Polity by Rob Salmond

Read Post

Polity: On tour with The Boss

52 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • B Jones,

    I think there's a charming novelty value to one senior labour party person being publicly nice about another one. That to me is the takeaway from this - not whether someone is smart or inclusive or authentic - but that the labour folks may have stopped stabbing each other in the back and started to play nice.

    Anyone writing something like this is putting their rep on the line. You can't do this while still thinking "what if he lasts ten minutes like the last guy, then what's his successor going to think of me?"

    This doesn't change my opinion of Little (all of the above could be true of a leader I'd hate) but it makes a nice change from the past.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,


    How you like my clickbait game now?

    Can't resist.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • FletcherB,

    For me, two of the best indicators of someone who can step up from MP to PM are their ability to engage deeply across a wide range of issues, and their ability to cope with the demands of sustained periods in the spotlight.

    Desirable traits, no doubt, but our current PM doesn't seem to have needed that first one?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Odd … placed in that context, Little’s suddenly spookily reminiscent of Tony Barry from Goodbye Pork Pie.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    Wow, the wannabe guardinistas of PA are strong on this one.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • oga, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I'd read Fear and Loathing in Coatesville: The Mega Internet Party. Someone should write it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Detecting the watchers...

    Can’t resist

    Looking more Elvis Costello than Bossy...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    And, next week, Public Address will bring you Sia Aston on John Key, followed by Andrew Campbell on James Shaw.

    Don't forget Mike Hosking on Mike Hosking, Colin Craig on Colin Craig, Bob McCoskrie on Bob McCoskrie, and Paddy Gower on Paddy Gower.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to llew40,

    Sorry, I vote Labour, but I don't think anyone should be too surprised that there are people taking the Mick out of the breathlessness and earnestness of this prose.

    My disclosure of interest: long-time Labour voter who's voted Green since 2011. The Future of Work thing, plus the Digital Apprenticeships proposal, might just win me back, because those schemes recognise that not everyone has the ladder of opportunity handed to them on a silver platter by a butler. Now if only there was a PR expert who could outwit the likes of Lynton Crosby and Karl Rove...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Timmy Hayward,

    Rob, I've really tried to like Mr Little, but every time I am driving to work and he comes on Morning Report on an important issue, he just fluffs it. With Espiner on TPPA early last week (I think) was a classic where he sounded uncertain of himself and flailed around.

    Why oh why can't Labour just get the message simple, clear and unanimous! The Nats manage this almost every time, everyone saying the same couple of key points. The TPPA should've been a chance to own the message like "the economic upside in this agreement is frankly pathetic by itself (Groser got virtually nothing - Fonterra way disappointed!), and absolutely pointless when you consider the massive downside risk in loss of sovereignty". That's the elevator pitch, and then a couple of simple substantiators. This is PR/Comss 101, and no it isn't clever or sophisticated, but even MR hasn't got time for more detail than this.

    Now the Nats are on offensive over Labour finally adopting a position (that took way too long!) against TPPA and will paint you into a corner over the dissension in the ranks. And then if there is any violence in the protests they'll tar you with that brush too.

    I effing hate them, but gee they are a well oiled BS machine and you have to pull finger in this area to have any slim chance at all!

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Timmy Hayward,

    Now the Nats are on offensive over Labour finally adopting a position (that took way too long!) against TPPA and will paint you into a corner over the dissension in the ranks.

    Finally? Isn't it sensible to include the Caucus in discussions ?Too long? With no or limited information, how would you know whether to support it or not? Little is leader but with people like me sending mail opposing this Taking Peoples Power Away to many Mps I would expect him to discuss this with Caucus, which has happened and pretty soon after some information got released. They did have bottom lines of which they said ages ago that they would cross if accepted once these were taken to the table. That never happened. Shearer was part of that Caucus, Goff is leaving. They both have (imo) shown disrespect for everyone else in Labour , not just Little. As noted in todays Harold. Little is taking Shearer to task

    "Tim Groser ran roughshod over bipartisanship.

