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The Jacinda Phenomenon

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 5th, 2017 - 130 comments
Categories: election 2017, jacinda ardern, labour, Politics - Tags:

I have been around the Labour Party for a while.  I met Bill Rowling once when I was a 14 year old, and I have had various interactions with previous leaders David Lange, Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Helen Clark, Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little.

I spent Sunday campaigning with a large number of other people supporting Jacinda Ardern.  We started off at the Avondale Market and then provided support for her when she had a walk through Lynnmall in New Lynn.

At the market we had dozens of supporters show up.  Many of them I knew, but there were quite a few I had not met before and most of them were young.  They were all keen and enthused and determined to help to change the Government.

In comparison National had just the one activist present.  Three weeks out at one of the busiest markets at the Auckland region you have to wonder what is going on.

The legendary Miss Ribena was there doing her best to persuade people to party vote Labour.

Then Jacinda arrived. The plan was for her, Carmel Sepuloni and Deborah Russell to walk through the market and then give a short speech at an arranged stage near the food area.

Progress was slow. As soon as she arrived interested people approached her and asked for selfies. This is something that was repeated and repeated and repeated.

She responded with good grace and a smile and a kind word.  No request was refused.

Her security hovered round, nervous at the proximity of so many people.  But there was nothing to be afraid of because everyone, except for the lone National supporter, were happy to see her.

One of her security guards, a guy with a real craft beer drinking hipster beard, shadowed her.  I did not really notice him at the time but when I reviewed my photographs he has this uncanny ability to appear in pretty well all of them.

Here he is hovering in the background.

He also appeared in this photo featuring the legendary Fala Haulangi and Jacinda.

After a detour to visit a long term labour activist who has run a stall at the market for decades we eventually made it to the speech area.  Jacinda then spoke with passion and determination about the crises of homelessness and child poverty that the country is facing.

A number of candidates were present including Kurt Taogaga (Helensville), Naisi Chen (East Coast Bays), Shannan Halbert (Birkinhead) and Romy Udanga (North Shore).  It is clear they are having a great time.

Then Jacinda posed for more photos including this one of a young woman who had made a JA4PM heart and had hoped to meet her.

After that she went to the policy launch for tenancy reform and then went to Lynnmall. The plan was to walk through and meet and greet.

The plan did not work as planned. As soon as she entered the food area people started to yell out to her. A family having lunch wanted her to sit down with them. We slowly made our way through what had developed into a rather big crowd.

And again numerous selfies were asked for and granted.

People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds flocked to see her.

Young people particularly young women thought she was great.

And even the babies were very happy to see her. She exudes this real sense of calm and happiness that is very infectious.

We only made it part way through the mall before time ran out and Jacinda had to leave.

I spoke with Annette King who is doing a very good job as Jacinda’s minder. We both agreed we had never seen anything like it except possibly during the time of David Lange in his heyday.

The Jacinda effect is real. Her EQ is extraordinarily high. She is a complex combination of intelligence, determination and principle. And people really, really like her.

A month ago at the time that Andrew Little resigned I frankly though the party’s chances this year were shot. I thought the party would be hammered in the election and would have to regroup and rethink things after the dust settled.

But now there is a real chance that Labour could form the next Government. And if this happens Jacinda Ardern will be the cause.

130 comments on “The Jacinda Phenomenon”

  1. DRUM 1

    If you look at photographs taken of Key or English during their political careers it is very rare to find one where either of them are genuinely smiling. Look at those photographs that Mickey has taken of Jacinda Ardern and every one is genuine…the real person is visible. For me that is enough for me to vote Labour.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    We who have supported Labour through good and bad, know how much work Andrew did to rebuild the party.

    His selfless decision to resign and the smooth handover to Jacinda, meant she could step up with the whole party at her back.

    To see her social and emotional intelligence making such an impact has brought a new generation on board.

    Further, she has spent time meeting early teens, future voters, so probably sewing up victory in 2020.

    • Cinny 2.1

      I hold Andrew in very high regard, he is a man of integrity, unselfish and outstanding. He will be a fantastic Minister.

      Have also heard from many people just how respected Andrew is for taking one for the team.

    • tuppence shrewsbury 2.2

      you make it sound like he’s a hero for taking labour down to 20%.

      • tuppence shrewsbury 2.2.1

        Hey tuppence, imagine how high labour would be poloing if they’d have not shouted down anyone who suggested Andrew Little wasn’t making cut through with voters and had listened to them instead?

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          Have I ever mentioned that I view having conversations with yourself in the forum of generally intelligent, argumentative and almost obsessively opinionated people is a cause for my moderator concern?

          It tends to be done by people whose opinions are so poorly argued that the only person who think that they are worth answering is the comments author. They also have a high correlation with being the prelude to some seriously irritating trolling.

          I do hope that you aren’t falling into that dark space from which I will have to exert myself to kick you out of. As you may be aware, I really don’t like exerting myself. So when I am forced to do it, I try to make it memorable as an educational expeeience.

          Can I suggest trying to say something that others might actually range with instead.

      • Lynjs 2.2.2

        He was a hero for holding what appeared to be a bickering, headless party together as long as he did. It gave everyone time to regroup and refocus. Sometimes , through no fault of the person and no matter how skilled, genuine or intelligent they are, the public ‘aura’ isn’t there. He made a very courageous decision.

