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Win or Lose: This is Labour

Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, August 7th, 2015 - 199 comments
Categories: labour, leadership, Left, political parties, Politics, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

A while back, and on a few occasions, I’ve opined that NZ Labour ought to essentially cut and paste the policies and announcements of the SNP – who have themselves occupied ground abandoned by Labour.

Some people seemed to think the suggestion was too simplistic and suggested that the situation in Scotland was somehow unique and not necessarily applicable to a NZ context.

Well, after the SNP rout of Labour in Scotland and Labour’s defeat in England and Wales, Miliband resigned and…well, along came Jeremy Corbyn.

Competing with him for the leadership of UK Labour are three, what I’d call ‘bubble gum’ candidates: that’s bubble gum that’s lost its taste and is nothing more than an annoyance you want rid of btw. That’s enough on them.

So Corbyn is packing out venues and has picked up a momentum that has certain entrenched interests of UK Labour spitting tacks. For example, lists of newly signed members have been sent out to local branches with the idea that suspect members should be identified and culled from the lists. Desperate stuff when you reflect that they seem particularly worked up over the possibility of infiltration by Militant Tendency…who must surely number somewhere in the dozens these days.

So what is it about Corbyn that has got people animated? Could it be his straight answers to straight questions as illustrated in this clip where leadership candidates are simply asked if they’d have former leader Miliband in their shadow cabinet?



Maybe it’s just his common sense

…and the part of the electorate who we most need to speak to is those who didn’t vote – 34 per cent at the last election. They are more likely to be young, from an ethnic minority background and to be working class, as are the hundreds of thousands who weren’t registered to vote at all. These are the people who would benefit most from a Labour government that stands up against discrimination, reduces inequality and poverty, creates a fairer society for all


His willingness to work with other parties also stands in stark contrast to other elements within Labour who it seems, just can’t get over themselves when it comes to the SNP.

Then there’s his rejection of the UK’s nuclear deterrent…incidentally a flagship policy of the electorally rampant SNP.

And while other candidates head wank over the legacy and lessons of Tony Blair and their political proximity to him, (‘Will it damage me or aid me?’) Corbyn would have no problems seeing him defend war crime charges in court.

And so it goes on.

No accommodation with any middle ground or ‘radical centre’: just knowing what you stand for and standing up on it. Which is what Labour has to be – a place for expressing solid principles in a political context. Win or lose, that’s Labour – and anything else, no matter the country or situation, is mincing, backtracking, selling out and not anything most people would care to vote for.

Anyone in NZ Labour paying attention yet?

199 comments on “Win or Lose: This is Labour ”

  1. Alan W 1

    Please , please let him win the leadership, then the whole world can see what “real labour” looks like.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.1

      Real Labour stands up for ordinary working people and the precariat; Real Labour makes clear that neoliberalism and financialisation benefits only a few to the detriment of most; Real Labour understands that people set the rules of the economy, and that if the economy does not serve the needs of society, those rules need to be changed.

      Above all, Real Labour values every single person and their potential contribution to society as a whole.

      • Thom Pietersen 1.1.1

        Hear hear

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        well said

      • James 1.1.3

        “Real Labour values every single person”

        Yet on here there is the bashing of people who you dont agree with what standard readers assume are their morals, and call high achievers parasites.

        Tags of post about anyone with money is listed as ‘class-war’

        Labour dont care about every single person – they only care about whats in it for them and the others are the enemy.

        • Mark

          How can any supporter of the Nats talk about morals. You don’t get to pick and choose what bits of the Nats agenda you agree with. When you vote for them, you are endorsing the programme the Nats put up and their vision for New Zealand. When that vision involves turning a blind eye to people dying at work, dying due to cold damp housing when the Nats are the landlords, then the Nats get labelled the scum sucking pieces of shit that they are. And since they were empowered to do this by yourself and hundreds of thousands of other like minded New Zealanders, then you become a scum sucking piece of shit as well.
          And you want to bring up morals. You are in the sewer pit with the Nats. There is no half way house here. You helped to vote them in, you are responsible.

        • Naturesong

          Or …

          Maybe Labour (party or class?) really do want you to do well.
          They just don’t want you screwing over other people while you’re at it.

  2. Roflcopter 2

    … I’ve opined that NZ Labour ought to essentially cut and paste the policies and announcements …

    Curran had a go, but got caught.

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    So, lose then.

    • b waghorn 3.1

      As opposed to the resounding win they just had !!??

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        Exactly. All the centrist/Blairite/right wing Labour candidates for the leadership race put together haven’t been able to bring attract as many people Jeremy Corbyn has.

        Yet the right wing of Labour still bleat on about how they are the electable ones. Not sure whether they are idiots, sell outs, or genuinely self delusional.

        • ropata

          Agreed CV.
          There is a very interesting piece on PR messaging/framing up at Public Address. Corbyn has a vision that people can buy into, not some weak sauce neolib lite. Voters don’t want someone who just talks about the problems, they need to see the solutions.

          Why we need to stop talking about Inequality (& other issues). My first blog with @publicaddress http://t.co/1mjZOm2j7X— Kirk Serpes (@KirkSerpes) August 5, 2015

          • Bill

            Nice piece. Have to laugh at the supposed difficulty of re-framing inequality though. Peeps is getting ripped off, innit? 😉

    • North 3.2

      Fuck off Biscuit, you’re not even a useful idiot !

    • ropata 3.3

      Oppositions don’t “lose”, eventually Governments are booted out.
      Your mate will have a lot more time for golf and hobnobbing in Hawaii soon.

  4. wyndham 4

    Also shows how a REAL journalist approaches his work !

    • AmaKiwi 4.1


      Our so-called journalists are petrified to confront Key & Co.

      John Campbell did. They had to get rid of him.

      • Wayne 4.1.1


        That must be why the state broadcaster employed him. The media are so in fear of John Key, including the very broadcaster owned by the state that they will do anything that their masters bid.

        Having him on state radio is clearly part of the master plan.

  5. Charles 5

    After reading the Who is J. Corbyn Guardian article, it seems he’d have more luck as a “transitional” NZ politician than a UK PM hopeful. Which is odd, because I don’t subscribe to the “UK = NZ politics” ideas I often read here. If he has no luck in the UK, maybe the Greens could hire him to fill the gap of idealistic optimism their current policies have, with the necessary realist fall-back position that’ll be required around 2020 – provided they’re in a position of power and the Nats haven’t sold everything to the sexiest bidder.

    No way would NZ Labour use him or his ideas. hahaha good god no.

    • Bill 5.1

      It’s not that UK politics = NZ politics. It’s that the basic thrust of a Labour Party should be guided by given principles and values regardless of the environment.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1

        Hell, the history of NZ politics is far more left wing than UK politics anyways. We beat the UK to electing the world’s first fully Labour Government, for starters. I know left wing families who moved here from the UK in the 1930s and 40s BECAUSE we had a ‘proper’ Labour Government over here.

  6. infused 6

    Labour are pretty good at copy and pasting it seems.

  7. Detrie 7

    The concerns around income inequality, jobs, social services are sowing the seeds of discontent worldwide. The failure of left and right wing politicians to address this has caused the rise of the SNP and people like Jeremy Corbyn, even Bernie Sanders in the US. These individuals appear to have the courage to stand up for the working class and be proud of it. I don’t see it happening here yet.

    Labour here in NZ won’t win the next election on bold policies to help the working class and rebuild our society – It will be National that loses it through arrogance, which seems to be how NZ politics works. No real change.

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      That’s just in recent times though; looking back at the 1980’s/1990’s, 1930’s, 1890’s: NZ politics has brought very dramatic changes to the nation.

      • Thom Pietersen 7.1.1

        But Detrie is right, and Labour will fall into line with big business lobbying when they realise they need to maintain the global status quo or risk a overly short 3 year term- if you look at the 1980’s 1990’s (really? – flat and boring IMO), 1930’s, 1890’s that was true evidential on the street financial hardship, and therefore discontent – 2008 has been a bit of a clever cover up (debt creation in the background – but for the workers and doers on the promise that we will also get a piece of the baby boomer windfall in due course if we hunker down) based on Harvard inspired pseudo math.

        That is why people don’t vote – what’s the fucking point? The C*nts on top have truly figured it out… and the people… well, Baaa…

  8. shorts 8

    If Corbyn takes the leadership and the left take Canada (as it seems they will) then why not here to

    Await the NZ Labour party to remember those it serves and to campaign as a strong and unified mob

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      The right wing of NZ Labour is the same as the right wing of UK Labour in that they deeply believe that going left loses elections, and going right, wins them.

