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To Robert Reid, respect

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, April 27th, 2014 - 135 comments
Categories: election 2014, labour, national - Tags: ,

Robert Reid

This morning on Q&A I had an unusual experience. I heard one of the panellists talk sense and passionately advocate a left wing view. The video is here.  Apologies but there is an ad before and I do not know if there is a youtube version that can be embedded.

Robert Reid is the secretary of the First Union National Distribution Union.  Hopefully we will see his particular skills used more often.

The debate posted an interesting contrast.  Political Scientist Ray Miller laughed when Moira Coatesworth said that Labour was in good shape.  She was referring to membership and activism which is as good now as it has been for many years, and he was talking about media perception which admittedly is poor.  Labour is losing the media framing battle.  Given the owners and heads of the media organisations as well as the front persons are aligned with or sympathetic to National this is not surprising.

Deborah Coddington was also on the panel.  Why a member of a 1% party should be used regularly is a bit weird.  She chose to use her time to repeat National attack lines.

Robert then spoke.  He started off by rubbishing the myth making that was occurring.  Shane Jones, bless him, does not represent the working class in Parliament.  Reid mentioned that Jones had very few links to the trade unions.  Reid noted that the overwhelming support in his union, which is not aligned, was with Labour.  He emphasised the need and desire for change present amongst ordinary people and thought that Jones’ resignation would have little effect.

Then the mantra that elections are won in the centre was trotted out by Millar.  Reid’s response, that the problem was that people who tend to be on the edge of society were the ones not voting, essentially because they felt they were unrepresented.  He rubbished the suggestion that the working class are all rednecks and have reactionary views.  He pointed out that half of the working class are women and that there are many different ethnicities involved.

The discussion was jarring in that Reid was talking about policies that affect ordinary people and the others were talking about how well the game of politics was being played.

Reid finished off by refuting Susan Woods’ claim that the economy was going reasonably well.  He said that for working people it was a disaster and that New Zealand has more poverty now than it has had for many years.  He rebuffed a suggestion that Labour was not talking about the issues and mentioned the launch of the manufacturing policy which was well received even by employers organisations.

All in all it was a very good performance by Reid and he showed very well what Labour and the Greens have to do to win the election this year.

Our MPs and our activists need to talk with passion.  They need to talk about the issues that really matter such as jobs, poverty and the environment.  And they need to refute the right wing framing of issues that is and will continue to occur.

135 comments on “To Robert Reid, respect ”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100…Good Stuff

    “Our MPs and our activists need to talk with passion. They need to talk about the issues that really matter such as jobs, poverty and the environment. And they need to refute the right wing framing of issues that is and will continue to occur.”

    • rhinocrates 1.1

      I agree whole-heartedly. A lot of the front-benchers are front troughers – Mallard, King, Goff in particular, selling out the party and the country for the sake of their own meal tickets. When have they ever cared about anyone but themselves? Robertson, amazingly, has shown passion at long last in pursuing Collins, if only because it raises his profile.

      Labour’s caucus has too long been dominated by the lazy, the obsolete and the self-interested. They have to remember why they’re in parliament and who they are supposed to represent and Cunliffe needs to have the daring to promote those who do care over those whose manifesto is the Bellamy’s menu.

    • Rodel 1.2

      MS Thanks for that video. The unknown political pom “scientist” and Coddington ( who is she anyway?) waffling( definition- chiefly Brit.speak or write, esp. at great length, without saying anything important or useful:) was brilliantly countered by Robert Reid.
      Why those two with their supercilious opinions without evidence are invited onto these panels escapes me.

      At last I see someone who tells NZ the truth with passion- that Key, English and co are actually incompetent losers- (emperors with no clothes) causing their own people to lose out..Unbelievable incompetence! Grrrr!

      Get Reid on campaign video adverts.

    • thechangeling 1.3

      Robert really was a breath of fresh air laced with rational and logical arguments that the other presenters couldn’t match at all.

    • Enough is Enough 1.4

      Yes and No

      The question which remains unanswered is why do 41 – 48% of the electorate support National when for many of them it is not in their best interests to do so.

      When we talk about the middle it is those voters who swing between the two. But for the best part of a decade have been entrenched in the blue corner.

      Why is that. Why do they remain there.

      Polls (including Labour’s internal polling) confirm this to still be the case which suggests the missing million will probably fall into line with the 2 miliion to turn up to vote.

      • Anne 1.4.1

        @ Enough is Enough.

        Why do they remain there?. Well, I have acquaintances and a few family members who came from ordinary working class backgrounds but who were able to take advantage of the first class free education system we had in the 50s, 60s,70s and at least the first half of the 80s. They became qualified in their fields of endeavour and were able to buy nice homes and live a comfortable – and in a few cases – mortgage-free lives. They considered themselves no longer working class. That meant a change of political allegiance. The excuses they came up with for no longer supporting Labour were the usual… solo mums living off the fat of the land and greedy unions wanting more than their fair share of the cake.

        The truth of the matter they became snobby little social climbers. Their children went to private schools (or top Grammar Schools) and made ‘good’ marriages. But somewhere down the path I’m betting its all going to turn sour. If not their children then their grandchildren are going to fall on hard times and they will blame the National government (if it stays in power) totally ignoring the fact they were the ones who propped them up in the first place out of greed and snobbery.

        The above doesn’t answer your question entirely, but it goes some way to pointing at what I suspect is a significant reason why many remain with National.

        • Colonial Viper

          Have you read the latest Archdruid report yet? I mentioned it to RL a day or two ago.


