OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I think you are starting to get there, where ever that might be to quote our King-to-be hopefully a question we can find an answer for
    It is not about "money in every pocket" Germany had that after WW1 and it turned only good for lighting the fire but it was a big fire

    A couple of weeks ago a poster here (might have been Ben) said that he felt he and most of his cohort were poorer than his parents

    I think we need some firm indications of what the terms "poverty and rich" really are
    Is it a state of mind (ability to pay that unexpected bill), reality (can't feed, care or house ) or even more complexity

    As I said we need to know the real problem before we can solve it

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But anyway, 'twas but a moment in a rather grumpy thread.

    Yes, in fact the grumpiness, or rather passive-aggressiveness of much of what was said has made me rethink getting involved in such conversations. Goalposts being shifted don't help either, so one moment I think we're talking about the Labour Leadership, but in fact we're talking about the left as a whole, and then we're actually talking about the bit to the left of Labour, and then we're actually talking about societal politics rather than that stuff that happens in Wellington.

    It's frustrating. I was just trying to say something about Shearer, and Labour's chances at leading a Government in 2014 and end up being categorised both in the unthinking media camp, and the ignorant middle class. It reminds me why I don't hang out here much these days. And I vote Green, FFS.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    On a brighter note: I interviewed Holly Walker, Jan Logie and Mojo Mathers today. All very impressive (yes, I would say that), totally committed and there for the right reasons. I would love to force everyone who voted for NZF to watch those and compare them with interviews of their newbie candidates, and ask where they think those salaries are better spent. Okay, not that much of a brighter note.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Damian Christie,

    And I vote Green, FFS

    Commie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Is it a state of mind (ability to pay that unexpected bill), reality (can’t feed, care or house ) or even more complexity

    Poverty is not being able to get the things you need. This means both day-to-day necessities and unexpected events; for instance, New Zealand takes away one of the biggest causes of poverty in the US by having a nationalised healthcare system, so costs are spread across the whole population. You can muck around with poverty lines and exact numbers, with greater and lesser levels - it's possible to be poor and still have people poorer than you - but, ultimately, it comes down to not being able to survive on what you have. This manifests mentally (the stress of not knowing if you can pay the next bill) and in reality (not being able to buy those new shoes, or turn the heater up.) The "real problem" is not complicated or even complex; it's pretty obvious. It's the solution that people are debating.

    Ben's right about money in every pocket, too; there are things that are most effective when delivered by government (healthcare, education) and things that are most effective when acquired by the people who need them in response to their actual needs (clothes, food, household goods) and some that are between the two (housing). Unless you're proposing a really radical restructuring of the economy, that involves money, and people having money.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    arggh. I'm not even a party member and I'm equally or more naive. But I feel I have to respond to Lew, one final time.

    Dude, I think it is wrong to judge reaction to Shearer from the party activists yet, a day after he has won and those who strongly supported Cunliffe are coming to terms with the loss and what the future direction of the party will be.

    I think this attitude and the statements of yours need much more unpacking.

    Again I'm unqualified, but from what little I have read my understanding was that political parties were becoming the world over less and less mass movements, and that even where someone like Obama engaged a large number of people through social media the engagement was fleeting and the commitment limited.

    Part of the problem of Labour may be what a contemporary MMP political party should be and how it should organise itself, and how it can include and attract those time-poor and poor-poor people who are highly skeptical of what value they would be allowed to add. Or have no history of political engagement personally or in their family. I'm sure that Moira Coatesworth is and has been thinking about these things. As you say crucial things for NZ and the state of our democracy.

    I think in any group you are going to have a range of opinions and experience. Even the one-eyed can have skills to bring to the table, especially if they are offering them gratis.

    Anyone who door-knocked, enrolled or engaged a voter during the election as you said deserves our admiration. Even the obsessive ones.

    Ultimately too, politics is about a group of people and to steal off Churchill: People are the worst, apart from every other evolutionary step that has come before them!

    hope not too flame grilled? cheers

    p.s. I feel there is also a bit more to this as you talked about losing those with 'moderate' views which suggests a drawing of a political continuum that itself isn't static. I'm not sure in what sense you meant moderate here.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Dude please do. I enjoyed your contributions.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to martinb,

    how it can include and attract those time-poor and poor-poor people who are highly skeptical of what value they would be allowed to add. Or have no history of political engagement personally or in their family.

    Those are precisely the type of people who will not stick around if the most extreme 1% of the party are loudly complaining that the glories of communism are still not manifest, comrade.

    Any political movement has to moderate its extremes somehow, even the small ones. Or be resigned to a tiny but pure niche that never attracts enough support for even one seat in parliament. Not to say there aren't other ways of influencing change.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to BenWilson,

    udiences that see her, but can’t get 10g of funding to do a show that would employ many other dancers, while millions of dollars are swung towards a dance school specifically geared towards profiting from the labours of dancers. The new owner of this school proudly announced to an entire generation of fresh and (in my sister’s highly expert opinion) amazingly talented kids coming out of the Unitec school that she got to teach at for peanuts, that they were at the high point at graduation that their dance careers would ever reach, and they must join her or die. It was

    It has long been my belief (I’ve been a self-employed writer for 28 years) that the people administering funds for the support of artists and their endeavours earn way more than 99% of the artists. As do people administering artistic institutions.

    For a long time, I’ve pushed the idea of a basic minimum living wage – artists included! What most of us need is untrammelled time. Time that we can work at our art/craft; think about it, dream about it, accomplish
    what only we can do. If there’s enough for us to live on, work on (and most of us are fairly low consumption types) then we’ll enhance most other people’s lives., one way or another…

    Miserable living in garrets doesnt work.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    People need the opportunity to find a way to contribute to society, be it in a traditional 9-5 job or otherwise, that lets them live without constant fear that this week will be the week the car breaks down or they have to go to the after-hours or all the kids need new school shoes.

