Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    All the reporting I have seen says that Parker took himself out of the Finance portfolio, and had announced as much before the first vote was cast. What evidence do you have that this was anything other than the true situation?

    I've been out of the country and I saw references to that, but couldn't find the reports saying so. The post-leadership-election stories I saw made it seem like a response to the result, but I'm happy to be corrected.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    It’s a pity David Parker didn’t want to retain it, as he’s been very good.

    I don't blame Parker for not wishing to stay in Finance given Little's pronouncements on the policies he had developed -- but he's clearly a significant loss from the front bench and the most regrettable casualty in the whole business.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good, in reply to Sacha,

    Oh I don’t know. Disability is in the demoted unranked zone at 17. Behind animal rights. Nothing new there.

    True. I don't think you can even blame it on the spokesperson being out of favour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    Okay, let's say Little is indeed the person for the job and he'll take the bull by the horns etc. They're still going to have to either find him a new electorate or perform a particularly radical turnaround in New Plymouth. As Phil Quin wrote before the vote:

    In the two elections since Little became Labour’s candidate in New Plymouth, National's party vote margin in the electorate has more than doubled from 6,600 to 13,000 votes. After a 5.8 percent two-party swing from Labour to National in 2011, there was a further 6.3 percent swing in New Plymouth this year – roughly three times worse than the nationwide average.

    As the electorate candidate, Little also attracted 6,500 fewer electorate votes than in 2008 when the previous Labour member, Harry Duynhoven, lost the seat. After three years of resources and profile as a list MP based partly in New Plymouth, Little managed a 7.8 percent swing against him on the electorate vote this year, to compound the 6.7 percent he suffered in 2011.

    It's not credible to stand a leader who does that badly in his own electorate, especially one who also failed to win a majority of caucus and party membership votes in becoming leader. I presume they start looking for a very safe Labour seat for him now.

    The finance portfolio is another problem. Parker doesn't want to do the job under Little -- but can Little really choose Cunliffe, after his post-election meltdown?

    And Little saying once on the radio that he likes UBI is a long way from going into an election with it. It's a grand idea practised by no country in the world. Of course, there has to be a first one, but it would be a bit odd ditching an orthodox policy like CGT because it was too strange and challenging for voters but then adopting UBI.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    As I happily acknowledge upfront, much of it is personal disappointment that a close friend didn’t get the job I think he’s made for. But beyond that, if Little was going to win, it should have been in a landslide. A marginal squeak-by on the basis of union executive diktat is the worst possible starting point.

    I agree with everything you've written.

    I'd also add that I'm deeply unimpressed with what Little has said on policy, and economic policy in particular. I don't think the capital gains tax policy was well sold (Cunliffe screwed it up badly in the debates) but it addresses a real problem that continues to hurt working people, who pay their taxes while property investors (who are now responsible for a large proportion of sales in the Auckland market) enjoy their tax-free gains. It hurts young people, too. As Parker kept pointing out, the CGT consistently polled better than Labour. And the idea that people didn't vote Labour because it proposed to gradually raise the superannuation age to 67 is just preposterous. But Little's already declared he's ditching both policies.

    I get that some people in the party (although, on the evidence, a minority) really hate Robertson, but I'm not really interested in Labour's internal factionalism. Nobody is. I just think this is a really terrible result, and Little doubtless being a decent chap doesn't really alter that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to Mr Mark,

    Well, no.

    Robertson beat Little by the relatively narrow margins of 55/45 among Party Members and 56/44 among the caucus (18 MPs to 14 MPs). Not sure I'd call that "hosed in" exactly !!!

    He was the first choice of 16% of his own caucus and 26% of the membership. Robertson was the first choice of 44% of his caucus and 38% of the members. That's a big margin. Even in the two-horse race of Round 3, he won those sectors by 10+ points -- that's a commanding head-to-head margin. Why bother being a Labour Party member when you can be trumped by a tribal bloc vote like that?

    The result ends the leadership aspirations of Robertson, easily the best campaigner in the field, and pretty clearly lays waste to the coherent economic philosophy that Parker had been patiently building. I could be wrong, but for now I'm of the view that this result borders on tragedy for Labour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: To renew, you first…, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    I certainly have vague anxiety inducing memories of trying to get overstuffed vinyl cases back to NZ via hand luggage.

    I certainly have vague anxiety inducing memories of trying to get overstuffed vinyl cases back to NZ via hand luggage.

    When Fiona and I came back home to New Zealand with our new baby, we for some reason had a very large luggage allowance, and we'd worked out that we could pack our vinyl (and a PC) into a huge old chest and check the lot in at Victoria station. But the allowance for the train from Victoria to Gatwick was lower than the one for the flight itself and we had to take out kilos of records which I then had to casually tote in an overfull courier pack. We got busted at the boarding gate, but they just put them in the hold for us, after a lot of tut-tutting.

    My other main memory is, groggy after 24+ hours of travel, having to pick up the 50kg chest from the moving luggage carousel. And, fortunately, getting it first time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: To renew, you first…, in reply to Duncan Campbell,

    Attachment

    Hey Russ, thanks heaps for the memory. Remember that Burning Spear gig we went to?

    I sure do!

    Found a new shop you'd like in the Brixton covered market -- which has not gentrified as much as people would have you believe. Lots of original reggae pressings, and plenty of sound system atmosphere inside!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: To renew, you first…,

    Also dropped this last night -- thanks to Jen's stash

    And she even let me have her spare copy :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Garbage in, garbage out,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19038 posts Report Reply

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