      • Despite a hell of a lot of evidence to the contrary.

        • James

          Actually evidence backs it up. Conservatives winning in UK (Again), Nats winning in NZ (Again).

          UKIP Winning a ton more votes than the SNP.

          • Macro

            UKIP Winning a ton more votes than the SNP.

            Idiot alert!

            Population of Scotland 5.3 million
            Population of England 53.1 million
            England has 10 times bigger population.
            It might have escaped your notice that SNP exists only in Scotland where it achieved 1.45 million votes – around 1/2 of the votes cast in Scotland.
            UKIP exists mainly in England where it achieved 3.88 million votes – compared with around 25 m votes cast in England. That’s around 15% of the voting public.
            15% compared to 50+ %??

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            How do victories for rightwing parties prove that leftwing parties win when they go to the right?

            • Clemgeopin

              I don’t think anyone is asking Labour to go to the right! Labour should have left, left of centre and centre policies. National has the right and far right policies with some token left social policies of precious Labour government for political expediency and to fool the gullible.

            • The lost sheep

              It seems to prove that the majority of citizens are more inclined to vote for right wing policies, and therefore the more Right Wing a Parties policies are, the higher % of the peoples vote they are likely to receive?

              Oh no, but i must be wrong, because Left wing parties are dominating the electoral choices of voters throughout the world, eh? sarc.

              And so let me pre-empt the Leftist Party line…
              The reason the ‘people’ vote for Right wing parties is because the ‘people’ are ‘stupid/brainwashed/greedy/it is all the media’s fault/etc/etc…’ sarc.

              So go Left Labour. Hard hard left. Just ditch all the shit and kick out the jams and start preaching a straight forward militant Leftist doctrine. Don’t ferkin pussy foot around with half arsed pseudo liberal/Capitalist compromised equivocation, just get in there and plainly express some good old fashioned Socialist truth. Go on. I’m begging you.The ‘people’ will be lap it up and rise from subjugation and victory will be ensured at the next election etc etc. sarc.

              What’s stopping you?

              • weka

                Did you even bother to read the post? Or stop and think about what it is saying?

                “It seems to prove that the majority of citizens are more inclined to vote for right wing policies, and therefore the more Right Wing a Parties policies are, the higher % of the peoples vote they are likely to receive?”

                You are conveniently ignoring the non-vote.

                “And so let me pre-empt the Leftist Party line…
                The reason the ‘people’ vote for Right wing parties is because the ‘people’ are ‘stupid/brainwashed/greedy/it is all the media’s fault/etc/etc…’ sarc.”

                Some people are always going to vote right. Some are going to be swing voters, so the question is why do they choose one side or the other at different times (hint, they don’t shift right and stay there)? Some stop voting at all when they find they can’t vote Labour any more i.e. they won’t vote National instead. In all of that, of course there will be unthinking and selfish people and those swayed by the media, but your sarcasm (and your whole comment) is merely an attempt to make up shit about NZ. ‘militant leftist doctrine’ lolz. I think you’re not paying attention.

                • BM

                  Some stop voting at all when they find they can’t vote National any more i.e. they won’t vote Labour instead.

                  Some don’t vote because no party appeals to them.

                  Some don’t vote because they don’t feel they know enough and don’t want to make a uninformed decision

                  Some don’t vote because they can’t be fucked.

                  Some don’t vote because life is sweet.

                  All those individuals could vote either left or right.

                  Any one who thinks the non-vote would only vote left is seriously deluding themselves.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Anyone who thinks the argument is “100% of non-voters would vote left, if only they would vote” is seriously deluding themselves.

                    • BM

                      I would say the non- vote could be split pretty much 50-50.

                      Which is why chasing the non-vote is a shit strategy.

                    • Bill

                      If the non-vote is somehow engaged in current circumstances, then sure, you could be right.

                      But if they engage on the back of hope, then you’d be wrong. They’ll go for what offers hope.

                      UKIP might be an illustration of that. Labour lost votes to them in England and Wales. They (UKIP) claim to represent the working class and get away with it because people are operating in a vacuum where nothing really stands for anything.

                      In contrast, Labour lost no votes to UKIP in Scotland, where the percentage of people voting exceeded that of England and Wales, and where the SNP were offering a message of hope…

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ BM:

                      Then you’re not very good at maths or political strategy.

                      If the left are getting 45% of the vote in the general voting population, but then have support at 50% in the non-vote population, then getting those extra votes from the non-voters can only increase their share from 45% towards 50%.

                      Of course, there is already good evidence that the non-vote tends to favour those who would vote left: those with lack of access to transport, who are too busy working on a Saturday, those who aren’t well informed because they have a hard menial job and can’t sit in an office reading the news online and so therefore opt not to vote because they know they’re uninformed or they don’t think it matters who is in power, etc.

                  • Bill

                    Most of the people who don’t vote are young or working class. Both the young and the working class have been abandoned by ‘modern’ policy prescriptions.

                    Offer them something to vote for: give them hope: offer them a vision – propose a future that includes them and values them, and….

      • just saying 8.1.2

        You are assuming that the right of the Labour caucus (the overwhelming majority thanks to decades of anti-democratic mechanations) actually give a flying fuck about anything or anyone other than their own elitist interests. I suspect they’d rather lose another election than actually have to make anything more than cosmetic changes to the status quo that they and their cronies are benefitting from, to the detriment of the people, the environment and the future of the planet.
        It’s not that they are too fightened to stand up for Labour values, its that they are frightened of the neo-liberal agenda losing its strangle-hold over the electorate. They could have joined National, but they serve its interests and masters better by controlling Labour.
        I don’t think most of them admit this to themselves. I’d have more respect for them if they had the courage of their actual convictions.

        • Craig H

          Not sure where that comes from, but it’s not the sense I got from talking to actual Labour MPs. They all want to win so they can halt and reverse the damage caused by National.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            That’s just vague aspirational talk by Labour MPs. They are all very good at acting concerned with consternation. While they watch their property portfolio values climb.

            Ask them (and ask if you can quote them) – do they support bringing back penalty rates for over time?

            Do they support moving off a free floating exchange rate?

            Do they support reducing huge big bank profits?

            Do they support raising base benefits for the unemployed and for solo mums?

            Do they support keeping the retirement age at 65?

            Do they support increasing union powers to strike?

            Do they support walking away from the TPPA?

  9. Phaedrus 9

    Why do the non-answers from the other three candidates (other than Corbyn) sound so familiar? They all try to use as many words as they can in order to say very little. NZ Labour should be forced to watch this many times until they get the message.

    • Detrie 9.1

      True. We even see this from Trump in the US (god help them). People like it from their politicians. Always have. No avoiding the question. No more qualified answers. Tell us what you stand for. Good or bad, right or wrong, we want frank answers or opinions…

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.1

        Hell, politics in the US is so screwed right now that I think a Trump nomination might actually be a better choice than the rest of the GOP candidates.

  10. Ovid 10

    Did we not do that with Cunliffe? I was all aboard the Cunliffe train. I voted for him in the leadership ballot and I thought he’d appeal to the missing million. But the election clearly demonstrated I was wrong.

    Labour in NZ have enjoyed an upswing in the polls over the last month. I’m prepared to give them some leeway and wait and see what policies they roll out come 2017.

    • Olwyn 10.1

      Cunliffe did not have time to establish himself, he did not have the support of his caucus and was forced to dilute the strong stance that won him the leadership going into the election. Above all, he did not have time to gather the grass roots support and momentum he needed against an extremely hostile media.

      • Chris 10.1.1

        He didn’t come across as likeable, either, which is important. Helen Clark in her nine years was a neo-liberal dictator but people for the most part liked her. No ideologically perfect analysis can save someone whose personality tends to grate.

        • Pat

          dont know that “liked’ is an accurate term…perhaps respected

          • Chris

            Yes, respected, too. Either way it translated into votes from the left for a neo-liberal dictator.

        • maui

          He didn’t come across as likeable, either, which is important. Helen Clark in her nine years was a neo-liberal dictator but people for the most part liked her. No ideologically perfect analysis can save someone whose personality tends to grate.

