UK Election; the lessons.

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 pm, May 8th, 2015 - 393 comments
Categories: conservative party, elections, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

Hard to know where to start, but here’s some random thoughts.

The pollsters. Never has Jim Bolger’s ‘bugger the polls’ had more relevance. Nobody picked this. Nobody.

The SNP. Well done. An absolutely stunning result. Cameron is going to have to offer some sort of federal system or Scotland is leaving the UK. It’s that simple. Labour may have to retool as a Scottish organisation if they are to have a future.

The Lib Dems.  An entirely deserved drubbing. It also shows the danger of being the junior partner in a coalition; you’re a magnet for negativity and blame.

The Greens. A million votes. One MP. It’s fundamentally wrong.

UKIP. Four million votes. Two MP’s. Still wrong, but feels right somehow. Saloon bar racism should not be rewarded. Nigel Farage is probably wondering what he has to do to get elected or if he should even bother trying.

Labour. Ed Miliband took the party to the left. In contrast to his Blairite bro David, he wanted to get Labour closer to its roots, to find common values with the voters that should be supporting them. It hasn’t worked. But then, trying to steer a middle ground hasn’t worked here for the NZ Labour Party either. I assume he’ll resign, but I hope whoever takes over keeps looking left for the answers.

Crosby/Textor. Well, we’ve seen the blueprint here over three elections and we know how well it works for the right. Dog whistles and outright lies, with a touch of the fear factor thrown in. Here it was fear of mana/internet they peddled, over there it was fear of the SNP. Vote Ed, get Alex etc.

The Tories. Well played, but even they must be shocked at the result. It might even be an outright win, though the final margin may be thin. David Cameron may be the PM for now, but he still has Boris Johnson waiting in the wings for any slip ups. A lot can happen over five years.

Summary. It might be a while before all the dust settles, but three leaders are probably writing their resignation speeches right now. All in all, a quite extraordinary result. And, if this newly minted Parliament doesn’t find a solution to the needs of the nations, particularly Scotland, this election may be the last ever for the United Kingdom as we know it.

Update: Ed Miliband resigns. Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have also quit.

393 comments on “UK Election; the lessons.”

  1. les 1

    you may find CT picked it..keep calm..spread the fear ,MSM kick in…and voila!

    • aerobubble 1.1

      The lib dem vote collapsed and every party gained. Ukip was never a runner.
      So the no of MPs the govt had to rely on shrank but the cons got enough to govern alone.
      Key has been eating coalition partners too.

    • Rob 1.2

      They are expert at prejudice
      We’re they around at Orewa?
      Labour in NZ cannot let their guard down
      Crosby Textor will be like a black hole out in space
      They will suck in all the energy and divert reason
      They make Rupert Murdoch look saintly
      Labour need to stay on target that is opportunity
      for all NZders

  2. Anne 2

    Well TRP, there’s the old cliche – you get what you deserve. Just as is the case in NZ, it seems the British voters have to hit the bottom of the barrel before any semblance of political reality enters their collective heads. They have asked for more punishment and they’re going to get it. Tough on those who don’t deserve it but them’s the breaks – not.

    A good example in NZ are some young relatives of mine. In their early thirties… two children… can’t afford to buy or build a home… paying astronomical rent… both have to work full time in order to keep their heads above water… tough on the children… stress levels fairly high. They voted for National last year so its more of the same for them. No sympathy from me.

    • I think you might have hit the nail on the head. There is a kind of disassociation between people’s lives and their political choices. I suppose we could say its’ education or the media or whatever, but it’s our problem to solve.

      • NickS 2.1.1

        It’s due to how stress impacts people’s abilities to think critically about their situation and long term future. Basically all that stress means you have less time/energy to keep an eye on things you rate less important, like say critically examining National’s policies and how they negatively effect you now and in the long term compared to worrying about the bills or stuff the kids need.

        • phillip ure

          i have a more bleak view of humanity..

          ..far too many of them are as dumb as a sack of fucken hammers…

          • Lanthanide


          • Colonial Viper

            this is what the power elite think of the unwashed 99% masses.

          • aerobubble

            I disagree, stress leads to conservatism, labours failure is picking the conservativism to appeal to stress citizenries. I.e safety net. Key has no problem saying his govt has held up the social security, but not sword about it from labour.

          • Anno1701

            If you ask me its a classic case of Stockholm syndrome !

            • phillip ure

              yep..!..that cd b one way of designating it…

              ..these idiots are in a low-wage/high cost of living environment etc etc…

              ..but keep on voting for them who are screwing them over/just helping the rich..

    ’s fucken bizzare..

      • Sacha 2.1.2

        Any opposition has to convinicngly tell great stories about why they are the better option. Good plans, good words, good people.

      • George Hendry 2.1.3

        “Nobody picked this. Nobody.”

        Keith Rankin apparently did. As evidenced on TDB.

    • weka 2.2

      Do you know why they voted National, Anne?

      • Anne 2.2.1

        They weren’t specific weka. Its been my experience that such people never are… and I suspect the reason is because they don’t really know why they voted National. They are buying into the crap they hear and read about in the MSM. They did make reference once to not liking David Cunliffe because he told lies – the projection thing again.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “They weren’t specific weka. Its been my experience that such people never are”

          “such people” ????

          The National voters I spoke to during the last election (being, by then, an avowed non voter, people opened up to me) voted because they had always voted that way for generations, or their local MP (in a rural blue electorate) had once intervened for them on a minor matter etc etc.

          BUT, it was the former Labour voters who gave the most interesting answers.

          1. the Capital Gains Tax….went down like a cup of cold sick with those workers who, after seeing the previous point- of -retirees getting burned by overhyped investment schemes, put their nest egg into a rental.

          2. there was this weird, but understandable acceptance that the free maket neo liberals had taken over…and who better to protect our NZ henhouse than our own home grown foxes?

          3. “Labour used to be for the workers but…..”

          The overwhelming impression from most people was that New Zealanders aren’t in control of New Zealand anymore.

          It’s no longer our country.

          Like it or not….that matters.

          If I were the Opposition…I would pull out all the stops in the next couple of months to inform and educate about TPPA.

          And rally the troops for some significant protest.

          • Gosman

            And that is why you have been losing over the past few years. The fact you think you can recapture the middle ground via mass protest shows how far out of touch you have become.

            • Brian Smith

              You can bet that if Gosman says mass protest is ‘out of touch’ and ineffective then the opposite is true and the Right, as we know, are terrified of mass protest/action, workers collectives, or large collectives of vocal people that can influence others to join them and evoke change. History tells us how effective mass action is- in fact, it is the only truly effective means for change in the face of a severely slanted playing field in favour of the wealthy ‘elite’ who have utterly captured the mainstream media. Admit Gosman, you’re shit scared of mass action!

          • saveNZ

            +1 Rosemary

            It is the Labour party that people believe has let the country down. Most Nats just vote blue unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. Capital gains and raising the pension as well as PAYE taxes are not exactly vote winners for NZ Labour last election. However it was also their despicable behaviour to others internally and externally, and the constant beat up by MSM that nailed them too.

            Refusing to tackel immigration controls on property (yes we want migrants but not migrants that are only investing in our property!)

            The message that Green and Labour should be looking at is how Winston Peters managed to win by a landslide the Northland by Election against the odds.

            Kiwis want what he is selling and a collaboration of the opposition parties is what will bring an end to the National government.

            Common sense. Don’t sell off the country but be responsive to trade. Don’t sign stupid TPP deals, don’t weaken RMA. Take the ports of Auckland and move part to Whangerei. etc

            Winston understands post structuralist discourse and can manoeuvre it into mainstream and turn it around. He does not rely on MSM, in fact he is at war with them. He is his own person, which Kiwis like, a maverick.

            Winston does it intuitively and the problem with Labour is that they are not intuitive but look at a lot of measures which can be manipulated and come to the wrong conclusions, fight about it internally and then get nothing done or do a compromise that makes them look stupid.

            Although NZ Labour are getting better they have a long way to go. They need to have an A game to win, not C+.

            • phillip ure

              “..and the problem with Labour is that they are not intuitive but look at a lot of measures which can be manipulated and come to the wrong conclusions, fight about it internally and then get nothing done or do a compromise that makes them look stupid..”

              + 1..

    • ropata 2.3

      Guardian columnist: Voting is irrational. Emotions always win

      When we talk about politics, we tend to pretend that voting is ultimately a rational choice. The works of the great rationalists Thomas Hobbes and Immanuel Kant are set texts in political science departments. On the doorstep, most campaigners still win over voters by logical argument, or at least try to, weighing up candidates’ pros and cons on different policies. James Carville’s famous phrase from Bill Clinton’s early 90s campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid!”, reflects a conventional wisdom that voting is primarily about spending money wisely.

      In recent years, however, a growing body of evidence has shown that our political behaviour is governed more by emotions and less by rationality. The decision to go out and vote, for a start, is in itself an irrational decision. Political scientists refer to it as the “voting paradox”. Voting involves considerable effort, which needs to be offset by a considerable benefit if the decision is to be rational. But each of us separately has virtually zero influence on the election outcome. Through the entire history of democracy there has been no national election anywhere in the world that was determined by a single vote.

      Why do we vote nonetheless? The reason is that voting is an emotional and, to some extent, recreational activity. If voting was about influencing the election’s outcome, you would have agreed with your next-door neighbour, who supports the rival party, that you both stay at home. But no. You want to be there to cast your vote, because voting is more about expression than about consequences.

      For most of us it’s a tribal affiliation and an expression of how we see ourselves as a nation. It’s more about marketing than common sense.

      • Gosman 2.3.1

        To paraphrase – ” People who don’t vote the way I want are doing so for irrational and emotive reasons rather than because they don’t like the policies I like”.

        It is no wonder the left can’t attract more votes with an attitude about the electorate like that.

        • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Gosman, but that’s not what the word “paraphrase” means.

        • ropata

          Goosie I hate to break this to you, but National hasn’t campaigned on policy for the last decade or so it has all been about the carefully airbrushed profile of John Key, the “non politician” PM

          • Colonial Rawshark

            you have to admit that it has been a very effective strategy.

            The left with all its multitudinous policy documents has been screwed every time.

            • Sacha

              Policy is not a substitute for a team and alliances which voters trust can deliver on that policy. NZ Labour has not had that for 3 elections now. Please let’s not see the lesson unlearned for a 4th time.

      • saveNZ 2.3.2

        +1 Voting is about emotion.

        Labour and Greens need to get some more passion into their parties.

        Labour actually stand up and do something popular for a change that does not include putting up taxes. For example what Kiwi likes the idea of being spied on by it’s government? TPPA, something like 80% against it, immigration controls on property investment? The public crying out for a mainstream choice on these issues and Labour is silent or trying some sort of ‘third way, i.e. 24 hrs of surveillance instead of 48 hrs).

        Greens need to start getting a bit more focus on the above issues and dirty politics. Don’t F-ing join the oppressors for a few morsels, get out there and fight for your share of the votes and don’t do it in parliament only. We have MMP so anything is possible. Green voters don’t watch Parliament TV and the message is pretty pathetic out of MSM about the greens. Get out in the community! Online! Start being pro active with other parties like Labour and NZ First and anyone else. If anyone waited for Labour to organise anything collaborative you could be waiting until 2020!

        The ‘surprise’ result in the UK is a wake up call. It happened to Labour last election and I’m not sure if they have any clue that it can happen again to them in 2017 unless they pull finger now. National Lite with xtra taxes – not popular!

        I’m concerned that in some sort of Crosby Textor discourse, the MSM discourse is for Labour and Green’s to be more like National, umm, don’t think so, think Northland by Election. Being a real party is what voters want and not being afraid to stand up to National and have clear different policies is what people are looking for.

    • SHG 2.4

      you get what you deserve. Just as is the case in NZ, it seems the British voters have to hit the bottom of the barrel before any semblance of political reality enters their collective heads. They have asked for more punishment and they’re going to get it. Tough on those who don’t deserve it but them’s the breaks – not.

      Shades of “As for Christchurch, here’s hoping another earthquake flattens the place. They need to be taught a lesson.”

      This charming level of discourse brought to you by The Standard

    • cricklewood 2.5

      I guess another way to look at it from a not overly engaged voters point of veiw… is better the devil you know.
      This effect becomes doubly prominent when in NZ’s case the main ‘left’ party appeared to spend the year or so leading up to the election infighting and hardly looking like a credible government in waiting in the way they dealt with other left parties like the greens. So a left coalition simply didnt look credible so the vote goes for status quo.

      I guess in the UK you could equate this to Milliband saying he wouldn’t accept support from SNP.

      To win an election you need to offer a credible alternative voters feel comfortable with or they will vote for the devil they know.

    • Saarbo 2.6

      Absolutely 100% Anne. I also can name literally dozens of voters who would end up with better work conditions and better incomes if they voted for Labour/Left (teachers, health workers, farm workers etc) but continue to vote for the Nats.

      Many of the right wing idiots who are gloating below I suspect may also be better off if they voted for Labour…but I suspect that these people vote for National/Conservatives for the same reason they desperately want to drive a European car and the same reason they support their favourite sports team: Brand Association. National et al drive a Brand Association that these people really want to be a part off…at the same time, the National et al spin machine drive a negative brand association against the parties of the Left…this marketing is done at a concerted and sophisticated level these days (as Dirty Politics proved) and I suspect that our parties on the Left not only cant afford to implement these bullshit type strategies, they are also principally apposed to marketing in this way.