          Some of the comments underneath are telling –
          Read this comment for instance by a Shane Wilson

          My grandfather’s 100th birthday was a chance to observe the differences in the generations up close, and it was truly sad. You could definitely tell who had been through a depression and learned and grown through privation and who had only known relative privilege and comfort. It was interesting to look around at those of the silent generation & the baby boomers and see the trappings of aging–greying hair, stooped shoulders, age spots, feebleness in some cases, yet none of the wisdom or maturity of the greatest generation. It’s truly frightening watching Peter Pan generations grow old but not up, and realizing how much has been lost in the short 20 years between those born in 1914 and those born in 1934- just noticing how overall miserable the silent generation & boomers are compared with the greatest generation, it’s like they’re aware on some fundamental level that they squandered their lives and opportunities, and the existential strain is killing them. It doesn’t look good for the future as the next round of crisis comes on. I see a lot of elder abuse/abandonment as these entitled enfant terribles make unreasonable demands of their children & grandchildren.

          • Anne

            Thanks for that CV. A very telling story. Plenty of people can see where the world is going, but the powers-that-be will not pick up the ring and do something about it.

        • greywarbler

          I was thinking today that some philosopher must have come up already with what I just thought of. That affluence ruins society. That all the time I was thinking that we were working towards prosperity and betterment of society with everybody having a reasonable time on the planet, and people who made the effort to be fair to each other even when they didn’t like each other, I was entirely wrong.

          So many baby boomers don’t want to think of anyone but themselves and perhaps family and getting and having money. Their charity is entirely at whim and preferably gifted overseas, it’s more exotic that way. The people over in the other suburbs with children with glue ear and snotty noses, and who are trying to find out how to keep their teenagers from harm, they are just losers. And why should people who have accumulated money through their hard work, pay taxes beyond a low percentage, even marginal taxes – when it will be just squandered on such people, instead of being spent on fine wine, fine cars, fine houses, designer clothes, expensive holidays or spare houses, and regular hospital and psychiatric clinic sessions for their or their children’s OCDs.

          All my life I, and the society I’ve been brought up in have had the wrong idea about what a good country to live in was. And if that is not a proper English sentence too bad.

          • Anne

            Hi grewwarbler

            Replying to your on 28th April:

            My computer cum monitor cum god only knows what else… crashed on me 5 days ago. Have been suffering withdrawal symptoms ever since. My current problem is that I now can’t get a full screen Standard site and the font is way too small. So, if there is anyone who can help me in this regard? It’s something to do with the new set-up (I had Windows Seven installed).

            Anyway to answer your thoughts grewwarbler… its a great example of human nature taking over from the well intentioned efforts of former administrations. Those who were lucky enough to be the recipients of the prosperity created, only want more and more and they don’t care that it is at the expense of those who were not so lucky. It had nothing to do with “the losers” not working harder – something they like to believe – and everything to do with just not being in the right place at the right time.

  2. he was like a gust of fresh air blowing thru a dank/fetid room..

    ..and every labour/progressive mp/aspirant should take it as a master-class –

    • in how to call ‘bullshit!’ on everyone in the room..
  3. Marksman33 3

    Sorry Micky,just to let you know Robert is secretary of FIRST Union of which I am a delegate.He always speaks a lot of sense.

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    Yes, I was very impressed with his knowledgeable views.
    He came across well. I liked the way he expressed his commitment to Labour with so much passion. I think it will help if Mr Cunliffe and other Labour people show similar heartfelt passion to the Labour values and policies in their media appearances.

  5. Second Thoughts 5

    I watch too – thought he was good even though told a porky that the union doesn’t tell their who to vote for. They are clearly anti national

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      No. They are clearly 70% pro-Labour, the figure cited by Reid. He didn’t mention “we polled our members to find out how anti-National they are”. That’s your spin, or porky if you prefer.

      • Second Thoughts 5.1.1

        No the First Union monthly newsletter has Syd telling us to change the government – I think that is telling the members how to vote

        • freedom

          Second Thoughts, someone is always telling someone to change the government
          but for clarity, here is the full text from the First Union President, Syd Keepa.

          John Key has announced the Election date, which will
          be Saturday 20 September; in six months’ time.
          FIRST Union will be working hard to get its
          members who are not enrolled to enrol, and will
          encourage them to vote.

          FIRST believes that the political parties that support
          workers and people on the margins of society would be
          the most practical political parties to vote for. However,
          the CTU and FIRST Union campaign is not going to be
          based around encouraging citizens who to vote for, but
          around changing the government.

          879,000 eligible voters did not vote at the 2011
          elections. Maori non-voters had the highest percentage
          of non-voters at 25.9%, followed by Pacific Island non-
          voters at 25.4%. Therefore to have a chance at a change
          of government the job of FIRST Union is to get people
          enrolled and out to vote. If 150,000 of those non-voters
          had voted for a change of government in 2011, the
          current National government would not be in power.
          FIRST Union will be appealing to its membership to
          enrol and vote, and will encourage its members to get
          their whanau to do the same. With our members’ help,
          we will hopefully be able to lock this government up
          and throw away the KEY.

          Nga mihi koutou katoa
          Syd Keepa

    • Delia 5.2

      It is not a porky. the PSA refuses to tell its members who to vote for, hence it did not join with the Food and Services union on this fact alone. Not all unions tell its members how to vote (thank goodness)

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1

        Gosh, yes, because then you’d have to obey, wouldn’t you? Poor you. Sob sob.