          From what I remember too, the Nats went after him more so than Little, and they knew he was a threat because of his financial capabilities. There often seemed to be this chatter by media that he was aloof or arrogant. I think if that wasn’t highlighted, probably a lot of people wouldn’t have even thought about it.

          Little seems to have gotten off pretty lightly so far, apart from being called “angry”, although granted this is not election year, so it could be interesting during 2017. I think Cunliffe was hard done by really.

          • Chris

            “I think Cunliffe was hard done by really.”

            Perhaps, but my take is directly from Cunliffe, not from some media commentary on his ‘aloofness’ or otherwise.

            “the Nats went after him…they knew he was a threat because of his financial capabilities.”

            That’s true, too, which together with the fact he was no leader ought to have made it clear to Labour he was their obvious (and would’ve been a formidable) finance minister.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.2

        he did not have the support of his caucus and was forced to dilute the strong stance that won him the leadership going into the election. Above all, he did not have time to gather the grass roots support and momentum he needed

        Spot on. He allowed himself to get captured by Wellington-centric, Thorndon Bubble strategists. The same ones who will be in charge of Labour’s 2017 campaign, no doubt. Cunliffe should have gone with a strategy of directly going out to meet the people – Peters style – to build that grass roots momentum.

        • Chris

          I don’t necessarily disagree because included in what you say is that Cunliffe wasn’t given the chance to establish himself so we’ve been denied the opportunity to know how things could’ve been, and of course Labour’s strategists are an almost unfathomable breed. That said, Cunliffe seemed to me to have this uncanny knack of responding to anything he may have perceived as a slightly thorny issue in an abrasive or condescending way. Perhaps he needed more experience with the media therefore can be explained by saying he didn’t have the opportunity to establish himself, but he’s an experienced politician and the way he responded to journalists at times just seemed unnecessarily rude or arrogant. Even if the journalist was being a pillock and deserved derision there’s no excuse for responding the way Cunliffe often did, the important reason being that no matter how great his political position may be, responding that way simply turns voters off. And we all know what that means.

        • Stuart Munro

          Let us not forget the vicious and corrosive MSM – and Donghwa Liu – who seems to have come here to destroy the integrity of our political institutions.

        • Thom Pietersen

          You know what Kiwi’s want? A straight talker, in charge of a unified team, no polly speak, no school teacher this is how to think. We have lost the fact that we are one of the most truly democratic societies that granted womens votes, rejected Australian federalism on the basis of native rights, set up one of the first modern social security systems, said bugger off to the nuclear umbrella, and fuck off to French terrorism (actually, that was the beginning of the end)… and now we are just bitches to the global financial dogma.

          We can push back, but it will have to be pragmatic.

      • millsy 10.1.3

        Cunliffe should have waited until after the last election — let Shearer sleepwalk to defeat, and then take over for the 2017 election.

        He was too impatient. True leaders sit back and bide their time.

        • Matthew Hooton

          He couldn’t afford to wait, because Shearer was on track to beat Key and form a Labour/Green/NZFirst govt.

          • Lanthanide

            Yeah, in coalition with the two dead snapper, as well.


          • tracey

            thanks for my saturday morning laugh. funnier cos you probably believe it

            • Matthew Hooton

              I do. The polls also tend to support my view. The last election, like all MMP elections, was actually quite close. Cunliffe worsened Labour’s position. Without the Cunliffe effect, I think Labour/Green/NZF would have got there.

              • Lanthanide

                The “Cunliffe effect” of course being the intense and unfair media beatup over non-stories such as Donghua Liu and his quoted-out-of-context “apology for being a man”.

                Shearer would not have done as well in the debates as Cunliffe did, simply because he is a mumblefuck and Cunliffe isn’t.

                Finally, do you honestly believe that Labour + Greens would have gotten sufficient seats so that Winston would have chosen to go with them – and form a new government – and not go with Key and keep the existing government intact?

                Winston has always said he’d deal with the largest party first, and just on the basic fundamental of “a new government being disruptive for the country”, Labour + Greens had quite a way to go in order to win.

                People on The Standard like to imagine that they only needed ~3% more in order to form a government, but I think it is really more like 7-8% more.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  I understand and respect the alternative view, and we’ll never know. But I don’t think Cunliffe won a single vote in the debates. Did any intended Nat voters cross the line? “Talking to the biggest party first” is meaningless Peters talk.

                  • Tracey

                    Ruling out working with the greens was also meaningless Peters talk?

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Yes of course

                    • Tracey

                      No wonder you believe what you wrote, you just dismiss everything that counters it. You understand that this Government has heaps of MP;s/Ministers who are just meaningless talk and say whatever they think the moment calls for? Like you say peter’s does?

                      NZF was in government with a Labour party which didn’t include Green party… coincidence Matthew?

              • Tracey

                IF Shearer could have cobbled together a government, it would be because he represented more closely those in the soft side of National rather than any true Labour leanings.

                National and ACT, using organisations and people with skills like or similar to yours had another 12 months to carve up Sheaer so your poll reliance at that point is rather flimsy. Or are you saying the indirect and direct NACT machine would have left Shearer alone?

    • Bill 10.2

      An upswing? Maybe.

      Point is that traditional value based politics – the type of politics that Labour used to espouse – work. Right now, NZ Labour is like most of UK Labour and running scared of itself.

      Q. What was the electoral result for the last party of late to run on unabashed left leaning social democratic policies…the type of platform Labour used to run on?

      A.They got over 50% of the vote and all but three of the seats they contested.

      And the Labour Party was rendered all but dead and buried, as were the Tories. But the same Tory Party slammed the same Labour Party during the same election campaign in England and Wales.

      Btw, since the election the SNP have increased their support according to polling, while Labour have themselves stated that they will be doing well to be ‘applauded off the park’ after next year’s Scottish election.

      It’s about reducing people to voting for the lesser evil under an environment of TINA, as opposed to offering real vision and hope.

      Corbyn is enthusing people and bringing members into Labour and a Corbyn led Labour Party -one that reclaimed its old territory – would probably oversee the beginning of an ebb in SNP support and an upsurge in support for Labour in England and Wales given what the SNP achieved in Scotland on ‘abandoned’ Labour principles.

      • Chris 10.2.1

        Labour could start by taking the time to read Mana Party policy. If they ever bothered they’d see that much of it is indistinguishable from traditional Labour.

    • Karen 10.3

      i was also thinking about Cunliffe in relation to Corbyn, but I think there is a difference. A lot of people responded negatively to Cunliffe, not because of his politics but there was something else about him that was a turn off for many. I never understood it myself, but the antipathy to Corbyn seems not to be personal and seems to come just from the right and the Blairites.

      I hope Corbyn wins because the other candidates are truly dreadful based on the clip in Bill’s post.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.3.1

        Cunliffe did much worse than he should have in the second half of his brief leadership. Essentially my view is that he didn’t build the right staff team around himself, he was captured by a right leaning caucus who opposed him on most fronts, he did not do the things he should have to bolster his support amongst the ordinary membership and unions.

      • Bill 10.3.2

        Thinking along the lines of the pulpit versus the soapbox.

        Cunliffe being the former and Corbyn the latter.

        Guys speaking from pulpits seek your belief. Guys on a soapbox seek your engagement.

        Belief needs no strategy or organisation. Engagement demands it.

    • Anne 10.4

      … I thought he’d appeal to the missing million. But the election clearly demonstrated I was wrong.

      Donghua Liu anyone? The “Dirty Political” sting involving segments of the MSM which brought down David Cunliffe on the back of a string of lies, deceit and the word of a crooked Chinese businessman. The National govt. won on the back of the fallout and the gullibility of a nation of political zombies who believed all of it.

      • Stuart Munro 10.4.1


      • ropata 10.4.2

        It was a salient demonstration of how easy it is to fuck up a democracy. Stupid beat-ups like Cunliffe’s red tie FFS. What did that have to do with anything?

        It wasn’t just the negative shit storm against Cunliffe. (DC ran rings around Key in the debates, made JK look like a dunce, but Kiwis don’t like the guy who is *too* intelligent). There was also a backlash against Nicky Hager and Kim Dotcom.

        The FJK “nice guy” narrative has been a tough nut to crack but I think NZ is starting to see the light.

        • Anne

          It was red scarf ropata. 😉

          Yes, the Hager revelations, the Dotcom antics (the way the malevolent MSM tried to link Labour and Kim Dotcom) was all part of it and it beggars belief the greedy, self centred idiot zombies out there are still voting for crims, fraudsters and psychopaths. When they all come crashing down in a big heap -as they assuredly will – then I won’t stop laughing at them. Especially Patrick Gower!