  3. Cinny 3

    Have only had the pleasure of meeting Jacinda once, which was a few months back. I went up to her and gave her a hug on behalf of my ten year old who asked me to, she hugged me back, it was genuine and warm.

    She is so approachable, she listens, she is real, she genuinely cares. She has the ‘common touch’.

    Have also thought a country should be run similar to a household, taking everyones feelings and needs into consideration, looking after each other, making sure no one is hungry, managing the household budget, educating people, helping people to feel good about themselves, keeping people safe etc.

    Looking forward to meeting her again this month, kids are super excited about it too, my ten year old can give her a hug for real.

  4. Heh,… just goes to show what a positive uplifting demeanor can do for the national spirit , and really ,… why shouldn’t we all want a leader like that? Its great to see people energized.

    Its pretty hard to be a deceitful liar when someone is smiling so openly and radiantly ,… and speaking from the heart, – not just quoting facts from a page of data , … because we all know if a persons heart is in the right place they will seek to do whats good for the people they lead.

    And that’s the mark of a true leader and facilitator , … teach-ability , humility and cooperation.

  5. People want hope and JA offers that – well done for labour in running with the momentum and supporting your leader. She will be an awesome PM imo – i like her. Yay for the left and yay for a change of government.

  6. Reality 6

    Jacinda loves people and it shows! Bill English always looks as he only tolerates people around him because he has to. She brings such vibrancy with her which is so refreshing. She lifts people’s spirits.

    If she is PM and makes the odd mistake she will know and admit to it and that is ok for me. She is self-aware, unlike some politicians.

  7. Dazzer 7

    Smile and wave in red is still smile and wave.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      A “Dazzler”-brand wet blanket is still a wet blanket.

    • David Mac 7.2

      I see a difference. We’ll see how she goes but as per a few comments here, her natural charisma does instill a sense of hope that Key didn’t. Hope by itself is dormant, useless. It’s what it does that makes the difference, a bubbling and active sense of hope is what inspires people, pushes us along to be the best we can be.

      Histories great leaders, the ones we remember dearly, their natural charismatic ability to instill a sense of hope is their common denominator. Mandela, Ghandi…the seeds of hope grow inspiration trees. When Churchill said “We will never surrender.” Those few simple words, they brought a tiny bit of relief to Mums who had lost sons, inspired aircraft mechanics to swing spanners until they dropped from fatigue.

      I think there might be a bit more substance to this smile and wave.

  8. ianmac 8

    A warming account Micky and a message of hope.
    What intrigues me is that from images on the News the only people around Bill are placard wielding National supporters. Is that what happens?
    And that selfies with the PM are being organised by the Nat supporters???
    Which makes it puzzling that Bill says often, “The people on the campaign trail tell me…”

  9. Delia 9

    Lets have a fun PM, vote Jacinda.

  10. Anne 10

    I have to say though Jacinda’s got some competition. That tall DPS bloke with the striking beard is getting a bit of an icon reputation himself. He’ll be busy fending off the girls in particular wanting to have selfies with him too.

    Jacinda has always exuded warmth and empathy – just that few recognised what a treasured talent it would turn out to be.

  11. tc 11

    Game is most definitely on ! Blinglish along with bovver boy joyce and the car crash that is pullya benefit seem to be helping the cause….interesting times.

    Agreed mickey, I thought they were toast when andy stepped aside however it looks to be the gamechanger.

  12. Ffloyd 12

    Apparently the enigmatic minder is in a relationship with Jessica Mutch.

  13. ianmac 13

    Jacinda had a great interview this morning on policy and her response to the Debate. Includes an explanation on the $11billion lie.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_cid=1&gallery_id=181216

    • NewsFlash 13.1

      Well worth watching, such a wonderful personality and demeanor, her incredible honesty and style is an absolute pleasure to see in the modern political world.

      National has no answer, only lies and a heavily bias media base to promote the lies.

  14. Cynical jester 14

    I’m out there door knocking every Saturday, however after last night the shine really came off her,I’ll still door knock but I don’t think I can vote for a party rallying for the youth vote but then says it wants to chuck stoners in rehab. Thats worse than Nationals stance and when did labour decide millionaires who avoid tax are as bad as a benificary who fibs for a couple extra bucks. I’m really disappointed with a lot of her statements and I don’t think she shares labour values.

    • dukeofurl 14.1

      Concern troll ?

      • Cynical jester 14.1.1

        No a millennial who is sick and tired of coward politicals who wont say how they feel i don’t believe for a second shes so backwards she thinks putting stoners in rehab is ok. Labours policy is to literally put stoners in rehab and no benifit fraud isn’t the same as tax evasion. I was worried about the greens getting 5% after her statements last night I’m confident they get 8%.

        • David Mac 14.1.1.1

          All roads lead to ‘Rehab is futile for those that don’t want to be there’.

          Taking or withholding anything that doesn’t belong to us undermines a loving and efficiently running society, the degree of wrongness matters little. We need to be aiming for a society where neither are worthwhile.

