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We have just over 400 days to change this Government

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, September 25th, 2013 - 52 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour - Tags:

Cunliffe Labour save our future

One opinion poll does not a Government make but this morning’s Herald digipoll which had Labour on 38% and National on 44% is promising.

The Cunliffe leadership era has started.  He has not put a foot wrong yet apart from tripping over a couple of words in his first question in the house and given the extraordinary pressure he has been under even a fan like me has been pleasantly surprised with his performance.  And as Karol has said the substance of these questions were both important and impressive.

He has started to lay out deft policy changes.  For example withdrawing support for the TPPA until the text of the treaty has been released will be approved of by radicals and moderates.

The Caucus reshuffle has been adeptly handled.  Some members of the ABC club have retained their positions on merit.  Others have suffered but the overall feeling is that Labour is now getting both of its wings in shape and is getting ready to fly.

And to continue the use of metaphors, David’s insistence that all members of Caucus are on the train and it is moving out of the station is particularly appropriate. Although unsaid it is clearly a dangerous thing for any caucus member to get off the train now that it is moving.

At least at this stage of proceedings ABC now stands for All Behind Cunliffe.

His media interviews are sharp.  There is a clarity and a conciseness in what he says that we have not heard for a while.  And to top things off there has been a surge of new and returning members to the Labour party and from my own New Lynn and Auckland Region centric view morale has improved markedly.

So there is suddenly increased hope that Labour can win the next election.  But the attacks on David that have occurred this week are just the start.  Stand by as every single utterance and comment that he has ever made are analyzed and spun and then fashioned into weapons.  And you can be sure that there is a gold plated pipe going from within the beehive and the National Research Unit to tame right wing bloggers ready to carry anything that can be used to discredit David and Labour.

All that I wish to say about the Hooton incident is that if National Radio do not ban him from future interviews there is something wrong especially if you think about what happened to Bomber Bradbury for comments that were remarkably measured in comparison,

Presuming this Government goes the distance to November 2014 there are just over 400 days for progressives to get organised to ensure that change occurs.

The way I see it there are three possibilities:

1.  National with the support of some non descript minor party or parties hangs on.

2.  There will be a Labour – Green – NZ First coalition presuming Labour and the Greens achieve less than 48% of the total party vote.

3.  Labour and the Greens achieve more than 48% of the vote and perhaps with the support of Mana and with the Turia less residue of the Maori Party form a Government.

Possibility one is obviously highly undesirable.  I hate to think the damage that National could inflict on our country if it was given one more term.

Possibility two is also highly undesirable.  I have some sympathy for New Zealand First and its stance on the sale of state assets and our rights of privacy.  But managing Peters and the Greens is something that would challenge the skills of the real Micky Savage.

Possibility three obviously appeals to me most.  A Labour-Green Government can claim a mandate to address social inequality and environmental threats without the messy need to compromise to ensure a Parliamentary majority.

So what has to happen now?

Both Labour and the Greens need to get themselves into shape.  Labour’s membership is surging but this is a David and Goliath battle.  You can be sure that National’s coffers will be overflowing whereas Labour will have to do what it always does and use its activists to make what money it has go way further than it should do.

Labour and the Greens and Mana have to do the hard work and get people signed up to vote and persuade them that it is important that they vote.  There is nothing like face to face time between ordinary members and members of the public to show them the relevance and importance of politics.  I mention Mana as they do have some very accomplished and capable campaigners.

So whether you are on the red side or the green side it is time to get active, get others involved, get people on the roll and talk to people about why a change of Government is absolutely vital.

Because three more years of this current bunch will wreck the place.

52 comments on “We have just over 400 days to change this Government ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I reckon if Labour maintain or even edge up this polling level, Key won’t make it the 400 days.

    • bad12 1.1

      You may be right, but, not as you intended, Slippery is said to have taken a turn for the worse while walking to the UN this morning, having to first prop Himself up on a building and then entering a nearby pub to ‘recover’,

      A ‘stomach-bug’ is said to be the culprit…

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        the queen wouldnt have poisoned him, but the French? 😉

      • Tim 1.1.2

        Reminds me a bit of a cousin I once had. On the way to a relative’s funeral, we had to stop at every pub en route for him to fix his stomach.

