OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • Stephen Judd, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's not like this market exists for the same reasons as derivative markets - futures and options were meant to exist so that companies could take out insurance against commodity price fluctuations, and investors could take out insurance against stock price collapses

    I dunno, if I were a public servant in Wellington perhaps I could have offset my risk of being laid off by betting heavily on a National win. In fact that probably goes for property owners in Wellington generally, as Wellington property prices are negatively correlated with public service cuts.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Where the hell was he - the Finance Spokesperson - when Goff was getting grilled over Labour's fiscals? It was his job to have the answer to those questions. I'm not sure if it was by design, or whether he was simply too busy campaigning for the leadership, but he wasn't there.

    Labour's fiscal position wasn't justifiable. Goff/Mallard were running a bribe everyone, tax nobody, foot to the floor campaign. Splash baubles around, get Winston back in, get the vote out and rely on the late swing away from the Government that occurs at every election.

    Under such a strategy the Finance Spokespersons job is to STFU, until the fiscal position can be released at an appropriate time (generally late on a Friday preceding a major sporting event). The leaders job is to make the promises, attack the unpopular positions of the governing party and not answer questions about the fiscal position.

    If Goff had been halfway competent in avoiding giving a straight answer in that electoral debate (he was a politician with 30 years experience!) and the turnout drive had been a bit more successful Labour would be be forming a Lab/Grn/NZF/Mana/Maori coalition right now.

    It is unjustifiable to criticise Cunliffe's figures, when the figures came out, they were artfully near to being acceptable whilst still being quasi-believable. If they could have been publicised without too much publicity...

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    It's nowhere near direct enough. But I presume you are joking. I wouldn't insure my house against a positive correlation between them paying, and my place burning down (accidentally). It would need to be a firmer deal to justify the premiums.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to BenWilson,

    Have I told you about my theory that you should always bet against your own team in order to maximise your happiness?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Have I told you about my theory that you should always bet against your own team in order to maximise your happiness?

    It's an old Kiwi favourite. It's the thinking behind life insurance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

  • Bradcar, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As always, an interesting and thoughtful post Keith.

    1. Mr Goff had the numbers according to Duncan Garner who said on TV that "the numbers" were published in mid July 2011, then again Mr Goff had them in front of him on TV (the Nation) and had to refer to them. Don't attack Goff for that, he can't know everything all the time but he had that information.

    2. How do we know Cunliffe is offering Jobs, as someone says, there is no place for Cunliffe either so mr Shearer must be doing the same including whips and finance spokesperson which is said to be Parker (wtf?)

    3. Given there is such a split in the Caucus, how is Shearer not also divisive? It's not just Cunliffe is it. If it is just about that, how f'kng churlish and peurile of the ABC crowd.

    4. MPs should own up to who they vote for and why because the overwhelming sense in the party and the energy in the party is behind Cunliffe. If he has managed to turn people around in two weeks inside the party, what does that say of his ability over three years? As usual, the "non-politician" line is strong at first but as you've seen, people have seen and heard Cunliffe talk and have come out of meetings having changed their mind.

    5. My question is what is there to be gained from keeping Cunliffe out, the one who is talking about change in the party and at long last someone talking about the promotion of merit and talent? It seems to me to be a grasp by those who've been there a very long time at keeping the strings.

    6. I like Mr Shearer, he's a decent man clearly, but it does not in any way look like he has the preparation to be leader to win in 2014. Why is Labour, or more it's MPs, prepared to sacrifice us for another six years? Labour can't afford to wait six months to take the training wheels off it truly stands for those of us who are suffering under National.

    I like your posts Keith, but I am just wondering where the information on Cunliffe has come from. Surely if the vote is so split and so close, both figures are divisive and as McCarten says... it is a contest between substance or popularity, Labour can't beat Mr Key at his own game, they must build a base that resets the agenda and take it to the PM and to stand up as a real alternative to a National-led government.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I really like both Shearer and Cunliffe personally, and while I understand that some people consider Cunliffe's polish to be a bit over-buffed, and Shearer definitely has a natural charm, most of what I've seen and heard (including talking to them both myself, on and off camera) in the past two weeks suggests to me that Mr Shearer, while he will probably win on Tuesday, is a massive risk in terms of being able to hold his own against a practised Government front-bench. His interview on Q+A the other week showed he gets rattled and finds it hard to recover.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/david-shearer-cunliffe-video-4588633

    As @BenThomas said before, I don't think he wants it as much as Cunliffe, or perhaps realises exactly how exhausting it will be, especially for someone who hasn't even served a full term in Parliament yet. It's a big call to lead a shattered party against a strong and popular Government with just two-and-a-bit years under your belt, especially if you're not entirely sure with every fibre of your soul that's what you want to be doing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1128 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Damian Christie,

    It's a big call to lead a shattered party against a strong and popular Government

    They're not looking as 'strong and popular' as they were last term, tho'.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2357 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Rich Lock,

    They’re not looking as ‘strong and popular’ as they were last term, tho’.

