UK Labour is in an interesting position

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, January 4th, 2015 - 63 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags: ,

Ed Miliband Tony Blair

A recent article made me reflect on the current state of progressive politics in the Western World.  The Guardian reported Douglas Alexander, Labour’s campaign chief, as predicting that the UK Conservatives would spend three times as much money as the Labour Party on this year’s election campaign.  He is reported as saying:

The air war still has its place but it is on the ground where this election will be won or lost. Anyone who, like me, spent last summer in church halls and village halls, high streets and doorsteps across Scotland will understand this demand for dialogue.

The Tories may be able to outspend us by as much as three to one, but on the ground, in the key seats, we aim to outnumber their diminished and demoralised activists by the same margin as we fight this election conversation by conversation.”

Labour’s response is the same as elsewhere, the on the ground work of activists counters the traditional cash deficit that the left has.

Labour believes a shift in local activism from “no campaigning” to “average campaign intensity” leads to an identifiable increase in the party’s share of the vote. Its research shows that if Labour managed to contact 30% of voters in a seat in 2010, its share of the vote rose by over 5%.

By mid-November, in its key seats, Labour had contacted over 15,000 voters per constituency, 21% on average. It hopes to have pushed that figure to 25% by the end of the year, and take it higher in the months before polling day on 7 May.

The polls suggest the parties are neck and neck and the effect of the UKIP on election results is somewhat unpredictable.  The latest Guardian ICM poll has Labour at 32% and the Conservatives at 31%.  Softness of support for Labour in Scotland following the referendum may be contributing to this result.  Interestingly the UK Green Party is performing remarkably well and is polling at 6% which regrettably in a first past the post system unless there are specialised local characteristics in a local seat.  This is in contrast to the Scottish National Party which with a smaller proportion of the nation wide vote could win most of the Scottish seats on offer.  The prospect of the SNP winning 50 seats must be of concern to Labour because the prospects of the parties agreeing to a coalition appear to be slim.

Ed Miliband has not been helped by some poor party discipline.  Tony Blair recently mused publicly that he did not think that Labour could win.  According to the Guardian:

Tony Blair has cast doubt on the likelihood of Labour leader Ed Miliband winning the next election, saying it could well be a contest that repeats previous Conservative victories against a traditional leftwing party.

The former Labour prime minister has until now disputed reports that he does not believe Miliband can win in May.

However, he told the Economist that the result might well be an election “in which a traditional leftwing party competes with a traditional rightwing party, with the traditional result”.

Asked if he meant a Tory win, Blair said: “Yes, that is what happens.”

He has since stated that his comments were misinterpreted and he expects Labour to win.  But there is a discussion happening within the party about where it should position itself.

The party is having a debate about whether or not it should move to the right.  Thankfully it appears that the party will hold its nerve and not move right as advocated by Blair and others.

Lucy Powell, the party’s vice-chairman of the election campaign, said she respected Blair but the solutions he provided in the nineties were right for that era when she said it seemed right to leave capitalism alone to provide resources for public services such as education.

She told the BBC World at One: “He has his experience from his era. That is not the era we now live in.”

But she added that for most voters phrases such as left and right meant little. She said that since the crash it had been proved necessary to intervene, but denied Labour had alienated business, pointing out that Miliband’s speech to the CBI with a strong pro-European message had proved more popular with business than that of David Cameron, who spoke on the same day.

Recent leaks to the media from within caucus suggesting internal dissent within Labour is not helpful.  As has been shown in Australia and New Zealand internal dissent is electoral poison.

The English experience appears to be matched throughout the western world.  Much of the mass media in each country is owned primarily by the same entities with a decidedly pro free market anti collectivism and environmentalism bias.  The parties of the right are well resourced, far better resourced than the parties of the left.  It is only the innate attraction of cooperation and community to ordinary voters and the work of activists that keeps the left in the game.

63 comments on “UK Labour is in an interesting position”

  1. Bill 2

    The prospect of the SNP winning 50 seats must be of concern to Labour because the prospects of the parties agreeing to a coalition appear to be slim.

    Beyond Labour having to agree to get rid of Trident, what else is there that would make the formation of a coalition unlikely?

    Anyway. The SNP won’t get 50 seats, but Labour in Scotland are dead regardless.

