Laila Harre on The Nation

Laila Harre was interviewed by Patrick Gower on The Nation yesterday, Harre stepping down as Internet Party leader

Key points:

  • Stepping down as leader of the Internet Party
  • “I would love to be in parliament.”
  • The Internet Party “could be wound up”.
  • Continuing the merger with Mana “will be up to Mana”.
    “The agreement with Mana was always predicated on the assumption that we be in parliament.”
  • “We completely mismanaged the last month of the campaign.”
  • “…the media chose to focus on sideshows rather than to allow us to present ourselves in the way that we were presenting ourselves. 
  • “What I regret is actually the failure of the Left overall to get its act together in a strategic and tactical way during the election.”
  • “This was always going to be a very finely balanced election outcome. There was no way, no way, never in any polls that Labour and the Greens were going to get sufficient support to form a majority government. That meant we had to rescue progressive votes to.
  • “Labour ruled out just about every other party during the course of the election campaign, and I think that was a big mistake.”
  • On Labour – “They didn’t like us. They didn’t want us, but we were there and they needed to accept that reality.”
  • On Dotcom’s email fizzer – “I believe that Kim, given the opportunity to share everything about that email, would be able to defend his belief that it’s real. Look, I can’t answer that. I wasn’t directly involved…”
  • “What was there for me and for the kind of politics I represent, was the chance to change the government and to get a platform in parliament for some very new progressive ideas.”
  • “Where to from here? Well, for me, being outside parliament as a political party is not a game that I think is worth the candle. What I want to do, though, is continue to promote and connect with the kind of more radical, I guess, policies that we began to introduce into the election. And when I say radical, I don’t mean marginal. I mean radical in the sense of fundamentals. So I’m going on a journey in February with my sister. It’s called ‘Rethink the System’. We’ve got a website. Rethinkthesystem.org. We’re going on a sort of pilgrimage meets activism to connect with people over fundamental social change issues.”

Full interview:

Patrick Gower: Good morning. Good to see you after a while.

Laila Harre: Nice to be here.

Are you still here as leader of the Internet Party?

Yes, I am here as leader of the Internet Party, and at the moment I’m guiding the party through a review of the future. I’ve also made a personal decision that once that review is completed, I will step down from the leadership of the Internet party. All options are then open for whether or not the party continues as an electoral force or moves into some other formation and plays its part in politics in a different way.

So that will be by Christmas? You will step down by Christmas?

Uh… yes. The timeline at the moment is that we will be putting together a couple of options that members will engage on, will vote on and will take from there. I just wanted to make it clear to the members, from whom I’ve had tons of support, and there’s been a lot of good feedback to me personally from members, that continuing as a political party does not— they can’t make the assumption that I will continue in the leadership.

Sure.

I’ve made a firm decision about that.

It’s over; you’re out. What does this mean for your political career?

For me, it means that I’m no longer leading the Internet Party. Whether the Internet Party continues as an electoral party is up to the members. If it—

What about Laila Harre personally? Is this your political career over now?

Who knows? Look… (LAUGHS) rumours of my political career being over have circulated many times over the last, you know, 15 years.

Look, I would love to be in parliament. I would love to be articulating the kind of fundamental agenda and values that Internet-Mana promoted in the election campaign, and I’m not prepared to say never again to being personally at the front line. But I also saw emerging in our election campaign an incredible set of younger candidates.

And I feel a bit like a mother hen here. I want to enable them through my decision to step down to explore all their political options too rather than be trapped in this year’s political entity and this year’s political tactic, you might say — to explore their options more.

It may— it may be, by what you’ve said there, that the Internet party doesn’t continue as an electoral-type party.

That’s definitely one of the options that we’re actively canvassing with members.

It could become a lobby group or be wound up.

It could be wound up. It could— the capacity that we’ve built. Look, we’ve had massive engagement on our policy-development platforms, in our social media—

And the merger with Mana — that isn’t going to continue?

Well, I mean, that will be up to Mana and if the Internet Party continues as an electoral party, the Internet party. Um, the Mana Party are having their AGM in a couple of weeks’ time. The agreement with Mana was always predicated on the assumption that we be in parliament.

So, of course, all bets are off there, but there’s very strong goodwill. And again, for me personally, that was one of the strengths of what we did this year — was engaging our constituency with a kaupapa Maori party, which I think is critical to the future of New Zealand politics.

Let’s reflect on the campaign now, cos we know the story. Internet-Mana went from 2.3% on the 3News-Reid Research poll, higher than that on some other polls, then you started to crash. In the end, Hone Harawira didn’t make it; nobody did. What went wrong?

