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The job ahead

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, October 28th, 2012 - 179 comments
Categories: labour, Politics - Tags: , , ,

Unfortunately I don’t think the latest Roy Morgan is a rogue poll. But I also don’t think that it’s the result of David Shearer’s GCSB fiasco as the electorate doesn’t tend to make up its mind on single issues.

Rather, I think that the electorate has simply run out of patience with Labour. As has been pointed out time and time again, politics is about narratives – about finding a positive story about your own brand and a negative one about you opponent and punctuating these stories with example again and again and again. And yet Labour’s “top teams”, both under Goff and under Shearer, have repeated failed to grasp that very simple fact.

So in four years we’ve not seen any consistency either in how they have opposed the government or how they have promoted themselves. Instead we’ve seen four years of disparate silver bullet PR fiascos ranging from dying Phil Goff’s hair and sticking him on a motor bike, to ill-timed blairite triangulation attempts such as David Shearer’s bene on a roof speech, to desperate and self-defeating attacks such as the gcsb debacle and the backstabbing of their own colleagues and staff members.

And to make matters worse this absolute lack of strategy has been punctuated with own goals like Trevor Mallard’s ticket scalping, David Shearer setting the Auditor General on one of his own Senior MPs, Trevor Mallard’s offensive facebook postings, Shane Jone’s transparent lobbying for his donor, Trevor Mallard’s ill-judged bike race with the internet’s village idiot, various MPs’ twitter outbursts, Trevor Mallard’s obsession with David Farrar, various frontbenchers’ failure to attain profile, Trevor Mallard’s… well you get the idea. In short they’ve inadvertently allowed a narrative to form that they’re not a competent government in waiting at all.

But it’s not all bad news. There are many talented MPs in the caucus and the party itself is in good fettle. In fact members from around the country have a unity of political vision I’ve not seen for a long time (and political vision is the foundation good durable narratives are built on).

Labour simply needs to start focusing on getting the basics right. It needs to drop the idea that you can win the electorate’s heart with one-off stunts, and to drop the naive idea Winston will get them across the line (even if he does go with Labour over the Nats it’ll be a Faustian pact), and go back to its core values and use them to build solid stories of what they stand for. And what they stand against. Because Labour’s core values are New Zealand’s core values.

That said, I have real reservations this can be done. The three basic political planks of strategic vision, operational competence, and discipline all seem to be missing in action – we’ve got a strategy team that hasn’t fired for four years, a leader’s office that has been largely picked from the Wellington Central LEC and its members (which is not to say they haven’t done well for Robertson in that electorate but national campaigning is a totally different kettle of fish and Wellington Central is not an electorate that is particularly representative of the rest of the county – what works there is by no means guaranteed to work elsewhere), and we’re seeing a fundamental lack of discipline.

On that last point I think that one of the most concerning signs lately has been the fact Shane Jones was allowed to go on Q+A last week and create fisheries policy despite not being the spokesperson (or even a frontbencher). I’ve not seen anything like it since the days of Maurice Williamson doing the same thing under Bill English’s leadership and it bodes really badly because even the best strategy in the world coupled with the most talented operational people is worth nothing if any MP with a personal hobby-horse (and most of them have one) is able to randomly steer the narrative off course.

It’s going to be hard but Labour needs to get its house in order. There’s too much to lose if it doesn’t.

179 comments on “The job ahead”

  1. Stephen Doyle 1

    When is the reshuffle happening? Cos the front bench, with one or two exceptions has been MIA.

  2. PlanetOrphan 2

    Well said M8!

  3. Socialist Paddy 3

    The trouble with the current power holders is that they seem to be the least capable of holding the party vote. The worst performing electorates (loss of party vote) included Wellington Central, Auckland Central, and Dunedin South, all held by the powers that be.

    In fact if you went through the ABC brigade the only one who had a good election result was Phil Goff.

    And the party has had this frustrating policy of picking superstars from outside and expecting them to shine. None of them have. Tamihere was a disaster and if he is allowed to rejoin will cause huge problems. Jones needs to go.

    The basic problem is they have no understanding of or commitment to the party. And their lack of commitment or the lack of a philosophical base means that they are there only for power and will do whatever is required.

    Give me a long term dedicated activist to a wanna be superstar any day.

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      How desirable to the wider party membership would it be to have a Labour-led Government in 2014 with PM Grant Robertson, Deputy PM Jacinda Ardern, and Leader of the House Clare Curran?

  4. RedLogix 4

    Thanks IB.

    Labour seems to be stuck with the idea that because John Key has been successful positioning National into the centre-right that Labour can only be successful if it too occupies the same ideological space or perhaps a smidgeon to the left.

    This is nonsense. John Key has been successful because he has a long career as a corporate suit knowing what to say, when to say it, and who to. He’s very good at telling people narratives that they want to believe in … crucially with a smile and a bit of faux self-deprecation. It’s an act I’ve seen over and over in the corporate world.

    Goff learned this lesson too late; that policy and positioning are far less important than a credible narrative. So far Shearer has neither; a policy position that seems to want to underlap National’s and certainly not the personal projection to leverage his role as Labour leader into Prime Minister.

  5. higherstandard 6

    Don’t worry about the polls, this far out from an election and even running up to election time they are irrelevant rubbish.

    The greens and labour can sleep walk to being the next government unless they do an equivalent of the don brash/exclusive bretheren fiasco.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      Oh yeaahh right … and re “the days of Maurice Williamson doing the same thing under Bill English’s leadership” – –

      the current Shearer-Robertson leadership with their 29% still has some way to go before overtaking (on the downward direction) Bill English’s stunning leadership that successfully crashed to 21%.

      • IrishBill 6.1.1
        Colmar (2002)

        February 17 2002 – Labour 51%, National 35%.

         
        March 17 2002 – Labour 49%, National 35%.
         
        April 21 2002 – Labour 50%, National 34%.
         
        May 19 2002 – Labour 51%, National 32%.
         
        June 16 2002 – Labour 53%, National 27%.
         
        June 29 2002 – Labour 51%, National 30%.
         
        July 14 2002 – Labour 46%, National 27%.
         
        July 25 2002 – Labour 44%, National 21%.
         
        Actual election result – Labour 41%, National 21%
  6. Policy Parrot 7

    “go back to its core values and use them to build solid stories of what they stand for. And what they stand against. Because Labour’s core values are New Zealand’s core values.”

    There are a lot of people in the party who do not know or care what the core values of Labour are/were, so it is going to be a difficult job going back to them.
    Case in point: Young Labour’s 2011 top policy priority being marriage equality. Now that is not to say this is not important (I would argue top 5), but having that as the number one priority when we live in a time of huge youth unemployment, hardship and a government hellbent on making as hard as possible for young people to get ahead in New Zealand – such a priority smacks as out of touch – i.e. no real linkage between broader Kiwi youth and young Labour.

    Now some people may assault this as Trotterite “Waitakere Man” speak – but there is no doubt in my mind that Labour needs to mean “labour” – as in for the working masses – conditions, wages, rights: first. Don’t argee with that – go somewhere else.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Oh PP, you’re bad, you’re not allowed to say what you just said! Bad bird!

    • weka 7.2

      Depends on what you mean by labour. If you mean the work that paid people do, but excluding the work that unpaid people do, then there is a problem.