      Buggered if I know what the answer is but Labour are going to have to learn a lot of lessons from this (UK) election. Personally I want to see our Labour MP’s doing a hell of a lot more work than they currently are, take for example Auckland Housing…Twyford needs to be doing a lot more than he currently is…I remember Labour’s policies before the election but what are labour’s policies now? Useless.

      I for one agreed with Hooten when he said Labour aren’t doing enough, clearly this is the reason why they are not improving their polling results despite National handing them plenty of material on a plate. Since the election I haven’t seen a Labour MP anywhere near my town. The worlds not a fair place, Labour will always have to work a lot harder than National to win an election.

      • BevanJS 2.6.1

        … wouldn’t the policy be the same?

      • Ron 2.6.2

        I wonder if it’s time for Labour to completely re-brand and maybe even think of ditching the name? It would have to be done in a careful marketed way but it could certainly be done and there are many big Corporate firms that have re-branded and survived.
        It seems to me that the name is almost becoming toxic. Labour no longer has a core group of supporters through the unions as national; has pretty successfully destroyed organised labour. The firm I worked for over 20 years has gone from 98% union to less than 1% now. Some of that has been because of restructuring from both Labour and National splitting off bits of it but even the split off pieces did not remain unionised.
        If we keep chasing a non existing workforce that support Left Wing politics we will probably wander the desert for another 40 years

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.6.3

        Personally I want to see our Labour MP’s doing a hell of a lot more work than they currently are, take for example Auckland Housing…Twyford needs to be doing a lot more than he currently is…I remember Labour’s policies before the election but what are labour’s policies now? Useless.

        Labour’s affordable housing policies before the election were fit to the neoliberal strait jacket orthodoxy and therefore useless for purpose. Remember Labour saying that they’d get private corporations to build “affordable” $450K housing via “KiwiBuild”. That’s only 10x the median wage. No one took it seriously at the time, and no one took it seriously on election day.

        • Saarbo

          Yep CV, I agree with you. And that’s why they have to work harder, much harder.

    • geoff 2.7

      Spot on, Anne.

    • sabine 2.8

      no matter how hard they work and how much their visa card is maxed out, they will not vote for Labour because voting for Labour means voting for the poor, the dispossed, the homeless, the hungry, the needy, the bludger, the single parent bludgers, the moocher, the lazy arses, the benefit fraudsters, the mother for a benefit bludger, the sick benefit bludgers……..did i leave out any bludgers?

      voting for National means voting for winners, job creators, tax evaders, state house sellers, auckland housing investors, tax cutters, gst raisers, etc etc etc but above all it means not voting for the party that represents the poor, because WE ARE NOT POOR!!!!

      sadly so. They are voting for the people they want to be, they do not vote for the people that would represent them.

      • Maui 2.8.1

        Right on!

      • Saarbo 2.8.2

        Thats it Sabine! This message is constantly sold by Paula Bennett/NZ Herald/ZB…its very powerful and people have attached themselves strongly to it. So from Hooten’s often quoted Median Voter Theorem…voters have been moved to the Right by Nat’s concerted marketing.

      • Anne 2.8.3

        Got it in one sabine.

    • Dave_1924 2.9

      Maybe Anne your relatives looked at Labour and the Greens wanting to give more to beneficiaries and thought stuff that. And maybe the thought of Mana getting any really power tipped them in to voting to make sure that couldn’t happen…

      Just saying sometimes you need to look at what you offer and ask the question why would anyone not a core Labour support vote for those policies???

      I am a centrist tending right on some issues like personal responsibility and reward for effort, but my vote is up for grabs depending on the economy status and policies on offer.

      In the language of the old school Labourites I’m a class traitor having been brought up in a staunchly Labour household where the local MP Fraser Coleman was well respected and even a hero for me as a kid for the nuclear protests at Mururoa….
      Why a traitor? Because I have voted centre right for the last 25 plus years prior to that I voted for Labour in the 80’s

      My parents brought me up in true socialist fashion to work for what I get in life, to help those in genuine need and to aspire to be the best I could be. They brought me up to think I was as good as any Kings, Scots, Christs educated kid, even though my education was at a bog standard suburban college.

      Everything I have got in my life has been achieved off my own bat. I pay a student loan to get a degree, I worked hard and partied hard, and got ahead in life

      And that brings a different perspective. A perspective that says why should I pay more and more, and that was Labour and the Greens policy in 2014 of higher personal taxes, to provide for those who have more children than they can afford or just never better themselves so never get a high paying job or to provide for an ever expanding public service grown beyond its required function.

      Doubtless the above will be cast as not caring about others or being selfish. But thats not true as I support basic welfare for genuine need, I support free up to secondary level education, I support good quality primary health care, I give to charities. I do care – I care a hell of a lot. I care about everyone getting an opportunity and then the cards fall as they may based on personal effort.

      Your post above conveys a stuff them attitude and I know better attitude that needs to change in Labour circles if they are to be relevant again and gain the treasury benches on merits not when National basically runs out of steam…

      Labour needs to rethink what it stands for – the far left have moved off to the Greens. Its not where Labour should be targeting , it should be an aspirational party for working class kids like me who want something better, are prepared to work for and don’t want to be treated as cash cows to suport no hopers who never even try.

      • phillip ure 2.9.1

        “..Maybe Anne your relatives looked at Labour and the Greens wanting to give more to beneficiaries..”

        u do know that labour ’14 policy on benefit rates was the same as only raise them at the rate of inflation..?

        ..that is a fact..

        ..which orifice did you pluck your one from..?

    • linda 2.10

      except Scotland where Nicola sturgeon is going to make Cameron life hell

  3. mac1 3

    Do we know the vote percentage turn-out?

  4. weka 4

    Labour. Ed Miliband took the party to the left. In contrast to his Blairite bro David, he wanted to get Labour closer to its roots, to find common values with the voters that should be supporting them. It hasn’t worked

    Isn’t it just the Scottish vote that has made Labour look so bad? How have they done in the seats that the SNP didn’t take?

    • the pigman 4.1

      Their popular vote is up and, last I checked, they had taken more Tory seats than the Tories had taken from Labour (by a narrow margin).

      But with the Lib Dem collapse (fuck ’em) and the rise of the UKIP, it is still a terrible result for the Left.

  5. les 5

    one of the lessons is..never get ahead of yourself…over exuberance is dangerous..just ask Alan Greenspan.

  6. The lost sheep 6

    Oh the delicious irony! The article is headed ‘The lessons’, but comment 2 contains the following…
    the British voters have to hit the bottom of the barrel before any semblance of political reality enters their collective heads.

    Let me put it more bluntly Anne.
    What this result is telling you, yet again, as if the last 3 elections here haven’t been lessons enough, is that like so many on the left, you need to pull your head out of your own arse and shake your own crap out of your ears and listen with respect to the voters, instead of arrogantly dismissing them as idiots.

    The voters are always right. You’d think that was an easy enough concept to grasp. Especially as the Left is more intelligent apparently. :rolleyes:

    • felix 6.1

      You’re (probably willfully) missing the point Anne makes.

      The received wisdom is that hip-pocket issues win elections. Yet plenty of people vote for governments that by any measure leave them with less money in their pockets, less security, less opportunity to get ahead.

      So the two things cannot both be true at the same time. Either hip-pocket issues are the most important thing, or the voters are always right.

      But it can’t be both.

      • higherstandard 6.1.1

        Nah … Anne is what is wrong with the more feral Labour acolytes.

        It’s all everyone else’s fault.

        [HS you should learn some manners. Keep it up and you will be banned – MS]

      • Anne 6.1.2

        They are deliberately misinterpreting the nature of my comments felix and indulging in gang bullying behaviour. Its been going on for several hours. higherstandard’s comment below is totally uncalled for and I find it offensive. I hope something is done about it.

        [Sorry Anne I just noticed and these comments are offensive. HS has hit a particularly for him new low – MS]

        • higherstandard

          wah wah wah

          [Later – MS]

          • ropata

            why don’t you eff off and go invade a third world country or something?

            [I am a gentle being respectful of the right of everyone to exercise the right of free expression. This is wasted on HS. I am currently working out how to ban him – MS]

            [Now banned – MS]

            • ropata

              Nice to know that you are a gentle being treading softly upon the Earth. Unfortunately I am clumsy and tend to fall heavily 😀

      • The lost sheep 6.1.3

        No no no Felix. You are making exactly the same mistake Anne is.
        You are assuming that your ‘perceived wisdom’ is a ‘self evident truth’, and so it follows that anyone who fails to perceive your ‘truth’ must be in the wrong.

        You therefore ignore the blindingly obvious.
        Voters choose the option that they believe best serves their interests what ever they think the most important issues are.

        So the truth is in the election results, and if you don’t agree with those it is you that is wrong.

        • felix

          I said “received wisdom.” It’s quite a common term, look it up.

          So your assessment is that the voters are right, and hip-pocket issues aren’t as important to them as pretty much everyone except you says.

          Which brings us full circle to Anne’s question: Why are voters (who are always right) voting against their own interests?

          • miravox

            Or: What are voters (who are always right) voting for other than their own (and the country’s) economic interests?

          • The lost sheep

            they are not. Lesson over due to lack of interest.

            • felix

              So now you’ve done a 180 and you’re claiming that voters aren’t voting against their own hip-pocket interests.

              But neither you or I can think of a single measure that agrees with that statement, which means they are wrong.

              Can’t have it both ways.

        • Puddleglum

          that they believe best serves their interests

          Hi The lost sheep,

          Are one’s beliefs never wrong?

          If it is possible that one person’s beliefs can be wrong then it is clear that many people’s beliefs can also be wrong.

          Or do you see something wrong in my logic?

      • Gosman 6.1.4

        Or perhaps your position is wrong or at least roundly rejected by many voters.

        • felix

          Which position, Gos?

          That hip-pocket issues are important to voters?

    • Matthew Hooton 6.2

      Exactly right.
      What are the messages West Auckland sole traders owning a home hear when Labour speaks?
      1. We want to cut the value of your main asset, and/or tax it
      2. We don’t want you to be able to hire someone on a 90 day trial
      3. We want you to pay more tax on your earnings
      4. We want you to join a union

      • mickysavage 6.2.1

        But Matthew this is only because you and your ilk choose to misrepresent the left’s position in this way. Do you think it is acceptable to lie and attempt to deceive for political advantage?

        • Matthew Hooton

          Where’s the lie? These are perfectly reasonable take outs by swing voters from what Labour has been saying in recent years.

          • ropata

            People do not vote on policy they vote on emotion. If people DID vote on policy Labour would have rocked in (in both NZ and UK elections). Because right wing politics is only for the 1% as you well know

          • fender

            You should just try speaking for yourself, are you a swing voter?

          • ropata

            Well I am a sole trader and somewhat of a swing voter and Matthew’s mercenary attitude makes me sick, left wing parties must promote left wing policies. If we all followed Hooten’s “advice” it would be a dog eat dog world.

            • Gosman

              I don’t believe you are a swing voter at all. Swapping your vote between Labour and The Greens does not make you a swing voter.

              • Leave them alone. They are swing voters in the sense that I choose each election between National and Act.

                • ropata

                  I used to be an avid follower of NZPundit and other right win rags before Kiwiblog existed, so yes I have voted for the blue team sometimes. After blogging with Wishart for a little while and commenting at Kiwiblog and others, I started to question the spin, especially around social justice and educaton, as National’s values were certainly not the Christian values I had hoped for.

                  Basically I realised that National has no values other than lining their hip pockets. And I realised that “respectable” media figures are often full of crap.

          • Colville.

            Add to the list that the minimum wage you pay will rise significantly.

          • mickysavage

            These are perfectly reasonable take outs by swing voters from what Labour has been saying in recent years

            Only because you and a cast of thousands keep saying it.

            1. Labour will not apply a CGT to the family home.
            2. There always was a trial period under law with minimum procedural fairness requirements.
            3. Not everyone, only the top earners.
            4. Well this helps create a better society but ever since the 1980s Labour has not moved back to compulsory unionism.

            You see Matthew you are still spinning.

            BTW how did your investigation into TS authors go?

            • Wayne


              Quite a lot of those West Auckland sole traders have a rental flat or aspire to do so.

              And as the author of the 90 day bill, you are talking rot. The Labour govt trial period was subject to all the procedures as any other employee. In reality it was not a trial period.

              A large number of the sole traders earned $60,000.

              Basically they think National as led by John Key is more in tune with their values than Labour.

              Seven years of John Key has shown then he is a moderate, not the extreme right winger that Labour (and more especially the Greens) paint him as. In my experience if a politican tries to say to voters their view of a political leader is false it will be rejected. The voters will take the view it is you who is disconnected from reality.

              • Saarbo

                Quite a lot of those West Auckland sole traders have a rental flat or aspire to do so.

                Here in lies the problem with National Party thinking Wayne, this sole trader shouldn’t be investing in “rental flats” or investment housing…he/she should be investing either into their own business or another productive enterprise.

                Ill keep this comment and will show it to you when the Auckland housing bubble bursts…its another major Nat party cock up to go with Jenny Shipley’s leaky homes during Nat’s last tenure in government.

              • millsy

                Heaven forbid that workers should have some form of protection from arbitary dimissal.

                You do realise that if you start shutting off legal avenues of redress workers will start turning to illegal forms if redress.

                How long before bosses who treat their workers like crap come to their business to find it burned to the ground? Or start getting beaten up?

                When you start pushing the weak around enough they push back.

                And another thing. I think there will be a push to ban unions in the next 5 years or so.