        • Tracey

          perhaps he is more comfortable at a country property than the Un. One is actually government businesses and he would rather go home home via san francisco? There’s no dog to have eaten his homework so this is the best he can do. “mum I dont feel well can I stay (go) home?”

          • Populuxe1

            “One is actually government businesses [sic]” –
            Who is our head of state again?

            • Tracey

              c’mon populuxe1. She has no influence on our children’s health and education and her family cost us money each time they visit here. They are a “nice to have”

              • Populuxe1

                Until binding referendum says otherwise, she is still our head of state and visiting her is part of the PM’s job.

                • karol

                  When did Helen Clark visit the Queen?

                  I can find articles on the Queen visiting NZ when Clark was PM, some criticising Clark for insulting the queen by txting & wearing “pants”. Also an article about Clark saying that it’s just a matter of time before NZ becomes a republic.

                  Key has attempted to revive interest in the monarchy.

                  Ha! Key is just a suck up to those in power – at the end of Glower’s report from NY tonight, he says Key was hoping to meet Obama, and came across Helen Clark instead.

                  • Populuxe1

                    You and Helen can project all you want, but all the polls to date show a high 50s to 70% of New Zealanders in favour of retaining the monarchy. So, unless you are advocating the sort of anti-democratic behaviour more usually associated with National, it behooves the PM to meet with our monarch. I would also note that Helen did indeed meet with the Queen during Her Majesty’s state visit in 2002 and at the CHOGM in Uganda in 2007.

                    • felix

                      Out of interest, who instigates such a “meeting”?

                      Obviously Liz doesn’t call Key up and say “Hey John if you haven’t got much on, pop up to Balmoral for a shandy” (although that’s kind of how Key has tried to portray it).

                      Is it something Key would have to lobby for? Like he did to be the fall guy on Letterman?

                      Of course we’re footing the bill for his family holiday as usual, but it would be interesting to know how much of our money, time and resources were spent setting it up.

                    • Tracey

                      Right, so clark met when the Queen was where she was…

                      I dont recall her staying the weekend at Balmoral or anywhere else. NZ society didnt suffer when Clark apparently didnt think it was part of her job to seek out the Queen for holidays and such.

                      Can you give me your justification for Key making Phillip one of our “greatest living New Zealanders”? Part of his job?

                      Monarchy is like religion. People can choose to indulge but it’s not for all taxpayers to fund.

                      As for her being our head of state, that’s why we have Jerry.

                    • karol

                      When Helen Clark left office, only slightly above 50% of Kiwis favoured retaining the monarchy. It was on the decline.

                      Then we got Shonkey and his monarchy schmoozing, along with relentless MSM royals celebrity infotainment coverage.

                      After Shonkey goes, it is highly likely that monarchy support will continue to decline after Key heads back to Hawaii.

                      Report on Clark’s valedictory:

                      She also launched a bitter attack on a recent government decision to restore the titles of knights and dames to the New Zealand honours system, nine years after her administration abolished them.

                      “Many of our forebears came to this land to escape the class-bound nature of Britain, where their place in the economic and social order was largely prescribed by birth,” she said.

                      “I deeply detest social distinction and snobbery, and in that lies my strong aversion to titular honours. To me they relate to another era, from which our nation has largely, but obviously still not completely, freed itself.”

                      When Prince Charles visited in 2005, she said: “At some point, this country, 12,000 miles away, will seek its own destiny.”

                      At the time, she deflected questions over whether she thought the Prince would ever become New Zealand’s head of state.

                      Opinion polls have shown a majority of people, particularly the elderly, favour retaining the monarchy, but the number has declined in recent years to only slightly above 50 per cent.

                      In April last year, the Republican Movement published a poll showing support for the monarchy slipping to only 43 per cent should Prince Charles become king, with 41 per cent backing a republic.

                  • Tracey

                    Key has been cultivating his relationship with the Queen for ages. Making her husband a “greatest living New Zealander” could be to ensure he gets a knighthood, if not from NZ but from her directly.

                  • Tracey

                    There is no Open Mike today. I want to suggest that win or lose the America’s Cup today (or tomorrow if weather intervenes) I think the Govt will use the outpouring to release it’s “Plan” for Solid Energy… propping it up?

