OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • HenryB, in reply to 3410,

    vastly underwhelmed by Shearer’s communication ability so far.

    Couldn't agree more. He has always struck me as a decent person but he just does not have any talent for communicating - and I am not even sure he has all that much to communicate. As you say, one would think that a thoughtful Christmas message would be within the grasp of most - but his was about as basic as it gets.

    I watched the University of Otago `Vote Chats' of Shearer and Cunliffe for the first time last night. In spite of what Keith said in his post that set all this off, I don't get it: Cunliffe would have got my vote on this.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to 3410,

    Check out Key’s RNZ Christmas message:

    I'd rather not, thank you.
    "I'm going to steal your stuff, sell it and then treat you like shit" is hardly a Christmas message.
    Or is he lying again?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Having made it about 25% of the way through a book of Jeremy Clarkson's newspaper columns

    Did you lose a bet?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    And we haven't yet got to snail-mail robocalling to dead coal miners.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    links didn't work as links).

    no http in front of them - need the full address to auto-convert

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And we haven’t yet got to snail-mail robocalling to dead coal miners.

    To be fair the explanation given at the end of the article is not terrible, but it does boggle the mind a little that it hadn't occurred to the responsible office that not everybody elected to councils would be there for the full three-year term. At least double-check the list once a year. If Santa can manage it...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to HenryB,

    Yeah, I’m in the same camp. For all the farandango of the public process, Shearer’s selection seemed like back-room business. Against all the evidence we could see, the weaker candidate was chosen.
    I think that’s why this thread has been, at times, rather fraught. Keith’s post was full of innuendo and snark towards David Cunliffe. But unless (as has been hinted again and again) there was a hidden back-story of the ABC movement, it was hard to see why.
    <rant> TLDNR :)
    Paul: the notion that Labour will go out and talk to people (focus groups, anyone) and then cut their policy cloth accordingly just fuels the narrative: they don’t know what they believe in.
    Russel Norman didn’t have that problem. Hone Harawira doesn’t seem to. Goff, during the election, managed to draw a clear line (with help from Cunliffe- the CGT initiative is a great move, which even has people across the political spectrum nodding assent) and reiterate some old Labour values.
    People in NZ like Labour’s policy. But some of us aren’t so sure Labour themselves believe in it. Or will fight for it. Or are competent to put it in place.
    That’s the job for Labour: show us you’ll fight, show us you can do a competent job in opposition, show us YOU believe.

    we forecast a declining tax base relative to government costs so unless we’re going to provide fewer services to our ageing population, we have to earn more offshore

    Look, that would be lovely, but it’s not so easy. And here’s the rub: great new innovative global businesses are nice to talk about. But they are not within government’s power. If it were, geeze wayne, every govt in the world would be doing it. Of course govt can and should do more for science, education, and innovation. It’s worth doing, in my opinion, whatever the financial return, because education is a social good, and knowledge expands the very horizons of humanity :)
    We can also hope it leads to greater wealth and national well-being. But it might not. (I’ll bet if it’s embarked upon with project management ‘benchmarks’ and timelines for ‘ROI’ it’ll be a mighty waste of human capital, goodwill, and money, too.)
    So what do we do about the growing inequality in NZ? We might look back at the years of relative equality, and ponder: hmm.
    Top personal tax rates were 65%. Benefits were relatively high. The ratio of worker to CEO pay was considerably lower.
    Labour did raise the top tax rate in 1999 to 39% (and the country hardly fell off a cliff- we entered a silly boom, in fact.) A CGT is a great first step. Labour’s plan was relatively timid, though, limiting it to 15% (I think this is what Bush, hardly a socialist, lowered the US CGT to) and excluding many things other countries manage to include.)
    And we might also hear Labour talk about raising benefits to a pre Nancy Richardson level that allows people a decent life.
    But somehow neo-lib orthodoxy rules, and these things are hardly thinkable, not able to enter the political conversation. Certainly not things Labour is going to fight for.
    I’ve voted Labour almost exclusively, all my life (Greens in 1999; Mana this time). I’ve been a party member, didn’t bother in 2010 because they seemed so weak and waffly an opposition, and a communications embarrasment. I may join again. Like most here, I certainly want them to give the govt heck and win in 2014. I want Labour to show and shout and demand there is another way to run the country, with values that are not all expressed in $$$$ and policies focused on equality of outcomes for all NZers (as Russel declared) not some phantom level playing field.
    Yeah, it’s frustrating. </rant>
    sorry for ranting, it's been a trying year :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    no http in front of them - need the full address to auto-convert

