Who are the real enemies of the centre left?

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, July 15th, 2017 - 80 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, democratic participation, Economy, election 2017, greens, International, journalism, labour, national, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, TOPS, uk politics, us politics - Tags:

Simon Wilson wrote this piece offering advice to Labour and the Greens about how to win this election.  The advice caused a considerable amount of blowback in twitterland.  And while some of it is accurate other parts I disagreed with completely.

His article is about the seven enemies of a left wing victory, think seven deadly sins and you get the drift.

The first were Steven Joyce, Paula Bennett and Bill English who he thought would stop disgruntled Nats from drifting over to Labour.  I would disagree in that Bennett’s role, one that she is now performing poorly, is to attract erstwhile labour supporters over to National through her solo mum turned good story.  People are seeing through this.  And English is the weakest National leader I have ever seen.  He is no John Key and National’s slide in the polls is clearly because people realise he is not up to the job.

The second was Winston Peters who will be a grumpy vote hoover upper.  No argument there.  I suspect he will tour the country talking about how bad things are and then go into coalition with National after being promised lots of baubles of office.  Time will tell.

The third was a group he describes as the “hard left”.  From the article:

Enemy number three is the hard left, the very vocal sector who, strange but true, regard the fight against “neoliberalism” as more important than the campaign to get Labour and the Greens into government. Some are party members, but most are probably not. They have been emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn’s “success” and believe that surge of popularity for radical left politics can be replicated here. The Nats don’t have a ginger group like this: Matthew Hooton, for example, is probably the fiercest right-wing critic of the government’s centrist tendencies, but in election year, especially on twitter and in his NBR column, his focus is on discrediting the actual opposition, Labour and the Greens.

This is a startling comment.  Throughout the world timid parties of the left are getting slaughtered whereas parties that have a stronger direct view of how things have to change are inspiring people, particularly the young, to support them.  Corbyn’s success is the perfect example as is Spain, Greece, France, the United States …

Labour was meant to be dead and buried in the UK.  The Parliamentary party was at war with itself and the treachery that was displayed by MPs towards Corbyn was appalling.  They should have been consigned to the dustbin of history.  Instead of this Corbyn looks like he is ready to take over as soon as the current Government folds.  So Simon’s minimisation of the effect is not justified.

The fourth enemy is “the right-wing commentariat, whose general approach is ridicule”.  I agree with him entirely on this aspect.  This has been the right’s approach to politics in the last decade and its effect is clear.  The intent is to sap the desire of voters to seek progressive change.  A sleepy disinterested electorate is one that will normally return the right.

The fifth enemy according to Wilson is Gareth Morgan’s TOP party.  He is correct in that removing even one or two percent of the vote from the major progressive parties could be the winning or the losing of the election.  Things are that tightly balanced.  He is wrong to think that voters will only come from Labour and the Greens.  The very small blue green sector of National could be prey to his campaign.

The sixth enemy is Labour and Greens battling for each other’s vote.  This is correct to an extent although the logical conclusion from this is that Labour should move right and allow the Greens more space on the left.  My very strong impression is that apparent division between Labour and the Greens weakens their attractiveness.

The seventh enemy is Labour’s and the Green’s membership.  Wilson says this:

Again, the Nats have it easy: their membership exists to get them elected. But Labour and Greens memberships exist to change the world. Almost everything each party does will disappoint one part or another of its core support, and those people are often reluctant to keep their disappointment to themselves. Both parties will tell you about the value of open democratic debate, but for all the merits of that idea (which are very real) it’s not terribly useful at election time.

He is right about National existing to retain power.  Nothing else seems to be important.  And he is also right that Labour’s and the Green’s membership exists to change the world.  But to claim that the passion of progressive activists and open debate is somehow a weakness ignores how vital the membership is to each of the parties.

Without political activism the right will win every time.  My estimate at the last election is that National outspent Labour by a factor of eight to one.  Political activism is the only thing that rebalances what would otherwise be a very one sided playing field.

He then comments on leadership and how a radical policy platform need not be a left policy platform.

But being radical doesn’t have to mean being radical left. Qualitatively better primary healthcare doesn’t have to be a “leftist” issue. Nor does good public transport in Auckland. Nor do clean water, preservation of the conservation estate, effective measures to fight climate change and making poverty history. These things are all centrist politics in New Zealand now – the great general swathe of voters believes they are desirable – but they are not being addressed with radical determination.