              • Saarbo

                I didn’t realise that you wrote the “90 day trial period” bill. In the last 3 months I have employed farm workers… a number of applicants told me that farmers are employing workers in busy periods, mainly during calving or weed spraying and then use the 90 day trial to dismiss them…its disgusting degrading stuff. I placed a large cross through the 90 day trial clause in the standard Fed Farmers contract…ugly stuff from National Wayne, and many farmers are using it to get cheap casual labour.

                • millsy

                  But Wayne doesnt care. If he had his way, workers in this country will have the same legal protections as they do in Indonesia (ie none). That is why he is so pro TPPA — it levels down envrionmental and labour laws to that of the poorest nations.

                  The 90 day law just makes workers expendable. Bosses dont care about their workers.

              • DoublePlusGood

                “A large number of the sole traders earned $60k”
                Well, changing the top tax rate doesn’t affect someone who earns $60k at all, so National doing that doesn’t benefit them at all, while the raise in GST definitely adversely affects them. So why the hell would they think National’s tax policy is a good idea?

          • sabine

            So what do you think West Aucklanders hear when they hear National speak.

            What do we hear?

            Please enlighten us.

            • mickysavage

              Yep. Bloody Remueraites thinking they know what us westies think and hear …

            • ropata

              Westies: More urban sprawl and bigger motorways, but no bus lanes for you.
              With no land value tax, the rural spaces around the west are great for land bankers! Also, the “speeding up” of the RMA means that annoying Kauri and Pohutukawa can be replaced by McMansions.

              No plans for SH16 improvement or extension of rail services to the pop-up suburbs.

            • Matthew Hooton

              That IS is a difficult (and good) question.

              I suspect it’s something like “everything is roughly ok, we’re not going to do anything to upset things for you, and isn’t ol’ JK a bit of a laugh”.

              If you MS and others don’t agree with my list of outtakes from Labour above, what do you think swing voters (between National and Labour) hear? (As opposed to the detail of what Labour might say)

              • Sabine

                This westie, who owns her business, and does not own a house or a rental in auckland (and i don’t aspire to participate in a boom market that can only go down in the end, as really the current property market is build on boom and bust terms) just watched a house being sold for 690.000 in November, the house stood empty for 6 month and was resold now for 790.000. Why? because someone was desperate enough to get some house. I expect the house to stay empty for another 6 month and then sell for 890.000+. That is an awesome economy we have here, No?

                Now Mr. Hooton (and I must admit I have no idea who you are, what your reason to fame may be, and why you seem to be someone who has got something to say, but then I don’t read the local fishwrap, nor do I watch any of the bubble heads kiwis seem to be so fond of), how do you think, any standard sole traders making 60.000 (also is that before or after tax 🙂 ) are to participate in such madness?

                Care to elaborate on that, and also how long do you think National can run an economy that essentially exists only in the number of rotten houses sold and virtual transactions?

                • ropata

                  Same old National, last time they were in power they created the Leaky Homes disaster, the current bubble will end in tears as well.

                  Mr. Hooton runs a business paper and features on the radio now and then. He was also part of the hard-right Dirty Politics smear machine exposed by Nicky Hager last year.

      • Sacha 6.2.2

        Sole traders don’t have unions. Nice try, though.

        • Matthew Hooton

          That’s exactly my point. So what Labour and its “movement” historically stands for is entirely irrelevant to their lives.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            You think sole traders don’t care about their customers having good incomes and being able to purchase their goods and services?

            (You don’t need to answer unless you already have a line prepared.)

            • Matthew Hooton

              For many if not most sole traders, their customers will already be wealthier than them.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                They have no interest in their customer base expanding. None whatsoever.

      • millsy 6.2.3

        What’s wrong with joining a union?

        When I hear you speak I hear:

        I want to ban unions
        The labour market in 1850’s Mississipi is something we should aspire to.
        The poor should live on the streets.

        I think you really want unions banned. I really do.

        • Matthew Hooton

          There’s nothing wrong with joining a union. If I made fries at McDonald’s I would definitely join Unite. But some people (most people) don’t want to anymore – which is why the Labour Party means much less to them these days.

      • millsy 6.2.4

        Do you think workers should have protections Matthew? Or do you support slavery?

        • ropata

          When I read Hootens words I feel like an ubermensch bestriding the earth, it is my God given duty to plunder and pillage as much as possible and leave a giant turd behind me for someone else to clean up.

        • Colville.

          The only time I have had a conversation with an engineering union rep all he could offer was a guarantee of a pay rate about 30% less than I was getting at the time. That was the month I came out of my apprenticeship.
          Told him to shove it.
          Unions are not for all.

          • ropata

            Lucky you weren’t on a 0 hours contract aye?

          • felix

            That’s nice.

            Nothing to do with millsy’s question though. How about it?

            • Colville.

              What’s wrong with joining a union?

              That was the question. I answered it.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yeah, until you or a family member gets cut down in a work situation and you realise you’re not a bullet proof prick isolated from the rest of your industry.

              • felix

                The question you replied to was “do you think workers should have minimum protections”.

          • mickysavage

            They are vital if because of scarcity the market will not produce you the best result. Your comment also clearly shows that you do not think collectively, only about what is good for you personally.

            • Lanthanide

              “Your comment also clearly shows that you do not think collectively, only about what is good for you personally.”

              Kind of a weird thing to say, really. The whole point of unions is that they give their *members* better results than they couldn’t otherwise get.

              Why would someone join a union if it didn’t personally benefit them in some way?

              • mickysavage

                Because they wanted to make sure their family members or their neighbours or their ex school mates were doing ok?

                • Lanthanide

                  So if joining a union was demonstrably worse for every individual who joined one, you think unions would be popular?


                  • mickysavage

                    So you have a totally selfish world view where everything has to be justified by what personal benefit you gain.


                    • Lathanide is not saying that at all. He says unions have to provide a value proposition to people to encourage them to join (as Unite in particular offers low-wage workers). You seem to think joining a union should be an act of noble self-sacrifice.

                    • Lanthanide

                      People pay tax because they get something for it. If they paid tax and got nothing for it, how many people do you think would be paying tax?

                      Same thing with a union. If it doesn’t give you any benefit whatsoever, but costs money from your paycheck, why would you join? That’s why I haven’t joined a union.

                  • Lanth, Colville is bullshitting anyway. The current hourly rate is not reduced when a worker joins a union. If Colville thinks it does, it’s only because the boss fooled him into believing that was the case.

                    • Colville.

                      I never said it was trp.
                      Reading not your strong point?

                      [“… all he could offer was a guarantee of a pay rate about 30% less than I was getting at the time.” Memory not your strong point, Colville? TRP]

                    • Lanthanide

                      I understood Colville’s statement just fine. Not sure why you didn’t, since you seem to be smart enough.

                      Here, I’ll draw it out with an example, so maybe you’ll understand this time.

                      Let’s say Colville was earning $25/hour. When asking the union rep what they benefit they could offer, they said we can guarantee you’ll be paid a minimum of $17.50.

                      In other words, the union could not improve Colville’s situation, because the only thing they said they could offer was a minimum pay rate, which they are already significantly above anyway.

                      Colville did not say that joining the would union reduce his pay, and I’m not sure why you read it that way.

                      Now, probably the union rep should also have said that they could provide support in pay negotiations or employment disputes etc, but depending on your work environment that may not be a strong selling point. For me personally, I can’t see what a union would offer me.

                    • Lanth, making up fantasy theoretical situations in your head doesn’t alter the actual employment law, the real situation at his or her work or what Colville actually wrote.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’m sorry you don’t have the reading comprehension to understand what Colville wrote, when I have explained it in more detail, and Colville has already told you that your interpretation of it is wrong.

                      Frankly you’re deliberately misunderstanding what has been written, which is essentially trolling. Pretty embarrassing for an author / moderator. How about you take a leaf out of employment law yourself, and act in good faith, instead of playing petty games?

                    • Howabout you learn some employment law, lanth?

                    • Lanthanide

                      What part of “the union guaranteed a minimum pay rate that was 30% lower than my current pay” is part of employment law, TRP?

                      Colville has already said that YOUR interpretation of what he said was wrong.

                    • Because that can’t happen, Lanth. Colville started from a false premise. His rate will not drop if he joins the union. So all the sophistry in the world won’t change that. I suspect Colville was either bullshitting or misunderstood what he was being told.

                    • Lanthanide

                      No, it is quite clear TRP, that YOU are WILFULLY misunderstanding what Colville wrote.

                    • Sorry, Lanth, but this getting boring. I know the law, you obviously don’t. Nothing you or I say will change that. Shall we get back to the topic of the post?

                    • felix

                      No-one said anything about pay dropping TRP.

                      Lanth is right. You either can’t read or you’re misrepresenting on purpose.

                    • ” … all he could offer was a guarantee of a pay rate about 30% less than I was getting at the time.”

                    • felix

                      Yep so as Lanth has already patiently explained, there are a couple of possible ways to interpret that.

                      One way is slightly imprecise but basically makes sense.

                      The other is also slightly imprecise, and utterly fucking absurd.

                      You’ve gone with the absurdity.

                    • Not at all absurd. I’ve gone with the literal words used. Lanth’s examples make no sense because they assume that the story is correct, when clearly it is not. If the union official in the story had said ‘all we can guarantee is your current rate’ that would be correct. To say ‘all we can guarantee is a lower rate’ is neither legally correct or a winning recruitment tactic. So I’m going with the story being bullshit.

                    • Colville.

                      Lanth is right.
                      My pay would not have dropped but the Union could do nothing to improve my position.

                      The main reason I didnt go near the Union tho was that the Union rep was a fat lazy bully boy ex Pom.
                      I had worked on a site with him and it was his attitude to the job that put me off.

                      It was about 25 years ago. i dont think I worked with a Union member since.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What if Colville was going from being a contractor to being an employee, and is ‘conveniently’ ‘forgetting’ to mention that particular detail?

                      If that were the case, being offered 70% of the contract rate would usually be a good deal.

                      Now a little bit more of the truth has emerged: Colville’s personal animosity towards the union rep,, it hardly adds credibility to the account.

                    • Colville.


                      NO. Read what I said. My encounter with Union rep was at the end of my apprenticeship. 8000 hours of servitude.

                      I became a contractor a few years after that.

                      Its not my fault the Union rep was a twunt.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So TRP is right: your hourly rate wouldn’t have dropped. By law.

                    • felix

                      Nope, TRP is wrong. Colville never said his rate would drop.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Colville quotes (invents?) a union official (whom he hates) offering a guarantee of an hourly rate 30% lower than what he asserts he was getting, and says he told the hated rep to “shove it”.

                      I suppose Colville might not have wanted to imply that his hourly rate would be cut if he joined the union. That’s drawing a long bow but.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ OAB: Since Colville has said twice that’s not what he meant, and that my description is accurate…?

                      Pretty easy to see what he means, especially since it was 25 years ago. Basically the award rate or collective agreement or whatever the union had negotiated for its members guaranteed a wage that was lower than the one he was already receiving. There’s no suggestion (and never was any suggestion) that Colville would have been forced onto that rate should he have joined the union; merely that the union could not increase his wage past what he was already getting.

              • ropata

                You can join a union because you believe in its goals, even if you aren’t working in whatever industry. I was in the EPMU for a while after I left the trade.

              • sabine

                The whole point to join a Union is to be represented as a group rather than have to fight as an individual.

                Do you have an issue with likeminded businesses to form collectives to better lobby their cause in regards to any regulations and rules that might impeded their business and earnings possibilities?


                Then pray tell would you as an individual not join a Workers Union to form a collective of workers to better lobby their cause in regards to any regulations and rules theat might impede their business and earnings possibilities.

                and yes, every now and then someone might be able to negotiate a better deal than a Union deal, most often however the Union deal is the best deal in town.

                • Colville.

                  Like minded businesses?
                  So a bunch of contracting firms that try to cut each others throats each and every day are going to band together?

                  The best deal in town is always available to the best staff with the skills that an employer wants. No Union needed.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    All models are wrong; some are useful. George Box.

                    Whereas Colville’s model looks distorted by political bias. He describes the power of the employer to offer wages, and the power of the individual worker who by sheer luck happens to have a valuable skill set, yet neglects the power of the collective to affect the outcome.

                    Funny that.

                    • Lanthanide

                      His statement is true. The best deal in town is available to the best staff with the skills that are in demand.

                      The problem is that very few people can be the ‘best staff’ and have skills that are in demand.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      His statement lies by omission, then compounds the lie by denying the role of unions. Nice try though.

                    • Colville.

                      You really do not understand do you.

                      All the power is with the person with a valuble skill set. A decent Tradie should go shopping for a new boss every few years, more money and learn new ways from new people.

                      A tradie gets a valuble skill set by sticking his nose in the books after hours, doing some courses and keeping on top of the ongoing changes in the trade. Most are too lazy tho.

                      Foe me it was welding. Watching a lil white light go around a pipe. Boring as a muther but very very well paid.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Poor Colville, clearly you failed to grasp the meaning of the power of the individual worker who by sheer luck happens to have a valuable skill set…

                      Barring a paradigm shift, that worker has more power.

                      Other less fortunate workers can maintain better wages and conditions by joining a union. Your rote-learned dogma has led you astray.

                    • Colville.


                      Yeah I failed to grasp how it was lucky that I learnt to weld.

                      Then when I got done being lucky with that it was just lucky again that I learnt to be a quantity surveyor.

                      Maybe I should buy lotto tickets? I am obviously a very lucky guy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So many people make the same mistake as you there’s even a name for it.

