Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The tradies with those V8 pickups are the business owners (and the truck is probably on credit)

    Yeah, but a lot of tradies are sole traders. As in, the business owner is the worker. It's not an especially high aspiration that after learning the trade, one can contract out.

    But of course the big bucks go to the capitalist tradies, as in everything, the ones who profit from the labour of others.

    Munter: Isn't there a word for that?
    Van: Yeah. "Sweet".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Also, I'm not whining on my own account. I'm wealthy, by most standards. Free education, good job, etc. Not as rich as my parents, who got the full force of the largesse given out to the baby boomer middle classes, granted.

    And I'd rather today's young people were looked after and had a future. Also I'd prefer not to have to step over derros so much - you know, if I wanted to live in the third world, I'd have moved to the USA.

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

  • steven crawford,

    Sitting behind the one-way glass listening to that was no fun at all.

    Holly shit! I almost thought you actually sat behind a one - way glass.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Once again, this Puddlegum blog article begs the question: did Labour really lose votes to National, given the Nats’ actual number of votes barely changed, or did Labour lose votes to the “missing million”?

    Data doesn't lie, only the people interpreting data lie.

    The data indicate that for some reason Labour supporters have been choosing not to vote. They aren't voting Green, they certainly aren't voting ACT, and they aren't voting National.

    That interpretation is consistent with the data (which is not the same as being true).

    It gets even more interesting if you look at electorates like mine (Mt Roskill) where Goff creamed in but Labour took a bath.

    Again that data is consistent with Labour voters choosing not to vote for the party while at the same time choosing to vote for Goff!

    I find it hard to believe everyone at Labour HQ is a moron, so they must be looking at the data and asking serious questions - but everything about the data says asking "why did you switch from Labour to National?" is a really stupid question because sod all folks did that.

    If people are happy with their MPs (Mt Roskill) but unhappy with the party - it really suggests that something about the way MPs interact together with the each other and the party as a whole is causing a LOT of voters to say "fuck that for a lark" and walk out of the voting booth having left the party vote unchecked, or much simpler gone to brunch instead.

    Contrast that with National where all those farmers and countryfolks marched out determinedly to vote.

    Labour as a party failed to provide their voters with a reason to bother.

    My personal feeling, looking at the data, most folks didn't actually believe Labour would do anything if they were in power. Even if you hated what National had done, nothing about Labour convinced people they would actually change anything - so why bother voting.

    Even if you wanted the Moa brought back, the fact the rest of the Labour MPs immediately turned on him meant it wouldn't happen. Even if you wanted a CGT the way the rest of the Labour MPs mumbled into the mic about the policy made you feel like they wouldn't really make it happen.

    Nothing about the Labour Party and its MPs last election made you feel like they had any intention of committing themselves to getting anything done even if you agreed with what they said they wanted to do.

    So why bother voting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Pharmachick,

    (1) Not everyone can afford to live in Auckland. Get over it and move where the work is. I have done this multiple times in my life out of necessity,
    (2) I don’t understand why anyone thinks they’re *entitled* to a house in Herne Bay or Khandallah right out of School/Uni. Our parents *aspired* to that and worked their way up the ladder.
    (3) Working in the trades is beneath precisely *nobody* I mean, my God do yo know what plumbers earn? They work very hard, but they do well. So perhaps instead of all this Uni/NCEA nonsense, for some people we need to re-emphasize the Trades.
    (4) Build more housing. The Auckland chokehold is ridiculous. Yes, I understand that rampant expansion cannot continue, but as Kiwis we have more land than we pretend to.
    (5) There are winners and losers in life. I have been both a winner and a loser in my time. Learn this. learn how to pick yourself up when you “lose” and don’t throw a hissy fit (well, not for more than the “allowable 24 hr pity party”) then go back at it – this applies to current grads and the Labour party.

    #1: People move to Auckland because that’s where the plum jobs are. A number of people close to me have said they’re only up there because they couldn’t get work anywhere else, and if it wasn’t for their jobs they’d be back down south in a flash. Some form of regional development is worth revisiting.
    #2: Houses may be cheaper in outlying areas, but the gains are often negated by 3+ hour commutes. The CRL and plans to densify areas near it is a partial solution.
    #3: Agreed that university isn’t for everyone, myself included. To think otherwise is a recipe for credential inflation and wasted effort.
    #4: Those who want to throw the RMA on a bonfire are quick to invoke it if Donald Trump or the developers of the Burj Khalifa were to propose something very tall near them. The real issue is that some Aucklanders want keep Auckland s some kind of overgrown cow-town – think of the differences in urbanity and culture between say Vancouver and Dallas.
    #5: Have you seen this cartoon on privilege?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Pharmachick,

    Really? That’s very cool!!!

    Yup. They did work very hard, that I freely admit. But there was also a tremendous amount of luck involved in choosing St Mary's Bay, which went meteoric, and then Herne Bay, which is now the most expensive suburb in NZ. This on top of secure jobs, decent penal rates, free education, and wealthy parents. These are the conditions under which a psychologist and a teacher end up property multimillionaires.