          I agree with you, Labour have pushed many Greenward. I can see how it would chew at volunteers that feel betrayed but in the grand scheme, it’s not so bad.

          • Pat 14.1.1.1.1

            think the only take out from last nights comments was that drug dependency should be dealt with as a health rather than a criminal justice issue….not compulsory rehab for all.

  15. NewsFlash 15

    Mickey

    Littles resignation was perfectly timed, the media bull dogs had been planning the attack on him for months, hence the low polling, they thought it was all over for Labour with the tainted Little, but the strategy of resigning at that perfect moment and propelling such a positive candidate with no “baggage”, the right wing media trolls were caught with their pants down, and now have to shift their focus and create a new strategy so close to the election. They’re shitting themselves, mass desperation.

    Littles efforts can not be appreciated enough to set a strong foundation for Ardern to campaign on.

    Lets do this

    • Anne 15.1

      Jacinda promoted Andrew Little to third caucus position. Grant Robertson was more than happy to drop back to fourth place. That is the measure of the respect and gratitude they have for Andrew. Well done Jacinda and caucus.

  16. Bill 16

    The Jacinda effect is real.

    Yeah – the effect is real.

    But Jacinda Ardern is no Jeremy Corbyn or Nicola Sturgeon or Bernie Sanders. Those politicians offered something of substance and something different to Liberalism. That can’t be said of Jacinda. She’s running the same Liberal policies she herself helped to produce under Andrew Little’s leadership.

    I very much suspect that what NZ is experiencing is a kind of vacuous “me too” political phenomenon inspired or informed by events in the UK and elsewhere. Y’know, a kind of desperate desire to proclaim that we too have our Bernie; our Jeremy; our Nicola….Except we haven’t.

    Remember Metiria? She was NZs genuine political expression of something in line with the sea changes seen abroad. And what did we allow the entrenched Liberal culture of NZ to do to her? And now lookee here how we’ve rushed to embrace the consolation prize that same Liberal culture has dished up for our edification.

    It ends in tears.

    • Marcus Morris 16.1

      Feeling better Bill.

    • Delia 16.2

      Kids are suiciding in this country, why? The PM sees them as useless and replaceable with oversea’s migrants. Jacinda will halt that and give them hope..on that alone she has my vote.

    • NewsFlash 16.3

      Bill

      You didn’t point out in all this that those great individuals you mention were unfortunately unsuccessful at gaining power with there ” something different to Liberalism” policies, the electorate isn’t quite ready for radical change, even though that is what’s required.

      Gaining power in the first instance is the important thing, change should be incremental, not radical, NZ has an opportunity to go there in the future with Labour and the Greens at the helm, but they first and foremost must gain power, this can only happen by meeting the needs of the electorate.

      Neo lib and capitalism have been distorted by Govts that should have put the people first, but greed and corporate influence has destroyed this. Both these systems can work for society in a positive manner if you have a Govt willing to regulate against corporate control, in favor of the many, not the few, it can be done.

      • Bill 16.3.1

        Nicola Sturgeon has been the First Minister of Scotland since becoming leader of the SNP in 2014, and the party has formed the Scottish government since 2007. (The SNP are avowedly Social Democratic btw, as opposed to being Liberal)

        Corbyn came from nowhere and through the maelstrom of an indefatigably hostile press to almost win the last UK election. He will almost undoubtedly win the next one, which could be as early as next year.

        Sanders came within a hairsbreadth of defeating the Clinton dynasty of an overtly hostile (to him) Democratic Party and is currently the most popular politician in the USA.

        Liberalism cannot (as you assert) work for society in a positive manner. Social Democracy arose as a reaction to that well understood fact in the first place.

    • garibaldi 16.4

      I hear you Bill.
      It has become more important to vote Green if we want to make a difference.
      As for the Newsflash comments, all the more reason to vote Green!

      • NewsFlash 16.4.1

        You right, vote Green, but how much difference will it make?

        I’ve heard many Nat soft voters changing there mind this time, and are going to vote Labour, but the reality is, if you don’t get elected you can’t change anything, simple fact, you might just want to remember that.

        I’m voting for Change

        • garibaldi 16.4.1.1

          Only a fool would right off the Green movement.
          If you are voting for change then vote Green. Simple.

          • NewsFlash 16.4.1.1.1

            No ones writing off the Greens garibaldi, apart from the MSM, I’m hoping they can get 10%, but without Labour, there’s no change of Govt, FACT, so don’t write off Labour just BC they’re not Left enough for you, we need to change the Govt and there still is no guarantee that it will happen.

            My electorate is a strong conservative one, the strongest in the country till Peters jumped in, there are many voting Green there, but I’m pretty sure the Nats will get back in there. Under Clark, the locals voted Nat for the seat, but Labour for the Party vote, I’m hoping the same will happen again, there are many on the poverty line in the electorate, probably more than anywhere else in NZ

        • weka 16.4.1.2

          It’s MMP, voting Green doesn’t lessen the chance of changing the govt.

          • NewsFlash 16.4.1.2.1

            Sorry Weka, I should have elaborated, I certainly didn’t want to imply not to vote Green when I stated “how much difference will it make”, I meant to the policy outcomes for poverty and homelessness, as both party policies are very similar, which is why I want to see a coalition between Labour and the Greens and not some other party.