                    • felix

                      Of course it was lucky you could learn to weld. A lot of people will never have that opportunity. And of those who do, not everyone will have the aptitude. And of those who do, not everyone will stay sufficiently healthy.

                      There is luck in play at every step.

                      Yes, there’s working hard and setting goals and staying focused and making sacrifices. Well done. But one good dose of bad luck can wipe the whole lot out, at every turn.

                      Happens all the time.

                  • felix

                    “Like minded businesses?
                    So a bunch of contracting firms that try to cut each others throats each and every day are going to band together?”

                    Of course. That’s exactly what business organisations are.

                    Why don’t you ever address what people say to you?

                    • Sabine

                      because that would mean to actually participate in a discussion instead of just planting a turd in the middle of the salon and pulling someones ponytail.

                  • Sans Cle

                    Isn’t the problem for Unions the fracturing size of workplaces?
                    460,000 small businesses in NZ, 326,000 of which have no employees leaving 326,000 SMEs employing 584,000 people (average of 4.35 people per SME workplace).
                    Workers do need representation, and I have utmost respect for unions. I have been a union member in the past, but currently am not now.
                    What amazed me after the election in Sept was to find a self employed builder partying with the National party (in the Cloud, or waterfront Akl).
                    Perhaps not surprising as a self employed builder is doing tremendously well in Auckland, thank you very much!
                    The Unions’ problems are how to reach employees in SMEs, if that is the relevant tack that the Labour party is following for continued support.

                • I don’t think that business groups (Chambers of Commerce, the EMA, and certainly not Business NZ) do any better representing their members’ interests than most unions do so, no, I don’t join any of them.

        • Jo

          The reality is most workers know their rights are protected under the law now, so Unions simply are not vital to their employment. Sure there are occasions when workers are exploited and an employer fails to follow the law, we read about them being prosecuted all the time, ie the law is working.
          If National is bad and Labour good for workers , why did Labour vote against the recent legislation to make the penalties harsher for people who take advantage of immigrant workers?

      • DoublePlusGood 6.2.5

        So, point 1 misrepresents a CGT, and assumes the housing bubble is sustainable
        Point 2 misrepresents the 90 day law
        Point 3 assumes that sole traders earn a substantial enough amount of income over the top tax threshold that they will pay significantly more tax. Most likely National made them pay more tax because they upped GST. That GST also hurts those sole traders’ businesses as their prices have to be 15%.
        Point 4 incorrectly assumes that most sole trader businesses are going to be unionised.
        So 0/4. How exactly with this level of incompetence did you come to be widely used political commentator?

      • Naturesong 6.2.6

        Given that I’m exactly this demographic… mid 40’s own home, sole trader / contractor living in West Auckland.

        1. We want to cut the value of your main asset, and/or tax it
        CGT doesn’t reduce the value of my home, nor my business. It’s a tax on realised capital growth – you know like the tax you pay on interest received from money on deposit. This is not a difficult concept.
        But, the devil will no doubt be in the detail – see what it looks like after select committee (whenever that will be)

        2. We don’t want you to be able to hire someone on a 90 day trial
        I could already hire someone on a 90 day trial – there was no need to give me the power to fuck with them as well

        3. We want you to pay more tax on your earnings
        I’m OK with paying more tax – anything after 80k ish doesn’t add much more to the quality of my life.
        I’m more concerned with the way my tax money is spent.

        4. We want you to join a union
        Wherever I’ve worked in the world, the best places to work by a large margin were the ones with union representation available.
        Near the end of the year, if everything goes to plan, I will be looking to hire my first full time employee. When I do, I intend to seek union advice, particularly with regards to health and safety.

  7. felix 7

    “Here it was fear of mana/internet they peddled”

    Let’s not forget that they had plenty of help from Labour.

    • ropata 7.1

      Cunliffe faced the Dirty Politics election smear machine in full effect, Dotcom confused voters, John Key was economical with the truth about Sabin and plans to sell off state houses. The Greens were earnest and serious but didn’t have massive corporate sponsors …

      People voted for FJK lollipops and rainbows one more time, surely this time we will win the jackpot right?

  8. the pigman 8

    What amazes me is the capacity of people to vote against their own interests when confronted with fear-mongering, lies and a Murdoch media culture that encourages the tory working class to sub-page-3-girl depths of depravity.

    I used to work in SE England in Kent. Regularly visited Sittingbourne/Isle of Sheppey social services offices… it was a desperate fuckin place. I used to dread the walk from the library carpark to that office because I’d regularly see the chavs harassing the local ladies or get shouted at because I was in a suit. The social workers would talk about how “Shittingbourne is where the human waste collect” (compassionate, I know). But that part of the country really is that fuckin miserable.

    Anyway, looking at just that electorate’s results, the Tory/UKIP vote trounced the collective Left by orders of magnitude.

    I can only assume that desperate shitholes like that exist all over the country (those colourful electoral maps are pretty telling) and still vote for the tories. Well, I agree that people get the governments that they deserve.

    (The Brits still deserve a proper proportional representation system, though.)

    • ropata 8.1

      The circulation of right wing rags like The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and The Express might tell you something… poorly informed people will exercise their vote poorly.

      Another triumph for Murdoch’s evil empire.

      • alwyn 8.1.1

        You seem to be showing a little touch of paranoia when you say
        ” The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and The Express” as being part of “Murdoch’s evil empire”.
        You got one right. Just when did you start to think that the latter three papers were owned by Murdoch?

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Lesson for Labour – go to the mattresses. Miliband is an acceptable leader – but the SNP had to be an explicit part of the plan from the beginning – voters dislike uncertainty.

    Dave will probably be dumped – compounding the error – was the policy not the man at fault.

  10. millsy 10

    This result was as I predicted.

    I note that Labour’s policies werent all that left wing. Ed Balls (who was lost his seat) pledged austerity-lite all the way through the campaign, promising to cut not quite as much (but still cut) . Welfare spokesperson Racheal someone or other said that Labour was not the party of the welfare state, and Ed distanced himself from those evil unions that want things like wages and sick leave.

    All in all Labour was pretty useless. It should have done better.

    • Sacha 10.1

      Lesson – do not copy the current govt’s policies. It shows you think they are correct, so the only difference is your competence which you have not been able to demonstrate cos not in govt.

  11. miravox 11

    Lesson 1 – Look at Andrea Jenkyns who dethroned Ed Balls (08:18 / 08:47)

    Forty-year-old Jenkyns, a music teacher and amateur opera singer, has essentially been campaigning full time since her selection in April 2013. She even quit her job in a secondary school and sold her house in Boston, Lincolnshire, moving back home with her mother Valerie in order to dedicate herself to defenestrating Balls.

    Selling herself as “non-politician” from humble beginnings, Jenkyns didn’t go to university and she worked her way up from being a Saturday shop girl to a senior retail manager.

    In her late 30s she decided to retrain and has recently achieved an Open University degree in international relations and politics. On her website she describes herself as “an upfront, direct, and strong Yorkshire lass who passionately stands up for what she believes in.”

    Her father was a lorry driver who built up his own haulage business. He died a few years ago after contracting the superbug MRSA in hospital in 2011 – it was this tragedy which spurred her on to run for parliament.

    … She said the noticed “more and more Labour voters coming over” to her in recent weeks. “People who had only ever voted Labour before were putting their trust in me.”

    She said she had campaigned as if she already were the MP, organising a jobs fair, listening to residents’ planning concerns and gripes about potholes.

    Where are these people in Labour? It’s full of well to do, highly educated people like Balls. These are essential to the Labour Party, but there needs to be a lot more room for local people that voters connect to in terms of life experience in a party like Labour.

    Lesson 2 – a return to Blairite politics won’t cut it. Labour didn’t lose to the Tories, it lost to UKip and SNP. The Lib Dems with their version of Blairite politics were the big losers – to Labour.

    I doubt that Labour, in NZ and UK sees that though (see Lesson 1)

    • mickysavage 11.1

      The trouble Miravox is that the left do not have people who can take two years off work to campaign full time. There are some great potential candidates but they are people with families and jobs and mortgages …

      • miravox 11.1.1

        Well, that was para 1.

        Think outside the square micky. Of course there are barriers to participation. I’m sure all the highly-educated Labour officals and MPs can think up a variety of ways to get high calibre who can connect with the local electorates over the line if they had the will to think about it.

        • Willpower doesn’t pay the rent.

          • miravox

            This is true.

            But there are some smart people out there who can come up with workable solutions if they put their minds to it, I’m sure.

            Frankly, if a Labour party cannot identify, mentor and find a way to support people like Andrea Jenkyns then it doesn’t represent the people it puports it represent, and probably won’t represent them, imo.

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              there are some smart people out there who can come up with workable solutions if they put their minds to it, I’m sure.

              Off you go then, let us know what you come up with.

              • miravox

                Condescending much?

                Given I’m not one of the smart people who’s ever had any influence in any candidate selection anywhere, ever…

                I’d start with transferring some of the lessons learned from candidate selection processes developed to improve women and ethnic minority representation. I’ve no idea what these are, but there seems to have been some success with them.

                Off the top of my head I’d go for:

                – Identification of people outside of the political system who seem to be ‘doing/saying things’ that are resonating in the local electorate
                – mentoring potential candidates who are outside of the political cliques
                – rethink the skills list for candidate selection (the brightest and the best for that electorate is not necessarily a person who has worked towards national politics as a career goal)
                – stop helicoptering in candidates into electorates they have no connection with. There’s a list for these people.
                – change the job descriptions for positions such as policy analysts to be more inclusive of non-academic skills
                – create ‘local researcher’ positions for identified candidates (one could be ‘holding local workshops to understand and develop responses to community needs’). Sort of like sports organisations and their sponsors to support talented people who are trapped by lack of funds
                – identifying benefactors to help with funding
                – make more use of local council as a stepping stone for the potential candidate

                I’m surprised that for something so basic as identifying people who can connect with a community of voters a party wishes to represent is dismissed without going past the first sentence of the quote.

                Obviously no lesson in the next four paras about the type of candidate who connected with the local community. Nevermind.

      • alwyn 11.1.2

        Stuart Nash came pretty close in New Zealand. He did pretty well what you say and was the only Labour candidate in New Zealand to take a National seat wasn’t he? (Scratches head trying to think of another).
        It probably helped that Tremain retired but Nash worked very hard.

        • swordfish

          On a hopelessly split Tory Candidate-Vote (between them, McVicar and National’s Walford took 4000 more votes than Nash) and with Labour’s Party-Vote in Napier continuing to fall regardless.

      • locus 11.1.3

        mickysavage – you’re a commentator who I highly respect –

        It’s worth reading past the first sentence of the quote. The lessons that miravox suggested we might take from Andrea Jenkyn beating Ed Balls are not about her giving up her job to do this.

        The ‘lesson’ presented in the Guardian article is that Andrea connected better with the majority of voters in a Labour held electorate, than did the highly educated competent number 2 in the Labour Party. She sold herself as non-politician from humble beginnings, didn’t go to university and worked her way up from being a Saturday shop girl to a senior retail manager, and boarded with her mother.

        This story reminds me of our first and truly great Labour PM who also raised himself up from humble beginnings, worked as a ditch-digger and flax cutter, lived meagrely, and boarded with an Auckland family for his whole life.

  12. joe90 12

    Even the true-blue Economist magazine isn’t happy with a Tory majority.

    And MPs were far more obedient then. These days many are almost one-man and one-woman parties, who cultivate their Twitter followings and defy the whips. The 2010-15 parliament saw more backbench rebellions than any since the second world war. The next government might see even more, not least from the gaggle of irreconcilable Eurosceptics on the Conservative backbenches.

    To minimise this risk, Mr Cameron would ideally thrash out another coalition agreement with the remaining Liberal Democrats who, despite their depleted numbers, would be a moderating force and could shore up his government. The chances are, however, that he will prefer to go it alone, wagering that a badly weakened Labour Party will be unable to unite enough opposition MPs to bring him down. This course will leave Mr Cameron more beholden to his irascible backbenchers. And it will make sensible policy less likely.

  13. les 13

    hey TRP..’Nobody picked this. Nobody.’..did you borrow this line off the banksters when the GFC/Credit crunch hit!

  14. mickysavage 14

    A little soon TRP.

    It may be that the pollsters were right and the popular vote was neck and neck. It may also be that the vagaries of FPP and the Conservative’s more superior game plan won them more tight contests.

    It may also be that the left needs to rethink local campaigns. Gifting Epsom and Ohariu to the right and thinking we can catch up doesn’t seem to be working.

    • sabine 14.1

      This still pisses me off so much.

      Peter effn Dunne

      that blonde from auckland central

      and that lickspittle from ACT (?)

      the lack of co-ordination,simple mathematics and a bit of guts, less ego and above all some fucking common sense. What do the parties of the left do? nothing.

    • tc 14.2

      You finally figured that out…..duh!

  15. Rosemary McDonald 15

    @Stuart Munro
    “voters dislike uncertainty”

    and SNP stands for….

    from wikipedia, again,

    “Among its policies are commitments to same-sex marriage, reducing the voting age to 16, unilateral nuclear disarmament, progressive personal taxation, the eradication of poverty, the building of affordable social housing, free higher education, opposition to the building of new nuclear power plants, investment in renewable energy, the abolition of Air Passenger Duty, and a pay increase for nurses.”


    Clear policy statements.

    Hopefully bottom lines….

    As a non voter in the last election…sue me…I can tell you why….easily.

