Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That escalated quickly ...

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  • Doug Hood,

    'The best case is that this becomes a turn to Labour’s strongest suit – its women'

    I think they've probably doubled their votes in our household

    Kingsland • Since Oct 2009 • 44 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    I would also like to note that Little's speech this morning was admirable. I don't think there's any doubting his honesty or decency.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sam M,

    Your list of labour policies is interesting. I'm an engaged left leaning voter and I would have struggled to articulate what Labour stands for at the moment beyond changing the government. What I want to hear is WHY and at this stage in the game it will need to be delivered rather passionately!

    Good luck to Jacinda. I would love nothing more than a Labour led government to be back in power, but I share your earlier assessment - she seems a little underdone. Time will tell.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sam M,

    Your list of labour policies is interesting.

    I had a conversation with a friend a little while ago, who expressed the view that Labour should adopt some Corbynesque policies like free tertiary education. They announced that policy a year and a half ago ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,


    This is interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Neil,

    Corbyn and Sanders remain in opposition. Macron has a substantial majority.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report

  • Sam M, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wonder whether there is a perception driven by their 'fiscal responsibility' (or whatever it is called) position that all of their policies are not much more than tinkering around the edges but continuing within the same basic fiscal envelope that the right has defined as being acceptable...

    Or perhaps it is just me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Doug Hood,

    The best case is that this becomes a turn to Labour’s strongest suit – its women'

    Not sure if it's exactly gendered, but what Jacinta projects is a clear moral purpose - and that's what Labour desperately needs. 40,000 people without homes. Far too many people living in poverty. Massive yachts in the Viaduct basin.
    It demands an emotional response as well as a clear-headed set of solutions. Labour have some of the latter; let's hope Jacinta can engender a fire to start putting them in place.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2120 posts Report

  • Carol Stewart,

    I think it's a great move. I already feel better about the Labour Party, though they will have to do more to convince me to party vote Labour instead of Green. Meeting the remarkable Chloe Swarbrick in person, when she visited our campus a couple of weeks ago, had that effect on me; she is highly capable and charismatic.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I also got the impression he was a decent fellow, and it's good to see James Shaw saying as much today as well.

    I don't think Jacinda is underdone, but I do think she will need to get some good advice so she can make some good choices. The reality is that Little's biggest issue is that he was an explainer, and these days explaining is losing. I would really like to see Jacinda develop a more succinct way of a) pointing out National's hopelessness and b) saying what Labour would do differently.

    I note that because Jacinda has a seat, Matthew Hooten's theory of Winston becoming PM on the back of a leaderless post-election Labour caucus goes out the window...

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Bloody hell. Jacinda Ardern just smashed her first appearance as party leader.

    Witty, composed, authoritative. The best media conference I've seen a Labour leader give in years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    Little seemed to be hated by the white right wing jocks of the MSM like Gower, Garner and co who took advantage of his lack of charisma to gang bang him at every chance. I don’t know quite why they disliked him so much, but the dislike was pretty obvious. I am not sure if they'll be able to get away with the quite the same vitriol aimed at Ardern.

    Modern democratic politics in NZ, with our degraded, depraved and debaunched MSM news and current affairs, is at the electoral level incredibly shallow - presidential popularity contests where how you look and perform in front of the camera is everything. Ardern has on-screen charisma, is attractive, and in sum is “aspirational” to whole tranche of voters who have not voted Labour for almost a decade.

    Part of Littles demise has to be put down to a disconnect between Labours strategic plan and it’s ways and means. Labour’s strategy of cleaving to the centre left meant they always ran the risk of being outflanked on the left by the Greens and on the socially conservative right by NZ First, while National’s grip on to “aspirational” NZ meant Labour would not win new voters. Given their political ways (Little as leader, hostile MSM) the risks of their electoral strategy became practically certainties. Ardern is much more likely way to grow the Labour vote amongst soft National voters to compensate those lost on the left to the Greens - in other words, grow the left ‘pie’ that is needed for victory - than Little.

    By way of an anecdote, I saw Ardern several months back at a corporate lunchtime event on female leadership at one of NZ’s biggest and swankiest companies. Her star power packed the place out and she was fawned over by staff and management in a way I thought was probably unimaginable for Andrew Little. She has got charisma in spades, and is very popular with the middle class, at least.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Sam M, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Agreed! Awesome first up effort, especially given lack of preparation time.