            I personally have a different view to the Greens on Poverty, having come from that position myself, and having seen so many lifted out of the cycle during the Clark years, I don’t agree with the low payments, they are not livable, but I still believe in offering opportunities to those who can and want to gain employment, whether through training and education, or just genuine assistance from the state, you know, less stick, more carrot, Long term this provides the best outcome for those stuck in a welfare cycle, the opportunity to gain independence, self esteem and self respect from providing for themselves and their families.

    • Tony Veitch (not etc) 16.5

      Absolutely, Bill – it’s still neoliberalism, but with a smiling face. Nothing fundamental is going to change!

  17. patricia bremner 17

    Bill, have you met her? Are you speaking of real knowledge?

    Jacinda is not trying to be Bernie Jeremy or Nicola.
    Why would she? She is responding to a NZ situation where politics are dour and false.

    If you are far left she will not suit you. If you are a “glass half empty” person, it is hard to relate to a “glass half” full person.

    Consolation prize!!! How rude.

    • weka 17.1

      I’m glad and hugely relieved that Labour are now in a position to form government. The question becomes what kind of left wing govt do we want? As a progressive, what Labour are offering isn’t enough on its own. Climate change, poverty, welfare, rivers, environment, on all the things that are important to me they’re not going to do enough. That’s part of what Bill is talking about.

      The danger here is twofold. One is that the Greens have fewer MPs in parliament so we lose all that talent at time when it’s urgently needed (it’s also possibly although unlikely that they don’t make it back into parliament at all, which would be a catastrophe for NZ politics).

      The other is that Labour win on the Jacinda effect and then don’t achieve much in the first term, get slaughtered by the MSM, and slump again in the polls because they don’t live up to the bright promise. That’s why it’s important to point out the differences between substantial change and superficial change.

      I’m not saying that Labour aren’t going to do anything good, they will. I’m saying that we have the chance to so something excellent here that can help NZ recover from neoliberalism in ways that a centre left govt simply can’t.. Best we not fuck that up.

      • Xanthe 17.1.1

        Sorry Weka but I see the greens as neoliberal too, they just dont realise it, which in my mind is actually more dangerous. I honestly feel that their presence in parliament this time would hinder rather than assist in the move away from neoliberalism. A term out of parliment “navel gazeing” and actually finding a consensus of its members as to the meaning of Green would be best for all at this time IMHO. Jacinda was right to take the first availiable opportunity to rule meteria out of cabinet and the polls reflect that. But thats just my opinion , the collective will expessed on the 23 is what matters and after that we all just have to work for the best outcome.

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          Not seeing much in the way of analysis there, just assertion of your feelings about the Greens.

          You can see the Greens any way you like, but their policies and kaupapa speak for themselves. They want deep system change, politically, economically, socially.

          • xanthe 17.1.1.1.1

            OK i have learned not to attempt analysis on this platform. My view is easier for you all to deal with, either take something from it or not.

            My view at this time is that for every percentage point the greens go up from here labour will go down two! and vice versa. ie the best chance for a change of government right now is for the green vote to collapse.

            • weka 17.1.1.1.1.1

              The numbers don’t support your view but good to know you want a centrist govt.

              • xanthe

                the numbers would seem to (broadly) support my theory.

                latest reid research poll
                greens down 2.2%
                Labour up 6.3%

                But i am feeling brave so here is the underlying reasoning .
                I feel that there is now a large block of voters who will never vote green.
                As the green votes rise (and the potential influence in government) these voters will move away from Labour.
                Whether you agree or not National Party strategists believe this! (you only have to look at their headline campaign ads for 2014 and 2017) to see this reasoning at work!

                This is why I feel that “time out” for the greens is the only way forward. Come back in 2020 with a new leadership, coherent environmental vision, a very strong code of conduct for campaigning, and start winning these people back.

                • tracey

                  NZF vote has also collapsed although no one is naming it that.

                  Why is someone who doesn’t know they are neoliberal worse than someone who does? That is like a bizarre race to the bottom.

            • Robert Guyton 17.1.1.1.1.2

              Weka once proposed that xanthe is “anti-Green” and did so quite correctly. Xanthe denials have been unconvincing at best.

    • Bill 17.2

      Just to be clear – the consolation prize isn’t Jacinda the person, but the slight variation on the Liberal status quo she represents and promotes.

      And I didn’t say Jacinda was seeking to emulate Bernie, Jeremy or Nicola. (Nice straw thingee by you there) If she can be said to be emulating anyone, it would be Macron, Trudeau et al (ie, the Liberal pretenders to change so beloved by much of the establishment)

      Why do you contend that NZ politics are dour and false? Didn’t we just have Metiria Turei set a bomb of home truths under the whole shebang? Or was I imagining things?

      • NewsFlash 17.2.1

        Bill

        That truth bomb imploded instead of exploding, a negative impact instead of a positive one, I absolutely admire Turie for her honesty, but this is politics, and as we’ve already seen the dirty politics machine has been fired up.
        The left needs to win this election, radicalism is not the way to achieve this.

        • Bill 17.2.1.1

          The Green Party went up in polls after Metiria’s speech at their launch.

