Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That escalated quickly ...

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  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm not sure where Winston himself sits, but his support is, IMHO, mostly on the Left (if we define position by political opinion and how the population differs

    I'd say we're seeing a realignment globally (certainly US and UK) from left/right to rational/irrational.

    You traditionally had poorer people supporting left wing parties and richer people right-wing ones. But now, in the US, the wealthier middle classes are Democrats and Trump draws his support from rust belt blue collar workers. Same in the UK with Brexit (and increasingly party politics - Labour winning Kensington, which is one of the richest constituencies in the country).

    On this scale, the Greens and TOP are the rational end, Peters is the shit-thick end and Labour and National are in the middle.

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

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Further to my comment a couple of days ago about the enthusiasm by Jacinda and Grant for investment in the arts and the role of the arts generally, following in the footsteps of Peter Fraser and Helen Clark. In the minor reshuffle Jacinda keeps Arts, Heritage and Culture and makes Grant Associate. Good news for the future.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Further to my comment a couple of days ago about the enthusiasm by Jacinda and Grant for investment in the arts and the role of the arts generally, following in the footsteps of Peter Fraser and Helen Clark. In the minor reshuffle Jacinda keeps Arts, Heritage and Culture and makes Grant Associate. Good news for the future.

    Is that code for rebulilding Wellingtons public service, or is there something I don't know about the arts?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Trump draws his support from rust belt blue collar workers

    That has been debunked here many times over. Culturally-insecure white midlle class voters backed him, and a broken electoral system did the rest.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    The arts are handy when a city's climate is so bad you have to spend most of the year indoors :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Yum, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Auckland • Since Dec 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Shaun Scott,

    One person said they have not voted In the past two elections, that they weren't impressed with "the young one" but thought "that kelvin seems pretty good" and say they are likely to vote this time as a result.

    Did they indicate anything about what she'd need to do to earn their respect? Like punch someone in the face, or something?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to steven crawford,

    The arts are lots of things. It means access to music, art,crafts and museums for school kids. It means support for ballet,dance, drama and theatres. It means supporting and valuing creative people. It means investing in public broadcasting. It means respecting our built and cultural heritage. It means supporting the humanities as well as science and engineering. All that stuff that enriches our society.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I’d say we’re seeing a realignment globally (certainly US and UK) from left/right to rational/irrational.

    I pretty much don't even think of left/right in terms of any fixed set of views. It's just "the axis along which the bulk of the opinion of the population is divided". I like this because it will stand the test of time, shifting as the population shifts. It does mean that the numbers on each side will always be approximately equal, even if the way they vote could be skewed from that. It's not the only way to do it, but it is a way that doesn't immediately stall on "how can you claim that's what leftists think? That ain't the left, the left is what I say the left is! Show me your evidence that this is the correct meaning of left!".

    Personally, on my way of looking at it, I do find myself on the Left, but that's not the only direction I deviate from the center on. I'm not committed to agreeing with Leftists because I happen to be on the Left. Quite the opposite, it enables me to discover in what way I am not like the others on the Left. Our differences do not invalidate their being on the Left, or me being there.

    The choice of which direction along this axis is actually the Left was not hard. It's the side Labour is on, and the other side has National on it. In fact, the centroid of Labour voters is right on this axis, and the same for National, which is hardly surprising since between them they account for 70% of the voters. The other left centroids are quite close to Labour, and NZF is included in that, as are the Maori Party. UF sits on the center, and ACT is on the far side from National.

    In this analysis, the only Right wing parties are National and ACT. That they have managed to rule comes down, IMHO, to the Left's fragmentation, that NZF and the Greens leadership dislike each other more than their actual respective memberships disagree with each other. They think they are more enemies than their actual opinions would suggest. Winston is still a basically this huge random element whose opinions are imposed over the quite large number of people who support him. Whatever he thinks matters after the election will dictate our next government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to BenWilson,

    Winston is still a basically this huge random element

    ..as in the huge random element in the room.

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Sacha,

    The arts are handy when a city’s climate is so bad you have to spend most of the year indoors :)

    We discovered the chamber of commerce provides the tasty table and wine stop gap. But more seriously, the fact we are the southern tip of the Polynesian triangle, means we have something different to offer the big art markets in Europe America and Asia.

    That’s if our artists recognise that part of being multicultural, is making an effort to understand to other cultures we live with. Knowing about the arts of the great migration is a good place for some of us to start, since that's what makes our regions cultural history different to Europe, America and Asia. So the arts is an export product ( if it's not to crappy) and it’s also a good way of getting to know and value your nabours.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The arts are lots of things. It means access to music, art,crafts and museums for school kids. It means support for ballet,dance, drama and theatres. It means supporting and valuing creative people. It means investing in public broadcasting. It means respecting our built and cultural heritage. It means supporting the humanities as well as science and engineering. All that stuff that enriches our society.