    Anyone just has to look at their new leader, Jim Murphy, a disciple of Blair, who now must somehow perform a convincing 180 degree turn and explain away a shopping list of Westminster policies he was in favour of….illegal war on Iraq, Bedroom Tax, tuition fees, welfare cuts….

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I agree the SNP would rather die than go into coalition with the conservatives but I understand relations are really strained post referendum. Labour also deals with the SNP a as if they are the opposition which they are in Scotland.

      • dave 2.1.1

        going coalition with any form of Toryism in Scotland your dog tucker Tories are dog shit fun begins if the snp has the balance of power , labour is not popular because they took the no line in the referendum and are seen as collaborators and liers , snp are running the line that England has reneged on promises of devo max which Cameron says will take 5 years to deliver since they don’t have the money and Scottish electorate which is now one of the most politically aware and educated in Europe will not stand for that crap a bust up of the UK is still on the cards and there a lot water under the bridge yet the people want real change and they don’t really give a hoot about the bloody English.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.2

        Didnt SNP and Scottish labour have a coalition in the previous Holyrood parliament?

        • mickysavage 2.1.2.1

          Yep but the current relationship is not the best …

          The Guardian recently has this article where former SNP leader Alex Salmond says he was eyeing up a Westminster seat and that he expected the SNP to provide support but not be in coalition with Labour:

          Alex Salmond has said he expects to play a leading role in brokering a deal to prop up a minority Labour government after he confirmed he would stand for a seat at Westminster again at the 2015 general election.

          The former Scottish National party leader and first minister announced he would be fighting for the Liberal Democrat-held seat of Gordon in north-east Scotland, confirming widespread speculation that he wants to return to the Commons after a five-year absence.

          Salmond said he wanted to become an active and noisy backbencher, to “turn Westminster upside down” by helping to force the next UK government into making far greater concessions to the Scottish parliament than just income tax and “small proportion of welfare spending” now being offered after the referendum.

          The article is at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/dec/07/alex-salmond-coalition-labour-return-westminster

        • Bill 2.1.2.2

          Didnt SNP and Scottish labour have a coalition in the previous Holyrood parliament?

          No. In the last Holyrood parliament, the SNP had an out-right majority. In the one before that, they went into coalition with the Greens to form a minority government.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.2.2.1

            Youre right.
            The first two governments were Labour-Liberal and the 3rd was a SNP minority with Green party and then current a SNP majority.

            Interestingly the 3rd government was an attempt at a SNP- Lib Dems but they couldnt agree.

          • mickysavage 2.1.2.2.2

            Right you are Bill.

            Underlines the unlikelihood that Labour and SNP could stitch up a deal.

            I expect Labour’s policy for Scotland this year will propose all sorts of concessions.

    • dave 2.2

      snp winning isnt a bad thing snp kicked of all the private health care providers out of scotland
      they totally hate the torries and english as does most of the scotish population and the first minister nicola stergion is one determined lady

      • CJ 2.2.1

        The SNP does not “hate the English” and in my experience of neither do most Scots. The point of the SNP and the Yes campaign was that democracy at Westminster doesn’t deliver what the Scottish electorate (made up of Scots, English, Welsh, and any other nationality who wishes to come and live in Scotland) votes for.

        The SNP may totally hate the Tories, but in the West of Scotland there’s an intense, historical rivalry with Labour too.

        The people in Scotland who vote SNP at Holyrood do so because they have provided Scottish voters with an actual social democratic option – that led to the landslide majority in 2011 (the current Scottish Parliament) in a proportional representation parliament.

        The Polls currently suggest that the Scottish electorate are now aware that the “vote SNP get the Tories” line that Labour have been feeding them is a lie; and that there may be more political traction in voting for the SNP at Westminster in 2015 than Labour. This may well be both a result of the population having been more engaged in political debates than at any other time in my memory during the referendum campaign, together with a reaction to seeing Labour politicians campaign side by side with the Tories for the No vote.

        My own, special memory is of seeing Alistair Darling actually say, live on TV, that the NHS (in England, Wales & N Ireland) has been safe in the Coalition government’s hands… then turn round and the week after 18/9 Labour starts spouting how the NHS isn’t safe in their hands.

  2. Ad 3

    Lucy Powell’s point that Blair’s experience worked for his leadership in his time have current impact as well. Because there ain’t been much going for the left since the GFC in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the US, and much of the whole EU.

