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Bottom lines weaker than tissue paper

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 pm, October 13th, 2015 - 285 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, farming, Globalisation, overseas investment, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

It seems like Andrew Little and a Labour Government will keep the TPPA as negotiated by National. As quoted from RNZ:

The Labour Leader Andrew Little says his party is not in a position to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership deal, but a Labour government would flout some of its terms.

Only problem of course is that “flouting its terms” opens NZ up to the extremely expensive Investor/State dispute settlement process. So that in itself makes Labour’s new position immediately untenable.

In my view the damage that Andrew Little has done to himself and the Labour Party is beyond easy calculation. My bet is that they don’t even realise it yet. To recap: Labour’s “non-negotiable stance” with respect to the TPPA (hat tip Puckish Rogue for the link).


But today Labour has shown the entire world that their negotiating “bottom lines” are as weak as tissue paper. And that less than 3 months worth of mild pressure is enough to make Andrew Little fold like a leaf on the party’s publicly stated “bottom lines.”

To be clear: the real damage is not that Labour has shown the Left and its own membership that its word cannot be depended upon (that has been obvious for some time). The real damage is that Labour has now shown the entire trading world, including both the local and the international business community, that although Labour can talk a tough talk now and then, when it boils down to it, Labour is a push over when it comes to its own “bottom lines.”

Any respect in those circles for Labour as a credible negotiator and reliable independent partner has gone straight down the tubes.

What a costly and damaging day it has been for Labour’s reputation.

285 comments on “Bottom lines weaker than tissue paper”

  1. The lost sheep 1

    Once Helen stepped in it was just a matter of finding a back track to circle around through the maze to her position.

  2. savenz 2

    Extremely odd. I have to agree if Labour have decided to agree with Key and keep TPP because it is ‘too hard’ to oppose it – then the centre and left have to go with NZ First, Greens or Internet Mana.

    In fact I think Cunliffe and quite a few others should leave Labour if Labour decide to go with TPP by default and actually get in power and create more of a central peoples party.

    Labour clearly no longer is working for it’s people if that is their attitude.

    Oh too hard to challenge TPP… Key such a nice guy when he is undermining (oh I mean buttering up) Labour.

    No wonder so many in Labour did not win their electorate seats and lost so many party votes. Voice of the people they are NOT!

    • savenz 2.1

      The Nats will be laughing all the way to the voting stations – NatLite sells out yet again!

    • weka 2.2

      “In fact I think Cunliffe and quite a few others should leave Labour if Labour decide to go with TPP by default and actually get in power and create more of a central peoples party.”

      “if”? Labour have already decided.

      I’m in two minds about people leaving Labour. If they do, it leaves Labour to be the Pagani Party. Might be dangerous. A new party would be good though, and probably our only chance at anything now.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        If they do, it leaves Labour to be the Pagani Party.

        Nothing wrong with that – they just need to tell people that they’re no longer a party of the Left.

        A new party would be good though, and probably our only chance at anything now.

        Strengthening Greens and building up Mana and the Internet Party.

        Labour have proven beyond doubt that they do not work for NZ but international capital – just like National.

        • b waghorn

          Internet /mana are history .
          Really any one that aligns with them should get behind the greens ,a green party getting 15% or more of the vote would have real power and it would be better then a gaggle of little parties going for the same vote.

          • savenz

            B waghorn – it’s not the same vote it is the former Labour’s vote – which used to be enough to win elections. People are sick of Labour and National being the same and or Labour being too weak to successfully oppose National because as a party. many of the Labour MP’s should be in National.

            Old Labour voters have no one to vote for apart from Greens, NZ First and Internet Mana (which I think if they come back are going to pick up a lot more votes than last time as they were proved right, and ahead of their time including Hone).

            I was hoping Labour could be resurrected into a centre party but their constant right wing stance on security, foreign affairs and lack of independent thinking and their follow our allies into any situation including foreign occupations and a spy in the Pacific to our neighbours and against one of our main trade partners China is pretty confusing. The back down on TPP is the last straw for me.

            Soon NZ will have zero friends and zero international respect. Yes a few Kiwis can get plumb jobs internationally but at the end of the day those individuals sold our country and their integrity out to get there. Some in Labour as in National are ‘comfortable’ with that, as they are with the growing economic divide in the western world.

            • Draco T Bastard

              many of the Labour MP’s should be in National.


              • Stuart Munro

                I’m not sure they meet the child molestation and corruption requirements for the Gnats. Many would be comfortable in ACT though, or United Future – last repositories for adipose political tissue.

                • savenz

                  @ Stuart Munro, Exactly a lot of Labour MP’s should be in United Future or ACT – just careerists who stand for nothing. They just prop up National under a different brand.

                  In short a waste of space.

                  That is the brilliance of the Natz.

                  While Labour can’t be bothered updating it’s Facebook page for days, clearly the Natz have heaps of money to pay Trolls to disrupt social media websites with their dribble 24 hours a day.

                  But I guess why should Labour bother to update their Facebook page, they are only paid $240k or whatever a year and have teams of assistance and funding – clearly not enough for those in Labour, – when you have to be at all those business dinners to bother or even understand about speaking to the rest of the population that have kids, jobs, 2nd jobs and don’t have time to go to those dinners, but still have some access to internet.

    • dukeofurl 2.3

      The reason why labour didnt win the votes in electorates is because the greens ran a whole raft of losing, nay never able to win candidates.

      • Sacha 2.3.1

        You do understand MMP? Labour did not win party votes because voters did not trust them enough.

        • dukeofurl

          A large number of those left leaning voters with better houses and better jobs vote green.
          Its easy since the Greens have a have a balm for every itch.

  3. Paul 3

    Sell outs.
    The neoliberal virus still infects NZ Labour.

  4. NZSage 4

    As a Labour member I’m gutted by their “new” position on the TPPA.

    Disappointing Andrew…very,very disappointing.

    • savenz 4.1

      What about Labour on spying? I mean 24 hours of spying without a warrant? Agreeing to increase the GCSB/SIS funding after they’re found guilty of illegal action and also embarrassing Phill Goff. Maybe Phill can forgive or maybe he is just really thick – hard to say with Labour.

      But the gets some guts does not ring true with their behaviour AND worse it is making their ex supporters who want to vote for them not able to justify it with their extremely right wing and bizarre behaviour.

  5. One Two 5

    Since 1984

  6. weka 6

    Have to say today is the day when I’ve finally given up on Little doing the right thing with Labour in general (and thus giving up on Labour, because what else is there now?).

    There were a few comments in OM about Cunliffe and Parker not being at the meeting that Labour had with Groser, but instead it was Nash, Goff etc. Is that as blatant as it seems?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Have to say today is the day when I’ve finally given up on Little doing the right thing with Labour in general (and thus giving up on Labour, because what else is there now?).

      He started off good and then went into shilling for corporations as all Labour leaders have done since 1984.

      • Macro 6.1.1

        Draco I’m sure you will be interested in this Article by Dr Wayne Hope posted today – You may have already read it – but if you haven’t it is well worth a read.
        Particularly this paragraph giving some degree of Just how dominated our economy is by Multinationals.

        In 2000 the 500 largest transnational corporations controlled approximately 80 per cent of the world`s foreign investment, 30 per cent of global output and 70 per cent of world trade. These trends represent a fundamental shift in the organisation of capitalism.

        • Draco T Bastard

          These trends represent a fundamental shift in the organisation of capitalism.

          Capitalism doing what it’s always done – shifting to near monopolies and oligarchy.

          The simple fact of the matter is that there’s no difference between capitalism and feudalism. They both have the same top down organisational structure and they both do the same thing which is to shift ownership from the people to a few individuals resulting in huge inequality and increasing poverty.

          • Macro

            The question has to be asked – “How can Labour – any Labour Party – support such a blatant attack on workers?”
            I’ve had commentators here quote me the “gains” in trade as a result of the FTA with China as evidence that it is a “good deal”. The question I ask is “who gets those gains?” Certainly not the average kiwi citizen. Dairy farmers borrowed heavily to increase production in the hope of increased returns. Well we know who gets the money – and it isn’t the farmers who are now increasingly suicidal.

    • Sacha 6.2

      “instead it was Nash, Goff etc. Is that as blatant as it seems?”

      I guess. Losers.

  7. the pigman 7

    Sorry CR, your anti-Labour crusade is based off your own personal interpretation of innately ambiguous language. You are either so one-eyed that you cannot see that, or you’re being disingenuous.

    SINCE concluding the TPPA, Labour have been active on social media criticising the deal and playing down National’s touting of it’s economic benefits.

