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Some brief musings on unity

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, September 24th, 2014 - 287 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags: ,

Unity is much easier to call for when your faction is doing the leading and the calling. It is much harder to provide when your faction is not doing the leading, and feels wronged.

Whatever the outcome of Labour’s current leadership debate, many of us are going to be tested. From MPs to party members to activists, there are going to be plenty of angry people around. Those angry people face the greatest test, to provide unity, for the greater good. Those angry people have to be heroes.

I’ll support whichever leader emerges from this contest*. I’ll support them wholeheartedly, and I’ll work to advance the causes of the left (as I have done for many years now).

I hope that you will do the same.

* I’m not claiming to be a hero, I’m not going to be angry. I don’t have the excess of confidence that would lead me to believe that I always know what’s best for the left, so I’m happy to support the collective decision. What I am confident of is that the policies and aspirations of the left are much, much better for our country than those of the right. Let’s get this over with, and get back to the struggle that matters.

287 comments on “Some brief musings on unity ”

  1. tristanrs 1

    well said. if Nash for instance wins there are many on the left of the party who are going to have to look at the greater good even though it might offend their principals. not an easy thing to do

  2. martin 2

    I absolutely agree. We need to support whoever is leader, for the good of Labour and the good of the left. The values and principles we stand for are more important than personalities. Lets stay positive and look towards 2017.

    • NZ Sage 2.1

      ***The values and principles we stand for are more important than personalities***

      Totally agree but the reality is people have and will continue to vote for personalities in modern elections.

      They “liked” JK (yes, yes I know) but as the results indicated many also “liked” their electorate Labour candidates.

      People “liked” Helen but since Helen, the Labour party has not had a leader the NZ public embraced or “liked”.

      Labour could appoint a new leader based on raw socialist ideology, thereby remaining a minor party indefinitely, or lead with charisma and win the next election.

      I fully support Labours principles but I’d prefer a win whatever it takes approach compared to the disastrous result of 20/09/14.

      Stuart Nash with Jacinda Ardern as deputy with be the charismatic dream team.

      Just saying like…

      • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1

        Jacinda Ardern might be good at making cupcakes but as deputy leader…well lets see if Sweetie can win a seat first

        Nash is pretty good though, always tough winning a seat against the side epsecially when your team isn’t backing you

        • Tracey

          jacinda nearly took a national ministers seat. nash should be sending mcvicar some flowers. your analysis of both was shallow and wide of the mark.

        • Rodel

          Have you the slightest idea of what a repulsive misogynist you sound like? You need help. Seriously!
          No I guess you don’t.
          I feel so sorry for your family..if you have one left. I doubt it.

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.2

        In 1999 the Asian and global economy were jittery, so “the people” ousted the incumbent (National) and voted in Helen.

        “The people” liked Helen for the next eight years because economies were improving.
        Then came the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. She lost in November 2008. During that 2007-2009 crisis there were 27 changes of government worldwide. NOT A SINGLE INCUMBENT government was re-elected.

        In March 2009, the global markets began a rally which has enabled Key to get re-elected twice.

        “It’s the economy, stupid.” The global economy is teetering again. Some stock markets are at all time highs BUT the world is drowning in debt and output is declining. When economic confidence collapses again incumbent politicians worldwide will be ousted, including NZ National.

        Patience, my friends. Our day is coming sooner than you think.

    • Aaron 2.2

      Sorry, but Labour has spent the last 30 years trying to steadfastly support the leader in an attempt to pretend their isn’t a great schism in the party but that schism is even greater right now than it ever was.

      You just got a leader (Cunliffe) that promised a move to the left during the leadership election – to which the polls responded with a great rise. The leader then attempted to accommodate the neo liberals in the caucus by keeping the party in the “centre”. The polls responded by heading south and the neoliberals responded by undermining the leader and colluding to destroy another left wing party.

      You guys have got a major problem and blindly supporting the leader will not solve it. At best it’s naive and at worst it’s an attempt to shut down dissent (by people who are thinking now is the chance for the ABCs to rise? I dont’ know).

      From the outside it looks like you’re still trying to forge a marriage between the union movement and people who should be in ACT. It’s time to confront this situation and again from the outside I think you need to clean out the ABCs. Judging from their behavior they are more interested in their own agenda than the good of the party and they occupy a pointless place on the political spectrum too – National lite.

      Actually the more that I think about it, the more crazy this seems. A large part of the caucus is not following the will of the party – why on earth would you want to declare loyalty to one of that lot?

      As an outsider I would encourage the members take their party back. If it has to be a blood bath, so be it. You can’t keep limping on like this.

      • lurgee 2.2.1

        The rise was the result of a lot of publicity during the leadership contest. If the slump was the result of not moving left, why did support go lower than under Shearer’s ‘rightwing’ leadership?

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        Aaron: sharp analysis. The scars and damage of the 1980s are now being felt in an aging party.

      • tc 2.2.3

        nailed it Aaron. New growth from clear felling and a burn off so let the blood flow.

        ACT and United Future are the progeny of Labour so the remnants must be cut away and a clear identity based on a rejection of neoliberal/trickledown/supply side/voodoo ecomomics. Proven to have failed again and again so gotta be plenty of mileage in that.

        By 2017 the party running that should be well placed after 3 more years of the selling out, damage and fires that TeamKey have lit.

        Will that party be labour though ?

      • AmaKiwi 2.2.4

        @ Aaron (2.2)

        Small parties can afford the luxury of ideological purity.

        If you want a party large enough to have expertise about the wide range of issues a government has to cope with, it has to be a party that includes compromises. Politics is the art of compromise.

        I could have a party that represents only what I cherish and hold dear. It would be a party of one.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      I absolutely agree. We need to support whoever is leader, for the good of Labour and the good of the left.

      Someone remind the MPs, eh, who seem to struggle setting the example in terms of media discipline.

  3. adam 3

    See here is a problem, what if a right winger gets to lead the labour party. How the hell will you be advancing a left wing cause?

    Please there are other issues with your argument. Like the head burying issues and the not dealing with the fact you’re the party who sold the working people down the river.

    But please tell me, after 30 years – what has changed? One million non voters, less than half the vote of national and a parliamentary wing who won’t stop fighting because the right wing faction are vicious, nasty, egoists who only care about how they feel.

    No please labour person tell me it will be all right. Because your looking like the assholes the majority of the country already think you are.

    • karol 3.1

      Some of us on the left, are watching from the sidelines in disbelief as Labour tears itself apart in public.

      And many of us are re-committing to other left parties – especially the Greens. They are still standing, united, and getting back to business straight away.

      • King Kong 3.1.1

        There are too many activists in Labour who are members of the wrong party.

        They are radical hard left wing loonies that enjoy the major party status of Labour but don’t agree with what made Labour a major party in the first place, i.e. centre left values.

        Now that the members hold so much power, the influence of this particular group (well represented on the Standard) will very, very quickly turn Labour into a fringe left minor party.

        If I was a true Labour member, I would tell these people to fuck off to Mana and the Greens, where they belong.

        • Tracey

          Labour’s values are enduring values. Our Party was formed in 1916 by working New Zealanders determined that the contribution of all people to our nation should be respected and valued.

          They strove then, as we do now, for a fair share for all, support for the vulnerable, and hope for a better tomorrow. Significant, progressive social change in New Zealand has been driven by Labour.

          We are proud of our role in developing a prosperous economy, creating our welfare state; providing universal access to housing, education, and health; delivering fair wages and conditions for workers; promoting human rights; recognising Māori and redressing past wrongs; and taking an independent stance on the world stage.

          We recognise that, as a country, we are stronger together. We believe that inclusive, egalitarian communities that support and respect everyone’s contributions are the bedrock of New Zealand.

          We will honour and uphold The Treaty of Waitangi and be good stewards of our environment. We will always govern not only for the people of today, but for future generations. We will be good citizens of the world, promoting peace, justice, and fairness.

          • Tracey

            The new political party emerged from a joint conference in Wellington of the United Federation of Labour, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and local Labour Representation Committees (LRCs).

            Since the early 1900s a number of candidates had stood for Parliament under various ‘labour’ banners, including those of the Socialist Party, the Independent Political Labour League, local LRCs, the first New Zealand Labour Party (1910–12), the United Labour Party (ULP) and the SDP, which had been formed at the 1913 Unity Conference in Wellington.

            By 1916 there were six ‘labour’ members in Parliament − three elected as members of the now-defunct ULP, two as SDP candidates and one as an independent. They operated as a de-facto opposition to the wartime coalition government. This grouping formed the basis of the second New Zealand Labour Party, which was established at a conference in Wellington instigated by the SDP in July 1916. Although the party’s name was a concession to the moderates, members of the more radical SDP held 11 of the 13 positions on its founding executive.

            • Tracey

              The rise of Labour

              Organised labour flexed its muscles in the 1890 maritime strike, and in the Waihī and watersider strikes of 1912–13. Setbacks on the industrial front turned the labour movement towards political action. The Labour Party, founded in 1916, made uneven gains through the 1920s, then was swept into power under Michael Joseph Savage in 1935 by an electorate disillusioned with how the conservative coalition government had handled the depression. When Savage died in 1940, Peter Fraser became prime minister.
              Labour in power

              In power, the Labour Party, aided by an economic recovery already underway when it was elected, revived the economy further by pragmatic rather than doctrinaire socialist policies. The Reserve Bank was taken over by the state in 1936, spending on public works increased and a state housing programme began. The Social Security Act 1938 dramatically extended the welfare state.

              • Tracey

                Labour government, 1935

                Four years later Labour surged to victory with 46% of the vote and 53 of the 80 parliamentary seats. Voters rejected the coalition government in protest at its harsh policies, and in response to the grave economic and social impact of the depression. Labour promised social and economic security and presented a more benign image under Michael Joseph Savage, who had become party leader after the death of Harry Holland in October 1933.

                The politicians who made up the first Labour government were drawn mostly from the union movement, especially former miners’ leaders such as Bob Semple. They included a minority of educated liberals, for example lawyer Rex Mason.

