Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Next Labour Leader

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  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    And that’s a big problem – the govt-backed notion that doubling dairy herds is good for this country. And the accompanying nonsense about subsidising famers for their carbon pollution until technology comes to the rescue. Heaven forbid they should have to cut their expansionary ambition to suit the environment’s current carrying capacity. Agri uber alles.

    Or to put it succinctly, pork barrelling.

    Cue poster: "Farm subsidies are so 1986."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4353 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    First, unless you have some highly unorthodox ideas on where food, drinking water and oxygen come from, the environment plainly is more important than jobs, the economy and health.

    It isn’t unorthodox to say that those products are often manufactured in factories. And that the ”natural environment” is often hostile toward them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    Parliament must be the opposite of an oxygen factory.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Anyone else noticed that David Shearer and John Key look similar?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Sacha,

    international “clean green” brand worth billions

    I lived for many years in a customer country. The concept that I should buy NZ product because it was "100% clean and green" didn't impinge on my consciousness. (Nor did the contra-idea that I should avoid such product because NZ was being (earlier) turned into a Think Big petrochemical powerhouse).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    NZ already had a largely-undeserved international “clean green” brand worth billions. Investing in that is part of the current generation’s role

    Instead, we have (and will have for the next 3 years) a government more focussed on divesting us of that.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 916 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The concept that I should buy NZ product because it was "100% clean and green" didn't impinge on my consciousness.

    But competing producers are likely to use it to block or constrain market access. Imagine the UK meat "food miles" palaver magnified.

    And 'conscious consumers' are exactly the type of premium market we need to be aiming for to get a greater return on our water and sun and petrochemical fertilisers.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’d keep stolen in quotes there. I guess if you’re a “minor” party, you’re fucked if you do, fucked if you don’t and fucked no matter what you do.

    Looking slightly above the electoral horse-trading, I think the Greens could say shifting the centre of political gravity – slowly, painfully and unevenly – is also what green politics is about.

    I clearly recall reading a quote from the Greens a few years ago (maybe it was on their website, but I can’t find it any more) that basically said their ultimate aim was to put themselves all out of a job – by having their policies eventually picked up and adopted by the larger ‘mainstream’ parties.

    Which seems to me to be the ultimate in political altruism really. I think it’s pretty cool – shows me that they care more about having their policies implemented than they do about gaining power for themselves.

    You can see another example of that thinking within the Canadian Green party. From Wikipedia:

    The ecumenical approach (expressing affinities with all Canadian political tendencies and making cases to voters on all parts of the left-right spectrum) has been advocated by those who believe their success can also be measured by the degree to which other parties adopt Green Party policies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Imagine the sympathy if Bronagh had an affair ... 20 years of Key?

    Laughed my face off to that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman, in reply to steven crawford,

    It isn’t unorthodox to say that those products are often manufactured in factories.

    Food, drinking water and oxygen? I... erm... would grant that it is perhaps a drearily conventional position, but unless I'm very much mistaken the consensus position does seem to be that a significant role in their provision is played by a biosphere.

    And that the ”natural environment” is often hostile toward them.

    I can only assume here that we're operating out of very different definitions for one or more of the words in this conversation.

    Erm... possibly by "unorthodox" you mean something like "comprehensible"? Otherwise I think it'd have to be more than one word.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    *A wee footnote to the original post: the cafe in question is Triniti of Silver, not Trinity of Silver. (Used to be my local; great blueberry pancakes.)

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 433 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Cunliffe will do better in the house as Leader and would, however, he may be bypassed in f avour of Shearer which won't bode well for Labour.

    Cunliffe has the sense of humour - His observation when interveiwed by Paul Henry on Radio live along the lines that - "If Judith Collins was the last woman left on earth the human race would cease to exist", was funny and rude.

    Shearer seems wooden, I douibt he would have lowered himself to the level. which is Paul Henry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to DexterX,

    If Judith Collins was the last woman left on earth the human race would cease to exist”, was funny and rude.

    Shearer seems wooden, I douibt he would have lowered himself to the level. which is Paul Henry.

    Now that's what I call an endorsement.

    L

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    ...possibly by “unorthodox” you mean something like “comprehensible”?

    Speaking of which, how did the 'Zine Fest go on Saturday?

    and may I remind readers that there is an excellent exhibition of 8 new Kathryn Madill paintings on at City Art in Disraeli st, Christchurch until December 22.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5049 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    They’ve played down cannabis reform and consciously made themselves appear less radical and less left-wing.

