Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Next Labour Leader

297 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

  • Joe Wylie,

    Danyl provides a little insight re. Trotter's unrequited boner for Waitakere Man.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3327 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    It's no surprise that Shearer is underdone. Heck he has only been an MP for two and a half years. I am sure he will learn.

    Labour need someone who can be seen as a Prime Minister in waiting. Just like Key was before the 2008 election. I think Shearer is that person.

    Main reason: he does a better John Key than Key himself does. And I mean that in a good way (great life story, likeable etc.)

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    crowd proofing services…
    comment rendered redundant
    - you are very quick!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Good post.

    Y'know, it could have been a contest of ideas. The race would have built on the positioning they established in the election campaign: the party that grasps nettles and talks hard policy. About the good, the bad and the necessary.

    I vote Green with a passion, but even I admire the way Labour did that.

    By withdrawing, and doing so in a partisan way, Parker undid 6 months campaign work by reverting too soon to politics of personality.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 191 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But there is a consequence that Labour and National still have not grasped.

    Indeed, even Jordan Carter isn't grasping it, if he calls it a hammering to have National in with a wafer-thin majority.

    I have to say, I'm finding this leadership battle of Labour's profoundly depressing. Their policy is much more important to me than which rich white guy is calling the big shots. Everything I hear from Labour betrays FPP thinking and the sense of entitlement to power. It's all about how to grow their own vote at the expense of other parties - the non-voters don't seem to trouble them at all, and the idea of genuinely, and honestly forging links to the other parties seems virtually treasonous. Which is tactically and strategically very stupid.

    Indeed, I think that outright stupidity is Labour's biggest failing, an inability to grasp the fundamentals of MMP. I can't make my mind up if the main problem is that they fundamentally do not believe in democracy. If so, therein lies why it is that democracy has punished them.

    I won't speculate on who is the best leader for Labour. It's the wrong question for Labour to be asking themselves. It's a waste of my time to even think about it. It's a stupid way to organize a party, by choosing the leader first before working out what policy they stand for. Makes me think policy is the least firm idea they have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Deborah,

    if Labour goes back to being all about the men

    Meat-eating hetero men, that is. Limp-wristed lettuce-eating nancies would be best just falling under a bus, even if they were born with a penis.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2328 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    By withdrawing, and doing so in a partisan way, Parker undid 6 months campaign work by reverting too soon to politics of personality.

    Que? I'm obviously not David Parker's BFF (and if I was I'd be keeping my damn mouth shut) but why would he risk splitting the anti-Cunliffe vote if 1) he genuinely though that Cunliffe wasn't the best candidate and 2) he quickly came to realise that he couldn't win himself? Just not seeing the "partisan" "politics of personality" in play here, but am open to enlightenment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Waitakere man = David Cunliffe

    Couldn't be more wrong, Richard; Trotter has Shearer pegged as Waitakere Man's saviour, on the slender premise of his connection with West Coast-Tasman Man Damien O'Connor.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It’s a great sound bite for Cunliffe to be promising to re-nationalise on Q&A, but I think he’s smart enough to know that’s all it is.

    I think he rather surprised himself when that came out of his mouth.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    By withdrawing, and doing so in a partisan way, Parker undid 6 months campaign work by reverting too soon to politics of personality.

    Not sure I buy that either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think he rather surprised himself when that came out of his mouth.

    And probably quite a few people associated with parties other than the NZ Communist Party (if such a beast even still exists). It's a great threat, to be sure, but probably not realistic.

    I want Labour to be trumpeting from the rooftops National's pledge to sell at any price. Remind the public that every dollar we don't get from the asset sales is a dollar that must be borrowed, and it's irresponsible economic management to do anything less than hold out for a better market. It's not like the dividends will stop just because the assets might be sold in the future.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to BenWilson,

    What Ben said (although I wouldn't necessarily label someone stupid just because they got it wrong).

    Also: the low turn out suggests that all parties collectively failed to provide something meaningful for many voters.

    Obviously, Greens and Labour somehow let down the centre left. But also, what about National supporters who might have opposed asset sales? I'd understand if a few hundred thousand of them stayed home. All they had was NZ1st.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 191 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to BenWilson,

    Everything I hear from Labour betrays FPP thinking and the sense of entitlement to power. It’s all about how to grow their own vote at the expense of other parties – the non-voters don’t seem to trouble them at all, and the idea of genuinely, and honestly forging links to the other parties seems virtually treasonous. Which is tactically and strategically very stupid.

    I actually think some of this stems from National's relative success in staying a big, monolithic near-majority party for the last three years (and into the foreseeable future) - this election felt to an extent like an FPP party taking on, and winning against, an MMP coalition. Of course there are many reasons why National manages to keep above 45%, eg. John Key, the disintegration of its allies, neither of which Labour should put any hope into emulating. But part of it might also be that National's base, conservative, authoritarian-leaning, is just temperamentally suited to putting all its electoral eggs in one basket. Maybe a united Right and a fragmented Left is going to be a feature of NZ politics for a while. And provided that Labour can get its collective heads around that, it's not such a bad idea really.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Danyl provides a little insight re. Trotter's unrequited boner for Waitakere Man.