      • Thom Pietersen 10.4.3

        No Cunliffe just came across as a douche, plain and simple (being a self declared god botherer didn’t help) – and people just don’t trust Labours internal machinations (I’m a union supporter – but those fuckers really and truly buggered stuff up for a generation by being plain dicks and ultimately the manager won at 3000% average wage to CEO remuneration differential increase over 50 years). It’s not a party for the individual, and we are into several decades of younger voters interested in whats in it for me (deal with it)… how do you frame Labour policies to attract that? The Green Party is getting closer for inclusiveness once they dropped their stupid hippy anti science shit – nobody trusts unknown powerful influences in this RT influenced internet age of conspiracy theories,

        • Tracey

          I didn’t know Cunliffe was a self confessed God botherer?

          • Naturesong

            Son of an Anglican Minister.

            I suspect it was the compassion and socialism inherent in Christs teachings that helped form Cunliffes character.

            And, he isn’t a lunatic like those who fixate on Leviticus.

          • Anne

            He is the son of a vicar and he sometimes goes to church. That is the definition of a god botherer – apparently.

            Oops Naturesong has beat me to it. Will leave it as confirmation.

        • s y d

          Cunliffe cut off his beard, went with John Campbell to the fish and chip shop with his jumper knotted around his shoulders and started appeasing Phil Goff et al.

          Game Over.

  11. Chris 11

    Hear, hear, Bill. Despite constantly saying they’ve changed, Labour in NZ hasn’t had the guts to do this since before 1984. Even Cunliffe’s cry for “socialism” fizzled into more of the same, and worse, Labour reaching a new low by supporting government attacks on welfare and the poor. Un-fucking-believable, of course, but nobody blinked an eye because “Labour are our friends” and “at least Labour is better than Key and his mates”. Well, to those Labour diehards I say they can fuck off. Thanks for the post, Bill. It’s always good to see someone’s got the guts to say it how it is.

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1

        It’s fine and there are some new ideas there, but it still all revolves around the private sector being the job creators, also the idea of training people up so they can get jobs (which may not be there?), and it seems that the state is going to go out of its way to subsidise employers who need “flexibility.”

        Labour seem determined to make answers very complex, is what I see. Am a bit disappointed that no reference was made to a UBI.

        • Chris

          The picture of Robertson at the beginnibng was a wee give away.

        • b waghorn

          ”The paper also questioned if it was time to “re-assess the state provision of income support, including possible investigation of measures such as a Universal Basic Income” and whether benefit criteria and processes for getting them harmed the individual and their family’s ability to realise their potential.”

          Give ya self a upper cut chief the unwritten number one rule of the standard is to read the whole article before making a comment.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Fair enough. Though I’m pretty jaded of Robertson’s approach. People are talking about a UBI he so he will talk about it as well.

          • s y d

            yeah but B Wag… it’s the language that is used…’the possible investigation’…’criteria and processes’.
            Management speak. Just say it so everyone can understand.

            • b waghorn

              While I agree Robinson is very good at poly speack can you imagine the attacks they would come under if they came out loud and proud behind a ubi?
              I think floating the idea and getting the conversation started on an idea that I and I bet a lot of people are going to be sceptical about in a gentle manner is much better.
              Keep in mind that most kiwis wouldn’t have a clue what ubi even means.

  12. Anyone who can get young adults literally climbing buildings to see them because the room you’re having your meeting in is already packed …

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      Holy mackeral. Brings tears to the eyes!!!

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        Even if they heard something and saw the open window and wanted to see what was going on it’s better than walking by.

        I had students ask me yesterday what I thought about the flag. So I asked them what they thoughts. 2 young women (under 25) and one young man (also under 25).

        They all thought we could better spend the money, they all thought making a “brand” out of a country’s flag is wrong, one said “smoke and mirrors”. NOW, who will engage those young people come election time?

  13. ropata 13

    Corbyn is a f**ken legend. There is some debate as to whether his policies are a throwback to the industrial revolution, but I think he is heading in the right direction. Also check out this tweet to see what kind of bloke he is. (a shame the photo doesn’t come thru in TS comments)

    He campaigns all week, has the lowest expenses of any MP, and takes the night bus home: @jeremycorbyn @Corbyn4Leader pic.twitter.com/QJlGHihTjQ— Dr Katy Shaw (@DrKatyShaw) July 31, 2015

    • Bill 13.1

      Many of his policy solutions align with those of the SNP. (Remember, they simply occupy the space vacated by Labour and reap immense electoral advantages from it)

      Austerity. Spend into the economy – through a people focused QE if necessary – and pay down debt over an indeterminate time from increased economic activity. Tax the rich more if need be.

      Health care. No privatisation and free.

      Education. Free.

      Nuclear weapons. Scrap.

      Focus on eliminating poverty rather than the poor.


  14. miravox 14

    My goodness that was dire. Bubblegum candidates indeed. Seems Yvette Cooper and co think voters should not be privy to her thoughts about leadership lest it colours their views about who to vote for. Modern politics at it ultimate nothingness.

    Corbyn is winning because his message is new (i.e. a new generation is finding out what left wing means) and willing to communicate, not be a condescending, obfuscating talking head… the same reason Little’s ‘cut the crap’ moment worked.

    Please, Labour, as well as rediscovering the values you write but don’t talk about, don’t polish off the honest edges when finally, you do start talking to, instead of at, people.

    • Bill 14.1

      “…when finally, you do start talking to, instead of at, people”

      I’d probably have put an ‘if/when’ in that sentence, but yup.

  15. Mike the Savage One 15

    Just knowing what you stand for, hey, well, would that be a good start then, I wonder?

    Yep, we are being short changed so far, by “Labour”, I fear.

    Time to get real, time to get clear messages and the program ready, time to be “identified” for what you stand for Labour, NO apologies, even if a CGT may not fly with some at the moment.

    But we are hoping, hoping or waiting in despair, I cannot see or hear much, the UK discussion could be held here, same disagreements and ambiguities, and this will only serve Winston Peters and NZ First, I fear, to perhaps even get what he boldly stated recently, the next election will be three way competition, between Nats, Labour and NZ First, the last holding the balance of power, yet again.

    • Thom Pietersen 15.1

      Given I believe in a form of capitalism as a way to succeed and gain reward in a meritocracy (with my skills I will trade you x for the y you made with your skills). Contributing to this is – Labour – workers (doers) producers of ‘stuff’. In the old days manufactured, agricultural goods, now inclusive of what’s left of that, ‘services’ (specifying how to do), all the do-ing classes. A lot of people have a Winston (not necessarily complete right) and left cross over. Jobs for me, My countries law for me. My tax contribution for me, my vote for ME. How do we make governance for me, become for us, how do we bring back NZ’s altruism and fairness and balance that with those that pay us meagre amounts while hedging the balance.

      Winston is further to the true left than many of us want to admit.

  16. Ad 16

    Sanders, Trump, and Corbyn are the straight shooters the public love.
    Leaders that are too hard to like because they’re unnatural make people cynical.

    Here, we like to talk about politics. But 90% of people loathe politicians. Especially aspirant ones.

    The public can still occasionally be temporarily awakened from intergenerational cynicism. But only if they find people who can say it straight (for them), sound normal (to them), and have kept their own sense of unpolished reality (for them ).

    But charisma and unpolished honesty ain’t who the majority vote for, almost ever.

  17. geoff 17

    Or it could be, if Corbyn wins, that the UK party is about to have a rerun of what NZ labour went through with Cunliffe.

    The idea of a united Left in this country is a fucking bad joke.

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.1

      yep tonnes of Tory Labour MPs have already declared they won’t serve under Corbyn.

      • Stuart Munro 17.1.1

        All he needs to do is form the English branch of the SNP and leave the Blairites to wither on their stolen vine.

    • ropata 17.2

      I think NZ Labour learned that lesson and that’s why Little is now at the helm.
      His public image is less radical than Cunliffe and he seems more down to earth.

  18. adam 18

    My wish is for labour party in NZ to have the civil war it so desperately needs to have.

    The left, including the soft left need to stand up to the Tory members in their party and get rid of them.

    But, I’m dreaming. Not going to happen. To many Tory scum bags involved, and to many labour activists, are just to nice.

