Young on coalition options – an edge to Labour

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, October 7th, 2017 - 21 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, election 2017, labour, national, winston peters - Tags: , , , , , ,

A long and interesting read:

Audrey Young: Labour has the edge if the Left’s seat count rises

Politics, like life, would be a lot simpler without choices. Ask Winston Peters.

This week he seemed burdened by having to make coalition choices when he pointed out that no matter what he did, someone would find fault, the public, the media, or commentators.

“You can’t win,” he told reporters in a moment of unprovoked self-pity.

Poor Winston.

So assuming the specials confirm him as kingmaker, with a reasonable cushion of votes in either option, has he made up his mind?

No, but Labour would probably have an advantage because of the greater policy overlap, a more equal partnership with both being new parties of government, inherently less cause for conflict and inherently less cause for the public to tire of you.

It’s good to see that media commentary has moved on from “largest party rulez” to something a bit more nuanced.

But there are also signs that National may do what it did in 1996 and offer more than Labour.

Keeping deputy leader Paula Bennett out of the first pro-forma courtesy meeting was an appalling decision by English that simply says he was desperate to please Peters at any cost. If a party is willing to ditch its deputy before they have even got to first base then what else is it capable of?

Anything. National are capable of saying or doing anything to cling to power.

The election may have given New Zealand First choices, but there will be pitfalls for Peters’ party in whatever option it chooses.

The biggest pitfalls for the country lie in rewarding the kind of politics that National has engaged in for the last nine years.

21 comments on “Young on coalition options – an edge to Labour”

  1. The decrypter 1

    Winston for king,- Paula for his queen. A very Regal couple. Page boys still to be selected—

  2. patricia bremner 2

    National thought they had won. They wanted to “Cut out the middle man”, and lost their friends at court.

    Labour grew, and NZ First and the Greens survived the FPP tactics to offer competition for the government benches.

    Sharing caring and cooperating will make this a winning coalition, not losers.

    Who would trust National after even their friends call them liars and desperate.?

  3. garibaldi 3

    Gosh isn’t Audrey Young neat? Always objective, intelligent and right on the button!
    Why even write about her?!

    • Ed 3.1

      Her bias is so blatant

      • Bearded Git 3.1.1

        Yes but despite her bias it has slowly dawned on her that the Nats are toast. So long as Labour makes no stuff-ups in the negotiations that is, and the specials make it 62-58 or 63-57.

        I just hope Shaw and Genter are in the Cabinet.

        • tracey

          Not in the bag either way, surely

          • Bearded Git

            I could be wrong Tracey but I think leaking his pension details on top of all the other things the Nats have done to Winston in the past meant that he was never going to go with them.

            National gamboled on the pension issue destroying NZF and failed. They knew all along that Lab-NZF policy alignment was closer.

            • Chris

              Let’s hope NZF ditching abolition of the Maori seats as non-negotiable was a nod to Labour and not merely in order to lever more out of the nats.

  4. ianmac 4

    I thought that the tone of that post was mournful, depressed. After years of applauding her National mates and denigrating the Opposition where does it leave poor little Audrey? Tears trickle down her cheek smearing mascara, little fingers twist her sodden hanky, and she squirms and twitches her legs urgent to go, put fearing obsolescence. Don’t you feel sorry for her?

  5. Anne 5

    I have to disagree with my fellow commenters here. After a quick skim through the item it seems a reasonably accurate summation to me. For example, Peters did have moments of petulance because Labour upended his carefully laid plans by changing leaders at the last minute. It took away limelight that he clearly believed should have belonged to him.

    • veutoviper 5.1

      I am with you on this, Anne. I am surprised – but it came across to me as a reasonably objective summation as opposed to Audrey’s usual National worship opinions.

      Yes, Winston Peters has shown moments of petulance that his plans were upended by the change in Labour leadership; but I also think he now totally appreciates (or more accurately ‘rues’) the double-edged sword/poisoned chalice he has been left holding.

      Something that is related but partly a separate issue that has been exercising my mind (or imagination!) in the last day or so is — Shane Jones. Not someone I usually think about, but I really wonder whether all is well vis vis Jones and Peters.

      Jones will not be happy that he did not win Whangarei (despite getting the best party results for NZF) ; nor that he is at number 8 in a NZF caucus of 9.

      Two things that have raised questions in my mind over the last two weeks as to where Jones now stands and his longer term plans are:
      (1) his late arrival from Auckland for the first NZF caucus meeting albeit that he arrived with two boxes of ready to eat crays and the almost petulant interview he gave to press at Wellington Airport ; (EDIT – see final link below)
      (2) a thread on Andrea Vance’s Twitter timeline three days ago re the fact that Jones is or was in Niue earlier in the week/late last week – according to Peters not on holiday but to fulfill a commitment.


      Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist, but something just does not compute as Jones completed his Pacific Economic Ambassador role months ago in May (?) .

      This link is to his quick interview on Sept 28 on arrival in Wellington is also of interest re Jones’ views of the Greens, and mention of a plan.

      So i will be watching this space.

      • Jenny Kirk 5.1.1

        The info about Jones needs adjusting.
        Jones came in third on the Whangarei candidate vote – behind Reti (Nat) who had a huge majority and Savage (Labour) who edged Jones into third by about 100 votes. As for the Whangarei Party vote – the Nats gained 18572, Labour 12993, and NZ First 5804 (Greens 2342). It might have been the largest Party vote for NZFirst but in Whangarei, where Jones is well-known – that result won’t be pleasing Winston.

  6. r0b 6

    Feel I should speak up in defence of Young too. Her default setting is clearly establishment / nat, but she is perfectly capable of speaking the truth to power on occasion. She’s worth reading.

    • tracey 6.1

      I find her confusing and selective in her writing. Occasionally some truth to power comes through but it is not often, mostly she is following the trend, the pack the Nats.

      I have NO problem with her dissecting Labour’s promises during the election but to pointedly fail to apply any analysis to National’s daily, mounting promises is odd.

    • CLEANGREEN 6.2

      I feel sorry for the losers on Nationals spinners side as they did think their power was enough to win the day but the people have almost spoken, – they want change of Government.

      Hope the ballot boxes weren’t fiddled with during the process.

    • ianmac 6.3

      Audrey does identify a little perceived Labour negative and expands it while ignoring the same sort of flaw committed by her friends and relations in National. Was she condemning of the fiscal hole, rising tax claims as deliberate lie telling?
      No. So I treat most of her opinions as dodgy.

  7. Nick 7

    I keep thinking blinglish or joyce has pissed her off, so she’s having a bit of writers revenge. 99% of her articles are anti left, so to see one with a negative natz inference is unusual.

  8. Sparky 8

    My guess for those “finding fault” is and has always been the MSM……

  9. Ad 9

    I don’t think Audrey Young speaks the truth to anything, but what I do respect that between her and Soper their information sources are impeccable. They are both go-to proxies for both Labour and National’s hit team. So we should never dismiss what either of them say. They are institutional brokers in themselves.

    But we should always consider hard who her sources are, and what their motivations are.

    Neither young nor Soper are powerful analysts of anything – but they do have refined echo-chambers from decades at listening carefully – so they read the sea and which way it is tilting the ship of state.

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