        • J Mex

          I reckon King Kong has absolutely nailed it with this comment.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.2

        Well your low expectations will be satisfied then if they are getting’ back to business’

      • The Lone Haranguer 3.1.3

        Karol, why the disbelief over Labour tearing itself apart?

        It was completely predictible, that having lost, the next step is always to eat their own – political cannibalism has been a Labour specialty for the past thirty years.

    • r0b 3.2

      See here is a problem, what if a right winger gets to lead the labour party. How the hell will you be advancing a left wing cause?

      The most right wing person in Labour (whatever that means, and whoever that is) is still preferable to the Nats.

      It’s MMP. Labour will govern with, and be influenced by, other parties of the left. If Labour isn’t left enough for you, support some other leftie party! But waging war against Labour isn’t going to get anyone a left wing government.

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        Maybebut isnt what and who lp stands for more important in the first instance than who is leader. If someone from tge right becomes leader then they determine the what and who.

        Do youthink keygot parachuted in the determine the what and who? Fuck no, they knew that very clearly, then they looked for the face and image to cultivate the votes.

        • The Lone Haranguer

          Tracey, the Nats has Ms Boag running the knife sharpening division in the kitchen as Key was being parachuted in to the rescue.

          1) Labour doesnt have a Ms Boag (could H2 be recalled from the UN for the role)
          2) Labour doesnt have a Key waiting in the wings

      • Tracey 3.2.2

        Do you know why labour thought it was better to have the nats again than three people from mana and ip? Do you know why labour thought it should campaign for the electorate seat in epsom raher than talk to the greens who werent campaigning for the seat, or why not talk to the greens in ohariu…. Cos thats what it looks like to me… Could have been negotiating with winnie right now…

        • brian

          @ Tracey (3.2.2)


        • tc

          +1 principles rather than the practical business of winning more seats for the left.

          It was winnable if they played MMP instead of FPP.

          So who actually made such decisions and did they forget 2011 / Epsom given they knew how close it would be it’s bewildering.

      • adam 3.2.3

        More delusion, a right wing labour is better than national – funny the electorate didn’t think that. How did that work out for people with the 5th labour government? Well?

        The what ever that means argument is straight from the labour parties dirty tricks bag – what ever that means. I thought I’d been quite open and honest. A right wing party is one who is willing to sell working people down the river for power or profit. That is how labour is perceived by the overwhelming percentage of the population.

        The point is labour and there supports like you r0b are away with the fairies – you say go support another party then labour attacks it, or labour works with the Tory scum and get them out of parliament. Then labour throws all their toys from the cot when anyone questions the fact, that labour are fubar and a liability for the left.

        But please r0b, if you think your right carry on. I however will keep telling labour and labour people what the truth is (small t) and the truth is – the overwhelming majority of people don’t like labour, hell that may be an overwhelming majority who may even hate you.

        • McFlock

          How did that work out for people with the 5th labour government? Well?

          better than the preceding and following governments did, even if Lab5 was not perfect.

          • Colonial Viper

            And look what kind of Labour result it’s led us to after 6 years in Opposition.

            • McFlock

              Being better than national? Opposition. But I don’t think Labour should try to be worse than national. Do you?

              • Colonial Viper

                Set the bar as low as you like mate, the voters decided which party was credible to lead and which was not.

                • McFlock

                  So now it’s looking “credible to lead” that’s the criteria, rather than which would make the better government.

                  Shifting the goalposts so that being a self-loathing labourite looks justifiable, I guess.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    the voters definitely decided that National would make the better government. Did you not notice that McFlock? It was rather overwhelming, and even lefty commentators admitted it.

                    • McFlock

                      Voters elected national.

                      Why they decided to do that is unknowable. I guess you’re just psychically linked to a couple of million people.

      • Jenny Kirk 3.2.4

        Sorry Rob – totally disagree. It was when Labour moved to the right – under Roger Douglas et al, that the Labour movement started to splinter. No Labour Leader should be leading us to the right ……. therein lies further disaster. We are a left-leaning party whose concern is for those whom the rich, on the right, don’t give a toss about. And it is very clear that the Labour caucus still has too many of those right-leaning MPs. Until they go, or until they have understood their duty is to their Party and its people and the people we have a concern for, then Labour is lost.

      • Mark 3.2.5

        I am a left winger. You want me to vote for a party on the left as a result of which the left as a block gain power and as a result those right wing arseholes in Labour become cabinet ministers. I will never ever vote for the left again while those arseholes look like attaining any foothold on power. I will vote for National to try to stop that happening. I detest John Key and everything he stands for but I detest the ABC faction in Labour more. I was a foot soldier for the left for over 20 years as were a lot of my friends. Most don’t hate labour as much as I do but like me they will never vote left again for exactly the same reasons as I have. Labour in its present form is completely and utterly fucked.

    • BM 3.3

      If you don’t like the leader or policies, go vote for some one else.
      It’s not like you’re being forced to vote labour.

    • lurgee 3.4

      what if a right winger gets to lead the labour party. How the hell will you be advancing a left wing cause?

      By being in power, not opposition. You can do bugger all on the opposition benches. Compromisng to appeal to a broader portion of the electorate is one of the fundamentals of democracy. If you want to be ideologically pure, try a revolution. But consult the history of the USSR first.

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        Heading right will lose Labour more votes; National is a far superior and more natural right wing party than Labour ever be.

        • lurgee

          I don’t think there are any more votes to be gained on the left. And while the middle classes can be generous, and often can be persuaded to vote against their interests, they are unlikely to vote for further left policies than what Labour offered.

          Moving left might steal the Green’s 10%. But that doesn’t get us anywhere closer to power. Key can command 50% of the population. What policies do you think will win their hearts and minds?

          Or do you expect the ‘missing million,’ who have sat out three elections now, will suddenly re-emerge?

      • Puddleglum 3.4.2

        Hi lurgee,

        I don’t think you understand adam’s scenario.

        Adam appears to be suggesting that it wouldn’t be a case of a left-wing leader compromising on policy to appeal to the ‘centre’ but, rather, it would be the case of a right wing leader who does not see it as a compromise because they fully support the right wing policies (only differentiating from National on superficialities when it comes to policy – because you have to claim your product ‘Y’ rather than ‘X’ in a marketplace).

        • lurgee

          I don’t think you get people with that in the Labour Party.

          For all the screaming about ABCs and Rogernomes and other idiotic barbs chucked about here, our rightwing is still to the left of National, and well to the left of the current National leadership.

  4. Bill 4

    I’ll support whichever leader emerges from this contest*.

    Well, yeah – I mean, politics isn’t about personalities, so why not?

    Here’s a possible ‘why not’. What if, and there’s a reasonable chance of this happening, the Labour Party becomes a haven and a vehicle for what Nicky Hager describes as ‘professional politicians’?

    Are you really going to support that kind of political beast?

    I won’t. That political beast would be my political enemy.

    • r0b 4.1

      I mean, politics isn’t about personalities, so why not?

      Not what I meant Bill.

      • karol 4.1.1

        But there are other alternatives you don’t contemplate – like leave the party and/or support another.

        For myself, I have never had the attitude of my party right or wrong.

        • r0b

          I personally don’t care which party of the left anyone supports. I’ve voted for and contributed to the Greens before, I’ve done stuff to work with them in Dunedin North (and they for Labour). My family all vote Green (deliver pamphlets etc). Green, Labour, left, whatever, all good.

          But, for historical reasons I’m a member of Labour, and I have lots of friends there that I won’t walk out on. The left can’t win without Labour, so my efforts are just as well spent supporting them as any other party.

          • karol

            OK. I’m just frustrated that this stoush is getting all the media attention, when many of us are willing and ready to focus on a range of pressing issues.

            The biggest problem is the Labour people who are leaking the fractures to the press.

            And very few are paying attention to the fact that the Greens are united, strong, getting back to business, and according to some blog/social media sources, getting a surge in new people signing up as members.

            • r0b

              OK. I’m just frustrated that this stoush is getting all the media attention,

              There is no way, ever, ever, ever, not even it all of the Labour MPs were saints, that this would not be the case. It’s the way the media works. And yes it’s part of the problem, and no I don’t have any answers to that.

              • adam

                Please, the media in this instance are not the problem. The leaks and egos are.

                • thatguynz

                  Whilst I agree Adam, the media are sniffing around like feral cats just waiting to pounce on any morsel – irrespective of source or veracity so they maintain some level of culpability.

                  • blue leopard

                    Yes, so don’t feed the cats which is exactly what Cunliffe has asked of the caucus and some of them are choosing to ignore.

                    How difficult is this to understand?

                    [+1 adam]

                    • thatguynz


                    • lurgee

                      He decided to start his leadership campaign in his concession speech! If he can d it, why not others?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because he’s the fucking Leader giving the fucking speech on Election Night!!!

                    • Once Was Tim

                      There are those in Labour (and from my summation – ABCers usually) that are ‘feeding the cats’. Their egos appear to be getting the better of them. They think they can handle the media – they CAN’T. They the very ones feeding the Paddy Gower “My sources tell me” type lines; they’re the ‘My grandad was Walter Nash – I know it all’ types.
                      Whilst a ‘NO COMMENT’ may not work the first couple of times, shortly thereafter it leaves Paddy, Duncan, Tova et al up shit creek with a public soon beginning to question their cred.
                      When Paddy says “My sources within the Labour Party tell me …….”, that’s exactly what they are! It appears not to have dawned on some of the ABCers that they’ll go down in history as being responsible for the Labour Party’s demise.
                      So far I’m pleasantly surprised that both Parker and Hisskins appear to be exercising some discipline – probably (belatedly) realising that they face an unsympathetic and toxic ‘press’ – if one can call them that.

                    • blue leopard

                      +1 Tim,

                      I realise others’ here would disagree, however I’ve got quite a lot of respect for Hipkins, he performs well in parliament and I noticed that he was very good with the media when they were trying to dig for dirt after the Labour election campaign opening.

                      I particularly respect that last point, because he certainly hadn’t been a fan of Cunliffe, yet showed he is capable of discipline & loyal behaviour despite that. Obviously he is clever enough to realise the value of harmonious appearances (even if it doesn’t exist in reality lol)

                      I would hazard a guess that this is probably why he has apparently been given the job of dealing with the media over the latest issues in Labour.