  19. Exile 19

    Oki so seriously Corbyn is a hardshooter who is like SNP. Sure if we forget that Corbyn supports a few things the SNP doesnt.
    Like his major issues with:
    + Taxataion – 75% toprate income tax for the rich.
    + Fiscal policy – The BoE should print money if needed, inflation is accepted and not seen as a burden to the economy. Ie increased interest rates.
    + Finance – renationalisation of energy and railways.
    + Foreign policy – Scrap Britians nuclear weapons (SNP agrees).
    + Foreign policy – Withdraw from Nato.
    + Military – reduce UK military spedning below 1% of GDP.
    +Immigration, he wants open borders and believes that Britain accepts to few refugees.
    +Shaira – he belives its good for Britain to allow sharia to co exist with british law
    +Palestine – he reckons Hamas led gaza is a more suitable partner than democratic Israel.

    Seriously do you think this lad will ever get elected anywhere?
    he is extreme leftwing a loony. the communist party has suggested its members to join Labour because this is the first candidate that can be supported by them ever in the socialist movement…

    Bob crow denounced the lad before his unfortunate passing. And Bob crow was probably the most worker rights friendly man Britain had seen since the 80ies.

    He and SNP seriously? thats not even close SNP is modeled on Scandinavian social democrats, they despise any of the above mentioned policies.

    I’m scared when people advocate for the likes of Jeremy Corbin, he is so extreme that not even mainstream labour candidates would vote for his ideas in parliament.

    On the other hand when posters on a Labour board, call our last successful PM, the accomplished Helen Clark, extreme neo-liberal, then well well its hard to have a serious debate or even pretend one is Labour. This is THE Helen Clark, probably the most successful female socialist leader in the world that were talking about.
    Its sad to even read such defamation of our most successful leader in modern times.

    • millsy 19.1

      Well for a start we need to realise that we need to stop treating inflation like the bogeyman it is, and let inflation grow to 5%, to ensure that people dont sink financially. I am pretty sure that living standards were higher in double digit inflation — no child poverty then.

      Anyway, the benefits of low inflation are pretty much cancelled out with housing costs going through through the roof — and dont even get me started with power prices.

      The less inflation goes up, the more homeless people there are. FACT.

    • Lanthanide 19.3


    • Bill 19.4

      These things that the SNP apparently differ from Corbyn on…and bearing in mind there is a divergence in the powers of Holyrood and Westminster.

      + Taxataion – 75% toprate income tax for the rich.
      The SNP want the top tax rate raised. They have no such powers in Holyrood atm though.

      + Fiscal policy – The BoE should print money if needed, inflation is accepted and not seen as a burden to the economy. Ie increased interest rates.
      I haven’t heard anything from the SNP on QE – doesn’t mean they’d disagree. They have no such powers in Holyrood atm.

      + Finance – renationalisation of energy and railways.
      In government they have pushed for government bids to be allowed on rail franchises. Given current Holyrood powers, that’s as far as they can go.

      + Foreign policy – Scrap Britians nuclear weapons (SNP agrees).

      + Foreign policy – Withdraw from Nato.
      Many in the SNP agree, although it’s not policy. (It used to be)

      + Military – reduce UK military spedning below 1% of GDP.
      Don’t know their preferred level of defense spending. Again, not a power invested in Holyrood

      +Immigration, he wants open borders and believes that Britain accepts to few refugees.
      So does the SNP. Salmond went on national TV to demand the UK get its shit together and accept 60 000 refugees from the Med. And the SNP constantly point out the positive effect of immigration.

      +Shaira – he belives its good for Britain to allow sharia to co exist with british law
      No idea where the SNP stands on that – but there are already aspects of Shaira custom or law ‘tolerated’ – eg, polygamy

      +Palestine – he reckons Hamas led gaza is a more suitable partner than democratic Israel
      SNP recognises Palestine.

      A lot closer than you indicate then. And if the SNP cleans up on such platforms, then why wouldn’t a UK wide party?

  20. Tory 20

    Given Corbyns admiration for Marx and the biggest gain of support he has received is from the various UK Communist Party branches why hide behind the Labour brand? Surely if you believe in your convictions Labour would be branded communist. Of course that won’t happen as the left vote will collapse. As I am in the UK I can assure you the right are watching with joy the rise of Corbyn as that will end Labour any hope that it ever had of governing. By the way, The Guardian is left so read/quote The Economist for a balanced argument.

  21. Clemgeopin 21

    Bill, you want blunt straight opinion? Here it is:

    [1] I think that even if Jesus himself were to stand and easily win the Labour party (or any other party) leadership voted in by its party members, it is unlikely that he could then win the general election for the party. He wouldn’t be able to win over ‘enough voters’ to lead a government….I don’t think so, in the modern world anyway .

    Same applies to Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. I wish it weren’t so, because they are good people. I would personally vote for them.

    [2] Considering you are advocating what the Labour party should be like, are you a Labour party member or a Green party member?

    [3] Don’t you think that the main reason for the SNP success in Scotland was due to the Nationalism, fervour and advocacy shown there by SNP towards independence of Scotland?

    [4] You wrote,

    ‘Spend into the economy – through a people focused QE if necessary – and pay down debt over an indeterminate time from increased economic activity.

    Tax the rich more if need be.

    Health care. No privatisation and free.

    Education. Free.

    Nuclear weapons. Scrap.

    Focus on eliminating poverty rather than the poor.’

    Cool ! So easy peezy! YOU should consider starting your own party with such fantastic idealistic ideas and try getting some votes for yourself or the party you now admire.

    moemoea on Bill

    • Lanthanide 21.1


    • Bill 21.2

      1/ If a politician enthuses people enough that party membership rises and voter registration increases, then elections get won. Sturgeon and the SNP being a case in point. (Over 100 000 members since the referendum was lost and over 50% of the vote in the latest UK election with support continuing to grow)

      2/ Irrelevant. But if you can be bothered to read through comments/posts I’ve made, the answer is there.

      3/ The SNP won over 50% of the vote for Westminster elections on a platform of ‘no second referendum’.

      4/ Anti-austerity and dealing with debt through economic growth that focuses on alleviating poverty and that benefits society more generally – as opposed to bailing banks or slicing and dicing society – was and is a platform the SNP ran on. Free education and health care already guaranteed in Scotland. SNP ran on increasing top tax rate. All led to 50%+ of the vote.

      So yeah, eesy peesy and actually existing or on the cards. Dreaming you say?

      • Clemgeopin 21.2.1

        ~A1 : Where did the 50% of the vote come from? Mostly Scotland?
        ~A2 : I had expected you won’t be afraid to give a straight up answer or a disclaimer. My question is not irrelevant as you have already written a few main posts letting it know how you would want Labour party to be like.
        ~A3 : That could still be because of the Scottish patriotic sentiment in Scotland.
        What was the % of votes that Labour got in Scotland compared to what they got in the rest of UK? [If you know]
        ~A4 : Any policy is GOOD in a practical sense if it has a majority support or a near majority support.

        So, why don’t you push the party you support here in NZ to have those Corbyn’s or SNP’s policies rather than putting the boot into Labour?

        • Bill

          The SNP only stands candidates in Scotland. No-one living in either England, Wales or N. Ireland can possibly vote SNP.

          Labour got 24.3% (down 17.7%) They won 1 seat. (down from 41)

          The Tories got 14.9% (down 1.8%). They won 1 seat (same as last time)

          Lib Dems got 7.5% (down 11.3%) They won 1 seat (down from 11)

          Can’t see where England and Wales is separated out (only UK figures).

          The SNP was the only party from either the LibDems, Tory or Labour Parties that ran on a solid anti-austerity platform.

          And they ruled out any patriotic notion that the election would be treated as a reason to run a second referendum.

          No party able to get traction in a FPP environment in England and Wales (ie, a major party) ran on a solid anti-austerity platform.

          Now, you might argue that voters in Scotland voted SNP because whatever else other than anti-austerity, but…after the first UK wide leaders debate, the biggest search on google was, apparently people in England trying to find out if they could vote SNP.

          • Clemgeopin

            If SNP were only allowed to run in Scotland and nowhere else, then comparing a regional/Nationalistic/parochial party vote to Labour’s vote is quite silly.

            It is like saying that in a Maori electorate, National has low support and then wanting it to follow the Maori party policies.