    There was simply no alternative.

    Labour lost it a while back, and has ignored good instructions on how to find the path….arrogant, and yet strangely wishy washy.

    Greens….were doing not too bad until Russel did the whole “we can work with National” thing.

    Mana….on the right track until they took the gag off the Big Guy.

    NZ First….starting to make some sense, but I still have grave concerns that I’d be voting for the Man, not the Party.

    National and Act et al….I’m not that desperate.

    I come from a long line of disenfranchised Scots who were brought up to believe that voting only encourages the bastards.

    I am delighted my kin have found their voice.

    • Stuart Munro 15.1

      They’re my kin too. SNP are a ray of hope in a declining Britain – I was there in 2013 – poor and desperate place. Key & Cameron are as thick as thieves – nothing good comes from that sort.

  16. SHG 16

    The Greens. A million votes. One MP. It’s fundamentally wrong.

    UKIP. Four million votes. Two MP’s. Still wrong, but feels right somehow. Saloon bar racism should not be rewarded.


  17. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17

    Everywhere you look, being left wing is electoral poison. No-one likes left wing ideas. Cause they’re shit.

    Suck it up, princesses.

    • joe90 17.1

      56 seats say Scotland liked left wing ideas.

      The SNP’s policy base is mostly in the mainstream European social democratic tradition. Among its policies are commitments to same-sex marriage, reducing the voting age to 16, unilateral nuclear disarmament, progressive personal taxation, the eradication of poverty, the building of affordable social housing, free higher education, opposition to the building of new nuclear power plants, investment in renewable energy, the abolition of Air Passenger Duty, and a pay increase for nurses.

      • Wayne 17.1.1

        But it is not not really British, in the sense of the role that the UK has in the world. More a small Nordic country, or indeed like us.

        Being part of the UK means being part of a nation that is among the world leaders, with London being one of the great centers of global economics. As far as I can see this is all anathema to the SNP.

        It would not surprise me that after 5 years of SNP rhetoric in the House of Commons, it will be the English voters who will want to get rid of Scotland, and save themselves some money.

        • Maui

          That’s strange because in 2010 most of Scotland was voting for a British Party – as in Labour. So in 5 years they’ve gone from being part of the UK to being something akin to “Iceland”. If that’s the case you’d better hope the Scandinavian disease doesn’t cross the border…

        • Sans Cle

          Why the imperialistic stereotype?
          The reality of life in Britain is very different!
          It’s “not the land of Madam, George and Roses” or the “Green and Pleasant Land”.
          London may be a financial centre, but very different from the regions and other cities/urban centres.
          Also you seem to misunderstand the resurgence of Celtic nationalism that’s happening throughout Britain.

        • The Murphey

          London being one of the great centers of global economics

          Q. You do understand the role “City of London’ has played in the downgraded ‘economic and financial’ environments foisted on the world over past centuries ?

      • Molly 17.1.2

        I think that the immense grassroots campaign for the Scottish referendum that provided the impetus and knowledge to the voting public up there that brought home the SNP seats.

        The Green Party, Mana (& possibly) Internet party take this approach to their membership, but the Scottish referendum campaign brought out and inspired people to create very local voices.

        As long as politics is seen as belonging to the politicians, lobbyists and the media only, we will continue to see people vote as if they are filling out a choice menu at a hotel.

    • les 17.2

      not as simple as that…the Tories campaign on a very vague ‘competence’ message..the left need to stop over estimating the intelligence of the average voter.K.I.S,S

      • mickysavage 17.2.1

        The average voter in Scotland is a very intelligent person.

        • les

          how the hell would you know..keep that sort of nonsense up and I’m going to have to ban you.

        • alwyn

          “a very intelligent person”
          Who understood only to well that they were doing very well as part of the UK and would struggle if they were an independent country.

          The also understood that Salmond was lying to them when he said they would be able to keep using the pound, backed by the BOE, and that they would automatically be part of the EU.
          Thus, in their own interest they voted NO in the referendum.

          Voting for the SNP doesn’t really mean they wanted its policies. They just think that Scotland could get more out of the British taxpayers that way. Besides they hate the English who seem to make them feel inferior.
          I didn’t really believe the antipathy toward the English in Scotland until I was there on holiday one time during a World Cup. We went to a pub to have dinner and there was a notice of free drinks if Scotland scored or anyone scored against England. Well England were playing that night, the opposition scored and we got free drinks for the next half hour or so.
          We made damn sure, when in Scotland, to point out that we were from New Zealand and were not English.

          • Wayne

            Which is why after 5 years of SNP rhetoric in Westminister it will be the English wanting Scotland to go.

    • b waghorn 17.3

      You’re right . its a sad indictment on the human race that giving every one a fair go and evolving past the strongest takes all mentality is shunned by most.

    • Stuart Munro 17.4

      Theory of everything answer – automatic fail if you know your Popper.

      You crypto-fascists should laugh while you can – the wheel turns, and the worse you treat the people, the worse will be your comeuppance.

    • ropata 17.5

      Every government is temporary, fool. These right wing kleptocracies are unsustainable and heading for a messy demise.

  18. ropata 18

    This quote from Bryan Gould bears repeating: Perils of free market free-for-all

    Very few seem to realise how thoroughly our civilisation has been transformed by the triumph of the “free market” ideology. They do not see that Western liberalism, which has informed, supported and extended human progress for perhaps 700 years, has now been supplanted by an aggressive self-interested doctrine of the individual which leaves no room for community and co-operation. Even the victims of this comprehensive and fundamental change seem hardly aware of what has happened.

    • Anne 18.1

      Even the victims of this comprehensive and fundamental change seem hardly aware of what has happened.

      Very true. Many are so immersed in TV non-reality and cooking programmes and texting mindless messages to each other, they have little idea what is going on around them. Perfect fodder for C/T type propaganda.

    • Saarbo 18.2


  19. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 19

    Ropata, the shorter Gould is “people are way stupider than us. This is why they don’t vote for us”. Really, the reason they don’t vote for you is because of the haughty attitude of Gould and his ilk.

    Keep it up, suckers.

    • ropata 19.1

      Thanks for your smug right wing advice, I will file it in the appropriate place.

    • joe90 19.2

      On the bright side the lack of a proper majority means it’s going to be a volatile and unstable Tory government.

      • Reginald Perrin 19.2.1

        Where do you get “the lack of a proper majority” from joe90? The Tories needed 326 seats to govern WITH a majority, and actually won 331 seats. They have a majority of NINE over everyone else in the House of Commons combined.

        • joe90

          They have a majority of NINE over everyone else in the House of Commons combined.

          At 8.55pm last night they didn’t.

    • ropata 19.3

      People didn’t vote for the Oxbridge Tory Toffs, because some lefty columnists are eggheads??

      No fool, people just do illogical things sometimes, like smoke gamble or watch Jeremy Clarkson.

      If you actually bothered to read the Gould article you might have learned something, or maybe you really are a bit thick.

      • greywarbler 19.3.1

        @ ropata
        “people just do illogical things sometimes,”
        Like bother to put precious brain power in jousting with such as Gormless whose pseudonym indicates he is laughing at this blog and all those that sail in it, every time he types his redundant lines of dribble.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell


  20. Northsider 20

    “With UK Labour having decided to abandon any serious counter-narrative to the Conservatives on austerity, the mantle has fallen to regional parties and the Greens. This connects to Labour’s woes in Scotland where voters see austerity as one of the most significant issues in this election.”

    have a read

    • joe90 20.1

      Seems Labour really did shoot themselves in the foot.

      The SNP’s victory was not made by Nicola Sturgeon, although together with Nigel Farage she was one of the few prominent politicians able to confidently exude plausibility and do populism. The SNP’s victory was wholly manufactured by Labour.

      Scottish Labour convinced itself that the separatist mood was being driven by economic grievance. But most journalists who covered the Indyref quickly realised it was about a positive identity, total rejection of the austerity politics that Labour had signed up to, and essentially a form of plebeian national leftism.


      That leaves Labour in existential trouble. Labour’s Scottish contingent was not just some minor offshoot. It was, together with Wales, the ballast that anchored it to what I’ve called “post-industrial Britain”.

      To get a Labour majority government, given the political weight of liberalised conservatism in southern England, you need the English north, the industrial Midlands, most of Wales and most of Scotland.

      • ropata 20.1.1

        Good point. If I had a choice of voting for another Tony Blair or the godawful Tories I would’ve stayed home. FPP is a scam, no wonder people could not be bothered.

      • Northsider 20.1.2

        Joe 90,

        You are as far in outer space as your namesake! You have to understand that over the past FOUR decades Labour has betrayed the Scottish people. They have taken the Scots’ votes for granted and given nothing in return. All to protect the majority across the rest the UK, rather than to serve the people of Scotland who elected them.

        The total lack of diplomacy shown by Cameron on the morning following IndyRef so angered the Scots. UKIP disgusts the Scots. To propose that the SNP’s success was manufactured by the UK Labour Party shows a total misunderstanding of Scottish politics. Wholesale.

        The Labour party stood on the same platform, throughout the independence referendum, as the other ‘Better Together’ supporters – the Tories and Lib Dems – who have been metaphorically beating down Scottish voters for decades. The sight of them dancing together on platforms throughout Scotland as the referendum results came through was too much for most Scots to stomach.

        They said, “Scotland we love you – don’t go!’. Then, in this election campaign, it was questioning the Scots’ right to participative democracy: “If you don’t vote the way we say, then your voice should not be heard at Westminster.”

        In addition, Labour has consistent;ly blamed voters for its failures. When Scotland was showing signs of refusing the Labour offering they were “not listening’; ‘failing to understand’; ‘puttng emotion over logic’.

        As if. This is the country which had five universities when England only had two; which had a public education system since the 16th Century; which led the Enlightenment. It is debatable whether the French Revolution would have happened without the philosophical journey which lit that path through Scotland’s thinkers.

        The SNP over the past two years has connected in a real way, with real people on the streets of Scotland, at a time when politicos on the street were as rare as the winning lottery ticket.

        “Don’t leave us – lead us!” they said at the Indy Ref. Well – the Scots are showing their forward thinking once again. No more will they be led by the economic philosophy of the Tories. Economics exists to serve the people. Money is an invention to serve the people. People should not be subservient to economics.

        The Scots are calling for an end to austerity, to corporate welfare, to people being sanctioned, to children in poverty. They are standing up for social justice, for investment in people, and for an end to colonial dictatorship.

        • joe90

          You are as far in outer space as your namesake!

          WTF provoked that wee outburst?.

        • ropata

          Northsider, that is comment of the year! It should be on the front page.
          I hope NZ left wing parties are paying attention.

        • phillip ure

          @ northsider..

          + 1..

        • Sans Cle

          +1 Northsider
          And add to that list the effect of Scottish egalitarian thinking that emerged from Dunedin, leading to NZ’s more progressive social policies, in former times.

        • RedBaronCV

          And the last paragraph should be the clear simple messages of the left everywhere including here. Emotionally a lot of people want ot be generous or at least look as thugh they are.

          Scotland frightens the neolib – it will spread – and the SNP message should have been the labour message

        • linda

          the other interesting thing about the snp is the explosion in membership after the referendum they didn’t turn and start fighting among themselves they didn’t stop switched to plan b . they had thousand of young people on the ground energised in away other parties could only dream of and could not match
          plus there leadership is top shelf .no pony tail pulling creeps there.

  21. Clemgeopin 21

    Some of the effective spin and winning tactic that the right wing leaders and their PR spin merchants use before the election have been:

    (1) Peddling of ‘fear’ (war, terrorists, left policies, economic disaster, taxes, CGT etc) into the minds of the voters.
    (2) Indulging in dirty politics against left wing progressive parties and leaders.
    (3) Copying some aspects of the social policies of the left to fool the masses, yet undermine their conditions in many other subtle ways over time.
    (4) Primarily work for the economic advantage of the wealthy and the corporates while undermining less privileged ordinary people and their worker rights.
    (5) Make use of the MSM, Journalists and big business controlled media to put down the left, its policies and leaders.
    (7) Incur heavy debts while placing the blame on the previous left progressive government and their previous leaders.
    (8) Promise tax cuts.

    This is what has been happening in recent times in a number of RW governments including NZ, Australia and UK.

    I have a feeling that the RW policies, spin, tactics, strategies,statements etc are carefully coordinated by some secret central think tank somewhere.

    #MoreOfThis— ❤️Jay❤️ (@jay_psych) May 8, 2015

    • ropata 21.1

      The 1% are pulling the strings, there’s no secret plot, it’s all out in the open.
      Public sentiment has been carefully managed by the corporate propaganda machine.

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      stop focussing on the oh-so-clever right wing and their tactics, and figure out where Labour screwed up and self destructed. By the way, the Left as characterised by the SNP did brilliantly, in case you missed it.

      • Clemgeopin 21.2.1

        Not focusing on the ‘oh-so-clever’ right wing rogues, but exposing their crooked strategies, hoping that more and more people will begin to see heir tricks. One can not simply ignore those.

        Of course, the left progressive parties need to put forward their idea, ideals and policies to the people as best as they can but getting sufficient and fair publicity for these through the wealthy, pro-right wing controlled powerful corporate media is an uphill task.

        • Sacha

          “exposing their crooked strategies, hoping that more and more people will begin to see their tricks”

          hoping is not enough. and people need to see something to vote for, not just against.

          • Clemgeopin

            @ Sacha: “hoping is not enough. and people need to see something to vote for, not just against.”