                      Was brilliant to see on both channels that the MPs have finally seen fit to stop feeding the cats. What a difference! Not giving them oxygen. Excellent!

                      Thanks, I was a little speechless at Lurgee’s comment, kinda like they hadn’t read anything else that had been written & glad you replied, you said it so much more succinctly than I ever would have 😉

                    • lurgee

                      Actually, I retract my earlier comment.

                      I’ve just re-watched Cunliffe’s speech. I though he mentioned intending to remain as leader, which is why I felt it was hypocritical to complain about others expressing their interest. He doesn’t.

                      Must have been the booze …

                      Apologies to all.

            • weka

              “The biggest problem is the Labour people who are leaking the fractures to the press.”

              Nope, that’s just a symptom of the underlying problem.

              • Colonial Viper

                yep symptomatic of deep cultural, social and political schisms some of which are decades old, and which Helen Clark and are sharp operating team managed through pretty well.

                But once she went as a hard task master, the self discipline simply was not there.

            • King Kong

              Not helping the stoush are bloggers, like Lprent, who publicly declare war on the caucus because they won’t roll over and allow a guy that has just about ruined the Labour party to keep control.

              • Tracey

                Oh please… The all powerful lprent….

                Who did you vote for our primate friend? If only labour were more, national partyesque, youd vote for them?

        • lprent

          The left can’t win without Labour, so my efforts are just as well spent supporting them as any other party.

          That may be the case right now. But I am starting to think that Labour itself is the problem. They are like a dead mass on the left of politics that stops anything growing in its place (and I’m not talking about the loons from IMP/Alliance).

          Right now I’m more likely to just leave politics entirely, and probably running this site also. Sitting around waiting for a “review” as part of a caucus phony war is my idea of hell. We have another election where the lessons learnt from the campaign and past 3 years will be lost yet again.

          I was bouncing this around with Lyn this morning. I think that I have better things to do. Like writing code or actually going back into managerial roles again.

          My problem is that I see all of this kurfuffling about after an election as just being a complete waste of time that gets in the way of changing how things are done. So nothing ever does get fixed, and we see the same daft mistakes getting repeated each election.

          For instance, my pet hobby horse, targeting for canvassing and election day turnout. The NZLP is mostly still using a reddot system that was perfected in the 1970s when the volunteer base was 10-20x larger. For all of the good work that Rob Salmond was doing on it this time, he started late in 2013 and was still running to catch up with things I’d been doing back in 2004. Had to run it on generalised data from polling booths and the census. Had piss poor canvassing data because of some moronic decisions by MPs back in 2008 about what needed to be stored.

          Mind you, it is the same across everywhere. The get out the vote campaigns didn’t manage to store which people they’d actually called (generally no codes on the sheets). So it is frigging impossible to find out how effective it’d been on the people contacted.

          Since 2008 we simply haven’t been getting any particular changes in *how* Labour runs elections and *how* it communicates. Part of that is the sclerotic internal processes of Labour. But most of it is due to caucus acting like a flock of headless chickens following the largest bloodflow after elections.

          We have party “reviews” that never change anything, but purely seem to be designed to help one faction of another. What the morons in caucus seem to fail to understand is that they are pretty well useless at the mechanics of electioneering, and the reviews are generally regarded as just being witchhunts amongst staff and volunteers.

          They know what went wrong and right and can tell you. Unfortunately bad news seems to disappear out of the review. Even more unfortunately so do the competent people because who’d want to put up with this crap. Effectively you get a winnowing to incompetents and favourites amongst staffers, and not much based on competency.

          The leadership is kind of irrelevant if they put up anyone competent. But the process of having these interminable pissing contests gets in the way of actually getting things done inside Labour.

          However the useless and incompetent MPs in caucus appear to be determined to continue having the stupid things. Just as they were back in 1999-2003. The only difference now is that the bloodletting can be dragged out for longer and shave more support away from a voting public. It is a public that really doesn’t care much about which talking head Labour has, but does expect that a political party should have their shit together enough to work professionally together.

          Maybe I should just hang around for a while purely to be creatively destructive… Perhaps if we destroyed the Labour party and its useless constitution we’d get something more useful growing in its stead. The unions must bet getting hacked off with Labour by now…

          • weka

            holy shit Lynn.

            Any chance that Labour can split into two parties?

          • r0b

            Right now I’m more likely to just leave politics entirely, and probably running this site also.

            You should take care of your own health and sanity first and foremost, you’ve done more than your share! But if it is consistent with that prime directive, I for one certainly hope that you’ll be sticking around in both activities.

          • Bill

            Okay. Giving up on maintaining/running this site? Please don’t do that. Or, if you’re determined to throw it all in, can you commit to bringing an alternative and competent ‘you’ up to speed?

            As for the Labour Party. I don’t think you’re the only one thinking you might be muttering R.I.P. and thanking god it’s over at some point in the near future.

            But then, the Labour Party aren’t, and never were the totality of the left. So with the albatross gone….

          • karol

            Oh. interesting to see your musings, Lynn.

            I have been pondering whether to give up blogging since the election. I’ve opted for a mid-way position.

            I will continue posting a bit here, but am starting to look at putting some time into my personal blog- which focuses on some of my other, though related, interests – other than politics – culture, society, popular culture etc.

            No political change comes without massive cultural change.

            I do think the Greens need to focus more on the practicalities of getting out their vote.

            I’m surprised they weren’t logging who they called. I understood they were doing that.

          • Tracey

            Change isnt bad.

            The site gives a place for voices of the labour movement, the left. The left may have changed forever but from the ashes etc…

          • higherstandard

            “They know what went wrong and right and can tell you. Unfortunately bad news seems to disappear out of the review. Even more unfortunately so do the competent people because who’d want to put up with this crap. Effectively you get a winnowing to incompetents and favourites amongst staffers, and not much based on competency.”

            Sounds like every DHB and (according to friends and family) every multinational, SME on the face of the planet !

            • Once Was Tim

              …… and about 50% of the IT projects I ever worked on – thankfully now more than 10 years ago. And unfortunately the incompetent people keep popping up from one to the next – I see them around the place still pulling the same shit – OR in ‘HR IT recruitment’ doing as much damage.

              I’d hate to see LP go – heart attacks aren’t worth it though.

          • King Kong

            Once Cunliffe gets rolled “the Standard and Lynn will have a massive target on its back so quitting might be a good idea. The utu that is will be met out to the Cunliffe loyalists and Caucus enemies will be like nothing we have ever seen before.

  5. blue leopard 5

    Great sentiment R0b,

    If the outcome is too much of a compromise with right-wing narrative, I do hope you will choose to put your energies somewhere that is more productive for left-wing principles.

    Strategy, really does seem to be a big problem with Labour. Caving in to rightwing memes, for example, characterizing Dirty Politics and MoT as a ‘distraction’, is very damaging and only serves to move the discourse further into right-wing territory.

    And disunity in the left is the gift that keeps on giving to right-wing propaganda.

  6. Ant 6

    I’ll settle for the people who the media focus on showing some unity.

    Regular members and activists showing unity doesn’t mean shit because it is invisible to 99% of New Zealand.

  7. Not a PS Staffer 7

    It is crazy that we are having a contest.
    We went through exhaustive selection process just before Christmas. The membership made it views knows then.
    The team should be building for the next election and making sure they are the Lead Opposition Party. When Shearer was Leader the Greens and Winston became the Opposition.

    I hold Shearer and Robertson accountable for this mess and the membership should let them know that they are pissed with them.

    • BM 7.1

      Yep, caucus should get to choose who’s leader, they’ve got to work with the man/woman.
      All done in an hour then back to business.

      None of this 3 month wankery, where every gets to see Labour fight.

      • Not a PS Staffer 7.1.1

        Nah! We have to have a process by which the member select the leader.

        The failure of the last six years is not Cunliffe’s fault and not the fault of the membership.
        We need a clear voice from the membership…again..and dire consequence for MPs who don’t listen to the members.

        And Shearer has to get out of the party. He has shown a phenomenal degree of selfishness.

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        You understand that caucus didnt really pick john key, dont you?

  8. cogito 8

    I wonder what Shane Jones is thinking at the moment…

    • Not a PS Staffer 8.1

      …the next comfortable hotel he will stay in…the next dinner he will eat at someone elses expense..

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        If his cheque will clear…

        • Not a PS Staffer

          Maybe Jones, or even McCully, has a cushy job suggestion for Shearer?

        • brian

          @ Tracey (8.1.1)

          And why not? Labour signalled clearly that they didn’t want him.

          If only someone in Parliament had the balls to stand up and ask every other male if they had ever watched porn. Perhaps they (I’m talking in all parties) might all have put their hands up. Instead of pretending that they were all Saints. But very flawed Saints. If they were more saintly, they would have immediately passed laws to ban all pornography, given the degree that Shane had to be ostracised. But that didn’t happen.

          • Tracey

            No problem with him leaving, just wish he had gone ealier. Nothing to do with pornography and more to do with my impression of him being more national… Than labour.

            • brian

              @ Tracey (

              I’m having difficulty understanding the differentiation a lot of people are making between the so called “left” and “right” factions of labour. Can you, (or others) point to key policies where the sides disagree?

              Any broad party, hoping to attract a significant percentage of the vote, has to be able to not only tolerate different perspectives, but encourage them, I think. The unification (and respect for those differences) is done with the shared vision …. an issue that I come back to time and time and time again.

              And such unification could be best symbolised with having what I consider might have been a dream team : Cunliffe and Jones. Cunliffe would have appealed to the voters who actually voted Labour on Election day. Jones would have been capable of bring in additional voters from National, and especially New Zealand First.

              What did these two politicians actually have in common with each other? They were both attracted to Labour. There must be something in common?

              • Tracey

                I wonder at the moment is if the in common is wanting to be in govt.

                I dont think it is as reflected in policy, although i consider cullen and parker to be very conservative economically.

                Its more in delivery. Shearer was happy to attack beneficiaries to get the middle vote so he could get elected and then, presumably be kinder to beneficiaries than national.