    My guess is that you follow the NZLP’s page on social media so you already know this, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to put your own anti-Labour framing on Little’s words (to whatever end, I’ll never know).

    Speaking of going “down the tubes”, you’ll be needing that tissue paper after getting this rant out. Somebody open a window, because this one’s a stinker..

    • weka 7.1

      how about you link then? I checked in with twitter this afternoon and didn’t notice anything from Labour.

      Not sure that the people Labour should be speaking to are going to be taking more notice of social media than the MSM.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      the pigman: I don’t give a pig’s arse what Labour say on fucking Facebook.

      Labour have now stated that a Labour Government will stay in the TPPA, despite their much vaunted “bottom lines”.

      That’s what counts, not what they tweet, FFS.

      • the pigman 7.2.1

        the pigman: I don’t give a pig’s arse what Labour say on fucking Facebook.

        I wouldn’t give a chiropracter’s quack about the shit you’ve evacuated over The Standard this afternoon, except that it’s based off a single statement made by Little on Morning Report, that you’ve chosen to load with assumptions, misconstrue and present as fact.

        I can see that you don’t like “fucking Facebook” (or pigs, for that matter), but you have completely misconstrued Little’s words against evidence (on Labour’s social media) to the contrary.

        Little is not in a position to oppose the TPPA because it’s a treaty, signed by the Executive, not an act of Parliament.

        And you have led all these Standardistas down the garden path too.

        Shame on you.

        • Colonial Viper

          Fact: a Little Labour Government is keeping the TPPA.

          And you have led all these Standardistas down the garden path too.

          How condescending. Read through today’s Open Mike. A whole lot of Standardistas have already discussed it through and know exactly what Labour has done today.

          Labour is finished. This is equivalent to Australian Labour’s Mining Tax/Carbon Tax backdown.

          • the pigman

            Oh you stated it as a fact! About an event that has not materialised, against the weight of Labour press to the contrary, because you believe it.

            One disillusioned activist’s beliefs/predictions, a fact does not make.

            • weka

              how about you present your argument without all the ad hominems?

              • the pigman

                how about you present your argument without all the ad hominems?

                Hmm, let’s throw the onus on the person trying to make the argument:

                Fact: a Little Labour Government is keeping the TPPA.

                Does the poster have to produce evidence, too? Nope, all CV has done is quote a line from Morning Report and ignore the bulk of evidence to the contrary. There is nothing to rebut, except to point to how horribly compromised CV is in his assessment of the NZLP, because it goes to the heart of the issue, that he has confused his personal opinions of the party with fact.

              • Draco T Bastard

                RWNJs can’t as they don’t have any facts to back them up.

          • the pigman

            “Labour is finished. This is equivalent to Australian Labour’s Mining Tax/Carbon Tax backdown.”

            Oh look, more facts! Yesss, yeeesss let the hate flow through you.. soon your transition to the dark side will be complete. It’s gonna take more than a quick dump here and few spine realignments to get this out.

            Yep, you’re gone. See you. CV

        • Draco T Bastard

          Little is not in a position to oppose the TPPA because it’s a treaty, signed by the Executive, not an act of Parliament.

          But he is in a position to stick to Labour’s bottom lines that he told us about and say that they will be pulling out of the TPPA as soon as they’re in government. You know, actually sticking to the principles that have been stated rather than saying well, National have committed us now and that’s that.

          • weka


            Has Labour even explained why they think they can’t pull out once in govt? I saw Little say something the other day about it, but it was very vague.

        • savenz

          @ Pigman

          Maybe Labour should have cleared up the ‘confusion’ on their stance on TPP quite a while ago and Clearly said NO to TPP.

          They have never said that. They did not really join the protests – a few MP’s went but only at the end under a lot of pressure.

          So if Labour are angry that people think they support TPP or at least have thrown in the towel to the Nats since they do not think it is worth revoking TPP if they did win the next election then they only have themselves to blame.

          A bit like TV3 hoping firing Campbell would ‘just pass over’. Nope some things are just too mean to forgive and that is what TV3 has found. I think Labours luke warm stance on TPP – sort of, maybe, if we get all these non negotiable things, but actually it’s Nationals decision. Labour will just go down without a fight on TPP cos actually it’s a bit simpler to do a petition about zero hours contracts.

          Once you lose credibility – it is much harder to get it back.

      • the pigman 7.2.2

        “Labour have now stated that a Labour Government will stay in the TPPA, despite their much vaunted “bottom lines”.

        No they haven’t. You have based your entire reading of the situation (against the Labour material and post-TPPA press to the contrary) on misconstruing the one sound bite quoted in this post.

        And quickly, a small drop of truth dissipates out into the labyrinth of delusion you’ve lost yourself in. Your analysis is twisted and one-eyed.

        Shame on you.

        Right, I’ve just about had enough of your “shaming” BS. You carry on like this and all your future comments on this post are going into perma-moderation. Labour gave us their bottom lines on the TPPA 3 months ago, and today Little has made it clear that he is going to be keeping the TPPA regardless (albeit flouting it here and there). And tomorrow I bet you that there will be nothing from Labour about sticking to their much vaunted TPPA bottom lines. CV

      • Paul 7.2.3


  8. les 8

    unbelievable!Grow a fucking pair fgs!

  9. Macro 9

    My thoughts entirely CV.
    Labour has shown that it is just as wedded to the conventional outmoded economic theory (that thinks that only continued economic growth is good – no matter what the cost to the planet, or its people) as National. Labour think that they can tweak it a bit to make it more humane – but they are fooled. The result – increasing inequality and the flood upwards of wealth to the few – may be slowed for a while, but its only a partial delay in the inevitable consequence of increasing inequality.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      hello ?.
      how many voters do you have for your outmoded theories. I guess the 1% achieved by Hone would be close to it. Its laughable that your confused thinking and predictions would constitute a ‘theory’

      Never the less you have plenty of sharp criticism for others – in reality thats all you offer

      • weka 9.1.1

        When the GP started talking about climate change and the need for us to move to a post-carbon society, very few people were thinking like that. Now, most NZers believe that the government should be doing more about climate change.

        That few people understand or see the need for change is not a good reason to not consider it. All important change starts on the fringes.

        Having said that, many of the people I know and spend time with believe that the current economic system is irredemably broken. I think your comment says more about you and who you hang out with than anything. Plus, you can’t seem to repond with anything other than put downs, wich suggests that macro’s point was well enough made.

        • dukeofurl

          Margaret Thatcher was talking about Climate change before the Green party.

          No prizes for being first there. I knew people who were living alternative lifestyles before the Green party was founded.

          But now you have caught with a cufflink wearing, Terrace tower dwelling corporate shill as one of your leaders, Ron Donald would be turning in his grave.

          • weka

            All very interesting but that doesn’t have anything to do with my comment other than you misappropriating it to have another go at the GP.

            Who said first about CC, 🙄 what is this, kindergarten? You really do have a trouble forming coherent arguments (or maybe you’re just here to spread bile).

          • Draco T Bastard

            Margaret Thatcher was talking about Climate change before the Green party.

            Please note that the Values Party, which turned in the Greens, started in 1972. It was, in fact, the worlds first green party.

            Thatcher started being concerned about the environment in the 1980s.

            Really, lying gets caught real fast these days.

            • Sacha

              “Really, lying gets caught real fast these days.”

              Yep. Amazing how little respect some people have for their own reputation.

            • dukeofurl

              “Subsequent to the demoralising election result, the Values Party faced internal conflict between the “red” greens and the “fundamentalist” Greens, and it fragmented amidst quarrels about organisational principles. Kunowski resigned as party leader[when?] in order to pursue a career as a banker Wikipedia
              Certainly ahead of time those Values people
              Yep zero growth policy was a winner for them. they could see it working in practice at the time.

