OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • DeepRed,

    And surprise, surprise, Prostetnic Vogon Joyce pulled the middle finger at not 1, but three Govt agencies when they said Auckland should be allowed to set its own transport policy. Make it four if Treasury is included.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4301 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to DeepRed,

    I hope this shows people it's not actually the public servants that make all the crappy decisions.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DeepRed,

    Auckland's transport policy will now be set by the New Zealand Herald's insane motoring columnist, Eric Thompson.

    His column yesterday is a towering work of intellectual achievement:

    It concludes thus:

    It has been reported that the Greens want a compact central city built on efficient transport, and cited Auckland Transport's estimate that the CBD capacity for employees and residents could triple if the rail link were built.

    Are they mad? By adding a couple of hundred thousand rugby supporters to the Auckland mix at the start of the World Cup, the place ground to a halt and fans couldn't use the rail system to even get to Eden Park.

    I read the Green Party Transport manifesto and it's entirely possible to see why only three people ticked the "like" box. If only three people like what the Greens are proposing it must be a load of tosh. Public transport is not efficient and never has been.

    Long live the car and build more roads.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    "motoring columnist" - partisan much?

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I read the Green Party Transport manifesto and it's entirely possible to see why only three people ticked the "like" box. If only three people like what the Greens are proposing it must be a load of tosh. Public transport is not efficient and never has been.

    It's like all the logical fallacies in the world have been lovingly piled atop one another for our bemusement.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the New Zealand Herald's insane motoring columnist, Eric Thompson.

    I am convinced that he's some kind of agent provocateur, placed there as a mole on behalf of the god-less green movement.

    ETA: I thought I had read all that a while ago. Indeed, the column was published 22 November.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    ETA: I thought I had read all that a while ago. Indeed, the column was published 22 November.

    Whoops!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    stupidity like his all sounds the same after a while

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16661 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    stupidity like his all sounds the same after a while

    Having made it about 25% of the way through a book of Jeremy Clarkson's newspaper columns I have to agree. If that prick (for such he indisputably is) communicated something of the fun he supposedly experiences from playing with the wealth of toys at his disposal he'd be tolerable. Instead it's an endless exercise in petulant griping, leavened with schoolboy swagger.

    I'm told that there's a motoring correspondent in these parts who's a thoroughly decent human being, but the stereotype is pretty much masculine inadequacy on wheels.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3501 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Rob, Labour's not got a fully developed alternative to National, yet. I understand that Shearer and co. see the holiday as a time to seriously sound out public priorities. I don't think that'll mean a complete reorientation from their pre-election approach though.

    My personal view is that redistribution must be combined with strategies to increase meaningful and sustainable employment. I'm not a growth fetishist though, but my understanding of the demographics is that we forecast a declining tax base relative to government costs so unless we're going to provide fewer services to our ageing population, we have to earn more offshore. That being the case, I agree with Shearer that we have to consider more than increasing tourism and dairying.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2232 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Must say, I've been - at every opportunity - vastly underwhelmed by Shearer's communication ability so far.

    Check out Key's RNZ Christmas message:

    podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20111223-0729-christmas_message_from_john_key-048.mp3|

    Now compare Shearer's RNZ Christmas message:

    podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20111223-0730-christmas_message_from_david_shearer-048.mp3

    WTF, man?

    (Note: links didn't work as links).

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB, in reply to 3410,

    vastly underwhelmed by Shearer’s communication ability so far.

    Couldn't agree more. He has always struck me as a decent person but he just does not have any talent for communicating - and I am not even sure he has all that much to communicate. As you say, one would think that a thoughtful Christmas message would be within the grasp of most - but his was about as basic as it gets.

    I watched the University of Otago `Vote Chats' of Shearer and Cunliffe for the first time last night. In spite of what Keith said in his post that set all this off, I don't get it: Cunliffe would have got my vote on this.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to 3410,

    Check out Key’s RNZ Christmas message:

    I'd rather not, thank you.
    "I'm going to steal your stuff, sell it and then treat you like shit" is hardly a Christmas message.
    Or is he lying again?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4860 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Having made it about 25% of the way through a book of Jeremy Clarkson's newspaper columns

    Did you lose a bet?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    And we haven't yet got to snail-mail robocalling to dead coal miners.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4301 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    links didn't work as links).

    no http in front of them - need the full address to auto-convert

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16661 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to DeepRed,

    And we haven’t yet got to snail-mail robocalling to dead coal miners.

    To be fair the explanation given at the end of the article is not terrible, but it does boggle the mind a little that it hadn't occurred to the responsible office that not everybody elected to councils would be there for the full three-year term. At least double-check the list once a year. If Santa can manage it...

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to HenryB,

    Yeah, I’m in the same camp. For all the farandango of the public process, Shearer’s selection seemed like back-room business. Against all the evidence we could see, the weaker candidate was chosen.
    I think that’s why this thread has been, at times, rather fraught. Keith’s post was full of innuendo and snark towards David Cunliffe. But unless (as has been hinted again and again) there was a hidden back-story of the ABC movement, it was hard to see why.
    <rant> TLDNR :)
    Paul: the notion that Labour will go out and talk to people (focus groups, anyone) and then cut their policy cloth accordingly just fuels the narrative: they don’t know what they believe in.
    Russel Norman didn’t have that problem. Hone Harawira doesn’t seem to. Goff, during the election, managed to draw a clear line (with help from Cunliffe- the CGT initiative is a great move, which even has people across the political spectrum nodding assent) and reiterate some old Labour values.
    People in NZ like Labour’s policy. But some of us aren’t so sure Labour themselves believe in it. Or will fight for it. Or are competent to put it in place.
    That’s the job for Labour: show us you’ll fight, show us you can do a competent job in opposition, show us YOU believe.

