Posts by Keir Leslie

  • Hard News: Standing together,

    You can believe in the cab rank rule for barristers but think that solicitors have different obligations, that’s not impossible.

    Apart from anything else, barristers operate in an adversarial environment with pretty direct oversight by an impartial judge. Solicitors don’t in general.

    [Not that we have a split profession but you know what I mean.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    So does Rob Salmond, for that matter. As far as I can tell no Labour linked figures have come out in support of the idea, which, well, is probably the most unanimous they've been on a strategic matter in ten years.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    The Green haters who make up ~1/4* of Labour's vote! Of course Labour wants to keep them in the tent, we don't have the luxury of telling voters they are insufficiently pure --- and if the Greens have any sense, they'd much rather Shane Jones was picking up that vote than Steven Joyce.

    * based on the %age of Labour intendings who prefer a Lab-NZF deal to a Lab-Green deal.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    When Labour made nice with Anderton (note there was no formal agreement), Labour were on track to be the single largest party. Anderton was ex-Labour, and Labour were running continual attacks on the instability and shameless opportunism of a government that was falling to bits and veering between extreme right ideology and weird corruption. The context was very different from this case.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    Hard to see that's not the play though, right? It's a clever way to bash Labour as being untrustworthy etc --- the 2005 trope reappears with depressing predictability --- and emphasise the importance of voting Green if you're wavering Green/Labour. Shades of Corngate.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    Except that's not really what Labour's saying, is it? I mean, there was no way Labour was ever going to buy the "let's have a formal pre-election alliance" deal on offer, and so to act as if the rejection is a grand insult is, frankly, precious.

    I just don't think this deal would have helped Labour. I think the notion that Labour needs to desperately ensure every poll is reported as close, and to do must be willing to throw away independence of action post election, and political distinctiveness, is very questionable, especially given most polls are reported as "left bloc/right bloc" already.

    Basically, this deal is being sold as a way to get a better narrative. But there's a bunch of really negative narratives I can come up with, right now, that would hurt Labour in the centre, where it does need to be picking up voters.

    And Sacha, yes, Labour and the Greens picking specific policy issues and making specific policy announcements together does have some merit. But NZPower was carefully firewalled so that Labour wasn't seen as giving the Greens a blanket endorsement --- which is precisely what the Greens asked for here.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    Again though George, you're a Green party member! Of course you like the idea that Labour commits to the Greens. Similarly but differently Gordon Campbell etc. I really think a lot of this is pretty motivated reasoning: Labour should be more like the Greens (because I like the Greens).

    But how does the Green Party play in South Auckland? Well, not very well, to be frank. How about marginals, like the Coast or Waimak? Erm. Ah. Maybe there are downsides to being tightly tied to the Greens, as well as upsides? And in this case, given the upside simply isn't that large, the natural tendency of cautious social democrats will be to avoid the risk.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    "I'm a Green voter and I'm mad that Labour continues to insist on maintaining an independent political identity" is not really a great argument here.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    But if you want to define the Labour/Green realationship, you need to dedicate substantial resources to it and come up with an actual coalition agreement, and a pretty clear joint programme. If you go to the electorate as an alliance but without a joint programme, it would be bizarre.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    How could Labour have agreed to this? Either it would have required a full coalition agreement to be hammered out now --- which would have meant taking half the frontbench of both parties away from frontline duties for a week, without any civil service support ---, or else it would have put Labour in the absolutely unacceptable position of being committed to deal which may turn out, when the details are reached, to be unviable.

    And, of course, if Labour did do a deal with the Greens, Cunliffe would have to spend the next six months either defending Green party policy (much of which is (a) incompetently written and un-costed, and (b) off-putting to centrist voters) or repudiating Green party policy, in an ad hoc and damaging manner --- i.e, the coalition deal would end up being written in public, in an unco-ordinated and damaging way.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

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