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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

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  • WH,

    Yes, last night. I was searching for videos of Norman Kirk but stumbled on this The Grim Face of Power doco about Rob Muldoon and I was glued, I was especially interested by his ‘Meet the People’ meetings.

    The left has its share of telegenic leaders. Kennedy is often said to have beaten Nixon on the back of a televised debate. Tony Blair and Bill Clinton were charismatic leaders, and Obama and Elizabeth Warren are too.

    This is a painful process because, even though we have the better of many public policy debates, the left's credibility is hard won and easily lost.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sue,

    In a fair and equal society everyone pays taxes on the money they gain, through work or through luck – lotto winnings, those are taxed. In our country beneficiaries pay tax on their benefits. So why do one group of people get to play the no tax here card?

    I don’t know, does anyone? New Zealand isn’t a fair and equal society, the Prime Minister "earns $428,000 from his PM’s salary along with this year’s $5,000,000 increase in his wealth (according to NBR’s rich list) which gives him a total income of $5,428,000. On this total income he pays just $132,160 in income tax and approximately $21,400 in GST giving a total tax of $153,560 or 2.8% of income”

    I simply asked Deborah what, if any, change in reasoning/ philosophy has occurred within Labour to introduce a flat tax that has any possibility at all of taking yet more money from the lowest possible denominator? As opposed to them introducing a more refined policy that would under no circumstances take money from the lowest possible denominator. When you have years and years to refine these types of policies to your hearts’ content, why not safeguard the poor?

    I understand the purpose of the tax, it’s the leeway for collateral damage that eludes. It’s the emphasis on revenue collection at the possible expense of anyone at all, even just a single individual, for whom that money might make a big difference, that has me lost. When did that person stop mattering?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to mark taslov,

    I understand the purpose of the tax, it’s the leeway for collateral damage that eludes. It’s the emphasis on revenue collection at the possible expense of anyone at all, even just a single individual, for whom that money might make a big difference, that has me lost. When did that person stop mattering?

    I think you need to stop considering one policy in a vacuum. One option (apparently considered sensible by prominent members of the National caucus) is to avoid taxing capital gains and to cut access to benefits instead. Go along with that and you're in the position of disadvantaging a tangibly significant number of the "lowest" members of society for the sake of not disadvantaging a tiny number of "potential" impoverished property traders. It's not sensible.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    Robertson’s problem however is that he has hitched his leadership ambition to the the dead wood of the ABC clique.

    It may be the other way around of course?

    For Robertson to unify the caucus, he must have more supporters than detractors surely? And although Mallard, Goff and King aren't hugely popular here, they win their electorates and generally win the Party vote too. Trevor's lost some ground in Hutt South, but that's partly boundary changes and his relative decline is still a lot better than many others I suspect.

    I want to see change in the caucus like others here but can I say that personal preferences might need to be balanced against individual performances at the polls and on that count, the three you've mentioned aren't so poor (by contrast, Ross Robertson should have been excised in 2002).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Tinakori,

    And your point is Deep Red? The increasing debt is the result of National pursuing orthodox Keynesian deficit spending in a downturn.

    The point I was making is that what we're getting from the Beehive right now isn't so much Keynesianism, but something more akin to corporate welfare, which isn't the same thing. The biggest acid test between the two is whether wider society benefits, or only an elite few.

    In the case of Rio Tinto especially, it certainly wasn't about the smelter jobs, it was really about subsidising Meridian Energy investors, and there's no guarantee the smelter will be open for much longer. If you ask what a Labour-led Govt would have done differently, it would quite possibly have screwed down Meridian, at the risk of pissing off the nation's boardrooms, or it might have helped the smelter workers retool for new industry.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    I think you need to stop considering one policy in a vacuum

    Deborah offered to answer a question, so I had to come up with a reasonably straight forward one to get things rolling. My initial point that Deborah was responding to was related to Cunliffe lacking the skills to sell it, as was particularly evident in the Stuff.co.nz debate, and the days following when he dropped the ball with that policy. If the Labour party members can’t satisfactorily answer the inquiries of a lone internet wildcard then how can they reasonably expect to satisfy the New Zealand constituency when these policies are placed in a vacuum by John Key in front of a large audience as we saw in the Christchurch debate?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Nope. Had no idea this was in the works and the first I knew was via Twitter. It was actually slightly annoying as it undercut a rant I had at a caucus member about getting their shit together the day before.

    Thanks for that clear and coherent response Stephen, and I empathise. I didn’t actually expect to cause such a stir, I’d perhaps prematurely assumed that things like Cunliffe fluffing the CGT details or that some issues with his campaign might be attributable to bad advice from actual Muppet Pastors wouldn’t be such contentious ideas to broach so late in the piece, so your temperance in reply is very much appreciated.