  6. Kat 6

    Saw this live this morning and was impressed with what Reid had to say and how he delivered it. You could tell by the hollow laughter of Wood, Miller and Coddington at the end that Reid owned that episode.

  7. i liked how ray millers’ carpet-slippers nearly fell off..

    ..(if he had a pipe he would have dropped it..)

    ..and coddington had a ‘well..i never!’ look on her face..

    ..after reid called them both out as the rightwing-framing bullshit-artists they are..

  8. Bearded Git 8

    Yes Reid was great. Why do we not get more of this on the MSM?

    All Labour candidates should take a look at the video and learn how to handle the media.

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    Yeah, compare and contrast with Pagani’s performance on The Nation. Reid set a benchmark. No wingnut narrative for him.


  10. Nick 10

    Well said, whenever you hear centre and middle think of the waistline. So long as times are good and living easy the waist can easily become fat, when times get tough “accidental thinness” becomes he norm. The Scots “political scientist” is being made fat on the taxes paid by myself and the workers, he has no right to dine at our table at our cost. A little thinness might adjust his thinking, the “centre” might just diminish to insignificance.

    Mr Reid was fantastic at dispelling the myths of “conventional wisdom”, and having the evidence at hand. Very good.

  11. left for dead 11

    yes I thought he was clear in is views,Who was that chap with the slippers,do we pay him for that nonsence.Mind you both stations [not wonting to use trade names]had rubbish(so called) hosts.

  12. Blue 12

    Priceless. It was business as usual, three nodding heads fresh from reading their National Party press releases all agreeing with each other about how Labour is screwed, divided, in crisis and just generally a basket case – because one MP is leaving.

    Then, some guy at the end opens his mouth and oh look, it’s a real person speaking, not someone who interviews their keyboard for a living. Saying that Shane Jones isn’t and never was the Saviour of the Working Class, and that shockingly, working people vote Labour for reasons other than the guy who expensed porn a few years ago, which is the only time most people have ever heard of him.

    Reality invades Tellyland. Oops. Where’s Josie Pagani when you need her?

    • Ant 12.1

      The most hilarious thing was as soon as one myth was busted by Reid, they tried to move to another myth of middle New Zealand being all managers and the self employed 😀

  13. Once was Pete 13

    Actually, they all made reasonable points. The debate here encapsulates the problem for labour at the moment. Sorry to say it but too many seem to be drinking the ‘cool aid’. Yes, Reid made some good points, but Miller and Coddington are dead right about elections being won in the middle. For Labour the middle ground is at the edge because they have by and large left this territory for National and migrated left.

    • weka 13.1

      “ELections are won in the middle”

      [citation needed]

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Once was Pete means “won in the middle of Remuera, Davenport and Karori.”

        • Anne

          Its Devonport CV – tut tut.

          Best not to equate Devonport with Remuera. Yes, it has its fair share of yuppies (and sadly they’re growing in number) but it has many artists, literati and generally some very colourful individuals. Devonport people are well known for their bloody-mindedness and independent attitude. That’s why I like living here. 🙂

          They certainly wouldn’t take kindly to being compared to Remuera.

      • mickysavage 13.1.2

        Yep the statement is simplistic. It presupposes that people are one dimensional and their political choice can be predicted on where they are along an artificial pendulum. And it makes no allowance for perception issues for instance. My personal view is that a passionate and articulate leader can achieve a lot even though he may not match where most people are on the pendulum.

        And what does the mythical middle voter believe in? I suspect that they will believe, for instance, that it is appalling that 280,000 children live in poverty.

        And the competition for votes are often matters of competing emotions, hope on the left and fear on the right. Whichever emption wins out can predict how someone is going to vote.

        Agreed this is way too simplistic an approach. Unfortunately par for the course for the MSM.

        • weka

          I increasingly of the opinion that there is no such thing as middle NZ. NZ culture doesn’t exist on a line (thankfully). The whole middle NZ thing looks like a political construct that gets used by all sides to promote certain ideas. I agree that we need more nuanced, intelligent and depth analysis.

          As for the MSM, fuck ’em. We should all take to the streets in the next five months and mobilise the vote in ways that they can’t see and show them that they don’t own this country.

          • Skinny

            That’s it Weka good stuff, pretty much made my mind up to take time off work (AL) for the last 10 days. Hit the road in my sisters campervan, map out some area’s to hit.

        • Once was Pete

          It simply assumes that voters will fall into some sort of distribution curve and that the bulk of voters will be in the middle. That middle ground shifts depending on the relative popularity of the parties. That is why the battle for the middle is so important.
          National have come quite a way into this middle ground. NZ First obviously has some of it. There simply are not enough voters at the ends of the spectrum for any one group to carry the day. And that is where Labour is stuck right now – too far left.
          I agree that a passionate and articulate leader can make a difference, but Labour has a leader who is hard to believe in. Virtually every announcement has been flawed, and the public perception right now is of a party in turmoil. That is a hard base to win from.

          • weka

            distribution curve of what?

            • Once was Pete


              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Weka, you’re going to have to simplify the question so that OWP can understand it.

                • Once was Pete

                  I understood it. Clearly you didn’t!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The question regarding the nature of “some sort”. Your argument is that political opinion is gathered around a central point, whereas credible models describe such traits as libertarian or authoritarian as applying across the left/right divide.

                    There is no clear definition of the centre. Is it Winston’s pandering to bigotry or Dunne’s pandering to anyone who will fund his election campaign? As has been noted, the majority of votes do not collect around either of them.