    It's interesting to compare the fortunes of the children, all now in their 40s. Only I own a house, and that's in one of the poorest suburbs of West Auckland (we've "doubled our money", but I'm still living in a poor suburb in West Auckland - nothing else is affordable. I call it inflation, even if the official measure of inflation doesn't include the biggest cost in my life). My sister ekes out her existence as an artist, owning basically nothing, and my brother is the unlucky owner of some undeveloped rural property that he got saddled with through trusting the wrong people, and works abroad at high rates and still doesn't anticipate ever owning a property in Auckland, nor even being able to afford to move back here, the jobs in his field being hard to get. All of us paid significantly for our educations. None of us has ever had a secure job, although at times I've been on very high wages. At an age where my parents had kids leaving school and a house nearly mortgage free in Herne Bay, I just bit the bullet and had kids before it was too late, whether we could really afford them or not, and find my mortgage has not gone down at all since we got it, because we have had to extend it numerous times just to cover expenses.

    So two sets of people with very similar initial circumstances (well-off, middle class, healthy and intelligent) end up at quite different positions, considerably further down the social ladder despite a great many advantages over the bulk of the population. We've all learned to live with that, of course. I've simply changed my expectations. I expect to be lower middle class, because that's what 25 years have led to, despite considerable efforts, excellent initial luck and moderate subsequent luck. I don't even covet wealth any more at all, I've gone more like the millenials, more concerned with having a life worth living than with living up to the aspirations of a generation that simply can't appreciate where we're coming from and can't understand what we did wrong, having followed all of their advice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Pharmachick,

    There are winners and losers in life. Learn how to pick yourself up when you "lose" and don't throw a hissy fit

    If only I had some aspirational figures to look up to in the "not throwing a hissy fit when you lose" department.

    Unfortunately right now I have people like "state house" Key and "DPB Degree" Bennett. And don't we see some spectacular tantrums when Ms Bennett doesn't get her own way. She's not one to let minor legalities and moral questions stand in the way of a good vindictive spray. Is that the sort of thing I should be looking up to, do you think?

    FWIW, I started life as a winner and have kept it up, bar the odd misstep that luckily I had family to help me recover from. But most of that had nothing to do with me, how hard I worked, or how well I "picked myself up", it was all about having people around me to help.

    I think my obligation is to help others in return. I try to vote for politicians who accept the same obligation.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Pharmachick,

    There are winners and losers in life.

    Only if you perceive life as some kind of grammar school sporting event.

    It isn't. Those "losers" are actually human beings. They have children, who themselves have the intellectual and physical potential to create and love and contribute to the "wealth" of everyone. But they can't because everything about their situation means that those people and their children can never reach their potential.

    The nonsense we have been fed by Labour and National over the last three decades is that we need to pick winners and support them and they will lift our country to great heights. And well those losers - they can buck up and learn to be more like the winners.

    We are all all part of the same society. My life is diminished by the fact people die in cold damp houses. My life is diminished by kids leaving school at 15 without having the joy of actually learning. We all lose together.

    This isn't a damn game. It's not about winning and losing. Its about figuring out how everyone can live a really good life together.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Pharmachick,

    (5) There are winners and losers in life. I have been both a winner and a loser in my time. Learn this. learn how to pick yourself up when you “lose” and don’t throw a hissy fit (well, not for more than the “allowable 24 hr pity party”) then go back at it – this applies to current grads and the Labour party.

    Further to my point, what if many of the 'losers in life' are where they are through no fault of their own, especially if they have a disability or mental illness?

    The normal rules simply don't work - what value is there in telling wheelchair users to 'just be themselves' or 'HTFU' if they want to climb the stairs? I've had the same kind of experience in my capacity as an up-until-recently undiagnosed Aspie/SAD case.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Only if you perceive life as some kind of grammar school sporting event

    Brilliantly put. I wish I'd thought of that, but now you point it out I think you're absolutely right.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Your reply to #5 is just insulting. I am not going to give you my life history (mostly because its one of your business), but I could equally cry "bad small NZ town, broken home, abusive father" etc. That attitude is complete BS in the face of a determined approach to life.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Ummm does anybody here actually read the posts. I said people need to learn how to pick themselves up when they "lose". It was in quotation marks. Meaning that a personal/professional loss is just that it doesn't make any individual person a loser. God, you guys are a tough crowd.

    And FWIW I totally stand by my points about winning and losing in life. BenWilson gave an awesome example above where, by no real fault of his own, his brother ended up with a large country plot of no real value. I mean, that's a "loss" in anyone's books. But it sounds like he picked himself up and kept going. That's what every single one of us needs to do in order to keep our lives on track.

    And as to the "Grammar School Sporting Event" comment. Grow up.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • steve black,

    I hope this isn't going to develop into a case of

    Progress is to Labour as ACT is to National

    with parties running a two brand strategy.

    sunny mt albert • Since Jan 2007 • 116 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Pharmachick,

    Your reply to #5 is just insulting. I am not going to give you my life history (mostly because its one of your business), but I could equally cry “bad small NZ town, broken home, abusive father” etc. That attitude is complete BS in the face of a determined approach to life.