    All the Greens did this year was control their own narrative by presenting a consistent and tight message about policy priorities. But seriously, bringing 100,000 kids out of poverty, using government money to create 100,000 green jobs, and nationalising the entire nation's irrigation schemes so kids can swim in rivers is all extremely left-wing policy, at least as far as anything you'll hear in NZ since 1984, eh Russell.

    They didn't "play down" anything. They played up what they are going to try and do in the next three years given the likely make up of government, and the rest of their policy got ignored like it usually does because Labour and National game the election funding and debates and every other damn thing to keep everyone else quiet and out of the press.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/nz2011

    Greens. Liberal Left. Get used to it. NB: Labour is a right wing party, just not far right like National.

    Since Nov 2006 • 480 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to BenWilson,

    Tom, I’m yet to be convinced that you know what either the Greens or Labour stand for. The Green Party’s policy is extremely clearly laid out on their website, as it has been for many years now. It has changed a remarkably small amount. What Labour stands for changes every year.

    This is roughly akin to comparing the Labour party policy platforms to those of the church, and being shocked that while the church preaches eternal verities the party changes tune every so often. The Labour party changes policy often because the world often changes. The Greens don't have to, because they are in no danger of ever being a government. (In many ways the Green policy platform is a facade. What is actually Green policy is the negotiating posture, and that changes.)

    It is also interesting to observe that many people here seem to have this belief that somehow, it isn't fair for the Labour party to go after Green votes, to try and be the biggest possible party. I find that very odd. (The visceral distaste for labour is quite interesting. Labour, unfortunately, are apparently fundamentally stupid, craven, etc etc.)

    (sub note re food miles. NZ actually has pretty attractive food miles, given that most NZ farms are within a few hundred kilometres of a port, and NZ land transport is pretty good. I suspect it takes less co2 to get from the Waikato to the Pearl Delta than from many parts of China.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    This is roughly akin to comparing the Labour party policy platforms to those of the church, and being shocked that while the church preaches eternal verities the party changes tune every so often.

    I'm curious why you think anyone would think comparing the tribulations of being Labour with the tribulations of being a religious church should inspire any sympathy for Labour's plight. The endless hypocrisies of organized religion have been barriers to human progress for many millenia, and still are. Is there something good about that?

    The Labour party changes policy often because the world often changes.

    In what way did the world change that made CGT and compulsory savings, and raising the retirement age *after* the boomer bulge retires, suddenly become reasonable? The Greens have had policies for many years for these things because the demographic bulge and the tax avoidance factors have been obvious for at least 20 years.

    In case you didn't notice, the Greens have been in government several times, too. They were a big part of the reason Labour got 9 years.

    In many ways the Green policy platform is a facade. What is actually Green policy is the negotiating posture, and that changes.

    You'll need to flesh this point out before I have any clue what you're on about. Policy is policy, and the Greens make it clear. Then they negotiate with whoever gets the votes, just like everyone does in our democracy. It's not a facade that they want their policies implemented.

    It is also interesting to observe that many people here seem to have this belief that somehow, it isn't fair for the Labour party to go after Green votes, to try and be the biggest possible party. I find that very odd.

    I don't think it's unfair. I think it's stupid, because it harms Labour's chances. What on earth is the point of trying to take votes that would naturally align with you anyway? It's like conquering a friendly town when you're at war with a real enemy. You end up with a war on two fronts. I'm really not picking Labour to win that war. You could find the two fronts making an alliance, and taking more from you than they lose, nibbling away the softest parts, the demographics that have been successively friended and then unfriended over the years and have just got sick of it.

    I know it's hard to believe that times, they are a changing. But times do change. Nothing breeds uncertainty like too much certainty - that's why the housing bubble got so bad - because you can't lose, investing in property, right?

    I'm not suggesting that the Greens are going to overtake Labour any time soon. But I do think Labour would get a lot more out of working out what happened to the 10% of voters who dropped off the voting game altogether, and making some kind of assault on the high party vote that National got, many of whom must have come from Labour. Taking those votes counts twice, because it's a vote off the opposition. Taking votes off the Greens counts zero when it comes time to put a coalition together.

    Is there something difficult about this maths?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8591 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    In case you didn’t notice, the Greens have been in government several times, too. They were a big part of the reason Labour got 9 years.

    Um, no they haven't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to tussock,

    All the Greens did this year was control their own narrative by presenting a consistent and tight message about policy priorities. But seriously, bringing 100,000 kids out of poverty, using government money to create 100,000 green jobs, and nationalising the entire nation’s irrigation schemes so kids can swim in rivers is all extremely left-wing policy, at least as far as anything you’ll hear in NZ since 1984, eh Russell.