Um, well, what went wrong was that we completely mismanaged the last month of the campaign. We had amazing momentum before then. The road trip, I think, worked extremely well. What other party just went out there on the front line, engaged with such large audiences?

What was the mismanagement?

I think the kind of beginning of that, really, was Georgina Beyer’s attack on Kim Dotcom, which fed into what became a narrative of a rift and division, and it was one that we just couldn’t knock through the rest of the campaign. It became completely distracting from the release of policy, for instance. I mean, we launched a full employment policy that was second to none and did not get one minute of coverage on, you know, national news.

That’s because Kim Dotcom stood up and talked about hacking,…

Well…

…and Pam Corkery attacked the media on the same—

Well, no, it’s because the media chose to focus on sideshows rather than to allow us to present ourselves in the way that we were presenting ourselves. So, you know, the media made a decision to focus on Kim, and in a very negative way during that period.

The only way that we could have avoided that was to take him completely out of the picture. And of course then there would have been all the stories of ‘what’s happened to Kim Dotcom?’ And ‘has he been side-lined?’ And so on. So we’re kind of in the lose-lose position. Beyond us—

Do you have any regrets in all of this? Cos you must have.

I have absolutely no regrets about choosing to get involved in this project. Back in April— late April when I was first approached to consider the leadership, it was very very clear that Labour and the Greens were not going to make it over the line.

I was utterly committed to a change of government, and in order to change the government, we had to make sure every single progressive vote would count. For that to happen, Internet Party votes had to count. For the Internet Party votes to count, they had to do the deal with Mana. And for Mana to do that deal, they needed a leader that Mana had some confidence in.

Sure.

So I said yes. I put myself into that position, and I think it was absolutely the right thing to do. What I regret is actually the failure of the Left overall to get its act together in a strategic and tactical way during the election.

What do you mean by the failure of the Left overall?

Well, let’s go back to early April when the Greens and Labour pulled the plug on each other. At that time I was on the Green Party campaign committee. I felt that was a terrible error by both parties. I thought it was a major error by the Greens to leak the collapse of that discussion.

You’re saying that you were working inside there at the time and the Greens leaked…

I was on the campaign committee as a volunteer. I wasn’t working for the party, but when the Greens decided to leak the collapse of their discussions with Labour, I felt really concerned about what that meant for the election campaign, because what it meant was what I went through before the… around the 1996 and previous elections, that this was going to become a competition for votes on the Left rather than a cooperation of Left parties to change the government.

Here’s the counter argument, and you know it. Labour and the Greens put the failure of the Left at your feet.

Well, it’s very convenient.

They blame it on Internet-Mana. Andrew Little, all of the Labour leadership candidates all say being connected to Internet-Mana and to Kim Dotcom helped bring the Left down.

I think, actually, what brought, overall… I mean, this was always going to be a very— Can I just give you my view on this? This was always going to be a very finely balanced election outcome. There was no way, no way, never in any polls that Labour and the Greens were going to get sufficient support to form a majority government. That meant we had to rescue progressive votes to. To do that—

I understand all of this. But what also happened was National romped home. It wasn’t close. The Left got thrashed. You guys have been blamed for helping bring down the Left and at the same time there’s an argument that you pumped up the Right. People who were scared of Kim Dotcom. People were scared of Internet-Mana. People didn’t like to deal with Hone Harawira. Not only did you tear down the Left, there’s an argument that you helped John Key win by more.

Well, let’s look at some of the facts here. The Internet-Mana Party deal led to an increase in support for the combined two parties. The early part of our campaign, which Kim was very actively involved in in the road trip, saw a growth in support for Internet-Mana. It was at that point that the Right went fully on attack against Kim, and used Kim and the Internet Party-Mana agreement as the basis for an attack on the Left. At that point, Labour—

And it worked.

Yes, but why did it work? Because at that point Labour and the Greens had a choice. They could either join John Key’s narrative, or they could do the only thing that would have made it possible to get over the line, and that was to accept that putting together a majority in parliament, this time round, that did not have National as part of it was going to depend on working constructively with other parties. Labour ruled out just about every other party during the course of the election campaign, and I think that was a big mistake.

So in summary, those parties not supporting Internet-Mana, those parties trying to distance themselves from you, is to blame for your downfall. You’re blaming Labour—

No, I’m not blaming them for our downfall. What I’m saying is that I think they just played into the Right’s narrative about it. So they fed it. They made it more of a problem. And I think the key to politics is knowing and accepting the environment you’re operating in. They didn’t like us. They didn’t want us, but we were there and they needed to accept that reality.

