Hard News by Russell Brown

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  • Seriatim,

    I'd hoped for a post here to throw some light on Russell Brown's comment that the result seems "disastrous ... for the prospects of the centre-left". How is having a strong base with unions and Maori damaging for the projects of the 'centre-left'? Who then is the 'centre-left' , and what are these 'prospects' which have been so tragically annihilated?

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Northshoreguynz,

    OMG, The Labour Party puts a selection process into place, that is as democratic as the party wants. Following that process the party selects a leader. I can’t for the life of me see the problem.

    The whole country democratically elected the current parlament, and I do see problems in that. I don't think it was a good choice.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Northshoreguynz, in reply to steven crawford,

    The point is about the democracy, not necessarily the result.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    In the previous contest, I was hoping for a Shane Jones (leader) and Andrew Little (deputy) as an outcome. I suspect that would have been a very different general election.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Crawford,

    I am very sympathetic to those who supported Grant Robertson. He's a tremendously likable guy and of the four contenders is the most naturally talented in the house. Of all the candidates his values most closely matched mine.

    I fretted long and hard about my leadership vote. Eventually settling on Little 1, Robertson 2.

    I'd have voted for Robertson as leader instead of Goff in 2008 and Shearer in 2011.

    This time though, Robertson's problem was pitching himself as "the choice of the new generation" while refusing to look honestly at the failures of red team, let alone talk about rejuvenation. Labour has lost elections, but has also stagnated: a single new Labour MP entered the house this election via the general electorates.

    When I asked Robertson about his feelings on caucus his reply made clear that his loyalties lay with the same stale senior personalities who have overseen the decline of the party as an effective parliamentary force over the last two terms.

    Robertson and I disagree about the merits of caucus; fair enough. I disagree with Little about the merits of extending surveillance powers and CGT.

    But in 2014, after two historic defeats and a diminished caucus seemingly intent on self-preservation at the expense of the party as a viable political force, the best choice for me seemed to be the candidate who best appreciated the need for change and declared themselves eager to raise parliamentary standards.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    As I happily acknowledge upfront, much of it is personal disappointment that a close friend didn’t get the job I think he’s made for. But beyond that, if Little was going to win, it should have been in a landslide. A marginal squeak-by on the basis of union executive diktat is the worst possible starting point.

    I agree with everything you've written.

    I'd also add that I'm deeply unimpressed with what Little has said on policy, and economic policy in particular. I don't think the capital gains tax policy was well sold (Cunliffe screwed it up badly in the debates) but it addresses a real problem that continues to hurt working people, who pay their taxes while property investors (who are now responsible for a large proportion of sales in the Auckland market) enjoy their tax-free gains. It hurts young people, too. As Parker kept pointing out, the CGT consistently polled better than Labour. And the idea that people didn't vote Labour because it proposed to gradually raise the superannuation age to 67 is just preposterous. But Little's already declared he's ditching both policies.

    I get that some people in the party (although, on the evidence, a minority) really hate Robertson, but I'm not really interested in Labour's internal factionalism. Nobody is. I just think this is a really terrible result, and Little doubtless being a decent chap doesn't really alter that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I agree with everything you’ve written.

    This makes me deeply uncomfortable and causes me to wonder where I've gone wrong :->

    We appear to be in some sort of weird dimension where you, I and David Farrar are all saying the same thing. Mark this moment as one for the ages … .

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As Parker kept pointing out, the CGT consistently polled better than Labour. And the idea that people didn’t vote Labour because it proposed to gradually raise the superannuation age to 67 is just preposterous. But Little’s already declared he’s ditching both policies.

    Not saying these are bad ideas, but I wonder if it isn't more likely an opposition wins elections based on broad-based ideology/principles (as opposed to detailed policy prescriptions) - then you bed yourself in on the TSY benches for at least a term before consulting with the wider public on such significant fiscal policy changes. Same as National did as a means to win those TSY benches - it promised no assets sales in its first term, it promised to retain WFF and so on and so forth... but behind these things that may have seemed alien to their conservative base - that conservative base still knew what they stood for.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    Mark this moment as one for the ages … .

    a disturbance in the Force?
    immanentize the eschaton !

    ... a glitch in the Matrix!

    ... a glitch in the Matrix?