            If you are member of the Green party, then it would be fairer for you to ask the Green party to copy SNP policies instead, rather than preach to the Labour party, even with any ‘good intentions’. The Labour party is reviewing all of its policies. That takes time. They did ask for comments and submissions. Did you contribute there, rather than just here?

            • Bill

              If the SNP was a ‘nationalistic’ or a ‘parochial’ party, they wouldn’t have the policies they have or the MSPs (Holyrood mps) that they have.

              Their voting base, unlike the case of the Maori electorate, isn’t bound by ethnicity.

              if I was a Green party member, I’d probably write about the Green Party.

              btw. Given that Labour ‘died’ in Scotland (lost 40 seats) and in response to your suggestion that voters in Scotland voted SNP because of some form of patriotism…Corbyn’s meetings in Scotland are apparently ‘selling out’.

              So if it isn’t/wasn’t patriotism…Corbyn’s meetings would be sparsely attended if that was the case…, what other reasons do you think explain developments, apart from those I’ve already suggested?

    • weka 21.3

      E harikoa ana au i nga kupu Māori, Clem 🙂

  22. peterlepaysan 22

    When the labour caucus wakes up to the fact that the labour membership actually matters it might start getting realistic.

    There are tens of thousands of ex supporters/ voters who have abandoned labour because of caucus hubris.

    Caucus exists because members put them there.

    Members did not put them there to engage in internecine warfare (a la Cunliffe).

    As long as caucus insists on lowering itself to the level of hoskins and henry it will be treated with very well deserved contempt, and non voting support.

    It was caucus led cabals that led to the 1984 and 1987 “reforms” that led to the disengagement of voters from labour.

    Labour has done nothing to re engage them

  23. Tory 23

    Exile, exactly my point. Corbyns politics are from the past and the world has moved ahead. At the last NZ election Mana promoted this hard left wing bullshit and I believe their share of the vote was about 1.2%. It was only weeks ago that contributers to this site were celebrating the rise of the Communists in Greece, only to see them sell out to their own members. Communism has a stench that few will support.

    • Clemgeopin 23.1

      Corbyn’s idealism is so nice to read and contemplate. But unless a very large percentage of ‘normal everyday people’, rather than idealists, the altruists, the good intentioned, the selfless, are ‘actually’ prepared to embrace such ideas and more importantly prepared, for themselves and their families, to ‘walk the talk’ in their practical daily living, it simply can not work. The reason for that is simple : People are, funnily enough human!- greedy, selfish and naturally and primarily care for ‘Numero uno’ and their back pockets. FACT! All through history. Even in the (ex) communist countries! The reality is that ‘most’ people are not in poverty.

      If this were not the case, parties like the Communists, the Greens, Mana etc would have had a much higher percentage of votes.

      Good wishes and good intentions are well and good. But that is all.

      The ONLY way to be able to make practical changes to society, including the poor and the vulnerable, would be to be acceptable to the voters and to get elected with a DECENT ‘largish’ like 40%+, percentage of votes, even under the MMP, with minor input from minor parties. If not, do not expect to last more than a term.

      That is why a centrist platform is crucial to be able to make changes, slowly and steadily. If you want quicker changes, you will either need a dictator or the army or a chaotic violent revolution. No decent democrat would want those.

      Why do you think National, a right wing party is pretending to be a centrist party by copying many Labour party social policies while still quietly sliding in many far right policies with such clever lies and cunning spins?

      Labour is a left, left of centre and centrist party. It is the party that is overall good for everyone. It can not and should not foolishly take the extreme left positions unless they wish to get voted in by about 10 to 15% of the voters.

      National and the wealthy RW media is very scared of Labour and tries to destabilise it and its leaders by all kinds of ways. That is why Labour gets relentlessly attacked. Sadly some left sympathisers foolishly join in this at the left’s own electoral peril.

      • Lanthanide 23.1.1


        That is why a centrist platform is crucial to be able to make changes, slowly and steadily. If you want quicker changes, you will either need a dictator or the army or a chaotic violent revolution. No decent democrat would want those.

        Or, the right balance of crises that allow for a radical new approach.

        • Clemgeopin

          True, but the nations being so closely interconnected, such ‘crises’ would need to take place in several countries simultaneously or world wide for radical changes to start taking place.

          Things like world war, nuclear attack, Armageddon, deadly diseases, non-usable water/food, immortality, alien visit/invasion,……….etc ?

      • Bill 23.1.2

        Your position sound sadly close to Thatcher’s ‘there is no such thing as society’ line.

        People are not innately selfish, greedy etc any more than we are innately compassionate, caring etc. Much of what get’s ‘taken as read’ and then posited as ‘how it’s always been’ is just a natural reaction to an environment that rewards and punishes given attributes.

        Got an economy that rewards bastard behaviour? Guess what. You get bastards.

        But ‘as is’ is not ‘as has always been’ nor ‘how will always will be’.

        Odd and slightly sad that since you suggest your defeatist TINA position can only ever change through chaos or violence and that that leaves your politics stranded or mired in a hopeless place of resignation clothed in something akin to misanthropy.

        • weka

          My understanding is that the SNP utilised strategies that didn’t have such a reliance on the MSM as is traditional. Given that the MSM are now largely co-opted into the greed paradigm that Clem refers to, it makes sense the circumnavigating that would yield different results. Nothing like talking directly to the people.

          (or is it also that the Scottish press isn’t as co-opted?)

          • Bill

            All msm in Scotland, bar the Glasgow Herald newspaper (small circulation), was very much in the ‘Better Together’ camp. BBC Scotland was particularly bias apparently (not a surprise 😉 )

            Since then, a new newspaper, ‘The National’ has launched on a pro-independence platform.

        • Clemgeopin

          ~ You just wrote a whole lot of hogwash and personal attack. Good one!

          ~ As for your
          “your politics stranded or mired in a hopeless place of resignation clothed in something akin to misanthropy”,
          No, it doesn’t, even if I try to understand what you are trying to say.

          ~ No resignation and no clothing, but being smart and pragmatic.

          ~ Why do you hate bastards? Do you know the meaning of the word?

          ~ So, how do you bring about ‘quick’ societal changes other than slowly and steadily by getting into government to be in a position to make any changes at all?

          ~Here is a serious question for you:

          Give me just 5 to 10 good practical economic/social/environmental policies of Jeremy Corbyn’s (or yours) that YOU really think can work well, that people can support and that most of the people (say, at least 40%) will vote for (–not just about the 5% to 15% of vote which is not ‘too’ hard to do over time. Even the Anderton’s Alliance of several parties managed that)

          • weka

            Your argument might have some credibility Clem were it not for the fact that Labour is polling so low despite being the centrist party you want. Doesn’t that demonstrate that your theory is wrong? Or do we just need some more time for people to realise that Labour are on the right path after all?

            Bill has already written extensively about good practical policies that people can support. Read pretty much everything he’s written about the SNP and why they are successful (i.e. already successful, getting the votes).

        • Karen

          +1 Bill

      • weka 23.1.3

        “People are, funnily enough human!- greedy, selfish and naturally and primarily care for ‘Numero uno’ and their back pockets. FACT! All through history.”

        That’s not a fact. From an evolutionary perspecive humans have evolved via group structures that are co-operation based. This is so inherent that one could argue that humans are human because of their ability and need to co-operate.

        That’s for most of the time we’ve been around, think hundreds of thousands of years. The greed ethic you talk about occurs in specific conditions (see Bill’s bastard economy example), and much of that is recent. If that’s too distant from the everyday for you, consider that pre-colonisation Māori structured their society along such lines, whereby the common good was critical. That’s only a few generations ago.

        (and let’s save us all some time and not bother with the noble savage argument or with the idea that co-operation is only done by angels).

        • Clemgeopin

          You long to go back to that type of living. Sure, but by when?
          In the meantime, we got to try and win in 2017. See the problem?

          • weka

            “You long to go back to that type of living. Sure, but by when?”

            That’s an odd way to frame it. You were claiming that humans are inherently greedy and selfish, looking out for #1. I was pointing out that that’s not factually correct. It’s not about wanting to go back to something, it’s about working with what we have now, but from a premise that is still true – humans are evolutionarily adapted to co-operate. I see it all the time in my life. Why don’t you?

            “In the meantime, we got to try and win in 2017. See the problem?”

            Sure. We have 30+ years of neoliberalism teaching people how to be selfish. That doesn’t make it the human norm, nor does it make it inherent in humans. It’s as Bill said, the system begets the behaviour.