                    If there is a left and right of the Labour Party it might be that those opinions are distributed like a bell curve, and similarly for The Oravida party.

                    But it all depends what you mean by “some sort”. Hence the question that went right over your head.

        • karol

          Changing the search terms and filters, shifts the focus. Much empirical research, does not use the term “empirical evidence” in the abstracts.

          Filtering to only include publications from 2010 shows a shift in focus towards issues of redistribution, globalisation and inequality.

          And removing the “empirical evidence for” key words, while maintaining the 2010+ filter, show the same focus.

          Basically, there are a lot of caveats in the research – is the median voter model a self-fulfilling hypothesis? What happens to parties that target niche voters? Greens for instance?

          • Matthew Hooton

            It is only an economic model, of course, but it has a fairly good record of predicting voting behaviour and election outcomes. It does not work so well for parties, as you point out, that target niche voters like the Greens. But the Labour Party is not a niche party – it aspires to 40%+ of the vote. It is very difficult to believe anything other than a median voter strategy will ever deliver this, but we shall see on 20 Sept.

            • karol

              Yes, but the question i have is whether the use of the “median voter model” is self-fulfilling? Parties accept the model and campaign in accordance with it, thus producing the outcome predicted by the model – circular thing. Meanwhile a lot of people not targeted by the campaigns, cease to vote…. and on it goes. Ultimately, it undermines democracy.

              The median voter model is also pretty much the product of the FPP system, and not so relevant to MMP.

        • Once was Pete

          Thanks. Interesting reading.

    • Skinny 13.2

      Come on Pete ‘middle ground’ the whole of the last week I’ve heard from the ‘swing voters’ the bullshit rhetoric was all the same “I uses to vote Labour” the truth is most of them are Tories why because as they have aged (baby-boomers), they have become financially comfortable and don’t like the thought of a CGT upsetting their little rental nest egg.
      * obviously not speaking of all.

      Forget this group and go after the maybe I will, maybe I can’t be bothered vote. The ones that get sucked in by and rightwing media propaganda that says the polls say National have won so why bother. When you snap these people (which I’ve done regularly) with 10,000 was the difference last election they soon realise and curse themselves.

      Key-National and their cheerleaders like Slater, Hooton and the rest know if we mass out the 800,000 it’s quite a sound beating they will suffer.

      • Once was Pete 13.2.1

        It is all very well to call it ‘bullshit rhetoric, but that 800,000 is probably going to follow a similar distribution curve to the election results. that means a significant chunk of them will also fall in the middle ground. Admittedly it may skew to the left a little more, but how can you be sure that the great bulk of the missing 800,000 are in the main labour voters?

        • felix

          “that 800,000 is probably going to follow a similar distribution curve to the election results”

          Based on what?

          Are you saying there are about 400,000 National voters out there who don’t know if they want to vote National or not?

          • Matthew Hooton

            I’ve done an analysis of turnout in 2008 and 2011 by electorate and the turnout drop was spread across electorates. One explanation could be that it was mainly left people in higher-income and lower-income communities that stopped voting stopped voting. Another is that turnout dropped more uniformly than the “missing million” lefties theory holds, because voters, left and right, perceived (wrongly) that 2011 was a dead-cert for National.
            Labour is currently betting a lot that the first explanation is the correct one.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Or perhaps your stupid assumption that Labour will target all non-voters equally isn’t so much a stupid assumption as a deliberately deceitful false frame.

              After all, you derive your income from lying, eh.

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                But if Hooton’s latter theory is true, then it’s irrelevant what voters Labour targets. As the election draws closer, those right-leaning votes will vote because they fear a Labour win.

                It’s a pretty big ‘if’, but I don’t see the assumption that Hooton is saying Labour’s going to push for Nat-leaning voters to vote.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  What “theory”? “I’ve done an analysis” is Hooton-speak for suiting his reasoning to his conclusion.

                  Labour are “betting” that they can persuade left leaning voters to turn out in greater numbers. Hooton would love that to fail so he tailors an argument to measure.

                • Skinny

                  Hooton also knows that soft voters (swing) that may have voted for Key- National at the previous election became disappointed and choose to opt out of voting for him last time, in effect they sat on their hands in a passive protest not welling to vote elsewhere. However in the 3 years since, policies like assets sales, GCSB, mining and any other that is an annoyance to them, and is enough for them to commit a removal vote of the Government. Any opposition party that has a policy or 2 that tickles their fancy reaps a soft vote.

                  I predict there are 80,000 to 120,000 in this group.

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    I predict that we are all pulling numbers out of thin air and we actually don’t know at all.

                    Though, if we’re going to make numbers appear, I would say that there’s more left-leaning non-voters than right-leaning.

                    • weka

                      You are missing the point I think. We do know that 800,000 people enrolled didn’t vote last time. Labour are going to target the people in that 800,000 who are more likely to vote Labour, and because Labour are better at getting people out to vote than National, even if the 800,000 is evenly split between left and right, this strategy still favours the left.

                      (but I agree that it’s more likely that more people on the left didn’t vote, than the right).

                    • Skinny

                      Yes and Hooton and his elk know like us, that we all have access to the electoral roll, from which we can gather the information of the non voters. Labour can, and is able to target these people and hopefully gather enough votes. Even at a rough guess the left has the potential of picking up 2 out of 3 votes from this group at the next election. This is why Hooton & Co snare at our advantage.