Let’s talk about Kim Dotcom now. Are you still on his payroll?

No! Goodness, no.

Are you still in contact with him?

Yes. I’m periodically in contact with him.

How?

Mainly by text message. Kim is focussing on his legal issues, obviously. That’s the critical point.

Did you ever seek assurances from him that he was not involved in the hacking, that he was not connected to Rawshark?

I didn’t need to because he was absolutely upfront and direct about that, and I completely accept those assurances, and I also believe that John Key knew, and John Key said now that he knows who the hacker is. I think he knew who the hacker was, and he that he knew it wasn’t Kim Dotcom, and he kept feeding you guys.

Look, we had this conversation during the campaign where he had convinced you that he believed Kim Dotcom was the hacker. I think we now know that he knew right from the start that Kim Dotcom was not the hacker. That was just a complete red herring.

As for the moment of truth when Kim Dotcom failed to deliver. You know, the proof was apparently that email from Kevin Tsujihara. Warner Brothers says that that was a forgery. I mean, do you believe it was real?

I believe that Kim, given the opportunity to share everything about that email, would be able to defend his belief that it’s real. Look, I can’t answer that. I wasn’t directly involved in obtaining it or being involved in the process of—

Either Kim Dotcom’s forged it or Warner Brothers has made it up.

I absolutely don’t believe Kim Dotcom has forged it. I absolutely believe that Kim believes it’s real based on the evidence he has about its origins.

The $3.5 million. What happened to that? Who’s got control of it?

Well, that money’s been spent. I mean, let’s remember that that money was spent from pre the launch of the Internet Party in March and committed. I think we could have done a whole lot—

Was this it for you? The dream of a well-funded campaign — the chance of a lifetime. Is that what was there for you, and now maybe you regret it?

What was there for me and for the kind of politics I represent, was the chance to change the government and to get a platform in parliament for some very new progressive ideas. Look, I’ve walked off platforms in this election campaign where I was the only candidate—

And speaking of walking, where do you go from here?

…the only candidate promoting free tertiary education. You know, you had Labour and Green candidates saying user-pay tertiary education was a necessary evil. I reject that. Where to from here? Well, for me, being outside parliament as a political party is not a game that I think is worth the candle.

What I want to do, though, is continue to promote and connect with the kind of more radical, I guess, policies that we began to introduce into the election. And when I say radical, I don’t mean marginal. I mean radical in the sense of fundamentals. So I’m going on a journey in February with my sister. It’s called ‘Rethink the System’. We’ve got a website.

Rethinkthesystem.org

We’re going on a sort of pilgrimage meets activism to connect with people over fundamental social change issues.

Sounds like fun. Really sorry. We’re out of time.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Source: Scoop

Laila Harré quitting Internet Party leadership

3 News report on Laila Harré’s comments about quitting the Internet Party – Laila Harre stepping down as Internet Party leader

“All options are then open for whether or not the party continues as an electoral force or moves into some other formation and plays its part in politics in a different way,” she told The Nation.

The party could be wound up, though if it decides to continue any on-going merger with Mana was not guaranteed.

Internet Mana had completely mismanaged the last month of the campaign, which began when Mana candidate Georgina Beyer publicly attacked Dotcom, Ms Harre said.

“[That] fed into what became a narrative of a rift and division and it was one that we couldn’t knock through the rest of the campaign. It became completely distracting from the release of policy.”

There was a good reason why there was a negative narrative.

The media had also focused on Dotcom on a negative way.

There was a good reason why Dotcom was focussed on in a negative way.

Ms Harre didn’t rule out a return to politics in the future.

“I would love to be in parliament. I would love to be articulating the kind of fundamental agenda and values that Internet Mana promoted.”

It’s hard to see any of the current parties wanting her as one of their MPs. Once political principles are compromised it can be very difficult undoing the damage.

She didn’t have any regrets about her involvement with Internet Mana.

“For me being outside parliament as a political party is not a game that I think is worth the candle.

“What I want to do though is continue to promote and connect with the kind of more radical policies that we began to introduce into the election.”

She has started a website with her sister, Rethinking the System, as part of that journey.

Harré’s announcement yesterday that she is stepping down from leadership.

Laila Harré to step down – member survey still open

I wanted you to know before the public that I will be stepping down from the leadership of the Internet Party at the completion of our current review.

As I said after the election, I am committed to guiding the Party through the review so that members have the final say on what the future looks like.