    • Reagan Cline 7.3

      ” a government hell bent on making as hard as possible for young people to get ahead in NZ”.
      Too hard for me, I’m not all that smart – not like some people. I’ll sleep in, blame the government, as the months go by.

    • QoT 7.4

      Now some people may assault this as Trotterite “Waitakere Man” speak

      Nah, I’d just point out that I’m pretty sure Young Labour is as capable as Old Labour of thinking about more than one issue at a time, and seizing on one with sudden international appeal (i.e. Obama said it’s cool) is hardly bad politics.

      Oh, also it’s the right thing to do, but anyway.

  7. gobsmacked 8

    IrishBill +1

    Please listen, Labour. Please. We don’t expect instant solutions, just start by acknowledging your failures.

    “I’m sorry. We have let you down, for far too long.”

    Those words alone would be worth more than a hundred Shearer speeches.

  8. Good thoughtful article and i agree with all you say.
    Politicians that win their seats deserve to be at the front of the que when the front
    bench positions are dished out.
    Surely a 4.5% drop will have the ministers paying attention instead of spinning excuses
    that fits their personal agenda
    There is a serious dis-connection with the voters going on here and only a direct
    intervention and a change in attitude by the ‘old guard’ that is hamstringing any
    success the party may have at the next election,can help matters,labour voters waited
    with baited breath when goff pushed to stay leader,when the voters wanted change,
    selfishness, arrogance,self importance are not something to be admired.
    Someone mentioned Helen Kelly,on a prior post, now there is a woman who knows
    her stuff,she is strong,articulate,great speaker and can debate anywhere,with anyone,
    Labour would do well to persue this woman for a place on the front bench,she has
    already proved herself more than capable.
    Labour needs people like Helen Kelly and less of the old guard,less of limp leadership.

  9. IrishBill 10

    Cheers. And right on cue we have another example of a complete lack of discipline.

    • gobsmacked 10.1

      At least he got trumped by the nutty Nat. That’s the craziest set of quotes from an MP since Bob Clarkson!

    • millsy 10.2

      Pandering to dirty filthy homophobes.

      • tracey 10.2.1

        fascinating (or sad, or both) that some of those protesters believe that animals have homosexual sex..

        • Rhinocrates 10.2.1.1

          Well, it’s quite widespread in the natural world (not to mention serial hermaphrodite fish…). You see, if you have homosexual sex, you’re being unnatural, but you’re also being an animal. It’s simple, really 🙂

          • tracey 10.2.1.1.1

            you forgot to add that God made animals, so what they do is sanctioned by god, unless its homosexual in which case God must have made a M….. 😉

        • marsman 10.2.1.2

          In the past the catch cry was ‘it’s unnatural, animals don’t do it so why should people’. It’s the same as neoliberal speak, it makes no sense whatever they say.

      • Barnsley Bill 10.2.2

        Nice characterisation of the predominantly Polynesian population that voted him in.
        Whilst I have no dog in the gay marriage issue and find the whole thing boring your trying to be the linear opposite of the gay marriage haters will not help Labour hold up its party vote in the polynesian suburbs.
        4 years of opposition and Labour are still flailing around with special interest fringe policy.

        • felix 10.2.2.1

          It takes a special kind of dickhead to think that treating everyone equally in the eyes of the law is “special interest fringe policy.”

        • millsy 10.2.2.2

          So you think the Polynesians are quite right in their desire to string up homosexuals?

    • Rhinocrates 10.3

      That man, for those wondering, is supposedly the party’s spokesperson on employment. Can anyone remember anything he’s said on the matter? Instead this is what he has unilaterally decided he is selected for a seat and paid to talk about. Does Shearer condone this or does he get a slap over the wrist with a mango rind?

    • Bill 10.4

      It’s an aside. But I kind of like the sense of irony that’s contained in ‘ye olde’ colonial morality’s yelping attempt to bite the coloniser’s new social mores on the arse.

    • Inventory2 10.5

      To be fair to Su’a William Sio, this is a conscience issue, and there is no Labour whip on the vote.

      • Rhinocrates 10.5.1

        So what has he had to say on his portfolio? He should be whipped on that. Instead he’s decided that this is the issue, which the right wing of the party says is nice but… you know… a special interest fringe thing, likely to put off Waitakere Man… it’s, you know, icky… look, can we really not talk about this?… so why is he bothering with it to the expense of what he’s actually supposed to be doing when it’s allegedly one of those things that distract us from the issues that those people tell us REALLY matter – such as employment? Because, you know, we can only concentrate on one thing at a time, just like it’s impossible walk and chew gum at the same time.

        I don’t think that I’m being unfair at all. He’s entitled to his conscience, but he’s also been given a job to do as spokesperson for employment. Supposedly that’s the issue that is most important to the party, at least according to Shearer, but he refuses to do it; instead, like Shane Jones, he has looked at what time and energy he has and chosen to devote all of it to his private hobby horse to the exclusion of his duty because, apparently, he really cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. If this is more important to him, then he should resign his position and go to the back benches where he can campaign against marriage equality, the Illuminati, argyle socks or whatever he likes (but only one at a time).

  10. captain hook 11

    this will be the last time.
    if the labour party has to get their house in order then so does ‘the standard’.
    it seems to me you have taken thename but you dont support working class people and have this conceited view of your own importance.
    its ok trying to be a wannabee govt in waiting and proud of your ability to conduct a e-campaign but there is no centre to your activities.
    so pick up the chalenge or what ever other useless frucking amntra dreamed up by the ad agency
    get off your asses and start doing something useful.
    ok?

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    Labour happy to break conventions and raise ructions increasing pressure on gender/sexuality issues.

    Please do the same on stopping the banker extraction of wealth from NZ, wealthy individuals getting allowances for their kids via hiding income in trusts, and on measures needed to deliver full employment.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      All that I’ve seen from Labour so far shows is that they’re more inclined to help the banksters theiving rather than try to stop them.

    • Rhinocrates 12.2

      Actually the marriage equality bill was an independent member’s bill by Louisa Wall, and pretty much downplayed by Labour as a party (if not disowned) – so in terms of party policy and action, they’re piss-poor on gender/sexuality issues as well.

  12. Anne 14

    There are many talented MPs in the caucus and the party itself is in good fettle. In fact members from around the country have a unity of political vision I’ve not seen for a long time (and political vision is the foundation good durable narratives are built on).

    Indeed there is some great talent sitting there in caucus. What is more, there are also some very talented young people waiting in the wings for their turn to get into parliament. But most will only ever get that chance if the ‘has-beens’ stop thinking solely of themselves and move aside for them.

    While there are positive signs that the party itself is in good fettle, if the current caucus attitude (at least among a significant group of the incumbents) and ill-thought-through actions continue to be made then members will get tired of it and leave. It happened in the 1980s. It can happen again.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      While there are positive signs that the party itself is in good fettle

      Can someone name me an electorate, any electorate at all, where the median age of Labour members is under 55.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        Dunedin North is usually a good bet for any request along those lines. 🙂

        • Jimmy Reid 14.1.1.1

          Auckland Central, Waitakere, Te Atatu and New Lynn all have a median age under 55. That’s just the ones I live near.

  13. tracey 15

    National ought to be self destructing, and in fact are somewhat but labour is still in limbo. It knows it wont win by appealing to the right wing and thegreens ably have the left. Wjere to go and what to do… they drift…

    My vote has bled from labour to Greens because all I see/hear (if anything) is Labour trying to be like national “only nicer”. Won’t work.