    . If people, as you have indicated, prefer the dishonest National government over decency that includes all New Zealanders in varying ways because of their well oiled machine, I can only see a black day for our Country as a whole.
    I just wish people could listen to what's said over what's printed by what seems to be journalists with an agenda and 'gotcha' tactics. Of course if they researched like Russell Brown and some can, we would be far better informed than the type of info we get now.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Timmy Hayward, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The TPPA was first released on Nov 6th last year. Yes timing is awful but that's a given, no point complaining about that, public won't care. Was there a Labour team on standby to pour over it straightaway? Perhaps a response timetable something like;

    6 Nov - 20 Nov: analysis and prepare briefing on the points of most concern
    20 Nov - 4 Dec: briefing considered by Caucus and position agreed
    4 Dec - 11 Dec: prepare communications of this position, media briefings etc.
    14 Dec: Labour's position announced, communicated clearly to all media. And every Labour person saying the same thing every time in every communication.

    Position nailed before Xmas, before Govt. has time to announce the ridiculous signing in NZ. Looks proactive and professional and competent. For icing on the cake, co-ordinate with the Greens.

    Or was there just too much internal disagreement to achieve this timeline? If so then it's same old.

    And I just think it's too much to expect that many people to spend a lot of time getting into the details, i.e. listening/reading outside of the MSM. Perhaps it is a "black day" but being able to get a position sorted and a message straight in a short amount of time just has to be within Labour's capability.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Timmy Hayward,

    The TPPA was first released on Nov 6th last year.

    A heavily censored draft, not a detailed one, so analysis was not finite, a press release from the Labour Party was issued the next day Perhaps you missed that.

    Or was there just too much internal disagreement to achieve this timeline? If so then it’s same old.

    Interesting sentence. Grown ups can disagree without it causing much concern, uninformed and biased opinion often fails to take into account that things actually happen without everybody knowing. Strangely, the people that don't know what is happening seem to be able to tell us what is happening inside a party that the would have nothing to do with that party if it were the last party on earth.
    If this TPP was a Free Trade Agreement it would be labeled as such, it is not, it is an agreement between interested parties negotiated behind closed doors.
    What is it that you actually don't understand?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,


    According to US Trade Representative Michael Froman:

    “President Obama’s trade agenda is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. That’s why we are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 21st century trade agreement that will boost U.S. economic growth, support American jobs, and grow Made-in-America exports to some of the most dynamic and fastest growing countries in the world.

    “As the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s economic policy in the Asia Pacific, the Trans-Pacific Partnership reflects the United States’ economic priorities and values. The TPP not only seeks to provide new and meaningful market access for American goods and services exports, but also set high-standard rules for trade, and address vital 21st-century issues within the global economy.”

    When you consider this thing started a Pacific region negotiation, it is quite an eye opener to see how the US hi-jacked it for their own benefit.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Looking more Elvis Costello than Bossy…
    ;- )

    Washing the defective?

    A bit more like AC~DC, Highway to Helensville* if you ask me.
    * (Possibly a highway to Nationals impotence)
    Highway to Hell… 'n' Back…
    Personally I would like Helen back… but it is the Little things that matter now.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Hi Steve. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole link but don’t think that specific quote you’ve picked necessarily demonstrates the US trying to put a stranglehold on everyone else, given that good trade agreements should benefit all participants, including the USA. That’s not inconsistent with what’s being said. But I agree that this result very probably is a case of big economies trying to stomp on others so they don’t have to adapt.

    Is it very clear, yet, what the economic hit of not signing would be? Most of what I’ve heard, scaremongering or not, is that even if there’s negligible future benefit, there would likely be huge losses from the current situtation of not being part of the group in future.

    Even if that justifies signing, it infuriates me even more, because it just means New Zealand, with other smaller economies, has let itself become trapped in a classic prisoners’ dilemma, with the US & Japan being the jailers. Nobody can leave without great loss to themselves, unless everyone leaves (which they won’t because too many others mightn’t).