            • Skinny

              Not all of us Hooton subscribe to your first theory. I have spoken to enough people that didn’t vote in the last election due to your second theory Matt. When they were told as little as 10,000 votes was the difference, quite rightly their response was annoyance and embarrassment that they contributed to the win of the current Government. Framing the 10,000 was the difference argument is a far better strategy than the 800,000 one. I will recommend that Labour & the Greens hone in on this fact and budget a fairly high level of their advertising funding to message this in all their campaign material.

              I wait with great anticipation to hear the snake oil you are going to spin on National Radio after 11.00am. Hope Mike Williams does a Bob Reid on you, and launches a well deserved crack at traitor Shane ‘Mockingbird’ Jones.

              • Anne

                I wait with great anticipation to hear the snake oil you are going to spin on National Radio after 11.00am. Hope Mike Williams does a Bob Reid on you, and launches a well deserved crack at traitor Shane ‘Mockingbird’ Jones.

                No, Williams won’t do that. He prefers to stay friends with his former Labour colleagues. I’m not necessarily knocking him for that because it’s the way he is.

                However I will tell you what I bet Hooton will do. He’ll launch an attack on The Standard blog-site… calling commenters here “hard left” and “Shane Jones haters and wreckers” knowing Mike Williams will agree because Mike’s had bad press here in the past and doesn’t like the TS blog site.

                • Anne

                  Ooops, that was a non starter. Hooton wasn’t there. His place was taken by Trish somebody or another. She played the “Labour is in disarray line” and that “Cunliffe is a weak leader.” Williams mildly protested but not enough to make any real impact.

                  • Skinny

                    Anne I think Ryan put Hooton in timeout after hearing he put his boot thru the tv screen after watching Bob Reid make mince meat of the Q&A host and panel. Given Matthews churlish episode on her show last year it’s little wonder she may have chose to play it safe.

            • Olwyn

              Matthew, did you take note of a point made by Puddleglum a few days ago?

              I think you’ll find that in 1999 a Labour-led coalition government with the Alliance party was elected after a ‘truce’ was called between Labour and the left-wing Alliance.

              Conversely, in 2002, Labour’s polling started to head south because (a) the Alliance imploded, and (b) the Green Party ran with Hager’s ‘Seeds of Deception’ findings against Labour.

              In other words, Labour’s polling slid when it’s left-wing partners either had trouble or looked like they were attacking Labour.

              Labour and the working class

              This all suggests that Labour does better, not when it panders to the so-called centre, but when its constituents trust that it will not betray them.

            • felix

              “I’ve done an analysis of turnout in 2008 and 2011 by electorate and the turnout drop was spread across electorates.”

              Suggesting nothing in particular.

              Waffle all you want Matthew, no-one’s listening to you anymore. The fact is that anyone who wants to vote National goes out and votes National.

          • Once was Pete

            No, of course not. They, will fall in to all political groups. There is an assumption that the missing voters are, in the main, Laour/left. I am questioning the validity of that assumption and saying that whilst there may be a skew to the left, it would also be equally reasonable to assume that that there would be a good chunk (who can define how much) that fall into the middle.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What assumption?

              The point your poor brain is swinging around wildly in the dark hoping to connect with is that Labour will target those non-voters that will vote Labour if they can be persuaded to vote.

              Low IQ predicts for right-wing political beliefs. Just saying.

              • Once was Pete

                Yes, but the question is: are there enough of them? That is why I believe the centre voter can’t be ignored.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The centre voter whose political opinions you have failed to articulate?

                  Hey everyone, let’s take advice on how to attract United Future supporters from a right wing tr0ll!

                  • Once was Pete

                    You really are a dipstick (see now I have descended to your level of thought)! I am neither a UF supporter or right wing! Your issue is that because people disagree with you you have to bag them.
                    Just for your education, political opinion, like any attitude can be measured in intensity. Researchers do this every day of the week (measure attitudes, that is). Whether you support any one party is a complex process and probably derives from opinions on many topics that combine to give you an overall impression about who appeals to you. Socialisation will play a big part in this. You can also measure the strength of this overall political allegiance. If you were to do it on a 0-10 scale (say Labour – National, or left – right) you could also measure the strength of this allegiance. You would find the centre voters in the 4-6 range.
                    Many voters compromise some of their choices to support a party that gives them the best fit. Some of those compromises might be quite big eg Mana going with Dotcom – should I support this or not? When those compromises become too many voters may ‘swing’. Some voters would go for Labour, but not, say, with the Greens. How many voters did Labour lose with the incredibly stupid ‘shower head fiasco’? Others might go for National, but not with say the Conservatives (just as examples). Some voters just stay away, either because their heart isn’t in it anymore, or because they think the outcome is a foregone conclusion (left and right).
                    Your problem and others like you is that you are so blinded by your own perspective that you just dismiss anything you don’t agree with as ‘trolling’ or being a RWNJ. At the moment Labour is not connected with its entire possible constituency, and for me and others like me the fact that they do not seem to understand this is very disappointing.

        • Skinny

          A little more? I’ve put over 100 on the roll who didn’t vote in last election in the last few months, most of them know who they feel they will vote for and talk about it, some ask an opinion, You ask about their circumstances then assist in what party’s can do what for them. Labour/Greens and a cautionary chat about NZF. Mana I don’t promote as the numbers for the party vote are wasted. The odd ones that like John Key get the truth which usually gets the fuck him then treatment.

          You know the Tories vote it’s the poor that don’t, the stats back that up. Asians are an issue too, but plenty if they did would vote NACT, so best leave that group alone or play spoiler and back up with Nationals GCSB spy laws are aimed at them, ha ha one for Hooton & Shillands.