    The Greens were fortunate that they never had to suffer anyone actually scrutinising those gloriously aspirational numbers. I don't actually object to that sort of goal-setting, but it's perilous to put too much store by it.

    But the contention that the Greens haven't moved at all to the centre is bizarre. I suspect the blue-green vote was a bigger factor in this election than in any previous one. It worked for them.

    Sue Bradford wrote fairly stingingly about the shift on Pundit in June, and again in July.

    Adam Bennett in June:

    Sure there were plenty of folks who might fit the old stereotype, but there seemed to be a higher proportion - even than at last year's AGM - of younger types who looked as though they could work for a bank.

    At least some of them still do.

    New arrival at number 15 on the party list James Shaw makes enough dough working overseas for half a year at a time as a management consultant for the likes of BP, Amex and Coca-Cola to sustain himself while working the rest of the year for the Greens.

    One imagines that doesn't endear him to the likes of the party member who yelled "class traitor" at the mention of Social Development Minister Paula Bennett during Ms Turei's speech.

    I think the Greens had to broaden their appeal -- how many times did Norman say "smart green prosperity"? -- and it worked for them. But claiming nothing has ever changed in the party's orientation is delusional.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Elsewhere, the usually sensible Tapu Misa gets over-heated:

    It’s true [Cunliffe] isn’t overly endowed with humility but this seems to me more in the order of a precocious teenager who hasn’t learned to dissemble than an egomaniac. Like someone with Asperger’s, he seems to lack the kind of filter that would have kept him from, say, making that sexist comment about Judith Collins during the campaign. [Emphasis added]

    What. The. What. I think I know what Misa meant to say, and there are people around here (including our host) who have a lot more day-to-day experience of living with Aspies. But I can’t say my relationship with Jimmy Rae-Brown, who is a great chap, has been marked by out-gassings about the post-apocalyptic MILF-ness of various senior female politicians. Dunno, perhaps he's atypically neurologically atypical :), but I'd like to think columnists are lot less inclined than they used to be to used "schizoid" as lazy, misleading and insensitive short-hand for "indecisive" or "ill-tempered". Perhaps the Herald Style Book could become equally mindful that being an obnoxious twatcock and on the autistic spectrum are not synonyms.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to tussock,

    Greens. Liberal Left. Get used to it. NB: Labour is a right wing party, just not far right like National.

    Oh dear. I suspect a lot of New Zealand Green supporters are going to feel like Liberal Democrat voters, c. 2010, in the not-too-distant future. Many left-leaning LD voters put their fingers in their ears and went "LALALALA" whenever Clegg and his Orange Book mates opened their mouths, and imagined it was still the party of Ashdown and Kennedy. All I can say is: look out. Listen to the change in rhetoric and realize that it actually says something about the way the party will play its electoral cards in the future.

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 433 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    NB: Labour is a right wing party, just not far right like National.

    Yeah, well I don't see the point of arguing statements like that because they're basically impossible to falsify. Ask your average Tea Bagger in the United States, and every center-right government in the Anglophone world with any kind of welfare, public education and public healthcare might as well be North Korea. From where they're standing, they're right.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps the Herald Style Book could become equally mindful that being an obnoxious twatcock and on the autistic spectrum are not synonyms.

    Damn right.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I have never really understood the simplicity of left/right political assessments. Just like all that hogwash about one side of the brain having exclusive control over creative thinking.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to BenWilson,

    In case you didn't notice, the Greens have been in government several times, too. They were a big part of the reason Labour got 9 years.

    Th Greens were not part of the 2005 Coalition - which was Labour, Progressives, United Future and NZ First.

    Th Greens had an agreement with Labour to abstain from voting on confidence and supply issues - they were not part of the govt.

    Taking votes off the Greens counts zero when it comes time to put a coalition together.

    I don't think the Greens are anywhere near ready to part of any Govt - their role, as I see it, is to sit on the sidelines developing and advancng "pure" policy initiatives which will have some influence on the Lab/Nats.

    With

    CGT and compulsory savings, and raising the retirement age.

    Labour, are to my mind, effectively pursuing three strikes and we are out. Lab had nine years to do CGT, CompulsoryDavings and rasining the reitement age and didn't because they wanted to remain in Govt.

    With Labour pursuing their current policy direction/settings they will effectively gift Key a
    thrid term.

    Whoever becomes the next Labour Leader will have a hard jup until 2014 - Labour are unlikely to be the next Govt. The green party vote could well play a significant role in keeping Labour out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

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