          The incessant and personal nature of mainstream coverage brought the Green Party low again. And when Metiria bowed out because media had hounded even distant relatives looking for dirt, the clouds of suspicion they’d built up in the air – that she was a fraud and a liar – were left hanging.

          And she wasn’t saying or proposing anything radical. In fact, the deeply misanthropic nature of Liberalism is what’s radical – and that’s the ground this election’s being fought on by both of the main old establishment parties.

          • NewsFlash 17.2.1.1.1

            Bill, can I ask if you think that if Turie hadn’t made the statements that she did, what the poll numbers might be now?

            I don’t disagree with you about the hatchet job by the media, I know on Facebook some of the comments made were disgraceful from friends and relatives, I suppose that’s the reality of life.

            • Bill 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Wrong question. The question should be what the poll numbers would be if NZ media had reported on the issues she was highlighting instead of going for her jugular.

              Or what the poll numbers would be if a “momentum” or “common weal” had existed in NZ as they do in the UK that could have acted as a bulwark against media spin or produced some counter narrative to media spin.

              I’m not aware of any “disgraceful” statements from relatives of Metiria and I’m not interested in any such statements should they exist. The only “disgraceful” thing worth commenting on is the behaviour and focus of NZ media over the whole affair.

              • Robert Guyton

                Agree wholeheartedly with your assessment, Bill.

              • NewsFlash

                Bill, you’ve been on this platform for a long time, the behavior of the MSM is of no surprise to you, and it should have been a consideration before releasing the truth.

                NZ has got one of the most bias medias in the western world thanks to Key, even in Aus they are much more balanced in terms of media outlets and the reporting of stories, sure some are extremely RW, but most acknowledge that and just ignore it, in NZ it is entrenched, and the media carry a lot of influence, as you know, left leaning reporters have been eradicated like possums.

                It wasn’t Mitiria’s reli’s, it was mine, the same Nat supporters are now turning to TOP, so I can’t support TOP.

                Bill, at the end of the day, we have to fight this election with the people and the tools we have and acknowledge that we live in a country with a less than friendly MSM and try to persuade people that we can have better future for all.

        • tracey 17.2.1.2

          I am intrigued as to why Joyce’s lie hasnt impacted the same way. Partly because no one is hunting him done and shoving a microphone in his face days on end asking the same question “why did you lie”. There is something far greater going on here than imploding versus exploding.

          I agree the left needs to win this election. However how left a Labour/NZF marriage will be is barely up for debate. It will be centre at best, imo, and a centre that has been moving steadily right since 1984 at that.

      • McFlock 17.2.2

        “slight variation”.

        Which will be an improvement over national for tens of thousands of people currently in poverty, if the last “slight variation” of Lab5 is anything to go by.

        And yes, Turei did set off a bomb of home truths. And looked what happened to her because of it. If she’s very lucky she’ll still be in parliament come october. If we’re all very unlucky, the greens won’t. She definitely widened the divide between nact and everyone to their left, but the cost of that was pinning a target on the mainstream left.

        You can’t eat “home truths”. If ever there was an illustration of incrementalism over revolutionary confrontation, the last couple of months would be it.

        • adam 17.2.2.1

          Oh look McFlock picks out two words and running with them out of context again.

          It’s a tired approach, as much as it’s predictable.

        • Bill 17.2.2.2

          And all the systemic settings will be left in place – meaning the spaces vacated by anyone being risen out of poverty will just be filled by newcomers by and by. (And let’s not forget NZ Labour is still hung up on notions of there being the deserving poor and the undeserving poor.)

          But NZ Labour over National? Sure. Though, Social Democratic policy settings over Liberal settings? Absolutely.

          Anyway. What’s this about Metiria pinning a target on the mainstream left? You care to explain what you mean by that?

          There was nothing of a revolutionary confrontation about what Metiria said. If you honestly think there was, then I’m thinking your idea of revolution sits around about the level of someone having the mere temerity to stand up and say stuff – ie, anything at all that might cause a raised eyebrow among the devoutly orthodox.

          It’s true you can’t eat “home truths” but one home truth is that NZ is home to many people who just can’t eat. We ought not to mention that or demand it ceases to be the case though. Because that might be confrontational and revolutionary. So better if we just slowly facilitate people moving from states of bad undernourishment and hunger to states of “not so badly undernourished” over a period of time, eh?

          • McFlock 17.2.2.2.1

            Most ofthe systemic settings will be left in place. But even if they were removed, sooner or later a tory government would put them back. Lowering the proportion of people in poverty lowers the number of newcomers in poverty. Those proportions will increase under the next tory government, and sooner or later there will be another tory government.

            Turei stated a truth that was a breath of fresh are to meny people subjected to the “welfare” system, but it also made her and the Greens a priority target both for tories afraid that the conversation might be long-term altered and to tories who were worried about this election. No effort was going to be spared until they thought they’d squashed the Greens. That’s what I mean by “pinning a target on the mainstream left”. They ignored Labour, TOP, winston, mana, and mobbed the Greens.