    Every party in those democracies, left or right, knows it doesn’t want another GFC. But what do they want? But I don’t see common lessons from the common defeats, or common projections of the future that the left wants.

    Certainly not enough to say “we want less inequality and poverty”. Piketty and Marx can describe that same inevitability of capitalism upon us. It’s not enough.

    Labour will I think remain an internationally marginal political proposition unless there are common themes and policy directions. I don’t even think we need a new Keynes to do it. If deprivation and 1% rule is so obvious to the punters, it should not be this hard.

    Sme may respond to that that there’s a great conspiracy that keeps us all losing so bad, for so long, across the world. Arse. Been done plenty of times before, in worse conditions.

  3. millsy 4

    UK Labour seem to be leaning to the right as it is…

    They are promising spending cuts, only they will not cut as much as the Tories. Hardly inspiring.

    They dont even want to buy back the railways, which even we did, even though it made it easier for National to dismantle the railway network.

    As for Blair, it seems that he could have just slotted into the Conservatives without any effort. He was more or less anti union and his policies on health and education out-Thatchered Thatcher.

    Best PM the Tories never had.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.1

      I keep having to remind myself that Blair was actually a member of the Labour Party.

    • JonL 4.2

      Leaning to the right – they’re more right wing than any Tory government before 1980 – if they leant any further they could rename themselves “Tory – Heavy”

  4. Ovid 5

    Given that it’s a FPP system, the rise of UKIP may very well split the Tory vote and allow Labour to gain some unexpected seats.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    Tony Blair recently mused publicly that he did not think that Labour could win.

    I suspect that Tony Blair is the type of “Labour” member that thinks that society needs to go further to the right – just Like Josie Pagani.

    The English experience appears to be matched throughout the western world.

    I’ve been noticing that too. Seems that there’s a clutch of RWNJs in Labour parties the world over that are busy whiteanting them.

    • hoom 6.1

      People who think that the world needs to go further Right should get the fuck out of Left parties, join Right parties & let the Left actually be Left.

      No matter how far Right the ‘Left’ parties try to go they will always be out Righted by the Right and that completely destroys the point in being ‘Left’.

      Also: it really is a good pic of the thing that is a problem for Left parties around the world: previous generation discredited Righties still in Left parties making people not want to vote for them.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        People who think that the world needs to go further Right should get the fuck out of Left parties, join Right parties & let the Left actually be Left.

        But that won’t ensure that the world will go further right while getting in to Left parties and whiteanting them will. What actually needs to happen is that the Left parties need to clearly state their principles and policies and then kick out everyone who doesn’t conform to them.

        • hoom 6.1.1.1

          Fair point & agreed 🙂

        • Olwyn 6.1.1.2

          +100

        • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1.3

          Why dont you open some gulags while you are at it.

          If you knew your history, you would recall Michael Savage, practically on his death bed, kicked out John A Lee. he was too left wing.

          • DS 6.1.1.3.1

            Lee wasn’t kicked out because he was too left-wing. Lee had many ideological sympathisers in the Labour caucus (Arnold Nordmeyer, for one). His problem was his destructive personality, and his personal attacks on the dying Prime Minister.

  6. Jenny Kirk 7

    ” Recent leaks to the media from within caucus suggesting internal dissent within Labour is not helpful. As has been shown in Australia and New Zealand internal dissent is electoral poison. ”

    You’d think they’d have learned something from the recent NZ experience, wouldn’t you ? Dissenting, leaking caucus does not lead to electoral victory !

    • Northsider 7.1

      Andrew Little has made an example of Cosgrove with his severe demotion and Mallard is in the departure lounge. With these team Robertson leakers out of the way Robertson is on a warning: another leak and you do not get into the seat Annette thinks she is warming for you.
      Andrew Little saw how team Robertson played against Cunliffe and will not have a bar of it.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        Your knickers are in a bit of a twist.

        Robertson is the current member for Wellington Central, so doesnt need someone elses seat ‘warmed’

        • Northsider 7.1.1.1

          The Deputy Leader possie, you rude person.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1.1.1

            Deputy leader is a position not a ‘seat’, which generally means electorate in this context.

            • Anne 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Hang on gwwnz. I took Northsider to be referring to the Deputy Leader’s seat in the debating chamber which Annette King is currently keeping warm for him.