            I agree, and I think I did say that when I wrote,
            “Of course, the left progressive parties need to put forward their idea, ideals and policies to the people as best as they can but getting sufficient and fair publicity for these through the wealthy, pro-right wing controlled powerful corporate media is an uphill task.”
            If the media favours a right wing party or leader, it portrays the other side in a destructive way. Do you not agree?

            • Sacha

              I agree. “As best they can” is not enough, however. They need to do that job way better than they have been.

  22. Colonial Rawshark 22

    Labour. Ed Miliband took the party to the left. In contrast to his Blairite bro David, he wanted to get Labour closer to its roots, to find common values with the voters that should be supporting them. It hasn’t worked.

    Bullshit. UK Labour like NZ Labour buys into the neoliberal paradigm lock stock and barrel. Ed Milliband inscribed on a stone tablet (WTF?) that Labour was going to improve life for working families. So what about for everyone else; the unemployed, the young and single, the retired?

    Scotland went left and ran from Labour en masse.

    The only valid lesson from the UK elections is that Labour is unable to stand up against a truly left party.

    • Nic the NZer 22.1

      “The only valid lesson from the UK elections is that Labour is unable to stand up against a truly left party.”

      That leaves the political left in rather dire straights. Apparently the right wing economic program (and in the UK this has led to a gratuitous double dip recession), is much more popular than even the moderate left wing program.

      I still hope that this is due to the general level of economic literacy of voters, but a program of education (or Hooton might call it marketing) to improve this situation is hardly going to be easy to achieve. It doesn’t help when the labour party still can’t differentiate between a neo-liberal and genuine left wing economic policy and continues to promote neo-liberal-lite policy (at best).

      • ropata 22.1.1

        It’s not actual economics that people vote for, but the party that projects a better image of economic management.

    • Chooky 22.2

      +100 CR

    • millsy 22.3

      “Working families” is one of those meaningless buzz phrases that politicians like to chuck around, as part of seeing voters as target markets rather than citizens. Kinda like ‘aspiration’, ‘oppurtunity’, ‘responsbilities’, and of course, ‘family values’.

      • Colonial Viper 22.3.1

        yep – and both the English and the Scottish declared that they have had enough of “meaningless buzz phrases” from Labour.

    • greywarbler 22.4

      UK Labour is a wraith hanging in the air, clanking its chains, haunting its old stamping grounds, unable to leave because of past tragic events that have bound it to the earth in its present limbo-land. NZ Labour also?

      Wikipedia on Ghosts
      ” The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy,” So going to a Labour political meeting in the UK could be regarded as dabbling in the occult!

      More theories of ghosts or spirits:
      1 “Some spirits remain at or near the site of their death, especially if it was sudden and unexpected. They remain confused and don’t know or accept that they have died. These spirits remain in the area and try to make contact with anyone that passes by that is sensitive to spirits. This type of spirit can be found almost anywhere a death has occurred.”

      Then there is the Denial ghost –
      2 “when one considers that just as there are people who make denial a major part of their life, it is only natural to imagine that there are those personalities who will make it an integral part of their afterlife as well and so will simply refuse to accept the truth of their own Earthly demise.”
      There are other types of ghosts that might apply to the UK and NZ Labour Party, so I might have chosen wrongly.

      Call this fanciful? Well just face the nature of the political system and so-called left wing Party we give allegiance to. And we have moved to improve our system, the UK are still in FPP la-la land.

  23. hoom 23

    A surprisingly similar election to NZ really.

    Media running the same lines:
    -Labour collapse.
    -You can’t win from the Left.
    -Very close to Tory Majority hailed as a great win.

    But (currently with 15 seats to go) the Tory/LibDem coalition is actually down 25 seats net.
    The major Tory support party & potential supporters collapsed massively.

    Yes Labour lost Scotland but Labour + SNP is net 24 seats up.

    So actually the result is a swing Left, just not enough.

    • hoom 23.1

      A thing I don’t get is how it seems to be taking quite so long to count some of these electorates?

      Vote counts don’t seem particularly bigger than NZ & a bunch of counting halls look like bigger/better manned than I’d expect in most of NZ.

      Yet we had both Party & Electorate votes counted by about Midnight & they are expecting about Midday next day for final results.

      Also: WTF is with BBC presenters talking with open mics all the time?
      A long live presentation is gonna have some hitches sure but having so much loose talk really came across pretty amateur.

      • greywarbler 23.1.1

        Earlier I read here that local elections have been held on the same day. This most important matter of the ruling political party of Britain surely deserves its own day and a clear head on the matter, not to have distracting but important local decisions to make. Having both on the same day diminishes the importance of both. Especially as central government only gets considered every five years, which is far too long I consider.
        Four years at the most.

        And I now think that three years in these fast-changing times as we have is best. People have to concentrate their minds more often with a chance that the great majority will keep their eye on their pollies, their talk and their actions.

  24. saveNZ 24

    UK Labour’s ‘third way’ has not worked. By muddling up the discourses between Tory and Labour there is a knock on effect of diluting the Labour message. Can you trust Labour after the invasion of Iraq, the promises it was due to Weapons of Mass destruction (not true) with Tony Blair? Yes Tony Blair was popular but the aftermath is what is interesting, Labour losing it’s way with the voters and trying to steer a path back but getting pummelled in the polls without it being clear why.

    Sounds familiar with our own National LIte?

    Also the dirty politics is out in force now. There is now huge advantages with mass surveillance and MSM and governments using information, disinformation and propaganda to stay in power.

    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, but the message fed to the masses is that it is ‘bludgers’ who are to blame on $200 p/w not the traders on $50 mill or the international mega rich who pay no local taxes and often have made their fortunes from state privatisations.

    I watched Campbell Live and they were showing real estate in Westport. Instead of Kiwis to find new ways to create investment in the area, the lazy Kiwi way is just to sell real estate to richer people. It is about time, NZ tried to actually try to create wealth, outside of selling off our country piece by piece.

  25. outofbed 25

    I am in London, An observation..
    “Its the press wot won it”

  26. Tiger Mountain 26

    the UK is a country that desperately needs MMP because that is the way people are voting, and getting royally done over by the FPTP system and gerrymandered electorates, and a few weeks of the tabloids scaremongering

    but a good few of the pasty poms did it to themselves via aspirational voting like they do here, people with not a reason in the world to vote tory do so for various subjective reasons

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Labour is against MMP in the UK, they are for two party privilege.

  27. Reddelusion 27

    Left don’t get it, people want to be left alone, don’t want to be hindered in moving ahead, and plainly don’t like the left who in most cases are abnoxious, envious, nasty self righteous, and bitter, I am not talking left politicians but left supporters, they just put the average voter off as manifested by much of the discourse on this site, the average joe just does not want to be associated with the left. The issue for the left is internal as long they keep trying to externalise their issues they are rooted

    • b waghorn 27.1

      And yet you keep coming back, what’s up with that???

    • ropata 27.2

      Says the disciple of kiwibog and failoil, both larger and more wretched hives of scum and villainy. Online discourse is obnoxious and you are rolling in it. Ever been to the TradeMe boards?

  28. Saying I dislike UKIP would be a massive understatement. But it’s simply unjust that a party which gained one in eight of votes cast gets only 1 seat out of 650 – while the SNP, who overall got a million fewer votes, gets nearly 60.

    Besides, from the experience in NZ of parties like Future New Zealand and some of the more hilarious low-ranked MPs like Gilmore and Hauiti, letting the extremists and randoms get a bit of the spotlight to thoroughly embarrass themselves in does seem to be an effective way of getting them out of politics altogether.

    • mickysavage 28.1

      Agreed and I am sure that there is no one on the right who would say the same thing.

      Besides one green MP per four UKIP MPs would provide balance!

    • Lanthanide 28.2

      “Besides, from the experience in NZ of parties like Future New Zealand and some of the more hilarious low-ranked MPs like Gilmore and Hauiti, letting the extremists and randoms get a bit of the spotlight to thoroughly embarrass themselves in does seem to be an effective way of getting them out of politics altogether.”

      I think that’s a pretty dismal view to take. Backbenchers are paid something like $150,000 a year (IMO this is too much, it should be more like $120k). For this amount of money I expect competent people, not clowns.

      • I expect competence too, Lanth, I don’t know why you would imply otherwise. But since there are no processes in place to ensure competence – unless that’s what the voters prioritise – and even then it would be impossible to create an objective set of criteria which is fair and practical to implement – I must accept that incompetent and extreme people will get into our Parliament, and there may be a silver lining to that.

        • DoublePlusGood

          Yeah, if people want clowns in government, that’s what they get!

        • Sacha

          “But since there are no processes in place to ensure competence”

          Parties are responsible for that. Interesting you believe they do not exist.

    • Sans Cle 28.3

      Crazy outcomes. Equally the DUP in Northern Ireland got 25% of The NI vote (no more than 250,000 votes) and they get 8 seats – same as LibDems!

  29. joe90 29

    Farage and Clegg have announced their resignations.

    • millsy 29.1

      Farage and the UKIP never had a hope of getting more than one or two seats. He peaked to early, not to mention that people saw through his BS ‘common man’ routine, and saw the establishementarian hiding within.

      • Colonial Viper 29.1.1

        disagree: UKIP got 3M votes. By rights in a democracy they should have 60 or 70 MPs. But its not a democracy is it.

        • Sans Cle

          It’s a system of slow change and retaining the established order. 3m UKIP votes show an emerging discontent resonating throughout the UK (though not concentrated enough in particular electorates to win seats). Potential threat identified. Gives the establishment 5 years to knock back that message either through appeasement or other means.

          I think a mix of single transferable vote at constituency level along with top and bottom ranking (from 1 to 5) of all candidates by party would not be impossible to implement.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            The Lib Dems screwed a potential move to a more proportional electoral system (on the way to screwing themselves).

            • Sans Cle

              When was that?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Actually, looking into it, “Alternative Vote” wasn’t going to greatly increase the proportionality of the UK electoral system anyway.


                • Lanthanide

                  Labour and the Conservatives deliberately engineered a crappy alternative system. The Lib Dems fell into the trap by saying that a referendum on an alternative voting system needed to take place, but they failed to put requirements around the process that was followed. Reading the history on that wiki page, their electoral commission had a novel suggestion in 1998 but it went nowhere. In NZ however, there was public disquiet with the voting system as a result of the 1980 election, and a royal commission recommended MMP in 1986. When the referenda did take place, there was a big public education campaign, and they allowed the public to nominate the new voting system in 1992, with the follow-up referendum in 1993 which resulted in the switch to MMP.

                  If the Lib Dems had insisted on a similar style of reform, they might have actually produced a result.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Interesting they did not then, especially since we were a shining example out of the FVEY anglo English nations: we were the ones who had successfully adopted a proportional electoral system.

        • katipo

          I doubt If the UK had a PR UKIP would have got 70 or even 60 seats. As the NZ example proves, with Bob Jones’s NZ Party under FPP and their 12% compared with say Act Party, NZ Conservative or Mana . When people know their vote will count the numbers casting ‘protest votes’ for single issue parties or those on the ends of the political spectrum, tends to diminish.

        • greywarbler

          No it’s called the Westminster democratic parliamentary system of government.
          This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

          Parliament –
          (usually initial capital letter) the legislature of Great Britain, historically the assembly of the three estates, now composed of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal, forming together the House of Lords, and representatives of the counties, cities, boroughs, and universities, forming the House of Commons.

          Parliament comes from old French parle – to talk ie parley.
          Ms Devlin noted that there was too much jaw and stood for real action.
          My function in life is not to be a politician in Parliament: it is to get something done.”
          – Bernadette Devlin

  30. gnomic 30


    Slogan of the Cons in 2015.

    Why wouldn’t you vote for that? Some may recall the local Brighter Future version. Now with added More Secure. Yeah right. Let’s see how that works out.

    This does not bode well for anyone but the beneficiaries of the Tory State.

    However there may be a poisoned chalice element, would one wish to be Dave trying to square the circle in the next few years?

  31. both british labour and nz labour are light-blue in ideological-colour..

    ..and as long as they continue being that shade..the dark-blue team will continue to beat them..

    (..’cos they are much better @ that shit..)

    ‘we’re not quite as bad as them!’..ain’t enough..(for both labour parties..)

    (i wonder when that penny will drop for them both..?..)

    ..british labour now has five long years to think that thru/work that out..

    ..our crew only has a couple of yrs to get that sorted..

    ..and going on labour to date..i can’t see that happening/them getting that together..

    (hint for nz labour people/party:..go read snps’ policy-plank..and wonder at their clean sweep of british labour/the tories..

    ..and then try and put two and two

    but i hafta say..i’m not really fucken hopeful they have the nous/will be able to do that..

  32. SMILIN 33

    Of course if we go for the 4 year term here its just to satisfy the present biggest ego that he will inseminate his US based conservatism in our voters, so that to unshackle our people, it will take either a coalition of the now opposition parties or a highly unlikely outright majority by labour as those days for any parties are drawing to a close.
    And of course politically with the present govt, a voter intelligence of 1 is becoming the strategy of the govt to nullify any real protest to just being another member of the club as we are about to loose a good chunk of our sovereignty to the oil and mining cartels and the banksters again and the tobacco companies ,plus our already screwed health system to the TPPA to up the Grocers status in the statesmanship stakes
    The utter bullshit that this govt shovels at us would be a credit to any cow cockey if he ran out of water or the power supply wasnt capable of washing the yard down everyday (and you thought we are selling milk ) so I suppose the analogy is good representation of the mire we are heading for if we dont vote differently from the UK next time round for us but the Key machine will do it best to keep the sheep following the empire even though Keyster wants to create the illusion that we are different from the place he really comes from by changing the flag for his names sake amen
    Give me fucking strength to shovel the tory shyte back to where it came from

  33. Mike the Savage One 34

    The UK needs proportional representation, as the results clearly show. Millions of votes have simply counted little or nothing, as this graph shows:

    • Colonial Viper 34.1

      Labour doesnt support proportional representation. They wanted to preserve the two party system in the UK. The voters told them what they think about that, however.