    IF this country has national inflicted on it for another term, shame on every labour MP currently in parliament and their advisors, because it will have been they who made it happen… not truste din economy and education… should be a death nell for any government…

  14. Jim Nald 16

    From my heart and with seriousness, thanks for making my Sunday, IB.

  15. BM 17

    I think one of the major issues that Labour faces is that certain sections of the MSM has decided the Greens should be the major opposition party not Labour.
    Only time you see Labour on Tv is when they’ve fucked up while the Greens never get questioned or pulled up on anything.

    • IrishBill 17.1

      I do think the Greens are getting a slightly easy ride but they’re also doing a really good job of sticking to the playbook. They’ve determined the brand they want both as a party and for their party leaders and they’ve decided what issues they’ll drive and how they will drive them to best benefit their brand. There have been a couple of bumps in the road such as the QE plan not landing very well but they’ve mostly done a really good job of getting the basics right.

      The reason journos are going to them and not Labour (if indeed they are – I suspect they go to both and then use the best grabs) is they’ve got a good idea of what the greens will say on an issue and that they’ll say it well.

      If you go to Labour you don’t quite know what you’ll get or how badly it will be phrased. When you’re trying to put a story together under pressure you really don’t need that kind of randomness.
       

      • Labour voter 17.1.1

        It’s sad that Labour voters are heading to the Greens. Their manufactured and plastic policies, fake smiles, and marketing bullshit are terrible for this country.

        I think you summarised it well by calling the Greens a brand. That’s all they all. Like Apple or Coca-cola. They don’t have policies, they only ever sanctimoniously complain.

        The only honest thing about them is that they didn’t support Clare’s (and then Key’s) S92a bill. That nearly tipped me over to them, when both Labour and National supported criminalising us all to protect US media corporations, done under urgency during the Christchurch Earthquake recovery.

        I think that lost a few more young votes than many of us care to believe.

        • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1

          I think you summarised it well by calling the Greens a brand. That’s all they all. Like Apple or Coca-cola. They don’t have policies, they only ever sanctimoniously complain.

          http://www.greens.org.nz/policy

          Seems that their policies are fairly well developed for a party that doesn’t have policies.

          Tell me, what’s the weather like on Planet Key?

          • Labour voter 17.1.1.1.1

            That’s not policy! That’s a collection of vague feel-good desires.

            Printing money to get us out of poverty is probably the only policy the Greens have announced.

            Planet Key? You’re the one attacking Labour and switching sides.
            Turn-coats like you and Tracey have no place here.

            • Jim Nald 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Huhh?

              “Turn-coats”? Talking about yourself?

              “attacking Labour and switching sides” – an admission?

              Your supposed support for a certain party raises doubt.

            • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s not policy! That’s a collection of vague feel-good desires.

              Ah, no, that’s fairly solid policy. The type of stuff that we’re not getting from Labour.

              Printing money to get us out of poverty is probably the only policy the Greens have announced.

              No, that would be the only policy of the Greens that you can remember.

              I’m a turn-coat? For what, not being a Labour supporter?

              Turn-coats like you and Tracey have no place here.

              /popcorn

        • millsy 17.1.1.2

          Yeah, god forbid the greens want clean air, water and our National Parks to be mine free.

      • Dr Terry 17.1.2

        Well spoken, IrishBill!

      • BM 17.1.3

        I do think the Greens are getting a slightly easy ride but they’re also doing a really good job of sticking to the playbook. They’ve determined the brand they want both as a party and for their party leaders and they’ve decided what issues they’ll drive and how they will drive them to best benefit their brand.

        I do wonder though how many of “their people” the have in the media though.
        I’m certain Campbell is one, know doubt he’s had Robyn Malcolm and Lucy Lawless in his ear, It’s a real coup having a chap like Campbell batting for you, he can push Green policy while undermining Labour in the process.
        I’m picking the Greens to be basically neck and neck with Labour by the time the next election rolls round.

  16. Rhinocrates 18

    Great post, very well-written.

  17. Ad 19

    Good stuff Irish. Sad, true, and good.

    Anyone here going to Conference?
    Have to confess not keen to go to too many more.

    Hope any Labour MP’s who read this can distinguish between “Cunliffe fan club” and “crisis of political faith”.

    • IrishBill 19.1

      I’d encourage any member who can to go to conference. In my opinion the brightest hope at the moment is the membership’s commitment and unity. I think it’s more important to be an active member now than it was at any time in the last 12 years.

  18. Herodotus 20

    There has been no comments regarding how labour has lost any understanding of the difficulty for many living day to day. We heard how great the govt. was in maintaining a low inflation, problem was that there was a matched low increase of income for many and much of the day to day costs that were increasing are not reflected in the inflation figures. Cost of land cost of building, increased taxation, interest rates, to name a few.
    So where is the relevance of a Labour party for the beneficiary or PAYE worker ? How will life improve ? Because in the later years of the last Lab govt it was damn difficult and the govt displayed no desire to help.

  19. tracey 21

    My take on the MSM is similar to that famours scene in Life of Brian, when Brian wakes up and speaks to the masses. In this instance the masses are the MSM and Brian represents the call to them to be indpendant and serve journalism and truth…

  20. Karen 22

    Excellent post. It should be required reading for every member of caucus. Your record of the 2002 polls should also make chilling reading for all those who think that Shearer just needs more time.

  21. Saarbo 23

    “That said, I have real reservations this can be done. The three basic political planks of strategic vision, operational competence, and discipline all seem to be missing in action”

    Spot on IB….What has been clearly missing since Helen moved on is strong and responsible leadership. If more decision making is devolved to the membership at November’s conference I would expect that the leadership will be sorted soon after. 

  22. tracey 24

    I hear dLinda Clark talking the other day about how Shearer wants to lead ina new way BUT the press gallery have their own “rules.” The number one being any statement must be pithy and no longer than 30 seconds… This might explain why they stopped going to him and have gone to Greens…So does Shearer now compromise one of his points of difference, which due to the pivotal role of media inpolitics is excluding him from airing his message… and so the move from pure principle toward ends justify the means (which National is playing in true Machaevellian (sp) style

    • Dr Terry 24.1

      The Greens demonstrate intelligence . . . small wonder the press goes to them.

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        You could give the Greens a 30s soundbite and Labour a full minute on the MSM.

        Which one is going to hit home with the right messages?

        • McFlock 24.1.1.1

          vote green then.

          Seriously.

          If indeed the Labour party is permanently going to be national lite then fine, drop support for it and go green. Or Alliance. or Mana. Or whoever. Because at the moment there seem to be a whole bunch of commenters here who would rather shit on Shearer and labour as soon as there’s a dip in a quite promising trend than actually support a party.

          • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.1.1

            as soon as there’s a dip in a quite promising trend

            🙄 go look at the Roy Morgan chart and this time take a look at the 18 month and 36 month trend, and tell me what about it seems “promising”.

            • McFlock 24.1.1.1.1.1

              You mean the one that for the last two or three polls has national out of government?
              Or maybe the one that shows labour recovering steadily from the 2011 election, progressing well to 2014?
              Or maybe the one that shows fairly stagnant support under Goff but growing under Shearer?