              It looks like that is exactly what he meant.

  7. f.y.i..i have been keeping an eye on all that..

    ..and have come to the conclusion milliband is their shearer…

    ..(and if you have never seen vid of him speaking..watch some..

    ..i swear he was made in the same factory that made wallace and grommit..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/?s=british+labour+party+

    (..the first ten stories in link r relevant..)

  8. miravox 9

    Tony Blair showing disunity is a bit like Roger Douglas trying to tell our Labour party what to do. He’s so intensely disliked by so many people that it likely will increase Labour votes I reckon.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      Shame about winning a general election twice, intensely disliked you say, by whom.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.1

        make that won 3 general elections, the same number as Maggie Thatcher.

      • miravox 9.1.2

        Let me rephrase ‘… Is now so intensely disliked…’

        Won 3 general elections and by 2003 had topped a poll of Worst Britons and was forced to hand power to someone even more unelectable than he was.

        Brown has been rehabilitated to a degree (well, until the results of the Scottish referendum debate), Blair has not been. Take the comments on Andrew Rawnsley’s article in yesterday’s Guardian as to the intensity of feeling about him.

  9. Lloyd 10

    Trying to be neo-liberal-light will not solve the economic problems of the UK, New Zealand or any other OECD country, To get out of the GFC malaise progressive taxes must be increased and there must be redistribution of wealth to the low and middle income groups in society.
    Left wing parties must get over the message that progressive taxes will benefit the majority of the electorate immediately and will benefit all in the country eventually, as the redistribution of wealth will stimulate the economy far better than anything done since Reagonomics and Maggie Thatcher started screwing up the US and UK economies. Regressive taxes (GST or VAT) must be reduced or eliminated,
    When the majority can see voting for left wing parties must benefit them, the surely there will be no right wing governments in power?

    • locus 10.1

      “progressive taxes will benefit the majority of the electorate immediately”

      Do you mean a reduction in tax for the majority with the resulting deficit covered by increasing tax for top earners (assuming this group doesn’t have the ability to avoid tax) – i.e. redistribution of the tax burden?

      I don’t know of any left wing party in recent history that has won an election based on a promise to increase tax? I’d be happy if you could prove me wrong…

      I agree that eliminating regressive taxes like GST should be a focus for left wing parties – maybe combined with a proposal to replace them with a much lower % transaction tax on all financial transfers. But I’m very doubtful that an election promise to increase progressive taxes (whatever the good reasons we have to justify this) will sway voters away from nact

  10. Rob 11

    Any party that promises to increase tax will be dog tucker
    Leave any major changes to the taxation rates till after the books are clearly reviewed
    Focus on engagement with the masses
    Go to Comms101 just like Obama and Key
    Only don’t not perform when in power afterwards

  11. Whateva next? 12

    I agree Rob, Thatcher stayed in for 11 years by the opposite, promising tiny tax cuts, and despite taking so much more back, the masses fell for it……… Key only had to mention tax cuts……NEXT YEAR, and he ‘s in again, crickey.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Puleeze. In any normal election campaign, the gulf between the PM and finance minister would have been seized on as evidence of disarray. As it was English was able to school Dirty John without too much fall-out.

  12. Wayne Mapp 13

    Hoom,
    Keep on encoraging all moderates, such as Josie, to join the Nats.
    It will guarantee that the Centre Right will win all future elections. Govt might a bit bland though.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      When did you decide to become a tr*ll, Dr. Mapp?

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Pagani is about as moderate as John Key.

    • millsy 13.3

      Wayne — what policies would you find it acceptable for National to dump for it to move to the ‘centre ground’?

      If you were in Sid Holland’s cabinet, would you have supported the establishment of the Tourist Hotel Corporation (essentially state run hotels), given that was a previous depature from ‘core National principles’ to appeal to the ‘centre’?

  13. Sable 14

    UK Labour is already right leaning which is why other parties are doing well there. People are sick and tired of their ersatz socialism. Much the same scenario we have here in NZ.