What about putting an end to the absurd advantages that property investment enjoys, causing so much misery for the people who do not benefit from those advantages? That’s a classic leftist issue, right? Maybe. Except it’s not only the left that cares about the lack of social housing and the difficulties of first-home buyers. Nor is it only the left that cares about the distortions to our economy and long-term savings caused by the favoured status of property. It should not be hard for a decent political party to generate support in most parts of the country, and most parts of the political spectrum, to fix this stuff.

The basic problem is that quality healthcare and public transport and housing can only be solved by active Government intervention in the market which by definition is a left approach.  Those pesky lefties complaining about neoliberalism may actually be formulating a solution to these problems.

His last paragraph is one that I agree with.

Time’s nearly up, Labour, the Greens. Ten weeks to go, and you guys have to blitz this country with heart and soul and inspiration and determination. With a spirit that tells us all you’re going to win. You have to make us believe you. And you have to do it now.

He is right.  If we want to change the Government now is the time.  And it will depend primarily on activists, without whose passion and spirit neither Labour nor the Greens can succeed.

Activists and the hard left are not the enemy of progressive parties.  They form a fundamental part of these parties and are the reason why they succeed against all of the odds.

80 comments on “Who are the real enemies of the centre left?”

  1. Siobhan 1

    In the UK they had a good turnaround in voter turnout, and pre and post election Labour had MASSIVE increases in membership…that’s success, that’s something the Party can build on and signals to one and all, and to the party itself, that they are on the right track.

    It would be good to know how Labour NZs membership is going in light of these ‘game changing’, ‘clear choice’ policies.

    I’d like to think that the movement in the polls is more than just the waxing and waning of soft right/left/centrist voters, who vote over very short term perceived benefits and policies.
    It would be uplifting to see a Labour Party really reaching out to the disenfranchised voter, who, after all, as the strugglers and the folk not benefiting from the free market neo liberal world, are the people Labour should represent.

    I just self moderated and moved this comment because it makes more sense here in relation to point 7.
    Maybe someone on this thread could give some insight to Party membership figures/movement???

  2. Wainwright 2

    His ‘analysis’ is all over the show. Shutting down exploitive property investment isn’t leftist policy because people who aren’t left support it? What?

  3. Red 3

    Hes right about hard left, the civilised left seem to tolerate there extreme rump even to point of viloence as we see in Europe and labour he US, this puts the center off and taints the left The center right don’t tolerate the extreme right nor is it as vocal or representative, mainly the odd blowhard or fringe group The lefts sanctimonious thinking the have the patent on Feminism and all so called minority groups also does it no favours in building broad appeal in that all these groups are individuejs firsts and not necessarily carbon copy clones te political views and thought

    • Ed 3.1

      ‘ the civilised left’
      The left acceptable to extreme right wing ideologues like red – because they have succumbed to neoliberalism.
      ‘the hard left’ – those advocating social democratic policies you would find in Norway, Germany, Sweden, Denmark…..

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.1

        This why I think NZ needs a genuine hard left. Facing a few decades in a re-education camp would make people like Red genuinely appreciative of the moderation of folk who merely want a well run country with no more rorts for the asset looters. There’s really no reason asset looters should be treated any differently from other looters. That means shot, under any government, left or right.

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          Stuart’s usual commitment to democratic politics. Stalin would be proud.

          • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.1

            Stalin would be proud of you Wayne – you’re the abusive authoritarian.

            You’ve utterly misrepresented your policies and driven your country into poverty, desperation and international disgrace,

            Have you no shame?

            Well, you’re a Gnat, it goes without saying that you not only support the criminal enterprises of your colleagues, but that you insist that these malefactors should escape the consequences of their wrongdoing.

            The international parallel you should consider is the demise of the vile kleptocracy of Chun Do Hwan, which came to a bad end. A harbinger of the demise of you and all your crude and stupid accomplices? Let us hope so.

            • Ed 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Theose who imposed neoliberalism on New Zealand are certainly 5th columnists and traitors.

    • joe90 3.2

      The center right don’t tolerate the extreme right

      Pick a day ending in y and head over to the purported centre right sewer site run by Farrar and you’ll find his centre right commenters going beyond merely tolerating and actively approving extreme right positions.

    • Please define “civilised left,” what does that mean to you, Red? Are you referring to the centre-left, the labour party, or something less specific?

      As for the rest of your post, having enemies in politics is almost as good as having friends. It is absolutely a perfectly solid tactic in an MMP environment to pick 30% of the population and deliberately piss them off to please your core supporters. You may need to accept that as far as the “hard left” are concerned, you are in their 30% target range.

