Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The epitome of reason

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  • nzlemming, in reply to llew40,

    the need for Labour to do a better job of appealing beyond those they already appeal to

    IMHO Labour is not even very appealing to those it should appeal to. The parliamentary wing lacks a solid ideological platform from which to message, which is odd as some branches I know personally are very clear about what's needed. Somehow, the message gets lost as it goes up the ranks. What we see, from the outside, is the roiling factionalism in the parliamentary wing where you've still got the Goffs and Kings that Rogernomics left behind when it jumped to ACT, as well as every other minority group arguing that their special issue should be given precedence instead of finding the things that they all agree on and working from there. Plus every other bumptious git reckons they could be a better head prefect than whoever's in the job this week.

    National won the last election because Labour **lost* it, and Labour lost it because they didn't give people anything to vote for except "we're not as bad as the other lot". Dissing the Greens didn't help either.

    (disclaimer: I'm not nor ever have been a member of any party)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "Pt Chev liberal" is shorthand, the same way "Waitakere Man" is.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    In other sustainability news:

    "a buying frenzy among Chinese retail investors sent shares surging 111 per cent through last week"

    .
    I guess one can borrow against those shares, and buy houses in Auckland, or borrow against houses in Auckland, and buy more shares. Or both.

    To me the problem is not: "how can we win against John Key in 2017, given current nominally pleasant economic conditions"?
    but
    "how can we offer a credible solution when people are seeing a 50% drop in house prices, 20% interest rates and the banking system offline for three weeks"?

    And the danger is that Key (or English) does get elected in those circumstances because both sides are offering the same non-solutions.

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

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to Barnaby Nicholls,

    Miliband was damaged by much out of his control

    Maybe so, but he was also damaged by much that was well within his control. The ‘from memory’ keynote speech, the ‘Edstone’… On a visit to the UK last year I was shocked by how underwhelming, how unready for government Miliband and Balls appeared to be, and I think that in those circumstances, the swing votes tend to fall to the incumbents.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    you'd need a ute, at the least

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The last major reform of Labour happened in the 1970s, carried out by Anderton and Clark. It is still, essentially, a First Past the Post political party.

    I actually disagree with this. There have been three really big changes made to the party post the 70s. The first was in the 80s, and especially under Ruth Dyson, when a bunch of alterations were made as part of factional warfare. The second was in the latter half of the nineties when the Clark ascendancy was put together. And the third, like it or not, was in the last term, when a bunch of reforms were made that didn't really help that much, at least in the short term.

    And I also disagree with the thesis that the NZLP is an FPP party. Like almost all NZ parties, it is a hybrid between FPP and proportionality, because like all NZ parties it operates in a hybrid system. (The Greens are the only pure PR party in NZ at the moment, and this is a specific adaptation to imposed demand.) Labour's problems of reform are big but I think conceptualising it as FPP/not-FPP is a bit whiggish in terms of the whole implicit-narrative-of-progress. Part of Labour's problem is a regression since the Clark era.

    The fact is that I would estimate that probably half if not more of the current senior organisational leadership are at least one of (a) burnt out (b) incompetent factional hacks (c) primarily interested in protecting their own power base. Under Clark this didn't matter because her and Cullen pulled the strings and the organisational wing was pretty much ornamental, particularly one you got beyond the Party President and General Secretary.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    There’s a vote. People vote for the candidates they like. Some of them are Steffan Browning.

    I’d say this points to the absence of a factional system, on an evidence basis.

    Except as Danyl points out, an internal faction that is independent of the external public that The Green party is trying to get to vote for them.

    The consequence is that, like Labour, The Greens, have MPs that can barely walk and talk at the same time. Hard to work up any enthusiasm for voting when you have MPs like that to vote for.

    By contrast, National have one MP - the PM. Everyone knows exactly who they are voting for and exactly what they are getting. The other National MPs say nothing and do nothing that could in any way disrupt that mindset.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    say nothing

    Judith Collins?

    do nothing

    Mike Sabin?

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

  • william blake,

    Waitakere Man has been jerrymandered into John Keys safe electorate of Hellensville. While John Key lives elsewhere never attending to his electorate. Waitakere man has been conned.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Except as Danyl points out, an internal faction that is independent of the external public that The Green party is trying to get to vote for them

    You both seem to have a different definition of "faction".

    A party faction is a group with a varied degree of organisation, from a few MPs who hang out together to an organised society with offices and a website. I don't believe there are any of these in the Green Party, but feel free to provide references that refute this?

    The members of a party are obviously going to have opinions, or they wouldn't join the party in the first place (well, unless their chosen party gives out dodgy visa approvals and so forth). That isn't a "faction".

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    There is no Waitakere man at all. No Labour voter that has decided after all that National are wonderful. The data is really clear on that. The National vote has not changed. Instead there are Labour voters who rightly enough have decided that the MPs chosen do NOT represent them.

    It’s hard to blame them for that.

    I’ve often thought that Labour hasn’t so much lost votes to the Nats, but rather it’s lost them to the common nouns of cynicism and disillusionment. And you know what they say about common nouns being harder to fight than proper nouns. Seems there are a lot of people who don’t trust Key, but at the same time they don’t necessarily trust Little or the Greens to best him either. The Alliance didn’t survive without Jim Anderton (and it's just agreed to deregister), and Te Mana couldn’t capture the ‘missing million’. It’s a problem not unique to NZ.