                The leaking and gossiping to the media. As i said yesterday i dont accept that mallard made his MOA quip without knowing the probable impact, he used to be labours campaign strategist!

                Matt McCarten is left and he had the leaders ear and possibly his whip…

              • Mark

                They breath air. That’s all they have in common

  9. weka 9

    R0b, what if unity isn’t possible?

    • r0b 9.1

      Well then we can kiss 2017 goodbye, and likely 2020 with it.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Do you mean, if unity within Labour is not possible we should just give up now?

        Bugger 2017. This isn’t about gaining power, it’s about what’s really important in our values, our relationships and the ways we conduct ourselves in the world.

        • Tracey

          Plus 1

          start with values, set a goal and then work out the how.

          IF LP think they can compete on the playing field nats have created then re read the thread where i expressed concern LP would think dirty politics was the only way to compete for some good reasons why LP cant, wont.

      • karol 9.1.2

        You assume that Labour will always be the main party of the left.

        I tend to agree with Wayne Hope’s thesis, that the dividing line in NZ politics is not between Labour and National, but between the left and right wings of Labour.

        The left seems to include the Greens, and Mana.

        If Labour resolves it’s problems to end the faction fighting, it will either go the way of the right or the left. If the left dominates they will be most likely to align with the Greens. That seems to me to be where the future of NZ’s political centre-left lies.

        If the right dominates ….well, they will not be a party that will get a lot of support from elsewhere on the left. They would be most likely to align with NZ First.

        Maybe Labour is just in the process of no longer being the main party of the left?

        • Tracey

          They certainly claimed to be more aligned to nzf than the greens during the campaign given some comments made….

        • Chooky

          +100 Agreed karol..”I tend to agree with Wayne Hope’s thesis, that the dividing line in NZ politics is not between Labour and National, but between the left and right wings of Labour’

          (unfortunately I dont think we can do much to help the Labour Party….what we need is a wider umbrella Left afiliate group to spear head through to the next election)

          Brilliant post Election analysis by Dr. Wayne Hope :

          ‘One Party State’

          By Wayne Hope / September 24, 2014

          “In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule…”.

          – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/09/24/one-party-state/#sthash.FgjntQ65.dpuf

          (Pretty interesting response comments below this article also….saying a unified Left is the only way to go into the future)

      • adam 9.1.3

        “Well then we can kiss 2017 goodbye, and likely 2020 with it.”

        Well that comment justifies my tag of labour being a liability for the left. You see it r0b, you really do. I know it’s hard, and I know you have a lot involved, but the labour party got destroyed 30 years ago – it has never come back – it can’t.

        • weka

          That’s the conclusion I am coming to. The problem at the moment is that 95% of the conversation is still on how can Labour solve its problems, and very few people are looking at the possibility that they can’t be solved, let alone what happens next if that is true.

          My concern is that the process of denial will carry on for a long time.

        • lprent

          I’m definitely heading to that position as well.

          The really annoying thing is that left and right of Labour and Labour ulterior actually bicker quite well here. But it appears that when they become MPs that they get a prefrontal lobotomy and stop thinking of the future.

          It isn’t the left or right (I’m definitely of the right) of Labour that are at issue. It appears to be something about parliament…

    • blue leopard 9.2

      How could unity not be possible?
      It is up to those involved to ensure it is achieved and that is what R0b, amongst others, is calling for.

      • Enough is Enough 9.2.1

        I do not think Unity is likely with the current selection process.

        It is asking a lot of MPs to fall in behind a leader that they do support and has been forced on them.

        • weka

          any suggestions on how it could be done differently?

          • Enough is Enough

            At the very least adjust the weighting of the vote so that the caucus has at least 60% of the say.

            The leader needs to be someone who can motivate, inspire, galvanise and lead.

            In my view the members select the caucus through the candidate selection process. It should then be up to the caucus to select someone amongst themselves who can motivate, inspire, galvanise and lead.

            • blue leopard

              Your suggestion doesn’t address issues surrounding caucus making poor leadership choices.

              They were potentially basing it around who was the most malleable, rather than who would be the best leader for unity, or pursuing principles aligned with the wider membership.

              • Enough is Enough

                24% suggests the current leader was a poor selection from the wider party.

                This the first election where Labour has had a leader that was not supported by the majority of its caucus.

                The result speaks for itself.

                • weka

                  “24% suggests the current leader was a poor selection from the wider party.”

                  Or, it suggests a natural outcome to having a leader that’s been bullied and undermined by some of his own people.

                  Not to mention the fact that so many people don’t trust Labour, and that isn’t about DC.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    Yes. Agreed

                    So is the solution to continue with the leader who is being bullied and can’t control his own team. He is quite clearly NOT a leader if he cannot command that respect.

                • thatguynz

                  It suggests nothing of the sort. Are you suggesting that with a different leader the voting public would have gravitated to Labour as a party truly representative of the “worker”? Utter tosh. IMO Tracey is on the money here – LP needs to understand it’s identity, constituents and vision and only then will there be a chance that they may start to resonate with voters. The leadership is a red herring in that construct.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    “Are you suggesting that with a different leader the voting public would have gravitated to Labour as a party truly representative of the “worker”?”

                    WTF – I haven’t suggested anything about workers? So to answer your question No

                    • thatguynz

                      So who do you believe the natural constituents of the LP are then if not “workers”?

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Oh FFS what’s a worker? 99% of the electorate are workers.

                    • thatguynz

                      Don’t be disingenuous EiE. You know precisely what I am talking about. Does the Labour Party truly represent what in the past have been referred to as “blue collar workers” or not? You know – their natural support base in decades gone by…

                    • Enough is Enough

                      We are talking about two different issues chief.

                      You have made assumptions about what my issue is and we are now way off on a tangent which I’m not really interested in.

                      Just to clarify what my beef is. I am angry that the left was walloped, and I am now confused about why many people want to install a person who is not supported by his team and, who does not have the leadership skills to control his caucus.

                      Surely to god there is someone in there who can control this group.

                • blue leopard

                  That depends on what you think caused the loss of support.

                  Some things that I think may have caused loss of support:

                  There was a number of ill disciplined, fractious displays just prior to the campaign (and some during it). Cunliffe can’t be held responsible for that arrogance and a lack of loyalty can.

                  Did Cunliffe make the decision to not work with the Greens in the campaign? Or was he reflecting what the caucus wanted?

                  Who decided that the Maori Party and IMP should be so publicly shafted?
                  Again, was this a reflection of what caucus wanted or what this Mr Cunliffe’s decision?

                  Who was advising Cunliffe on how to respond to the aggressive attacks from the media earlier in the year?

                  Just a few examples and I sincerely don’t know if these issues were caused by Cunliffe, or whether some of them were due to Cunliffe having to compromise with his caucus/poor advice.

                  I would say if Cunliffe stayed on he will be a lot more assertive re caucus problems. This is why he needs it to be reconfirmed that he still has the support of the wider membership I believe he hasn’t been assertive earlier because he was getting to learn the ropes and it was way too close to the election to start along that track.

                  From what I read around the time of the last leadership change it was always going to be a big ask for a leader so new to the job to win the election. 🙁

                  • Tracey


                    I think lp was trying to appeal to everyone…and appealed to only 24% as a result.

                    • blue leopard

                      Yes, I tend to think that too – and draw these conclusions from the many negative comments on the Standard all year!

                      Those that are quite left-centrist couldn’t seem to stand certain policies & statements that were made and those that are further left, couldn’t seem to stand other things.

                      Result: Labour ended up being damned what ever policy the party released and stance Cunliffe took 🙁

                      This is why I like what R0b says re unity. It would seem that the politicians are actually reflecting the conflict and basic intolerance amongst the left to the diversity that the left has. The diversity needs to be a strength but it is turning into a weakness due to an inability to be inclusive.

                    • Delia

                      When John Key said nothing, I just thought what an oaf and I doubt I was the only person..he just looked charmless.

                  • Dialey

                    And who suggested that Cunliffe should praise Key’s leadership through the financial crisis and earthquake in every debate? Surely the first rule of politics is never give your opponent an inch – Key certainly never did.

                    • Jesse

                      Praising Key’s leadership through the GFC was a very bad mistake. Cunliffe’s big mistake in dealing with his enemies- his opposition within the Labour caucus and the Nats- was to try to be conciliatory.

                    • blue leopard

                      Personally I thought that was a very worthy tactic. It was about ‘bringing the audience along with him’.

                      When large chunks of the public believe the Nats have done an alright job, there is very little point in saying otherwise, yet he had to get NZers interested in an improved economic approach. So, he says a statement that people will resonate with (and makes him look ‘fair’ to boot) and then adds that an improved approach is required in order that more NZers get a share in any wealth being created, and less debt is generated.

                      Could he have missed out saying that? Yes possibly, but to do so would leave people with the question ‘why change?’ and to say the management was appalling would be to refute the many, many reports NZers have heard over the years.

                    • Tracey

                      I think it was part of the positive message

                    • Murray Olsen

                      That came across to me as extremely weak. What was the point of voting for anyone else if the main guy on the left was saying what a great job NAct was doing?

                    • blue leopard

                      Because he didn’t say ‘what a great job Nact is doing’, he said they had – past tense – done o.k in getting through the GFC & Quake,

                      Gone, Past tense. It is over.

                      Why vote for anyone else?

                      Well, like Cunliffe followed the statement with: because although the economy was recovering a majority of people were not experiencing the effects of it and National would not address that problem, nor were they handling the level of debt soundly.

        • Tracey

          CEOs are not apointed by the management team but the management team gets along or gets out.

          IF the ill discipline forces a leadership change it sends a very obvious message to anyone else with an eye for leadership…. Destroy the party from within and by leaking to the media, then make your play.

          • Enough is Enough

            That’s nice. We aren’t selecting a CEO.

            But if you want to use that analogy. A CEO who doesn’t have the support of his management team will either sack them all or be sacked.

            Cunliffe cannot sack his team so……

            • Tracey

              Thats false reasoning.

