I helped James with his campaign, so I’m not an impartial observer here. I can say that there was a robust debate inside the party about whether James was the right person to lead. But it centred around the brevity of his Parliamentary experience and his appeal outside urban electorates. No one – as far as I know – paid any attention to this ‘right-wing sleeper agent’ conspiracy so beloved of Left Wing Dudes On the Internet.
Now, maybe that’s because we were naive. Blind to the slippery slope of mass-murder that you feel electing James has led us down! Or, maybe its because the party members got to listen to the actual candidates speak and question them about their values instead of basing their understanding of the contest on blog posts from David Farrar and tweets by Matthew Hooton. Maybe their analysis was much more informed than yours?
There’s a vote. People vote for the candidates they like. Some of them are Steffan Browning.
The context there is a tendency for Green candidates and MPs to become very focused on appealing to the their internal membership rather than the voters, because the members are the people that get them into Parliament via the list.
There are a few factors at work across the anglosphere and locally . . .
1. Organisations that traditionally support left-wing political parties - notably trade unions - are at an historic low point in terms of power and resource, while organised capital, which funds their opponents, is very strong.
2. The death of 'neoliberalism' in the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis gives right-wing parties considerable room to maneuver in ideological terms. They're essentially populist parties. Winning votes is really all that matters.
3. Whereas left-wing parties are still engaged in the endless wing civil-war over ideological purism. MPs get safe seats - or list positions - based on fealty to factions within the party or affiliates, like the unions, instead of their ability to win electorates or get voters to vote for their parties.
4. National (somehow) introduced sweeping institutional reforms after its defeat in 2002. Labour doesn't seem capable of this (we'll see after Gould finishes his review). But it seems to be like the Baltimore institutions in 'The Wire'. You can't reform it unless you get to the top, and once you're there you owe your position to people who benefit from the dysfunction, so you still can't change anything. The last major reform of Labour happened in the 1970s, carried out by Anderton and Clark. It is still, essentially, a First Past the Post political party.
Labour would immediately cease to be in government if it tried to do anything of the sort. And better marketing wouldn’t work, because the Greens’ supporters aren’t fooled by it.
It would be a huge dilemma for the Greens, if they had policy wins they were delivering, and they had to choose to give them all up and probably put National back in power.
Newsweek reckoned last month the Kurdish forces may be able to seize Mosul soon – and may not be too keen on handing it back to Iraq. That would be very, very messy.
We MUST do something about the kurds! They're a threat to Kiwi travelers and worse than the nazis!
Fisher gave a speech to around a hundred public officials in Wellington last week, in which he traced a change that he believes took hold in the last term of the Clark government and has created an environment dominated by media management, obstruction and political interference.
Legend has it the break-through was made by a senior staffer in Cullen's office who figured out they could completely ignore all OIA requests with no consequence whatsoever.
Darren Hughes was the electorate MP… for Otaki
He was but he lost that seat and by the time of his resignation he was a list MP. He is mentioned in Slater's correspondence with, I think, Aaron Bhatnager, but there's no hint of any set-up, just very explicit details of Hughes' behavior which were totally unacceptable for an MP.
If Corkery did do that on purpose to get the lead spot on the news then she's an idiot. National couldn't have asked for anything better than a reminder to wavering centre voters that the alternative to Key - dirty politics or not - is a government propped up by a bunch of nutty, angry activists.
It’s nice that Odgers isn’t going to write a column any more. But it is so weird that she was asked. The Herald already have a bunch of libertarian/ACT cheerleaders writing copy for them. They’ve got Bob Jones and Rodney Hide and Damien Grant.
Politically these people are represented by a party currently on 0.1% in the polls. In the last few by-elections ACT have been beaten by Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis. No one takes these people seriously EXCEPT the New Zealand Herald, whose first instinct when they’re looking for a right-wing columnist is to find another hateful, deranged libertarian headcase.
Weirdly, most of the correspondence seems to be Facebook chats, which I can't quite see how would possibly be hacked using a DDOS attack on the WhaleOil site.