              Oh, but wait – one lower result and everyone’s baying for blood.

              Fuck sake, what do you expect, poll-wise? Do you really think labour would be 3-poll averaging 45% right now if Cunliffe had become the leader? With golden weather and angels singing?

              Sustained support doesn’t happen like that. Quick spikes today can be just as easily lost.

              • Colonial Viper

                Look at the trend of Labour support McFlock. The one you suggested was “promising.”

                Where was Labour 18m ago. Where was it 36m ago.

                Where is it now.

                • McFlock

                  Where was it when Shearer picked it up? Or are you blaming him for Goff’s leadership, too?

                  But more to the point, why don’t you go for one of the other parties? Why are you obsessed with gnashing your teeth about Labour, rather than extolling the virtues of another party?

                  • @McFlock

                    “Why are you obsessed with gnashing your teeth about Labour, rather than extolling the virtues of another party?”

                    An answer for you from another quarter:

                    I am concerned over Labours’ stance, one of appearing to be lackadaisical over the utter nonsense this Government is indulging in; the message it is giving me STRONGLY (whether intended or not) is that they intend to indulge in similar such banality-cum-bumbling when they get into power.

                    If this is what they intend to do, this will lower the effect of any of the other parties further to the left; the other options of a person of left-wing views.

                    e.g. I don’t believe that Mr Shearer “not having his hands on the tape” needed to be the “whoops” moment it turned into. The follow up to this issue lacked conviction. Why? What is this lack of conviction about?

                    I find myself repeatedly questining why this lack of conviction is emanating from the Labour Party and praying that it will return. It is clear that there are some very sincerely passionate people working in Labour. What’s going on??

                    • McFlock

                      And what convictions did Labour espouse under Clark? A credit card of apple-pie. The most significant achievements of Lab5, imo, came from its coalition partners or private members’ bills, not from government policy.

                      Let me be explicit: a labour-led government of 40% labour/15% other will be less progressive than 30% labour/22% other. Why do people even want a monolithic labour party? All the country needs is labour to get in the mid to high thirties and a leftish coalition can be formed – more left wing than a purely labour government.

                    • @ McFlock,

                      I am in agreement with you there re ” Why do people even want a monolithic labour party?” Nah, I don’t care that the Labour Party isn’t huge (as long as a left-wing government gets in).

                      I’m mainly concerned that they don’t take too mediocre stance because if they get the most numbers out of the left-wing parties I believe they could achieve similar levels of mediocre nothingness that this Government is.

                      ( I am leaving out the chaos and dramatic-levels-of-ineptitude/corruption issues aside in order to lay emphasis on the non-directional bumbling aspect to this Government.)

                      Helen Clark was someone who I consistently found full of conviction, and was sincere and believed in what she was doing, whether one agreed with what she did or not, I don’t think you can say that conviction was missing from her.

                    • McFlock

                      The conviction was missing from the party.

                      To be fair, they did tweak the system in favour of some poor people (e.g. allowing case managers to tell clients about their WINZ entitlements), but a lot of their most radical policies came from greens, alliance and pm bills.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      All the country needs is labour to get in the mid to high thirties and a leftish coalition can be formed – more left wing than a purely labour government.

                      Agreed but I’d prefer if the Labour party had less than 30% or even less than 20%. That way we’d probably get a more democratic/progressive government.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Where was it when Shearer picked it up? Or are you blaming him for Goff’s leadership, too?

                    I am blaming Shearer for keeping level pegging with Goff’s performance 18 and 36 months ago.

                    That’s been my point.

                    The fact that Key and National has been doing appallingly badly this year and Shearer still hasn’t pulled Labour ahead compared to Goff 18m and 36m ago, is also relevant.

                    • McFlock

                      Of course, the fact that he was left with a handicap from goff’s low-point is conveniently ignored when Labour has reached back into goff’s higher-achieving period (last single datapoint notwithstanding, but then that’s how polls work).

                • BM

                  Heading into oblivion,.
                  The Greens are doing a great job slowly poisoning Labour, lets face it the Greens want to be top dog, they see their days as a bit player in the political landscape over.

                  • McFlock

                    more stirring of the pot…

                  • The Greens a doing a great job at presenting their arguments in a reasoned and researched manner.

                    Aren’t Labour simply slowly poisoning themselves, some of the ways in which they are doing so are listed in the article starting this thread.

                    By the way, what happened about that bitchy anti-Cunliffe article that occurred earlier in the year, which was said to come from inside info from politicians in the Labour party? Was that true? Did ministers talk to the press in this manner? Did anyone get apprehended for it?

                    • BM

                      Got to hand it to the Greens, they’re sharp and media savy.
                      The days of the morris dancing hippies are over.

                    • McFlock

                      “Labour” are performing an average job, but the “poisoning” is coming from infighting and bickering – not least of which we see here.

                      BM’s just trying to poison chances for a decent coalition after the election by getting labs and grns to fight each other rather than the government/

                    • BM

                      Nonsense.
                      Do you honestly think the Greens want to play second fiddle to Labour, they want to be calling the shots not making up the numbers.

                    • “BM’s just trying to poison chances for a decent coalition after the election by getting labs and grns to fight each other rather than the government/”

                      ++1 Yeah its not very subtle is it? 😀

                    • McFlock

                      I think that the greens and labour at each others’ throats would be electorally good for whichever party you support

        • blue leopard 24.1.1.2

          “You could give the Greens a 30s soundbite and Labour a full minute on the MSM.

          Which one is going to hit home with the right messages?”

          OOoo gee, CV, that’s a tough one….hmm…let me think….

          😉

          (Good point)

  23. Chalupa Batman 25

    Sounds to me like removing T. Mallard would remove most of the problems…

    • millsy 25.1

      Well, you have to admit, the guy has no discernable political priciples…

      • tracey 25.1.1

        on that basis, that’s most of the national top 12 gone….

        although isn’t political principles an oxymoron?

  24. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/will-grant-robertson-get-chop-lf-131298#comment-591376

    MY COMMENT – YET TO BE PUBLISHED:

    Here we go again – the usual ‘spin-doctor’ campaign try to pick and snipe and undermine Labour Party leadership?

    Saw it all before with Phil Goff in 2011.

    yawn……………….

    The question I want answered is:

    What role did John Key play in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in November 1999, when he was a foreign exchange advisor to the New York Federal Reserve, and Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch?

    Given that the effect of the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was to leave the derivatives market unregulated?

    Given that the global financial meltdown has been largely caused by the collapse of the derivatives market?

    Who is going to ask THAT question?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Chalupa Batman 26.1

      Saw it all before with Phil Goff in 2011.

      yawn……………….

      It worked though better then what Labour tried with John Key…trips to Aussie to dig up dirt anyone?

    • handle 26.2

      What about the dolphins, I say.
      ‘anti-relevance campaigner’

    • Jimmie 26.3

      Hmm yeah John Key obviously bullied several hundred congressmen & senators & Bill Clinton to cause this law to be repealed.

      I’m surprised after wielding such power that he humbled himself to come back to little ole NZ to become PM.

      He should have kept moving on to his logical position that as the head of the illumanati/VWRC which he was obviously part of.

      Dear Penny,
      Your wonderful musings bring a great deal of joy to many embittered souls – keep up the good work.