    • There is a world of difference between identity politics and that of the social justice warrior and basic things that affect large numbers of people like this :

      … ” But being radical doesn’t have to mean being radical left. Qualitatively better primary healthcare doesn’t have to be a “leftist” issue. Nor does good public transport in Auckland. Nor do clean water, preservation of the conservation estate, effective measures to fight climate change and making poverty history. These things are all centrist politics in New Zealand ” …

      These are things that affect all of us. Yet so does the negative fall out from neo liberalism. In fact , much of the malaise described above we experience now is a direct result of 33 years of neo liberal policy.

      So it is not ‘ radical’ at all to oppose a methodology that is destructive . And the only logical answer to that destructive ideology is what we had before – Keynesian economics with government regulation and intervention. Not to strangle business but to knock off the rough edges of opportunists who would seek to manipulate and rort the systems in place.

      That’s why we have laws. To regulate. To prevent criminal advantage. To safeguard the best interests of the general community and to prevent a sliding back into the feudal era.

      I was called ‘ radical’ by Wayne not so long ago.

      Which was ironic considering he was a National party MP quite recently , – yet the very same thing I advocated existed under his beloved National party pre 1984.

      Go figure.

    • adam 3.5

      Name one person on the hard left in NZ who supports violence Red. Just one.

      You can’t, and like all your arguments – lies and BS,

  4. red-blooded 4

    It was an interesting piece and there’s plenty to think about there, and in your reply, Micky. In general I’d agree with you that activism and the hard left are integral to any left movement or party. After all, the core of any such movement or party is the sense of urgency and caring that propel people into activism. The core beliefs of any left party will be formed around the issues and priorities of its activist. Having said that, I do get what Wilson is saying. Plenty of people on this site and other regularly bag Labour and sometimes the Greens for not being “pure” enough, as if only their version of the left kaupapa is the true one, and anything that deviates from it or makes compromises is therefore impure and not worthy of support. I worry about this.

    Yes, we have to examine and evaluate each policy, but we also have to have a wide enough vision to see the raft of policies and how they fit together, and the direction in which a set of policies is moving. Let’s remember, too, that if we don’t act together and do all that we can, we will have another three years of National and their buddies cutting services so that they can cut taxes and riding roughshod over the people and issues that any left activist cares about. We need a sense of urgency and we need to commit to acting together. People can support different parties and work within them to help form their policies and priorities – that’s positive activism. Throwing stones from the outside doesn’t achieve anything positive, though, especially this close to an election.

  5. rhinocrates 5

    Once again, “The voters don’t deserve us!”

    After the East Berlin rising in 1953, Bertolt Brecht sarcastically commented that the government should dismiss the people and appoint a new one.

    The Spinoff has a bad case of Guardianitis.

    http://www.jonathan­cook.net/blog/2017­06­14/monbiot­still­cant­admit­medias­core­problem/

    Jonathan Cook’s analysis of Monbiot and other Guardianistas’ “Oh shit, my head was so far up my own arse I didn’t see that coming” after Jeremy Corbyn’s surge.

    His column argues that the Guardian and other liberal media failed to recognise “the most dynamic political force this nation has seen for decades” because of organisational flaws. Their staff – all middle-class graduates – are unrepresentative of the wider population, and the journalists operate in herds, inevitably making them susceptible to groupthink. In short, he argues, journalists reflect their class interests and their reporting becomes an echo chamber.

    But this is to mistake the symptom for the cause…

    The Guardian may not have a Rupert Murdoch pulling the strings from behind a curtain, but it is as much a media corporation as the Mail or the Sun. Like supermarkets, media outlets brand themselves to win market share. The Guardian is Waitrose to the Daily Mail’s Tesco.

    The Guardian is a media corporation not least because it is as dependent on advertising as its rivals. That makes it not only deeply embedded in a neoliberal capitalist system, but dependent on it for survival.

    It is not accidental that the Guardian’s journalists are almost all Oxbridge graduates, that they are almost all white and middle or upper class, and that the great majority come from London and the home counties. They were selected that way precisely so they would not reflect other class interests – interests that might challenge the very ideological assumptions the Guardian depends on and upholds.

    The Spinoff should stick to recaps of reality TV shows and jafa celeb gossip. Supposedly they’re good that that. It’s the same with The Listener which subsists by provoking and soothing middle-class anxieties in an endless cycle.

  6. Fuck, 10 weeks to go

    that is 70 days ish

    what day are we going to do it

    what day are we going to fight

    today, yesterday, tomorrow

    70 days to go

    opps 69 to go now

  7. Incognito 7

    The main and real enemies of the (centre) left are the same threats to democracy – the question is asked within this framework, isn’t it?

    These are: apathy, lack of cultural, social & political awareness, and fear.

    Everything else stems from these root causes IMO.