    Bravo, I mean Brava

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16280 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    what about National supporters who might have opposed asset sales? I'd understand if a few hundred thousand of them stayed home.

    and they did

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16280 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Personally, I suspect that it comes down to the fact that Shearer comes with an appealing, interesting narrative, where-as Cunliffe doesn’t. A lot of John Key’s appeal is simply based on his story as a came from nothing, high finance mojo. People simply trust him to know what’s going on. They don’t know or care about the details, by and large the average voter has no clue what JK has or hasn’t done re: the financial crises. It’s all just mythologising the leader. They feel safe he’s handling it all on their behalf. All JK has to do is not put his foot in it, and come across as a smarmy arrogant git (okay, well are least not too much), or have an affair with his secretary or something.

    You can talk credentials and experience, but that was Goff and the middle didn’t care.

    Labour have got two ways to combat that: their own leader with a strong competing mythology, or go negative and try to convince everyone JK is a rich prick. The last three years have been the latter, and it’s not working.

    imho.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Peter Cox,

    or have an affair with his secretary or something.

    He'd have got clean away with that too, IMO, provided his secretary was a woman.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Waitakere Man has a good little plumbing business and fancies a house at Pauanui

    And doesn’t realise that he’ll never be able to afford a beach house, with Key’s mates having driven the price up to six-figure levels. That plumbing business? Won’t look so sweet when the banks can no longer fund people’s new bathrooms.
    And the V8 isn't going to be much use when gas tops $5 a litre.

    Which really frames the directional issue for Labour:

    - Do they position themselves as a centre-centre party competing with National on "competence" in trying to keep the whole middle-class affluence engine going as long as possible. That way, they'll get elected in 3/6/9 years when the public is disenchanted or just bored with the Nats and wants a change of face for a few years.

    - Or do they consider that actually the "affluence engine" isn't sustainable and we need an alternative strategy to actually fix things? (as opposed to waiting for them to crash, introducing "austerity" (for the 99%, not the 1%) and aligning policies with the opposition to deny people a choice).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4362 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    James Littlewood*
    Also: the low turn out suggests that all parties collectively failed to provide something meaningful for many voters.

    I thought the Greens vote went up, both absolutely and as a percentage? If so, that suggests that they and Winston First both managed to inspire voters. Although I suspect Winston could change his name to "No Confidence" and get the same result.

    My take on the "National is still a FPP Party" is that that's a cogent summary. They've managed to avoid having a credible right-wing party to split the right-wing/conservative vote, which lets them chase the centre. Fortunately I think that reduces the strength of the looney voices who are forced to operate within the party room rather than negotiating compromises as a coalition party (ie, that minority can be out voted very time).

    I think Labour need to recognise that destroying the Greens has not worked for them. So rather than piant themselves into a corner where there's a clear green-brown split in parliament and they're part of it they need to hammer some kind of position that lets them ally with the Greens to oust their common enemies. And by "common enemies" I do not mean disloyal Labour members/MP's.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 409 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    He’d have got clean away with that too, IMO, provided his secretary was a woman.

    When you considered the exaggerated outrage over the "privacy invasion" that occurred when he invited 40 journalists over and behaved like no one was listening, yup. It would probably trigger a wave of sympathy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And the Greens' small-business tax policy was both good policy (it's essentially what the Society of Chartered Accountants recommended) and good politics. It promised to make it easier for small businesspeople to pay their taxes. That's actually quite a compelling thing to say to those people. And it's something they're not presently prepared to believe of Labour.

    This got my head nodding at the Epsom candidates meeting at the Jubliee Building in Parnell just before the election. As a small business owner I would gladly welcome any move to make compliance easier and the Green's proposal was sensible and ticked the box.

    Although I noted that other small business owners in the audience did not nod their head (they were too tribal to do that), I suspect that quite a few would have gone home and looked up the policy.

    Like many Green policies, this one will be 'stolen' by National at some point (probably he of the improbable hair).

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 639 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers, in reply to Deborah,

    Stewart, Waitakere man is Chris Trotter's idealisation of what Labour ought to be about - working class men in caps who don't have any truck with women or gays or identity politics of any sort.

    Thanks for clarifying that, Deborah. When I heard "Waitakere" I thought of the ranges, treehuggers, artists, Bob Harvey and Earthsong community, not Jethro West. Perhaps "Henderson Man" would be a more definitive term.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    If he says he will buy back the assets wouldn't that totally queer the deal?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    @Russel & @Craig
    Maybe. Just that his withdrawal put public & media attention squarely on the personalities of the Davids, when it was primed and ready and waiting to go on to things like values, beliefs & policies.

    The debate is now about leadership qualities. Experience and power versus freshness and affability (or something). Basically: CVs.

    Parker's withdrawal fast forwarded the race through the best bit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 191 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Grevers,

    When I heard "Waitakere" I thought of the ranges, treehuggers, artists, Bob Harvey and Earthsong community, not Jethro West. Perhaps "Henderson Man" would be a more definitive term.

    +1

    Or even 'Te Atatu man'

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16280 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.