              • Enough is Enough


                • Tracey

                  You are appointing a party leader. You suggest changing rules to give more weight to caucus but dismiss the rulechange to see the leader sack those who wont pull in the party direction.

                  I went and looked at what lp stood for in the beggining and now, by their own words.

                  IF a leader isnt being true to that foundation they must go, but if two thirds of a caucus, say, were trying to take the party other than the direction of their foundation principles, you say thats ok, as long as the MPs, majority agree.

                  Being sacked or sacking the leader are not the only options. Sucking up your disagreements and working toward the agreed party goal is an option, but only one that mature adults not bent on their own egoes can achieve.

                  You are saying give in to the petulant to stop the petulance. Hence there was goff… Then shearer… Then cunliffe… Then whoever the caucus want next. How is that working out so far, ?

                  • Enough is Enough

                    I understand your argument. But it is idealistic to think a political caucus will ever work like that.

                    Once elected they are on their own and have to get on with the job of bringing the government to account.

                    The caucus is now selected (and comes from people selected democratically by the wider membership). That is done. The issue I have is that I cannot see Cunliffe ever being able to ‘lead’ them, or operate effectively with a group who do not want him.

                    I am trying to be realistic.

                    Telling Goff, Parker, Shearer, Hipkiss, etc etc etc to simply fall into line is not something which in reality will ever work.

                    • Tracey

                      I hear you. So the real problem may be that the party is choosing candidates who turn out to be not team players or change tack once in!??


                      No one said the path was easy.

        • Not a PS Staffer

          E is E,
          Effectively you are saying that we, the membership, are unreasonable in expecting MPs to accept the leader that we have selected!
          That suggest a mis-alignment of MPs and membership.
          That issue will not be sorted out in the Caucus room or in Talk-back radio planet and “independent political commentator” land.
          That issue has to be sorted at grass roots level.
          Every LEC should call in its MP immediatley for a discussion and acquaint them with the laws of gravity.
          All List MPs are answerable to the LEC of which they are a registered member: that LEC should enagage with that member.

          The membership reflects the population at large and the MPs should reflect the membership. Let us make that happen: starting in Mt Albert and Wellington Central where Labour is 3rd in Party Vote land.

        • blue leopard

          @ Enough is Enough (9.2.1)

          It is asking a lot of MPs to fall in behind a leader that they do [sic] support and has been forced on them.

          That depends on why they ‘don’t like’ him.

          If they don’t like him due to power play within Labour, they need to redress their priorities.

          If they don’t like what principles he stands for, they need to consider how a strong majority in the wider membership and Unions do support those principles.

          I thought the whole point in the change of how a leader was selected was due to poor selections being made by the caucus over a number of years. i.e. they were losing the plot – possibly (but I can’t say definitely) because power play has become more important than winning elections or promoting left-wing principles. It would appear that this continues to be an issue, from my humble perspective.

          • Enough is Enough

            The leader will always be someone who has been selected by the party. You cannot become a candidate and therefore an MP without wider party support.

            • blue leopard

              This is where my knowledge of the party organisation fails me.

              From comments on the Standard, I have understood that there is a problem with getting rid of MPs once they have been elected. I could be quite wrong here because I have certainly got some things wrong recently by misinterpreting what I have read here!

              i.e. Once an MP has been elected, they may become troublesome for the wider unity, but it is difficult to remove them.

              Here is the problem as I see it:

              Ultimately, the MP gets voted in by the general public, however their popularity should not be read as personal, yet sadly I think it is. i.e. I voted for a Labour MP for the electorate vote because they were the most likely to win against the Nat MP and because I support Labour’s principles. I did not vote for them because I support their particular take on how left or right the party should be. However, that MP’s popularity gives them a better chance of being chosen as the next local MP, and therefore, in the next election, if I feel my local MP is on the right of the party, I will not vote for them – because doing so, is apparently being read as a message of support on their personal persuasions, rather than a message of support for Labour’s principles.

              • Tracey

                You can remove them or make them resign, by my understanding BUT if they hold an electorate seat you force a by election…

        • lprent

          It is asking a lot of MPs to fall in behind a leader that they do [not] support and has been forced on them.

          Gee and party members didn’t have Shearer forced on them? Why do you think that there was so much frigging pushback against being expected to support a novice who kept falling over his own feet?

          • Enough is Enough

            Party members selected Shearer as a candidate. Its not like he was an ACToid who suddenly appeared in the Labour caucus room.

            A leader must be able to lead his caucus. That is fundamental. If he doesn’t hold those leadership skills he is not qualified for the job.

            • Tracey

              Perhaps they could put leadership contenders in marginal seats or in national seats to test their ability to shift the voters in their own electorate first.

              • Enough is Enough

                I’m a fan of that.

                It would have been good for Shearer to take on Epsom before moving next door to a seat he can’t lose.

              • blue leopard

                I initially thought that idea was good, Tracey but, lol, all it might prove is that they held beliefs that appealed to right-wingers 😯

      • weka 9.2.2

        “How could unity not be possible?”

        Can you unify National and Labour? ACT and the GP? Winston Peters and anyone but himself?

        Extreme examples but obviously there are situations where for all practical purposes unity isn’t possible. The question here is, is unity possible within Labour? And if not, what do we do next?

        Myself, I’m not willing to wait another 3 years to see if Labour is going to sort its internal issues out. It’s make or break time.

        • blue leopard

          My question was to push it back onto MP’s to take charge of the situation.

          Sure you can give examples where unity is not possible between parties with competing principles- but within Labour, it should never be considered impossible.

          I concede it might mean some people leave the party to go to one they are more suited to though, however that is only (a) if there really are right wingers in the party or (b) in the event Labour chose to solely focus on the centrist vote, vs continuing to attempt to appeal to a wide range of the left vote.

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    Well said r0b.

    It is frustrating that those who are comfortable with the current leadership are simply trying to muzzle others. I have no problem with the debate being aired in public.

    We are three years from an election, now is the time to for everyone to be having their say.

    • blue leopard 10.1

      It is frustrating that those who are comfortable with the current leadership are simply trying to muzzle others. I have no problem with the debate being aired in public.

      That is an interesting comment with a fair point in it.

      I guess what irks me is this lack of discipline is a problem because it is that type of thing that really sticks in people’s mind.

      It is also a habit that is hard to break. It appears to be becoming a culture within Laboour. These MP’s are going directly against what they have been asked to do by their current leader. What is going to stop that culture continuing in the event they elect a new leader?

      I am really beginning to feel that it was this type of lack of discipline that did the most damage to the chances of the left getting elected. There are very few people, if any, who admire disloyalty, and like I say – it sticks.

      The additional effect this disloyalty is having on me is one of making it less likely I would support any new leader. i.e. Labour’s chances of being supported by me decrease, the more this lack of discipline and disloyalty is displayed.

      • weka 10.1.1

        “It is frustrating that those who are comfortable with the current leadership are simply trying to muzzle others. I have no problem with the debate being aired in public.”

        I’ve missed the muzzling, can either of you please give some examples?

        • blue leopard

          I understood that to be the whole call for MP’s to listen to what Cunliffe asked them to do and not speak to the press.

          My source for Cunliffe having asked this was Andrea Vance on twitter, who said that is what Cunliffe requested of MP’s in the press conference yesterday.

    • Tracey 10.2

      If it were genuinely and honestly being aied in public, but its not.

  11. Darien Fenton 11

    Well said Rob. We should be able to disagree without name calling such as ABC or right wing. As for the Greens Karol, I don’t think their result was much to be smug about. And I’m sick of hearing their claim the “led the opposition” last term. I can remember many a late night in the house debating legislation clause by clause when there was not a peep out of the Greens.

    • weka 11.1

      So how do we talk about the issues that Labour is having if we don’t use the terms ABC or right wing? I suppose we could start talking about individual MPs and where they fit on the political spectrum, it would probably help those outside the beltway understand better what is going on.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        What smugness?

        If you think the greens are the enemy darien, and i sense a few in the lp caucus believe it too, then the govt benches are far away unless you and they join, or become,


        And how about the airing of laundry in the media by shearer, goff, cosgrove…

    • karol 11.2

      I don’t think the Greens are smug about their vote this time. Many have expressed their disappointment. however, last election their vote was a record high, and they held that ground this time.

      But, more importantly, The Greens are back to working on the important issues, doing some reflection on why they didn’t improve their vote share, and showing a strong united front.

      There was quite a period last term, when Labour was in a bit of a muddle, that many commentators did say the Greens had become the de facto leader of the opposition. If Labour continues to focus more on its faction fights than the pressing issues for Kiwis, then the Greens will continue to lead the opposition.

      the Greens held strong on many important issues last term and were strong in the House, given they had 14 MPs.

      • blue leopard 11.2.1

        Actually, Karol, from my observations it was the last two terms, that Labour haven’t been firing strongly at all.

        The Greens were solid throughout the last two terms and they had NZ First coming in and assisting with strong Opposition after the 2011 election.

        Labour only really picked up after Cunliffe took over, although they were improving in 2013.

        That is my impressions from having watched parliament channel. There were many times I was yelling at the TV at Labour’s weak responses over the last 6 years. The Greens and NZ First were far stronger and on-message and accordingly less frustrating to watch.

        All of the left started working together this year. That was noticeable and nice to see.

        That is not to say there weren’t individual Labour MP’s making great speeches for Bills etc, it was simply as an overall impression they were weaker and less cohesive than the other left-wing parties.

        Not surprising, really, considering the amount of internal strife Labour have been indulging in over the last two terms.

    • thatguynz 11.3

      Perhaps they may have been exercising a degree of “pick your battles” Darien? That aside, I don’t support the notion that the Greens led the opposition last term. they sure as heck contributed a lot to the rational debate however.

    • Bill 11.4

      Can’t say that I read Karol as being at all smug. The fact is that the Green vote was below expectations, but held and I guess they’re smarting a bit on the back of that failed expectation.

      But I know! Why not, in a post that can be read as being about the potential future viability of Labour, ignore the crisis that is Labour, and have a go at the Green Party.

      Way to go Darien.

      • karol 11.4.1

        Actually it was me that brought the Greens into the discussion.