    This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a question that concerns only the left and be left to only the left to answer and then sort out – it might seem convenient but it will not be sustainable. It is a question that needs to be faced and addressed by all of us who value democracy and living in a free & fair society – yes, I know, these are relative and loaded terms.

    One way to possibly tackle the current problems is to consciously embrace (the) values that underpin democracy and then act and enact upon these, daily and everywhere.

    Others have shown and led the way, in fact again quite recently, but it’s has been there in open view all along …

  8. Sanctuary 8

    “….Enemy number three is the hard left, the very vocal sector who…”

    “…The Spinoff has a bad case of Guardianitis…”

    Exactly. Newsflash for Simon Wilson – the Guardian liberal echo chamber has been eating humble pie by the truck load since the UK election for saying almost exactly the same bullshit you are peddling. I assume Simon Wilson still gets his news via sailing ship, because the rubbish he is peddling is dead and buried in those who like to keep up.

    It is very telling that he managed to come up with seven enemies, without identifying Blairist third wayism as the worst enemy of them all – because, of course, Wilson and all the rest of the downtown chatterati like him are still unreconstructed “third way” liberals who actually think the Labour and Green parties ought to be representing the more enlightened middle class (just like him) rather than the uncouth working class, the undeserving underclass and that irksome part of the environmental movement that shows up middle class consumption.

    Labour’s vocal left is frustrated at Labour’s seeming incurable political complacency, inward looking bickering*, and timidity. Those are valid complaints. If that spills the tea at Simon Wilson’s genteel political vicar’s tea party then tough shit, bro.

    *It seems to me whoever leaked Labour’s internal poll results has, like the disloyal UK PLP, decided the election is lost and are already looking to ensure Little isn’t leader afterwards so that nice Mr. Robertson can be leader instead….

    • rhinocrates 8.1

      How could Robertson be leader? He’d have to study yoga intensely before he could be limber enough to stab himself in the back.

    • Sacha 8.2

      “whoever leaked Labour’s internal poll results ” – the original tv3 story was clear that it was one of UMR’s corporate customers who did, not anybody from Labour (who did not even have the results yet).

      • Sanctuary 8.2.1

        And they did that all by themselves, do you think?

      • James 8.2.2

        Why would Corp clients have labour’s polling before them ?

        • Pedro 8.2.2.1

          Why would corporate clients be entitled to Labour’s internal polling at all!

        • Dennis Frank 8.2.2.2

          Yeah, interesting eh? When I heard Paddy say that I figured that Labour must have agreed to a part-funding of the poll, with the UMR corporate client also part-funding it. That’s the only possible legitimate way for the corp leaker to have got the results that I can think of.

          The obvious alternative is a UMR staffer’s misbehaviour: opposed to Labour, doing a non-traceable leak to damage them. That only seems feasible if Labour was sole funder of their own poll, in which case they’d be threatening to sue UMR for breach of contract right now unless UMR outed their delinquent. If Labour keeps quiet about the leak all next week, it means they lack this leverage.

    • @Sanctuary

      … ” Labour’s vocal left is frustrated at Labour’s seeming incurable political complacency, inward looking bickering*, and timidity ” …

      Yeah , but they are like this because one half believes in pre 1984 economic policy (generally the party membership ) while the other half ( caucus ) are in agreement with Nationals neo liberalism – barring a few peripheral areas – almost to present to the public some form of minor differences to vote for.

      The same disease afflicted the UK Labour party until Corbyn cleansed the temple from all the dishonest money lenders…

      • Red 8.3.1

        The left hate each other more than the right, if you are not of the correct left idealogy or stray 1 degre god help you A bit like monty python life of Brian, the Judeas people front are not to be confused with the heretical people’s front of Judea

        • Ed 8.3.1.1

          Still fomenting discord…..

        • Incognito 8.3.1.2

          😱

        • adam 8.3.1.3

          More BS from Red, I have a beer with anybody on the left I’ve argued with here, any day of the week.

          You on the other hand…

        • Sara Matthews 8.3.1.4

          I’m very centre left, and must admit that I’m no fan of people to the left of me, I believe we can work together but for that to happen Labour needs to hold the centre ground and anything left of that is for the Greens or a more progressive party. These views often get me called a right wing troll etc, but really I’m just more conservative than others here. The left is a broad church we need to embrace that and truly represent and appreciate all progressives.

          • Robert Guyton 8.3.1.4.1

            “I’m very centre left, and must admit that I’m no fan of people to the left of me”

            QFT

            Astonishing unintended reveal, Sara. You won’t know what I mean. Hei aha.