I thought it was important for you to know my own position before decisions are made. I can see from the survey results so far that you have appreciated me and my leadership – and I can tell you that it’s mutual. I am very proud of what our candidates, staff, active members, and on-line forum participants have created and achieved in just a few months. I really hope that you will all take part in the survey and decision-making process as it’s important to reach into the whole membership for your views.

The survey will close at midnight this Sunday 23 November.

Here is the link again: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/InternetPartyFutureMemberEma…

Thanks to those who have already responded to the survey on the future of the Internet Party.

If you haven’t please do. Whatever your opinion of the future we want to hear from you.

This survey is not a vote – it is intended to canvas all the options and engage members. One we have identified those options (nothing ruled in or out yet) members will make the decisions on the future.

Thanks for participating.

Laila Harré,
Internet Party Leader.

Laila Harré and the Internet Party

Laila Harre is in circulation again after being very quiet since Internet-Mana’s election disaster. She will be interviewed on The Nation this morning (TV3 9.30 am).

The Internet Party website is still dormant with the last ‘News’ post on September 18:

EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION A NATIONAL SCANDAL

Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political gain.<

Today a former senior counsel to the Customs Department turned whistleblower after being instructed to withhold information for political reasons.

Ombudsman Dave Beverley Wakem has confirmed that evidence of this nature is emerging more widely, saying: “The Ombudsman’s relationship with the government service was based on trust. Without that, we’re all in trouble. We may as well kiss democracy goodbye.”

“This situation is extremely serious,” said Ms Harré.

“There is no other word but ‘corruption’ to describe these claims.

“Unless a new government moves rapidly to establish a Royal Commission I will be taking all this evidence to appropriate international forums. The claims are in breach of Commonwealth values of governance, and that is where I will start.

“The United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which has primarily been invoked on matters of financial corruption, contains broad provisions which may also apply to political corruption of this nature.

“Make no mistake, this is our Watergate.

“John Key is now juggling so many scandals he cannot keep track of them.

“If New Zealand does not resign him on Saturday there is no remaining doubt that he will be gone before the end of next year.

“Any government he leads will be wracked with controversy and instability.”

That was so serious it went dead after the election. Perhaps she will bring it up again this morning.

There has been a mixed reaction to the announcement on The Nation’s Facebook page about Harre. For:

Sally Hunter: We need people like Laila. Will be watching again after the post-election drivel that’s been on the last couple of months.
Jesse Butler: I got truck loads of respect for Laila
Ra Matenga-Eparaima: Don’t give up Laila! Ignore these arrogant, think-they-know-everything twats who got sucked in by the lies that was fed to them.
Graeme Stanley: I like Laila Harre.I am listening to where she wants The Internet Party to be in the political Spectrum.
And against:
Mark Pandelidis: No one cares about Laila, you should just let her crawl back under the rock she came out from….
William Kuai: I m interested how your programme persuaded the lady to be interviewed. She has got over the loss?
Mark Pandelidis: she wont give up, she’ll be waiting for the next person to buy her “services”…… what do they call that sort of person again??
Lazadas Jay: Laila harre was Kim dotcoms puppet. Here’s a saying. If you dip a turd in gold. It’s still a turd. Kim dotcoms that turd. And Laila harre bought into his b.s.
James Halcrow: Will she be back on the airwaves telling us all about how much integrity she’s got?
James Burke: I hope you ask her about Hone hiring convicted and alleged rapists and pedophiles. Some even under her Internet Mana banner
Stewart Fletcher: haha, shes useless…………………..good job that whole pathetic party is done
Marta Camargo: The lady that play mother Tereza, I will only trust a word of her when she sell her few million dollars mansion and give 1/2 to the poor or the ones she said lives in poverty.

It’s going to be difficult keeping interest going in a failed party.

Harré on herself:

@lailaharre

NZ’s newest, most awesome political leader

What’s happening with Mana?

Very little by the look of things. The Mana Movement seems to have stalled since their election disaster. Their current website home page:

Mana post election webpage

There doesn’t seem to be much revolting going on. They are still showing “Help us change the Government” and a number of Internet-Mana election items including “The Roadtrip” with Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre – that turned out to be a bad trip.

And the last post was a month ago, a Media Advisory on October 7 which begins:

“MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”

The recount was another failure.

There is some ongoing activity on their Facebook page – but they are still promoting “Party vote Internet Mana”.

Mana Facebook

@ManaParty on Twitter hasn’t been active since the 2011 election.

@ManaPartyNZ states: Official Mana Party twitter feed. Mana, ko te waka whakarei o te iwi.

It has only tweeted once.

There are several Hone Harawira Twitter accounts but none seem to be active. Harawira hasn’t featured in the news for over two weeks, he seems to have dropped out of sight.