        I am just really frustrated because my judgment was that the left lost the election, but had the structure to grow.

        My feeling was that Labour got their leadership issues sorted too late, but they had the makings of a good basis for development.

        Before the election Cunliffe stated his intention to stay on if they didn’t win the elction. As I recall various polls showed there was quite a bit of public support for that.

        Cunliffe also said it was a mistake not to accept the pitch form the Greens to form some sort of an alliance.

        To have the immediate aftermath begin with some Labour insiders leaking their dissatisfactions and challenges to Cunliffe to the MSM, was a bitter blow.

        • phillip ure

          even with the greens at 10%..

          ..had labour held the support they had when cunnliffe was talking/promising transformational/poverty-busting policies..(ie..35%-37%..)

          (..but i understand..(and i see fenton is here..so she cd confirm..)..

          ..that the right in labour stymied any policies to deliver on those promises..

          ..which explains the bland transformation-free policies eventually delivered up by labour..

          ..so cunnliffe was sent out with the herculean-task of selling what did not back up his earlier promises..)

          ..then that 35%..plus grns..plus peters…wd have seen a change in govt..

          ..in reality..the loss can be laid firmly at the feet of labour..

          ..and their cack-handed/half-arsed campaign…

          ..and if factors like this are being left out of current labour party deliberations..

          ..this and that high-polling when promising transformational from cunnliffe..

          ..labour are just engaging in group-denial..

    • r0b 11.5

      Cheers Darien, and thanks for all your hard work.

      The Greens plenty to learn from this defeat too (though I don’t expect that to be a popular view round here!). But to their immense credit, they did propose a joint approach with Labour to the election. Labour were wrong to turn them down, that was (I think) the point were we lost the election.

      The left needs to stand united.

      • weka 11.5.1


        Personally I’d rather stay out of the whole thing Labour has going on and let Labour sort it out. Problem is, the rest of the left is dependant on Labour. Both the ongoing nature of the problems, and the fact that the problems are centred around a left/right division mean everyone on the left has a vested interest in this. Patience is wearing thing.

        • phillip ure

          instead of being smug..

          ..maybe the greens should meditate on how the progressive vote was split up and down the country..

          ..which just allowed the right to stroll thru the middle..

          (with of course the opposite happening with the victory of nash..where the conservative candidate mcvicar split the right vote..getting/taking from national over 4,000 electorate vote..thus allowing nash to walk thru the middle..

          ..not that nash will acknowledge that..he is spinning the self-serving bullshit that his victory is all down to him..which is just utter crap..)

          ..and then the greens cd focus on ohariu-belmont for a mo’..

          ..where the man who has blocked them out of govt in the past.()..i know..!..i know..!.irony-o.d-alert..!)..

          ..how this piece of work dunne..with half the party votes of the aotearoa legalise cannabis party…was gifted the seat by dumbarse green voters in ohariu…

          ..dunne won by 900+ votes..

          ..the green candidate..who had a snowballs’ chance in hell of winning…

          ..was given over 2,400 wasted/wrecking electorate votes..

          ..by those dumbarse green party voters…

          ..’cos this is repeated..election after election..up and down the country..

          ..and maybe the greens should ease up on the smug..’nuthin’ to do wif us!’

          ..and do some meditation/thinking on their role in sabotaging the election for the progressives..

          ..’cos on this issue..’Patience is wearing thing'(sic..)

      • karol 11.5.2

        I do think many of us do think the Greens have stuff to learn. I’m with Lynn on the assessment that probably the Greens need to look at developing stronger structures in the electorates/communities for mobilising their election campaigns.

        But the important point is, while they are very likely to be doing some reflection and assessment of their strategies, they are presenting a untied front and getting immediately back to business.

        See for instance on the Greens website, their press releases since election day (they haven’t managed to change their site out of election mode though).

        Already they are on the case of challenging Key’s government on important issues.

        Compared with the Labour website – no new press releases since before the election.

        Meanwhile, the Greens’ raising of these issues gets ignored by and large, while the MSM gorges on the public bun-fight within Labour.

        This is very frustrating.

      • Tracey 11.5.3

        If you think that i dont think greens can improve and think they just do as they have done, you are wrong.

        I had hoped greens would be 2-3% higher than they were. As a voter for them I am disappointed.

        But i dont see them publically eating each other, lokking to blame their leaders… I see them regrouping, and refocusing.

      • shona 11.5.4

        every local labour party meeting i have attended in the last 3 years has had labour members sniping and bitching about the green party . I have not been impressed but I have hung in there as a Cunliffe supporter. The ignorance displayed by these Labour members towards the Greens was at first offensive and then bewildering. I quickly gave up on expecting to hear a joint declaration of cross pary support foro the coming election.
        Right now I am considering renewing my Green supporter status and changing back to a Green Party member. Labour deserve to properly self destruct all together. Selfish pack of goons. They are totally deluded, I am disgusted by these people.For their own selfish ends they have destroyed the one political party that has improved the lives of the ordinary person in this country. The lack of support for Cunliffe from his own party during the campaign was clearly visible.

    • Murray Olsen 11.6

      We should be able to disagree without blabbing to reporters. How about fixing that first before complaining about the labels you guys get?

  12. Blue 12

    I will not support anyone who has been engaging in destructive behaviour as the leader of the Labour Party. That is rewarding the arseholes who have been wrecking Labour for their own selfish ends, and I refuse to do it.

    If the new leader wants the party to be united, they have to show that unity themselves. No one who has leaked to the media or made disloyal statements in public should be eligible.

    The leaking has to stop, and not stop purely because the leakers got what they wanted.

    Our MPs have to realise that there is no excuse for this sort of behaviour. If you join an organisation and hold yourself out as its representative, then you do not try to destabilise it from within. You sort it out behind closed doors, and if you can’t then you either shut up or leave.

    I can’t stand the arrogance of these people who think they are bigger than the party. No one person or faction is bigger than the party. People come and go. The party endures.

  13. Darien Fenton 13

    It’s good to see the caucus shut up and show discipline as they have today.

    • thatguynz 13.1


    • karol 13.2

      Yes. An improvement – albeit belatedly.

    • Tracey 13.3

      Possibly cos the ones who didnt shut up before today got what they wanted yesterday…

      Congratulating someone for shutting the stable door long after the horse has gone.

    • Not a PS Staffer 13.4

      Sherarer should be disciplined for his show of indiscipline. Bitter Old Men should have no place in the Labour Party.

    • lprent 13.5

      But if they follow the usual form, we’ll start seeing anonymous leaks from MPs or their staffs to the media stirring it all up again over the coming weeks. In this case I suspect about the “review”

      • Tracey 13.5.1

        And i suspect this type of leaking is what the electorate think is dirty politics and why they were so easy to lie to by Key on that point.

  14. Jesse 14

    If the ABC club get their way and get control, after having sullied David Cunliffe’s reputation with the public before he even got a chance to establish himself, I will never vote Labour again. These people are the ruin of Labour, and just seem to be interested in what is in it for them rather than the good of the country. They should watch what is going to happen to Scottish Labour next election, now nicknamed the RedTories. The Scots have had enough of them selling out the country for their own gains, and other parties of the left are now taking their place. Unity behind the ABC club would be a waste of everyone’s time, we’d be better off giving support to other parties of the left. By the way, I voted Labour/Labour this election as did most of my family.

  15. Darien Fenton 15

    Let’s invent a new name then. How about NBC – no one but Cunliffe. Don’t like it? Thought not.

    • Tracey 15.1

      Who do think should be the labour party leader Darien?

      • Jenny Kirk 15.1.1

        Darian was a Shearer supporter, and very opposed to Cunliffe – so take what she says with a large bucketful of salt !

    • weka 15.2

      if there is an actual faction that won’t have anyone but Cunliffe, then NBC seems a perfectly appropriate name to me. What’s the problem here?

    • Dialey 15.3

      How about LEF – Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      PPA – Progressive People’s Association
      LGI – Lots of good ideas

  16. Annie 16

    I agree that we need to accept the democratic decision of the Party and support whoever gets elected as leader.

    But we also have to claim back the party and rebuild at a grass roots level. The MPs are OUR appointees. We have to provide the leadership in our own local branches and LECs so that we are sending very strong messages to the MPs about what we expect of them.

    MPs need to be accountable to the Party membership, and any constitutional changes needed to facilitate that have to happen.

    The Labour Party belongs to US, the members.

  17. JanMeyer 17

    Finally someone talking some sense! As a centrist/right leaning voter who has voted Labour in the past, Nash + Ahern would be a formidable combination. Who cares if the party “membership” loses a few activists? They will be more than compensated by grabbing middle New Zealand votes. The strategy must be to get in to power as a 40%+ centrist party then do your deals with the niche parties of the left as required. Might even get my vote again one day.

    • Tracey 17.1

      What kind of policies will they espouse to get those middle voters jan? examples would be helpful.

      • JanMeyer 17.1.1

        The policies are absolutely fine.

        • Tracey

          So why did goff resign? And shearer? Who do you think by virtue of their face and voice can get labour to 40% in two years… And if they cant get to 35% in two years, say, will you want another change then?

          • JanMeyer

            Good questions! No easy answers. But starting point is for Labour to decide whether they want to be a 40%+ party or a 25-30% party (with Greens as a de facto support partner). If it’s the former, then the leader must have that ability to connect to middle New Zealand. It may not be “fair” but it’s the reality of major party politics.

            • karol

              And the non-voters? Jettison them to WINZ and low pay?

              • JanMeyer

                No, but not sure you can have a strategy chasing the so called “missing million” and at the same time one that seeks to attain 40%+.

    • weka 17.2

      What’s the point of having power if you give up your polices and principles? Genuine question.

      • Blue 17.2.1

        Whats the point of having immovable policies and principles if you never get to enact them?

        • Tracey

          So, you are saying it is better to have policies you dont believe in, and get to enact them?

        • weka

          Look at the GP. Despite having never been in govt, they’ve changed policy on environmental issues through other means. That’s because they’re a party focussed on policies that come from their core principles. It’s meaningless to give up those core principles just to get hold of treasury.

