Cunliffe’s position untenable

David Cunliffe’s position as leader of Labour is untenable. He never had the confidence of his caucus and that looks worse than ever since a disastrous election.

Despite the many excuses offered by Cunliffe and others in Labour Cunliffe failed to interest the voters that mattered.

His supporters had claimed that the exposure the election campaign would give him would win over voters. The opposite happened.

It’s been claimed the diversions of ‘dirty politics’ and Kim Dotcom stole attention from Labour. To an extent that’s correct, but I don’t think Cunliffe repeating the same learned lines more often will have helped him at all. Possibly the opposite.

Cunliffe’s seemingly unresolvable problem is that as with Labour’s caucus, voters simply don’t trust him. He has tried to be too many things to too many groups and comes across as an actor, a fake. He doesn’t appear genuine, or at least you can never be sure when he is being genuine.

Roy Morgan poll trends show that Labour has lost support since the 2011, and notably after a short surge of hope after Cunliffe took over the leadership support has been mostly downwards.


Of course Labour has more serious problems than Cunliffe. Just switching leader for the fourth time since Helen Clark left after the 2011 election is not going to fix much.

It looks like heavily criticised party officials may fall on their swords, as Stuff reports in Labour at loggerheads:

Party president Moira Coatsworth has indicated she will step down, with a council meeting scheduled for Sunday, when general secretary Tim Barnett’s future will also be under discussion.

That may be justified, but can they find better replacements?

The incoming Labour lineup looks largely the same as it has for six years. Dead wood MPs remain. The party has failed to rebuild it’s talent – and it’s stuck with nearly all of them for another three years. A big cleanout and replacement could happen in 2017 but that at best would prepare the way for the 2020 election.

If Labour’s activist support in blogs is any indication their problems run from top to bottom. Major blog leadership, from Lynn Prentice at The Standard in particular and Russell Brown at Public Address, tends towards abusive and intolerant of varying views, doing the opposite of encouraging wider support.

Prentice posted Our children in Wellington yesterday.

I’m pretty sure that David Cunliffe would win a members and affiliates vote. So suck it up MPs, stop playing your silly caucus games and do some frigging work this term rather than the self-indulgent posturing you wasted time with last term. We have to start building campaigning machinery as soon as possible. You are getting in the way.

One of a number of old school activists blustering away. He commented:

We really have to do something about egotistical MPs making fools of the party and wasting everyone’s efforts.

That’s ironic, The Standard is in a position where it could help lead Labour’s resurrection but tends far more towards making fools of the party and wasting their efforts.

Like this:

It is clear that you have a shallow analysis about how political parties operate. Perhaps you should try doing some basics like delivering pamphlets, organising pamphlet deliveries, running a branch or working in a LEC. But it sounds to me like you wouldn’t be good at actual work.

Have fun jerking off. You read like a concern troll to me rather someone who has *worked* for Labour.

That sounds like a party malaise – unless you slave away uncritically you are abused and rejected. Numerous potential Labour voters have been abused and driven away from The Standard and probably from Labour – the sort of voters Labour needs the most, to the centre of the hard (Labour) left Standard.

In lprent’s post:

What matters for Labour is that Cunliffe is in place, displays the competences required, has built an effective policy team and campaign team (the latter needs more work). He is in the same position as Helen was after the 1993 defeat with a uphill battle to make a working campaign team to fight a party vote election. No reason to change.

a) Cunliffe hasn’t displayed the competencies required.

b) The policy team was not effective at revealing policies – lax information and lacking detail was common – and some of it’s key policy decisions are questionable.

c) The campaign team must take some responsibility for their dire results.

“No reason to change” is about as head in sand stupid as it can get.

In an earlier post Another 3 years of work (first notes):

Labour’s team finally started to work well over the last 5-6 months.

Labour had an awful election result and seems to be very publicly in disarray.

Essentially once McCarten went in and started to make them work together.

Working together and Labour seem to be opposites right now.

Policies look good, but they really needed to be bedded down a lot earlier. Six months of effective performance hardly make up for the five and half years of backbiting crap that went on previously.

Cunliffe’s performance was strongly criticised from the start of this year. The back stabbing is more evident than every.

