Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Five further thoughts

465 Responses

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  • Ross Mason,

    Even where voters collectively chose to return their Labour MPs to Parliament, they generally gave their party votes to National.

    I have been out around Wgtn today and that fact kept being trotted out from friends and people I met. It’s hit a nerve alright. Going through the electorates last night as the numbers rolled in I couldn’t believe the contrast. I kept going back to check who actually won the freaking electorate!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1582 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    I don’t think it’s viable for Cunliffe to stay on after this.

    I wonder if part of the reason that voters have not seen Labour as fit to govern is the number of leaders they've gone through in the past electoral term (and the internal divisions within Labour that are highlighted during each campaign for leadership).

    Certainly this point been put to me by quite a few people -- though, of course, I'm not claiming it as a scientific sample of opinion..

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Tony P,

    You're right about education. Their push now will be to destabilize the NZEI and PPTA, more charter schools, more unqualified teachers in classrooms and a continuation with the IES (paying some principals and teachers extra to work in other schools) I wouldn't be surprised to see bulk funding rear its ugly head again. None of their education policies directly affect children in the classroom. it's all about applying a business model to education so that a profit can be made from it by a few people/companies. Expect also a ramping up of the meme around the quality of teaching. This is why I'm angry and disappointed in the result as it's going to make my job more difficult and I can see schools and the children in them suffering. I have around 8 years left before retirement and I would like to enjoy them working with the children I teach. I'm not sure it's going to be that easy.

    Napier • Since Mar 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Haywood,

    I wonder if part of the reason that voters have not seen Labour as fit to govern is the number of leaders they've gone through in the past electoral term (and the internal divisions within Labour that are highlighted during each campaign for leadership).

    I did think about that. But the nature of the defeat is such that it's hard to not hold the leader responsible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It’s also hard not to hold Cunliffe responsible for the fact that Labour’s gone through so many leaders in that time period.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tony P,

    This is why I’m angry and disappointed in the result as it’s going to make my job more difficult and I can see schools and the children in them suffering. I have around 8 years left before retirement and I would like to enjoy them working with the children I teach. I’m not sure it’s going to be that easy.

    The demonisation of teachers makes me so sad. This is going to take a long time to undo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The last leadership election was probably the highpoint for Labour last term. It was the rest of the ill-disciplined, off-message, poorly planned stuff that was a mess.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Amen to that. Schools are schools not thriving hotbeds of social educational activists. Teachers see a world we never see.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    I had my wifes family, voting in their first election after movign from Ireland, who said to me "I really like Labour's policies, but I just can't vote for David Cunliffe" I don't think they were alone. I was on the fence earlier last night, but seeing Cunliffe's lack of humility over such a pantsing, I just don't see how he can remain.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to David Haywood,

    I wonder if part of the reason that voters have not seen Labour as fit to govern is the number of leaders they’ve gone through in the past electoral term (and the internal divisions within Labour that are highlighted during each campaign for leadership).

    Of course it is -- and Cunliffe did some rather smart positioning in his concession speech by explicitly invoking National's stability in leadership and caucus. Fairly or not, if a party is perceived as not being able to keep its own house in order why should anyone trust them to run a country?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12366 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    Honestly I think it's not just one leader that's the problem. It's time for an entire generation of Labour MP's to step down and admit they've had their time. Let some fresh blood come through and see what happens. The soundbites that kept coming out about how people should consider Labour because it's been around for so long were ridiculous.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • brin murray, in reply to Tony P,

    National have been a catastrophe for education. They fail to engage with professionals, have introduced National Standards which have resulted in a plummet in our OECD outcomes, and as you say push a business model which fails to recognise that the strength of our education system has always stemmed from collegiality and collaboration. I estimate that I now spend a minimum of 20% of my classroom time assessing or collecting data to meet the various reporting demands. That is lost face to face teaching and learning time. Their rhetoric sounds good, but the truth is that nothing National have done has been supported by sound evidence of improved learning outcomes, and the children are lost somewhere along the way.

    nelson • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Regarding the Labour leadership, it needs to revert to a caucus only vote and quickly.
    The "primaries" method has been a lemon, leaving no one really satisfied. It is very, very divisive, pitting caucus faction against faction against party faction against party faction.
    It leaves Labour open to the "controlled by the unions" meme, rightly or wrongly.