      • Macro 9.1.2

        The TPPA is not about free trade as such (only 5 out of 29 chapters refer to trade) – it is about how trade is to be done. And those rules are to be along the lines of that practiced by the corporations mainly Headquartered in the USA. That means that it attempts to set in place for as long as possible a hegemony of neo – liberal economic practice that will be perpetrated for generations. Notice that China is left out of this deal – the second largest economy in the world, and some predict soon to be the largest. In other words it is a desperate attempt by the States to finally impose its stamp on all Pacific Nations, apart from China, and shore up its imperialistic might.
        Just because many people – such as yourself – haven’t understood that conventional economics as taught by academia is a fundamentally flawed system does not make it right, nor that its projections and current practice is sustainable – it is not. Continued growth in a finite world is an impossibility which has escaped the the cognizance of almost all economists, politicians and reporters. Our consumption of the earth’s resources has already outstripped the capacity of this planet to sustain indefinitely, but still the demand goes on for more. Today the guardian reported that were we to continue with BAU on the emissions path of today, the whole of the Antarctic Ice sheets would be under threat by 2100. The resultant inundation of the planet is almost too horrible to consider – we are not talking the current 1 metre projected rise – we are talking hundreds. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/12/antarctic-ice-melting-so-fast-whole-continent-may-be-at-risk-by-2100
        There are some economists who are aware of the existence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and its implications for economic theory. They realize that the Earth’s resources are not infinite, that the source of “cheap” energy is not sustainable, and once it is used up – that is it! – and that actually the world belongs to us all, not just a select few. Unfortunately they do no have the ears of the “Ministry of Truth” ie the msm, and the select few who think they own the world want to keep it that way. So for the majority, unfortunately they only hear the “gospel” as told by Samuelson, Friedman et al. and fail to realize that there is another way.

        • Draco T Bastard


          Very well said.

        • dukeofurl

          karl Marx said all that stuff 150 years ago, saying the same things it was unsustainable for much longer, but his prediction was class warfare not rising sea levels.
          We are all doomed, doomed [insert guru/prophet here] I say.

          • weka

            There’s quite a bit of difference between sociopolitical theory and physics.

            • Colonial Viper

              dukeourl doesn’t realise that we are the very last of the hominids and that our species (let alone our civilisation) is surviving on a teetering knife edge right now.

              • dukeofurl

                Loving every minute of it.

                When I was going to primary school, nuclear explosions were lighting up the pacific sky.

                I raise your teetering on a knife edge, and give you Armageddon with a nuclear winter for desert. WE would have loved to swap it for 1.4mm sea level per year.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You’re nuts. We’re closer to a superpower confrontation now than we have been for 25 years, but today the people in charge of the buttons are neocons and Russian nationalists.

                  • vto

                    ha ha, love your line about being the last surviving hominids.

                    The thing is that you are absolutely correct.

                    Archaeology is continually presenting us with the myriad of bi-pedal pre-humans that emerged from central Africa.

                    They have all died out, or been killed by homo sapiens, like the poor old Neanderthal (of which we all have 2.5% on average in our blood….. even people like Chris Finlayson….)

                    The writing is on the wall of that there is no doubt.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Rubbish. Im sorry you dont have any concept of those days when US bombers took off fully armed with hydrogen bombs and they were instructed to continue on to their designated targets in Soviet Union.

                    At a certain point a recall message was sent to bring them back. If they didnt get the message it was continue to their drop point..

                    This was with fully functioning and armed nuclear bombs and it happened every day.

                • weka

                  You still seem to not have grasped the reality of physics. Climate change is already set in motion. It can’t be stopped, but the impact could be lessened. This is different to an on/off button, which is what nuclear war is. The on button hasn’t been pressed, so there is still a chance it won’t happen. Once it is pressed, we’ll be in the same situation, physics-wise, as we are with CC i.e. it’s happening in the physical world whether we believe in it or not.

                  Funny you want to argue CC as probability/possibility thing though, I hasn’t seen that particular denialism before.

                  • dukeofurl

                    The Guardian is a well of these sort of over hyped but limited usefulness “studies”
                    It panders to their educated but scientific illiterate audience. Which extends to the other side of the world.

          • Macro

            If you want people to actually take you seriously then you need to take more effort in your replies. That is a stupid comment, and completely misrepresents Marx, and what I said, for that matter. Furthermore you make no effort to refute the impossibility of continued growth in a finite world – nor address the obvious injustices of neo-liberal economic theory – just a stupid one-liner which means nothing, but says a great deal about the writer.

          • Murray Simmonds

            “Karl Marx said all that stuff 150 years ago . . . ”

            Read again what Macro has said above. Then Read Marx and show us where he commented on

            (a) The TPPA and its exclusion of China
            (b) The Neo-Liberalists’ support of Corporations
            (c) the unsustainability of an economic system based on continual growth
            (d) the effect of global warming on sea level

            Macro mentions all of the above and more. Marx, ( I’d hazard a guess, never having read him myself), mentions none of the above.

            What a load of crap.

            • dukeofurl

              THis is where Weka is paraphrasing the doom and gloom Karl Marx

              “haven’t understood that conventional economics as taught by academia is a fundamentally flawed system does not make it right, nor that its projections and current practice is sustainable – it is not. Continued growth in a finite world is an impossibility which has escaped the the cognizance of almost all economists, politicians and reporters. Our consumption of the earth’s ……blah blah says Weka

              ” Marx regarded the TRPF as proof that capitalist production could not be an everlasting form of production, since, in the end, the profit principle itself would suffer a breakdown.

              Karl Marx, Capital, Volume III, Penguin ed. 1981, p. 350 and 368.
              TRPF- is the rate of profit to fall, ie sustainable.
              The idea of sustainability has replaced the older idea of capital but the theories remain.

  10. Pat 10

    yes, the bottom lines Labour appear concerned with are those of the corporates….very disappointing but not entirely surprising.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 11

    They go into a room with a ‘non-negotiable stance’ on TPP and emerge “not in a position to oppose”.

    What on earth went on in that room to produce this Stepford -like transformation?

  12. Dialey 12

    So disappointed to read and hear that this morning, especially after Chris Trotter’s strong words on the path Labour should take. I had been hoping Labour would get the message that Corbyn and Sanders have been boldly proclaiming, and what traditional Labor supporters have been waiting 20 years for. Seems we’ll be stuck with the Natz for another 3 years then, God help this nation!

    • dukeofurl 12.1

      Losing isnt a viable alternative, surely you realise Sanders will have no hope and Corbyn will not last 18 months as he has no leadership skills.

      • Paul 12.1.1


        • Colonial Viper

          dukeofurl represents the faction in global Labour who thinks that Blairite centrism is what the electorate wants.

          It’s definitely what the top 10% wants.

          • Draco T Bastard

            +1, +2

          • dukeofurl

            After 4 consecutive Conservative wins people like Foot, Kinnock (x2) had what the electorate wanted ?
            And Blair who won with 43% ( hasnt been equalled since by any government) and 418 seats offered the voters nothing.?

            • Colonial Viper

              geeezus mate your BS electoral statistics from the UK and the rewriting of UK electoral history have been debunked by Swordfish over and over again.

              • dukeofurl

                Really ?

                I didnt know Foot beat Thatcher and so did Kinnock. The people in Britain who had to live through her sado-economics would die laughing at your attempt to rewrite reality.

                I have only a passing interest in British politics and can easily refute the strange nonsense to appears here from time to time, most recently that glorious workers party , the SNP. [ I think there was ONE MP who started out working in the great Singer factory at Clydebank, but now was the owner of his own national business]

            • Colonial Viper

              From swordfish:

              The other point I’d make:

              And this echoes Mike’s argument about Labour’s (and the NZ Electorate’s) ‘Left Turn’ in 1999…

              … Kinnock (and his ‘modernisers’ – including arch-Blairite, Peter Mandelson, his director of communications) swung the British Labour Party to the ‘centre’ in a major re-branding exercise throughout the mid-80s to early-90s period. That’s the common consensus among academics and commentators. High profile routing of the Militant Tendency activists and its 2 MPs, a major policy review that greatly de-emphasised public ownership, the dumping of the commitment to unilateral nuclear disarmament, abandoning certain pro-TU policies in an effort to change the image that the Party was “run by the unions”…All in all, a clear symbolic move away from ‘the Left’.

              Result: 2 consecutive Election defeats under Kinnock.

              The problem with Rob’s argument (and those made by a few other political scientists with New Labour tendencies) is the way they try to force quite disparate election results into the straitjacket of their theories. Look a little closer at these electoral outcomes and their historical context and you’ll find that it’s an extremely uncomfortable fit.

            • Colonial Viper

              Also from swordfish:

              Cheers, Puddleglum. I knew it (83/05) was fairly close.

              Emphasises the massive drop in Labour’s share of the eligible vote during the Blair Government (especially 2002 relative to 1997). First and foremost, a section of Labour’s disillusioned core constituency moving into non-voting.

            • millsy

              Tony Blair presided over the biggest privatisation of education in the UK, ever. Please explain why you think this is some how ‘good’?

              • dukeofurl

                The UK had a awful local council run education system – still happens.

                We had at least Langes Tomorrows schools which took away the centralized failing bureaucracy and put more control on schools themselves along with elected parents reps. It doesnt allways work as intended but it was a major achievement.

                • millsy

                  Too bad schools lost most of their support structure in 1989 and had to fend for themselves, competing with each other for students and funding. At least we didnt hand the schools over to charities or private companies, which Tony Blair did.

