Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Mt Albert Old-School

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  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I'm almost afraid to ask... what do ACT supporters look like apart from the cloven hooves, baby blood stains and the clouds of sulphur?

    The Laffer Curves crudely carved into their foreheads tend to give them away.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Declaring Lee to be similarly "multicultural" possibly added to the insult.

    Shearer's win will be momentous.

    For too long have the halls of power been denied to physically able wealthy heterosexual highly educated white men.

    In many ways, he reminds me of Rosa Parks.

    It doesn't seem to have come up much (in my reading at least) but I find it unfortunate that Labour didn't run a first or second generation ethnic NZer, much less a woman.

    I ran this past the nice chap that recently knocked on my door and his response was that no one wants to spook part of Labour's base that is sympathetic to Winston Peters.

    I say, f*ck that base. The old racists will thankfully all soon be dead (or more dead than they currently are) whereas the immigrant vote in this country is mystifyingly unclaimed or not particularly fought over.

    When Helen got the seat it was symbolic. Shearer's election will be equally symbolic only in the other direction -- especially since he is running in Chinatown, or Auckland's only real claim to having one.

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Brickley Paiste, go back under the bridge - the three billy goat's Gruff will be along shortly.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    but I find it unfortunate that Labour didn't run a first or second generation ethnic NZer

    Why? Because you think they'd be better able to represent an ethnically diverse electorate?

    I'm of the opinion that someone who has worked in, and with the populations of, NZ, Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda, Serbia, Albania, Afghanistan, Jerusalem and Iraq, may just be slightly more qualified to represent an ethnically diverse electorate than someone whose "ethnic" qualification is restricted to where they (or their parents) were born.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Or will this invoke the s92A thread?

    Russell seems to have resolved that particular problem for now.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm of the opinion that someone who has worked in, and with the populations of, NZ, Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda, Serbia, Albania, Afghanistan, Jerusalem and Iraq, may just be slightly more qualified to represent an ethnically diverse electorate than someone whose "ethnic" qualification is restricted to where they (or their parents) were born.

    And I'll split the difference and say both arguments are rather silly.

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

  • James Liddell,

    And I'll split the difference and say both arguments are rather silly.

    I'm not saying that I think Shearer should have been selected solely on this basis. Because that would be rather silly. :)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I wasn't able to listen to the Norman interview on PA Radio (unless there's a podcast?).

    What change of tone has he engaged in? I presume he's stopped acting confrontationally towards Shearer. Otherwise, are they campaigning on anything apart from 'think of the children' and 'stop the motorway'?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I wasn't able to listen to the Norman interview on PA Radio (unless there's a podcast?).

    There is here.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks Craig.

    From memory, I put it to Norman that he'd been seen, even by some Green Party members, as being unduly aggressive towards Shearer, and he acknowledged that he had and regretted it. I was impressed by that.

    He also clarified what he actually meant to say about Shearer -- that he came from the "grey machine" side of the Labour Party, rather than that he was a "grey man".

    Mind you, Melissa Lee conspicuously failed to present as an evil witch in her interview too.

    The shock conclusion appears to be that they're all human.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    From memory, I put it to Norman that he'd been seen, even by some Green Party members, as being unduly aggressive towards Shearer, and he acknowledged that he had and regretted it. I was impressed by that.

    Sure, but I do get pissed off at some folks -- both National and Labour -- who treat the "minor parties" like impertinent ticks who should just STFU and play nice. On my side of the fence, I agree it was hardly constructive or helpful (let alone reality-based) of Rodney Hide to describe John Key as "to the left of Helen Clark". But he's a big boy, I'm neither his wife or his mother, and its a little too precious to cry foul when other parties say mean things about you. It also betrays, and Idiot/Savant might say, the mindset of people who needs to get a grip on the idea that FPP needs to lie down and stop crying for fresh brains.

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

  • George Darroch,

    Second that thanks. I found his comments about how educated his supporters were a little self-aggrandising. The Greens often tend to stereotype their supporters in a way which is unhealthy.

    I still don't think they're presenting themselves in such a way as to assure the public that they have policies on things other than clean rivers and carbon, but they're moving there.