            She offered the sort of dramatic change in argument that some people seem to be annoyed that Labour do not. Yes, I think that if it had stuck it would have been a revolutionary confrontation against how we currently view and apply the welfare state. Not just a “raised eyebrow” but a change in perspective that would have (maybe still might) massively changed the country and how we run the economy, and society. A move away from “deserving poor” to dignified living as a genuine right – and if it ain’t supplied, you can lie on forms to take it.

            But as it is, asking for that much means that the only ones prepared to say it out loud were put at risk of electoral failure. So yeah, maybe the best thing is to promise that the badly undernourished will be not-so-badly undernourished. And then next time that the not-so-badly undernourished will be adequately nourished. And then well nourished. Because obviously the more a party spokesperson rocks the boat, the more obviously they threaten the tories and the harder the tories will fight back, and sooner.

            Because if you promise straight off that the badly undernourished will be well nourished, the tories will go after your family and oft-flogged voters won’t believe you anyway.

            • Bill 17.2.2.2.1.1

              “Jam tomorrow” and “pie in the sky when you die” has been” jam tomorrow” and “pie in the sky…” since “forever” for the working class. (ie – 150 years or so and counting.)

              From uprooting to find work in new mines, to going hungry and sleeping in closes, to living in tenements or slums, to another generation, and the next, and the next … Jam tomorrow.

              (insert your own Kiwi version)

              • McFlock

                Jam is a good analogy, but I guess I have a more cyclical view of these things:

                Everyone has a right to jam.

                But tories take jam off people. The longer they’re in power, the more jam they take, the less jam people have, and the more people are completely without jam.

                Now, we have an opposition. The longer one opposition party is in, the more people can afford jam, but the process is gradual. Tories call that bad management.

                Another party suggested everyone could have jame tomorrow: the tories lost their shit and started going after families and other dirty tricks. That party might recover some of the votes it lost because of that campaign, but the suggestion and reaction was a major setback to its ability to deliver on that suggestion.

                So the question is: which approach gives jam to the most people?

                • Bill

                  Taking control of the entire jam process, from grafting, growing and harvesting through to production and distribution of course!

                  But in the meantime Social Democratic policy settings that revolve around a fair or equitable distribution of jam are better than Liberal settings that encourage the creation of jam concentrates.

                  NZ Labour, being Liberal, perhaps want less intense concentrates than National, and to develop more opportunities for people to access the world of jam concentrates.

                  But that does nothing for equity. In fact, it sets things back – because lack of jam isn’t explained by inherent systemic features or failures, but by bad personal choices and decisions.

                  (And no. I’ve no idea what a jam concentrate would be either, but them’s the breaks with analogies)

                  • McFlock

                    Firstly, I don’t agree with your description of Labour’s approach. In addition to what you said, I also think that Labour are wanting to give more people who are currently without jam a slightly thinner jam.

                    And I also think they’ve moved on from the “poor personal choices” excuse.

                    But secondly, even if your description were fair, it doesn’t set things back. More people get jam. And we’ve seen what happens when someone vaguely suggests that everyone might be entitled to jam – the kickback sets things even farther back than what you call the “Liberal” approach.

                    Everyone owning the means of jam production is a good idea, but it’s not on the electoral map. At least if more people have jam, even weak jam, it might be.

                    • Bill

                      You don’t agree with….

                      Is this willful blindness on your part McFlock? Bring up their policy documents and word search “opportunity” and its variants.

                    • McFlock

                      Disagreeing with you isn’t blindness.

                      I just think your description sold them short. No incorrect, so much as incomplete, which I described in my first paragraph. Increasing the numbers of state housing, and cutting education costs are good examples.

                • tracey

                  But not just Tories McFlock that is part of the point. Labour 84-90 laid the foundation for the Mother of All Budgets. Clark’s government were not angels. Dyson headed up a welfare review which saw all people on sickness/disability having to re-apply, including people with things like cerebral Palsy, for which, to my knowledge, here is still no cure.

                  Pragmatist is also another word for someone who will maintain the status quo.

                  BTW Turei is not going to be back via the List and so can only get back if she gets past the generational mana of the Tirikatene of te tai Tonga

                  • McFlock

                    (I’m hoping Turei comes back next election. I’d be sad to see her permanetly gone from parliament, even though I’m confident she’ll be active no matter what)

                    Lab4 were a pretty bloody tory government. But I don’t believe there are any Labour people on list or running for electorates who were in the lab4 caucus.

                    Lab5 did have more of the lab4 hold-ons, and this was reflected as you say in some of their activities, but they still managed to get material improvements for tens of thousands of people, lower income poverty, and also get thousands into work.

                    Pragmatist is usually a word for someone who does the achievable rather than longing fruitlessly for the imaginary.

                    • tracey

                      Not in politics. In politics it means what will make me popular and keep me in power.

                      How do you know what is achievable if you are too frightened to do anything too different to what has always been done?

                    • McFlock

                      You try to fly, but you also take note of how close to the sun people like Turei fly before their wings are torn off.

                      Overton windows and all that.

        • tracey 17.2.2.3

          It is an illustration of how hard people will work to maintain the status quo. Atbest they will “allow” a creep one way, but nothing to even slightly shift the fundamental base. This “creep” has been afoot since 1984.