    I loved the fact that they had obviously already decided on the 'tone' they wanted for the campaign. Aspirational and optimistic. She was beaming from the get go which was, initially, a little jarring given the circumstances but made more and more sense as she transitioned from talking about Andrew to talking about Labour, its policies and its future.

    Good work. On that performance, I am likely to be won back from the TOP Party and may even volunteer! Now, just make sure the policies are truly progressive!

    Let's do this

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report

  • WH,

    If there was a logic in having Little as leader, it lay in having him build trust and respect over time with a view to winning over soft National supporters during the campaign. It's good to see that people feel that he brought honesty and good character to the position.

    Ironically, if National continues to attract between 42% and 47% support Labour and its partners have a real chance of winning the election.

    One can only wish Ardern and her team all the best for the campaign. Perhaps Little will play an important role in the next Cabinet.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • Gordon Bartram,

    Andrew Little a decent bloke with more empathy than the entire national caucus but unfortunately with approximately zero charisma or connection with the public. This change was inevitable. Lets hope that its not too late. Soo over the National Party after 9 long years..

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2017 • 1 posts Report

  • James W,

    If I was Labour I’d immediately adopt UK Labour’s “For the many, not the few.” Yes, Gower and the likes would bleat about them not being able to come up with their own slogan, but that would last 2 days and then you’d be left with a fantastic slogan that sums up your positioning without any voter needing to read a single policy. Unlike “fresh approach”, which, while I’m sure has many focus group assurances behind it, tells me fuck all.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report

  • James Littlewood*,

    The curious thing is that Labour has actually done a lot right in the past year.

    They do a lot right a lot of the time. But not since big-shoes Lange have they had a leader who people feel they _know_.

    I've long felt Jacinda is that person. She oozes compassion, even when (and maybe, mostly) when she's angry.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report

  • Alan Perrott,

    well, I'm on board if only because she'd be the first PM I've ever played records with - cool story for the chilluns innit.

    but damn shame about Little, he was great for us during the great Herald strike of 2001. he held his own in the bar as well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen,

    Well it will be interesting.

    For me the problem with Little is no matter what he presented as policy it felt like politics.

    Contrast that with The Greens whom one always felt like they are willing to die in the fire to protect the environment and now thanks to Metiria they've slammed a telegraph-pole-sized stake in the ground over social welfare. You can't help but know what they believe in.

    Little may have managed the party into a better place, and they have some good policy, but nobody has made me feel like they are willing to do anything and everything to make something happen. That might be just the way I feel but I suspect a lot of folks have no idea what Labour would fight for if they govern.

    Will Ms Ardern change that? We know National will fight to the death to protect the rich, and everyone still believes they can be part of "the rich" still. What will Jacinda Ardern, and Labour, fight to the death for and can they make me really believe it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Little seemed to be hated by the white right wing jocks of the MSM like Gower, Garner and co who took advantage of his lack of charisma to gang bang him at every chance.

    Guyon Espiner was just about salivating this morning, you could hear him smacking his lips and baying for blood – Garner was appalling yesterday morning (in the ten minutes of 3’s breakfast show I saw waiting for a WOF).

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    Last week Jacinda Ardern was the guest speaker at the annual Wellington Central LP’s Peter Fraser memorial lecture. The topic was Peter Fraser and his contribution to the arts. She and Grant as MC (who have a great relationship) bickered in a good natured way over the prized arts portfolio and who would have it in government. They raised serious issues about the lack of access to the arts in the current education system and to poorer kids generally. Jacinda said she would like to see every NZ child have access to the arts. They discussed the role of public broadcasting and how to implement it, and also potential ways to support artists and other creative people such as through the special benefit of the last government. These are the sort of conversations which don’t reach the media.

    Anyhow after all this entertaining policy discussion there was the inevitable auction. Jacinda is the best auctioneer I have ever seen in action. She connected with every potential and ongoing bidder in an extremely warm and focussed way. Her handing of the media conference today showed some of that skill.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Shaun Scott, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ,q> Attachment
    This is interesting.</q>

    It really is- and may end up being the most significant aspect of this change today. He also said, according to the Herald,

    "Maori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan immediately called for Ardern to be more open to working with the Maori Party than Little was.He said Maori around the country were saying they wanted the Maori Party to side with Labour if it was in a position to form a Government.