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    Erm I think if George and Danyl say that factions or factional behaviours exist (to some extent) in the Green Party then that is evidence in and of itself given their political backgrounds.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Yes. I'd still love to hear what characterises them. I'm imagining age as much as anything, with the old Values/eco-hippies being one group.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes. I’d still love to hear what characterises them. I’m imagining age as much as anything, with the old Values/eco-hippies being one group.

    Browning certainly seems to have been delivered by the woo faction, although he only went up one place (from 16 to 15) after the list was voted on. Sue Bradford’s exit after failing to gain the co-leadership also seemed like a factional defeat.

    And as someone else has indicated upthread, the party’s male co-leadership race is also a bit bitchier and more ideological than it might appear on the surface.

    This isn’t really a criticism. It’s a normal state of affairs. It just doesn’t seem true that the Greens are a party entirely without factions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    say nothing

    Judith Collins?

    do nothing

    Mike Sabin?

    Yeah the axe is sharp. In fact the Sabin issue is a great example of what happens when they don't toe the line, Sabin gets the chop AND they lose the seat.

    The scary thing is just how quickly the sewed Judith back together again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    There’s obviously a lot of members of the Green Party that believe in woo (although their numbers are small compared to all the National supporters who believe in Islamic terrorism, Labour backwoodsmen who deny climate change, and NZ First voters who believe in Islamic terrorism, climate change denial and chemtrails).

    That doesn’t make them a faction unless they engage in some form of organisation. And I fail to see how you could organise for a postal ballot in a mass membership organisation without leaving some sort of trace…

    (Oh, unless their Hippie Magick actually works and they can organise by telepathy. That must be it).

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It's fairly hard to avoid giving an MP the chop when they're on trial for [REDACTED} with their [REDACTED]. One would think, anyway.

    However many suppression orders are in place, you can't hang on to an electorate from inside a jail.

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

  • andin,

    common nouns of cynicism and disillusionment.

    Lots of stuff to back it up as well. Nice!

    sewed Judith back together

    uuugh.. theres a movie title in that

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    at the same time they don’t necessarily trust Little or the Greens to best him either.

    I'd say they don't really trust Little or The Greens.

    It isn't so much that they want someone to beat Key, but rather they want someone who they can tell has a (to use Craigs excellent word) consistent policy and who they believe will enact that policy.

    Quite frankly even if Little could ascribe to a single policy for the next two years I actually don't trust the guy. Not just, all politicians are liars distrust, but I have no belief that Little has any motivation other than power and hence would shift policies on a whim.

    That feeling is almost certainly unfair. But I don't think I'm alone in the feeling that the Labour MPs on show have no genuine personal values and hence I have no idea what they'll do if they got in power.

    As for The Greens, it seems as if they will be a voice in parliament but never the voice* and so even if you trusted them to do good you can't trust that the good will be enacted. Layer that with Browning confirming the loony Green meme every time he opens his mouth and trust in The Greens is a hard vote to make.

    *BTW for me that is just fine and appropriate, the way MMP is supposed to work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    (Oh, unless their Hippie Magick actually works and they can organise by telepathy. That must be it).

    The Internet.

    Danyl is organising for James Shaw's campaign, and knows that there are semi-organised groups who think that the party should move in various different political directions and give more or less attention to different things. These people talk to each other and work together. There is also a degree of geographic segmentation, personality based politics, and minor levels of patronage. None of these are terrible things, and none of them are pronounced to the degree that they are in some other parties. But they do affect outcomes.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    “Pt Chev liberal” is shorthand, the same way “Waitakere Man” is.

    Ah, I get it! It's like "Epsom Dick". It's a kind of person who may not live in Epsom, but they are a dick like many who do?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    “Pt Chev liberal” is shorthand, the same way “Waitakere Man” is.

    I still don’t understand why “Pt Chev liberals” are to blame. Don’t they have a right to their reckons like Waitakere Man does? It’s not as if they exercise some wicked mind-control on the party executive. One might think they’re a not-insubstantial constituency Labour would risk losing to the Greens if Labour became too illiberal.

    My sense is that Labour's The Future of Work thing might actually have some legs. There's a constituency of Labour voters who would welcome a broadening of the party's focus to include contractors and the self-employed. I know a lot of liberal sorts, particularly in the creative trades, who would respond to that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I have no belief that Little has any motivation other than power and hence would shift policies on a whim

    I think Little actually wants to lead Labour, I just don't think he knows where to.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to George Darroch,

    None of these are terrible things, and none of them are pronounced to the degree that they are in some other parties. But they do affect outcomes.

    But somehow the party manages to work together with a pretty coherent policy base and public message. Unlike the last three terms of Labour in opposition.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    My sense is that Labour's The Future of Work thing might actually have some legs. There's a constituency of Labour voters who would welcome a broadening of the party's focus to include contractors and the self-employed. I know a lot of liberal sorts, particularly in the creative trades, who would respond to that.

    I'm particularly interested in their proposals for ICT apprenticeships, because they single-handedly address all the career issues I'm having right now. But all the cheap shots and sideshows appear to be drowning out the good stuff.

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

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