  14. SNP are forecast over 50 seats and Labour only three in Scotland.
    Labour has lost popularity further since the selection of Westminster MP Jim Murphy as leader of the Labour “branch office” in Scotland.
    Murphy cannot speak in the Holyrood Parliament so the young deputy, a list MSP with little life experience outside of Labour and student politics, must front in Parliament to the extremely experienced Nicola Sturgeon. SNP has become the Social Democratic Party of Scotland. They have nearly 100,000 paid up members who are raring to win in the May election. Labour is suspected of having less than 10,000 members in Scotland.
    The SNP has exceptional leadership in Sturgeon, Salmond, McSwiney and Murrell.

    The Lib Dems will be lucky to hold onto Joe Grimonds old seat in the Orkneys. There are more Pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs: two Pandas in Edinburgh Zoo and one Tory MP in the Borders.
    The 2015 Westminster GE is similar to the 1918 one which led to Irish Independence. It will accelerate the reunification of Ireland and the development of real regional government around England and Wales.

    This election could be the last UK of GB and NI election.

    It will be fascinating.

    • tricledrown 15.1

      With Ukip in the mix,the lib dems decimated the Tories behind.
      The Tories will need Ukip to get back in and Labour will need the SNP.
      A decimated libdem party could still hold the balance of power!

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.2

      SNP are forecast at over 50 seats ?

      yeah right, how did that forecast of a close referendum go. There was only close result in one or two areas.

      Having a closer look at the surveys, they are under weight for young males ( so polled numbers are pushed up) and over weighted for older males ( polled numbers are pushed down). THis would be areas where SNP is strong ( young) and labour strong ( older)

      The election day voters may reflect the live polls results before adjustment.

      • Bill 15.2.1

        What your missing in your dismissal of that SNP voting sentiment is that many people who voted against independence, nevertheless wanted much more power devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

        The UK’s Labour/Tory/ Lib Dem ‘triumvirate’ desperately threw in ‘devo- max’ immediately prior to the vote after saying all along that devo-max would not be an option.

        Now the question arises as to whether they will they deliver devo-max. Many think it unlikely…unless of course, a large SNP contingent is returned to Westminster to ‘keep the bastards honest’.

        But sure, I don’t think anyone, not even the SNP, is taking the 50 seats prediction seriously…a groundswell of support resulting in many more SNP members of (Westminster) parliament – yes. But 50 seats? Probably not.

        And Labour done, dusted and finished in Scotland? Possible.

      • Northsider 15.2.2

        “Labour set for a bloodbath in Scotland”

        “Whereas Labour’s Scotland-wide vote drops by 16 points, it falls by 22 points in these constituencies while the SNP surges by 26. That combination is sufficient to wipe out majorities that were always assumed to be impregnable, and Scottish Labour’s Westminster caucus is left shrivelling to just three MPs.

        We are prospectively looking at the collapse of citadels that have always been Labour since the 1920s,” said [Professor] Curtice. “That will seem incredible to some in England, but to those of us who paid close attention to Alex Salmond’s 2011 landslide at Holyrood, it would merely be the next chapter in the political transformation of a nation.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/26/labour-bloodbath-scotland-general-election-2015-snp-westminster

        • ghostwhowalksnz 15.2.2.1

          Just as well, the SNP werent relying getting more of that North Sea oil money as ‘their own’

          hello!. “SNP raises taxes to make up big loss of revenue from Oil” would have been the headlines.

          • Northsider 15.2.2.1.1

            Scotland has been subsidising the rest of the UK for years. They pay more taxes per capita and get hardly any major capital programs. This was well documented in the Financial Times, Herald Scotland and elsewhere.

            http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/do+the+scots+subsidise+the+english/166260.html

            Already Scotland is reaping the rewards of the Indy Buzz. The people are more stimulated to achieve a better and more prosperous society. That is resulting in better economic growth and social and political engagement.

            The oil is not a problem. It is but one of many variables that will go into the mix. It is human wealth that will make Scotland prosperous.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 15.2.2.1.1.1

              Thanks for that. You do know when an article is only a rewrite of a press release from a political party ? As well it was dated 2006 so the data was for around 2004, thats 10 yeras ago. We have had a GFC( which basically destroyed the leading scottish banks and if independent, Scotland would have been in deeper trouble than Ireland)

              The basic fact is that Scotland back then got 1500 pounds per head MORE in public services than England. This is a truth that SNP doesnt deny.
              Instead they say is about 1100 pounds. As this is just a rewrite, the author doesnt look at another credible authority to find out who is right.