          I wouldn’t describe Labour policies and principles as immovable, quite the opposite. They’ve just equivocated too much. If they want to be a centrist party, they should just go there and leave space for a true leftwing party, esp one that will represent the working and under classes. Or they should return to their roots. It’s the dithering that’s putting people off.

      • left for dead 17.2.2

        No point having {policy and principles} if your not in government son.A quote from our dear friend ,now on the other side of the Tasman

    • Not a PS Staffer 17.3

      Nash? Are you mad?

      He has yet to take his seat in Parliament and you want him to be the leader?

      He has yet to take his seat in Parliament and he brings the party in disrepute!

      Nash would be a bad as Shearer.
      Neither have been “forged” by useful terms on the back benches.
      Neither has any government experience.
      Both have massive chips on their shoulders.

      • weka 17.3.1

        Nash is also the one who uses the divisive, dog-whistling byline: we support people who work the hardest not moan the loudest.

        • Ant

          I know Cunliffe gets some grief for being unlikable, but Nash? A collective sigh of relief escaped AUT when he won Napier.

      • JanMeyer 17.3.2

        Lack of experience an issue obviously but bold action required to seize back the initiative. As I said, comes down to the strategy. If it’s 25-30% and cosy up to the Greens then Labour should keep doing what it’s doing. If it’s 40%+ then be bold. In any event my main point is what Nash represents, how he comes across – if not him then someone like him (ie an articulate version of Shearer).

      • Jenny Kirk 17.3.3

        He also didn’t “win” his seat – Garth McVicar won it for him – so he’s got no kudos as a successful campaigner.

    • karol 17.4

      Who is this Ahern that has suddenly appeared from nowhere to lead Labour?

    • Karen 17.5

      Nash is part of the Simon Lusk/ Cameron Slater alliance and would be a disaster. I find it is interesting that right wingers promoted Shearer 3 years ago, and now are fans of Shearer and Nash. Enough to rule them out IMO.

      Robertson I could live with, but an openly gay, Wellington bureaucrat will lose votes in many working class areas, particularly those with high Pacific Island populations. Sad but true. Also he really needs more experience in government. If ministerial experience doesn’t matter then I’d rather have Phil Twyford.

      Once upon a time I was a loyal Labour Party worker, but Rogernomics changed that forever. If the party veers right I am not going to waste my time. It will be Green or Mana for me.

      Without activists the Labour Party dies.

  18. Darien Fenton 18

    Yes Annie but there’s a bigger question and that is why Labour got such a dismal party vote. I’m interested in how Labour gets to be a 40% party again. We need to listen and reflect and that’s why I support an independent review. We might not like some of the answers.

    • weka 18.1

      There has been a lot of discussion online about this by Labour party members and others over the past couple of years. Have you been listening to them?

      • Not a PS Staffer 18.1.1

        Darien knows better than the membership: so much so that she never needed to win an electorate seat in parliament.
        She would much prefer to read a nice report in management speak than listen to oicks like us.

      • Tracey 18.1.2

        Matthew Hooton will write it. For a price.

      • FredFrog 18.1.3

        Which is why you bombed.

        Your leadership needs to be listening to the other 74% of the population.

    • indiana 18.2

      One of the answers that might not be liked is that the 90 day trial legislation isn’t actually hated that much, nor was the selling off of only 49% of state assets perhaps even that charter schools may have their benefits…just saying.

    • Tracey 18.3

      Who do you think should be leader and why.

    • Karen 18.4

      Soon after Cunliffe was elected leader Labour recorded 37%. Cunliffe then disappeared (no idea what he was doing) and the ratings gradually declined. He made some mistakes himself, but I think the main problem was that the caucus as a whole did not get behind him, and so it was easy for the Nats to portray him as leading a divided party.

      My problem with a review is that the result will depend on who is asking the questions and what questions they are asking.
      For me, the main problem was not the policies but the way they were communicated.

      • FredFrog 18.4.1

        It was the policies. They were crap.

        • GregJ

          This is not Twitter. Would you care to expand on your slogan and tell us which ones were crap and why? It’s OK here to actually write something coherent, informative and complex to contribute to the discussion.

          • FredFrog

            Every single one. The election result demonstrated just how out of touch Labour was policy wise – 75% of those who voted rejected them, not to mention the ~700,000 who didn’t vote.

            • GregJ

              Hmmm – you seem to have avoided the question.

              Ok – here’s the Bowel Screening Programme policy. Would you like to say what about it is no good or “crap”?

              Labour will:

              *roll out a nationwide bowel cancer screening programme starting with the Southern and Waikato District Health Boards from 2015. The Waitemata pilot will be made permanent,
              *commence a nationwide roll out in our first term of government. A nationwide screening programme can result in at least a 15% reduction in the death rate and can prevent 180 deaths a year,
              * invest in training, recruitment, and infrastructure where necessary to ensure an effective national bowel cancer screening programme,
              *use all capacity, both public and private, to get the roll out underway.

              (In our first term of government we will commence a nationwide bowel screening roll out.
              ••The initial three district rollout will cost $14 million a year from 2015/16.
              • The roll out will be done progressively. It will be maintained in the Waitemata District Health Board because of existing infrastructure from the pilot programme and then introduced in the Southern and Waikato District Health Boards as they are areas which have a higher than proportionate number of bowel cancer deaths.
              • We will work on and fund training, recruitment, ICT, and infrastructure initiatives to ensure that the programme is run efficiently and effectively.
              • The programme will initially be rolled out for those aged 50-64. The Waitemata pilot will continue to screen 50-74 year olds.
              • The programme will be extended across the wider 50-74 age range in a similar fashion to Labour’s breast screening programme.
              • We will also work with public health and community groups to encourage maximum participation.

  19. Who is everyone? Everyone but the rank and file membership and union members are having their say. The ABC, bosses media, RWNJs, are all having their say.
    When the Herald and RWNJs on TS advise Labour to turn back to the centre we know what is in the interests of workers.
    An ‘independent’ inquiry is a ploy by the Right to spin a leadership change by using Dirty Politics against the Left. Who needs to find out what voters think when we have just had an election? The workers of South Auckland, West Auckland, Dunedin and embattled ChCh who declared once again as Labour’s loyal heartland were rallied by member activists.
    We don’t need focus groups as if Labour is a popularity contest. We need the membership to step in and tell the Right to piss off.
    We all know this is a showdown between Right and Left in Labour between continuing left to get back to the core working class, or turning Right to compete with Key, NZF, and the Greens for the fickle self-interested middle class.
    Talk of unity is futile and masks the crap ideology of the Right that workers can all be middle class after another 50 years of delegating their power to a professional political elite by which time humanity will be nigh extinct.
    There can be no unity with the middle class unless on the basis of a program that advances workers interests. If the Left can win Labour to return to public ownership of key NZ assets for the benefit of all then the middle class being squeezed by the global crisis will also turn left.
    Cunliffe needs to throw down the gauntlet and insist on a confirmation vote so that the leadership contest can be triggered and the members and unions can enter the internal debate to stop the destructive Rightwing public campaign by ABC diehards and the bosses’ media.
    Democracy is not about allowing all the anti-worker forces to debate Labour’s future in public while the membership is silenced. It is about the Labour Party under the control of its members who select the MPs as their delegates and who should have the power to elect leaders and deselect delegates.
    Roll on the constitutional leadership contest!

    • Ovid 19.1

      Cunliffe needs to throw down the gauntlet and insist on a confirmation vote so that the leadership contest can be triggered and the members and unions can enter the internal debate to stop the destructive Rightwing public campaign by ABC diehards and the bosses’ media.

      He can’t really do that until the official results of the election are released on 4 October. We don’t know, for example, if Andrew Little will get in or not. If he wants to force a leadership contest right now, he can resign and create a vacancy. Then he can put his name forward.

      • Tracey 19.1.1

        I wonder how the coasters who voted national feel when they pass pike river families in the street today…

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 19.2

      In other words, what we really need, in this time of crisis, is to pointlessly blunder on as if the problem is not us but everyone else.

    • @ dave brown..

      ..+ 1..

  20. Darien Fenton 20

    You see that’s what happens: you offer a view and it gets personal. I always regret commenting here. I’m off to talk to the workers I am now working for who have a huge uphill battle to win their collective agreement.

    • r0b 20.1

      Good luck to them, and to you Darien.

    • Ovid 20.2

      It’s a pity. But understandable. I felt in the 9 months or so leading up to the election that the caucus had turned a page on factionalism and infighting. There was good policy being released and strong debate performances, both from Cunliffe against Key and Parker against English.

      Saturday was a gut-punch. I think people inside caucus and from the wider left are going through a grieving process about this loss and anger is one of the stages. Right now my impression is Cunliffe and the rest of caucus are naturally acting from a place of emotion. Digging in, looking for someone to blame. We all know, as Lincoln said, that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Hopefully as emotion fades, better and more consistent judgment will come. But it wouldn’t be going too far to call this situation a crisis.

    • Tracey 20.3

      Please dont confuse my challenging responses with lack of respect. I absolutely respect the work you do and have done.

      You singled out those who comment against abc and the right of labour but had no criticism of those in those/that faction. That was always going to attract challenge from those who do not see three lp leaders in three years, suggestion of a forth as a panacea.

    • weka 20.4

      “You see that’s what happens: you offer a view and it gets personal. I always regret commenting here.”

      Yeah, that’s the internet for you. I can only see one comment that’s a personal attack on you. For the most part you sparked some interesting debate (which often disagreed with you, but that’s not personal).

      • Tracey 20.4.1

        yup… it was a bit huffy. someone disagreed with me so I am leaving… I knew I shouldnt have comd here… im going where I am agreed with…

        insight to why caucus is struggling?

        • weka

          It’s a bit perplexing. As far as I can tell, parliament is about as well behaved as the standard.

    • shona 20.5

      The personal IS political Darien. you of all people should know that!

  21. weka 21

    Lew ‏@LewSOS 40m
    These Labour MPs won the party vote in their electorates:

    Lew ‏@LewSOS 40m
    Are you seeing the trend yet?

