Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Some Lines for Labour

326 Responses

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Danielle,

    I. Don’t. Get. It.

    And I never have, and never will, understand the cult of David Lange -- a man who I rather doubt history is going to be particularly kind to. 'Tis what it is.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Che Tibby,

    i think you just called me a bullshit artist

    answering that will cost you :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • A C Young,

    Come to think of it, I also can't believe that Labour supports the free trade agreement with the US as it stands, surely there would be a lot to be made of the fact that Pharmac, Employment law,intellectual property, Dairy farmers and numerous other things are under threat.

    I can't believe that they aren't trying to tap into the same part of the kiwi psyche that feels smug about opposing the US on nukes...especially since National seems so secretive about it.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2011 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    actually I think that the selling out Pharmac et al would be a really great wedge issue if only they'd apply a hammer to the other end

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    actually I think that the selling out Pharmac et al would be a really great wedge issue if only they'd apply a hammer to the other end

    Totally agree. Yet economic sovereighty is more likely to be Winston's domain at present. Struggling to imagine Goff pulling off "I believe in a strong New Zealand, master of our own destiny" etc.

    I can't believe that they aren't trying to tap into the same part of the kiwi psyche that feels smug about opposing the US on nukes

    Damn straight.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Sacha,

    well it's "John Key helping the Americans chipping away at our social welfare system" sort of billboard .....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    (to be fair it would go down equally well for the Greens)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    Don't worry we have "Well-known political commentator David Farrar" to keep them honest http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10725359

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to A C Young,

    Come to think of it, I also can’t believe that Labour supports...

    And you've accidentally put your finger on another serious credibility problem for Labour in general, and Goff in particular. (And one National has as well, in a slightly different way.) "It was totally different when we did it" and "we voted for it, but it's still evil" is political slight of hand that's difficult to pull off, and only works for so long before people figure out the trick.

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

  • Deborah,

    Well-known political commentator David Farrar

    Does anyone have the dead tree version? In the on-line version, you can click through to his disclosure statement where the information about working for the National party is down the page a bit, but I'm wondering what kind of disclosure there is in the print version.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • A C Young, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And you've accidentally put your finger on another serious credibility problem for Labour in general, and Goff in particular. (And one National has as well, in a slightly different way.) "It was totally different when we did it" and "we voted for it, but it's still evil" is political slight of hand that's difficult to pull off, and only works for so long before people figure out the trick.

    Actually this makes me kind of sad because some of the nuance does seem useful.

    "We voted for this because if we didn't a worse thing was going to be voted in" is a crappy message to try to sell people but the alternative (standing by while even crappier things go into law) is awful too (it's a vote winning option but it results in worse laws...some horrible perverse incentive thing going on there).

    Wellington • Since Feb 2011 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BlairMacca,

    "Well-known political commentator David Farrar"

    I trust someone will be complaining promptly to the Press Council about the Herald not properly disclosing Mr Farrar's day job as a main political polling supplier for the National Party. They link to his "disclosure statement" on Kiwibog which weasels thus:

    I can list clients that have on their own initiative revealed they use Curia. Curia never objects to such release – it is entirely up to clients. Clients who have used Curia publicly are the Northern Advocate, the Wanganui Chronicle, Family First, the Republican Movement, Hon John Banks, Exceltium, Olivier Lequeux and Independent Liquor (NZ) Ltd.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Che Tibby,

    but you’re familiar with how voting works, aren’t you. ;)

    ayup. But there is a marked difference between staging voting as
    "vote for me I smile and wave better than him/her"
    and staging it as
    "vote for this party and they will enact these policies according to these principles"

    One is simply a popularity contest, much like those we saw in intermediate school, the other is about selecting those who will manage your money.

    Of course we could just switch to benevolent dictatorship.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Its bloody sad to see Labour so dilute, so lacking in fire, so ...lacking.
    Goff is so clearly the wrong man for the job - nice guy though he is. Is it not too late to roll him and put someone in who can at least show leadership.

    I reckon in tough economic times many people will vote for strong confident leaders as much as for policy. Which offers the possibility of fast change. Key for all his inadequacies still projects a okey doky kind of smiling confidence and Bill English projects a very assured confidence.

    Who have Labour got who can do it?
    Is there someone less obvious in the wings who could take over, hell a pill brain like Don Brash can swoop in to take over ACT why not a Left equivalent?