                • Tracey

                  How often did Helen meet the Queen? It was part of her job, right? I dont recall her staying the weekend at Balmoral or anywhere else.

      • miravox 1.1.3

        Riiight. So he has a stomach bug and he’s going to go to all those meeting and shake all those hands… pass it on – there might be few who badly remember NZ’s bid for a Security Council seat.

      • As I have said many times I have no doubt he drinks to much alcohol .If you just watch an d take notice its obvious that he likes to drink to much. I don’t think for a moment he is an alcoholic
        but I do think he has a problem.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      He’ll hold as long as he can so that he can sell as much of our assets as possible. Which means that there’s absolutely no chance that he’ll call an early election.

      • Murray Olsen 1.2.1

        I agree, Draco. He’ll stay as long as he can still sell our stuff. That seems to be his main mission in life. He declared war on everything that made us a worthwhile country, and on everything that made it possible for Paula Benefat and himself to advance in life. The tragedy is that, instead of being recognised as a dangerous extremist, he has become one of the most popular PMs ever. For the life of me, I can’t understand it.

      • That depends. If he thinks he can time it such than he can squeak out an extra term, he will absolutely call an early election.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That would require a massive change in the polls contrary to their present course which isn’t likely to happen. John Key and National know that this is their last term and that they won’t have a chance to be back on the governments benches until the 2020s at the earliest.

          The real question is if Labour and the Greens are willing to steer us back onto an independent track with international trade becoming a small, insignificant, part of our economy.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Very good summary Micky point by point. Those of us that live and breathe politics know DC’s TPPA statement will have certain people very concerned.

    The trick is to engage the non voters and the voters on seemingly technical matters like GCSB, TPPA, corporate welfare and what should be “heartland” issues like asset sales. My partner was watching a TV ad for the next power sell off and suddenly yelled out “how dare they sell our assets!” the images in the ad had totally opposite the intended effect on her.

    Green, Labour and Mana activists work together on some things already and that is the way forward. This country will indeed be stuffed for many decades if the left does not constructively use this new window of opportunity of Labour members and affiliates getting their party back to an extent not seen for many years.

    • “Green, Labour and Mana activists work together on some things already and that is the way forward. This country will indeed be stuffed for many decades if the left does not constructively use this new window of opportunity of Labour members and affiliates getting their party back to an extent not seen for many years.”

      +1 so true TM and I think it can be done.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Great summary, MS. However, I think you missed option 4, which is a repeat of the 3rd Clark government. That’s LP/NZF, with support on C&S from the Greens. OK, on this poll, Winston wouldn’t get back, but that’s not a real possibility, as I see it.

    While I think DC would prefer the Greens, NZF is a simple prospect; get Winston and you get a relatively undemanding partner. Foreign Minister, a few bawbees, job done.

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      And you might also get back some of traditional Labour who are aghast that David Parker has been made Deputy Leader. I really don’t see how NZF would be any more unstable (and probably quite a lot less) than, say, Mana.

  4. Curtis 4

    I think as well we should try and increase Union Membership. Wouldn’t it be funny if Union Membership doubled while National was trying to undermine them?

    • Would that not be wonderful . The unions must get to the high school pupils and explain just what the benefits are in joining a union. we also need to talk to the unemployed and low paid workers .
      The living wage campaign is the ideal place to boost union membership. Come on union officials now is the ideal time to increase union membership.
      Another place ripe for union recruitment must surely be supermarket workers and old folk home workers.

      • Curtis 4.1.1

        I’ve been sharing this site around on social media encouraging people to find their union and join http://union.org.nz/findyourunion

        And yes supermarkets are a good place to start. I worked at Pak n Save for 6 years. We were over worked, insulted and underpaid. Business increased in my department dramatically over the years. A lot of the slackers lost their jobs and the hard workers were left we went from about 30workers to about 15. We worked hard to ensure the stock was fresh and fill and the customers started pouring in. However the staff who had worked there for years and were responsible for the added productivity were only on $1 more than minimum wage which was the starting out wage just down the road at Countdown even though their shelves were always empty or full of rotten food. Progressive is an Australian company and Australia has better labour laws than us. Foodstuffs is a New Zealand company which couldn’t care less. I wish in my time there I get a union properly going but I never did as I was always looking to leave. The other area I would strongly like to get unionised is the dairy industry. Dairy Farmers have a reputation of exploiting their workers and kiwis no longer want to work in the industry. I’ve heard of farmers complaining they can’t get enough kiwi workers because of this. So a more unionised dairy industry would actually help the farmers as workers will know they will be protected.