      • Chalupa Batman 26.3.1

        *Snigger*

      • Colonial Viper 26.3.2

        Hmm yeah John Key obviously bullied several hundred congressmen & senators & Bill Clinton to cause this law to be repealed.

        No, his organisation and the banksters (whose Congressional and Presidential campaign donations add up to tens of millions per year) they represent did.

    • Inventory2 26.4

      Sheesh IB; what have you done to deserve getting spam-bombed by Penny Bright? 😛

    • @ Penny Bright

      Unclear what you do to get such sarky/ignorant comments, which surprise me on what is usually an intelligent website.
      I am pleased to learn what you have to relay
      And do see the relevance of knowing as much as is out there on Mr Key’s prior activities.
      I see the link between knowing this information and his being head of the worst government that I hope NZ ever has.
      And the advantage this information has on mass discernment, which appears to be astoundingly lacking in NZ at present.

      What a pity more NZers weren’t privvy to this type of information and line of reasoning. (rather appearing to prefer a type of mass hysteria-cum-idol-worship; the results of disaster capitalism being applied to us, perhaps?)

      Thanks Penny
      Keep up the good work!!

  25. Jimmie 27

    Good post – and I agree 100%.

    I’m not a Labour supporter and never will be however these exact sentiments have been expressed over and over again since well before the last election. (Both on this blog & on others)

    However they were treated with derision by those on the left who thought the Phil Goff was the knight in shining armour for Labour.

    Now that Labour has been sitting in the wilderness for 4 years suddenly you wake up and think opps maybe we were wrong all along?

    What should have happened either before or after the 2008 election was a fundamental rethink of who Labour is and how they were going to get back into power.

    Labour should be very strong and only allowing the greens to barely get over 5%.
    The current status where the greens have a healthy 13-17% and Labour is knocking around 30% is a serious indication that Labour is in trouble.

    Who do Labour stand for? If you look at their current MP’s you would assume it is a strange mix of latte swigging rainbow unionists with 1 or 2 odd balls (has beens Mallard/Jones) thrown in.

    You also have the under-current of the ABC attitude and approx 4 or 5 dreaming that they are leadership material and it looks to be a real dog’s breakfast.

    And leading them all is a guy (Shearer) who is an oddball all by himself – not part of any faction and seriously looking like a fish gasping for air when ever he speaks in public.

    I don’t see 15-20 MP’s who have been working men and women all their lives, I don’t see several PI/Maori MP’s who have come up form humble beginnings, I don’t see MP’s with any sense of reality and/or common sense portrayed in their opinions and policy.

    Gotta be a total clean out as current thinking of relying on the greens to get into power may well be a false hope. Once the blow torch of election campaigning gets turned on to the watermelons more unusual policies don’t be surprised if they drop to single figure support again.

    • gobsmacked 27.1

      But the people who matter are – or especially, were – Labour supporters.

      They feel let down, but not because they want Labour to be more right-wing (which is essentially your argument).

      On issues (not parties or people) polling consistently shows New Zealand to be moderately social democratic, and moderately liberal. The cliched “latte / rainbow / union” (yawn) is to the left of centre, which is where Labour should be. That’s how progress is made.

      John Key got elected by pretending to be centrist and liberal. He is gradually being exposed, but Labour are failing to counter with a coherent narrative.

      There is no contradiction between standing up for economic justice and social justice. That is what Labour must do.

      (so in short, Jimmie, you don’t agree 100%, you’re just projecting your version of a party onto IrishBill’s post, and it’s not Labour)

      • tracey 27.1.1

        +1

        Those who believe Labour’s success lies in snatching back the just right of centre national folks are asking for the party to become as so oftenmaligned National Lite.

        Either state your principles and those who you consider you represent, adhere to them, or re-name yourselves and start again. havig a bob each way makes you look foolish

    • Saarbo 27.2

      This is what happens when there is a void in leadership, things look a lot worse than they really are. The question is what do the membership do with the petulant ABC brigade? This small group have caused more damage to Labour than anything  else I can remember. This group needs to move on.

      • the sprout 27.2.1

        hear hear.

        those who value a political future in Labour need to think hard about removing the ABCers

        they are seriously damaging to Labour’s prospects and will remain an impediment to election success until they’re gone.

    • gobsmacked 27.3

      I don’t see several PI/Maori MP’s who have come up from humble beginnings”

      A quarter of the Labour caucus are Maori-Pasifika.

      That doesn”t make them good or bad MPs – they range from Louisa Wall (great) to Silly Si’o (not).

  26. Michael 28

    Hi all, I’m a long time National voter. Here’s a few ideas on what it would get me to switch to labour.

    -Fix the housing affordability problem, mandate bank loan to value limit of 80% and debt servicing to 30% of income to stop speculation, sort out council restrictions like development levies, exorbitant resource consent charges, zoning issues. Don’t allow nimbyism to slow down and make more expensive housing development. Maybe a land tax to encourage efficient use of land (i.e develop or sell). If need be use government capital to build houses if the market is failing. Use the scale of the government to wrangle better deals from suppliers etc. Whatever you do don’t subsidise people to buy into the existing overpriced houses. Fix underlying issues.
    -Support business, don’t automatically assume through your actions and words that business is a rapacious beast trying to rip off workers, consumers and the like.
    -Be sensible and balanced on things like mining and oil drilling, these are the kind of jobs your working class people actually need. Not everyone can be a psa supporting policy analyst type.
    -End the student loan freebies drain and admit it was a step too far, re-direct the money back into things that actually help poor people move forward. Rich kids don’t need free student loans.
    -Accept that not everyone needs university tertiary education – massive push for trades, technical and farming training for people 16 above that are not academically minded.
    -Look to massively expand kiwisaver over time, make compulsory and raise the employee contributions level to 10% and the employer to perhaps 5%. This will actually get us rich as a country, and solve our current account and currency problems.

    -I don’t mind paying tax (even higher taxes than now), and broadening the tax base with say land or capital gains tax, I don’t even mind upping benefit levels. But don’t always oppose the drive for efficiency and responsibility in govt like we’ve been seeing over the last few years. I want value for money. I want people to take responsibility for their kids and communities.

    Thats enough for now!

    Cheers and regards
    Michael

    • tracey 28.1

      Michael in 2010 the West Coast mining industry employed 850 people. It’s less now. My question for you is if those things above are important to you, why did you vote for national in 2011?

      • Michael 28.1.1

        Hi Tracey, two things occurred, a mine sadly blew up and a global financial/economic downturn happened. Pointing to specifics Labour should come out strongly in support of economic mining opportunities like Bathurst and call on the govt to sort out the slow consenting process that allows such things to drag on for years without resolution.

        Cheers

    • Draco T Bastard 28.2

      Support business, don’t automatically assume through your actions and words that business is a rapacious beast trying to rip off workers, consumers and the like.

      Why would we assume that considering that’s exactly what business is setup to do?

      Be sensible and balanced on things like mining and oil drilling, these are the kind of jobs your working class people actually need.

      Great idea, pity NACT don’t believe in it. All they’re after is to make a few rich people richer at everyone else’s expense. Balancing mining and drilling actually means only digging up what we use and making sure that we don’t damage the environment.

      .

      End the student loan freebies drain and admit it was a step too far, re-direct the money back into things that actually help poor people move forward. Rich kids don’t need free student loans.

      The actual policy should be to drop student altogether and make education freely available to all.