    True, my daughter is right into ballet, which I think is why she is doing so well at science at school. She announced over the breakfast table the other day, that she is pro GE, and doesn't like Greenpiece. The later being more humanity's based. She is a vegetarian becouse she disagrees with factory farming but.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to BenWilson,

    Winston is still a basically this huge random element

    Only random if you can't see that he's operating from the political center. Think of it as a binary switch (left/right). Winston discovered that occupancy of the middle ground allows you to choose the next govt. Since Dunne failed in his attempt to do the same thing, Winston's switch-controller position has been unassailable apart from when NZF failed to reach the MMP threshold. To give him credit for consistency, he's told us that the election outcome would determine whether he flicks the switch to left or right since MMP started. Thus operating as the agent of the majority of voters, he can seem principled in the trad democratic respect to many voters. And I'm not even a supporter of his...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    It would be darkly ironic if Little's skepticism of Turei - which partially precipitated his demise and Ardern's rise - turns out to be not so misplaced.

    Since Nov 2016 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    So your say that Winston Peters has a pob each way. It might be more like he's vintage left wing circa 1930s. You know that even back here in New Zealand the New Zealand Labour Party where sexist and racist. so was the union movement, by today's measurements. Thay where all leftist.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to steven crawford,

    You know that even back here in New Zealand the New Zealand Labour Party where sexist and racist. so was the union movement, by today's measurements. Thay where all leftist.

    Yet even at their most compromised - for example, former pacifist Peter Fraser's conversion to authoritarian militarism in WW2 - the Labour Party at least paid lip service to social justice, i.e. redistribution of resources according to need.

    Winston's never bothered himself with that, or with nonsense like human rights. Like his mentor Muldoon his brand of socialism deliberately plays off sections of society against one another. On the issue of gay marriage he called for a referendum, where the rights of the minority were offered as an electoral bribe to a bigoted majority, Springbok tour style.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Bit of a shame really, Little was the first leader of the Labour Party in recent years that I actually genuinely liked. If just that he seemed like he had the parliamentary party under control whilst also seeming like he had some empathy.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Winston’s never bothered himself with that, or with nonsense like human rights. Like his mentor Muldoon his brand of socialism deliberately plays off sections of society against one another. On the issue of gay marriage he called for a referendum, where the rights of the minority were offered as an electoral bribe to a bigoted majority, Springbok tour style.

    Indeed, he’s more vintage nationalist light, than left or right. But he’s also a dick.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to BenWilson,

    Winston is still a basically this huge random element

    Not so huge mind you. When I saw him in the flesh I was surprised by how short he was. As for the randomness, Winston reminds me of the Narnia meme "the Dwarves are for the Dwarves!"

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    Apologies to Terry Gilliam...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    “the Dwarves are for the Dwarves!”

    Labour used to be 'Little People'?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Only random if you can’t see that he’s operating from the political center.

    I don't see that and it's not the only source of his randomness. I think his supporters are less centrist than Labour and National supporters. Only UF support is more centrist than they are. I think he's about as far from the center as the Greens are in the main left-right dichotomy, and about as far on the opposite side of the center as they are on the next most important direction, which is similarly hard to characterize, but it's associated with views on immigration and social liberality. On that dimension, Labour, National, UF and ACT supporters are all basically the same (bang in the middle), making them "pure" left-right parties.

    This battle in the other dimension divides and fragments the left. But the issues are important to those people on the left. Perhaps they're more important than the other dimension, even. They're not to most people, but they may be to those sub groups.

    Whether Winston himself actually takes views representative of his support is the part I consider random. He's one person, can change his mind, and seems to frequently do so. His own personal position in the resulting government is a big bargaining chip of personal importance to himself, which he doesn't take anyone else's counsel on (unlike the leaders of National, Labour, and the Greens).

    So yeah, he's unpredictable. He doesn't so much straddle the center of political opinion as he holds the only truly transmutable political position of importance. Dunne is there but he's only one guy and basically completely unimportant now. The Maori Party are there too, and are also transmutable. Their support is obviously closer to Labour, but again, a lot of it comes down to what the actual people are offered in a government.

    The Green support could be transmutable. They could offer to National to be in power to keep Winston out. But they don't, probably on the belief (which is probably true) that their support would desert them. They are a party of policy and democratic engagement with their supporters, so such deal making is very difficult for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Sacha,

    That has been debunked here many times over. Culturally-insecure white middle class voters backed him, and a broken electoral system did the rest.

    True overall. But. The 100,000 or so votes in specifically Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan that pushed him over the line and into the white house were 'rust belt' if not working class (in the US the term 'middle class' covers anyone with a half-decent job - and many in the precariat now - and very few seem to describe themselves as 'working class'.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    More notably, urban professionals are increasingly voting for traditionally left wing parties. In the Eisenhower era, an engineer, banker or accountant would more often than not (region, family and considered ideology notwithstanding) be a Republican, and that continued through Reagan. Nowadays, such people would tend to be Democrats.

    Similarly in the last UK election, the biggest swings to Labour were in the most prosperous electorates.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Labour's new campaign slogan just got announced. It's a lot better ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

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