If Cunliffe and his team had performed well and were performing well now Labour would be dealing with their defeat calmly and sensibly. Stuff headlines reality: Carnage as Cunliffe clings on.

I will be voting for Cunliffe in the forthcoming Labour leaders election. Not so much for him (although he improved a lot through the campaign), but more for the team he has (finally) built and which Labour will need in the next 3 years.

With allies like Prentice and The Standard the future for Cunliffe and Labour looks bleak.

To just about everyone but Cunliffe and a small number of blind hard left activists Cunliffe’s position looks to be clearly untenable.

A commentator said on Sunday that things couldn’t get any worse for Labour. They seem to be deteriorating rapidly.

It’s not just a Cunliffe problem but he’s a very visible symptom of problems at different levels of the party.

Not all Labour Party supporters are blind. Scott Yorke is more perceptive in Today’s classifieds which uses black humour to sum things up.

It’s worth following the link to read but I doubt Prentice will be reposting that on at The Standard.

Cunliffe’s position is untenable. Whether his successor will survive the flailing failing party is important for New Zealand’s democracy but is not looking like an easy prospect in a party riven.

Labour’s caucus, the party organisation, the membership and their blog supporters all need a major makeover of talent, tact and tack.

Labour’s massive malevolent malaise, continued?

It is almost universally that the Labour Party is in dire straights. On top of this they risk further deteriorating into yet another divisive leadership battle.

Labour remains burdened by a massive malevolent malaise, where intolerance of different points of view and vindictiveness against any deemed enemy – and also amongst it’s own.

They have transformed from a three term success to what looks like being a three term failure, unless they can turn around their attitudes and their fortunes.

Political fortunes are earned, something Labour has failed to invest in with any degree of success. They have pissed the last six years against the wall, and are stuck with another three years of little more than the same old in their ranks.

A comment from ‘Goldie’ aptly illustrates Labour’s predicament.

While 2002 was an even worse defeat for National in terms of the % of the vote, in many ways, Labour is in a much worse place than National was in 2002.

First, National in 2002 had still managed to bring in fresh blood despite the rout (this was when John Key entered parliament). Michelle Boag gets a lot of brickbats, but she did manage to rejuvenate the party, despite the short-term ructions this caused National.

The contrast with the hapless Moira Coatsworth is notable. Labour have not rejuvenated – they are pretty much the same failed team that crashed in 2008, lost badly in 2011 and got routed in 2014. Do Labour MPs rely believe that “the fourth time is the charm”?

That Labour did not seek to promote young talent like Deborah Russell is bewildering, while leaving an embittered old tusker Trevor Mallard in a safe(ish) electorate says how useless the Labour leadership is.

Second, after 2002 National did a complete policy review. National sought to attract talent, and outside independent advice. And after 2005 National decided to swallow rats (WFF, interest-free student loans) as the price for power.

Labour’s problem is that they have no policy unit to speak of. Labour went into this election with badly conceived or (to be polite) incomplete policies. There is no sign of that getting better.

Third, Labour is struggling for a raison d’être. Clearly there is a vague willingness to intervene in the economy, but why or how seems to have not been thought through, and Labour’s current “policies” are completely incoherent. I think it is because Labour don’t have a coherent ideology.

Helen Clark had her “third way” (which was basically copied from Blair and Clinton) – hence why Labour under Helen Clark was generally ideologically consistent and therefore were able to project a strong vision and unity.

But the current Labour Party is floundering for ideological coherence and an overarching vision. (Overseas, left-wing parties are faced with the same problem, so Labour is not unique).

Still – 2017 is a long time away. Given the right leader, Labour can solve these problems.

Getting ‘the right leader’ is important, but it’s also essential  that the Labour caucus and the Labour Party gets in behind their leader with something far more constructive than knives and backs them fully.

Appearing to be constructive and positive through most of the next term is also important. Trying to market ‘vote positive’ when appearing as anything but positive was one of Labour’s many failures.

It will be very challenging for Labour to lift themselves back into realistic contention in 2017, but they have to at least make significant progress towards rebuilding and reconnecting with the electorate.

I’ve voted for Labour more than for any other party. I last voted for Labour in 2005.

After Clark’s loss in 2008 I approached Labour offering a fresh perspective and help to rebuild. I didn’t feel welcomed nor valued so I decided to try other ways of doing something in politics.