      Look to massively expand kiwisaver over time,

      Saving money is delusional. Saving our resources and using them sustainably (Only use what we need, recycle as much as possible etc) is what we need to do.

      But don’t always oppose the drive for efficiency and responsibility in govt like we’ve been seeing over the last few years.

      There hasn’t been a drive for efficiency from this government but a drive to put more taxpayer money into their rich mates pockets.

      • Michael 28.2.1

        Dear Mr Draco

        I think you are misinformed and perhaps biased a little re business, I’ve worked in a number and MOST seem to want to do a number of things – have a good product, serve their customers well, pay the wages, make a return on investment. These are good things to pursue.

        You comments about “rich mates” etc are hyperbolic and don’t do your arguments any favours in my opinion.

        Cheers

        • Colonial Viper 28.2.1.1

          I’d support pulling more taxes out of the megacorporates and using it to help small business (10 employees or less) start up and succeed.

          • millsy 28.2.1.1.1

            It has to be remembered that SME’s also face skyrocketing rents and utility costs as well, especially given that businesses during the 1990’s and 2000 sold off their buildings and leased them back.

            These issues need to be addressed IMO.

        • Draco T Bastard 28.2.1.2

          have a good product, serve their customers well, pay the wages, make a return on investment. These are good things to pursue.

          No, they aren’t.

          Products, maybe, maybe not – depending upon the product. Products that fail due to being made too cheaply due to competition are obviously a waste of scarce resources.
          It’d be better if they served the community well.
          Who’s paying the wages? The people who produce the wealth or the person who allows the people doing the producing no say in the distribution of that wealth?
          Profit is a dead weight loss as has been proved by Steve Keen and, interestingly enough, the failed economic theory that society presently labours under.

          Basically, business is set up to take wealth from the many and transfer it to the few. It’s very good at doing this as the rise in poverty shows.

    • One Tāne Huna 28.3

      Michael,

      “…efficiency and responsibility…”

      You’re kidding, right?

    • Dr Terry 28.4

      These are your thoughts – and you STILL vote National?? Something wrong here!

    • Foreign Waka 28.5

      The first few lines sound like the finance policies from the Greens, just recently stated by Dr Russel. You seem to be more a liberal than a true blue national. Your suggestions seem quite reasonable.

  27. Greg 29

    What the left just don’t seem to have a handle on is that the majority of us see the Labour politicians as slightly weird, not representing the views of the average hard working Kiwi. Chardonnay socialists is an old term but oh so accurate when it comes to describing the Labour Party. And every now and then they slip up and let the general public see what they really think, whether its Comrade Cindy or Chicken Littles 8 pm closing for pubs, this obsession with gay marriage,it just goes on and on. I think the average working Joe fell they could have a beer with any of the National politicians and have a good conversation with them because they have all been out in the real world with real jobs as opposed to Labours time honoured career path of School, Uni, various young socialist organisations, parliament.Look at the polls, the only people who like you are ne’er do wells, and people who can’t/won’t look after themselves, the rest of us vote National. But I urge you to carry on down the same path, if nothing else, just for the entertainment value watching the left wringing their hands and trying to work out why they aren’t getting anywhere.

    • tracey 29.1

      Quick question, by “the majority of us” do you mean people you work with and know?

      Also a recent poll showed a majority of NZers dont trust national on education and the economy… that would be funny too if it weren’t heading our country to hell in a hand-basket.

    • gobsmacked 29.2

      If the “average working Joe” chooses to vote for unemployment, or the profits from his hard work going overseas and to a rich few, then he’s going to need a lot more beer.

      How have these beer-drinking National blokes you love actually helped the workers? Which policies?

    • millsy 29.3

      Do you want homosexuality recriminialised, the poor thrown in the street and unions banned?

      • tracey 29.3.1

        Millsy, sadly for people like Greg’s so called “majority of us” it appears they do, fortunately they are not the majority he claims. His was a long post to say

        “Labour is doing it wrong cos they don’t get that National is right”

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 29.3.2

        No.

        Do you?

    • tracey 29.4

      How many people are currency traders? How many believe they live in the “real world”? My knowledge of them from my law firm days was played hard, worked in a frenzy, snorted cocaine, threw knieves into the back immediately above them in the company made money, entered rehab or hospital. Just wondering why this is a more real world than teaching young people and guiding them toward their future ???

      • Puddleglum 29.4.1

        That idea of the ‘real world’ is an interesting one.

        When pushed, most people say that the ‘world’ that matters most to them is family, friends and neighbourhood/community. You get this again and again in surveys of what people really value.

        By contrast, business people often boast of spending 60, 80 or even 100 hours at work – i.e., away from this ‘real world’ of family, friends and community. Yet, somehow or other, they get to claim that they are in the ‘real world’.

        Makes no sense.

        The world of business is further away from the ‘real world’ of family, friends and community than even those so-called Ivory Tower types. 

  28. Fisiani 30

    a leader’s office that has been largely picked from the Wellington Central LEC and its members (which is not to say they haven’t done well for Robertson in that electorate but national campaigning is a totally different kettle of fish and Wellington Central is not an electorate that is particularly representative of the rest of the county

    When you wrote that did you actually check the election result in 2011?
    What was the only seat in NZ were the Labour Party Vote was in 3rd place- Wellington Central.
    The WC Labour campaign was purely for the glory of Robertson. THe Green vote surpassed the Labour one.
    ” He polished up the handles so carefully that now he is the leader of the King’s navy”

    • tracey 30.1

      But coming from an electorate that isn’t reflective of the country is common practice (Hellensville for example, although living in parnell). I agree it was about exposure but I am not entirely sure what point you are making? Lots of long serving MPs couldn’t get elected if not ina “safe” seat.

    • James Henderson 30.2

      not the only seat – Rodney as well. A few third place candidates such as Tauranga, Epsom (trying to lose there, though)

      • Fisiani 30.2.1

        Not true http://www.electionresults.org.nz/electionresults_2011/e9/html/e9_part4.html

        Wellington Central was a total disaster for the laziest candidate in New Zealand who lost the party vote by 5000 votes and could not even beat the Greens. I hope that Robertson’s ego will propel him to the leadership. That would ensure victory for John Key.

        • Pascal's bookie 30.2.1.1

          Lol. So Labour got 450 odd votes fewer than the greens. Oh Noes.

          What is this supposed to say?

          What does it say that the National party was 5000 votes behind the combined green/labour vote, in a seat that voted in Prebble?

          not much actually.

  29. Here are some policies that, in my considered opinion, would get widespread electoral support.

    Look forward to as many political parties as possible ‘picking up the ball’?

    Help yourselves.

    ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT CORRUPTION – ‘WHITE COLLAR’ CRIME & ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ IN NZ:

    1. Get our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework in place so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    2. Set up an NZ independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and PREVENTING corruption.

    3. Change NZ laws to ensure genuine transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central and local government level.

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    6. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives.

    7. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for property and procurement, (including the Ministry of Health), in order to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    8. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government staff, and Directors and staff employed by ‘Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) responsible for property and procurement.

    9. Make it a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued’ – including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector, and Local Government (Council), and ‘Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny.

    10. Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government, and Local Government public finances be undertaken to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective for the public majority. If not – then return public service provision to staff directly employed ‘in-house’ and cut out these private contractors who are effectively dependent on ‘corporate welfare’.