Time will tell whether this is a hiatus for Harawira and the Mana Movement or if they will fade from the political landscape.

The Internet Party seems to have also stalled since the election. Their website seems to still be in election mode and the last “News” post was on 18 September, election day.

There is one sign of life though, Annette Sykes (Mana Party)is listed as a speaker at the Global Day of Action against the TPPA event in Rotorua today.

Otherwise the Mana Movement looks morbid.

Dotcom and Internet Party still blaming “the media”

Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party are still blaming “the media” for their unsuccessful election campaign.

Dotcom has been reported on TorrentFreak – Kim Dotcom Breaks Post Election Media Silence:

“The Internet Party failed to deliver meaningful change in New Zealand at the last election because of the media spin by our opponents,” Dotcom says.

“They have successfully turned me into a villain, a German Nazi, a horrible employer, a political hacker, a practitioner of prohibited digital voodoo magic and nothing short of a monster. I would hate that guy too if I didn’t know that it wasn’t true.”

Dotcom says that part of the problem is that he has powerful enemies who in turn have friends in positions of influence, including in the press.

“When you have the US Government, the NZ Government, all Hollywood studios and all major record labels fighting against you, you don’t have a lot of friends, especially in the media,” Dotcom says.

“They either own the media (like in the US) or control the media with their significant advertising spending. Their passion to destroy me and everything I do, because of a copyright disagreement, is almost as fanatical as some of the religious extremism I see on TV.”

So he thinks “the media” is a part of the conspiracy against him – even though a High Court judge has just ruled there is No ‘air of reality’ to claims “of a conspiracy between the United States and New Zealand Governments”.

A post at Endarken: You Be The Judge: 3 Different Versions of NZ’s “Moment of Truth”

That the entire mainstream media had Glenn Greenwald sitting in front of them, waiting to answer any question they had about mass surveillance, New Zealand’s role in it and Snowden’s revelations, and instead chose to attempt to saddle him with baggage from the ongoing Dirty Politics anti-Dotcom vendetta, is a travesty.

It was five days before the election and Dotcom had just failed to front up with evidence he had promised – the supposed original purpose of his town hall extravaganza. The media covered the Snowden and Greenwald aspects as well but it was a Dotcom show that was supposed to turn the election.

From an exchange on Twitter:

The “goals” of IMP, especially employment policy was barely mentioned by MSM.

Media also barely mentioned Loomio: that much of the policy was put fwd by members.

God forbid public be allowed to know there was real alternative to the status quo.

It’s a fair claim that the media generally favours the status quo but that’s well known and Internet-Mana had a massively funded campaign that should have been able to counter that,

The Internet Party’s social media manager :

So you’re saying small parties working to get in shouldn’t have a voice in media?

I responded “Of course small parties should get a fair go from media but favourable coverage is not a right” to which Callum replied:

But ethical and fair coverage of issues ought to be.Do you think current media presents shallow view?

@Norman_Penaia

The “goals” of IMP, especially employment policy was barely mentioned by MSM.

@economicsNZ

Was that a conspiracy or ad hoc chumminess in the lobby?

Election campaigns are very competitive with all parties trying to get media attention. The media far from perfect but most of the time tries to give a reasonably fair coverage.

Internet-Mana was a new and unusual political arrangement and I think they would have got far more coverage than their 1.42% proportion of the vote. Obviously not all of it was favourable coverage but that applies to all parties.

The Maori Party got almost as many votes – 1.32% – but would have received far less media attention, and who found out what their goals or policies were?

NZ First got 8.66% of the vote and I doubt they got any more – my guess is significantly less – media coverage than Internet-Mana. I don’t recall anything about NZ First’s goals or policies being covered.

Just about anyone in politics thinks the media doesn’t give them a fair go (including me). But how the media operate is well known.

Internet-Mana had a far bigger budget than any other party so should have been able to buy substantial coverage, yet they got much less vote than Conservatives (3.97%) and arguably more media coverage.

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party got about a third the vote of Internet-Mana but would have received a very small fraction of the media coverage.

In the end about 4 of each 300 voters chose Internet-Mana. Te Tai Tokerau rejected Hone Harawira.

Voters are perceptive and make their own judgements on both positive and negative media coverage, as David Cunliffe found out (some of his supporters also blame the media).

Feedback I got suggested that many people didn’t agree with the appearance of a rich person buying the election. They were suspicious of Dotcom’s motives. They saw a major disconnect between Mana and Dotcom, and Laila Harre and Dotcom and that was apparent as Harawira appeared to get uncomfortable and disillusioned.