    It’s a clear example of why this type of negotiation process shouldn’t be so secret from public scrutiny. This government, since 2008 and not long after the US joined in, has repeatedly said "trust is it’ll be great", yet it’s guided New Zealand into a situation where dominant economies have been allowed to get so involved, tread on our sovereignty with little or no obvious benefit for anyone.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to izogi,

    It’s a clear example of why this type of negotiation process shouldn’t be so secret from public scrutiny.

    Perhaps Toby Manhire, Understanding the Language of Politics can help us understand?
    yeah nah.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • andin,

    Im impressed by Little's announcement today about education.

    Not so impressed by Joyce's tweet. Who's "we" arsehole, you got a mouse in your pocket?
    And dribbling sniveling Seymour. Politics eh!easily turned into the meaningless playground for fools with mouths and little brain.
    Yeah yeah I know Joyce has a degree if he only put it to some use.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to andin,

    Yeah yeah I know Joyce has a degree

    Animal Science isn't it - a BSc in zoology - perhaps he's just gone feral...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to andin,



    As much as it pains me to beliitle this I’m not entirely convinced that it’s the solution. Certain free courses have long been available, so if you’re planning on studying any of these courses geared at people in poorer regions then it won’t make a difference:

    ~national-certificate in computing level 2
    ~national certificate in agriculture general skills level 2
    ~National Cert in Horticulture
    ~National Certificate in Forestry
    ~Certificate in Maori Studies
    ~Certificate in Maori Studies
    ~Certificate in Introductory Trade Skills Carpentry
    free of under 25s

    https://www.sit.ac.nz/ (fee free)

    This policy is not geared to addressing the divide between the rich and the poor

    The plan will not affect the existing living allowances and course-related costs. It would cost $265 million in the first year and $1.2 billion once fully implemented in 2025.

    When you factor in that for most courses offered in New Zealand, the courses themselves cost less than the annual living costs; many students are still being coerced into this 25 year old loan to live boat.

    Obviously many students can access a student allowance for living costs but those living at home whose parents’ combined income is $84,163.86 a year before tax and those living away from home whose parents’ combined income before tax is $91,448.30 then students will most likely require a government loan to assist them in paying for food/accommodation costs while studying.

    These are not inconsiderable sums, The median income from wages and salaries across all jobs in June 2014 was about $45,000 a year (or $865 a week) before tax, according to a Statistics New Zealand income survey. This includes full and part-time jobs. The full-time median income was about $51,000 ($989 a week).

    However the fact remains, that students are still not being treated fairly. Any student under 24 whose parents’ combined incomes are beyond these thresholds must consider taking out a loan from the government in order to assist in meeting the costs of survival while studying, as Tenants dig deep for place to call home.

    Most pressing is that parents are not required to act as guarantors for these loans regardless of a student’s age, currently 14b owed. Those students most advantaged by Labour’s new proposal are those living close to top tertiary institutions who may be able to remain living at home while studying.

    Some may argue that if both parents are earning over the median wage then of course they should assist with their childrens’ tertiary study, however ’parents should assist their children in accessing a tertiary education’ is not a provision that has been included in any New Zealand Government legislation to date. This is without also accounting for the number of children these median income earning parents may have.

    I’m hesitant to argue that our failure to provide a level playing field for our tertiary students via either the variable compound interest or means testing is an influencing factor on the above population (migratory) trends. But it’s highly unlikely to be a coincidence that every time someone complains about or gets arrested or dragged through the press for their student loan that they are all from the same generation; the generation that was charged interest on both their study and their living costs, and for the most part while studying. At the very least one expects that at some point someone asks where that generation (or at least 50,000 of them) disappeared off to. And why.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    He was under permanent scrutiny, both in what he said and how he said it. And he carried it off with ease.

    I guess the only shame there is that they’re not going to be voting. Having an entire workforce under your lead against a few bigwigs is not in the same ballpark as adeptly and persuasively relying on language alone to turn an entire workforce or at least half of one to appreciate – let alone adopt – an ideological position.