    we forecast a declining tax base relative to government costs so unless we’re going to provide fewer services to our ageing population, we have to earn more offshore

    Look, that would be lovely, but it’s not so easy. And here’s the rub: great new innovative global businesses are nice to talk about. But they are not within government’s power. If it were, geeze wayne, every govt in the world would be doing it. Of course govt can and should do more for science, education, and innovation. It’s worth doing, in my opinion, whatever the financial return, because education is a social good, and knowledge expands the very horizons of humanity :)
    We can also hope it leads to greater wealth and national well-being. But it might not. (I’ll bet if it’s embarked upon with project management ‘benchmarks’ and timelines for ‘ROI’ it’ll be a mighty waste of human capital, goodwill, and money, too.)
    So what do we do about the growing inequality in NZ? We might look back at the years of relative equality, and ponder: hmm.
    Top personal tax rates were 65%. Benefits were relatively high. The ratio of worker to CEO pay was considerably lower.
    Labour did raise the top tax rate in 1999 to 39% (and the country hardly fell off a cliff- we entered a silly boom, in fact.) A CGT is a great first step. Labour’s plan was relatively timid, though, limiting it to 15% (I think this is what Bush, hardly a socialist, lowered the US CGT to) and excluding many things other countries manage to include.)
    And we might also hear Labour talk about raising benefits to a pre Nancy Richardson level that allows people a decent life.
    But somehow neo-lib orthodoxy rules, and these things are hardly thinkable, not able to enter the political conversation. Certainly not things Labour is going to fight for.
    I’ve voted Labour almost exclusively, all my life (Greens in 1999; Mana this time). I’ve been a party member, didn’t bother in 2010 because they seemed so weak and waffly an opposition, and a communications embarrasment. I may join again. Like most here, I certainly want them to give the govt heck and win in 2014. I want Labour to show and shout and demand there is another way to run the country, with values that are not all expressed in $$$$ and policies focused on equality of outcomes for all NZers (as Russel declared) not some phantom level playing field.
    Yeah, it’s frustrating. </rant>
    sorry for ranting, it's been a trying year :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1571 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    no http in front of them - need the full address to auto-convert

    Forgot that I updated the stupid Firefox, which now doesn't show full address. :)

    (How to fix it).

    The point of my above post, for those who couldn't be bothered unpacking my hopeless linking was that Shearer's Christmas message last all of nine seconds and was easily the weakest of any of the leaders' messages.


    PS. Prime minister accidentally sends a Christmas card to a dead miner.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to 3410,

    Forgot that I updated the stupid Firefox, which now doesn’t show full address. :)

    Oh interesting. Chrome doesn't show the protocol string either, but when you copy+paste from the title bar, it magically appears.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    But somehow neo-lib orthodoxy rules, and these things are hardly thinkable, not able to enter the political conversation.

    My sense is that while the Labour caucus still harbours people for whom these things are thinkable, they are terrified of the caning they expect they would get in the media. Almost all of New Zealand's political commentators have thoroughly internalised the neo-lib outlook and report accordingly. Since Labour no longer has a mass membership with alternative channels to get its message out, there's no way to get around the hugely unfavourable coverage such policies would attract. O'Sullivan, Trevett, Barnett, Armstrong, Clifton, Harteveldt and all that crew would rubbish Labour, and then their opinions would run as news.

    These things are thinkable, but not sayable in the political conversation. Yet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2963 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB,

    Re-reading Keith's post:

    Let’s face it, if Cunliffe didn’t offer his supporters portfolios and positions, there wouldn’t even be a contest.

    This is what I don't get. There IS no contest: from the point of view of somebody outside the beltway Cunliffe is a far better communicator of Labour's message than Shearer. And, frankly, Shearer doesn't communicate anything much at all.

    Keith asks, rhetoricaly:

    On election night, when Parker and Shearer quietly joined the grim gathering at Mt Albert, Cunliffe sent an advance fluffing party to the event. They loittered by the carpark, and when Cunliffe arrived, they – on cue – adoringly mobbed his car to create a set-piece for the gathered journalists.

    There are a few questions that arise. The first and most salient is: Who the fuck *does* that? When Labour talks about re-engaging with New Zealand, is *this* what this mean? When Cunliffe’s supporters talk about him being a great communicator and a master of ”modern direct engagement methods”, is this what they mean?

    Well, No. What they might mean - and I am not a `supporter' - is that he knows what he wants to say (what needs to be said) and says it. The only `fluffing' I have seen is Shearer's own efforts to try and articulate any kind of idea of what `Labour' actually means.

    I suppose I will be told that it is early days. Well, I certainly hope so because it couldn't get much worse than it is.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    These things are thinkable, but not sayable in the political conversation. Yet.

    Norman appears to be saying them... but the Labour leadership won't/can't/don't?
    Bottom line: if they don't have the guts to take on the media, why should we believe they have the conviction to do anything? The conversation isn't going to change all by itself.
    Shearer needs to stand up and say this stuff. Or he really is the 'lite-blue' option.
    And: bloody earthquakes. Just stop it! I am now on holiday!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1571 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to James Butler,

    Oh interesting. Chrome doesn’t show the protocol string either, but when you copy+paste from the title bar, it magically appears.

    As does my Firefox. That's a straight copy and past below, but the http:// isn't in the address bar I copied from.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/topic/3325/?i=925#replies

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1154 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    The conversation isn't going to change all by itself

    verily

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16661 posts Report Reply

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