    • Te Reo Putake 13.3

      If elections were won in the middle, Peter Dunne would be leader of the largest party in the land.

      And Pete George would be Minister of Truth.

    • Paul 13.4

      OWP scrabbling to repeat the mantra his masters told him.

  14. coolas 14

    Reid is spot on about MSM mis-representation. They turned the Shane Jones ‘story’ into woe and misery for Labour, but the real story is McCulley’s abuse of power in making up a job without due process, as if Foreign Affairs is his private fiefdom.

    • Naturesong 14.1

      This. +1000

      How is it that the story this week has not been about McCully misusing his ministerial position to bribe another politician?

      When the story broke, my first thought was;
      “Thats it.
      Those corrupt bastards finally unveiled in a way that the general public cannot miss.”.

      Instead we get a week of “Shane Jones was my bestie” from all and sundry; print, radio, tv ….

      Seriously, WTF???!!!

      • freedom 14.1.1

        For some reason the MSM seem to have a bit of possum’s two moon fever going on, maybe because it is a new position and the shock of National actually creating a job has them all flummoxed.

      • phillip ure 14.1.2

        how could there possibly be life after shane..?..they sobbed in unison..

        ..(did you see gower wiping away a tear..?..who now to go to for for batshit-opinions..?..)

        ..and how his leaving leaves the labour party looking like detroit on a bad day..

        ..whereas really..it’s new orleans..and it’s mardi gra…

        ..and hey..!..what’s that sound..?

        ..it’s the ever-fading cacophony from the jones circus..

        .as it wends its’ way..outta town…


        ..enjoy the zen-lke qualities of yr silent phone..there..mr jones..

      • Paul 14.1.3

        Just a more blatant example of how biased the media are and who they serve.

  15. just saying 15

    At last!!!

    Such a relief to hear my people represented. I get so angry when I hear talk of NZ doing well, of Key’s “centrist” government not undertaking austerity measures etc. etc. etc.

    The economy is said to be fabulous (darlings) and the middle-class arseholes as represented by the media nod their heads (including a few that claim to be from the left). The fact is that the bottom 20 percent (at least) have been ravaged by austerity. The economy is not doing well, it is a bloody disaster. The only way anyone can claim that National is “centrist” and has avoided austerity is to deny the very lives of a huge chunk of the population. We don’t even exist. We are non-people. Our lives are being ravaged but apparently if you aren’t middle-class or upwards what happens to you does not ever have to be taken into account.

    It’s like the sound of a tree falling in a remote forest containing no being that can hear – if it happens to a person designated as non-person can it really be said to be happening at all? Apparently not according to our well-heeled, toady media representatives, including the majority of the comfy and smug so-called left-wing commentators. Apparently the poor need to become better people. Not more resources, hell no Josie, resources are for the deserving. People like you.

    end rant.

    Heart-felt thanks Robert Reid.

    • ianmac 15.1

      And how do those people manage whose wages are so low that it takes both parents to work long hours to make ends meet, and only just. Are they jubilant about books balancing, or news of an improving economy?
      Fair wages! Decent jobs! Affordable housing!
      Go Labour and the Greens and Robert Reid!

    • Skinny 15.2

      Bob Reid decked them!
      Susan Wood froze with your jaw wide open. These idiots fronting these tv shows live in a different reality, I heard Hosking say the same bullshit ‘the economy is booming’ all this crap stemming from the propaganda ‘rockstar economy’. The plug for Labour’s manufacturing policy was outstanding the way Reid quantifies a tick of approval from the business world. We need more of the level playing field coverage. So let his performance be the bar for any leftie fronting on such shows. Get stuck into them and push the message.

      • Paul 15.2.1

        Shows the rest of the Labour Party what can happen if you challenge the narrative.

        • Anne

          +100 Paul.

          I hope the ‘leftie’ corporate lackeys who usually front Q+A have taken note!!

    • Olwyn 15.3

      +1000 JS. It was such a relief to hear that guy speaking, and refusing to play the pre-set game put in front of him. That is what the left is supposed to do – convince the so-called centre, not pander to their fears and prejudices.

    • Matthew Hooton 15.4

      What are the austerity measures Key’s government has taken?
      I thought his finance minister has stimulated the economy considerably over the last five years with borrowing.
      Which is it?

      • phillip ure 15.4.1

        “..What are the austerity measures Key’s government has taken?..”

        ..leaving the poor to rot..?

        ..maintaining/driving the low-wage/high cost of living economy..?

  16. ianmac 16

    What a dreary bunch of blah, blah, blah commentators they have lead by the wooden Woods.

    And Mr Reid reflects the energy arising among the ranks. 10/10. Good for Labour and Greens.
    Why else would National be getting scared?

  17. BM 17

    Reid finished off by refuting Susan Woods’ claim that the economy was going reasonably well. He said that for working people it was a disaster.

    That’s hardly surprising due to the fact that the majority of “working class” jobs are laboring and low skill ones.

    With the push towards mechanization, automation as well as the encouragement to up skill of course it’s been hard going for the “working class”.

    Probably also goes along way in explaining why unionism is a dying all their members are disappearing.

    • mickysavage 17.1

      So BM how do we share around the benefits of automation? Or do we tolerate wealth continuing to be concentrated in the control of the few.

      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        And as life-career automation engineer I too am curious to know if BM has an answer.

        The last thirty years we’ve made huge strides into automating most repetitive, manual or precision mechanical tasks. As a result the remaining workers have become more focused on quality and delivery – doubling, tripling or quadrupling labour productivity in most industries.