    As a background to my post, I read through most of the thread on Tuesday night, writing then deleting my observation. what first struck me, and I hope this in part explains my use of the term ‘facilitator’ was your initial post:

    I’ll take that one, as James’ former campaign manager…

    Outside the sphere I hope you can imagine how that may appear, as I don’t feel my presumption from an intro like that was too avant garde. But yeah, as I read on through the thread, and observed both you and Keir answering more questions that James most probably could have, I just kept thinking to myself “where’s the guy?”, “Surely it would be better that he respond to some of this stuff personally?”, because he is an adult.

    I mean, what an opportunity, with a relatively sympathetic audience. Anyway. I hope I caused no offense Stephen or Keir. If either of you are up to answering any more questions, I’d love to get my head around this bit:

    if you lose this primary, you resign from parliament.

    In this case is James suggesting that DC should resign as an MP and force a by-election?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to BenWilson,

    "My pick is that if Robertson did get chosen, then Key would either tell Slater to pull his head in, or he would distance himself from Slater as much as possible. And that might be very hard to pull off, because I don’t think Slater would take kindly to being shoved away. Key is actually stuck with the guy now, and we’ve only seen the beginning of how toxic that could prove for National."

    Ben, Slater's oxygen is getting tidbits of inside info and then having journalists follow his lead. Stop the tidbits and he's a nobody, and ditto if the parroting journalists stop parroting. It surely has to be the kiss of death for a journo to parrot him now?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to mark taslov,

    Come on Joe, arguing that someone could at least deign to join the conversation beneath the blog posts they’ve contributed at Publicaddress isn’t a cheap shot. it’s pretty much exactly what happens all the time.

    Only if you assume that making a guest post here obliges you to indulge anyone who happens to be living on the internet. You ramped your argument beyond the level of good faith in order to provoke a reply.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I agree Joe that no one is obligated, but I really think it depends on what your objectives are, and what’s going to encourage support and what’s just frivolous. on Twitter at 20:33pm Tuesday night James Dann posted:

    BREAKING: Labour in Chaos as DC drops Clayton and Chippie from his MySpace Top 8 friends. We cross live to our resident social media guru Ja

    Meanwhile over at Publicaddress.net at 20:36 30 Sept cathy holloway posted:

    Hi James Macbeth Dann,

    Yes i sympathise with you and your letter.

    Undoubtedly you are very sincere and will be a loss to the Labour party if you have to leave.

    But if David Cunliffe is does not continue as leader, many many thousands of members and supporters will leave. This is known.

    So either way, Labour will lose some members and supporters, but with Cunliffe as leader, Labour will lose far less.

    And as for Labour’s fortunes “going forward” Grant Robertson will never be Prime Minister of this country. With him as leader, Labour will not be elected into Government. This too is known.

    Followed almost immediately at 20:41 by slewratedotnet’s:

    Well said James. As a volunteer in Wellington the same issues came up here also with Cunliffe. My family who all voted Labour throughout the Clark years had the same response and voted either National or Green whilst still giving GR their electorate vote. Whilst I certainly believe other issues were at play with policy, the economy and internal politics the public simply did not resonate with DC and it is time to move on.

    And I can’t see any political downside if James had slipped into the conversation there and then with a genuine:

    "Thanks a lot, I appreciate your support.”

    1841 Twitter followers could quite easily be supplemented by some of the (to date) 9303 page views here, especially if one were to actually join the discussion whereby (due to Russell being on the pulse) Twitter handles are included in the posts. Beyond all other considerations, democratic politics is a numbers game, and while this discussion has been going on I’m not getting much more than a sense of aloofness from James’s Twitter account. These are all small things in their way:

    Only if you assume that making a guest post here obliges you to indulge anyone who happens to be living on the internet. You ramped your argument beyond the level of good faith in order to provoke a reply.

    This discussion isn’t indulging "anyone who happens to live on the internet". Russell and co. moderate well. John Key isn’t obligated to visit malls and factories. No politician is obligated to do any of these things but they sure can help.