    Especially when that ideological position is that the sovereign power of successive administrations to maintain their power to overregulate the freedoms and rights of voters should be defended.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • andin, in reply to chris,

    This policy is not geared to addressing the divide between the rich and the poor

    Well no, that has to be addressed by other means.Like a living wage, not insidiously forcing everyone to become some kind of entrepreneur.
    And showing some respect and paying well those who are willing to turn up everyday to do a repetitive task, which employment is. Especially in the so called "unskilled" jobs.

    It is something that we’re stuck with now because our “societies” have become an overwhelmingly dominant part of our lives (as well as causing massive destruction to the planet) Few have a choice in the matter. So up yours all those libertarians out there

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to chris,

    Certain free courses have long been available,

    So they probably wont need to use this scheme then. What many seem to be discussing is students loans and any fee reduction for students has to help.

    "Three years of free skills training, of apprenticeships or higher education right across your working life" is what Andrew Little/ Labour said.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to andin,

    This policy is not geared to addressing the divide between the rich and the poor

    Well no, that has to be addressed by other means.

    It has to be addressed with every policy. Every single policy has to -in its way – take this into account, because that’s how serious the issue is, or at the very least every time a policy is introduced without accounting for the divide, and opportunity is missed and issue is exacerbated. Obviously I understand that entire generations have seen fit to stand by while lumping some of our students with huge loans and others not so much because of parental income, but were the shoe on the other foot and it were suggested that superannuation be means tested on the income of their children then that same generation (and most of us) would be appalled. And yet student means testing is something that Labour still doesn’t feel fit to prioritise.

    Having unskilled jobs is becoming a luxury if we can get them, but we’ve reached a point where (at least in this region) the number of applicants is so large that one can’t even get their foot in the door for an interview for a cleaning job at the local Countdown. To those within the hub these/ we are clearly little more than statistics.

    As for Libertarians, for me it really depends whether they’re of the left wing or right wing bent. Libertarianism and authoritarianism are on a different axis to socialism and conservatism e.g. the drug prohibition policies of successive Governments could be classified as being for the ‘benefit of public health’ by the socialists or to ‘protect the proles from themselves’ by the conservatives either way this is authoritarian (as opposed to libertarian) policy.

    The first casualty of Labours’ new policy is likely to be (zero fees) SIT and the Southland region. The winners will (as stated above) be those who live in close proximity to top tertiary institutions and especially those wishing to study high priced courses (which do generally lead to higher incomes), i.e. for the most part people who are generally already better off than those in the regions.

    Either way we’re still perpetuating a system where we are going to be producing some graduates saddled with debt and some with none whatsoever, for education.

    We need a living wage, and students need one too.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    “Three years of free skills training, of apprenticeships or higher education right across your working life” is what Andrew Little/ Labour said.

    I’m unclear on the specifics of that, the Herald reported

    There will be no age limit, reflecting the increased importance of lifelong learning in the 21st Century economy.

    Well beyond your working life it would seem. Honestly Sofia, if Labour were proposing a system that would also enable me and other graduates from my generation an opportunity to further upskill to meet the challenges of a changing workplace then I’d be all for it, except that as stated in the fine print

    The first year will be available to all new school leavers from 2019 for all NZQA courses, including all apprenticeships, and to every New Zealander who has had no previous tertiary education

    So though Andrew Little said:

    "The nature of work is changing rapidly and our education system must keep up if we are to seize the opportunities of the future.*

    Great for those without any previous tertiary experience who are wishing to upskill, but essentially meaningless to those who may have studied earlier and found their qualifications are no longer bankable, in yet another case of the interest charged borrowers subsidising better opportunities for every generation on either side.

    As things remain, over 30% of people in my generation were born overseas and yet when compared to local births the population for our age bracket has only grown about 5%. We were seen as replaceable and our concerns thus became inconsequential, and this is just another policy that reflects that. The X in generation X was a crossing out.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

This topic is closed.