            Most people I know still want a fair society. That gives me hope.

            • Clemgeopin

              You have made a whole lot of assumptions. When did I say, anything about non-operation among humans etc?

              I am talking about politics of the practical in the free democratic election cycle. Talking about the possible and not about a distant dream. You are tuhituhing a nice but impractical philosophical homily.

              • weka

                “When did I say, anything about non-operation among humans etc?”

                I think I already quoted you on this Clem,

                People are, funnily enough human!- greedy, selfish and naturally and primarily care for ‘Numero uno’ and their back pockets. FACT! All through history.

                Your argument in that comment was that the altruists etc are a small minority and that the bulk of people are greedy, selfich and out for number one, that that is a fact and has been all through history. I’m pointing out that the foundation of your argument is wrong. It’s wrong historicaly, and I think it’s wrong in contemporary terms for NZ.

                I’m not talking about a distant dream, I’m talking about how I and most people of my generation and above were raised. It’s still there in the culture, the ethic of fairness. It won’t be there forever though, because as Bill pointed out, selfish greedy environments beget selfish greedy people. And the argument he is making is that when a political group stands up and is honest about this, they get mass support.

                You’ve avoided my other point. If your theory is valid, why isn’t centrist Labour winning elections?

                • Clemgeopin

                  I wasn’t talking about people helping others in need etc. I was meaning that voters care about the policies and how they would impact in their lives and on their back pockets in terms of pay, taxes, benefits, user pays etc. That in terms of THEMSELVES and their families, properties, their jobs etc would be upper most in their minds when voting. Selfish/greedy in that sense. That is a natural human instinct.

                  Regarding your last point :

                  Labour HAS been winning elections. It was in power for 3 terms recently. So has National now. In 2014, Labour had many more leftist policies than what Clark had in her elections. National has no real competition except from primarily Labour followed marginally by a few minor parties. That has an electoral disadvantage for Labour in two ways : (1) The left vote gets spread and diluted, giving NZF an upper hand. (2) From hearsay, centrally inclined National voters and others seem to hesitate to support Labour because of the possible need for coalition with the Greens who are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as holding extremist far left positions in some policies.

                  If the Greens and their supporters can get some votes from the National supporters and increase their share to about 15% to 20%, that will be great, instead of them trying to siphon off votes from Labour.

          • Bill

            Wanna win? See the problem?

            No accommodation with any middle ground or ‘radical centre’: just knowing what you stand for and standing up on it. Which is what Labour has to be – a place for expressing solid principles in a political context. Win or lose, that’s Labour – and anything else, no matter the country or situation, is mincing, backtracking, selling out and not anything most people would care to vote for.

            • Karen

              The reason NZ Labour is not really improving in the polls is because they don’t seem to be that different to National to the vast section of the population that is not particularly interested in politics. Appealing to the centre won’t change this.

              The reason Corbyn is packing out halls is because he seems to be offering something new. When Little gave his “cut the crap” speech we had hope that something was going to change, but in the last few months it seems Labour have returned to the previous strategy of just waiting for their turn in government.

              • Bill

                Sadly. True.

                • Wayne

                  Karen and Bill,

                  Do you really think that going hard left is going to win for Labour, either here or in the UK. It may be where a lot of Labour activists sit, but it is not where the voters are. Effectively you are saying to middle New Zealand “get stuffed – your concerns are not our concerns”.

                  So if the UK Labour activists vote in Corbyn, they are handing the election to the Conservatives. It is not the first time that UK labour has done that. Margaret Thatcher kept winning because Labour went left.

                  But since most commenters here hate Blair (and presumably not just because of the Iraq War), Corbyn is your man.

                  And I would say, go for it.

                  • Bill

                    There’s nothing ‘hard left’ about anything in the post.

                    Let me try spelling it out.

                    Labour abandoned it’s traditional left stance.
                    The SNP occupied that ground.
                    Labour lost quite disastrously in Scotland against their own former positioning and lost in England and Wales against the Tories at the same time. (So much for the centre ground)

                    Corbyn gives voice to that positioning that Labour (both here and in the UK) abandoned.
                    People through-out England and Wales are flocking to sign up to Labour and vote for him.
                    He’s packing out venues.

                    Now here’s the interesting bit.

                    In Scotland, where Labour are dead in the water (they just lost more voting percentage in by elections) and no-one expects many to bother bother voting on the Scottish leadership of Labour…people are signing up and his meetings are selling out.

                    He is speaking the same language and delivering the same messages that worked for the SNP in Scotland. And just as the language/messages were/are popular in Scotland, so they appear to be popular in England and Wales too.

                    Who’d have thunk it, eh? (Well, I did – and have been calling it since before NZ Labour’s last leadership contest, but hey.)

                    • Karen

                      Well said (again) Bill.

                      I love how right wing people like Wayne believe promoting basic Labour Party values is going “hard left.”

                      Tells you how far right he is.

                    • Anne

                      @ Karen
                      Tells you how far right he is.

                      Nah. He’s just mindlessly repeating the latest C/T inspired brand name “Hard Left”. He thinks it’s funny to repeat it here as often as possible.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      If you really think that the policies you mentioned in the link below are not really ‘hard left’ and if you really think that going into an election with those or similar policies, Labour will be able to defeat National and get elected in sufficient numbers to be able to form a government on its own or be able to form a coalition with the minor parties who will be agreeable to those sorts of policies, you are COMPLETELY in a dream world, if not in a trance.

                      Win or Lose: This is Labour

                    • Bill

                      @ Clemgeopin

                      ‘Hard left’ is Trotskyist, Stalinist, Leninist etc…in other words, fucking fucked on many, many levels.

                      Labour are social democratic. All of their policies accept the parameters of social democracy.

                      The list of policies or positions in the comment you link to were reproduced from some-one elses comment that presumed to show the divergence between Corbyn and the SNP.

                      My comment merely challenged that presumption.

                      Insofar as there is confluence, I’m just going to reiterate – the SNP won 56 of 59 seats and 50% of the vote on those grounds. People are flocking to Labour in order to vote for Corbyn on those grounds. And Corbyn is selling out meetings in Scotland (where, incidentally, Labour are dead in the water) as well as in England and Wales.

                      Corbyn is no orator. So he has next to no personal pulling power. SO would you care to offer an explanation as to why the meetings of the other ‘middle of the road’ candidates – the ones who would align with your prescriptions – are filling halls with nothing but emptiness?

                    • Clemgeopin

                      [1] The list of policies or positions in the comment you link to were reproduced from some-one elses comment

                      Earlier, in the following link, I had asked you a serious question which you failed to respond to :

                      “~Here is a serious question for you:

                      Give me just 5 to 10 good practical economic/social/environmental policies of Jeremy Corbyn’s (or yours) that YOU really think can work well, that people can support and that most of the people (say, at least 40%) will vote for (–not just about the 5% to 15% of vote which is not ‘too’ hard to do over time. Even the Anderton’s Alliance of several parties managed that)

                      Win or Lose: This is Labour

                      So, do you have an answer to my above serious question? Would be great to see.
                      [2] People through-out England and Wales are flocking to sign up to Labour and vote for him. He’s packing out venues.

                      Good for him. I too like him, like I like Christ or Mother Theresa…..to whose meetings and venues too people flocked like mad, including the frail, the sick, the poor, the holy, the sinners, the hungry, the homeless and the deaf and the dumb,
                      the good, the bad and the ugly.

                      Also a venue can accommodate a few hundred, especially from the far left supporters, presumably, in his case. Will that translate to an election win from the majority or near majority of the ‘entire country’ is the moot point.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Whoops, My bad. I forgot to mention the blind!

                      Win or Lose: This is Labour

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Well said. I completely agree, including your last two sentences.

    • Clemgeopin 23.2

      There were other reasons why Internet-Mana did not get sufficient support.

  24. wastinguretime 24

    Left-right your both wasting your time, argue whinge and get nothing done. A war of ideals that can never be won. The truth is subjectively manipulated by both sides to suit their own cause.

    A middle ground is required where the people participate in policies and self centred representatives are shown the door. Politicians are all the same, their main objective is self preservation at any expense

    Regardless of the banner waved, under our current system whoever you support your still just a slave.

    Democracy is just an illusion with left and right to make you believe that you have a choice. Don’t kid yourself you have no voice.