      • David 34.1.1

        Of course Labour doesn’t support PR

        Labour 9.3m votes, 232 seats
        UKIP 3.9m votes, 1 seat

        That’s a democratic system the left loves…..

        • te reo putake

          Er, under a strictly proportional system, Labour would have got 234 seats (36% of 650 seats). What was your point again?

          • Lanthanide

            At this election, yes. But at the last election, they got 28.9% of the vote and 258 seats, rather than 188 if it were proportional.

            Labour has a long term view, even if you don’t.

          • Colonial Viper

            lol you just ignored UKIP’s 3M votes as irrelevant to democracy, which makes the point perfectly.

            • te reo putake

              Nope, I was referring the fact that Labour would have been better off under a proportional result by two seats.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And you missed out the minor fact that UKIP would have been 70 seats better off.

                • Yes, because I was replying to a comment specifically about Labour.

                  • Lanthanide

                    David said that Labour doesn’t support PR, precisely BECAUSE Ukip got only 1 seat despite winning 3.9M votes.

                    But there you go again, wilfully mis-representing someone else’s post, just to make a point that is irrelevant to the topic.

            • tinfoilhat

              @CV give up on TRP you’re wasting your time, he’s so entrenched in the Labour political elites that he can’t/won’t see the wood for the trees.

        • katipo

          Here’s an interesting link about the result and PR…

          “…David Cameron has been hailed for pulling off an extraordinary victory but the fact is that his party has gained 23 seats, becoming a majority party with a swing of only 0.8%. Labour, on the other hand, saw a positive swing of 1.5% but lost 26 seats.

          There is a strong argument that the 2015 results are perverse and that electoral reform – such as some kind of proportional representation, where the number of seats are determined by the share of the vote – is much-needed.

          The SNP with just under 1.5m votes won 56 seats. UKIP with 3.8m votes won only one seat and the Liberal Democrats with nearly 2.4m votes have only 8 seats. The point is that votes are not equal and many people may feel that their political engagement is irrelevant.”

          • alwyn

            I think that the UK should bring in an exclusively PR system and get rid of all the electorates.
            That would get rid of the anomalies such as the Green and UKIP infinitesimal number of seats.
            They should also have the same cut-off for the minimum number of votes to get any members that New Zealand has.
            Look at the result! The SNP would have ZERO MPs at Westminster. After all they only got 4.7% of the votes.

            • Mike S

              “After all they only got 4.7% of the votes.”

              Then in a truly representative system they should get 4.7 % of the seats in parliament (5 seats)

      • dukeofurl 34.1.2

        Really CV ?

        Well voters were asked in the alternative vote referendum in 2011.
        It was similar to Australia’s preferential system in that candidates are ranked.

        The current system won by 67%

        Thats another of your profundities which are complete fabrications. You really should be more careful when you ‘speak for the voter’s

        ” The voters told them what they think about that”

  34. millsy 35

    Cameron has pledged to govern for ‘all of Britain’

    ‘all of Britain’ mean everyone except the poor, sick, disabled, young, single parents, trade union members, low wage workers, council house tenants, etc and so on.

    Britain will be plunged into darkness.

  35. Colonial Viper 36

    “I truly believe we’re on the brink of something special in our country”, David Cameron says.

    Thats a beautiful line from Crosby Textor, now reused in another Tory win. this time in the northern hemisphere.

    • He also tweeted something about a “brighter future” last night.

      • Colonial Rawshark 36.1.1

        Lynton Crosby is damn good at his job.

        • Not THAT good, though, if he doesn’t account for the internet allowing people to expose his copy-pasted key lines easily.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Quite true, but I am guessing that’s not the result his bonus clause is based on.

          • felix

            He knows he can re-use his lines, right in our faces, because anyone who notices or cares is not the target audience for them.

            THAT’s how good he is.

        • swordfish

          Lynton Crosby: the man who really won the election for the Tories….

          “Crosby’s well-funded infantry were quietly, busily seizing the marginals. Another of his favourite electioneering phrases is “below the radar”.

          • Sanctuary

            “…In Australia, Crosby and his longtime business partner and collaborator Mark Textor also honed their electoral technique of “wedge politics”: finding an issue that can be exploited to split off an opponent’s traditional supporters. With typical shrewdness and ruthlessness, Crosby identified the surge of Scottish nationalism in recent years as a wedge that could be used against Labour, both in Scotland and in England. ..”

            So the Crosby – and by extension the Conservative party – basically risked dissolving the UK in order to wedge an English majority against the Scots. This worked on Thursday.

            Amongst all the Tory triumphalism then the cost of their victory has been high. The problem with using Crosby-Textor’s tactics is short term victory comes at the long term cost of de-legitimising democracy and ultimately making entire countries ungovernable by dividing societies against themselves.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Five more years of Tory rule at a price that they are willing for everyone else to pay. Sounds like a good deal.

              Meanwhile, the more interesting question is how Labour went so wrong, and couldn’t see it (or if they could, couldn’t correct it) right until the edge of the cliff and beyond.

              • dukeofurl

                They increased their vote and seats in England and Wales, but Scotland was a disaster that couldnt be allowed for on a national platform.

                The tories had been wiped out in Scotland, with one of two exceptions a while back.

                To think that once before the Tory clone party in Scotland, Unionist had the same % as SNP had now.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  They increased their vote and seats in England and Wales, but Scotland was a disaster that couldnt be allowed for on a national platform.

                  wouldn’t have mattered one whit if Scotland had been red from tip to toe. Labour would still have lost that election.

                  • swordfish

                    Absolutely true. Scotland’s irrelevant*. SNP, after all, are part and parcel of the Anti-Tory Bloc. Labour’s abject failure in the English Marginals = the problem.

                    *Though, of course, the SNP’s (expected) success in Scotland is relevant to the result in so much as it was the Crosby-Textor Bogeyman du jour that may have played an important part in that abject failure.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The SNP had Crosby-Textor to thank for their outright victory? LOL isn’t life ironic.

            • Clemgeopin

              More :

              “Crosby has a keen, almost flirtatious, appreciation of smaller parties that undermine his clients’ main opponents. When Jenny Jones was the Green party candidate for mayor of London in 2012, she remembers: “We were shut up together in green rooms from time to time. He gave me a couple of pieces of [unsolicited] advice – he said I should move my campaign to the left.”

              Jones says she ignored the suggestion; but she won over 4% of the vote regardless, more than Boris Johnson’s eventual victory margin over the London left’s former favourite, Ken Livingstone. Jones says: “To the horror of some of my colleagues, I think Lynton Crosby’s a very clever man.”

              Yet in this general election perhaps Crosby’s cleverest trick of all was to make it look as if the Tory campaign wasn’t working. From February onwards, as the polls seemed to show Labour and the Conservatives deadlocked, Tory commentators and senior party figures including Theresa May and Michael Gove began complaining in coded language about the campaign that Crosby was masterminding. In the Times in March, one of David Cameron’s biographers, Francis Elliott, wrote that even the prime minister privately shared the “frustration” of some Conservatives at their campaign’s “narrow focus”.

              Were such frustrations entirely genuine – or, given the total control Crosby insists on over his clients’ public utterances – confected as a diversion? Only historians may eventually find out for certain. But either way, while many of the Conservatives’ opponents and many journalists and voters were assuming that the Tory campaign was drifting or stalling, Crosby’s well-funded infantry were quietly, busily seizing the marginals. Another of his favourite electioneering phrases is “below the radar”. “

    • SHG 36.2

      One of the Left’s greatest impediments is its belief in the self-evident awesomeness of its platform. “We’re awesome, and our policies are awesome, and if people don’t vote for us that means that the people are stupid sheep who don’t deserve our awesome.”

      The thought that the people might need to be listened to and that the policies might need to be amended based on what the people care about is just crazy talk. Ask third parties for advice? Pffft. Hire third parties to help work out what people care about? Pffft. Get third parties to identify what policies will most likely make a difference to the way people vote? Pffft. Beneath us. Our awesome is self-evident.

      Hey, Labour and Labour and Labor, all of you have been buttfucked on national television recently, and each time it’s been by an opponent who used the services of one particular political strategy firm. Did any of you think of maybe hiring a political strategy firm yourselves? Like, maybe hiring Crosby Textor yourselves? Like maybe finding out if Crosby Textor has any strong competition and hiring that firm? Like maybe seeing if any of Crosby Textor’s key talent could be incentivised into jumping ship and setting up a competitor? No?

      Didn’t think so. That sort of stuff is for political parties who aren’t awesome.

      • felix 36.2.1

        Crosby/Textor are not in the business of helping Labour governments into office.

        I think you have fundamentally misunderstood what they are.

        • SHG

          They are in the business of providing service to their clients.

          Is Crosby Textor the only political strategy firm in the whole world? Or just the only good one?

          • DoublePlusGood

            They would only take right wing political parties as clients though. In general I doubt that the left wing political parties are as interested in underhanded slime.

          • felix

            Is Crosby Textor the only political strategy firm in the whole world? Or just the only good one?”

            They’re the one you named.

            And no, they don’t simply provide services to their clients like a plumber. They are right-wing extremists on a mission.

            Your suggestion is the equivalent of saying ‘So just get Fox News to give your party favourable coverage then.’

            • SHG

              Here’s how Crosby Textor wins elections. They’ve been kind enough to publish it:


              My advice to Labour/Labour/Labor is to find a company you like that does that stuff and HIRE THEM. Because that stuff obviously works.

              But that would be to admit of the possibility that the Left’s message is not self-evidently awesome, and that the Left might actually be shit at politics. That would never do. Because it is so obviously self-evidently awesome.

              • felix

                zomg they PUBLISHED it? Thanks, SHG!

                My advice to you is to find another blog you like and fuck off there. After that amazing tip above, your work at this one is done.

    • that whole tory election campaign was almost a carbon-copy of the one here last year..

      ..all that was missing was the skiff/rowboat – eminem soundtrack..

      • Colonial Rawshark 36.3.1

        And even though it was a carbon copy, UK Labour still had no come back against it.

        • phillip ure

          i think labour here still ‘has no come back against it’..

 seems far too many of them just want to do the same thing all over again – but to just try to be even more national-lite..

  36. Colonial Viper 37

    i love how TRP claims that no one picked a solid Tory win. Really? They certainly correctly picked Labour getting smashed out of Scotland and reduced to an irrelevancey, however.

  37. Steve Alfreds 38

    I liked Northsider’s comments. But Wayne where are you? The silence is deafening, we need a Tory troll to save us all from the evils of socialism.

    • Wayne 38.1


      I don’t always find it necessary to give my advice to the Left. In any event I have already made my comments on TRP’s election item.

      Also I am mostly happy for your team to wallow in delusion. After all I have often said that Labour needs to be Blairite, and if you all disagree with that, then thats the choice you make.

      • millsy 38.1.1

        Which means just be like the parties of the right and not do anything progressive.

      • Kiwiri 38.1.2

        Hi Wayne, is your opinion that Andrew Little needs to be Blairite too? Even better if the whole Labour caucus are Blairites also?

        • DoublePlusGood

          Obviously Wayne is going to prefer if as many of the MPs of possible are centre-right to right-wing regardless of party. As a result, making Labour Blairite is perfect for him.

  38. Brian 39

    I am hugely saddened.

  39. Tory 40

    Once again the left pick over the skeleton of another election defeat, you must be getting well versed to that by now?

  40. Sanctuary 41

    – 37% of a 66% turnout (that is, a shade under a quarter of the UK electorate) got to elect 51% of the UK parliament. 5% of the electorate got 51 SNP MPs, while 12% of the electorate got just two UKIP MPs which tells us several things – that FPTP truly sucks, that the Crosby-Textor strategy of creating such a toxic political environment that turnout of marginal leftish voters is suppressed works, and that the decadent UK political system is perilously close to losing legitimacy, which leads to…

    The rise of Welsh and Scottish nationalism and the showing of UKIP in the North is clear evidence the rotten voting system and the corrupt and decadent Westminster political establishment is losing legitimacy everywhere in the UK, including in large parts of Northern England. Being a government for the city of London and the home counties is destroying the United Kingdom which leads to…

    – The rise of the SNP tells us that that Labour parties everywhere can’t just be status quo who are not the Tories. Voters on the left need hope and a vision as well in order to turn out, which leads to…

    – The utter bankruptcy of the ideology of modern Labour parties in the UK, NZ and Australia. A defensive and confused managerialism wrapped up in the rhetoric of a vanished working class has had it in the face of the relentless assault by the jihadists of global capital. It just leaves a movement that celebrates the occasional last stand victory in an ocean of Thermopolyaes. In that sense, the SNP encapsulates two important new themes for 21st century leftism. Popular radicalism (in the SNP’s case, Scottish nationalism) and regional devolution are not just good ideas, they are also powerful weapons to wield against global capital. Building coalitions across traditional classes for specific outcomes is electorally far more likely to succeed than trying to build identity based coalitions that then fracture or fail to carry the electorate. For example, much of the UK (sort of the old Danelaw and Scotland) is increasingly attracted to the idea of Nordic style democracy separate from the banksters of the South-East. A Labour party that talked about this as a tool to save the NHS in the UK would to my mind be a more clever tactic than whatever it is Ed Balls thought was a good idea.