    Forgot that I updated the stupid Firefox, which now doesn't show full address. :)

    (How to fix it).

    The point of my above post, for those who couldn't be bothered unpacking my hopeless linking was that Shearer's Christmas message last all of nine seconds and was easily the weakest of any of the leaders' messages.


    PS. Prime minister accidentally sends a Christmas card to a dead miner.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to 3410,

    Forgot that I updated the stupid Firefox, which now doesn’t show full address. :)

    Oh interesting. Chrome doesn't show the protocol string either, but when you copy+paste from the title bar, it magically appears.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    But somehow neo-lib orthodoxy rules, and these things are hardly thinkable, not able to enter the political conversation.

    My sense is that while the Labour caucus still harbours people for whom these things are thinkable, they are terrified of the caning they expect they would get in the media. Almost all of New Zealand's political commentators have thoroughly internalised the neo-lib outlook and report accordingly. Since Labour no longer has a mass membership with alternative channels to get its message out, there's no way to get around the hugely unfavourable coverage such policies would attract. O'Sullivan, Trevett, Barnett, Armstrong, Clifton, Harteveldt and all that crew would rubbish Labour, and then their opinions would run as news.

    These things are thinkable, but not sayable in the political conversation. Yet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB,

    Re-reading Keith's post:

    Let’s face it, if Cunliffe didn’t offer his supporters portfolios and positions, there wouldn’t even be a contest.

    This is what I don't get. There IS no contest: from the point of view of somebody outside the beltway Cunliffe is a far better communicator of Labour's message than Shearer. And, frankly, Shearer doesn't communicate anything much at all.

    Keith asks, rhetoricaly:

    On election night, when Parker and Shearer quietly joined the grim gathering at Mt Albert, Cunliffe sent an advance fluffing party to the event. They loittered by the carpark, and when Cunliffe arrived, they – on cue – adoringly mobbed his car to create a set-piece for the gathered journalists.

    There are a few questions that arise. The first and most salient is: Who the fuck *does* that? When Labour talks about re-engaging with New Zealand, is *this* what this mean? When Cunliffe’s supporters talk about him being a great communicator and a master of ”modern direct engagement methods”, is this what they mean?

    Well, No. What they might mean - and I am not a `supporter' - is that he knows what he wants to say (what needs to be said) and says it. The only `fluffing' I have seen is Shearer's own efforts to try and articulate any kind of idea of what `Labour' actually means.

    I suppose I will be told that it is early days. Well, I certainly hope so because it couldn't get much worse than it is.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    These things are thinkable, but not sayable in the political conversation. Yet.

    Norman appears to be saying them... but the Labour leadership won't/can't/don't?
    Bottom line: if they don't have the guts to take on the media, why should we believe they have the conviction to do anything? The conversation isn't going to change all by itself.
    Shearer needs to stand up and say this stuff. Or he really is the 'lite-blue' option.
    And: bloody earthquakes. Just stop it! I am now on holiday!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to James Butler,

    Oh interesting. Chrome doesn’t show the protocol string either, but when you copy+paste from the title bar, it magically appears.

    As does my Firefox. That's a straight copy and past below, but the http:// isn't in the address bar I copied from.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/topic/3325/?i=925#replies

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    The conversation isn't going to change all by itself

    verily

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    As does my Firefox. That's a straight copy and past below, but the http:// isn't in the address bar I copied from.