                  It seems you support education privatisation.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The centralized failing bureaucracy. Is that the same centralised failing bureaucracy that could go toe-to-toe with Finnish education as opposed to the defunded capon the National Party is fixated on plucking?

  13. the pigman 13

    Enormous intellectual dishonesty there, CV. A+!


    • dukeofurl 13.1

      ” Labour believes supporting Kiwi dream of owning own home is core principle. We must have right to legislate to help this happen. ”
      “National Govt has traded away right of future govt to further tighten land/housing sales to overseas buyers.
      Secrecy over #TPPA must end. Challenge to the National govt, give NZers a full and open public and parliamentary debate over details.
      Tim Groser is not renowned for his modesty, so if the best he can say on dairy is the right ‘direction of travel’, #TPPA has not delivered.

      You have to put the NZ public at the core of your arguments against TPPA, railing about international monopoly capital didnt work 50 years ago, and wont convince everyday people now either.

      Rallying around the Chardonnay Socialist Trotter wont get you anywhere either

      • millsy 13.1.1

        So you think its OK for governments to be sued for regulating power prices, keeping water reticulation in public hands, etc.

  14. infused 14

    Heh. Didn’t I say this?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      You were part of the inspiration for this post heh

      • infused 14.1.1

        Awww <3

        But seriously, when Little speaks, he always looks like a possum in the headlights.

        Being away at the time this TPPA announcement came through didn't help him one bit.

  15. maui 15

    Considering there’s evidence most of the country is against this agreement I think they’ve missed an opportunity to get some votes. Instead of a bold move, they’ve made a weak one. Opposition is going to continue grow against this deal as some of the details come in a couple of weeks, and over the coming years the consequences will flow into society. National is going to lose political capital in the long run over this and so will Labour.

  16. mickysavage 16

    One comment. The nats are busily trying to load TPPA onto Labour to suggest that it is Labour’s problems. Nothing can be done until the text comes out. Comments today were messy but again we can’t say anything until the text comes out. Until then claims of a sell out are premature.

    And Matthew Hooton must be grinning from ear to ear. His destabilisation appears to be working.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Simple political management was for Little to say that Labour is sticking to its guns and sticking with its bottom lines on the TPPA. Too much secrecy, too little transparency, too few benefits.

      It’s not that damn difficult.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1


      • mickysavage 16.1.3

        I know but Little is trying to represent the views of the caucus. There are a diversity of views.

        It must be so much easier for National. Key regurgitates the CT lines and everyone else nods.

        Don’t get me wrong. The “balancing of views” makes the party’s position look a bit naff to put it mildly.

        • Colonial Viper

          I have to ask, did caucus not agree on preparing and releasing the “bottom lines” 3 months ago? Why not just stick to it then?

          Little has a far from easy job. But on $240K p.a. (or whatever it is) he should be up to it.

    • dukeofurl 16.2

      Unless the TPPA is a team playing in the RWC the voters arent listening and its wise to keep the powder dry until they are.

      But of course the people who thought MJS should have sent troops to fight in the Spanish Civil war have another cause celebre to rail about stabs in the back and other Shakespearean tragedies.

      They speak of ‘the people’ when they wouldnt know more than those you can count on two hands, and for some the two fingers they raise signifies the number of supporters they can count on.

      For some the immediate way forward is create a new faction- Im talking about you weka- and write up some bottom lines, or even put Jose Pagani in a tumbrel.

      To the barricades!

      • Sacha 16.2.1

        Wise to keep the powder dry until the texts are released. Test of message discipline until then. Oh, dear.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.2

        Unless the TPPA is a team playing in the RWC the voters arent listening and its wise to keep the powder dry until they are.

        lol, no, the voters are paying attention all the time. Not full attention, but they are paying attention. This is where Labour has been getting it wrong wrong wrong

      • weka 16.2.3

        you’re not talking about me duke, you’re making shit up about me.

        • dukeofurl

          “If they do, it leaves Labour to be the Pagani Party. Might be dangerous. A new party would be good though, and probably our only chance at anything now…”

          Thats not you ? must have been a pukeko then !

    • Anne 16.3

      Only just seen your warning @16 mickeysavage. A pity some of the commentators here did not take heed. At this rate we can’t blame the public for believing the TPPA is all Labour’s fault. Labour did it. Poor Mr Key and his government have been trying to fix the mess ever since. (sarc)

      How about no more posts on the TPPA be published on this site until after the text has been released? It’s only 2 weeks away. It would give everyone a chance to cool down.

  17. b waghorn 17

    CV the fact to are credited PR and infused in this post surely should give you cause to stop and think about the route you are travelling down.
    If you aim is to tear labour down so you can see some hard left party rise from the ruins don’t complain if we have a national govt for the next 6 to 9 years.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      I don’t need to tear Labour down; as I pointed out in my post, Labour is decimating its own credibility and its own (barely 3 month old) bottom lines just fine.

  18. Olwyn 18

    At this stage, I am willing to wait and see if these bottom lines are held to, particularly this one: * Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest.

    Supposing it is not scuttled by another country, the TPPA will go ahead with or without Labour’s blessing, and the next government will inherit it. It is at this point that bottom lines become important. As Little has pointed out, not all of the countries who have signed follow the same policies as the National party here, and this alone should give him leverage within it. I do not like the TPPA myself, but I see it as a secondary problem. The primary problem is that both National and the right wingers in Labour think that the only New Zealanders worthy of consideration are the elites and the upper middle class. If Labour could fix that problem, and set out to govern for all New Zealanders, the TPPA would be less of a problem, because our bottom lines would then be obvious. Zizek has said somewhere that the left needs to steer a path between a Mugabe (who resisted neoliberalism) and a Mandela (who succumbed to it). I would like to think that this is what Little is trying to do, though I am suspicious of the group who attended the meeting with him.

    • weka 18.1

      Good commentary Olwyn. I wondered the other day what the possible outs and leverages are that Little sees. But this is the problem, the messy communication and the lack of follow up. Not only are we all left wondering what the hell is going on, Labour are also reinforcing their image of being not competent.

      I like Little, but I’m afraid the meeting with the right wingers today and the messaging have taken me past the point of patience.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        And that’s a critical point. National always message to and message for, their core support base.

        Labour always message to, and message for, everyone apart from their core support base.

        It’s ridiculous and I too have had it with Labour.

        • weka

          I don’t even know who Labour’s core support base are any more. I know who they’re meant to be, but who are they in reality? People who always vote for them? The membership?

          • Colonial Viper

            That really is an excellent question.

            • Ad

              National have read this exceeding well and will get a 2% bump, with Labour even and Greens and NZF down about 1%. Great September, let them off the hook in October.

              The MSM and the majority of the public are solidly behind TPPA.

              The entire Opposition have not united, and need to admit the defeat, and regroup over entirely new issues.

              • Colonial Viper

                The corporate MSM are solidly behind the TPPA, of course.

                But where is the polling which shows that the public is solidly behind the TPPA? Kiwi entrepreneurs, tech companies and small business people are very wary of the TPPA, for starters.

              • weka

                you can’t regroup something that wasn’t a group to start with 😉

              • Draco T Bastard

                The MSM and the majority of the public are solidly behind TPPA.

                The MSM are but the public are solidly against it.

      • Olwyn 18.1.2

        …I’m afraid the meeting with the right wingers today and the messaging have taken me past the point of patience. I was sort of hoping that the right wingers were there because their expertise is in international relations, though this would not explain Nash’s presence.

        • Anne

          Hi Olwyn
          Just to clarify… my comment @ 18.2 was in reply to your comment @ 18.

          • Olwyn

            Yes I gathered that, and I have also noted your point that no mention was made on RNZ of Nash being present at that meeting. The reason for the presence of Goff and Shearer seems self-evident, given their roles.

    • Anne 18.2

      Thanks Olwyn. My thoughts exactly.

      Imo, there’s too much concentration on the ‘here and now’ despite the fact Labour is powerless to change anything. Having hissy fits over their perceived (wrongly I hope) betrayal achieves nothing. It’s what a Labour-led government plans to do once in government that is what we should be concentrating on.

      I think there has been misinformation about the meeting with Groser. I heard the RNZ interview and according to Little the other attendees were deputy leader, Annette King, shadow finance minister and third ranking MP, Grant Robertson, shadow foreign affairs minister, David Shearer and of course former leader and former foreign affairs minister, Phil Goff. I don’t recall Little mentioning Nash but he did get mentioned later in an entirely different context.