Voters rate personality and perceptions of competence ahead of party policy, especially policies of small parties who are unlikely to have much policy success.

The “fuck John Key” event that was promoted by the Internet Party wouldn’t have helped. And so it goes on.

And in the end the Internet Party had claimed that they would be different and appeal to a different constituency – via the Internet. That bypassed the mainstream media. And it failed to get sufficient support.

The Internet Party failed at being an Internet Party.

And for all it’s deficiencies mainstream journalists have been around poitics for a while. They can be quite perceptive too. They could obviously see deficiencies in Internet-Mana and reported likewise.

The election is history. Dotcom and Internet-Mana made a big splash – and initially got disproportionate media interest plus unprecedented public interest in it’s many campaign meetings – and then sank.

Blaming others won’t change anything. And blaming the media won’t help any future political prospects.

“The Downfall of Kim Dotcom”

Political junkie Geoffrey Miller details The Downfall of Kim Dotcom – How the Internet entrepreneur’s venture into New Zealand politics went off the rails.

Kim Dotcom’s foray into the tiny and normally rather placid world of New Zealand politics brought global interest to the South Pacific nation’s recent election – culminating with the involvement of other outside heavyweights, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Ultimately the über-wealthy German immigrant went head to head with the country’s prime minister – and lost. Dotcom ended up failing spectacularly – describing himself as political “poison.” His Internet Mana alliance, personally bankrolled by Dotcom to the tune of nearly NZ$5 million ($3.9 million), failed to win a single seat in New Zealand’s 120-seat parliament in elections held on September 20.

He summarises:

In May, Kim Dotcom described his pet political party as his “gift to New Zealand.” On election night, he was forced to concede that his very brand had been toxic. For John Key, Dotcom turned out to be the gift that kept on giving. New Zealand voters’ loathing of Kim Dotcom and his tainting of the country’s left played no small part in delivering Key’s center-right National Party a landslide victory.

After the election, a jubilant Key had only one piece of advice for the defeated Dotcom. “Go away.”

http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/the-downfall-of-kim-dotcom/

Harawira and the Greens

Hone Harawira has been talking publicly two weeks after his election loss. He talks about his key policies, child poverty, homelessness, unemployment and the Treay of Waitangi as if he was had been the sole crusader on these social issues.

From a Mana media release on Friday: Mana’s Challenge To The 51st Parliament

MANA defined its position when we announced that our constituency would be those we call TE PANI ME TE RAWAKORE, the poor and the dispossessed, and our last three years have been a challenging and vigorous time where we have staked out our place in the political world – a commitment to ending poverty for all and particularly those most vulnerable in our society, our kids; a commitment to putting an end to the grinding homelessness affecting tens of thousands of New Zealand families; a commitment to putting the employment of people ahead of the sacrifice of jobs in the endless pursuit of wealth for the few; and a commitment to a future where the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured as the basis for justice and good governance in Aotearoa.

Mind you – being so highly principled brings with it enormous risk, not least the fact that KIDS CAN’T VOTE AND POOR PEOPLE DON’T, but I am proud of what we have achieved in our short time in parliament.

When we first raised our FEED THE KIDS policy three years ago, everybody laughed, so we took our kaupapa on the road, we built a support coalition of more than 30 national organisations, we pushed the policy into the top 5 issues of the year, and with the support of a standout series on Campbell Live, we got a poll last year that showed more than 70% supported a government-funded food in schools programme.

When we called for 10,000 NEW STATE HOUSES EVERY YEAR until the housing crisis was over, other politicians squirmed, but after challenging them at a Housing Action protest outside parliament, Labour took up the same call for 10,000 new houses a year, albeit theirs was more a pitch to woo middle-class voters than a bid to help the poor.

We took up the call for FULL EMPLOYMENT because to accept anything less was to accept failure, and by pushing for the minimum wage to be the LIVING WAGE OF $18.80 AN HOUR, we forced other so-called left-wing parties to follow suit.

Other left wing parties might dispute that they have been “forced…to follow suit”, in particular the Greens.

This theme was also prominent in an interview on Q & A yesterday. It began:

Do you regret doing this deal with Kim Dotcom?

Harawira: No I don’t think I do, I mean…

You don’t think you do…?

Harawira: No no no no. I mean we have two hundred and sixty thousand kids living in poverty in this country, we’ve got more than thirty thousand families that are homeless, more than twenty five percent of Maori youth are on the dole.

There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.

The Greens in particular have also strongly campaigned on very similar issues.

Harawira: There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.