    • mickysavage 8.4

      It seems to me whoever leaked Labour’s internal poll results has, like the disloyal UK PLP, decided the election is lost and are already looking to ensure Little isn’t leader afterwards so that nice Mr. Robertson can be leader instead….

      I understand UMR sends its results to corporate clients. The leak could have come from anywhere.

  9. RedLogix 9

    It’s not the policies, it’s the inability of the party leaders to sell them. It was a graphic lesson on why upskilling the leaders – let’s call it inspirationalising them – is now so critical for both Labour and the Greens.

    Oh there are easy teachable formulas to ‘own the room’, give stirring speeches and do ‘feel good’. But lacking all conviction it wears off quickly.

    There is NO algorithm for authenticity. There is no ‘upskilling’ to teach integrity. You cannot buy and sell honesty.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Time’s nearly up, Labour, the Greens. Ten weeks to go, and you guys have to blitz this country with heart and soul and inspiration and determination. With a spirit that tells us all you’re going to win. You have to make us believe you. And you have to do it now.

      He is right. If we want to change the Government now is the time. And it will depend primarily on activists, without whose passion and spirit neither Labour nor the Greens can succeed.

      Activists and the hard left are not the enemy of progressive parties. They form a fundamental part of these parties and are the reason why they succeed against all of the odds.

      That’s right. Be impressive, but not divisive is the slogan for the next 70
      69,68,67…. days.

      And always keep in mind the role that formidable cunning, financial advantage and pragmatism that Gnashionals have, similar to what was portrayed by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Goodbye Again
      The Music Teacher BBC2, 1966.
      which google will let you read on page 55/56.
      Goes like this, but longer.
      Mr Stigwell, as integrity. I don’t suppose you’ve come across that in your chequered career have you? Look boy, if I … That’s a valuable thing and I’m willing to pay for it. I’ll give you a hundred guineas an hour.
      DUDLEY: That’s …

  10. Sanctuary 10

    “…There is NO algorithm for authenticity. There is no ‘upskilling’ to teach integrity. You cannot buy and sell honesty…’

    Perfectly put.

    • So why do we bang on about ‘authenticity ‘ , ‘ integrity ‘ and ‘ honesty ‘ … when we have a system dominated by a dishonest and immoral organization whose goal is to … ‘return the world back to its fee market setting as it was in the 19th century with Great Britain ‘

      … such as the Mont Pelerin Society Antipodean branch calling themselves the New Zealand Initiative / Business Roundtable ?

      ( and who were the main instigators and financial backers for neo liberal reform under Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson – and still are under the current National party )

      Don’t you ever get the feeling that we are all being played for fools and that someone is roaring at us with hollow mocking laughter ?

      • Red 10.1.1

        Bloody lizard men, Zionist, illuminati, neoliberal inducing chem trails ,Al gore, Papists UN etc its all so easy to see if you just connect the dots just like John Nash did 😀

      • Incognito 10.1.2

        So why do we bang on about ‘authenticity ‘ , ‘ integrity ‘ and ‘ honesty ‘ …

        Because it is the only real antidote available to us; we’re the cause and we’re the cure.

        Don’t listen and give in to those voices calling themselves Red; they like to play us for fools – can’t you hear their hollow mocking laughter here on TS?

  11. greywarshark 11

    Chris Trotter from Bowalley Road is prepared to stick pins in the Labour bottom. He reckons he has to keep stooping lower to find it.

    The explanation for Labour’s failure is to be found in the arrogance and lack of imagination of its caucus. Though the party membership understood the need for a clear reaffirmation of Labour’s core principles, its MPs remained wedded to Clark’s cautious incrementalism.

    Without a Don Brash-like “defender of the faith” to re-energise Labour’s base and reassert its claim to leadership of the Left, the party’s share of the vote fell to 27 percent in 2011 and 25 percent in 2014.

    Four lacklustre leaders in nine years have not only sapped the morale of the party membership, they have also contributed to a pronounced loss of public confidence in the political competence of the Left as a whole.

    • rhinocrates 11.1

      …and a pathway to the front benches for junior MPs that is blocked to all but the those whose sycophancy is greater than their talent. Labour’s not going to attract and keep new membership and candidates when they see that their careers will go nowhere.

      They may as well recruit by digging up the graves of the Bourbons – a house that believed in divine right and “forgot nothing and learned nothing”.

      And Wilson has the gall to blame the party’s own membership and activists!

      • Jenny Kirk 11.1.1

        rhinocrates ” …and a pathway to the front benches for junior MPs that is blocked to all but the those whose sycophancy is greater than their talent. Labour’s not going to attract and keep new membership and candidates when they see that their careers will go nowhere.”