      Given their positions inside the Labour caucus I think they were the appropriate MPs to take with him.

      • weka 18.2.1

        “It’s what a Labour-led government plans to do once in government that is what we should be concentrating on.”

        That’s what’s being discussed though. Labour are now prevaricating (again) and I don’t trust them. Based on history to date, and what’s happened in the past few days, they could do anything once in govt.

        Fair point about the meeting, this could do with some clarification.

        • Draco T Bastard


        • Anne

          Hi weka
          I’ve had another listen to the interview and I didn’t hear Little mention Nash among the names of the MPS who accompanied him to the Groser meeting. But he does talk about “having a few support people” along as well which I took to mean staff support and perhaps a lawyer or two.

          I was happy with Little’s responses and don’t believe Labour has shifted one iota from their bottom lines. The nuts and the bolts are: once in govt., they will flout any aspect of the agreement that is not in the interests of the ordinary citizens of NZ. I can’t see what else they can do in the circumstances. It’s now up to us to hold them to that pledge.


  19. infused 19

    I guess for me looking at Labour, they/Little (I don’t know) seem to not take an actual stand on any issue.

    The message always comes across confused. Are you for or against?

    That’s a big voter turn off.

    I think National were successful in their 2008 campaign was because they stuck to their attack lines and put a line in the sand. Hey, they flip flopped later on things, but going in you had a clear idea of what they stood for.

    Labour just aren’t doing that.

    tl;dr – Labours message is confused.

  20. McFlock 20

    From the post/PR’s link:

    Leader Andrew Little said his party supported free trade but would not back the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unless the five “non-negotiable bottom lines” were met.

    They are:

    * Drug buying agency Pharmac must be protected.

    * Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest.

    * New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreigner buyers.

    * The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld.

    * Meaningful gains are made for farmers in tariff reductions and market access.

    Five points. Nothing about ISDS.

    a Labour government would flout some of its terms.

    Gee, I wonder which terms? I’m more worried about the lack of comment regarding copyright law extension and the filesharing bullshit.

    Where’s the contradiction?

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      I thought that the bit about suing the government would be via the ISDS mechanism in the Agreement?

    • savenz 20.2

      To give you an idea, on a recent anti TPP march I met a friend there, who was so pro Labour she canvassed for them, was at their election party when Helen Clark was around etc. She was an avid supporter.

      She told me she did not vote for Labour last election.

      I did not give my party vote to Labour last election but I previously did.

      They are losing massive support with their behaviour.

      They stand for nothing.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      Five points. Nothing about ISDS.

      That would be: Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest.

    • savenz 20.4

      McFlock agree – Labours stance is weak and how can they oppose on these terms without seeing the txt but can’t just say no without seeing the txt.

      Nothing they do makes sense. There are more holes in their Non negotiable bottom lines than swiss cheese. If they have not seen the txt how do they not know there are more Non negotiable bottom lines?

      What about the environment?
      Nothing about ISDS?
      What about security?
      What about copywrite?
      What about the other 25 chapters are they all ok with them without seeing them?

      It’s like they are babies.

      We know the Natz are thicko’s but Labour used to have some sort of mental ability.

      And as for the idea of supporting TPP but flouting some of the conditions later – madness – if you don’t agree with something say so, not sort of agree but think you might renege.

      We are dealign with major super powers = you can’t just renege without major financial penalty, that is what the ISDS is about!

  21. infused 21

    To add to the above… why did Labour make 5 points? Marketing wise, that’s a huge mistake. It should have been yes/no based on one or two items.

    Can I recite all 5 items? No. I doubt many of the public could either. It would be a good thing to do a street poll on imo.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Stop making good points; the fact that I agree with you here apparently signals to some that I am becoming a RWNJ myself.

      • infused 21.1.1

        Nah, you will probably find I am becoming soft.

        I am not in favor of National at the moment. And every govt needs a strong opposition regardless 😛

        It was kinda fun to poke fun at Labour at the start, but the whole left to me feels weak at the moment. After 7 years, that’s not a good place to be in.

      • weka 21.1.2

        I like the five points. The non-politico public don’t need to remember them all, just the ones that they are interested in and that there are others that are important.

        • infused

          But that’s not how it works (brain wise. I’ve just read quite a bit on this for presenting). It actually turns people off.

          • weka

            What turns people off?

            Why would they need to be able to recite all five points?

            • infused

              It’s actually not up to the person. It’s how we are wired. If you are trying to sell something (even information, or a view) if you split it in to 5 points, which are each quite large, it automatically turns the brain off as it has to ‘try’.

              Sure, you are going to get some people that will love this, but according to what I’ve read, it’s not going to be anywhere near the majority.

              You need a couple of clear, concise points which are easily remembered, or easily relatable to that person.

              Go take a look at Nationals website (only because I think their marketing department has this shit down) and you will see what I am saying.

              National will take a stance, or make a statement and continue using this throughout everything they talk about.

              Now Little has tried to do this, but he’s done in a bumbling way that it just doesn’t work.

              I’ve just done this for you somewhat. I’ve gone to Nationals front page. You get “TTPA, NZ’s biggest trade deal”. Feels good.

              Go to Labour. “Labour won’t support TPPA if it breaches 5 bottom lines” Ok. Click the link, I get the 5 bottom lines with no information. No explanation of ‘why’. A better headline would have been “Why the TPPA is no good for ordinary New Zealanders” or something to that effect.

              Now click Nationals headline. Information and facts, which are easily digestible.

              So that’s just one example which was quite off topic, but fits labours confused message.

              Just compare websites. I could talk about this all day. Whoever is doing this for Labour needs to be replaced.

              • weka

                Oh I agree completely about the website thing. Labour are still so pants at this and there is no good reason for it, none.

                But re the five number thing*, Nationals second tier is more than five points, and it’s just a bunch of meaningless crap. Yes, National are really good at selling this meaningless crap. The problem for the left is they don’t want to sell meaningless crap. They want to engage on meaning. The GP are better at this (although their web and socal media skills have taken a dive IMO). Main problem is that Labour don’t have any meaning currently because of the left/right split. Until that gets sorted I can’t see how they can have a coherent message. The bottom line thing should have been their meaning, but they just fucked that up.

                *I believe you on what you’re reading re marketing, I’m just not convinced that’s the only way to go about it.

              • vto

                You are exactly right infused.

                As an example, picture your self whizzing along the road and passing a car for sale on the side of the road. The seller of the car gets two cracks at the passing driver – one to get their attention, and two, a split second later to convey some information.

                So the car has a sign that says “1985 Nissan sunny, one careful owner since last year, 250,000 km, recent wof, etc, asking price $40.00 or offer. please phone 02222222”

                Or the car has a sign that says


                P. 0222222”

                Which will get the most uptake?

                You just get two quick shots with most all messaging of any kind. Further supporting evidence would be swapping opinions with weka around here (… just joshing weka hee hee)

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  At least Labour’s website no longer highlights things that they no longer believe in eg 8 hour working day and 40 hour working week, state housing and the right to strike.

                  At least their solutions reflect they don’t believe in those things any more eg housing policy doesn’t mention state housing at all.

                  “Work to end homelessness by increasing emergency housing, developing an action plan, and implementing a licensing regime and minimum standards for boarding houses.”

                  Yeah cause homeless people really want to live in emergency housing and boarding houses.

                  And I note this muppet policy is still there:


                  “Abolish Secondary Tax.”

                  I don’t know how many people have pointed out that secondary tax is simply a default PAYE calculation when people have two or more sources of income and doesn’t affect the amount of tax you actually pay – only whether you get a tax bill at the end of the year.

                  Fuck those of us on one income supporting a spouse already pay much more tax than a couple earning the same amount on two incomes and now they want to make us worse off (somehow) against people earning the same amount from multiple sources. Sounds like a vote winner to me.

                  (BTW I don’t mind paying more tax I just don’t like the inequities that occur at times. I remember when the baby boomers could claim for a non-working spouse while they raised their children but this was removed once their kids left home and mum went off to work – as were lots of other family friendly policies).

                  Ultimately it’s not their website that is the problem it’s their policies and their policy speak. Even things like lifting the minimum wage doesn’t tell you what they are going to lift it to. You need to get a calculator, look up the average wage and work it out.

                  • savenz

                    Yep – I find the Labour website pretty unhelpful on policy.

                    It’s just rubbish like National. No details. Or small details that do not have the bigger picture detail. That’s a great example to pick out –

                    Work to end homelessness by increasing emergency housing, developing an action plan, and implementing a licensing regime and minimum standards for boarding houses.”

                    Yay – an action plan – after 7 years in opposition their goal is to produce an action plan if they are elected. Wow! No action apart from planning for an action plan!

