Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Triangulated by Fools

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  • Paul Williams, in reply to dc_red,

    Your opprobrium re: Mallard is well directed however.

    I have a different take on Trevor having, briefly, worked for him. Certainly, he's made mistakes - he's admitted that - but he has a vital role in the Party and the Parliament and, from what I know second-hand, is a bloody hard working local MP. He was also a very good Minister across many significant portfolios under Clark.

    I don't know first or second-hand if he's whispering to the media regarding Cunliffe, he is certainly no stranger to the darker side of politics. However, if you recall the last term of the Bolger/Shipley government, it was Trevor's work on Tuku Morgan that and the ill-fated predecessor of Maori TV that, in my opinion, dramatically affected the course of that government.

    Perhaps Parliament and party politics are in need of reform, certainly I admire (and have said as much) the Greens current approach. However, I believe there remains a role for experienced MPs to do both substantial and political work (which necessarily means you'll upset people from time to time).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Phil fryer,

    Wasn"t Fa Goff, Minister of Education,when Douglas & Lange fought over who was ACTUALLY running the show ? Isn't that when university fees, started, despite all the old Princess St branch, getting a free education, Fa Goff may well be a hard working local MP, but hey, that;s what he's paid to be,well, & with signifigant super,coming his way, on retirement !
    This govt leader & party have done just about everything to loose the next election,
    yet there appears little will to win from Labour, apart from platittudes & moans !
    Housing SOUNDS promising,but yea right, sums up,the likely hood of real action
    in there prospective first term !
    Where is the capital gains tax, to deter multiple home ownership, wealthy immigrants, sure see the easy money to be made currenty !

    Laingholm • Since Mar 2011 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Summary from the sensible and influential Jordan Carter

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, this is the real dilemma. There are two directions they can strike. Left is where they probably have the richest pickings if the want to be a bigger party. But if it comes entirely at the cost of their coalition partners, it's not going to win an election. Right is a direction in which their support will probably stay the same size, but each vote that they take from National counts towards their chances.

    I think that framing overstates the wonkishness of most voters. The majority of National voters I know in real life don't know a thing about policies, but they know that John Key is a good bloke (insert "straight white male" here if you like) who doesn't seem to take his job too seriously, and who seems to be running the country right. Voters like that aren't won over by "a lurch to the right", they're convinced by whether or not they like the leader of the party.

    Lest you think I'm exaggerating, last week I was forced to remain silent while four of my (twentyish) colleagues discussed the "Gay red shirt" furore. Amongst the comments were, "But didn't John Key make gay marriage legal last year?" and "Gay people like John Key, it's just the angry feminists who don't".

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Voters like that aren’t won over by “a lurch to the right”, they’re convinced by whether or not they like the leader of the party.

    But Labour will never out Key Key, surely the strategy of thinking they just need to find someone popular is doomed to fail. Plus surely if they'd followed that approach in the 90's Clark would have been given the boot before she won her first election.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Why did you remain silent?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Phil fryer,

    Wasn"t Fa Goff, Minister of Education,when Douglas & Lange fought over who was ACTUALLY running the show ?

    According to Harvey McQueen's recollections in The Ninth Floor, Goff was an extremely hard-working Minister in the Lange Government. Yet he appeared to have felt unappreciated in his roles. Eventually he tired of being seen by the 'sixth floor' Douglas camp as being a captive of the education bureaucracy and went over to the dark side:

    Part of the strain in working for Phil was that he had joined the anti-Lange camp. During the first three years he was one of the PM's most loyal supporters. In a February 1988 interview he had echoed the PM's themes. But the employment portfolio got under his skin. He, more than anybody else, carried the can for the Government's policies. It was his job to release the monthly statistics which presented the grim news. To an ambitious politician, the portfolio was a downer. He needed sympathy and support, and the sixth floor outbid the ninth in giving that. A hard-working ally was lost.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    It’s grossly unfair to tag Goff with the neoliberal do nothing brush

    Goff was a cabinet minister in the fourth Labour government. Any conversion from hard line neo-liberalism he may have professed to have undergone between 2008-2011 was to little, to late and came with a massive credibility problem.

    by the same token they’d hardly be the first party to shoot themselves in the foot by the membership being totally out of sink with the public they need to win over.

    I think it is important to pause and consider what the principles and objectives of the New Zealand Labour party actually are.

    I dislike this idea that you have to appeal to some nebulous “middle”. Nowhere in those principles and objectives is “getting elected for the sake of it”. A social democratic party needs to put forward social democratic policies and sell those to the electorate because that is what they believe in. If the electorate disagrees, they won’t win. If the electorate wants to give you a go, then you have a mandate for change. The idea that you get elected by appealing to the centre and not scaring the middle class horses is either a recipe for doing nothing significant to the underlying neo-liberal capitalist settings (Helen Clark 1999-2008) or an invitation to engage in duplicitous and lying behaviour, to adopt the hidden agenda to be enacted once elected (Key and English 2008-present). The Pagani principle, the concept that a political party is a self-justifying institution by merely existing for almost 100 years and of it being little more than a brand vehicle for ambitious egotists and political operatives, I reject totally.

    I have a different take on Trevor having, briefly, worked for him.

    I used to have plenty of time for him, every party needs a Mallard. But he’s been taking the piss for four or five years now. It seems that as far as he is concerned the NZLP exists to ensure he keeps a job with a six figure salary, all the perks and plenty of time to train on his fucking bike. He should have retired to the back benches in 2008 and announced his retirement in 2014 long ago. The trouble is, like the chimpanzees in the zoo tea party he is so thoroughly institutionalised he doesn’t think he could cope out in the wild.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Why did you remain silent?