Labour supporters in the blogosphere are far from welcoming. I do confront issues and things I disagree with or think need examination but I mostly avoid personal attack politics, but most of the reaction I get from the left is personal attacks and exclusion.

I’ve been banned from all the major Labour leaning blogs – Red Alert, The Standard and Public Address. Unless you join their chorus they drive people away.

And Labour wonders why voters are deserting them. If their most ardent online support – predominately exclusive, intolerant, vindictive and negative – is any indication of the state of Labour then they have to do much more than switch leaders again.

A good leader can inspire and change attitudes – but when this same negativity, and intolerance overwhelms in the guts of the party then Labour will keep getting kicked in the guts by voters.

Unless Labour can reverse a massive malevolent malaise they will keep shedding support and wither away.

Predictable result

In the main the election result and sub-results were quite predictable.

Polls were a reasonable indicator but only look backwards so show trends that have happened. They can’t predict to late campaign shifts that are common.

This election was peculiar in that many decisions were put on hold until Kim Dotcom’s big reveal. When it came to nothing it strengthened resolve of swing voters to ensure National retained it’s hold on Government.

Labour dropping below poll results was not surprising. They were obviously not going to do well and non-committed voters either change their minds or simply don’t bother voting.

Claims like “but Cunliffe ran a good campaign” have been proven wrong. As David Shearer said, the end result was tragic for Labour. Cunliffe may have appeared to be campaigning strongly but he puts on a variety of acts. While they might be slick acts voters see through this lack of genuineness. Cunliffe also has a problem that is probably unresolvable – too many people simply don’t like his persona (or personas).

Greens will be disappointed to have struggled to maintain their level of support while Labour were shedding votes. Greens weren’t able to pick them up. This suggests that 10-12% is the upper limit for them. This also shouldn’t be surprising outside the Green bubble. People like to have a party promoting environmental issues but most don’t like the extreme Green stances like no drilling, no fracking, no motorways.

And Greens misread public sentiment if they think that handing out more money to poor people with no responsibilities applied will be popular. Middle New Zealand see this as imposing costs and taxes on them. Socialism is fringe ideology these days.

Winston Peters is adept at picking up protest and shedded votes. NZ First gained vote, gained MPs but otherwise gained nothing. Most of the 91% who didn’t vote NZ First will be happy with this outcome.

The 5% threshold always looked a very high hurdle for Conservatives and so it proved. This was a failure of MMP. The threshold should be no higher than 3%. I don’t personally support the Conservatives but their missing out is a travesty of democracy.

Hone Harawira losing his electorate was a bit of a shock but not really surprising given the severely compromised position of Harawira and Mana hitching their ambitions to Kim Dotcom. Dotcom’s expensive disaster was Harawira’s failing.

Internet-Mana was always a high risk alliance. They might have succeeded as a combined party but Dotcom realised too late that his brand was toxic and he couldn’t resist being prominent. His final week failure to deliver on his promises to hit John Key compounded the problem.

Laila Harre severely compromised her credibility and was still blind to this yesterday, blaming everything but reality. Her political future is very limited.

The Maori Party lost two of their three electorates as widely predicted. For the first time they had sufficient party vote to pick up a list seat to go with Te Ururoa Flavell’s retained seat. Flavell was a minor star of the campaign but will have a difficult job keeping the Maori Party afloat.

David Seymour retained Epsom as expected but also as expected ACT failed as a party. Jamie Whyte failed to step up as leader in a challenging attempt to rebuild a battered brand.

Peter Dunne held is Ohariu seat. That didn’t seem to surprise anyone but unrealistic Labourites from the electorate. As a party United Future was nowhere to be seen, and accordingly votes were nowhere to be seen, dropping to a third of the low return they got in 2011.

Just two more seats for National but this strengthens them substantially, giving them a majority vote on their own as long as they don’t lose any seats this term. They also have ACT, Dunne and Maori Party support options on standby.

Just two less seats for Labour and this weakens them substantially. The result is tragic for them and the outlook is no better. They have done very little to move on the old guard and bring in new talent. They seem out of touch with their constituency of last century. They have yet another failed leader with no obvious replacement. This was also predictable.

Labour have failed for six years to rebuild from the Clark/Cullen era. Unless someone out of the ordinary steps up their future looks bleak.