                    It’s Fucked!

                    National probably have a similar goal too.

                    Where is Labour detail how will labour stop foreign investors buying up our land- How? That is the bigger question to debate. Or even if they will.

                    They still have capital gains listed on their website when I last looked but Little has said they will get rid of it.

                    I mean commentators are complaining about not knowing what Labour stand for and are confused about their policies.

                    It makes it easy for the Natz to subvert their policy if they don’t seem to know what it is themselves or can’t agree on it.

          • Pat

            no bottom lines is really easy to remember

          • Sacha

            Interesting. links, please.

            • infused

              It was the book ‘the presentation secrets of steve jobs’ which talked about the brain being a lazy piece of meat which lead me on my journey to research that.

              It’s a good book if you’re in to that sort of thing.

      • savenz 21.1.3

        +1 – they should have just said Yes or No.

        Ie With the worrying leaks about the secret TPP agreements Labour does NOT support TPP.

    • dukeofurl 21.2

      Oh dear they cant win.

      One day it isnt offering alternatives, the next day its too many alternatives.

      One week its not having a consistent message, the next thinking how to spin it and having no principles.

      • Sacha 21.2.1

        Any competent political party can reconcile that tension.
        Inabilty to do so says a lot. Way more than some of us want to acknowledge.
        Look, a panda.

      • infused 21.2.2

        I don’t think I’ve ever said anything other than they have a confused message. The only difference is people are actually noticing now.

        But since you bought those other points up: I don’t think it is helpful for Labour to generally just attack everything without having an alternative. It opens Labour to attack which continually happens in the house.

        But it’s the message that Labour needs to focus on, and it always has been.

  22. Mike the Savage One 22

    When I heard Little being quoted on Radio NZ National, I had to sigh, here we go again. These “bottom lines” are not even as “thick” as vapour, that is what we get from Labour again and again.

    It seems that some MPs continue to hold the party to ransom, to get it their way. I was rather disappointed with Question Time – on the first day of the new Parliamentary sitting. Yawn, hope is vanishing, if it ever had come back at all.

  23. millsy 23

    Well, I think we can we all agree that Andrew Little won’t be the next PM. If he can flip flop on this, then he probably flip flop on anything.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Little has form on this already – from outright ditching the 90 day right to fire, to making it fairer.

    • Clean_power 23.2

      We all agree on that. Labour has only one choice: Grant Robertson. Now or never.

      • DoublePlusGood 23.2.1

        Why do that when Grant Robertson is really obviously just as lacking in any kind of spine, or any kind of left wing political ideals, as Little?

    • Sacha 23.3

      Voters love a flip-flopping PM judging by the incumbent – but it takes way better strategic comms support than Little seems to have on tap, sadly for all of us.

  24. Geriatric 24

    My impression of the comments here over that last couple of days is that you lot are a pack of whingers. Read this article. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/16/lynton-crosby-win-election-conservatives-tories-political-strategist
    Apparently you have all forgotten that these are the creeps that run the Natz. It’s global. Watch what happens in the Canadian election this week. And only those who have a lot of money can afford to keep paying them to win elections. Labour need to invest in a new strategist and get rid of the ones that are deliberately holding the, back. And instead of whinging do something.

  25. les 25

    Labour are not taking on Lynton Crosby’s advice….’a simple ,clear message’ to voters .Must need a sledgehammer!’From what information we have to date,we oppose the TPP.

  26. I’m late to the party so apologies if this was already noted above, but I do think this is a bit unfair, CV.

    How many times do commenters here rail that this is exactly the kind of thing Labour should do? On asset sales people frequently talk about Labour getting into power and saying “we’re buying every share back for one cent, no questions asked.” Or land sales to overseas owners – people love to say Labour in government should say “we don’t care about your sale agreement, it’s our land, sod off.”

    Without being an expert on the TPP, it seems Little is laying out exactly this kind of plan: we have no ability to stop the TPP being ratified now but we refuse to be bound by it in government, and damn the torpedos.

    • Keith 26.1

      100% agreed. The hysteria I am reading elswhere in this blog by some is insane!

    • ianmac 26.2

      Stephanie: “we have no ability to stop the TPP being ratified now but we refuse to be bound by it in government, and damn the torpedos.”
      Yes. The TPP will be signed off by Cabinet. There is no way that Labour or any other party can stop it. There is no vote.
      So what Labour must do and have done, is accept that reality and when the details of TPP are published, then declare their position.

    • weka 26.3

      “Without being an expert on the TPP, it seems Little is laying out exactly this kind of plan: we have no ability to stop the TPP being ratified now but we refuse to be bound by it in government, and damn the torpedos.”

      I don’t think anyone is saying that Labour can stop the TPP from being ratified. The issue is whether they will withdraw from the TPP once in govt. I’ve yet to see a clear explanation of why they can’t. So there’s that (lack of a clear explanation).

      There’s also the wooliness on the 5 bottom lines. Again, perhaps this is simply a messaging issue, but it could also be because they’re going to reneg. We just don’t know (which is the second problem).

      Little did come out with suggestions that they can work with the TPP confines and fight each battle as it comes (well some of the ones they feel like fighting anyway). I know that there is still much that is unknown about the agreement, but this is the whole weathervane vs signpost thing. If Labour knew what its values were and was committed to working from them it would be less of a problem. The big issue here is how many people simply don’t trust Labour any more.

    • Anne 26.4

      it seems Little is laying out exactly this kind of plan: we have no ability to stop the TPP being ratified now but we refuse to be bound by it in government, and damn the torpedos.

      For confirmation I repeat this link from above:


    • Draco T Bastard 26.5

      There’s two problems with Labour’s present position:

      1. They’ve dropped their bottom lines as many expected that they would do
      2. They’re saying that they will put the costs onto NZ rather than withdraw from the TPPA

      Their position isn’t actually credible. If the deal doesn’t meet their bottom lines then they should be withdrawing from the agreement. As for this:

      How many times do commenters here rail that this is exactly the kind of thing Labour should do? On asset sales people frequently talk about Labour getting into power and saying “we’re buying every share back for one cent, no questions asked.” Or land sales to overseas owners – people love to say Labour in government should say “we don’t care about your sale agreement, it’s our land, sod off.”

      They’re simply not comparable as neither of those items are international agreements that can be withdrawn from at no cost.

    • Colonial Viper 26.6

      I’m late to the party so apologies if this was already noted above, but I do think this is a bit unfair, CV.

      How many times do commenters here rail that this is exactly the kind of thing Labour should do? On asset sales people frequently talk about Labour getting into power and saying “we’re buying every share back for one cent, no questions asked.”

      Hi Stephanie. It’s within the power of the Crown to compulsorily acquire property like shares and hydrodams; it’s also within the power of the Crown to withdraw from the TPPA. Choosing to stay in the international agreement and but then not abiding by it (or “flouting” various provisions) seems to me utterly untenable.

      Also – why not just say – the TPPA doesn’t meet with our publicly announced Bottom Lines, so we won’t support the Agreement either in Opposition or in Government. That would also have been consistent with Little’s previous “non-negotiable” stance.

      • Sacha 26.6.1

        “Also – why not just say – the TPPA doesn’t meet with our publicly announced Bottom Lines, so we won’t support the Agreement either in Opposition or in Government. That would also have been consistent with Little’s previous “non-negotiable” stance.”

        This. How hard to hold the same position for longer than a day?

    • Sacha 26.7

      “Without being an expert on the TPP”

      Noted. You do however have some insight into how Andrew Little’s office runs, having worked in it. How come his position seems to have changed so much on this over the last couple of weeks?

  27. Clean_power 27

    @Colonial Viper: Why don’t you renounce your labour membership and join John Minto and Mana? Why not?

    • dukeofurl 27.1

      He believes that labour should have ‘cups of tea’ to help out Mana where necessary, and the high list rankings that would be a part of that.
      The only difference from national is these deals wont be thrashed out at the Northern Club.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        The Left could have had both Hone Harawira and Leila Harre in Parliament right now, a 2 fer one deal; Kelvin Davis could have been given a higher list spot and also be in.

        This change in balance of Parliament would have meant the National Government would be constantly on the ropes with next to no majority to work with.

        But whatever, the geniuses living in the Thorndon Bubble know what they are doing.

        • dukeofurl

          The party votes was a lot lower than expected, no chance of ‘knowing that Davis should get a higher list place’
          Overall election result wouldnt be affected.

          You are dreaming if you thought it was a workable deal could be done beforehand, when labour was specifically opposed to such deals.