    So you are arguing that just having a "bad start" shouldn't stop you succeeding? Which is fine.

    I'm not trying to be insulting. Instead I'm trying to say that rather than put the onus on the disadvantaged to just "try harder" so that they succeed one by one (or just fail) we actually could treat this as real life and care about our fellow humans enough to help them.

    I don't win when you lose, even if your loss has nothing to do with me.

    I lose when we lose, because our society is diminished by your loss.

    The only way I win is when we win. That sounds horribly like some 5 am paid promotion but it is a different way of viewing our society. One that sadly got kicked to the curb 30 years ago.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I don't believe in communism

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to steve black,

    I hope this isn’t going to develop into a case of

    Progress is to Labour as ACT is to National

    with parties running a two brand strategy.

    I thought Mana and Labour could work like that - Mana proposing what (many in) Labour really wanted to do, pushing the envelope, providing the conscience and principle.
    But instead of welcoming Mana into the wharenui, it was all cold shoulder and 'wait outside' and 'get off our patch.'

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Pharmachick,

    I don’t believe in communism

    Good for you. It pretty much failed as a political ideology.

    Do you however, believe that there is no value in helping those who are struggling?

    What I'm describing is that the idea of winning and losing in society is inherently wrong. Things that harm a part of society harm the whole society. If someone is losing we should be helping them not chiding them for not trying hard enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Pharmachick,

    I don't believe in communism

    You don't think it exists, or you think that it's the only political system that can help disadvantaged people?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Pharmachick,

    Your reply to #5 is just insulting.

    The one about the cartoon, or the one about the ‘normal rules’? Or both? I wasn't directing my comments at you personally, I was referring to the wider issue of the "just world" fallacy.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Pharmachick,

    I don’t believe in communism

    How about the volunteer fire brigade?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    the hard left has become a bit strong within the party

    What do you consider "hard left"? What qualities does the "hard left" have? What policies does it support?

    I ask because I consider Labour a pointlessly wishy-washy party who have incrementally third-wayed themselves rightward into nothingness. I am mildly surprised to read your assessment of them so I'd like to know what you mean by "hard left".

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • KathrynB, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    This isn’t a damn game. It’s not about winning and losing. Its about figuring out how everyone can live a really good life together.

    That is exactly how I feel, Bert. I want every child born in this country to have a warm, secure place to live and to have access to a good education, I want a health system that is available to all. I want everybody to have enough money to have a decent standard of living, and that includes those who cannot work for whatever reason. I want those who work to be paid a living wage and have good health and safety standards at every workplace. I don't believe that is too much to ask from any government.

    However Josie Pagani, Phil Quin, Stuart Nash etc are not the people to deliver these things. Their politics are closer to that of National in the 1990s.
    Not only that, but I believe they were responsible for the perception of disunity in the Labour Party and part of the reason Labour did so badly in the election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2014 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Serpes,

    I think we need to be careful with looking at the polling and focus group data superficially. Especially when referring to the concept of "Unity." As Rob as said perception of disunity was a bigger issue than the lack of unity itself. And that points to a successful attack by National.

    At any point in time, both parties have factions arguing over direction, etc. That's perfectly natural, and even healthy. But the real issue is that the Labour Party let the National party tell their story for them. They were simply not able to tell their own story due to a combination of factors and the National party took advantage of that. Fixing "unity" isn't going to fix the skill gap in playing the game.

    Going a bit deeper I suspect that what people were actually worried about was competence. The voters that matter don't see govt the way we do, as a form of participation, they see it as an organisation to take care of all the shit they don't want to think about. A large number of voters don't even know which side is left and which is right. They just vote for who looks the most competent. And Key and his party have been better at showing competence externally. They give the impression you can trust them with the details of governing and not bother people in their daily lives.

    On issues where we have managed to get people to care, they've done pretty well in diffusing the attack. Like on child poverty with their raising the benefit.

    What this comes down to is a lack of strategy and skills. If not unity, people would have blamed something else for not voting Labour. There is always be problems with any given party, it's the job of the strategics to make the media and the public pay attention to the problems on the other side.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • tony j ricketts, in reply to Pharmachick,

    more moderate Labour voters - who, IMHO have left in droves as the hard left has become a bit strong within the party.

    Is it Labour voters who have left, or Labour Party members? If the 'hard left' have become strong within the party it's because the soft left have not the inclination to be involved. A party is by definition its members, and the surges in membership that have accompanied the leadership elections must impact on the balance of opinion in the party.

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • KathrynB,

    'Dirty Politics' also had a role is fostering a sense that Labour were not united and were incompetent, although I do think there was some basis for the disunity claim.

    From February 2014 there were anti-Cunliffe stories all over the MSM. Some, like the Donghua Liu story were clear examples of Farrar/Slater dirty politics at work. Others were from within the Labour caucus and from people like Quin.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2014 • 13 posts Report Reply

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