Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Limping Onwards

969 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 39 Newer→ Last

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Since you weren't prepared to even read my argument before making your counter, why should I bother? I've had this argument a hundred times with Labour apologists who just want to make excuses, and it always goes this way.

    So: sigh.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    there'll be lots of policy released in the lead up to the election

    It's going to need to be *promoted* properly, which is my concern. Most voters don't eagerly seek out manifestos. Labour and other parties have proved able to engage the public before, so presumably they can again. However I do not see why that should mean sitting on their hands until after the election.

    It's an election they should believe they have at least a chance of winning, given what it seems the government will present as their cunning plan for our salvation - more service slashing and asset sales. I'm inclined to agree with Lew's position that Key's readiness to openly talk about asset sales is one sign of a terminally limp opposition.

    If you can't campaign successfully against that kind of nastiness (by pointing to the last time it was unleashed, but updating your framing for today), then it's time to get another job.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    But you accuse them of not having defined what they were about, which quite frankly they have - the two New Zealands speech is just about as clear a statement as you'll get.

    I'd be interesting in hearing if polling suggests most voters are aware of that speech, let alone can say what it means for them and their family. As I say, most voters don't seek out manifestos.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Che Tibby,

    with National heading to a near-60-seat haul, the Maori Party could get down to as few as 5 seats (1 seat + 4 list, i.e. ACT this time round), and the Nats would still be safe.

    They currently have 4 seats and 1 of those is looking in trouble so that kind of blows your theory out of the water.

    Also I'd guess theres more than 1 or 2 rednecks not happy with the Nats being so cosy with the MP and they'll give their votes to the alternative, groan, creak and out of the crypt steps Winston.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Since you weren't prepared to even read my argument before making your counter, why should I bother? I've had this argument a hundred times with Labour apologists who just want to make excuses, and it always goes this way.

    So: sigh.

    Actually I did read your post, I just think I'm entitled to draw the lines at the comments. I find the analysis partial and some of the conclusions not borne out by what happened with National in very similar circumstances. You also cite some of the contraints under which Labour operates, but if they're used as extenuating circumstances you just go into "excuses - sigh" mode, which isn't helpful. Your insistence that Labour has failed to define itself is also empirically incorrect.

    As a minor side note: if you think I'm Labour apologist you might be ever so slightly misreading my politics.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    I'd be interesting in hearing if polling suggests most voters are aware of that speech, let alone can say what it means for them and their family. As I say, most voters don't seek out manifestos.

    Labour critics need to stop wanting it every way. It is one thing to say that they didn't define themselves, another to say that the public didn't hear them. The speech was widely reported and commented upon. A lot of people just don't follow politics except in the very last weeks of a campaign. Can't really blame Phil Goff for that really. What's he gonna do, deliver the speech naked while tied to some rail tracks just so people will pay attention?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Sacha, there was a draft economic policy put out a while ago…M

    I can’t find it – Labour’s website seems to be mostly about Phil Goff’s lifestyle block, which sounds idyllic…

    I found this speech by David Cunliffe, which seems to be very strong on the fiscal rectitude and incremental change.
    Chants: what do we want – incremental improvements! when do we want them – in due course!

    Just as a for instance, they talk about stopping money disappearing to Australian banks – but all they have as a solution is giving Kiwibank a bit more scope to expand (they currently have maybe 5% market share – grow that at 20% for three years and they’ll have 9% – that’s still 91% foreign ownership).

    Or, in terms of balancing the playing field between earners and asset holders, they talk about removing the LAQC loophole. That still leaves a situation where if I buy a beach house (or lifestyle block) for $2mln, keep it five years and sell it for $3mln, I’ve made a million dollars which I don’t pay a penny of tax on. But work hard all year and make $80k, and I’m taxed at full marginal rates.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Your insistence that Labour has failed to define itself is also empirically incorrect.

    Again, any research results to back that up.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate,

    I think, as a lefty, that the worst possible outcome of the election would be National with an outright majority (with Dunne basically being National), and the second worst would be another National-Act coalition.

    With that in mind i'd not be completely pissed off if the opposition parties (all of them) were effective enough to eliminate at least those two outcomes.

    If they come to a conclusion that they can't win, then at least find a way of preventing the right from having carte blanche to do whatever they want. Then build on that result for 2014.

    I'd still hate it, but at least i'd know it could have been worse & wasn't.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    Again, any research results to back that up.

    What do you mean research results? For crying out loud: Phil Goff gave a major speech that was widely reported upon in which he delineated very clear differences with National. He's not empowered to beam this into the brains of the electorate. To think that this constitutes a failure means to ignore pretty comprehensively how our society works I think.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    It is one thing to say that they didn't define themselves, another to say that the public didn't hear them.

    If you define yourself in a forest... :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    A forest is pretty much what New Zealand is, in terms of political discourse.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I believe the measure of success is whether the message landed, don't you? Not whether it was delivered.

    In a way that's a microcosm of Labour's problem: not grasping their real task, and blaming the audience for not listening properly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Giovanni, citing those constraints *is* making excuses, *is* being an apologist for poor performance.

    You cite the “two nations” speech as ‘who Labour is’, but one speech doesn’t tell us that – and that speech is just one of a series of somewhat contradictory positioning statements the party has made this term as it tries to figure out who the hell it is and stands for. You might also recall the speech with the title ‘Nationhood’ given by Phil Goff on 26 November 2009, which was basically an appeal to racist-populist ‘Waitakere Man’ sentiment. And there are others. Which of these are the ‘real’ Labour? Your claim that they have clearly differentiated themselves from National is by no means empirically proven – it rests on your cherry-picking results just as I initially alleged.