        The next thirty years will see the extension of this process into many professional and technical skills. Jobs that people like BM think are safe will change too.

        The bitter disappointment for me personally is the realisation that almost all of the new productivity gains and advances all this technology has given us – has been captured by a tiny minority of uber-wealthy capitalists.

        • BM

          You’d like that comic series Judge Dredd, set around 2100.
          Unemployment runs at around 97% and all jobs are done by robots and because of that every one is paid a leisure allowance.

          Life is also very brutal.

      • BM 17.1.2

        About the only thing you can do is develop new employment sectors.

        Low skilled jobs are going to become a thing of the past, people have to realize that and factor that in when deciding which way they want to go in life.

        It’s going to be an interesting next 50 years to see which way the world goes and how society copes with this issue.

        • mickysavage

          But how do you ensure that the newly generated wealth is shared around BM?

          Or do we have a larger and larger service sector providing the very wealthy with even more and more pampering?

          • BM

            There is certainly quite a bit of growth potential in the service sector.

            The way I look at it the most valuable commodity on earth is your time, for a start it’s finite and you get fuck all of it

            It really does amaze me how little value people put on their own time, they pinch pennies doing all these laborious shitty tasks around the home because they’re too cheap to hire some one.

            Time is short, pay someone to clean those windows or paint that fence or weed that garden, if you can afford to pay some one to do a job and instead you do it yourself, in my eyes your stupid, selfish and keeping New Zealanders out of work.
            Go fishing,spend time having fun, let some one else do those tasks.

            The young ones are really getting the hang of it but the older ones in our population are struggling with the concept.

            Time for a change in attitude oldies, you’re the ones with the spare coin, open those wallets and help the economy.

            • felix

              But how do you ensure that the newly generated wealth is shared around BM?

      • Skinny 17.1.3

        Well I will jump in here Micky.

        Bin the 67 retirement age policy that somehow got rammed through.
        Flatly reject signing up to the multi nationals corporates TTPA. Which is bloody bad news.
        Start pushing a universal income by dealing to the wealthy bottom feeders using a restructured progressive tax system, and other claw backs like Public & State sector CEO’s obscene income packages.

    • Tiger Mountain 17.2

      Firstly BM there are over 350,000 people who voluntarily and enthusiastically belong to Unions despite the “90 day fire at will”, tory anti worker legislation, running down of state sector and offshore procurement policies (eg. rail stock from China).

      Secondly the working class is still significantly large if you apply certain measures such as actual business ownership (rather than every lawn mowing contractor thinking they are a boss), dependent contracting, precarious employment and internships.

      • second thoughts 17.2.1

        what crap – only 6% in the private sector belong to unions..the other 11% are in government departments Nurses, teachers and PSA.

        Thats means 83% have voted and said no to unions

        • Skinny

          Industry standards will fuck the likes of you off wingnut. Unions set the rates through collective agreements which non member pigback off. I use to call it free loading, however got to cut some slack to the generational gap.

          While I am addressing you wingnut there is a stark statistic that is with the drop in union membership there is a huge rise in the poverty gap, you know ‘INEQUALITY’.

          ‘United we stand divided we beg’, never rang truer.

          • Second Thoughts

            Who said I was wingnut?

            The facts are that 350,000 are union members but when you break it down only 17% of the workforce belong to the unions and 11% of the unions members are government employees. Tell me that is not a government that discriminates t its own staff. I would call that very supportive.

            If the 83% have said no they have said “no”. Remember Helen Clarke had EVERY OPPORTUNITY to make unions membership compulsory and DID NOT: Why is that even the current government fault when I was served up to her on a plate to make the change FAIL.
            As for inequality – once again all indicators suggest a overall happy place for NZ’ers to live in and immigration is heading north not south.

            I will tell you one thing though – unions are bang on re Health and safety debate..I hope they keep it up. The rest – well I think people are missing some very good micro economics that are going on. If the crime rates keep dropping that will mean less families in poverty because dad will be at home. I reckon that is 10% of the problem solved. Historical data shows a society will always need to look after 10% of their population which all of us don’t mind. So that leaves 80% of this so call poverty group. I think sensible people would agree 15% of that group (I mean the parents) could just do better themselves. Down to 65% left.

            Would an average pay rise of 25% solve the issue – probably not. I am guessing and it is a guess 70% of the 65% live in Auckland.

            Solve the Auckland problem by getting an effective Mayor who can focus on the issues will be a great start. Housing – even the left has to agree, the problem is supply – increase the supply. Interest rates – yes anything over 7% is unacceptable. Single parent families – focus on this and make DPB harder to get not eaiser – there are genuine cases I agree support them fully – but work on domestic violence and teenage pregnancy – this is a huge huge steo forward and make fathers PAY! Have the left got the appetite to say – NO more – anyone that doesn’t take responsibility for their actions – then the government s going to make you pay. Why burden me – family man, 2 kids and a mortgage and make me feel guilty,

            If we could drop the DPB by half going forward taxes could drop – there is a big start. Then I would make the companies pay their full whack of tax.

            Just pisses me off that you all blame National when Labour had EVERY OPPORTUNITY to put these things in place! Too worried about “civil union” bill

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Labour failed to implement a bunch of knee-jerk right-wing reactionary blunders that would have made matters worse. We know your incompetent notions would make things worse from the evidence gathered from every other place in the world that has entertained this sort of drivel as a substitute for intelligent policy making.