    Well said Lucy. In all seriousness, I think that for a lot of New Zealanders that society is called "Australia". And for the odd one it's called "Canada". ;-)

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    It is not about "money in every pocket" Germany had that after WW1 and it turned only good for lighting the fire but it was a big fire

    To be fair, Germany was having the living shit squeezed out of it under the harsh Versailles settlement terms. The system quite literally forbade their country from economic recovery. Sez Wiki:

    The total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion Marks (then $31.4 billion, £6.6 billion) in 1921 which is roughly equivalent to US $442 billion and UK £217 billion in 2011, a sum that many economists at the time, notably John Maynard Keynes, deemed to be excessive and counterproductive and would have taken Germany until 1988 to pay.

    I'm not surprised that hyperinflation occurred under those circumstances. Fortunately NZ is not in the situation of owing all of our coal, oil and steel to an aggressive superpower for the next ten years, although it seems likely that we may end up owing quite a lot of our electricity to foreign investors pretty soon. Which, in the relentless drive for more jobs, more cash, more blow, more hoez, could mean that we owe foreign investors to dig up our coal to fire the generators to make them more money from our need to heat ourselves.

    A couple of weeks ago a poster here (might have been Ben) said that he felt he and most of his cohort were poorer than his parents

    I did say that. There are exceptions, the odd baby boomer who never got in on the property gold-rush, but the overall trend is that we're better trained, and considerably poorer than our parents.

    I think we need some firm indications of what the terms "poverty and rich" really are
    Is it a state of mind (ability to pay that unexpected bill), reality (can't feed, care or house ) or even more complexity

    It's a discussion worth having.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    another part of the jigsaw falls into place about why you reckon the Greens have libertarian tendencies

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Sacha,

    Those are precisely the type of people who will not stick around if the most extreme 1% of the party are loudly complaining that the glories of communism are still not manifest, comrade.

    I've been to that meeting...

    I'd like to at least acknowledge there has been some improvement. Open Labour was a good move, the red alert blog too. Likewise Politics in the Pub (I think this is not party affiliated however?). Party membership might need to change more fundamentally. By way of an alternative, the fastest growing political movement in Australia is GetUp which claims almost 600,000 members.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Islander,

    What most of us need is untrammelled time.

    Nice phrase. So true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Sacha,

    Is that a fair characterisation of what is happening specifically with Labour though?

    Remember too that the tactics of this term have been to create false moderate positions for the Key government, by setting up a more extreme proposition further right such as the Working Welfare Group.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So Rich if you are unconvinced that Labour's failure was content based then you need to come up with an alternative explanation for the observed fact. It may be that the public didn't understand or weren't convinced well enough by the message. But to my mind that comes perilously close to denying the observation.

    To me it seems mosT likely that somecombination failed content and failed ability to engage voters wit Labour's fundamental ideology (whatever that may be at the moment) is the most likely cause.

    If I was Labour I'd be unwilling to bet the next election that it was merely poor delivery of message.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Ben I'd be just happy with policy that hadn't been proven to fail elsewhere. Not making other people's mistakes would be a great start.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Islander,

    For a long time, I’ve pushed the idea of a basic minimum living wage – artists included!

    Gareth Morgan agrees with you. Working for Families was as close as the Labour'a got to this and Key said it WfF was communism by stealth (and then kept it).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to martinb,

    Is that a fair characterisation of what is happening specifically with Labour though?

    I believe Lew's point was fair about the tone of some of the online discussion. I don't know much about Labour's innards, though others here do.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It may be that the public didn't understand or weren't convinced well enough by the message.

    Isn't it standard comms wisdom that the conveyer of the message is responsible for success rather than the receiver?

    somecombination failed content and failed ability to engage voters

    Agreed (I think)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Damian Christie,

    It reminds me why I don't hang out here much these days. And I vote Green, FFS.

    Ya great big Flouncer, harden up. If you can't handle the kind of tongue lashings delivered on the most polite of sites in nearly the whole of Christendom, how do you get through one minute on TV?

    Gio's a bit sorry, I'm sure. Just a bit. But he made a valid point - to claim that there is no difference betwixt the two GOPs is something that ignores the existence of people at the fringe of both groups, who either stand to make millions, or stand to be evicted and freeze in the streets, on the minor differences between them. That's why I'm to the left of Labour myself, because it drags them away from ignoring the casualties and prioritizing the mega rich. If they simply move their blob the other way, it's not a win for the "left", it's a loss. And it's silly, because there are so many votes to win that don't need to come from moving around at all, but simply working out what it is that the 33% who didn't vote actually want. I think what they want is a real choice, one which has a real upside potential for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Thanks for the Morgan link.

    The concept just makes basic sense -especially if you kick in taxation after the ceiling is reached ( and make the taxation of *all* sources of income, including CG, mandatory…)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Ben I'd be just happy with policy that hadn't been proven to fail elsewhere. Not making other people's mistakes would be a great start.

    Which ones are you bitter on?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Damian , you and Russell show up, and I have immense respect to that. Voting Greens makes you left apparently, so welcome, but the left is a big bunch of greviances and sore points. The right in this country voted on mass to one party in an attempt to circumnavigate MMP. But it didn't happen.

    Everyone wants to know what left means but debating it seems to be painful.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to BenWilson,

    Awe +1 (de PasTagged, was getting me silly).
    And quite what was this supposed downer tone on the thread because the only down was coming from those who couldn’t understand the supposed down ;-)

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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