    11. Legislate for a legally-enforcable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure they are not ‘above the law’.

    12. Ensure that ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, and audio records made available to parties who request them.

    13. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    14. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists’ and ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ at Central Government Ministerial level.

    15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).

    16. Make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ Central or Local Government level are sold; or long-term leased via Public-Private –Partnerships (PPPs).

    17. Make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at central or local government level.

    18. Make laws to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistleblowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Arguably – the root cause of corruption is privatisation?

    How is it decided who gets the contracts?

    It seems that out of all the political parties in NZ – it is the Greens who have put more focus on a number of these issues, than any other party, in my considered opinion.

    This National/ACT Government, is extremely vulnerable on ‘white collar crime’, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’, in my opinion.

    Some of us have been consistently, and persistently ‘holding their feet to the fire’ on these issues.

    Which is why we’ve been ‘copping some flak’ – because ‘we’re over the target’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  30. felix 32

    Awful lot of concerned right-wingers in this thread sharing their thoughts on what the Labour party should do.

    And a truly awful lot they are.

    Remember what happened last time Labour paid any notice to these fuckwits?

  31. just saying 33

    One point no-one else seems to have made in regard to the problem is the huge disconnect in belief. Many, maybe even most in the Labour caucus, don’t believe in what we are calling “core Labour values”. Those that do, seem to see them as a “nice to have”, a mere aspriation that they hope the market might one day deliver with a wee nudge here and there . And the most right-wing MPs and strategists amongst them are the ones calling the shots. These people don’t even pretend to be Labour in anything other than name. For them Blair’s autobiography is a glorious (rather than vainglorious) instruction manual. It is only relatively recently that Labour ministers have stopped extolling the actions of the Lange government as bold reforms they are proud to be associated with – in public at least.

    The sort of social justice that the Labour Party formed to create and is held dear in the hearts of most party members, is no longer what those with power in the party believe in. Some seem to believe that it doesn’t really matter what the pollies believe, that their beliefs and values and are elastic enough to change with the winds of popular opinion, and that it is therefore encumbent on the left to push them to where we want them to be. That might be true to a point. But if the values and beliefs (and that’s not even starting on the vested interests) of Labour’s powerbrokers have moved to the right of most of the preceding National governments, as I believe they have, then moving their opinions far enough to the left to make any sort of difference is an impossible mission. And even if we could get them espousing “core Labour values” how could we trust them to put these values into action in government, when they don’t actually believe in them.

    To me, this disconnect in belief plays a large part in the waffling, confused, buck-each-way, wishy -washy, absense of narrative that we see today. And most outside of Labour’s ever-diminishing core vote, instinctively distrust Labour because of it.

  32. SouthDeeznuts 34

    ‘Because Labour’s core values are New Zealand’s core values.’

    Entering this sort of territory invariably leads to problematic assumptions being made about what are, and what are not, the ‘true’ and ‘correct’ cultural systems and values that constitute the framework of a New Zealand ‘national identity.’ This type of nationalism tends to promote a monocultural ideal, whereby groups deemed to fall outside of its boundaries are urged to assimilate the values and norms of the dominant group. Moreover, concretely defining a national identity is an impossible task, and attempts to do so disavow the fluidity of culture, and that it is dynamic and sits in a constant state of flux.

    • “Entering this sort of territory invariably leads to problematic assumptions being made about what are, and what are not, the ‘true’ and ‘correct’ cultural systems and values that constitute the framework of a New Zealand ‘national identity.’ ”

      True, there is a danger of this.

      “This type of nationalism tends to promote a monocultural ideal, whereby groups deemed to fall outside of its boundaries are urged to assimilate the values and norms of the dominant group. ”

      Not if an inclusive approach was one of the values placed high on the list. For example, if multiculturalism, or an attitude of acknowledging and actively appreciating the benefits of diversity were deemed important values.

      A monocultural ideal is what appears to have been promoted over recent history (world-wide in Western nations at least). Sometimes referred to as the “rich white man’s paradigm” (n.b. not meaning that if you are rich, white and male means that you subscribe to it, nor of another colour or sex that you don’t)

      I believe that is what people are increasingly railing against, and hoping Labour would represent; something more inclusive of a diversity of approaches and ways of living; not just one that is concerned with corporate wealthy interests.

  33. Centre Leftist (Tory troll) 35

    Why this blog? The Roy Morgan poll very clearly points out a coalition of Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana will be in power in 2014. I am not sure why this blog is published demoralising Labour supporters. You should be instead celebrating the fact that the Labour led coalition is consistently scoring more than potential National led group. Somebody please clarify.

    • gobsmacked 35.1

      It’s been clarified, just read. Every day the basic arithmetic is explained on here, in countless threads.

      Yes … it is entirely possible that the four parties you mention could have a majority in Parliament in 2014. Labour MPs could “achieve” that by spending the next 2 years at the beach, saying nothing, and getting the same result as last time.

      No … that is not a good outcome.

      Try and think beyond the horse-race winning post. It moves.

      • McFlock 35.1.1

        it’s not a good outcome for labour.

        It would, however, be a good outcome for progressive left policies – especially if the labour benches are full of national-lite sellouts like some here would say.

        And it would be a better result for NZ than another national govt.

        • gobsmacked 35.1.1.1

          It’s not a good outcome for the Greens either.

          The NZ First list aren’t there to advance progressive left policies. There’s no party-hopping law, and the likes of Prosser and Horan wouldn’t last five minutes in a green-left gov’t.

          But the fundamental question is: why aim so low? A Labour-Green vote of 50% is easily achievable. The Greens are doing their bit, Labour aren’t.

          (there’s a whole bunch of other flow-on effects too, I don’t have time to go through them all tonight, yet again. Easiest way to look at it – What do National want? How could they scare the voters into giving them a third term? You can write the campaign lines already … tail/wag/dog, hydra/head, etc, etc.)

          • McFlock 35.1.1.1.1

            True about NZ1, to a degree: they’re not neoliberal, and they aren’t big business.

            But for me it’s not about “aiming low” – it’s about appreciating the bird in the hand rather than the two in the bush. Yes’ I’d love it if Labour had front benchers who were old-school labour and refused to stay in any hotel that doesn’t pay award rates, but that’s not Labour any more. Hasn’t been for 20 or 30 years. But nor are they all tory scum who are out for their big-business mates, nor even whiney academics with no foot in the real world. They are something in between all that, and I don’t thnk most of them, including shearer, deserve all the flack that some people are throwing around here. Some of the criticism, yes, but one poll result isn’t a tragedy.

            Let’s at least see what the next couple say before we declare a recovery trend dead.

    • James Henderson 35.2

      I wouldn’t put my money on Roy Morgan’s political analysis

  34. millsy 36

    For what its worth, here is my thoughts on what the NZLP should think about.

    1) Compulsory KiwiSaver, but allow workers to contribute between 1 and 4%, of their income, to be matched by the government and employer, with $1000 kickstart. Automatic enrolment in KS for enrolment at birth, with voluntary contribution for parents until child starts working. Consolidate all KS providers into single government run investment fund over time, that would provide a source of domestic capital.Make it so people can withdraw funds from their kiwisaver accounts for rainy day style expenses, like car repairs, dental and optometery fees, relocation expenses and so on. Every New Zealander should have a pool of funds that they can dip into when needed, and KiwiSaver can serve this purpose.