              We need better wingnuts.

              • Once was Tim

                there was a big clue when he said “going forward”.
                …… lingo. ideology and spin learned rote.
                “learnings” for us all

  18. quartz 18

    Fuck he showed them up as the smug know-nothing elites they are.

  19. newsense 19

    Respect. More please. This is a representative of the left. Someone who doesn’t say- oh you are so right Labour is terrible and the left is woeful etc etc.

    • Paul 19.1

      Yup like his repeated comments about the myth the media are spinning.
      Made Millar and Wood look like idiots as it’s people like them that spreading the myth.
      As for that ACT Coddington ( funny how that detail never gets mentioned?), she was clearly rattled as she tried to say Labour was divided, mentioning Damian O’Connor and his gaggle of gays comment. She’ll read to read her spew oil lines a bit better.
      Forthright, clear and not deflected by the narrative the other panellists were trying to describe.

      Let’s do the same on this site and not play the games srylands and his lot want us to.

  20. karol 20

    I watched the video. Geez! I was about ready to scream at the screen while Woods, Coddington and that other guy were talking. So smug and locked up in their own world. iI refrained from screaming ebcause the neighbours would probably think I was having a breakdown, or being attacked.

    Labour fragile? let’s not forget that Clark had to work hard after she became Labour Party leader, to get positive representation in the media.

    In contrast, the media kept saying how great Key was from even before he became leader… and they kept it up for years – still only have a few critical comments about him.

    Labour is not fragile, they just have to work with a largely hostile MSM.

    So great to see Reid telling them how it is.

  21. Anne 21

    Yep. I was ready to burst into tears of sheer frustration and along came Robert Reid to save the day.

    He must be used by Labour and the Greens to front them in a commentating role as often as is possible! But I bet he will never be asked back on Q+A again. These TV media types hate been shown up. Many years ago I worked with their predecessors and nothing has changed.

    • Rodel 21.1

      My sentiments exactly. What a breath of fresh air Reid is. How can we encourage / demand that his voice is heard again on TV?
      I think a series of confrontational and passionate interviews with Reid should be part of Labour’s election campaign. ( Maybe Hooton or Brash interviewing Reid- Brash would probably agree frankly if the price was right)

      • karol 21.1.1

        And, while people are about it, how can we get Susan Wood off our screens? I find her pretty much unwatchable – really puts me off watching Qu & A.

    • Anne 21.2

      ooops – should be… being shown up.

  22. Lionel 22

    You are right about Wood she lives on Paraitai Drive sums her up she just another Tory bitch like Hosking,Henry,Larry Williams etc all got their heads up their arses no credibility at all

  23. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 23

    Gee, I just saw the late version of that programme. What a great person that Mr Reid is to actually getting that message out there – I agreed with all he expressed.

    If that Q&A keep him on, I will consider it worth watching.
    (I hope those of you who suffer the programme will give those of us who don’t some hints when someone good like that Mr Reid is on.)

    The twitter comments were rather funny. Most pretty undeniably scathing about Jones and/or National. Funny, because as the media would have it, such views don’t exist…then they start rolling across the screen!

    Thanks Karol and co for the heads up…and Mr Reid for speaking out for those who are suffering.

    • blue leopard 23.1

      Apologies to Mickey Savage – I erroneously thought Karol had written this post when I wrote the above – thanks for the heads up.

  24. vto 24

    Yes Mr Micky, Mr Reid did very well. Labour should keep going and doing what it is currently doing, while at the same time ramping some attack on the Korrupt Key Klan.

    Cunliffe would also have done well to have got stuck into Shane Jones for his treachery and selfishness. Labour is significantly hugelier bigger than Jones and would come out on top. Link Jones to the Korrupt Key Klan, attack him, call him out for the tosser he is (perhaps compare him to that other tosser Tau Henare), and then just completely ignore him when he can’t resist the retaliation that would follow …..

    Cunliffe needs to be a bit bolder and stand up to the bullies and clowns.

    • karol 24.1

      When MPs criticise the media, the media turns strongly against them. it’s easier for others to criticise the MSM.

  25. Loved seeing this last night, breath of fresh air. More please.

  26. fisiani 26

    Had to laugh at Reid convinced that the missing voters were those who felt no party was left enough for them to vote for. What absolute tosh and no doubt explains the recent brain explosions led by Matt McCarten’s war room. Most of the missing voters were National supporters who felt it was a done deal.

    • Skinny 26.1

      Now now wingnut tell the truth? All was going well for you sitting in Y-fronts, guts hanging out belching & farting in your lazi-boy chair, the usual bullshit narrative until Bob sprayed all over Wood and your snake oil spinning mates. Bet you fell out your chair flat on your arse reaching for the remote lol.

  27. Whatever next? 27

    What a relief to watch someone refuse to fall into the usual “banter” and simply keeping it real by ignoring the familiar patronising, inane put downs.Good man.

  28. hoom 28

    Late to the point but hell yeah that was great 🙂

    Hilarious seeing the righties jaw agape at the audacity that a ‘left’ commentator didn’t just agree with whatever they say ie someone who is not Trotter, Pagani or Williams…

    Unfortunately almost guaranteed to mean we never see or hear him on mainstream media again 🙁

    Which is a shame because he absolutely represented my leftist view which is nice to see for a change.

  29. Paul Williams 29

    FWIW, I’ve not read the comments on this thread but did want to respond to mickeysavage’s post by simply by saying I agree, Reid was a clear, effective and authentic advocate for a vital constituency.

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