          As for the tens of thousands, Bill says he will lift 100,000 children out of poverty, just like Jacinda. Now what? On the upside we can judge Bill on the fact that until yesterday he and his Party didn’t really believe any kids were in poverty. As for Jacinda we have to elect labour to find out if we continue to just creep along… or fundamental change is afoot.

          • McFlock 17.2.2.3.1

            Ardern has tabled the Child Poverty Monitor in parliament every year for years. I doubt blinglish has ever read it.

            Additionally, I think Ardern will work to halt the increases in <40%median poverty rather than throw a frew crumbs at people just under the 60%median line to leave them just over the 60%median line, poorest people be damned.

            But let's assume that Lab6 will be just the same as Lab5. That's still low unemployment and thousands fewer people in poverty. But then much of current Labour policy is far more radical than anything lab5 proposed: workplace relations, wages, real estate speculation, waterways…

      • patricia bremner 17.2.3

        My bad Bill, ” Dour and false”, I was thinking of stiff Southland and Bill English.

        You are right about Metiria, many will hopefully tick party Green because we want a strong Green voice.

        We need to give the new Government time, 30 years of unzipping will need 6 to 10.

        She said she is her “own person”

        I look at what some of what she has done and said.

        Left the family religion, as it didn’t square with her personal beliefs.
        Kept excellent relationships with those she has replaced, and values them.
        Said she admires Helen, but does not agree with all she did.
        Is frank and open.
        Her policies are about people and their needs.

        You may be right, it might be shallow, but don’t you think she should get a shot. You might be pleased.

      • Robert Guyton 17.2.4

        NZ politics (excluding Metiria) are dour and false.
        fify

    • marty mars 17.3

      Patricia – some forget only a month or so ago when a record loss for labour was likely. I think let’s get the gnats out and then make the changes. Labour will be in a good position to improve many things for many people.

      • adam 17.3.1

        Like closing the gaps marty mars? Or more like the raid of Tūhoe raids?

        • marty mars 17.3.1.1

          Yes many terrible mistakes from labour. Still we must think forward as well and move to where we want to be and labour align more for me than the gnats. Forgiveness to some degree is good for us imo and lends to collective good type benefits. Wouldn’t we all like to be forgiven for our mistakes?

          • adam 17.3.1.1.1

            Look I don’t want the mistakes repeated so I mention them. The problem I have is if we just forgive them, then they do the same thing. Which in the context of market lead liberal capitalism is what they are going to do.

            They have no choice, becasue they are letting an ideology do the thinking for them. It was in this narrow thought pattern that all the past decisions were made.

            An analogy, if they were alcoholics we’d want them to embrace sobriety for a while before we trusted them. I feel market lead liberal capitalism is like that, it a dangerous drug which lead people to make some bloody awful decisions, and I’m very wary.

            • tracey 17.3.1.1.1.1

              ” The problem I have is if we just forgive them, then they do the same thing. Which in the context of market lead liberal capitalism is what they are going to do.”

              This ^^^^^^^^^

        • NewsFlash 17.3.1.2

          You can’t change history, no matter how hard you try, please try to keep the comment in context with the era adam, what do reckon would have happened under a National Govt at the same time?

          • adam 17.3.1.2.1

            Where is the argument Newsflash? The era we live in is the same as the era of the 5th labour government. A era is long and distinct period of history. We are still in the era of market lead liberal capitalism.

            • tracey 17.3.1.2.1.1

              Neo Liberalism I think adam.

              • adam

                Lets call out Liberalism, in what ever form it takes, as the enemy of working people. I know deeply unpopular with the incrementalists that line of thinking. Hard for the middle class that working folk have an opinion, rather than be told how to think.

                But even social democrat’s of old, understood the basic problems of liberalism, if it be neo or classical or whatever guise it took.

                Liberalism is the enemy.

    • NewsFlash 17.4

      +1 Patricia

      Like me, a realist, I get the impression that some would rather stand boldly for what they strongly believe in and not get into Govt than be pragmatic and realise that you can’t institute change from the cross benches, putting on a united front is far more constructive than criticism.

      The reality in NZ is that the support for the Far Left is around 8%, not enough to get elected on there policies in a democracy, they need work with a party whose policies reflect that of a majority of electors and lean towards their own ideals, the world is not perfect, but changing the Govt can and will make a difference.

      • marty mars 17.4.1

        + 1 yep good points

        imo only the right win from left nit picking left. Yes there are lots of nits to pick and they will be, AFTER the gnats lose the treasury benches.

        • NewsFlash 17.4.2.1

          Hey adam, what’s the context, different argument, different time, different problems, different values, we now have benefitted from them all.

          • adam 17.4.2.1.1

            For a person who used the word era, I’m struggling to comprehended your argument.

            Workers rights, and the interest of work folk are pretty much the same as the were in 1902-1913. A hundred years, really not that long in the scheme of things.

            Different values, so you think we have thrown out Christian values which underpinned much of the demands of the labour movement of the late 19th and early 20th century?

            And yeah sorry but being poor, I’m struggling to see all these benefits you speak of, must be a middle class thing.

            • NewsFlash 17.4.2.1.1.1

              Adam, do you think NZ workers have more or less rights than they did then?

