Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That escalated quickly ...

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  • 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 • 1142 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to ,

    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 • 3229 posts Report

  • 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 • 10657 posts Report

  • 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 • 380 posts Report

  • 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

  • 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 • 382 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to ,

    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 • 4593 posts Report

  • 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 • 1027 posts Report

  • 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 • 325 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,


    Apologies to Terry Gilliam...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    “the Dwarves are for the Dwarves!”

    Labour used to be 'Little People'?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • 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 • 10657 posts Report

  • 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 • 2120 posts Report

  • 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

  • Russell Brown,


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

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    And in other news, Mike Munro, formerly Helen Clark's press secretary, has joined the Ardern team as strategic advisor.

    This is a pretty big deal.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And in other news, Mike Munro, formerly Helen Clark’s press secretary, has joined the Ardern team as strategic advisor.

    This is a pretty big deal.

    Very very smart move. Weekly Facebook live events is another clever way to improve the younger vote.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report

  • izogi,

    Yikes. The website overhaul leaps out. http://www.labour.org.nz/ (Front splash page that seeks donations only at this point, it seems. Click through and it's still talking about fresh approaches.)

    Is it meant to pause for a couple of seconds with nothing visible but Jacinda's giant face, or is that just my sub-fibre VDSL connection speed slowing the loading?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Jan Farr, in reply to Sam M,

    I agree it's been hard to find out what Labour's policies are if you're not looking for yourself or attending Labour meetings. Andrew gave an excellent speech to over 200 people in Carterton a few weeks ago and it was a real eye opener to most people there.
    I know it's easy to blame the media - but it does seem rather obvious that Andrew was pretty much starved of media oxygen from the moment his honeymoon period finished.
    And then, I heard Clare Robinson say on radio the other day that Jacinda's honeymoon didn't have long to go, because once we enter the election period the media is required to become fair and balanced! And here was me thinking that that was what they were meant to be doing all the time.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Young,

    If the Rainbow Labour Policy announcement is anything to go by, this is going to be an exciting campaign. Despite the trans health policy being so vague that a vote remains tantamount to a prayer, the equal rights stuff is excellent.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    We've got this!
    It may not be important
    but I do note that
    'Let's do this'
    hides a brazen sentiment:
    'Sod the list'

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Mike Munro, formerly Helen Clark's press secretary, has joined the Ardern team as strategic advisor

    Great to see someone competent back in the role at last.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Russell Brown,

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

    Also, the actual advert is very effective. The graphics are simple and uncluttered, the words succinct and to the point.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report

  • mark taslov, in reply to ,

    Just want to say, some of us are listening:-) I’m pissed off about how we neglect transgender peoples basic needs.

    Thanks steven, that means a lot.

    That a 50 year surgery waiting list seems to have been ruled out as a campaign talking point by all opposition parties speaks volumes about trans erasure in New Zealand.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Young,

    One does not expect an incoming centre-left administration to resolve everything, so staffing and funding of reassignment surgery will have to wait.

    Hi Craig, given that this is neither a staffing nor a funding issue in that a qualified gender reassignment surgeon, Dr Rita Yang, has been in the employ of the Counties Manukau DHB since January; and given that Labour has reneged on its 2017 promise to enact the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission’s 2008 To Be Who I Am report; "Justice Minister Andrew “Fiscal Gender Reassignment” Little’s office confirmed no action has been taken or planned to enact the recommendations" (possibly unsurprising given the Justice Minister’s previous form in this area); in addition to the Government’s unpreparedness to collect LGBTI data in the census; and in light of the Government’s failure to implement the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s 2016 recommendations, despite the PM standing up before the UN just a week or so ago and claiming before the world "That all people are equal. That everyone is entitled to have their dignity and human rights respected. That we must strive to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. And we must consistently hold ourselves to account on each"; mightn’t it be safer to assume that at this juncture, mental health week 2018, roughly a year out from their election win, messaging still in the thrall of anachronistic cisgender binary absolutism, the ongoing erasure of sexual and domestic violence against and within the rainbow community still largely swept under the rug, that rather than being stymied by either staffing or funding, that the chief issue might simply be that this Government fucking hates gender minorities and intersex people?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report

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