  5. Sable 5

    I do not see why a Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition is a bad thing. MMP was put in place to try to mitigate the worst excesses of single party rule. Certainly as we can see that concept has not always worked well, case in question the current coalition government.

    NZ First may not be viewed as an ideal partner but then in some ways nor is Labour. Peters has managed to wring a lot of concessions out of past governments for the elderly in particular that would not have materialised under Labour or National.

    Equally the Greens have a lot to offer, especially on human rights issues and the environment. Lets not forget the Greens were the only party to emphatically reject Keys spy bill and the associated infrastructure originally put in place by Labour. It was the Greens too who wanted to clean up our rivers, who voted it down, that’s right, National and Labour.

    This is not a one horse race. Cunliffe and co are only a part of the wider mechanism of a coalition government and its time they and their supporters got on board with this idea and learnt to compromise.

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      yes, “Though you may act in the midst of love, desire, anger, accumulation, gain and loss, be always uncontrived”.
      ‘How do you avoid scattering energy? By not acting compulsively. How do you avoid dimming the spirit? By no keeping things on your mind.”

      BTW, you are getting very skilled at constructing Posts mickey savage. 😉

  6. karol 6

    Excellent points in your post, micky.

    Yep – it’s all shulders to the wheel.

    And if RNZ does not ban Hooton, I will be protesting…. one way or another.

    • Tracey 6.1

      isnt having an opinion one thing but deliberately and premeditatedly slurring someone without evidence a breach of broadcasting standards

    • rod 6.2

      Yes karol, but who invites Hooton to be on RNZ, that’s the question.

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        the same people who invite Boag and Farrar and Edwards and Williams?? Someone who knows Boag and Williams will out hate and connive Edwards and Williams?

        Maybe time to have an age limit on RNZ political commentators… under 45.

  7. Sowhat 7


    [lprent: already banned, and now permanently,. ]

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    In straight out practical terms where is the jobs list? What can be done individually and what needs to be done alongside others.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      First job is to join the party of your choice. For Labour the individual LECs will know the resources that they have and what they need.

      I like to follow the Savage/Marx principle when it comes to party activism, from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

  9. Auto_Immune 9

    I’d be weary of mentioning MANA as part of/supporting a Labour-led government, even if it is a likely possibility.

    While making a pitch for those who didn’t vote last election is laudable, Labour is going to need to take votes from soft National supporters, and mentioning MANA just plays into the “far left” rhetoric.

    EDIT: spelling

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Soft National supporters seem to be heading Labour’s way just fine, thank you.

    • Tracey 9.2

      Is Mana realistically pushing for more Maori seats at the expense of the Maori Party or, are the maori seats heading Labour’s way, or status quo?

      Now, National presumably doesnt poll on these seats, but someone must?

  10. Natsway 10

    To win Labour has to have an Economic Policy – not a fairy story. So far, we have heard a lot of reckless promises, of which not one has been costed. Aka, history repeating – Working for Families and Student Free Loans (just look at the financial impact on the country from these two Labour brain fades). So I guess Labour’s 2014 Economic Election Package – will be Tax, Tax, Tax and then, spend, spend, spend. Same old song – just another singer.

    • Tracey 10.1

      “reckless promises”

      ” Tax, Tax, Tax and then, spend, spend, spend. Same old song – just another singer.”

      GST up
      Road tax up
      Alcohol and smoking tax up
      Promise to reduce debt from asset sales (but instead 50b borrowed under its watch to help fund tax cut to top earners)
      Top earners tax bracket kept at 70k… not raised
      kept WFF (which you seem to decry)

      30m to Rio Tinto
      20m to foreign investors not covered by the guarantee scheme for SCF
      30m to Warner Bros

      This kind of policy you mean natsway?

    • Tracey 10.2

      oh I see, you are a hit and run poster. Drop a shit and leave, like a dog not wanting to shit in their own backyard..

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