    Ironically, I think it is the at times frosty relationship they've had with Labour which might be moving them there. The realisation that they can be something more than merely a support party, and might have to stand on their own merits across all issues.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yeah but to be fair no one's going to go out there and claim how dumb their supporters are - at least not in public

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I still don't think they're presenting themselves in such a way as to assure the public that they have policies on things other than clean rivers and carbon, but they're moving there.

    And I still don't think they've got to grips with real electoral campaigning. I might be doing them a disservice, but they don't seem to have done the unglamorous footsoldier stuff, and, as I said, the hoardings suggested they thought they could just re-run last year's general election campaign.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Karen White,

    but they don't seem to have done the unglamorous footsoldier stuff

    Quite. We have seen many Labour & National minions at various intersections, waving ribbons & placards over the past month (even inthe pouring rain) and have seen John Boscowan at the local Pak 'n Save.
    But not a Green to be seen.....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    But not a Green to be seen.....

    We did have a Green supporter come round to leaflet us and have a chat - although it was abbreviated since we were just getting into our car to leave the house. She probably appreciated being able to stop under the carport during the downpour - immaculately dressed but didn't have a rainjacket, unlike the 20+ National supporters waving signs on New North & St Lukes Roads intersection in the midst of the same deluge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And I still don't think they've got to grips with real electoral campaigning. I might be doing them a disservice, but they don't seem to have done the unglamorous footsoldier stuff

    I think you are Russell -- if Labour couldn't put together a decent ground operation in Mount Albert (and I don't think footage of Goff and Shearer at church on the news last night was an accident) they'd have been fucked, to coin a phrase. Labour foot soliders were a bit thin on the ground in my neighbourhood last year, but I don't know if I'd extend that into a swipe that they wren't doing the slog on the Shore. You work with what you've got, and while I've got a lot of respect for the Greens I don't know they've got the activist base and networks in Mount Albert that Labour has (and arguably takes for granted).

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

  • Sacha,

    Wasn't that church in Manukau?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Quite. We have seen many Labour & National minions at various intersections, waving ribbons & placards over the past month (even inthe pouring rain) and have seen John Boscowan at the local Pak 'n Save.
    But not a Green to be seen.....

    Supporting car culture, surely. Greens should be hanging out at bus stops and train stations!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Karen White,

    Greens should be hanging out at bus stops and train stations!

    Yes you'd think so - but hubby has only seen John Boscowan on the buses & trains so far & he travels by train from Mt Albert to the city most days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You work with what you've got, and while I've got a lot of respect for the Greens I don't know they've got the activist base and networks in Mount Albert that Labour has (and arguably takes for granted).

    Nah, sorry: they should have had every party member in Auckland working for their co-leader. If nothing else, it would have been a very good training exercise.

    But it seems like they didn't know how. In one way, that makes sense -- MMP campaigns are national, and important electorate races like this are rare. But if they want the security of an electorate MP, they'll have to start some time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    But it seems like they didn't know how. In one way, that makes sense -- MMP campaigns are national, and important electorate races like this are rare. But if they want the security of an electorate MP, they'll have to start some time.

    It seems like they don't know, because they really don't. They're still organising volunteers at the moment, when Labour got that done in the first few weeks.

    Even in places like Wellington Central, where they have both strong support and a strong membership base, they don't have the electorate organisation to match. This lack also hurts their party vote by at least a few percentage points.

    Why haven't they addressed this until now? It's mainly a cultural thing, where they've stressed winning the party vote by going for demographics and ignoring electorates. Ultimately however, people live somewhere. Including Mt. Albert.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Where's Mikaere? Be interested in his take.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The Greens didn't seem to have a stand at the VUW club day a couple of months ago, even though every other major party AND the anarchists and bolsheviks did. Seems strange, since you'd think the universities would be their natural recruiting ground.

    In fact, I wonder if it would be possible for the Greens to rort an electorate by focusing on one (or more) of the universities, going on a membership drive and getting the students to reregister in the university electorate instead of back at their parents houses.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nah, sorry: they should have had every party member in Auckland working for their co-leader. If nothing else, it would have been a very good training exercise.

    In a perfect world, sure. But I can tell you from experience that the ways of being told to get lost because of day jobs, children etc. are manifold, various and quite soul crushing. Rousing a rabble is harder than being a Nigerian e-mail scammer -- where you can make a living with an extremely low hit rate :)

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

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