    Lew ‏@LewSOS 36m
    Let me spell it out.
    Six men, five women.
    Eight have been in Parliament less than five years.
    Six Māori
    Four Pasifika.
    ONE Pākehā.

    Interesting conversation then ensues https://twitter.com/GraemeEdgeler/status/514577104273297410

    • Ant 21.1

      I don’t know if Lew is accomplishing much chucking the Māori electorates in there, we’re a whole different kettle of fish in “how and why” we cast our votes.

      • weka 21.1.1

        True, and I think most of the rest of the country doesn’t yet understand that (I still don’t get it). Having said that, does it still not having meaning that the Māori seat candidates won their party vote for Labour, in relationship to the problems Labour is having?

  22. her 22

    I’m not a Labour voter but new taxes were always going to be a hard sell.

    I have been reading the above comments and the recurrent theme I get is you all want the same thing. You all want to vote for the party that makes the world a better place.

    Unfortunately you all think it should be done differently.

    I personally have a few basic human rights I vote for.

    Legal Euthanasia
    Legalize Marijuana and Medical Marijuana now
    Safe legal abortion

    and a few others.

    Note: Not a pot user and never had an abortion but I don’t think those who do should be criminal, declared mentally ill or killed for it.

    I’m one of the two million who didn’t vote for National.

  23. ianmac 23

    Just announced:
    “David Parker has ruled himself out of any contest for the Labour leadership, saying he told Labour leader David Cunliffe and his caucus colleagues of that decision yesterday.

    Mr Parker has issued a statement clarifying his stance after ongoing speculation about his intentions.”

    • Tracey 23.1

      its a slightly confused article cos I think it says he doesnt rule out a tilt…

    • harry holland 23.2

      If DP is really out that would be very unfortunate. The left has been shopping for a hero since Aunty Helen left us and it hasn’t been working out. Imho we need to shoot for quiet competence and team building with consensus policy development. DS and GR both want to be the big guy and neither has widespread respect in proportion to their egos. My advice is to shoot for respect and trust rather than back story or attack skills or charisma etc.

      • weka 23.2.1

        That might be the most thoughtful thing I’ve read all day.

      • Tracey 23.2.2

        parker was cunliffe trying to accomodate factions I think. and from all accounts parker is not a cunliffe fan. kudos to his behaviour cos you couldnt tell he wasnt a fan til yesterday/today

      • lprent 23.2.3

        DS and GR both want to be the big guy and neither has widespread respect in proportion to their egos. My advice is to shoot for respect and trust rather than back story or attack skills or charisma etc.

        Competence? I haven’t been impressed by either.

        We should start having a review of how electorate MPs have done in their electorate for both their own vote and for the party vote….


  24. brian 24


    Joint Leadership

    Preferably both genders
    The Left and Right

  25. weka 25

    This from Russell Brown. I don’t watch tv news much, but this strikes me as brutal. If Cunliffe decided to just walk away at this point, no shame on him

    Yesterday’s post-caucus press conference with David Cunliffe was brutal. The Labour leader, denied even a no-confidence vote by his MPs — because they don’t want him to lose one just yet, and thus trigger Labour’s party primary process — looked shattered. His voice wavered, there may have even been tears in his eyes. TV3’s political editor Patrick Gower did a decent enough job of explaining the grim mechanics of Cunliffe’s predicament in his report — but Gower’s conduct in the press conference made me uneasy.

    He shouted at Cunliffe, a lame-duck leader with no good answers, for the answers he wanted. And then he barked: “Just say it — stop being tricky!”

    “Tricky”. It’s hard to over-emphasise quite how loaded that word is. “Tricky David Cunliffe” is an attack line conceived and cultivated by Cunliffe’s National Party opponents over the entire time of his Labour leadership. There can barely be a National minister who hasn’t deployed it: The first few Google results for the phrase turn up Todd McLay, Amy Adams, John Key and, naturally, Whaleoil. Its organised use had a lot to do with shaping the popular perception of Cunliffe. It would not have had meaning without Cunliffe’s missteps, but it was a very successful political strategy.

    For these reasons, it’s a line that a journalist simply should not be using.

    But there are other reasons too. Cunliffe has failed as party leader. But he has not committed a crime, breached ethics, lied or hidden something from the public. He does not owe the apology to the country that interviewers have demanded from him in the past two days. He is simply an easy, bleeding target. Perhaps a little humanity is in order.


    • ghostwhowalksnz 25.1

      You mean committed a crime like John Archibald Banks.

      That was all glossed over as though it never happened, ACTs vote fell 50% and Key says their new MP will be a minister since they need tax payer funding as a lone MP is ‘too hard’

      Labour never heard the end of it after Field was convicted.

      • chris73 25.1.1

        Was John Banks a member of parliament at the time? No
        Was John Banks found guilty of corruption? No

        Will he eventually be vindicated? More than likely

        No comparison

    • Marksman33 25.2

      Thanks Weka, nice to see a bit of awhi for Cunliffe, he deserves it.

      • chris73 25.2.1

        He lied to the country when he said Labour could lead when its obvious they can’t, he lied when he said how bad the economy was yet used how well the the economy was doing as a reason why Labour didn’t win and lied when he said he was the best man for the job

        • lprent

          The economy is crap. Everyone who can read figures knows that is the case.

          Oh you are numerically illiterate?

          So sorry…

          (sotto voce – why bother abusing a ball less dickhead)

          • chris73

            I’m numerically literate enough to know that National gaining 48% vote is a lot more impressive then what Labour/Green/IMP gained…hey I’m feeling generous throw in Winstonfirst as well, while we’re at it I’ll even give you the Maori party

            Screw it, take Labour and every other seat won by every other party, add it all together and you know what it still wouldn’t be enough to stop National from running the country

            Hell it might even be 4 terms so complete was the domination so no don’t apologise to me I’m quite happy at the moment

  26. Rob 26

    Humanity and journalists/jackets do not
    Go together
    Labour needs to look at who and what they wish to represent
    They got only 1 in 4 of those who voted
    That is a major problem if you want to be in government
    If they only wish to represent the poorest in society then forget about governing

  27. Mark 27

    The Centre decides governments as much as that may be abhorrent to some. The Greens are not the competition for Labour, national is and it is a scrap for the Centre not for.the far left or far right of the political spectrum.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      I love how you forget about the 1.2M non vote – probably because it suits you that these people are effectively disenfranchised.

  28. Dont worry. Be happy 28

    John Key’s buddy Banks ate his own ear wax on nationwide tv….to deafening silence from the Paddy Gowers of this World. Says it all really.

    PS when I get a bit downhearted I do tend to think of that moment….can just imagine what the filthy, and I do mean filthy, rich thought about their millions of dollars investment in the ACT party, makes me laugh every time.

  29. Olwyn 29

    Two points: Firstly, I will decide whether or not Labour continues to have my loyalty based on my own judgement as to how loyal Labour is to its stated principles, which by and large I share. I would not be obliged to be loyal to a partner who beat or betrayed me, and the same thing applies to political parties. It is the breaker of trust who destroys the bond of loyalty, not the victim of the breach.

    Secondly, this notion of “moving closer to the centre” shows a misunderstanding of the idea that the centre wins or loses elections. The idea is that the side that has the momentum shifts the centre in its direction, and thus takes more ground. Sort of like the scrum, to use a New Zealand-style analogy. The side that plonks itself in the so-called centre, as Peter Dunn does, is quite unable to build momentum.

  30. Darien Fenton 30

    Just a brief comment. Thanks for feedback. I’m gun-shy after years of being a target of right wing blogs. We do need to make room for different opinions without name calling and find a way to reconcile that. I’m so anxious about what’s ahead for ordinary working people, so forgive me if I am sharp. There’s a war on, and it’s not in the Labour Party.

    • weka 30.1

      Thanks for coming back Darien, and I appreciate that you will have been a target more than most of us here.

      There are serious problems within the Labour party. That there is a war going on outside makes it even more crucial to address that.

      • Darien Fenton 30.1.1

        And I will be part of that too. This is my party. It’s my family’s party. I won’t give up.

  31. Draco T Bastard 31

    Nandor Tanczos has a few things to say on this subject:

    Labour needs to stop fighting itself and its allies. I won’t go on about the internal self-sabotage because it is so obvious as to be painful, but Labour really needs to learn to play with the other kids. Writing off working with Internet-Mana was stupid. It says that either Labour will probably be unable to form a Government or that, as Hone intimated, they are lying. John Key was not sullied by either the puppy love of Colin Craig or the more bizarre shenanigans of John Banks. He even got away with picking the lock for both Banks and David Seymour to break into the House, without it reflecting badly on him. He just looked pragmatic. Why then did Labout panic over Internet Mana?

    He makes several good points.

    • karol 31.1

      Thanks for the link.


      The thing that will ultimately define the shape of New Zealand is not politicians but the expectations of its citizens. When there is a broad movement for a socially, ecologically and financially regenerative transformation, then the political parties needed to support that will be elected into Government. But be warned – we are a long way from being able to deliver a compelling vision of the future.

  32. Jocelyn Harris 32

    Well said, Anthony!

  33. Charles Temworth. 33

    Make Grant Robertson the leader and prepare for 5% of the party vote.

  34. DS 34

    To those panicking (or gloating) about Labour being fundamentally broken, I offer the example of the mid-1990s. Factional infighting, a leader who was polling in the margin of error, and a party that spent much of 1995-96 polling 15-16% (well behind National and NZ First, and briefly behind the Alliance too). Helen Clark in early 1996 would have killed for Cunliffe’s numbers, and her caucus tried to roll her at least once.

    Then something funny happened. Helen won the first TV debate in 1996. Labour went from polling 16% to an election result of 28% – a figure that in 1996 seemed too good to be true. And then she went up another ten points, to a comprehensive victory in 1999.

    If we can survive the 1990s, which really were in the shadow of the Rogernomics bloodletting, we can survive this. We just need to work as a bloody team for a change, keep it simple, and keep it united.

  35. Harry Holland 35

    The leadership selection process was designed to de-power a caucus that was suspected of being out of step with active party members, but the caucus mechanism for non-endorsement means that the new system has built-in instability. Two mechanisms largely at odds with each other.

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