But you’re not there now to…

Harawira: Sure. But was it a risk worth taking? Absolutely it was, because even now that I’m out of Parliament I’ve received hundreds, probably more than a thousand emails, text, phone calls really regretting the fact that I’m not in there including from National Party supporters.

I think genuinely there needs to be a voice for te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed in the house, and I think that was Mana’s role and it will be Mana’s role in the future.

Harawira’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. Mana’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. A major reason for this is Mana’s alliance with Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party.

There were hundreds, probably more than a thousand people warning against this. It looked like a huge clash of principles.

Sue Bradford resigned from the Mana Party because of the alliance. She had previously been a Green MP.

Laila Harre left a prominent job in the Green Party to lead the Internet Party along side Harawira’s Mana.

Russel Norman spoke strongly against the Internet Party and the Internet-Mana alliance.

Harawira and Harre chose Kim Dotcom over the Greens to try and help the poor and the dispossessed.

The Green Party has fourteen MPs in Parliament. Harawira and Mana are out.

Why did Mana choose to be backed by Dotcom? How many kids could have been fed by the four million dollars Dotcom wasted on a failed campaign?

Why didn’t Mana join forces with the Greens, who have very similar aims and policies?

If Harawira wants to continue his crusade for the poor and the dispossessed he could work with the Greens. Mana could ally themselves with the Greens.

What’s most important – speaking for the poor and the dispossessed from the sidelines, or being a part of a much wider campaign for the less fortunate in our society?

Perhaps Harawira wants to be ‘The Man”. He pulled out of the Maori party team to set up the Mana Party.

if Harawira joined the Greens, if the Mana Party allied with the Greens, many voices would be stronger than one man and his movement outside Parliament.

That would have more chance of real success than hitching hopes to Dotcom and Harre.

Green policies include:

A billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty

Workers will get a better, fairer deal under the Green Party

A healthy home for every child

Internet Party poll reaction ‘fun police’

There were interesting responses from the Internet Party to yesterdays two poll results. They tweeted:

.@ONENewsNZ poll has #InternetMANA at 4% before we’ve even launched our campaign. bit.ly/1qgoDCx NZers realise its time to change.

Support for Internet Mana had doubled in the One News poll from two to four percent – but the 3 News poll had them down 0.2 to 2.0% so mixed results and far from a comprehensive vote of support for change.

And I pointed this out and got a response:

Some New Zealanders may “realise it’s time to change” but the unknown is how many. Can’t generalise.

Thanks fun police. Gees Louise.

Valentine is the Social Media Engagement Manager for the Internet Party. Miriam Pierard @miriampierard – Internet Party Spokesperson for Education and Candidate for Auckland Central – favourited his tweet.

It’s no fun having a flawed claim pointed out? The exchange continued:

You must be a riot at parties. “Excuse me, not everyone might want to put their hands up in the air – EXCUSE ME”

This is politics – if you want credibility don’t cherry pick polls and don’t make sweeping unsupportable claims.

“Referencing a reputable poll in an exuberant fashion.” add it to my Pete George rap sheet.

Exuberance is good but 4% (or 2%) doesn’t represent ‘New Zealanders’. Polls suggest most don’t want change.

Kim Dotcom joined the cherry picking of polls:

is now at 4% in the polls. ChangingTheGovernment™

It’s not unusual for politicians to promote positive news and try to ignore less positive or negative news. It’s also not unusual for parties to misrepresent what polls mean.

It’s different to see them complaining that pointing out flaws is “the fun police”. Politics is not an online game.

Dotcom “invented cloud storage”

Kim Dotcom is claiming at Internet-Mana Party meetings around the country that he invented cloud storage. He seems to have his head in the clouds, or is generating clouds of hubris.

In Nelson – Dotcom roadshow wows the crowd:

His crime, he said, was to “basically invent cloud storage” on the internet and make “50 million people happy every day”.

In Dunedin – Otago Daily Times:

After claiming he invented cloud storage for the internet, Mr Dotcom said his crime was making 50 million people happy every day.

I was there and heard him make that claim. It doesn’t stack up, going by some simple research.

From A history of cloud computing (Computer Weekly):

The idea of an “intergalactic computer network” was introduced in the sixties by J.C.R. Licklider, who was responsible for enabling the development of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in 1969.

Other experts attribute the cloud concept to computer scientist John McCarthy who proposed the idea of computation being delivered as a public utility, similar to the service bureaus which date back to the sixties.

One of the first milestones in cloud computing history was the arrival of Salesforce.com in 1999, which pioneered the concept of delivering enterprise applications via a simple website. The services firm paved the way for both specialist and mainstream software firms to deliver applications over the internet.