    • Sans Cle 41.1

      + 1
      Great synopsis and insight

    • The lost sheep 41.2

      A defensive and confused managerialism wrapped up in the rhetoric of a vanished working class has had it in the face of the relentless assault by the jihadists of global capital

      That’s about as concisely as you could state the lesson that needs to be taken IMO.
      Even a title like ‘Labour’ is an anachronism from the days when the majority of people thought of themselves as ‘workers’.

      What is needed is a shedding of skin.
      A complete re-assessment of what core values of the traditional left are still relevant in a world that has evolved so far from the situation Socialism was formed from.
      Then the development of a coherent and compelling model of a socially fair political vision that modern voters can identify strongly with, and believe is a truly workable system for a rapidly evolving world.
      Then it needs to be sold to voters in a positive, vibrant, and passionate manner.

      Has the Left still got the courage and energy to do this, or is it already too late?

      Unfortunately, the nature of defensiveness works against the possibility of significant change, and my gut feeling is that the old school socialists clinging bitterly to the dying past will smother any renewing green shoots that spring from the ashes.

      I believe that unless a major renewal of The Left does not occur in the next 5 years it will be too late. Neo-liberalism will have won.

    • Pat 41.3

      inclined to agree with your analysis, but would note you have not addressed one point I believe significant both here and the UK….conservative(as in opposition or fear of change) in the large population areas which carries a disproportionate impact on electoral outcomes….as I see it the pretence of representation of the interests of the community as a whole has been all but abandoned by the traditional parties and the pollsters and focus groups control policy from election to election and to hell with society as long as “our team’ wins the benches.

    • left for deadshark 41.4


    • Michael 41.5


    • RedLogix 41.6

      Whoever you are Sanctuary – you continue to be one of a handful of must read commentators here.

      The only thing you may have left out – that between a resurgent Scottish nationalism with a socialist bent – and an English economy utterly wedded to global capital – Labour has nowhere to go. Under the current political configurations it can never win government again.

  41. Colonial Viper 42

    highest turn out in over a decade and the Tories get back in. Labour UK no longer even understands the country that they want to rule. Especially high turn out in Scotland leading to the success of the left there and the annhilation of Scottish Labour as a political force.

    • tc 42.1

      Sounds familiar CV.

    • tinfoilhat 42.2

      ..and at comment 41 CV gets it while all the others above continue to argue amongst themselves and blame the voters.

      Labour in NZ could do a lot worse than give people like CV more of a voice in their organisation and planning but I guess the labour political elites is a closed shop.

  42. adam 43

    Lessons for labour in the UK and here

    1. If you look like Tory light – most people will vote Tory, because at least you know they will be honest about it.

    2. Going a smidgin left, does not work – instead go hard left, and defend your position. The fact is – the media are going to attack – like the good little lap dogs they are. And quite frankly, in a personality contest – the Tory scum have better spin doctors.

    3. Attacking a potential coalition partner makes you look like a wanker. It makes you look like you’re out of touch, and just like a school yard bully – remember that wanker???

    4. Bugger the media and attacks on doing deals over seats – do deals over seats. The Tories do – so what if members of the muppetry moan on TV – Good counter propaganda is quite simple and effective – use it.

    5. Social media is not enough – SNP wiped the floor because of good old fashioned reaching out and engaging with people.

    And most of all

    6. Stop appearing weak. Yeap I said it – the parties on the left in the West, look weak – so people perceive them as weak, and vote for the party the perceive as strong. So change perceptions – bugger the hearts and minds stuff.

    • Colonial Rawshark 43.1

      3. Attacking a potential coalition partner makes you look like a wanker. It makes you look like you’re out of touch, and just like a school yard bully – remember that wanker???

      Yes so let’s work to attack and sideline the Greens, Mana, the Internet Party for they are the true enemies (and the crazy thing is that we are the ones in an MMP environment…)

    • Dialey 43.2


    • Olwyn 43.3

      Well said Adam! An equivocating Labour Party, in a time of deepening economic division, assures Labour’s historic constituency that their parliamentary party has no intention of representing them, while leaving soft tories fearing that they just might. A lose-lose situation if ever there was one.

    • The lost sheep 43.4

      It’s 25 or so years now since the left allowed the tolerance of robust free speech and debate to be crushed under the jackboot of politically correct dogma and overtly precious sensitivities.
      Why would anyone with the intellectually bravery to challenge orthodoxy or explore new ideas or take risks in thought and debate want to spend their time in that strait jacketed environment?
      And so you are left with wishy washy non descripts that can negotiate all the sensitivities and successfully rise to the top of the middle of the road.
      Weak? Of course they are weak.
      Is anyone who remembers the days when you bring up any idea robustly on the left without fear of ex-communication surprised?

      • Colonial Rawshark 43.4.1


        You’re allowed to make strident points and arguments on peripheral and conceptual issues that most voters don’t give a shit about, though.

  43. Clean_power 44

    Poor Ed Miliband, a man without charisma, was on a hiding to nothing.

  44. RedBaronCV 45

    And the disillusionment of the non voter. I’ve seen it in the workplace where there is endless consultation which is basically ignored while the management do what they first thought of.
    In the end those being ignored feel powerless and cease to participate. until one day they find each other..
    Having a large class of non participants, while it may feel good short term, is going to bite someone in the longer term. At least Scotland is healthy in that respect and a beacon to others.

  45. The Murphey 46

    Labour is done……globally

    Taken over by ‘the right’ and used as controlled opposition ever since

    New systems will emerge but the ‘Labour Party’ will not exist to be involved

  46. Colonial Rawshark 47

    Labour ground campaigning advantage ineffective

    There is (even) more bad news for Labour. Throughout the campaign Labour had the upper hand on the ground.

    The Conservative party is shrunken at the roots, unable to mobilise the numbers for street-by-street campaigning.

    The so-called ‘ground-war’ was dominated by Labour, and voters in marginal constituencies reported much more contact with Labour activists than with Conservative counterparts.

    And it appears to have made no difference at all.

  47. Steve Alfreds 48


    I’m not a member of any team. I just thought Northsider’s comments about the Scots voting SNP were interesting. It seems like Murdoch’s trashy papers and the Torys did a good job of striking fear into English swing voters by telling them that voting Labour was voting for those nasty Porridge eating natives north of the border. It seems like it’s a United Kingdom when it suits, but when push comes to shove Great Britain is very divided. As I understand it the North largely went to Labour and Scotland to SNP.

  48. The lesson for me is how grotesquely unfair First Past the Post is. It is to me the perfect reminder of why New Zealand went to Mixed Member Proportional.

    I mean come on. How can this be?:

    Greens get about 1,000,000 votes and 1 seat
    Conservatives get 10,000,000 votes and 286 seats

    If Mixed Member Proportional voting existed the Greens would have picked up nearly 30 seats.

  49. Reginald Perrin 50

    The Greens. A million votes. One MP. It’s fundamentally wrong.

    UKIP. Four million votes. Two MP’s. Still wrong, but feels right somehow. Saloon bar racism should not be rewarded. Nigel Farage is probably wondering what he has to do to get elected or if he should even bother trying.

    Either both or neither is entitled to representation in proportion to its vote. You can’t have it both ways, or cherry-pick.

    • Colonial Rawshark 50.1

      it’s the US foreign policy attitude. We believe in and respect democratic elections as long as our people win.

    • Kiwiri 50.2

      UKIP had two MPs??

  50. Paul 51

    The way to beat Tories.
    Look at what the SNP offered.

  51. Paul 52

    The opposition and the media should ask Key questions like these ones that were asked by Paxman of Cameron.

    How many food banks are there in New Zealand? How many were there when you came to power?
    How many people use food banks in New Zealand now? How many were there when you came to power?
    How much money have you borrowed?

    • Clemgeopin 52.1

      The opposition and the media should ask Key questions like these ones that were asked by Paxman of Cameron.”

      Good questions, but didn’t have an adverse effect on his election result, though!

      I think in the end people voted as they did due to some of these reasons.

      (1) Perceived sense of a good economy as spun by Cameron. (Crosby-Textor).

      But their government debt was soaring to £1.56 trillion, (1,560,000,000,000 British Pounds= 3,215,706,945,165 New Zealand Dollar ( or 81.58% of total GDP), the annual cost of servicing (paying the interest) the public debt amounts to around £43bn! Surprisingly this fact was not an issue raised during the election by anyone, as far as I know.

      (2) The rest of UK except Scotland were afraid of SNP having influence in the Government if Labour were to lead the Government.

      (3) Before the election, Cameron made a promise of many tax cuts and many other money promises, while Miliband had said he would raise the top taxes in order not to cut services. You could google many links but the following is very interesting. I suspect English’s budget (this year and in 2016, 2017) may reflect these ideas to shore up about voters perception and electoral success, though at first glance, it looks as good stuff but you will see the cunning, harm and lowering of services to the lower income people in the long term behind some of the ideas.

  52. cogito 53

    Has anyone posted this link from The Guardian…?

    Lynton Crosby: the man who really won the election for the Tories

    …. includes a Crosby masterclass on political campaigning.

    • Pat 53.1
      ..and heres the point of difference and the narrative employed…sound familiar?

    • Clemgeopin 53.2

      @cogito “…. includes a Crosby masterclass on political campaigning”

      That is no ‘master class’! It is a puff piece for a PR exercise for a few gullible novices. I listened to the talk and it was mostly a waste of time because, he sure was keeping the real bits/ideas/tricks to himself and actually, in my opinion, was being quite cunning/deceptive.

      If any of you watched it, I would like to hear what you thought.

      • cogito 53.2.1

        I agree. It was described as a masterclass in the article, but it was boring and disappointing. The audience was pretty mediocre too.

  53. Gosman 54

    This is from a well now left leaning magazine so can’t be dismissed as being politically based.

    I note many of those excuses have been trotted out here.

    • lprent 54.1

      They seem to have missed the most likely reason. Where the turnout increased and decreased, combined with the vagaries of a non-proportional system wasting enormous numbers of votes.

      Turnout at 66.1% was marginally higher than the 65.1% in 2010. Unfortunately the increase was almost entirely due to Scotland.

      While the turnout was higher in some southern contested seats, they were generally not particularly favourable to Labour. They cannibalised Lib Dem vote, but not enough to topple Tory MPs. In the LibDem seats, they made sure that the Torys took the seat.

      But generally you can count this up to an increased number of votes being wasted in seats where their vote made no difference. Greens, UKIP, LibDem, Labour and even Tory. The diffusion of voting options tends to favour conservatives who don’t go for new and fashionable parties like the UKIP (4 million votes == 4 seats) or the Greens (I million votes == 1 seat).

      I’d expect that when you look at the per seat votes, the average number of votes cast for each sitting MP has markedly dropped.

      Effectively less than 20% of the voting population had an effective vote in a crap electoral system.

      • Gosman 54.1.1

        The left (and center) should probably be thankful the UK doesn’t have a proportional system as it would have likely led to a far more reactionary right wing victory given the Conservatives and the UK independence Party got almost 50 percent of the vote between them.

        • lprent

          That is the short-term way of looking at things. But if the right nutters were running things, then you’d have to ask how well they’d have been able to hide what they really are….

          Think of how Rodger Douglas and Ruth Richardson are perceived now in NZ. Look at the percentage of the vote that Act now commands.

          It was only being able to have the protection of an electoral system that protected them from the wider electorates fury that allowed them to try their silly ideas and have them discarded.

          The UK should have a proportional system. Short-term pain means that the voters have a better idea about what they are voting for.

          • Colonial Viper

            UK Labour won’t support a proportional system, ever. They refused to even consider STV a few years ago. Two party domination suits them fine.

            • lprent

              The problem is that with the steadily diminishing turnouts and alternative regional parties popping up everywhere, that will mostly put them into the position of always second.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                I agree. And I am pretty sure that CT understands this too. Yet Labour grandees steadfastly refuse to change and adapt to this modern electoral environment. This is a syndrome which seems to affect Labour Parties throughout the anglo world.

      • left for deadshark 54.1.2

        Thanks good graphic Lynn.

    • felix 54.2

      The trouble with that list, Gosman, is that most of the items on it probably did have some impact on the election.

      But it sets out to frame any discussion in a very dishonest way, a way with which anyone who has read your comments here closely will be familiar.

      It attempts to imply that if you ascribe any effect to an item on that list, you’re ascribing the entire election result to that item.

      You do this all the time, Gosman. It’s like when someone suggests that – for example – feeding poor kids in school might help some kids have better lives.

      A typical response from you would be along the lines of ‘I hardly think THAT’s going to end all poverty for ever you silly lefties’.

      This list represents exactly the same re-framing.

      Highly dishonest, Gosman. As usual.

  54. Gosman 55

    I quite obviously disagree. There is no indication the British electorate us any less informed than the NZ one.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 55.1

      You are probably right in this case, Gossie. Both are ill-informed by the MSM.
      The Herald gives us the news via John Key or Mike Hoskings. Campbell Live is under review, while right wing Paul Henry has huge advertising programme. Consider the David Cunliffe character assassination and, the Donghua Lui campaign contribution scandal that was never put right by the Herald; the ongoing DP tactics,(Glucina ) the use of blanket suppressions to protect the perpetrator.

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    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    7 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    7 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    1 week ago