        I just don’t know where some of you guys come from, what you read or listen to, but you are way off beam with that comment, rhinocrates.

        Labour has attracted a great stable of new keen intelligent articulate candidates for this election round – many of them quite outstanding, AND placed them high on the List so they’re sure to get into Parliament.

        and what’s more, the current Labour MAORI MPs all decided to stand for their electorates only, so that new keen intelligent articulate MAORI candidates had more chance of getting into the Labour caucus from the List.

        I think some of you guys just listen to the mainstream media too too much, and don’t do enough of your own thinking or observing, or even finding out about things. All doom and gloom – just as the Paddy Gowers like you to be.

        • rhinocrates 11.1.1.1

          Like O’Connor? /sarc Certainly not the trougher I’m stuck with in my electorate. As psychologists like to say, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.

        • Sara Matthews 11.1.1.2

          We have some fantastic newcomers standing in this election, and yes several of them are Maori, heres hoping they can win a few seats between them or we get enough votes to get them in on the list.

    • Jenny Kirk 11.2

      greywarshark – You have just quoted a perfect example of Simon Wilson’s thesis :

      “Enemy number three is the hard left, the very vocal sector who, strange but true, regard the fight against “neoliberalism” as more important than the campaign to get Labour and the Greens into government.”

      Chris Trotter . In fact that’s who I thought SW was thinking of when he wrote that.

      • Incognito 11.2.1

        Jenny Kirk, I do have some sympathy for those so-called “hard left”. It seems that they’re concerned because they consider Labour neoliberal or a softer gentler version but neoliberal nevertheless. As such, Labour doesn’t and won’t offer the necessary radical change to and for a better society for all.

        Often, many words are uttered that mean (slightly) different things to different people such as: liberalism & neoliberalism, social democracy, progressive, etc. I think these confuse more than that they clarify and thus we seem to be going around in circles of misunderstanding, misjudgement, miscommunication, and political misery.

        I don’t speak on behalf on anybody and I fully expect to get corrected. Nor am I as astute as Simon Wilson or Chris Trotter; this is my honest opinion and understanding of the apparent in-fighting – it has been going on for a very long time now …

        To be more accurate, I do have considerable sympathy for those “hard left” and their frustrations but quite possibly I’m not so outspoken (or brave enough) …

      • McFlock 11.2.2

        Maybe it’s because I don’t follow tory commentators, but I’m having difficulty thinking of a “voice of the right” (even self-described) who shits on the nats as much as our voices of the left (like Bradbury or trotter) shit on Labour and even the greens.

        • greywarshark 11.2.2.1

          I don’t think they have your patience to wait for the end of the rainbow to be reached. and that will be never. The concrete gets harder every election and we are buried in it in our boots. Perhaps at this stage it is so hard that we can step out, abandon our boots and run across to where we can move again to home, family, living wages, paid weekly,all or part of the weekend free or proper compensation for anti-social hours and other golden dreams.

          • rhinocrates 11.2.2.1.1

            For a few, the end of the rainbow has a clear and close geographical location – it’s in Bellamy’s.

            For the rest of us, hype isn’t very nutritious and repeatedly broken promises are bitter. I’ve heard it all before, again and again. ‘A fresh approach’ is fucking insulting. If NZ Labour had any backbone, they’d adopt a UK style ‘For the many, not the few,’ at least, but they’re too scared of upsetting those few, so they come up with that anodyne, content-free nonsense.

          • McFlock 11.2.2.1.2

            That doesn’t actually contradict Wilson’s point.

            You might have some fantasy path where we have natinal governments up until the socialist dream is achieved, but to me that seems even less likely than incrementalism.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.2.2.2

          Don Brash is arguably trying to shit on the Natz with his Hobson’s pledge garbage, where he accuses the Natz of not being racist enough (paraphrasing here, but I think I’ve given the gist of it).

          • rhinocrates 11.2.2.2.1

            Not to mention Hooton, though that might have been because he felt jilted.

          • McFlock 11.2.2.2.2

            Is he? It makes me happy that the nats have to put up with that 🙂

        • Sara Matthews 11.2.2.3

          Add to that Bradford and Pagani, the latter has been particularly scathing recently.

          • mauī 11.2.2.3.1

            What did Pagani say?

          • lprent 11.2.2.3.2

            Josie Pagani is in my opinion, a gormless incompetent idiot who has done nothing particularly useful in her life. She is mostly known for being a very dumb observer and particularly stupid critic of the left..

            Do you have any other pearls of wisdom from the stupid wing of the ‘left’? No populist wanking masquerading as political theory about practices from the failed wing of the left – the progressives?

            See – it is easy to be a critic. All you have to do is expose the inner bigot. Josie does that better than I do.