          Then there was the toxic stew that was Mana- Kim Dot Comm- Harre meant a deal , even if it was obvious advanatge, was totally out of the question.

          If a deal was announced labour could have gone lower, to nearer 20%. There are always downsides to these things , which seems to have escaped your usually sharp observations

          • dukeofurl

            CV you are risking a push back from party central as this member found out

            “As you know, you resigned your membership of the NZ Labour Party on May 14th 2015 and sought to rejoin on August 28th 2015. Council retains the right to decide on membership applications, and in your case has decided to decline the application. Under Rule 6 of the Constitution we will be informing the Taranaki King Country LEC of the decision which we have made.

            Although there is no obligation to provide reasons for this decision, Council were well aware that you operate a “Labour Members and Supporters” Facebook page which has from time to time contained unhelpful comments which could well be regarded as risking disrepute.”

            Firing squad at dawn is not out of the question?

            • Colonial Viper

              CV you are risking a push back from party central as this member found out

              Oh fuck off. If the Thorndon Bubble Labour Party wants to waste its money fighting a High Court injunction in order to kill internal party dissent and silence grass roots membership/activist voices I am more than willing to give it the opportunity.

          • weka

            There was no need for a deal. Labour could have acted in self-interest, pushed Davis up the list, and had him campaign lightly as well as held off on the anti-Mana/IP stance.

            • Sacha

              Yes, Davis deserved a high list ranking, along with fresh talents rather than the seatwarmers who instead prospered.

        • Jenny Kirk

          To CV at 27.1 There HAS been a change in the balance of Parliament, CV – probably not something you from way down south will have noticed. National are not at all happy that the North now has both a Labour MP in an electorate seat (te tai tokerau) and a NZ First MP in what used to be (they thought) a stronghold Nat seat of Northland.
          Those of us who live up here are noticing a “new” stance from govt on local issues. Its not very obvious, but it is happening. And I doubt if it will be picked up by media either.

          But this is all a red herring to what you’ve been talking about – Labour’s stance on the TPPA which – contrary to what you have been saying, and seemingly persuading a number of Standard posters to agree with you – has NOT changed.
          Little is on record as saying if there are matters Labour does not agree with, when they become govt, they will change them.
          That is all they can do at present – that’s all he can say right now – no-one knows the full text of the full deal ….. and Labour has set out its bottom lines, also on record.

          Time to stop whinging CV – and get real.

          • Sacha

            “Labour’s stance on the TPPA … has NOT changed.”

            That’s quite some perspective you have there. Do you seriously believe the rest of us are annoyed about nothing?

  28. Mike Bond 28

    Finally you see what I have been on about! Labour are disjointed and Little has proven over and over that he is not capable of leading Labour to a win in the next election. Lets face facts. National have stuffed up on so many occasions and just seem to get away with it time after time. A good opposition leader would have destroyed John Key by now. When Little was appointed, we should have known what was coming. He could not even win his own electorate. I hope we see a massive shake up in the entire Labour caucus and a leader emerges that has the support of the new caucus and they start holding the government accountable for their stuff ups. I hear National are about to announce a surplus and all Robertson can say is that it will be a small surplus but that we will return to a deficit the next year. No reason why, just the continued negative rants from this bunch.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1

      That’s a negative rant if ever I saw one.

      • dukeofurl 28.1.1

        Thats why any revolution “devours its own”

        After the revolution the ranters still rant- but at their own instead, so they are eliminated.!

  29. Keith 29

    What utter Bullocks. The TPPA is a done deal! What the hell are Labour going to do, some kind of Don Quixote shit and for what?

    Little has made it clear they will walk away on parts of the deal they dont like.

    For Fuck sake people, the sky is not falling in!

    • ianmac 29.1

      Hear hear Keith. +1

    • dukeofurl 29.2

      Its just a diehard clique who infest this place, totally deluded uncompromising fantasy is their only principles. Their support is the 1% that Hone got, maybe less since he had tribal support from up North.

      The fact he lost was all labours fault, which feeds their hive mentality.

    • Pat 29.3

      that then begs the question …what was the point of the bottom lines? Either the much publicised bottom lines were a mistake or the subsequent position outlined by Little yesterday was.

  30. Observer (Tokoroa) 30

    It really is a pity that New Zealanders do not vote for the Green Party in realistic numbers. It would clearly be the world’s most perfect Utopian party ever devised. If only people took it seriously.

    In the meantime, it is somewhat pathetic skimming through the childish green heckling of Labour that is almost everyday fodder on this “The Standard” site. Complete with endless Fucks and Bullshits, Arse stuff and Misconceptions.

    The TPPA will be decided by Parliament. Got that? It is not unlikely that some Green Members of Parliament will vote for it lock stock and barrel, because of their affection for National Party acknowledgement.

    Andrew Little will not decide the TPP Agreement. However, Andrew and the Labour Party may well be able to soften the hardship that arises from the Agreement.

    Labour may also be able to enhance the good that may come from the same TPPA.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 30.1

      The TPP will not be decided by Parliament. Get your facts straight.

      • Observer (Tokoroa) 30.1.1

        To You: OAB

        Will it be decided by the fairies at the bottom of the garden ? Get your self together One Anonymous Bloke. Then tell me to get my facts straight.

        [lprent: You are ignorant. See my note http://thestandard.org.nz/weakerthantissuepaper/#comment-1082472 ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It has already been negotiated.

          Which step in the treaty process I linked to is the “decision by Parliament”? They get to decide the precise nature of enabling legislation and that’s all.

          Please ignore this and clutch at your beliefs. Clutch at them!

          • Colonial Viper

            Observer Tokoroa likes the kind of democracy where Parliament rubber stamps a corporate done deal.

            • Observer (Tokoroa)

              To: Colonial Viper

              I wish that John key had revealed each part of the Negotiation Phase. That would have at least given him and Parliament useful feedback.

              It was the Labour Party which gave New Zealand an easily understood set of five “non negotiables”. NZ First also restated its proud stand on Land and Housing.

              The Greens were busy promoting a strange new flag – as it was entitled to do. The Nationals endorsed the Green’s efforts.

              I cannot see there is anything to prevent Labour from lessening hardship flowing from National’s corporate bias; nor from enhancing good outcomes from National’s corporate bias.

              I think the Greens would also wish to help do good things. But swiping Labour so vehemently is simply wasted persiflage. Isn’t it Viper?

              • Colonial Viper

                I cannot see there is anything to prevent Labour from lessening hardship flowing from National’s corporate bias; nor from enhancing good outcomes from National’s corporate bias.

                You don’t see anything wrong with all the costs being borne by the country while the trans-nationals take all the profits?


              • Sacha

                “The Greens were busy promoting a strange new flag”

                yeah, dude. I’ll have whatever you’re smoking

    • Sacha 30.2

      Colonial Viper is a Labour branch member, nothing to do with the Greens.

  31. Observer (Tokoroa) 31

    Once more to: OAB

    So you were wrong. Parliament does enable the Treaty. The Negotiation phase was to establish the content of the Trading Terms.

    As I see it, Labour may be able to realistically soften the bad effects of the Negotiation and enhance the effects of the good. Why do you object to that?

    Any rational reason?

    [lprent: FFS. Parliament doesn’t decide anything with treaties. The Executive council does, and a decision like that requires a quorum of 3 people on that council.

    FYI: A parliamentary select committee as the treaty waved past them as a courteous and meaningless gesture, but has no power to change anything. Parliament may vote on enabling legislation AFTER the treaty is ratified and as required by the terms of the treaty. But that may be years later. But most of the changes can be done with orders in council which require the same executive council to do it.

    Read OAB’s link and stop being a stupid idiot about how our constitutional arrangements operate ]

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      Yes, Parliament does rubber stamp the content written by trans-national corporates. It has no power to change even a comma.

      What is your point again?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 31.2

      Why do you put words in my mouth, O(T)? I didn’t say anything about Labour. Perhaps it’s the same sort of weasel dishonesty that led to your initial false statement.

      Enabling legislation is not the TPP. Parliament will not “decide” the TPP no matter how you twist and turn.

      NB: enabling legislation has to meet the terms of the TPP, not the other way around.

      Now crawl back under your weasel.

  32. Smilin 32

    Mr Little said Labour was unable to oppose the agreement in Parliament because negotiations were finished and no vote was held on its ratification. “The TPP is here now. There’s no backing out of it.”