    2) Direct the NZ Super Fund to start buying up ‘sensitive’ farm land, to counter a foreign buy up. The NZSF dont have to run the farms, they can just lease the land out to farmers who will own the stock and improvement (and run the farms). Also transfer the current NZSuper budget to it, and make it responsible for paying out pensions (it will eliminate overheads). Again, use this as a source of domestic capital (Imagine if the NZ Superfund bought up F and P).

    3) Turn the Future Investment Fund that the government created into a full fledged Soveriegn Wealth Fund (like Temasek Holdings), transfer the SOE’s into it, and use it as a source of domestic capital and funding source for government projects. Expand KiwiBank, and have it venture into business and rural lending, set up a KB branch in every town with more than 500 people, to reverse the mass closures of banking branches throughout the country. Have KiwiBank become the government’s banker. Loosen rules around credit unions and the like to take on the other banks.

    4) Foster the creation of more co-operatives (like Fonterra). Set up a Co-Operative task force with the view of lifting the contriutions of co-ops as a percentage of GDP. Perhaps a lower tax rate for co-ops? Make it earier for the likes of Silver Fern Farms and Fonterra to open their own supermarkets (sell direct to consumer).

    5) Nationalise the ECE sector, (except for kindergartens and playcenters), and make pre-school education free. Run them along the lines of our schools, with elected BoT’s (I think ECE needs to be community controlled).

    There are other ideas I have, but these will have to wait till later, have to get ready for work tomorrow.

    • Draco T Bastard 36.1

      1.) Don’t need to – the government can print money*
      2.) Ban all foreign ownership
      3.) Again, the government can print money*
      4.) Agreed. Need to encourage more cooperative ventures
      5.) Agreed.

      * Money is a tool to help distribute the states resources first by direct government spending and secondly through the private sector. Because it is a tool and not a resource there is no point in saving it. What we need to save is our resources and even then it’s more a question of using sustainably than saving them.

      • infused 36.1.1

        Oh man. You wonder why Labour doesn’t get any traction.

        Lets just all print money lalalalalala.

        • Draco T Bastard 36.1.1.1

          Um, that’s what happens already it’s just that the private banks do it instead of the government and the way that they do it causes the economy to collapse.

          BTW, I’m not a Labour supporter partly because the idiots won’t take money creation off of the private banks and so continuing to doom our society.

          • infused 36.1.1.1.1

            Money creation is working really well in the US eh?

            • blue leopard 36.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh man. You wonder what critics of Nat party policies are most concerned about?

              There aren’t any:

              “The world-wide financial system is collapsing, but lalalalala the only time we will mention it is when we need something to blame for the negative results of our own short-sighted non-plans.”

              “OOo there goes another country…What shall we do?? I know, let’s play business as usual and change nothing…lalalalala”

              Perhaps you might like to read what people promoting government printed money are reading?

              “The control of credit growth would become much more straightforward because banks would no longer be able, as they are today, to generate their own funding, deposits, in the act of lending, an extraordinary privilege that is not enjoyed by any other type of business,” says the IMF paper.
              “Rather, banks would become what many erroneously believe them to be today, pure intermediaries that depend on obtaining outside funding before being able to lend.”

              ~IMF’s Epic Plan to Conjure Away Debt and Dethrone Bankers

            • Draco T Bastard 36.1.1.1.1.2

              The US, as per normal, is doing it wrong. They’re creating debt based, interest bearing money and then giving it to the banks to prop them up rather than the government creating money and spending it into the economy.

              • Yes, and successfully giving a bad name to an approach such as government printing money and investing it into activities that are productive (rather than channeling printed money into boosting executives’ already ginormous pay/perks).

                Well done The US…again. A bit like our Government; the only thing they are good at is framing issues to further big business’s advantage whilst screwing things up for the majority of people, and yet convincing them (the majority) that everything is just fine and dandy under their watch..lalalalalala

            • felix 36.1.1.1.1.3

              infused, we’re doing it already. It’s just that we’ve licensed banks to create it for profit when we could just create it ourselves for free.

              Why do you prefer to pay the banks to perform such a crucial function? Did you have to pay someone to spoon-feed you your breakfast this morning too, or did you manage to pick up the spoon and feed yourself?

    • kiwicommie 36.2

      Compulsory Kiwisaver is a bad policy, especially for those that can’t afford to contribute. If you have paid attention to recent cases of families (and low income New Zealanders) that are on the poverty line, because of having to contribute to kiwisaver.

      Secondly, New Zealanders with health problems will never live to 65 or 67 so they are contributing money they can never use; housing is also no longer affordable for most families unless you have high income (so it is useless for buying a first home too). Thirdly, if you are in poverty it is near impossible to get approved to get access to it.

      So to finish, I am surprised that no one has tried to sue the providers of kiwisaver schemes yet over misleading advertising. Kiwisaver is a joke of a savings scheme (but it might pay for your funeral, as most New Zealanders will die before they can access it). What New Zealand needs is an end to the credit card based economy (and the loan sharks) alongside some decent wages and salaries.

    • Chalupa Batman 36.3

      This weird, I find myself agreeing with more then a few things millsy is saying. Why the sheep and beef farmers haven’t got together like fonterra is beyond me. The superfund should be buying into farms and SOEs (one way to make sure they’re kiwi owned)

      I wouldn’t consolidate kiwisaver into a govt run dept. but the rest is a decent idea

      • millsy 36.3.1

        “Why the sheep and beef farmers haven’t got together like fonterra is beyond me. ”

        It was not for lack of trying, as far as I understand.

        I chose those options because they are alternatives to neo-liberalism that would be seen as viable by the wider public.

  35. AmaKiwi 37

    I just read Matt McCarten’s column and am ashamed to be a Labour Party member.

    To David Shearer: Matt demonstrates what an opposition party should say. We’re going to lose the next election!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10843358

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      Even if Labour wins it, the way they are now, we’ll still lose.

    • McFlock 37.2

      Well, if you want people who are more likely to agree with and behave like McCarten than the Labour crop, vote Alliance or Mana.

      • blue leopard 37.2.1

        Unless Alliance boosts public awareness of its continued existence it is pointless voting for them, they only got 1, 209 votes. 🙁 Better off voting for the left-wing parties that got more votes Greens and Mana, otherwise it becomes a wasted vote (better than not voting at all though!)

    • @AmaKiwi
      Thanks for the link, great article.

  36. xtasy 38

    John Key’s second cousing, cult hero from Hamburg, aka ‘Dittsche’:

    See the resemblance, with the man in the bath robe?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Winston is right
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • New Fisk
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
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    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
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    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
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    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
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    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
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    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
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    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
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  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
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  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
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  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
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  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
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  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
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    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
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    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
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    3 weeks ago

  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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    3 hours ago
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    21 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
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    24 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
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    1 day ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
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    2 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    2 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
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    2 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
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    2 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
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  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
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  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
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    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
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    3 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
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    3 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
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    3 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
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  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
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  • New safety measures for modified pistols
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
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  • Future secured for Salisbury School
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    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
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    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
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    4 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
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    4 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
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    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
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    4 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
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    5 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
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    5 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
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    5 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
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    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
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    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
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    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
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    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
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    1 week ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
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    1 week ago