    I dunno. We had a nationwide poll a couple of weeks back with a pretty low margin of error, showed they were up on last time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1128 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish221,

    Keith you are normally so spot on, but this is drivel, I don't know where you get your info from but having eviscerated the odd politician for poor analysis in the past I would have thought you could do better. For someone buying the leadership Cunliffe is wasting a lot of jobs by indicating most of his rivals would be on the front bench. I know Labour MPs voting both ways and I know some of them well enough to know that they are not voting on job promises. You are presenting yourself as an insider which you are not, this reads like a well scripted half truth of half the story.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Keith Ng,

    Blaming Cunliffe for not having the numbers ready means accepting that they went ahead with their policies without having done the numbers first

    I remember that was the case with National in 2008, they held off their tax cut "numbers" till the very last minute and then had to repeal the tax cuts within 6 months.

    That seems to be the Wily Coyote approach

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Damian Christie,

    First impressions matter in politics and Shearer has proved he is definitely fresh. Much weight is given to the bombastic style our political analysts like so much on the telly. Shearer may be an excellent negotiator but in a world of sound bites, that is not helpful. Cunliffe shows his ability there. We know he is good with Finance. I really like Shearer and admire his achievements because I have read some of them and he does impress, however just a small sample mentioned by the press is all most people know and he gets the prize for the cuddly story there. That’s why I want both but come what tomorrow it will be one and then he better get his dancing shoes on because he will need to get busy to unify the caucus.If either were against each other in an Election 3 weeks ago, who would have won?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6018 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Damian Christie,

    showed they were up on last time

    Well, thanks to the vagaries of the electoral system, the Nacts will only have a slim majority with whatever coalition eventually gets stitched together. I reckon Johnny-boy is going to be under a bit of pressure in and outside the house this time around. So (assuming it's Shearer sitting opposite), it might not be a full-on fire baptism.

    I've no strong feelings for either candidate, personally.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2357 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    As @BenThomas said before

    He did?

    Part of my nervousness with outKeying Key, is I think that Key's smile has nearly served out its time. Smiling in the face of challenges only works for a while, there's a point where it starts to look idiotic. He's going to start getting asked hard, angry questions every day, from now on. Even our infotainment media has ended it's honeymoon with Key, as he orders the police to search their offices.

    I think he's going to be wearing a war-face for a lot of this term. How is he going to smile off the eventual eviction of the Occupy movements? Or the likely outburst of public anger when mining of conservation land starts up? Or Winston Peters shooting his mouth off in parliament about the colossal pork-fest that is going to be involved in selling off the dams. Or minimum wagers laid off so that children can be paid less. Or rising unemployment and stagnant wages, 5 years after he took power? The alarming rise in non-homeless people turning up at food banks?

    So I don't think looking for a friendly looking nice guy is going to be at the top of the list of Labour's priorities soon. It's going to be leveraging such firebrands as they have, committing to the sound policies that they released far, far too late, and seeking understandings with their strongest allies. They need hunger, and they need anger.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8318 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Key isn't great in the House, he is as good as George Bush ever was , I'll give him that.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6018 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    he is as good as George Bush ever was

    Please let's not use that as our baseline standard, eh? :)

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2357 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    When ever I had queries with Labour, I would email and I would get a response within a couple of days.Labour do engage with the public well.

    Sadly answering emails is not all of 'engaging with the public'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16495 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    They could always go for the co-leader approach. Politics needs less lamppost pissing in my opinion /likely to never happen/.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    Maybe so, but for many people forums or emails is all they get and it would be enough.
    My observation through practice was they were the best at getting a response when I queried information as I said " whenever I had queries..." I like to try all the parties out ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6018 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I'd avoid describing that as "enagaging with the public". In broader terms that's exactly what Labour has not been good at for some time.

    it would be enough

    Unlikely.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16495 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to merc,

    They could always go for the co-leader approach. Politics needs less lamppost pissing in my opinion /likely to never happen/.

    Nature of the game I guess. But yes Labour must unify and both seem a fantastic combination and together has to get everyone in caucus at 100%. should work.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6018 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Labour's next leader will also be competing for attention against Winston and an invigorated Greens.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16495 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    I'd love to see much more community engagement. Taking it to the streets. Back to the basics. Lianne Dalziel proved this works.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6018 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Well you know when the others zag you zig...
    Post, Jacinda Ardern took it to the streets.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    Labour’s next leader will also be competing for attention against Winston and an invigorated Greens.

    It doesn't have to be against, it could be alongside with respecting differences. We are all in this together type thing.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6018 posts Report Reply

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