    Who do you think they were calling an "angry feminist"?

    I'd attempted to explain to them the day before why Key's use of the word "gay" was stupid, and had been given the silent treatment for the rest of the day as a result. No point bashing my head against a brick wall, given that I spend more time with these people than with my own family.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Barnard,

    But Labour will never out Key Key...

    I absolutely agree. I was disagreeing with the idea that you could win these people over with "right-leaning" policies. You can't, because a significant number of these people don't know their left from their right, politically or otherwise. They won't read past the headlines, if that. There are ways to reach these voters (and I would argue that any serious political party has an obligation to try and engage with voters like this) but I don't see beneficiary bashing, or "getting tough on crime", or whatever, is an effective way to do it.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I think that framing overstates the wonkishness of most voters.

    Swing voters are wonkier than most, I'd say. They are who I'm talking about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8029 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    I think you’re being too harsh and condescending with regards The Standard.

    Not today, I'm not. It really was full of Stupid this morning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thats why I never go there. Its almost as much of a trough as Kiwiblog

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I dislike this idea that you have to appeal to some nebulous “middle”.

    That's democracy for you. Most people are in the middle, so if you want to win, that's where you've got to be. The idea that government "leads" the population is a conceit. It "rides" the population, and if it goes anywhere too scary, it gets thrown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8029 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Nowhere in those principles and objectives is “getting elected for the sake of it”. A social democratic party needs to put forward social democratic policies and sell those to the electorate because that is what they believe in

    Nor I imagine are they to have a perpetual conversation with yourself in opposition, with a smug hardcore content to 'have their party back'?
    I've no issue with what you're saying, but it's that last bit they need to consider very carefully. I come back to the Greens, one of reasons why they've done well in selling their answers is they've asked different questions & changed the debate. My concern is that some seem to be wanting to fall back on a rhetoric that's past it sell by date, and to then say take it or leave it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Tom, in general, I think the renewal within the Labour has been pretty well managed. There's other members of the caucus I'd rather see move on well before Trevor. I think I'll leave it at that.

    The Pagani principle, the concept that a political party is a self-justifying institution by merely existing for almost 100 years and of it being little more than a brand vehicle for ambitious egotists and political operatives, I reject totally.

    I entirely agree!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    The idea that government "leads" the population is a conceit. It "rides" the population, and if it goes anywhere too scary, it gets thrown.

    Yet political parties need vision if they're to remain viable. Sometimes that means drastic internal overhauls, such as happened when Whitlam stood up to the socially conservative rump of the ALP in the late 60s. There was an enormous shakeup in the NZ Labour Party prior to the 84 election, with a number of 'pro-life' candidates driven from the safe seats they'd taken for granted. Nothing like that in the offing under Shearer.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Barnard,

    Question is then, what gets them off their arse?

    It’s a long shot, but maybe something inspired by Canada’s “If Day” in WW2 or the “Third Wave” experiment could just work.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3907 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Clark was a minister in the fourth Labour government too - and Cullen as well. In what way was their fifth Labour government not social democratic? It looked pretty much like textbook social democracy to me - aka "communism by stealth" for John Key and right wing bloggers.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Not criticising you. Can be tough when you are the only one. Much easier to challenge when you have allies.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    There was an enormous shakeup in the NZ Labour Party prior to the 84 election, with a number of 'pro-life' candidates driven from the safe seats they'd taken for granted. Nothing like that in the offing under Shearer.

    No, but I'm not sure it's warranted either?

    Thanks Hilary, for the link to Jordan's very thoughtful piece on what was achieved at the conference. I think his point:

    the two main political parties have remained stuck in the past. Labour and National are caught in the old ways of doing things. A small elite at the top in charge; the rest of us there as servants to carry out the wishes of the elite - pawns, all too often, in a game of thrones.
    This weekend just gone, Labour started to catch up with New Zealand.

    Is very well made.

    Did I just contradict myself though I wonder?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    S'okay! I didn't read it as criticism, but I thought it did require explanation.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • samhilltok,

    I've been going to the Fabians meetings for the best part of a year, and I too was at the Voyage presentation in Wellington. I avoided youth/university politics because almost everyone involved has a very specialised focus on issues and hasn't the life experience to formulate and broad, grounded view of the issues affecting this country. Attending the Fabians meeting has given me a far better understanding of the issues than anything I learnt at university, let alone in university political groups.

    With that said, the Voyage presentation was an excellent event. While there were a few younger people there, the majority in attendance were of the older persuasion.

    Something that irks me is the generational gap that seems to exist between the majority of old Labour supporters (those not in Parliament), and younger Leftists.

    There are Young Labour members coming through, but they mostly have very little understanding of issues outside of minority rights, the environment and whatever the MPs are saying in Parliament.

    The fact is that Labour is being outflanked by the Greens on these issues anyway, but Labour are failing to connect with voters on issues that really affect people; cost of living, wages, housing, rural economic development etc.

    There needs to be some serious effort made to bring together all factions of the Labour Party, but I highly doubt that is possible under the current leadership.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to TracyMac,

    We're the only country of any size where rugby union is the largest spectator sport. (AU, it's third after league and Aussie Rules. Everywhere else, including SA, it's soccer). I know little about this, but that's the reason. See also netball.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4219 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Whatever our opinion on these matters, I think we can all agree it would be hard to go wrong by doing the exact opposite of what Stuart Nash thinks.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

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