    </deja view>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7866 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    This makes me deeply uncomfortable and causes me to wonder where I’ve gone wrong :->

    I find you all being in agreement with Bomber the scariest part.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I agree with you Russell that those policies are important and should be enacted. However, my impression (i.e. I can't back it up with any evidence) is that Andrew Little agreed with both those policies but did not want Labour to be losing votes for being the only partly to support them. Pragmatism or disingenuous? Everybody gets to decide.
    Presumably, your dream result was team Gracinda who, to me, represent the same Labour caucus just taking turns at being the leader but representing the same losing team from the last two elections.
    In Andrew Little I see somone with much less baggage who is not afraid to go biffo with Johnkey, and that's what I want to see.
    And I want him to support CGT and super at 67+.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Andrew Little talking about what he proposes, to Kathryn Ryan this morning (30 mins, audio options)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    If you are not happy with the result, there’s the door bozo.

    Really ? That sort of shoddy personal insult, as opposed to commenting on the actual facts, says a lot more about you than it does me.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Northshoreguynz, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    And when has Farrar ever been correct?

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As I happily acknowledge upfront, much of it is personal disappointment that a close friend didn’t get the job I think he’s made for.

    Ditto Andrew, sort of. Grant is a genuinely remarkable individual who I'd also have liked to be leader. However, Andrew certainly has many similar qualities that could well make him very successful.

    However, it troubles me that so many people in Labour are still talking about Labour, and in ways that play directly against unification, and still not talking about matters that impact on the electorate.

    I'm sorry if this is something that's been said upthread that I've not acknowledged.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Andrew Little talking about what he proposes, to Kathryn Ryan this morning (30 mins, audio options)

    The more I hear him the more I like him, already.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Northshoreguynz,

    If anyone currently in the party has an issue with that, then they can fuck off. Mahuta, while being worthy is unknown, Parker too dry, and Robertson a political self serving rat.

    Wow, Northshoreguynz, perhaps you can see a problem with demanding unquestioning fealty from people you're quite happy to call "self-serving rats". If you think that kind of mindset is good for anyone, I'd like to introduce you to the incoming Republican majority of the next Congress. This is what political parties look like when they treat even the mildest criticism as heresy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Northshoreguynz,

    And Robertson is as pure as the driven snow in his support of whomever might be leader of the party.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Paul Williams,

    However, it troubles me that so many people in Labour are still talking about Labour, and in ways that play directly against unification, and still not talking about matters that impact on the electorate.

    Less than 24 hours after the result of our leadership election has been announced? I think it's okay to keep on talking it over for a few days. If people are still talking about it say, when the New Year rolls around, then I'd be deeply worried. I'm hoping that the internal focus will shift by 2015, and preferably sooner. It would be much better if our focus goes outwards by the time this parliamentary recess is over. (The House sits again next Tuesday.)

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    to go biffo with Johnkey

    Framing politics as macho dick-measuring "biffo" goes a long way to explaining why more and more people are disengaged and cynical from a process they see as entirely divorced from their needs and values. That doesn't mean I expect, or even want, politics to be group hugs and sing-alongs. But oddly enough, I respond much better to people who don't treat me like a dribbling idiot.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Wow, he's talking UBI. Now I officially actually like him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis,

    Bam! Straight shooter Andrew Little aims from the lip

    "How are you going to beat John Key in 2017?"

    "What we won't be doing is what he has done now for so long, which is give the appearance of a happy-go-lucky chappy but run the vilest, nastiest smear machine we have ever seen in New Zealand politics. We will be calling him out on that."

    Is it just the joy of Spring or do I feel hope?

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    That is by far the best interview I've heard a Labour politician do in 7 years. He's clearly got a brain on him, and a lot of experience, and seems like a very good fast talker. I feel pretty stoked really. If he goes through with 70% of what he's talking about there, I might even switch back to voting Labour, and if you'd asked me that yesterday I'd have said that was impossible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    it troubles me that so many people in Labour are still talking about Labour

    Heard a bit of Robertson I think it was on RNZ this morning, promising to help stop that habit if it continues.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers,

    It was never going to be anything but close - had there been a universally popular candidate, Cunliffe would have been rolled six months ago.

    Little was branded as an outsider in New Plymouth six years ago, and has been fighting that ever since. Over the past three years I've encountered (and tried to avoid eye contact with) Jonathan Young a couple of dozen times around town, and seen Andrew Little once - it is said that Young will turn up to the opening of a jam jar. And yes, we are oil town and milk town - both pretty blue-thinking workforces.

    It's a sad indictment of the self-interest of New Zealanders that a party has to consider dropping policies that would clearly be in the best interests of the country and the majority of people because they are "vote losers". But being in opposition, Labour doesn't have the luxury National had of not actually having to announce any policy.

    Let's give it time. And lets hope that the Labour caucus shows a bit of loyalty and discipline - we don't need another "Cunliffe Holiday" farce.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 143 posts Report Reply

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