National campaigned on ‘steady as she goes’ and the voters delivered the platform for National to be a little more politically steady than expected providing outstanding issues don’t impact too much.

Judith Collins has already been sidelined and is expendable should inquiries further damage her.

Now the election is over ‘dirty politics’ should be addressed by Key. And by Labour. And to a lesser extent by Greens. Peters won’t change from his habit of attack without evidence but he will be largely impotent unless the media keep pandering to his baseless allegations.

Some embarrassments may emerge for Key and National out of surveillance and GCSB issues but they look to have been overplayed, and most people accept the need for some surveillance protection.

The simple fact is that most people don’t feel threatened by surveillance and they are concerned about about terrorism.

And it’s ironic that the supposedly net-savvy who campaign strongly against surveillance must be aware that the Google and Twitter and Facebook social media tools they willingly use are tracking what they do far more than any government.

But we can predict they will continue to fight for a free internet that gives them far more public exposure than they ever had. They claim that privacy is paramount in a very public online world.

Otherwise we can predict have much the same Government as we’ve had over the past six years. Most people will be comfortable with that.

It’s harder to predict if Harawira will make a comeback or if Mana will survive their battering and their harsh reality check.

If Dotcom pulls the plug on Internet Party funding it’s demise can be predicted. If that happens it can also be predicted that Laila Harre will find it very difficult to find another party that would risk being tainted by her lack of loyalty and sense.

It is not hard to predict that Labour’s struggle to be relevant and their lack of connection to anyone but some special interest groups will continue.

John Key has shown he is aware of the dangers to National of complacency and arrogance – it can be predicted that some of his MPs will struggle to heed his warnings. But most likely things will continue much as they have.

Peters torpedos left wing options

Winston Peters appeared to promote a Labour+NZ First coalition option yesterday but it looks more like a torpedo to the left, especially aimed at the Greens, perhaps to try and pick up votes from the debris.

The main question is whether Peters was trying to be noticed on a day that Kim Dotcom was sucking up most of the media attention, or if he was trying to slip a positioning statement in under cover of the big news of the day.

Peters put out a media release yesterday afternoon - Alternatives In Election 2014 which praised both Labour’s David Parker and National’s Bill English.

When David Parker was attacked by a former business partner, alleging a breach of the law by the Hon David Parker, I was the first MP to back David Parker because, over an extensive period of time, I believed that he was a man of honour and integrity.

Similarly, I have observed the Hon Bill English’s conduct regarding the allegations in “Dirty Politics” and his reserve in the defence of the Hon Judith Collins’s conduct.

In addition on the question of tax cuts by National, Mr English’s aversion to claiming that they were possible is further evidence for me, that like Mr Parker, he has a certain integrity and honour.

Consequently, I see both of them as capable of being Ministers of Finance.

By stating he would work with either Labour or National Peters appears to keep his coalition options open. But he also slams the Greens.

In this campaign the Green Party has twice, for reasons best known to them, in essence led an assault on the Labour Party.

“Of late the Greens have been talking about being co-deputy prime ministers and wanting the finance portfolio.

“Does that mean when the Prime Minister is abroad we are going to have two acting prime ministers instead.

“This situation would be farcical.

“If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming other parties are not watching their record.

“This statement in no way challenges the Labour Party’s belief that in the right circumstances they could form an alternative government.

“Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whilst they promote extremist policies in government.

“This is not indicating a choice but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply.

“This emerged in 2005, has precedent, and it was a stable, successful government that delivered the greatest surpluses in recent years.”

Things were considerably different in 2005 when Peters shut the Greens out of Government.

Labour got 41.1% (to National’s 39.1), NZ First got 5.72% and the Greens 5.3%. Labour and NZ First combined with United Future (2.67%) giving a total of 49.42%.

Current polling has Labour in the mid twenties and NZ First 4-8%. Even if a miracle happens and Labour recovered to 30%, and NZ First climbed to 10%, that gets only 40%, well short of a majority. Greens (polling 10-15%) would be essential to get over the line.

Labour+NZ First is likely to be closer to 35% and could go as low as 30%.

“A Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply” looks an unattainable option. Peters must know this.

If Peters rules out combining with the Greens as he appears to have done here then he has only two choices – a coalition with National (possibly alongside Conservatives if they make the threshold, giving National alternatives) or going on the cross benches.

Peters must see potential votes from Green bashing. He has u-turned on his word before but he has consistently avoided working in Government alongside the Greens.

This looks like a torpedo to the left, conceding a left wing coalition is extremely unlikely.

“Vote Positive” and The Standard

Labour’s campaign slogan is “Vote Positive” but it doesn’t seem to be working very well for them, with poll results going negative.

But Labour’s polling is in a parlous state – at 23.8 per cent two weeks before the election.

It is the lowest it has ever been in the Herald’s records of DigiPoll, going back to October 1999.

The only time either of the two main parties has been lower under MMP was in July 2002. Two weeks before the election National polled 23.1 per cent (and 20.93 per cent on the day).

(NZ Herald – What’s eating Labour? Just 12 days left to save campaign)

Some party candidates have gone negative, with negative results.

The Labour Party election campaign is in a mess after one candidate reportedly made an anti-Semitic jibe shortly after another candidate sent a bizarre email telling a political journalist to “grow a pair”.

(NZ Herald – Labour candidate on ‘last, last chance’)

And Labour activist orientated blog The Standard is going hard out negative. On their current front page their last thirty posts are featured. Most of these are negative posts attacking National and Whale Oil (and trying to link him to National). Five are general debate posts, one is a self promotion for The Standard and of the rest the primary focus is not on promoting Labour, except one of the oldest posts which mostly tried to promote Cunliffe’s Christchurch debate effort.

Thoughts from the crowd on Tuesday night’s debate

Written By:

I was in the front row of the audience at the Press leader’s debate between David Cunliffe and John Key. While the media in Auckland and Wellington might have called it one way, the people in Christchurch were only presented with one leader who understands the issues in this city, and it wasn’t the Prime Minister.

Even the post summary was negative against the Prime Minister.  James Dann is a Labour candidate.

The self promotion is as much self promoting Standard sysop Lynn Prentice as The Standard

Meet The Standard

Written By: Date published: 4:39 pm, September 7th, 2014 – 24 comments

This tries to portray The Standard as independent authors:

The Standard is the sum of the loosely cooperative authors and their mixture of different viewpoints, and the commenters who have fun analyzing everything to death.

They are having fun trying to analyse National to a campaign death but lprent is a long time Labour activist who tries to distance The Standard from ‘Dirty Politics’.

It appears this blog runs on quite a different model to those on the right that have been  exposed in Dirty Politics.

But the attack nature of the posts is in stark contrast to that claim.

More from Thursday 4th September:

Whaledump twitter account suspended

Written By:

shushing key

Whaledump’s account on Twitter has been suspended.

Someone is trying to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Update: @Whaledump2 is providing more dumps and No Right Turn & lprent comment on it.

More Nat lies

Written By:

hekia parata and john key

National’s been lying about increased teacher numbers, and the state of the economy – and now they’re promising unaffordable tax cuts.



NetworkOnNet posts about the Ministry of Education under Tolley bullying good principals though WhaleOil. And also in Education news: this week all 4-7 year olds will be eligible for a free hot school lunch… in the UK.

Bunji is a Labour activist.

Show us the money John

Written By:

john-key-9John Key and National are talking about tax cuts. But when you think about the actual cost of the Christchurch rebuild and tumbling international milk prices you have to question if tax cuts are affordable or even justifiable.

mickysavage (Greg Presland) is closely associated with David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate.

Local Bodies: Whale Oil and Tolley Attacked Principals and Myself

Written By:

tolleyThe stench of National’s dirty politics is reeking like decayed blubber. Today it appears that Anne Tolley appears to have used Cameron Slater  to attack critics of their flawed education policies. The question is how much taxpayers funds did the ministers use on their vindictive support for the countries most despicable ‘blogger’?

NRT: Sensationalising the status quo

Pity the political reporter. Committed to horse-race style reporting and desperate for an ‘angle’. Patrick Gower on 3 News last night was desperately talking up how “complicated’ National’s… current arrangements are?? Use your brain Paddy…

Two re-posts selected for their negative attacks on National.

National’s sockpuppet is trying to muzzle press?

Written By:

Cameron Slater looks like he is the front person for National’s attempt to muzzle the press over their dirty politics for the next few weeks. How else can someone who has been pleading poverty in court seeks a High Court injunction against reporters writing about whaledumps of his emails? Updated with a offer to keep feeding and publicising the whaledumps.

Friday 5th:

Tories! Scared of Internet/Mana? I have the solution …

Written By:

Labour are going to lead the next Government. So what’s a Tory voter to do to keep the damge to a minimum? If the possibility of Hone Harawira and Laila Harre being Ministers in the Cunliffe administration is keeping you up at night, then Te Reo Putake has the answer.

This post tried to bizarrely talk up a 2002 style collapse for National when it looks like Labour is in danger of a similar fate. The ‘Guest’ is Labour activist ‘Te Reo Putake’.

Polity: The big lie

Rob Salmond looks at the Big Lie technique coming from the right and being gormlessly swallowed by some pundits. That Labour and the left aren’t talking about policy. They have been brimming over with policy. The right have vague possible ideas. Pundits are too obsessed in dirty politics to look at the detail of actual policies.

Rob Salmond is an adviser to David Cunliffe, closely associated with the Labour leader’s campaign.

The Big Lie in action

Written By:

This morning Rob Salmond did a great post about the “big lie” – the spin coming from the Right that Labour hasn’t concentrated on policy, just dirty politics.Like clockwork, David Farrar has a post up about the latest polls, suggesting “Their focus on hacked e-mails instead of policy  is backfiring.”

Stephanie Rodgers is working for Labour’s Ohariu electorate campaign.

The Streisand Effect (mickysavage) and ‘Dirty Politics’ symposium, streaming today (‘Karo’l, a Green Party promoter) promote National with ‘Dirty Politics’.

Child Poverty March tomorrow and Child Poverty March are promoting what amounts to an anti-National event. It was claimed to be non-partisan but a National MPs was jeered when he tried to speak at the rally. The latter was posted by Ben Clark who was a Labour candidate in 2011.

Saturday 6th

Slater deleting posts is by ‘Natwatch’, targeting National by an un-identified author with help fron lprent. There is no ‘Labwatch’.

Two weeks to go
By micksavage

Two weeks to go and polls suggest that National’s slide in the poll may be arrested.  But for how long?


Perceptions of National’s government
By lprent

There is how John Key and a few of his acolytes like to think of his government. Then there is how everyone else now does. The many ministers who have been abusing their position, were caught and ‘resigned’.  Now we can see the true nature than lurks beneath. A vote for National is a vote for Cameron Slater.


“‘Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo” -Final episode – (Series One) “Chaos and Mayhem”

Written By:

The Whale Oil Cafe has taken a hit. The walls have holes punched in them.  Most of the windows are smashed  and broken glass and dirt covers the cafe  floor.  The pictures of John Key are still hanging on the cafe walls, although the frames are smashed and glass broken… A whale of disaster has happened

susannact is an occasional anti-National satirical author.

Sunday 7th

There is no plan

Written By:


Name one new thing you’d do in the next 3 years in government.  Bill English: “-“

Airbrushing the VRWC

Written By:

In today’s Sunday Star Times, is an article on a Matthew Hooton & the VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy). Hooton criticises John Key, does a couple of mea culpas, but ultimately, airbrushes the whole disgusting mess of dirty politics.

Democracy under attack

Written By: Date published: 10:10 am, September 7th, 2014 – 60 comments

How long before “they” use control of the internet and media to bury adverse information, subvert democracy and vilify and silence those who disagree. “They” are doing it, NOW! A Government no longer has legitimacy, when they regard their own citizens as the enemy.

Who is KJT? No disclosure but their political leanings are obvious, as is their Anti-National intent.

Tax cuts – simple question simple answer

Written By:
Categories: bill english, election 2014, john key, national, tax
Tags: , ,

Duncan Garner asks – “when we’ve just borrowed $55b over 6 years how on earth are tax cuts suddenly affordable?”. Presumably it’s a rhetorical question…

Anthony also has a history of Labour involvement – but his target here is not Labour nor is it positive.

And Sunday also had a re-post Imperator Fish: Hand’s Off

John Key has served up so many lies, half-truths and evasions over his party’s role in dirty politics, that if he’d been David Cunliffe John Armstrong would have demanded his immediate execution.

But let’s go on, and keep up the fight. These crooked Tories may take away my country, my hope, and even my self-respect, but there’s one thing they’ll never have.

Wait a minute. It seems they have taken my freedom too.

Scott Yorke is also a Labour Party member active in electorate politics.

So much for Positive. The Standard and it’s Labour activists are going hard out negative – and wonder despair about Labour  struggling in the polls.

UPDATE: KJT has responded to this at The Standard, repeated here in full.

Note to Pete George.

I have had nothing to do with Labour since I resigned my membership in 1986.

Since my job was threatened by one of the then ACT infiltrators in Labour. One who is still there, by the way. The reason why I do not post under my own name. I was shocked that so much effort would be expended to silence a voice that had as little power as I did. It was my staunchly Republican gun nut US boss who saved my job. “I think you are talking a load of crap, but no-one should be sacked for a political view”. I have had a soft spot for genuinely principled right wingers, ever since.

All the negativity is simply accurate descriptions of how truly entitled, greedy and awful National’s senior figures have been exposed to be. how anyone who claims to have a conscience or any regard for Democracy thinks they still deserve support is beyound me.

Too many Authoritarian followers like Pete George,, Who ignore reality because it would interfere with their comfortable world view.

Lately I support the Greens, in removing the ongoing disaster that is National’s destruction of New Zealand.

I would post on “yournz” but we cannot trust the right wing not to breach our privacy

The problem with no disclosures at The Standard is that you can only by chance – or by reaction like this – discover the political affiliations of authors.

Polls show that currently a majority of people feel different to KJT about National.

I’m not “right wing” and I have never breached privacy on this blog – ironically considering KJT’s comment it was not right wing hackers who ilegally obtained Whale Oil data and it was not a right wing author who breached privacy in a book.

Will Cunliffe stand by ‘last chance’ warning?

Steve Gibson, Labour Party’s candidate in Rangitata, has again directed abuse at National after being put on a “last chance” last month by David Cunliffe.

Four weeks ago:

Gibson on ‘last chance’, says Cunliffe

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says the party’s Rangitata candidate Steve Gibson is “on a last chance” for insults directed at Prime Minister John Key.

Gibson said he apologised unreservedly for calling called Key “Shonky Jonkey Shylock”. Gibson also described Key as “a nasty little creep with a nasty evil and vindictive sneer”.

Cunliffe said Gibson was a “very promising candidate” with a “larger than life personality”. However, Cunliffe said Gibson’s comments “show extremely poor judgement” and there would likely be consequences for his candidacy if similar actions were repeated.

The Timaru Herald has just reported:

Gibson calls it as he sees it

The Labour Party’s Rangitata candidate, Steve Gibson, said yesterday he was “a bit tired of toeing the party line” which he said was “too respectful,” making a series of strongly-worded criticisms of the National Party.

Gibson said he was concerned about the “degradation of the public’s confidence in the democratic process by Judith Collins, Cameron Slater, Jason Ede and other rotten Shylocks”.

Labour party leader David Cunliffe put Gibson “on a last chance” in August for insulting Prime Minister John Key on Facebook, where Gibson called Key “Shylock” and a “nasty little creep”.

Gibson had apologised for his earlier comments, but yesterday said his party was “not going to win by being Mr Soft-arse softly-softly”, and was prepared to “call it as I see it”.

Although he said the Labour Party’s “vote positive” campaign theme was sound, he was in favour of stronger opposition to the Government’s policies.

Gibson criticised the National Party’s planned education reforms, which include differentiating teachers’ pay levels based on their responsibilities, as “just idiocy”, and said the party looked like “a bunch of dicks” for proposing the policies despite unionised teachers’ official opposition.

He also believed the National Party was “a bunch of jerks” for comparing rural water pollution caused by dairy farms to urban water pollution in Christchurch. Gibson blamed water degradation on the Government’s replacement of elected Environment Canterbury officials with appointed “commissars”. “There’s very little democracy and it’s tilted toward the polluters,” he said.

Gibson is to appear at a candidates’ meeting on Wednesday in Timaru. He would not be answering questions from “obsequious, sycophantic scumbags”, which he believed could be written by his opponent, National’s Jo Goodhew.

Cunliffe has been critical of John Key for not taking decisive action sooner against Judith Collins.

Your call Mr Cunliffe.


Bad poll for National, Labour

The latest Roy Morgan poll has both National and Labour down into worrying territory with Greens and Conservatives being upwards movers:

  • National 45% (down 3%)
  • Greens 16% (up 4.5%)
  • Labour 26% (down 1.5%)
  • Maori Party 0.5% (down 0.5%)
  • Act NZ (1%, up 0.5%)
  • United Future 0% (down 0.5%)
  • NZ First 6% (down 0.5%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1% (down 1.5%)
  • Conservative Party of NZ 3.5% (up 2.5%)
  • Independent/ Others is 1% (unchanged)

3% isn’t a huge move but 45% is into real worry territory for National, especially if it’s part of a downwards trend.

Labour appear to be either also tainted by Dirty Politics or just seen as crap. Greens are finally benefiting with their best result ever.

Internet-Mana seem to have lost traction while Conservatives are on the rise.

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 762 electors from August 18-31, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 3.5% (down 3%) didn’t name a party.


PDF including table of results

Standard promotes Labour over Greens

The party opening addresses were televised last night (competing with the All Black-Wallaby test which is nuts).

The Standard has posts of both the Labour and Green addresses, but have chosen to promote the Labour address as the primary post today.

Labour Green opening addressesThey were posted at similar times last night, but the Labour post has been given prime position on the blog.The Internet-Mana address has been added to the Green post rather than posted separately.

Possibly as a result of greater prominnence given the Labour post and probably due to greater interest in Labour at The Standard it currently has significantly more comments.

Poll hits dirt, rewards clean

There can be many reasons for poll movements but whether by coincidence or not the parties most associated by dirty smear politics have all dropped in the latest NZ Herald poll, and parties not associated with dirt have gone up, especially the Greens.

Dirty parties:

  • National 50 (down 4.9)
  • Labour 25.2 (down 1.3)
  • NZ First 4.3 (down 0.3)

Clean parties:

  • Greens 13.7 (up 3.8)
  • Conservatives 2.6 (up 1.4)
  • Maori Party 0.7 (up 0.2)
  • Act 0.6 (up 0.6)
  • United Future 0.4 (up 0.4)


  • Mana-Internet 2.1 (down 0.1)
  • Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (down 0.1)

Having made that point poll to poll movements are not as important as trends.

Herlad poll trends Aug14

  • National’s last poll result may have been an outlier.
  • Labour continue to trend down.
  • Greens have surged but time will tell if it is temoporary or becomes a positive trend.

Herald poll trends small Aug14

  • Winston Peters has been struggling to sustain a profile in a very competitive media.
  • Conservatives will be hoping they are on the rise but 5% is a long way up from there.
  • Internet-Mana climbed initially but may be leveling off.
  • Maori, Act and United Future will be grateful for any scraps they can get.

The poll of 750 respondents was conducted between August 14 and 20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent. On the party vote questions 12.5 per cent were undecided.

Source: Greens spring in polls as National takes hit

Labour staunch on raising Super age

Labour is promoting it';s policy to raise the age of eligibility of National Superanuation again. RNZ reports:

Labour pushing later retirement age

The Labour Party is using the latest information on the state of the Government’s books to push its policy of gradually raising the retirement age to 67.

It’s not a retirement age. You can retire any age you choose.

It’s the age at which you become eligible for National Superannuation. Many people don’t retire when the become eligible, they receive Super while still earning an income.

If elected on 20 September, Labour would gradually phase in an increased retirement age of 67.

Anyone receiving a pension before 2020 would not be affected, but people turning 65 after 2020 would have to wait until they are 65 years and two months to get their entitlement. The retirement age would be raised by two months every year until it reaches 67.

Labour’s finance spokesperson David Parker says pension costs, which make up about half of all social spending, need to be addressed.

This would extend my eligibility age by two months. No big deal for me personally.

Ironically this policy is what many on the right think is essential but are up against a John Key wall of inaction, while some on the left will be spitting tacks again as they are strongly opposed to raising the Super age.

A past left wing discussion on the pros and cons of this Labour policy – The retirement age debate.

This would also be a no-go for any Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.



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