said Murphy was an optimist. Then he went and started a Labour Party somewhere 🙂

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    …cannibalise each other’s vote.

    1. We hear these claims to own people’s votes a lot from Labour. You are entitled to what you can earn.

    2. The electoral effect of Turei’s remarks is as yet unknown, and yet you see fit to level criticism based on your interpretation, then bring up the MoU. Pot, meet kettle.

    As I will keep on saying, drop the Peoples’ Front of Judea mentality and get on with preventing the National Party killing more citizens.

    • red-blooded 8.1

      Who was levelling criticism? It’s absolutely true that we need to grow the left vote, not just pull the current left-leaners from one MOU partner to the other. That’s the real People’s Front of Judea approach, and it’s not the way to change the government.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        Neither you nor I nor anyone else knows what the effect of Turei’s remarks will be on the election. As for who they were aimed at, I read them as targeting the non-vote.

        “Cannibalise” isn’t just criticism, it’s negative criticism.

      • Interestingly enough it looks like the Greens actions did lift the Left vote while Labours have been steadily losing it.

    • Bill 8.2

      Two days and two agreements. 🙂

      All votes are up for grabs.

      If the spirit of the MoU is retained, then the make-up of government will have been determined off the back of a positive dynamic.

      But like I wrote yesterday, I don’t really expect that to be the case. And part of the reason, maybe the reason, is this sense of entitlement that seems to permeate NZ Labour. All votes against the current government belong to them apparently, and so other parties become viewed as competing for something that isn’t rightfully theirs.

      Expect tripping and low level monkey wrenching 🙁

      edit – and yes, I want to be wrong on that front.

  9. red-blooded 9

    I do think Andrew Little would have made a great PM and I’m sorry that he won’t get a chance to show this. Jacinda is charismatic and committed, bringing a different skill set. I really hope Andrew isn’t going to be lost to the party, meaning that the two can continue to combine their gifts as leading members in the Labour caucus. I’m also sure that Kelvin Davis has plenty to offer and it’s great to see him being recognised for the strong work he’s done during this term, in particular. While I do worry about the extreme measure of making the changes at this stage, I’m still 100% committed to supporting Labour and trying to dump this tired, arrogant, and uncaring government. I’m trying to see this as rejuvenation, and I’m really impressed with the way Jacinda and Kelvin have handled things so far. Fingers crossed about how the wider public will see things. I think we all know the lines that Steven Joyce et al will trot out.,,

  10. ianmac 10

    On a personal level it must have been gut wrenching for Andrew to give up his hopes of being PM. Sad for him and his family.

  11. ianmac 11

    Russell Brown commented “…a broadcast soundie has always hated doing Andrew Little. Not because he dislikes the man personally, my friend explained, but because his voice is so hard to get right in the mix. No matter what you do, it just never cuts through…”
    Maybe this was a contributing factor to his lack of public appeal? Some sound/look just right onscreen. Some don’t.

    Me. I was looking forward to Andrew as PM. Now switch support to Jacinda with growing optimism.

  12. Ffloyd 12

    Having had my hissy fit re Andrew Little stepping down I have since listened to Jacinda and Kelvin and recognise that they represent the change needed to galvanise the Labour Party voters. I am in awe of A.L making this very brave, momentous decision for the sake of the Party.
    Jacinda on Jesse Mulligans show was a delight to watch and listen to. Very relaxed but not ready to take any bs. AND confident.
    Kelvin Davis impressed me with his demeanour. Don ‘t think he is going to get a swollen head.
    I think they will both honour their positions and not be swayed by the Titles of them.
    So to that end I am going to donate and see if I can help local office in any way possible.
    I hope that AL takes a b reather now and gets on reclaimimg the life he had to battle to keep.
    And just think, no more Guyon,Paddy Mike H and all those other pretenders to jounalism. May their camels become infested with a thousand fleas! Old curse I read somewhere.
    Feeling somewhat more OPTIMISTIC today.

    • OncewasTim 12.1

      In total agreement fF.

    • garibaldi 12.2

      “Don’t think he’s going to get a swollen head”. Many would say Kelvin has always had a swollen head. Watch this space …..I hope he can back away from his Right leanings. Turn Labour left.

    • RedLogix 12.3

      Well Kelvin earned respect from me for going into bat for all the Kiwis in Australia on the short end of that deal.

      • garibaldi 12.3.1

        Further to my comment…. Kelvin has said today he will not rely on a top listing in Labour ,but will fight all the way for the good people of TTT.
        So, instead of allowing Mana in to parliament to help form a progressive coalition, he is determined to fight Hone all the way and exclude a Left Party all together.
        Smell a rat anyone?

        • Ad 12.3.1.1

          He’s a better MP than Hone ever could be.

          • In Vino 12.3.1.1.1

            But it cuts a true Leftie out of parliament, and diminishes the strength of the Left. You may not like Hone, but this helps National, not the Left. National have used the Epsom thing to cheat for years, and now Davis is stopping the Left from a compensatory manoeuvre.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    National is the camel fF, and hoskings gower dann etc are the fleas.
    Got a great visual image from your curse!! They will be scratching!!! LOL

  14. Sabine 14

    sorry Mickey, but no we don’t.

    we are not owned by the Labour party and its circus.

  15. Stuart Munro 15

    While it is a relief to see that Labour have not sunk the prospects of the left by changing leaders 8 weeks out from the election, there are several real tests of the new Labour leadership that we won’t see the results of till after the election.

    One will be the treatment of Little going forward. He is apparently burnt out by the constant negativity of dealing with worthless MSM vermin like Gower, but six months from now he could and probably should be taking on one of the serious roles like labour market reform. If he isn’t that will tell us things about Labour that we really didn’t want to know.

    Another will be action on welfare, immigration and mental health. Ten years of erosion (thirty really) won’t be fixed with bandaids – there is urgent need for major structural reform.

    Housing is another, and statistical bullshit like that deployed by Nick Smith won’t even begin to cut it.

    The relief is significant, but the assholes who’ve spent the last thirty years wrecking NZ would like nothing better than to give the left a single term and then resume their plundering.

  16. sam green 16

    Fully support Adern and fully support Little as being a man of the highest integrity. Let’s see him take a senior role as said above.
    We need a tight and loyal Labour Party- we need a team – and it’s looking positive. Debate is good – dissent is poison.

  17. Tanz 17

    I am looking forward to the televised debates…English has decades of experience, how can this work? It’s all about personality and charisma, policies seem to stand for nought.

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