The next development was Amazon Web Services in 2002, which provided a suite of cloud-based services including storage, computation and even human intelligence through the Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Then in 2006, Amazon launched its Elastic Compute cloud (EC2) as a commercial web service that allows small companies and individuals to rent computers on which to run their own computer applications.

From MIT Technology Review’s Who Coined ‘Cloud Computing’?

Some accounts trace the birth of the term to 2006, when large companies such as Google and Amazon began using “cloud computing” to describe the new paradigm in which people are increasingly accessing software, computer power, and files over the Web instead of on their desktops.

But Technology Review tracked the coinage of the term back a decade earlier, to late 1996, and to an office park outside Houston. At the time, Netscape’s Web browser was the technology to be excited about and the Yankees were playing Atlanta in the World Series. Inside the offices of Compaq Computer, a small group of technology executives was plotting the future of the Internet business and calling it “cloud computing.”

Who Invented Cloud Computing?

Other scholars maintain that the roots of cloud computing date back to the 1950s when Herb Grosch (creator of Grosch’s Law) predicted that one day the entire world would function on dumb terminals powered by as few as fifteen mega data centers.

MetaOption: ‘Cloud Computing': Omnipresent Metaphor and it’s Invention!

Hardy Schloer, during the 1950s, went a step ahead by patenting his early execution and employment of cloud computing, which he termed as ‘One page web”. It comprised of cloud storage, multi user applications and back-end-servers replete with security features!

No mention of Kim Dotcom or MegaUpload (which was established in 2005) in any of these articles, nor in Wikipedia’s Cloud storage which says:

References to cloud computing in its modern sense can be found as early as 1996, with the earliest known mention to be found in a Compaq internal document

So why is Dotcom claiming he invented cloud storage? And if this is a fabrication should some of his other claims be checked a bit more closely?

Dotcom has claimed Key has been lying about when he first knew of him for some time. Internet Party leader Laila Harre has very recently accused John Key of lying – 3 News:

“You knew from your research, or should have known from your research, it had no relationship with the Internet Party,” Harre said.

“You allowed the prime minister to lie and to cast a slur on the Internet-Mana Party in your conversation with him yesterday.”

 Perhaps Harre should do some research herself, and see who might be telling porkies.

Why has overt anti-Semitism surfaced?

Questions are being asked about the higher level of billboard attacks, especially the use of anti-Semitic and Nazi symbolism, and whether it’s related to what’s happening in Gaza.

‘Deep Red’ at Public Address:

So why has overt anti-Semitism only surfaced in the 2014 election, and not the 2011 one? I suspect it’s because what’s happening in Gaza, as well as elections in general, are even more closely tied to social media than they were even only a couple of years ago.

 

BillboardJewNazi

I don’t see it as related to what’s happening in Gaza much if at all.

One significant difference in this election is a new party combination that is campaigning on being disruptive with a primary aim of taking down Key and National.I haven’t seen any evidence this party is involved in organised billboard defacement, but two things it is doing may have at least contributed to a significant increase in damage.
– deliberately provoking and using a higher level of political hate
– activating a new breed of party supporter

Old party activists (Labour and National) may dabble in billboard attacks but will know from experience what a costly and time consuming pain checking and repairing damage is so are likely to avoid all out graffiti war.

Greens were embarrassed last campaign when caught doing a nationwide hit job on National billboards so will either have warning off their activists or will be doing it more carefully. Some Greens were caught defacing billboards in Dunedin a couple of weeks ago (“casual fascists”) but I think the party leaders and campaign team would be horrified if any maverick activists were found to be involved in Jewish and Nazi attacks.

So what’s new this campaign?

The Internet Party obviously, targeting new demographics of the young, disaffected and angry. And they have teamed up with Mana giving a small radical party much more coverage – but the socialist core of Mana are old school union activists who should be aware of the disgrace and dangers of indulging in the more extreme attacks that are evident.

The introduction of Nazi and Jewish symbolism in attacks is a very bad look, and may be counter-productive for parties on left regardless of whether they are directly involved or not.

BillboardJew

Have the visionary or the leader of the new party made any statements disassociating themselves from any of this?

Related to this they have disassociated themselves from one chanting video but promoted and defended another which was an odd contradiction. Were they disassociating themselves from responsibility for the content of the second video or just the distribution of it?

They have a potential problem in that having promoted and owned anti-Key rhetoric and actions they may now be perceived as associated with the actions of people who are independent of the party organisation.

Whether they deserve it or not they may reap what revolutionary behaviour and discontent they sow.

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