    Labour needs a damn good clean-out of its old fogies. There's also far too many people on their list purely as a sop to tokenism of some kind rather than merit. Why talented people like Hamish McDouall are languishing at #40 or so beggars belief.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 753 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    A bunch of my Facebook friends are beside themselves, and that doesn’t mean they’re out-of-touch wankers. They’re entitled to be disappointed that their priorities are not shared.

    And that's fair enough -- can't say I was a box of birds on July 28, 2002 if I'm being perfectly honest. But we held a free, fair and credible general election yesterday and you don't have to agree with the outcome to show some baseline civility to your fellow citizens -- all of them, because frankly there's more than a few people on the right who need to learn being a graceless winner isn't endearing either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12366 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    It astonishes me that National is perceived as keeping their own house in order. Their justice minister had to resign under allegations of corruption just before the election. A major Parliamentary ally who JK vouched for was just sentenced for electoral fraud.

    Nothing succeeds like success.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton,

    Agree with 1-4.
    But not 5.
    As soon as Labour does that, it is saying "we are not one of the big two mainstream parties, alongside National, but just one of a bunch of parties on the 'progressive' side of politics".
    That is to announce the end of the Labour Party as it has existed since 1931, when it first got over 30% and 1935 when it first went into government with 46% of the vote.
    It would be like National having said post the 2002 debacle that henceforth it would work in co-operation with the parties of the "centre, centre-right" including NZ First, Act and UF. (Of course, with the last two it does now but only because they are no longer anything of any consequence.)
    I don't think Labour needs to do all the soul-searching and so forth that people are talking about.
    The difference between the 20s and the 40s for National turned out to be two people, Brash and then Key. Labour just need to find some equivalents on the left/centre-left who can articulate something a good 40 to 50% of the population agrees with, and have personalities which a hunk of the population finds likeable or at least worthy of respect (like people felt about Helen Clark).
    Politics is about leadership. Always has been. Always will be.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I think Labour and the Greens need to start working closely together, like the government-in-waiting that they are.

    Worth remembering that the new young voters will have no memory of life under a Labour government, or of Labour being a strong boisterous opposition. They only know it as ineffectual.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Agree with 1-4.
    But not 5.

    5 is the one I'm least sure about, tbh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Depressed progressive seeks new partner.
    Just out of failed relationship so needs gentle handling.
    Not looking for a hook-up.
    My Preferences -
    Male
    Straight
    Handsome
    Caring
    Talkative
    Loyal
    No highfalutin academics please
    Auckland area but will relocate for the right person.

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    As soon as Labour does that, it is saying “we are not one of the big two mainstream parties, alongside National, but just one of a bunch of parties on the ‘progressive’ side of politics”.

    I'm not feeling your reasoning there, Matthew. Did the cessation of hostilities between Labour and the Alliance -- however awkward -- really do either party any harm?

    I don’t think Labour needs to do all the soul-searching and so forth that people are talking about.

    Worse result since 1922 strongly implies otherwise, IMO.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12366 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    FWIW, I thought Cunliffe was the best guy to take on Key, a view I still hold. I recognize the scale of the defeat and the leader needs to be accountable, but there are other bigger issues the party has to address as well. This is not the time for knee-jerk reactions, instead it should take time to analyse and consider.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I don’t think Labour needs to do all the soul-searching and so forth that people are talking about.

    Worse result since 1922 strongly implies otherwise, IMO.

    I do take Matthew’s point about leadership though. National without Key would be a very different proposition.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think 5 was Labour's big problem this election. The percentage of votes they were on basicily said:

    "A vote for Labour is a Vote for a Labour, Green, NZ First, Mana and Maori Coalition".

    I'd guess most voters will dislike at least one of those parties and I can't imagine them working togeather well.

    Which reminds me, I was looking at the Green's website earlier today and realised that almost all their policies are priced at $100-500 million. Pre-packaged coallition concessions.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to John Morrison,

    Everyone wants to knee-jerk, its the day after and a jerk feels right but a knee jerk is over too quickly to really appreciate its use , that's the problem of jerking.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'd love a moratorium on (public) political polling during the election campaign. I think the perception that the Nat victory was in the bag turned a lot of people off voting. And it encourages horse-race journalism, which debases all of us.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

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