    Ascribe bad faith to me if it makes you feel better, but I was deadly serious in the points I made, for a die-hard Labourite that may be difficult to swallow, but getting angry at those of us who have lost the buzz or are swinging, offering conflicting observations, and have ability to grasp how a by-election could help an already weakened opposition, this portrayal does nothing to get us back with the program. I’m never running for Parliament, I don’t own Twitter but if I did, I’d never post anything like this:

    I don’t know where the beltway is, but I know this one thing: it’s where my enemies live

    At least not while an impassioned and thoughtful discussion like this one, that I had personally initiated, and am avoiding, is ongoing. Not if my political ambitions involved anything beyond activism.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    *have no ability to grasp how a by-election could help an already weakened opposition

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to mark taslov,

    I was deadly serious in the points I made, for a die-hard Labourite that may be difficult to swallow

    I'm having a little difficulty here. Who exactly is a 'die-hard Labourite'?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Attachment

    James ’Macduff’ Dann’s Facebook

    I don’t know Joe, I just assumed you may be, and that mainly comes down to the fact that I can’t see where you’re getting my lack of good faith from here, why would I bother? Who has the time? I’m not trying to lay cheap shots on James at all. The blog you linked to shows far more thoughtfulness and nuance than either of these posts or the Twitter account. From his posts here and his Twitter and his Facebook, I’d have credited him as a funny guy, a talented activist, I’m down enough with that shit, but until all of these align into a more cohesive and measured representation, James’s greatest enemy in terms of becoming the MP for Ilam, at least amongst its more serious and earthy voters won’t be so much Brownlee as James himself. Perception is everything.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to mark taslov,

    I don’t know Joe, I just assumed you may be

    Carry on interviewing yourself then Mark, I'm done.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Ascribe further bad faith without elaboration if you must Joe. But the consistency of the meat doesn’t seem to have nudged a dot since it hit the grill.

    Anyway, I’ll leave that one in the pot to broadly stew over. As you were.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to mark taslov,

    "Mark", this is getting silly.

    You've made your narrow point repeatedly over hours and no answer seems to satisfy you.

    Give it a rest, please.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • CJM,

    Jenny Kirk seems fairly annoyed by Danns piece judging by her letter to the Horald this morning.

    Oh, and maybe Mr Taslov was going a bit overboard but I have to say it is rather weird that Dann has not engaged at all with the discussion since dropping his strop.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    In case it's driving some assumptions, note that this blog has no detailed automatic notificaton system that an author can use to know which responses are relevant to reply to, only that one has been made.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I see this as strange given the numbers in the Unions supporting Cunliffe. It was the Unions that chose him

    It was some unions (not the one my co-workers are part of) - also it was union delegates not all the union members. Lastly even if our union endorsed Cunliffe, we are not blind unthinking followers; our Union doesn't tell us who to vote for and if they did we wouldn't listen but make up our own minds. As it should be.

    And all over the country voters have made up their minds and made it clear: they don't like Cunliffe. He needs to go. By re-contesting the leadership he is showing that he is a delusional narcissist who is putting his own desires ahead of the good of the party and the country.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Labour Party secretary Tim Barnett has posted details of the internal election process. Apparently a code of conduct for it will be "finalised" only after nominations close on 14 October.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I was a bit surprised the Unions voted for Cunliffe - not because I didn't think they should, but just because I didn't think he'd be their sort of leader. I wonder now whether their votes for Cunliffe last round were trying to send the message to Labour that they wanted Goff/King et al gone. At that point, that group had tucked themselves in behind Robertson, so the best way of sending that message was voting Cunliffe?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to mark taslov,

    the Prime Minister “earns $428,000 from his PM’s salary along with this year’s $5,000,000 increase in his wealth (according to NBR’s rich list) which gives him a total income of $5,428,000. On this total income he pays just $132,160 in income tax and approximately $21,400 in GST giving a total tax of $153,560 or 2.8% of income”

    Probably not the best example - Key claims he gives his salary and any rises to Charity, so his accountant probably claims the rebate on that. too...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to CJM,

    Oh, and maybe Mr Taslov was going a bit overboard but I have to say it is rather weird that Dann has not engaged at all with the discussion since dropping his strop.

    I do get why that's the case. He said what he had to say.

    He's actually copping a bit of nasty hate-mail at the moment, which isn't exactly an incentive to keep talking either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Danielle,

    Labour men are eunichs

    I suppose someone who uses “PC” unironically is not going to realise how offensive that is, but, um, it’s really offensive.

    yes I thought about that as I walked away. It was made in the last moments of an edit. It was meant as a metaphor, but it is way too harsh and I apologise. I believe John Tamihere’s assessment however.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I wonder now whether their votes for Cunliffe last round were trying to send the message to Labour that they wanted Goff/King et al gone.

    I obviously can't speak to Labour's internal processes, but the best way to indicate you want a sitting MP on a substantial majority to get gone is to deselect them and dump their arses so far down the list they need a canary and a hurricane lamp. I don't think I'm talking out of school in saying, at least in National, even incumbent MPs need to be reselected. Most of the time, it's entirely pro forma but not always.

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

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