    Well where is the sovereignty and democracy in this from the outset ?
    None !
    An over a barrel political situation all because we have a govt that cant govern democratically or has no guts to tell the truth
    $2.7 billion in gains for trade by 2030 from a $30 trillion potential market to share
    Hows that going to stack up with our $100 billion national debt as it grows der how dumb is this, God defend NZ, lie about that one Nationalcorp

    • Nigel Gregory 32.1

      But all this really convenient for Labour, the fact they can’t back out of tpp I mean.
      Bottom line for NZ after all the hot air is the ongoing privatisation of the public space. At some point someone is going to have refuse to submit to tired old ” we have no other alternative”….and see where the chips fall.
      It seems pretty obvious to me the elephant in the room regarding labour is a lack of trust. Do I trust them to do the right thing if elected.

    • dukeofurl 32.2

      Parliament wont have vote to ratify !

      There will be some small changes to legislation to make it compliant, but there will be no chance of blocking or voting against TPA as such

  33. Puckish Rogue 33

    Heres what I would have advised Little to say:

    “We’ll only support the TPP if there is a net benefit to NZ and we can’t say that yet because National won’t release the workings, what do they have to hide?”

    then after the initial release

    “From what we’ve seen of the deal Labour would have gotten a better deal for all NZers, National won’t release the full details of the deal, what do they have to hide?”

    Putting in the non-negotiable bit was just plain dumb

  34. “Labour is not in a position to oppose the TPPA.” Really?
    “But it will flout some of the terms.” Really?

    But backroom wheeling and dealing noway! No conspiracy, coercion, Helen Clarking from the UN here! No sir. Our leaders would not do that to us! They love us and want what is best for us. So go back to sleep nothing to see here!

  35. The Chairman 35

    Labour need to seriously ponder this:

    Flouting the ordinances of the TPP will bring our international reputation into disrepute.

    Potentially putting NZ offshore investments and the benefits of the deal at risk (if we’re not going to abide by the rules, why should they?) while leaving the international community questioning whether we can be trusted to uphold future and past agreements.

    Offshore investors will categorise us as being a higher risk, deterring them from investing while leaving nations questioning our credibility to do future deals.

    If Labour doesn’t want to be bound by this deal, their only credible option is to utilize the means available and withdraw once in power.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 35.1

      Of course, withdrawal would risk none of those things you mention. No, sirree!

      • Colonial Viper 35.1.1

        “Flouting” an agreement that was signed in good faith is a disreputable way for a nation state to behave.

        Better to utilise the accepted exit clause and do it by the book.

      • The Chairman 35.1.2

        Withdrawal (unlike flouting the rules) is an accepted part of the deal, thus the ramifications will be far less damaging.

        Labour merely proposing such a notion (flouting the rules) is putting our international reputation at risk.

  36. savenz 36

    You can oppose something even if you don’t get to vote on it!!!

    Cop out.

  37. The Chairman 37

    Labour are not only looking flakey, they are now coming across as recklessly incompetent.

    This will cost them the votes on the right they’re trying to sway, while damaging their core support base.

    Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour surpass their last electoral failure at the next election.

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      Indeed. After three full terms I am picking a result in the 23% to 26% range.

      • savenz 37.1.1

        What really annoys me, is that people are desperate to vote for Labour because they hate National but their key policies are the same or similar. I would love to vote for labour but not as another branch of the Natz like ACT and United Future and Maori party.

        Labour – Oh can’t be arsed changing TPP – not my fault it’s the Nats that bought it in.

        Do they really think this stance is going to galvanise voters and support?

        • Sacha

          They seem to have forgotten how to galvanise anything. Someone remove the bromide from their conference lunches.

      • Sacha 37.1.2

        How do you think the Greens will do?

  38. Rosie 38

    A bit too late to the discussion now but anyways……………

    A good post CV and good comments (of what I have sped through)

    Why didn’t Little and Labour stay zipped until after the text is released in approximately a month, and until the Canadian election, (to see if there will be a different view to the TPP taken by a different party should they be elected) and after Congress has or hasn’t ratified the deal? Why didn’t they wait until the time is right to comment and more importantly stick to their guns with their “5 bottom lines” when they do eventually comment and restate their stance?

    (Apologies if this point has been discussed and I am repeating)

    Do we want a “me too” party for our opposition party? Hell No!

    They’ve been luke warm and awkward on the TPP since forever and only got their 5 bottom lines together a few months ago, and now a “meh, TPP may be oK” so how can we really trust them?
    As recently as early April I heard Andrew Little respond to TPP questions from audience members at a public meeting in an alarmingly pro TPP way when he said something along the lines of “in some countries that don’t have a good judicial system the ISDS provisions might be helpful” !!!! (Not an actual quote)

    Which got me thinking Why TF did I sign up as a member to help these guys?

    But it’s not just the TPP they are wavering on. It’s work rights. In July, when Little addressed an audience of business people in the Hutt he said he would retain the 90 day bill but tweak it so it was fairer.


    This is the same Andrew Little who passionately opposed the bill when it was first introduced by Wayne Mapp back in 2006.

    Alarmed again, I sought clarification of those words and what the true intention is. It took two weeks and repeated requests to get a response. In the end Grant Robertson provided some vague reassurance.

    Unemployed shopgirls, like me, who are directly affected by bad policy want to help Labour bring back rights and dignity to workers and prevent our country from being over run by corporates who may be handed greater rights than the ordinary citizen under the TPP. We do that by becoming members.

    How can we do that if our own party isn’t on our side and isn’t listening?

    Thank you CV. You’ve really got me thinking if this is the right party for me. I want it to be, but it doesn’t seem representative of people like me, so how can I truly be a representative for them? Maybe that’s too simplistic. It’s disappointing, none the less.

    • Sacha 38.1

      “But it’s not just the TPP they are wavering on. It’s work rights. In July, when Little addressed an audience of business people in the Hutt he said he would retain the 90 day bill but tweak it so it was fairer.”

      For an ex-unionist, that’s digusting, For a lawyer, understandable. For a left politician, failing the most basic tests of the role.

      • Sacha 38.1.1

        ‘You do not have permission to edit this comment’ @lprent
        (not even to change a comma into a fullstop)

      • Rosie 38.1.2

        It’s unfathomable Sacha. He’s running miles from Labour values. Personally, he must have a hell of a lot of cognitive dissonance going on to be able a)drop his strongly held stance against the 90 act and then head in the opposite direction and b)Concede to the Nats on the TPP.

        No one can rationalise away such a departure from their values without having a certain degree of cog dis going on. Not a stable trait in a leader.

        He may think he’s getting more people on board with his flip flops but in the end he will only alienate his supporters.

  39. James Growley 39

    Is it possible Little is receiving a load of bad advice from McCarten?

  40. Blue Boy 40

    This song is for my Blue Boy.

    (ignore the Jesus Christ part – this song is for YOU- and it’s still for you if your gay, straight or bi- I don’t mind)

    It’s been a long time since I came around
    Been a long time but I’m back in town
    And this time I’m not leaving without you

    You taste like whiskey when you kiss me oh
    I’d give anything again to be your baby doll
    This time I’m not leaving without you

    You say sit back down where you belong
    In the corner of my bar with your high heels on
    Sit back down on the couch where we made love the first time
    And you said to me there’s

    (Something), something, something about this place
    (Something), something about lonely nights
    And my lipstick on your face
    (Something), something, something about my cool Nebraska guy
    Yeah something about baby you and I

    It’s been two years since I let you go
    I couldn’t listen to a joke or Rock and Roll
    Muscle cars drove a truck right through my heart

    On my birthday you sang me a heart of gold
    With a guitar humming and no clothes
    This time I’m not leaving without you

    Sit back down where you belong
    In the corner of my bar with your high heels on
    Sit back down on the couch where we made love the first time
    And you said to me there’s

    (Something), something, something about this place
    (Something), something about lonely nights
    And my lipstick on your face
    (Something), something, something about my cool Nebraska guy
    Yeah something about baby you and I

    You and I
    You you and I
    You you and I
    You you and I

    You and I
    You you and I
    Oh yeah, we’re gonna die
    Without you and I

    We got a whole lot of money, but we still pay rent
    ‘Cause you can’t buy a house in heaven
    There’s only three men that I am a certain my whole life
    It’s my daddy and Nebraska and Jesus Christ

    (Something), something, something about the chase (six whole years)
    I am a New York woman born to rock you down
    So want my lipstick all over your face
    (Something), something, something about just knowing when it’s right
    So put your dreams up for Nebraska
    For Nebraska, Nebraska, I love you

    You and I
    You you and I
    Baby I’d rather die
    Without you and I

    You and I
    You you and I
    I’d rather die
    Without you and I

    It’s been a long time since I came around
    Been a long time but I’m back in town
    And this time I’m not leaving without you

    Read more: Lady GaGa – You And I Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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