              Values, like fashion, they change with the times, I’m sure an unmarried mother in 1930 was treated significantly different from today wouldn’t you agree, and the way the Church treated them has also changed(for the better) just one of many examples of how society has grown up if you like, what about the way children were abused, and no one took their complaints seriously bc they were Children, as I said, times have changed, and if you don’t change with them, you become irrelevant.

              As for being poor, mate, I’ve seen poverty and lived it to an extent that most today would be horrified, I’ve also talked to those that have been on welfare for years, and during the Clark years they ended up with a job, talking to those who were literally employed for first time in their lives, I saw that glimmer of hope in their demeanor, they stated that being independent for the first time in their lives from welfare and WINZ was an absolute uplifting experience, being able to house the family, buy food that they hadn’t been able to afford before, clothe their children, even buy a car and no WINZ looking down at them, for the first time they PRIDE, it changes the way you look at the world.

      • tracey 17.4.3

        Do you believe that the “centre” of politics has moved to the right since 1987?

        • Bill 17.4.3.1

          So….

          Where would the “centre” have sat in late 1930s Germany (say), and what would that have had to do with measuring or evaluating the ‘pragmatism’ of given political responses?

          The “Overton Window” (guessing that’s what’s being referred to) is a crock that best serves or excuses inadequate responses or worse, resignedly shambling along with the flock because y’know – people aren’t there yet, the centre has shifted, pragmatism, now’s not the time, maybe next year, next election, next life…

          A socialist is in exactly the same position politically as a socialist has always been. So is the Liberal. So is the Social Democrat. None of that shifts.

          And from time to time political realities will offer up situations that can lead to swift and decisive change – no matter what the plat du jour may be.

          Overton Window? Gimme a brick 😉

          • Ad 17.4.3.1.1

            Of course they shift.
            History shifts.
            Movements shift. As go your political taxonomies.
            Irruptions occur, granted, but potential slams shut fast and hard.
            Even potential history-defying leaders miss out, turning into footnote melancholic coulda-wouldas.
            Even mere reformers need luck and a following wind.

            • Bill 17.4.3.1.1.1

              If you could time travel a socialist or a liberal from the late 1800s into today’s world, their basic understandings would be as applicable today as they were then. Only the details of the political world have changed – not the core values of liberal capitalism, nor those of the observers/participants.

              • Ad

                Myself, i think they might be surprised and might learn something.

                I dip back into Marx occasionally – during Pike River for example – but I’m confident he’d write it pretty different now. Politics doesn’t set out to be as immutable as a religion. Old texts can always teach us stuff, but more as principles than as systems.

                Nothing wrong with models, prophets, righteous analysts, and seers (nor of hoping for them), but the scale and complexity of leading ourselves is only upon us.

                So far, our dynamic liberative movements are from the 1960s and are evolving very quickly: they too would learn something if they were born now.

        • NewsFlash 17.4.3.2

          Tracey

          I don’t think the “centre” existed in those days, Labour was left and National was on the right, centrist is new, John Key really introduced it in NZ bc the electorate didn’t respond as well to the far right policies of the past, so he adopted Labour lite policies and people voted for him, as you know, the policies were similar but had social aspects ripped out of them. Right wing Govts around the world have adopted the centrist model to stay relevant and stay in power.

          Many blame the 84 Govt for a lot , but if you were around at that time, you would understand how we came to the policies that occurred, NZ was flat broke from Muldoon, Labour, as we now know, was infiltrated by the far right Prebble and friends, it was an unusual time, the Springbox tour, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, Nuclear Free NZ, a lot happened that year and we need to reflect on it with more honesty and accurately. NZ didn’t have that many choices at that time.

  18. Don't worry. Be happy 18

    Yep, it may well ‘end in tears’ Bill. But before that happens JA will have inspired thousands of young people to register and to turn out and vote left. A habit they may keep for a life time and pass on to their children. That is not to be sniffed at.

    Neither is the hope she brings, for without hope we the people forget that we can and we will change things for the better.

    And in the meantime, isn’t it so wonderful to watch Bill the Accountant swinging wildly at JA and missing every single time?

    Let’s not fool ourselves…..JA is not our Corbyn.

    Our Corbyn died last year of lung cancer but if she were here today she would be feeling hope too and rolling her sleeves up to make things happen for those shut out of life’s opportunities by the greedy.

    That’s our job too. Show the greedy the door (in just 18 more sleeps ) and get down to work.

    • weka 18.1

      NZ’s version of Corbyn is in the Green Party and still here. We still have choices.

      • tracey 18.1.1

        There is still a strong FPP mentality around. If some labour people shifted back to Greens, and Greens secured 10% or more, Labour secured 38 or more… the gently gently catchee monkey strategy espoused by some above might be replaced by a swifter move to where many of us say we want NZ to be?

        National kind of get this hence they supported Dunne and Seymour, because they were able to “give” away some stuff that didn’t bother their ideology too much but let them keep power.

    • tracey 18.2

      Can you outline for me how labour will move 100,000 children out of poverty, when they will do it by and why they picked 100,000?

  19. Ad 19

    We’re going to have to do a post on the political necessity of charisma.

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  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
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    7 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    7 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
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    7 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
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  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
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  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
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  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
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  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
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  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
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  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
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  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
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  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
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  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
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  • PGF reset helps regional economies
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