  12. mosa 12

    National and the “brighter NZ future is the real enemy ”

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2017/07/nationals-new-zealand.html

    Will this story be covered…………not likely !

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      It’ll all be someone else’s fault. That’s how they roll.

    • Ed 12.2

      ‘A homeless man has been found dead, huddled under his sleeping bag at the back of a church – the second known such death of a homeless person in two weeks as a polar blast grips the nation.

      The man was found on Tuesday morning as Manurewa Methodist Church set up its weekly soup kitchen for the homeless.’

      Manurewa mum Beverley Losefa, who organises the soup kitchen, thought he was sleeping in. But when they served the first cup of tea and he still hadn’t risen she became worried.

      Police were called and confirmed the man had died, before they cordoned off the area.’

      Shame on this nation.

    • Jenny Kirk 12.3

      of course not, Mosa. The MSM like to cover this stuff up. Thank goodness to people like No Right Turn who remind us about this ….. if we’d forgotten, or not read about it.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    UPDATE FROM HER WARSHIP IN THE HAGUE!
    15 July 2017 8:04 am

    Join the dots folks!

    Where could the public money come from to provide SOCIAL welfare for the vulnerable poor and needy?

    By cutting CORPORATE welfare for the undeserving rich and greedy!

    International research has PROVEN that contracting out (privatisation of public services formerly provided
    in-house under the ‘public service’ model) is TWICE as expensive!

    So! Let’s OPEN THE (public) BOOKS and CUT OUT THE (private) CONTRACTORS!

    Shouldn’t PUBLIC money benefit the PUBLIC majority – not the PRIVATE minority?

    Time to look after the PUBLIC 99% – not the CORPORATE 1%?

    (Please SHARE if you agree?
    🙂

    Here’s a blast from the past – a Press Release I made in 2011, when I stood as an Independent against John Banks in Epsom.

    (I have been persistent and consistent on these matters for some years – and now folks are getting it!

    YAY! 🙂

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/m.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00095/wheres-nationals-corporate-welfare-reform.htm

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?
    By: Penny Bright
    Published: Thu 3 Nov 2011 05:28 PM

    PRESS RELEASE: Independent Candidate for Epsom Penny Bright:

    “How many billion$ of public monies could be saved by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    3 November 2011

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?

    Which of the maor political parties are pushing for ‘corporate welfare’ reform and shrinking the long-term dependency of the private sector on our public monies?

    Where is the ‘devilish detail’ at both local and central government level – which shows EXACTLY where our public rates and taxes are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors?

    Why aren’t the names of the consultant(s)/ contrators(s) – the scope, term and value of these contracts, published in Council or central government Annual Reports – so this information on the spending of OUR public monies is available for public scrutiny?

    Where are the publicly-available ‘Registers of Interests’ for those local government elected representatives, and staff responsible for property and procurement, in order to help guard against possible ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who ‘give’ the contracts and those who ‘get’ the contracts?

    Where’s the ‘transparency’?

    Given that New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world – along with Denmark and Singapore, according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index – shouldn’t we arguably be the most transparent?

    Going back a step – where are the New Zealand ‘cost-benefit’ analyses which prove that the old ‘Rogernomic$ mantra – public is bad – private (contracting) is good’ can be substantiated by FACTS and EVIDENCE?

    At last – someone – somewhere has actually done some substantial research – which proves the opposite.

    That ‘contracting out’ services that were once provided ‘in-house’ is actually TWICE as expensive.

    “USA Project On Government Oversight (POGO)[1] decided to take on the task of doing what others have not—comparing total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

    http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/reports/contract-oversight/bad-business/co-gp-20110913.html

    Executive Summary

    Based on the current public debate regarding the salary comparisons of federal and private sector employees, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO)[1] decided to take on the task of doing what others have not—comparing total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

    The current debate over pay differentials largely relies on the theory that the government pays private sector compensation rates when it outsources services.

    This report proves otherwise: in fact, it shows that the government actually pays service contractors at rates far exceeding the cost of employing federal employees to perform comparable functions.
    POGO’s study analyzed the total compensation paid to federal and private sector employees, and annual billing rates for contractor employees across 35 occupational classifications covering over 550 service activities.

    Our findings were shocking—POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services.

    Specifically, POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates—deemed fair and reasonable—that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services. ”
    ____________________________

    The implications of this both nationally and internationally are HUGE.