    Yeah, I just tried that with the trimURL turned on again, and same result as you with web pages in general, but http:// not auto-copied across with RNZ's mp3 links, for some reason.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    Strange. By the way, I recommend copying the "Embed" url instead so people can choose to download or stream.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Damn pre-Xmas rush keeping me off PAS for two weeks. Catching up:

    it worked for Obama, the first Northern president since Kennedy

    I'm not sure we could count Reagan and Nixon - both from California, as Southern, in terms of the political divide, Presidents.

    Not that odd that the Herald & Stuff are talking up Shearer when you consider how right-wing they are, which outgoing right-wingers are backing Shearer, and those newspapers’ desire for continued Tory rule.

    Grant however isn't from the right wing of the Labour party.

    I doubt any of us have lived through times that will be as turbulent as what we’re staring down the barrel of right now.

    Except for those of us that have lived through the 4th Labour govt. And who actually knows what the next 3+ years turn out to be - it might not be as bad as the 1990 - 1999 National govt.

    It’s all been done in the exact reverse order to what it should be. It’s lost the initiative entirely.

    I think it's more chicken and egg than cart and horse. You could make that argument about the greens - because they're much more grass roots owned, leadership should in some way reflect the direction of the membership and their policy.

    In Labour, it's more leadership based and that person certainly has a lot of control over the direction of the party. So I can see why they didn't want to mire themselves down in three months of "what's our new direction" focus groups and caucuses, before putting that template onto a new leader... only for that new leader to look at the camel that was before him and throw it out as unworkable as far as they were concerned.

    That’s MMP, it’s made of coalitions. In the UK they don’t have the same system. I know it’s hard to get your head around after all these years, but get used to it, it’s here to stay.

    I really don't get the... I dunno what it is... idea? that this grand coalition of the almost left came oh so close to working. Greens, Mana, labour, NZ First and Maori Party? It's just not political reality in this decade. Numbers 1 & 3 are going to struggle to work together, and 2 & 5 ain't going to work together this term at least.

    I suspect you'd have seen the Greens prop up the national government before that coalition lasted three weeks. The election wasn't close, it wasn't even close to close. You need at least a 5% swing to make a left wing coalition possible.

    I’m just suggesting he could have known about it.

    Don't you think that if Hooten had known that the Labour party had already arranged the post-loss leader switcharoo, that the National Party would have been trumpeting it from the rooftops?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Hone’s address in reply. Sounds almost like a leftist!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cFEPqnZVOdk#!
    Not sure why it doesn't embed :(

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Greens, Mana, labour, NZ First and Maori Party? It’s just not political reality in this decade. Numbers 1 & 3 are going to struggle to work together, and 2 & 5 ain’t going to work together this term at least.

    One & three? Greens and Labour would struggle to work together? Or did you mean 1 and 4?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,


    “motoring columnist” – partisan much?

    I hitchhiked from Papakura to Taupo as a passenger with Eric Thompson a year or two ago. We talked mostly about motor racing, and design. Nice guy, but it was mostly me listening to his strong opinions about how the world worked. I didn’t have much inclination to try and steer things away from particular preconceptions. Perhaps I should have.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    In Labour, it’s more leadership based and that person certainly has a lot of control over the direction of the party. So I can see why they didn’t want to mire themselves down in three months of “what’s our new direction” focus groups and caucuses,

    I hear interesting and promising discussion coming from within Labour, but like most things we'll have to wait to see what (if anything) comes of it. I believe the intent is sincere, but good intents have always been evident in Labour and have enabled as much as they've been a force for change.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    I hitchhiked from Papakura to Taupo as a passenger with Eric Thompson

    classic

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    feature=player_embedded&

    it doesn't like that bit in the middle.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Yeah, 1 and 4 sorry.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    and though I can't see a preview of the embed this time, it plays just fine when I click the "From Youtube" text link below that. #sigh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

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