    "We've always said we'd work with both sides, blue or red, but Andrew Little killed off any hope of that happening when he closed the door on us.

    "We're hoping Jacinda and Kelvin won't be as closed minded and that they’ll agree to work with kaupapa Māori."Little had described the Maori Party as at the back of the cab rank for Labour because of its nine years working with National.",

    bit of a challenge though, with Kelvin Davis running in Te Tai Tokerau, and Hone and the the Maori party having an accommodation I think?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2008 • 90 posts Report

  • Craig Young,

    My take on the events of today:


    What do we know about Jacinda Ardern? In the New Zealand Herald, Nicholas Jones (01.08.2017) provided an excellent biography. Ardern was born in Hamilton in 198o. She primary and secondary school in Morrinsville and also spent some time living in Murupara, where her father was a police officer. In other words, she may be able to compete with National for provincial city seats, which could turn out to be an asset during the current election campaign. She is a former Mormon, but left the faith at seventeen due to its antigay stance. Excellent! She has a Bachelor of Communication Studies from Waikato University and worked in the offices of former Labour leaders Phil Goff and Prime Minister Helen Clark. In London, she served as a Policy Advisor in the Cabinet Office and was later elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth. Ardern won the Mt Albert byelection in February 2017, ironically prompted by the resignation of former Labour leader David Shearer. In 2014, she she was on Grant Robertson’s unsuccessful ticket as deputy leadership candidate. Before her elevation to leadership, she served as Labour spokesperson for justice, children, arts culture and heritage and small business, and was also associate spokeswoman for Auckland issues. Again, this apprenticeship will undoubtedly stand her in good stead for the leadership, given the core nature of the Auckland seats given its demographic heft. Her core advantage may be her gender and youth.

    New Zealand LGBT voters need some more substantive policy development from the centre-left now. Concrete trans-inclusive antidiscrimination laws are one, recognition of transgender homelessness and itinerant housing is another. Commendably for the Key and English administrations, one resolved the question of marriage equality, another has moved on the issue of historic homosexual ‘offences’ after a protracted period of debate, and during her tenure as Education Minister, Hekia Parata neutralised the lacklustre, feeble Family First failed moral panic against transgender student access to educational safety and privacy in the context of social transitioning. Of course, some regulatory recognition of transgender rights may be forthcoming in the housing arena- it would only take the equivalent of Dakota Hemmingson in the employment field to bring a Tenancy Tribunal case and win it. In that case, only service provider discrimination would remain as an issue of unresolved substantive transgender rights, until someone calls an anti-transgender business or other service provider in this context as well. In which case, one would have the miaou without the cat, so to speak. One does not expect an incoming centre-left administration to resolve everything, so staffing and funding of reassignment surgery will have to wait.

    11.12 am: Jacinda Ardern has been elected unopposed as new Labour leader, with Kelvin Davis as her deputy. Questions remain about this transition. One, as above- will Labour now abandon the primary vote leadership election format? Will Labour now benefit from a gender gap, as in the Helen Clark era? What about younger voters, given she is only 37? After all, those votes won Clark three elections- and Ardern also has the advantage of international social democratic collegiality and policy formation expertise, which Little may not have had. Moreover, Andrew Little is no Mike Moore and recognised that his former deputy did not set out to undermine her. This sudden leadership shift may also upset government election strategies. Have we just witnessed the advent of New Zealand’s third female Prime Minister?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report

  • Grant McDougall,

    Very smart move to have Kelvin Davis as deputy, too.

    This gives Labour a good city / provincial, male / female, Pakeha / Maori balance.

    He'll give Labour a lot more appeal in the provinces and to the middle-class bloke demographic that, rightly or wrongly, has trended towards National in recent years.

    I see that yesterday The Spin-off also looked at Grant Robertson and Stuart Nash as potential leaders. I reckon that in a future Labour-led govt, Robertson will obviously be finance minister and Nash will be a senior minister but also their designated "bovver boy" as Mallard was for Clark, Birch was for Bolger and Prebble was for Lange.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Grant Robertson nominated Kelvin Davis as Deputy this morning. Years ago (probably about 2009), Colin James said that the next generational shift in the NZLP leadership would be Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern. So it's sort of happened, but not in the predicted way.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

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