    Suggestions ?
    Micheal Cullen ( whats he up to ?)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    the public likes Key

    I am so bamboozled by this obvious fact that I have no suggestions for Labour.

    But that's the problem. The way we choose to vote is to select the person we like the most instead of voting for the bastard who will best manage the country.

    So long as we treat voting as a popularity contest we will continue to get popular useless leaders. Instead of competent capable worthwhile leaders.

    And that is a state of mind on the part of the voters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    So if you get a 50,000 donation from a BMW firm to your policitical party that then states it would seek to benefit financially from the old fleet if it can does that not have the ‘perception’ of a conflict of interest?

    Dealer who gave the Nats $50K eyes govt BMWs:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10725267

    sheesh the Herald is becoming biblical in that it prints contradictory articles.

    I just want someone to represent me somewhere here!

    Exactly Bart I want someone to stand up and say the things I believe in and not go along with the crap. I feel terrible thinking that the values we have held have some how melted away with no one defending them. I remember Michael Cullen giving Key an articulate lot of short shift (shrift?) and wish someone now would too.

    OMG I’m agreeing with Craig about something, even if it was a kind of ‘hey you hopeless guys there with the smashed economy living in that hovel, didn’t you guys build the parthenon and invent maths and democracy’ kind of thing…

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Of course we could just switch to benevolent dictatorship.

    I for one welcome whoever our benevolent overlords are this time.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to Sacha,

    Quite a copout and by linking to his site this will attract more people to his blog. If it was a "from the right" column i'd be fine with that

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BlairMacca,

    If it was a "from the right" column i'd be fine with that

    Maybe paired with one by the similarly unconflicted Andrew Little? To be fair, Matt McCarten's links need to be more prominently stated on each of his columns too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to martinb,

    short shift (shrift?)

    shrift is good!
    (he said unsympathetically, rapidly & curtly...)
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7876 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to BlairMacca,

    If it was a “from the right” column i’d be fine with that

    meh. a tory column in a tory rag.

    colour me surprised.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Che Tibby,

    not at all. there needs to be:
    a) a movement away from naturopathy
    b) a reimagining of policy.

    I'm probably missing things but I just did a quick Google of the Greens' website, and there are very few mentions of the word Naturopathy. Of 11 results total, the only mentions since about 2007 seem to be a small handful of comments on Frogblog and a New Lynne electral candidate who claims a 1st year Dip. Naturopathy. Most of the rest seems to be surrounding Sue Kedgley, but if she's said anything on it lately then the Greens don't appear to be pushing it through their website.

    Are you sure this isn't more a widely held perception of what they're saying rather than what they're actually saying? I have a suspicion that when some people hear of crazy-sounding environmental stuff in a political context, they often just presume it's Green Party policy because if it was anyone's then the Greens are probably least far away.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I also can’t believe that Labour supports the free trade agreement with the US

    I can, and it's at the root of why Labour are failing.

    They're a pro-capitalist party. Sure, they want a nicer kinder capitalism, with 3.142% Kiwisaver contributions, Working for Families and Rob Fyfe/Don Elder "responsible" to a silent state shareholder. But they're basically just a few degrees left of National, just as ACT are a few degrees right.

    So when "free trade" is discussed, they turn their economics textbooks to "comparative advantage" and line up firmly behind NACT to take it from the US. It's ideological.

    But why pick an argumentative, badly run capitalist party when the authentic John Key version is so much shinier? It's like choosing supermarket baked beans over the Watties variety.

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to izogi,

    @izogi - exactly.

    Even if the Greens were to rigorously purge the policy of anything that hadn't been signed off for evidence-basedness by a committee of five PhDs and a Nobel laureate, we'd still be told that they were a bunch of tree huggers who believe in homeopathy.

    NACT, of course, get a free pass to believe any random shit. The Exclusive Brethren, for instance.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to A C Young,

    Actually this makes me kind of sad because some of the nuance does seem useful.

    You're quite right there. To take a recent example, I'm sure Goff could defend his vote to raise GST from 10% to 12.5% in 1989, after Labour explicitly campaigned in 1987 not to do so. He could argue that circumstances were totally different, or his views have honestly changed.

    People are entitled to change their minds, and so are politicians -- for reasons ranging from sheer expediency to genuine changes of heart. (And you're quite right that that in the real world you sometimes have to swallow hard and pick the best of a bad lot of options.) But nobody is entitled to pretend they haven't changed their minds at all, or act as if being asked to explain their own voting records is some kind of dirty trick.

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

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