    My argument, on the other hand, is supported by – I’m quoting myself from my own comments to that post here, since you won’t read them: “a wide variety of both hard and soft data: poll and by-election results, media coverage, policy and political critique, and the government’s apparently fearless approach to the election”.

    Being that as it is you don’t get to argue a null hypothesis that Labour’s uselessness isn’t proven, or provable. You have to refute the empirical details which exist: the poll results, the by-election results, the tone of media coverage and balance of public commentary, and most crucially the audacity of the government’s re-election platform.

    Of course, you can make excuses about all those if you like – the polls are misleading, the media are biased, the talking heads are full of shit, people just aren’t paying attention to the things they should because of disaster porn, Labour’s foray into redneckery aren’t ‘real’ Labour; the Nats eat baby-paste on toast for breakfast – I’ve heard ’em all before. But actually, down here in the real world, those metrics are what we use to measure the performance of a parliamentary opposition.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    In a way that's a microcosm of Labour's problem: not grasping their real task, and blaming the audience for not listening properly.

    If you prefer to assume that the audience is some sort of Athenian square, be my guest. Let me know how that works for you.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    To cut a long story short, the differences between Goff and Key seem to parallel that of Al Gore and Dubya. Goff and Gore have/had policy and intellect on their side, but little matching charisma. Conversely, Key and Dubya are/were highly charismatic irrespective of actual policy quality.

    @Lew: parallels could also be drawn with Howard Dean in the 2004 US primaries. He started out strongly with an innovative Internet-based campaign, but eventually faltered after attempting to pander to the 'Dixie-waving pickup truck' vote. Maybe Goff perceives 'political correctness' as a key reason why Labour lost 2008, and is over-correcting in the other direction?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Sacha,

    In a way that’s a microcosm of Labour’s problem: not grasping their real task, and blaming the audience for not listening properly.

    This is exactly it.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    My argument, on the other hand, is supported by -- I'm quoting myself from my own comments to that post here, since you won't read them: "a wide variety of both hard and soft data: poll and by-election results, media coverage, policy and political critique, and the government’s apparently fearless approach to the election".

    It's not. That just proves that National is doing well and that Labour is not making any headway. It doesn't say why Labour is doing badly, nor how it could do better, nor in fact whether it could do better at this point of the cycle. There are no counterfactuals. It may be reasonable to posit that if Goff was more personable and likeable he may have better numbers, and that the party could have scored better points in certain situations, or avoided having scandals of its own to account for. But it really doesn't tell us anything about what they should be doing, including many of the suggestions you put forward. I personally believe the time has come to risk some of these unknowns and just replace the leader. But I may very well be wrong.

    You might also recall the speech with the title 'Nationhood' given by Phil Goff on 26 November 2009, which was basically an appeal to racist-populist 'Waitakere Man' sentiment. And there are others. Which of these are the 'real' Labour?

    That speech is entirely consistent with the Two New Zealands speech. They both appeal to the racist populist Waitakere Man sentiment.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    In a way that's a microcosm of Labour's problem: not grasping their real task, and blaming the audience for not listening properly.

    In other words, preaching to the choir? The Business Roundtable has always been holier-than-thou and thinks anyone who disagrees with them has a picture of Stalin hanging on their wall - and Labour do need to steer clear of stooping to their level.

    For their sake, Labour should also get some real PR people - a Brian Edwards or someone else of that calibre.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    If you prefer to assume that the audience is some sort of Athenian square

    I don't even know what that means (lack of classics education?).

    Giovanni, you introduced the term "empirically incorrect". I'm saying it pays to measure the right thing.

    You know better than most because of your educational specialisation how meaning is constructed. Reading out a speech is not the same as creating agreement and commitment with an audience. Polling (especially internal party ones) is meant to measure some of the latter. I don't see how that's a particularly controversial observation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Yes, I remember reading Keith’s post Sacha. Looking at the above statement there are different interpretations to Keith’s conclusion. As Russell said about me, just because Keith sees it one way does not make it true, it is just his opinion that it is fair that the top 3% of income earners pay 26% of the income tax base.

    I'm no economist (nor should anyone be so), but I think the numbers quoted mislead.

    It's not that the top 1% pay 15% of the tax take, and 3% pay 26%, it's actually that out of all the money earned by everyone, the top 1% earn say 40% of that money, and the next 3% earn say another 35% of that money (which is a definition of being rich). Contributing only 15% of that income towards the total tax take from that 40% of the total income paid to 1% of the taxpaying population is frankly criminal.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    My two cents ... Annette King should fall on her sword to save Goff's leadership, just as David Caygill did to save Helen Clark's. King was a great minister, particularly in the first term of the Clark government, but today offers next to nothing, and is unable to even land a punch on the walking disaster that is Basher Bennett.

    Promote someone younger and/or more energetic to the Deputy Leadership (no, not you Maryann Street). Get the cantankerous and negative Andrew Little out of the news (thankfully his presidency is ending). Develop a decapitation strategy targeting weak National ministers in key portfolios (cough, education, cough, welfare).

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I personally believe the time has come to risk some of these unknowns and just replace the leader.

    I believe the problem is broader than that - and Labour is not the whole opposition either. I want to see commitment from all those with the privilege of being members of parliament to take this fight seriously.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Craig

    On the bright side, at least Labour here isn’t seriously facing the downright sadistic beating voters handed to the New South Wales ALP over the weekend.

    It is more of an indictment on the Libs that they were not able to kick out a corrupt state administration years ago. Australian State politics, a foetid, festering carbuncle on the name of democracy....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I'd say Goff was closer to a figure like John Hewson or Iain Duncan-Smith than Gore. Gore, as dull as he was, did inspire some people (he did get more votes than Bush) whereas Hewson / IDS were totally unattractive to voters and had no chance in their elections - is there anyone out there that finds Goff appealing at all?

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 39 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.