    If NZ central government figures are comparable with those of USA Federal Government – could the current NZ $82 billion central government spend be sliced in half by $40 billion ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’
    …”

    Penny Bright
    Independent Candidate for Tamaki.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 13.1

      Your post reads as spam Penny
      Re the actual topic: Why do here have to be 7 enemies? What if there is just one enemy and it IS neoliberalism?
      Or the author could pretend there isn’t an elephant in the room and waffle on about all sorts of less relevant issues.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        KCCC
        A Kiwi of the knocker type. Try not keeping calm yourself do more and spend less time on cutting tall poppies down. Some NZs are so negative that just being born must have used up all their forward thrust and since then its just been gravity. Try some levity! And say good on Penny, you might be OTT, but you’re trying and doing that 105% which makes up for your lack KCCCCCCc.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 13.1.1.1

          A bit negative of you greyrawshark.
          When the left of politics can sort its act out it won’t need criticising will it!
          I don’t know Penny but the last few posts I’ve seen have truly read as spam – hard to read massive post that’s off topic.
          On the other hand your entire post is a personal attack with no attempt to discuss the OP. Do you appreciate irony?

          • greywarshark 13.1.1.1.1

            I appreciate iron and understand how an iron can be used to erase annoying quirky outliers sticking up. You consider her posts as spam, they are hard to read, they are massive, they are off topic. Why bother to tell us this, she is out there doing her thing, different from you, irritates you. So just leave her alone instead of passing judgment, flattening her with your knocking ideas. Do you understand self-censorship and humility about your desire to be right?

  14. Ethica 14

    Meanwhile Labour candidate Ginny Andersen and her team knocked on 500 doors today. That is how you win a marginal electorate.

    • Jenny Kirk 14.1

      Yes !!! Good on Ginny and her mates – out in the cold, doing it hard, and getting somewhere. Great to hear ! (We were out figuring out how to put up hoardings!)

    • James 14.2

      Indeed it is.

  15. Ad 15

    I’m surprised that Simon Wilson didn’t mention that the real enemies of the centre left are the multimillionaires – from the Brethren Church to Barfoot and Thompson to Tony Astle to Mr Goodfellow himself – who consistently bankroll the National Party such that their media campaigns are overwhelming, their policies are warped towards specific kinds of capital formation, and their voter turnout has the most spectacularly targeted turnout campaign.

    The real enemy of the centre left are the brutal capitalists who fund to eradicate the centre left.

    The rest is Simon pump-priming guilt amount the bourgeoisie.

  16. newsense 16

    I think, though I don’t know, that Simon has grown up in a household where reds where hated or seriously disdained.

    I grew up in a household where you were grateful for everything, but had to stand up for what was yours. New Zealand was an example of a place that gave people a chance and had great equality. If you wanted to work hard, you could get ahead.

    I think he just doesn’t like the working class that much, probably because he hasn’t lived with them.

    In the same way I don’t know many people who ride horses, sail yachts, belong to business associations or that kind of thing. I’ve got no idea who these people are. Almost.

    I know who some of the young scrappers are. They don’t all look like Chloe Swarbrick and they can’t all be represented by her.

    I really liked his Metro. I like his repping public transport, urban design and New Zealand writing. He repped the unions during the Ports of Auckland debate, which was highly unusual, even from the Labour Party.

    But I think that radical left is a vague term. What is radical in the age of radical austerity?

    I think dismissing the struggles of many to housing, warmth, decent employment, respect, inclusion and a leg up as radical, when for many it was taken for granted not a generation ago, is hypocritical.

    They’re not asking for award wages or even a guarantee that Christmas and Easter are public holidays!

    Surely you remember Sunday trading? That was happening in Aussie 10 years ago.

    The current and the past solutions are not looking flash right now. We need leadership, not tired categories.

  17. newsense 17

    A real Labour government is much better with criticism from the left.

    If it is only listening to criticism from the right, then it’s on its last legs.

    The left has to be brought in.

    Free trade agreements have to be given as much scrutiny- available to the public- as beneficiaries are. The public need to be patronised less.

    While giving one sandwich to poor kids for every sandwich some well meaning liberal buys is perhaps a good idea, universality is better.

    No one misses out. No one is branded as the poor kids. Their respect is left intact.

    This needs someone from the ‘radical left’ say Owen Jones or at least someone younger than John Minto or Joe Carolan- no disrepect lads, but!- to write a reply and submit it to the Spinoff. A Nandor for our times. Remember when Labour and the Greens were damn cool? I do! Can you remember how uncool Helen Clark was? No? She was, but she did for that…

    If David Seymour and Judith Collins can get their stuff published there, then some ‘radical left’ activist of whom Simon is so afraid should write a reply. IMO.

    No not Martyn Bradbury either.

    Any new Labour MPs wanna take the challenge on?

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