    A false sense of achievement will be allowed to the left so you believe that a war has been won, while corporations continue to rape pillage and plunder. Then after a term or two the right will sit in power. The illusion of democracy to shackle the sheep

    So while the left and right occupy their thoughts with what their masters desire and war with each other until their demise.

    To most who read this it will seem like the ramblings of a crazy fool but I remind you the definition of insanity is to repeat the same process expecting a different outcome.

    Life is far more simple than the complexities that torture your mind.


    • weka 24.1

      Is that you winging and getting nothing done?

    • Rosemary McDonald 24.2

      “the definition of insanity is to repeat the same process expecting a different outcome.”


      There is wisdom in your words wastinguretime.

    • Clemgeopin 24.3

      Do, which party do you support?

    • Ad 24.4

      Wasting your time on this site.

      Come back when you can figure out what politics is for.

      • Rosemary McDonald 24.4.1

        “Wasting your time on this site.

        Come back when you can figure out what politics is for.”

        How many years has this site been going?

        How much has been actually achieved?

        Tell you what….go back, say five years, and read some of the posts and resulting comments on this site.

        Same old same old.


        • ropata

          TS provides grass roots community and communication, foundation stones of democracy. The ideas and discussions have to occur somewhere, or would you prefer to leave the field open for kiwiblog and whaleoil?

          • Rosemary McDonald

            @ ropata

            Ad said to wastinguretime … “Wasting your time on this site.

            Come back when you can figure out what politics is for.”

            Why? For expressing an opinion? For getting close to the truth?

            Is wastinguretime not ‘grassroots’ enough for TS?

            You say…”The ideas and discussions have to occur somewhere, “…but some ideas are more worthy of discussion than others?

            Some individuals are more part of the ‘”community” than others?

            TS is a bit of a closed shop….it takes no small measure of courage to contribute as an outsider.

            You’re likely to get shot down. patronised, ejected.

            And y’all wonder why the Right continue to rule.


            • te reo putake

              “TS is a bit of a closed shop….it takes no small measure of courage to contribute as an outsider.”

              Well, I hope that’s not the case. There are a variety of opinions expressed here that reflect the diversity of the thinking of contributors. The post itself is far from being mainstream or orthodox and nearly 200 comments have added to the debate from all angles.

              However, commenters do have to expect their views to be challenged and debated. I don’t see much of substance in what wastinguretime wrote. There’s no solutions there, just an opinion that we are all, well, wasting our time. But maybe there’s more to come. Hope so.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “I don’t see much of substance in what wastinguretime wrote. ”

                Therein, perhaps, lies the problem.

                If you don’t know that wastinguretime is articulating exactly what many ‘voters’ think and feel…(now, remind me again, how many didn’t vote in 2014? How many not enrolled?) then you defenders of the Left are not listening to those whose vote you need to be capturing.

                I will NEVER vote for a right wing party.

                But I will NEVER vote for a left wing party either until I can see some definite, and different policies.

                Until I can believe that they are committed to CHANGE…not merely ‘slightly modifying but not to the extent that we’ll drive the centre voters away’, but the real change that is necessary to free us from the yoke of corporate oppression.

              • Anne

                There’s some truth in what Rosemary McDonald says @ trp.

                No-one should be afraid of robust debate because most commentators do not bear grudges against those with differing points of view to themselves. But there is an element of condescension sometimes, and there does seem to be a bit of a ‘closed shop’ atmosphere at other times. I encountered it the first time I made a comment around 5 years ago. Someone called “Gingercrush” denigrated that comment and claimed it was “the stupidist thing he’d ever heard”. If it hadn’t been for the supportive’ intervention of “felix” ( I do miss his rapier wit) I would have walked away and never returned.

  25. James 25

    Corbyns views on the IRA have been interesting and will be a sure vote winner in the UK.

    • Bill 25.1

      You mean this? What the fck is so ‘interesting’ about it apart from that the interviewer wanted him to be partisan?

      Corbyn: “I condemn all bombing, it is not a good idea, and it is terrible what happened.”

      Interviewer: “The question is do you condemn what the IRA did?”

      Corbyn: “Look, I condemn what was done by the British Army as well as the other sides as well. What happened in Derry in 1972 was pretty devastating as well.”

  26. Tom Barker 26

    “To most who read this it will seem like the ramblings of a crazy fool”

    Yep – that’s exactly how it reads to me

    • Mike S 26.1

      ‘Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.

      These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.’

      – Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, New York, 1924.

  27. RedLogix 27

    The Suicide of the American Left:

    Nowadays? The Democrats long ago threw their former core constituencies under the bus and ditched the Depression-era legislation that stopped kleptocratic bankers from running the economy into the ground, while the Republicans decided that they’d never met a foreign entanglement or a government handout they didn’t like—unless, of course, the latter benefited the poor. An ever more intrusive and metastatic bureaucratic state funneling trillions to corrupt corporate interests, an economic policy made up primarily of dishonest statistics and money-printing operations, and a monomaniacally interventionist foreign policy: that’s the bipartisan political consensus in Washington DC these days, and it’s a consensus that not all that long ago would have been rejected with volcanic fury by both parties if anyone had been so foolish as to suggest it.


    New Zealand much the same, just written on a smaller scale.

    Oh and here’s one possible scenario:

    Clinton will lose for the same reason she lost in 2008. She has nothing new to say.

    Sanders will lose because the Democrat machinery will eventually find a way to crush him.

    Bush has a name too many Americans want to pretend they never heard.

    Trump will be the President because he is the populist fascist strong man the Americans need right now. Sure the chattering classes will sneer, but in the end Trump will just shout them all down.

    • DS 27.1

      Clinton is nearly guaranteed to be the next US President.

      • RedLogix 27.1.1

        I agree that is the conventional wisdom. But politics has a way of making fools of us all.

        In particular I think America is not the nation of all the old certainties we grew up with. Much has changed in these past few years.

      • ropata 27.1.2

        Trump has a disturbingly good chance, judging by the success of bankster-clown Key. And Trump’s hairpiece is far superior..

        • Colonial Rawshark

          They’re not going to let Trump get to the finish line, one way or another.

  28. DS 28

    The idolisation of the SNP needs to stop. They’re nationalists, not socialists. Their swing to the Left is nice and all, but it’s not why they exist (see the installation of Thatcher in 1979). The Welsh Plaid Cymru, which has a much more solid record of left-wing nationalism had a mediocre night in Wales.

    Anyway, the best thing about Corbyn is that he’s moving the Overton Window. By talking about stuff outside the mainstream, you widen the scope of debate, and drag discourse to the Left. He’s also a direct reaction against the Blair years – his sincerity and lack of spin-doctoring is what sets him apart, even more than his policies.

    • ropata 28.1

      Why the SNP exists is deeply historical. Who cares about ideological purity? They are doing what is right, unlike the Labour Party under the shadow of Tony Blair

      The chief reason is that land reform is a powerful political issue in Scotland. Elsewhere in Britain this once mighty cause of the left has been largely forgotten (though some would like to remember it again; Andy Burnham, the shadow health spokesman, included a land-value tax in his manifesto when he last stood for the Labour party leadership in 2010). But it remains an emotional matter in Scotland. This is partly because land ownership is so highly concentrated: fewer than 450 landlords are estimated to own half of Scotland’s privately held land. But also because of the way that many of Scotland’s landowners behaved in the past. The highland clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, when landowners evicted tenants in a sometimes cruel manner to make way for sheep, are often cited when land reform is discussed. SNP MPs have explicitly cited the clearances in the bill’s defence.
      Read more at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/07/economist-explains-3#Zkqb55CUfb3jUtrR.99

      • DS 28.1.1

        The SNP (up until their makeover) were referred to as Tartan Tories: their support base were small-c conservatives who disliked the “English” Conservative Party and were looking for an alternative to Labour. SNP heartland used to be the well-to-do North East of Scotland, and their traditional support base is to the Right of their most recent recruits.

        That’s all changed now, of course. But the SNP’s priority is the end of the Act of Union 1707. They aren’t socialists any more than NZ First is.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Not sure why you are complaining about the SNP. They are showing UK Labour for what they are – Austerity-lite Tory Labour. Just look at the massive backlash against Corbyn from within the upper ranks of the UK Labour caucus and the Labour hierarchy.

  29. Save NZ 29

    Great article! +1

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Transport to drive economic recovery
    The Government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released today which outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago