Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: News from home ...

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    and he’s vowing to dump all the intellectual capital built up by David Parker.

    To be fair, unless Parker is flat out lying he's been saying that he made it perfectly clear to caucus that he wasn't interested in continuing as finance spokesman no matter how it all panned out. And honestly, I don't blame the guy considering Little's public statements on the CGT he played a major role in designing and has defended have been... tepid at best.

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

  • DownbeaDdan,

    Nope, not missing anything....
    cant see a bright future for the party myself, after that choice.

    Hamilton • Since Jul 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    Cunliffe not ruling out accepting finance.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Well he did kick some arse on the affiliate vote. When 2 out of three groups show tepid preference for one character, but the third group has a very strong opinion the other way, well...I guess that's how they set their system up. The affiliates really didn't like Robertson.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • warren mac,

    tough crowd

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    An utter balls-up by Labour. Grant Robertson hosed in in both the caucus and party membership votes.

    It should've just been solely on who caucus voted for, simple as that. Instead, Labour remains deeply divided and backing a leader that doesn't have the wide confidence of his caucus or party membership.

    Labour will remain unelectable while this form of leadership voting process remains.

    Andrew Little is undoubtably a decent, good, well-meaning man. But like, Cunliffe, Shearer and Goff, he has - no pun intended - little public appeal. He can't even win New Plymouth against a National backbencher.

    The British Labour Party were hampered by the same leadership voting process in the '80s to mid-'90s and they too suffered having a donkey imposed upon them by the unions, contrary to the wishes of caucus.

    It wasn't until that changed to a caucus-only vote that they gained a strong, popular leader and thus government. It beggars belief that the NZ Labour Party haven't learnt from the mistakes of their British cousins.

    The Labour Party is its own worst enemy these days. I wish it wasn't, but it really needs to chuck out this voting process for its own good, both short and long term.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Gawd, I hope that Tony Blair isn't meant to be our saviour, though. It's bad enough that our right wing PM wants to join the War On X.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • NSA, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    The British Labour Party were hampered by the same leadership voting process in the ’80s to mid-’90s and they too suffered having a donkey imposed upon them by the unions, contrary to the wishes of caucus.

    It wasn’t until that changed to a caucus-only vote that they gained a strong, popular leader and thus government. It beggars belief that the NZ Labour Party haven’t learnt from the mistakes of their British cousins.

    You are aware that Labour’s opinion poll lead was shown to be as high as 23% in early May 1994 before John Smith’s death? Sure he replaced the trade union block vote with “One member, one vote”, but as Andrew Marr characterised him; he was “a placid, secure, self certain Scottish lawyer with a very boring name” – who incidentally was bound to win the 1997 election.

    As opposed to say:

    The second is that Grant really can drink beer. And when I say he really can drink beer, I mean he really can drink beer. I won’t tarnish the reputation of the University of Otago by revealing the basis for my knowledge on this subject, but let’s just say that in an inter-flat keg race he provided roughly the equivalent team advantage to Jonah Lomu at the ’95 World Cup.

    Yeah, whoopee that guy.

    If it hadn't been a "shellacking" I'd happily concede to some of the premature dismissals, and be more partial to the pundits' expertise but as things are this result is nothing if not a renewal of sorts. As Sofie said:

    I’m not into personality politics so refuse to believe they have lost the plot before they started. I’m happy to let him make his way and see what becomes of Labour here on in. I don’t give a shit whether he’s conservative or flamboyant but I would never have either of that as a prerequisite to do the job. sheesh.

    Fort Meade, MD • Since Sep 2014 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Let's see how things go - it seems a bit early to be writing people off. I hope David Parker can be persuaded to stay involved.

    If Labour can develop a message that appeals to voters - and is prepared to be patient, realistic and disciplined in the way it communicates with the public - there's no reason it can't succeed in the medium term.

    Since Nov 2006 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to BenWilson,

    Gawd, I hope that Tony Blair isn’t meant to be our saviour, though. It’s bad enough that our right wing PM wants to join the War On X.

    Well no, of course not. I was specifically referring to his initial popular appeal to voters and uniting the British Labour Party, not his evenrtual, shoddy legacy as a war apologist.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Well I just hope that those who are genuine Labour supporters (all 6000+) of you tuck in behind the present Leader and do what it takes to build a creditable opposition

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 575 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim,

    Yes, Parker has made it clear that he let Caucus know ages ago that if he didn’t win the leadership he wouldn’t want finance; it’s not a reaction to Little winning.
    Re: Little – I agree we should wait and see. Look how widely admired Nanaia Mahuta has become since she’s had a chance to reveal herself.
    Robertson may have ‘hosed in’ in the Caucus and Party votes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he would have been the best person. I think Andrew Little has got the potential to evolve into a much more deeply popular leader.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Grant McDougall,

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

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2204 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    If he's still there in three years I'll be amazed ... and I'll be finding another party for which to vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4432 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    There seems to be a bit of unease about the way the affiliates voted and the affect of that on such a close vote. Apparently only the Service and Food Workers union allowed their members to vote. The EPMU and some of the others block voted. Doesn't seem the most democratic way to me. There is a word for it going around Facebook - 'brocialism'.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3181 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Seriatim,

    I think Andrew Little has got the potential to evolve into a much more deeply popular leader.

    Both Margaret Thatcher and David Lange seemed happy to be described as "deeply religious" regarding their personal beliefs. In practice it was a kind of PR-speak for don't bother digging. In that sense, "deeply popular" seems a fair enough fit for a bloodless wonk already rejected by the voters of New Plymouth.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    … but “not yet entirely despised” seems a fairer fit.
    Though there’s still time before the next election!

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1847 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Wrong. UK Labour does not have a caucus-only vote. Nor do the UK Conservatives, or Liberal Democrats. Nor do most parties in other democracies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1282 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    I was specifically referring to his initial popular appeal to voters and uniting the British Labour Party, not his evenrtual, shoddy legacy as a war apologist.

    I got that, but if we're talking about learning from mistakes, then surely ever letting that shitstick become leader of Labour was actually a mistake. If he couldn't have got in because the unions hated him, then I applaud their ability to judge character.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    An utter balls-up by Labour. Grant Robertson hosed in in both the caucus and party membership votes

    Well, no.

    Robertson beat Little by the relatively narrow margins of 55/45 among Party Members and 56/44 among the caucus (18 MPs to 14 MPs). Not sure I'd call that "hosed in" exactly !!!

    I must admit that (as someone who mildly favoured Little), I grimaced when I first saw the breakdowns. But only because I could guess the all-too-predictable MSM attack lines: Unions foist leader on Party etc etc

    But overall, I'm reasonably happy (without being wildly enthusiastic) that Little won. I can only hope that all the Robertson acolytes - including those who have hitched their career-wagon to his leadership juggernaut - get all the Darien Fenton-like spite and venom out of their systems over the next couple of days. Anything else is sheer self-indulgence at the Left's expense.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Bee,

    Am I allowed to give one hoot only? Have disengaged almost entirely, which I find astounding after 30 years of voting Labour.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to NSA,

    You are aware that Labour's opinion poll lead was shown to be as high as 23% in early May 1994 before John Smith's death ?

    Spot on. Amazing how often people trot out the myth that the British Labour Party was unelectable until Blair won the leadership. During much of Smith's leadership, Labour oscillated between early 40s and early 50s, while the Tories very rarely made it above 30%. I haven't worked out the average Labour poll lead over the Smith period but looks to me like something in the region of 14-17 points.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Joe Wylie ...already rejected by the voters of New Plymouth

    Grant McDougall He can't even win New Plymouth against a National backbencher

    Oh, do me a favour ! New Plymouth has always been a highly conservative, Right-leaning town. Duynhoven managed to build-up a significant personal majority only when Labour and the Left were in the ascendant. By 2008, he'd lost the seat to National.

    It goes without saying that the electoral fortunes of Labour/the Left are at an all-time low. Expecting Little to win an historically-Right-leaning seat in these circumstances is silly (or disingenuous). Why not leave that kind of spin to National and the MSM rather than contributing to it - presumably as a result of sour grapes.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mr Mark,

    Well, no.

    Robertson beat Little by the relatively narrow margins of 55/45 among Party Members and 56/44 among the caucus (18 MPs to 14 MPs). Not sure I'd call that "hosed in" exactly !!!

    He was the first choice of 16% of his own caucus and 26% of the membership. Robertson was the first choice of 44% of his caucus and 38% of the members. That's a big margin. Even in the two-horse race of Round 3, he won those sectors by 10+ points -- that's a commanding head-to-head margin. Why bother being a Labour Party member when you can be trumped by a tribal bloc vote like that?

    The result ends the leadership aspirations of Robertson, easily the best campaigner in the field, and pretty clearly lays waste to the coherent economic philosophy that Parker had been patiently building. I could be wrong, but for now I'm of the view that this result borders on tragedy for Labour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22688 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    My personal choice would have been for Robertson & Ardern. What Little needs to do now is appoint the runners-up to the senior front bench, and stay on message with a bit of help from James Carville and Abe Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

    And though he does hail from New Plymouth, he's still a Wellington man at heart, and I'd say his home town has told him "you haven't been one of us in years". Instead of continuing to win the unwinnable, he'd be more appropriate for Rongotai if/when Annette King retires, given he usually lives in the area.

    And here's a fascinating insight, courtesy of NZ Computerworld's Darren Greenwood, written at the time the Employment Relations Act was being passed nearly 15 years ago:

    A few days ago, I spoke to Andrew Little, National Secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, which covers the IT industry. I was hoping for a blood-curdling story about "dinosaurs" about to rampage through the IT sector and how it was "payback time".

    Maybe it was an act, but he seemed the voice of moderation. Yes, the EPMU would campaign to attract members, but there was nothing specific aimed at IT. Apparently, it is up to the workers to want to be represented and the union will do its best to represent them, but only if they want it to. The unions were not going to "get the jackboots on and stamp around," he says. "Our job is about giving employees the choice."

    He stressed the line about "good faith" in the workplace and how unions were not same beast as they were. Voluntary membership means they can only survive by truly representing their members, not by doing what some union official wants. Thus, it seems, we are not going back to the pre-ECA days, when the worker unions "held the country to ransom". And gone are the ECA days when the "Bosses' Unions" - the Business Roundtable, Employers Federation, etc, did likewise.

    Hopefully, there will now be some kind of happy medium, with one side realising the business has to make a profit to survive, and the other realising workers have to be treated well to do their best, which is actually in the long-term interests of the enterprise.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5407 posts Report Reply

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