              The SNP says 9.2billion SHOULD be Scotlands share of North Sea oil, its obvious that amount in 2006 would be very much smaller than today

              AS well the Scottish governments expenditure is running a deficit of 11 billion pounds, which is 13% of GDP. (2004)

              Latest figures give deficit 14.2 billion pounds which is 11% of GDP
              The equivalent UK wide figure is 115 billion or 7.3%

              So they are spending all the extra money from Westminster and then a lot more ( thats why they have no student fees compared what is payable in Britain)

              Even with the ( reduced) revenue from oil, and additional national government costs if independent, Scotland would be a basket case economically without steep cuts in services or rises in taxation.

              The figures from Scotland itself, even IF all its oil revenue was included was a deficit of 12 billion pounds in 2013.( 8.3% GDP)
              http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/7888

              You would have to increase that number for an independent country ( paying debt, defence costs, international costs etc)

              Its clear that human wealth is not making Scotland prosperous, and independence will make it much pooerer

  15. AUDNZD 16

    Ersatz socialism? Hasn’t socialism failed everywhere?
    Who needs it? Definitely, not NZ.

  16. DS 17

    >>>However, he told the Economist that the result might well be an election “in which a traditional leftwing party competes with a traditional rightwing party, with the traditional result”.

    Which explains 1945, 1950, 1964, 1966, February 1974, October 1974… oh wait.

    UK Labour’s problems in the 1980s weren’t because it was “a traditional left-wing party”. The problem was SDP treason and disunity. If left-wing associations put people off, why did UK Labour get a lower percentage of the vote in 1992 (after Kinnock’s modernisation and US-style campaign) than it got in 1979, a matter of months after the Winter of Discontent?

    Blair’s victories were due to (1) Tory collapse in the aftermath of Black Wednesday, and (2) the British Left finally figured out how to vote tactically. It gets forgotten that Tony Blair in 1997 got fewer votes than John Major got in 1992.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1

      Comparing previous % is a false idea, as even Thatcher at her peak got less % of the vote than the hapless Ted Heath did when he LOST!!!!

      Voters have no longer a strong identity to political parties and choose third or fourth or fifth parties more often.

      Its a false idea to compare % of total vote with bygone party ideology. Doesnt work as I have shown

      • DS 17.1.1

        Um no.

        Heath lost three elections, and his peak among those was 41.9% in 1966. Thatcher got 43.9% in 1979.

        Comparing, say, 1992 and 1997 is perfectly legitimate. It shows that Blair wasn’t this silver bullet his apologists claim. Blair destroyed turnout in Labour areas.

        The four lost elections make for an interesting rebuttal of the Blairite narrative too.

        1979: 36%
        1983: 27%
        1987: 30%
        1992: 34%

        If 1983 was all the fault of Michael Foot and the Longest Suicide Note in History, why did Labour barely recover in ’87, when it ran a much better campaign? If it was all down to the nuclear policy of ’83 and ’87, why was 1992 so bad? The logical answer is that the SDP traitors split the anti-Tory vote until 1997.

        1992 in hindsight was bad for Labour (i.e. it led them to buy Blair’s nonsense), bad for the Tories (they have never really recovered from Black Wednesday), and bad for Britain.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1.1.1

          I was meant to claim Heaths best result ( 46.4) was better than Thatchers best result ( 43.9)

          Blairs 3 results were all better than that from Foot and Kinnock 3 results. The 29 was from Brown.

          Using your logic you could say Clark depressed ( eventually) the labour vote in NZ.

          Just because you are a ( constant) glass half full person doesnt mean every one else sees the Blair years that way.
          Take away the Iraq disaster and you have a better Britain than the tories would have done ( which would have been a version of Ruthanesia)

          • DS 17.1.1.1.1

            Heath in 1970 was a comfortable victory, especially coming off the 1966 disaster. Thatcher’s 43.9% in 1979 of course resulted in her smallest parliamentary majority (it gets forgotten that the Tory vote dropped in 1983, but then there’s the Thatcher myth to go alongside the Blair myth. No SDP and no Falklands means a Labour Government in 1984).

            And as I’ve said: Blair’s wins were motivated not by love for Blair (who, again, got fewer votes than John Major five years earlier), but by hatred and fear of the Conservatives. Black Wednesday killed the Tories, not New Labour.

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  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    2 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    2 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    5 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    5 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    6 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    7 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago